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Financial planning

15
May
2013
 

By Miranda

Yea! We've just had the Budget announced in Australia, to the inevitable wailing of baffled interest groups and the whirring of spin placed on it by competing political groups. Did I mention there's a national election coming up within months?

So this made me think of the terms which have entered the English language from the finance and banking industries recently (no, not embezzlement, theft or fraud, they're much older). I love quantitative easing, and I should love it still more if I were the head of the Treasury or equivalent and could order the printing of a few more millions of currency. And, yes, I know Governments don't just print more bank notes, they issue bonds, but it would be such fun to be able to yell "Start" instead of "Stop the presses"...

Australian dollar

Image: australia.edu

The result of rogue traders, those aberrant (according to the self-regulators) people who work outside accepted norms in the stock markets of the world, was the 'GFC', the global financial crisis, which we're still fighting our way out of now. And the Occupy Wall Street movement of protest against the practices of our most respectable gamblers, sorry, I mean stockbrokers, was hardly surprising.

Still, despite the patchwork economy (some bits are doing better than others. That's a surprise) we do seem to be on the up and up. Especially the genius who invented upcharge, a euphemism for whacking an extra fee on a transaction.

And the idea of crowd funding seems very positive indeed. You get to use your own judgement to provide micro-finance to new ventures. Yes, you're still taking a punt on the outcome, but at least some new ideas may get funding previously unavailable.

So, back to the Budget.

The Australian economy has been judged the best run in the world for the last few years and, as a nation, we're finally trying to give the disabled in our society a slightly fairer go. I think this is a good thing and a bit more tax for the purpose is well worth it. But the bottom line (that one's older, too) is that, as a nation, we've got money to allocate. We do argue over how to divide it, but that's normal for our lucky country. 'First World problem', then.

Miranda

24 Responses to

Financial planning

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said:
May 15, 2013 at 4:28 PM

is the same every year miranda they promise the world but then nothing happenes as for disabled spending i will wait and see used to be a nurse so not very trusting

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May 16, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Nice to see cynicism is a worldwide as well as world weary phenomena and at least your disabled seem to due a fairer share, whereas we in the UK seem to be trying to take some of the small financial assistance we allocate them, back. What a country, when we won't or can't afford to look after our poor and destitute, our ill and disabled and our old and frail fellow countrymen.

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Mojito said:
May 17, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Julia Gillard says she will "increase Medicare by half of 1%". So as it is at 1.5% already, a 0.5% increase means it should be 1.5075% not 2%. A rise to 2.0% is a 33.3333% increase. Someone is either bad at maths or wants to deceive us!

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May 18, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Medicare is at 1.5% of something else and additional 0.5% is being added from the original bringing it up to a 2% total. It's not bad maths or deception. But if you want to be picky re an actual phrasing of a statement go ahead. By the way, on another topic, why the word fiscal instead of financial? I know I could search google or an online dictionary in a shorter time than to write this but I thought someone might find it fun to enlighten us since we are often about words.

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kragzy said:
May 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Fiscal is generally the word used to describe public finances, i.e. those controlled by governments. It's a fairly loose distinction though.

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said:
May 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Miranda, let me first say that I love your rose- coloured glasses on your avatar but I'm sorry I can't agree with your statement " But as a nation, we have money to allocate." Are we living in the same country? Australia is presently in debt to the tune of about $3,000,000,000 as well as other unfunded commitments. Our children and grandchildren will be paying off this debt for decades. Ask yourself when did we last have a budget in surplus? The answer might surprise you.

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said:
May 18, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Correction re debt figure: $300,000,000,000.

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falcon8 said:
May 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM

I thought this thread was going to be about the jargon which surrounds financial dealings both private and public, but since he has brought up the subject: Pedro2, perhaps you can enlighten the rest of us as to exactly who is responsible for the debt you mention and please don't say we all owe it. As you should know the majority of the debt is owed by corporations not government.

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Mojito said:
May 18, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Yes I am being picky, stitchpuzz :) and as falcon8 so timely pointed out this tread should be about jargon. I should have elaborated my previous post. Saying they were increasing the levy by o.5% was maybe a 'marketing strategy' to make it more palatable.

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said:
May 18, 2013 at 2:43 PM

as i said nothing will change untill they throw them all out and get new blood in parliment

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said:
May 18, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Falcon 8: The thread did start with comments re the jargon of the finance world but the final paragraph was nothing but a personal opinion of the writer. Which is fine as everyone is entitled to have their say and we pride ourselves on the freedom of speech. The article was written to promote discussion and different opinions. The debt I mentioned is the Australian National Debt and is owed by the nation as a whole and we are all responsible for it. I respect your opinion but do not agree with it and that is my right. Enlighten yourself as to owes the debt and I still say we all owe it.

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May 18, 2013 at 4:37 PM

I still want to know why the word fiscal as opposed to financial ie origins, roots. I was aware of usage thanks Kragsky.

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said:
May 18, 2013 at 4:54 PM

hey stitch

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May 18, 2013 at 7:21 PM

sounds like ur government is same as ours , and our budget wasn't much better , except money going to school kids brekyss and health system , , petrol to rise again already $120 a litre

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tiggercat said:
May 19, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Stitchpuzz, the origin of the word "fiscal" dates back to the Roman Empire when the word 'fisc' or 'fisk' related to the State Treasury. Over centuries this meaning became blurred, so that today the word 'fiscal' is loosely used to describe many financial matters and activities. Thanks to Dr Google for this info!

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said:
May 19, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Yes Pedro, I agree, we are all responsible for the actions of our elected government. That debt is owed by all Aussies. But gosh it's hard to change anything at the grass roots level. And what sort of person would want to be a politician...

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Yobro said:
May 19, 2013 at 2:29 PM

The sort of person who would want to be a politician Jafa, is the sort of person who would prefer to use the word "fiscal" instead of "financial".

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Yobro said:
May 19, 2013 at 2:42 PM

...Or understands how to gerrymander the filibuster.

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Mojito said:
May 19, 2013 at 2:52 PM

re fiscal...remember money was in coins back then and I believe a fiscal was the baskets used to store the collection in (taxes).

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Yobro said:
May 19, 2013 at 3:45 PM

1560s, "pertaining to public revenue," from Middle French fiscal, from Late Latin ... "purse, basket made of twigs (in which money was kept)," of unknown origin. Thanks Google

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May 20, 2013 at 9:42 PM

What an interesting origin! Thanks Tiggercat, Mojito and Yobro. :)

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margarite said:
August 13, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Yes and they are going to put a tax on intrest on your intrest you earn on your savings. SUCKS BIG TIME........

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said:
August 14, 2013 at 2:30 AM

Problem with governments is they have no responsiblity for their actions. Our government recently cancelled the locations of 2 natural plants because there was an election and they wanted the votes. I believe that new rules should be put in place to force them to be truthful. Then enforce it. Punishments should be severe for lying or 'fudging'things. Have you ever listened to pols and thought about what they said? Most of it is 'pie in the sky' and mumbojumbo. Governments must be held accountable for their actions. Who can you trust? Most of us have to live within our means. Governments? Nah! Just raise taxes! The terminology used is to confuse us.

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codlike said:
January 19, 2014 at 10:24 PM

BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP BLOODY BLEEP