Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has savaged the Commonwealth Bank for a “cynical cash grab” after the bank raised mortgage rates by close to double yesterday’s Reserve Bank increase.
Unions have urged the other major banks to not push rates higher than the official 0.25% rise, with the CBA’s move expected to have a negative impact on many small firms.
Government pushes for red tape cuts
The Gillard government is pushing the states to undertake reforms that will remove $14 billion in red tape costs from businesses. There are 27 separate initiatives to slash red tape over the next three years, although continued opposition from the NSW state government to health and safety rules could prove a stumbling block.
Melbourne Cup sees betting surge
More than $160m was wagered on the 150th Melbourne Cup, won by Americain. It’s estimated that over $1bn was lost in business productivity due to the staging of the rain-affected race.
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Dollar moves beyond parity
The Australian dollar surged beyond parity with its US counterpart for only the second time in 27 years last night. Buoyed by the Reserve Bank’s interest rate hike, the dollar hit 100.25 US cents before coming back to 99.89 cents this morning.