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16 septiembre 2015 3 16 /09 /septiembre /2015 21:34

 

 

Malcolm Turnbull, investido nuevo primer ministro de Australia


El exbanquero y abogado multimillonario Malcolm Turnbull fue investido este martes 15 de septiembre de 2015 como primer ministro de Australia tras haber conseguido apartar por sorpresa al primer ministro conservador Tony Abbott.


Turnbull, de 60 años, es el cuarto primer ministro en menos de dos años, en un país acostumbrado a las tormentas políticas.
"Estamos viviendo la mejor época para ser australiano", dijo Turnbull al prestar juramento ante el gobernador general Peter Cosgrove, representante de la reina Isabel II en Australia. "Es algo que no me esperaba, tengo que confesarlo, pero es un privilegio asumir esta tarea para la que estoy preparado", añadió.


Turnbull prometió un nuevo estilo de gobierno muy distinto al de su predecesor, al que sus detractores acusaban de tomar decisiones de manera unilateral. También prometió ser menos polémico en sus declaraciones.


Tony Abbott, que llegó al poder en 2013 tras una amplia victoria de los conservadores en las legislativas, fue obligado el lunes 14 a convocar un voto del Partido Liberal —el principal partido de la coalición conservadora en el poder— después de que Turnbull anunciara su intención de acceder al liderazgo de la formación.


Turnbull, uno de los ministros más conocidos del gobierno, también anunció que abandonaba su ministerio de Comunicación. Finalmente obtuvo 54 votos de senadores y representantes liberales frente a los 44 para el primer ministro, muy impopular en los sondeos.


El exabogado explicó su decisión de aspirar al cargo porque según él el partido podría perder las próximas elecciones, previstas en enero de 2017.

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Australia es una nación que està batiendo récords en este momento. No sólo acaba de estrenar su quinto primer ministro en cinco años, ademàs ha sumado ya 24 años consecutivos sin una recesión, una hazaña incomparable entre las naciones desarrolladas.
Pero a medida que décadas de auge de los productos básicos de Australia se acaban en las brasas de la "nueva normalidad" de la economía de China, y el crecimiento trimestral del PIB se desacelera a un anémico 0,2%, es un país que enfrenta una crisis.
Los problemas son tan profundos que el nuevo primer ministro de Australia, el ex banquero de inversión y abogado Malcolm Turnbull, sentencia: "Los grandes cambios económicos que estamos viviendo por aquí (en Australia) y en todo el mundo ofrecen enormes desafíos y oportunidades enormes y necesitamos un estilo diferente de liderazgo". Lo dijo en una conferencia de prensa para anunciar su desafío a Tony Abbott, quien se votó el 14 de septiembre

En la cima de una economía en desaceleración, Turnbull está heredando un país con el mayor crecimiento de deuda neta en el mundo desarrollado, con un presupuesto federal en contracción, y toda una generación de constituyentes que sólo han conocido la prosperidad económica.

A diferencia de sus padres ahorrativos, muchos australianos consideran el gasto desmedido en vivienda, automóviles y ropa de marca, como un derecho. Cansados del liderazgo de puerta giratoria de Australia, serán difíciles de convencer de que es el momento de regatear peniques para invertir en el futuro.



“The longer you go without a recession, the more distant the memory becomes and the impetus to keep investing in that next wave of growth and job creation is less as a result. It seems easy, especially when you have a trade bubble that just floods you with money,” explained David Hetherington, an economist with Australian public policy think-tank, Per Capita.


"Cuanto más tiempo pasa sin una recesión, más distante es la memoria y menor es el impulso para mantener la inversión en la próxima ola de crecimiento y creación de empleo. Todo parece fácil, sobre todo cuando se tiene una burbuja comercial que sólo te inunda con dinero ", explicó David Hetherington, economista especializado en reflexión política pública australiana.

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AUSTRALIA: PRIMER MINISTRO ES «VÁNDALO MEDIOAMBIENTAL» POR REVERTIR MEDIDA CONTRA CAMBIO CLIMÁTICO

NO TONY ABBOTT'S DAMS: EL VETO DE GRANDES REPRESAS EN AUSTRALIA

Las inundaciones actuales en Australia son un acontecimiento de una vez en un siglo, que no están registradas en la historia. Para qué gastar cientos de miles de millones de dólares en la adquisición de tierras y la construcción de numerosas presas, cuando es probable que sirvan para la recolección de polvo los próximos 100 años … parece un terrible despilfarro de fondos públicos.

 

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http://qz.com/502258/charted-the-economic-horror-show-facing-australias-new-prime-minister-malcolm-turnbull/

http://qz.com/502258/charted-the-economic-horror-show-facing-australias-new-prime-minister-malcolm-turnbull/

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Australia is a nation breaking records at the moment. Not only has it just signed it’s fifth prime minister in five years into office, it’s clocked up 24 consecutive years without a recession—a feat unmatched by any other developed nation.

 

But as Australia’s decades-long commodity boom dies in the embers of China’s “new normal” economy, and quarterly GDP growth slows to an anemic 0.2%, it’s a country facing nothing short of a crisis.

 
 
 

 

The problems are so deep that Australia’s new prime minister, ex-investment banker and barrister Malcolm Turnbull, backed his whirlwind run for office on fixing them. “The big economic changes that we’re living through here (in Australia) and around the world offer enormous challenges and enormous opportunities and we need a different style of leadership,” he said at a press conference announcing his challenge to Tony Abbott, who was voted out Sept. 14.

 
 
 

 

On top of a slowing economy, Turnbull is inheriting a country with the fastest-growing net debt in the developed world, a shrinking federal budget, and an entire generation of constituents who have only known economic prosperity.

 
 
 

 

Unlike their thrifty parents, many Australians now consider free spending on housing, cars, branded clothes and designer coffee an entitlement. Tired of Australia’s revolving-door leadership, they will be hard to convince that it is time to pinch pennies now to invest in the future.

 
 
 

 

“The longer you go without a recession, the more distant the memory becomes and the impetus to keep investing in that next wave of growth and job creation is less as a result. It seems easy, especially when you have a trade bubble that just floods you with money,” explained David Hetherington, an economist with Australian public policy think-tank,Per Capita.

 
 
 

 

An unprecedented trade boom

Australia was certainly flooded with money in recent decades.

 
 
 

 

Outside of an 1850s gold rush, Australia’s now-fading resources boom was the largest in the country’s history and the wealth it generated was huge. Paul Bloxham, Chief Economist with HSBC Australia, said it delivered the single biggest “increase in terms of trade the country has ever seen”.

 
 
 

 

Rising global commodity prices and China’s then-insatiable demand for minerals and metals saw the value of Australia’s exports of ‘crude materials’, which includes iron ore, grow 705% from AUD$1.2 billion at the beginning of 2001 to AUD$10.4 billion at the end of 2013, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

 
 
 

 

 Like “being hit in the arse by a rainbow.” One of Australia’s more eloquent ex-Prime Ministers, Paul Keating, famously described the luck of the government at the time in inheriting such wealth as being “hit in the arse by a rainbow.”

 
 
 

 

With this huge rise in exports, investment spending by the mining sector increased from 2% to 8% of GDP and unemployment fell from a high of 7.6% at the start of 2002 to average 5.2% in the next decade, according to the ABS.

 
 
 

 

Living large

Even ordinary Australians got their share of the pot of gold. After hovering around the US$20,000 mark for a decade, gross national income per capita grew 224% from US$19,960 in 2002 to US$65,410 in 2014, according to data from the World Bank.

 
 
 

 

 

Households prospered from higher wages and strong employment and started spending on things like new cars and overseas travel, something the strengthening Australian dollar made even more affordable. Governments of the day also blessed Australia’s consumers with income tax cuts, and increases to family allowance payments and pensions, making families feel even wealthier. The Australian government doled out seven consecutive years of personal income tax cuts starting in the 2003/04 fiscal year, and marginal tax rates for people on incomes of AUD$35,000 fell from 30% to 15%.

 
 
 

 

Australian consumers started taking out unprecedented levels of debt—household debt in the country is more than triple what it was during Australia’s 1991 recession, at an amazing 154%. “Australia is living large. It has been a place awash with money and you see that in every aspect of life in Australia,” said Hetherington.

 
 
 

 

An empty wallet

But as Australia’s economic growth falters, it is clear the nation partied too hard during the boom, and could be about to wake up with an empty wallet and a whopping hangover.

 
 
 

 

The tax cuts and hand-outs meant the Australian government was spending as freely as the consumers, something the IMF and numerous Australian economists – including HetheringtonRoss Garnaut and Jim Minifie, to name just a few – have highlighted.

 
 
 

 

The nation’s governments saved just AUD$1 out of every AUD$19 it received in additional revenue during the commodity boom, onecomprehensive report from the Grattan Institute concludes. “AUD$180 billion was either given back to tax payers in the form of tax cuts…or was spent,” Jim Minifie, the author of the report told Quartz. “So the government balance sheet hardly improved due to the boom.”

 
 
 

 

That left Australia with dangerously rising government debt levels as the boom ended.

 
 
 

 

The governments of the day weren’t entirely neglectful. They initially paid down Australia’s debt and dipped into the budget to increase spending during the global financial crisis, which ensured Australia remained one of the few OECD countries to avoid a recession. The Liberal government also established a sovereign wealth fund, called the “Future Fund”, to cover Australia’s future pension liabilities.

 
 
 

 

However, unlike other sovereign wealth funds in established countries that have also been lucky enough to live through similar commodities booms —like Norway and Chile—this money is effectively already spent. In fact, the federal government’s unfunded super liabilities for politicians, judges, public servants and military personnel was estimated at over AUD$200 billion in 2013, while Australia’s Future Fund had assets of just AUD$88.9 billion at the end of June 2013.

 
 
 

 

The hangover

Australia’s lack of savings during the boom years has left the nation in a precarious position, especially now China – which has been Australia’s largest export market since 2009 – is fast running out of manufacturing steam.

 
 
 

 

Commodity prices have fallen 55% from their 2011 highs, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s commodity price index. Australia’s deficit on it current account balance – a measure of its trade that includes overseas income – blew out an eye-watering 41% in the June quarter to AUD$19 billion as a result, a level not seen since the global financial crisis.

 
 
 

 

Australia’s foreign debt now hovers just below AUD$1 trillion, and theIMF has warned that the nation’s present debt trajectory is the worst in the developed world.

 
 
 

 

A word not heard in 24 years in Australia–recession–is now being uttered with growing frequency. The word recession is now being uttered with growing frequency. 

 
 
 

 

“I think the current state of the Australian economy is parlous and the outlook is pretty dim,” said Hetherington, who noted that Australian governments had acted as though high commodity prices “would be around forever.”

 
 
 

 

“It’s a white knuckle ride being a resource economy,” added Minifie.

 
 
 

 

Others disagree with these dire predictions, and argue that Australia’s shift should be compared to China’s, which is moving away from manufacturing to a more services-based economy.

 
 
 

 

“I think Australia’s ‘R’ word is more likely to be rebalancing than recession.” HSBC’s Bloxham said. “I think growth is rebalancing from being lead by mining investment to being lead by other sectors of the economy.”

 
 
 

 

Building the road ahead

Australia has been pursuing new export growth and recently signed free trade deals with Japan and Korea, the nation’s top trade partners after China. But whether recession or rebalancing, the new government will have their economic work cut out for them. Interest rates are at an all-time low and the nation’s housing market looks positively bubbly, which limits their options for stimulating growth.

 
 
 

 

Garnaut and Max Cordon – together two of Australia’s most respected economists – have prescribed spending on infrastructure as a way to see the Australian economy through its “dog days”, as Garnaut describes them. It’s something Australia sorely needs—as investment went into new mines and related infrastructure to help deliver the resources China needed to build its shiny new roads, ports and railways, development of Australia’s own infrastructure outside of the mining sector was comparatively lackluster.

 
 
 

 

Turnbull has championed himself on economic leadership –but he needs to get on board and take control of his country’s economy fast enough to avoid a crash.

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