Perth commentator Tim Treadgold is one of the state's highest-profile business journalists. He brings decades of experience to Business News, offering readers sharp and insightful analysis of current events and breaking news.
After five years in the financial sin bin there is a flicker of hope on the horizon for Western Australia’s magnetite iron ore processing industry, with Gindalbie Metals and Sino Iron in line for a revenue boost emanating from an unlikely source – China’s polluted environment.
If nothing else, Bill Beament has just cemented for himself a place in Australian business history by placing one of the biggest bets ever on the future price of gold – and possibly on the future value of the Australian dollar.
It is said that in space no-one can hear you scream. Amusingly, in a dark sort of way, the same can be said of the stock exchange during a crash because it’s unlikely that anyone heard a peep from the 54 (yes, 54) companies that disappeared from the Australian market over the past six months.
Is the world about to become a better place? That’s not a philosophical question, it’s simply an observation that economic conditions might be better than we realise, as shown by recent developments in China, the US and the UK.
It has been so long coming, and there have been so many false starts, that most people have missed what looks like the long-awaited fall in the value of the Australian dollar to less than US90 cents, and perhaps below US80 cents.
Rated as the world’s fourth biggest pool of contestable cash, Australia’s $1.4 trillion superannuation sector was eventually going to struggle to find viable investments for its members, though not many people expected it take a risk with a plunge into publishing.
It will probably take Gina Rinehart a few years to catch Bill Gates in the race to be the world’s richest person, but it is easy to see how she might overhaul the Microsoft founder’s swag of $75 billion.
Followers of Fortescue Metals Group and its mercurial chairman, Andrew Forrest, have been on a roller-coaster ride during the past five years; but if the current bout of optimism is well-founded, FMG could be heading back to its record price of $12 a share reached in 2008, and Mr Forrest heading for a $12 billion fortune.
Karl Simich and his team at Sandfire Resources could be calling for the Dom Perignon in a few days if the local copper mining favourite achieves the once unthinkable and overtakes the stock market value of its potential predator, OZ Minerals.
It's hard to imagine anyone being unhappy with Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s remarkably generous $65 million donation to establish a system of educational scholarships to rival that created by Cecil Rhodes more than 100 years ago.
The second-hand car business was revolutionised 20 years ago with the arrival of the internet, but there is a second revolution under way that promises to be even more disruptive and could have a significant effect on some of Western Australia’s best-known car yards.