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.
The return of gold mining as Western Australia’s fastest-growing industry is becoming more interesting, with a near-record price for the metal in Australian dollars triggering increased exploration and a pair of possible mine developments in the Wheatbelt.
If money, careers and future investment in Western Australia were not being jeopardised, it would be amusing to watch some of Australian biggest companies adopt a management policy best described as ‘run and hide’.
Perth’s importance as a national business centre may have faded during recent months, but it’s a different matter in the inner suburb of West Perth, where several small mining companies have sprung back to life.
To most people it seems inconceivable that a bank would pay its customers to borrow money, but that scenario was played out, albeit briefly, in Denmark last year, when homebuyers were on the winning side of negative interest rates.
Living life in reverse is an amusing fictional concept that involves being born old and growing young, but if you look at some of the forces at work in the economy today you might imagine that everything is running backwards – starting with the puzzle of negative interest rates.
You probably wouldn’t believe it if someone told you that Perth-based retailing specialist Wesfarmers was bigger than global resources leader BHP Billiton, but that was the situation last week on the Australian Securities Exchange as the company led by Richard Goyder quietly slipped past the global mining giant.
The Dick Smith chain of technology and electrical goods shops is probably a poor example of the wider problems confronting retailing but its collapse this week is a reminder that the shake-out which has rattled the retail world over the past few years is far from over.
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.