Episode 37 – Fundamental Truths on the Present (Part 2)

In part two Will and I, continuing our ‘enduring’ theme, allude to John Howard – the seminal political figure in Australian politics of the last 20 years – and his capacity to provide stability with change. And, at least by the temporary standards of modern prime ministers, deliver a solid dose of political endurance. We also talk about Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams’ advice on when to give in or keep ‘enduring’, and discuss how generalists can triumph in an age of specialisation. Show highlights John Howard – a social conservative and economic liberal Our favourite and standout bits from Howard’s […]

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Episode 36 – Fundamental Truths on the Present (Part 1)

What endures? Clearly things that have been around for a while will tend to go on persisting, from Broadway musicals to timeless virtues. Economist Will Witheridge and I talk about how important principles are, why they appeal and why they’re making a comeback, from author Ryan Holiday’s commitment to stoicism to Jordan Peterson’s philosophy of self-help. This show is split in two so please tune in next week for Part II. Show highlights The universalism of Catcher in the Rye – losing innocence and maturing in the world Good packaging (i.e. good writing or a creative format) helps to make […]

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Episode 35 – Index Funds, JFK and Hitch

On this episode we take things around the world, covering everything from Brexit and the late Christopher Hitchens to index funds and the common sense of JFK. Sorry it’s been a while in between drinks. Show highlights Finding time to read while being a good (new) Dad How fees dominate the financial advice industry (managing your own super deprives the financial advice sector of an estimated $14 to $20 billion annually in fees) Thinking differently about banks – how their true customers are the people that lend to them, not so much mortgage holders Remembering Christopher Hitchens – a consistent […]

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Episode 34 – Australia’s nearest neighbour – Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has 8 million people, 800-plus languages and over a thousand cultural groupings. Understandably, running the PNG state can be more than difficult, amplified by a swelling resource sector and huge challenges around health, education and security. But not all is an uphill battle. Over the years I’ve been enthusiastic about economic growth in PNG and the opportunities that it can deliver. From the unusual benefits of PNG’s Westminster system to skirmishes on the Indonesian border, and property rights to Bougainville independence, I hope you enjoy this primer on an interesting nation close to home. Show highlights […]

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Episode 33 – Warren Buffett primer – A Dollar for Fifty Cents

Warren Buffett – investment and business titan, man of steady temperament and, as Whig Capital’s Jordan Shopov explains, a ‘learning machine’. As someone who knew only a little about Buffett I learnt a lot from this discussion with Jordan, who has read the most on the ‘Oracle from Omaha’ than perhaps anyone in Australia. We talk about Buffett’s principles for success, the value of role models, circles of competence and how getting a dollar for fifty cents means constant growth and learning. To tap into Jordan’s wealth of knowledge please get in touch with him at www.whigcapital.com. Show highlights Buffett […]

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Episode 32 – Post-election wrap, musings and observations

Join Jordan Shopov and I for a casual post-election wrap up. From franking credits to betting odds, and inner-city politics to Q-exit, we unpack the Labor leadership, the background noise of the ‘culture wars’, and talk next steps for ScoMo. We even find time briefly to talk Izzy, and hypothesize about a world where millennials possess the same enthusiasm for debt as carbon reduction. Show highlights How harbourside politics did not quite work in mainstream Australia Australia’s egalitarian streak The general appeal of lower taxes How franking credits and property ownership were leading indicators and thus issues for voters Why […]

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Episode 31 – A primer on the coming republican debate

In any national election the stakes are high. But if Labor wins they have committed to holding a referendum on an Australian republic.  This issue was put to the Australian people in 1999 but lost.  Yet, as I explain, it is an issue that will always be with us.  For this episode, we flip things around and Whig Capital’s Jordan Shopov interviews me on the republican versus monarchy debate.  Full disclosure – I am a spokesman for the Australian Monarchist League (and a member of the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy).  But I hope I can give this important issue the […]

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Episode 30 – How to avoid consumer politics and be a good citizen

For this episode I’m joined by Sam Rebecchi – a Melbourne-based communications adviser and part-time writer for the Spectator Blog. I saw his recent Spectator article – ‘Shock News: politics and consumer goods are two different things‘ – as a good opportunity to talk about the elevation of consumption politics, the evacuation of values from public life, and the perceived lack of distinction between the two major Australian political parties.  Politics, he concludes, has sadly been reduced to nothing more than the goods on our shelves.  Tune in to hear how we can turn this around, the path to good […]

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Episode 29 – Bastion Collective CEO Jack Watts

For this episode I’m fortunate to be joined by Bastion CEO Jack Watts (www.bastioncollective.com). Jack and I met over a decade ago on a leadership course in China, and he has since grown a small sports marketing opportunity into a firm with global reach and employing hundreds of people. We talk about the importance of experience, taking on risk, avoiding bad decisions, managing people and dealing with growth. I enjoyed Jack’s principles – design the life you want to live, tap into your ‘thrill of the chase’, fail fast, ‘corterize’ it, get the bad news out, and move on with […]

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Episode 28 – Public vs Private – When Should Government Run Things?

On this episode economist Will Witheridge and I discuss the philosophy behind privatisation, the wisdom of Adam Smith, and cartels and monopolies. We also talk about the challenges of the privatisation journey in the West (Australia’s Two Airlines Policy for example), some of the areas where privatisation doesn’t entirely work and the balance between government regulation and ‘nationalisation in new clothes’ – excessive green and red tape. Show Highlights How Papua New Guinea’s telecommunications industry is an example of a government monopoly ‘taking a back seat’ and private enterprise, competition, lower prices and greater access coming to the fore. How […]

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