Last week, 3 of the 4 major Australian banks increased their mortgage interest rates.
The media and the political class, with their standard deep analysis and understanding of the business models and funding of banks did the predictable thing. They criticised the 3 that increased rates (ANZ, CBA, WBC) and praised the 1 that made no change (NAB).
The whole “out of cycle” interest rate change blah blah was brought out, as if domestic savings are the principle source of funds for the banks.
Did anyone bother to actually look at what the rates were or was the movement just the story. The answer is no obviously because notwithstanding the increases, the standard variable rate for ANZ (5.20%) and CBA (5.22%) are still less than NAB (5.24%) and the Westpac rate (5.24%) is now the same as NAB .
But actually looking at the details requires some level of journalistic and analytical sophistication.
Spartacus is not suggesting that these are appropriate rates or competitive rates, but NAB should not be complimented for having the equal highest standard variable mortgage rate of the big 4.
Spartacus hopes that a similar level of sophistication would be applied to the analysis of government expenditures (ie looking at the total spent and not the incemental variance), but somehow doubts that that will happen. Spartacus feels like he is taking crazy pills.