Today I will reiterate the motivation for the work we are doing on the Global Code, then update you on where we are at with the process and outline the way forward.
Why is the work going on? As I have stated on previous
occasions, the foreign exchange (FX) industry is suffering from a lack of trust
in its functioning. This lack of trust is evident both between participants in
the market, and at least as importantly, between the public and the market. The
market needs to move toward a more favourable and desirable location, and allow
participants to have much greater confidence that the market is functioning
A well-functioning foreign exchange market is very much in
the interest of all market participants. This clearly includes central banks,
both in their own role as market participants but also as the exchange rate is
an important channel of monetary policy transmission. In a globalised world,
the foreign exchange market is one of the most vital parts of the financial
The Global Code sets out global principles of good practice
in the foreign exchange market to provide a common set of guidance to the
market, including in areas where there is a degree of uncertainty about what
sort of practices are acceptable, and what are not. This should help to restore
confidence and promote the effective functioning of the wholesale FX market.
To that end, one of the guiding principles underpinning our work is that the Code should promote a robust, fair, liquid, open, and transparent market. A diverse set of buyers and sellers, supported by resilient infrastructure, should be able to confidently and effectively transact at competitive prices that reflect available market information and in a manner that conforms to acceptable standards of behaviour.
Current conventional wisdom holds that Canada has a two-sided real estate market. On one side, the Toronto and Vancouver markets are moving at a breakneck pace, driven by strong economies and foreign investment. But they’re also facing high demand and a woeful lack of supply. On the other side is the rest of Canada, which isn’t faced with the same affordability concerns but still has challenges unique to individual regions. Every market offers opportunities for savvy developers and investors, and that is the main message from this year’s survey: despite concerns, there is room to grow—as long as you keep your finger on the pulse of your future buyers’ needs. Investors and developers have continued to turn their attention to Eastern Canada, and Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City appear to be the principal beneficiaries of this shift in the commercial space. Calgary, still dealing with the impact of the oil sector’s downturn, is holding its own as developers and investors bide their time until better conditions return. While Edmonton’s market has softened, infrastructure projects and downtown redevelopment have mitigated oil’s impact. Halifax is seeing a boom in multi residential, although worries exist about the “hollowing out” of its commercial core. And in Vancouver, everyone is waiting to see what the long-term fallout from the British Columbia government’s additional 15 percent property transfer tax on foreign buyers will be. At the time of writing, Vancouver real estate had begun softening, although it is not clear how much is attributable to the new tax, and experts anticipate that investors will turn their focus to Toronto.
Biosecurity has played a critical role in reducing risk and shaping our nation to become one of the few countries in the world to remain free from the world’s most severe pests and diseases.
While our geographical isolation has played a key role in
maintaining this status, our isolation as an island nation is rapidly changing
as the barriers of time and distance become less relevant and international
travel and trade increase.
With more than 60 000 kilometres of coastline
offering a variety of pathways for exotic pests and diseases, the Department of
Agriculture and Water Resources screens, inspects and clears the millions of
people, mail parcels, baggage, ships, animals, plants and cargo containers
entering Australia every year using x–ray machines, surveillance, and, of
course, the instantly recognisable detector dogs.
Australia works across the whole biosecurity continuum with
offshore, at the border and onshore measures. The department uses a range of
sophisticated technologies and approaches including, research, shared
international resources and intelligence, to help prevent the introduction and
spread of disease. Surveillance and monitoring of risk areas is also critical
along with border control activities, which focus on assessing and managing
potential biosecurity threats at Australia’s airports, seaports, and
international mail centres.
Today, biosecurity controls at Australia’s borders minimise the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering Australia and protect our $32 billion agriculture export industries as well as our unique environment, native flora and fauna, our tourism industries and lifestyle.
The Australian Business Economists and Macquarie Securities Australia have been outstanding in their help over the past 10 years. Through their generosity and yours, as well as some remarkably generous individual donations, the Foundation is in a good financial position. The only problem is that while the Foundation is required to donate at least 4 per cent of the fund each year to activities consistent with its charter, it is hard to find assets that earn 4 per cent with acceptably low risk. That, of course, is a sign of the times in which we live. Very, very low interest rates for ‘safe’ assets, and even many ‘not quite so safe’ ones, have persisted for quite a long time now, and may well continue for some time yet. When I gave the first of these addresses 10 years ago, about the conduct of monetary policy, I certainly did not imagine that the world would look like this in 2016. Since this is the last of these addresses I shall deliver, and since in fact it is the last public address I expect to give as Governor, I intend to use it to look back at those 10 years. This will be my account of the Bank’s stewardship over that time. Rather than a chronology of events, I will take the approach of looking at average outcomes over decade-long periods, which I think is more useful.
People have been using herbs and spices for thousands of years. Generally, herbs come from the green leaves of plants or vegetables. Spices come from other parts of plants and trees. For example, cinnamon comes from the hard outer cover of cinnamon plants. The spice ginger comes from the part of the ginger plant that grows underground.
Some herbs and spices are valued for their taste. They help
to sharpen the taste of many foods. Others are chosen for their smell. Still
others were used traditionally for health reasons.
Some herbs and spices may be gaining importance in modern
medicine. For example, American researchers say red pepper could help people
seeking to lose weight. They say this could be especially true for people who
do not usually add spices to their food.
Researchers from Purdue University reported about the
effects of red pepper in the journal Physiology & Behavior. They found that
small changes in diet, like adding the pepper, may reduce the desire to eat.
The spice used in the study was dried and ground cayenne red pepper. Cayenne is a chili pepper. Most chili peppers contain capsaicin — a substance that makes chili peppers hot. Other studies have shown that capsaicin can reduce hunger and burn calories, the energy stored in food.
Almost everyone experiences headaches, with their characteristic pain or throbbing sensation in the head, are an extremely common complaint, at some time or other. Occasionally, they are a symptom of an underlying disorder, but, if they occur on their own, developing gradually and clearing up with no side-effects, they are probably totally harmless, apart from the discomfort they cause. Probably the commonest form of headache is caused by tension, from the contraction of the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and scalp. The second commonest is the result of the swelling of local blood vessels. Many factors can contribute to this. These range from stress, sleeplessness, and drinking and eating too much, to noise and stuffy rooms, but, as far as tension headaches are concerned, one of the commonest causes is poor posture. The muscles of the neck become tense and sore because they have to support the considerable weight of the head in an awkward position. Another common cause is eye strain. This can be due to the simple need for glasses. If headaches persist, it is as well to go to an optician for a check-up, and to work in a good light.
For centuries, ideas about language origin have frothed up like soap bubbles, then burst into nothing. Over 2000 years ago, the Egyptian king Psamnietichus, reportedly gave instructions for two new-born children to be brought up in total isolation: to his disappointment, their earliest word was bekos, the Phrygian word for bread. The king reluctantly concluded that the Phrygians predated the Egyptians. But according to John Webb, a 17th-century writer, Chinese was possibly the original language of humankind. Happily, it was spoken by Noah and his family in the Ark, he assumed, and so survived the flood. In the mid-nineteenth century, Abbot O’Donnelly, a Frenchman, claimed a ‘new and prodigious discovery of the original universal language’ supposedly found on an Egyptian obelisk. His translation, he boasted, ‘was sufficient to open the eyes of a mole’. But no one listened, he lamented, with his ‘words and results being blown away by the wind’.
As one weird idea after another bubbled up, language origin was regarded as a playground for cranks, and the topic was banned in 1866 by the Linguistic Society of Paris, the most prominent linguistic association of the time. And disapproval continued: ‘The greater part of what is said and written upon it is mere windy talk’, said the linguist William Dwight Whitney in 1893. The origin of the language web has become a serious field of enquiry only in the last ten years or so, and will be the topic of today’s lecture.