The ideal business is one that earns very high returns on capital and that keeps on using capital at those very high returns. That becomes a compounding machine. So if you had your choice, if you could put a hundred million dollars into a business that earns twenty per cent on that capital - twenty million - ideally, it would be able to earn twenty per cent on a hundred and twenty million the following year and on a hundred and forty million the following year and so on. You could keep redeploying that capital at those same returns over time. But there are very, very few businesses like that... we can move that money around from those business to buy more businesses.

Warren Buffet

Latest Papers

The working papers collection comprises historical papers as well as current ideas and works in progress on some of the major issues and topics of our times.

Mad Bastards vs The Politics of Suffering (released 31 January 2011)
The must-see movie of the summer.
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The Brisbane Flood: The Ghost of Clem Jones, Anna Bligh and the Wisdom, Wonders and Pecadillos of Kevin Rudd (released 13 January 2011)
From big country town in 1974 to the modern metroplis of 2011 - there are lessons for Brisbane's recovery.
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How Australia Won the Third Ashes Test in Perth (released 23 December 2010)
The secret behind Australia's incredible come-from-behind victory in the Third Ashes Test in Perth from Dec 16-20, 2010
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The latest outrage from NSW Labor (released 16 December 2010)
One of the things that the voters of NSW, the last rusted-on supporters of the Labor Party in NSW and the labour movement of NSW have to calculate in the run up to the next election is: should Labor candidates be completely disregarded, and consciously ranked last, on their ballot papers? It is the only way the most morally corrupt political machine since the Rum Corps, can ever be curbed.
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Kingdom of Nothingness (released 14 December 2010)
There is a cycle of poverty abroad in our land that has nothing to do with material wealth. It concerns human spirit, capability and capacity, enduring knowledge, independence, self worth and well being. It is better to be materially poor than spiritually impoverished. Aboriginal Australians understand this to their core. That is why, so often, the admonitions of bureaucrats and the lures of wealth, mean nothing to them.
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The Attempted Assassination of Bernie Riordan (released 6 December 2010)
It was a time of wildness in thought and action...
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Book of the Year (released 24 November 2010)
The Bastard’s A Genius: The Robert Clifford Story by Alastair Mant, Allen and Unwin, 2010
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Joe for Annette... ?? (released 19 November 2010)
Today I woke up thinking if only we could trade Joe for Annette Tripodi - the creative director of WomAdelaide. But it would be so unfair on South Australia.
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The cardboard PM (released 9 November 2010)
Hmm. How can we help Julia to re-make herself?
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The Conspiracy Against Abbott (released 29 September 2010)
Tony Abbott cannot take a trick. In the 2010 Australian national election the Liberal-National Party effectively won one more seat than the Labor Party. It also slayed Labor on the first preference vote. 44 per cent of the electorate gave their first preference vote to the Coalition compared to only 38 per cent for Labor. It also won a 2.5 per cent swing to it on the two party preferred vote against a swing of about as much against Labor. But despite all this Abbott could not convince the Country Independents, who you would think would naturally side with him, to form government. Gillard and her Labor advisors have totally outclassed Abbott since election day. They have carefully stitched up deal after deal with the Greens, the independent Andrew Wilkie and the Country independents to attain government. To add insult to injury, on the first sitting day of the new parliament, Labor’s Daryl Melham and others secured the numbers for the Liberal Peter Slipper to become Deputy Speaker ahead of Abbott’s preferred candidate, Bruce Scott. What is going on? There are five major reasons why Abbott has lost out so badly to Gillard since election day: old political thinking within the coalition, the national green labor political majority, the ideological consensus in Canberra, Abbott’s personality and the slow turn of the media towards Gillard.
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