Peter Martin

thumbnail image of peter matin linked to hi-res image Peter Martin is one of Australia’s most accomplished economic journalists. For 20 years the economics correspondent for Australia’s leading current affairs programs AM, PM and The World Today and since 2006 the economics correspondent or economics editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times.

He explains complex questions simply and without jargon. He is regularly on the front page.Audiences love him.  He is a regular guest on ABC NightLife, ABC News 24, ABC Adelaide 891, ABC Perth 720, ABC Canberra 666, Triple j, Sydney’s 2UE and Melbourne’s 3AW.

In 1993 Peter pioneered a new way of reporting about the personal side of economics, developing and co-presenting with Geraldine Doogue ‘Home Economics’ which continued for a decade on the ABC Life Matters program. He writes a fortnightly column about human-scale economics for the Sun Herald.

A former Commonwealth Treasury official with an honours degree in economics, Peter is the co-author (with Ross Gittins) of four economics textbooks. He understands the hard stuff, but makes it simple.In three decades of reporting Peter has covered events including the float of the Australian dollar, the “Banana Republic” collapse of the dollar, the infamous Black Tuesday 1987 stock market crash (which he witnessed first-hand from the stock exchange floor) and the failed and finally successful attempt to change Australia’s tax system.

Peter has reported more than 20 budgets.With Max Walsh and Maxine McKew in 1995 he developed the ABC’s first business current affairs television program, The Bottom Line. He has reported for 7.30, LateLine, DateLine, Insight, Background Briefing, and the SBS Business Show. Peter’s work for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times puts him at the centre of the political action in Parliament House where he rubs shoulders with government ministers and their shadows. He often offends them. He works for his audience.

Peter Martin speaking topics:

  1. What if the right to an income was as basic as the right to vote? The case of a universal basic income for every adult Australian, no questions asked. Overseas trials find it lowers stress hormones in blood, cuts spending on alcohol and tobacco, and boosts incomes years after the trials are over. It would be expensive, but as paid work become more scarce we might have no choice. First we would need to confront our assumptions about the nature and value of work.
  1. Why inequality matters and what to do about it. Relatively poor Australians die 2 to 6 years sooner than rich ones, and the gap between rich and poor is widening. There are ways to slow and reverse that growth and there are small steps we can take straight away. Without them we will sleepwalk into the type of society only a few would want.
  1. Somewhere decent to live. It seems to be slipping beyond our reach. The drivers for ever-escalating home prices include our tax system, our planning system, dissatisfaction with the dictatorship in China, and something about us. It is hard but not impossible to stabilise house prices. First we need to want to, and it is not at all clear that many of us do.
  1.  Fixing our tax system. Why do some good people support cuts in Australia’s rate of company tax while others oppose them? Is a broader, bigger GST inevitable, and is the tax take going to have to increase over time? What about death duties, wealth taxes, and other options usually off the political agenda?
  1.  How to read the federal budget.Why government debt is completely unlike personal debt and why the government’s budget is completely unlike a household budget. Where is the big spending, where are things hidden and how is the budget untruthful? Which government was really Australia’s highest taxer, which was Australia’s biggest spender, and is the budget even useful for economic management?
  1. Australia 2057. Why our children will have to unlearn much of what we have come to believe about the nature of work. Why they might have little to fear from unemployment, why older Australians will be far from second-class citizens, why superannuation won’t solve the financial the problem of providing for us in retirement, and how ultra-long lifespans will change our views about what it means to be human. Peter Martin says we needn’t be frightened, but we should be prepared.
  1. Mapping our minds. How neuroeconomists and behavioural economists are peering into our minds to discover how we really make decisions, and how marketers are co-opting their work. Why economists no longer believe human beings are rational calculating machines and how observing our brains in real time is showing us instead to be suggestible, desperate for approval, extraordinarily keen on fairness, and at the mercy of the chemicals with which we are awash. The bad news is you are less in control than you think you are. The good news: it’s not your fault.
  1. At the Centre. Australia’s Parliament House not only houses the parliament, but also the executive – the ministers and their advisers who run the country – and Australia’s most senior journalists. They share the corridors and coffee shops, build friendships and develop an uneasy trust. What’s it like at the centre? Is the press gallery too close to the people it reports on? Or does Australia benefit from having one of the world’s most accessible administrations? Should the executive (and the press be expelled from parliament house so they no longer overshadow the parliament?

To contact Peter Martin for radio, television, corporate or presentation engagements, contact Peter Wall at Wall Media www.wallmedia.com.au  or on 0408 489 057.

Peter has a wonderful gift of interpreting his complex subject in ways that are both informative and engaging.  His presentation was relevant and very well-received by our audience of nurses and midwives.

Angela Garvey – New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association

If you are looking for a skilled and congenial moderator, then I have no hesitation in strongly recommending Peter Martin.

Kevin J. Fox Professor of Economics – Director, Centre for Applied Economic Research UNSW Australia

Peter was able to speak about economics in terms that we all easily understood, he tailored it to our presentation and audience, and he was both engaging and erudite.

Kathy Kostyrko Director – Public Sector – Hays Recruiting experts worldwide

It is always a pleasure to listen to someone who not only has a real passion for his subject but someone who is able to deliver such a subject in a way that everyone is able to comprehend

Roger Summerill – President – The Illawarra Connection

Peter’s keynote address at our networking dinner was informative and eye-opening. His passion for and detailed knowledge of his subject matter made an otherwise dry presentation interesting and engaging.

Yvonne Walker – Executive Officer – The Illawarra Connection

For mine one of the best economic journalists in the country

Bernard Keane – Journalist/ Author

The best economics correspondent

Ross Gittins – Economics Editor The Sydney Morning Herald 

If you don’t believe me, ask Peter Martin

Chris Caton – Chief Economist BT Financial Group