The Commonwealth Bank has announced Grahame Petersen as the company’s new Group Executive of Business and Private Banking in advance of Ian Narev taking his role as the company’s chief executive from 1 October.

Mr Petersen has accrued 31 years of experience in financial services with the bank and, most recently, has led CBA’s Wealth Management business.

“Grahame is a highly experienced executive, who is widely respected within the Group and in the financial services market more broadly. His strong strategic skills, senior banking experience, proven ability to drive performance and reputation for talent development make him the right person to support a very high performing Business and Private Banking leadership team,” Mr Narev said.

The Federal Government has announced a package of tax law amendments aimed at improving the cash flow and reducing compliance costs for small businesses by simplifying the depreciation rules.

The Productivity Commission and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have released a joint research paper into the state of competition, innovation and productivity in Australian businesses.

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment recorded an 8.1 per cent increase in September, marking an increase from 89.6 in August to 96.9 in September.

Federal Independent Tony Windsor has suggested the Federal Government increase GST by 1 per cent to allow for the removal of 115 inefficient taxes.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has introduced the Federal Government’s carbon tax legislation to Parliament, saying that the legislation will lead to reducing the country’s carbon production while stimulating the economy and creating jobs.

The Federal Government has announced plans to permanently lower the level of insurance it will offer from $1 million to $250,000.

Fund manager AMP Capital has increased the number of executive remuneration protest votes by 25 per cent over the last year, but has announced it believes it will not likely cause board spills under the two-strikes rule.

Institutional investment manager QIC has announced its long serving CEO Dr Doug McTaggart will depart the company as of 30 June 2012 after 14 years at the helm of the company.

The Inspector-General has released the Report into the Australian Taxation Office's large business risk review and audit policies, procedures and practices.

Latest ABS figures show that in seasonally adjusted, current price terms, the current account deficit fell $3,696m (33%) to $7,419m in the June quarter 2011. Exports of goods and services increased $5,837m (8%) and imports of goods and services increased $2,985m (4%). The primary income deficit fell $870m (7%).

In seasonally adjusted chain volume terms, the net goods and services deficit rose $1,643m (19%) to $10,224m in the June quarter 2011. This is expected to detract 0.5 percentage points from growth in the June quarter 2011 volume measure of Gross Domestic Product.

Australia's net international investment position decreased $1.2b to a net liability position of $781.1b in the June quarter 2011. Australia's net foreign equity liability decreased $1.6b to a liability position of $106.1b. Australia's net foreign debt liability increased $0.4b to a liability position of $675.0b.

Further details can be found in Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia.

Latest ABS figures show that GDP, in seasonally adjusted volume terms, grew 1.2% in the June quarter 2011, after a revised fall of 0.9% in the March quarter. Growth for the 2010-11 financial year is 1.8%.

The growth for the quarter was driven by a 0.8% contribution to growth from changes in inventories and a 0.7% contribution from final consumption expenditure. These increases were partially offset by a -0.5% contribution from net exports.

On the back of this GDP growth and a 5.4% increase in the Terms of Trade, Real gross domestic income grew 2.6% for the quarter. The Terms of Trade has more than doubled over the past decade, rising from an index number of 60.5 in the June quarter 2001 to 122.6 in June quarter 2011. Real gross domestic income grew 6.5% in the 2010-11 financial year, the largest growth since 1987-88.

Further details can be found in Australian National Accounts: National Income, expenditure and Product

A report commissioned by the mining industry and published Deloitte Access Group shows that mining companies are paying slightly more tax as a percentage of their income compared to the same time three years ago.

International executive search specialists E.L Consult has published its E.L Executive Demand index, finding that executives should expect to face a continuing weakening job market for the remainder of 2011.

A planned advisory board to oversee the operations of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been slammed as being pointless and unnecessary by a senior ATO official.

Mining giant Rio Tinto has announced that former BHP Billiton CFO Chris Lynch will be appointed to the company's board.

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