Category Archives: Macroeconomics & Money

Germany Must Makes Adjustments Too

GERMANY MUST MAKES ADJUSTMENTS TOO Listener: 4 February, 2012. Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; A decade ago, the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) replaced 17 European currencies with the euro, locking their nominal exchange rates together. Germany decided its wage and price structure was too high. This made it more likely Germans would buy imports and…
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The Too Hard Basket

THE TOO HARD BASKET Listener: 19 January, 2012. Keywords: Environment & Resources; Distributional Economics;  Macroeconomics & Money; Political Economy & History;  Regulation & Taxation;  Social Policy; Every government has issues it hopes will go away. They don’t. Here are some for our one. Our Emissions Trading Scheme is looking like a dog’s breakfast, and/or something…
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Europe’s Economic Struggle

Listener: 22 December, 2011. Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; It has been another difficult year for the world economy. Longstanding problems that were incrementally addressed include population growth, the depletion of limited resources like oil, the exploitation of free resources that threaten to make fish extinct and warm the planet, and the rebalancing of global power….
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Stopping the Credit Crunch

Listener: 10 December, 2011. Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; The confidence of those lending their international money is fragile. The tougher standards of security they now demand is one reason many debtors around the world are having their credit ratings downgraded. Nowadays the lenders don’t look at just the state of a government’s books but at…
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What Are Our Economic Priorities?

Fabian Society, Wellington, 20 October, 2011 (Note that this is a revised version of the paper at http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/?p=1524. Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Macroeconomics & Money; Tonight I want to talk about our economic priorities. I’m going to differ from the conventional wisdom by arguing we should pay less attention to the growth…
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Loose Regulations Sink Economies – and Buildings

Listener: 14 October, 2011. Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; Regulation & Taxation; I have been preoccupied by leaky building syndrome, which may have damaged up to 110,000 dwellings as well as costing considerable domestic stress and even lives. Commercial and public buildings have suffered, too. There were many causes of the disaster but it illustrates the…
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Households Cause Balance Sheet Problems

Listener: 1 October, 2011. Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; The world’s economic difficulties arise because so many balance sheets are badly balanced. A balance sheet – of a person, a business, a financial institution, a government or a country – consists of the entity’s assets on the left and its liabilities on the right. (Accountants are…
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What Are Our Economic Priorities?

Spirited Conversations: Nelson 24 August, 2011 A revised version of this column is at http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/?p=1549. Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Macroeconomics & Money; Tonight I want to talk to talk about our economic priorities. I’m going to differ from the conventional wisdom by arguing we should pay less attention to the growth of…
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Us Debt Default – Where to from Here?

Listener: 22 August, 2011. Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; How much theatre was involved in the congressional fracas over the raising of the US debt ceiling is hard to tell. Had the ceiling not been lifted, the unthinkable – or, at least, the unpredictable – would have happened, so perhaps the politicians were posturing, expecting a…
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Five Great Stagnations

Paper to Treasury Seminar: 26 July, 2011. Keywords: Growth & Innovation; Macroeconomics & Money; Political Economy & History; Introduction I am writing a history of New Zealand from an economic perspective. Thankyou for the opportunity to present some of its material; it may have a contemporary relevance. I want particularly to thank John Whitehead, who…
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Concluding Comments to the Macroeconomic Imbalances Conference: June 24, Wellington.

Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; I should like to begin by congratulating the organisers of the conference. There has been an open, vigorous and flowing debate, reminiscent of the New Zealand economics community of the 1960s and 1970s, where a wide range of views were presented as diverse as Wolf Rosenberg on the left through to…
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Sectors and Prices: Exportables and the Real Exchange Rate

Some Preparatory Notes: ultimately not used. Keywords: Globalisation & Trade; Macroeconomics & Money; I am not sure you have asked the right person to be on the panel, since the topic is policy; my interests are research. So I thought I would consult an old friend, Cassandra. Fortunately I dont have to channel her; she…
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Not in Denial

This was a note I wrote – ‘Listener’ style – in response to the critics of the 2011 budget. Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; Dealing with addiction is confounded by denial: ‘I’m not a drunk’; ‘One more wont hurt’; ‘I need it to get through the day’; ‘He drinks more than me’. ‘I’ve cut back my…
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Christchurch Earthquake Tax

Listener: 9 May, 2011 Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; Regulation & Taxation; John Key has shown considerable ability responding to the moods of the New Zealand public. That’s why I’m astonished by his rejection of an earthquake levy, involving a relatively small tax on income over 10 or more years to pay off the costs incurred…
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Will the Budget Be Fair?

Listener: April 26, 2011 Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; ‘We object so strongly to having our own incomes further reduced by taxation that we think the incomes of pensioners should be reduced instead … In times of depression it is necessary to curtail the community’s consumption of many goods and services. Already people with large or…
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Consensus Rebuilding

Listener: April 2, 2011 Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; As the nation comes together in its response to the Christ church earthquake, the activities of opportunists are particularly detestable. Most obvious were the few looters taking advantage of people’s unprotected homes. But the worst case of opportunism may be in economic policy, when it is claimed…
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Who Wants Asset Sales?

Those who favour privatisation can be divided into four camps … Listener: 5 March, 2011. Keywords: Business & Finance; Governance; Macroeconomics & Money; Ideologues who hate the Government succeeding and want to scale it back, even if it is costly, as was privatising the Telecom monopoly. They would do the same to the three electricity…
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Imbalances in a Small Open Economy: New Zealand and the Great Depression

Paper to the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic and Business History Conference,  San Francisco, February 2011. (Revised March 2011)[1] Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; Political Economy & History; The International Context There is a considerable – and partly contested – historiography of the interpretation of the events which surrounded the worldwide Great Depression. It is usually said to…
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