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Podcast episode

120. Inflation, Covid, China & Crypto

2021 saw accelerating inflation in advanced economies, the pandemic continuing, cracks appearing in the Chinese economic model, and massive price growth in cryptocurrencies and NFTs. In episode 120, Economics Explored host Gene Tunny discusses the big issues of 2021 and looks forward to 2022 with frequent guest Tim Hughes.

The episode also features discussion on the COP26 climate change summit, the idea of “degrowth” advanced by some ecologists and environmentalists, and feedback on EP115 on the Opioid Crisis and the War on Drugs.  

Crazy Crypto charts Gene refers to in the episode

Australia’s largest bitcoin mine hopes to utilise unused renewable energy and lead the world on decarbonisation

Covid: Dutch go into Christmas lockdown over Omicron wave

 WHO forecasts coronavirus pandemic will end in 2022

China struggles to shrug off weak consumer spending and property woes 

China Evergrande reports progress in resuming home deliveries

Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually enjoy it

EP115 – The Opioid Crisis and the War on Drugs

Thanks to the show’s audio engineer Josh Crotts for his assistance in producing the episode. 

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com or sending a voice message via https://www.speakpipe.com/economicsexplored. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP119: What Tony Makin taught us about macroeconomics

The late Professor Tony Makin was a leading Australian economist who made major contributions to the economic policy debate in Australia on the balance of payments and the effectiveness of fiscal stimulus, of which Tony was highly sceptical. In Economics Explored EP119, Former Ambassador to the OECD for Australia Dr Alex Robson, now an Associate Partner at EY, reflects on Tony’s contributions to open economy macroeconomics and the policy debate.  

About this episode’s guest – Dr Alex Robson

Dr Alex Robson is Associate Partner at EY. He has previously been Professor of Economics at Griffith University, Australian Ambassador to the OECD, Chief Economist for the Australian Prime Minister, a lecturer at ANU, and Director at Deloitte Access Economics. He is the author of Law and Markets, and has consulted to ASX 200 companies, Australian and NZ Government Departments and the OECD. Alex has a PhD and Masters in Economics from University of California, Irvine, USA.

Celebrating the Life of Anthony John Makin

Gene’s Economics Explored conversation with Tony: A Fiscal Vaccine for COVID-19 with Tony Makin – new podcast episode

Tony’s critique of the 2008-09 Australian Government fiscal stimulus: Did Australia’s Fiscal Stimulus Counter Recession?: Evidence from the National Accounts

Tony’s paper for the Minerals Council of Australia which prompted a critical response from the Australian Treasury: Australia’s Competitiveness: Reversing the Slide

Australian Treasury’s 2014 Response to Professor Tony Makin’s Minerals Council of Australia Monograph – ‘Australia’s Competitiveness: Reversing the Slide’

Tony’s 2016 paper prepared for the Treasury reiterating the arguments he previously made about the ineffectiveness of fiscal stimulus: The Effectiveness of Federal Fiscal Policy: A Review 

Alex’s papers with Tony (NB full articles behind paywalls): Missing money found causing Australia’s inflation, The Welfare Costs of Capital Immobility and Capital Controls 

Gene’s paper with Tony: The MMT Hoax

Thanks to the show’s audio engineer Josh Crotts for his assistance in producing the episode. 

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com or sending a voice message via https://www.speakpipe.com/economicsexplored. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP116 – The Great Resignation

What’s going on with the Great Resignation, the record numbers of people leaving jobs in the US and the UK? Will we see it in other countries such as Australia? What can employers do to hold on to staff? In Episode 116, Economics Explored host Gene Tunny talks about the Great Resignation with his serviced office neighbours Anthony Bersz and Louise Gibson from Remedy Resourcing, a Brisbane-headquartered recruitment firm.

Here’s a video recording of the conversation via YouTube:

About this episode’s guests – Anthony Bersz and Louise Gibson, Remedy Resourcing

Anthony Bersz is Managing Director of Remedy Resourcing and Director of Remedy Information Technology. Anthony’s recruitment career started in 2010 working for one of the world’s leading recruitment agencies based in the UK. After a number of years supporting his candidates and clients throughout the North West of England, Anthony made the move to Brisbane, Australia. On arrival to Brisbane, Anthony continued his career within the same global brand supporting IT companies and professionals with their recruitment and career needs. After listening to the candidate and client frustrations of working with a large global agency, Anthony decided to create Remedy Resourcing to provide a more tailored and flexible approach.

Email anthony@remedyresourcing.com

Louise Gibson is Director of Remedy Legal. Louise’s recruitment career began in 2001 (whilst living in the United Kingdom) and for the next several years, she recruited for one of the largest recruitment agencies in the world, before obtaining a Directorship in the North West’s leading taxation and legal search and selection firms.  During this decade, Louise sourced both tax accountants and tax lawyers for Big 4 Accounting, magic circle law firms and other private practice and FTSE 100 companies.

Louise moved to Brisbane in 2012 and returned to the same international agency for several years where she took responsibility for managing the legal, professional services and finance team for their Brisbane office. It was here in 2015 that she was awarded the Queensland state record for the highest fees billed in a single period since records began. At the end of 2015, Louise joined Remedy to head up and develop the Legal recruitment arm of the business.

Email louise@remedyresourcing.com

Great Resignation charts Gene refers to in conversation

Who Is Driving the Great Resignation? HBR article

Top reasons for quitting jobs in the Great Resignation: health fears, burnout, and bad managers Washington Post article

The  Great Resignation Is Accelerating Atlantic Monthly article

Australia’s ‘great resignation’ is a myth — we are changing jobs less than ever before article by Mark Wooden showing Great Resignation hasn’t come to Australia yet

Escape to the country: how Covid is driving an exodus from Britain’s cities (September 2020 Guardian article)

Can Employers Lawfully ask Job Applicants if they have had the COVID-19 Vaccine? article mentioned by Louise in the conversation

Thanks to the show’s audio engineer Josh Crotts for his assistance in producing the episode. 

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com or sending a voice message via https://www.speakpipe.com/economicsexplored. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Economics Explored Live

Livestream featuring US jobless claims, Aussie GDP + farewell to Tony Makin

I did a livestream earlier today (Friday 3 December 2021) with my regular co-host Tim Hughes on the latest economic news of the week, including the latest US initial jobless claims confirming a strong US economy, the impact of the omicron COVID-variant on equity markets, and the September quarter Australian GDP figures which revealed the adverse impacts of NSW and Victorian lockdowns. You can click on and watch the video on YouTube below. You can also download the slides I showed.  

In the livestream, from around 22:05, I reflected on the late Professor Tony Makin’s contributions to the Australian economic policy debate, particularly on whether we should worry about the current account deficit in the late 80s/early 90s and on the effectiveness of the Rudd Government’s fiscal stimulus. On the current account deficit, Tony’s articles, along with the contributions of John Pitchford, clearly led to a change in the policy consensus on the current account, so it was no longer something that would be a macroeconomic policy target. Sadly, Tony died unexpectedly earlier this week. This came as a huge shock to so many of us, and it’s obvious from all the conversations I’ve had about Tony over the last few days just how much respect and admiration his colleagues and former students had for him. Tony’s funeral is on Monday on the Gold Coast (see notice below). 

Funeral notice for the late Griffith University Economics Professor Tony Makin, who will be greatly missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and former students.

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com or sending a voice message via https://www.speakpipe.com/economicsexplored. Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Economics Explored Live

Aussie reopening, Kiwi inflation, oil and petrol prices, and Bitcoin news – livestream from 22 October 2021

Economics Explored host Gene Tunny’s latest Friday livestream for 22 October 2021 covered:

  • accelerating NZ inflation and the implications for interest rates of accelerating inflation in advanced economies more broadly;
  • the great Australian reopening and booming job vacancies (i.e. as noted by the National Skills Commission “Nationally job advertisements are up by 36.2% (or 60,800 job advertisements) compared to levels observed prior to the pandemic”); and
  • the extraordinary Bitcoin narrative which is being reinforced by the introduction of Bitcoin-exposed Exchange Traded Funds.

You can download Michael Knox’s excellent note on the oil price which was mentioned in the livestream here:

Biden’s oil and gas lease pause

Also, check out this great note (also quoted in the livestream and which was likely written by Pete Wargent) in the BuyersBuyers newsletter from yesterday:

Yields creeping higher

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP109 – Philosophy and Truth

In Economics Explored EP109, Dr John Atkins, philosopher and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, provides great insights into the nature of truth, highlighting the importance of trust, probabilistic thinking (i.e. thinking not necessarily about truth but our level of certainty in a fact), and the Socratic method. Show host Gene Tunny shares his own views on the nature of truth, including his commitment to being “radically open-minded”, a stance promoted by legendary investor Ray Dalio (see Principles).  

About this episode’s guest – Dr John Atkins

Dr John Atkins is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, at the University of Queensland. His research interests include Wittgenstein, Quietism, and Institutional Integrity. He has a PhD from the University of Queensland.

Links relevant to the conversation

EP101 – How do we know what’s true or why trust science?

Ray Dalio says going broke in 1982 was the ‘best thing that ever happened’ to him

Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli (book on Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and Quantum Physics mentioned by Gene)

Thanks to the show’s audio engineer Josh Crotts for his assistance in producing the episode. You can check out his Upwork profile here.

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Economics Explored Live

US inflation and Aussie jobs data – 15 October 21 livestream

Economics Explored Live for 15 October 2021, the first edition of what I’m planning to be a weekly livestream, covered:

  • the growing concern internationally about accelerating inflation, prompted by the latest US CPI figures (see chart below;
  • the September ABS Labour Force data revealing big drops in hours worked and workforce participation in the locked-down economies of NSW and Victoria; and
  • my state of Queensland’s relatively low vaccination rate (72% for 1st dose vs 84% nationally) and what it could mean for the state’s reopening and the economy – it’s pretty obvious the Queensland Premier should set a date for re-opening ASAP to encourage people to get vaccinated promptly, as suggested by the Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association.

Here’s the video of the livestream, which was streamed to YouTube and LinkedIn Live:

Regarding inflationary pressures in advanced economies, I quoted leading market economist Stephen Roach from his recent Financial Times op-ed The sequencing trap that risks stagflation 2.0:

As brilliant and lucky as they have been, today’s generation of central bankers is afflicted with the same sense of denial that proved problematic in the 1970s. Due to a lack of experience and institutional memory of that tough period, the risk of another monetary policy blunder cannot be taken lightly.

Certainly, central banks have been running a massive monetary policy experiment with ultra-low interest rates and Quantitative Easing, which have been associated with double-digit growth rates in money stocks. I agree with Roach regarding the potential for a “monetary policy blunder”.

Other links relevant to the livestream include:

Pete Faulkner’s post Labour Force; national data hit by lockdowns while QLD powers ahead

QEW post featuring my The Other Side interview on Australia’s economic suicide

Vaccination numbers and statistics

ABS: New data shows lockdown impacts on business turnover

Cross-posted at http://www.queenslandeconomywatch.com. Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP106 – COVID lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and vaping with Dr Gilbert Berdine

A Texas physician, university lecturer in medicine, and affiliate of a free market think tank Gilbert Berdine MD explains why he thinks COVID lockdowns have been “a disaster” and why he does not support vaccine mandates.

At a time when the COVID pandemic continues, and cities such as Sydney and Melbourne remain locked down, Gilbert Berdine MD from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center shares his views on lockdowns and vaccine mandates with show host Gene Tunny. The conversation also explores Dr Berdine’s views on regulations regarding vaping or e-cigarettes.

About this episode’s guest – Gilbert G. Berdine MD

Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX

Faculty Affiliate, Free Market Institute, Lubbock, TX

Dr. Berdine earned his B.S. degrees in chemistry and life sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA and his M.D. degree from Harvard University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. He completed residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Pulmonary Diseases at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now called Brigham and Women’s Hospital) in Boston, MA.

Dr. Berdine was a faculty member at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio from 1983-1989. He was in the private practice of medicine from 1989-2009 when he returned to academia as a faculty member of TTUHSC.

Dr. Berdine’s current teaching activities include lecturer for the respiratory blocks in the 1st year Major Organ Systems course and the 2nd year Systems Disorders 1 course. His clinical duties include staff attending physician for the inpatient Pulmonary Consult Service, inpatient Internal Medicine Floor Service, and the outpatient Pulmonary Fellow Clinic. He also sees patients in the Pulmonary Clinic for Texas Tech Physicians.

Dr. Berdine’s research interests include the application of Austrian Economics to health care delivery and consumption. Dr. Berdine has published articles on these topics in peer reviewed journals and is a contributor to the Mises Daily Wire and the American Institute of Economic Research.

Contact: gilbert.berdine@ttuhsc.edu

Links relevant to the conversation

COVID-19 Vaccines and the Delta Variant – AIER article by Gilbert Berdine MD

Lockdowns of Young People Lead to More Deaths from Covid-19 – AIER article by Gilbert Berdine MD

Covid Misclassification: What Do the Data Suggest? – AIER article by Gilbert Berdine MD

Sometimes hesitancy is justified by Gilbert Berdine MD

Vaping Laws and the Treachery of Good Intentions by Gilbert Berdine MD

EP100 – Incentivizing Vaccinations or Cash for Jabs

Correspondence from Dr Berdine on COVID mortality rates

…the mortality rate has a range of over 1000:1 depending on your age. The average mortality is heavily determined by the number of people over age 80 in the population. 

Based on latest census data and current CDC figures for COVID deaths

https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2019/demo/age-and-sex/2019-age-sex-composition.html

https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Deaths-by-Sex-and-Age/9bhg-hcku

Mortality expressed as 1/mortality : 

Age: Mortality

Under 5: 124,126

5 to 14: 283,027

15 to 24: 32,461

25 to 34: 7,850

35 to 44: 2,845

45 to 54: 1,087

55 to 64: 475

65 to 74: 213

75 to 84: 87

85 +: 31

Cumulative Age

Under 5: 124,126

Under 15: 199,917

Under 25: 64,258

Under 35: 20,120

Under 45: 8,681

Under 55: 3,880

So, for 35 and younger, the cumulative mortality including the overcounting is less than 1/10,000. If one looks at annual mortality, the figure  for Under 45 including overcounting is likely less than 1/10,000. If one adjusts modestly for overcounting, the  figure for Under 55 is likely less than 1/10,000.

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP104 – Victimless Crimes with Marc J. Victor

Victimless crimes arguably include drug possession, prostitution, and many other offences. Highly experienced criminal lawyer Marc J. Victor says victimless crimes are not really crimes at all. Decriminalising these offences would avoid the huge economic and social costs related to prosecuting and imprisoning people who commit victimless crimes.

On Economics Explored we’ve previously discussed the large economic and social costs that arise from criminalising drugs such as cannabis. In episode 104, show host Gene Tunny discusses the broader concept of victimless crimes with a highly-experienced lawyer, Marc J. Victor, President and Managing Partner of Attorneys for Freedom.

About this episode’s guest – Marc J. Victor

Marc J. Victor is President and Managing Partner of Attorneys for Freedom. He is a certified Criminal Law Specialist in Arizona and is admitted to practise in Arizona and Hawai’i. Over nearly three decades, Marc has represented clients in more than a thousand major felony cases. 

As a long-time freedom activist, Marc is regularly invited to speak to audiences across Arizona on a variety of issues including ending the drug war, the rights of gun owners, the free market, criminal justice issues as well as a variety of other criminal law related issues. Most recently, Marc has spoken on the Live and Let Live Principle, the foundation upon which he has established The World’s Only Real Peace Movement (www.liveandletlive.org).

Marc has been quoted locally, nationally and internationally on radio, television, in print and in person as a legal commentator and expert on many local and national cases.  He was an expert legal commentator for local NBC 12 News for the Jodi Arias case. Marc and firm partner Andrew Marcantel host The Peace Radicals Podcast with a new episode every Friday. The Peace Radicals is available on most streaming platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify and is also available to watch on YouTube.

Links relevant to the conversation

Economics Explored episode 19: Cannabis with Dr Stephen Thornton

Victimless Crimes Are Not Really Crimes At All – Attorney Marc J. Victor – Attorneys For Freedom – YouTube

Ending the War on Drugs: By the Numbers – Center for American Progress

Peace Radicals Episode 36 – Mask Mandates, Vaccines, Lockdowns, and The Live and Let Live Philosophy

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP101 – How do we know what’s true or why trust science?

In these times of intense debate over COVID-19 and climate change policies, it is important to ask what theories and evidence we can trust – i.e. how do we know what’s true or why trust science? In Episode 101, Economics Explored host Gene Tunny tackles this topic with returning guest Tim Hughes in a first instalment of what will probably end up being a multi-episode conversation. 

Links relevant to the conversation include:

Why Trust Science? by Naomi Oreskes 

Naomi Oreskes: Why we should trust scientists – YouTube

What Is This Thing Called Science?

What Seattle learned from having the highest minimum wage in the nation – Vox

What evidence should social policymakers use by Andrew Leigh

EP60 Minimum wages and employment

EP14 Randomised controlled trials & economic development

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.