Categories
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.

Categories
Economic update

Crazy Crypto charts

The forthcoming EP120 of Economics Explored includes a discussion of the massive price growth seen in some cryptocurrencies over 2021. In the conversation, to be published at 12am UTC+10 on 1 January 2022, show host Gene Tunny refers to a couple of great charts from data service provider Macrobond showing just how incredibly crazy that growth has been.

The first chart shows the percentage growth in the value of different types of assets, including Bitcoin, gold, and stocks on the Nasdaq, relative to their levels at the start of the years they arguably each became the subject of a “bubble”. This clearly shows just how much of an outlier Bitcoin is. Note all data in this chart and the next one were current as at 29 December 2021.

Chart from Macrobond comparing Bitcoin’s price growth far exceeding that of other assets which have allegedly been subjects of speculative bubbles since the seventies, including gold, Japanese stocks, and tech stocks.

The second chart shows the mega growth in the value of a range of cryptocurrencies, including the Gala and Axie Infinity cryptocurrencies associated with their respective online games.

Chart from Macrobond showing incredible growth in the value of particular cryptocurrencies over 2021, particularly Gala (+31k%) and Axie Infinity (+17k%).

This post is for general information only, and does not constitute financial or investment advice. Please see a qualified professional regarding any investment decisions.

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.

Categories
Podcast episode

EP87 – Saving & investing for retirement: 401(k)s, IRAs, mutual funds, ETFs, etc

In Episode 87 of Economics Explored, host Gene Tunny discusses saving and investing for retirement with Sarah Holden, Senior Director of Retirement & Investor Research at the Investment Company Institute (ICI). ICI is the leading association representing regulated funds globally, including US mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Sarah has a Ph.D. in economics and has studied retirement trends and policy, as well as the behavior of investors, for decades. She uses humor and plain English to make retirement and investment concepts clear. Sarah is based in Washington, DC and Gene spoke with her over Zoom on 12 May 2021. 

Links relevant to the conversation include:

ICI Education Foundation (ICIEF)

ICI webpage on 401(k)s

ICI webpage on IRA

Get on the road to investing

A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing

Australia vs US: A scorecard on the Australian and US Defined Contribution Systems

Please send through any questions, comments or suggestions to contact@economicsexplored.com and Gene will aim to address them in a future episode.

Categories
Podcast episode

EP66 – Money and Cryptocurrency

When I recorded the latest episode of my Economics Explored podcast last Friday afternoon, the price of one Bitcoin was a bit above US$18,000 after having failed to get beyond US$20,000 in the previous weeks. In my chat with my friend Tim Hughes, I said who knew what it would end up at when the episode was finally released. Well, it turns out that the price of one Bitcoin has finally gone beyond US$20,000 (check out this Coindesk report).

The US$20,000 Bitcoin price is the latest illustration of the Greater Fool Theory. If you’re buying Bitcoin at this price you’re speculating/gambling you’ll find a greater fool who’ll buy it at a higher price. Coindesk suggests there could be a lot of greater fools out there:

Breaking above $20,000, which represented a significant hurdle in the mindset of most traders, is entirely new ground for bitcoin and opens the doors for a climb to $100,000 over the course of 2021, according to some.

As I discussed with Tim, and in my Queensland Economy Watch post from Saturday, Huge swings in Bitcoin value make it hard to believe it will ever replace traditional currencies, I’m very sceptical about the value of Bitcoin. But, hey, it’s 2020, and Bitcoin’s insane valuation is just another marker of this extraordinary year.

Please feel free to comment below. Alternatively, please send and comments, suggestions, or questions to contact@economicsexplored.com