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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

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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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

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

EP100 – Incentivizing Vaccinations or Cash for Jabs

Governments around the world are experimenting with various incentives such as cash and free beer to encourage vaccinations against COVID-19.  Episode 100 explores what an optimal incentive could look like.

Australian economist Isaac Katz discusses his proposed vaccination incentive with Economics Explored host Gene Tunny. You can read all about Isaac’s plan in his discussion paper Incentives for achieving COVID 19 herd immunity through vaccination.

Key features of Isaac’s plan are:

1. Rewards (incentives) could be in the form of payments to each vaccinated individual, and eligibility to win a significant lottery prize and smaller prizes. 

2. The incentives would only be payable if a specified national vaccination rate is met by a specified due date.  Incentives would not be paid prior to the due date.  This approach creates a focus on the objective – which is to maximise the national vaccination rate.  Rewarding individuals for being vaccinated without recognising the national objective will fail to promote community based actions to increase vaccination rates.

About this episode’s guest

Isaac Katz is a Director of Harding Katz Pty Ltd, a small consulting practice based in Melbourne specialising in utility regulation, energy market reform, business strategy and applied economics.Isaac was previously a Senior Manager with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young in Melbourne from October 1997 to September 2001.  He has provided economic and regulatory advice to regulators, Government and regulated businesses on a wide range of strategy and policy issues.

Prior to moving to Australia, Isaac worked as a senior economic assistant for the UK electricity regulator (now Ofgem); and as a pool price analyst for a regional electricity company.  Isaac also worked as an economist for Railtrack plc, focusing on aspects of the regulatory framework prior to and immediately after privatisation.

Isaac has a Master of Arts, Economics, from Cambridge University and a Master of Science, Business Economics, from Strathclyde University.

Links related to the conversations include:

https://theconversation.com/free-beer-doughnuts-and-a-1-million-lottery-how-vaccine-incentives-and-other-behavioral-tools-are-helping-the-us-reach-herd-immunity-160591

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-58020090

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

EP79 – Running the numbers on COVID-19 measures

One year on from when many countries started imposing tough COVID-19 control measures, Economics Explored host Gene Tunny asks eminent Australian finance Professor Peter Swan whether lockdowns pass a cost-benefit analysis test. In Episode 79 Running the Numbers on COVID-19 measures, Professor Swan says he stands by his view expressed last year that they do not. Listen to this episode to hear why Prof. Swan believes this is so.

About this episode’s guest – Professor Peter Swan

Professor Peter Swan AO FRSN FASSA is currently in Banking and Finance, UNSW-Sydney Business School. Peter completed his Honours Economics Degree at ANU, his PhD at Monash and after a visiting position at the University of Chicago, joined the Economics faculty at ANU, then to a chair at AGSM (UNSW), and was foundation professor in the Finance Department at the University of Sydney prior to returning to UNSW in 2002 with a Scientia Professorial Award in 2003.

He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 1997 and gained recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours lists in 2003 and 2016 with the Order of Australia (AM) and (AO), respectively. In 2018 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales (FRSN). His Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) Citation states: “For distinguished service to finance and commerce as a leading academic, journalist, and commentator on domestic investment, and on a range of political and economic issues.” His Member of the Order of Australia (AM) Citation states: “For services to academia as a scholar and researcher and through contributions to public policy in the fields of economics and finance”.

Links relevant to this episode

Prof. Swan’s Quadrant article Run the Numbers, Survey the Folly

Open letter from 122 Australian economists: don’t sacrifice health for ‘the economy’ (which Prof. Swan critiques in his Quadrant article and in this episode)

COVID-19 deaths worldwide per million population as of March 19, 2021

If you’d like to ask a question for Gene to answer in a future episode or if you’d like to make a comment or suggestion, please get in touch via the website. Thanks for listening.