Latest posts

2009

We aren’t just larrikins

The larrikin image certainly has a place in Australian popular culture, but it should not be allowed to damage our business relations or prospects. Do international managers think of Australia when deciding about business relocations or investment decisions? Or are we just an exotic holiday destination? [...]

After the Wall: 20 years on

The liberation of East Germany from decades of totalitarian dictatorship was a blessing. The chance to unite the nation against much domestic resistance is an achievement for which Kohl deserves full credit. But the practical policies initiated by his government have turned a revolution for freedom into an evolution of the welfare state. Despite all the joys over the fall of the Wall, this was a missed opportunity of historic proportions. [...]

Australien lacht über Europa

Immer noch hält sich der Kontinent für großartig und gewichtig in der Welt. Australien hat andere Vorbilder: Das Land ist fast schuldenfrei, modern und vorbildlich in seiner Integrationspolitik. [...]

Greek tragedy for the world economy

There is a real possibility that some countries have overstretched themselves so much that they cannot service their debt in the near future. It now looks more like a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ that will happen. We are anxiously awaiting the next act of this Greek tragedy. [...]

What makes great cities?

Perhaps it's time to admit humbly that the best cities usually just happen without anyone making them happen. Cities are organic, evolving and spontaneous institutions; the result of human action and less of human design. Maybe it is this that really makes them great, too. [...]

Property bias

Price increases in any other market are called inflation, but when house prices go up the market is said to be healthy. But house price increases are only shifting wealth from non-owners to owners. Rising houses prices never create wealth. In fact, they make tenants wishing to buy property worse off. [...]

Let internet replace journals

The Australian government should be at the forefront of switching to publishing its research outcomes online. Our academics have nothing to lose and our universities would surely find better use for the money saved on costly journal subscriptions. [...]

Hollywood’s intellectual void behind its critical façade

Don’t say people weren’t able to learn from history. As British writer Salman Rushdie is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the publication of ‘The Satanic Verses’ in hiding, others have drawn their own conclusions from his unfortunate clash with radical Islam. [...]

Australia’s forgotten savers

Australia’s addiction to the property market needs to stop if we care about housing affordability. And if we care about the level of private debt, then we need to make saving a much more attractive option for young Australians. [...]