Latest posts

2009

It’s time to bring back a bit of class to rail travel

It's a pity this year's Nobel Prize for physics has already been awarded to achievements in fibre optics. The managers of CityRail would have been almost as deserving for their ingenious invention of time-travelling. How else could you describe the experience when boarding a 1970s-style intercity train from Central? [...]

Trans-Atlantic Fiscal Follies

There are good reasons to remain cautious about Europe’s economic future. While it is true that things have somewhat stabilised after the tumultuous events of the last 12 months, we should not forget that there are some difficult challenges ahead. For Europe, the financial crisis may be over, but a new crisis is just about to begin. [...]

The rights of the future?

Is there a basis for claims that future generations have rights? Can these rights be spelt out? Are they compatible with our usual understanding of justice? These questions deserve logical answers. Making them moral issues is not a substitute for rational debate. [...]

Time for Merkel to get serious

Angela Merkel's confirmation as Chancellor could at first look like a sign of political continuity. But the Christian Democrats' switch of coalition partner from the Social to the Free Democrats is more than an exchange of adjectives. For Merkel and her party, this is the now-or-never chance to get serious with economic modernisation. [...]

Dynamics of difference

Globalisation, it is often claimed, has created a global village. The world has become smaller. Some commentators like Thomas Friedman even think it is now flat (that is, a level playing field for commercial competitors). Contrary to this conventional wisdom, globalisation has left some countries more distant than they were before. Australia’s relationship with Europe is a case in point. [...]

Prophet der Pleite

Auch wenn die Krise aus Helden oft ganz gewöhnliche Sterbliche gemacht hat, so hat sie doch gelegentlich auch genau umgekehrt gewirkt. Leute, die vormals als Spinner galten, werden plötzlich als Gurus gehandelt. Ein Paradebeispiel dafür ist Nouriel Roubini,Wirtschaftsprofessor an der Universität von New York. Roubini ist nicht nur zu einem der Gesichter der Krise geworden, sondern er gilt heute fast schon als ihr Prophet. [...]

Economist with a nose for trouble

Where investment bankers were seen as the ''masters of the universe'', they are now almost as unpopular as bank robbers. But if the crisis has made mortals out of former heroes, it has occasionally worked the other way as well. People who used to be regarded as cranks have been elevated to gurus. An example is New York University economics professor Nouriel Roubini, who has become the face of the crisis and its supposed prophet. [...]