Ferne Nachbarn

Neuseeland und Australien, das ist eine Geschichte von zwei ungleichen Brüdern. Als ehemalige britische Kolonien in der geografischen Isolation des Südpazifik – so könnte man annehmen – müsste sie das gemeinsame Schicksal zusammengeschweisst haben. Tatsächlich jedoch sind beide Länder damit ganz unterschiedlich umgegangen. Während sich Neuseeland immer noch britisch gibt, haben sich die Australier eher an Amerika ausgerichtet. Und das sind nicht die einzigen Unterschiede. [...]

Plain packaging not so plain

It is hard to foresee which effect will be stronger: a reduced demand from plain packaging or an increased demand from the policy’s unintended effects on price. [...]

Sweden’s secret free market success

Considering Sweden’s remarkable economic performance throughout the GFC in the absence of minerals cash, there can be little doubt about which of these two Scandinavian countries pursues the better economic policies. Thinking about Australia on the other hand, it is also clear that it rather resembles big-government Norway than smart-government Sweden. [...]

Don’t join the currency wars

A curious coalition of exporters, newspaper commentators, Labour, the Green Party, and New Zealand First wants the RBNZ to relinquish its traditional focus on inflation. Instead, they want the central bank to intervene and curb the rising exchange rate of the kiwi dollar. [...]

Europe’s moment of marvellous deceit

The euro remains a zombie currency which condemns half of Europe to prolonged misery while locking the other half into a liability union it never signed up for. And with the ECB actively joining the currency debasement race, the euro also becomes more dangerous for global monetary stability. [...]

Has Germany’s court set the stage for an exit?

No, Germany’s highest court did not provide its unqualified seal of approval to the ESM, the Fiscal Compact let alone the ECB’s monetary activism. What it actually did was create enough loopholes for a future German government to pull Germany out of the eurozone. [...]

Migration destination New Zealand

No doubt New Zealand is an attractive country – even those Europeans who knew little else about New Zealand knew that. But are we doing enough to attract the best migrants to our country? Or are we happy for them to migrate to Canada, the United States, Asia or Australia instead? [...]

Meet Europe’s leader of last resort

The ECB now occupies a bizarre position in the pseudo-democracy of the EU. On the one hand, it has the power to compel struggling countries to implement austerity policies, cut their welfare states, reform their labour markets and change their tax systems. On the other, it effectively forces the stronger economies of Europe into a de facto liability union as all the ECB’s risky bond purchases are ultimately underwritten by the taxpayers of countries such as Germany, Luxembourg and Finland. [...]

Something rotten in the state of Denmark

Countries such as New Zealand should study the European experience closely. You cannot become prosperous by redistributing wealth. Any successful society needs a strong private sector. And you also need it to pay for the services delivered by the state. [...]

Beer and beaches

Being an economist is tough. You can’t even enjoy a beer without considering the macro-economic consequences. I just discovered my local New World is now stocking Flensburger Pilsener. [...]