Good policy in times of rushed politics

As we are about to enter an election year, political debate may focus more on the fight for power rather than the question of what to do with it once it is attained or secured. This does not make the job of think tanks like us any easier, but it makes our work all the more important. [...]

Foreign investment: Learning from the best

Hong Kong and New Zealand are obviously very different economies with different political and social cultures. But if we want to make the New Zealand economy more attractive to job creating international investment, we might just try to learn a thing or two from the world's best players in this business. [...]

Remaining on the world’s radar

It does not lack irony that as I am invited on a programme to ensure that Hong Kong retains its global visibility, I come to realise that New Zealand would probably need an image campaign more than them. [...]

Silent assassins chase German savers

It is the tragedy of monetary union that it has pitted whole countries, their economies and their peoples against each other. What should have been a win-win situation has become a zero sum game. The periphery cannot win if Germany does not lose out and vice versa. [...]

Principles for good economic policy

When we are talking about a framework to measure the success of any government policy, we should also have a framework for what constitutes good policy. For this we need some normative principles. Walter Eucken’s list, despite originating in another place and another era, may be a good starting point for such an exercise. [...]

Rates of wrath: Why the EU needs real reform

It is a strange world. Even the most ardent defenders of the European Central Bank’s interest rate cut last week do not claim it will have any effect. All they say is that it underlines ECB President Mario Draghi’s commitment to save the euro “whatever it takes”. It was a psychological signal to markets rather than a meaningful change of policy, so they argue. [...]

KiwiAssure provides no assurance

To ensure markets are competitive, the best option governments have is to keep markets contestable by new entrants. Even the vague potential of market entry can discipline established companies. [...]

Don’t put Germany on the economic axis of evil

Perhaps the next time the US government wants to criticise some European governments for poor economic policies, they could turn their attention to the least competitive ones instead. And the next time the US Treasury submits a report on international currency manipulation, maybe they could have a closer look at what the US Fed is doing. The cause of the problems may be closer to Washington than to Berlin. [...]

I spy the demise of the ‘Old West’ alliance

In the coming months and years, President Obama and his administration will have a lot of work to do if they want to restore trust with their European partners. And they will have to show even more commitment to make them believe they could be friends. [...]

Clean, ethical and poor

When people meet under Chatham House rules, you cannot disclose afterwards who said what. That's the drawback. The advantage is that you find out what people really believe when they do not have to hold back. And that can be most telling. [...]