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Economics

A safe bet on next global crisis

It is not as if any new books were required to remind us of the fragile state of the world economy. Recent economic news on a number of fronts have been disturbing. [...]

Incentives trump all else

Imagine if both local and central government tax revenues reflected economic performance more directly. Under such a system, we would see a different attitude of local communities to a range of activities from mining to housing. [...]

The Pope and the market

Contrary to what Pope Francis believes, markets are not about increasing individual profits but about allocating scarce resources. And then they effectively deal with those environmental problems that the pontiff can only preach about. [...]

Friday’s Top 10

Our dangerous spreadsheet culture, new Greek demands, things too small to regulate and advice on putting spin on your life: That was the week that was. [...]

The economics of Christmas

Stock markets used to be more buoyant just before Christmas, but that effect has been in decline in most capital markets – except for New Zealand. [...]

Why abolishing cash is not on the money

Kenneth Rogoff may be a good economist but he ignores something quite fundamental about the role of money. Cash may no longer be king, but it is a little piece of freedom we carry in our wallets. [...]

Colbert’s legacy lingers on

We do not need big plans and visions and we do not need government to think on our behalf. We need the state to guarantee property rights, enforce contracts and provide a stable set of political and economic institutions. [...]

How dismal is economics?

It came as a bit of a surprise when I discovered a new paper written by two, well, economists claiming that economics makes you happy. To add to my sense of astonishment, the economists were German and the objects of their study were young German economists. [...]