Latest posts

Fiscal policy

Sharing New Zealand’s progress

As New Zealand is looking ahead to a series of budget surpluses, it becomes imperative for the government to have an answer to those reflexes. And it has to be an attractive answer to stop the fiscal dogs from salivating. [...]

Thankfully, a boring budget

Bill English has delivered a solid, unspectacular and sober budget. And there is nothing wrong with that. Unless you are a gallery journalist. [...]

NZ gets no-nonsense, no-fuss budget with a surplus on top

If there is one art Prime Minister John Key’s New Zealand government has mastered, it is expectation management. So for its eighth budget, delivered yesterday, expectations were low. Hence nobody was disappointed when Minister of Finance Bill English delivered it. [...]

The Greens’ watchdog

Albert Einstein said, “for an idea that does not first seem insane, there is no hope.” If Einstein is right, there is hope for the Greens’ proposal to establish a new office to cost political parties’ new policies. [...]

Budget 2015: Not ambitious enough

Budget 2015 shows there is work to do to make New Zealand more productive. Unfortunately, it did not give us any suggestions on how the government would want to achieve this. [...]

Has Germany’s bubble finally burst?

As recent economic data shows, the German economy is dramatically slowing. Exports experienced their biggest fall for five years, growth forecasts for the next year have been downgraded by research institutes. It is quite possible that the country is already in recession. These are not just cyclical developments. A much bigger swing is on the way, which will end all talk about the economic powerhouse in the heart of Europe. [...]

Juncker’s multi-billion stimulus phantom

Juncker has not even started his new job as President of the European Commission yet and he is already showing why there was so much resistance to his appointment, particularly in economically liberal and conservative circles. In the pursuit of his policies, he is free of any guiding economic principles and indifferent to legal constraints. [...]

Do market fundamentals still matter?

In an ideal world, an economic liberal like myself would happily enter a debate supporting the moot that it is financial fundamentals driving investment markets. But it is not an ideal world, neither for economic liberals nor for investment markets. [...]

The welfare state is enslaving European workers

For the Germans, July 8 was a good day. Not just because it also happened to be your columnist’s birthday or because of Germany’s emphatic 7-1 win over Brazil in the World Cup, but because this year, it also marked Germany’s Tax Freedom Day. [...]