Are the students revolting, or is it economics?

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Main­stream econ­o­mists have long ignored the dynam­ics of pri­vate debt, money and banks to their detri­ment. Now more than ever, a real­is­tic and non-orthodox approach to eco­nom­ics is needed.

Last week I made my first over­seas trip on which I ticked the box ‘Aus­tralian res­i­dent depart­ing per­ma­nently’. It’s given me cause to reflect on my career as an aca­d­e­mic econ­o­mist (and part-time jour­nal­ist) in Australia.

The good, the bad and the ugly of the Murray inquiry

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The Murray inquiry's observations on financial advice, household debt and super are commendable, but its boneheaded proposal for the government to underwrite RMBS is a concern.

A gov­ern­ment report is always a Parson’s Egg, and I’ll start with the parts of this one that were excel­lent. These were its wari­ness about and obser­va­tions on super­an­nu­a­tion, finan­cial advice and house­hold debt.

A Royal Commission into the Commonwealth Bank

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The Com­mon­wealth Bank’s response to the Sen­ate inves­ti­ga­tion of ASIC blames incom­pe­tence and indi­vid­u­als for the scan­dals at Com­mon­wealth Finan­cial Plan­ning Lim­ited. Chief exec­u­tive Ian Narev: “Poor advice pro­vided by some of our advis­ers between 2003 to 2012 caused finan­cial loss and dis­tress and I am truly sorry for that.”

Abbott shoots his own supporters in the foot

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The Abbott gov­ern­ment has reacted with pre­dictable dis­dain to attacks over its poli­cies on refugees, home­less, uni­ver­sity stu­dents, unem­ployed, and wel­fare recip­i­ents. And why shouldn’t it? These are com­plaints from peo­ple who nor­mally wouldn’t vote for them any­way, while the poli­cies them­selves appeal not only to “bolted on” Lib­eral vot­ers, but also to dis­af­fected Labor vot­ers. It’s good pol­i­tics, even if the bad press means a tem­po­rary hit in the opin­ion polls.

An open letter to Brussels

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The Euro­pean Sta­bil­ity and Growth Pact is based on the prin­ci­ple that sta­bil­ity and growth are enhanced when gov­ern­ment deficits are either min­imised or elim­i­nated. I want you to dis­pas­sion­ately con­sider an argu­ment that reaches a dif­fer­ent con­clu­sion. It may sound like some­thing you have heard before from oth­ers and already dis­missed. But bear with me.

3 heterodox-friendly positions at Kingston University

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Kingston Uni­ver­sity has adver­tised three fixed-term lec­turer posi­tions with a very tight dead­lline of June 22nd, with inter­views to be held on July 1st. Appli­ca­tions from econ­o­mists with a research area in het­ero­dox eco­nom­ics are welcome.

For queries please con­tact Julian Wells (J.Wells AT kingston.ac.uk), who is the Direc­tor of Studies.