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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
I’ve spent the past two weeks in Europe, with speaking engagements in Italy, Greece and Austria. This was my first visit to Greece, and my first chance to get an admittedly superficial tourist’s view of what a country with Great Depression levels of unemployment looks like.
This is the talk I gave on this topic in Vienna yesterday. Once I have time, I’ll post the slides and the data.
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This is the talk I gave at the Finance, Mathematics and Philosophy seminar organized by the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Physics at Sapienza Universita de Roma. It was an extremely good conference, with the special bonus that I got to meet one of my heroes in nonlinear dynamics, Ping Chen.
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.
Australia could have been the world leader in laptop computers — if we didn’t have a brain-dead financial sector.