Commodities are notorious for their volatility. I saw this first hand when I was working as an Investment Analyst at Dixon Advisory. I was tasked to investigate whether shares with exposure to the silver price were worth pursuing. Silver is a fantastic example of a ridiculously volatile commodity. The chart below shows you what I mean:
The focus of my final post will be the first session of the ACE Business Symposium, titled ‘Structural Adjustment: The Dutch Disease and Public Policy in Australia’.
The session opened with a methodical and articulate speech from Professor Max Corden of the University of Melbourne, summarising his findings in a recent paper for the Melbourne Institute. He defined the term ‘Dutch Disease’ as the real appreciation in the home currency, which has both positive and negative effects, depending on the industry.
Day 2 of the ACE Conference started with a keynote speech from Professor John Quiggin of University of Queensland on the conference’s main theme ‘The future of economics: research, policy and relevance’.
This is the first of four blog posts I will be writing for ESSA from the 41st Australian Conference of Economists, co-hosted by Economics Society of Australia and Victoria University. This blog aims to give its readers an insight into the key discussion topics at the ACE conference which created hearty debate amongst some of Australia’s pre-eminent economists.
The Australian economy continues to defy economic gravity, with the latest round of economic statistics released last week showing an economy growing above trend over the last 12 months, full-time job creation ticking up in May, and a higher participation rate as people become more confident in finding a job.
When you consider what ‘government policy’ really means, most tend to think of actions made by government on production, distribution, consumption and identity issues, and rightly so. Public policy mainly concerns both the formulation of goals across these many areas of life and implementing ways of achieving these goals (Australian Public Policy, Fenna).
Wayne Swan’s essay in The Monthly titled ‘The 0.01 Per Cent: The Rising Influence of Vested Interests in Australia’ has caused quite a stir in the last few weeks. Swan laments the rising influence of wealthy vested interests in Australia’s public policy debate, and warns of it undermining our equality and democracy. These are strong, politically-potent words from Australia’s Treasurer, and have brought interesting reactions from the opposition, the media, the mining industry magnates he attacked, and the general public.
Olivier Blanchard, chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), recently told the Council of Foreign Relations that he was surprised at the amount of debate surrounding the role of fiscal stimulus during economic downturns. This comes after much criticism of the stimulus packages implemented across the world in early 2009, where the world economy …
I attended my first Downing Lecture on Thursday night, and heard a fascinating speech by Professor John Micklewright, a research fellow from the Melbourne Institute. It was an interesting account on how the GFC had affected household incomes and income distribution across OECD countries. This blogpost will focus only on Professor Micklewright’s research on household incomes, starting with his findings and then giving you my response and reaction to his research.
George Megalogenis’ quarterly essay titled ‘Trivial Pursuit: Leadership and the end of the reform era’ highlights the worrying lack of political leadership on both sides of the parliament in the aftermath of the 2010 Australian federal election. It argues that political short-termism and party politics has become the order of the day, leaving proper policy debate and detailed analysis out of the picture. It means that governments are focussing on winning the next 24-hour news cycle, or the next opinion poll rather than focussing on creating an enduring economic reform agenda that builds on our prosperity in Australia. Many prominent Australian journalists, including Megalogenis and Annabel Crabb of the ABC, have vowed not to discuss opinion polls to reflect their distaste of the current political atmosphere.