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New on the website

October 23rd, 2002
  • Unemployment on the rise. Australian Financial Review 12 September
    Summary: The real rate of unemployment is between 10 and 20 per cent
    Grab: Taking all the evidence into account it seems reasonable to conclude that unemployment in Australia is worse than at any time since World War II, except for the trough of ‘the recession we had to have’. This dismal outcome has been recorded at a time when our economic performance is routinely touted as ‘miraculous’ and ‘worldbeating’
  • Breaking the camel’s back. Australian Financial Review 26 September
    Summary: In the name of consumers, economic rationalists and managerialists have made life miserable for producers
    Grab: The fable of the straw that broke the camel’s back is, among other things, a warning about overburdening those who actually do the work. Economic reformers and enterprising managers have been adding straws to the bundle for at least a decade. It’s time to reduce the burden.
  • A case for equity partners. Australian Financial Review 10 October
    Summary: Responds to critics of a proposal to allow financial institutions to take an equity stake in owner-occupied housing. Surveys the housing bubble.
    Grab: There are plenty of unresolved questions about equity partnerships, but the proposal does not, as many have suggested, deserve instant dismissal. Along with a number of Australian and international economists, representing a broad spectrum of opinion on economic policy issues, I was a signatory of a statement arguing that further investigation of this proposal was desirable. Nothing I have seen in the ensuing debate has led me to change my mind.
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