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Game of thrones winter

“Winter is Coming”

Being an economist is great. But there is a downside. A lot of people wind up annoyed by some parts of fantasy worlds in books and movies, but economists get annoyed by very different things.HBO’s Game of Thrones finally ended this week. The last two seasons brought increasing fan annoyance: the plotting and pace made far less sense than in prior seasons.For those who haven’t followed, Game of Thrones largely takes place on the continent of Westeros, in a fantasy... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
24 May, 2019
Crisis

Financial stability and due scrutiny

During the Global Financial Crisis, many banks around the world failed spectacularly (though fortunately none in Australia or New Zealand). Some financial institutions were bailed out at enormous costs to taxpayers. Others went under, causing severe disruption to their economies.To prevent such a scenario ever playing out again must be a constant worry for any financial markets regulator and central bank.This is why the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) published proposals last December to increase the amount of capital... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
17 May, 2019
Mouse

Free is expensive

Readers of The New Zealand Herald should welcome its recent introduction of a $5-weekly subscription to access premium content. So should non-readers. If successful, New Zealand will benefit from an additional stream of high-quality journalism worth paying for. As the global spread of media paywalls attests, informative and accurate online news is hard to produce solely via advertisement sales. (For one, robust analyses on politics, economics, and current affairs are not as “clickable” as homemade cat videos and tabloid stories.)... Read more

Dr Patrick Carvalho
Insights Newsletter
10 May, 2019
Jonathan Haidt

Disagree more constructively

When US psychologist Jonathan Haidt published The Righteous Mind in 2012, he himself may not have known how prescient it would be. The book’s subtitle is Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. Though such divisions were clearly visible even then, they were just a foretaste of what was to come. Trump, Brexit and the global surge of populism have created more politically divided societies than at any time during the past half century. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
3 May, 2019
Traffic3

Pricing our way out

This year’s close alignment of Easter and Anzac public holidays translated into 10 days of joy, family time and… congestion – with the New Zealand Traffic Agency (NZTA) issuing multiple heavy traffic warnings across the nation. Unfortunately, traffic jams are not restricted to holiday seasons in New Zealand. Widespread congestion in our urban centres is the new normal all year round, clogging “the lifeblood of community and commerce”. Read more

Dr Patrick Carvalho
Insights Newsletter
26 April, 2019
Wink

A parody of a Treasury

“Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won’t mistake it for the genuine article.” Poe’s Law warns that without strong warnings, parody will confuse people. We occasionally get into a bit of a pickle with the third column in our Insights newsletter. In this spot, we take the opportunity to have some fun – a light-hearted take on the week’s events; a fun... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
26 April, 2019

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