It’s a Nation, Not Just an Economy

It’s traditional to write about economics and economists at this time of year, the end of the financial year in most jurisdictions. Publishers like to ask economists to offer their predictions for the year. The cruel editors then go back a year later and mark their score cards. Forecasts are all very well in ‘normal’ times, but few had forecast a deadly global pandemic that (so far) would infect 10.5 million people and kill 511,000….

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The Listener and The Discerning Reader

One of my research assistants asked this week if I wanted his back issues of The Listener. I’m now regretting my luke-warm response, given that it is barely two months since the owner, Bauer Media, closed down New Zealand’s 81-year-old current affairs magazine. German-owned Bauer Media had been trying to sell its magazines in Australasia for a while. Things came to a head with COVID-19, as magazines were not considered “essential” under NZ’s strict level…

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A doggy tale in the time of covid-19

By Guest FOMMer Laurel Wilson As anyone who knows me would realise, I love dogs and have had various four-legged companions ever since I can remember. ‘Foxie’ was the first one − a small, non-descript, furry golden mutt, who apparently decided our place was an improvement on her previous abode. Then came ‘Rex the wonder dog’ (or at least, that’s what I called him), also a mutt, but who looked quite a bit like a…

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How deep is the financial hardship well?

It is probably no comfort to anyone to reflect on the year when investors could get 14.95% on a bank term deposit. It was January 1991, the recession Paul Keating said we had to have. People with personal loans and credit card debt watched horrified as repayment rates went to 20% and beyond. The average variable mortgage rate rose to 17.5% at the same time. The gap between the haves and have-nots in that era…

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