Lectures at my university almost by obligation need to be presented in Powerpoint format* and almost all are aurally recorded. In a few cases a video is taken and that distinction seems to be the fairly arbitrary dividing line used by administrators in classifying courses as being presented in “face-to-face” format or “online”.
Articles from Harry Clarke
A snippet that interests me. The Ray White Group (one of Australia’s largest real estate brokers) is to move into the financial planning industry. They earn commissions on real estate transactions and I assume they will earn commissions on the advice they give. They seek ASIC approval and expect to get it.
Deriving sound asylum seeker policies is partly a moral issue. It is also a concern that analytical disciplines like economics can throw light on. I have been asked to provide views on asylum seeker policies as an economist. The views below are preliminary and I welcome polite comment. What I want to do is to think about are what most people would agree are reasonable objectives for policy and then use economics to think about how these objectives might be met.
I have been reading my favourite work on investment – the most recent edition (2011) of Burton Malkiel’s “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” – for some advice on managing wealth in retirement. I first read Malkiel in the mid-1970s and find him to be a perceptive and balanced advisor on investment strategies.
There are competing claims about the current stance of Australian monetary policy and attempts by the Reserve Bank to balance the desire for a lower Australian dollar by lowering interest rates against the problems that would be created by creating an asset price bubble.
I attended some economics honours student presentations on Friday and what was noticeable in most of the studies was a lack of any economic theory. Yes there was usually a data base and, yes, statistical techniques were applied to that data base (along with (occasionally) some quasi-theoretical reasoning about what might or might not be “exogenous”) but in most cases no economics model or even qualitative economics reasoning was used.
Yesterday I made an application to depart my university of employment and to accept a redundancy. It was an emotional moment for me as I had never contemplated exiting employment in this way. I always thought I would work until I dropped. My decision partly reflects what I want to do with my life in the future (more leisure, greater freedom from obligation) but it mainly reflects my pessimistic assessment of where the Australian universities are going.
Distortions in the patient market for new drugs mean that drugs are overwhelmingly being developed for people who will die anyway from conditions the drugs are designed to address. There are few incentives to provide preventative medicines and this distortion costs lives.
As the Economist states:
This is a preposterous, improbable Australian movie. A young American women gets a group of young aboriginals to do a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Based in Redfern, Sydney. The movie is not even going to be released in conventional cinema. But I loved it and scenes moved me to tears. A great Australian film that trounces Hollywood and the garbage we are delivered via the mainstream cinema.
Low interest rates that are unlikely to increase any time soon and property as well as equity markets that are growing strongly, both in Australia and overseas, create the basis for gearing up and taking high levels of risk. People ask me – as an economist – how it will all end. I confidently predict it will end in tears with many people losing everything and margin calls driving asset prices to levels where those few smarties with plenty of cash will make a killing.