America's cult of selfishness is doing the country in

AMERICA'S response to the coronavirus has been a lose-lose proposition.


Rush for rubbish - market madness in the pandemic

AFTER all these years, Hertz is number one again. Not in market share: The car-rental company is a distant second to Enterprise. But Hertz has become Exhibit #1 of the madness that has been sweeping the stock market in these times of Covid-19 - a madness that may do considerable harm, not...


What to do when world is in a coronacoma

THE economic contraction we're experiencing is the fastest on record, by a large margin; we've probably lost as many jobs over the past two weeks as we did in the whole of the Great Recession. The policy response is also gigantic, several times as large a share of gross domestic product as the...

Apocalypse becomes the new normal

THE past week's images from Australia have been nightmarish: walls of flame, blood-red skies, residents huddled on beaches as they try to escape the inferno. The bush fires have been so intense that they have generated "fire tornadoes" powerful enough to flip over heavy trucks.


The legacy of destructive austerity

A DECADE ago, the world was living in the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. Financial markets had stabilised, but the real economy was still in terrible shape, with around 40 million European and North American workers unemployed.


Bursting the billionaire bubble

IMMENSE wealth isn't good for your reality sense. Billionaires aren't necessarily bad people, and most of them probably aren't. However, some are, and my unscientific sense is that billionaires are more likely than the rest of us to exhibit bad judgment warped by runaway egos, especially in the...


Trump's Art of the Flail is starting to hurt the US economy seriously

The "very stable genius" in the Oval Office is, in fact, extremely unstable in word and deed. That's not a psychological diagnosis, although you can make that case, too. It's just a straightforward description of his behaviour. And his instability is starting to have serious economic...


From voodoo economics to evil-eye economics

ALMOST four decades ago then-candidate George HW Bush used the phrase "voodoo economic policy" to describe Ronald Reagan's claim that cutting taxes for the rich would pay for itself. He was more prescient than he could have imagined.

Tariff tantrums and recession risks

IF THE bond market is any indication, US President Donald Trump's escalating belligerence on trade is creating seriously increased risks of recession. But I haven't seen many clear explanations of why that might be so. The problem isn't just, or even mainly, that the president really does seem...