Monday 20 Jan 2020 | 03:55 | SYDNEY
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Stephen Grenville's picture
People | experts Stephen Grenville
Nonresident Fellow
Lowy Institute
Stephen Grenville's picture
Areas of ExpertiseRegional economic integration; Australia's economic relations with East Asia; international financial flows and the global financial architecture; financial sector development in East Asia

The globalisation of our discontent

Globalisation is currently everyone's whipping boy. Not only is everyone criticising it, but they also have ready answers on how to fix it. Unfortunately many of these glib solutions, if implemented, would diminish the very real benefits of globalisation. Politicians on both the left and right are

A renegotiated TPP may not be in our interest

After a decade of negotiation, the Trans-Pacific Partnership was signed a year ago by its 12 participants, to come into force when ratified by the partners' legislatures. America's ratification is the key, and as President Obama had achieved 'fast track authority', Congress should either agree or

Don’t blame globalisation

While Donald Trump plans to fix America’s economic malaise by blocking imports from Mexico and China, the latest IMF World Economic Outlook laments the slow growth of global trade. They can’t both be right. It is almost exactly 200 years since David Ricardo set out the advantages of countries

How’s the Australian economy going?

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Australia ( the red line) has outperformed all the main advanced economies (which fall within the blue segments) for increase in GDP and per-capital GDP, is lower than almost all on unemployment (Japan is lowest, New Zealand a bit lower than

Overlapping claims in the Timor Sea

Senator Wong urges the Australian government to commit to an international process of dispute resolution to settle the maritime border between Australia and Timor Leste. The conciliation process currently underway in The Hague goes quite some distance in this direction, providing each side with the

Japan's economy travels a narrow road

Desperate times call for desperate measures. The International Monetary Fund seems to have lost hope that monetary and fiscal policy can shift the Japanese economy out of its deflationary torpor. The IMF, usually the embodiment of conservative mainstream economics, has published this working paper

How well did the IMF handle the 2010 Greek crisis?

'IMF admits disastrous love affair with the euro led to immolation of Greece'. So runs a press headline about the IMF Independent Evaluation Office (IEO)'s new report on the 2010 Greek crisis. It was already widely accepted that the IMF's handling of the crisis was badly flawed, so the IEO's

Globalisation and income distribution

Many political pundits see widening income disparities as the key factor in the Brexit vote and associate these with a single cause — globalisation. There is no doubting that income distribution within individual countries has become more unequal in recent decades, but is globalisation the

South China Sea: A course-correction needed

Tuesday's South China Sea adjudication demonstrates that the UNCLOS framework is totally unsuited to sorting out the complex conflicting claims in the South China Sea in a way that the relevant parties will accept. By effectively announcing the Philippines as winner and China as loser, the tribunal'

The economics of Brexit

A vote to leave would represent an immediate and profound shock to our economy. That shock would push our economy into a recession and lead to an increase in unemployment of around 500,000, GDP would be 3.6% smaller, average real wages would be lower, inflation higher, sterling weaker, house prices

Who has the best national anthem? (Part 2)

Last Friday Sam Roggeveen called on Interpreter readers to nominate their pick for the best national anthem. This is the first response. Judging national anthems without context is akin to asking whether the madeleines baked by Proust's Aunt Leonie were the best sponge-cakes ever. It's not just

The IMF debates economic neoliberalism

Like all big bureaucracies, the IMF shifts its operational doctrines slowly, rewriting its own history as it does so in order to avoid admitting past errors. We are currently witnessing another episode of this glacial move in relation to two issues: budget austerity and foreign capital flows. EIMF

Let's not frame the TPP as a 'contain–China' play

None of the US presidential candidates is keen on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Does this mean that the treaty — signed but unratified — is finished and all that debate, negotiation and angst will have been vain? President Obama doesn’t see it that way. He’s still plugging away in the

Why we won't hear much about trade in this campaign

In the United States, international trade is a hot-button political issue. Australia, on the other hand, is likely to get through the long election campaign with hardly a mention of tariffs and industry protection. Why the difference? Donald Trump’s policy positions may be a kaleidoscope of

Budget 2016: Taxing foreign investment

Last week's budget contained two taxation measures affecting foreign investment in Australia: one lowering tax while the other aims to increase it. The first lowers the rate of company tax, which will fall from 30% to 25% by 2026. The second aims to tax more effectively those large multinational

The political economy of home-made submarines

So we’ve decided to build twelve submarines in Adelaide, a decision which: contradicts the only idea that economists unanimously endorse — free trade; ignores opportunity cost i.e what else might be done with $50 billion of labour, capital and managerial talent; had no apparent operational

Rethinking economics: Cohen and De Long

The last decade hasn’t been kind to economists’ egos. Almost no-one saw the 2008 crisis coming. The subsequent recovery has been ‘too slow for too long’. And, at a deeper level, there is widespread discontent with the way the middle class has been left behind while a tiny fraction is

Renminbi soon a global currency?

The financial press and market commentators focus on China's stock market gyrations, tottering exchange rate, capital flight and imminent credit collapse as elements in an ongoing narrative of impending financial crisis. Meanwhile, the process of internationalising the renminbi (RMB) continues. If

IMF's new debt rules not vulture-proof

Every country has some form of domestic bankruptcy procedures, whereby debtors who are unable to repay can come to some equitable collective settlement with their creditors. International debt, however, has no such set of resolution procedures. As international capital flows have increased

Timor: Rules-based order and spying

There are a couple of issues from the The Interpreter discussion of the maritime border with Timor Leste that merit more exploration. First, the relevance of 'rules-based order'; second, the ASIS spying. Rules-based order Malcolm Jorgensen makes an eloquent argument for handing over the rule-making

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