Saturday 11 Jul 2020 | 21:07 | 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

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

Why helicopter drops are a bad idea for central banks

Everyone agrees that the recovery from the 2008 crisis has been disappointingly lacklustre. A central concern in the current global debate is that policy-makers, having tried unconventional monetary policy, are running out of effective instruments. How real is this concern? I have argued previously

East Timor border: Be careful what you wish for

Labor shadow foreign minister Tanya Plibersek has committed a future Labor government to negotiations with the Timor Leste government to reach a permanent maritime border between our two countries, and undertaken to hand the issue over to UNCLOS arbitration if an agreement cannot be reached. This

The slowing China economy: How worried should we be?

In the first of this two part series on China's economy, Stephen Grenville examines the financial sector and the rate of GDP growth. Part two will focus on the exchange rate. China is forecast to contribute over a quarter of global growth over the next five years (calculated in purchasing power

Douglass North and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Now that the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have been agreed, the participant countries have to decide whether to ratify the deal. In assessing the benefits, where might we turn for guidance on the economics? First thoughts might go to David Ricardo, father of one of the few ideas

TPP: Australia should bring in China and Indonesia

The negotiators have finally reached agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The US Congress might yet be a stumbling block, but the many US interest groups which stand to benefit will influence that outcome. Other TPP countries have to get legislative approval too. Whatever the

Angus Deaton wins the Nobel Prize for economics

Thomas Piketty might be the rock-star of the income-inequality debate, but Angus Deaton has won the Nobel Prize for economics, and deservedly so.  Perhaps you first heard about his impending fame here on The Interpreter: his book, The Great Escape, was my book of the year in 2014 and I thought he

As commodity prices plunge, Asia struggles to adjust

The economic debate in Australia is dominated by the impact of the unwinding of the commodities 'super-cycle'. Australia is having to adjust to substantially worse terms-of-trade (the price of what we export compared with the price of our imports), the slowing of the spectacular resources investment

Waiting for the Fed to move

Global financial markets are on tenterhooks waiting for the US Federal Reserve to decide when to start raising the Fed funds rate – the short-term interest rate which sets the datum for many other interest rates. The media have reported this in portentous tones, exploring every possible downside