Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Mark Thirlwell

One of Australia’s leading commentators on the international economy, Mark has been tracking global economic trends since he joined the Bank of England’s International Divisions in 1990 where he worked as part of the Whitehall Economists Subgroup, coordinating the forecasting of major emerging markets across the Bank, Treasury, the FCO and other stakeholders. Mark subsequently joined J P Morgan as a Vice President in Economic Research with responsibility for Central Europe. Before joining Lowy, he served as Senior Economist at Australia’s Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, working on sovereign risk with a particular focus on East Asia. Mark’s work at Lowy concentrated on the forces shaping globalisation. He has written major papers on the Indian economy, the state of the international trading system and the future of globalisation. Recent work has included publications on the post-crisis world economy, geo-economics and global governance, with the latter including participation in Think-20. Mark has degrees in economics from Cambridge and Oxford Universities and a postgraduate qualification in applied finance from Macquarie University.

Articles by Mark Thirlwell (19)

  • Thatcherism and economic leadership

    In the years of economic turbulence that have followed the onset of the global financial crisis, a common lament has been the absence of effective economic leadership and an unwillingness to take tough decisions. The early obituaries and assessments of Margaret Thatcher offer a potent reminder of what determined economic leadership actually involves, along with the associated benefits and costs.
  • Australian model or Australian bubble?

    In a blog post earlier this year I asked whether emerging economies had been lucky or smart. I also suggested that one way to start answering this question was to look at their performance during the major stress test provided by the global financial crisis. Of course, it's possible to ask much the same question about Australia's economic performance.
  • Cyprus: More pressure on eurozone

    Cyprus, Aphrodite's Island, is in trouble. And it's trouble that could further set back sentiment in a eurozone that's already been damaged by last month's inconclusive Italian elections. Now Cyprus' parliament has rejected the terms of a €10 billion bailout from Brussels and instead may have turned to Russia for financial assistance.
  • World economy: Keep optimism cautious

    Earlier this month I noted that, after several years dominated by bad economic news, the start of the current year had brought hopes that we might finally see a degree of stability return to what has been a demonstrably unstable global economy. While some of this shift in sentiment could be put down to sheer 'risk fatigue', it also reflected a sense of bullets dodged and pitfalls avoided, as some of the most feared tail risks facing the world economy have (so far, at least) failed to materialis
  • Emerging economies: Lucky or smart?

    Last December, in a post on the future of global growth, I posed a set of questions related to the future performance of emerging markets. Will catch-up growth be sustained at pre-GFC rates or will it continue but at a slower pace, reflecting a tougher external environment? Or will the 'convergence' process stall altogether? The future of emerging market growth is also a recurring element in my 13 for 2013 series on the outlook for the world economy. One way to approach these questions is to th
  • China's demographic turning point

    Back in mid-2010, I wrote a lengthy post looking at the possible link between labour unrest in China and the so-called 'Lewisian turning point'. Last week, we got another critical data point on China's demographic profile when the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced that China's working age population shrank by 3.45 million people in 2012. According to the Bureau, this drop marks the start of a trend that will see annual declines in China's working age population until at least 20
  • World economy: 13 for 2013 (part 3)

    This is part 3 of Mark's thirteen suggestions (in no particular order) of things to look out for in the global economy this year. Part 1 is here, part 2 is here.    9. Keep an eye on oil prices Despite some signs that the world is less sensitive to oil price hikes than it used to be, the price of oil continues to be a critical variable for global growth.