Austerity frenzy proven to be wrong. So will it be halted?

Pensioners march in an anti-austerity rally in Athens, Greece. Photo: Reuters

In this age of information, maths errors can lead to disaster. Nasa's Mars Orbiter crashed because engineers forgot to convert to metric measurements; JPMorgan Chase's "London Whale" venture went bad in part because modellers divided by a sum instead of an average. So, did an Excel coding error destroy the Western world's economies?

Sunday, 21 April, 2013, 4:56am 3 comments

Book review: Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea, by Mark Blyth

Book review: Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea, by Mark Blyth

Albert Einstein famously said that doing the same thing over and over in the expectation of different results is the definition of madness.

21 Apr 2013 - 5:30pm

Book review: Merchant, Soldier, Sage, by David Priestland

David Priestland: "World on a course towards potential conflict."

In this concise but ambitious book, Oxford historian David Priestland sets himself the task of taking the long view of the financial crisis that afflicts the world today.

24 Mar 2013 - 4:42pm

A prayer for 2013

Dogmatic politicians are risking sending the United States over a fiscal cliff and into a renewed recession. Photo: AP

These are perilous economic and financial times. Leading dogmatic US politicians are determined to drive their country over the fiscal cliff, at the risk of tipping their nation and the ailing Western world into renewed recession with potentially devastating effects for the rest of the globe.

8 May 2015 - 9:46am

Innovation 'key' to reform success in China, summit told

Steven Cheung says Beijing should establish its own "anchor" for the yuan and remove foreign-exchange controls. Photo: David Wong

Home-grown innovation, rather than slavish copying of Western models, is needed to ensure the success of economic reforms on the mainland, delegates at an economic summit were told yesterday.

8 May 2015 - 9:46am

The way ahead is asset spread

Marc Faber calls art an asset, but thinks it can go out of fashion and drop in value, in much the same way as cash does. Photos: Jonathan Wong

Sell Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia to invest in China, finance guru Marc Faber tells Martin Merz.

19 Nov 2012 - 1:27am

Chinese factories bouncing back, positive PMI shows

The mainland's manufacturing sector has shown signs of recovery.

The mainland's manufacturing sector has shown signs of recovery, helped by new orders, raising hopes of a rebound in economic growth in the fourth quarter.

2 Nov 2012 - 7:46am

A collective approach to dealing with complexity

"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them".

A big puzzle that has remained with the current unfolding crisis is why didn't the brightest minds see it coming? As Albert Einstein famously said: "The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them."

27 Oct 2012 - 1:35am

An economics Nobel for the Chinese Communist Party?

Between 1981 and 2001, about 400 million mainland Chinese were pulled out of extreme poverty. Photo: Reuters

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union has given pundits the world over a field day. One commentator even asked yesterday in the Financial Times whether any comparable grouping in Asia deserves the prize, and concluded there is none. He also joked that at least they didn't give the economics prize to the EU.

8 May 2015 - 9:46am 8 comments

Hong Kong feels effect of US stimulus moves

Hong Kong feels effect of US stimulus moves

Back at the beginning of last month, this column argued that Hong Kong property prices would continue to climb regardless of government efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing.

22 Oct 2012 - 4:47am

Nobel-winning economists' theory applied to finding a mate

Stable marriage problem

21 Oct 2012 - 4:06am

US scholars Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley win Nobel economics award

American economists Lloyd Shapley and Alvin Roth. Photo: AP

US scholars Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley have won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their work on the functioning of markets and how to best match supply and demand.

The work helps match organ donors with patients, students with universities, or internet search engines with advertisers.

16 Oct 2012 - 12:19pm

Tired ideas won't save ailing Western economies

Tired ideas won't save ailing Western economies

Over the past 20 years, nearly everyone seems to have become an economics expert. Discussions about complex economic theories, once reserved for dusty lecture halls in elite universities, are now heard all over Hong Kong. The bars in Central echo with arguments about growth rates, deflationary spirals and cures for unemployment.

15 Oct 2012 - 1:53am 3 comments

Julius Baer luxury lifestyle index

Louboutin ladies' pumps, at US$1,753, is the only item on the 2012 Julius Baer Lifestyle Index to actually drop in price this year.

The 2012 Julius Baer Lifestyle Index tracks changes in the cost of luxury items in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Mumbai...

7 Oct 2012 - 1:10pm

The week explained: price fixing

Robert Diamond, CEO of Barclays, resigned after the bank was fined HK$3.6 billion.Photo: Bloomberg

Is this a scene from a B-movie showing a room of self-satisfied men in suits conspiring to rig financial markets? They are confident that the suckers won't find out what they are doing, knowing that they have the power to make this deal work which will bring them rich rewards.

7 Oct 2012 - 11:52am