Archive for the 'In the News' Category

What makes money, money?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 by econ-network

Why will a £10 note buy you £10 worth of stuff?

After all, it’s just paper…right?

If there is anyone who should know, it’s Andrew Bailey, because if you look at the bank notes in your pockets and wallets, his signature will be on all of them. Robert Peston, the BBC ‘s business editor, went to the Bank of England to chat to the man who makes the money we use. He examines how we got into the recent financial crisis and what you can do to protect yourself.

You can find it Here

A very Greek tragedy

Thursday, April 29th, 2010 by econ-network

With Greece’s debt rated ‘junk’ what effect will it have on the rest of Europe and the UK?

Stephine Flanders writes that

“Like other governments that are borrowing a lot, ours would be vulnerable if international investors decide, overnight, that sovereign debt isn’t a safe bet after all. We recently won the chance to host the Olympics. But there the similarity ends…

That may change. We may, after all, have some serious political uncertainty coming down the track. But market movements today are a good reflection of the distance between London and Athens.

Investors may worry a lot more about Britain’s public finances than they did a few years ago. But they worry half as much about it as they worry about Greece.”

Its worth a read you can find it here.

Why does this matter? Well think back to the banking crisis two years ago and the knock on effect that one shake can have on a nation. Imagine rather than banks whole nations collapsing.  Economist Jonathan Loynes, of Capital Economics, said that Greece could be a “sovereign equivalent” of Lehman Brothers; the bank which started the collapse.

Will we have to bail out a whole country? Several countries? Time will tell.

We’re not out of the woods yet.

Cuts, cuts, cuts…

Monday, April 26th, 2010 by econ-network

Britain’s next Chancellor will oversee the start of most sustained squeeze on public spending in at least 60 years.

Without huge tax rises, government departments will have to cut around £37bn from their budgets by 2013-14. Yet all three main parties refuse to explain how at least £30bn of these savings will be found.

To illustrate the scale of the challenge, the Financial Times has simulated the next three year spending review, highlighting the type of decisions the next chancellor will face if taxation stays on the same path.

You need to register to play (but it’s free).

It’s a good introduction to the tough decisions that the next chancellor will have to make.

You can play the game here.

Economics and earthquakes

Thursday, March 4th, 2010 by econ-network

A great article in the Wall Street Journal shows the link between economics and the recent earthquakes.

“It’s not by chance that Chileans were living in houses of brick—and Haitians in houses of straw—when the wolf arrived to try to blow them down. In 1973, the year the proto-Chavista government of Salvador Allende was overthrown by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Chile was an economic shambles. Inflation topped out at an annual rate of 1000%, foreign-currency reserves were totally depleted, and per capita GDP was roughly that of Peru and well below Argentina’s…

Milton Friedman has been dead for more than three years. But his spirit was surely hovering protectively over Chile in the early morning hours of Saturday. Thanks largely to him, the country has endured a tragedy that elsewhere would have been an apocalypse.”

Read the article here.

Fear the Boom and Bust

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 by econ-network

“Fear the Boom and Bust” a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Battle is a place to learn about the economic way of thinking through the eyes of creative director John Papola and creative economist Russ Roberts.

In Fear the Boom and Bust, John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek, two of the great economists of the 20th century, come back to life to attend an economics conference on the economic crisis.

Before the conference begins, and at the insistence of Lord Keynes, they go out for a night on the town and sing about why there’s a “boom and bust” cycle in modern economies (as you do) and good reason to fear it.

Get the full lyrics, story and free download of the song in high quality MP3 and AAC files at

Discuss and enjoy guys!

Are tax breaks for married couples a good idea?

Monday, January 18th, 2010 by econ-network

In many ways economics is the study of incentives. An incentive is any factor (financial or non-financial) that enables or motivates a particular course of action, or counts as a reason for preferring one choice to the alternatives.

In English, Incentives make you want to do something you otherwise wouldn’t want to do. Today let’s talk about an incentive which is in the media at the moment, the oft criticised, proposed marriage tax break. (more…)