Neville Spencer

French economist Thomas Piketty became something of a global phenomenon when Capital in the Twenty-First Century topped The New York Times’ Best Seller list in 2014. He has now produced a follow-up work, Capital and Ideology, writes Neville Spencer

Modern Monetary Theory is getting increasing attention as a means to solve economic problems, especially as governments spend big under COVID-19. Neville Spencer explains its usefulness and its limitations.

Blame for the dramatic fall in international stock markets in the last week of February has widely been pinned on the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the likelihood of a stock market crash was in place well before the virus emerged, writes Neville Spencer.

While the rise of the Chinese economy has often been touted as a miracle, many economists have pointed out some alarming risks.

Climate scientist James Hansen has put forward a succinct guide to current climate science in Climate Change in a Nutshell: The Gathering Storm.

In Risking Together, Dick Bryan and Mike Rafferty look at how the financialisation of the global economy has swept up the lives of ordinary people who had nothing to do with playing the financial markets. In the process, their lives have come to mirror the risks of stock exchange, derivative and currency market speculation.

Welcome attention was drawn to the issue of poverty with the 2014 publication of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-first Century, which became an international bestseller.

The Political Economy of Inequality by Frank Stilwell, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Sydney, gives a more rounded overview of the issue in a more manageable volume than Piketty’s hefty magnum opus.

In an interview with Sky News on March 8, finance minister Matthias Cormann said, “The whole reason why it is important to have flexibility in the labour market … is … to ensure that wages can adjust in the context of economic conditions, is to avoid massive spikes in unemployment … That is a deliberate design feature of our economic architecture.”

Roma
Written & directed by Alfonso Cuaron
Starring Yalitza Aparicio & Marina de Tavira
In cinemas now

Roma is the latest film by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, who came to international prominence with his 2001 film Y Tu Mama Tambien.

This allowed him to break into the world of bigger budget, English-language films, directing Children of Men (2006) and Gravity (2013) which won seven Academy Awards including best director.

After Commissioner Kenneth Hayne released the banking royal commission’s interim report in September, many of the headlines and takeaway quotes focused on its claim that banks “put profits before people”.

 “Why did it happen?” the report asked. “Too often the answer seems to be greed — the pursuit of short term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty. How else is charging continuing advice fees to the dead to be explained?...

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