Categories
Economics

What Will Happen to U.K. Trade, Post-Brexit?

As James Surowiecki writes in this week’s issue of the The New Yorker, Leave campaigners hope they can jettison Europen Union provisions they don’t like, such as free movement of labor, but maintain access to the EU for trade.

Surowiecki thinks they’ve got a tough road to hoe when it comes to working out new trade trade pacts with their much larger former partner:

As Hollande’s comments suggest, the negotiations over a new trade deal won’t be about economics alone. They’ll also be about politics. European leaders, in deciding how they should treat the U.K., will be thinking, in part, about Brexit’s effect on the stability of the E.U. itself, which they very much want to preserve. Studies show that international institutions work best, and are most effective, when members feel that leaving has a high cost. So, even if driving a hard bargain with the U.K. does some damage to the E.U.’s economy, that may be a price worth paying, in order to show Euroskeptics everywhere that leaving has consequences. “You’re willing to do things for family members simply because they’re family,” Véron told me. “But when you’re no longer in the family you’re out.” In choosing Brexit, British voters decided that ideological considerations trumped economic ones. They can hardly complain if Europe makes the same choice.

Watch this space.

Categories
Misc.

Joel Mokyr on Tech, Innovation and Economic Growth

Joel Mokyr, a Northwestern University economist and author, in a WSJ op-ed:

There is nothing like a recession to throw economists into a despondent mood. Much as happened in the late 1930s—when there was a fear of so-called secular stagnation, or the absence of growth due to a dearth of investment opportunities—many of my colleagues these days seem to believe that “sad days are here again.” The economic growth experienced through much of the 20th century, they tell us, was fleeting. Our children will be no richer than we are. The entry of millions of married women into the workforce and the huge increase in college graduates that drove post-1945 growth were one-off boons. Slow growth is here to stay.

What is wrong with this story? The one-word answer is “technology.” The responsibility of economic historians is to remind the world what things were like before 1800. Growth was imperceptibly slow, and the vast bulk of the population was so poor that a harvest failure would kill millions. Almost half the babies born died before reaching age 5, and those who made it to adulthood were often stunted, ill and illiterate.

What changed this world was technological progress. Starting in the late 18th century, innovations and advances in what was then called “the useful arts” began improving life, first in Britain, then in the rest of Europe, and then in much of the rest of the world.

Categories
Journalism Thailand

Now up: My Quartz story on Thailand’s questionable economic policies

Think rice, rubber, and cars. The story is here.

Categories
Thailand

Thai Baht Hits 5 Year High

The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones reports today:

A rush of cash into Thailand has sent the baht to its highest level in more than five years, making it Asia’s top currency in 2013, as investors clamor for deals in the fast-expanding Southeast Asian economy.

Fund managers also have been pouring money into shares, driving the benchmark SET Index to a 19-year high this week as fund flows have jumped to their highest levels in 44 weeks, according to data provider EPFR Global.

The roughly 5% rally in the emerging-market currency this year is especially surprising, and in contrast to neighboring currencies of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore that have been falling on renewed jitters over Europe’s banking system. That would normally prompt investors to also yank money out of Thailand.

And:

Late Wednesday in New York, the dollar bought 29.135 baht, down from 29.266 baht late Tuesday.

Categories
Journalism Tech

Some of My Favorite Email Newsletters

2013 01 12 email

Last fall I began using email newsletters* to keep abreast of the day’s biggest business and economics stories.

Since I’ve been spending a lot of time in class, mostly away from news sites, I’ve come to appreciate these daily email compilations. Here are a few I like:

  • Reuters Counterparties. This “curated snapshot of the best finance news and commentary” is a stand-alone Reuters Web site edited by Felix Salmon and Ryan McCarthy. You can sign up for the daily newsletter by selecting Counterparties here.
  • Quartz, the new-ish business news site, has a good roundup called the Quartz Daily Brief. (The site hasn’t been loading properly for me for a few days, but you should be able to find the newsletter via the home page.)
  • The Marketplace Newsletter includes links to the well known radio show‘s most most-viewed articles, provides a mid-day update on the markets, and has links to its various episodes.
  • The Bloomberg Most Popular daily email contains just that — the site’s most popular stories of the day. You can sign up here.

In addition, I like two newsletters that don’t focus exclusively on business journalism, but that are generally informative:

*Yes, email newsletters! Remember those? Good ol’ email: Still the Web’s killer app?

(Image via Wikipedia.)