How to Strangle a Student Town’s Economy—The St Andrews Housing Market

By Ryan Morrice There are few institutions better for a small town’s economy than a centuries-old world-renowned university. Businesses can expand over time, but they can also go bust. People can migrate to a town, boosting demand for local goods and services, but they can also leave, causing a slow irreversible decline. A university, on…

Market Spice: Week of February 10th

Week of February 10th, 2020  Delany Higgins Asia  In China, the CSI 300 and Shanghai Composite Indexes rose moderately, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed slightly down.  Due to new measurement techniques, China announced over 14,800 additional cases of COVID-19, though the rate of spread appeared to be decreasing.  China-U.S. relations faltered again after last week’s…

Valentine's Day Special: Evaluating the Global Chocolate Shortage

By Jurin Katayama ‘Twas the day of Valentines, when all through St Andrews Chocolates were given, to show that they were true. Articles were flooded in all social media accounts, With click-bait titles blaring “Chocolate shortage!” to get the view counts. The culture of buying chocolates to illustrate love on an annual basis has caused…

Coronavirus’s Most Critical Patient

The brunt of the reaction has focused on the epicentre of the outbreak: the city of Wuhan, in Hubei province, though it has also extended to other areas in mainland China. If similar measures to those taken in Hubei were taken in Hong Kong, however, it could quickly spell a death-sentence for the pro-democracy movement.

Market Spice: This Week's Roundup

On Monday, following the Lunar New Year holiday, the People’s Bank of China announced their plans to inject the equivalent of $21.7 in liquidity into the economy, as well as other measures amounting to $57 billion.

Market Spice: Global Markets Catch Coronavirus

Week of January 27th, 2020 Delany Higgins Asia  The impacts of coronavirus, declared a global health emergency on Thursday by the WHO, have spread far beyond China. Roughly 10,000 cases were reported before the end of the week.  Hong Kong stocks sank, but with the emergence of some positive economic data, including on Chinese manufacturing,…

Investing in a Sustainable Society

By Hugh Gammon First created by the UK to fund a rehabilitation program for convicts in 2010, Social Impact Bonds (SIB) provide a meeting place for charity and capital, promising a return on investment from funding social initiatives and charitable efforts. The concept is now gaining increasing traction and publicity in the financial sphere as…

Market Spice: This Week's Roundup

Week of January 20th, 2020 Delany Higgins Asia  The coronavirus outbreak caused the most substantial single-day decline in Chinese stocks in the past eight months, with the Shanghai Composite Index losing 3.8% over the course of the week.  Japanese stocks fell, though the yen strengthened somewhat. Japanese exports have been falling, and it is unclear…

Lebanon: A New Hope or Renewed Despair?

Recent protests across Lebanon, sparked in October by a proposed ‘Whatsapp Tax’, have spiralled into a much broader movement calling for a political and economic overhaul to the country, having lost no momentum with the resignation of former PM Saad al-Hariri and the appointment of Hezbollah-backed, Hassan Diab. The new President has thus far failed…

Highlights of the Week (13/01/2020)

Our editors give us the breakdown of this week’s biggest news stories Scotland: Ryan Morrice The UK government formally rejected a request for a second Scottish independence referendum by the Scottish government. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote that “another independence referendum would continue the political stagnation that Scotland has seen for the last decade”. First…

Highlights of the Week (06/01/2020)

Image Source: Chris Toward/christoward10 Our editors give us the breakdown of this week’s biggest news stories Economics: Lucy Wright Train passengers may be able to capitalise on cheaper rail fares as “split tickets” – a practice previously carried out by only a select group of consumers – becomes mainstream. Instead of buying one ticket, say…

Highlights of the Week (30/12/2019)

Image Source: Chris Toward/@christoward10 Our editors give us the breakdown of this week’s biggest news stories Scotland: Ryan Morrice Rail fares in Scotland increased by 2.4% on average on the 2nd of January. Meanwhile Abellio ScotRail has reported losses of £10 million over a 15 month period. This comes after news that they will be…

The Mesut Ozil Controversy: How Arsenal's Response Explains Politics in Modern Sports

By Charlie Whiteley China’s strict censorship policy has again challenged the values of a major global brand. Arsenal Football Club player Mesut Ozil recently spoke out against the Chinese treatment of Uighur Muslims on Twitter, landing both Ozil and Arsenal in serious trouble with the Chinese government. China’s response has been characteristically swift and efficient, with Arsenal…

The Hawala System and Sharia Banking

How Terror Abuses Financial Institutions   Hawala, حوالة, in Arabic translates as transfer in English and trust in Hindi. The Hawala System is an Informal Value Transfer System (IVTS) which is essentially a system whereby money or value in the form of commodities, is transferred nationally or internationally by an organisation that does not offer financial services as…

Spilling the Beans on Fairtrade Coffee

Fairtrade’s long-term value to both consumers and producers is more likely in the information it conveys about method of production, not in the extra premium it ostensibly conveys to producers.

A Radically Shifting Overton Window

“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian… it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.” If I was to ask you what politician said this quote, you would probably think it was Mike Pence or someone on the right that was trying to appeal to evangelical voters in the Midwest.

Trumpty Dumpty sat on his wall; will it be his downfall?

The now infamous signature slogan of Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign to ‘Build the Wall!’ bears little relevance to the current status of said border perimeter. Instead, the wall has now been modelled as a metaphorical, rather than a literal, construction.

The Poor Opposition Parties of Scotland

The next general election is a few weeks away and the dominant party in Scotland, the Scottish National Party (SNP), look set for another strong performance. Polls predict they will take a majority of seats in Scotland again.

The Ulterior Motives Behind Boris Johnson’s Winter Election

Boris Johnson has laid down the gauntlet to Jeremy Corbyn, challenging the Labour leader to a general election in December. This is the first time that a general election has occurred in the month of December since 1923. Yet the PM is prepared to take such an unprecedented step and depart from the usual springtime electoral season as he, like his predecessor

History doesn’t Repeat itself, but it Rhymes

As Democrats move closer to impeachment, we explore how lessons from the 2016 campaign being heeded and why historical impeachments are not necessarily the best examples for comparison.

Climate Change: Could it just be natural? Part 2

By Beatrice Omotosho Climate as a Phenomenon  Climate is characterized by mean air temperature, humidity, winds, precipitation, and frequency of extreme weather events over a lengthy period of time, at least thirty years scientists say. The climate forms and follows long term trends usually of periods of warming and cooling. Climate change is therefore a…

Climate Change: Could it just be natural?

By Beatrice Omotosho The science of climate change is a field in which most laypersons are not knowledgeable in nor familiar with. Now this means if you: like I, are a fellow believer, you may find yourself faced with a situation where a climate change sceptic is disputing the facts you believe to know, and…

Onions in India: A Political Economy of Layers

By Lawrence Ho Not one onion is leaving India. This is the policy implemented by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government. You may think that this is a trivial issue, but is arguably a very scary prospect for the onion markets, as a country that exports 2.2 billion kilograms, worth around $514.3 million of fresh…

Booze, Drugs, and Death

By Ryan Morrice Scotland is known for many things: its beautiful Highlands and lochs; its world-renowned whisky; its inventors who gave the world a multitude of innovations such as the telephone and penicillin; and lesser known is the great number of preventable deaths that happen every year: in 2018 there were 1,187 drug-related deaths. Per…

Breaking down China and India’s Economic Rise

China and India are two economic behemoths who regularly make headlines around the world for their impressive development. However, flashback to thirty-nine years ago in 1980, they were among the poorest countries in the world in terms of per capita GDP1. In the span of an average adult’s working life, China and India have developed…

Aldi and the European Disruptors of American Markets

By Charlie Whiteley German grocery chain Aldi is expanding rapidly in the United States and finding equally rapid success. It has doubled its number of stores over the last 10 years, totaling around 1,900 stores. The company is currently amid its five-year plan to become the third largest grocery chain in the US by 2022, a dramatic change in the market. Given…

Vietnam: Reaping the Rewards?

By Bridget Websdane At the start of this month, the World Trade Organisation disclosed alarming information concerning the ramifications of the ongoing global trade wars. Notably, the organization cut its forecasted global trade growth for 2019 from 2.6% to 1.2%, due in large part to the continued slowdown of world GDP growth, the threats to…

The Americanization of European Football

By Charlie Whiteley For decades, football clubs across Europe dreamt of competing in the UEFA Champions League, the most prestigious club competition in the world. However, after the introduction of the UEFA Conference League in 2021, this dream will all but fade for Europe’s smaller clubs. On September 24, 2019, UEFA introduced the controversial new third tier competition at…

The Mechanics of Trading

This content is published on behalf of the Economics Policy Research Group. By Pratiksha Saha The process of integrating technology and finance is not new and the threats that developments in software bring to the finance industry are well documented. However, the rapid innovation that is occurring in the field of Artificial intelligence demands a…

Musk Effect: Social Media Influence on Share Price

This content is published on behalf of the Economic Policy Research Group By Dain Rohtla  Finance is an ever-changing field that shifts as the world around it does. With the growing presence of social media, it is indispensable in business. Behavioral finance takes people’s biases and judgement into account and assumes people do not always…

Economic Peace-building in Syria

By Luca Delpippo With the Syrian civil war reaching its close, at least in terms of conventional warfare, a new battle to reconstruct Syria has begun. With costs estimated to be between $250bn and $400bn, it is likely that this new battle has little end in sight. Current western approaches have not only failed but…

Not Having Children: Good for Environment, Horrifying for Society

By Lawrence Ho A lot of our public discourse this week has been about climate change: the irreversible effects, as well as our continuing impact of humanity on the world. Thanks to Greta Thunberg’s straightforwardness and David Attenborough’s relentless reporting, it has finally entered the public awareness and become one of the key issues of…

The Renewal of Scottish-Independence

By Ryan Morrice With Parliament suspended and the chaotic government led by Boris Johnson dominating the headlines, it is easy to lose sight of the changing political attitudes in Scotland. In July, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), proclaimed that “Scotland is heading inexorably towards independence”. Polling…

Creative Destruction: The Collapse of Thomas Cook

By Lucy Wright ‘Move fast and break things.’ The motto of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg encapsulates a sentiment which could be aptly applied to the attitudes the economic structure in which we currently reside. Our fashion is fast, our media is churned out by the minute, our transport uber quick. Yet this defining image…

Behavioural Economics: how far has it come and what’s next?

This content is published on behalf of the Economics Policy Research Group By Valeria Ryabchina When I first came to St Andrews my degree was Economics & Psychology, and when asked to explain such an unusual choice, I would often say ‘I like behavioural economics’. Up until December 2017, many non-Economics students would have told…

A ‘Missguided’ Marketing Stunt

Image source: The Guardian By Lucy Wright Clothing retailer Missguided has been recently subjected to scrutiny for their disregard for sustainability. The controversy surrounds a two piece swimsuit being sold at a scandalously low price of £1. The garment in question has become a symbol for the frightening trend within the industry of ‘fast fashion’ – the rapid production…

The Potential of Central Bank Digital Currencies

By Austin Jupe, Last year, China’s central bank announced that they were researching the implementation of their own digital currency. They are not alone in their pursuits. In 2018, Venezuela launched its cryptocurrency, the Petro, in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to control the hyperinflation of its fiat currency, the Bolivar. Uruguay and Sweden have also…

Donald Trump & Iran: A Dangerous Gamble

By Dhruv Shah   On January 3rd, 2020, US drones targeted and killed Iran’s most important General, Qassem Soleimani. This audacious act has been the first time since WW2, the US has openly killed a foreign military leader. Five days later on January 8th, Iran retaliated with direct strikes of their own on Iraqi bases…

Can we use financial fraud to assess the health of economy? (A financial pyramid that challenged Russian leadership in the 1990s) – Part II

By Rasul Bakhshaliyev, Among numerous [RB1] fraudulent schemes that were not supervised by Russian financial regulation agencies, why was it that Mavrodi’s pyramid was the most successful allowing him to become a potent force in Russian politics? The toughest period for a financial pyramid is the first two-three months. This is the period when Mavrodi built…