Africa’s Most Prominet Couple: South Africa and Nigeria

By: Maxime Seguin The fact that Nigeria is not part of BRICS (but South Africa is) should not, by any means, diminish its importance within the developing world. Interestingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, Nigeria is expected to outperform South Africa in the year 2014 to become Africa’s most thriving economy. This has spurred Jacob Zuma, South…

All a Non-Economist Needs to Know About Costs

By: Grzegorz Janota “I hate this course but since I already did a semester I don’t want it to go to waste”. The above statement is common among university students – apart from those who study economics. Why? The answer lies in our knowledge of costs. Understanding costs is essential to making a rational decision…

Digitizing Currency

By: Mayank Kapadia Five years since the introduction of the first cryptocurrency, the jury is still out on bitcoin’s success. The bitcoin, in effect used as an internet currency, offers an alternative method of payment and money transfer. The creation and transaction of bitcoins is regulated by cryptography, eliminating the need for a central authority,…

Monetary Policies of the ECB and the Bank of England

By: Renzo Forastiero “The primary objective of the ECB’s monetary policy is to maintain price stability. The ECB aims at inflation rates of below, but close to, 2% over the medium term.” The above sentence highlights the main flaw of the mandate given to the European Central Bank (ECB) at the Euro’s inception, inflexibility.   It’s…

Q&A: Dr Ian Smith Senior Lecturer, University of St. Andrews School of Economics & Finance

Interview conducted by Maxime Seguin Why did you decide to become an economist? For most economists, markets are the fundamental economic institution.  Understanding their operation and outcomes matters to everyone.  As global wellbeing depends on economic choices, investigating mechanisms that link economic decisions to people’s welfare is profoundly important, though not easy. What is your…

IMF Strengthens Argument for Higher Inflation in Eurozone

By: Grzegorz Janota The International Monetary Fund’s newly released paper by Reinhart and Rogoff evaluates measures used by the European Central Bank (ECB) to combat debt. The authors point out that, with current debt levels, growth in the Eurozone would be stunted by 1.2% over the next 23 years. In addition to austerity measures, the…

The Odd Couple: QE and Inflation

By: Ben Proos Economic theory predicts that the quantity of money in circulation is directly proportional to general price levels. This makes intuitive sense: If the supply of money increases, the ‘price’ (value) of money will fall, and thus it takes more money to purchase the same quantity of goods whose value has remained constant….

Is the Music Streaming Boom Exploiting Musicians?

By: James McNamara Ever since the first record album ever sold in 1909 to Apple’s contemporary revolution iTunes, the music industry has evolved and innovated as fast as the music itself. Throughout this time, the life of a startup musician has not been an easy one; the struggles of becoming a ‘star’ are well known…

Is Venezuela on the Path to Hyperinflation?

By: Renzo Forastiero We’ve all seen alarming pictures of recent events in Venezuela but most still wonder what really went wrong. The Venezuelan government tampered with one of the key features of a modern economy, the independence of its central bank, and inflation spiralled out of control, reaching 56 percent by 2014. Here’s why. According…

All a Non-Economist Needs to Know about Diminishing Returns

By: Grzegorz Janota Imagine that you are in a society committee meeting with 15 other members. The only ones who really contribute are the president and officers. The rest of you give only a couple of remarks throughout the whole meeting. Angry and frustrated, you curse over having sacrificed your time for such an unproductive…

Is OPEC Fracked?

By: Craig McNeill Founded in 1960, the OPEC cartel quickly developed into a strong force on global oil markets having the ability to influence prices for the benefit of its 12 member states.  Most famously in the early 1970s, they choked the US oil market with an embargo which led to a fourfold increase of…

Is Janet Yellen America’s Keynesian Dove?

By: Ben Proos Now that Janet Yellen has begun her tenure as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Bank (FED), it isn’t just her additional X chromosome that incites discussion. Rather, debate centres on the widely differing philosophies between Yellen and former chair Ben Bernanke, a discrepancy that reflects what is perhaps the most glorified debate…