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Oil prices have dropped to levels not seen in years. It’s not all good news. Reuters

Oil price drop offers short-term gains but long-term pains

The recent drop in crude oil and gasoline prices in the United States is a nice stocking stuffer for consumers this holiday season, but it could turn into a lump of coal. A global oil glut has caused the…
Ready for the hard sell? Hannah McKay/PA Wire

Autumn Statement: the experts respond

The chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, has delivered the financial package he hopes will convince voters to deliver a Conservative majority in May 2015. Here, our team of academic experts responds…
The People’s Bank of China recently cut interest rates to stimulate the economy. But it probably won’t fix the real problem. Reuters

China’s interest rate cut is mixed blessing for the world economy

China’s central bank surprised most observers last month when it announced its first interest rate cut in more than two years. The move is intended to bolster growth in the world’s second-largest economy…
The collapse of Lehman Brothers was a pivotal moment in the most recent financial crisis. The next crash may feature another bank failure. Reuters

What will the next financial crisis look like – and are we ready?

The subprime crisis and the subsequent failure of Lehman Brothers came as such a shock – and the repercussions were so severe that when the time came to mount a response, policy makers were as surprised…
President Obama’s immigration plan may help some illegal migrants find higher-paying jobs, helping spur some additional economic activity. Reuters

Obama’s immigration plan may give economy a little boost

An estimated 11 million undocumented residents in the United States live in daily fear of deportation. This fear permeates nearly every aspect of their lives. President Barack Obama’s executive actions…
When it comes to housing, perspective is crucial. San Francisco. Andrew Halliday

Deconstructing our hopes for self-regulating house prices

There is a nice weather map cartoon by Matt featuring the UK characterised by the varied intensity of dinner table house price conversation. And it is not just that we are obsessed with property values…
Hajigak, one of the main routes from Kabul to Bamiyan in central Afghanistan, may contain one of the largest deposits of iron ore in the world. Hadi Zaher/Flickr via CC BY-NC-ND

Copper and lithium may be the keys to Afghanistan’s economic future

On October 27, the last international troops closed their military camp in Southern Helmand Province and left Afghanistan, officially ending their combat role after 13 years of fighting. By the end of…
Trading floors like this one – at the old American Stock Exchange in the 1980s – are at the heart of capitalism and financial speculation. David Foster/Flickr via CC BY-ND

Financial speculation: the good, the bad and the parasitic

The word “speculation” carries a connotation of negativity. And it’s probably fair to say that pretty much every financial crisis since the tulip mania of the 1630s can be attributed to some sort of mass…
The dollar’s sharp rise in recent months stands to benefit consumers but exporters will suffer. Shutterstock

King dollar is back – for now

Recent months have seen a sharp jump in the value of the greenback, with more gains expected in the months ahead. After a period of prolonged weakness, the US currency once again is walking tall. Americans…
Angela Merkel has thus far closed her eyes to the need for more spending, at her country’s peril. Reuters

Germany may be the biggest loser if it doesn’t start spending

There’s growing pressure on Germany to spend more to support Europe – and for good reason. But it’s proving to be a hard sell to the country’s leaders. Germany’s budget is balanced and the government insists…
Australia’s approach to trade policy is more thoughtful and calculating than it is given credit for by sections of the media, academia and the public who object to current negotiations. AAP/Newzulu/Jeff Tan

Staying engaged on every front: Australia’s trade policy strategy

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. This is the first article in the…
Counting your blessings. A worker at a chocolate factory in Germany. Jan Woitas/EPA

German labour markets put Europe’s workforce in the firing line

Germany’s strategy for export-led growth has set the Eurozone up for a fall. Plans to introduce minimum wages in 2015 might be too little too late for European countries locked in a futile game of beggar-thy-workforce…
High-emission brown coal power generators including Hazelwood are set to be among the short-term winners from the carbon tax repeal. AAP Image/David Crosling

Who gains most from axing the carbon tax – and at what cost?

When the carbon tax was introduced, there was a lot of discussion about winners and losers. The Labor government limited the number of businesses that had to pay the tax, while it also gave carbon tax…

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