Greek bank deposit migration – another neo-liberal smokescreen

There was a news report on Al Jazeera on Friday (January 5, 2015) – Greece’s left-wing government meets eurozone reality – which contained a classic quote about the supposed incompetence of the new Greek Finance Minister. A UK commentator, one Graham Bishop was quoted as saying “If you’re a professor of macroeconomics and a renowned blogger, you probably don’t understand precisely how the banking systems works”. Take a few minutes out to recover from the laughing fit you might have immediately succumbed to on reading that assessment. As if Bishop knows ‘precisely’ how the system works! The context is the current news frenzy about the deposit migration out of Greek banks as a supposed vote of no confidence in the anti-austerity stand taken by Syriza. Having voted overwhelmingly for Syriza, Greeks are now allegedly voting against the platform by shifting their deposits out of the Greek banking system. A close look at things suggests that is not going on and it wouldn’t matter much if it was.
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    Posted in Eurozone | 23 Comments

    Effects of Australian Online Supermarkets and Online Shopping Benefits

    No doubt Aussie supermarkets has developed the industry by accelerating the online shopping in recent years. The creation of online shopping sites with different types of exhibiting the products of retailers accounts this situation at most. Everyone is happy about this raise in the best line of graph of number of purchasing online because of the contribution mentioned but this issue has another aspect related to advertisements. Advertisements are getting more popular all around the world so that they are no more a passage way to introduce a product. Instead they become the product in which consumers and producers only want to see them and purchase the products even they are cheap and low quality things, when they don’t need them but impressed by the fame of them with assured guarantee from advertisements. Even the ads are fake consumers watching TV, movies or similar sort of media can be impressed by the visual effects and fancy sort of additions on the advertisement videos, photos, frames, banners etc. will buy these products with the thought of gaining prestige which is considered to be the result of the product famous with its advertisements. A singer comes up and says I will be the number one. He is the number one on the hit list because he spent hell amount of money on the advertisement of his album even the album is really bad and low quality. But he did sell his album to millions of consumers.
    If we get our attention on Australian market we can see some of the retailers presenting their products very well. https://www.catalogueau.com/target/ where you can find catalogues of Target is an excellent example of what I am talking about. At first look it seems to be a simple presentation of products regularly being retailed at Target’s stores. But this is simply advertising. It is a good idea to present them with this way. However can we say that Target is a very good locomotive for the way our economy has to take. Same with the https://www.catalogueau.com/kmart/ whose products are in the same industrial area with that of Target. Enlarged range of Big W catalogues are slightly different than these two discount stores. But it also is a good developer of the total industry of Australia. They got a very good online presentation system. To read articles about products from Big W see https://www.catalogueau.com/big-w/ where online advertisements of the products are also featured. Reading these articles will give you perspective of a consumer. With this way we can understand the physiological condition of a person who is sitting in front of computer screen to see products of a famous retailer. Presentation of retailing industry is so important when you see the issue in this point of view. One of the most special retailing strategy is from ALDI. I am really interested in their play they wrote to play with consumer mind. They got two special days which are days for consumers to purchase the products which can only be found on these two special days. These days are specified on this page: https://www.catalogueau.com/aldi/ in which you may find products of ALDI. Remember that making a person who is a consumer, cinema lover, music listener etc. choose is a way to hypnotize that person. And hypnosis is a very good way of retailers love to make customers shop in effective way to fulfill their need completely. Coles is another store with great importance in AU because of the products it is interested in for providing. Coles has got the food products, fresh meat products and these are essentials of daily life which means every customer of Coles probably interferes with this brand each day. This can cause another hypnosis effect on human mind. To understand such effect see https://www.catalogueau.com/coles/ to observe how they present their products in effective way to invade human mind.

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      Saturday Quiz – February 7, 2015 – answers and discussion

      Here are the answers with discussion for yesterday’s quiz. The information provided should help you work out why you missed a question or three! If you haven’t already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of modern monetary theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.
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        Saturday Quiz – February 7, 2015

        Welcome to the Billy Blog Saturday Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention over the last seven days. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.
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          Friday lay day – RBA acknowledges failure of government fiscal policy

          Its the Friday lay day blog – and I promise it will be short. Today, we celebrate what would have been the 70th birthday of – Robert Nesta Marley. I wish he was still making music. There is an excellent retrospective on Bob Marley in the UK Guardian (February 6, 2015) – Bob Marley at 70: legend and legacy – from Vivien Goldman, who was his Press Agent at Island Records in 1975 and knew him well. It is well worth reading. Today also marked the release of the quarterly Statement of Monetary Policy by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). They have further downgraded their real GDP growth forecast and consider it will remain below trend for at least another year or so. They also estimate that the unemployment rate will continue to rise and still be above 6 per cent by June 2017. In other words, they are acknowledging the failure of fiscal policy settings in Australia. For a national government obsessed with fiscal austerity, this Statement should lead to an immediate policy reversal and the announcement of a major fiscal stimulus to increase economic growth and reduce unemployment. Unfortunately, that won’t happen and the government will get its comeuppance in the 2016 federal election. It cannot come soon enough.
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            Posted in Economics | 7 Comments

            A primary fiscal deficit Never ever? I don’t think so

            I know I am an armchair commentator hiding out in my research environment and not really accountable to anybody other than the funding agencies I win grants from. I am certainly not a Finance Minister with a nation in crisis on my hands. But with that said I wonder how any Finance Minister who aims to create full employment and expand equity and undo years of deliberately imposed neo-liberal hardship can claim his nation will “Never, never, never!” record a primary fiscal deficit again. That comment has to be dismissed as political rhetoric rather than an expression of a serious evaluation of reality. What worries me about Greece at the moment is that we are seeing a trend around the world where politicians over promise (or lie straight out) about their intentions to apparently appease the multitude of vested interests then proceed to do what they like. I discussed how this is now backfiring in the recent blog – Time is running out for neo-liberalism. An understanding of macroeconomics will tell you (and I know the Finance Minister in question knows all this) that a government cannot guarantee to never run a primary fiscal deficit forever unless they are prepared to allow for large swings in unemployment, something I thought the new Greek government was averse to, and it is that aversion, which defines their popular appeal.
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              Posted in Economics, Eurozone | 21 Comments

              Crikey, why is it is honourable to deliberately increase unemployment?

              Knighthoods are handed out as part of the anachronistic Commonwealth honours system. They are an ultimate symbol of cultural snobbery in the UK and cultural cringe in the former British colonies, such as Australia. The Australian government effectively abandoned the system in 1983 because it insulted our sense of independence even though the Monarch of England remains our head of state (why?). It was formally abandoned by agreement with the British government in October 1992. But the creepy conservative government that took over again in September 2013 decided to reinstate the system of imperial honours, specifically to resume the award of Knight and Dame in March 2014. This demonstrated how out of touch the conservatives were. The criticism reached fever pitch a few weeks ago – on Australia Day (January 26, 2015) when it was announced that Prince Phillip (the Queen of England’s husband) would receive a Knighthood, the nation’s highest honour, from the Australian government. Why? Because our Prime Minister is unbelievably stupid but that is another debate beyond of the topic of today’s blog. This UK Guardian article – How giving Prince Philip a knighthood left Australia’s PM fighting for survival – will fill you in on that decision if you are interested. Now a so-called media watchdog, the Australian media site Crikey thinks the Federal Treasurer should be awarded a Knighthood if he can further undermine economic growth and deliberately cause unemployment and underemployment to rise further, not that they said it like that.
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                Posted in Economics, Politics | 26 Comments

                Time is running out for neo-liberalism

                You get a sense as to why the public are confused about economic issues when you read this article in the Fairfax press this morning (February 3, 2015) – The brutal politics of privatisation stark after Queensland election shock – written in the aftermath of the conservative electoral bloodbath in the state of Queensland last weekend. The writer is a ‘well-respected’ business journalist, which just goes to show how ‘respect’ is easily gained if you sing from the appropriate hymn sheet. It is all in the conclusion: “The clock is ticking for Australia. With an infrastructure backlog and big budget deficits, we can build the infrastructure we need only by selling assets and attracting private capital”. Which is a barefaced (and ignorant) lie, even when applied to a state government that uses the currency issued at the federal level. Privatisation is not TINA. But while the public might be confused at the level of understanding (about how the monetary system operates etc), it is clear they are becoming increasingly focused at the level of feelings/sentiment. More and more people are seeing that neo-liberal remedies – privatisation, austerity, structural ‘reform’ etc – do not live up to their claims. Increasingly, we are seeing rising income and wealth inequality being associated with these attacks on workers. Several recent election outcomes around the world have categorically affirmed the obvious – citizens all over are starting to rebel against austerity and neo-liberal so-called ‘solutions’ (such as privatisation and public sector job cuts). In Australia we have just witnessed a remarkable electoral rout in the Queensland State Election where the neo-liberal, privatising conservatives were tossed out of office on Saturday exactly as a result of a widespread rejection of these policies. The Greek elections a few weeks ago provided a more profound signal of this trend. The European Parliament elections in May last year another. Time is running out for neo-liberalism. The smugness that the elites have had is
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                  Posted in Economics | 31 Comments

                  Germany has a convenient but flawed collective memory

                  There is a lot of discussion at present about the historical inconsistency of the German position with regard any debt relief to the Greek government. Angela Merkel has reiterated over the weekend that there would be no further debt relief. Why she is now a spokesperson for the Troika that does not include the German government is interesting in itself. In this context, I recall a very interesting research study published in 2013 – One Made it Out of the Debt Trap – by German researcher Jürgen Kaiser, who examined the London Debt Agreement 1953 in great detail. After becoming familiar with the way the Allies handled the deeply recalcitrant Germany and its massive debt burden in that period, one wonders why the German government is so vehemently against giving relief to Greece. This is especially in the context that the only mistake that Greece made was joining the Eurozone and surrendering its own capacity to deal with a major financial crisis. The ‘mistakes’ of the German nation before the London Agreement have been paraded before us all again with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp featuring in world events last week.
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                    Posted in Eurozone | 16 Comments

                    Saturday Quiz – January 31, 2015 – answers and discussion

                    Here are the answers with discussion for yesterday’s quiz. The information provided should help you understand the reasoning behind the answers. If you haven’t already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.
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                      Posted in Saturday quiz | 6 Comments