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The ‘reserve currency’ myth: The US dollar’s current and future role in the world economy

Very long time readers of this blog will know that the future of the US dollar was much debated in these pages in the mid-2000s. I have given these ideas a systematic treatment in a new report for the United States Studies Centre, The ‘reserve currency’ myth: The US dollar’s current and future role in the world economy.

This year, the euro celebrated its 20th anniversary. At the time of its launch at the beginning of 1999, it was widely expected the euro would assume a role equal to that of the US dollar in the international monetary system. Despite some early gains, in net terms, the euro has not increased its share since its inception two decades ago.

The campaign to internationalise the RMB from 2009 has also faltered. Measures of RMB globalisation have gone nowhere since 2016 as China’s communist party has prioritised state control. The inclusion of the RMB in the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket was little more than a vanity project.

posted on 11 November 2019 by skirchner in Economics, Financial Markets

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When interest rates approach zero, the RBA must rethink monetary policy

My explainer for the ABC Online on the RBA’s policy options as interest rates approach zero.

posted on 08 October 2019 by skirchner in Economics, Monetary Policy

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Australia’s slowing economy: how should the government and Reserve Bank respond?

Brendan Coates, Emma Dawson and I go head to head in the Guardian Australia over how the government and RBA should respond to an emerging downturn

posted on 21 September 2019 by skirchner in Economics, Fiscal Policy, Monetary Policy

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Australian Business Economists Event on QE

Australian Business Economists hosted a Lunchtime Briefing on QE in Australia? What would it look like? with Ms Lyn Cobley, Chief Executive, Westpac Insitutional Bank, Dr Stephen Grenville AO, Non-resident Fellow, Lowy Institute, and myself.

Ross Gittins summarises the event in his write-up for the SMH.

The text of my remarks can be found here.

posted on 26 August 2019 by skirchner in Economics, Monetary Policy

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I have a Substack

I have a Substack. Nothing you won’t find here or elsewhere, but available for those who like the medium.

posted on 15 August 2019 by skirchner in Economics, Financial Markets

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Lessons from quantitative easing in the United States: A guide for Australian policymakers

I have a new report out with the United States Studies Centre on Lessons from Quantitative Easing in the United States: A Guide for Australian Policymakers. It argues that the RBA could implement a smaller but more effective program of asset purchases by learning from the US Fed’s missteps.

There is a write up by John Kehoe in the AFR. There is also an op-ed version in The Conversation.

In this piece in The Mandarin, I explain why Tim Wilson MP and others are mistaken in their criticisms of QE. Opposing QE when it is needed will lead to more of the interventions Tim otherwise opposes.

Bloomberg’s Michael Heath also quotes from my report.

posted on 18 June 2019 by skirchner in Economics, Monetary Policy

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State of Confusion: Economic Policy Uncertainty and International Trade and Investment

I have an article in the latest Australian Economic Review, State of Confusion: Economic Policy Uncertainty and International Trade and Investment.

The article quantifies the effect of global economic policy uncertainty on global industrial production and trade volumes. It also quantifies the effect of Australian and US economic policy uncertainty on cross-border trade and investment.

posted on 27 March 2019 by skirchner in Economics, Foreign Investment

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Unbroken: Productivity and Worker Compensation in Australia and the United States

I have a new report out with the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Unbroken: Productivity and Worker Compensation in Australia and the United States.

There is a fairly good write-up in today’s AFR. There is more media coverage here and here.

posted on 20 March 2019 by skirchner in Economics

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The Capital Share and Housing

I have an op-ed in the AFR noting that the rise in the capital share of income in the US, other G7 economies and Australia, is largely attributable to an increased scarcity of housing driven by regulation.

posted on 27 February 2019 by skirchner in Economics, House Prices

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Making America 1930 Again

I have an op-ed in the AFR on Trump’s latest tariff measures. Full text below the fold.

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posted on 05 March 2018 by skirchner in Economics, Free Trade & Protectionism

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Donald Trump has a chance to shape US monetary policy for years

I have an op-ed in today’s AFR on how Obama’s neglect gives Trump the chance to own the leadership of the Federal Reserve Board. Full text below the fold (may differ slightly from published version).

continue reading

posted on 14 February 2018 by skirchner in Economics, Financial Markets, Monetary Policy

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My Review of Sebastian Mallaby’s Bio of Alan Greenspan

The latest issue of CIS Policy includes my review of Sebastian Mallaby’s biography of Alan Greenspan. Here is a sample:

Far from being a tragedy, Greenspan’s tenure at the Fed was a spectacular success, as Mallaby for the most part acknowledges. This is not to say that US monetary policy could not have been improved by a more rules-based and transparent approach. Mallaby briefly mentions nominal gross domestic product targeting as an alternative to inflation targeting, but does not elaborate on its significance. Greenspan could have moved the Fed in these directions at the expense of his own authority and influence. While one can fault Greenspan’s highly discretionary approach to monetary policy on procedural and other grounds, the results were far better than could reasonably be expected and this is in no small part due to Greenspan’s judgement, which was spectacularly right more often than not. Had Greenspan gone against his own free market instincts and sought to second-guess financial markets on asset prices, as Mallaby suggests, the results would almost certainly have been disastrous and his biography would relate a different type of tragedy. The counter-factual in which someone other than Greenspan was Fed Chair (and we largely know who the alternatives might have been) is one that is worth contemplating.

Full article here.

posted on 29 March 2017 by skirchner in Economics, Financial Markets

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The G20 and Global Governance

The latest issue of The Cato Journal includes my article on The G20 and Global Governance, a critique of state-sponsored global governance scholarship.

posted on 26 September 2016 by skirchner in Economics

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High Frequency Trading: Fact & Fiction

The latest issue of the CIS journal Policy includes my article on High Frequency Trading: Fact and Fiction.

posted on 14 March 2016 by skirchner in Centre for Independent Studies, Economics, Financial Markets

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Too Much Finance?

I have an op-ed in the AFR looking at the long-run relationship between financial sector size and living standards that addresses the ‘too much finance’ critique. Full text below the fold.

continue reading

posted on 11 January 2016 by skirchner in Economics, Financial Markets

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