The Dismal Science

The Dismal Science
The AICD’s economics podcast

42 - Down, down, prices are down
Jul 31 • 50 min
Australia has just experienced its worst deflation in 70 years. Should we be worried? Plus falling confidence, a rising dollar, more job losses, paid pandemic leave and the Robinhood effect.
41 - Mini budget, maxi debt
Jul 28 • 53 min
The ‘eye-watering’ debt and deficit numbers released in the mini budget, the government extends JobKeeper, the RBA governor takes aim at Modern Monetary Theory, and the coronavirus spike in Victoria and NSW continues to weigh on confidence.
40 - Forward guidance recommended
Jul 15 • 51 min
Should governments be more transparent in their thinking about the economy at a time of uncertainty? Plus the Victorian spike undermines confidence in the recovery and the problems with how global public health is funded.
39 - Could you leave me with a scar?
Jul 2 • 53 min
Could this recession leave permanent scars on the economy? Plus the Victorian COVID spike dents confidence, the turn in the job market, the Fed buys Apple bonds and twenty years of the GST.
38 - Prattle, jobs and the IMF
Jun 29 • 59 min
The grim IMF forecasts, record low job vacancies, what the Victorian spike means for the national economy and a very wonky discussion on the future of monetary policy.
37 - Jobs go low, shares go high
Jun 24 • 59 min
More heartbreaking jobs numbers, the mystery of why sharemarkets are so high when the world is so low and directors call on the government to get radical. It’s another long one this week. We’ve divided the topics up into chapters again. If you skip…
36 - Testing times
Jun 14 • 23 min
Australia’s GDP contracted in the first quarter and Australia is now in its first recession in nearly thirty years. Are there any positives we can take from the latest GDP data? Plus New Zealand eliminates coronavirus and Ivan gets a test. We’re late…
35 - What’s $60 billion between friends?
May 29 • 60 min
Treasury made a $60 billion blunder on JobKeeper. Now what should we do with the spare money? Plus negative interest rates, the death of Oliver Williamson, global trade and superspreading. This is a big episode (every minute represents approx. $1bn of the…
34 - Jobs catastrophe
May 25 • 44 min
A record number of Australians lost their jobs in April and now one in five workers is either unemployed or underemployed. Plus the RBA’s thinking on the property market, will working from home change the CBD and a rare cameo from our former Chief…
33 - So what, so what, so what’s the scenario?
May 19 • 49 min
The Reserve Bank has set out three scenarios for the Australian economy depending on how we go over the next six months in curbing the coronavirus. Plus the horror US jobs report, retaliatory China tariffs and confidence in Australia picks up. We’re a…
32 - Can we live without China?
May 10 • 47 min
Rising tensions over the Australian government’s calls for an inquiry into the origins of coronavirus have raised old questions about our dependence on China. Plus more bad jobs news and the economics of vaccine development.
31 - Inflation to right of us, deflation to left of us
May 3 • 52 min
The coronavirus crisis has seen steep spikes in the prices of some goods and dramatic falls in others. Which should worry us more? Plus GDP growth in the US is turning out even worse than expected and we look at research into the media’s influence on…
30 - Is the cure worse than the disease?
Apr 25 • 38 min
There is some speculation that the lives lost due to the recession could outnumber those from the coronavirus itself. But the evidence from past downturns might surprise you. Plus the latest from China, what’s going on with oil prices and the ugly jobs…
29 - Till debt do us part
Apr 19 • 40 min
After two decades obsessing over budget surpluses, Australia is entering a new normal with a massive run-up in government debt to stop the economy from flatlining during the coronavirus crisis. Should we be worried and how will we ever pay it back?
28 - How long will this be going on?
Apr 11 • 46 min
With a coronavirus vaccine expected to take 12 to 18 months, smart people are starting to think about what steps we can take till then to quash the virus while getting back some semblance of normality.
27 - The mitigator’s dilemma
Apr 4 • 53 min
As the global economy goes into freefall, policymakers are faced with a dilemma: how do they slow activity enough to halt the spread of coronavirus, while at the same time providing enough stimulus to keep the economy going.
26 - Corona crisis
Mar 26 • 37 min
Mark and Ivan discuss how bad the crisis could get, what the impact might be on GDP and whether there is hope for flattening the curve.
25 - Unconventional wisdom
Dec 15, 2019 • 20 min
Are there any positives to take from the latest GDP numbers? Is the RBA about to embark on QE? And is the property market back?
24 - Less than one
Oct 27, 2019 • 23 min
With Mark back from holidays, we catch up on the RBA’s historic rate cut early this month and do a Nobel edition of the number of the week.
23 - Culture eats strategy for Brexit
Sep 8, 2019 • 37 min
Special guest Jamie Smyth of the Financial Times helps Mark and Ivan make sense of the Brexit omnishambles.
22 - Oh, inverted world
Aug 28, 2019 • 26 min
What the hell is an inverted yield curve and should we be worried? This episode was recorded on 22 August.
21 - The art of trade war
Aug 15, 2019 • 35 min
Finally, we are back! New AICD chief economist Mark Thirlwell joins Ivan to talk about why Mark fell in love with economics, the US-China trade war, whether the RBA has failed and the AICD’s number of the week. This comeback episode was recorded on 8…
20 - Scepticism with Chinese characteristics
Jun 7, 2018 • 26 min
Stephen and Ivan catch up on the budget and discuss the fragile Chinese economy.
19 - iPhone X factor
Jan 24, 2018 • 18 min
In the first episode of the year, Stephen and Ivan catch up on the ‘boomy’ November retail sales and the surprising midyear budget review.
(20)18 - HNY
Dec 30, 2017 • 28 min
Stephen and Ivan look ahead to 2018.
17 - Retail of woe
Oct 16, 2017 • 23 min
Stephen and Ivan talk about the ‘terrible’ August retail sales and the better than expected FY17 budget position.
16 - Change in the change
Oct 16, 2017 • 30 min
In this catch-up episode recorded in September, Stephen and Ivan talk about June quarter GDP and the August jobs report. Then AICD policy adviser Matt McGirr comes in to explain the newly passed safe harbour reforms.
15 - I dream of Gini
Sep 8, 2017 • 25 min
Stephen and Ivan talk inequality
14 - Dollar dazzler
Aug 12, 2017 • 24 min
Stephen and Ivan discuss the recent spike in the Australian dollar, what it means for the RBA’s growth forecasts and whether you should be buying foreign currency for that overseas holiday now.
13 - Labour market Lowedown
Jul 27, 2017 • 23 min
Stephen and Ivan do a close reading of RBA governor Philip Lowe’s latest speech on the labour market.
12 - Take a minute
Jul 26, 2017 • 23 min
Stephen and Ivan take a look at why the minutes from the RBA board’s July meeting moved markets.
11 - In the realm of the census
Jul 4, 2017 • 24 min
We’re back!
10 - BONUS EPISODE: Jeff Gramm talks shareholder activism
Jul 3, 2017 • 53 min
Ivan interviews Jeff Gramm, hedge fund manager and author of Dear Chairman
9 - Taxes, not axes
May 14, 2017 • 27 min
It’s our bumper Budget episode: axes are out, taxes are in. RIP 2014.
8 - Of budgets and birthdays
May 5, 2017 • 25 min
It’s Stephen’s birthday and it’s the budget! What a time to be the AICD Chief Economist.
7 - On target
Apr 30, 2017 • 25 min
Stephen and Ivan take credit for the Treasurer getting religion on debt and discuss inflation coming back within the Reserve Bank’s target range.
6 - Talk infra to me
Apr 22, 2017 • 25 min
Stephen and Ivan talk about making infrastructure sexy again, as well as the latest labour market data and the ongoing jobs/housing dilemma of the RBA.
5 - The Blueprint
Apr 8, 2017 • 24 min
Stephen and Ivan discuss the regulator crackdown on interest-only loans and the AICD’s Blueprint for Growth.
4 - Safe harbour
Mar 31, 2017 • 22 min
Stephen and Ivan talk Brexit and welcome their first guest, AICD Senior Policy Adviser Lysarne Pelling, who came in to discuss proposed safe harbour laws that could save companies from painful insolvencies.
3 - Is it a bubble?
Mar 23, 2017 • 21 min
In this special episode of The Dismal Science, Stephen and Ivan discuss the housing market. Is it a bubble? Should regulators be concerned? And what can we do to make housing more affordable?
2 - Jobs disaster
Mar 17, 2017 • 19 min
In the second episode of the AICD’s new weekly economics podcast, Stephen and Ivan discuss the ‘disaster’ that was the February jobs numbers, Western Australia’s economy post mining boom and the AICD’s number of the week.
1 - RBA’s ctrl+c
Mar 10, 2017 • 24 min
In the first episode of the AICD’s new weekly economics podcast, Stephen and Ivan discuss the Reserve Bank’s copy-and-paste interest rate decision, society’s anxieties about the robot revolution and the AICD’s number of the week.