Refresh for updates, thanks to @AudreyEWalsh for some of the quotes
Hello and welcome to my live blog of the UCC Economics Society Economic Conference. There is a great line up of speakers organised and I will be updating this post as the day goes on. Feel free to ask questions in the comments on Twitter (@spiller2 or @corkeconomics) or on Facebook. Todays Timetable:
11:30 – 11:35 Welcome by Stephen Barry, Auditor of UCC Economics Society11:35 – 11:50 Opening Address by Robbie Butler, UCC Department of Economics
11:50 – 12:50 Panel Discussion 1: Is politics the greatest stumbling block to economic stability? Ciaran Lynch TD, Sinead Ryan and Declan Jordan, Peter Mathews TD and John Considine (Chair)12:50 – 13:20 Q&A
13:20 – 14:20 Lunch
14:20 – 14:40 “Gaming It: Incentives, Cheating and the Grey Area in Sports” – Declan Jordan
14:40 – 15:40 Panel Discussion 2: The Eurozone – wobbling on a tightrope between growth and debt? Megan Greene, Seamus Coffey, Brendan Keenan, Lorcan Roche-Kelly and Tim Harford (Chair)
15:40 – 16.10 Q&A
16:10 – 16:20 Coffee Break
16.20 – Keynote Speech by Tim Harford
- We can go from Primary to University without studying Economics.
- We don’t teach basic Economics, how to save, how to spend, how not to spend more then you earn
- Interest in Economics has declined since the recession.
- Need to capture imagination of young people. Less than 10% leave formal education with education in economics
Panel 1: Is politics the greatest stumbling block to economic stability?
- Politics isnt the greatest stumbling block to economic stability
- Do Governments hinder or help the Economy
- 13 Countries with good growth had committed, credible and capable Government
- Bad decisions and Bad Governments can damage Economies
- Electorate needs to incentives “good politicians” with “Good policies”
- we tend to see politics as a problem, we get the government we deserve, we elected them
- we elected the same government 3 times who had short term views, but we contributed to it
Peter Matthews TD
- We’ve had a volatile economic situation here, as opposed to stagnation (Japan) or depressed (Soviet Union)
- Unregulated markets has wrecked the real economy.
- Read the “Price of Inequality” – Joseph Stiglitz
- Also read “Thinking Fast & Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
- This country is overburdened by debt which is unsustainable! A debt right down for Ireland would be the right thing to do!
- The 11 MEPs need to agree on working together to reduce the €53bn debt
- 1st lesson of economics is of scarcity, 1st lesson of politics is to ignore the 1st lesson of economics.
- Where there is conflict between Economist and Politicians, the tax payer ends up the loser.
- Examples are Irish Water, HSE, Bank Crisis and unprofitable routes on public transport
- No politician wants to be called brave
Ciaran Lynch TD
- If Government is a stumbling block for economic stability if bad policies are followed, its not if good policies are followed.
- Everyone now has opinion about economics just as in politics
- The financial crisis has both internal and external causes!
- Economics does not come with an ideology, just like Politics
- Coming out of the current crisis/bailout is an example of how politics can work
- Life cycle carbon taxes – there is not enough materials in the world to meet future supply.
- Politics does not cause instability but pursuing economic dogma does
Q&A: Question: How do we get the Politician’s we deserve
- Economist should provide Electorate with information
- Economist should fact check on political policies
“ECB Monetary Policy” – Lorcan Roche Kelly
- German Economy is the most important tool to the the ECB
- To get where the ECB wants to be, the must do something new. They can’t cut interest rates. Money supply must be managed better!
- The crisis that Europe is facing, is not a debt crisis…. it is a growth crisis!
- The best thing that happened to the ECB was Trichet leaving the bank and Draghi coming in
- The Euro suffers from a publicity problem
“Gaming It: Incentives, Cheating and the Grey Area in Sports” – Declan Jordan
- Lots of cheating in sport, Luis Suraz, World Cup 1982, Theire Henry, A-Rod, Lance Armstrong, Maradonna.
- Cheating is not new, its easier, they do work hard
- Its’ expected
- Is bending the rules allowed?
- Cheating needs a new definition
- Should be defined as Breaking the rules for Advantage
Panel 2: The Eurozone – wobbling on a tightrope between growth and debt?
- Eurozone is still a collection of National Economies, cant be compared to USA. Huge disparities between Governments
- The eurozone crisis could easily erupt again!
- Ireland facing more contraction until 2016, Public spending can grow beyond that if we reach that if international recovery
- Is Ireland political willing to continue walking the tightrope? It will still be tough
- A Tightrope… doesn’t matter which side you fall off! You fall off! A second bailout would lead to unknown territory.
- Adding an item to the agenda, INFLATION…… it should be growth, solvency and inflation.
- It is important to look at 2 different solvency levels: 1) Public Solvency levels 2) External Solvency levels
- 2014 will be a chronic year for the Eurozone, however next year things should get get better!
- Germany has some room to provide some stimulus, but unlikely as its facing a rapid ageing population
- German’s population is ageing and while their fiscal policy is good, their future generations will be paying the price.
- Banking Union will not be about burden sharing, which was the point
- Debt conference in Europe with all the weaker countries (and perhaps France), to restructure debt, is necessary.
- The most political likely deal is debt restructuring. It will be politically tough. But rescheduling at least is nessecary
- If deflation appears in prices, it might not be too bad. However, if it appears in wages, it would not good!
- Deflation also affects Government income, VAT and Duty.
- Those most hurt by deflation are those in debt. Most in debt? Governments- where anti deflation comments come
- We still havent solved the Banking Crisis
- EU needs to become more federal, whether in policy or fiscally, for social project of 1950s to avoid getting stuck
- The Burden of the Debt has to go Somewhere
Lorcan Roche Kelly
- Eurozone is almost a Co-Op
- The Eurozone is a good tempate for a Federalised Europe
- We need a really bad crisis for politicians to hand over fiscal power. Seeds are there for that crisis. Sovereign Debt
- The answer is more Europe
- Integration or Disintegration
- We are half way across canyon, if we turn around we will fall off.
Keynote Speech: Tim Harford
- Focusing on the story of Alban William Phillips (Also known as Bill Phillips)
- He is the Indiana Jones of Economics
- Invented the Moniac the first computer model of an economy
- Developed the Philips Curve, the correlation between inflation and unemployment
- The 1970’s Oil Crisis discredited the Philips Curve
- When he developed the curve he never believed in it.
And thats it folks! Thanks for joining me!