Professor Roger Bowden

Professor Roger Bowden

The Eurozone Meltdown: Part 1 - The Why and Where of the Euromess

Economic life these days seems to shudder from one crisis to another. The US finally looks like clawing its way back from its own version of a financial nightmare, the subprime crisis. But Europe is another story. Amid the welter of media commentary, it’s harder than it should be to find a clear diagnosis and prognosis of the Eurozone convulsions.


Professor Roger Bowden

The 1% balance and Belshazzar’s Feast

They straggled past down Cuba Street, an odd collection of gaunt activists, earnest ladies and scruffy alternative lifestylers, waving handwritten signs ‘WE ARE THE OTHER 99%’, and handing out cyclostyled bits of paper on the scourges of capitalism. It seemed hard to take them as any kind of threat to the social order. But what started out as the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest movement shows every sign of becoming an international movement, with much larger marches in London, Paris, Rome, Berlin, at times violent. Are these just the same old woolly minded agit prop socialists, or do they have a point? And if so, what if anything, should the policy makers do about it?


Professor Roger Bowden

The economic consequences of Mr Key

It’s been an odd sort of government, these last three years. The one thing they’ve done really well, namely the slick PR job on Mr Key (and the awful one on the hapless Mr Goff) should be enough to get the National Party back on the treasury benches. Looked at more dispassionately, however, the economic consequences of the Key Gang are pretty disturbing.


Professor Roger Bowden

Polls, MMP, and the ‘Bugger Off’ Factor

It’s 7 pm and you’re either making the dinner or eating it in peace. The phone rings. You think you know why, but family is always a concern, so you have to answer it. No, it’s not an Indian call centre trying to flog off time sharing or phone shifting. It’s a survey, and do you have a few moments? No, you don’t; or if you’re less polite, ‘bugger off and stop wasting my time!’ And the same for online surveys, of which I get one a week, all asking for ‘just ten minutes of your time’.


Professor Roger Bowden

Marry in haste, repent at leisure

Opinion Piece by Prof. Roger Bowden The new Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill brings to mind the old saying ‘marry in haste, repent at leisure’. The problem is that it’s the National and Maori parties that joined in unholy matrimony, and it’s the rest of us will do the repenting. For this is a Bill hastily cobbled together and it shows.


Professor Roger Bowden

The Iwi Tax is Upon Us

The worrying thing about being an economist is that every decision becomes an economic decision. It causes paralytic seizures every time I step into a shop. Just ask the wife. But just occasionally, it does give you a socially useful perspective.


Professor Roger Bowden

The foreshore smell has become deafening

Just in case you hadn’t heard, it’s now official; under the coalition Government’s proposed Foreshore and Seabed Act Mark II, customary title is recognised as ownership. No longer is ‘nobody is to own’ the foreshore and seabed, the way it was sold in the consultation document. Instead, iwi and hapu will have the right to claim a new form of title , which will sit over and above the residual public domain ‘in much the same way that fee simple title sits over the Crown’s radical title to land’, in the words of the Attorney General. From the economic point of view, that amounts to ownership. I am sceptical that it can even be reconciled with the weaker notion of public domain, which is left as an undefined residual and as such, subject to constant encroachment from activities and exclusions possible under the new title. So much for the reassuring words about an undefined ‘public access’ right.


Professor Roger Bowden

Don't Panic!

It’s all a bit unreal, the credit crunch, but if there’s a message coming out of it, it’s engraved on the cover of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe: Don’t Panic.


Professor Roger Bowden

China, NZ and the Free Trade Agreement: Remind me again, which is the LDC?

Visiting China is a disconcerting experience these days. The main or central campus of Xiamen University , which is where I’ve just been, has nearly 30,000 students, every single one of them postgraduate. It’s a startling experience to deliver an official lecture and to have so many students ask perceptive and knowledgeable questions -- in very good English!


Professor Roger Bowden

The NZ Dollar: End game or new game altogether?

Just as expected, Dr Bollard has announced a rise of 0.25% in the official cash rate (OCR), to bring it to 8.25%. Thursday’s announcement also contained another bit of information, that the Reserve Bank thought it had gone far enough for the time being, and yet another hike down the track is not anticipated. Provided, that is, the economy kept itself in restraint.