I read a nice little article on the New York Times today on the history of British foreign trade policy during Elizabeth I. Here is an excerpt: Elizabeth’s Islamic policy held off a Catholic invasion, transformed English taste and established a new model for joint stock-investment that would eventually finance the Virginia Company, which founded the first […]

[2818] God in the marketplace

There are times when books of different focus and field would run parallel with each other and reveal new insight on a specific idea, making that particular idea richer. I recently finished Jürgen Kocka’s Capitalism where he touched on, among others, the shift of power from feudal lords to the merchant class. I am currently […]

Capital accumulation as an idea sits close to the center of modern economic growth theory. Any introduction into the field will begin with physical capital accumulation, before population growth, technological progress, human capital and even institutions are progressively thrown into the mix to explain the real world. As far as modern macroeconomics is concerned, I […]

Cambodia has a dark modern history and I always knew that. That knowledge did not bother me much previously because I did not really relate to it. Cambodia despite being so close to Malaysia appeared farther away from me than, for example, the United States where I spent my undergraduate years. Cambodia was some land […]

I have always known about the atrocity of the Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia but before I traveled to Cambodia, that knowledge was superficial. I only began to learn more about the conflict when I found myself in Cambodia for two weeks recently. Being there almost made the knowledge into an emotional […]

On my way to Sydney Airport, I found myself sitting right beside a cab driver — who was probably close to 50 years of age — eager to convince me that he was an honest driver. “Pick any way you want, I go”, he said in outrageously fast but broken English. “I have map. You […]

Margaret Thatcher speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in 1986: This Government has rolled back the frontiers of the State, and will roll them back still further. So popular is our policy that it’s being taken up all over the world. From France to the Phillipines, from Jamaica to Japan, from Malaysia to Mexico, from […]

Unlike in the realm of physical sciences, one of the most frustrating aspects of economics is its dependency on natural experiments. Far too many hypotheses cannot be tested in sleek laboratories. As a direct result, it may take some time before anyone can comfortably pinpoint the causes of the unraveling financial crisis across the Pacific […]

This must be some kind end of an era. Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns; names which are familiar in the realm of economics are no more. New prints of textbooks are required because the old ones are already outdated. I spent almost continuously for four years living in the Michigan Union and every year, I would […]

Interesting graph: Not particularly about Malaysia but if you are interested: The sovereign funds remain far smaller than official foreign currency reserves (approximately $5,600bn). But the expectation is that these funds will grow rapidly, possibly to exceed official currency reserves in a number of years. If recent growth were to continue, the total value would […]