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I do not understand the intricacies of Japanese politics. I simply do not follow it closely. But I do know that Japan can play a significant role in Asia, if it finally decides to take up that role, which it has not under the uncertain leadership of the Democratic Party of Japan. The DPJ wanted […]

This is an excerpt from an old article by Raghuram Rajan. The excerpt is a point on the necessity of having a fiscal austerity program during crisis times even when it is ideal to have it spread over time. It is not a new point, but it is worth to be highlighted as a reminder […]

Has austerity failed? In the sense of expansionary fiscal contraction, it has. Expansionary fiscal contraction, in short, suggests that government contraction will immediately expand the private sector. That particular interpretation of fiscal austerity has clearly failed to bear out in countries under crisis. It is like the argument that says reducing taxes will increase government […]

After reading a number of commentaries in the market, in the Malaysian econosphere and various research houses’ research papers, I became curious of the accuracy if government projection with respect to its finance. I was also curious at how serious I should take the government’s plan to cut its expenditure. So, here is part of […]

The tabling of the federal government budget is still ongoing but the Economic Report for 2013 by the Ministry of Finance is already out. Here is where the projected GDP figures and government finance are available for the first time. I think the biggest point about this year’s budget is government spending. In most years, […]

I have been doing some preparatory work for a report on the 2013 federal government budget. The budget will be tabled at the Parliament this Friday. In the course of doing so, I have come to wonder if the comparison of budget deficit (as typically understood) across governments of the world is really fair. Specifically, […]

Economist Nor Zahidi Alias at Malaysian Rating Corporation wrote in The Edge Financial Daily today that there was too much concern for the fiscal deficit. I will accept that (while I am concerned about the deficit, concerns shown by the public  is overly excessive, especially about the debt limit) although I do still believe the […]

This economic crisis is a challenge to advocates of small government, especially for those who establish their argument based on finance. Even those who ground their position on something more profound like libertarians are being challenged simply out of the practicality of the situation. The situation is that the cost of borrowing for several governments […]

If I were a European taxpayer seeing my money being used to bailout a near-bankrupt socialist government due to outrageous spending while I live responsibly, I would be angry. Why should I be the guarantor of a profligate? But if I wanted the Eurozone to stay intact, I would bite the bullet and angrily pay […]

Although normatively one should not judge a book by its cover, positively, first impression matters. The first few lessons in economics are likely to affect a person’s perspective on the roles of government. Those who are familiar with economics and who ended up skeptical with the concept of activist government have to suffer those first […]

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