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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, […]

I handle my finances conservatively. I spend very little for someone my age and my profile. In fact, I impose a sort of limit on my spending. I am conscious of it and get mildly nervous if my total spending grows too fast even when I can more than afford it. I probably do buy […]

Several new points were raised with regards to my post on duties and cars yesterday. One was pollution, two was government revenue and three, in one way or another, income effect. It is not exactly income effect but close enough. Concern number one is easy. But let us state the pollution concern. The concern is […]

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 […]

The Malaysian GDP figures for the 4th quarter came out today, with the full year growth being slightly above 5%. Judging by the components of the GDP and their respective growth, I find the growth rate of 5% to be too convenient for the government, which projected the 2011 economy to grow between 5% and […]

This is the Malaysian government spending year-on-year quarterly growth from 2001 till 2011, as classified in the real gross domestic product.

“…Treasuries have become a form of insurance against their own downgrade.” [Chris Reese. Bonds climb with safety buying as stocks dip. Reuters. July 26 2011]

You know how that one particular argument against fiscal stimulus goes. There is a temporal mismatch between crisis period and the actual spending. The bureaucracy and incomplete information act to delay the implementation of the stimulus. If transparency is of a concern, then it will further affect the timeliness of the stimulus spending. The crisis may end well before stimulus […]

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 […]

Economics has been labeled as some sort of a discipline that predicts the future. The application of various models and efforts at testing its various hypotheses that sometimes result in the affirmative may have contributed to that reputation but it is not about predicting the future. Rather, it is about finding lessons from the past, […]

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