EconVue is about the Gettier Problem which to simplify means that just because one is justified in drawing a conclusion, doesn’t mean that it is true. For example, we certainly could be justified in thinking that racial hatred has increased in the US based on media and news reports. However, a fascinating University of Pennsylvania study says that this isn’t true, and that actually racial prejudice has been declining.
“For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth— persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” John F. Kennedy, Yale University Commencement Address June 11, 1962
Another amazing week. As politics got murkier however, markets surged higher. In terms of what will be remembered decades from now, the event that shocked nearly everyone was the abrupt ending of the US-North Korea Summit. As the next set of leadership-level meetings loom this month, surely the Chinese must be reevaluating their strategy vis-à-vis President Donald Trump. What these negotiations have in common is that in both cases the US is asking Kim Jun-un and Xi Jinping for structural changes that for different reasons each might have trouble delivering.
Here are ten things that I think will shape the global and Australian economies in 2018, and that expect I’ll be talking about at conferences and events over the course of the coming year.
1: Central banks
The era of ultra-cheap money, which began during the global financial crisis, is drawing to a close. Already, the US Federal Reserve has raised its key policy interest rate target four times since the end of 2015, and has begun to wind back its bloated balance sheet (something which will take a very long time to complete).
This year, Japan’s governance reform drive will either keep going, or run out of steam. Judging from the amendment of the Company Law that is now underway by an advisory council of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the latter is likely.
Strikingly absent is a clear over-arching vision of the most important themes that amendment of the Company Law should address now that the country has a corporate governance code. In other words, what is missing, that can only be addressed via the Company Law?
Do others agree? We should not gang up on Toshiba so much as ask the question, what are the commonalities?, - if any. "Nicholas Benes, head of the Board Director Training Institute of Japan and one of the architects of Japan’s 2015 corporate governance code that sought to make the country’s companies more investor friendly, says Toshiba’s governance failures encapsulate broader shortcomings in corporate Japan.