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Why Huawei?

Earlier this year, I got myself a new smartphone. Its 7-nanometre processor is lightning fast, the triple camera takes stunning pictures, and the huge battery is still half full at the end of a working day. It is by far the best phone I have ever had.No wonder Donald Trump is worried about the technological and commercial threat Huawei’s poses to US companies.Okay, that is not how the US President justified his blacklisting of the Chinese technology firm this week. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
24 May, 2019

The wisdom of cows

Especially since the Brexit vote, policymakers aiming for political stability might be reluctant to ask citizens about their opinion. They should not feel that way. As with sports, practice makes perfect when it comes to voting. The Swiss lead by example. They vote on everything, even the silly stuff. In November last year, for example, the Swiss voted on cows and their horns. Allegedly, owning a full set of horns is about bestowing dignity to the cows. Read more

Natanael Rother
Insights Newsletter
17 May, 2019
Brexit 3

A predictable Brexit disaster

The problem with being an expert is that people regularly ask you for predictions. As if your knowledge of something would automatically let you know the future. That sure would be nice, but expertise is different from prescience.Thus, when I am asked for predictions, I usually brush it off politely. My standard line is that questions about the future should be directed to astrologers, not mortal economists.However, there are exceptions. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
15 May, 2019

Le cultural clash

It took the Australian Government years to decide whom to task with building its next generation submarine fleet. It was still not enough time to prepare them for the cultural clash that followed. Back in 2016, the Australian Prime Minister – Malcolm Turnbull, most probably – awarded the AU$50 billion contract to French company Naval Group over rival offers from German and Japanese firms. As the ABC recently reported, building submarines involves far more than high-tech engineering, quality materials and... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
10 May, 2019

Israel Folau and the unintended perils of anti-discrimination laws

“Unintended consequences” are outcomes unforeseen by purposeful action, an idea popularised by American sociologist Robert Merton in the twentieth century. Since then, the so-called law of unintended consequences has morphed into a warning: intervening in a complex situation tends to create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes. The application of the anti-discrimination provisions of Australia’s Fair Work Act to controversial Australian rugby star, Israel Folau, may be a perfect example of the law in action. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
18 April, 2019

Trump on everything

Flames and smoke on the roof of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris: When I saw the pictures, still half-asleep, early Tuesday morning, my first thought was the fire was so high up that perhaps some aerial firefighting support was called for. Upon further consideration, and with the benefit of having woken up by then, I realised that was a daft idea. If it had been sensible, then French firefighters would have thought of it already. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
18 April, 2019

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