USD & Oil Prices: Their Weakening Correlation

Over the past years, however, their ordinarily inverse relationship has considerably weakened. The following graphs show the correlations between USD and the crude oil prices for the period of the first oil crisis, 1973-1975, and the more recent period of 2016-2018 (Fig1; Fig.2). Continue reading USD & Oil Prices: Their Weakening Correlation

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Depicting the Tulip Mania Bubble

In the late 17th century and early 18th century, a number of skilful painters emerged in the Netherlands and masterfully depicted the opulence of various flowers including the precious “Semper Augustus. ” Otto Marseus van Schrieck, Willem van Aelst and his protege Rachel Ruysch are amongst such masters. Their paintings are inevitably vanitas, depicting the decadence of rising prosperity, recurring cycles of the rise and fall, and inevitable death and decay. They certainly had the knowledge of the tulip bubble and evaporation of it. They are the wonderful visual reminder of boom and bust that we never cease to wake up to. Continue reading Depicting the Tulip Mania Bubble

Belief Perseverance

Why do we form our opinion on something that we do not quite understand and sometimes even hold on to it in the face of evidence-based information that disproves it? Psychologists call this phenomenon “belief perseverance”, whereby a pre-established belief is maintained in the face of new evidence that contradicts and disconfirms the subjective belief Continue reading Belief Perseverance

Summarising The Global Economy Today (10 October 2018)

In early October 2018, the global economy is as dynamic as ever and the relationships amongst (1) rising oil prices, (2) strong US economic data, (3) mounting inflation pressure, (4) higher interest rate expectation, (5) downward pressure on the US equity market, (6) the strong US dollar, and (7) its pressure on emerging markets can be summarised in the diagram below. Continue reading Summarising The Global Economy Today (10 October 2018)

Price of telling the Truth: Galileo Galilei

Today, we live in the age of post-truth politics and journalism where blatant lies are shamelessly told and fake news circulates without being adequately challenged or deterred. Indeed, it is the rightful freedom of expression, however, it raises a critical question: Does one’s freedom of expression that disseminates lies and false information interfere, obstruct and hinder others’ right to know the truth? Continue reading Price of telling the Truth: Galileo Galilei

The Price of Telling the Truth: Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis

Telling the truth may not always be a good thing. In fact, if a newly discovered truth conflicts the status quo or a dominant belief of a time that legitimises a powerful institution, not only is the truth repudiated, often vehemently, but also the one that expresses the truth tends to be ostracised and silenced by the authority, like Galileo Galilei. The following story shows another example Continue reading The Price of Telling the Truth: Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis

Devaluation? Have we forgotten? Reasons for fluctuating currency exchange rates Gold standard, Breton Woods System and Nixon Shock

It remains uncertain as to whether the trade war between the US and China is going to drive China to devalue the Yuan further and exacerbate their relations. Continue reading Devaluation? Have we forgotten? Reasons for fluctuating currency exchange rates Gold standard, Breton Woods System and Nixon Shock