“Heeeere’s Johnny!”. I have been watching the 1980 horror movie The Shining this week. Starring a father (Jack Nicholson), mother and child who take care of a hotel in winter-time, the scenes are hidden in the snowy Sierra Nevada when there are no guests around. “Tell us the story about the murder in the hotel again”, the wife asks on their way to this temple of doom. Her husband frowns, “it’s long gone”. The story begins.
You are still enjoying your student life and working your ass off to get a degree. Hopefully a great career is awaiting. Sometimes I dream about a future with kids and my own home. Leaving my small and smelly room with noisy roommates. However, buying a house is not as easy anymore, even with a degree in my pocket.
Last Thursday, June 9, the master students of the seminar Financial Economics taught by Prof. dr. Eijffinger joined the Frankfurt Excursion organized by Asset | Economics. This year I, Rick Strengnaerts as treasurer of Asset | Economics, had the great pleasure of coordinating this trip and organizing it in cooperation with Prof. dr. Eijffinger. The yearly excursion to the European Central Bank and, as new addition this Year, Deutsche Bundesbank is only eligible for students taking part in the seminar Financial Economics. Every year it is a greatly appreciated trip and good addition to the course.
Humanity has experienced many great inventions. And the vast majority of inventions has led to a welfare increase. We are healthier than our predecessors thanks to antibiotics, happier thanks to Oreo and more productive thanks to instant-noodles. These innovations have become part of our life in a very subtle and invisible way. And yet they are of great value. They allow us to spend more time with friends or to train our Xbox skills.
Lately prices for electricity have fallen. Although the decreases have not been outrageous, it causes for trouble especially for the “green” investors. Energy companies that invested in e.g. windmills and solar panels might find their investments to yield insufficient returns. What does this mean for Europe’s renewable energy aspirations?
Do you feel like that the current curriculum of your Economics program is too narrowed, has more mathematics than needed, relying on odd and unrealistic assumptions and does not provide you with more insights about the world outside your classroom then you are not alone. In a manifesto signed by 100 university economics associations from 30 countries, the students criticize the current mainstream economics theories which do not represent nor is able to predict the economic reality. In the Netherlands, Rethinking Economics NL is a network which calls for pluralism in economic teaching at universities. Especially at the moment where we face big challenges that are new to us such as climate change, increasing population rate, huge migration flows and globalization, mainstream economics taught at universities is not preparing the next generation economists to solve these issues.
In 2013, EU governments gave the European Commission a mandate to negotiate about TTIP, a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the United States and the European Union. When starting, the two parties thought the negotiations would progress quickly. Now, three years later, the negotiation process seems to become long-lasting. Besides the European Commission, the European Parliament, business and trade unions, consumer-, health- and other public interest groups and the general public at least think they have something to say about TTIP. The negotiations turned out to be much more than just negotiations about economic terms. What are the different aspects of TTIP for our European Union?