Welcome to The Political Economist
It's been almost three years since I last wrote anything on my once very active blog. I stopped producing regular content by mid 2014, dropped down to 2 posts per month in 2015 (down from over 10 posts p/m in the years before that) and even though I picked it up again in 2016 with my series of book reviews, by 2017 the blog was basically dead.
Reasons? I have two kids now, I've finished a PhD at Oxford, and I'm running a company that I co-founded. So yeah, bit busy. I've still been writing. In fact, now more than ever (papers are getting published, the PhD is finished, working on a book project, business stuff, etc.), but I never really motivated myself enough to go back to the blog.
Until now, that is. Time has come to revive it!
Motivation? The crisis, of course. The COVID-induced economic downturn.
The "Don't Worry" blog started after the previous crisis. I was very invested in tracking the consequences of the 2008/09 financial crisis as well as the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, the subsequent recoveries and in particular the policy responses (stimulus, austerity, etc.).
The same is happening again, only with very interesting consequences. Economies are in turmoil, demand is limited, and the massive monetary and fiscal stimulus will have to be dealt with in the years to come which will surely further cripple demand. On the other hand, as people change their behavior as a response to the pandemic their habits have changed, the workplace environment has changed, the travel & tourism industry are struggling, while tech companies are booming as everything is being shifted online.
It is therefore a mixture of fortunes for now. Before the banking system potentially enters its own crisis under the pressure of bad loans from bankrupting companies.
Which is why I wanna follow this crisis head on. Track all the interesting indicators from investors, consumers, businesses, governments. And deliver it all to you, my dear reader.
Naturally, as with every great comeback, the blog is now under new design, and will deliver exciting new content.
Which new content? Initially the focus will be almost exclusively on the crisis. Tracking the recovery, tracking the key market movements and indicators, explaining the changes in customer behavior and demand (we're actually doing this professionally in my company Oraclum with our Fear Index), tracking government response strategies, etc. The recovery tracking is already available in Oraclum's Medium blog, many of which will be "reprinted" here as well. Also expect an increasing batch of topics in finance, business, and technology, the general trends of which will be fascinating to follow in the post-COVID world.
Obviously I will continue to deliver many political economy topics as well, particularly those related to my ongoing academic work: corruption, lobbying and interest groups, elite networks (my book project), inequality, economic history and institutions, etc. Also, every now and then I might post comments on novel scientific methods in the field, or dive into some statistics and probability theory.
But in general, expect a mixture of tracking markets and pressing political econ issues based on my academic work. Business and academia. Finance and philosophy. Sort of...
Why the name change? It fits my professional interests a bit better. "Don't Worry, I'm an Economist" was back when my focus was much more on macro and economic policies. Ever since the Sovereign debt crisis it has started shifting primarily to political economics (as has my academic work), but also to finance, business, and technology, as some readers have already noticed.
The Political Economist is thus a better fit given my PhD, and given everything that I plan to publish in the field. Tracking the crisis is an added bonus (and obviously the main motivation for the restart).
Thank you for reading and I hope you (still) enjoy it!