The Weaponisation of Freedom

HOSTS Adam & Thomas|14 April, 2021

Meet your hosts

  • Adam

    Adam is the funniest and most successful comedian in his family. He broke onto the comedy scene as a RAW comedy national finalist before selling out solo shows at two Adelaide Fringe festivals. He’s performed stand-up to crowds all over Australia as well as enjoying stints on radio with SAFM and most recently as a host of the Ice Bath on Triple M. Father of two and owner of pets, he may finally be an adult… almost.
  • Thomas

    Thomas, the economist, is the brains of the outfit. He studied economics and game-theory at the University of Queensland and cut his teeth as an economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia. He now runs his own economics consultancy, with a particular focus on the property market. He lives with his wife and two kids in the hills outside Byron Bay.

A year on from Covid, what have we learnt? Why has America – the bastion of democracy and free-market capitalism – had one of the worst Covid experiences? Can our commitment to freedom be weaponised against us? Is Russian sh!t-posting a serious attempt to undermine democracy, or is it just for the lols?

If you’ve got a question for Thomas… or Adam… then go ahead and send them to cve@equitymates.com

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Adam Keily: [00:00:52] Hello and welcome to comedian versus economist, we demystify the world of money and help you get a handle on the bigger picture. My name is Adam and I'm joined, as always by my little older brother and real life economist, Thomas. Hi, Thomas. [00:01:04][12.8]

Thomas Keily: [00:01:06] G'day Adam, How are you doing? [00:01:06][0.1]

Adam Keily: [00:01:07] I'm very well, thank you. Welcome back. Welcome back. [00:01:09][2.8]

Thomas Keily: [00:01:10] It's good to be back in the saddle. [00:01:11][0.8]

Adam Keily: [00:01:12] Back in the booth, as it were. Look, before we get started, we do love getting your listener questions coming in. CVA equity mates, dot com or head up the website, equity markets, dot com forward slash. We've got a few questions to get through later in the show. A bit of feedback, too, which we'll cover off later. Interesting. But Thomas, to start with, checking in with Canberra this week. What's up, Canberra? I'm reliably informed that the House of Representatives Standing Committee on economics has a public hearing with the banks this week with what's going on. [00:01:50][38.8]

Thomas Keily: [00:01:51] Yeah, well, and it's one of the highlights of the financial year. [00:01:54][3.6]

Adam Keily: [00:01:55] It's not just the financial year. It's the Christmas of financial year. Uh, yeah. [00:02:04][8.3]

Thomas Keily: [00:02:04] Now, every year the banks, uh, get down to Canberra, slumped, as it were, with the House of Representatives standing committee on economics, uh, just to talk about banks and being a bank and banking. [00:02:20][16.2]

Adam Keily: [00:02:22] This is terrific stuff we used to in radio. They used to talk about hooking. The listener is really, really, really starting to sink their teeth into so. Well, when does it get good, I guess is what we're all wondering? [00:02:37][14.9]

Thomas Keily: [00:02:39] No, I mean, I find it funny. This an interesting this is an interesting one right now. Normally, it's not a particularly fantastic it's just banks talking about being banks basically under the terms of the inquiry are very broad, just the performance and strength of Australia's banking and financial system. How broad a financial and regulatory developments are affecting that system, how the banks balance the needs of borrowers, savers, shareholders in the wider community. I put a link to this in the [00:03:06][26.7]

Adam Keily: [00:03:06] show notes here. I talked a little bit more detail was what was what was very for when myself and I think a fairly large, large proportion of our listenership. We're going, though I hope this gets better. I'm not sure that more details about the committee was what they were after. Why do we care what the committee are up to? What's going on? I have to [00:03:27][20.6]

Thomas Keily: [00:03:27] suffer through this. [00:03:28][0.7]

Adam Keily: [00:03:28] And, you know, what do you do, suffer, too? What do they talk about? [00:03:32][3.7]

Thomas Keily: [00:03:32] It's an interesting committee because it's been running for six years now. And every year the banks go down and have a have a chat in front of the committee. They find things to talk about. There's an interesting time now because it's a year on from covid. And much of the chat was how are we looking from from your perspective? So the banks, because they are you know, they operate at the heart of the financial system. They have the inside running on how the economy's tracking, like simply from there, from the customer data. They can track spending now. And because, you know, big data systems are so effective, they can almost track in real time how spending trends are developing and so on. So the banks have a unique ability to give. Give us an parliamentarian's and insight into how the economy's tracking. [00:04:21][48.7]

Adam Keily: [00:04:22] Um, so you we talked about early on in the in our introductory series to economics, if you haven't heard it, go back and listen to the first, what was it, nine episodes a season one anyway. Going to have a look, a comedian versus economist. But we talked about like surveys, consumer surveys, consumer confidence surveys, that kind of thing. So we're kind of saying now the banks have so much I guess so much data now. They have so much kind of visibility into spending patterns and everything else. Is that taking the place and giving us that that data more in real time now than it ever was before? [00:04:58][35.4]

Thomas Keily: [00:04:58] The risk of getting a bit nerdy? It's a very interesting time to be an economist because. [00:05:02][3.4]

Adam Keily: [00:05:02] Oh, that's so you say. Oh, my friend, I think once we introduced the show talking about the House of Representatives standing committee on economics, we were already in negative territory for which we could not recover. So make it right. [00:05:21][19.0]

Thomas Keily: [00:05:21] Yeah, no. I mean, back when I was a young economist, you had to wait months for, you know, because by the time, let's say, the ABS is very meticulous with the data collection. So they would go in and collect all the data and then they would aggregate it and someone would write it down on a piece of paper. And then that had all the numbers up. And and from collection, you know, you're often looking at sort of three months or more lag between a good chunk of data and when the data actually comes. Out now you're getting stuff in much more real time and, um, you know, CoreLogic publishing a daily price index right now, like House Price Index, which. Well, yeah, which I mean, I've no idea how they do that, but it does actually a reasonable job of tracking ABS house price measure, which comes out of full four and a half months afterwards or something. So yeah, it's interesting in the other sense, like the Yeah. It powers just increase in such an extent that we can get a much quicker handle on things. And Quba has been publishing a bunch of really interesting data on the spending stuff, particularly on the income side of things and what in the way that government support benefits have propped up household incomes. [00:06:32][70.5]

Adam Keily: [00:06:33] So OK, so so the banks have this sort of wealth of wealth of information. They meet with the politicians, the the government and the government are looking for looking to the bank for for input into how the economy is tracking, for what the outlook is like. Is that is that what the the meeting's about? [00:06:52][19.2]

Thomas Keily: [00:06:53] Oh, yeah. I mean, it depends on on the parliamentarians in in that committee and if they've got any barrows to push off and they will. But yeah. [00:07:04][10.9]

Adam Keily: [00:07:05] But how much in large barrows of cash. [00:07:08][2.6]

Thomas Keily: [00:07:10] But I mean there's a few interesting things come out and they tried it. They try to get get their outlook for the economy from them. But like so Shayne Elliott from the he's a CEO of ANZ. I thought he had a sort of interesting as we sit before you today, we are facing the most positive economic conditions that we have seen in the six years this committee has been inquiring into the major banks. Now, while many are doing it tough, including CBD businesses, Australia is emerging from one of its hardest periods, quicker and stronger than many expected. [00:07:40][29.5]

Adam Keily: [00:07:41] Right. [00:07:41][0.0]

Thomas Keily: [00:07:42] So that's not that's not radically new that last week. We know. We know we've been doing it pretty well. But that bit there. So the committee is only six years old. So it is in the six years that I've been doing this, we've never seen things as strong. Six years ago is twenty fifteen. That's not particularly memorable time in in the economy. So we're probably going back to at least the pre GFC era. So it's like saying like these are the best economic conditions we've seen probably in a decade or so. [00:08:07][25.0]

Adam Keily: [00:08:07] And that's I guess that's being reflected now as well, isn't it? Is that when we see what's happening in house prices? So the housing market is booming now? That's what we're talking about when we're talking about the best economic conditions. I mean, among other things. [00:08:22][15.0]

Thomas Keily: [00:08:23] No, I think I think it's I think it's always good to separate house prices from the broader economy or to think about that. The idea that house prices reflect the strong economy isn't a great way to think about house prices. It is true that strong economic conditions do support house prices, but by and large, house prices are driven by interest rates. And it's what's going on in with interest rates that really affects house prices. And so and the house price boom that we're currently seeing right now is really an interest rate story. It's not a strong economy story. [00:08:56][32.3]

Adam Keily: [00:08:56] Right. So even though people have got so we're talking about the strong economy and we've talked about on the show before, people have got large savings now through covid and whatever, that people have saved up a lot of money, that they're kind of got this pent up buying power that's about to be unleashed. But you're saying that's not necessarily what's driving contributing to the house prices. That's just general economic stuff. [00:09:20][23.4]

Thomas Keily: [00:09:22] Yeah, no, no. I mean, it's contributing is definitely supporting house prices. Um, yeah. And it's definitely a positive. But even if the economy wasn't doing well on the back of the interest rate cuts that we've seen, house prices would still be rising. Right. Does that make sense? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And so it's it's a bit of a bugbear for me because often people will conflate the two saying, like, house prices are booming, the economy is doing great. And it's not like it's that that's a sort of a something that happens that may or may not reflect a good economy. It's not a sign of a good economy like in many ways, house prices, rising house is becoming more unaffordable. And that's that's a problem for particular segment. So there's sort of like there's there's a value laden choice about how you interpret rising house prices. It's not necessarily good or bad. Um, you know, unless you own house price a bunch of houses and it's great news, but. Yeah, yeah. But we shouldn't we shouldn't conflate we shouldn't confuse the housing market with the economy in the same way. We shouldn't confuse the share market with the economy. There are different things that can, you know, can be the same. But yeah, they're different things. But on that, the banks also saying that their outlook for property prices is thumping like it's booming. [00:10:46][84.2]

Adam Keily: [00:10:47] I read something somewhere. It was talking about twenty five per cent. In the next year, is that right? Did I read that right? Twenty, 25 percent. [00:10:55][8.3]

Thomas Keily: [00:10:55] I think some guys the guys are cool. Cool about capital. Um, the zalba. And they took the ABA's house price model. The RBA have a have a, you know, computer model that that, uh, predicts house prices. They took that [00:11:10][15.1]

Adam Keily: [00:11:11] not to be confused with a model house. Far less impressive. Sorry, going they took they took the house price model [00:11:21][9.9]

Thomas Keily: [00:11:22] and just crunched the numbers, put in all the settings. And what they got was that house prices were going to rise twenty five percent over the next two years. I think that was the the window. But it was it was somewhere between between 14 percent and thirty four percent, depending on assumptions about immigration and the jobs recovery sort of thing. [00:11:42][20.9]

Adam Keily: [00:11:43] Is the same people though that also told us at the start of covered that houses were about to drop by 30 percent. [00:11:49][6.1]

Thomas Keily: [00:11:51] That wasn't Coolabah capital. No. [00:11:52][1.5]

Adam Keily: [00:11:53] Right. No, but but economists in general, I mean, [00:11:57][3.5]

Thomas Keily: [00:11:57] some economists did say that. But you [00:12:00][2.7]

Adam Keily: [00:12:00] can't. What did you say? I actually like to go back and check. What did I say? It does not. I remember. Look, you just dishing off stats and predictions. [00:12:10][10.2]

Thomas Keily: [00:12:11] Well, I mean, this is this is part of the game, right? Not not for me so much. I mean, I get to play in this game, but you got to get quoted in a newspaper. You've got to have a you've got to have a surprising number. [00:12:21][9.6]

Adam Keily: [00:12:22] Yeah. No one's quoting. I'm not sure. Five percent. Yeah. Two to five, [00:12:28][5.4]

Thomas Keily: [00:12:28] possibly six at the outside. You know, no one's going to quote you on that. So there's no downside risk at the height of a pandemic in the middle of the biggest stock market crash in years to say house prices are going to fall 40 percent, it looks perfectly reasonable. It gets you a headline, gets you some brand recognition, have a crack. Why not? [00:12:47][18.8]

Adam Keily: [00:12:48] Can you make a bold prediction late on this show? We could do with some brand recognition. Yeah. [00:12:52][3.7]

Thomas Keily: [00:12:52] Oh, I'll come up with something. Yeah. But mean it's got to be it's got to be reasonable like at the time. And I don't think that's what you said because and there was high degree of certainty and I think the people making it and that's also how it gets reported, you know, like I think it was NAB or CBA, we're talking about thirty five. Forty percent. But it was like it would have been couched in terms there's a lot of uncertainty right now. No one really knows what's happening. Falls of thirty five percent might be possible. That thing gets reported as CBA house prices falling 40 percent. [00:13:22][30.1]

Adam Keily: [00:13:23] Yeah, a lot when you go into the shops and they're having a everything up to 50 percent off sale and you. OK, how much is this I got? That's only five percent off, though. What's what's 50 percent of this? There's little mouse figurines in the back corner here. We've got fifty percent of that. They're from two dollars to a dollar. It's like well over the couch. Now, there's only five percent of the harsh reality call here. And comedian versus economist, I that's that's my bugbear. Is that up to sales that people have stopped doing advertising? When you sign up to it's just your own commitment is something in the shop has to be that much of and everything else could be not even on sale. Go could be full retail price for everything except this tiny thing up in the back corner. That's 50 percent off. So we've got up to 50 percent off. It should be outlawed. [00:14:19][56.0]

Thomas Keily: [00:14:20] This actually came up in the economics committee then [00:14:23][3.2]

Adam Keily: [00:14:25] when one of the crossbenchers was pushing of the and I was like and I don't really know about that. So let's figure and say, well, you're wasting my time. This could have been an email. [00:14:39][14.3]

Thomas Keily: [00:14:43] Very good. Yes. To the banks. They they were asked about their house price forecasts and pretty much all of them were saying double digits this year. They're about to probably double digits in the year after, you know, say twenty odd percent over the next couple of years. Seems to be a general consensus out of the banks. [00:14:59][16.7]

Adam Keily: [00:15:00] Is that a bubble? That sounds a lot like a bubble rising that quick, people piling in. I mean, is it there's a possibility it's a bubble. [00:15:07][7.3]

Thomas Keily: [00:15:08] There's a saying in economics that you only know something's a bubble with the benefit of hindsight classic. [00:15:13][5.0]

Adam Keily: [00:15:14] Now that, again, economists, everyone's right in hindsight, 20/20 hindsight, it's. Yep, that's. [00:15:24][10.3]

Thomas Keily: [00:15:25] Yeah, yeah. I mean, it's not no, no one's really talking about a bubble right now. One because everyone's been who's been talking about, about a bubble for the last twenty years. I mean back when I was at the RBA in the early 2000s that people were talking about was the property market in a bubble. Then the idea that prices were bubbly in 2003 now looks totally ridiculous. [00:15:46][20.6]

Adam Keily: [00:15:47] Right. [00:15:47][0.0]

Thomas Keily: [00:15:47] Um, given how far they've come. So I think. The Australian media and pundits are a bit more shy about calling a bubble these days because everyone who has has been devastatingly wrong for a long time. But the other thing is like there's a perfectly good explanation for why house prices have gone double digits and that's interest rates. What's happened to interest rates? Yeah, so typically, like a speculative bubble happens when people are piling in purely on the basis that they expect house prices to keep going up and that they'll be able to sell to someone later on for more money, that there'll be a greater fool, as they call it, Ren, who come in and buy it off them. And so they're buying with a complete disregard for the fundamentals and they'll be at it. They'll be able to sell later on. And that's that sort of a speculative bubble. It's tricky, though, because as I said in hindsight, because sometimes buying Tesla now you're not buying on the fundamentals as they currently stand the current income and dust doesn't justify the current share price. So there's a lot of speculation about what the future's going to look like. And there have been instances in the past, like Amazon, for example, you know, that there was a stage not long after the dot com bubble burst when people talk about Amazon being the share prices being completely disconnected from reality, and they were like the revenues didn't justify their share prices, but future the future evolved as it did evolve. And after in a few years, Amazon grew in those share prices made sense. And so it wasn't a bubble. [00:17:28][101.2]

Adam Keily: [00:17:30] So, yeah. Yeah, I think so. That eventually fulfilled their promise. Yeah. The that the share, the share price eventually kind of reached its, its potential when people were buying in and going, well this is kind of speculation, but at the same time we believe if, if they can, if Amazon in that example could reach its full potential, then it will be worth its price. And of course Amazon went that and more. And I think the other. Am I right in saying the other difference with the housing market at the moment is that it's not as investor driven as maybe it has been in the past. So it's a lot of sort of first time buyers and people looking to to own or occupy whatever their own house. Um, more so now than it has been in the past. [00:18:10][40.6]

Thomas Keily: [00:18:11] Yeah, that's right. That's right. That's one of the big stories about the property market right now, is is driven by first time buyers getting in on the home builder grants and so on. A lot more owner occupiers. Investors have kind of been on the sidelines up until pretty recently. They're starting to get more active now. This is actually something else. The banks have given us an insight saying that they're seeing a lot more investor inquiries coming through. But yeah, yeah, up until now, it hasn't been investor driven. It's been people just trying to get get a home. So that's why that like that doesn't that doesn't look bubbly. Yeah. You know, if you go back in 2016 to APRA, who's the banking regulator in 2016, introduce some restrictions on lending because they were a bit worried that things were looking a little bubbly. And at that time, you had there was a boom in investor lending. So lending to investors and also interest only mortgages were booming with something like 40 percent of new loans. So interest only lending to investors. And so appart was saying like, hey, that looks pretty speculative. If you're taking out an interest only investor loan you purely is a speculative play. You know, you're you're banking on some capital gain there. And and at that point, they introduced restrictions that sort of called that that saw the market down. But that's not that's not in play now, which is why no one's really talking about APRA getting involved in that property market any time soon. [00:19:32][81.3]

Adam Keily: [00:19:33] All right. Did the banks have anything else to say at the at the committee hearing? [00:19:39][5.4]

Thomas Keily: [00:19:39] Yeah, one of the things that I thought was interesting is that the NAB CEO, Ross McEwan, said that he supported the first home buyer incentives, but the lack of new homes was a problem, and that was what was driving house prices higher. He said, we know supply is restricted and the states need to streamline approval processes for land development and residential construction without decisive moves to increase housing supply. Demand side incentives will inevitably act to push up house prices further and faster. [00:20:08][29.1]

Adam Keily: [00:20:09] So what's he saying? There's not enough. There's not enough housing coming into the market. [00:20:12][2.8]

Thomas Keily: [00:20:13] Yeah, that's what he's saying. We're not we're not building enough homes. And so adding to the demand side of the equation. So like the first home owner grants, you're adding to the demand side, giving people money to spend on the houses. That pushes up demand. And that's great if that increase in demand induces a supply response. But if it doesn't, then and if supply it just remains as it is, then prices just increase. So the same, the more demand for the same level of supply increases prices. That's economics 101. [00:20:42][29.2]

Adam Keily: [00:20:44] You have to tell me. Yeah. Where does supply come from in this instance? I mean, if I want to buy if I want to buy a house or build a. So I kind of expect, like if a house doesn't exist already, I can go and build one myself and pay to build it. I guess so. In this in that kind of conversation, we're expecting the supply to come from [00:21:01][17.2]

Thomas Keily: [00:21:02] so typically where like a new house and land package comes from a greenfield site. So it typically turns previously agricultural land, just some pasture with some cows on it, for example, that gets zoned at the state level into developable land developer land saying and you can you can build some houses on this, the local councils and get involved around that mark and sort of say, yeah, we can do this kind of housing here. And these kind of these kind of density is permeable here and that sort of thing. And then developers get in and build the houses and that's sort of where new supply comes from. But it relies on states and councils playing a part there and creating that developer land. So it's not just it's one of the sort of paradoxes in Australia. We have lots and lots of land, but the developer will land we have is actually in very tight supply. There isn't a lot of it. [00:21:59][57.0]

Adam Keily: [00:21:59] Right, because the big misconception about Australia, I guess, you know, we've got so much room, we should you know, we should never have a never be sure on places to to be able to live generally. But I guess there's only so many places people want to live and can live. [00:22:14][14.8]

Thomas Keily: [00:22:15] Yeah. Yeah, that's right. You got to be close to a job and all of that. Well you did. [00:22:19][3.7]

Adam Keily: [00:22:19] It does. Yeah. Not me. I'm off to the outback [00:22:26][6.7]

Thomas Keily: [00:22:26] is because it's one of the features of the housing market. So, so the federal politicians and banks and so on. So when people talk about how, you know, the affordability crisis, everyone says, yeah, house prices are too expensive for first-time buyers, but no. One, it's very hard to get an agreement on where the blame rests. So federal politicians and the banks will push it down and say United States and local governments, the states aren't freeing and freeing up enough developable land councils aren't pushing through higher density building in the inner city and so on. And so that absence of supply is what's pushing up prices. Local governments and the state governments, on the other hand. So it's mostly about the federal it's about the macro settings. It's the federal policy settings. It's about negative gearing. It's about interest rates from the banks. It's about mortgage rates. These are the factors that are influencing house prices. The truth is that they're both both playing a factor. They're both the both relevant. But no one agent has responsibility for it. And and more importantly, no one, even if you have a housing minister, which we've had from time to time, if they're at the federal level, they can't compel the states and the local governments to act in any in a particular way. So you need to you know, if if if people were serious about housing affordability, which I'm not sure they are, but if they were, it needs to somehow coordinate all all levels of government to create more supply or to create more affordable housing, more supply of affordable housing, that is, and alone, even if you could agree on what housing should look like in terms of price levels and how to do it, just simply coordinating it across three levels of government, across different party political lines, very, very difficult. And it's one of the reasons why, you know, just have this news cycle on repeat every few years where people come out and cry crocodile tears over housing affordability and the fact that their children have to live under bridges and cardboard boxes, but nothing ever really happens about it. [00:24:33][126.6]

Adam Keily: [00:24:33] Interesting. All right. Did you have anything else you wanted to cover from the hearing [00:24:36][2.8]

Thomas Keily: [00:24:37] of the listed [00:24:38][1.4]

Adam Keily: [00:24:39] nation? I honestly didn't think we'd get through 20 minutes talking about the hearing. So why don't we call it why don't we call it even? Yeah, I think we'll save it over [00:24:48][9.1]

Thomas Keily: [00:24:49] for the premium content if you want. The next hour [00:24:51][2.0]

Adam Keily: [00:24:51] of the wrap of we'll have a [00:24:55][3.2]

Thomas Keily: [00:24:55] little standard economics video [00:24:56][1.5]

Adam Keily: [00:24:58] for that. We also sell vouchers for people that you don't like. If you'd like to buy it as a gift for someone they'd like to torture. But no, look, stay with us on the community of economists. Plenty more coming up after this short message. [00:25:11][13.3]

Thomas Keily: [00:25:13] Banking with virgin money has never been more rewarding. Earn rewards on your everyday spending and pay zero monthly fees with the Virgin Money Go transaction account and with points, perks, and epic experiences tailored to you, you can manage your money easily on the go smash your savings goals, get money for it and be rewarded for it. Bank to your own beat virgin money terms and conditions and monthly criteria apply. Now let's get into the show. [00:25:39][25.8]

Adam Keily: [00:25:41] Hey, you're welcome back here and comedian versus economist, and through the magic of podcasting, Thomas and I have actually been away, even though we've been releasing episodes for the last couple of weeks. We've been away. Thomas had a birthday. I had a birthday. It was birthdays all around. But we're back in and we're just tuning in to some of the listener e-mail that's been coming through. And Thomas Samuel has emails and Sammy, I think is in Oxford, in the U.K. so shout outs to anyone listening overseas. And I just want to have a listen to the podcast for a few months, and he loves it. Amazing. Thank you, Samuel. Background on economics. He was wondering, Thomas, what is Thomas's research in? All I can tell is macro, and he knows a lot about finance. Any chance I can get hold of some of your publications? I do like to have first crack at these questions. So let me just jump in there, Thomas, before you answer Samuel and I would say not much. So I'm afraid very little in the fabrication suffice ought to have gone looking and look at the word fraud gets bandied around a lot, but nothing I found. Thomas, your thoughts? [00:26:59][77.4]

Thomas Keily: [00:27:00] Yeah, no, thanks. Thanks, Adam. Good. No, it's true. I'm not I'm not a I'm not a research economist. I'm not associated with any university or anything. I'm more of an applied economist, real world economist, some might say. [00:27:14][14.9]

Adam Keily: [00:27:15] Um, yeah. [00:27:18][2.3]

Thomas Keily: [00:27:19] I, yeah, I just work in the space. I'm not I'm not a professor. These do not sort of academic expert opinions. This is these are the opinions of someone just who spends a bit of time working in the economic world. [00:27:31][11.5]

Adam Keily: [00:27:32] And his brother, The Economist, and these are regular. Samuel, thanks for your thanks for your email. And if there is something you're particularly interested to know more about, Thomas does certainly love to research stuff and then provide information, that's for sure. So send in your questions, as Amy has done. Amy said, been seeing more and more references in the media to the pink recession, pink recession. Is it simply that more women are out of work now than ever before? I haven't heard of the pink recession, Thomas, but I'm. Yeah, I don't know. Is that true? Is there more women out of work now? Is that just a is it like now is in history or now is in post covered [00:28:15][42.5]

Thomas Keily: [00:28:15] the pink recession? We have a color reading scheme for recessions based on their intensity. You know, the pink recession is a term in the early days of covering the labor market outcomes were much worse for women than they were for men. Yes. Like significantly were sort of like by May twenty female total employment was down eight percent. Male employment was down about five percent, something like that. I'm just eyeballing a chart here. I've got yes sir. By May twenty so much worse outcomes for women in the labor market. And that's typical because women tend to work in more flexible working arrangements where they were able to sort of be stood down more quickly. I think it's sort of part of the explanation for that story. [00:29:00][45.1]

Adam Keily: [00:29:01] So more like more casual workers like my wife, Anna, for example, she you know, we had kids and, you know, my daughter's a seven as of the other day, actually seven and five. And so when when the first one came along and I went part time after maternity leave and stuff, and it has been gradually reentering the workforce and working more and more so. So, yeah, I guess in that sense she was casual or part time at best. So is that it was easier to stand them down was saying. [00:29:29][28.1]

Thomas Keily: [00:29:30] I think so. I think I think that's the story. I think that more flexibility there, which is so it's interesting. So while in May the outcomes were considerably worse for women, if fast forward to now as of March, twenty twenty one female employment is now one point two percent higher than it was in March. Twenty twenty, whereas male employment is just now back to where it is, where it was before covid. So yeah. So female employment is now one per cent higher than male employment. So yeah, while there was this pink recession phenomenon in the early days, it's now sort of largely unwound. And if anything, men are having a rough time with the labor market right now, then women on the face of it. And that's not to downplay the sort of the structural features of the labor market that mean that women can get laid off more quickly, but that that feature also means they get brought back on more quickly as well. [00:30:25][55.3]

Adam Keily: [00:30:26] Yeah, right. Go. All right. One from Shaun. He said I love the show. Adam, I'm somewhat disappointed you missed the opportunity to take the piss with the Aqueduct reference last episode. I think he was referring to the episode we did on the Suez Canal. And we did talk about the. I wish I could remember the reference now aquaduct, I don't know if it walks like an aquaduct, talks like that could not possibly aqueduct. I'm not sure what opportunity I missed. I'm sorry, Sean. I think it's like water off a duck's back. What are your qualifications is a criteria area as well as a fraud? I'm less qualified than Toas is, uh, very good. And finally, we got an email here from Ann Jak's, who included the pronunciation of his last name. So I presume one of that read out a spelling error in your latest podcast. Spotify notes are no end of the world. He said that's okay. Thank you for the pick-up on the next podcast will be fine. Well, there you go. And thank you for picking us up on that one. We will be sure to get it rectified ASAP. But for now, that's it for comedian versus economist for another week. Don't forget, you can send us your email, cve@equitymates.com or on the website equitymates.com/cve. Tons of other podcasts to get your eyes around on equity markets. Media get started investing in equity mates investing Podcast, Meet pay Love, you're in good company and you've been on comedian versus economist. We'll see you again next time. [00:30:26][0.0]

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