Author Archives | Alex Christensen

Opinion: 4 reasons why digital regulation is difficult

The US Supreme Court’s recent ruling against Aereo, an online television broadcaster, showed how much governments continue to struggle with regulating the internet.  When the US Supreme Court struck a major blow to the business model of Aereo, the over-the-internet television broadcaster that catered to cord-cutting millennials, the tech industry was outraged. Silicon Valley alumni like Professor […]

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

3 reasons economists keep forecasting growth wrong

The Fed and IMF again downgraded US growth projections, as they have done repeatedly for the last five years. When the Federal Reserve and the IMF downgraded their forecasts for the US’ growth in 2014 last week, both bodies pointed to the terrible winter weather (that brought the term ‘Polar Vortex’ into the nation’s vocabulary) […]

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Belfast Northern Ireland Peace Wall

Adams arrest shows vulnerability in Northern Ireland’s rebirth

Coming ahead of EU parliamentary elections, Adams’ arrest shows the situation that hampered the Northern Irish economy for decades is still fragile. When Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams was taken into custody by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on April 30 in relation to one of the more notorious crimes of Northern Ireland’s Troubles – […]

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Amazon fulfillment center

Billions at stake for U.S. retailers in online sales tax debate

Lobbying efforts by brick-and-mortar stores to charge online sales tax could be a big blow to the e-retailer Amazon. One of the key advantages of’s business model is being slowly stripped away. New research by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) shows that it could cost Amazon 10% of its sales. Amazon has […]

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Source: Gary Rogers, Geograph

Starbucks’ new European HQ sign of ‘tax posturing’?

Tax mitigation strategies are here to stay and so is public disdain for them, leading multinationals to start ‘tax posturing’. Starbucks is the latest example. On the surface, the announcement that Starbucks is moving its European headquarters to London from Amsterdam sounds logical: the UK is Starbucks’ largest European market. Moving “a modest number” of […]

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What US oil boom can learn from Australia and Canada

You will hear it out of many a national politician’s mouth: the US will become energy independent under his or her ambitious plan. It is an alluring idea: stop bankrolling politically unstable regimes and instead keep the money at home. Up until now, those have been empty words. But the fracking boom has made that idea a […]

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ECB and Germany must learn to love inflation for Eurozone to grow

Even though the Eurozone is teetering on the edge of deflation, the ECB will not lower its rates. The European Central Bank’s (ECB) message to markets in the last year has been clear: it will do anything in its power to stabilize the Eurozone. Anything, that is, except delivering on its inflation target. Eurozone inflation – […]

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Source: Patriot Room via Flickr

Obamacare enrollment date pushed back

Opponents of the new health care law in the United States are seeking to make the law too convoluted to be successful. For a law so fraught with delays and false starts, it is fitting that the first open-enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act has been kind of, sort of, extended past its original end […]

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How much slack does the U.S. labor market really have?

U.S. labor market slack, the unused part of economic production capacity, is an important economic indicator used by the Federal Reserve to determine forward guidance. The question is how much slack the FOMC thinks there is. When Fed Chair Janet Yellen told Congress that she would base her Federal Reserve decisions on a broader range […]

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Target Checkout

America’s complicated relationship with the minimum wage

Raising the U.S. minimum wage is a powerful political idea that will increase both sales and labor costs for businesses. The debate over increasing the minimum wage in the U.S. keeps getting more complicated. No longer is it a trade-off between losing jobs or raising wages. President Obama used this year’s State of the Union […]

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