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1/31/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
I wrote last week of why lawyers and economists have the most maligned—and, I add, mistrusted—professions around. For lawyers, it’s largely because they can just as convincingly argue either of the two opposing sides to any particular case; it depends on who’s paying. Economists, for their part, can either be “prophets of doom” or “prophets of boom,”

1/27/17

By: Noel P. de Guzman, PhD
 
During the Christmas season of 2016, students of state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the Philippines got a rather surprising gift from the government. It was announced that
starting the school year 2017, students in SUCs do not have to pay tuition. As it turns out, the government has enough money in the national budget to make this possible

1/27/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
There hasn’t been a time in recent memory when planning for the short- to medium-term had been as difficult as it is now. As an economist often asked by groups and firms to speak on the economic outlook on which to plan their organizations’ way forward, about the only thing definite I could say about the near future is that things are indefinite.

1/24/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
There’s a new war brewing, but it’s not of the military kind (although it’s conceivable it can lead to that, too). There seems to be wide expectation that if President Donald Trump makes good on his campaign promises—and there’s little so far to suggest he wouldn’t—then we may see a trade war ensue between the United States and China. Trump has

1/20/17

By: Gervy James Biagtan, MA
 
Last year I discussed the growth of the business-process outsourcing (BPO) industry and the notion of the midnight sun that would never set. That sun is now facing some potential and imminent headwinds in the next nine months, within the next three to five years and within the next six to 12 years.
 
The Duterte and Trump effect
 

1/20/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
Last Sunday, in a large gathering held in Davao City, the Philippines launched its hosting and chairmanship of the Association of South East Asian Nations or Asean for 2017, a milestone year as it marks the 50th year of the regional bloc. With its 10 member-states, Asean had a combined GDP in 2015 that amounted to more than US$2.8 trillion, with a

1/17/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
The past year saw good news and bad news on the jobs front in the country.
 
The good news was that the unemployment rate broke below 5 percent to a new record low of 4.7 percent—the lowest I have seen on record. This brought the number of jobless Filipinos down to 2.04 million from 2.37 million the year before, or a drop in the ranks of the

1/13/17

By: Riz L. Jao
 
The year 2016 turned out to be a roller-coaster ride for the Philippine stock market. After a disappointing start by dropping 2.13 percent at the end of January, the index managed to regain its footing and entered an uptrend in the first half that culminated with increasing by 14.09 percent year-to-date (YTD) at the end of June. By July 21, it came within a breath

1/13/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
Many fear that Donald Trump, soon to assume office as president of the United States, will bring his country and its economy to ruin because, among other things, of his promise to return to trade protectionism. His premise has been that too many American jobs were lost due to the freer entry of foreign goods into the US market, especially from Mexico

1/10/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
Greed is good,” a famous line from the 1987 movie “Wall Street,” was a more extreme expression of a postulate advanced by Adam Smith, widely regarded as the father of modern economics. Smith probably would have said it less bluntly, using “self-interest” in place of “greed.” He argued that letting people pursue their own self-interest, as they interact

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