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ESSA

Editors’ Picks: 26 April 2020


ESSA Editors

By

April 26th, 2020


This week: prices below zero, the origins of Earth Day, drugs and a podcast!


Every Sunday, let the editorial team provide your weekly roundup of interesting stories, normally from the realm of economics. Normally we’ll focus on economics news. But these aren’t normal times. Since most news these days is about the economy’s apparently impending doom, we’re taking the liberty to step outside the field of economics. Despite our fervent passion, we need a break.

Kick back as you enjoy the stories you missed, reflect on the week that was and get ready for the next.

This week: prices below zero, the origins of Earth Day, drugs and a podcast!


Oil crash explained: How are negative oil prices even possible? – Atif Kubursi 

Too much oil. Too little demand. If you thought oil prices couldn’t go much lower than they already were, think again. Last week, the downward spiral of oil prices reached negative territory. Below zero. What does that mean and how is it possible? Before you chastise your economics professor for lying to you, read this explainer to find out what actually happens. In reality, it isn’t as bad as it seems.


The ‘Profoundly Radical’ Message of Earth Day’s First Organizer – John Schwartz

You might’ve missed it amidst the chaos, but Earth Day 2020 was this week. Wednesday 22nd April marked the 50th Earth Day since it was initially organised in 1970. What’s the history of this iconic day? 


How do you work out what something is worth? – Tim Harford

An interesting insight into the history of auctions and how they’re applied in advertising.


Coronavirus chokes the drug trade – Kate Linthicum

Coronavirus may have caused oil prices to drop, but drug prices have gone the opposite direction. Mexican drug cartels were the largest customers of an opiod produced in Wuhan. 


Australians should not have to dip into their super to cope with the coronavirus – Nicki Hutley

COVID-19 has prompted many Australians to reconsider their ability to service short term payments. With fiscal policy being thrown everywhere, maybe it’s not such a bad idea to sit down and consider the short term vs long term effects of a couple of these policies.


EXTRA: Podcasts

Lives Vs. The Economy – Sarah Gonzalez & Kenny Malone

How much is a human life worth? A discussion and the mathematics behind whether we should relax lockdown restrictions to open up the economy despite the increased death toll that will result. 


Frog FossilsLucas Joel

A journey back through time to a much simpler epoch. Join the New York Times as they present new research all the way from Antarctica.

The views expressed within this article are those of the author and do not represent the views of the ESSA Committee or the Society's sponsors. Use of any content from this article should clearly attribute the work to the author and not to ESSA or its sponsors.

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