All posts by Tristan Truuvert

Third year Economics/Science (Adv.) student majoring in economics and molecular and cell biology. I started with the Economics as Publications Director at the end of my first year in 2014 and in mid-2015 became Arc Delegate and an Academic Director. At the end of 2015 I was elected as both Vice-President External and Internal for 2016 and I hope to continue my involvement with the society for the remainder of my time at UNSW.

RBA/ESA Essay Competition 2016

This year marks the 10th Annual RBA/ESA Essay Competition run in conjunction with UNSW Economics Society. This national competition is open to all students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at an accredited Australian university.

The topic of the competition this year is economic policy options at low interest rates, particularly relevant in light of contemporary monetary policy stances around the globe. For more information about this years competition check out the link below:

Interesting Article

Last week the “2015 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel” was awarded to Angus Deaton for his work “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.”

A relative dark horse in this competition of economic giants, many unfamiliar with the microeconomist were left asking what exactly he had contributed to the field. Overall, a good grasp of microeconomics may help a fair deal but here is a brief article summing up Deaton’s work, and highlighting just why it’s worthy of one of the discipline’s highest honours.

Economics This Week

Figures release towards the end of this week show that the RBA once again seems to have been proven correct in predicting the peak of the unemployment rate which remained steady at 6.2% due to a slight decrease in the participation rate which nullified a small decrease in job growth. Overall, there was a net loss in full time jobs which was offset by a substantial increase in part-time employment (good news for most uni students, but not so much for those graduating, sorry guys). Interestingly, it should be noted that for the past 2 years the unemployment rate has remained above 6% despite persistent increases in both aggregate hours worked and employment. This seems to be a sign that rather than the economy contracting or remaining stagnant that the economy can’t keep up with the increases in the size of the labour force as more people enter the market.

Of course, the other big news domestically was Westpac’s relatively unexpected increase in interest rates on mortgages. Here are a couple leading theories on why it may have occurred. Firstly, many economists think it was due to the increased capital requirements set by regulators which saw a greater incentive to maintain returns on housing capital by the banks. Secondly, with the RBA’s vocal concerns about housing prices for most of the year, some believe this act was a signal from the private banks that they were willing to de-anchor housing rates from other loans so the RBA would be free to lower the cash rate further. However, on the topic of the housing bubble, the RBA also issued a statement late in the week noting that housing prices were expected to fall notably by the end of next quarter due to the efforts of both themselves and regulators in trying to moderate growth so it may no longer be a factor this time next year.

Overall this week despite everything going on locally the AUD rose substantially against the greenback, rising over USD 0.73 mid week. This was primarily due to an apparent split at the US Fed Reserve regarding expected increases in rates. A great deal of the information coming out of the US and the central bank itself is mixed with some claiming the media has made exaggerated claims of a split while others say it’s being downplayed.

UNSW Economics Society Annual General Meeting 2015

Last Wednesday evening the Economics Society bid a final farewell to the Team for 2015 at our Annual General Meeting. This year’s executive accomplished a great deal in revitalising the society, engaging with students and pioneering new and exciting social, academic and vocational events. They shall be remembered fondly by the Society and it’s members in the years to come.

The outgoing team:

  • President: Bonny He
  • VP-External: Cecilia Chang
  • VP-Internal: Kai Zen
  • VP-Events: Ruark Lantay-Lefkovich
  • VP-Marketing & PR: Darwin Zheng
  • Treasurer: Kelvin Guo
  • Secretary: Cynthia Supangat
  • Arc Delegate: Tristan Toomas Truuvert
    (Irrationally) exuberant
A word from the outgoing President: It has been an honour to be part of EcoSoc and work alongside many passionate and driven individuals to further the growth of this society. The success of EcoSoc and what it stands today is all attributed to each member – and for that I want to extend my upmost gratitude to my fellow Executives, Directors and most importantly the Subcommittee. The quality of events that we have consistently run is a testament to your capabilities and hard work. The strong sense of camaraderie that resides within EcoSoc means that it is so much more than just a constituent society. Rather, it becomes a family with everyone unified with the same goal to extend this same level of inclusivity to those who want to join. On a final note, a big congratulations to the 2016 Executive Team, and I am certain you will all take EcoSoc to new heights next year.

The incoming team:

  • President: Ruark Lantay-Lefkovich
  • VP-External & Internal: Tristan Toomas Truuvert
  • VP-Events: Michelle Rose Lwin
  • VP-Marketing & PR: Cassandra Yuan
  • Treasurer: Kane Hausfeld
  • Arcretary: Monica Wang
A word from the President-designate: Congratulations to everyone that made this year so special. A special thanks to the 2015 Directors and Subcommittee for their work in maintaining and growing this wondrous society. Enormous gratitude to the efforts of the members who helped ensure the success of the society throughout the year. Most importantly, the achievements of this society would not haveĀ  been possible without the consistent work of the 2015 Executive Team: Bonny He, Cecilia Change, Lingda Wei, Darwin Zheng, Tristan Truuvert, Kai Zen, Cynthia Supangat, Kelvin Guo, Terence Zhu, Julia Nguyen and Sarah Davies. Thank you for your hard work. The family we have created and hope to continue is attributed to your character as individuals.

Interesting Article

As some of you might know (and many more probably don’t) at on Monday at 9am Stockholm time the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences will be announcing the winner of the “2015 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel” (or in short the Nobel Prize in Economics).

There’s a long list of contenders for the prize and this article gives a good rundown of who’s who and their chances. Our outgoing VP-Internal Kai Zen has his money on William Nordhaus as a likely candidate for his work in environmental economics. Personally, I think Paul Romer has a strong chance this year, especially given it’s the 25th anniversary of his model’s introduction. We’ll know soon enough.