Author: Michael Collins

Michael Collins
Michael Collins

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Recent and archived work by Michael Collins for The Bull:

The populations of key countries are shrinking

This new, yet largely ignored, trend comes with underrated economic and social costs. Released by US film producer Mike Moore and timed for the 50th Earth Day in April, the documentary Planet of the Humans tells how renewable sources of energy are flawed replacements for fossil fuels as a way to mitigate the dangers of…

Apps, backed by ‘dark kitchens’, are changing food delivery

Even though the platform attack is hobbled by poor economics, restaurants are under threat – especially during a pandemic. In 2004, Matt Maloney and Mike Evans were working in Chicago as web developers for appartment.com, a platform that allows people to find rental flats online. The pair often worked late enough to order takeaway. “We…

The psychological effects of the pandemic

These social, political and economic changes can be grouped into four categories; new, accelerated, busted and possible trends. In 1930, 1,028 economists signed a letter to Herbert Hoover urging the US president to veto a bill that would raise tariffs once it became law. Hoover refused and the US raised taxes on about 20,000 imports…

Covid-19 tearing at the fragilities of Italy and Eurozone

Solutions to appease the crisis face political hurdles. A default or euro exit are possible. ‘il Boom’ is how Italians describe the ‘great transformation’ of Italy over the 1950s and 1960s when a poor country turned itself into a modern industrial powerhouse with a stable currency, the lira. During those decades, rural southern Italians flocked…

Covid-19 is posing ethical challenges for policymakers

In France, to leave their houses, people must fill in a form that allows them to perform essential jobs, attend medical appointments or go shopping for daily needs, an errand for which people have one hour only and must stay within one kilometre of their homes. The certificates must be shown on demand. Breaching ‘confinement’…

Technology is reshaping modern medicine

But ethical and economic challenges could limit the benefits medtech brings to healthcare. The Nobel Prize in Medicine 2019 was awarded to three men for “their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability”. The Nobel Prize in Medicine 2018 was given to two men “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition…

The Gig Economy Faces a Crackdown

In 2004, Dynamex Operations West, a California-based courier company, suddenly reclassified its permanent full-time employees as independent contractors, depriving them of entitlements such as minimum wages, overtime, paid sick days and workers compensation. The reclassified drivers had to use their own vehicles and pay for all expenses including petrol, tolls and insurance to earn a…

US policymakers learnt in 1937 that cutting stimulus can lead to a recession

At a ‘Fed Listens’ event held where the US central bank’s policy-setting board meets, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in October described how the room with “26-foot (eight-metre) ceilings, a monumental marble fireplace and a 1,000-pound (450-kilogram) brass and glass chandelier” had “seen a lot of history since Franklin Roosevelt dedicated this building in 1937”….

The ‘Streaming Wars’ Could Penalise Viewers

The coming blow is the loss of one platform that offers just about everything subscribers want. In 2017, when Netflix was 20 years old, the ad-free on-demand-video or streaming service achieved three milestones. One was that Netflix hit 100 million subscribers worldwide. Another was the streamer earned its first Oscar when White Helmets won Best…

Central banks risk seeing their feted ‘independence’ watered down

William Martin is the longest-serving Federal Reserve chief, having served from 1952 when Harry Truman was president to 1970. A few years into the role, Truman saw Martin on a New York street. The president from 1945 to 1953 stared at Martin, called him a “traitor” and walked away. Martin’s betrayal? He prioritised a successful…