NZ Everyday Investor

Jeremy Couchman: The Rise of Populism

Episode Summary

The rise of populism and the growing rage against the machine. As populist leaders from both sides of the political spectrum ride waves of fear into power, what extra risks does this pose to the everyday investor

Episode Notes

Jeremy Couchman, an economist at Kiwibank, joins us today to discuss the growing international risk of populism.

As populist leaders from both sides of the political spectrum ride waves of fear and a sense of social justice into power, there are real and present dangers to equity markets across the world. Depending on the leader, the climate, and the chosen enemy of the day, many leaders today have been placed in positions of authority on promises to address real concerns from the masses - will the people get what they bargained for or something else?

Typical 'enemies' used by populist leaders include:

Traditionally personal income has come from the trading of your labour for income. Increasingly though, we're seeing this shift towards income from the deployment of capital. Those who control the capital receive a greater share of the income. Technology enhances the return on capital further as seen by the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet - they give but they also take away. As more of the workforce becomes displaced by technology will there will an uprising - a rage against the 'machine'?

You can immediately think of leaders internationally that could be labelled populists, but there's two things to be said about that: 1 - This is nothing new under the sun and 2 - Populism does not favour the left or the right of the political spectrum - could we safely assume we are free from this type of leadership in NZ?

These questions are explored, and more, in this episode with Jeremy Couchman. Be sure to listen in next week to part two, where we explore capital gains tax from a macro-economic perspective and the state of the NZ property market.

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