Today we could see a striking example of the power and responsibility of economists. Today a Dutch bank fell after a bank run that was running for a week but the outflow of savings seemed to stop in the weekend leaving the bank in a critical but stable situation. However, when past night the news hit the public that there were liquidity and solvency problems, people started withdrawing savings again on a large scale and the bank fell. Although the bank was already negatively in the news for a while, the initial start of a huge outflow of savings seems to be the television appearance of an econometrist who called upon the clients to withdraw their money from the bank.
His goal was to benefit customers who are suffering from excessive lending by the bank. If and how these people will benefit remains to be seen. What is sure however, is that the customers cannot reach their money at the moment and that some of the clients lost their money. With great power comes great responsibility also applies to economists…
Regarding our subject of economic and political freedom. Past Tuesday was an excellent opportunity to get an idea of the role the government plays in our everyday economy. This day (the third Tuesday in September) the government presents its annual budget (miljoenennota). Connected to the budget, the government announces its plans for the upcoming year and also says something about its long-term plans.
The effect on the citizens can be viewed at the following site, categorized by interest groups (site translated by google translate since it is in Dutch):
I will leave it to the reader to judge to what extent our economy is free or to what extent it is planned.
This is not a day where economists pop up at a place where you do not expect them to be but instead they are in the front row of the public debate (well, maybe second row because the debate is performed by the policitians in the house of representatives first). Nevertheless, this is an article with the opinion of some prominent economists, which include economists of our own faculty.
Maybe for the foreign student, this is an article on what Tuesday was all about: