Why I’m glad to be a forecaster in New Zealand …

Boing boing links to an article on economic reporting in the United Arab Emirates:

Instead of moving toward greater transparency, the emirates seem to be moving in the other direction. A new draft media law would make it a crime to damage the country’s reputation or economy, punishable by fines of up to 1 million dirhams

So if you report on the crisis – you become a criminal.  That would be one hell of a way to destroy the industry I work in 😛

I think that the UAE has decided that information on the crisis is dangerous – and preventing that information will lead to improved outcomes.  Sounds like they have taken Robert Shiller’s views to the extreme …

  • Peter Brown

    If you’re like us here in Australia, I can probably safely assume New Zealand prohibits tobacco advertising, abrogating the right of free speech of business organizations and the individual rights of the agents who run them.

    Our society takes the approach that it’s okay to abrogate the free speech rights of businessmen, but as soon as they touch intellectuals and the media then it cannot be tolerated.

    We may not have free speech rights for having this discussion at some point in the future, and it could be that we could have stopped it if only we didn’t neglect to defend piece-meal restrictions that are already creeping in now in the realms of lobbying and campaign contribution limits especially.

  • Maybe you could be in trouble if you stopped commenting on the economy in the UAE. If you weren’t saying something nice or something at all, your silence might be interpreted as an implicit critisism of the economy.

  • “I can probably safely assume New Zealand prohibits tobacco advertising, abrogating the right of free speech of business organizations and the individual rights of the agents who run them”

    There is free speech and there is misinformation. I support limits on the misinformation that people can throw out – but I’m not a fan of arbitrary pressure on companies not to advertise themselves.

  • “Maybe you could be in trouble if you stopped commenting on the economy in the UAE. If you weren’t saying something nice or something at all, your silence might be interpreted as an implicit critisism of the economy.”

    I’d probably be like those debtors and just get the hang out of the country 😉