Political philosophy of football

Posted in sports by jrahman on June 17, 2014

Macroeconomists have an abysmal record when it comes to forecasting.  As Tim Harford documents, as late as September 2008 —when the Lehman Brothers collapsed —consensus among the economists at the Wall Street and City of London was that no major economy would fall into recession in 2009.  Not deterred by such abysmal failure, market economists have ventured into predicting the World Cup.  The overwhelming favourite is Brazil.

And economists of Goldman Sachs —which dominates the Wall Street the way Brazil dominates football —have actually published the analysis behind their prediction. According to their analysis, Brazil has a nearly 50% chance of winning. Of course, Brazil is also the favourite in the betting markets.  But as of kick off (that is, before the Croatian counter attack stunned the world), betting agencies such as Ladbrokes were implying only around 25% chance of a Brazil win.



Seven trashes collected by the senses.  Well, bonus holiday edition of 20 trashes.


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The ways of our lives

Posted in Bollywood, culture, development, economics, history, macro, movies, music, politics, society by jrahman on October 19, 2011

I don’t know whether the West has anything like the ‘social drama’ (সামাজিক  in Bangla) genre of Desi films.  Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Abhimaan is a very good example of this genre.  There is great music — composed by SD Burman, sung by Lata Mungeshkar and Mohammed Rafi: arguably two of the greatest voices of the 20th century.  Jaya Bachchan gives one of the best performances of her life, while a young Amitabh Bachchan does not play an angry man.  There is no dhishum dhishum.  But there is some poignant social commentary.  Nothing too radical or risque mind you.  And all ends happily, just as any great Desi movie should — we don’t believe in sequels, it’s always happily everafter for us.

Oh, did I mention great music?  This song is hardly the best in the movie.  But this post is not about music.  Not directly anyhow.  Rather, this song captures an interesting point about how we live.