Stan Zin passes on this wonderful Cadillac ad, which he likes more than I do because it played during Canada’s Olympic hockey gold medal game. The “n’est-ce pas?” at the end is for anyone who took the Global Economy course. Read the rest of this entry »
Evidently we set a high moral standard at NYU. Consider:
1. Killer Coke. I know next to nothing about this issue or NYU’s position on it, but spamming my inbox puts you somewhere between the 8th and 9th circles. Maybe Bloomberg was right, we should ban all soda — or pop, as we called it where I grew up.
2. United Auto Workers. With membership falling and the drive for new members running into trouble, the UAW is back to organizing our graduate students. From the Times: “This is something we’ve been working [on] for eight years,” said Matt Canfield, a fifth-year doctoral student in anthropology.
Their proposed merger has most of us wondering what will happen to our local service. Andy Borowitz puts it this way: “A technician will be at your home between the hours of eight and never.” Read the rest of this entry »
At the start of every term, the macro team gives the GDP lecture, in which we explain what GDP is and why we might care about it. Which always raises the question: Aren’t there other things we care about? Read the rest of this entry »
A post by Priya Raghubir
We look forward to Super Bowl advertising almost as much as the game itself. Every year the price of a 30 second spot goes up. Every year we have post-game lists of the best and worst ads. And every year ads that combine humor, kids, animals, and sex dominate the “most memorable” list as companies try to leverage social media to create a buzz — the so-called water cooler effect. Pre-game teasers are more common all the time, even pre-releases of ads on Youtube. Read the rest of this entry »
I should have known better. Yesterday I ran across a piece suggesting that SodaStream was forced by Fox (the broadcaster) to take a reference to Coke and Pepsi out of its Super Bowl ad. Since references to competing products are commonplace, that seems unjust, right?
I don’t know what Fox’s logic is, but my marketing consultant, Priya, tells me SodaStream is doing this on purpose to drum up attention. Why would she think that? For one, it’s working: the (“uncensored”) ad now has almost 9 million views on YouTube. For another, they did the same thing last year. As they say in the Guinness ads: Brilliant! I’m now trying to figure out how to get Paul Krugman to attack me.
What was the best Super Bowl ad you’ve ever seen? What was the product? Priya Raghubir, our resident marketing guru, tells me that people often don’t remember the ads, and when they do, they don’t remember the product. In her marketing class, she asks students to write down all the ads they remember after the game, and what products they represent. Try it yourself and compare your list to the official Wikipedia lineup — or watch them again.
For extra credit, read this and explain why you think paying $4 million for 30 seconds is either a waste of money or an incredibly good deal.
If you’d like to understand how poor countries can succeed, take a look at this op-ed by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. Highlights:
[H]uge aid flows appear to have done little to change the development trajectories of poor countries, particularly in Africa. Why? Poverty is created by economic institutions that systematically block the incentives and opportunities of poor people to make things better for themselves, their neighbours and their country.
[Foreign aid success requires] using financial and diplomatic clout to help create room for inclusive institutions to grow.
In short: don’t throw money at poorly run countries, help them develop better political systems and ignore them if they don’t.
Catherine Rampell reminds us: little to none. She notes:
[V]irtually every time a government or athletic organization describes the economic benefits of hosting a major sports event, economists pick apart the calculations as flawed, myopic or outright fraudulent. Economists interviewed for this column expressed skepticism about the widely cited estimate [of benefits to the city] of $550 million to $600 million. [Moreover, any] gains … are concentrated among a few beneficiaries — like hotels or, most obviously, the NFL itself. … [T]he sporting event represents a huge transfer of funds from taxpayers to a handful of special interests. … This is the standard assessment for almost any event for which governments bear the costs, including Super Bowls, Olympic Games and World Cups.
Yup, no surprise there to anyone who follows this kind of thing. That said, it’s a good time for one of my friends to have a party.
Tim Reilly sends this link showing the price of a Samsung Galaxy rising from 7,999 pesos to 11,518 in 6 hours. The collapse suggested in December’s final exam may be at hand. You can look forward to some great vacation deals.
Update: Espen Henriksen sends this picture of Argentina’s massively inverted yield curve. Textbook case of a currency collapsing as the central bank runs out of reserves. (They’re not out yet, but they would be soon if they kept supporting the peso.)
Update 2 (Jan 25): I just ran across an interesting post by Pablo Guidotti and Andy Neumeyer suggesting that reserves are smaller than they look — the central bank has USD liabilities, so net reserves in late December were under 10 billion USD. They’re effectively out. Hence the move today to eliminate some of their foreign exchange controls, which weren’t working well enough anyway.