Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Economist - Christmas Issue III - Barbecues

My apologies to my vegetarian friends, but who doesn't like a good barbecue? The last article that I enjoyed reading is about the American barbecue culture.

I guess that in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay we have a similar love for a good barbecue but use much less seasoning than in the US. Here a good barbecue goes with "farofa" made out of yucca (or manioc) flour (difficult to explain its taste unless you have tried it, but think about sand that tastes deliciously).

Food is such a strong way to make people bond... Traveling around Italy, France , and Spain just chasing their regional cuisine is an amazing experience and one of the joys of living in Europe.

The Economist - Christmas Issue II - Expats

The second article I enjoyed reading in The Economist is a piece on the experiences of Western expats in China, and of Chinese expats in the West.

I leave a question to my readers. Would you prefer to live an expat's life (with all the perks involved) in a dictatorship growing like crazy, or stay in "old" Europe with its small growth rates?

The Economist - Christmas Issue - Lucky to be in Business School

One of my favorite past-times during the Holidays season is to read the Christmas issue of The Economist. There are lots of "not-so-serious" articles on a wide range of topics that makes for an excellent reading.

In the next three posts I'll talk a bit about three of them that drew my attention.

It must be really difficult to finish your PhD in Literature and have no place that would have paid you no more than 40k USD / year anyway. Not mention the fact that currently it takes about 7-8 years to get a PhD in those fields. A newly minted Finance PhD in the US gets around 170-220k / year. European salaries are much lower than that (apart from LBS and INSEAD) but still much better than what a humanities PhD would get.

I've been very lucky to be in a field where PhDs are highly paid (thank you Wall Street and the City for raising our outside option value) and that it is something that I love. At least in my case, the expectations I formed over the five years seemed close to what I ended up getting.

Monday, December 6, 2010


This link has a very interesting (and beautiful) use of Internet data that looks at geotagged photos to determine movement patterns of tourists and locals in several cities of the world. The photos are constructed by Eric Fisher. I found through this post (hat tip to my wife for sending it to me!):

The pic on the link above is for NY. For Barcelona it is amazing how different traffic is between the two (Red are tourists and Blue are the locals).

Like someone said in the comments, the compilations looks like a Pollock painting.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What a month!

I apologize to my few readers for the lack of action in this blog. I've spent only 5 days in the past month at home and it has been difficult to find time to post. I hope to publish a few interesting things I've saved over the next week or so.

Anyway, I have spent the past 10 days in the US working with my co-authors in Georgetown. It is amazing how working face-to-face really speed things up. As usual, progress was slower than expected, but nevertheless we did good work on all the papers and should be able to submit at least one before the end of the year. DC is really a great city. Very international, full of good restaurants and with a very nice vibe. I highly recommend a visit to anyone.