Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sistine Chapel

I've only been to Rome once and unfortunately the Sistine Chapel was closed. I really want to return, but while that doesn't happen at least I can take a peek from here:

I wonder what these VR simulations will look like in 30 years.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Aren't people overreacting?

I was reading Jim ONeill's weekly analysis (Chairman of GSAM) and enjoyed his putting in perspective the European crisis:

"... in 2011, the change in China’s nominal GDP in US$ will be the equivalent of creating three new Greek economies. In the context of the above question and what is important this week, I realized that, along with the other three BRIC nations, the probable change in the US$ value of their combined GDP in 2012 is likely to be close to $2 trillion. They will effectively create the equivalent of another Italy.

 This is what the BRIC countries can do to help the world, and especially troubled Europe, way more than any specific steps to invest in European beleaguered bonds."

No wonder people get so excited with emerging markets' potential. This is truly where economic growth is nowadays, both in percentage and absolute values, and is / will be one of the key macro trends for years to come.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Airton Senna

Yesterday I watched the Senna documentary on TV. I loved it and hope it gets an Oscar nomination (and wins the prize of course!). 

Senna was one of my childhood heroes and probably Brazil's most beloved sporting hero (maybe even more than Pelé). In my family, just like many others in Brazil, it was a tradition to watch the F1 gran-prix on Sundays. The European races would usually start around 11am-12 and my uncles and cousins would come to my house and watch the race while preparing Sunday lunch. There so many good memories of Senna, Nelson Piquet and their battles against Prost, Mansell and others. Great times for F1!

Senna's death is similar to JFK's death for Americans, in the sense that every Brazilian remembers what they were doing upon hearing the news. I was watching the race live and remember my mother crying and everyone being really sad when we realized what had happened. 

In a country lacking role models it is very emotional to revisit Senna's trajectory all over again. In the documentary they ask Senna about his best sporting memory and he mentions his first kart races in Europe, when it wasn't about the money or the politics, just pure driving. 

It is sad but I guess this is how many things work nowadays. Maybe I'm getting old and sentimental but I feel that things were more about emotions and getting things done rather than today. Now it is all about money, internal politics, and people feeling entitled for everything without willing to put in the hard work needed to get things. 

Anyway, I hope you all watch the movie. (Americans will need subtitles to truly enjoy it.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Economics is all around

I was reading the blog of my colleague Simon Taylor here at Judge and he posted the link of a spoof video by MBAs in Columbia on how one of the (untold) reasons of doing an MBA maybe to find a rich husband.

Regardless of whether this is true or not, I'm amazed by the number of marriages that year after year. In my PhD cohort of 18 people, we had 2 marriages!

Gary Becker would totally agree.

Here is the video:

Eurocrisis: Just Sayin'...

If politicians had agreed two years ago - when the size of the problem was already know - to do the same things proposed last week, I'm sure we wouldn't be in the terrible mess we are now: no need to keep bleeding for 2 months with the Greek referendum, less austerity measures needed, smaller bail-out size, etc...

Politicians are not on average known for being good, but the currently crop of leaders is really depressing to watch...