Category Archives: movies

Aaa – aaa – PLUS! Gesundheit!

Rating agencies dominate the financial markets and the news these days. Standard & Poor’s recent downgrading of French, Spanish, Austrian (and other, but not German) government bonds from “AAA” to “AA+” caused waves in media and markets even before they were official. But maybe it is much ado about nothing. Bond yields didn’t go up in France and Spain, as markets have seemed to downplay the downgrade. Maybe common sense is ticking in? Because, what is it that these rating agencies can? They could rate junk financial instruments “AAA” before the financial crisis. Standard & Poor’s rated Lehman Brothers “A” in September 2008 (just before Lehman went bankrupt). This rating … Continue reading

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Freakonomics: The Movie Review

In 2005, economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner published the book Freakonomics, which in a remarkable lucid manner demonstrated the power of economic thinking to a wide audience. Focusing on the importance of incentives, the authors guided the reader through a range of Levitt’s research on diverse topics as cheating in sumo wrestling, price setting in real estate markets, living habits of drug dealers, the potential importance of naming conventions for children’s future, and the probably most controversial topic (in practically any aspect): the potential impact of legalized abortion on crime rates. The book provided new and provocative insights into what economists can do with their toolboxes, … Continue reading

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