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Has the Global Economic Crisis – or GEC – got us?

Eat Lunch or Be LunchCalling for Acronyms!
Here’s mine to start off —
The GEC — it sounds like a mix between guck, yuck, ick and eck. Like the noise you make in the back of your throat when you’re about to regurgitate, or cough up spume. And isn’t that what we’re doing now? Out comes the excess… Oh, and what about the Global Economic Meltdown, or “GEM” – with a hard g? Sounds chewy, gooey and horror-movie-ish. The GEM is on the move…
And ThoughtCast wants YOU to contribute an acronym as well!
Might as well get – if not a free lunch, then a free laugh out of all of this…

So, here’s Dale Hobson’s contribution:
“How about GRR–for Great Republican Rip-off or Global Resources Rape.
I don’t want to spit or hurl; I want to bite.” Ouch!
And here’s William’s:
I always thought “The GBR” captured it well. “The Great Brain Robbery”
Leighton says: WODD — world order down the drain
While Lee Goldberg has come up with:
Global Economic Meltdown Offers Rude Awakening – GEMORA – !!!
And Anthea Raymond gives GEC two thumbs up:
GEC works for me quite possibly because of the gagging sound evoked.
We’re in for a long slow retch on this one.”

Meanwhile, Valeria Villarroel suggested Governmental Fail (GF?)
and Barton George followed up with Worldwide Total Fail: WTF
while Helen Tan writes: “GEC sounds like the cracking of an egg!”
Hence: Giant Egg Cracking

Have we covered the whole alphabet yet?
Oh, and that GEC-monster gracing this post?
It’s a sculpture by Juan Cabana, called Stranded
Perhaps he hatched from Helen Tan’s egg!

For more acronyms — Continue Reading →

Posted on March 6, 2009 in Economics, Words@Work
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The Economic Pits with James Poterba

Note: this interview was broadcast on the WGBH public radio affiliate WCAI, on the Cape and Islands!

James Poterba

What is the right expression to describe today’s economic nightmare? I’m sick of “mess” and “crisis” is too bland. What about “cesspool”? Well, I compromised with “pits” — feel free to add your own juicy descriptions in ThoughtCast’s comments section!
Either way, I dived into the “pool” with MIT’s Mitsui Professor of Economics James Poterba, who’s also the head of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the think tank in charge of determining when recessions start … and end. Wouldn’t that be nice? Headlines proclaiming the “end” of this rather inordinate business cycle.
Are these ups and downs indeed just a part of capitalism’s inevitable booms and busts? Ought we to accept them as natural, rather than resist them? Or ought we to scrap the “system” and rebuild? You tell me…
But first, listen to this: (15:30 minutes).

Posted on February 23, 2009 in Economics, MIT, Politics, Psychology
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Our American “Empire” with Niall Ferguson

Note: This interview has been picked up by the public radio stations WGBH, in Boston, its affiliates WCAI and WNAN, and WCVE in Richmond, VA.

In some ways, the Scottish historian Niall Ferguson is the Russell Crowe of the academic world: charismatic, unconventional, and definitely controversial. He’s also a big fan of the British Empire — and wants the United States to follow in its footsteps. That means it’s our job to form colonies in hot climates, for years on end.
But are we up for this? While Niall would like that to be the case, he doesn’t really think so, because, he says, we’re an empire “in denial”
Click here: to listen to a 4 minute excerpt.
Click here: to listen to the entire interview (15:30 minutes).

And to listen to an interview with Niall Ferguson on the WGBH Forum Network, click here!

Posted on July 23, 2008 in Economics, Front Page, Harvard Luminaries, History, Politics
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The Future of Europe – with Alberto Alesina

Note: a portion of this interview was broadcast on the WGBH public radio affiliates WCAI/WNAN!
Whither the European Union? This is not a question we (in America) often ask ourselves. But perhaps we should. As we now live in an era of borderless commerce – and threats – it might be wise for us to know a bit more about how our key ally, Europe, is faring. Is the EU more than just a powerful economic bloc? Does it have political clout as well? What about a common foreign policy, and the means to back it up?

Harvard economist Alberto Alesina has devoted himself to these questions. In a book he co-authored with Francesco Giavazzi, he asks: The Future of Europe: Reform or Decline??
Click here: to listen. (27 minutes)

Posted on September 2, 2007 in Economics, Harvard Luminaries, Politics
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Economist Amartya Sen on “Identity and Violence”

Note: this interview was broadcast on WGBH Radio.  And here’s a PRX review of the program!

Amartya Sen, the distinguished economist, philosopher, Nobel laureate and Harvard professor, talks with ThoughtCast about “Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny.”

This new book examines the unfortunate connection between violence and our tendency to identify with one key trait — our ethnicity, or religion, for example — to the exclusion of all others. Sen argues that we can combat this tendency by rejecting this narrowly defined, limited sense of identity, and embracing a broader, richer and more complex understanding of ourselves.
Amartya Sen was born in West Bengal, India (now Bangladesh) and teaches economics at Harvard University. He is known in the wider world for his work on the causes of famines.
Note: Susan Wennemyr served as associate producer on this program.
Click here: to listen (28:30 minutes).
To listen to a panel on “Combating Global Poverty” that includes Sen, click here to access WGBH’s Forum Network.

Posted on November 19, 2006 in Economics, Harvard Luminaries, Ideas, Philosophy
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