Monday, August 23, 2010

Paper to read

Does Culture Matter?
by Raquel Fernandez - #16277 (EFG LE LS PE POL)


This paper reviews the literature on culture and economics, focusing primarily on the epidemiological approach. The epidemiological approach studies the variation in outcomes across different immigrant groups residing in the same country. Immigrants presumably differ in their cultures but share a common institutional and economic environment. This allows one to separate the effect of culture from
the original economic and institutional environment. This approach has been used to study a variety of issues, including female labor force participaiton, fertility, labor market regulation, redistribution, growth, and financial development among others.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Duck, The City, and The Chairman

The Duck, The City, and The Chairman

Posted in Facebook by Arianto A. Patunru on Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 5:11pm

“What’s up, Mister Chairman? Long time no see!”
Ni-ho-ma? How’re you doing?”
“Great, Chairman. Just finished with a conference on…”
“Crisis? I bet you did! Seriously, don’t you people have anything else to do? This crisis is peanuts! It’s a small, tiny hiccup for China!”
“I reckoned that, Sir. I can’t believe you rebounded that quickly! Approaching two digits again next year? Impressive!”
“That’s okay. Singapore would impress you, too. And look at your own country; it’s also doing very well. So what crisis are you guys talking about? C’mon, we’ve seen harder times, have we not? Don’t be sissy…”
“Yes, Sir…”
“So now, how do you like your visit?”
“Well, it’s fantastic! I didn’t get the chance to see the Great Wall, nor could I go to the Forbidden City – conference was tight. But I sneaked out to Tiananmen Square and …”
“Ah, those stuff. Standard! You can visit them anytime. They’re eternal. But how about food? Now, that is important…”
“Sure thing, Chairman. This great conference organizer took us to Duck King…”
“Wait! Did you just say Duck King? The one in Beijing? The original, authentic, first-timer Duck King? No kidding!”
“You heard me, Chairman. Duck King. The original Peking Duck, Beijing’s most precious gift to the entire civilization!”
“Ah, that is an understatement, my friend. We believe God has created only ten sets of masterpiece in the history of universe. Two of them are Peking ducks and Chinese cooks. They are so good I don’t really care about the remaining eight…”
“Well, that sounds a bit of an exaggeration, Sir. But I won’t argue you on that. As a matter of fact, we have this best restaurant in Jakarta serving Peking duck. Now I feel like I have been cheated the entire time. Why can’t they make it like this here?”
“Hahaha… that’s true. We can make iPhones better than Americans and send them out to the world. We make Lenovos, send them out. We even created the ugly looking Crocs and made you East Asians love ‘em. But listen, dude. You want Pecking duck, you come eat it here. Right in Beijing! Because Beijing, the duck, and the cook are one package, my friend! They’re perfect complements as you economists would call ‘em”
“I guess you’re right, Mr. Mao”

“Now what else have you seen?”
“Oh, I have this friend from newspaper. She took us to … let me remember the name … ah, Shichahai! It’s a really cool place, they have…”
“Oh, that! Of course. I love that place too. Where else can you relax, sipping Chinese tea, and listening to Santana? And they’ve got Starbucks, too, you noticed?”
“Yup. Your country is so globalized…”
“Excuse me? Watch your words, young man. You are in the most capitalistic country in the world! Did I say we invented … well, we made iPhone? Do you know we have our own state in US called Walmart? And by the way, that Blackberry you Indonesians are so crazy about? Man, that thing’s ridiculously expensive! Them Canadians are ripping you off. What are they, bloodsuckers? Just be patient, we’ll make it cheaper very soon!”
“Err, I’m sure you will, Sir”
“Trust me. We’re the most efficient neoliberal in the world”
“You think so?”
“Hell yes! Not only that. We have produced all market icons fancied even by them socialist street activists. Did you see those t-shirts with my picture or Che’s on them? They’re bestsellers! Everybody from London to Buenos Aires, from Jakarta to Caracas buy them. Hail capitalism! Now you tell this to Chavez or that guy Morales”
“I’ll do. And ugh, speaking about t-shirt, I saw one with your trade mark logo – except that they replaced your face with Obama’s…”
“Hahaha! Is that right? Well, I don’t mind. I like this dude Obama. I heard he just won an, what, Oscar?”
“No, it’s the Nobel, Sir”
“Whatever. But see? This guy, I knew he’s got talent. Unlike Bush…”
“Alrite, Chairman. I think I should be boarding now”
“OK. Have a safe flight. Say hi to Soesilo”
Cai jian!” 

Phantomizing Keynes

Phantomizing Keynes

Posted in Facebook by Arianto A. Patunru on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 1:26pm

17:00 - 18:30

"Maynard, very nice to meet you"
"Same here. What brings you to London?"
"Some conference. How's life?"
"You mean death? Either way I'm good. What conference are you having?"
"Was. Finished yesterday, that's why I'm here now. It was some kind of reassessment of orthodox and heterodox approaches to investment and growth. Great debate there"
"Ah, that. Boring"
"We talked about you a bit"
"That's not surprising. But rather unfortunate. People remember me only when the economy is in crisis"
"Oh don't be too sentimental, Maynard. Take it as a complement: yes there's a lack of demand and yes monetary policy is rather impotent. A vindication to partof your General Theory, I suppose"
"You have problem with my book?"
"Yes, I do, a bit. Wanna discuss this now?"
"Of course not. We're sipping coffee in Trafalgar Square and you want to talk about liquidity trap? No way"
"Right, Maynard. Let's talk about something more fun then. What are you up to?"
"I'm setting up a school. Call it 'I-Told-You-So-School-of-Economics'. Wanna join?"
"Sounds fun"
"Indeed. I'm hiring Krugman as the department head"
"Not Stiglitz?"
"No, I don't really like that guy"
"And what do you do apart from economics?"
"I'm writing a book about my wife Lydia. Just started it. Hey, what about you. What have you been doing. Apart from economics, I suppose"
"I'm rereading Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground and I just finished Gordimer's Beethoven was One Sixteenth Black"
"Great picks. Underground is different from Dostoevsky's other works. You know me, I like everything different. That's actually the strength of my works: different from mainstream"
"I see..."
"But I haven't read Nadine Gordimer. Is she good? Tell me about thisBeethoven..."
"Sure. Here goes..."


18:30 - 19.15

"It's getting colder. What's your plan?"
"Nothing in particular. I'm thinking of some play, Maynard. Any suggestion?"
"Play. Good idea. Anything you fancy?"
"Well I guess I'll go see Phantom of the Opera again. What about you? I heard Ian McKellen is playing Waiting for Godot"
"Yeah, but I've seen it. I'll go see Billy Elliot. Elton John does the scores"
"Now that I have seen twice. So I guess we'll go separate ways?"
"Yes. Shall we meet again afterward?"
"Yes, let's say 23:00?"
"OK. Let's do this. Since Billy is shorter than Phantom and the theater is two stations away from here, I'll come back again to this place..."
"Great. Let's meet up in front of Her Majesty's theater"
"OK, enjoy"
"You too, Maynard"


23:00 - 23:15

"Sorry for waiting"
"No, you're alright. Just got here. How's the play?"
"Terrific. How's Billy?"
"Not bad at all. Better than the movie. Tell me about Phantom. Who played Christine?"
"Gina Beck"
"Is she good?"
"Very good. She's amazing"
"Really? Better than Sarah Brightman?"
"Better than Sarah Brightman"
"Glad you enjoyed it. Hey let's go to this new cafe over at Piccadilly. I heard it's great"


23:15 - 02:05

"Alright. I'm tired. You're staying in London?"
"No, I'm going back to Brighton. Will fly back to Jakarta tomorrow"
"I'll see. OK then. I'm going back to Bloomsbury. Nice meeting you"
"Same here, Maynard. Keep in contact"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

AP to PLN, eh?

So the embarassing blackouts in CGK is solved: the government orders PLN to takeover the power management in CGK from Angkasa Pura.

As if PLN is good.

Monday, August 09, 2010

On redenomination

We've got too many zeros on our currency vis-a-vis US dollar. Getting rid of some of them wouldn't hurt. In fact it simplifies our life.

This thought has been around for awhile. The recent brouhaha was just another example of government's bad PR.

Friday, August 06, 2010


Growth data for second quarter is out. It's 6.2% yoy. With 5.7% in Q1, the growth of H1 is therefore 5.9%. GOI's target for 2010 ia 5.8% (BI's is 6.0%). Most likely, it's the latter that holds, if not surpassed.

Inflation in June and July has been higher than expected. As August/Sept will observe fasting month and eid days festivities, yearly inflation might also hit the upper bound (set at 6% by BI), hence a need for some tightening up.

As for employment, GOI expects unemployment to drop to 7.6%. With a growth target of 5.8%, that implies an assumption of 400,000 absorbtion per 1% growth. I guess we're not there yet.