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Semi final - Brazil vs Germany

« Ho visto un popolo a testa bassa, con le lacrime agli occhi, senza parole, abbandonare lo stadio come se tornasse dal funerale di un amatissimo padre. Ho visto un popolo sconfitto, e più che sconfitto, senza speranza. Questo mi ha fatto male al cuore. Tutto l’entusiasmo dei minuti iniziali della partita ridotto a povera cenere di un fuoco spento. »

José Lins do Rego sul Marcanazo

Avvilire, mortificare qualcuno facendogli provare un senso di inferiorità, di disagio o di vergogna. Questo è il significato di Umiliare. Humilar in portoghese. Questo è il significato della parola che non smetteremo di sentirci ripetere intorno a Brasile-Germania.

“La più grossa umiliazione della storia del calcio brasiliano”.

Nonostante gli esercizi di storicizzazione istantanea del match, la realtà è che non siamo ancora in grado di interpretare il significato di questa partita, il peso che avrà negli equilibri storici del calcio, se arriverà persino…

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Originally posted on Indies Mercurial:


La cifra del Pil reale degli USA nel primo trimestre del 2014 è stata pubblicata oggi.
Il totale non è un +2,6% di crescita predetta dai saccenti economisti a provvigione.
Il numero reale è invece una diminuzione che si attesta al -2,9%.

Ma parlare di un -2,9% è un eufemismo. Questa cifra è stata ottenuta sgonfiando il tasso del Pil nominale attraverso una misurazione attenuata dell’inflazione. Durante l’amministrazione Clinton, la Commissione Boskin praticava la manipolazione del calcolo dell’inflazione per imgannare quelli che percepivano la Social Security (il fondo pensionistico del Governo Federale) sugli adeguamenti al costo della vita. Chiunque compri cibo, benzina o qualsiasi altra cosa sa che l’ inflazione reale è molto più alta di quella ufficiale.

E’ possibile invece che la diminuzione del primo trimestre sia di tre volte maggiore di quella dichiarata.

Comunque la si guardi, la differenza è enorme tra le…

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Originally posted on Yanis Varoufakis:

Le MondeLe Monde featured this piece on my research of social economies that emerge in video game communities. Readers may profit from reading the Reason interview on which it was based – and this recent keynote I delivered at the 2014 CFA Institute’s Conference in Seattle.

Ce que les jeux vidéo nous apprennent de l’économie

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The French are right: tear up public debt – most of it is illegitimate anyway

“Debt audits show that austerity is politically motivated to favour social elites.

Is a new working-class internationalism in the air?”

Que faire de la dette?

Originally posted on Quartz:

Ce l’ho, ce l’ho, mi manca“—”Got it, got it, need it”—is the refrain that has introduced Italian kids to the joys of supply and demand for decades. It is the equivalent to the stock market’s “buy, sell,” but it accompanies the exchange of a very different, though similarly precious commodity: Panini stickers, which contain portraits of the football players taking part in the World Cup.

Kids play with their Panini sticker album

Stock exchange of stickers.

This year, it will take 639 stickers, acquired in randomly sorted packets of five to seven and traded in playgrounds and on street corners around the world, to complete the set.

Collecting Panini stickers is all about anticipation of the World Cup: sticker sales peak in the five months before the Cup and actually decline during the event. Two months after each World Cup is over, no more of its stickers are distributed.

The trade in Panini stickers offers a (usually) gentle introduction to market dynamics. And it’s…

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Euro, così la Germania ha fregato l’Europa.

A volte me lo rileggo, così, tanto per assicurarmi che non sia stato solo un sogno, e che c’è qualcuno che spiega come le cose stanno sul serio.

Originally posted on Yanis Varoufakis:


Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece’s largest political party (SYRIZA), and the European Left’s candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, has just given Mrs Merkel (and her merry disciples around the Eurozone) an important lesson in democracy.

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How to get 40.8%

Originally posted on Quartz:

European politicians might, we recently suggested, be looking to learn something from Italy’s Matteo Renzi. While far-right and far-left euroskeptics gave many countries’ mainstream parties a drubbing in the recent European Parliament election, Renzi’s Partito Democratico (PD) recorded an unprecedented victory, getting 40.8% of the votes.

But in fact, Renzi’s strategy for getting votes wasn’t all that sophisticated. Basically, he bought them.

When Renzi decided to accept the Italian president’s mandate to form a new government in February, both he and the PD had a lot at stake. Renzi, then mayor of Florence, had not been elected to parliament, and many accused the PD of ignoring the voters’ will and returning to the old ways of Italian politics. Renzi had only a few weeks earlier been elected secretary of the PD with the motto “mai più larghe intese” (“no more broad coalitions”) and had to seek the support of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is banned from public office due to his conviction for tax fraud.

Since becoming prime…

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Originally posted on Quartz:

Crises have costs.

And this OECD chart—released today—tries to quantify them.

It shows the so-called “severe material deprivation rate” of selected European countries over the last few years. Essentially, this is the percentage of the population unable to afford at least four of the following nine items:

  1. to pay their rent, mortgage or utility bills
  2. to keep their home adequately warm
  3. to face unexpected expenses
  4. to eat meat or proteins regularly
  5. to go on holiday
  6. a television set
  7. a washing machine
  8. a car
  9. a telephone

You can see how quickly deprivation rates have surged in European countries such as Italy and Greece, since those economies came under tremendous strain when the European debt crisis hit in 2010. As a result, deprivation rates in those nations are now above Poland, a much poorer European emerging market.


Now, it’s important to note that, while they’re at the epicenter of the…

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How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang

Originally posted on Alexandre Afonso:

In 2000, economist Steven Levitt and sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh published an article in the Quarterly Journal of Economics about the internal wage structure of a Chicago drug gang. This piece would later serve as a basis for a chapter in Levitt’s (and Dubner’s) best seller Freakonomics. [1] The title of the chapter, “Why drug dealers still live with their moms”, was based on the finding that the income distribution within gangs was extremely skewed in favor  of those at the top, while the rank-and-file street sellers earned even less than employees in legitimate low-skilled activities, let’s say at McDonald’s. They calculated 3.30 dollars as the hourly rate, that is, well below a living wage (that’s why they still live with their moms). [2]

If you take into account the risk of being shot by rival gangs, ending up in jail or being beaten up by your own hierarchy, you…

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