Media Gaffes, Nobel Laureates, Libra's Official Launch and the Brexit Deal. Wow!!! What a power packed week
Why did Ravi Shankar Prasad make that comment?
On Monday, we wanted to take a look at how well box office collections predict growth in the economy. The story was inspired by comments made by Ravi Shankar Prasad after he used movie ticket sales as a proxy to suggest the economy was doing just fine. And we believed that this was a fundamentally myopic assessment. Movie ticket sales don’t tell you a whole lot about the economy because of their relative contribution to growth. Add to this the fact that the Minister’s assessment was made based off of a single day’s collection and you are basically shooting in the dark.
Either way, this is a watered-down version of all the arguments we made in the story. So we highly recommend you read Monday’s newsletter to find out how data can mislead people into making absurd conclusions.
Why Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo won the Nobel Prize in Economics?
On Tuesday, the focus was Nobel Laureates — Indian origin economist Abhijit Banerjee, his long-time collaborator Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer. Our objective was to summarize their entire body of work into a 3-minute read and that wasn’t an easy challenge. But here’s the crux — Abhijit and Esther were responsible for looking at poverty from a radically different lens. Instead of relying on broad generalizations and skewed perceptions they looked at experimental data to understand what works best for the underprivileged. And in the process made large stride in helping these people live better lives. The Nobel Committee in their press release noted: “As a direct result of one of their studies, more than five million Indian children have benefitted from effective programmes of remedial tutoring in schools.”
Wow!!! Anyway, you if you haven’t read this story yet, you should read the full brief here.
Facebook launches the next great currency
On Wednesday, we talked about Libra's official launch and Facebook’s plan to conquer the world. The last time we covered this story we left out all the important bits — including Facebook’s plan to monetize. So this time we wanted to figure out Facebook’s game plan and why it seems to be pushing for this more than anybody else out there.
The second article was premised on the strange case of rising auto insurance sales. Despite all this talk of an auto slowdown, insurance sales have been on the rise. Turns out it's because the government made it mandatory for vehicle owners to buy third party insurance last year and since then many people have been scurrying to get the job done.
You can find both stories here.
What's up with Oil prices?
On Thursday the big news was Oil. For a while now, oil prices have been declining. And considering there was all this talk about Saudi Oil going off the bloc after the attack on Saudi Aramco, we thought oil prices would be moving upwards. But then oil prices have been doing the exact opposite. So we had to get to the bottom of this story.
Also there was this other story on Parle. After suggesting that they might have to fire 10,000 workers Parle declared their results for the past financial year. And boy was it surprising. A 6% rise in Revenue, a 15% rise in profits despite the slowdown. So what happened? What got Parle off the hook?
If you want to know about this and the Oil story click here.
Is Brexit finally over?
On Friday we covered the biggest global event this week — Brexit. Specifically the origin story and how everybody thought Britain would almost certainly leave the EU without a clear deal in place. However, in an extraordinary turn of events, Boris Johnson, the current Prime Minister of the country seemed to have struck a deal with the EU and is on course to get it ratified in the British Parliament. If he succeeds here, he will have achieved what most people considered impossible only a couple months back.
If you haven't had a chance to read the full brief, do it now right here.
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Anyway, that's it from us this week. Thank you for subscribing and we will see you on Monday