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Econ Central

Business & Economics Podcasts

A weekly podcast hosted by Amit Varma & Vivek Kaul that demystifies economic news in India, and looks at events there through the lens of economic thinking.

A weekly podcast hosted by Amit Varma & Vivek Kaul that demystifies economic news in India, and looks at events there through the lens of economic thinking.

Location:

India

Description:

A weekly podcast hosted by Amit Varma & Vivek Kaul that demystifies economic news in India, and looks at events there through the lens of economic thinking.

Language:

English


Episodes

Ep 15: Goodbye and All That

9/23/2020
Sad news, folks: this is it for Econ Central. Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul explain why they are ending this show at just episode 15 -- and also recommend a whole bunch of books to read as a goodbye gift. Also check out: 1. Moonflower Murders -- Anthony Horowitz. 2. The Paper Menagerie -- Ken Liu. 3. The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories -- Ken Liu. 4. The Nothing Man -- Catherine Ryan Howard. 5. Netherland -- Joseph O'Neill. 6. The Thursday Murder Club -- Richard Osman. 7. The Bear...

Duration:00:31:07

Ep 14: The Big Deal About the IPL

9/17/2020
The IPL starts this weekend. It is much more than a tamasha. It saved and revitalized cricket. In episode 14 of Econ Central, Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul turn the economic lens towards cricket and cricket strategy. Also check out: 1. Opportunity, Choice and the IPL (2008) — Amit Varma. 2. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus — Ludwig Wittgenstein. 3. What Cricket Can Learn From Economics (2016) — Amit Varma. 4. The Lesson From This IPL: Front-Load Your Innings (2014) -- Amit Varma. 5. The...

Duration:01:20:27

Ep 13: Everyone Has Lost It!

9/10/2020
Our media, our society and our politics have all gone nuts. Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul examine this drift to the extremes in episode 13 of Econ Central. Also discussed: the real estate dudes fight the bankers, and why football isn't taking off in India. Also check out: 1. Driven to Extremes. Part 1: News Television -- Amit Varma. 2. Out-Arnabing Arnab -- Episode 8 of Econ Central. 3. Breaking News about Narendra Modi's previous birth. 4. Some tweets about SSR's Covid patent and...

Duration:01:09:57

Ep 12: Gegenpressing GDP

9/2/2020
Our economy's contracted. And Lionel Messi's looking for someone new to contract with. Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul dissect both situations in episode 12 of Econ Central. Also discussed: Amitabh Bachchan's crocodile. Also check out: 1. Demystifying GDP -- Episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswari Sengupta). 2. What a Long Strange Trip It's Been -- Episode 188 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Arvind Subramanian). 3. The Indian Economy in 2019 -- Episode 153 of The Seen and the...

Duration:01:24:39

Ep 11: Congress Rebellion Revisited

8/26/2020
Game theory explains the complexity of rebelling against the Gandhis -- and theory has now become practice. As fires rage in the house that Congress built, Amit Varma and Vivek revisit the incentives of the players involved. Also discussed: Shaktikanta Das's views on the stock market and why Naseeruddin Shah excused Raj Kumar's hamming. Also check out: 1. A Game Theory Problem: Who Will Bell The Congress Cat? — Amit Varma. 2. "Someone Had to Bell The Cat": Congress Leader Who Signed...

Duration:01:06:47

Ep 10: Dhoni and India

8/20/2020
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's career is so resonant for most Indians. Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul get together in episode 10 of Econ Central to discuss how Dhoni, when he emerged, represented a new India empowered by liberalisation. He was a disruptor from a small town who led Indian cricket into a new age -- but also failed to adapt when cricket changed again. Also check out: 1. What Have We Done With Our Independence? -- Episode 186 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pratap Bhanu Mehta). 2. Fixing...

Duration:01:20:09

Ep 9: Do We Need Billionaires?

8/13/2020
In a world full of pain and suffering, some say that it is perverse that billionaires exist. Do we need them? Yes, we do, argue Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul in episode 9 of Econ Central. Listen in for the argument, and the caveat, because hey, there's always a caveat. Also discussed: why the Congress Party's actions are the opposite of their words, and how we should think about economic reform. Also check out: 1. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma. 2. AoC's tweet, and the responses by Paul...

Duration:01:23:28

Ep 8: Out-Arnabing Arnab

8/5/2020
There is a race to the bottom in Indian media. It is rational. Its reasons are structural. The state and society must share the blame. Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul explain why in episode 8 of Econ Central. Also discussed: public sector banks, our love for simple narratives and Raat Akeli Hai. Also check out: 1. Raat Akeli Hai -- Honey Trehan. 2. 'Does he look depressed?' -- The Times Now tweet. 3. Television Price Controls -- Episode 27 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ashok Malik). 4. Why...

Duration:01:20:54

Ep 7: The Deep State of Real Estate

7/29/2020
The Indian real estate market is an unusual beast: there is as much politics in it as economics. Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul get together in episode 7 of Econ Central to dissect its innards. Also discussed: why Joe Biden is like Rahul Roy, and MCBC gaalis reflect a toxic mindset and should be abandoned by us. Also check out: 1. The Mystery of Real Estate Prices -- Episode 30 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 2. India's Unreal Estate -- Vivek Kaul for Newslaundry. 3. Why car...

Duration:01:23:44

Ep 6: The Hype Around the Stock Market

7/22/2020
Our economy goes down, down, down. Our stock market is hyped up, up, up. Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul make sense of this paradox in episode 6 of Econ Central. Also discussed: The economic principles behind good writing, the game theory behind rebellion in the Congress, and how both Amit and Vivek are enemies of Lutyens. Also check out: 1. Steve Jobs and His Black Turtleneck -- Amit Varma (on decision fatigue). 2. This Passing Moment -- Amit Varma (on opportunity cost). 3. How to Escape...

Duration:01:16:59

Ep 5: The Economics of the Chilling Effect

7/15/2020
Dissenters are arrested, comedians are forced to apologise, online mobs are on the rampage. The incentives are aligned towards shutting up. Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul get together in episode 5 of Econ Central to talk about the economics of the chilling effect. Also discussed: the significance of Amitabh Bachchan getting Covid, and the dangers of dead capital. Also check out: 1. Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly and EL Doctorow on Amazon. 2. Poet And Former Lecturer Varavara Rao Dying In Jail...

Duration:01:22:27

Ep 4: The Roving Bandits of Uttar Pradesh

7/8/2020
When gangster Vikas Dubey's men gunned down eight policemen in UP recently, they were responding to incentives, both ancient and modern. Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul lay them bare in episode 4 of Econ Central. Also discussed: the unseen effects of the PMGKAY, a book you must read to understand India's post-independence economics and why no country has an 'ideal' economy. Also check out: 1. PMGKAY Cost vs Actual Expenditure -- Harish Damodaran. 2. Agriculture: More from Less -- Economic...

Duration:01:01:18

Ep 3: Petrol, Diesel and Custodial Murder

7/1/2020
Why are petrol and diesel prices rising? What can the economic way of thinking reveal about custodial murder and the rule of law? Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul get together in episode 3 of Econ Central to discuss the events of the week gone by. The Book of the Week is The Power Broker by Robert Caro. And the AMA features two outstanding questions. Also check out: 1. Should We Be Aatma Nirbhar? -- Episode 1 of Econ Central. 2. Green Shoots in the Desert Sand -- Episode 2 of Econ Central. 3....

Duration:00:55:43

Ep 2: Green Shoots in the Desert Sand

6/24/2020
What are these green shoots India's government is speaking of? Is our economy getting better? Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul give context to the hype in episode 2 of Econ Central. They also discuss the incentives of politicians in the Indo-China conflict and bust the Zero-Sum Fallacy. Also check out: 1. Should We Be Aatma Nirbhar? -- Episode 1 of Econ Central. 2. India’s Economy in the Time of Covid-19 -- Episode 177 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 3. The Nuances of Lockdown --...

Duration:00:56:48

Ep 1: Should We Be Aatma Nirbhar?

6/17/2020
Should we boycott goods from China? It isn't possible, says Vivek Kaul. It isn't desirable, adds Amit Varma. Welcome to episode 1 of Econ Central, a new weekly podcast that looks at India through the lens of economic thinking. Amit and Vivek also discuss parottas, chocolate sandesh and the masterpiece Ghachar Ghochar. Also check out: 1. Econ Central Kicks Off -- Preview episode of Econ Central. 2. India's Economy in the Time of Covid-19 -- Episode 177 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek...

Duration:00:54:47

Ep 0: Econ Central Kicks Off

6/12/2020
In the preview episode of Econ Central, hosts Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul explain what this new weekly show on economics will cover.

Duration:00:05:48