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Econ Central

Author: Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul

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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.
16 Episodes
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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 Came Over the Mountain -- Alice Munro. 8. Runaway -- Alice Munro. 9. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage -- Alice Munro. 10. All Alice Munro's books on Amazon. 11. How to Make the World Add Up -- Tim Harford. 12. Archives of Dear Economist. 13. Dear Undercover Economist -- Tim Harford. 14. Collected Poems -- Mark Strand. (A sample.) 15. The Best of It: New and Selected Poems -- Kay Ryan. 16. The Housekeeper and the Professor -- Yoko Ogawa. 17. The Blank Slate -- Steven Pinker. 18. How Innovation Works -- Matt Ridley. 19. The Innovator's Dilemma -- Clayton M Christensen. 20. The Myth of Basic Science -- Matt Ridley. 21. The Evolution of Everything -- Episode 96 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Matt Ridley). 22. That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen -- Frédéric Bastiat. 23. The Law --  Frédéric Bastiat. 24. The Deficit Myth -- Stephanie Kelton. 25. Rathin Roy's sarcy tweet. 26. That Will Be England Gone -- Michael Henderson. 27. Essays -- George Orwell. 28. Politics and the English Language -- George Orwell. Amit and Vivek will continue to do whatever else they are doing. You can keep listening to Amit's podcast, The Seen and the Unseen, and reading The India Uncut Newsletter. Do also check out his online course, The Art of Clear Writing. Vivek writes regularly at vivekkaul.com. Do browse all his books on Amazon or elsewhere.
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 Tamasha All Purists Should Love (2018) -- Amit Varma. 6. The Winning Mantra for This IPL: Attack, Attack, Attack (2017) -- Amit Varma. 7. National Highway 420 (and the EV of Aggressive Batting) (2016) -- Amit Varma. 8. Resources vs Constraints - Why T20 Teams Need to Attack More (2019) -- Amit Varma. 9. For This Brave New World of Cricket, We Have IPL and England to Thank (2019) -- Amit Varma. 10. Purists, Keep Quiet. Cricket Is Changing, Not Dying (2018) -- Amit Varma. 11. The New Face of Cricket (2015) -- Amit Varma. 12. Money in Cricket -- Episode 41 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gideon Haigh and Prem Panicker). 13. Dhoni and India -- Episode 10 of Econ Central. 14. Building Sports Ecosystems -- Episode 126 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Joy Bhattacharjya). 15. New Zealand's John Wright Lauded as the Man Who Discovered Jasprit Bumrah. 16. Toyota Halts India Expansion, Blaming ‘We Don’t Want You’ Taxes. 17. The Delhi Smog -- Episode 44 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 18. Getting Competitive: A Practitioner's Guide for India -- RC Bhargava. 19. Manufacturing Is Key to Creating Jobs in Services -- Vivek Kaul. 20. The Economics of The Chilling Effect -- Episode 5 of Econ Central. 21. What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been -- Episode 188 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Arvind Subramanian). 22. What is Libertarianism? -- Episode 117 of The Seen and the Unseen (w David Boaz). 23. Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge -- EO Wilson. 24. Tawaif -- Episode 174 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Saba Dewan).  Do also check out Amit’s writing course, The Art of Clear Writing, as well as The India Uncut Newsletter. Also, Vivek’s new website at vivekkaul.com and all his books on Amazon.
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 invention of Fau-G: 1, 2, 3, 4. 5. The Hype Around the Stock Market -- Episode 6 of Econ Central (about the game theory of Congress rebellion). 6. A Game Theory Problem: Who Will Bell The Congress Cat? — Amit Varma. 7. An Economic Theory of Democracy -- Anthony Downs. 8. The Median Voter Theorem (Wikipedia). 9. The Economics of the Chilling Effect -- Episode 5 of Econ Central. 10. Groupthink: A Study in Self Delusion -- Christopher Booker. 11. The Seven Basic Plots -- Christopher Booker. 12. Scared to Death -- Christopher Booker. 13. Gegenpressing GDP -- Episode 12 of Econ Central. 14. The US Economy Contracted by 9.1% and not 32%. India’s Economy Contracted by 23.9% -- Vivek Kaul. 15. Raghuram Rajan’s 10 Solutions to Get Economy Going Again -- Vivek Kaul. 16. Match moratorium interest rate with deposits: Industry -- TNN 17. Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists -- Raghuram Rajan and Luizi Zingales. 18. Moral Hazard (Wikipedia). 19. Every Act of Government Is an Act of Violence -- Amit Varma. 20. The Deep State of Real Estate -- Episode 7 of Econ Central. 21. The Use of Knowledge in Society -- Friedrich Hayek.  22. Building Sports Ecosystems -- Episode 126 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Joy Bhattacharjya). 23. The 10 Most Insane Requirements Of The Green New Deal -- David Harsanyi. 24. India’s Population Bomb and the Surprising Truth Behind It -- Vivek Kaul. 25. Population Is Not a Problem, but Our Greatest Strength -- Amit Varma. 26. Ram Gopal Varma interviewed by Anupama Chopra. Do also check out Amit’s podcast, The Seen and the Unseen, as well as The India Uncut Newsletter. And ah, Vivek’s new website at vivekkaul.com and all his books on Amazon.
Ep 12: Gegenpressing GDP

Ep 12: Gegenpressing GDP

2020-09-0301:06:472

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 Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 4. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State — Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 5. The Seen/Unseen episodes on GST: 1, 2, 3. 6. We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State -- Amit Varma. 7. The Seen/Unseen episodes on Covid-19: 1, 2, 3. 8. Many acts behind the world’s worst economic slump -- Vivek Kaul. 9. The US Economy Contracted by 9.1% and not 32%. India’s Economy Contracted by 23.9% -- Vivek Kaul. 10. Who Moved My Interest Rate? -- D Subbarao. 11. Forget the romance, a Messi-Guardiola reunion would not make City better -- Jonathan Wilson. 12. Wikipedia articles on the Fallacy of Composition, Cherry Picking, the Halo Effect and the Winner's Curse. 13. The Halo Effect (2007) -- Amit Varma. 14. Ganga Jamuna Saraswati -- Full movie on YouTube. 15. Amar Akbar Anthony: Masala, Madness and Manmohan Desai -- Sidharth Bhatia. 16. The 10 Rules of Successful Nations -- Ruchir Sharma. 17. The Rise and Fall of Nations -- Ruchir Sharma. 18. Do We Need Billionaires? -- Episode 9 of Econ Central. 19. The Great Reversal -- Thomas Philippon. 20. The Hype Around the Stock Market -- Episode 6 of Econ Central. Do also check out Amit’s writing course, The Art of Clear Writing, as well as The India Uncut Newsletter. And ah, Vivek’s new website at vivekkaul.com and all his books on Amazon.
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 Letter -- Sunil Prabhu. 3. The Hype Around the Stock Market -- Episode 6 of Econ Central (with an earlier discussion on Congress rebellion). 4. Tweet by @mridumesh on the incentives of the rebels. 5. Haweli ki umar saath saal! -- Vivek Kaul. 6. Generational Wealth: Why do 70% of Families Lose Their Wealth in the 2nd Generation? -- David Kleinhandler. 7. Where Have All the Leaders Gone? -- Amit Varma. 8. What Have We Done With Our Independence? -- Episode 186 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pratap Bhanu Mehta). 9. Piku on YouTube. 10. And Then One Day: A Memoir -- Naseeruddin Shah. 11. Disconnect between economy and stock markets: Shaktikanta Das: Indian Express report. 12. There's no irrational exuberance in market, say MF experts -- Jash Kriplani. (The piece with 'de-grow.') 13. The Challenge of Central Banking in a Democratic Society -- Alan Greenspan's speech. 14. Viral Acharya in conversation with Vivek Kaul. 15. The Lost Decade -- Puja Mehra. 16. India's Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra). 17. Taking Stock of Covid-19 -- Episode 169 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 18. The Nuances of Lockdown -- Episode 176 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Anup Malani). 19. India's Economy in the Time of Covid-19 -- Episode 177 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). Do also check out Amit's writing course, The Art of Clear Writing, as well as The India Uncut Newsletter. And ah, Vivek's new website at vivekkaul.com and all his books on Amazon.
Ep 10: Dhoni and India

Ep 10: Dhoni and India

2020-08-2001:20:10

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 Indian Education -- Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 3. MS Dhoni — Where Will I Get That Adrenaline Rush Again? -- Vivek Kaul. 4. Siddhartha Vaidyanathan's pieces on Dhoni: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 5. MS Dhoni: a bona fide legend with shades of grey -- Sidharth Monga. 6. Induce Mistakes, Avoid Making Them – The Method to MS Dhoni's Madness -- Amit Varma. 7. Easy Lies the Head -- Mukul Kesavan. 8. Seizing the White Space -- Mark Johnson. 9. Resources vs Constraints - Why T20 Teams Need to Attack More -- Amit Varma. 10. For this Brave New World of cricket, we have IPL and England to thank -- Amit Varma. 11. Purists, keep quiet. Cricket is changing, not dying (2018)-- Amit Varma. 12. The Tamasha All Purists Should Love (2018) -- Amit Varma. 13. Opportunity, Choice and the IPL (2008) -- Amit Varma 14. The Lesson From This IPL: Frontload Your Innings (2014) -- Amit Varma. 15. What Cricket Can Learn From Economics (2016) -- Amit Varma. 16. He's Been a Legend, But Now It's Time to Thank Dhoni for His Services (2018) -- Amit Varma. 17. Indian cricket's conflict-of-interest problem -- Mukul Kesavan. 18. Dhoni faces conflict-of-interest question -- Abhishek Purohit. 19. MS Dhoni, Arun Pandey links go beyond Rhiti Sports -- Josy Joseph. 20. The Dhoni Touch -- Bharat Sundaresan. 21. Women at Work -- Episode 132 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Namita Bhandare). 22. Do We Need Billionaires? -- Episode 9 of Econ Central. 23. Rent Control in India -- Episode 14 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Alex Tabarrok). 24. The Right to Property -- Episode 26 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).  25. Fear the Boom and Bust: Keynes vs. Hayek - The Original Economics Rap Battle! 26. Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek - Economics Rap Battle Round Two. 27. Conversation and Society -- Episode 182 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Russ Roberts).   Also, hop on over to Vivek's new website as well as Amit's newsletter. September batches for Amit's course, The Art of Clear Writing, begin soon. And do check out Vivek's books!
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 Graham and Geoffrey Miller. 3. Paul Graham's essays. 4. Green Shoots in the Desert Sand -- Episode 2 of Econ Central, which discusses the Zero-Sum Fallacy. 5. John D. Rockefeller and the Oil Industry -- Burton Folsom. 6. Trickle-Up, Not Trickle-Down -- Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar. 7. Profit = Philanthropy -- Amit Varma. 8. The Working Rich Improve Our Lives -- John Stossel. 9. Bernie Sanders wants to tax Bezos, Musk, Zuckerberg's 'outrageous pandemic wealth accumulation' --  Caitlin McFall. 10. Government's End: Why Washington Stopped Working -- Jonathan Rauch. 11. Out-Arnabing Arnab -- Episode 8 of Econ Central. 12. The 10 Rules of Successful Nations -- Ruchir Sharma. 13. The Age of Stagnation -- Satyajit Das. 14. Vivek Kaul's controversial Twitter thread on interest rates. 15. Ajit Gulabchand Needs a Lesson in Economics -- Vivek Kaul. 16. The Death of Stock Markets -- Vivek Kaul. 17. The repo rate cut cycles help PSBs shore up capital -- Vivek Kaul. 18. India Today's Mood of the Nation poll. 19. The video clip of the Congress shooting the messenger. 20. Amit Varma's pieces and episodes on DeMon. 21. A Game Theory Problem: Who Will Bell The Congress Cat? -- Amit Varma. 22. The Hype Around the Stock Market -- Episode 6 of Econ Central (explaining the Congress's game theory problem). 23. Priyanka Gandhi extends party support for Ram Mandir -- ET Bureau. 24. Ram temple is coming up with consent of all: Kamal Nath -- PTI. 25. Kamal Nath's Ayodhya Act: 11 Silver Bricks, And 'Hanuman Chalisa' -- Anurag Dwary. 26. In Service of the Republic -- Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah. 27. Libertarianism by Necessity -- Episode 1 of Ideas of India, Shruti Rajagopalan's podcast. 28. The Art and Science of Economic Policy -- Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah).  29. In the Wonderland of Investment -- AN Shanbhag and Sandeep Shanbhag. 30. Fixing Indian Education -- Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 31. Every Act of Government is an Act of Violence -- Amit Varma. Do subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter, Amit’s new project, and check out his writing course, The Art of Clear Writing. And have a look at Vivek’s books, especially Bad Money.
Ep 8: Out-Arnabing Arnab

Ep 8: Out-Arnabing Arnab

2020-08-0601:20:55

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 Are Indian News Channels so Disappointing? -- Ashok Malik. 5. The top paid newsletters on Substack. 6. 1000 True Fans -- Kevin Kelly. 7. 1,000 True Fans? Try 100 -- Li Jin. 8. The State of the Media — Episode 46 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Prem Panicker). 9. The State of the Media 2 — Episode 89 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sidharth Bhatia & Peter Griffin). 10. What Happened to Our Journalism? -- Episode 178 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Nidhi Razdan). 11. Persuasion -- Yascha Mounk's newsletter. 12. Fighting Fake News -- Episode 133 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pratik Sinha). 13. Non-Performing Assets -- Episode 32 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 14. IL&FS and the Indian Financial System -- Episode 91 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul and Ashutosh Datar). 15. Overdraft -- Urjit Patel. 16. Quest for Restoring Financial Stability in India -- Viral Acharya. 17. The govt and RBI face a trilemma regarding PSBs -- Vivek Kaul. 18. RBI’s forecast on NPAs has often missed the mark -- Vivek Kaul. 19. Indian banks are in for a ₹20-trillion hole -- Vivek Kaul. 20. Privatisation of banks is a great idea, and will remain so -- Vivek Kaul. 21. Urjit Patel Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai? -- Vivek Kaul. 22. Whose Money is it Anyway? -- Amit Varma (on Milton Friedman's four ways of spending money). 23. Indian Board President's XI vs England XI, Vadodara, 2006. 24. The Evolution of Everything -- Episode 96 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Matt Ridley). 25. Who Broke Our Republic? -- Episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kapil Komireddi). 26. The Economics of the Chilling Effect -- Episode 5 of Econ Central. 27. Facts Don’t Matter. Stories do -- Amit Varma (on Donald Trump & simple narratives). Do subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter, Amit's new project. And pick up Bad Money, Vivek's bestselling book.
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 sales are falling but not realty prices -- Vivek Kaul. 4. Narendra Modi Takes a Great Leap Backwards -- Amit Varma on DeMon. 5. Quid Pro Quo: Builders, Politicians, and Election Finance in India -- Devesh Kapur & Milan Vasihnav. 6. Crime in Indian Politics -- Episode 114 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Milan Vaishnav). 7. Overdraft: Saving the Indian Saver -- Urjit Patel. 8. The episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on Rent Control and FSI with Alex Tabarrok. 9. Twelve Dream Reforms -- Episode 138 of The Seen and the Unseen (Shruti Rajagopalan, Rajeswari Sengupta & Vivek Kaul). 10. The Market for 'Lemons' -- George Akerlof. 11. Rethinking Work, Home and Office -- Ajay Shah. 12. Rahul Roy and the Voting Mechanics of Bigg Boss -- Amit Varma. 13. Joe Biden’s Vice-Presidential Pick: Who’s in the Running? -- Alexander Burns in the New York Times.14. Aashiqui (1990) -- Rahul Roy's debut film. 15. Pyaar Ka Saaya -- Produced by B Subhash and starring Rahul Roy. 16. That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen -- Frédéric Bastiat. 17. The Law --  Frédéric Bastiat. 18. Conversation and Society -- Episode 182 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Russ Roberts). 19. Economics in One Lesson -- Henry Hazlitt. 20. Population Is Not a Problem, but Our Greatest Strength -- Amit Varma. 21. The Hype Around the Stock Market -- Episode 6 of Econ Central. 22. Max Roser's Tweet on the decline in smoking rates. Do check out Amit's course, The Art of Clear Writing, as well as Vivek's books, including Bad Money.
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 From the Shallows -- Amit Varma. 4. That Will Be England Gone -- Michael Henderson. 5. If Gold Is a Bad Investment, so Are Stocks -- Vivek Kaul. 6. A Sustained Bull Market? -- Debashis Basu. 7. Radical Uncertainty -- Mervyn King & John Kay. 8. A Game Theory Problem: Who Will Bell The Congress Cat? -- Amit Varma. 9. Congress Crisis is Structural -- Pradeep Chibber & Rahul Verma. 10. Political Ideology in India -- Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma), 11. Taking Stock of Our Republic -- Episode 157 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). 12. Mohua Moitra interview by Barkha Dutt. 13. Who Moved My Interest Rate? -- D Subbarao. 14. RBI Is Behaving Like a Football Goalkeeper -- Vivek Kaul. 15. Of Football Goalkeepers, RBI Governor Subbarao and the Art of Doing Nothing -- Vivek Kaul. 16. Green Shoots in the Desert Sand -- Episode 2 of Econ Central (w discussion on poverty and inequality at the end). 17. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality -- Amit Varma. 18. Books by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Steven Pinker, Philip Tetlock, Nate Silver & Per Bylund. 19. Fooled by Randomness -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb. 20. The Blank Slate -- Steven Pinker. 21. Superforecasting -- Philip Tetlock & Dan Gardner. 22. The Seen, the Unseen and the Unrealised -- Per Bylund. 23. Conversation and Society -- Episode 182 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Russ Roberts).  24. Farmers, Technology and Freedom of Choice: A Tale of Two Satyagrahas -- Amit Varma (on GMO foods). 25. The Audio Publishing Boom -- Episode 11 of Publishing Perspectives (w Amit & Arcopol Chaudhuri among others). Registrations for the August batches of Amit's course, The Art of Clear Writing, are now open. Rush! And do check out Bad Money and Vivek's other books
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 -- Priya Ramani. 3. What Happened to Our Journalism? -- Episode 178 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Nidhi Razdan). 4. Internet Hindus and Madrasa Muslims -- Amit Varma (on group polarization). 5. You're From the Mutton Lobby -- Transcript of episode 49 of The Seen and the Unseen (solo episode on political discourse). 6. Stop Firing the Innocent -- Yascha Mounk. 7. Bari Weiss's resignation letter from the New York Times.  8. Choice and Consequence -- Thomas C Schelling. 9. Misbehaving -- Richard Thaler. 10. Micromotives and Macrobehaviour -- Thomas C Schelling. 11. Helmet Safety Commercial with Coconut. 12. Cigarette in My Hand -- Gary Lawyer's anti-smoking commercial. 13. Homeopathic Faith -- Amit Varma. 14. The Mystery of Capital -- Hernando de Soto. 15. India Awakes -- The full documentary on YouTube. 16. The Right to Property -- Episode 26 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 17. India's Agriculture Crisis -- Episode 140 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra). 18. FSI in India -- Episode 11 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Alex Tabarrok). 19. Twelve Dream Reforms -- Episode 138 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan, Rajeswari Sengupta & Vivek Kaul). 20. Basic Economics -- Thomas Sowell. 21. That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen -- Frédéric Bastiat. 22. Thomas Sowell & Frédéric Bastiat on Amazon. 23. Economics in One Lesson -- Henry Hazlitt. 24. Beware of the Useful Idiots -- Amit Varma. 25. How to Speak Money -- John Lanchester. 26. Whoops! -- John Lanchester. 27. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality -- Amit Varma. 28. Marginal Revolution University. You can show your appreciation by buying us coffee or a book here. Do pick up Vivek’s books, India’s Big Government and Bad Money. And check out Amit's online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
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 Survey 2015-16. 3. The Delhi Smog -- Episode 44 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 4. The Real Reason Behind the North Indian Smog -- Vivek Kaul. 5. The State of Our Farmers — Episode 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil). 6. India’s Agriculture Crisis — Episode 140 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra & Kumar Anand). 7. The Art and Science of Economic Policy — Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah). 8. In Service of the Republic — Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah. 9. Kanpur Bloodbath: The Anatomy of an Encounter -- NC Asthana. 10. Power and Prosperity -- Mancur Olson. 11. A Tale Of Two Bandits: Naxals And The Indian State -- Amit Varma. 12. The Evolution of Everything -- Episode 96 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Matt Ridley). 13. India Unbound -- Gurcharan Das. 14. Sweden’s Lessons for America -- Johan Norberg. And do pick up Vivek's books, India's Big Government and Bad Money!
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. India’s Economy in the Time of Covid-19 — Episode 177 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 4. The Indian Economy in 2019 — Episode 153 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 5. More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy -- Philip Coggan. 6. Justice for Jayaraj and Bennix: Timeline of two shocking custodial deaths -- Megha Kavery for The News Minute.7. The Power Broker — Robert Caro. 8. The Death and Life of Great American Cities — Jane Jacobs. 9. Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing -- Robert Caro. 10. Robert Caro on Amazon. 11. Beware of the Useful Idiots -- Amit Varma. 12. Narendra Modi Takes a Great Leap Backwards -- Amit Varma (on DeMon). 13. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State -- Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen. 14. GST episodes of The Seen and the Unseen: 1, 2, 3. 15. Ponzi Schemes — Episode 142 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 16. Urban Planning -- an old short story by Amit Varma. Do also check out Vivek’s book, Bad Money, as well as Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
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 -- Episode 176 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Anup Malani).  4. The Indian Economy in 2019 -- Episode 153 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 5. The State of Our Farmers -- Episode 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil). 6. India's Agriculture Crisis -- Episode 140 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra & Kumar Anand).  7. Democracy in Pakistan -- Episode 79 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane & Hamsini Hariharan). 8. The India-Pakistan Conflict -- Episode 11 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 9. Our foreign policy is 8% growth -- Nitin Pai. 10. The Indian Armed Forces -- Episode 175 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Lt Gen Prakash Menon). 11. Stabilizing an Unstable Economy -- Hyman Minsky. 12. Why Minsky Matters -- L Randall Wray. 13. Ponzi Schemes -- Episode 142 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 14. India's Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra). 15. Profit = Philanthropy -- Amit Varma. 16. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality -- Amit Varma. 17. On Inequality -- Harry Frankfurt.   And hey, do also check out Vivek’s book, Bad Money, as well as Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
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 Kaul)). 3. It’s impossible to boycott Chinese products and brands -- Vivek Kaul. 4. Easynomics: Why companies leaving China will not come to India -- Vivek Kaul. 5. The dangers of India’s rising tariff walls -- Vivek Kaul. 6. Trump and Modi are Playing a Lose-Lose Game -- Amit Varma. 7. The Great Redistribution -- Amit Varma. 8. A trade deficit with a babysitter -- Tim Harford. 9. I, Pencil -- Leonard Read. 10. What is Libertarianism? -- Episode 117 of The Seen and the Unseen (w David Boaz) 11. The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom -- David Boaz. 12. Explained: Why parotta gets charged a higher GST than roti -- Aanchal Magazine. 13. GST -- Episode 3 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Devangshu Datta). 14. GST Revisited -- Episode 28 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 15. The Bad and Complex Tax -- Episode 74 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 16. Ghachar Ghochar -- Vivek Shanbhag (translated by Srinath Perur).  17. Lists of suicide prevention helpline numbers: 1, 2, 3. And hey, do also check out Vivek's book, Bad Money, as well as Amit's online course, TikTok and Indian Society.
In the preview episode of Econ Central, hosts Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul explain what this new weekly show on economics will cover.
Comments (3)

Nitin Gaopande

why?

Sep 24th
Reply

Utkarsha D

Bleak

Sep 9th
Reply

Charu Rastogi

I absolutely loved the podcast. Several new ideas to mull over. The point about judging a policy by its outcome and not its intention resonated with me. Also, the analogy of stationary and roving bandits was illuminating. I feel like someone added new terms to my vocabulary.

Jul 9th
Reply
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