It’s the holiday season, so it’s obviously that time of year when Econ 101 instructors start preparing their syllabi for spring semester. (Oh yeah, and something about Christmas.) For those who teach the course every semester or every year, most of this is pretty routine, but good instructors know how important it is to update examples and include topics that are being covered in the news and such. Ideally, this material would be presented in a way that (usually freshman) college students can relate to or find entertaining.
On that note, I would like to present a few items that macroeconomics instructors might find helpful (and others might find interesting) when talking about the Eurozone Crisis. (I preemptively offer up some combination of “you’re welcome” and “I’m sorry.” Also, I would advise brushing up a bit on the Eurozone stuff in order to make the parodies make a bit more sense. Here is a pretty good place to start.) First up is a Greece/Germany breakup video, of course:
Not to be outdone by it’s holiday-themed sequel:
So that’s a good start with the economics and the humor, but we need to add in some pop-culture references in order to have a proper nerd trifecta. Luckily, economic journalists are not going to leave us hanging. First up is Matt Yglesias over at Slate.com, who is convinced that Taylor Swift is a savant when it comes to currency and debt crises:
Mario Draghi and Taylor Swift are two of Business Insider’s most impressive people of 2012, but few recognize that there are important linkages between them that go beyond the fact that Joe Weisenthal wrote the blurbs.
In hindsight, I guess that Taylor made Matt’s job quite easy by collaborating with Swedish songwriters on songs with titles such as “I Knew You Were Trouble.” (Keep in mind that Sweden made the, in hindsight, probably wise decision to not move to the Euro.) Interestingly enough, however, Ms. Swift isn’t the only example of economic relevance in pop culture lyrics. After all, we’ve known since June how much Carly Rae Jepsen has to say about the Eurozone crisis:
Hey, she’s a popstar, and this is crazy, but is Carly Rae Jepsen a euro crisis genius, maybe?
I know, I know. The only thing more maddening than “Call Me Maybe” is the euro crisis. One is a banal string of saccharine statements, punctuated by swift choruses of action. The other is a pop song. And neither will go away.
Some of the analysis is a bit farfetched, but even I will admit that these articles kept my attention for longer than most other writing on the Eurozone crisis has.
Hey, remember a few years back when Bono was supposedly on the short list to head the World Bank? Doesn’t seem so farfetched now, does it…