Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An economics lesson

Last Saturday (11/22), I had to sit for a capital market examination … and it sucked! Suddenly I realize how little I have understood economics, the very subject which I should have handled quite well at least, considering I graduated from namely “Faculty of Economics” of a prestigious one (in Indonesia, at least). Moreover, with economic crisis going on and off for the last ten years (if you think about it, there IS always an economic crisis all time around), I should have put extra effort to re-learn various economics concepts which had been taught back in my university years.

Still, a wish remains a wish if I don’t actually do something about it. But after a painful experience with the exam, probably I will be more serious with my plan. And today’s global economic panorama has given me an extra incentive to start re-opening my economics books. Watching the turn of laissez faire economics in the superpower country – USA – to one which is more “socialist” is not something you get to experience every year. It is now suddenly easier for me to understand what Keynes, Hayek, and Friedman talked about, after real life illustration is being displayed right in front of me.

Actually there is one more thing which has helped improve my understanding of economics. This has got to do with a weekly event in my office, which is video showing on Monday noon. For the last three weeks, the video being shown is titled “Commanding Heights” and wow, how that video has significantly improved my understanding of economics and its history over the years since the beginning of the 20th century! I wish I had seen that video when I was in my undergraduate study!

But then, maybe I was not as enthusiastic as today when watching the video. I mean, back when I was a university student, I didn’t feel the urge to understand economics as high and imperative as today, and maybe I would have slept throughout the movie (*grin). Nevertheless, if I were an economics lecturer today, I would definitely make a special session for my students so that they could see this movie.