No Gold Medals for Waste, Corruption….or Smog

Our editors reveal their favourite reading suggestions for the week.

As the first week of the Rio Olympics comes to an end, editor Avi Mizrahi, gives his verdict on an article discussing some of the downsides associated with hosting the games, while Damian Chmiel reveals his favourite read and one of the reasons he decided to stay put in his native Krakow.

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A Gold Medal in Waste and Corruption

This week I will suggest you read “Going for the Gold: The Economics of the Olympics”, a research paper by Robert A. Baade and Victor A. Matheson published at the Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Avi Mizrahi Finance Magnates
Avi Mizrahi

You must have seen all the images going around the internet of abandoned former Olympic facilities looking like post-apocalyptic wastelands.

However, that sort of circumstantial evidence does not prove that the entire venture is a massive waste of money. Luckily now there is methodical economic research that could settle the issue for good.

The researchers reviewed all the costs and benefits of hosting the Olympic Games and to cut a long story short, the overwhelming conclusion they reach is that in most cases the Olympics are a money-losing venture for host cities which cover its costs only under very specific and unusual circumstances.

Furthermore, they found that the cost–benefit proposition is worse for cities in developing countries making the 2016 Rio games looks like an incredibly poor investment decision by Brazil.

The Capital of Finance or the Capital of Smog?

A few years ago I was thinking manically about moving to London. Can you find a better place in Europe for those wishing to climb the next steps of the career ladder then the financial center that is the British capital?

Damien Chmiel Business Intelligence Analyst
Damien Chmiel
Business Intelligence Analyst

However, after reading this article published by Bloomberg, I might have changed my mind.

Having lived for six years in one of the most polluted cities in Poland (Kracow), I got used to the over- pollution issues. As it turns out, Kracow’s problem is only a small part of what has plagued the City of London.

Despite the huge amount of green areas for such a crowded city, London is also known for its high level of pollution. Recent studies prepared by local governmental entities show that even the “green lungs” of the municipal area are being eaten away by the contaminated air.

So if you live in London and you like to spend your free time in one of the nearby parks, you should know that smog and pollution are waiting there for you! The maximum limits on carbon dioxide emissions are exceeded in almost every single one of them, mainly due to the excessive number of cars.

London needed only eight days to surpass the emission cap in 2016. In Krakow it took a couple of months. So for now I will choose my good ol’ polish smog!

We conclude another week of stories that our editors are reading. Feel free to share your views in the comment section and any recommendations of your own. We look forward to hearing your opinions!

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