Going on exchange is a bit like flying into space. Time becomes a relative factor and days flow into weeks flow into months. There are no real social obligations like the ones that we all have in Tilburg. No fraternities or sport associations, no weekly drinks or committee activities. It’s a period that allows you to fill it in with whatever activity you like.
A lot of football leagues and competitions have reached their end of the season and the champions were honoured. Their fans have celebrated immensely and gazed upon those shiny trophies. Besides honour and gratitude, a championship brings financial rewards on multiple levels. Do you know for example how much the UEFA spends annually on prize money in both the Europa and the Champions League? Or how much the revenue streams are in the Eredivisie and the Premier League? Let’s find out!
Leicester City wrote a true fairytale by winning their first Premier League title. You would now be running to the English bookmakers to collect your £5000, if you had, in a wave of optimism, placed a bet of £1 at the beginning of the season on ‘Leicester’ winning the Premier League –the same odds as finding Elvis Presley alive. An astonishing performance by a club who almost relegated the season before. It will enter the history books as one of the most remarkable success stories in professional football. In this article I will highlight some of the interesting facts, for us as statistics loving economists, of this success story and see how their competitors scored on that level.
Most of the students among us don’t mind it when the Dutch IRS provides us with the opportunity to pay our income taxes. On the contrary, young people usually get some income taxes back which they have paid in advance and students receive (taxfree) study grants. In fact, I would not be surprised if the tax on beer consumption is our biggest fiscal contribution. But as soon as you work fulltime and you didn’t succeed in starting a fictitious company in the British Virgin Islands, your annual tax declaration will be a painful experience. Are such often-heard complaints really true?
A productive life is fed by productive circumstances. This applies to the field of Economics as much as it applies to the life of a student. What’s the raison d’être for areas such as Silicon Valley or the Zuidas in Amsterdam? There is a rich source of intelligence, creativity and innovation. People from all kinds of disciplines flock together and bundle their forces. A high-tech area arises. It’s like the magic elixir from Panoramix in Asterix and Obelix. Or like solving a suduko: when all the pieces are brought together a beautiful new creation arises. The puzzle is solved. A treasure has been created.
The world was in shock when an unexpected leak of 11.5 million files from the database of the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca took place. The records were soon shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) which started its own big investigation. The documents revealed the countless ways in which the richest of the world exploit mysterious offshore tax systems offered by the so called tax-heavens.
Yesterday the Financial Times wrote about ECB’s chairman Mario Draghi’s response to criticism from Germany. In Germany the opposition to the ECB’s low interest rate policy is growing. The low interest rate would fuel Euroskepticism. In response Draghi blames Germany from saving too much.
Last week, the European Commission (EC) announced that it is expanding its battle with Google, alleging the company of abusive behavior by giving a preferential treatment to its own apps in its mobile operating system Android, thereby restricting consumer choice and distorting the innovation process. It is not the first time that the EC goes after a tech giant: three years ago, Microsoft was fined 561 million Euros after it failed to promote other web browsers, rather than just Internet Explorer, after a long dispute with the Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition. Does Google face a similar battle?