Friday, August 08, 2008

Olympian Excess.

I was watching the TV earlier today and saw an enormous stadium being filled with thousands of strangely dressed people dancing excitedly with delirious expressions of joy on their faces, whilst choreographed ceremonies designed to exalt the leaders were performed and BBC journalists whispered in a hushed tone of awe. "Why is the BBC screening an Obama rally?" I thought to myself, but it turns out that it was actually the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

There's an interesting piece on the economics of the Olympics in Foreign Policy. In short the games make a lot of money.... for the IOC. The host country is pretty much screwed. The effects of hosting the games include:
  • Costs that are well over estimate. China's games were originally supposed to cost about $2 Billion but have now had more than $40 Billion spent on them.
  • Hosting the games in usually a precursor to slower economic growth in the following year as investment tails off and big unused facilities have to be dealt with.
Roll on 2012.


Anonymous said...

40 billion?!?! Jesus...i bet the millions of Chinese living in mud huts would be happier then clams to hear that.

JuliaM said...

They'll be happier than clams alright.

Or else!

Mark Wadsworth said...

I thought we'd put ours back to 2013?