I’m back from my hiatus and wonder whether I shouldn’t take a break more often given all of that great posts and discussion that occurred in my absence.
I also feel renewed enthusiasm for work from an item I saw in this morning’s Wall Street Journal. If you think education policy is being made on flimsy research, just look at what the WSJ says some investment firms are using to make decisions. In Japan traders have noticed a relationship between the airing of Studio Ghibli films, like Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away, on Japanese TV and bad economic news. And they are making investment decisions timed with these broadcasts.
Here’s how the WSJ describes it:
Traders call it the “Ghibli Rule” or the “Curse of Ghibli.”… Believers point to the uncanny accuracy of the “rule.” Since January 2010, NTV has aired Ghibli films 24 times. In the following Tokyo trading session, the dollar fell versus the yen nearly three-quarters of the time.
On July 8, 2011, during a showing of “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” a Ghibli film about a young witch and her cat, the payroll numbers came in 86% below expectations and the dollar fell 1.2%. The following Monday, Japan’s benchmark index fell 0.7%.
“I always factor into my trading that when a Ghibli movie airs on a Friday, the dollar-yen market could get volatile,” says Yukio Nakamura, a senior manager at a French insurance company in Tokyo, who dabbles in foreign exchange on the side. “I don’t watch Ghibli movies on TV myself, but I’m always checking the broadcast schedule as a kind of risk hedge.”
Ummm… O.K. So if Gates wants teachers to make educational decisions based on glorified mood rings while ignoring their own positive random assignment results on small schools and early college, they look like Socrates compared to Japanese traders. See? Education policy-making could be worse.