Paper C4 – Economics to make your mind explode

Replies : 3
Category: Studying CIMA
Keywords: c4, economics
Owen Watson's picture

After months of trawling around the NHS on my Orientation, I finally started my first placement at Sunderland PCT. Must admit I’d been looking forward to actually getting down to some real work after playing the role of perpetual tourist on a medical safari.

For those of you that just googled ‘Medical tourism’ – that isn’t what I was up to! (That’s next summer...)

So far I’ve been in Financial Services (the creditor side to those in the know) and have been punching invoices into Oracle and scanning invoices for filing – apparently we’ve only just gone digital in the process.

Doesn’t sound very interesting...until you get a £6.9m invoice.

After my first week of work, the powers that be decided that us Finance trainees weren’t cut out for work in such long bursts and had us sent off to another week at college. This time we were covering the material for Economics (C4), the fourth of five certificate level exams.

I’m exempt (just putting it out there) and had covered most of the material in my Economics AS level and degree. That said, the material was quite dense and it’s definitely a subject that will make your eyes weary.

Apologies to any of the Economic purists out there, but as far as I’m concerned the best thing the economist has produced is Kal’s cartoon.

Ok, I liked Freakonomics too – but that’s as far as I’ll go!

Back to classHighlights of the week included my quizzing the lecturer on her conviction that a minimum wage causes unemployment to rise. When I asked if there wasactually evidence of this she directed me to the graph that proved it.

Missing my point slightly me thinks.

Apart from my group’s world class presentation on National Income Accounting and my enthusiastic contribution to its success (spot the sarcasm), the only other remaining incident of note was the rousing debate on the Euro on the final day.

Basically, me and a fellow NHS graduate had an argument about the pros and cons of the UK entering the single currency, while everyone else in the class sat there willing us to shut up so they could go home and escape the Economic web that had been spun around them.

I feel sorry for the Philosophy graduate in the room.

Until next time...

Proving the Minimum Wage argument

Sorry, but everybody knows that if it's in Powerpoint then it must be true ... worth knowing, though, you can always trump a graph with a Harvard Business School 2 x 2 matrix ... had a long argument with a much-respected retired friend yesterday, who after a successful career as a very senior motor-manufacturing executive is still convinced the only way out of recession is to cut unemployment benefits. Your lecturer's not the only one missing the point, unfortunately. Lock ten economists in a room and between them they'll come up with eleven conflicting but passionately-argued theories explaining why the door won't open.

Still a fascinating subject though, especially in Freakonomics form.

(Are you sure the Philosophy graduate was really there, or was s/he simply a social construct?)

But what trumps a 2 x 2 matrix?

Thanks for the comment/insight, I was just having a bit of fun with the Economics stuff...I quite like it when it's applied properly, I'm just theory-averse at times

Plus it was a good excuse to throw Kal's cartoon in there, which is always a bonus =D

On the philosopher, I'm pretty sure he was there...but definitely an existentialist quandary, I'll grant you that!  

Top trumps?

Well, there are rumours of a 3 x 3 matrix, but those are probably best left to PhD researchers with brains the size of a small planet, or to anyone who actually understands the plot of Lost (if there was one?).

Know what you mean about the theory. I once attended a lecture given by a ferociously Marxist Professor of Economics from Mumbai, who passionately avowed that all domestic labour should be paid for at the same rate as bankers and such-like; by the end of her lecture, around half her audience was slumped in seats avoiding eye-contact and carefully protecting their important body parts. (Often thought since, though, in a world where money is such a visible token of value, she actually had a really good point.)

Good luck with your studies. I'll look forward to further blogs and cartoons!