In case you were wondering where one of the most well known academic geographers gets his information, this is what David Harvey had to say at the opening of the Urban Social Forum in Rio de Janeiro today:
"...the only profit made off of any Olympic Games was Los Angeles, and in many instances cities and governments take a huge loss. I think it is no accident that Greece is now close to defaulting, is seriously in debt and has serious financial problems in part because of all of the money they had to borrow and had to utilize to get the Olympic Games which produced empty places which nobody knows now what to do with."
You heard it here first. This is not the whole of the story however. The real thrust of Harvey's argument, which is also something that I have drawn attention to in other posts, is that capitalist expansion requires ever growing markets, ideally somewhere around 3% annual growth. When the opportunities for physical expansion contract, or the imbalance of wealth prevents the majority from entering the market, ficticious markets emerge, and when those markets collapse, crisis ensues: USA junk bonds 1987, Japan 1990, Mexico 1995, Thailand 1997, South Asian Tigers late 1990s, dot com bust 2001, USA real-estate crash 2007, etc. Now, Harvey suggested, the emerging fictions of carbon trading are finding their spatial and market equivalents in the production of hollow spectacles like the Olympics and World Cup. These events are ideal from the perspective of capital accumulation in that they are in continual motion, needing to be in a constant state of production, consumption, and decline, and offer a spectacle that once consumed is placed into the dustbin of history. They also create some handy bubbles, like rampant real-estate speculation, that allow some economies to sustain higher than 3% growth while others lag behind. Natrually, this growth is unequal both spatially and socially throughout the city, and we can read within the Olympic Map, where these gross inequalities and fictious markets are going to take physical form.
2014 World Cup Rio de Janeiro Maracanã 2016 Olympics 2016 Summer Olympics FIFA Eduardo Paes Rio de Janeiro Olympics CBF Ricardo Texeira Copa do Mundo 2014 World Cup 2014 2010 World Cup Vasco da Gama APO White Elephants mega-events BRT Brazil football Lula Orlando Silva UPP ANT Carlos Nuzman Dilma 2007 Pan American Games Eike Batista Flamengo Aldeia Maracana BOPE BRASIL 2016 Brasil 2014 Campeonato Carioca Engenhao Joao Havelange Maracana Novo Maracanã Sergio Cabral Aldo Rebelo Botafogo Corruption Henrique Meirelles Jerome Valcke Medida Provisoria Rio 2016 Sao Paulo World Cup 2010 forced removal stadiums Carnaval Fechadao IOC Marcia Lins Metro Minerao Morumbi Rio+20 Romario Security Walls Sepp Blatter South Africa South Africa 2010 TCU public money slavery Andrew Jennings Argentina Audiencia Publica Barcelona Carvalho Hosken Comitê Popular Copa do Brasil 2010 Crisis of Capital Accumulation EMOP Elefantes Brancos FERJ Fluminese Fonte Novo Leonel Messi London 2012 Marcelo Freixo Odebrecht Olympic Delivery Authority Porto Maravilha Rocinha Soccerex Transcarioca Transoeste Vila Autódromo bicycles consumer society debt idiocy public transportation transparency transportation violence 2004 Olympics 2015 Copa America Banco Imobiliario Barcas SA Belo Horizonte Brasilerao CDURP CONMEBOL Champions League. Mourinho Complexo do Alemão Copa Libertadores Cost overruns Cupula dos Povos ESPN FiFA Fan Fest IMX Istanbul 2020 Jogos Militares John Carioca Jose Marin Kaka Maré McDonald's Obama Olympic Village PPP Paralympics Perimetral Policia Militar Providencia Russia Soccer City Tatu-bola Urban Social Forum Vidigal Vila Olimpica War cities corrupcao drugs football frangueiro futebol mafia planejamento urbano privitization reforms shock doctrine taxes 1995 Rugby World Cup 201 2010 Elections 2010 Vancouver Olypmics 2013 2018 World Cup ABRAJI AGENCO ANPUR ANT-SP Amazonia Andrade Gutierrez Anthony Garotinho Arena Amazonia Arena Pernambucana Athens Avenida das Americas BID Barra de Tijuca Brasil x Cote d'Iviore Brasilia Brasilierao Bruno Souza Bus fares COB COI COMLURB CPI CPO Caixa Economica Canal do Anil Cantagalo Cesar Maia Chapeu Mangueira Chile 2015 Choque do Ordem Class One Powerboat Racing Companhia das Docas Corinthians Dave Zrin David Harvey Eastwood Edge of Sports England Expo Estadio Expo Urbano Favela do Metro Fluminense Fonte Nova Gamboa Garotinho Geostadia Ghana Greek Debt Crisis Greek Olympics IPHAN ISL Iniesta Invictus Istanbul Itaquerao Jacque Rogge Jefferson Jose Beltrame Julio Grondona Julio Lopes Knights Templar Korea Lei Geral da Copa MAR MEX Manaus Manchester United Mangabeira Unger Marina da Gloria Mexico Milton Santos Molotov Cocktail Mr.Balls Museu do Indio Nicholas Leoz Nilton Santos Olympic Flag Olympic Park Project Pacaembu Pan American Games Parque Olimpico Pernambuco Plano Popular do Maracana Porto Alegre Porto Olimpico Porto Seguro Praca Tiradentes Preview Projeto Morrinho Quatar 2022 RSA Realengo Recife Regis Fichtner Revolta do Vinagre Roberto Dinamite Russia 2018 SETRANS SMH Salvador Santa Teresa Santos Sao Raimundo Sargento Pepper Security Cameras South Korea São Januário Taksim Square Teargas Templars Tropa do Elite II Turkey UFRJ/IPPUR URU USA Unidos da Tijuca United States government Victory Team Vila Autodromo Vila Cruzeiro Vila do Pan Vilvadao Vivaldao Volta Alice Wasteland Workers' Party World Cup 2018 Xaracana Xavi apartments atrazos attendance figures barrier beer bio-fuels bonde civil society comite popular copa sudamericana crack crime estadios estádios favelalógica feira livre fiador flooding freedom of information furos geral graffiti guarda municipal host city agreement identity ipanema istoe labor militarization police repression porn protests riots schedule school shooting security segregation social movements state of exception supervia tear gas ticket prices tourism traffic tragedy trash trem-bala velodromo wikileaks x-Maracana xingar