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Category Archives: Economics


Every bubble needs its This time around its The site claims 1300 layoff stories already this year alone.

15 Steps to Financial Ruin

How the whole sheband unravelled, starting with the Fed rate cut way back when.

Unemployment by the Numbers

Stated unemployment is now up to 5.7% seasonally adjusted. The straight figure without adjustment is 6.0%. Neither of these are good signs for the economy. But it’s always interesting to delve below into the figures and see how difference populations are affected. They never report the stark figures for Black Male unemployment which for ages […]

25 Ways to Drive Oil Prices to $150

Back in May, Barry Ritholtz compiled a list of reasons why we are to blame for the current oil price increases. Mostly it’s a matter of having an energy policy that very much encourages the price to rise. He’s dubbed this perversity the “George Costanza Energy Policy” in honor of “The Opposite,” the episode of […]

Hilarity from Laffer

The Big Picture has a hilarious quote from Art Laffer (yes, that Laffer) about the tax rebate. Ironically, he doesn’t like it.

Fun with Mortgages

The Big Picture (great blog) sums up the story of the subprime meltdown very nicely in this post. Check out the nice graphs of Q2 delinquency rates and where they are occurring. All told, it had a troubling (though deserved) effect on investment bank share prices and market caps.

The Best

Penn & Teller’s Bullshit episode “The Best” includes thoughts from (and was probably inspired by) Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice.

Tonic Closes

Generally, I’m all real estate going to the highest value use. But the notion of value is actually pretty elusive because of the great many things you can’t put a dollar value on. One thing you really can’t put dollar value on is the cultural capital of New York. This cultural capital exists only in […]

Why high levels of home ownership isn’t necessarily a good thing

Debt: Some kinds of debt are good and some are bad. Good debt is cheap and predictable. Bad debt is unpredictable for example, an Adjustable Rate Mortgage or a home equity loan taken out to cover current expenses. Poor Rental Market: Being able to reliably generate a stream of income from real estate is a […]

Salaries shouldn’t be secret

The Chief Happiness Officer has an excellent post making a case for salaries being made public knowledge. It’s one of the most insightful things I’ve read on the topic. The post suggests there are three reason why secret salaries are a bad idea: it makes compensation unfair, it frustrates any debate about the topic (as […]