05 December 2011

Unintended consequences

Here is a table on perverse incentives in academia (http://bit.ly/
). The point is that unintended consequences are difficult to
see and difficult to predict.

16 May 2011

Bill James, the main statistician behind Moneyball, has written a book on popular crime: http://n.pr/iF3zBl
The playwright David Mamet: http://bit.ly/k3aGF3. I liked the movie “State and Main.”
New websites for economic data: http://bit.ly/ihC1qh, http://bit.ly/jL2eGB
The “best of the best” economists: http://bit.ly/kQOTt1
Paul Zak says oxytocin shows that markets are moral: http://bit.ly/kC11KE. The 2nd part is best.
Dizzy Gillespie plays: http://bit.ly/kSTpHH
Will Lagarde be the next head of the IMF?: http://reut.rs/kf3euI
A perp walk for an innocent, “until proven guilty”: http://bit.ly/kqmoqx
Scheduling meetings across time zones: http://ping.fm/5FfhA

More Links

Scheduling meetings across time zones: http://lifehac.kr/mh6zIh

A perp walk for an innocent, “until proven guilty”: http://bit.ly/kqmoqx

Will Lagarde be the next head of the IMF?: http://reut.rs/kf3euI

Dizzy Gillespie plays: http://bit.ly/kSTpHH

Paul Zak says oxytocin shows that markets are moral: http://bit.ly/kC11KE. The 2nd part is best.

The “best of the best” economists: http://bit.ly/kQOTt1

New websites for economic data: http://bit.ly/ihC1qh, http://bit.ly/jL2eGB

The playwright David Mamet: http://bit.ly/k3aGF3. I liked the movie “State and Main.”

Bill James, the main statistician behind Moneyball, has written a book on popular crime: http://n.pr/iF3zBl

16 April 2011

Weekend Links

Business Ethics.
The top 10 companies paying FCPA fines (http://bit.ly/fuIwaL). As far as the FCPA rules are concerned, the definition of “foreign official” is broad (http://bit.ly/eivQL5). 
Duncan Watts's new book is about the failure of common sense (http://bit.ly/h7IjjV). How does lap dancing teach business ethics? Or is this an example of the failure of common sense (http://bit.ly/fHBAkB).
7 most discussed scientific biases (http://bit.ly/fourgO). Conflict of interest bias in article by economists, from American Banker (http://bit.ly/fSHWww).

Organizational Behavior.
A rant against pay for performance (http://bit.ly/eKsx76). Can studies on children be extrapolated to working adults?
Languages that are endangered or extinct (http://bit.ly/dHO3Eb).
• “Weaving a new corporate culture,” from CFO.com (http://bit.ly/g6jH6P).
35% of Illinois state workers are on workers' comp (http://bit.ly/fCrFm8).

How the US government debt came about (http://bit.ly/g5kx6Y).
US housing (Case-Shiller index) bubble, boom and bust (http://bit.ly/evu2A7 and http://bit.ly/ihFOVa).
Are people better off now than then? A simple test (http://bit.ly/fcZidt). Also Cox & Alm's How are we doing? (http://bit.ly/fUfnLG).

Information Technology.
Freedom, privacy, and the Internet (http://bit.ly/eym2aE).
Dvorak keyboard (http://bit.ly/edAKrn).

The ghost of cigarette advertising past, by Calfee (http://bit.ly/fSoBOg), or, the unintended consequences of regulation, or how the government ruins things.
Deshpande's “Why aren't you buying Venezuelan chocolate?” (http://bit.ly/fUfnLG).
How to lie with statistics (http://bit.ly/gj87uZ).

Scott Adams says study entrepreneurship (http://on.wsj.com/gHWOer). Readings about entrepreneurship (http://bit.ly/hjxsnl).

Has pharma M&A been useless (http://bit.ly/flRkv0)? Maybe, but not by this data.
Deregulation leads to price wars ((http://bit.ly/ijlzI3), by Florissen et al, “The Race to the Bottom.”

Operations Management.
The trouble with average costs (http://bit.ly/et4N8R). Oops.

Management Miscellany.
Chemistry explains all (http://lifehac.kr/fakEAq; “How to make the perfect Bloody Mary”).
Would you like to buy the Empire State Building? (http://nyti.ms/eAsEJY). 

Have a good weekend, 


09 April 2011

Weekend Links

Business Documentaries. The documentary “Inside Job” is available online, free: http://bit.ly/fNypyD. Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me!”) makes a documentary using brand marketing on making a documentary using brand marketing: http://bit.ly/hBHEEO.

Supply Chains and Petri nets. Mathematical network theory, Petri nets: http://bit.ly/fWqNQL, http://bit.ly/fM0I60. It looks like a supply chain to me.

Finance Theory and the Real World. Richard Feynman talks simple science: http://bit.ly/dTNyut. If the experimental data doesn't agree with the theory, then the theory is wrong. Amar Bhidé on finance and risk: http://bit.ly/gdgpau. I think he's saying that the experience doesn't accord with theory, therefore the theory is wrong.

Business Life. “Hard work never killed anybody, but why take the chance?”: http://bbc.in/e2FL1w.

Telling a Story and Branding. Stories, which remind me of marketing and branding, by Kurt Vonnegut: http://bit.ly/heS0Lt. Rhetorical tricks of a Steve Jobs talk: http://bit.ly/f9zfcP.

Corruption Chronicles. If you legalize corruption, its price will decrease, so will you get less of it?: http://bit.ly/fl8NWX. Corruption in Equatorial Guinea: http://bit.ly/gjHFAz.

Miscellaneous. FDI in the USA: http://bit.ly/eQvloe. Enron's former CEO Jeffrey Skilling denied new trial: http://bbc.in/e2FL1w. Yves Smith, of the Naked Capitalism blog, reminds me of an Old Testament prophet: http://bit.ly/ij0SU1. Public lectures have been given at Gresham College at least since the 1600s (Samuel Pepys' Diary). Some lectures are now online. Here is “The Story of e,” which is definitely not as racy as “The Story of O”: http://bit.ly/f4VP97. Joseph Keckeissen and the US wetbacks who go to Guatemala and won't go home: http://bit.ly/gn65pA.

Theory Y and Animal Behavior.
1) Cute orangutan?: http://bit.ly/gqKmj7.
2) Bald eagles: http://bit.ly/hx8ytE.

Have a good weekend,

02 April 2011

Weekend Links

1) Federal, state and local governments in the US have debt crises. In Michigan, the state has 
changed the law, creating "emergency managers." So, if the Michigan governor declares a 
financial emergency in a locality, he can appoint an emergency manager, who will have broad 
powers, including the power to break contracts: http://bit.ly/fFIg7K.

2) Ethics of rewarding whistleblowers: http://bit.ly/gyjN4U.

3) More on Libya connections: http://bit.ly/gy4QJN. Some compare Chile-Friedman & 

4) GE's tax strategies: http://nyti.ms/h3w5Mm.

5) GAAP & IFRS "convergence": http://bit.ly/iktJsy.

6) Education as a positional good: http://bit.ly/eLwyez. “Positional good" is a new term for me. 
Here's a lawsuit regarding education as a positional good: http://bit.ly/fyxhi8.

7) The late Julian Simon, an economist: http://bit.ly/hJqnFG. Simon is widely reviled by 

8) GRAPHic! Justin Wolfers versus John Taylor regarding a GRAPH: http://bit.ly/erMH8I.
Niall Ferguson slides and GRAPHs from a talk on sovereign debt: http://read.bi/dJvPSR.
US census data in GRAPHs: http://bzfd.it/eh6ILV.

9) Tech companies are hoarding cash: http://read.bi/fTRYS9. I don't know why.

10) April 1st, or April Fool's Day, is a day for pranks. I don't know how big this is outside the US, 
but here expect someone to try to pull a prank on you. Google tried. If you want to pull prank: 

11) Executive pay at Transocean: http://bit.ly/ggynAP.  

12) Unusual friendships: Gorilla: http://bit.ly/fQT4L7. Goose: http://bit.ly/h0LJ7d.
Have a good weekend,

26 March 2011

Weekend links and other

I am sorry to report my old laptop is near death. Those of you who knew my computer will be surprised to learn it has lasted as long as it has. I am transferring over files.

The weekend news is mainly football news this week:

  1. Clarence Seedorf is studying for his MBA at Bocconi.
  2. Eric Abidal has surgery for a liver tumor (http://bit.ly/hLXG0x). Early reports are positive.
  3. Bryan Robson has surgery for throat cancer (http://bit.ly/dYWodt).
  4. There's a movie out about Ferenc Puskas's life-”Puskas Hungary.” It includes some archival footage. It's only available in the original language, as far as I know.
  5. There's a movie about Yugoslavia going to the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay-”Montevideo, bog te video Prica prva [2010] domaci film.” It's also available in the original language only.


  1. Steve McQueen's Porsche (http://bit.ly/dH9qX1). I have a Toyota Celica, BTW.
  2. How to hack a car (http://bit.ly/fOvpki).
  3. Leadership crisis everywhere? http://bit.ly/gK6YTv.
  4. Who watches the watchers? How do you pick the experts to pick the experts? Who authenticates the authenticators? http://bit.ly/fZCCHF.
  5. Life in the US has changed a lot in the last 50 years. David Leonhardt says it has changed even more in the poorest countries (http://nyti.ms/hZUlg9).
  6. Price-to-rent ratios for housing in various countries (http://bit.ly/hvQab5).
TTFN (Ta-ta for now),


06 March 2011

Thank you notes

Lucy Kellaway, today in the Financial Times, wrote about thank-you notes and how she enjoys receiving them.

She talked about Doug Conant, currently the CEO of Campbell Soup (but who is set to retire in July 2011), who writes thank-you notes religiously. Here is an article about Conant. The stuff about thank-you notes is in the last section "The importance of failure": http://bit.ly/faKbVZ.

Thank you notes might be culturally dependent.

Thank you and have a nice day,



A TED talk by Noreena Hertz on experts: http://bit.ly/i6nKF8.

There's always been logical problems with experts. For instance, how
are you going to pick your expert? Do you pick an expert to pick the
expert? And so on...

The expert problems would be made simpler if we looked at experts as
teachers, rather than as priests.

For me, Hertz wanders from talking about experts to talking about
decision making in organizations.


Weekend links

Discovery's final launch.

Saif Ghadafi's PhD thesis at LSE was plagiarized.

The latest from "Merle Hazzard." (see, there's this Country and Western singer named Merle Haggard, and there's this economic concept of moral hazzard, so it's a pun) (HT: Greg Mankiw)

Mazda recalls because of spiders.

A Federal study says more young people in the US "scorn sex."

More ethical and legal problems for expert networks and hedge funds.

A cool newspaper map.

A Boston Globe editorial on the Monitor Group and Libya.

The Monitor Group.


26 February 2011

Weekend Links, for Fun

Peggy Lee sings Black Coffee: http://bit.ly/fnzuEE

Deep water delights: http://bit.ly/ikohB3

Most expensive car crash ever: http://read.bi/frfYna

How to foreclose on a bank in the US (it's not easy, you have to beat
their lawyers at their game): http://bit.ly/faLvZN

The guy who beat Wells Fargo's lawyers and foreclosed on one of their
branches: http://bit.ly/ecJP9R

Have a good week-end,


25 February 2011

Ask an economist for marital advice

On "General Theory of the Second Best," I told the story of a female
economist who went to Gary Becker for marital advice. At the time, I
couldn't find the reference, so I told the story as I recalled it.

The nature of the Second Best is that, in the real world, the Second
Best is often better than the pristine best, shown in the academic
world. So, I wanted a real world example. Something on the hoof, as we
say here in the US.

Now I've found the actual reference. It's here: http://bit.ly/hicwjJ.
I guess you can decide if it's an example of the second best being
better than the best in the real world or not.


24 February 2011

The Financial Crisis in Ireland

according to Michael Lewis: http://bit.ly/ha76Ic.

from Vanity Fair.


The General Theory of the Second Best

As I understand it, the general theory of the second best states that
the second best is often better than the best. The original article by
Lipsey and Lancaster is here: http://bit.ly/hiLgM8.

An anecdote, possibly true, helps to understand the concept.

A woman, looking sad, comes to Gary Becker, the economist, for marital
help. "Gary," she says, "I'm a professor of economics. I've proven,
mathematically, that the most efficient way to run a marriage is
50:50. Here's the paper. My husband, also a professor of economics,
has read it. He finds nothing wrong with my paper. We have two small
children. I try to run my household by the 50:50 rule. I do 50%, I
expect him to do 50%. I vacuum 50%, I expect him to vacuum 50%, for
instance. I cook a meal, I expect him to cook a meal, but he just
microwaves or we go out to eat. It's just not working. I'm not happy.
I'm measuring every thing all the time. My husband is disgruntled. Our
marriage is in crisis. What's wrong?"

Prof. Becker says, "Well, your paper is perfect, I can find nothing
wrong with the concepts or the mathematics. You've come to me for
advice and so I say what I want you to do is stop measuring. Stop the
50:50 business and just see how things go. Come back in a month and
let me know things are going."

One month later, the woman returns. "Gary," she effuses, "life
couldn't be better. I'm happy. My husband's happy. Things get done,
and, if they don't perhaps, they didn't need doing in the first place.
If I were measuring, I'm sure I'm doing more than 50%, but for some
things he does 100%. It varies. Best of all, our love life's returned.
Why is this way better than the 50:50?"

Gary says, "Sometimes the second best is better than the best."

Yves Smith referenced this article a lot in her book, Econned, which
is her account of the recent financial crisis.


The Nutmobile

Kitsch works for branding in the US at least: http://usat.ly/eMJhXV.

The best part is that the thing can run on peanut oil.


20 February 2011

Weekend Relaxation

Audio: (Peter Gunn theme) http://bit.ly/enmnyx

Video: (humpback whales off coast of Dominican Republic): http://bit.ly/fzUmyi


18 February 2011

Government officials explain themselves

On the right, we have Donald Rumsfeld: http://n.pr/fcYBi5.

On the left, budget director Jack Lew: http://n.pr/eMbMea.

They're interviewed by the same guy.

No, it's not you and the fact that you may not be a native speaker of

There's a lot of words, but no substance. There's no taking
responsibility for anything. There's no explaining; only obfuscation
(blowing smoke).

Who pays, or paid, these guys? US taxpayers.


17 February 2011

Music & technology chart

Here: http://bit.ly/eTEj6i.


15 February 2011

Accounting Scandals and Scoundrels

from Wikipedia: http://ping.fm/95FBB


The MBA Show

Comedy from poets and quants at MIT's Sloan School of Business: http://ping.fm/ZkN16


Mubarak's assets

http://ping.fm/T83Y4 and


Brush up your Shakespeare



A strategy

Here is an interesting post: http://bit.ly/eIthsI.

When you surf the web, you can do it better if you have a strategy.
What are you looking for? For me, I am looking for people who have
information I don't have, a point of view I don't have, intelligence I
don't have, or something. They have to be able to communicate to me.
Right now I don't have a goal.

Anyhow, this is one blog I'll subscribe to for awhile at least.


14 February 2011

Spy versus spy

A lot of this has happened in the US, so you may not have heard the
story, which proceeded in steps...

1) Wikileaks gets and publishes US Federal Government cables

2) Paypal, and, as I recall, VISA and Mastercard, deny payments to

3) Anonymous, an organization of computer hackers, decides this is an
attack on freedom of information

4) Anonymous hacks Paypal, VISA, Mastercard websites

5) Chambers of Commerce, US I think, who are usually sleepy inactive
little organizations, decide to attack

6) They hire a security firm called HBGary (http://bit.ly/hCQWW9)

7) The Feds close in on Anonymous and/or their contacts, shutting at
least part of their of operations down

8) Anonymous gets wind of the Chambers of Commerce-HBGary
negotiations and publishes that

9) More to follow??


The political economy of revolution

This is Robert H. Frank's review of Kuran's book Private Truths,
Public Lies: http://bit.ly/gZnPRm.

Frank is a behavioral economist from Cornell. Kuran is an economist
from Duke. Kuran popularized the concept of preference falsification,
which is the idea that people in a public setting often don't tell the

It sounds childishly simple, but it helps explain why revolutions can
strike unexpectedly. I suppose it might explain why revolutions might
spread too.


06 February 2011


pictures here: http://bzfd.it/gDdtA3.


How to be somewhat happier

by Oliver Burkeman here: by Oliver Burkeman here: http://bit.ly/i1aZmS.

Different, funny and interesting.


30 January 2011

The powerful anti-takeover effect of staggered boards

Bebchuk et al show (1) there's an antitakeover effect and (2) there's
reduced shareholder returns in companies with staggered boards:
http://bit.ly/eaURWE .


Skill or Luck?

http://bit.ly/h1jpcZ . van den Steen says this in the abstract: "This
paper shows why... rational agents tend to
attribute their own success more to skill, and their failure more to
bad luck than an outsider." So, rational agents have biases? Isn't
this like saying rational people are irrational?

He also states that if 2 people do a job and you ask each what their
contribution was in percent., the sum is greater than 100%.

My father, who has high blood triglycerides, and my mother visited a
dietician to figure out a diet to decrease triglycerides. The
dieticians asked my dad what percent. of the meals he made. He said
50%. My dad never made a meal in his life. When they left the
dietician's office, my mother asked for an explanation. He said he
made all his breakfasts (cereal and milk) and half of his lunches (a

So this is what I think of when when someone says the sum will be
greater than 100%, and no one in my family would claim my father is


Kellaway on business principles

http://bit.ly/fQYjAa .


Micro and Macro

he meant that macro is a trivial extension of micro. It is the
Austrian economists who are well-known for emphasizing micro:

Here's the economist Bernard Guerrien on micro ("Is there anything
worth keeping in micro?"): http://ping.fm/uCeOR .

You can't really say that Guerrien and the Austrian economists are
opposed 180 degrees, since both dislike the emphasis on mathematics,
which they think encourages people to accept ideas uncritically mainly
in the form of the assumptions that are made when making the



Depression is common. You'll probably deal with someone, perhaps even
yourself, who gets depressed.

Medicine often doesn't work, unfortunately.

There's some evidence that depressed people develop a rut in their

Here's a categorization of the cognitive distortions, which is like a
set of cognitive biases, that depressed people develop and use,
consistently and wrongly: http://bit.ly/dZMijx .

One form of treatment is to train people's thinking to aboid these
forms of thinking. It works about as well as medicine.


Martin Luther King Day

Here's his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail:
http://ping.fm/1Ejul .


Who's got the worst Gini coefficient?

USA, Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt?

The Answer is here: http://bit.ly/fmjtSy .


Jack Trout and brand diffusion

Here's Jack Trout on brand diffusion, first at GM (http://bit.ly/
ewjh2L ), then diffusion between brands of different companies (http://
bit.ly/g8CHry ).

His points are:

1) brand diffusion is common
2) it's due to muddled marketing thinking
3) it's bad for the company


Ira Glass and the art of storytelling

here: http://ping.fm/RPVJo .

Ira Glass does the radio show "This American Life," which is very very
good. He majored in college in semiotics, whatever that is.


SOTU news: Obama team gets infographic wrong

SOTU is State of the Union, which is an important annual address the
President of the US makes.

Article here: http://bit.ly/dJvpUI .

The main point is that the Obama team was comparing diameters, but
since they depicted circles, it was wrong or misleading. In the
comments, someone writes, "Hey, I think those are spheres, not


25 January 2011

Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)

EMRs are the big thing now in US medical care. President Obama wants
medical care computerized. Some see this as increasing efficiency and
quality; some as another step forward on the primrose path to

Until recently, everyone saw this as costing a lot of money. Companies
selling EMRs basically had a tricked-up billing system. These
companies bundled their software with hardware and on-site training,
then sold the package at a big mark-up. Each practice was looking at
spending $75-80 thousand.

I kept saying, what about SaaS and cloud computing? (thank you, Prof
Esteves and fellow IXMBAers). Well, EMRs as SaaS and data storage via
cloud computing is becoming available. There is training online.
Companies are competing, and...

The price is dropping. Iinstead of paying upfront for software, you
rent it. Now the best deal is $500/month, which is about what I pay
for billing anyhow.

Here is a blog on EMRs and quality: http://bit.ly/i92N6L. I don't
think the blogger has discovered SaaS and cloud computing options


15 January 2011

Does a hospice have negative externality?

Some people think so: http://bit.ly/gyHJ9W.

What exactly is a negative externality and what is not?


I guess we should all pay attention to

catastrophe theory. Tim Harford on why bankers should have paid
attention to Charles Perrow: http://bit.ly/gaC0pn.


The first time I plugged my computer

in in my Spanish hotel, I blew a fuse and lost power for the floor I
was on.

So I was jumpy about plugging my computer in.

Here's an article on different plugs, from Gizmodo: http://gizmo.do/fBeoew.


14 January 2011

Baby Boomer Demographics

In the US at least, we have the demographic phenomenon of the baby-
boomers, born from 1946-1964. In the US, people born in this era will
have a big economic and business impact.

Here is an article: http://n.pr/euaTS2.


First Amendment

I like US First Amendment issues.

Here is good news, bad news: http://ping.fm/7yMoL

"Muslims are frequent targets today, but in the past Quakers were
lynched, Baptists jailed, Catholic institutions burned, Jews
ostracized, Mormons attacked, Jehovah’s Witnesses tarred and feathered
— and the list goes on.

We have learned the hard way that constitutional guarantees of
religious freedom mean little when the majority succeeds in demonizing
a minority and public officials are either complicit or turn a blind

The bad news is that it's happened before, it'll happen again.

The good news is that we got out of it before, we'll get out of it


More economic videos

here: http://bit.ly/dZW1Qb.


Republican report on the financial crisis

Is it biased? http://bit.ly/hNomac.


Where do bad ideas come from?

This is a foreign policy-oriented article and I don't think it exactly
answers the question, but he does ask an important question, I think:

Walt is a professor of international affairs at Harvard.

He also talks about the "domino theory," which I mentioned a while
ago. It's a simple easily-visualized theory, which is why it sticks
around. It has a record of being seriously wrong several times in
recent history. If fact, if you have a bad idea, then you realize it,
you can always say, "Well, at least it's not the domino theory."


The rich get richer

also known as the Mathew effect: http://bit.ly/ftL47t. The article the
blog refers to is gated.


Newspaper death watch dot com

here: http://ping.fm/1U7Wm I think this is US newspapers


13 January 2011

Who's afraid of the Hubbert's Peak?



What's up with Professor Fernandez Cantelli?

Article here: http://bit.ly/dN0izC.

Video here: http://ping.fm/7gckY


What's up with CHINT?

Newletter here: http://bit.ly/hGcyz5.


Visual Illusion

Silencing: http://ping.fm/afHd9


Business Models

This is from Ramon Casadesus-Masanell: http://bit.ly/eVi2c5. His main
point is that a business model may work well in the lab or in the
abstract, but not work well in real life. He also emphasizes the
winner-take-all model.

The picture the editors chose for the article is great, but I can't
make it fit the article. Here is what the picture makes me think of
("Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold"):


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

WB Yeats



Their logo has changed: http://ping.fm/49Oy4


Grameen Bank Update

and analysis by Eric Falkenstein: http://ping.fm/oiVha


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There was a report in Science suggesting that a retrovirus, XMRV, was
the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. It was cultured from some
patients with the condition.

Now, further studies have cast doubt on that hypothesis (http://bit.ly/

This happens a lot-ideas that look promising in early studies fail in
subsequent studies.

If I weren't a born cynic, I'm sure that being in medicine would have
made me one.


Corporate Guff

If you are not a native English-speaker, you may worry that, by
speaking and writing, you butcher the language. Anything you do is
small compared to what corporate executives do every day. There is
also the suspicion that their output is the result of confused
thinking. Here is my favorite, Lucy Kellaway, on her corporate guff
awards for 2010: http://bit.ly/fOeHaP.


Economics and Partying

They are not mutually exclusive: http://gaw.kr/i2ZaqM.

More, this time on real estate, economics and partying: http://gaw.kr/eTTGwQ.

Who knew economists lead such full and interesting lives?

I got all this from Jodi Beggs's blog: http://bit.ly/h9g4OW. And
Gawker of course.


Publish and Perish

Let's say that you DO discover something and publish it. What happens?

The graph here shows that there's interest initially, then it dies
out: http://bit.ly/fYvBit.


Drinking and grades


More study in this area is needed. Extraordinary claims require
extraordinary evidence.


Transparency International's Corruption

Perception Index (CPI)

is here: http://bit.ly/gKDzTq.

They use "corruption perception" measurements because corruption is
too hard to measure.

Still, Zimbabwe scores better than Russia. To me, that means their
measures are at least a little flawed. I read an economic analysis
that stated that, when corruption is high, voters, if they are
allowed, will tend to vote for smaller government. I assume the
reverse is true, if corruption perception is low, voters will tend to
agree to expand government. If and when I find that link, I will send

I wouldn't advise, though, blogging about corruption in state-owned
companies if the perception is that corruption is high: http://bit.ly/h9vEA1.


FCPA Enforcement Action List

here: http://bit.ly/guJtzu.

Not just US companies.


How to Fix a Broken Marketplace



Housing Bubbles

The implication is that governments in general are pursuing policies
to encourage home ownership. This leads to an increase in house
prices, a bubble.

No word on how to figure out when the bubble will pop.

They present housing prices over time in kroner and house prices over
time in gold. (http://ping.fm/yY1UI
I would lilke to see house prices compared to rental costs, since this
is the economic decision people have to make.



The last paragraph of this blog (http://bit.ly/dHPzem) is an economic
analysis explaining why companies use Robo-Signers.


Spanish economy

Here is a report on the Spanish economy from NPR (National Public
Radio): http://n.pr/gAbQIB.

The journalist talks to Santiago Carbo Valverde (http://www.ugr.es/
~scarbo/), who is a professor of Economic Theory at Universidad de
Grenada and is a Valencia fan (if that explains anything).

His theory is like a domino theory.


Improved MIT OpenCourseWare



Customer Service in Banking



Margaret Whiting

sings: http://n.pr/fzkRDo.


News from Romania

You may be amused at what the news reports here in the US about your

From Romania, there's news of drunk birds falling dead from the sky
(http://n.pr/gw8nwS) and witches putting a hex on government as their
earnings will now be taxed (http://bit.ly/ffFb4Z).

To be fair, dead birds falling from the sky is a popular story now.
There were a lot of dead birds in Arkansas, and the cause was not
known. I don't know if they checked blood alcohol levels.

By the way, if you're in the US and felt to be possibly driving drunk,
you don't have the protection of the 4th or 5th amendments. Mothers
Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has pushed through legislation that
eliminates the protection afforded by these amendments in regards to
drunk driving. These amendments are in regards to self-incrimination,
and search and seizure.

Nothing in the law about birds. They still fly free. If a dead bird
falls from the sky and hits a schoolchild, probably there'll be some


What is each state known for?

Michigan=freshwater shoreline, golf courses. (They were kind to us)
West Virginia=toothlessness.