Entries Tagged 'Economics and Investing' ↓

What’s up for 2016?

Forecasting an economic recession  

A number of serious indicators of recession in the US and elsewhere in the world have been visibly in play since last fall.

Predictions of an upcoming crisis are seen daily in foreign news sources and online. But how can we know for sure what’s going to happen?

Right now the biggest downturn lies in the financial markets in the US and elsewhere. Stocks have plunged this year. Likewise, long-term US government bonds (e.g., thirty-year treasury bonds) are becoming less popular with buyers too.

The long-term government-bond trend is a good indicator of recession, but the current stock market slump isn’t necessarily so.
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Why America Needs Syrian Refugees

Christmas Past

Many years ago when I started junior high, a couple of girls from a street near my house where poorer people lived would follow me every morning when I walked to school.

One girl was quite large and very much a bully. The other one was her minion. Every morning they’d taunt me on the way to school.

At holiday season our homeroom teacher said we were all to draw names and exchange gifts with each other. The gifts couldn’t cost more than a dollar or so.

And of course, I drew the bully’s name. Continue reading →

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Are You Being Phished?

Economists seem to think you are…

You may recall awhile ago I reviewed Fatal Equilibrium, a mystery book written by two economists back in 1985.

One of its most memorable characters was a woman professor from the Soviet Union, named Sofie Ustinov. Sofie, along with Henry Spearman, the detective in the book, was a member of the tenure committee at Harvard University:

Sofie Ustinov, the chemistry professor from the Soviet Union, doesn’t like the candidate’s paper about finding an “optimal number of brands.” Although she buys the “most expensive caviar-type” dog food for her pet, she believes that only one brand for all other commodities is quite sufficient.

This week, Robert Shiller, in The Nobel Prize winning economist who ate cat foodput paid to Sofie’s belief. Shiller’s cat too preferred caviar-type pet food. Upon tasting the ordinary fare in the expensive can, Shiller, understandably, felt “he had been ‘phished for a phool” – i.e., “manipulated into buying something.” Continue reading →

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