It is almost Christmas time and the song “Santa Claus is coming to town” keeps playing over and over. For me the key lines of this ear-worm are “He knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake.” The song clearly states doing the right thing leads to more gifts on Christmas day.
I have been puzzling over these lyrics for years and wondered if the lines are true. Outside of Christmas does being ethical and honest lead a person to riches or poverty? While the debate has lasted a long time, only recently have actual data been gathered that can answer the question. My recently published analysis contained results that surprised me; only a few ethical and unethical acts were associated with financial changes. Continue reading
This past week I was in England and I had the privilege of looking through John Maynard Keynes’ personal papers stored at Cambridge University. Keynes was a famous Englishman who helped lay the cornerstones of modern macroeconomics and helped create the modern financial system. Keynes’ archive is amazing because the man was a pack rat. He kept everything. You can look at some of his golf scores, check book stubs, and read his personal letters to friends, family and many of the famous people alive from the 1920s until World War II. Among the things I examined were the ledgers where Keynes recorded his personal purchases and sales of stocks, bonds, commodities and currency. (It is a real treat to hold the books written in the great man’s own handwriting.) Continue reading