A major blizzard has started that is shutting down most of the Northeast corridor of the USA. Cars and trucks are being banned from the roads. Subway and train service is shutting down. People are being warned that two to three feet of snow will fall on Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Flights are being canceled in droves and there are scenes of panic buying in supermarkets. How much will this blizzard cost the U.S. economy? Continue reading
Month: January 2015
How Did the Famous Economist John Maynard Keynes Become Rich?
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
Is There a Limit to How Much a Person Should Tip?
I was cleaning up my desk when I came across the picture at the bottom of this blog entry. The picture is of a professional sports team’s bar tab after they won the league’s championship. The service fee was 20% of their bar tab. Twenty percent doesn’t seem like something worth blogging about, but this team ended up paying $25,000 service fee for 2 hours of just drinking and not eating a single bite of food. Professional sports teams do crazy things after winning championships so having a giant bar tab is not unusual. What was unusual was the team in addition to drinking lots of beer and whiskey, drank one bottle of very rare champagne that cost $100,000. The waitress didn’t open the bottle or serve it, that was done by the players themselves. However, by having one single bottle of champagne the players’ tip jumped from a $5,000 service fee to a $25,000 service fee. The huge increase led me to wonder, “Is there a limit to how much a person or group should tip?” Continue reading
Whose College Football Team is More Profitable: OSU’s or Oregon’s?
Wow, on January 1st in New Orleans the Buckeyes toppled the number one ranked team, Alabama, in the Sugar Bowl. This is great news since Ohio State’s team is going to play in the first national championship on January 12th against the University of Oregon’s “Mighty Ducks.” This will clearly boost applications, increase local pride and help with donations. Sports writers and bloggers around the country have begun comparing the two teams’ offenses, defenses and famous supporters. As an economist my thoughts naturally wandered towards money. I wondered which football team is more “profitable?” Continue reading