Category Archives: Economics

The bin Laden family and the Twin Towers

“A perfect example of this new and often strange world comes with the sale of the largest stake in the firm that quarries the Carrara marble in Italy that was used for the Pantheon in Rome, the Duomo in Siena, … Continue reading

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Not everyone is middle-class with assets

Rachel and Jack1 are in their late thirties, with two young children. Both are immature but have worked hard on their relationship. Jack’s a self-employed window cleaner, odd job man, labourer and gardener. He’s hardly ever in steady full time … Continue reading

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A failed pricing system

This photograph illustrates a failed pricing system for a scarce resource. Nepal currently charges $9,000 for a licence, which is clearly too little. Nepal is desperately poor and all the people (apart from the Sherpas) in this photograph are rich. … Continue reading

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Book Review: C Northcote Parkinson ~ Parkinson’s Law or the pursuit of progress (1957)

This book is one of the most influential books that has been written. Like Catch-22 it has entered the language and the psyche of even those who haven’t read it. Parkinson’s Law is brutally simple. “Work expands so as to … Continue reading

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Eat your heart out lottery winners: this is winning

“Over the past 54 years, shares in his [Warren Buffet’s] company, Berkshire Hathaway, have outpaced the S&P 500—a broad index of American stocks—by almost 2.5 million percentage points. The degree to which Buffett has outwitted successive generations of Wall Street … Continue reading

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Relative Income and Personal Happiness

Sara Solnick and David Hemenway found that most people would prefer (pdf) an income of $50,000a year when everybody else get $25,000 than an income of $100,000 a year when everybody else has $200,000. If all of us become worse … Continue reading

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Being a Chinese billionaire isn’t all glamour

Mortality rate notwithstanding, what’s more disturbing is how these mega wealthy souls met their demise. According to China Daily, 15 were murdered, 17 committed suicide, seven died from accidents and 19 died from illness. Oh, yes, and 14 were executed. … Continue reading

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