Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 9:45am
Those of you who are acquainted with my writing on this blog probably know that (a) I study mortality risks, and (b) I sometimes comment on how these risks change when the clocks spring forward and fall backward.   This fall is no exception, as I have a piece in the venerable Costco Connection* making the case … Continue reading Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely

Nobel Prize Agency

Wed, 10/12/2016 - 3:04pm
This year’s Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences once again goes to some folks doing the heavy lifting on organizational theory.   You may recall that not too long ago, Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson shared the award for their work on “governance mechanisms” — Ostrom on collective governance of natural resources, Williamson for organizational … Continue reading Nobel Prize Agency

Quarterly Chartbook for the U.S. Economy

Mon, 10/10/2016 - 3:43pm
Investment analyst and former Lawrence professor Jeff Miller provides a weekly column entitled Weighing the Week Ahead  that employs many charts and offers an array of insights related to both the state of the U.S. economy and investment opportunities.  This week’s version provides a link to a quarterly chartbook assembled by JP Morgan that will … Continue reading Quarterly Chartbook for the U.S. Economy

Infrastructure Spending Is Not The Holy Grail

Mon, 09/12/2016 - 10:34am
Politicians of all stripes (including Clinton, Sanders and Trump) seem to believe that more Federal spending on infrastructure is essential to increasing economic growth and creating attractive employment opportunities. In a recent lengthy article in City Journal, economist Edward Glaeser begs to differ. Glaeser, author of The Triumph of The City, recognizes that much of … Continue reading Infrastructure Spending Is Not The Holy Grail

Economics 421 – Investments

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 11:00am
Unfortunately, the catalog description for this course has not been undated to reflect the changes made last year (and this year.) Below you will the appropriate description. ECON 421 Investments This course blends a web-based course on investment philosophies with classroom discussion of economic and valuation principles. It aims for students to develop an understanding … Continue reading Economics 421 – Investments

Obamacare: Repeal and Replace vs. Reform

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 4:04pm
Republicans and Democrats are strongly divided over what should happen to the ACA. Most Republicans have identified the repeal of the Act as a high priority. Most Democrats seek to reform the Act by addressing gaps and errors in the legislation. Such a characterization of these battle lines is much too simplistic. In some cases, … Continue reading Obamacare: Repeal and Replace vs. Reform

Fama & Thaler on the EMH

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 11:06am
The Chicago Booth School gives us a spectacular interview with Eugene Fama and Robert Thaler on the efficient market hypothesis, the idea that prices reflect all available information.    Thaler says he likes to parse this statement in two parts:  The first is whether you can individual investors outperform the market (doesn’t look promising); the second is … Continue reading Fama & Thaler on the EMH

Monetary Policy in an Age of Radical Uncertainty

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 4:16pm
Central bankers in all major developed economies have adopted NIRP, ZIRP, or near ZIRP policies.  The Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank now “offer” negative interest rates (NIRP) on reserves and project to do so for the foreseeable future.  The Bank of England and the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States remain … Continue reading Monetary Policy in an Age of Radical Uncertainty

Gladwell Claims There is No Free Lunch

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 10:08am
In his latest Revisionist History podcast, Malcolm Gladwell gives us some food for thought about where we put our resources.  He claims that small liberal arts that develop gourmet-level dining services are doing so at the expense of bringing in  low-income students.  To develop his argument, he compares two elite schools from the northeast, characterizing the situation … Continue reading Gladwell Claims There is No Free Lunch

Losing Interest

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 1:05pm
When I have the occasion to make a sizable consumer item — a house or a car or even a big green egg — I often will borrow some money to finance the purchase. In the past few years, the person extending the credit invariably tells me that interest rates are historically really low and you … Continue reading Losing Interest

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