Best of the Month: April 2010

10. Why Cap-and-Trade Should (and Does) Have Appeal to Politicians — Robert W. Hahn & Robert N. Stavins, The Complete Guide to Modern Day Climate Change — Scott A. Mandia, and Come On! You Don’t Give the Same Discount Rate to Insurance as Stock, and That Includes Global Warming Insurance — Richard H. Serlin
9. Return of the Death Squads — Jeremy Kryt and Are Aid Donors Now Running Haiti? — Daniel Altman
8. Nukes for Sale — Jeremy Bernstein and A New Start — Tara McKelvey
7. Why Do Harvard Kids Head to Wall Street? An Interview with an Ex-Wall Street Recruit — Ezra Klein
6. Cruel Ethiopia — Helen Epstein and The State of Liberal Democracy in Africa: Resurgence or Retreat? — Tony Leon
5. The Myth of a Kinder, Gentler War — Michael A. Cohen and Army Researchers: Why the Kandahar Offensive Could Backfire — Nathan Hodge
4. Chris Dodd’s Carve-Outs for Cronies — Mark A. Calabria and Big Business Pleads for Loopholes in Financial Regulatory Reform — Steven Pearlstein
3. FDIC Rebuts Inaccurate Op-Ed and Final Financial Reform Push — Christopher Papagianis
2. Six Doctrines in Search of a Policy Regime — Paul Krugman, Pesos, Ponzi and Financial Sector Profits — Paul Krugman, and Minsky vs. Krugman — Arnold Kling
1. Sex, Drugs, and HIV: Let’s Get Rational — Elizabeth Pisani and The Pay-Any-Price Principle — David Sirota
BONUS: Bank Regulation: Strict Liquidity Thresholds Needed — Anthony W. Orlando

Best of the Week: April 18-24, 2010 (sort of)

In trying to catch up, I skipped a few days during April 18-24. I can’t guarantee that these are the “best” of the week. In fact, I’m sure I missed some important ones, but I can assure you that these are all very good. — AWO

10. Falling Out — Ted Galen Carpenter
9. Precedent Suggests Afghanistan Taliban Could Win: Report — Ben Arnoldy
8. Congress Drops the Ball on Rating Agency Reform — Barbara Kiviat
7. The Economist Manifesto — Amartya Sen
6. Mind Over Meds — Daniel Carlat
5. Mortgage Deduction: America’s Costliest Tax Break — Jeanne Sahadi
4. Yes, It’s a Bailout Bill — Phillip Swagel and Resolution Authority: Missing an Umpire — Stephen Lubben
3. Al Qaeda’s Top Gun — Jeremy R. Hammond
2. Why Do Harvard Kids Head to Wall Street? An Interview with an Ex-Wall Street Recruit — Ezra Klein
1. Six Doctrines in Search of a Policy Regime — Paul Krugman, Pesos, Ponzi, and Financial Sector Profits — Paul Krugman, and Minsky vs. Krugman — Arnold Kling
BONUS: It Slices, It Dices — Steven Strogatz

22 Days To Go: How Christmas Caused the Financial Crisis

A little over a week ago, I asked, “What…is the lesson from the financial crisis for Christmas? What is the connection between this economic shortfall and our moral heritage?” The best answer came from someone who wasn’t actually trying to answer the question. Yesterday, Wharton professor Joel Waldfogel, of Scroogenomics fame, spoke at LSE. His lecture added another dimension to the deadweight loss of Christmas. The following charts are not included in his book; this is a Trading 8s exclusive…   Continue reading “22 Days To Go: How Christmas Caused the Financial Crisis”

30 Days To Go: Black Friday Pep Talk

How price-sensitive are you? Nevermind, I can infer your price sensitivity from the following question: Are you going shopping on Black Friday? If you are, you’re probably price-sensitive. If not, other things, like comfort of the shopping experience, probably matter more to you than price. Or so says GMU economist Arnold Kling:

…temporary sales are often a tool for price discrimination. If you need something now, you have to buy it whether or not it is “on sale.” But if the purchase is discretionary, you may only buy it “on sale.” The store keeps its prices high ordinarily, in order to pick up profits from the price-insensitive shoppers. The store puts items “on sale” on rare occasions, hoping to pick up profits from price-sensitive shoppers. Unfortunately, they lose profits from price-insensitive shoppers who happen to come in the day of the sale.

The beauty of holding sales on “Black Friday” is that stores know that many price-insensitive shoppers will stay away in order to “avoid the crowds.” So you can get revenue from price-sensitive shoppers without sacrificing profits from price-insensitive shoppers.

So this post is for all you price-sensitive shoppers out there.   Continue reading “30 Days To Go: Black Friday Pep Talk”