Thursday, November 29, 2007

Real GDP Graph

more info

3rd Quarter GDP revised: 4.9%

The government's initial estimate a month ago had GDP growing at an annualized rate of 3.9% in the third quarter. Economists expect the growth rate to be revised up to 4.9%, the fastest pace in four years....

read the Wall Street Journal article


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Big Day on Wall Street

Stocks surged Wednesday, with the Dow industrials rallying 331 points, after comments from a Federal Reserve official sparked bets that the central bank will cut rates again at its next policy meeting.

read the CNN story

Theory of Everything?

An impoverished surfer has drawn up a new theory of the universe, seen by some as the Holy Grail of physics, which has received rave reviews from scientists.

Garrett Lisi, 39, has a doctorate but no university affiliation and spends most of the year surfing in Hawaii...

Zimbabwe Can't Calculate Inflation Rate

Zimbabwe's chief statistician has said it is impossible to work out the country's latest inflation rate because of the lack of goods in shops...

Maize meal, bread, meat, cooking oil, sugar and other basic goods used to measure inflation largely disappeared from shops after Robert Mugabe's government ordered prices to be slashed.

Manufacturers have said they cannot afford to sell goods at below the cost of producing them.

Most basics are intermittently available on the black market at well over the official prices.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ticket Scalping: Hannah Montana

Responding to what he calls ''obscenely high prices'' for concert tickets, a state lawmaker from Miami Beach wants to crack down on people who scoop up tickets and resell them at hundreds of dollars more than face value....

''A lot of people who wanted to go to the concert would have obtained tickets instead of most of them going to scalpers and resellers,'' said Gelber, who said he was unable to buy tickets to the Montana show because he was unwilling to pay the inflated prices....

Last year, state lawmakers repealed Florida's anti-scalping law that prevented anyone from reselling a concert ticket for more than $1 above the face value. The Legislature overwhelmingly approved the proposal...

Gelber's bill would not bring back the anti-scalping law, but it would make it a crime to use ''ticket purchasing software'' to obtain tickets from a website. The legislation would also require companies that resell tickets to register with the state and post a $50,000 bond. Those who break the law could be fined three times the amount of the scalped ticket....

read the article

Supply and Demand can't be repealed.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Recession? NO

Economists: No global collapse in '08

Growth likely to slow, but world economy will remain resilient in face of U.S. mortgage meltdown, credit crisis, Citigroup report says...

Even though the battered housing market and credit crisis have created turmoil in financial markets, economists expect global growth to slow rather than collapse next year, according to a report released Monday...

The forecast "reflects the judgment that the current stresses from the U.S. housing sector, high oil prices, a weak U.S. dollar and the recent financial turmoil will not overwhelm the global economy," Lewis Alexander, chief economist and head of economic and market analysis at Citi, wrote in the report...

Strong productivity growth, solid household finances and a lack of imbalances outside of the housing sector should benefit the U.S. economy, the report said. Non-financial firms have high profit margins and strong balance sheets, it added.

read the story

Recession? YES

After years of living happily beyond their means, Americans are finally facing financial reality. A persistent rise in energy prices will mean bigger heating bills this winter and heftier tabs at the gas pump. Job growth is slowing and wage gains have been anemic. House prices are sliding, diminishing the value of the asset that's the biggest factor in Americans' personal wealth. Even the stock market, which has been resilient for so long in the face of eroding consumer sentiment, has begun pulling back amid signs of deep distress in the financial sector....

"Right now, the question is how bad it's going to get," said David Rosenberg, chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. "The question is one of magnitude."

Not everyone agrees. Many economists believe the Federal Reserve will steer the economy into a period of slow growth but avoid a recession, which is typically defined as two or more consecutive quarters of economic contraction. Indeed, the Fed already has twice cut its overnight interest-rate target, and options markets show investors expect the Fed to cut by another quarter-point at its Dec. 11 meeting, taking the Fed funds bank-lending rate down to 4.25%....

The combination of an emerging consumer recession and a heavily stressed financial system has some experts suggesting that a financial meltdown looms...

Others are more direct. Nouriel Roubini, an economics professor at New York University who has been predicting the collapse of the housing bubble for years, wrote recently that not only is a recession inevitable, he also sees "the risk of a severe and worsening liquidity and credit crunch leading to a generalized meltdown of the financial system of a severity and magnitude like we have never observed before."

read the article

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Seatbelts and Incentives

nice blog post from Anthony Evans

Bonus: Japanese IQ Test

Get everyone across the river. More challenging than if first appears.

Take the test here.

Warning: possibly time consuming and addictive.

Bonus points available.

1st correct response: 25 points
2nd correct response: 20 points
3rd correct response: 15 points
4th correct response: 10 points
5th correct response: 5 points

Use the following format:

1. to:_____________ +______________

2. to:_____________ +______________


Note: the return trip may have 1 or 2 passengers

Do not submit "solutions" you know are incorrect.

1st Place: Will Murphy
2nd Place: Angel Hamlin
3rd Place: Casey Lee

$3 Gas is Not as Bad as People Think

from Carpe Diem

Black Friday Sales

from Carpe Diem

Long Run or Short Run?

from the Skeptical Optimist

How Different Investments Did Last Week


Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday Shopping

The day after Thanksgiving is dubbed "Black Friday" because it traditionally marked the day when retailers finally move out of the red, indicating losses, and into the black, representing profits.

read the CNN story

Several experts say Black Friday is not the year's busiest shopping day. Between 1993 and 2002, it cracked the top five just three times, never rising higher than the fourth-busiest day of the year, according to, a Web site that debunks urban myths.

Americans, it seems, love to procrastinate: Eight years out of 10, the busiest day fell on the Saturday before Christmas (aka "Super Saturday"), reported, citing statistics from the International Council of Shopping Centers.

read the article

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Economics and the First Thanksgiving

In the middle of December 1620 the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, leaving behind the sinfulness of the “old world” to make a “new Jerusalem” in America. Three years later, in November 1623, they had a great feast thanking God for getting them through an earlier famine, and now for a bountiful crop.

What had created the earlier famine and then the bountiful crops?

At first, they decided to turn their back on all the institutions of the England that had been their home. This included the institution of private property, which they declared to be the basis of greed, averse, and selfishness. Instead, they were determined to live the “Platonic ideal” of collectivism, in which all work would be done in common, with the rewards of their collective efforts evenly divided among the colonists. Farming was done in common, as well as housekeeping and child raising. This was supposed to lead to prosperity and brotherly love...

But their experiment in collectivism did not lead to prosperity or brotherly love. Rather, it created poverty and envy and slothfulness among most of the members of this little society...

For two years the harvest time failed to bring forth enough to feed the people. Indeed, many starved and many died of famine. Faced with this disaster, the elders of the colony gathered, Governor Bradford tells us, and decided that another year, and they would surely all die and disappear in the wilderness.

Instead, they decided to divide the property and fields of the colony, and gave each family a piece as their own. Whatever they did not use for their own consumption, they had the right to trade away to their neighbors for something they desired instead.

Now, instead of sloth, envy, resentment, and anger among the colonists, there was a great turnaround in their activities. Industry, effort, and joy were now seen in practically all that the men, women and children did.

So this today, when we all sit down with our families and friends to enjoy the turkey and the trimmings, let us not forget that we are celebrating the establishment and triumph of capitalism and the spirit of enterprise in America.

read the entire article

GDP per Capita World WIde Comparisons

Luxembourg, oil-rich Norway, the U.S. and Ireland top the ranking for gross domestic product per person in 2005, according to a new tally by the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation, the multilateral organization based in Paris, and other bean-counting agencies that used purchasing-power parity, a calculation that takes different countries' price levels into account...

The figures for purchasing-power parity compare economic and consumer activity in 30 OECD members and 25 other countries, including Russia and the Balkan states. They show, among other things, that since 2002, Mexico's GDP per person rose from 37% of the OECD average to 39% in 2005. Italy's GDP per head fell from a level 5% above the OECD average to 4% below. Switzerland's slipped from 30% to 20% above the OECD average over the same period. Meanwhile, the rising value of Norway's oil exports helped its GDP per head jump to 65% above the OECD average in 2005 from 45% in 2002...

PPP calculations are an alternative to relying on current exchange rates to compare countries, and the two techniques can give very different pictures. Based on exchange rates, for instance, Denmark's income per person exceeds that of the U.S., but when PPP calculations are made, its per capita GDP is lower. "This is because the price level is higher in Denmark than in the U.S. Exchange rates overstate the purchasing power of Danish consumers compared to consumers in the U.S. The PPP conversion corrects for this bias."

from the Wall Street Journal

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Cost of the Iraq War

What Does Iraq Cost? Even More Than You Think

You may recall that you got rid of your loyal White House economic adviser Lawrence B. Lindsey back in 2002 after, among other sins, he claimed that a war in Iraq might cost as much as $200 billion. At the time, White House staffers sneered that Lindsey was being alarmist. Hardly. One commonly cited estimate of Iraq's cost, based on an August analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, is $1 trillion, and that's probably on the low side. A report released last week by the Democratic staff of Congress's Joint Economic Committee put the war's 2002-08 tab at $1.3 trillion...

We often think of cost simply in terms of dollars spent, but the real cost of a choice -- what economists call its "opportunity cost" -- consists of the forgone alternatives, of the things we could have had instead. For instance, the cost of seeing a movie is not just the dollars you plunked down for the ticket, but also the subtler cost of missing a dinner at home or a cocktail party at work. This idea sounds simple, but if applied consistently, it requires us to rethink and, yes, raise the costs of the Iraq war...

Even if the wisest way forward is sticking to our guns, the constraints of politics and public opinion mean that we cannot always see U.S. military commitments through. Since turning tail hurts our credibility so badly and leaves such a mess behind, we should be extremely cautious about military intervention in the first place. The case for hawkish behavior often assumes that the public has more political will than it actually has, so we need to save up that resolve for cases when it really counts.

So, Mr. President,Lawrence Lindsey is gone, but exactly who else will end up getting fired?

read the entire article

Burger Price War?

Burger King Corp., in a move that could ignite a fast-food discounting war, plans to test a $1 double cheeseburger that would challenge one of McDonald's Corp.'s best-selling items.

"It is our belief that the dollar double cheeseburger is the most powerful weapon our competitor has to continue their growth and steal disproportionate share from the category," a note emailed to Burger King employees and franchisees from the company's chief marketing officer said in disclosing the test.

The nation's No. 2 hamburger chain, in terms of sales and number of restaurants, said it will feature a larger double cheeseburger than McDonald's at a heavily discounted rate in three unidentified U.S. markets early next year.

from the Wall Street Journal

Cranberries Becoming More Expensive

A combination of poor weather conditions and rising demand for the tart red fruit from health-conscious consumers may lead to shortages by Christmas, industry and retail officials say. Canned sauce, bottled juice and dried cranberry snacks will be available, but prices are expected to rise in coming weeks and months...

Thanks to new product innovations and efforts to promote the health benefits of the fruit by industry leader Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. and others, cranberries no longer are relegated to a Thanksgiving side dish. They can now be found in more than 2,000 products from muffin mix to soap....

Cranberries prefer cold winters and plenty of rain. So last year's unusually warm winter and a summer drought in many parts of the U.S. and Canada hurt the crop now being harvested. Peter Beaton, who grows cranberries in Wareham, Mass., says his overall crop is down about 30% this year from a year ago because of the weather. But he expects higher prices to help offset the shortfall, resulting in a profit decline of only 10% to 15%...

Cranberry industry officials estimate this year's smaller yield is expected to bring growers $45 to $50 for a 100-pound barrel, up from $37 last year, and more than triple the $16 a barrel about seven years ago. Farmers generally need between $18 to $24 a barrel to break even...

Chris Phillips, a spokesman for the Lakeville, Mass.-based Ocean Spray, says the 800-member farming cooperative also plans to increase its prices on its cranberry products in 2008. He called the increases "modest" and declined to elaborate. With annual sales of $1.68 billion and a 70% market share, Ocean Spray is far and away the cranberry market leader, selling its products in many parts of Europe and in Asia. "We could be selling cranberries right now in countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, but we can't enter those markets just yet because of supply constraints," says Ocean Spray Chief Executive Randy C. Papadellis.

from the Wall Street Journal

New Fed Forecasts

Federal Reserve officials, in a new and expanded forecast, expect the nation's economy to grow sluggishly next year and see risks of an even worse performance.

They also expect food and energy prices to continue putting upward pressure on inflation, but say underlying inflation is now, and will remain, within the target range implied by their new forecast...

The details of the forecasts, released yesterday, suggest officials remain open to the need to cut rates again in coming months. A different message comes from the accompanying summary of the FOMC's Oct. 30-31 meeting, which ended with a decision to cut the target for the Fed's key interest rate to 4.5% from 4.75%. The minutes say the decision to cut rates, as opposed to leaving them unchanged, was a "close call."...

The minutes, and an accompanying study by staff economists David Reifschneider and Peter Tulip, emphasize that projections are subject to a lot of forecasting error, and those errors grow the further the forecast goes into the future. Based on the track record of forecasts, they say there's a 70% chance growth will be 1.3 percentage points higher or lower than the FOMC forecasts next year, and 1.4 points higher or lower in subsequent years.

from the Wall Street Journal

Worker Compensation COntinues to Rise

from the Skeptical Optimist

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Milton Friedman: The Power of Choice

Students: Questions, Comments, and Suggestions

Another week complete

Parents: Questions, Comments, and Suggestions

A short week. Remember jambalaya is an excellent dish to make using leftover turkey and ham.

Recession in 2008?

But in a new economic outlook, the central bank also lowered its growth target for the economy in 2008, raising hopes that the Fed will cut rates again when it meets in December.

The Fed indicated in an addendum to its minutes that it now expects the economy to grow at about a 1.8 percent to 2.5 percent rate next year, down from a forecast in June of 2.5 percent to 2.75 percent growth....

he Fed also issued relatively sluggish growth targets for economic growth in the next two years. The Federal Reserve governors and Federal Reserve Bank presidents indicated that they anticipate the economy to grow at a 2.3 percent to 2.7 percent clip in 2009 and at a 2.5 percent to 2.6 percent rate in 2010.

read the CNN story

Incentives Matter

If you are worried about your grade, help yourself.

What is the John Bates Clark award?

post your answer with your name and period

New Article: Protectionist Rhetoric Will Accelerate the Dollar's Slide

the conclusion:

If we can avoid the protectionist trap and reconcile the budget, the falling value of the dollar will eventually attract investors and stimulate exports. As the developing world becomes richer and freer, the US dollar is unlikely to enjoy the unchallenged superiority it once had, but maturing foreign markets will attract products and services designed in America, and we will once again become a recipient of foreign investment. Free markets and American ingenuity made the United States the greatest economy in the world. They are the only way we will keep it that way.

read the entire article

Monday, November 19, 2007

Recession Time?

IN 1929, days after the stockmarket crash, the Harvard Economic Society reassured its subscribers: “A severe depression is outside the range of probability”. In a survey in March 2001, 95% of American economists said there would not be a recession, even though one had already started. Today, most economists do not forecast a recession in America, but the profession's pitiful forecasting record offers little comfort. Our latest assessment suggests that the United States may well be heading for recession.

read The Economist article

October 2007 Deficit

from the Skepitcal Optimist

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Is Is All About Demand?

Can the Bloomberg administration convince thousands of low-achieving students that succeeding in school is actually, well, cool?

It wants to try. The city is planning an intensive campaign that would use cellphones to help motivate students, most of them minorities and from poor families, in two dozen schools. The pilot program will include mentoring and incentives for high performance, like free concerts and sporting events and free minutes and ring tones for their phones. Every student in each of the schools will be given a cellphone....

Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein said the project was the city’s first attempt to bring about change in the culture and behavior of low-performing students after years of efforts focusing on school structure and teaching....

“We want to create an environment where kids know education is something you should want. Some people come to school with an enormous appetite for learning and others do not — that’s the reality.”...

Dr. Fryer said he viewed the project in economic terms, arguing that while the administration’s previous efforts have focused on changing the “supply” at schools, this one is proposing to change the “demand” for education by making students want to seek learning.

read the New York Times article

How Different Investments Did Last Week

Friday, November 16, 2007

Cartoon: Trojan Horse

from the Big Picture

Freakonomics Post:Is it Smarter to Sell Your Vote or to Cast it?

Half of N.Y.U. students say they would sell their right to vote for $1 million, according to a poll published yesterday by the Washington Square News.

Sixty-six percent said they would trade their voting rights for a free four-year ride at N.Y.U. (roughly $160,000, including room and board). Twenty percent would give up the vote for an iPod Touch (value: $299).

We know that voting doesn’t make good economic sense. Dubner and Levitt have written about the utility — or is it futility? — of voting here, here and here. But is it smarter to sell your vote than to cast it?

read the entire post

very interesting....

If Cigarettes Cost $222 a Pack, Would People Quit?

W. Kip Viscusi
Joni Hersch

This article estimates the mortality cost of smoking based on the first labor market estimates of the value of statistical life by smoking status. Using these values in conjunction with the increase in the mortality risk over the life cycle due to smoking, the value of statistical life by age and gender, and information on the number of packs smoked over the life cycle, produces an estimate of the private mortality cost of smoking of $222 per pack for men and $94 per pack for women in 2006 dollars, based on a 3 percent discount rate. At discount rates of 15 percent or more, the cost decreases to under $25 per pack.

read the article

That's Funny

Bonds joins a line of individuals stretching from Alger Hiss to Martha Stewart to Scooter Libby to who were indicted not for commiting an underlying crime, but for lying to investigators. Each time this happens, critics argue that a perjury prosecution is nothing more than an excuse for overzealous prosecutors to bring a headline-grabbing case against a boldfaced name. On the other hand, in pursuing such well-known figures, the feds hope to send a message to the meek and mighty alike: Don’t lie.

WSJ Law Blog

The crime of the century: Slugger Barry Bonds might have lied to a federal grand jury! For this he faces up to 30 years in prison. Sounds like he may get off easy since we simply cannot have people obstructing the valuable functions of government. Chaos would surely follow. 30 years isn't enough.

Jim Fedako

Recommended Reading: Embracing Creative Destruction

Creative destruction (Joseph Schumpeter's phrase) occurs when innovations — new technologies or business models — demolish the capital structures of well-established industries, industries that have lost the ability to satisfy the urgent wants of consumers.

This process can happen almost over night, such as when the vinyl record industry collapsed in the wake of digital music. Or, the process can slowly run its course, similar to the decades-long crumbling of a building's foundation. Here the process is akin to the way moss attaches to surface imperfections and degrades — over decades — the strength and resilience of concrete...

read the entire essay

Airline Mergers?

With jet fuel prices soaring and airline stocks plunging, proponents of mergers are casting as nearly inevitable combinations that would create three mega-carriers carrying more than 70 percent of the nation's air traffic....

But huge hurdles stand in the way of airline mergers. Other than industry executives and some investors, airline combinations aren't terribly popular. Mergers can bring operational problems, staff cuts and higher fares, while drawing heat from such important constituencies as business travelers, airline unions and the general public....

But other experts say jet fuel prices are more an excuse than a valid reason for mergers that some carriers were pushing even before the price spike. They point out that it will take years for any carrier to see any savings from synergies or improved revenues from a combined route structure....

Mergers might make more sense next year, however, assuming fuel prices decline, Schwieterman said. He said the combinations could then be done with an eye toward long-term strategic changes, rather than an emergency move to boost depressed share price.

read the CNN story

The Demand Curve Slopes Downward

U.S. sales of the PlayStation 3 more than doubled in the weeks after the company slashed the video game console's price $100 and launched a low-end model, Sony Corp. CEO Howard Stringer told The Associated Press Wednesday...

The price cut and new model make the PS3 more competitive against Nintendo Co.'s Wii and Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 as the holiday season opens, Stringer said...

Sony said it had been selling between 30,000 and 40,000 consoles per week before the October 18 price cut from $599 to $499 of the 80 GB model.

Sales rose to 75,000 in the week of October 29, reflecting both the lower price of the high-end model and the introduction of a 40-gigabyte model for $399 on November 2, the company said. And it was the following week that sales hit 100,000, according to Sony.

read the CNN story

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Economics and Advertising

from Greg Mankiw

Pay What You Want

RADIOHEAD is perhaps the most successful band to give away new music online, making its recent album, “In Rainbows”, available to download on a “pay-what-you-want” basis. Unfortunately for Radiohead—and music industry trend-spotters—62% of downloaders paid nothing, according to comScore, an internet information provider.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chapter 15

Chapter 15 notes

4th block students: Let me know if this method has potential.

Due to the digital divide, going paperless is a dream. However, this seems like a good way for students (and parents) to get info they miss due to absences or various other reasons. It also will have info in a central location for future reference (finals, EOCTs, etc). I am working on finding a way to make the file(s) you access have no formatting errors, it will take some time due to the fact that I am largely computer illiterate. Any ideas, thoughts or suggestions in that regard would be much appreciated.

I will the comments open through the Thanksgiving break. Let me know about the pros and cons that you see.


A Market for Kidneys?

U.S. federal law has long banned any compensation for human organs, but with the demand for kidney transplants far outstripping the number of donors, some economists are urging the adoption of market-based innovations to increase supply.

from the Wall Street Journal

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cartoon: The Falling Dollar

Scott Adams and his Restaurants

Until this summer, Mr. Adams’s involvement consisted of signing checks, writing clever jokes for the menus and leaving big tips for the wait staff after his regular visits. Then a personal battle between Ms. Belkin and a former chef intensified just as the big feed chains began staking their claim on the booming exurbs — thrusting Dilbert’s creator into the middle of a managerial nightmare.

read the New York Times article

Blog Readability Test

Blog Readability Test

How Different Investments Did Last Week

Thursday, November 8, 2007

$100 Oil: No Worries

It doesn't even matter overly much if that barrel is selling for $80 rather than $100. The rule of thumb is that every 10% rise in the price of oil cuts global economic growth by a third of a percentage point over the following year. So if oil is at $100 a barrel in 2008 rather than $80, the projected global GDP growth rate of 5.2% would be cut to 4.4%. A hit to growth, yes, but not a plunge into recession.

read the Forbes article

Crude Oil Futures

from Carpe Diem

Coffee Sales Driving McDonald's Growth

McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant company, said October sales rose 6.9 percent as consumers bought more cinnamon rolls and coffee in the U.S....

McDonald's has posted monthly sales gains the past 4 1/2 years by adding iced coffee and lattes to two-thirds of its U.S. restaurants to compete with Starbucks Corp....

The company started selling a stronger coffee blend in 2006 to win customers from Starbucks, the world's largest coffee chain. McDonald's is testing an expanded beverage lineup, including lattes...

Global revenue increased 10 percent to $17 billion, McDonald's said in a regulatory filing Oct. 19.

read the entire story

Once again conumers are benefiting from competition

Declining Dollar

Read the Economist story

Cartoon: Oil Dependency

Gas Hits $4 in California

The American Automobile Association of California says some drivers are now paying $4 a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline.

Crude oil prices hit an all-time high Wednesday, above $98 a barrel and analysts say with worldwide oil demand rising -- it is still not clear just how high prices will go....

KSBW checked and found gas in Gorda, south of Big Sur, is even higher. Drivers there are paying $5 for gas.

read the story

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

DJIA 3rd Quarter 2007

read the WSJ article

GM Losses #39B in 3rd Quarter 2007

General Motors reported a record net loss Wednesday due to a $39 billion charge, along with a large operating loss that was far worse than Wall Street expectations.

The nation's No. 1 automaker, which was hit with a soft auto market and a two-day strike by the United Auto Workers union during the quarter, lost $1.6 billion, or $2.80 a share, excluding special items.

GM posted a huge $39 billion loss in the third quarter due to accounting charges, even as its global auto operations reported a profit.

read the CNN story

Cartoon: In the Bleachers

Monday, November 5, 2007

Strong Pound and Weak Dollar

Who are the winners and losers from the weakening dollar?

read the BBC article

Supermodel Prefers Euro to the Dollar

The world's richest model has reportedly reacted in her own way to the sliding value of the US dollar - by refusing to be paid in the currency.

Gisele Bündchen is said to be keen to avoid the US currency because of uncertainty over its strength.

The Brazilian, thought to have earned about $30m in the year to June, prefers to be paid in euros, her sister and manager told the Bloomberg news agency.

read the entire story

PetroChina in Comparsion to Other Companies

from Carpe Diem

World's First Trillion Dollar Company

PetroChina Co. almost tripled on its first day of trading in Shanghai, becoming the world's first company to be valued at $1 trillion, more than Exxon Mobil Corp. and General Electric Co. combined.

read the story

Oil Nearing the Record High

If the uptrend continues, market watchers say this could be the week that oil manages to punch through the symbolic level and eclipse the inflation-adjusted record of $101.70 reached in April 1980.

from the Wall Street Journal
remember real dollars allow for comparison across time by controlling for inflation

Sunday, November 4, 2007

NYC Taxi Cartel

The priciest piece of aluminum in NYC, a taxi medallion to operate a single cab (pictured above - you'll see them on the hood of every NYC taxi), just sold for as high as $385,000 when the Taxi and Limousine Commission staff unsealed 155 bids yesterday. The lowest winning bid was $277,777, and the average bid was $309,000.

from Carpe Diem

Cost Benefit Analysis: Daylight Savings Time

It also means that pedestrians walking around dusk are nearly three times more likely to be struck and killed by cars than before the time change, the researchers calculate.

Ending daylight saving time translates into about 37 more U.S. pedestrian deaths around 6 p.m. in November compared to October, the professors report...

Fischbeck and Gerard conducted a preliminary study of seven years of federal traffic fatalities and calculated risk per mile walked for pedestrians. They found that per-mile risk jumps 186 percent from October to November, but then drops 21 percent in December...

The reverse happens in the morning when clocks are set back and daylight comes earlier. Pedestrian risk plummets, but there are fewer walkers then, too. The 13 lives saved at 6 a.m. don't offset the 37 lost at 6 p.m., the researchers found.

The risk for pedestrian deaths at 6 p.m. is by far the highest in November than any other month, the scientists said. The danger declines each month through May.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety of Arlington, Virginaia, in earlier studies found the switch from daylight saving time to standard time increased pedestrian deaths. Going to a year-round daylight saving time would save about 200 deaths a year, the institute calculated, said spokesman Russ Rader...

read the CNN news story

How Different Investments Did Last Week