Category Archives: Markets

Market implications of world building

So what am I up to, now that I’m not writing ASA papers, doing article reviews, and teaching students? Why, I’m supporting teams in Intel by providing analysis and arguments about their technologies. To wit, the whale. More specifically, an augmented reality Leviathan that Intel showcased at the CES trade show in Las Vegas this […]

Billionaires, Obama, and Redistributive/Reciprocal/Market Exchange

In the Great Transformation and Trade and Market in the Early Empires, Karl Polanyi proposed a typology of exchange: reciprocal, redistributive, and market (as a clear summary among other things, you should read Barber’s “Absolutization of the Market.” It’s quite useful). Reciprocal exchange is gift exchange, and the act of exchange itself brings people into […]

delicious meat

If you’re quick with a knife, you’ll find the invisible hand is made of delicious invisible meat…yes yes.

The empirical erosion of our theoretical models

Felix Salmon’s blog at Reuter’s is consistently the best financial journalism blog I read. It’s rather depressing, in a way – his work so good and topical, and timely, it takes the steam out of what I might write here. The activity on RM is a little bit inversely proportional to the quality of economic-ish […]

Comparables, value, housing

Interesting article from the Washington Post (although the fact that it was written by an attorney and a history professor on the opinion pages make me wonder how they know what the decision-making process was behind the scenes). The crux of the story is that a couple had trouble purchasing a round house, because the […]

'Prudent' pricing, the Pain Caucus, and the Protestant Ethic

In his book Talking Prices, Olav Velthuis points out that the collapse of the art market in the early 1990s resulted in a widespread shift away from the ‘superstar’ pricing of the go-go 80s, and towards a ‘prudent’ pricing in the 1990s. Art dealers saw the watershed collapse of fantastic(al) prices as a moment not […]

Financial planning

Just in case you haven’t had the experience, there is nothing quite like a conversation with a financial planner to remind you just how inadequate your financial habits are. If Americans retain a bit of ‘I dunno, I kinda hope so, everything’ll probably work out ok’ about retirement, who can blame us? I mean we […]

Performativ…stupidity, ATP Oil & Gas edition

From Felix Salmon (whose blog is so good it makes me not want to write anything, just point a big finger at him) comes a story that pops up from time to time. Usually it is some kind of technical snafu, when a trader sits on the keyboard or accidentally keys in a sell rather […]


Since they’ve fired the staff (after having box office futures nixed by legislation), I just want to note that I am currently ranked 21,743rd in the Box Office rankings, putting me in the 84% percentile. If I were a hedge fund manager, I’d be telling you this from my big yacht in Barbados. I thought […]

Moral hazard, via dumb commercials

Another commercial which I’ve always wondered about is this one for Traveler’s insurance: The trouble with the commercial is that the dog, after seeking out ways to protect his most prized possession, finds a solution in purchasing insurance. Keep it on your person? Too hard. Put it in a bank? Too risky. But with insurance, […]