Economics is a mystery cult, not a science

The sudden (and inexplicable to a lot of people) collapse of the global economy has revealed that no-one really knows what’s going on, and as a result, people are turning to religion, directly pleading with supernatural entities to fix things.

I suppose, given that we’ve figured out the motion of heavenly bodies, and that weather […]

A Possible Future

This extremely thorough spoof of the New York Times was distributed today to over 1.2m people. It’s an elaborate exercise in creating an alternate reality – by getting people to think of these things, of the possibility of an end to the war in Iraq, free health care, etc. it makes them more conceivable, […]

This week in finance: I Go Chop Your Dollar

“I go chop your dollar, I go take your money disappear…”

A popular hit in Nigeria, by Osofia, about the 419 scams which make up a significant part of the economy there. The US is not far behind.

I Go Chop Your Dollar

I don suffer no be small Upon say I get sense […]

Obama's tax cuts

Very interesting chart from the Chartjunk blog showing the impact of Barack Obama’s tax plan, compared to McCain’s. It’s based on the same data as the Washington Post chart, but scaled to more accurately reflect the impact on real numbers of tax payers. Make sure to read the article to understand how the chart was […]

"Rice, Death and the Dollar" at the Asia Times

Interesting article by Spengler over at the Asia Times, talking about the food crisis as a result of monetary factors.

“Rice, Death and the Dollar”

Whether or not you agree with him, his writing is certainly colorful:

The George W. Bush administration might as well have used the State Department as a set for the […]

American favela

The BBC has a short piece on improvised shantytowns in Los Angeles, set up by people who have lost their homes in the subprime mortgage collapse.

These people aren’t junkies or mental patients: these were homeowners a few months ago! If you listen to the piece, a lot of them lost their homes, not specifically […]

Hollowed-Out Retail in the US

After living away from the US for so long, lots of things strike me as interesting every day. One thing I’ve noticed recently is what I’m calling “hollowed-out” retail: retail stores have a limited selection of merchandise, suggesting that customers purchase any unusual items on-line.

This appears to makes economic sense: stock only the most […]