November 24, 2011

Target and Best Buy Reach a Game Theory Nash Equilibrium

Decision to open Thursday night, a Nash Equilibrium. Total spending falls with less all day Friday shopping!

November 16, 2011

Keynes vs. Hayek: The Podcast Battle

You've seen the rap videos, now here is the Podcast Battle: Keynes vs. Hayek, courtsey of PBS:

Find F.A. Hayek here. Keynes here.

November 15, 2011


Thanks to the Housing crash, some students are able to give up this...

and are living in something like this...

Some students at the University of California - Merced are living large. Really large, thanks to the housing boom and bust in the area. The New York Post writes

"Merced, in the heart of San Joaquin Valley, was ranked the third hardest-hit city in the country for home foreclosures, leaving whole communities of sparkling luxury homes vacant and depreciating, the New York Times reported. For these UC students, the “housing crisis” is an embarrassment of riches.
"I mean, I have it all!" Patricia Dugan, a senior majoring in management, told the Times from her master bedroom suite flooded with California sunshine.
The five — sometimes six — bedroom manses that often feature chandeliers, Jacuzzis, walk-in closets and swimming pools are too expensive for private occupants, but for students splitting costs, rent is peanuts. Several thousand McMansion dormers who have their own bedroom and a private bath pay just $200-$350 each in monthly rent for a typical house share."

Video: Housing Meltdown = Mansions for College Students

Follow this link for some tight college cribs. Housing Meltdown Opens Doors for College Students

October 6, 2011

Hungry Muppet: The New Semase Street Character

If there is such thing as an Economic Sesame Street index, I am pretty sure this is a sign we are in a recession. See Lily above, who's family "has an ongoing struggle with hunger."  Read more here

October 3, 2011

October 2, 2011

"Jay Leno, Economically Challenged" Assignment

Please read the following article here, and answer the following questions in your own words on the form found by clicking here. For the last question analyze the picture found here

May 26, 2011

Costa Rica Baby!

Here is a little shameless self-promotion, click here or on the article for more info on my trip to Costa Rica this summer. Especially looking forward to zip-lining thru the rainforest.

What's a Degree Worth? An Interactive Graph.

This is a great, in depth chart of average salaries, by degree. Please click on the link for the interactive graph.

May 12, 2011

The Biggest Bill Evah Actually Still Has Value.

Apparently the biggest bill evah printed still has value, as a collectors item. Here, the Journal writes:

"A 100-trillion-dollar bill, it turns out, is worth about $5.

Photo Above: A man in Harare, Zimbabwe, carried cash for groceries in 2008.

That's the going rate for Zimbabwe's highest denomination note, the biggest ever produced for legal tender—and a national symbol of monetary policy run amok. At one point in 2009, a hundred-trillion-dollar bill couldn't buy a bus ticket in the capital of Harare.

But since then the value of the Zimbabwe dollar has soared. Not in Zimbabwe, where the currency has been abandoned, but on eBay.

The notes are a hot commodity among currency collectors and novelty buyers, fetching 15 times what they were officially worth in circulation. In the past decade, President Robert Mugabe and his allies attempted to prop up the economy—and their government—by printing money. Instead, the country's central bankers sparked hyperinflation by issuing bills with more zeros.

The 100-trillion-dollar note, circulated for just a few months before the Zimbabwe dollar was officially abandoned as the country's legal currency in 2009, marked the daily limit people were allowed to withdraw from their bank accounts. Prices rose, wreaking havoc.

The runaway inflation forced Zimbabweans to wait in line to buy bread, toothpaste and other essentials. They often carried bigger bags for their money than the few items they could afford with a devalued currency.

Today, all transactions are in foreign currencies, mainly the U.S. dollar and the South African rand. But Zimbabwe's worthless bills are valuable—at least outside the country. That Zimbabwe's currency happened to be denoted in dollars has amplified appeal, say currency dealers and collectors, particularly after the global financial crisis and mounting public debts sparked inflationary fears in the U.S.

"People pick them up and make jokes about when that's going to happen here," says David Laties, owner of the Educational Coin Company, a currency wholesaler based in Highland, N.Y.

Dealers prescient enough to buy Zimbabwe's biggest notes while they were in circulation are now taking their investment to the bank. Mr. Laties spent $150,000 buying bills from people in South Africa and Tanzania with experience moving currency and other clandestine cargo, including migrants, across Zimbabwe's borders. Sensing that Zimbabwe's last dollars would be "the best notes ever" on the collector's market, he even fronted $5,000 to someone who approached him over the Internet.

"It worked out," he says. "I got my notes."

Frank Templeton, a retired Wall Street equities trader, bought "quintillions of Zimbabwe dollars" through a broker from Zimbabwe's central bank. On eBay, he now does a brisk trade in the bills from his home in the Hamptons, on New York's Long Island. "I like to say Warren Buffett made a lot of people millionaires, but I've made more people trillionaires," Mr. Templeton says. The dealer paid between $1 and $2 for each of the bills in several purchases over about a year, and now sells them for around $5-$6 apiece.

May 3, 2011

3rd Annual AP Economics Exam Facebook Global Review

You are invited to attend an AP Economics review event on Facebook, created by Mr. David Mayer, a friend of mine and an outstanding teacher at Churchill High School in San Antonio, Texas.



If you have any questions, post it at this site and a highly qualified teacher will answer your question. This is a excellent resource for review and I hope you have time to check it out!

Here are some student quotes about the facebook review:

"Do it people!! You won't get a group of teachers so dedicated to your
success probably ever again. Take advantage of this and THANK them often!"

"I got a 5 on my AP Macro test. Thanks so much for doing this!"

"I got a 4 on my AP Macroeconomics!! thank you all soo much :)"

"I just wanted to thank everyone for the help, it definitely made a world of difference on the exam!"

April 28, 2011

Personal Finance Decathlon at the Fed

Congrats to the AHS Personal Finance Decathlon team who placed 3rd out of 86 teams in the state. A job well done, and a very cool experience.

Photo Below: The team is in their pre-game meeting discussing strategy.
Photo Below: Team hard at work, discussing how the other team knows all the answers. And showing off their cool shirts.
Photo Below: Eating a great lunch in the Official Fed dining room. The team also had the pleasure of dining with Mr. Roger Sit, who manages over $8 billion dollars and is CEO of Sit Investments (one of the sponsors of the Personal Finance Decathlon.) To read the fascinating story of his father, Eugene, who fled communist China with nothing, read here.
Peace out, Fed.

April 27, 2011

AP Macro Foreign Exchange Market Activity

AP Macro Students:

Please read the following on reffonomics here and answer the following questions on the reading here about the FOREX Market.

When finished please review the following:

1. Loanable Funds Graph here.

2. Phillips Curve here.

3 The Money Market Graph here.

Due Friday, April 29th.

April 21, 2011

$5,000 an Hour For a Video Chat. Not Bad Work if You Can Get It

... and the Nobel Prize in Economics doesn't hurt your earnings potential as well. is a new website where economists and others charge money for an hour of internet chat.

Some of the fees for a one-hour video chat are:

Nobel economist Gary Becker: $5,000
Economist Steven Levitt (of Freakonomics fame): $3,000
Author Steven Dubner: $3,000
Political blogger Nate Silver: $1,000
Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron: $400

As Bloomberg reports:

"The site’s roster blends the interests and contacts of Adams, a top poker professional who taught undergraduates in Harvard’s Department of Economics for the past eight years. Adams, the primary research assistant for Michael Lewis’s book “The Big Short,” began giving one-to-one poker lessons over the video-chat service Skype in March 2010, charging $300-$400 per hour.

“I was amazed at how easy it was to drum up business,” Adams, a regular in some of the world’s biggest cash poker games, said in a telephone interview. “I realized that one-to- one teaching was a great opportunity to monetize content. What you’re doing is searching the world for that small slice of people, maybe 15 to 30, who are willing to pay a high price for your content.

Photo Left: founder Brandon Adams.

March 9, 2011

PREZI Project

Here is a copy of your state economy presentation, using prezi. Below find an example of a prezi by yours truly.

March 4, 2011

Additional Sources for Fed Essay Contest

Education Issues:

James J. Heckman, Noble prize winning economist from U. of Chicago: The declining American high school graduation rate: Evidence, sources, and consequences.

GREAT Powerpoint HERE by Heckman. Here is Heckman on Job Creation.

Here is former Mpls Fed President Art Rolnick on the importance of early education.

Debt, Deficits, and Uncertainty Harm Economic Growth:

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke here.

More here, and here. Robert Samuelson talks about uncertainty hindering economic growth here. More about Keynesian Policy, and huge deficits here.

Debt is now at a level where economic growth and job creation are affected, here.

Government Spending and job creation here.

All this debt crowds-out private investment. Here is the definition of the crowding-out effect.

High Corporate Tax Rates in US decrease Economic Growth and Job Creation:

The US has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Read how this hinders job creation here. More here and here. And here is how high tax rates reduce incentives. Here is the 3M CEO who is very critical of regulation hurting job growth. And read here, the US will have the highest corporate taxes in the world!

Problems Facing the Long-Term Unemployed:

From ABC News here.

Are there Benefits to Being Unemployed? Do unemployment benefits increase unemployment?

Read here. Obama economist Larry Summers here, on how unemployment insurance reduces the incentives to search for jobs.

Not in the Labor Force?
Good article on discouraged workers here.

And don't forget that 60 Minutes Video, previously viewed in class.

Key Instructions: "
First, you must be clear about the need for intervention. If you argue that the government should play a role, you must explain why. Further, you need to consider the benefits of government policies as well as their costs, and your account of the costs should consider possible unintended consequences. If you want to argue that the government should take a more hands-off approach, you need to explain why you think that will work better than the status quo."

March 1, 2011


There ain't no such thing as a free burrito. Well if you watch a video for a minute and a half, you can get the closest thing to a free burrito. Eat your heart out here, at the link on Facebook. Or check out the latest stock price.

February 21, 2011

January 20, 2011

Can He Really Do This?

In the above video, some British dude tries to make a toaster on his own, to demonstrate the wonders of trade and comparative advantage, all the while dispelling myths about economic self-sufficiency.

January 11, 2011

"Best Jobs" according to the Wall Street Journal

Here is a list of the Best Jobs in America based on "200 jobs based on income, working environment, stress, physical demands and job outlook, using data from the Labor Dept. and U.S. Census and researchers' own expertise." Click the above image to enlarge, and go here to see the complete list.