Restaurant Economics

For a new restaurant in Chicago, Next, no one is sitting at the phone taking reservations. Instead, online, you can buy a ticket for a table seating 2 or 4 (not 3 or 5). According to Chicago Magazine,…

Cotton or Corn?

One farmer told the NY Times, “It’s going to be cotton stalks everywhere.” With cotton prices soaring, acreage in Texas and other Southern states that had been used for wheat or corn…

Now It's Chocolate

According to one recent news article, a Cadbury chocolate bar is missing 2 chunks but the price is the same. First we had a hedge fund trying to corner the cocoa bean market. Then came political turmo…

More Conspicuous (Coffee) Consumption

The same story. But now it is about coffee. Increasingly affluent, the Chinese have begun to drink more coffee (in addition to using more oil, eating more meat and buying more handbags). When talking …

Oil Dilemmas

The good news? We are driving more again–more miles than any year since 2007. The bad news? We are driving more again–more miles than any year since 2007.. Here are the facts from a W…

Cotton Markets

On November 10, 2009, the price of 1 pound of cotton was 59.2 cents. A year later it was $1.02 and now, it is close to $1.90. For many of us, the result will be more expensive jeans, more polyester, a…

Paying Less For a House

In an interesting Politico opinion column, journalist Michael Kinsley wonders why everyone seems to assume that climbing home prices are good. He points out that most people are happy when the prices …

Happy Rice Farmers

With a typical Egyptian household spending 38.3% of its budget on food in 2008, you can see why soaring food prices could fuel turmoil. But what about the other side? For Senegal farmer and trader, Nd…

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