Creative Destruction

Reading Ken Auletta’s recent New Yorker article on the iPad and the Kindle, I first thought of “the razor or the blade.” While Amazon loses money on books in order to sell Kindles, razors were precisely the opposite. Get a cheap…

Economic Facts About Dogs

Have you ever thought about the connection between your dog and the economy? During an interview on NPR’s “Fresh Air”, Michael Schaffer, author of One Nation Under Dog, spoke about dogs’ lives. A lot of his stories relate to the onset of two…

More on the Movies

Following up on yesterday’s post, I discovered how important product placement can be. Sometimes movie makers decide the products beforehand, before they even complete the script and select the stars. Fees for a “starring” product can total millions. Up in the…

A Star is Born

Heinz Ketchup had a cameo but Apple was a star.  I saw The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo yesterday and started to think about product placement. In this excellent film, while Heinz ketchup played a fleeting role during a scrambled eggs…

It’s All About Extras

Whenever you consider doing something extra, you are thinking at the margin. When airlines decided to charge travelers for more than one bag, they were thinking at the margin. Still thinking at the margin, they realized they could generate considerable…

Frugal Fatigue and Yuan Updates

Re a March 21 post about frugal fatigue… For a fifth straight month, consumer spending is up, meaning perhaps that we are headed for a “V” recovery?   Data from the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report indicates that internet spending…

Movies and Business

Having discovered a paper that explained why American films tend to present a negative view of business, I was especially interested in seeing which films were discussed. “Evil” Firms and Capitalists: The Godfather (1972), The China Syndrome (1979), Norma Rae (1979), Wall Street…

Hot Wing Markets

Opening on April 1 in NYC, the Exchange Bar & Grill has food and drink prices that respond instantaneously to demand.  As described in a Reuters article, if everyone wants hot wings, then, in $.25 increments, the price increases; if…

Random Recession Notes

The impact of a recession might not be entirely what we expect. A recent study from the University of Ottawa suggests that we sleep more during a recession. Canadians slept two hours and 34 minutes more per week. Hypothesizing that…

Frugal Fatigue?

Some of us are suffering from frugal fatigue. According to a New York psychologist, symptoms could include anxiety, fear, depression, and even the common cold. The cause is stress from watchful, recessionary budgeting which for certain people is no longer…