Chinese Pork

The Chinese might be dipping into their Strategic Pork Reserve. Faced with a 57% increase in pork prices, the Financial Times tells us that the Chinese will be “rushing” extra pigs to market to lower the price. Higher feed prices…

Unintended Tax Consequences

Protesting a proposed luxury tax for pet grooming, Chicago’s Soggy Paws canine clients wore signs saying “…please don’t tax my haircut.” The politicians who were hoping for more revenue might have been disappointed. Some history… The Omnibus Reconciliation Budget Act…

Supply, Demand and Internet Dating

What if, “you’re an 8 constantly chasing after 10s and constantly being chased by 6s?” Described in the Financial Times, the developers of Match.com’s algorithm, codenamed Synapse, have an answer. “It’s just supply and demand.” On the supply side, we…

Fried Chicken Wings

When the NFL lockout ended, dry cleaners, ticket-takers and souvenir sellers rejoiced. But not chickens. According to the National Chicken Council, on Super Bowl Sunday 2011, we consumed 1.25 billion chicken wings. Joe Sanderson, CEO of the 4th largest poultry…

The Power of the Market: Part 2

World oil demand has hit a new high. But not from everyone. Called the “New World” and “Old World” by economist Ed Yardeni, you can see through his graphs, the divide in world oil demand. China, India, Brazil and other…

The Power of the Market: Part 1

Maybe the market is more powerful than the Congress. First, some history… Hoping that farmers would earn a living wage, in 1933, the U.S. government decided to subsidize crop prices. The goal was “parity,” a level of purchasing power that…

More Oil Dilemmas

The recent International Energy Agency (IEA) announcement is about a lot more than a tank of gas. Everyday, for 30 days, 2 million barrels of oil will be released from strategic petroleum reserves (SPRs). The U.S. will be responsible for…

Israeli Cottage Cheese Boycott

News articles say that the Israelis are “cheesed off” and “curdled.” Angered by the soaring price of cottage cheese, a Facebook consumer group of 70,000 friends has agreed to stop buying it on July 1. The headline on the boycott…

Beer: An Economic Indicator

There appears to be a correlation between beer drinking and economic growth…up to a point. According to a paper from the American Association of Wine Economists (yes, really) the connection is an upside down “U.” As individual incomes increase up…

Road Building Results

If extra road mileage is built, would you predict more or less traffic? The WSJ tells us that more roads led to additional driving from local residents, commercial traffic and people moving to the area. Public transportation did not influence…