Brexit: How the UK is Connected

Not necessarily all or nothing, the Brexit alternatives could take the UK to the EU connections selected by Norway, Switzerland, Turkey or Canada.

The Benefits of Perpetual Federal Debt

Very long term federal debt that has no date for redemption like UK First World War bonds and U.S. Revolutionary War debt depend on good public credit.

Should GDP Include Illegal Drug Deals?

In 1987, Italy decided to include its “off-the-books” economy in its GDP. The result was an 18% boost. Now, further complying with EU accounting regulations, Italy will add illegal drugs, prostitution and black market alcohol and prostitution. Announcing a similar policy,…

Caffeine Highs and Lows

Among the biggest coffee drinkers in the world, euro-zone consumers are cutting back. As one Milan café owner explained, “Since the beginning of the year most of our regulars cut their coffees from around four to two a day. Sometimes,…

Pork Problems

Announcing the cancellation of this year’s bacon eating contest, Major League Eating (“the world body that governs all stomach-centric sports’) said,  “We cannot, in good conscience, allow [top ranked eater] Joey Chestnut to eat bacon during a global pork shortage,…We…

How To Win The Olympics

The 2016 Olympics in Rio might be different. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Great Britain fared poorly. They took home only one gold and ranked #36 among medal winners. At Beijing in 2008, their medal count was 47 and they ranked…

Do You Agree With French Taxes?

Talking about taxes, economists like to quote Louis XIV’s finance minister: “The art of taxation consists of so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing.” We have been hearing…

Olympic Predictions

If you want to predict Olympic medal winners, you might look at economic data. A report on the Olympics from Goldman Sachs suggests that nations with a superior economic growth environment will increase their share of Olympic gold medals in…

Pasty Tax Issues

The UK’s pasty (PASS-tee) tax battle is a good story. But, moving beyond the humor, it has considerable significance. First the story: Taxing the pasty has created a major flap in the UK. The pasty looks like meat in a…