Archive for July, 2004

The bigger you are – the harder you fall

Sunday, July 18th, 2004

I’m posting this out of general interest, essentially The Economist thinks the dollar is ripening for another drop akin to the one in the fourth quarter of 2003.

One of the main factors is inorder for foreign currencies to remain weak comparatively, they buy up all our bonds. This keeps exports cheap and more competative in our markets, but has the nasty side of inflation in their home countries. China has been mounting an assult of sorts inorder to tame their continued growth at 11%, but without any real bankning infastructure – it is a difficult task to say the least. Japan on the other hand is a little jublient that the inflation is carrying them out of a decade of deflation, and certainly keen on not returning any time soon. Both countries have experienced a nice spurt of growth in the past 6 months but if inflationary pressures get too high at home, they stop buying our $, and down we go.

Keep an eye on it
Jul 8th 2004
From The Economist print edition

After a buoyant start to the year, the dollar seems headed for a tumble

THERE was a time, not long ago, when economists and those who dabble in the foreign-exchange market could find scarcely a good thing to say about the dollar. Last year, John Snow, America’s treasury secretary, even managed to transform his country’s long-standing strong-dollar policy into a weak-dollar one. All this greatly irritated Europeans, especially; as the euro rose, international meetings of the great and the good were dominated by cross discussions about the beleaguered buck. Newspapers, including this one, were full of gloomy headlines suggesting that the greenback would, indeed should, fall farther.

Berkeley Farmers Market

Saturday, July 17th, 2004

The morning was the first time this summer for me – I just finished a dinner or sweet corn and peaches, admittedly not the most well rounded of course, but absolutely delicious!
(The economics of this is I paid $22 for a bag of vegtables that even at Whole Foods would’ve cost 1/2 that – i place the blame on an exceptionally sunny Saturday which baked my brain into Consumerous Maximous mode)

Breaking up, and breaking it all down

Tuesday, July 13th, 2004

When you think about it
what is a relationship worth?
The tender moments – the happy moments – the bitter moments – the quiet ones. Sometimes we’re full, sometimes we feel sucked dry. Inevitably we a drawn to them, whomever we are. Is it worth it? – for those who’ve been hurt, Whats to loose? – For those who haven’t.

If you sit down with paper and a pen, are things like this quantifiable?

There is an interesting paper just published looking at relationships, sex, money and how they equate. A slew of psychological data has come out on this in the past few years. If you don’t feel like braving the paper – a NYT article sums it up nicely.

On the side – there is a great program from This American Life talking about this – and other things number related. (You’ll need Real Player)

Duking it out

Sunday, July 4th, 2004

David Wessel aptly (subscription) points to the difference b/n politics and economics.


Bush, Kerry Are Both
Right on the Economy
July 1, 2004; Page A2

President George W. Bush says the economy is “strong and getting stronger.” Challenger John Kerry says, “We can do better.” The Bush campaign says cruise lines are carrying 74% more passengers than in 1996, half of them folks earning less than $60,000 a year. The Kerry campaign says health-insurance premiums rose 40% between 2000 and 2003. The Bush campaign says that Americans’ after-tax incomes are rising faster than inflation. The Kerry campaign says hourly wages aren’t.

Tweet! Time out for perspective from the sidelines. Each campaign’s assertion is factually defensible. Here are four more meaningful ones.

The economy is doing better. But it’s not yet good.