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A few weeks ago the careers - and salaries - of Richard "Whistling Dick" Wright and Hank "The Hammer" Paulson were compared.  Whistling Dick was a mule-skinner and played a hugely significant role in bringing water to Los Angeles.  "The Hammer" was educated at Dartmouth and Harvard, and became CEO of the world's largest investment bank, Goldman Sachs.  It was shown that in spite of his humble s

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When economics began as an independent field of study, it was virtually devoid of mathematics and charts.  Economists were considered moral philosophers; not mathematicians or scientists.  This began to change with the work of John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s, and now an economics textbook looks a lot like a physics textbook.  This relatively new, mathematics-laden version of economics is compl

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From an economic standpoint, the most remarkable thing to observe is all the attention afforded to the Fed's Open Market Committee (FOMC) immediately before they announce their interest rate policy.  For example, CNBC will assemble several "experts" to discuss what the FOMC should do and why they should do it.  Among these experts are people like Jim Cramer, Austan Goolsbee, Steve Liesman and J

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The move "Goodfellas" captures many of the details of the December 1978 robbery of the Lufthansa cargo terminal at New York's Kennedy Airport.  One of the subtle details not fully developed was the robbery was only made possible because of the enormous gambling debts owed by a Lufthansa employee, Louis Werner, to a mob-connected bookmaker, Martin Krugman.  In the movie there is a scene where th

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Paul Krugman has a BA from Yale and a PhD from MIT - both in economics.  From his perch at the New York Times, he has an almost unrivaled ability to dispense economic advice.  Because he constantly views economic events through a political prism, his advice on contemporary economic issues is completely devoid of merit.  Paul Krugman may be a lot of things, but an original thinker he is

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