Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Around the blog world

A few quick looks at really interesting articles from various blogs:

FreeMoneyFinance comments that a good way to save money is to avoid going shopping. I could not agree more!!!
"If you want to save money, don't go to any store to just pass time. You'll most certainly spend more than you would if you hadn't gone. Instead, take a walk, go to the park or visit a free museum. You'll not only save money, but may even improve your physical fitness too. And these benefits are worth more than money!"
Financial Rounds gives some tips on dealing with identity theft. It is definitely not somehting that I would like to go through! But the tips are very good. For example:
"Others will invariably have advice for you and some judgemental comments (i.e. "this is what happens when you bank online"). Expect them, and don't let them get to you."
MoneyScience links to an article on econophysics from the Yale Economic Review.
"The philosophical approach of econophysics is certainly different from that of economics in general. While economists begin with a few fundamental assumptions and then construct a theoretical model to explain observations, econophysicists tend to start with the empirical evidence and extract patterns from the data. In doing so, econophysicists do not rely on assumptions of rationality, which have proven experimentally inconsistent in some cases, such as transitivity of preferences."
Freakonomics points out a NY Times article that perfectly sums up my thoughts on virtually every meeting I have had the pleasure of attending:
"Personally, I hate meetings....as much as I admired and enjoyed many of the people in the back-to-back-to-back meetings, it was too hard to get any actual work done. I would sometimes look around, watch 20 talented...people spending an hour batting around ideas, perhaps 2% of which would come to fruition, and mourn the loss of 20 man-hours and what could have been accomplished individually during that time …"
CyberLibris argues that microfinance is nothing more than finance that tight controls:
"With microfinance, lenders are in the ideal situation: First, they can discriminate among borrowers, they simply don't lend (in many instances) to men (who run with the money to have a good drink). Women are reliable, hence they get the money. To make sure that the money is well-spent contractual provisions often involve the community in which the lending woman live. For instance, if she fails to pay, the community may be on the hook and have to repay for her or be punished by having a more difficult access to the next loan. The community plays a monitoring and a supportive role to ensure success. This is the dream situation for any banker!"
Cafe Hayek comments on the seemingly always pending minimum wage legislation:
"What is it about unskilled- and low-skilled labor that makes many people fancy that the law of demand does not apply to it? Are the greedy, profit-lusting employers of this labor so foolish that they’ll just dish out more money for the same output as before, without economizing further on labor"
BTW the Yale Economic Review also has a book review of Jeffrey Sach's End of Poverty that is pretty interesting. I am looking forward to hear what he (EarthInstitute) has to say about Warren Buffett's donations. I was a bit surprised when some callers on NPR's Talk of the Nation were critical of the donations. No doubt in response to these callers, NPR has posted an interview with health experts showing how helpful the GatesFoundation has been.

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