Veblen goods and the “snob effect”

Elite school fees Each year, our kids are inching closer to high school age, bringing "that conversation" inexorably closer...private schooling. I didn't go to a private school (nor did my wife, for that matter), so I've generally leaned against the idea, though I can also see that in many cases… full article

Today’s shortages, tomorrow’s gluts (the bullwhip effect)

From shortage to surplus A true story. I might've previously mentioned in my predilection for Guinness as a youth and young man. Once a year, me, my many brothers (Catholic family), my then business partner Paddy Allen, and a range of related associates used to get back together for Xmas… full article

Pandemic migration, and the resilience of cities

Lockdown exodus Through 2021 there was a mass exodus from America's major Democrat stronghold states, including California (-367, 299), New York (-352,185), and Illinois (-122,460), as well as from Massachusetts, New Jersey, and others. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the district population of Washington D.C. declined by -2.9 per… full article

The promise of easy money

The divine right of kings The majestic ancient pyramids were built to allow kings a divine voyage to the heavens, to make their transition to the afterlife as smooth as possible. It wasn't only in ancient Egypt that civilisations sought to build as close to the heavens they could -… full article

5 ‘shockingly useful’ action concepts for entrepreneurs

Scratching the itch Never in my whole life did I think I'd do as many Zoom/Skype/Teams calls as I have over the past year. They've generally worked pretty well, though I sometimes find myself fighting an irresistible urge to do other things at the same time (clearing emails, reading finance… full article

Liquidity: the oxygen of financial systems

At the carwash With admittedly modest success I've been encouraging my toddler daughter to undertake household chores, to give her an opportunity to double per pocket money and hopefully draw a few positive associations between work and money. One of her 'favourite' jobs is washing the car, though unfortunately I… full article

Reverse engineering to solve complex challenges

On countback A true story: a couple of decades ago a friend of a friend had a 'few too many' and crashed his car onto the middle of a roundabout at 2am. He panicked and left the car where it was, with a not-so-cunning plan to collect it the next… full article

Compound growth: it’s about time…

It's about time The exponential function or exponential growth has been a matter of great concern and newsworthiness in 2020 and early 2021, for obvious reasons. Thankfully there are some reasons to believe that a novel coronavirus may burn out naturally in time, while humans tend to build up a… full article

The future of Australian tech (the road to ‘Syd-icon Valley’)

Australian tech matters Tech and innovation represents so much more than internet search engines, live streaming, and handheld electronic devices, spanning widely across manufacturing, energy, resources, agriculture, and much more besides. For decades Australia has lagged far behind the U.S. and elsewhere in terms of its risk-taking, technological innovation, and… full article