Why We’ll Never Build Another Golden Gate

When the Golden Gate Bridge opened on May 27, 1937, 200,000 pedestrians strolled and frolicked along its pavement, chomping on 50,000 hot dogs and other treats. In the 1930s it took four years to build this beautiful bridge – while battling fog, rough waters, and the Great Depression. It was completed under budget and ahead …
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The Time I Beat Johnny Depp:  Sneak Preview!

In a small, windowless room inside a huge, nondescript office building a few miles from Lake Michigan, I recorded the audio for my forthcoming book The Price of Prosperity: Why Rich Nations Fail and How to Renew Them. Listen to a sneak preview here. What does it take to read aloud a 330 page book? Twelve mugs …
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Take the Deal, Donald

Donald Trump hints that U.S. debt might be renegotiated. I’ve got a better idea. I’ve been imploring the Obama administration to issue super-long term debt, 50 or 100-year bonds. Both The Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily have published my plea. Today I’m delighted to report that – Ireland has decided to follow my advice. …
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Castro, Cruises and Beach Reads

Cuba welcomes the Carnival Cruise ship Adonia today. It sure beats a raft for escapees. Back in 2008, I penned a novel called The Castro Gene, which featured a young boxer and a megalomaniac hedge fund manager who manipulated financial markets. He bought up shares of Carnival Cruise Lines when he figured out that the …
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Gender Fluidity and Disney’s Real Magic

Disney has once again performed a marvelous trick – as good as any magic Mickey ever pulled off while donning a wizard hat and waving his wand. The new Jungle Book movie raked in over $100 million in a weekend, more than the opening numbers for the mega-blockbuster Frozen. So what’s the trick? In both cases, Disney …
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Branding Genius

When Grf Andrs sailed to America from Hungary in 1957 he was so poor he couldn’t afford an extra vowel in his name. Before immigrating he first had to escape the Nazis, who threw his father into a forced labor camp, and then the wicked Soviet invasion of 1956. In the U.S., the brave and …
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Peak Beer, Cars, and Football?

The Super Bowl ends when two grinning players sneak up behind their winning coach and dump a vat of Gatorade on his head. But the televised Super Bowl extravaganza runs on paid advertisements for beer and cars. In 2015, for example, car companies bought 12 separate commercial spots at a cost of $4.5 million for every …
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Does Homeland Matter for Working Women?

Does culture matter in economics? Of course! Some people care about racking up overtime hours; others care more about getting home to watch ESPN. Some families and some countries encourage women to get a job; others urge them to stay at home. An intriguing new study by Cornell’s Francine Blau shows that women who immigrate to …
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February 2016 – Click above to see video

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Which Way Does the Curve Bend?

Healthcare inflation has been tame in recent years. The White House salutes Obamacare, and chief economic adviser Jason Furman argues that the program “bent the cost curve” down. Critics credit the weak economic recovery: it was hard for doctors and hospitals to jack up prices when the economy was lumbering through the Great Recession. Spending …
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