Time for some new rules

It’s time to set some new rules around use of the phrase “in this economy.” Rule number one: If the extra fee you’re talking about can be counted on your hands, “in this economy” does not apply. Example, courtesy the Star: Cathy Dernick’s eyes widen in surprise as she learns that come June 1, she’scontinue reading

Hell, meet handbasket

While the recession has hit home for me of late, it’s still hard to tell how bad things are out there. It’s especially hard to read if, like many others, you are avoiding shopping quite as much as you usually do: this means you miss the note of desperation in the continued discounting, the salescontinue reading

The Men Who Rule the World

All right, it’s not every day I link to a blog promoting conspiracy theories, but this one has a Canadian angle — and some connection to reality. There has been a plethora of articles in recent months about the close ties between Goldman Sachs and the past and current presidential administrations, AIG, etc. And it’scontinue reading

Your brain likes to let your financial advisor do the thinking

N of only 24 on this study, but very interesting stuff: Expert Financial Advice Neurobiologically “Offloads” Financial Decision-Making under Risk A simple financial decision-making task involving risk was employed in the current study to investigate the behavioral and neural mechanisms by which financial advice, provided by an expert economist, affected decisions under risk. Behavioral resultscontinue reading

Why business television exists

The Globe’s John Doyle sums up one of the problems that plagues business television in his enjoyably tart column from Thursday: All-business television and business news segments had to create their own iconography, mainly because business news is essentially boring and difficult to illustrate. The natural, real-world imagery of business TV is footage of somecontinue reading

Fast melt

The current issues of the New Yorker and Vanity Fair both have good features on the end of Iceland’s short tenure as finance superpower. Both are worth reading, but if you only have time for one, Vanity Fair‘s piece, by Liar’s Poker author Michael Lewis, better captures the insanity that took hold: I spoke tocontinue reading

Toronto real estate gets real

Local real estate agents have assured would-be sellers that the real estate market will pick up in the spring, and judging by the number of new listings on MLS, many gullible (and/or cash-strapped) homeowners are taking them at their word. Guava.ca tracks the actual reduction in listing prices in Toronto (for single-family houses only) bycontinue reading

All hail the BBC

For morning news, the BBC podcast wins, hands down. Yesterday in an interview about bailouts, an interviewee’s comment on bankers: …put on airs and graces not justified by talent or industry Ouch! Beat that, Globe and Mail, source of the morning’s most blathery podcasts…

Whatever happened to adulthood?

Somehow, the Canadian Association of Retired People — CARP — has moved from being, well, an association of retired people, to “50-plus”, to — wait for it — 45 and over. 45 and over? At a time when Freedom 55 is stretching to Freedom 65 and there is debate about moving out the qualifying agecontinue reading