Apr

22

 Aubrey sold lemonade in the heart of Wall Steet today and made a 40% on his cost which the collab put at 50 cents a cup. His selling techniques included doing a dance after each sale and hawking loudly "lemonade for sale." As Millhone would say, "I don't believe that the economy has bottomed yet" as the decline did not affect sentiment on Wall Street. Nor were competitors offended by his competition with them at the 75 cents selling price. As the bearish Barron's columnist would say, "There are still pockets of exuberance out there and until they're completely stamped out, we have not seen the lows."

John Tierney responds:

Here's another opportunity for Aubrey to pick up a little extra spare change:

(CNSNews.com) – President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency is encouraging the public to create video advertisements that explain why federal regulations are "important to everyone."

The EPA is managing the contest, part of the government’s eRulemaking program, on behalf of the entire government.

As explained in the EPA press release announcing the contest, the purpose of the videos will be to remind the public that federal regulation touches “almost every aspect” of their lives and to promote how important those regulations are.

“The contest will highlight the significance of federal regulations and help the public understand the rule making process. Federal agencies develop and issue hundreds of rules and regulations every year to implement statutes written by Congress. Almost every aspect of an individual’s life is touched by federal regulations, but many do not understand how rules are made or how they can get involved in the process.”

“Regulations have the power of law. Breaking them can result in fines and even jail time. Regulations outnumber Congressional statutes. For every statute passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, federal agencies create about 10 regulations, each of which have the force of law.”

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/64297

Steve Ellison comments:

In my town in which home prices have dropped 60%, and an estimated 70% of mortgages are underwater, my wife thinks it is a good time to buy. She is finding that houses are selling quickly, and she cannot delay if she wants to visit a house she likes before it is sold. There are plenty of Millhonian signs, such as the notice of foreclosure taped to the front door of one house we drove by (when we called the agent, we found the house had already been sold), but the market is working as textbooks say it should: when prices decrease, demand increases.

I suspect there is a cognitive bias regarding change. It is very easy to notice the negative or threatening aspects of any change and who the losers might be, since we tend to think in terms of the status quo. However, it is much harder to spot the opportunities and who will benefit from the change. There are people in my town who did not go deeply into debt and still have jobs who can now afford much nicer houses.

Donald Sull, in his book The Upside of Turbulence, recounted that a business school class was assigned a project to advise Lakshmi Mittal about his steel company. The students nearly unanimously recommended that Mittal exit the steel business because severe disruptions in the industry were destroying profitability for nearly everybody. In the context of the assignment, the students had every reason to know that the main disruptive force in the industry was Mittal himself, and his company was prospering mightily. Somehow, the students could not see any benefits of industry upheaval, even when advising the chief beneficiary.


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