Economics

Donald Sterling told a judge his fight to block the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer is about economics, not ego. “You think I’m doing this for ego?” Sterling asked a lawyer for his wife, Shelly Sterling, during one of many testy exchanges on the second day of a trial to determine whether she had sole authority to sell the National Basketball Association team after having her husband declared incapacitated. Sterling, 80, said he was negotiating a new cable-television contract with 21st Century Fox Inc. and that television providers’ demand for content would continue to drive up the value of sports franchises. The Clippers’ success on the court this year also has created interest from several radio stations to carry the games, he testified. “My wife can’t run anything,” Sterling told a state probate judge in Los Angeles who is deciding the case without a jury. “Of course I believe the team is worth more.” [Bloomberg]

“I wonder where Charlie Gasparino does his grocery shopping” is a question many people have surely asked themselves on many occasions  Lucky for them, today finally brings an answer. The Fox Business reporter was interviewed by “Bronx Times” about his very early boyhood days in the borough, which apparently made a lasting impression on him, despite having moved to Westchester when he was six.

“[The Bronx] was my home away from home basically when I was a kid, up until I was twenty and then I went away to graduate school,” Gasparino says. “My wife is from Brooklyn, but I used to tell her instead of going out to Brooklyn, there are some great restaurants right here and we started going back. Even rather than going to Arthur Avenue I used to go to Throggs Neck. The places I’ve been shopping – I mean Pastosa Ravioli has been there since 1980 – are the easiest three places to shop for really good food: Pastosas, that meat market, Ritchie’s, and that fruit and vegetable store and you get everything you need. And I still do it once a week. If he had to dream up the perfect meal, Gasparino said it would all come from Throggs Neck.

In addition to dropping food-related wisdom, elsewhere in the article CG discusses what his time in the Bronx taught him about life (“you understand…economics plays a role in the way people act”) and offers advice to aspiring journalists (“get literate”). One thing he doesn’t mention? Read more »

If you want to make things easy on yourself, go after an economics major, says Bloomberg TV, which cautions people to avoid philosophy, education, and earth science concentrators, who make up “the least promiscuous majors.” Just don’t get too excited about your odds, though, warns anchor Scarlet Fu, noting that “we are far from the free loving days,” during which Paul Krugman shot fish in a barrel.

  • 15 Jul 2011 at 1:02 PM

Today in Statistics: People Have Stuff (Had, Anyway)

The Atlantic points out a chart in Bernanke’s report to Congress showing the mean ratio of Americans’ net worth to annual income. After bouncing around 5x for much of the early ’90s, it went well above 6x during the tech boom, dipped briefly, and then soared to 6.3x-ish in 2007 before plummeting to around 5x again today. The Fed report, and Daniel Indiviglio at the Atlantic, point to this as a key restraint on consumer spending, as consumer confidence won’t rebound until people have repaired their balance sheets.

Here at Dealbreaker we were more surprised that the ratio was so high, since we assumed that the average American didn’t have much in the way of net worth beyond a 47 inch flat screen, a Wendy’s Baconator Deluxe and an underwater mortgage. So we looked around for median data, assuming that the mean was dominated by the top and fluctuations are driven mostly by Tiger Woods’s property tax bills. And we put together a somewhat different chart, based on the Fed’s Chartbook, which is triennial and only goes through 2007 (and measures slightly different things from the report to Congress):
Read more »

Peterson

Derek Peterson spent nearly a decade working as an investment banker, most recently at Morgan Stanely. Peterson “always wanted to take a company public” but never found the right one. Then one day it hit him, like the sort of epiphany one gets when they’re really, really stoned– he would get into the business of getting people high. “The few dispensaries in my neighborhood — I started talking to them and found out they were doing $10 million to $14 million in business a year,” Peterson said. “I just started to see the economics.” Read more »

Howard would come home so stressed out that he’d go ballistic about tricycles in the driveway and toys on the floor, write Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson in “Spousonomics,” a geeky guide to finding marital bliss through economics. His tantrums had to go, as Howard always recognized after he calmed down. So he and his wife Jen, a fellow lawyer, sought ways to check his anger. Counting to 20 didn’t work. Nor did deep breathing. Desperate, they created a game in which Jen called out “Red Flag” whenever he looked ready to explode. “If Howard went three days without a red flag, she’d have sex with him,” the authors write. As puerile as that sounds, the game worked, restoring peace to their home and rekindling their sex life: A classic economic tradeoff, to hear Szuchman and Anderson tell it. Or was it a coup for a manipulative male? [Bloomberg]

“It was a business decision. The economics of sex were appealing. I worked in the back office of a hedge fund, making six figures but I was always taking crap from everyone. I put together a market analysis on the sex industry and it looked to be a lucrative appealing endeavor.” Read more »