Off to Aberdeen

I’m off to Aberdeen, the home of the UK oil industry. Can’t wait!! I hope to find some good uisge beatha there as well; that’s water of life, or whisky in English. … More Off to Aberdeen

OPEC’s Meeting Today

Another variable in OPEC’s ability to sustain cooperation in the cartel is something they will discuss today at their meeting: the fall of the US dollar. As this story reports, the currency in which oil trades are denominated us the US dollar, so its decline is not good news for oil producers who are trying … More OPEC’s Meeting TodayMore OPEC’s Meeting Today

British Euphemisms

One of the charming and fascinating things about British culture is the contradictory use of euphemisms for some things, and brutally frank phrasings for other things. The word “toilet” is one such contradiction — whereas we Americans say “restroom” or “ladies room”, even properly-brought-up Brits will say “excuse me, where is the toilet?” I must … More British EuphemismsMore British Euphemisms

London’s Air Quality

I noticed something yesterday (Tuesday) that is quite different from the last several visits I made here, and from when I lived here four years ago. There are many, many more cyclists on the roads, and the cyclists no longer wear face masks to filter out the particulate in the air. London’s air is still … More London’s Air QualityMore London’s Air Quality

The History of Economic Growth Through Ceramics, a Story

I spent three-plus hours yesterday at the Victoria and Albert Museum, a monument to Victorian intellectual omnivorousness (and the grandeur of the Empire, of course). Most of this time I spent only in the ceramics and pottery galleries. The evolution of ceramics uses, decoration, themes and techniques illustrates and parallels economic growth more broadly. The … More The History of Economic Growth Through Ceramics, a StoryMore The History of Economic Growth Through Ceramics, a Story

OPEC and Venezuela

An interesting story on the political dynamics of OPEC from today’s (sorry, no specific link, I am reading the print version). At the upcoming meeting in Vienna, OPEC is expected to choose Alvaro Silva, Venezuela’s current energy minister, as secretary general. The current secretary general, Ali Rodriguez, is Venezuelan, and Silva will serve out the … More OPEC and VenezuelaMore OPEC and Venezuela

Munis Involved in Market Manipulation?

According to this Associated Press story and this Reuters story, a California Senate investigation has found email evidence that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipal utility in the country, may have engaged in some of the same trading practices that have been called “market manipulation” when performed by independent generators. … More Munis Involved in Market Manipulation?More Munis Involved in Market Manipulation?

Off to London and Aberdeen

I am leaving tomorrow for London and Aberdeen, to give presentations at the Institute of Economic Affairs and the annual meetings of the International Association of Energy Economics. I am leaving town at the right time, as my Cubs continue to be depressing (although at least Alou’s hitting is coming along, he just hit a … More Off to London and AberdeenMore Off to London and Aberdeen

Postrel on Microsoft, Joskow and Transaction Costs

Leave it to my eloquent former colleague Virginia Postrel to pick up on an extremely good analysis of the economics of antitrust law by Paul Joskow. I read this article on the plane to San Francisco last Friday, and it was one of the most compelling arguments I’ve seen yet for why actions, institutions and … More Postrel on Microsoft, Joskow and Transaction CostsMore Postrel on Microsoft, Joskow and Transaction Costs

How Cool Is This?

Following up on an article in Monday’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required), I’ve been reading up on Irbis Enterprises. Irbis, which means “snow leopard” in Mongolian, is an organization attempting to align the incentives of nomadic herders in Mongolia with not killing snow leopards to sell their coats. As the WSJ article says, Irbis … … More How Cool Is This?More How Cool Is This?