Thomas Sargent, NYU, was just named one of 2011’s  Nobel Prize Winners in Economics. Sargent was among the judges who deemed Ben’s Econ Thesis worthy of winning NYU’s highest honor, the Borgman-Phi Beta Kappa prize for outstanding undergraduate thesis:  ‘Functional Data Analysis of Economic Bubbles: Creating a Coherent Shape of Inflationary Phenomena’.


Green to brown to down. Leaves muted if color at all this season. Vibrantly glorious weather for Columbus holiday weekend though. No complaints. Lobster rolls al fresco, picnic tables packed. Autumn’s last stand. Side trek time.

 William Cullen Bryant homestead up route 112 North, in Cummington. An architectural menagerie of Dutch, Arts & Crafts, it was his contemplative outpost for pastoral poetry and Thanatopsis thought.

Click on photo.

Table’s Tilt

Stellar restaurateurs once converged in Northampton and made it a dining destination. Those shining stars have lately dimmed. Freshness, quality, service have disappeared into a black hole. I don’t want to pay less for three courses of frozen cardboard food. The economy is bad, true. So, put fewer choices on the menu and make sure they’re fresh and good. If you disagree, enlighten me.

A former bright local, Unmi has returned to open a new restaurant “Coco” in the former Easthampton Venus venue. Will try it soon. ‘Til then cooking at home.

Another Orchard

 Think different. Imagine. Steve Jobs is gone. He will fertilize another orchard somewhere out there now. Down here, the mundane reality is that jobs are gone. Silly people pretend as politicians solve nothing. Local apple orchards are brimming for picking. Atkins’ Fruit Bowl is full. Life goes on without a core visionary.

Clock Works

The Night Circus is a tightly wound time piece. Nocturnal wonderment. Transcendent love. Boundless imagination. Morgenstern’s first novel is a tour de force.  5 stars. When you read it, and you must, pay close attention to chapter headings and dates. When I finally got the “Bailey” joke, I laughed out loud. This was one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. Couldn’t put it down. Hated to have it end. Loved it.

Amanda Knox’ four year purgatory finally over. Her Italian amante’s as well. Seems right. Conrad Murray, not so much. If you are a cardiologist, it’s good to know CPR at the very least. ElevatorEcon continues. Tick tock Andy Rooney.

Rx Trex

Doctors as gods. Maureen Dowd tackles this topic today. With the abundance of internet info now, much of it faux, patients have become emboldened to question and contradict physicians’ diagnoses and treatment. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Many people demand every new test, scan, drug, because they’ve read about it and they can. Unless they have to pay out of their own pockets. Then, not so much. With the advent of ObamaCare, less will be covered. Tug-of-war alert.

Speaking of false gods. What’s with the deification of Chris Christie? He’s Irish and Italian. check. He’s fat. check. He’s a family man. check. But, is he really the GOP’s elixir? Once the Tea Bags hear all of his views, he’ll become Dr.Devil.

Yerp Out

Back in the early 90’s when there was talk of a European Union forming with one currency, I was a naysayer. I could not imagine countries with centuries of distinct cultures, languages, economic roots ever agreeing on anything as one entity. An article in The Economist, entitled ‘Yerp’ caught my attention at the time. It was a kindred cynical satirical view using the American tourist term for the continent. “We’re heading off to ‘Yerp’ for vacation in August.” As if Europe were just one big happy country. Never thought it could actually become so.

Wrong. The EU formed in 1998 with the Euro its common currency. However, as Paul Krugman says today, maybe we were right.