Archives for business



When the Rolling Stones Hit the Laffer Curve

A recent interview with the Rolling Stones reveals some of their business and wealth-protection strategies. “The whole business thing is predicated a lot on the tax laws,” said Keith Richards. “It’s why we rehearse in Canada and not in the U.S. A lot of our astute moves have been basically keeping up with tax laws, where to go, where not to put it. Whether to sit on it or not. We left England because we’d be paying 98 cents on the dollar. [This may sound like an exaggeration, but likely isn't.] We left, and they lost out. No taxes at all. I don’t want to screw anybody out of anything, least of all the governments that I work with. We put 30% in holding until we sort it out.” Read More »



Slowing Down to Increase Profits?

In the face of economic pressures and customer complaints about coffee quality, Starbucks has revised its drink-making guidelines for baristas: “Starbucks baristas are being told to stop making multiple drinks at the same time and focus instead on no more than two drinks at a time-starting a second one while finishing the first,” reports The Wall Street Journal. Read More »



Quotes Uncovered: Wisdom From Business Leaders

Continuing with my requests for famous quotations and sayings that might make it into the next edition of The Yale Book of Quotations, I’d like now to ask for memorable recent (or not-so-recent) words of wit or wisdom from business leaders. Read More »



Probably Not the Way to Run a Restaurant

I happened to be driving by an A&W restaurant the other day. I also happened to be thirsty. So I stopped in to order a frosty mug of root beer.

“We’re out of root beer,” the worker told me. Read More »



What's in a Name?

The determinants of one’s demand for a product are covered in every introductory economics course. Independent of prices, my income and my general preferences, I also consider the cuteness of the product’s name. Read More »



When a Changing Labor Market Changes Business

There are innumerable great examples of goods in related markets. And of complements and substitutes. (One of my favorites is the local store that sold rock music and condoms, clearly complements.) It’s harder to cook up neat examples of goods markets that are impinged upon by labor-market changes. Read More »



Satellite of Profit

A Chicago company called Remote Sensing Metrics LLC has been using satellite images to track the number of cars in Wal-Mart parking lots, as a means of helping forecast earnings at the retail chain. Read More »



Chinese Jobs Lost, and Gained

“White Guy in a Tie” events in China. Read More »