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links for 2010-07-31

  • // Scary stuff.
  • Quote:"Midwesterners favor sophisticated "high-end dining," but "they're not swayed so much by trendy things." The same goes for fashion. Chicagoans are big buyers of Christian Dior, for instance, but according to Hautelook, they also favor North Face and other practical, well-established apparel brands.

    // It gets cold out here in the Midwest. Looking good in 30 knot winds and -20 degree weather means not being a frozen corpse in a snowbank.

  • Quote:"4. Missing Credit Card Payments

    Policyholders may think their credit history has nothing to do with their car insurance costs. However, many insurers have determined that certain characteristics in a driver's credit report could increase the likelihood that the person would need to file an auto insurance claim, says Luedke.

    That data is combined with other driver information to create the client's insurance score, which influences the size of the premium, he says.

    "We don't look at the same credit characteristics as a bank, but we do look at enough to measure insurance risk," Luedke says.

    // Huh?

  • Diocletian ordered a vast increase in the armed forces to guard against further attacks by the barbarians. Taxes were increased to pay for defenses but much of the funds raised went to pay for public monuments as well as rebuilding his new capital of Nicomedia in western Anatolia. When he ran out of funds Diocletian resorted to the use of forced labor for his projects. But Diocletian had issued vast amounts of copper coins. This led to price increases. When prices rose Diocletian attributed the inflation to the greed of merchants. In 301 AD Diocletian issued an edict declaring fixed prices; i.e., price controls. His edict provided for the death penalty for anyone selling above the control prices. There was also penalties (less severe) for anyone paying more than the control price. Irate consumers sometimes destroyed the businesses of those who sold higher than the control prices.

    In the short-run these draconian measures may have curbed inflation but in the long-run…// guess

  • Quote:"5. The lifetime cost is off the map. People get angry when I point this out. But if your money earns, say, 4% a year above inflation, every dollar you save at age 20 will grow to about $6 by the time you retire. So that $17,500 will grow to about $100,000. If you're financially secure, maybe it doesn't matter so much. But most middle-class Americans are in a far more precarious situation than they realize. They have saved little, if anything, for their retirement, and they are deeply in debt. (Household debts are about twice what they were a decade ago.) And we've seen what can happen to jobs and wages in a slump. In these circumstances, saving money instead of spending it matters very much.

    // What more is there to say? Weddings that cost a lot of money are stupid.

  • // ugh
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