September 08, 2011

“Maybe Things Will Get Better Next Year”

People who follow U.S. economic policy saw two threshold moments today.

This morning, it was a speech from the head of the Federal Reserve Bank, who for the first time suggested that the economy might improve faster if the causes of its problems could be addressed.

Then tonight, the president addressed Congress with a call-to-action speech on the economy. Even with all the advance billing the speech got, it was startling to see from a president who until today had seemed content to just muddle through.

September 03, 2011

Self-Storage and the Endowment Effect

The BBC News Magazine story “The Self-Storage Craze” deconstructs the decision-making process that leads people to store possession they don’t use in storage lockers for months or years on end, at considerable cost.

Writers Tom de Castella and Kate Dailey go through some of the familiar mechanisms that make people save things they don’t like enough to have around the house: sentimental attachment, putting off the tough decisions about what to keep, a touch of confusion over the actual costs involved. But they also touched on one that I hadn’t really thought about.