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Posts Tagged ‘Monopoly

“Economics is a subject that does not greatly respect one’s wishes”*…

 

From “Macroeconomic policy and the optimal destruction of vampires” (1982) by Dennis Snower

A not-so-dismal look at the “science” of economics:  “the world’s first and only stand-up economist”  reviews the weirdest and most wonderful papers ever published in economics journals…  Consider, e.g.,

“Japan’s Phillips Curve looks like Japan” (2008) by Gregor Smith

Smith’s webpage used to link to a version of the paper with this note: “The title is also the abstract and, frankly, most of the text.”

Japan’s Phillips Curve is shown in the right-hand panel of Figure 1. The data are monthly from January 1980 to August 2005.

For ease of viewing, the left-hand panel of Figure 1 rotates the Phillips Curve around the vertical axis so that minus the unemployment rate now is on the horizontal axis. Clearly visible are the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu, though it is somewhat difficult to separately distinguish the southern islands of Kyushu and Shikoku. The Noto-Hanto Penninsula is evident to the north of the southern end of the main island of Honshu. Tokyo Bay is also visible. The data point to the far left in Figure 1 is the island of Fukue-Jima.  

Ten others– including Bauman’s own hysterical take-down of Gregory Mankiw and “On the efficiency of AC/DC? Bon Scott versus Brian Johnson,” featured here in pre-blog times– at “Top 11 Funniest Papers in the History of Economics.”

* Nikita Khrushchev (widely attributed)

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As we search for one-armed economists, we might spare a thought for Charles Darrow; he died on this date in 1967. It was Darrow who took a Quaker game that inveighed against acquisitiveness and turned it into the monopoly that is Monopoly.

 source

 

Written by LW

August 29, 2014 at 1:01 am

“I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly”*…

 

The game Monopoly was created in the early 1930s as “The Landlord Game” by a Quaker anxious to illuminate the dangers of unbridled acquisitiveness.  But by 1935, when it was acquired by Parker Bros., it had been copied, re-titled, and remade into the paean to aspirational capitalism that’s been a huge success ever since.

But times have changed; the methods of wealth accumulation have morphed…  and now there is a new set of rules to reflect this new reality.

It would be hard to simplify capitalism further than Monopoly. The game attempts to express the ruthlessness of raw capitalism by declaring that whoever has the most money at the “end” is the winner. While it’s true our culture proclaims the rich as our greatest heroes, the method of financial gain in Monopoly is not a system that allows for any creativity. Roll the dice, buy a property, pay rent, pass go, and collect $200. Repeat.

Simple models have long been used to help understand complex ideas. With a few small changes Monopoly can be a space where we can play at being in control of the economic system. All it takes is a few new rules.

Rule Change #1: The Banker

In the original rules the role of the banker is simply a chore–the board game equivalent of taking out the trash. But in real life the banker is no passive entity. The banker is the center of the universe.

The Libor scandal, the UBS money laundering scandal, the SAC Capital scandal, FINRA suing Wells Fargo and Bank of America, TD Bank paying to settle charges of a ponzi scheme, Galleon Group’s insider trading scandal. This list could go on. The point is that banking is
exciting work!

The role of the banker is special. The banker should have no piece on the Monopoly board, but this person is in charge of the bank’s money. The success of the banker is judged the same as any other player: Whoever accumulates the most wealth is the winner. Of course, as in life, the banker has some advantages (like control of all the money)…

Read the rest of the new rules at “Rethinking the game of Monopoly“…  then roll the dice.

Playing this version of Monopoly won’t help you understand the details of a banking scandal. But you’ll have experience with a simplified model of the financial system that generates regular “scandals.” A game where arguing and backstabbing are part of the rules and the winner is hard to determine. This simple model recreates the same results found in the real world.

* Stephen Wright

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As we wonder why no one’s done time, we might recall that it was on this date in 1882 that the San Francisco Stock and Bond Exchange was formed;  it later merged with with Los Angeles Oil Exchange to become the Pacific Stock Exchange.  In 1999 it became the first stock exchange in the U.S. to demutualize, and in 2003, closed its trading floors and went to electronic transactions. The PSX, as it was known, merged into the New York Stock Exchange in 2006.

The San Francisco home of the Pacific Stock Exchange from 1930 to 2003

source

Written by LW

June 5, 2014 at 1:01 am

Tilt!…

From Popular Mechanics, “11 Things You Didn’t Know About Pinball History,” e.g.:

7. Pinball Has a Surprise Best-Seller

The best-selling pinball machine of all time is still “The Addams Family,” which came out in 1991.

and…

11. Just One Company Still Makes Pinball Machines


And it does it in the U.S. Every new pinball machine comes from a single Stern Pinball factory in the Chicago suburbs, where factory workers assemble several thousand parts, largely by hand.

Readers will find the other nine nuggets at “11 Things You Didn’t Know About Pinball History.”

As we limber up our flipper fingers, we might recall that it was on this date in 1935 that Parker Brothers purchased the patent for “The Landlord’s Game” from Elizabeth Magie, a Quaker political activist who had created the game to illustrate the way in which monopolies impoverish (“bankrupt”) the many while concentrating extraordinary wealth in one or few.  Charles Darrow’s “Monopoly” was (to put it politely) closely modeled on “The Landlord’s Game”; when it became a hit in 1933, Parker Brothers bought it– and subsequently paid Ms. Magie $500 for her predecessor patent to avoid a (completely justified) claim from her that “Monopoly” was, in effect, stolen.  It is estimated that over a billion people have played “Monopoly” over the years.

“The Landlord’s Game” board, from Magie’s original patent application (source)

 

For one’s “inner capitalist”…

From The Poke:

click image or here (and again) to enlarge

Monopoly, the iconic board game that for decades has instilled the values of aggressive capitalism into the young, joined forces today with the hit TV show The Wire.

The Wire is all about corners,” says Hasbro spokesperson Jane McDougall, “and the Monopoly board is all about corners. It was a natural fit.”

Based around the journey a young gangster might take through the fictionalised Baltimore of the show, players move from corner to stoop, past institutions featured in successive series like the school system and the stevedores union, acquiring real estate, money and power before ending up at the waterfront developments and City Hall itself.

“Where the original game has ‘Community Chest’ and ‘Chance’,” McDougall continues, “we have ‘Re-up’ and ‘The Game’ which reflects the chance element of life on the streets. If you draw a ‘The Game’ card you might for instance get ‘Prop Joe calls a meet – go straight to Collington Square’ or ‘Drive-By! You get shot. Miss a go’ or even ‘Chris and Snoop are looking for you! Hide! Miss 2 goes’.”

“We hope The Wire Monopoly game will go down well not just with fans of the show, but everyone who secretly wishes to be a poor violent black drug dealer from America.”

As we slip into our Orioles jackets, we might recall that it was on this date in 1975 that Saturday Night Live debuted, with inaugural guest host George Carlin.

source

 

Written by LW

October 11, 2010 at 12:01 am

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