Monday, May 3, 2010

Today's Post

I've been away on family business the past couple of days. But I'm back and we'll ease back into the routine.

First, today we recognize the birthday of economist Jacob Viner. Viner is known as an outstanding historian of economic thought and an excellent international trade economist. He is sometimes mentioned along with Frank Knight and the Chicago School, although he frequently disagreed on some of the most fundamental aspects of that group. More importantly, he is known for his work that the long-run matters. According to one source, it his work that Keynes' was referring to when making the famous "in the long-run we're all dead" remark. You can read more about Jacob Viner here and here.

For those of you looking for something more personal finance oriented, here  is a look at the finances of the basic American family, courtesy of the folks at VisualEconomics. I don't see the source of the data on the graphic. Regardless, it should be a good discussion starter.

Please feel free to leave comments.


Erin Janie said...

I am very surprised by the average finances of American families. The statistic that the average family only has $3,800 in the bank was pretty shocking. For some reason I thought of Americans as more stubborn to save, but this blog showed me otherwise. It actually makes me confident in my future, since I've learned from my parents that saving pays off.

Lisa Perfors said...

My response to Keynes' remark "but in the long-run were all dead" is that "yea, until we realize our world economies are starting to fail." It reminds me of how my parents have no retirement funds because they didn't think they would be here.

Tim Schilling said...


There are many like your parents. There are others in your parents' generation who figured they would make it to retirement but they would have a healthy social security system to support them. There are lots of reasons why people did not prepare.

And even people who did prepare may have seen much of their cushion disappear, depending on how they invested and the risk level they took.