Author: Douglass Gaking

Economies of Scale

Is your business idea scalable? How can you increase production, increase profit margins, and decrease the consumer price all at the same time? It’s all about learning strategies for scaling the business, like lowering input costs by buying in bulk and taking advantage of division of labor to hire specialists.

Here is a slideshow I used to teach this to my Intro to Entrepreneurship class:

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Book Review: Stress Test

stress testTimothy Geithner was President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2003 to 2009 and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under from 2009 to 2013. Many people would have loved to be a fly on the wall in some of the meetings that Geithner was in during the financial crisis, the Great Recession, and the recovery. Geithner provides some insights, but he is also overly concerned with addressing his critics, especially those he calls “moral hazard fundamentalists.”

He makes some good analogies, although he repeats the same ones again and again, and I don’t think he addresses the fundamental problems that his critics are trying to get to. Sure, TARP assuaged the market by injecting capital into the struggling financial sector, and the taxpayers made a profit off the program in the end. Perhaps moral hazard arguments in reference to TARP are overblown. However, does this really settle the argument about whether or not the government should be bailing out companies? Should calming a volatile market really be the role of the federal government? Continue reading “Book Review: Stress Test”

Students Thinking Critically About Finance

I teach at a school that strongly emphasizes students writing constructed responses to reading materials. This strengthens their reading and writing skills and gets them thinking critically about various topics (these are big standardized testing skills too). Here are some articles and prompts I have given my Personal Financial Responsibility class to think about current topics in finance. Continue reading “Students Thinking Critically About Finance”

Is GameStop The Next Blockbuster?

In my latest article for Seeking Alpha, I look at how two companies handled industry disruption between 2000-2010 and analyze whether GameStop (GME) meets the profile of a survivor. This was a fun article to research, as Blockbuster was a comically mismanaged company, and one of its competitors, Family Video, remains a model for resilience to both disruption and recession.

Book Review: Economics for Real People

Economics for Real PeopleThe Austrian School approach to the study economics is practical, logical, and accessible. Understanding it gives one an excellent perspective on history, philosophy, politics, business, current events, and daily life. However, there are so many thinkers one needs to explore, starting with Frédérick Bastiat, Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, and Friederich A. Hayek. While incredibly enlightening, their works can be overwhelming in their size, depth, and dryness. They can each take quite a while to get through, and there are so many of them. Gene Callahan shrinks the central concepts from the works of Bastiat, Menger, Mises, Rothbard, and Hayek into one reasonably sized volume that is succinct and more colorfully written. Continue reading “Book Review: Economics for Real People”