Money and Economics
Welcome to the Harley Hahn Center for Economics and Money, where you can explore a variety of important and useful information, designed to help you understand money, investing, and economics.
I originally wrote the following short essays, as well as some much longer ones (#18, #22, #23) as a series of newspaper columns.
From time to time, as I write new essays, I add to the list, with the newest ones at the top. I think you will find them stimulating.
To invest well requires is to develop our ability to think well and make decisions, even in difficult situations. Doing so, however, is difficult because our feelings and our intuition can get in the way, often without our knowing what is really happening.
"The best investment decisions happen when we acquire pertinent information, evaluate it logically, and then act rationally. Over the years, however, I have come to the conclusion that the most frustrating aspect of being an investor is that we invariably accumulate knowledge a lot faster than we accumulate wisdom. As such, all of us find ourselves making financial mistakes because we have, unconsciously, abandoned rational thinking for emotion and intuition..." (continue reading)
Although financial success generally does not appear until middle age, the seeds of success are planted much earlier in life. Thus, it is often possible, years in advance, to predict which young people are likely to become rich and successful.
"It was September 4, 2005. I was in a restaurant in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles. A voice caught my ear. It was Irwin Dubinsky, someone I knew only slightly, but whom I remembered as always having something interesting to say. What I heard took me by surprise. I sat up and looked at him. 'What was that you said?'
"Irwin turned toward me. 'I said, I can talk to a young person and tell you if he or she is going to be successful'..." (continue reading)
What is money? Where did it come from? How has it evolved?
By the time you finish reading "Understanding Money", you will appreciate the basic ideas that underlie our modern economic system, and why they are important to your life.
"We live in a society that is, to a large extent, cashless: we spend most of our money using credit cards, debit cards, checks, automatic billpay services, and other abstract tools. When we use the Internet, it is even more extreme: everything is cashless, and all transactions are abstract..." (continue reading)
When economists need to analyze how well a particular economy is doing, one of the most important "economic indicators" they use is the GDP or gross domestic product. This is a term you hear a lot, but what exactly does it mean?
This essay will give you a basic understanding of GDP and why it is so important to everyone, not just economists.
"When economists analyze the economy, one of the most important numbers they use is the gross domestic product or GDP: an estimate of the monetary value of all the goods and services produced within a specific region of the world during a certain time period. For example, I might tell you that, in 2012, the GDP of the United States was $15.68 trillion...." (continue reading)
Bankruptcy is a process whereby people or companies who are not able to pay their creditors are able to discharge (get rid of) their obligations under the supervision of a special bankruptcy court.
Although some people believe it is shameful to go bankrupt, the truth is, this is rarely the case. Indeed, the well-being of economic system requires us to have well-structured procedures that, when appropriate, make it possible for individuals and companies to discharge their debts fairly and expediently.
"Bankruptcy is an important part of our modern economic system, a complex set of procedures that took a long time to be developed and many more years to be fine tuned. My goal is to teach you the basic concepts related to bankruptcy and explain why bankruptcy is so important. By the time you finish reading, you will be able to think about bankruptcy with knowledge and compassion..." (continue reading)
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