Happy New Year!

As we move into 2015, I would like to share my latest article, published the week before Christmas, entitled Hold the Frankincense and Myrrh.

Hold the Frankincense and Myrrh

As well, I would like to draw your attention to some additional material that I have shared on the website. The I.B.-style questions (and some sample answers) can be found at the top of the “Answering I.B.-style Questions” page while non I.B.-style quizzes and exercises can be found at the top of the “Additional Exercises” page.

Lastly, I would  like to thank everyone who ordered books this past year. In 2014 almost 1100 copies of the book were distributed worldwide. Your support is appreciated.

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Southern Hemisphere Orders (and a great graphic!)

As we roll into December, I would like to wish everyone a pleasant end of term. For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, I hope the recent exams came off well for you and your students. If you are planning on ordering books for January, please be sure to get your order to me by the middle of December to ensure their timely delivery.

Before I go, I would like to share this re-imagined graphic of a Phillips Machine (the original schematic can be found on the front cover of the first edition and inside the front cover of the second edition) by the artist WilliamBanzai7. Again, happy holidays and all the best for 2015.


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The Decline of Central Bank Integrity

I just finished reading the following article describing the tenure of William McChesney Martin, Jr. (who famously said that the job of central bankers was to take the punch bowl away just as the party got going) as Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board from 1951 until 1970. It is an interesting read and points to how our current economic mess is directly related to the tendency of central banks to, over time, be captured by political and financial interests.

The power to control a nation’s money needs to be exercised by highly competent and incorruptible public officials. Sadly, that probably hasn’t been the case for at least 27 years (since Paul Volcker resigned).


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Getting ready for 2014-2015

First of all, I would like to thank the dozen or so schools which have ordered books through Amazon.com recently for their adoption of the book. If you have ordered class sets of the student exercise books, please drop me a line and I will be happy to supply you with a copy of the teachers’ guide.

If you are planning on ordering books through me directly, I would ask that you do so sooner rather than later as I will be moving to the Middle East later this month. However, I am happy to fill orders received in late August or into the fall as I have made arrangements for books to be sent from Canada and from the U.K. on my behalf. The ordering procedure set out in the page above entitled ‘The Second Edition’ remains unchanged.

Lastly, I would like to direct your attention to some recent articles, accessible through the ‘Articles’ page above. ‘Can a Leopard Change its Spots’ examines the impact of competition on bureaucracies, while ‘Easy Money Blood Thinners’  compares the current zero percent interest rate/quantitative easing regime to treating a patient with atherosclerosis with blood thinners instead of undertaking surgery to clear blocked arteries.

Best wishes for the remainder of your summer holidays.

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If you got a postcard…

…thank you for visiting the website. This week I got a message from a school in Hong Kong that is using the second edition of the book which clearly expresses why it is the most effective I.B. economics learning resource available:

“I think the tribute to the workbook is the way the kids have engaged with it – every copy heavily annotated and questions answered.”

It is a book that gives students a wealth of opportunities to learn the definitions, diagrams, concepts and calculations of the course through daily practice. No other book gives students as many chances to grapple with and hone their understanding of the subject.

Ideally, the book should be used in a “flipped classroom” environment where students read the lessons and do the definitions the evening before and then work on the numerical and graphical exercises in class where they can easily call upon their teacher or classmates for assistance. Ashbury College in Ottawa, Canada uses the book in this way and the results have been very positive.

If you would like to learn more about the book, please look at the page above entitled “The Second Edition.” If you would like to download the electronic lessons for the book along with a sample exercise, the page from the teachers’ guide supporting the exercise, and a sample Paper 3-style question, please go to https://gumroad.com/l/qDOE. The download is free.

Again, thank you for coming. I hope you will have a look around the website and that you will be in touch soon with any further questions you might have.

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Another exam session down, a new article, and shipping dates

First of all, I would like to congratulate all of this year’s graduating I.B. students (and their teachers) on having completed their exams. I wish you all the best as you move onto your next adventures.

As well, I would like to share my latest article entitled “The Death of the Dollar.” The one sentence summary is that the U.S. can either remain the issuer of the world’s reserve currency or it can stoke inflation so as to bail out its banks, but it can’t do both.

The Death of the Dollar

Finally, I will be taking up teaching duties next year in Abu Dhabi so I would ask schools looking to order books for the 2014-2015 school year to please get their orders to me by the first week of August. While orders will be shipped after that date, if possible I would appreciate receiving them before that date so as to be able to fulfill them myself.

Thank you and all the best as the school year winds to a close.

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Updated Lessons

I had an opportunity to go through the lessons for the second edition in late January and make some small improvements. The updated PDF file is now available on the page above entitled “The Second Edition” as well as through Gumroad.com and the IB Online Curriculum Centre’s Teacher Resource Exchange.

I am also pleased to report that some of my articles from the Pembroke Daily Observer are now posted on the Ludwig von Mises Institute’s website. I invite you to check out the site as there are many interesting articles and readings there with an Austrian school flavour.

I wish you all the best as you move with your students into the final innings.

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Some recent articles

Two of my recent articles published in the Pembroke Daily Observer have looked critically at the inflationary biases of economic policymakers which, I believe, will lead to a rather sticky end:

Smash Asset Price Inflation Too! contrasts the efforts of policymakers to fight wage and price inflation in the 1980s with the efforts of policymakers to encourage asset price inflation today while

The View from the Top looks at the (in my view, flawed) rationale behind the inflationists’ efforts.

To see all of the articles I have had published over the past couple of years, go to the page above entitled “Articles.”

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The book’s intended use

I am writing today to explain why I am only selling teachers’ guides along with class sets of at least 10 copies of the student exercise book.

1. The book is intended to be used as a consumable student workbook. The very affordable class set price of $22 per copy to overseas addresses reflects this. When used in conjunction with the free online lessons the book is the best learning tool for I.B. economics available. Your students will benefit greatly from being issued their own copy at the beginning of the course and using it throughout the two-year program.

2. However, if you don’t have the budget to buy copies for your students every year, it is fine to use the book as a class text and reissue it to each new cohort of students and have them answer the problems in their notebooks. I understand that some schools have tight budgets that leave teachers with few options.

3. However, what I am not prepared to support is teachers using the book as a photocopy master. If the book is good enough to use with your students, it is good enough to purchase for your students. As the cost to photocopy the exercises in the book would be about the same as the $22 purchase price, it just doesn’t make sense to make photocopies, especially if you take into account time spent at the photocopier.

I hate to be a nag, but it is useful to be reminded that significant time, effort and money went into producing Workbook for the New I.B. Economics, 2nd Edition. When you choose to purchase the book, you are honouring that fact and making it possible for me to continue to produce useful and affordable educational materials. Thank you for your support.

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If you got a postcard…

…I am glad you followed up and came to visit the site. The two biggest advantages of Workbook for the New I.B. Economics, 2nd Edition over other books available for the course are:

1. It is engaging and demands that students DO a bit of economics every day, not just read about it. While other books may have some multiple choice or short answer questions at the end of each chapter, only Workbook for the New I.B. Economics, 2nd Edition has graphing and analysis questions to support each of its 82 lessons, questions for review and extension every 6 or 7 lessons and 4 extensive sets of Paper 3-style quantitative questions.

2. The scope (a page or two long each) and sequence of the lessons permits many students to learn the course with a great deal of independence. This is especially valuable for schools where I.B. economics is being taught alongside A.P. or national curriculum courses.

Of course, the value proposition is compelling as well – in North America student copies ordered as part of a class set are just $17, while for schools on other continents the price is still a very reasonable  $22. Due to the conveniently sized ‘board game’ airmail box offered by the USPS, I am pleased to offer overseas schools the class set price of $22 per copy for orders of 15 books or more.

To learn more, please click on the link above entitled “The Second Edition.” To have a look at the book’s free online lessons, click on the link in the post below from September 26th.


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