I enjoy baseball and the statistical aspects of the game. In the past I played fantasy baseball, football, and basketball with friends and family. We played for bragging rights mostly. I never played one of these daily fantasy leagues or the money games currently out there. It seems like gambling to me, and I am not a big gambler. So I am watching with a bit of interest how the investigations proceed against these companies. At the very least I think they will be in for some regulation or scrutiny of some kind in the future.

Continue reading Baseball and Gambling

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I am making a presentation to a group of retired UND faculty this morning on the topic of oil and the North Dakota economy. It is more of a free-flowing discussion than a chalk-and-talk format so I will add interesting comments later after I hear them. Oil is clearly a transformative event in the North Dakota economy. We can have an argument about the relative importance of different sectors all we want, but the emergence of the energy economy was an enormous factor in the early 2000s. Looking at the graph below I make the following observation: we are at the end of the first boom-bust cycle in the oil industry in North Dakota. That’s all this is. We have not run out of oil and it is not, at least yet, an industry regulated out of existence.

Continue reading North Dakota and Oil, Brief Notes

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I had to finish the statistics and report for a grant project so there was a break from the blogging. Now that the Cubs are actually playing meaningful baseball in October I am not sure how often I will get back to this, but I will try. I mentioned this graph recently when talking with local business people and thought I would replicate it here.

Continue reading Grand Forks Employment: A Road to Where?

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That does not mean they actually mean anything. My dad sent me a Chicago news station story about the Cubs game tonight. The story explained that the start time of the game in military format was 19:08, and 1908 was the last year the Cubs won the World Series. By the way did you know the Ottoman Empire still existed the last time the Cubs won the World Series? We can go on with that all night. 

Continue reading Numbers never lie, but …

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JT tends to ask me the following question: “What worries me about the outlook for ND?” Over the last few years I answered that there was not much. That was then, this is now. North Dakota hit its first oil price catastrophe for this round of the oil boom and we are watching to see the consequences. One of the issues that worries me has to do with the demographics for the state as a whole. In this piece I will focus on the 65-and-over population and later on we can talk about other dimensions.

Continue reading Fewer Shades of Grey in ND

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