Archive for November, 2007

Nov 16 2007

Wii shortage threatens to ruin Christmas for all the little boys and girls!

BBC NEWS | Technology | Nintendo warns of Wii shortages
Man playing a Wii game
Looks like Brits dreaming of the Wii from Nintendo may have to wait a while longer this holiday season, as British retailers are finding it nearly impossible to fill customers’ orders. It turns out there is quite a shortage for the hot new gaming system from Nintendo!

“Although we’re receiving regular deliveries from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft and getting the products onto the shelves as fast as we can – it’s possible that demand will outstrip supplies on some products, for example the Nintendo Wii, which has been hugely popular all through the year,” read a statement from high street gaming specialist Game…

“The Nintendo Wii consoles have proved extremely popular with our customers and have been flying off the shelves whenever we get new stock in,” said a spokeswoman.

It seems like the shortage of Wii’s in the UK should send a message to Nintendo and its retailers: RAISE THE PRICE!! One way retailers have tried to do this is by bundling the consoles with up to three or four games, meaning to take home a console shoppers would have to fork over 300 GBP. This seems like a great strategy for retailers faced with strong demand from customers, given that they are probably not allowed to charge above Nintendos suggested retail price for the console itself. Continue Reading »

38 responses so far

Nov 13 2007

Killer bargains! The stampede for cheap cooking oil turns deadly in China

Published by under China,Inflation / Asia-Pacific / China – China sees fatal twist to inflation debate

Inflation is a serious worry among Chinese consumers right now. With increases in the price level hitting 6.5 percent, reaching an 11 year high this week, consumers nationwide can expect the price of commodities such as cooking oil to continue to rise. As we have learned, expectations of future prices is a determinant of demand, and when consumers expect prices to rise tomorrow, the tend to demand more today.

So what happens when, in a country where inflation is at an all time high, retailers announce sudden reductions in price on essential products like cooking oil? Well, here in China, it seems the price sensitive masses are quite the bargain hunters:

A Tesco supermarket in a suburb of Shanghai announced two weeks ago it would sell 3,000 bottles of cooking oi at half price. Hundreds queued and when the doors opened, there was a stampede. Nineteen people, most of them housewives, needed hospital treatment.

Continue Reading »

25 responses so far

Nov 13 2007

“What’s sinking the dollar?” – for IB students

What’s sinking the dollar? – November 26, 2007

The US dollar has continued its downward spiral against the currencies of many of its trading partners. Today an American wanting to exchange his or her dollar for a Euro would have to fork over $1.46; for a British Pound, $2.07, and for a Canadian dollar, $1.05! It’s been 35 years since the Canadian dollar was even near parity ($1US = $1CA)! But what are the real forces behind this continually sinking dollar? This article lays it out straight and clear:

The forces behind the dollar’s weakening have been building for years but didn’t have much effect until recently. Most fundamentally, we Americans have been living beyond our means, buying more from the rest of the world than the world buys from us (that’s the trade deficit); to do that, we have to give foreigners claims on our assets in the form of government bonds and corporate bonds, or sometimes the assets themselves. A country as rich as America can do that for a long time, but eventually the world ends up holding more dollars than there is dollar-denominated stuff they want to buy, so they start offloading dollars. They also worry that any country with loads of debt–even the U.S.–may be tempted to inflate its currency, and that fear reduces its value.

Continue Reading »

3 responses so far

Nov 13 2007

SAS Economists Podcast #10: Perfect competition and comparative advantage in… the World of Warcraft!

by Hansen Gu and Elaine Lung

Economics is not just for people living in the “real” world, you know! No it’s not. For some of us in high school, we actually prefer the fantasy life of the World of Warcraft. And yes, there is a real economy in our world too. And yes, it does exhibit characteristics of pure competition, and YES, workers do specialize their production based on their own comparative advantage!

Jeeze, why do I feel like I’m always having to defend myself here? Anyway, to learn more about the economy of our favorite fantasy world, watch this video!

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7 responses so far

Nov 12 2007

SAS Economists Podcast #8 – Shanghai’s fake DVD market

by Alice Su and Jessica Ng

Is it true what they say about the DVD market in China? Can you really buy fake DVDs on the streets for ONE DOLLAR? Come on, that’s a bit extreme, isn’t it? In fact, it’s not just under bridges and in dark alleys where you can buy pirated DVDs in Shanghai, but in respectable shops all over the city that on the outside and in look just like a legitimate DVD shop in the states or Europe.

This podcast will explore the economic characteristics of the market for fake DVDs in Shanghai and determine what it would take for the makers of real DVDs to be able to compete with the well established market for fakes.

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9 responses so far

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