Sunday, January 6, 2008

Note to the AEA: Don't Schedule the ASSA Meetings the Same Weekend of the National Championship Game

It was a bit amusing when the fans started rolling in, but not anymore. It is hard to move. After the last interview today, I had a hard time getting out of the hotel because the LSU marching band was streaming in. Note to the Oregon State Economics Department: maybe it is not such a good idea to make the interview room in a hotel on Bourbon street. Ooops. Luckily I am no where near, so I will sleep tonight. New Orleans is not unprepared for this, here is a (bad) picture of one of several mobile elevated observation and command posts they set up all around Bourbon street.

Next is a (bad) picture of Ohio State and LSU fans waiting for the street car. Most interactions have been friendly, but things were getting a little edgy when I was walking by about 9pm.

Normally I would go to sessions where new research is presented, but I simply had no time. It is a shame. But I learned a TON about cutting edge macro research and it is really fascinating. When I had macro theory in grad school it was a bit of a bad time and some new innovations (now old but new to me) - heterogeneous agents models, learning, policy rules and new Keynesian theory has really made it quite an exciting field again, in my opinion. Plus, there is no other field where cutting edge academic research has an immediate impact on actual policy. The Fed system has a huge research agenda and is always interacting with academics. Anyway, I can report that a lot of smart creative people are doing macro these days and, for that, we can all be thankful.

Other notes from the big easy: I was recommended and tried Albita Turbodog. Not impressed: dull and watery. They claim to use Willamette hops, I couldn't tell. The AndyGator was worse. Fortunately, the same restaurant has Sierra Nevada Celebration. Now that is a beer. My evening was rescued. Should have thought to ask if they had Rogue. You never know where you will find Rogue. Vic Tremblay had an Anchor Steam and we got into a discussion about whether Anchor was the first microbrewery. Apparently since Fritz Maytag purchased an established brewery some think he does not deserve the title of first. I say, who cares and enjoy the beer - Vic Agreed. But perhaps if you really care about reducing energy consumption, one should not buy beer that has been shipped half way across the country. But I just could not take another Turbodog.

Supply and demand: guy on street offered me a ticket for the championship game, I asked price. Answer: $1000 (but I think he knew I wasn't serious). Hotel rooms tonight going for double and triple regular price. Thought about subletting. Decided sleep was worth more.

Final note: when a horde of people in purple start yelling GO (or more accurately, GEAUX) at you, the proper response is: TIGERS. Now you know.

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