Reading List for October 15-17

Oct 15, 2021
Current Events, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Investing


There has been a lot of economics news this week about inflation, the unusual labor market, and the Nobel Prize.

  • NPRs Planet Money explains who the Nobel Prize winners in Economics are, and what their contribution means to the field. Go empiricists! 
  • We have talked about “shrinkflation”—same price but smaller package. Now we also have “shadow-inflation”—same price but less service. (NYTimes or Seattle Times)
  • Consumer prices as measured by the CPI rose 0.4% in September, or 5.4% at an annual rate, with food and energy prices driving the rise. (CNBC)
  • Social Security benefits are set to increase 5.9%, the largest increase in four decades! (NPR)
  • Retail sales jumped 0.7% in September despite higher prices. (Yahoo Finance)
  • Disappointing jobs data and recent inflation numbers are making the Fed’s job job even more challenging. Jeanna Smialek breaks it down. (NYT-subscribtion may be required)
  • Jobless claims dropped below 300,000 for the first time since the pandemic started. (Reuters)
  • Record number of people quit their job in August. (AP) (NYT-subscription) (WAPO-subscription) 
  • Barry Ritholz tries to break down all the reasons why the labor market is changing so drastically.


These next two dig into the data:

  • The St. Louis Fed breaks down who is leaving the labor force.
  • Another St. Louis Fed post looks at who and how workers are re-entering the workforce



  • This is a great post by Visual Capitalist that plots GDP growth versus Stock Market gains.


Savings/Paying for College

  • New York City is giving out baby bonds, investing $100 to each Kindergarten student in a 529 plan with opportunities for matching. (NYTimes – subscription may be required)



  • NGPF’s Yanely Espinal is featured in this CNBC article on the Hispanic experience with banking.



  • This Vox article is a must for anyone considering going out on one’s own. Knowing what to charge is a challenge, but mastering it can be the difference between success and failure as an entrepreneur.



  • FinLit Fanatic favorite Morgan Housel writes a letter to his (infant) daughter including nine money and life lessons. (CNBC)

About the Author

Beth Tallman

Beth Tallman entered the working world armed with an MBA in finance and thoroughly enjoyed her first career working in manufacturing and telecommunications, including a stint overseas. She took advantage of an involuntary separation to try teaching high school math, something she had always dreamed of doing. When fate stepped in once again, Beth jumped on the opportunity to combine her passion for numbers, money, and education to develop curriculum and teach personal finance at Oberlin College. Beth now spends her time writing on personal finance and financial education, conducts student workshops, and develops finance curricula and educational content. She is also the Treasurer of Ohio Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.