Popular economics


We’re suckers for an enticingly titled business book at Director, so when Forbes political economy editor John Tamny named his new tome Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and Le Bron James can teach you about economics, we were helplessly adding it to our Amazon basket in seconds. Here are some of the eyebrow-raising stats that we gleaned from our power read…

83% The tax Britain’s highest earners were paying in the early Seventies, prompting the Rolling Stones to move to France in 1971 and name their album Exile on Main St in reference to their escape. Today, band frontman Mick Jagger is worth an estimated $360m (£225m).

$57,600 The sum venture capitalist Arthur Rock invested in Apple Computers in 1977. In April 2013, the company raised $17bn in a corporate bond sale.

4% The slice of the market John D Rockefeller had when he began selling kerosene in 1870. Twenty years on that figure was a staggering 85 per cent.

$600m The sum that George Steinbrenner, long-time owner of baseball team the New York Yankees, saved his heirs when he died in 2010 – a year when federal estate tax was briefly set at zero in the US.

$1.44m The amount that 32mb of storage – as offered by today’s midrange iPhones – would have cost as recently as 1991.

$3,995 The amount a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X mobile phone cost in 1983, while a Tandy 5000 desktop computer cost $8,499 in 1989. Today, a Dell desktop sells for just £333.

Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and Le Bron James can teach you about economics by John Tamny is out now, published by Regnery Publishing (£18.99)

About author

Nick Scott

Nick Scott

A former editor-in-chief of The Rake and deputy editor of the Australian edition of GQ, Nick has had features published in titles including Esquire, The Guardian, Observer Sport Monthly and Rolling Stone Australia and is a contributing editor to Director magazine. He has interviewed celebrities including Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig and Elle Macpherson, as well as business people including Sir Richard Branson, Charles Middleton and Nick Giles and Michael Hayman MBE.

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