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Hurricane Katrina

Is it price gouging? Or is it the free market reacting to extraordinary circumstances?

My name is Shabbir Safdar, and I’m a nearly unapologetic free marketer who doesn’t believe in price gouging.  Imagine, just for a second, that you’re a gas station franchise owner, and your supplier tells you this may be the last shipment of gas they can guarantee.  You can’t depend on a tanker to come fill you up every Tuesday anymore, because the hurricane has interrupted the regular flow of supply.

One of those choices

I recently said to Sarah and Jennifer that you are infrequently presented with choices in life that define who you are.  The choices you make leave their fingerprints on your very soul.  I don’t mean to be all new-agey about it.  Make the wrong choice and you will turn it over in your head every night for the rest of your life, trying to fall asleep.

This is the story of someone with such a choice.

What bubble will Hurricane Katrina pop?

Mathew Gross, one of my coworkers at Mindshare, is fascinated by economic bubbles.  While talking on Friday about a client matter, I diverted him to a question that’s been eating away at me for days: "If economic shocks tends to pop or cement the deflation of a particular bubble, what bubble will be popped by the economic shock of Hurricane Katrina?"