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EconomiCon 2010

07/29/2010 05:25 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hey, folks! Thanks for swingin' by my little corner of Blogospheria. I've just gotten back home and man, was this trip ever worth the expense.

I got to spend three full days at Economicon 2010 and all I can say is, "Wow!" From the moment I arrived I was overwhelmed with the sights and sounds as Economics fans from around the globe showed up, ready to play. This thing has really grown since the first year that I went and now it seems as though everybody wants to dress up as his or her favorite figure from the financial universe. Adam Smith costumes and Geithner masks abounded. I saw a woman dressed up as Sex Kitten Alan Greenspan, complete with wrinkly jowls and cute kitty whiskers and frankly, I've never been so turned on by an image of male octogenarianism in my life.

From the q&a session with celebrity bond traders to the presentation on housing market fluctuations, the seething tide of fandom moved in unison like a school of neon tetras - but then, isn't that always the way in economics? LOL

As always, my favorite area was the room dedicated to "Speculative Literature," which seems to be the new, politically correct expression for what we used to call Dismal Science Fiction. Apart from the stacks of old, pulp economics classics, this year there was an auction in which it was possible to bid on the first thirteen issues of The Liquidator, all signed by both the writer and the artist; that thirteenth issue included a six-page mini-story revealing the origin of Taxman as it was first told. I put in a bid on the limited edition release of The Profiteer graphic novel with three additional, never-before-published graphs but lost to some rabid number-cruncher willing to part with more money than was I.

During an outrageous and thoroughly enjoyable panel discussion, Kenneth Arrow and James McGill Buchanan revealed a drinking game they've played called, "Pin the Deal on Bernanke." James Bullard surprised everyone, including himself, I suspect, when he blurted out that she too had played a version of the game over a year ago with the recently deceased Milton Friedman. This led to brief reminiscences about Mr. Friedman and on to a delightful discussion of the long history of hard-partying in the world of monetary theory going back to James Tobin's trashing of hotel rooms across the country during his "Laureate on the Lam" tour of 1983.

On the final day of the event, the lovely Ms. Claudia Goldin startled us all with a bold speech in which she publicly came out against slavery (WTF?) and then wrapped up with an impassioned persuasive argument that Robert Reich has become the most eloquent and influential thinker of our time and that he should be bronzed.

If you've never been to this annual event, or if you haven't been since the early days of the gathering, figure out how to make the time and cash in some stocks. 'cause EconomiCon 2011 is just a year away.