The Zone

This is a story about doing fieldwork in the biggest trade zone in Nigeria, and learning about Chinese workers and Nigerian villagers. It’s also a love story.

Come For The Band, Stay For The Fridge

I can only assume that a band is friendlier at a $1,000 meet and greet than at a $9.99 one.

A Case for the $8 Egg Carton

Although we understand average costs of living, we rarely see the high-price of heirloom work reflected on our price tags. Suddenly $8 for a dozen eggs, which I’d washed by hand, almost seems too low.

CBS’s ‘The Briefcase’ Is About Heart, Not Economics

There are four winning scenarios in The Briefcase, the new CBS reality series that gives struggling families a briefcase with $101,000 in cash and asks them to determine how much to keep and how much to give to another struggling family.

Did You Spend Memorial Day At Work?

Did you work on Memorial Day? If you had the day off, did you still work through Memorial Day, maybe by completing a bunch of outstanding administrative tasks?

Don Draper’s Class-Traveling Adventures And My Own

The rise of Don’s character is stratospheric: he leaps from a whorehouse and an outhouse to mistresses and Madison Avenue.

Uber Aversion

My main issue with Uber can be summed up as: I can’t support a company whose business model depends on the labor of contract workers who have very little leverage in ensuring that they are being treated fairly.

Sandwiches for Everyone

Even false creation stories become true in time. First there was Adam and Eve, and now there’s Western misogyny. First there was John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, and now tuna melts. Even the tamest packaged loaf owes its ancestral rise to wild yeast.

What People At McCann Think About MAD MEN

“McCann was definitely huge and churned out people pretty quickly. There were always new people, new leaders and new accounts. I’d say we weren’t the most creative, daring, exciting agency.”

Artisanal Dollars

Every time I mention that I love the scent of cash, someone points out how filthy money is. Can’t argue with that—whatever passes through hundreds of hands is dirty. I laugh and say, “Mmm, cocaine residue!”

When the New Music Stops

According to my latest bank statement, I spent about $33 on music from iTunes last month.

How the Digital Era Has Made Us Better and Worse Tippers

I took a cab to the airport for a work trip recently and when I swiped my credit card to pay, the screen asked me if I wanted to tip 15, 20, or 25 percent. Sure, 25 percent sounds good, I thought.

The Family Money We Don’t Like To Acknowledge

Stars, they’re just like us! They don’t want to think about how their ancestors enslaved people.

The Curious Case of $2 Bills in Ecuador

Fifteen years after Ecuador adopted the U.S. dollar as its official currency, the issue still stirs debate. Dollarization was so unpopular when it was first announced that protesters took over the capital and the government collapsed. The replacement government stuck with the plan—there wasn’t much choice. The Sucre, Ecuador’s native currency, was in the midst of a decade of hyper-inflation which was destroying the economy.

How Burnouts Became Slackers Became Mainstream

What was feared in the 80s was assimilated in 90s.