Where’s the Money, Lebowski? Let These Funny Named Economists Tell Us

There’s lots of talk in the news about economic matters these days. There’s the Greek crisis, which in my personal life is the term for the disappointingly short weekend hours of my local gyro place. There’s always “the economy, stupid” when elections come around.

So we at the Blog of Funny Names wanted to get in on some of that sexy economy talk.

Unfortunately, we don’t know anything about economics, especially not how the local donut shop stays open while selling their pastries at 25c a piece. What we do know is funny, strange, and amusing names, and we’ve scoured through every economics textbook written in the last four hundred years to find the best names of the field for this article*.

Ludwig Bamberger

Bamberger was a notable figure in the German economic circles of the mid and late 1800s, co-founding Deustche Bank and acting as the leading financial and economic authority in the country. He is also the origin of the term “wigging out”,  referring to him always losing it when the quarterly projections came in “totally out of wack”, as economist like to say.*

Beardo Bill

Bamberger should get some credit for pointing the German banking system to the direction where they eventually decided to put this dude on their 1000 mark bill.

Orley Ashenfelter

This San Francisco born economist is currently a professor at Princeton University, and a winner of the presumably prestigious Jacob Mincer award. In a potentially wise career move, he has also recently become the President of the American Association of Wine Economists and editor of the Journal of Wine Economics. I too, recall studying wine economics in university by comparing the alcohol content and price of various bottles most Friday nights for the most potency for your buck.** It’s a noble life.

Price V. Fishback

Mr. Price Van Meter Fishback clearly has the best name in the business, but he’s also a very influential economic historian. His contributions to cliometrics have been widely praised by the Cliometric Society. Cliometrics, in case you’re wondering, is just a cryptic way of saying “the study of history of economics”. It does sound much more interesting than cliometrics, doesn’t it? It’s like calling Iowan corn price index research redenbachmetrics.

Norton Garfinkle

Norton Garfinkle, in addition to his work in economics, seems to have had an extraordinarily successful career founding and working with companies that have the most generic names imaginable, and then selling them to other giant generically named companies.

For instance, his Advanced Retail Marketing Corporation was sold to News Corporation in 1996. He also founded or served as chairman of Brand Rating Research CorporationElectronic Retailing Systems, and Oral Research Laboratories. Hey, can’t knock it when it works. I’m off to work on my Silicon Valley startup, Computer Internet System Company Incorporated.

A farmhouse in Alberta, earlier.

A farmhouse in Alberta, earlier.

Myrna Wooders

This economist from rural Alberta, Canada has a very entertaining Wikipedia page. For instance, it says that Ms. Wooders, who teaches economics at Vanderbilt University, currently lives “in Nashville, Tennessee, with her plants”. We do not learn more about these plants, but let’s hope there are some money trees in there. We also learn that she’s made great contributions to game theory, public economic theory and network theory. However, we learn more about her efforts shoveling snow on her Alberta farm at age 9 than any of those topics. I for one appreciate the thorough biography.

This concludes our economist roundup, stay tuned for more grand names coming up!

*This may or may not be true.
**This is definitely true.
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About Arto

Co-founder of the Funny Names Blog, Hawaiian shirt enthusiast, and holder of a funny name himself with too many vowels for any sensible person. Currently residing in San Diego, California, scouring through obscure documents on a hunt for more funny names. www.funnynamesblog.wordpress.com
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25 Responses to Where’s the Money, Lebowski? Let These Funny Named Economists Tell Us

  1. It makes me wonder if Mr. Garfinkle missed out on a fabulous singing career? Or should have Simon and Garfunkel really been economist? 🙂

  2. kerbey says:

    Bamberger looks like some sweaty-banged Cro-Magnon. Can’t he smile when he gets his portrait did? And let me tell you, Arto–our local donut shop has jacked up their donut prices to $1.25 per donut (and more for apple fritters, which is obviously anti-American), AND speaking of funny names, their misspelled sign said “Super Dontus” for MONTHS before they fixed it, so we’ve never stopped calling them Super Dontus, to this day. Talk about wigging out.

    We have a distant relative named Orlie, but Orley is much better (and also good for the feminine spelling). I wonder if he was the genius behind the youtube hit, “Second Cheapest Wine”? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlg3H1StHpQ

    “Hello, darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to rate your brand with my research corporation.” I think that’s how the song goes…No, that’s Art Garfunkel. Either way, it’s funky. P.S. your startup company name is inspired.

    As for Myrna Wooders/Wooding (you clearly like both names), she likes the woods and the plants, but I venture to say there is some sort of Seymour, bloodeating, Little Shop of Horrors cover-up that they are hiding. It’s one thing to be a shorthaired professor cat lady, but another entirely if your only friends are plants. I liked reading this about Myrna: “Her mother, who completed grade seven, loved planting and growing trees.” I think it’s important to shame someone about their parents’ educational level when at all possible. Yes, she is a great Canadian economist, but let us never forget that her mother has at best a remedial grasp of grammar and no grasp at all of trigonometry.

    • Arto says:

      Haha, there was a lot of strange stuff about the wikipedia article, to the point where I wonder if one of her Vanderbilt students wrote it after some economic wine research. And yes, typos galore in this one, but getting the names right should probably near the top of the spell check priority list considering the nature of the blog, haha.

      Super Dontus is inspired. I think I’ll make that my new startup. We have a shop locally called “donut touch”, which sends some mixed messages. I’m yet to touch any of it, so maybe Super Dontus would work better for them.

      • kerbey says:

        Donut touch? Really? Like Do Not Touch? Even before the whole Ariana Grande licking donuts commotion, that still would be a weird name.

        • Arto says:

          It has been there for at least five years with the Do Not Touch name, so it must be working in some strange reverse psychology way. Grande must have been good for business, in reminding people that donuts exist.

          • kerbey says:

            Truth. We only eat them when we go on vacation, as a treat, since we are a sturdy people. Earlier this month, when we visited Charleston, their Charleston Donuts had no donuts pre-made when you walk in the door, which was unsettling. They are all made to order. So I asked for a donut w/ lemon icing and Fruity Pebbles, and two minutes later, I was eating it. And the shame. And the guilt. But it was delish.

    • Dave says:

      These are so often the best BoFN posts – the ones where we write about a thing we know nothing about!! I think it started with Gylfi Sigurdsson… is that right, Arto… or did it start earlier?

    • Dave says:

      As soon as I saw “grade seven”, I knew we had to be talking about Canadian education, since everybody else says stuff like “seventh grade”…

      Is it just me, or does it seem like donut stores are rife with misspellings?

    • wdydfae says:

      Must . . . resist . . . temptation . . . to turn . . . Kerby’s post . . . into . . . poem
      Must . . . resist . . . temptation . . . to turn . . . Kerby’s post . . . into . . . poem
      Must . . . resist . . . temptation . . . to turn . . . Kerby’s post . . . into . . . poem

      OK, I’m good now. I’ll be fine.

      • kerbey says:

        If the desire is in you, you must release it.

        • wdydfae says:

          Oh, darn it!

          Bamberger looks like
          some sweaty-banged Cro-Magnon.
          Can’t he smile when he gets
          his portrait did?

          And let me tell you, Arto–
          our local donut shop
          has jacked up their donut prices
          to $1.25 per donut

          (and more for apple fritters,
          which is obviously
          anti-American),

          AND speaking of funny names,
          their misspelled sign said
          “Super Dontus” for MONTHS
          before they fixed it,

          so we’ve never stopped calling them
          Super Dontus,
          to this day.
          Talk about wigging out.

          We have a distant relative
          named Orlie,
          but Orley is much better
          (and also good
          for the feminine spelling).
          I wonder if he was the genius
          behind the youtube hit,
          “Second Cheapest Wine”?

          “Hello, darkness, my old friend,
          I’ve come to rate your brand with
          my research corporation.”
          I think that’s how the song goes…

          No, that’s Art Garfunkel.
          Either way, it’s funky.

          P.S. your startup company name
          is inspired.

          As for Myrna Wooders/Wooding
          (you clearly like both names),
          she likes the woods and the plants,
          but I venture to say
          there is some sort of Seymour,
          bloodeating,
          Little Shop of Horrors cover-up
          that they are hiding.

          It’s one thing
          to be a shorthaired
          professor cat lady,
          but another entirely
          if your only friends
          are plants.

          I liked reading this
          about Myrna:
          “Her mother,
          who completed grade seven,
          loved planting
          and growing trees.”

          I think it’s important
          to shame someone
          about their parents’
          educational level
          when at all possible.

          Yes, she is a great Canadian economist,
          but let us never forget
          that her mother has at best
          a remedial grasp of grammar
          and no grasp at all of trigonometry.

  3. ksbeth says:

    i think bamberger may be the missing link!

  4. wdydfae says:

    ” . . . Arto rallies this quarter for an accelerated and unstoppable upward trend . . .”

    “. . . economic indicators are all positive as Arto releases this diversified portfolio of money men and women . . .”

    “. . . we haven’t seen such explosive growth in this sector since the FNitN boom . . .”

    “. . . analysts in the know are saying put your money on Arto . . .”

    • Arto says:

      I’m going to go ahead and plug that last quote into my website. That should take care of the ol’ retirement fund for a while.

      Excellent blurbiage. Have you considered entering the professional blurb market?

  5. markbialczak says:

    You make me want to consider under the mattress, Arto, after noting these financial hawks of yours. Oh, wait, I’ve got nothing to stick under it …

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