Arbitrage

While reading the story of Niall Ferguson’s marriage break-up this leapt out at me.

As a student at Magdalen College, Oxford, he was once so penniless he bought a wedding ring on his credit card and sold it to a pawn shop to raise some cash.

While not encouraging this sort of thing, that is very smart and gets around the punitive rates that banks charge on cash advances.

The other quote that should be emphasised relates the Ferguson’s mistress Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

In all the years I have known Ayaan, she’s never had a boyfriend. She’s gorgeous, but with a fatwa, it’s tricky to find guys.

Yes. One would think so.
Update: Jason is onto this already.

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7 Responses to Arbitrage

  1. Abu Chowdah

    Ayaan is no longer available?

    My fantasy burst by a rogue prick.

    🙁

  2. rog

    There is no fatwa on Ayaan Hirsi Ali

    She would be a challenge for most guys.

  3. Abu Chowdah

    An intellectual challenge for you, methinks.

  4. While not encouraging this sort of thing, that is very smart and gets around the punitive rates that banks charge on cash advances.

    I don’t really think it’s that smart since the pawn shop will never give anywhere close to the retail price of the ring. If they did they would go out of business pretty quick. They usually pay by weight of gold and gem only.

    In effect he probably got 50% of what he paid on his credit card. He would have been much smarter to simply pay the cash advance fee.

  5. Jason Soon

    Niall Ferguson has a little spat going with Paul Krugman

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/article6806419.ece

    One of them is a “poseur”. The other is “patronising”. One suffers from “verbal diarrhoea”. The other is a “whiner”.

    A bust-up on the set of High School Musical 4 perhaps? A scrap behind the catwalk at a Milan fashion show? No. Those accusations were slung round in an increasingly bitter public row between two of the world’s most distinguished commentators on global finance and economics, professors Paul Krugman and Niall Ferguson, of Princeton and Harvard, respectively.

    It started as an argument about bond prices. But last week it blew up into a row about racism, printing money, spending our way out of recession, and the fate of the global economy.

    Academic spats can, of course, be famously catty. Ludwig Wittgenstein once tossed a poker at his fellow philosopher Karl Popper at a meeting of the Cambridge Moral Science Club as they argued about whether issues in philosophy were real or just linguistic puzzles. At least Krugman and Ferguson haven’t come to blows yet, although at their next meeting it might be better to hide the blunt instruments. Still, it is a long time since the academic world witnessed a dispute as gladiatorial as this one.

  6. ken nielsen

    Jason, Chris Patten wrote (about the job of chancellor of Oxford) that a former politician watching academics was like a herbivore watching the carnivores.

  7. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    interest rates on credit cards are pretty high as well.

    Why would he get married when he was a student?

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