Empire of the Griffin

Yoram Bauman ’95 (brandishing Griffin) and DC Reedies infiltrate World Bank.

Yoram Bauman ’95 (brandishing Griffin) and DC Reedies infiltrate The World Bank.

The World Bank finds its funny bone


By Nisma Elias ’12

The World Bank is a serious place, tasked with a serious mission—to eliminate extreme poverty. However on a blustery day in February, the world’s only stand-up economist was invited to liven things up at the institution’s headquarters in Washington, DC.

“I only have one thing going for me as a stand-up economist,” declares Yoram Bauman ’95. “And that’s low expectations.” 

Sporting a fiery red “Enjoy Capitalism” t-shirt, Yoram, an environmental economist from the University of Washington, was invited to poke fun at the dismal science before a packed audience, the majority of whom are fervent followers of the discipline (plus a dozen Reedies who somehow infiltrated the event).

Harking back to his initial success of parodying Greg Mankiw’s 10 principles of economics, which has surpassed 1 million views on YouTube, Yoram did a routine on “the funniest papers in the history of economics.” One that garnered a lot of laughs was a paper by Avinash Dixit, (who had just started his job as a visiting research scholar at the World Bank that very day), which Yoram described as “an option value problem from Seinfield.” Published in Economic Inquiry, the abstract of the paper simply states “This is a paper about nothing.”

Yoram ended on a solemn note about climate change and his ongoing work on a carbon tax swap, which will be on the ballot in November in Washington state. He also described British Columbia’s carbon tax in a classic Reedie fashion—with a Haiku:

Fossil CO2

$30 for each ton

Revenue neutral

Check out the video of the talk, as well as his latest book The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change. 

Calling Reed Writers


The award-winning Oregon author Clyde Rice published his first book, A Heaven in the Eye, at the age of 81. He begins the book by telling how in his youth he stole the Reed College swimming pool. The stories get only more bizarre and exciting as he describes the bohemian history of Portland and San Francisco during the first half of the 1900s.

Born in 1903, Clyde grew up in Portland not far from Reed. At the age of 78, he went in search of someone to help him publish his autobiographical writings and found Gary Miranda, Reed’s writer-in-residence at the time, who became his editor. Gary in turn found James Anderson ’77 of Breitenbush Books, and the upshot was A Heaven in the Eye, Nordi’s Gift, and a novella, Night Freight. During his long life, Clyde worked as an imitation flavoring salesman, logger, fisherman, and ferry boat deckhand. To some extent he failed at every one of those endeavors, but managed to turn his experiences into vivid and award-winning prose.

Near the end of his life, Clyde decided to dedicate the rammed earth house he built on the Clackamas River to be a place for others who have big ideas and dreams. So Gary and Aron Faegre ’71 banded together with other caring souls (including Patty Cassidy, a former career counselor at Reed, and Mike Hayakawa ’78) to found the non-profit Friends of Clyde Rice, which now owns the property.

The Rice Place is now an active retreat for people needing a quiet and special place to do creative work. Aron and Gary heartily invite alumni, students, and faculty to use the property as a retreat for a few days or weeks to work on creative projects. See www.ClydeRice.org for the calendar of openings.

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