A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 20, 2018
“How can you tell economists have a sense of humor?"/"They use decimal points.”

An economics joke is:

Q: How can you tell economists have a sense of humor?
A: They use decimal points.


The joke is that economics is not that exact a science. U.S. Treasury Secretary William E. Simon (1927-2000) appears to have coined the joke when the Associated Press printed this statement from him on April 3, 1975:

“I sometimes think that economists use decimal points in their forecasts to prove they have a sense of humor.”

“How do you know macro-economists have humour? Because they use decimal points. ---Russ Roberts #econtalk L:München, Germany” was posted on Twitter on July 18, 2009.


Wikipedia: William E. Simon
William Edward Simon (November 27, 1927 – June 3, 2000) was an American businessman, a Secretary of Treasury of the U.S. for three years, and a philanthropist. He became the 63rd Secretary of the Treasury on May 9, 1974, during the Nixon administration. After Nixon resigned, Simon was reappointed by President Ford and served until 1977 when President Carter took office

3 April 1975, Gazette-Times (Corvallis, OR), “Economic recovery more certain,” pg. 20, col. 3:
WASHINGTON (AP)—Treasury Secretary William E. Simon said today government economic experts are more certain now of economic recovery from the current recession “than at any time in the past.”
(...) (Col. 4.—ed.)
Simon noted that economic forecasts have frequently been far off the mark.

“I sometimes think that economists use decimal points in their forecasts to prove they have a sense of humor,” he said. “But forecasting errors of the past few years have been anything but humorous.”

22 March 1992, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Indications are economy’s up or down: Government statistics are blunt objects when it comes to tracking trends” by Mike Dorning, sec. 7, pg. 8, col. 3:
“There’s a joke in economics,” he said. “How do you know economists have a sense of humor? They use decimal points.”
(James Annable, chief economist for First Chicago Corp.—ed.)

Google Groups: alt.politics.economics
alt.politics.economics Man of the Year
GChand4059
12/23/98
(...)
George............"Economists do have a sense of humor - Notice how they will use decimal points in their numbers.”

Twitter
imaginator
@imaginator
how do you know macro-economists have humour? Because they use decimal points. ---Russ Roberts #econtalk L:München, Germany (Buddycloud ...
3:47 PM - 18 Jul 2009

Twitter
Otis Anderson 🍪
@oldjacket
economist joke: how do you know macroeconomists have a sense of humor?
A: They use decimal points.
8:36 PM - 26 Sep 2009

New York (NY) Times—Economix blog
How Can You Tell Economists Have a Sense of Humor?
BY CATHERINE RAMPELL JULY 7, 2010 12:24 PM July 7, 2010 12:24 pm
How can you tell economists have a sense of humor? They use decimal points.

I kid, I kid. (Besides, that’s an old joke, folks.)

Twitter
kevin grier
@ez_angus
“How do you know economists have a sense of humor? We use decimal points.” ~@JohnHCochrane
8:15 PM - 28 Nov 2015

Google Books
Rebel: How to Overthrow the Emerging Oligarchy
By Douglas Carswell
London, UK: Head of Zeus Ltd
2017
Pg. ?:
Economists, runs the old joke, use decimal points to show that they have a sense of humour.

Forbes.com
JUN 20, 2018 @ 06:05 AM
How Bad Would A Global Trade War Be?
Phil Levy
(...)
There is an old joke about the dismal science: How can you tell economists have a sense of humor? They use decimal points.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Wednesday, June 20, 2018 • Permalink