And I thought economists said there's no such thing as a free lunch. And yet there we were, about twenty of us, at the Federal Reserve Bank downtown, bantering over a catered meal on the local and national economy, on the invitation of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority.

If my memory serves me correctly, PICA was set up in the early 1990's by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to oversee the City of Philadelphia's finances. (They approve the City's budget every year - you can click here for a copy of the City's most recent five-year financial plan.) So this was an opportunity for local economists to dialogue with City officials on what's going on locally and nationally, and what effect that has on City finances, revenue projections, and other relevant topics.

Some people's version of hell, I know. But for me it was rather heavenly. Lots of heavy hitters in the room, opining on such topics as the subprime meltdown, the local effects of a possible national recession, and even what effect climate change will have on how to plan and run the City.

While I've tried to keep up a steady reading regimen, I'm in the middle of a three-month hiatus from my subscriptions to The Economist and Business Week, on account of life being busier at home due to Amy working. So it was nice to get caught up on what's what and who's who over one lunch. Plus I got to hear some delicious economist jokes.
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