In what seems to have become my holiday tradition, this is a post on gift-giving. The original and wordy post, written exactly a year ago, can be found here:

The Irrationality of Gifts

The basic conclusion: unless you know exactly what the other person wants (unlikely), then gifting anything other than cash results in “deadweight loss” (where the value given up by the gifter is larger than the value received by the giftee).

Here’s an infographic to illustrate:

Thanks this website
Thanks this website

Happy weekend!

Rolling Alpha posts opinions on finance, economics, and the corporate life in general. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, and on Facebook at