My Boardwalk Homecoming in Vegas Seven

I’ve got a very special Green Felt Journal out in today’s Vegas Seven. No, it’s not like a “very special episode” of Diff’rent Strokes or The Fact of Life that’s going to pontificate on a current social issue. Instead, I’m talking about the usual stuff I talk about in that space–gambling, casinos, and tourism–but in a … Read more

Alfred Heston in Casino Connection

This month in Casino Connection, I take a look back at one of Atlantic City’s most honest public officials, and its first noteworthy historian, Alfred Heston: Atlantic City has seen generations of public officials and interested citizens, but few residents have left a legacy as monumental as Alfred Miller Heston, a newspaper publisher, historian and … Read more

Trump Plaza History

This has been up for a while, but I haven’t linked it yet and, with the news that Donald Trump and Carl Icahn are dueling over Trump casino empire, it’s relatively timely: my piece on the early history of Trump Plaza in Casino Connection: Trump was leery of the Casino Control Commission. It had forced … Read more

Book review: Ghosts at the Table

Here’s a brand new review for a book that’s only been out a little more than a month! Am I on the ball, or what? And it’s not a random book that I’ve plucked from the shelves at Lied Library–it’s a poker book.

And it’s a good one. Read on, and you’ll see what I think about the book, as well as my ruminations about history, ghosts, and poker.

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Gambling or investing in the future?

I read an article about the president’s proposed changes to Social Security that got me thinking about the great debate over whether investing in the stock market is or isn’t gambling.

Within the past week, I’ve written a draft of the section of Roll the Bones covering several stock bubbles of the 18th and 19th century. I’m going to give you a sneak preview sample, as that’s the best way to put the article into historical context:

[Even after several bubbles crashed] investors still sought the next “sure thing,” showing that the English gambling spirit was irrepressible. One writer described Jonathan’s, a coffeehouse near the royal [stock] exchange, as “being full of gamesters, with the same sharp, intent looks,” although these gamesters had turned in their cards and dice for stock in the Bank, East India, South Sea, and lottery tickets.

So is investing Social Security money in the stock exchange tantamount to gambling? Read on to see if the AARP and Christian Coalition have any more clue than 19th century English stockjobbers.

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