Jeff  Carter

This is an abbreviation that everyone should get familiar with. One of the student cafeteria’s (Pierce) at the University of Chicago is nicknamed TANSTAAFL

It stands for


Meaning, there is an opportunity cost to every decision. Nothing is “free”. Many on the left and right think that decisions that they make offer free alternatives. However, there are huge costs associated with them.

An example is 0% interest rates. It’s “free money”. However, there is a massive cost to people that have savings. They earn nothing and inflation eats away at the value of their money.

Currently, the Occupy Wall Street people are asking for a free lunch. They want loans forgiven, foreclosures halted, living wages etc etc etc. There are opportunity costs to all of that.

There never is, nor ever will be, a free lunch.

And an older one. On “free” lectures at universities.

Jeff Carter

Jeffrey Carter is an independent speculator. He has been trading since 1988. His blog site, Points and Figures was named by Minyanville as one of The 20 Most Influential Blogs in Financial Media.