Why fracking in North Dakota makes Rajastani farmers happy

Fracking, the technology that has dramatically increased oil and gas production in the American Plains, is also having an equally dramatic effect in the desert northwest of India.

It's not that the Thar desert in India has oil. It's that it grows cluster beans and cluster beans are used to produce a type of gum that is needed to increase the viscosity of the liquid used for fracking.

It's a small, globalized world when fracking in North Dakota puts money into the pockets of a farmer in Rajastan.

Macroeconomics for kids

One of the unanticipated joys of fatherhood is coming up with explanations that are simple but not simplistic.

The 7-year old: "Appa, you know how China makes all the stuff that is in the stores? Why do they keep sending the stuff to America?"

Me: "Well, some of the money we pay at the store goes back to China. That's why they send us the stuff they make."

The 10-year old: "But in China, they have different money.  What will they do with our dollars?"

Just when I was wondering how to explain treasury bonds and China's need to industrialize to the kids, I found out that I didn't have to because the 10-year old had found an acceptable answer  "Oh, yeah. ATMs."

One of these days, I need to talk to them about unexamined assumptions. But today's not the day. Today, I'm glad of my narrow escape.