Writing this book was a collaboration—and not just between Joel and Ron, but also between the authors and all the people who helped make this book happen. A community effort, if you will.

For Joel, this book has been a long time in the making. For several years, a number of fellow faculty members at the Pennsylvania Bankers Association Advanced School of Banking, including Jim Clarke, Lyle Sussman, and Lance Kessler, suggested that I write a book. They were part of my e-mail list for my economic commentaries. The thought at the time was to make a collection of those notes since they were usually short, funny, irreverent, and to the point.

It was an interesting idea to essentially write a book that used my signature commentary called “In a Nutshell.” However, I never really wanted to write a book. I never thought I had the staying power to do all that it takes to complete such an undertaking. Indeed, I often refer to myself as the ADD economist since I constantly wander around when I give talks or do research.

Out of the blue, Bill Falloon of John Wiley called and asked if I was interested in writing a book. Like a fool, I said yes. We agreed to a contract and off I went. And did very little. Bill was extremely patient, but events caused me to push back the writing. Without his willingness to create new deadlines and his understanding of the issues that were causing the delays, this book would have been scrapped a long time ago.

Eventually, my wife, Cindy, in cahoots ...

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