Now it costs exactly twice as much to buy a tank of gas for my car than it did six years ago when I bought it – or more precisely, when I was given it. While filling it up I was approached by a respectable looking man who proceeded to sell me two bottles of Cuervo Black Medallion for $10 each, which is half price, and threw in a twelve pack of paper towels for good measure. He was doing this for gas money, as he had no cash or cards. Initially I wondered whether it were a scam – was this counterfeit tequila, or had it perhaps been poisoned? Then I thought of the countries where everyone is constantly selling something and decided no, it was just the informal economy at work as formal markets decline. As I have been saying since 1981 when I had my most important research insight ever (and should therefore have changed my major to ECON), I think the US is going to be a marginal economy and BRIC will be stronger.