It’s almost Christmas—so naturally our thoughts turn to what money can buy. Here’s the latest in money news:

1. Paul Hastings partner owns the ultimate trophy home. Wow—this certainly puts those New York partners who think plunking down $10 million for an apartment is a sign of success to shame. Reports The Wall Street Journal:

Raymond Li, chair of the Greater China practice at U.S. law firm Paul Hastings, paid 740 million Hong Kong dollars (US$95 million) for House No. 8 at 28 Barker Road, according to a government registry.

The WSJ says it is is the second most expensive house in Hong Kong. And yes, Li (above) didn’t need much in the way of mortgage, paying “for the home mostly in cash.” But no, the article doesn’t tell us where Li is getting his dough (we assume it’s not because he’s highest biller at Paul Hastings).

Sadly, the WSJ doesn’t provide any lurid photos of the house (we expect 24 carat gold faucets, marble toilets and bidets, and doorknobs made from the horns of endangered animals). From the description in the article, the house sounds almost modest: Li’s house “is a 6,863-square-foot, three-story property with five bedrooms, two parking spots and a rooftop pool with a panoramic view of Victoria Harbor.” In fact, the house isn’t even freestanding; rather, it is part of a new complex of townhouses.

I know, I know—your house in Fort Worth is three times bigger.

2. Ex-smokers make more money. From Harvard Business Review blog:

It has been well documented that smokers make less money than nonsmokers, but it’s less widely known that former smokers earn a 7% wage premium over people who have never smoked, according to an analysis of nearly two decades of U.S. data by Julie L. Hotchkiss of Georgia State University and M. Melinda Pitts of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

Why do ex-smokers make more? HBR says that the authors suggest “somewhat cryptically, that people who are able to stop smoking tend to have individual characteristics that are associated with higher productivity.”

I’m not sure what this all means. I guess if you’re still smoking, you should quit. But if you’ve never smoked, then you should start, and then quit.

3. Econ majors are more selfish—much more so. This study confirms what we English majors have always suspected: Those econ majors are cold and soulless. And yes, they probably all think working for Goldman Sachs, Blackstone or a hedge fund is life’s ultimate calling. (Psychology Today; hat tip:Business Insider)

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