Charles E. Olson

<p>Professor Charles E. Olson is Visiting Associate Professor and Director of the Honors Program at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. From 1986 - 2000 he was president of Zinder Companies, Inc., a public utility consulting firm. Prior to joining Zinder Companies, Inc., Olson was president of Olson &amp; Co., Inc. from 1980 - 1986. Dr. Olson was assistant and then associate professor of business at the University of Maryland from 1968 - 76. His Ph.D. is from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.</p>

The U.S., North Korea and Game Theory

Pyongyang, Arirang (Mass Games)Amid the ramped-up diplomatic and military pressure on North Korea, there is something else at play, says the Smith School's Charles E. Olson. It's an exercise in game theory. The wide-reaching game theory can describe and model how human beings will behave, particularly in response to the actions of other human beings. It's a sort of chess-game thinking. And its basis is essentially this: Your interests depend not just on the decisions you make, but also on the decisions that other people make. In game theory, you choose your moves based on how you expect your competitors to respond to your moves. Olson describes how this game is playing out. Read more...

Two Miscalculations Force OPEC Reversal

A former energy industry executive at the Smith School says OPEC miscalculated two big factors when it voted to flood world markets with cheap oil in 2014, leading to Wednesday’s announcement of a course correction. “OPEC misread the situation in the United States and also in Russia,” Smith School professor Charles E. Olson says. Led by Saudi Arabia, OPEC had hoped to fend off U.S. and Russian threats through continued high output. Read more...

Pain at the Pump in New Jersey

New Jersey motorists rushed to fill their tanks on Monday before the state boosted its gasoline tax by 23 cents per gallon. Now, instead of charging the second-lowest rate in the country, New Jersey has jumped into the top 10 with its neighbors, Pennsylvania and New York. Smith School professor Charles E. Olson, a former energy industry executive, says different tax rates are one reason for varying gasoline prices across the country despite commodity trading of crude oil. Read more...

Saudi Arabia to Partly Privatize World's Biggest Oil Company

Saudi Arabia has announced a plan to spin off about 5 percent of its state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco. Proceeds from the sale would be poured into a fund that would be used to help diversify the nation's heavily oil-dependent economy, which currently gets 90 percent of its revenue from oil. Simultaneously, the gulf nation also says it's going to ramp up oil production. The Smith School's Charles E. Olson isn't sure the plan adds up. Read more ...

The Myth of Crude Oil

Something historic happened on New Year’s Eve in Texas. Less than two weeks after lawmakers lifted a 40-year ban on exporting U.S. oil, the first tanker of crude left Corpus Christi headed for Europe. But considering that the United States is a net importer of crude, why export anything at all? Smith School professor Charles Olson, a longtime energy industry executive, explains. Read more...

Seven Secrets About U.S. Oil Prices

U.S. oil prices have dropped to six-year lows, and the main reason is no secret. “The world is currently oversupplied,” says Smith School professor Charles E. Olson. “After years of declining production, we entered a new boom around 2008 when companies started using fracking technology to extract oil.” Other realities are less obvious, such as why companies keep pumping oil when stockpiles are full — or why gasoline prices vary so much across the United States. Olson shares five keys for making sense of recent headlines. Read more...

Smith Experts Comment on Effects of U.S. Drought on Food, Energy Industries

Despite early August rainfall, about two-thirds of the United States – mostly across the Midwest and in the South – has endured what climatologists have described as this country’s most severe drought in more than 50 years. Robert H. Smith School of Business faculty experts are available to comment on the implications for food and energy consumption.

The Smith School has an in-house facility for live or taped interviews via fiber-optic line for television or multimedia content.

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