While there are many things going on around the world (the Dutch election in which the Euro-skeptic party won fewer than expected seats, the dovish read on the Federal Reserve after the expected rate hike, the no-action from the central banks in England, Japan, and Norway, etc), it is time for a little break. This weekend marks the beginning of college basketball fever in the United States where 64 teams play in a tournament which lasts to the beginning of April in what is affectionately called March Madness. Like any sporting event, statistics come out in full force. Details like a #16 seed has never beat a #1 seed, or a #11 seed is the lowest to ever make the Final Four, or a #8 seed was the lowest to ever win the tournament are tossed around in spectator banter (all compliments of www.history.com). Given our financial market interests, we traffic in economic fun facts like the following. Numbers vary according to source, but an analysis by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. estimates that 51 million officer workers will be participating in office pools this year. Using the average hourly wage in the US of $25.35 per hour, that implies a loss of almost $1.3bln for every hour of employee distraction (we seem to be contributing towards this drag currently). Gambling is big with WalletHub estimating that $9.2bln was bet on last year’s tournament with the majority of that ($8.9bln) done illegally. Of course, corporate America gets in on the action with the average price for a 30-second add during the 2015 title game being $1.5mm and the total ad revenue from the 2015 NCAA tournament totaling close to $1.2bln. It seems that in a consumer-driven economy like the US, it’s all fun and games.