Something Interesting to Read July 2014 - page 3

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Sergey Golubev
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114326
Sergey Golubev  

GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History
by Diane Coyle


Why did the size of the U.S. economy increase by 3 percent on one day in mid-2013--or Ghana's balloon by 60 percent overnight in 2010? Why did the U.K. financial industry show its fastest expansion ever at the end of 2008--just as the world's financial system went into meltdown? And why was Greece's chief statistician charged with treason in 2013 for apparently doing nothing more than trying to accurately report the size of his country's economy? The answers to all these questions lie in the way we define and measure national economies around the world: Gross Domestic Product. This entertaining and informative book tells the story of GDP, making sense of a statistic that appears constantly in the news, business, and politics, and that seems to rule our lives--but that hardly anyone actually understands.

Diane Coyle traces the history of this artificial, abstract, complex, but exceedingly important statistic from its eighteenth- and nineteenth-century precursors through its invention in the 1940s and its postwar golden age, and then through the Great Crash up to today. The reader learns why this standard measure of the size of a country's economy was invented, how it has changed over the decades, and what its strengths and weaknesses are. The book explains why even small changes in GDP can decide elections, influence major political decisions, and determine whether countries can keep borrowing or be thrown into recession. The book ends by making the case that GDP was a good measure for the twentieth century but is increasingly inappropriate for a twenty-first-century economy driven by innovation, services, and intangible goods.

Sergey Golubev
Moderator
114326
Sergey Golubev  

Technical Analysis of Stock Trends



2011 Reprint of 1958 Fourth Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. In 1948 Robert D. Edwards and John Magee published "Technical Analysis of Stock Trends" which is widely considered to be one of the seminal works of the discipline. It is exclusively concerned with trend analysis and chart patterns and remains in use to the present. As is obvious, early technical analysis was almost exclusively the analysis of charts, because the processing power of computers was not available for statistical analysis. "Technical analysis" is a financial term used to denote a security analysis discipline for forecasting the direction of prices through the study of past market data, primarily price and volume. Behavioral economics and quantitative analysis incorporate technical analysis, which being an aspect of active management stands in contradiction to much of modern portfolio theory.

Sergey Golubev
Moderator
114326
Sergey Golubev  

10 Weekend Reads

Welcome to the weekend. Pour a cup of coffee, settle into your favorite chair, and enjoy our longer form reads:

• Billion-Dollar Billy Beane (FiveThirtyEight)
• Don’t tell anybody this story on HFT power jump trading (Bloomberg)
• Soaring student debt sparks response from Catholic colleges (Catholic News Agency)
• If you can’t choose wisely, pick at random (Aeon)
• We Work: A Secret History of the Workplace (The Minnesota Review) see also Post-its, push pins, pencils: In the stationary cupboard (LRB)
• What the Hobby Lobby Ruling Means for America (NY Times)
• The Fascinating…Frustrating…Fascinating History of Autocorrect (Wired)
• Britney Spears is a pop queen. And pop queens don’t need to sing. (Vox)
• If the World Began Again, Would Life as We Know It Exist? (Nautilus)
• Just Undo It: The LeBron James Profile That Nike Killed (Deadspin)

Billion-Dollar Billy Beane
Billion-Dollar Billy Beane
  • 2014.07.26
  • Benjamin Morris
  • fivethirtyeight.com
The film version of “Moneyball” depicts many establishment baseball types as ignorant of where wins in baseball come from and clueless about how to properly value talent. Take, for example, the scene when John Henry — the billionaire owner of the Boston Red Sox — tries to recruit the Oakland Athletics’ general manager Billy Beane. Henry tells...
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