Monday, November 23, 2009

Rankings of Global Competiveness

The World Economic Forum is one of those nebulous organization that publishes information and lists like this (most competiveness economies). They have a mysterious compound in Switzerland. One halfway expects to see armed guards milling around as the top of the building opens and a death ray machine pops up....

Here's a good link to more detailed country information and how they made the list. In between sipping Tokay and dispatching Number Two to a sauna in the English countryside.

Nevertheless the snark, take a look at the list because it will give you some ideas about what makes a good economy and how to sift different factors in the information soup.

FWIW. Reading other people's analyses will help you with your own.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Ever hear of LIBOR (the London Inter Bank Offer Rate)? It's the rate for banks borrowing unsecured funds from each other in the London money market. It has international significance, even for banks not using the London market.

Here's my favorite way to get LIBOR - on Bloomberg.

Oh right, we also have it in ECONOMAGIC. This link contains different currencies and time horizons.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Book Review: How To Lie With Statistics

This is a classic little book that summarizes basic rules of probabilities and statistics and how they are often misused to produce official sounding statistics.

I love the humorous and accessible writing in this book. It's a greatest hits of statistical sleights of hand and snake oil medicine.
You may already know concepts like median, mean and mode, but I'll wager that your statistics professor didn't spend too much time on how they are misused in the real world.
And folks, these tricks, get used over and over again, year-in and year-out. After reading this book, I can spot this stuff in the news everyday.
One of my favorite bits: the section on typical graph tricks (you'll have to check it out!)