Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Biographies of Noted People

Biographies in Context is a great library database for getting brief but informative biographical summaries of noted people.

The other good one is American National Biography. It only does Americans though.

Finally, all the British people are in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Sure, you could use Wikipedia for this, but sometimes non-experts DO get small details and historical events wrong. Plus, you don't have to wade through the controversies that polemical figures (such as economists) engender on the W.

I would rather get you all the facts so you can decide what it means. Especially after you read the original source material after getting this grounding.

Keynes Vs. Hayek in Economic Rap-Off

John Maynard Keynes Books Are Here

FA Hayek Books Are Here

Friday, January 22, 2010

Breakdown of Jobs by Category in America

Ever wonder how many people are doing what?

The Statistical Abstract of the United States has an incredibly detailed breakdown of number of people doing specific kinds of work. And the categories aren't general - like "service" - they go into fine detail.

We also have it in print - the 2010 edition is behind the reference desk. It's still table 605 in the print.

Schedule of Earnings Reports

Hey, this is cool. Yahoo! Finance has a schedule of earnings reports for publicly held companies.

Search by date or company to see when they're announcing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bloomberg Has the Best Economic Calendar

Keep up with which economic reports are being released when.

Bloomberg has my favorite economic calendar. Manufacturing surveys, employment reports, inflation numbers, consumer sentiment and more are all here.

Or you could use the NASDAQ version. It's just as good really.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Negotiation Books

Recommended for everyone doing a deal, dealing with group dynamics, buying something, or just looking for insight into human psychology. My personal favorite insight so far: structuring a deal so that the parties are emotionally satisfied. It doesn't always involve the best price for the buyer or seller....

You'll learn to recognize recurring patterns, as well as the standard repetoire of shady tactics that some people use (and how to respond). Many authors include a list of these tactics.

Example: "going back for a second bite," i.e. a salesperson leaving to "check" with his/her manager and then attempting to alter the deal.

Lots of good countermeasures in these books.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Finding Sales Books

The catalogers strike again. If you're looking for books in the library about selling techniques, you want to search selling as a subject.
Also, don't miss the related topics pages located here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Congressional Budget Office Analyzes Government Policies

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is a well regarded research arm of the legislative branch of government. Over the years, it has earned a fairly good reputation for thoughtful, non-partisan research.

I suggest you look here for some excellent analyses of pending bills and their impact on taxes, fiscal policy, money, and the larger economic picture.

Cap and trade, the stimulus package, raising or lowering taxes, trade policy, etc... all get the policy wonk treatment here.