Another Financial Prophet Unearthed

In the wake of any financial crisis, a few people are always trotted forth (sometimes they do the trotting themselves) as having seen the particulars of the crisis in advance -- but who, despite all their hand-waving and teeth-gnashing, were roundly ignored. In the Wall Street Journal, Jason Zweig profiles Melchior Palyi, an economist who seemingly predicted many of today's big economic problems. But here's the twist: he did it some 70 years ago.

Dow 38,820?

Weary investors, take heart. Jeffrey A. Hirsch, editor of the Stock Trader's Almanac is predicting good times ahead. Bloomberg reports that Hirsch is predicting "[t]he Dow Jones Industrial Average will surge to 38,820 in an eight-year 'super boom' beginning in 2017."

Correcting Krugman

Paul Krugman and Robin Wells caricature my recent book Fault Lines in an article in The New York Review of Books. The article, and their criticism, however, do have a lot to say about Krugman's policy views (for simplicity, I will say "Krugman" and "he" instead of "Krugman and Wells" and "they"), which I have disagreed with in the past. Rather than focus on the innuendo about my motives and beliefs in the review, let me focus on differences of substance. I will return to why I believe Krugman writes the way he does only at the end.

How to Tell When a CEO Is Lying

In a nifty piece of forensic analysis, two researchers claim to have figured out how to tell when executives are lying. David Larcker and Anastasia Zakolyukina analyzed 30,000 conference calls between 2003 and 2007 to see if certain "tells" during the call were associated with earnings that were later "materially restated."

Satellite of Profit

A Chicago company called Remote Sensing Metrics LLC has been using satellite images to track the number of cars in Wal-Mart parking lots, as a means of helping forecast earnings at the retail chain.

Why We Should Exit Ultra-Low Rates: A Guest Post by Raghuram Rajan

Raghuram Rajan, a University of Chicago economics professor and former chief economist of the IMF, has been popping up on the blog a lot lately - answering our questions about his new book Fault Lines and weighing in on the financial reform bill. Now he's back with a guest post, clarifying and expanding his views on the Federal Reserve's ultra-low interest rate policy.

Debt as a Drug

Planet Money interviews Nassim Taleb for its Deep Read series. Taleb compares the developed world's dependence on debt to drug addiction.

How Would You Simplify the Financial-Reform Bill? A Freakonomics Quorum

Last month, roughly two years into a global financial maelstrom, the U.S. Congress passed a financial-reform bill. It was more than 2,300 pages long, addressing everything from derivatives to consumer financial products to oversized banks. We asked a few clever people a simple question.

Human/Capuchin Parallels Revisited

What's the most embarrassing thing about human decision-making? It's not that we make cognitive mistakes, says Yale cognitive psychologist Laurie Santos, in this recent TED talk. It's that we seem doomed by our biology to make the same predictable mistakes over and over.

Make-It-Yourself Prediction Widgets

Wolfram Alpha has just launched a free Widget Builder that lets you easily create widgets to calculate all kinds of things - seamlessly integrating data from the Alpha server.