Elf Problems

| You might have learned about the hidden elves of Iceland if you read the Michael Lewis article we blogged about recently. (Note: for Icelandic pushback to Lewis’s colorful tales, see here.) The Icelandic government apparently takes these elves very seriously, and often requires that new construction sites be certified as clear of elves before […]

What Do Fishermen and Investment Bankers Have in Common?

Icelanders love taking insane risks. In 1973, when a volcanic eruption threatened to wipe out a town on the island of Heimaey, they bet they could stop the lava flow by shooting it with millions of gallons of frigid Icelandic sea water. Unbelievably, they won. Nobody in human history had beaten a volcano before, and […]

How Clutch Was That?

Michael Lewis wrote a really good piece (almost all of his pieces are good, IMHO) in last week’s Play magazine about N.F.L. kickers and whether the great “clutch” kickers like Adam Vinatieri are actually much better than the average kicker. Lewis’s verdict: not really. It’s just that a few random kicks turn out to be […]

Michael Lewis on stock markets in professional athletes

Like everything else Michael Lewis does, his recent article which discusses the move towards tradable securities in pro athletes is beautifully written and very interesting. My friends (and relatives actually) at ProTrade.com are right at the heart of this new trend. (hat tip to Chris Thayer)

College Football’s Billy Beane?

Michael Lewis writes in today’s New York Times Sunday Magazine about Mike Leach, the innovative coach of the Texas Tech football team. As Lewis describes it, Leach takes a totally different view of football and is on the cusp of revolutionizing the game. It is a very interesting article, and beautifully written. As usual with […]

Finally, convincing evidence of Billy Beane’s genius

It seems like just about everyone thinks Billy Beane is a genius, thanks to the Michael Lewis book Moneyball, which details the way in which his Oakland A’s use statistics in innovative ways to choose talent and win games. I’ve never been part of the Billy Beane cult. For instance, in a January 2004 Financial […]