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Just how relevant and reliable are our leading economic indicators?




"The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World" (Simon & Schuster, 2014) by Zachary Karabell.

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We are bombarded every day with numbers that tell us about the health of the U.S. economy. Gross national product, balance of trade, unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence are just a few of them.

In The Leading Indicators, Zachary Karabell gives us a history of these indicators.  They were invented in the mid-twentieth century to address the urgent challenges of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. They were rough measures— designed to give clarity in a data-parched world that was made up of centralized, industrial nations—yet we still rely on them today.

Guest: 

Zachary Karabell, author of "The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World" (Simon & Schuster, 2014) . He is also President of River Twice Research, an independent economic research and consulting company, and River Twice Capital Advisors, a money management firm.