Edition:
United States

Allison Schrager

Should the U.S. force citizens to save?

Dec 17 2013

Americans aren't saving enough to retire. This gap poses a problem for everyone, not just people who will face near-poverty when they can't work anymore. Does that merit forcing people to save more?

コラム:「ビッグデータ」に潜む落とし穴

Nov 12 2013

データ分析は、マジックを演じるのに良く似ている。マジックでは、見ている人に一点に集中させておき、本来見るべき対象から目をそらさせる手法がよく使われるが、データ分析でも同様のことが言える。世界がビッグデータ革命に乗り出す今、これを肝に銘じておくのは重要なことだ。

Column: Should we believe more in Big Data or in magic?

Nov 06 2013

One year I spent a lot of time with professional magicians. A few showed me the secrets to their tricks. Whenever they did, the skill and dexterity required for sleight-of-hand struck me as far more impressive than the idea that magic had been performed. It reminded me of my own experience with statistics.

コラム:米国は成長へ「自己革新」できるか

Oct 29 2013

米国は経済成長を当てにしている。債務返済や失業率の改善、生活水準の向上など、すべては経済成長がリセッション(景気後退)前の水準に回復することを前提としている。しかし、もし前提通りに行かなかったらどうなるだろうか。

Column: Can America innovate its way to growth?

Oct 23 2013

America is banking on economic growth. Its ability to pay debts, lower unemployment, and provide better living standards all depend on growth returning to its pre-recession levels and staying there. But what if it doesn't?

Column: Can America innovate its way to growth?

Oct 23 2013

America is banking on economic growth. Its ability to pay debts, lower unemployment, and provide better living standards all depend on growth returning to its pre-recession levels and staying there. But what if it doesn't?

How the Nobel economists changed investing forever

Oct 15 2013

The 2013 Nobel Prize for economics celebrates that financial markets work, but cautions how little we know. One theme unifies the work of all three winners: Eugene Fama, Robert Shiller and Lars Hansen - risk. (A disclosure: until August I worked at Dimensional Fund Advisors, where Fama is a director and consultant.) Risk is unpredictable, but can be very profitable. That sounds simple enough, but it has profound implications - not only for the lords of high finance, but households, too. Risk teaches humility, to overconfident investors and also policymakers. That humility was notably absent at the IMF/World Bank meetings last week. Policymakers should take special note of the prize this year; it reveals how little we really understand about financial markets.

How the Nobel economists changed investing forever

Oct 15 2013

The 2013 Nobel Prize for economics celebrates that financial markets work, but cautions how little we know. One theme unifies the work of all three winners: Eugene Fama, Robert Shiller and Lars Hansen — risk. (A disclosure: until August I worked at Dimensional Fund Advisors, where Fama is a director and consultant.) Risk is unpredictable, but can be very profitable. That sounds simple enough, but it has profound implications — not only for the lords of high finance, but households, too. Risk teaches humility, to overconfident investors and also policymakers. That humility was notably absent at the IMF/World Bank meetings last week. Policymakers should take special note of the prize this year; it reveals how little we really understand about financial markets.

Column: The real reasons America's pensions are hurting

Oct 03 2013

State and local pension plans are underfunded, in many cases dramatically. Enough so that, in the next decade, many states will have to cut benefits or services, raise taxes, or receive some form of a bailout. Matt Taibbi's latest in Rolling Stone blames the situation on a convenient villain - Wall Street. But it's far more complicated than that. State and local plans are underfunded because of terrible accounting standards, local governments who underfunded their plans, and plan trustees who gave away sweeteners that robbed plans of their assets. That is the inherent problem with traditional pensions, or any type of compensation that is back-loaded (payments pledged for the future). It's too easy to over-promise today and not set enough money aside, but either retirees or taxpayers eventually have to pay up. It's tempting to blame Wall Street, but that does not solve the problem. It enables public employees to lobby against their own long-term interests.

America's aging population undermines monetary policy

Sep 24 2013

Last week the Fed announced it would keep buying assets, for now, to keep the economy afloat. But that raises the question: why haven't all the Fed's efforts so far worked better?

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