Get flash to fully experience Pearltrees
Summary Washington's spending has recently been higher as a percentage of the nation's economic output than at any time since World War II. But by the same measure, Washington's revenues are the lowest in more than 60 years. So does the U.S. have "a spending problem," as Republicans keep repeating in the current debate over how to reduce the nation's record deficits? Or is the problem that taxes are not high enough? Those questions frame a long-running partisan debate, and as usual we won't offer an opinion one way or the other.
I love math (though it's debatable whether math loves me back, I suspect not) so it's a pleasure to read Cliff Pickover's newest creation, The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics . Don't let the title fool you - The Math Book is a thoroughly enjoyable "walk" through the history of mathematics with each milestone narrated by Pickover in a short and sweet fashion (and surprisingly, with very little equations) that even non-mathemagicians like myself can enjoy. If you've ever heard the terms Bessel functions, Transcendental numbers, and Riemann hypothesis, and want to know more, then this is the book for you. Below is an excerpt from the book (selecting which ones to show was a hard thing to do - there were just so many interesting articles!)
(Click to enlarge) Here's the latest update of my preferred market valuation method using the most recent Standard & Poor's "as reported" earnings and earnings estimates and the index monthly averages of daily closes through February 2010, with the latest numbers based on the current index price around 1165. ● TTM P/E ratio = 20.6 ● P/E10 ratio = 21.5 Background
1. For instance, the difference between yields on treasuries and those on single A-rated industrial bonds. A company must offer a higher return on their bonds because their credit is worse than the government's. 2. An example would be buying a Jan 50 call on ABC for $2, and writing a Jan 45 call on ABC for $5.
1863 - Gross federal debt exceeded $1 billion for first time. 1865 - Federal spending exceeded $1 billion for first time. 1914 - Federal spending exceeded $1 billion for second time. 1918 - Gross federal debt exceeded $10 billion for first time. 1921 - Bureau of the Budget established by Budget and Accounting Act. 1943 - Gross federal debt exceeded $100 billion for first time.
Squares A & B are the same shades. This optical illusion was created by Edward H. Adelson , Professor of Vision Science at MIT. Winner of 2 gold & 1 silver award at the 2004 Clio awards, these ads used combined words to make images.
To say that stocks are anything other than dangerously overpriced with a P/E of over 130 and a yield of 2.5% on unsustainable dividends is either farcical or fraudulent. For such a simple little metric, the P/E ratio is subjected to all kinds of perversions to deflate it to levels that can be passed off as reflecting value. At the very least, most bubbleheads try to make it less scary than its current level of 133 for the S&P 500. Do-it-yourself P/E and dividend analysis
Just how did we get into this economic mess? The answers are both complex and troubling. Blame greed, irresponsibility, lax government oversight, conflicts of interest and especially blind faith in a housing boom that seemingly had no end.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If there's anything good that has come out of the financial crisis it's the slew of high-quality graphics to help us understand what's going on. Some visualizations attempt to explain it all while others focus on affected business. Others concentrate on how we, as citizens are affected. Some show those who are responsible.