The Excel Depression

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Published: April 18, 2013

In this age of information, math errors can lead to disaster. NASA’s Mars Orbiter crashed because engineers forgot to convert to metric measurements; JPMorgan Chase’s “London Whale” venture went bad in part because modelers divided by a sum instead of an average. So, did an Excel coding error destroy the economies of the Western world?

The story so far: At the beginning of 2010, two Harvard economists, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, circulated a paper, “Growth in a Time of Debt,” that purported to identify a critical “threshold,” a tipping point, for government indebtedness. Once debt exceeds 90 percent of gross domestic product, they claimed, economic growth drops off sharply.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/19/opinion/krugman-the-excel-depression.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130419

 

One Response to “The Excel Depression”

  1. Baju Bayi says:

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