Gross national product balance of trade unemployment inflation and consumer confidence guide our actions yet few of us know where these numbers come from what they mean or why they rule our world in the leading indicators zachary karabell tells the fascinating history of these indicators they were invented in the mid twentieth century . Our understanding of the economy is shaped by the numbers we use to measure it in this engaging and subversive history zachary karabell tells the story of how the indicators came to rule us who invented them what they actually tell us and why we need to rethink all of them if we are to make sense of the world today. The leading indicators a short history of the numbers that rule our world user review kirkus our leaders regularly agonize over unemployment figures the consumer price index gross national product and the balance of trade. The leading indicators a short history of the numbers that ruled our world is a must read book for anyone who is concerned about the economy karabell addresses concerns regarding the methodolgy statisticians use to quantify the economy. Our statistical map however is showing signs of age in our desire to have simple numbers to make sense of a complicated world we forget that our indicators have a history a reason that they were invented in the first place and that history reveals their strengths and limitations just as our own personal histories do
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