In seeking to convey an understanding of today's economy, Wall Street Journal columnist Malabre ( Beyond Our Means ) recalls much of what has been said, written, theorized and argued over in economics for centuries``waves'' of up-and-down business trends, rising and falling employment rates and living standards, currency expansion or debasement, the government spending factor with special effects caused by armament and war, and so on. The book explains how the reader can interpret data published in newspapers and publicly available government reports, etc., to spot trends in retail activity, interest rates, inflation and, to some extent, the stock and bond markets. Malabre covers the ground thoroughly enough, but even in this orderly study, some economic forces, based as they ultimately are on mercurial human nature, remain mysterious. Historically reliable economic indicators, notes the author, include numerical ebb and flow in the goat (yes, goat) population and the amount of ``activity'' seen through the windows of a certain slightly disreputable New York hotel, which, alas, he doesn't identify. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988 Release date: 10/01/1988 Genre: Nonfiction
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