25 for 25: Leave the Big Numbers to Janet Yellen

There's a small problem with numbers we use to measure the economy. You know, those numbers you hear on Marketplace every day. "One simple number is never going to capture simple reality," says Zachary Karabell, historian and economist and author of "The Leading Indicators: A short history of the numbers that rule our world."

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Fear Itself

As of today, the global financial system is gripped by panic. In the past two weeks since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the fear and chaos have accelerated dramatically, and the failure of Congress to pass its proposed $700 bailout bill on Monday unleashed a new wave of panic. That is the situation we find ourselves in now, with safe havens almost non-existent save for those betting against the market completely, or who have retreated to cash. Relief rallies notwithstanding, this is a market in the grip of animal spirits, and the stampede is heading for the exits.

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