Monday, July 18, 2011

Finance and Economics Blogs I Read

The following blogs don’t deal with translation, but I really feel I have to plug them because of the many hours of enjoyment they provide:

The Freakonomics blog should by now not need much of an introduction. Dubner and Levitt recently launched a really great podcast.

NPR’s Planet Money blog is a spin-off of my favorite podcast: This American Life. This group of reporters sprang to prominence during the critical period of the financial crisis, when they made several shows explaining the mortgage meltdown using a dollhouse. The twice-weekly podcast is umissable.

The most challenging pop economist out there is undoubtedly Tim Harford, who wrote The Undercover Economist and writes a similarly named column for the Financial Times. His shtick is analyzing the facts and figures that are bandied about superficially in the press. He applies precise, unsparing analysis to these numbers until they start to make some kind of sense. Did you know that if you have two arms, you have more arms than the average?

I love Tyler Cowen’s Marginal Revolution. Sometimes it is hyper-technical, but the links provided by this voracious reader are better than most daily newspapers. A former chess prodigy, Cowen also blogs about literature (he has read more Latin American literature than I ever will) and is an ethnic food critic in the Georgetown area.

My final blog recommendation does not fit into any category: It is James Altucher’s Altucher Confidential. I can’t stop reading this blog. It is hard to describe because of the multiple facets of the author. Altucher is a slightly nebbish, girl-crazy serial founder of tech companies and frequent talking head on CNBC. He had some sort of breakdown involving a divorce and losing several jobs right at the time of the 2008 financial crisis. Now he blogs about well-being and living a happy life. He is a sort of Michel de Montaigne for the blogosphere. He lays everything bare, from the lowest of the low points of his many jobs, to raising millions in venture capital money for a very (very) vague project at the height of the dotcom boom, to the tiny little humiliations of peddling your start-up at a networking event. He just lets it all hang out, from bad thoughts he has, to being expelled from Carnegie Mellon. He has a very easy-flowing style and is also incredibly prolific. He publishes a 1,000 or 1,500-word piece every day and the amazing thing is he doesn’t become repetitive. Reading Altucher feels a little like having a conversation with a man twice his age. Each anecdote leads back to other anecdotes he has told before and then forward to something else totally unexpected. This is truly the shiniest diamond I have found since I started writing my blog and reading other people’s work intensively.

Miguel Llorens is a freelance financial translator based in Madrid who works from Spanish into English. He is specialized in equity research, economics, accounting, and investment strategy. He has worked as a translator for Goldman Sachs, the US Government's Open Source Center and H.B.O. International, as well as many small-and-medium-sized brokerages and asset management companies operating in SpainTo contact him, visit his website and write to the address listed there. Feel free to join his LinkedIn network or to follow him on Twitter.

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