Friday, December 19, 2008
Thanks to the assistance of Aisha, Louise and the web master, Rasun, the new suject guide, "Biology and Envioronmental Studies," is now published on our web site for future student use.
Please refer our readers to the guide as you feel appropriate.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Yale Open Courses just released several new courses from the spring 2008 semester. One of the courses that might interest our students is Robert Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance and The New Financial Order: Risk in the Twenty-First Century, teaching Financial Markets (ECO 252). Carl Icahn and Stephen Schwartzman are guest lecturers and Lawrence Summers lectures in two class sessions on “Learning from and Responding to the Financial Crisis.”
All courses are free and include video and audio clips of each lecture as well as the syllabus and class transcripts.
If you don't know Shiller, you can read a profile of him and his work in the December issue of the IMF's magazine, Finance and Development.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Recent student queries at the desk have included requests for inflation index data for
Collins Dictionary of Business defines a Central Bank as “a country's leading bank generally responsible for overseeing the banking system, acting as a ‘clearing’ banker for the commercial banks and for implementing monetary policy”. In addition, many central banks are responsible for handling the government's budgetary accounts and for managing the country's external monetary affairs, in particular the exchange rate.
Examples of central banks include the
Their websites often provide access to data related to their country’s currency, rate of exchange, price data, discount rates, and balances of payment. A comprehensive list of central bank websites can be found at the Bank for International Settlements Central Banks Listing
It should be noted that there is no standardization of what is reported directly by central banks.
Many countries also release economics statistics through a central agency. For example, the Japan Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications provides a comprehensive selection of time series, including CPI.
Obviously, names of agencies and their URL’s are not intuitive. I have found the best way to search for them is to type the name of the statistic you are looking for, as well as the country suffix in the source parameter in Google. For example, entering CONSUMER PRICE INDEX: .AU returns the Australian Bureau of Statistics in search results.
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) acts as a central bank for central banks. It was established in 1930 to manage the reparation payments imposed on
The BIS produces a comprehensive time series of exchange rates, as well as banking, debt, payment, and balance of payments statistics through their statistics page The BIS is also a sponsor of the Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) initiative, the goal of which is to develop a standard set of metadata for the transmission of global statistical data. Central banks, Eurostat, IMF, OECD, World Bank and the UN are also actively involved in the SDMX.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was founded in 1944 to oversee the international monetary system post-WWII and has continuously worked to ensure global economic stability through oil crises, and now the current global recession. It is now an organization of 185 member countries and engages in economic surveillance, technical assistance, and lending to countries which cannot find affordable financing. “The IMF publishes a range of time series data on lending, exchange rates and other economic and financial indicators. Manuals, guides, and other material on statistical practices at the IMF, in member countries, and of the statistical community at large are also available.”
The United Nations is a good source for national accounts and trade time series statistics. The UN database portal contains listings of economic data.
The World Bank was established in 1944 to manage the financing of post-war reconstruction. It has evolved to having the primary mission of working with developing countries to reduce poverty. Noteworthy statistics available on the WB website include world development indicators, such as debt of the 135 low and middle income countries, and GDP.
Other statistics such as poverty levels, education, etc. must be ordered.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
You can read more about the SEC rules at the SEC Website. A good article that provides backgound on the EMMA depository appeared in The Bond Buyer on December 7th under the title "SEC OKs EMMA as NRMSIR." The Bond Buyer is available through Factiva and LexisNexis.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
From this point forward, they will continue to produce annual 65k+ numbers every year, and they will also release 20k+ numbers each year by adding the latest year and dropping the oldest one (so next year, they will release annual 65k+ numbers for 2008 and 3 year 20k+ estimates for 2006-2008).
All of the American Community Survey datasets are available through the American Factfinder.
The Census Bureau is also in the midst of preparations for the next decennial census, which is the 100% count of the population for all geographic areas. The questionnaires will be sent out on April 1, 2010.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Having read it, you probably already know that Project Vote Smart is a great source for district information. It allows you to search by zipcode to see who your Senator and Assemblyperson is (and of course their district numbers).
However, if your zipcode happens to fall within two districts and you need to see a map showing the actual district boundaries, like I did, there is a handy little print publication behind the desk called They Represent You put out by the League of Women Voters you should know about.
It fits in the palm of your hand and contains legible and easy-to-understand district maps, as opposed to many of those available out on the web which I found to be either too small or too clunky to be of much use. The citation for it is included on the handout.
Thanks to Prof. Ellis and Prof. Yaremchuk for pointing it out on the shelf.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Points of View Reference Center is a direct competitor to the Gale product Opposing Viewpoints.
The trial runs until the end of December, so please take some time and try them out and let me know what you think of them.
I am especially interested in seeing what the feeling is between Opposing Viewpoints vs Points of View Reference Center since this would be a change from a product that is used quite a bit by our students.
Title comparison and product descriptions are available were sent via email or please email me to request them.