What We Are Reading Today: Making It Count

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Updated 01 April 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Making It Count

Author: Arunabh Ghosh

In 1949, at the end of a long period of wars, one of the biggest challenges facing leaders of the new People’s Republic of China was how much they did not know.
The government of one of the world’s largest nations was committed to fundamentally reengineering its society and economy via socialist planning while having almost no reliable statistical data about their own country. Making It Count is the history of efforts to resolve this “crisis in counting.” Drawing on a wealth of sources culled from China, India, and the United States, Arunabh Ghosh explores the choices made by political leaders, statisticians, academics, statistical workers, and even literary figures in attempts to know the nation through numbers.
Ghosh shows that early reliance on Soviet-inspired methods of exhaustive enumeration became increasingly untenable in China by the mid-1950s. Unprecedented and unexpected exchanges with Indian statisticians followed, as the Chinese sought to learn about the then-exciting new technology of random sampling. These developments were overtaken by the tumult of the Great Leap Forward (1958–61), when probabilistic and exhaustive methods were rejected and statistics was refashioned into an ethnographic enterprise.

By acknowledging Soviet and Indian influences, Ghosh not only revises existing models of Cold War science but also globalizes wider developments in the history of statistics and data.
Anchored in debates about statistics and its relationship to state building, Making It Count offers fresh perspectives on China’s transition to socialism.


What We Are Reading Today: Quantitative Management of Bond Portfolios

Updated 29 May 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Quantitative Management of Bond Portfolios

Authors: Lev Dynkin, Anthony Gould, Jay Hyman, Vadim Konstantinovsky and Bruce Phelps

The practice of institutional bond portfolio management has changed markedly since the late 1980s in response to new financial instruments, investment methodologies, and improved analytics. Investors are looking for a more disciplined, quantitative approach to asset management. Here, 5 top authorities from a leading Wall Street firm provide practical solutions and feasible methodologies based on investor inquiries. 

While taking a quantitative approach, they avoid complex mathematical derivations, making the book accessible to a wide audience, including portfolio managers, plan sponsors, research analysts, risk managers, academics, students, and anyone interested in bond portfolio management.

The book covers a range of subjects of concern to fixed-income portfolio managers — investment style, benchmark replication and customization, managing credit and mortgage portfolios, managing central bank reserves, and risk optimization.