World’s most dangerous software program…
…is evidently Excel.
We also know that Excel was at least partly behind the shenanigans involving the London Whale, which leads me to believe that this may in fact be the most economically dangerous software program floating around in the world.
Forget high speed margin trading software and automated trades, it’s the ability for humans to utterly screw up entering math into excel cells that can cost lots and lots of jobs in an economy.
On the Reinhart and Rogoff issue, this is an enormous blunder that not only threatens their credibility as economists, but the entire notion of doing quantitative research and modeling. It’s been the go to study for austerity advocates and deficit hawks, and formed the center piece of Paul Ryan’s actual data based argument for his budget plans.
You can find an initial version of the full paper here.