Black Swans and Olympic Sprinters

The Freakonomics column of the New York Times has taken its fun approach to economics to produce an analysis of Usain Bolt’s performance in the 200 metres sprint on Wednesday. For anybody who saw it, you won’t be surprised that it was a Black Swan event, way off the Bell Curve in terms of what you might think could be achievable (although Don Bradman’s batting average of 99.94 also puts him in the Black Swan category). There’s some other good Olympic stuff on the website too – including an analysis of the likely ages of the controversial Chinese gymnasts based on population samples.

The value of investments will fluctuate, which will cause prices to fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount you invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

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