Magazine February 8, 2010, Issue

Future Imperfect

A view of the exterior of the world headquarters for Morgan Stanley in New York City, May 19, 2008 (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
Sonic Boom: Globalization at Mach Speed, by Gregg Easterbrook (Random House, 272 pp., $26)

In this intriguingly contrarian re­work of the Thomas Friedman “hot and flat” motif, Gregg Easterbrook asserts that venture capitalists are no better than lottery players when it comes to choosing new technology companies. He reports that leading stock analysts outperform broad market-index funds only one-third of the time. He adds that the preeminent financial pundits break into two groups — pessimists like Robert Shiller and Nouriel Roubini, who are right during downturns, and optimists like Abby Joseph Cohen of Goldman Sachs, who are right during upturns. (There are no up-and-down visionaries like Steve Forbes or Ken Fisher visible anywhere on

George Gilder — Mr. Gilder is a founder of the Discovery Institute, a venture capitalist, and the author of 15 books, including The Israel Test.

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