Sunday, July 08, 2012

Free online course: Yale Econ 252

Many universities now have free online courses. I just started Econ 252 on the Yale website:

The professor is the world famous Robert Schiller. I am not likely to do the homework and course reading so what I get from listening to the lectures may be of limited value. I understand that, but this kind of stuff tends to be more interesting to me, than much of what is on TV during the summer (and sometimes the winter too).

I took two economics courses in college and enjoyed them. Perhaps I missed my calling in terms of education. Oh well, like past stock trades, a person can't go back and re-choose their college courses and how much they applied themselves.

Here is a site with the top ten universities in terms of free online course material (link2). For some courses, a person must do the reading, the homework, perhaps the lab and write the papers, to really learn the material. Doing online auditing of the courses, without the papers, the exams, is a shallow substitute.

While I am here, I'll make a stock market comment. It was interesting on Friday to see a down VIX on a big down day. Typically VIX goes up when the market goes down. VIX is the volatility index (wiki link3).

The cliche phrase is that the tape doesn't lie. A lower VIX on a big down day means option sellers are betting that odds of a big down move in stocks is unlikely and were ponying up their money to sell volatility. Some are interpreting this as bullish, especially for the leading big cap stocks.

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