The incredible story of how a spreadsheet error led to global budget cuts.

This one's got it all: ideas with stakes as high as the global economy, a 28-year-old grad student, a spreadsheet error, and of course, Stephen Colbert.

The Colbert Report
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  • 1:30-1:57: We get a depressing montage of American leaders using this study as foundation for policy.
  • 2:35-2:45: We meet their European counterparts.
  • 3:53: We meet the 28-year-old grad student who found the error ... in about 5 minutes.
  • 4:45: We learn what the data actually tells us.
  • 6:11: Colbert is, well, just being Colbert.
  • *Just to be clear: The spreadsheet error was the first in a series of mistakes made by professors Reinhart and Rogoff. For a more

    detailed analysis, check out Mike Konczal, who writes at Next New Deal.

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