Monday, 6 July 2009

Economics cycles

A wonderful graphic from the New York Times can be used to show what happens to growth in two dimensions:

x-axis: growth over the past 6 months (extremes show sharp swings in output, or sudden drops).
y-axis: annual growth - long term trend (actual rate of decline in the economy).

Looking at that version of things, everything will be fine.

However, and this point was missed by the Economist's Free Exchange, this graphic suffers the same flaw as did the option-pricing model of Long Term Capital Management. That flaw, is that it only takes into account recent recessions, and so is unable to correctly predict the current, more serious one.

In other news, the markets have lost their shine (perhaps I'll post again on them, but not today).

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