Zeitgeist analysis, 1 March 2009

It's been interesting to review the economics word cloud this week. Over time I will no doubt develop more tools for this, but for now I have two main techniques.

One is simple visual inspection of the clouds, which shows a few obvious trends - the appearance of 'budget' not being a surprise in the week that the US federal budget was released, but perhaps less expected that 'KEN' and 'LEWIS' would show up suddenly.

The other is a ranking of words in the cloud, which highlights a few movements that are less predictable. For example:
  1. 'people' fell from position 5 to 7, while 'financial' rose from 7 to 5.
  2. 'economic' rose from 8 to 6, while 'market' fell from 6 to 8.
  3. 'tax' rose from 13 to 10, 'Obama' from 35 to 13 ('Barack' is down, oddly), but 'stimulus' fell from 30 to 130!
  4. 'credit' fell from 38 to 62 and 'debt' from 66 to 122
  5. 'oil' rose from 55 to 29
  6. 'million' fell from 32 to 44, 'billion' from 15 to 20, while 'trillion' rose from 423 to 344.
  7. 'deficit' jumped from 489 to 169 while 'Washington' fell from 293 to 420.
  8. 'Bush' appeared in the top 1000 words for the first time this week. So did 'children', 'toxic' and 'Citigroup'
  9. On the other hand, 'Republican' has disappeared from the list altogether along with 'Stanford'. 'Democrat' did not show up either week and nor did 'Madoff'
  10. 'Fannie', 'Freddie' and 'Friday' have all gone this week along with 'coal' and 'gasoline'
  11. Last week 'UK' outranked 'America' by 6 places and 'EU' beat them both. This week America beat UK by 382 places, with EU in between
  12. 'crisis' fell from 72 to 103 and 'recession' from 193 to 205. 'recovery' leapt from 796 to 413, perhaps as a side-effect of 'lending' rising from 683 to 431.
  13. 'prices' have risen substantially though 'inflation' fell, and 'deflation' is non-existent. 'spending' is up and 'assets' have risen too along with 'income'; 'markets' went up from 152 to 115. 'investment' is up too, along with 'stocks'. 'increase' is up but so is 'decline'. 'business' is down, but the 'state' has also shrunk and the 'world' is getting smaller too. 'growth' is down a little but 'interest' has risen for what seems like the first time in ages (while 'rates' are slightly down and 'mortgage' substantially). 'production' held up and 'demand' increased but 'sales' fell. But 'unemployment' rose a lot and 'jobs' fell a little.
You may take all of the above as seriously as you wish. If longer-term trends emerge, I'll be sure to let you know.

See you next week for the latest zeitgeist.


missmarketcrash said…
i love your word cloud report...thanks.
kinds regards, missmarketcrash
Leigh Caldwell said…
thank you miss, lovely to see you here as ever. Do keep stopping by.

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