Zeitgeist analysis, 15 March 2009

This week's economics zeitgeist has quite a few moves at the top. Interesting developments:

Government has fallen to its lowest level so far, down four places to 7.

Financial in turn is up four places to 2. Market up two places to 3, and people up one to 6. US is up twenty places to number 9, and U.S. up twenty-two places to 15. Perhaps the relationship between the US government and private sector is losing focus and bloggers are focusing on its relationship with other countries instead. Global is up 24 places at 49, China up 157 to 93 and trade up 107 to 132, giving some support to this theory.

Money, price and rate have all fallen, by five, thirteen and fifteen places respectively. So have prices, interest and creditBank is up three and banks up twelve. Oddly enough banks (position 13) is much more popular than bank (position 30).

Policy is up eighteen to 32, and economy down 11 to 33 (economic is unchanged at number 8).

Maturity is a regular appearance in the top ranks, and this week is up 29 places to 39. Big jump in assets, 125 places up to number 54, and capital up 72 to 62. Crisis is resurging, up 24 to 55 and cost up 88 to 66. Unemployment is down 120 to 267, which surprised me.

Obama keeps losing places, down another 63 to 103. Growth, markets, energyratesoil, companies and business are all down substantially. Investors, future, Treasury are all up. Water, climate, carbon and health are each up between 60 and 150 places.

As for people, Cramer has appeared at 494 and Stewart at 754 (at least Cramer is winning at something). Madoff is back in the list at 542.

Lehman has made an appearance but AIG is down a lot. No other companies in the top 800 except media - WSJ, Bloomberg and of course the Daily Show.

In summary:
  1. monetary issues are less prominent this week
  2. asset values are becoming more important - both bonds and equity (but perhaps surprisingly stock and mortgage both well down)
  3. international issues are receiving a lot of focus
  4. environment and health topics are starting to get coverage
  5. government, stimulus, budget and other public spending issues are down
  6. the focus on macroeconomic performance is reduced - recession, GDP and unemployment all down
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