Monday, 18 May 2009

Zeitgeist analysis, 17 May 2009

For some reason this week's economics zeitgeist has year and percent as big risers, up to number 3 and 6 respectively. But puttings those aside, the movements at the top of the chart are reasonably tame: US and market are up four and five places, with government down two - market is clearly beating government this week but I don't think laissez-faire can declare victory just yet.

Bank and banks are both down plenty from last week's heights, 26 and 34 places respectively. Oil on the other hand is up 280 places (with energy up 72, climate up 250, emissions up 485 and gas up 377) presumably because of the proposed Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill. Oil has been rising consistently over the last three months, incidentally - likely because of expected rises in demand with the end of the recession. The FT's Lex column agrees with me that the fall in oil prices has been more important than fiscal stimulus in triggering recovery in the industrialised countries.

Trade is up 218 places with exports and imports both new entries at 289 and 493 respectively. Growth is up 10, GDP up 182 and output also up 10. Recession down 40, recovery staying exactly where it was at 229.

Bond and bonds both up several hundred places - I am not sure why. There is an extensive discussion of European covered bonds, and some mention of bond yields rising, and a difficult Treasury auction in the US last week (something similar happened in the UK and Germany a few months ago). Also a bit about the Chrysler bondholders, and a little macro analysis from Paul Krugman which talks about the IS-LM model in terms of a three-good micro model in general equilibrium, with the three goods being 'goods in general', money and bonds. Not having looked at this in previous weeks, I'm not sure whether this is an unusual amount of discussion about bonds, but in any case there doesn't seem to be one dominant cause.

Trillion is up 144 places but billion and million both down. Confidence is up 200. Production, services, industry are all up, with goods a high new entry at 325, but manufacturing is down after last week's big increase.

Highest new entries: deficit, exports and German, with Spanish, Spain, UK, Slovakia, EU, eurozone and euro all new as well (but America down over 200).

Company of the week is Chrysler again, up 201 to 318. GM is not far behind, up 325 to 459. No other companies unless you count twitter. Not many people this week either: Obama is the most popular as always, up 9 to 103, but Geithner and Bernanke have dropped out.

Of some note, health has risen 58 places to 110, Medicare is new and Social and Security are both up a lot. Maybe this is where trillion and deficit originate too. Think I'll need to be on the look for quadrillion any time soon?

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