Friday, 19 February 2010

Economics live!

Sports fans will mostly be familiar with the idea of live text commentary. If you can't watch the game, you can often find a live text stream on the BBC or Guardian websites giving you a minute-by-minute description of events. It's a good idea - it's much easier to multitask with the text stream in a window than while watching TV, while still retaining the dramatic tension of the game.

Today, for some reason, the Guardian has come up with the hilarious idea of running a live commentary on the economics news. And yet - there is nothing to comment on!

Here is the link - it started out at some think tank conference but I think they've swiftly given up on anything good happening there. So they've started pasting in press releases from economics consultancies and updating us on the dollar-pound exchange rate.

They did find one interesting piece of news, from the US inflation data. Mirroring the UK's experience last week, an announcement of monetary tightening by the central bank has been followed by weak economic statistics. In this case the Fed raised its emergency lending rate last night, and today the inflation figures show a fall in prices from December to January.

This may be a whimsical one-day experiment, but I think we should have a live economics commentary permanently running on the web. In fact, if you were to watch the blogroll in my right-hand column and just refresh every 5-10 minutes, that's what you would have. I encourage any interested readers to do just that, and thanks in advance for the boost to my traffic figures!

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