Several websites have been curating the top economic graphs and charts of the year, as determined by a handful of contributors. There are two in particular you should check out: Ezra Klein’s Wonkbook has their collection here and Derek Thompson at The Atlantic Business Channel has his list of contributors here.
Transitivity error alert: I have my favorite chart of the year at both, yet they aren’t the same chart (!).
I had seen a lot of them before, but I’ll replicate one from each that I thought was a particularly clever choice. From Wonkbook:
Antulio Bomfim, Macroeconomic Advisers
“By telling the public that economic conditions were ‘likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through mid-2013,’ the [Federal Reserve] — hoping to influence current longer term rates by changing expectations of future short-term rates — signaled that its forecast implied a later first rate hike than markets had anticipated. While much has been said about the limits of monetary policy these days, the chart below suggests that the Fed’s words can speak at least as loudly as its actions.”
And from The Atlantic:
“A phrase you sometimes hear in financial markets is ‘punish the printer.’ The idea is that countries that are printing a lot of money will see their currencies dive. But a defining characteristic of 2011 was that markets loved printers. Specifically, countries that were able to print their own money saw their borrowing costs plunge, while countries (even fiscally responsible ones) that didn’t have this ability saw their borrowing costs jump.
“My favorite example of this is Sweden vs. Finland. The former is outside of the euro zone and can print its own money; the latter uses the Euro and can’t. Historically, the two countries have borrowed money at roughly the same rate. Both are considered to be stable and fiscally disciplined.
“In this chart, the green line is the yield on the Finnish 10-year bond. The orange is the Swedish 10-year bond. Starting in the Spring, Finland began to pay a penalty, but still, the two roughly moved in the same direction. It was in late November, when the European crisis got to its hairiest point (even Germany had a failed auction) that you really saw the difference. Finnish yields spiked at the same time Swedish yields plunged. Investors flocked to the country that could print its own money. This defining idea of 2011 also resulted in ultra-cheap rates in the UK, Japan, and of course the U.S.” — Joseph Weisenthal, Deputy Editor, Business Insider
For Wonkbook, the only graphics that explicitly call out high unemployment are from me, Larry Summers and the Hamilton Project. Hmmmm……
What graphs and charts are missing from these lists? And do you prefer the term “graph” or “chart” for what are included in these lists?