Posts Tagged ‘financial crises’

A Visual Guide to the Federal Reserve (Mint)

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

[Editor's note: Fun visual narrative guide to the Federal Reserve system and it's roll in the U.S. economy.]

Republished from Mint.com and WallStats.com.

The Federal Reserve steers the American economy and yet it remains a system that is shrouded in mystery. Few understand the logic behind its policy decisions, decisions that have a profound effect on the US economy. And over the years it has operated seemingly independently of the more democratically elected arms of the US government. Its public stance, generally lacking in transparency has fueled conspiracy theories. Some even suggest its formation lead directly to the Great Depression.

So just what is the Federal Reserve? Why was it formed in the first place? And how does its monetary policy affect the lives of everyday US citizens? Here we do our part to demystify the Federal Reserve.

visualguidetothefederalreserve

What’s the state of the economy? (Russell Investments)

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

[Editor's note: Very nice Flashed-based interactive showing 7 indicators, their extreme historic ranges, typical ranges, and current value/rate and trend. Thanks Sarah!]

Republished from Russell Investments.

To help you talk to your clients, we’ve identified a few key economic and market indicators to help assess the current economic health and trend.

Interact with the original at Russel Investments . . .

stateofeconomyrussel

How Google Earth Explains the Financial Crisis (Foreign Policy)

Monday, May 18th, 2009

090507_singapore

[Editor's note: Fascinating image / KML visually demonstrating how global shipping has dropped off, matching the economic doldrums.]

Republished from Foreign Policy.

Want to get a sense of just how bad things are? Take a spin on Google Earth.

The latest issue of International Economy, edited by FP contributor David Smick, has a clever graphic showing the depth of the economic crisis, so I thought I’d share.

The above image, pulled today from Vesseltracker.com’s Google Earth file, shows container ships languishing off the Singapore coast. Welcome to the  largest parking lot on Earth. International Economy explains:

The world’s busiest port for container traffic, Singapore saw its year-over-year volume drop by 19.6 percent in January 2009, followed by a 19.8 percent drop in February. As of mid-March 2009, 11.3 percent of the world’s shipping capacity, sat idle, a record.

It’s a rough time to be an Asian tiger, or to be in the shipping business. The IMF projects that Singapore’s economy will shrink significantly in 2009. Globally, bulk shipping rates have dropped more than 80 percent in the past year on weak demand, and orders for new shipping vessels are cratering. In Busan, South Korea, the fifth-largest port in the world, empty shipping containers are piling up faster than officials can manage.

“Things have really started to get bad — laborers spend their entire day waiting for a call from the docks that they have a job,” Kim Sang Cheul, a dockworker at Busan, told Bloomberg. “People spend all day staring at their phone as if staring at it can make it ring. You’re lucky if you get a call.”

Green shoots? Not so much.

(For another view of Singapore’s port, you can check out Vesseltracker’s Microsoft Virtual Earth mashup map.)

Parsing the Bailout (Wash Post + NY Times)

Monday, December 1st, 2008

[Editor's note: Two visual approaches to graphing out the Federal Government's expanding effort to "invest" in the economy during the financial crises and prevent another "Great Depression". One from the Washington Post uses a tree map (1 | 2 | 3) approach to show all the individual parts of the bailout in relative size to each other in 1 single block. The New York Times offering uses an illustrated narrative form where each part is still scaled relative to the others but it is shown in isolation with explanation text. The two graphics are not directly comparable as they use different grouping categories. Please note the Post graphic was 3/4 of a page while I think the Times graphic was smaller.

The NY Times used a similar tree mapping approach in their recent All of Inflation's Little Parts interactive. I'm quite taken with this approach! It reminds me of cartograms but focusing on the data topology instead of being held captive by the "shape" of countries. Countries are to most people nominal lists and when physical geography (arrangement, proximity, etc) does not influence pattern, I think this is a better approach.]

Graphics below republished from Washington Post and New York Times (story | graphic), both from 26 November 2008. Top graphic (graduated circle “bubbles”) is NY Times.

Washington Post
By Todd Lindeman and Brenna Maloney.
View larger (or click on graphic).

New York Times
By staff artist.
View larger (or click on graphic).