What I’m Reading: Jan. 4th, 2016

  • Politico has a great survey out this morning of 23 leading economists and/or political thinkers answering the following questions: “Could the Economy Tank in 2016?” It’s an interesting panel. As with all predictions of economists, there’s lots of “on the one hand…and then on the other…” style equivocation, but rightly so given the complexities involved. Notwithstanding this, here’s my informal scorecard of the 23: 2 yes, 6ish maybe, 2 non-responsive answers, and 13 no. That said, even among the 13 no responses, the two key takeaways seem to be that the economy will grow slow and sluggishly, and our political system possess great risk to the economy. Elsewhere, Harvard economist Carmen Reinhart argues in Project Syndicate (a site that is consistently outstanding) that global political risk of a sovereign debt default posses grave risk in 2016, particularly given the coordination of defaults by nation states, charted in the graph below.

Sov Debt Default Correlation

SF Rainfall

Snake Oil Data Visualization

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