Charts: I’m lovin it.

I think I just fell in love with charts. Hat tip to James Kwak from BaselineScenario and his post entitled “Recovery – or Not – in Pictures” for leading me to a chart book created by Paul Swartz from the Council on Foreign Relations.

Here are five of them and the accompanying captions.


  • The federal budget has deteriorated far more rapidly than in any past recession, in part due to the first economic stimulus and bank bailouts.
  • The current stimulus implies an even larger and more prolonged deficit in the future.


  • Government intervention is much less controversial than prior to World War II. Thus government stimulus occurred faster than was the case during the Great Depression.
  • Government net financial investment (bank bailouts) has contributed a substantial portion of expenditures.


  • One area in which this downturn has been far worse than the Great Depression has been in home prices.


  • The spread of investment-grade debt— a measure of the risk that high-quality corporate bonds will default— typically rises during a recession.
  • The credit markets’ recent improvement still leaves spreads at historic highs.


  • A rise in oil prices is typical before the start of a recession, and a fall is typical as a recession proceeds.
  • Conversely the recent fall has been larger than usual, even allowing for the rebound in the spring.

Interested to see the whole heaven of charts? More HERE (PDF).

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