BusinessWeek has finally outdone itself: the recent Bloomberg acquisition has come up with what can be described as the definitive visual summary of the key themes and trends of the past year. What we certainly can appreciate is the magazine's attempt to be as focused, concise and cohesive as possible, which is why the punchline is as follows: "Normal, Jobs, Stuck, Currency, Spills and Gaga say all that needs to be said about 2010." From an economic perspective it is the jobs and the currency that are the all important variables. And unfortunately, both are moving in the wrong direction. But before we get into the meat of this series, with part one (jobs) and part two (currencies) here are two appetizer charts of what the biggest movers and shakers in 2010 were, together with a focal node chart that demonstrates the key strange attractors of the past year. (Incidentally, readers are encouraged to peruse James Montier's deubnking of the PIMCO trademark "New Normal" concept, by suggesting that the "Old Always" has not choice but return once mean reversion plays out.)
For those curious how just it is possible to synthesize 365 days worth of chaos into just 6 verticals, here is a very loose scatterplot which tracks the relationships between the six primary nodes.
We will shortly present part one of this "2010 in charts" series, which is also the most important one for the vast majority of the US population - jobs.