For all those who were wondering which countries are next to follow in the footsteps (no pun intended) of revolutionary Tunisia and Egypt... there is an app for that. Or should be... But there certainly is now an index. But what it makes up for in lack of iPad downloadability it makes up for in sheer name coolness. Step aside Big Mac index and meet the Shoe Thrower index. And while we are still very partial to Jim O'Neill's N-11 (next BRICs) as being the best indicator of countries next to revolt, the Economist presents a slightly less GSAM-chagrined collection of countries to go under next.
From the Economist:
IN THIS week's print edition we ran a table showing a number of indicators for members of the Arab League. By adding a few more and ascribing different weights to them we have come up with the Shoe Thrower's index, which aims to predict where the scent of jasmine may spread next. Some factors are hard to put a number on and are therefore discounted. For instance, dissent is harder in countries with a very repressive secret police (like Libya). The data on unemployment were too spotty to be comparable and so this important factor is discounted too. We took out the Comoros and Djibouti, which do not have a great deal in common with the rest of the group, and removed the Palestinian territories, Sudan and Somalia for lack of data. The chart below is the result of ascribing a weighting of 35% for the share of the population that is under 25; 15% for the number of years the government has been in power; 15% for both corruption and lack of democracy as measured by existing indices; 10% for GDP per person; 5% for an index of censorship and 5% for the absolute number of people younger than 25. Jordan comes out surprisingly low on the chart, which suggests the weighting might need to be tweaked. Post suggestions in the comments below and we will refine it.
Yet once this latest storm blows off once the Chairsatan throws enough money at it, we will be back to the good old and most reliable index of all: the Dart Thrower index, which year after year continues to outperform the S&P, except for those cases, like with inflation which is always modest when excluding everything, when it doesn't. But those can be blamed on snow.