Hawtrey, Cassel and Glasner

Recently I have been giving quite a bit attention to the writings Gustav Cassel (and I plan more…), but I have failed to give any attention to the great British monetary economist Raplh G. Hawtrey. That is not really fair – Hawtrey and Cassel lived more or less at the same time and both played important roles in the debate and formulation of monetary policy and monetary thinking around the world in 1920s and 1930s.

Long ago David Glasner – one of my big heros and the blogger on uneasymoney.com – and Ronald W. Batchelder long ago wrote a paper on the monetary economics of both Cassel and Hawtrey – “Pre-Keynesian monetary theories of the Great Depression”. You should all read it.


Google Trends: From Greek crisis to euro crisis

I have always found it fascinating how much information the internet is providing “real time” and  I believe that a lot of economic data can and should be “extracted” from data on internet activity. A good example is the development in google searches on the European debt crisis. Here Google Trends is an excellent tool.

We we input “Greek crisis” into Google Trends we get this timeline.

The graph is pretty clear – searches on the “Greek crisis” spikes in early 2010 and then start to ease off in May 2010. But then again from the early part of the Summer this year the “Greek crisis” start to take off again.

Then lets add one more search: “euro crisis”.

Here we compare the number of searches for “euro crisis” and “Greek crisis” respectively.

The picture is clear – there is a very high correlation between “Greek crisis” and “euro crisis”. However, there is more to tell. While “Greek crisis” searches is much higher the “euro crisis” searches in 2010 the picture has now changed.

Greek crisis becoming a euro crisis

Hence, since July the number of searches for “euro crisis” has outpaced the number of searches for “Greek crisis”. Zoom in on 2011 searches here.

Said in another way what Google Trends is telling us is that the Greek crisis has turned into a euro crisis. Is that a surprise? Maybe not, but it is an indication of the systemic risks involved in this terrible crisis.

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