Sunday, June 11, 2006

How bad things are

I thought that I had reason to worry when the NY Times Magazine's "Money Issue" arrived this morning, including Niall Ferguson's "Reasons to Worry ... Why You Could Be Excused for Feeling a Little Uneasy About the Collapse of Household Savings, the Rise in Home-Mortgage Debt, a Large and Growing Trade Deficit and the Fact that Asian Countries Hold So Many Treasuries"

The popular discourse thrives on unnormalized comparisons. that sensationalize -- and in the process obscure. Ferguson tries to have it both ways in his piece.

This is why The Skeptical Economist runs, as a regular feature, its debt-to-GDP ratio -- which has been trending down of late.

And, yes, it moves much too slowly to be on any electronic billboard's "debt clock."