The Scarier Graphic from the Economist

by: Tim Iacono

Everyone seems to be fascinated with the graphic for this week's Economist cover story.
IMAGE It is a scary image to be sure and stock market bears are no doubt salivating along with the large fish to the right, prompting the rhetorical question, "Do fish have saliva glands?"

To me, however, the more frightening graphic in this week's Economist is the table below.

It's been a little while since I've looked closely at these stats, dutifully collated and published each and every week in the final few pages of the print edition, but never before have I seen so many negative numbers.

[click to enlarge]
IMAGE The two double-digit negative numbers for 2009 GDP growth in Latvia and Iceland are particularly troublesome. What are the odds of similar numbers showing up for Japan, Germany, and elsewhere? The double-digit unemployment numbers are bothersome as well.