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James Pearce

Ironically, your visualisations seem to suggest that only the 1929 line follows the hypothesis. (Sharp drop, long recovery).

There's a light blue line* that has two clear minima - if you choose the first as the bottom, that would also show a slower U-shaped recovery. But still, the others are clearly 'V-shaped'.

Maybe the original chart gave the right impression all along!


(* since 5 of your 6 lines use a limited palette of cyans and magentas it's rather difficult to tell from the legend which year that actually is ;-) )

Corrected link to loess discussion: http://junkcharts.typepad.com/junk_charts/2008/05/turning-in-his.html

Nick

There has been a discussion about this issue in this blog: http://nicolasrapp.com/?p=417
Basically, choices have been done to settle readability issues. It is known that this visualization is not perfect, but simplification can help a newspaper reader to get a quick comparative idea of the current market meltdown.

John S.

The conclusion we're supposed to draw is that the time to recovery is somehow related to the slope of the drop. The steep drop over the past 18 months resembles the Great Depression, so the conclusion is that it may take just as long to recover. But is there any economic theory behind that idea, or is this just something a graphic artist pulled out of the air?

We got into the current mess by trusting bogus statistical models. Why should we pay attention to an equally simplistic model? Because it looks scary? During the housing boom, similar graphs were produced to show that the sky was the limit. Look how well that turned out.

I for one am getting tired of all the disaster porn.

Owe Jessen

Funny... Nick Rapp claims that readers react disturbed when confronted with log scales, but uses a rather irregular scale on the time-scale? Doesn't make sense to me.

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