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Fun with Bank Graphs

I enjoyed this graph in the financial times.

It’s market capitalization of the world’s 20 largest banks.

Here’s the best part. At the bottom of the graph is a a slider, so you can see how the listing changes over a 10 year period.

Fun games you can play:

  1. Look at Citigroup’s capitalization over time. Notice anything peculiar about the most  recent year?
  2. Look at HSBC (the company I am suing). It seems to have ups and downs.
  3. Look at the biggest banks in 1999. See how it compares with the biggest banks in 2009. Can you draw any conclusions about the world economy from it?
  4. Look at Fannie Mae (did you even know it was a bank?) Track its rise and fall.
  5. Look at how the color bars grow and decline over time (the color bars represent the wealth of all humanity).
  6. Wow, look at how great a year 2007 was for banks!
  7. Wow, where did Bank of America go?

Essay question: is the  better performance of Asian banks in 2009 a result of 1)China’s  modernization or 2)China’s cautious investment
policy or 3)incompetence of US banks or d)all of the above.

Update: Darn, it looks like this fun graph is now behind a pay wall. Last time I link to FT!

See also: Tyler Cowen’s New York Times piece about why the AIG bailout costs  more taxpayer money than those oft-talked about corporate bonuses.

Is it just me or does the whole world eagerly await Robert Reich’s blogposts?  Friday he said we need to recognize a depression for what it is and just a few minutes ago he complains that Geithner’s threat to fire CEO’s dependent on government handouts is essentially empty. He writes:

All told, about one out of every five large American companies depends on government contracts, and a majority of these firms are losing money right now. So … off with their heads.

Simon Johnson notes that the prescription for rescuing the US economy is similar to that the IMF gives to developing nations: stop coddling your corporate fat cats! Simon Johnson writes for Baseline Scenario, a great recession blog.

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