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The Asshole Indicator…

(Cue music)

Larry Summer to the Economics Club:

“So I don’t think we can hold out the prospect the unemployment will stabilize at the current level. And, I think there are seven cameras there, which means seven cameras too many for me to provide a number (laughing) for the number at which (laughing) it will – uh – at which it might be likely to peak…”

And, from the Wall Street Journal via Calculated Risk blog:

“In a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Monetary Economics [economists Simon Gilchrist and Vladimir Yankov at Boston University, and Egon Zakrajsek at the Federal Reserve] show that spreads on low- to medium-risk corporate bonds, particularly those with 15 or more years until maturity, predicted changes in the economy phenomenally well, forecasting the ups and downs in both hiring and production a year before they occurred. Since writing the paper, they extended their analysis back to 1973 and found bonds’ predictive ability still held.

“With the massive widening in corporate-bond spreads last fall, the economists’ model predicts industrial production will fall another 17% by the end of the year, and the economy will lose another 7.8 million jobs on top of the 5.1 million it has shed since the recession began.”

Police Chief Martin Brody to Quint:

“We’re gonna need a bigger boat.. “

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