Sunday, December 07, 2008

Life in the Left Tail

Source. Click on the graphic to enlarge.

Each block in this histogram represents one year of stock returns, using data since 1825. The most recent observation, based on 2008 returns to date, is the dark block in the far left tail. The figure gives a good sense of how historically extraordinary this year's bad news has been.

By the way, from February 2003, when a certain blogger was appointed to chair the Council of Economic Advisers, to February 2005, when he returned to Harvard, the stock market rose almost 50 percent. Just saying....