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Mr Raccoon

The complete visual history of US finance.

An excellent FTAlphaville article from Friday that has kept me busy for the last hour or so and is well worth looking through :

The NY Fed’s Liberty Street Economics blog on Friday flagged an epic testimony to graphic design and American financial history. It’s a looooooong chart showing what happened in the US economy between 1861 and 1938, painstakingly drawn by L. Merle Hostetler, former director of research of the Cleveland Fed.

Over forty or so pages, Hostetler provides an annotated tour from the Civil War to the eve of the Second World War. The format is standardised: major political events at the top, bordered below by the Ayres index of business activity. Underneath are details of debt, commodoties, major business stories, etc.

Here are two pages, from two big years: 1861 and 1929. We particularly liked the securities details in the 1929 page.

They have a couple of example pages which I have grabbed below (partly so I can find them again when I have a bit more time to finish reading) providing an amazing amount of detail :

If you want to see larger versions either go to FTAlphaville or the full document can be accessed here.


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