S&P sovereign credit ratings

August 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Standard and Poors just downgraded the U.S. credit rating a few hours before I posted this, so I haven’t seen any news graphics posted about this subject. But you can go to this link to see where the U.S. ratings stand compared with other countries. The down grade puts us below Canada, on par with Belgium and above Japan.
http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/sovereigns/ratings-list/en/us?sectorName=Governments&subSectorCode=39

The ratings bring the U.S. credit-worthiness from “extremely strong” to “very strong” based on its political and economic profile, which I find kind of funny despite the seriousness of the situation.

Advertisements

Debt limit

July 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

debt limit wall street journal
On the same day, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post published graphics highlighting tough choices the federal government would need to make if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by Aug. 2: The U.S. would need to decide which bills to pay and which to skip. The Wall Street Journal’s graphic is above and the Washington Post’s is below.
washington post debt limit
The Washington Post also published an interactive graphic in which the user can chose which federal bills to pay with the limited funds that would be available.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/federal-debt-limit-you-choose-who-gets-paid/?hpid=z2

Both publications turned to a recent analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center, which estimated daily receipts and payments based on publicly available data from daily Treasury statements. The report provides specificity that brings home what this crisis could mean for our country.

http://www.bipartisanpolicy.org/library/staff-paper/debt-limit-analysis

bipartisan policy center debt limit analysis

Who holds Greek debt?

July 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

With Greece heading toward default on its debt, many news organizations are looking at who would pick up the tab. This New York Times chart breaks down how much Greek debt each country holds. The data comes from the Bank for International Settlements, which coordinates international financial services regulations and serves as a bank for central banks.

The BIS maintains a vast menu of statistics, so here is the exact location where you would find these figures:

Go to the BIS site’s Consolidated Banking Statistics page (http://www.bis.org/statistics/consstats.htm.)
Scroll down to the bottom, where you will see a link to Table 9E Foreign exposures on selected individual countries, ultimate risk basis. Note that not all countries will be listed in the data.

Mining statistics

June 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Nothing out of the ordinary here. Just wanted to share a source for production and reserves of various commodities:

http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/copper/

This is the source of the Wall Street Journal graphic above.

Historical election results

June 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

This scatterplot from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog at the New York Times (http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/02/on-the-maddeningly-inexact-relationship-between-unemployment-and-re-election/) suggests there is no correlation between unemployment and a president’s re-election chances. I haven’t seen many news charts that set out to show a lack of correlation, but in this case it’s compelling. I also haven’t seen many scatterplots where the horizonal axis sits in the middle of the chart rather than the bottom, but it worked here and you can follow the chart easily.

While this is a great chart, what I really want to point out is the source of the election results. (This is Seth’s Sources after all!) Rather than the Federal Election Commission or Politics in America or whatnot, they come from David Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections (http://uselectionatlas.org/) When I first stumbled onto this source many years ago, I thought it was too homegrown and unofficial to use as a primary source. My opinion changed quickly. That’s the crazy thing about the Internet: someone who begins a Web site as an enthusiast or hobbyist can end up building a more complete, accurate and useful set of data than anything offered by the government or major publishers. Time and again, media organizations turn to David Leip’s atlas for historical election stats.

The atlas provides stats back to 1789. In addition to standard vote counts, you can get the size of the voting age population, turnout as a percentage of voting age population or registered voters, number of invalid ballots and a number of other statistics.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

June 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Many nations have created sovereign wealth funds to make huge investments in stocks, real estate, bonds and other financial instruments. This investment power frequently makes headlines. Above is a chart that appeared on the front page of The Wall Street Journal highlighting the sovereign wealth funds of middle eastern nations. Note the source: the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. These guys offer current, accurate rankings of the sovereign wealth funds around the world for free on their website. More detailed information requires a subscription.

http://www.swfinstitute.org/fund-rankings/

Flood maps and charts

May 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

national weather service flood monitor

The National Weather Service posts readings from river flood gauges to its Web site every 15 minutes. You can download the files as KMZ or SHP files to build your own maps. Below, an example of a map from the Wall Street Journal using this data.

You can also download the readings from individual flood gauges to build charts showing when flood waters will crest at a particular location.

national weather service flood stageE

Example from the Wall Street Journal

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with journalism at Seth's Sources.