Interesting function embedded in Google called Google Trends. Some recent trends for searches in Google that I thought we worth noting.
alcoholism: surprisingly the search for alcoholism in Google has been declining since the end of the last recession. One would think that in the current environment you might see this tick up, I suppose it takes some time for those predisposed turn to the bottle. Not to make light, but the kind of social stresses we are all facing is certainly a condition that can expose the animal of addiction.
As a “bizarre indicator” of end of days, Bloomberg shows a chart comparing the YTD returns of gold, gunmakerRuger and Spam shares, compared to the S&P500, juxtaposing it with consumer confidence. [More]
chapter 11, chapter 7: searches for bankruptcies on the rise
coupon: searches for coupons is clearly on the rise. Note the strong cyclical nature of searches for coupons around the holidays.
credit crisis: After the sharp initial spike after Lehman’s fall it looks like searches for “credit crisis” have flattened out, albeit at a systemically higher level.
fdic: spiked on Indy Mac and Lehman’s failures. I’m surprised not to see it up on Citi.
fear, hope: in “normal times” it seems that hope searches trump fear. However, when the shit hits the fan like during Katrina and our current crisis fear spikes. This is one of the charts that offers me some relevancy to these Google Trend charts.
fraud: looks like searches for fraud were declining in the years leading up to Bernie Madoff. Now we know its not that fraud was declining but rather because enforcement of fraud was declining. Makes you wonder if there was an explicit policy within the last administration to avoid taking actions that could rattle markets. Ironic if that were true.
porn, sex: don’t ask, but I thought the results were interesting. Interesting to note the seasonal spike around the winter holidays.
real estate, mortgage: not quite sure what to make of this one, but was worth plotting.
refinance: no brainer.
resume: interesting seasonality on this one, it actually correlates well with “diet” leading me to believe that many of us rethink our careers around our New Year’s resolutions.
saving money: maybe we’ve been saving longer than many of the pundits would lead us to believe. This search string has been on the rise steadily prior to the markets melting down.
self help: has been in steady decline, I suppose we’ll see that change as the lasting effects of the current deleveraging at the household level settles in.
soup, ice cream: no chart lends more credence to the correlation of search strings and our inherent behavior. This chart clearly reflects an inverse relationship between the two, with ice cream searches peaking in the summer months and soup searches peaking in the winter months.
transparency: not sure what to make of this one. Anyone know why searches for transparency spike around Q3/Q4 each year?