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In the future, we will all rob hobos for cash.Hey people cheer up! Your Nate Silver, that mathbot you all loved so much until the election was over, has persisted with his math and numbers to this very day. Most of the time he just worries about that whole boring sordid Franken/Coleman mess in Wasilla. But maybe because Depression reporting is such a “hot trend,” he has written about what the chances are we will actually enter one of these depression thingums in the near future.

[T]here is a somewhat more precise definition of a depression (although by no means is it one universally agreed upon by economists): that is a 10 percent decline in real GDP over the course of a year or more. This is the definition that the predictions market Intrade uses. And the latest trade at Intrade just put the chances of a depression occurring at some point in 2009 at 40 percent — or about ten times more likely than the odds that Norm Coleman prevails in his election lawsuit in Minnesota.

But you don’t really need to worry about this shockingly high probability of a depression, because Intrade is full of a bunch of charlatans who tend not to try to predict future events so much as predict what other people predict future events will be. Thus, they are all betting on their fellow bettors getting more pessimistic going forward. Which is a safe bet, knowing what pansies those Intrade jokers are.

Another way of looking at this is to say that Nate Silver has successfully averted a depression with his mind.

What Are the Chances of a Depression? [FiveThirtyEight.com]

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42 COMMENTS

  1. So our response to a handful of investors bankrupting civilization as we know it by acting as if the world were an online casino should be to… place a bet at some online casino?

    I’m putting down fiddy.

  2. Nate should use his math splooge to let us know the odds of Conflatulence sticking around since most of them should be hitting the far end of life expectancy about now.

  3. Hey, my father lived through it, why can’t I?

    No, seriously, he was like 16-19 during the Depression. I too can bitch whenever my kids throw out a paper towel after only one use.

    As the great Tyler Durden said: “We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives.”

    Now we have Bush to thank for giving us all of those things! Thanks W!!!

  4. Nate has coined the “Norm Coleman Snowball’s-Chance-In-Hell” metric. It shall be the yardstick by which all things hilarious + depressing are measured from now on.

  5. [re=213134]bitchincamaro[/re]: Excellent. For instance, my chance of getting laid in 2009 is at least 2.3 percentage points higher than Norm Coleman’s chance of being elected to the Senate. The margin of error on this is +/- 5%

  6. While grabbing a quick bite to eat at the local Loaves and Fishes I decided the “depression” is all in my head; that if I had worked harder to put food on my family and taken on a 3rd job instead of slackin’ off at just 2 I wouldn’t be in this position. I will pray harder and trade in my Zoloft for power-ball tickets.

  7. It’s a scientifically proven fact that if all of you bought something from Lumber Liquidators, we wouldn’t be in this mess! C’mon everybody, why are you being so cautious with your money! Now is the time to update your flooring materials! We’re all in this together!

  8. I usually find that you can counter any chance of depression by drinking alcohol of the same proof. So goodbye wine, hello Schnapps.

  9. Everyone with a heart and a functioning brain has known we were headed for disater from the day Reagan fooled the country into electing him. I’m so sick of predictions. They’re always wrong, and I’m bored with them. Why don’t we just try to focus on getting ourselves out of this big gaping stinkhole we’re in and quit making predictions?

  10. I lived with Depression survivor parents, too. My theory on the millinials (sp?) being the generation that has to be praised all the time is that Baby Boomer mothers like me, raised by parents whose mantra was, “I lived through the Depression and won WWII and you can’t, won’t, etc.” so we overcompensated by telling our kids what a great job they did when they did, basically, nothing.

    And am I giving Jr. Bush too much credit, or is everything single thing on every single issue, problem, whatever, way more fucked up than when that dimwit took office? This is the End Times, people. I always knew the anti-Christ would be a Texan.

    And to add to my current physical affliction, headache and general depression about everyone and everything and everywhere in the world being completely fucked up, I fear Florida will beat OU tonight.

    All the same, BOOMER SOONER!

  11. One piece of advice: If you missed Carnivale the first time around, like I did, I suggest renting it. My granddaughter sent me Season 1 and I’m now getting Season 2 from Netflix. (But s-l-o-w-l-y ‘cuz I’m on the bargain basement, one a time, two a month plan). The Dust Bowl, freaks and the Apocalypse. Those people put their show on the air a couple of years too early. Today, it is the perfect film for wallowing in our depression because, face it, nothing is going to cheer us up.

    [re=213173]Not_So_Much[/re]: Bummer on the job. If you actually want to keep it, I hope you don’t get fired.

    My high school math teacher had the same valediction whenever someone left the class for something: “Write if you find work!”

    How apt for today’s dreary news. At least Hopey isn’t up there saying bullshit about this is just a little bump on our way to greater prosperity. I wish I had a front row seat at the inauguration. Not so much to see Hopey as to throw rotten tomatoes at Bush.

  12. [re=213194]DustBowlBlues[/re]: Ok, all Sooner fans I know are creepy freaks who love Jeebus and W, so I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear you say you support OU.

    [re=213195]bitchincamaro[/re]: Oh wow, Tica’s can just shoot the shit out of each other now? It’s like the Texas of Central America! Ye-haw!

  13. [re=213194]DustBowlBlues[/re]: Whatever. Fight on, Trojans!

    I just want tonight’s game to be over so we can get past the shit talking and see who actually shows up to play.

  14. This is not one of Nate’s better posts, unfortunately. Reinhart and Rogoff, in their awesome analysis of banking crises through the ages, found that (1) real per-capita GDP declines 9%; (2) unemployment rises seven percentage points, and (3) public debt increases 85% after a banking crisis. Oh, and homes lose 30% of their value. And equities decline by 55%.

    A real GDP decline of 10% is an outside chance, given these grim analogues.

  15. [re=213153]you cannot be serious[/re]: I still can’t figure out how the Bushes had children when GHW Bush so obviously married a man.

    [re=213215]DustBowlBlues[/re]: Carnivale is one of my favoritest TV shows ever. I was spellbound watching it and brokenhearted when it was cancelled. HBO does some dumbass shit sometimes. Like cancelling John From Cincinnati. Assfuckers.

  16. I loved Carnivale until the last couple of shows when it got too far into the stratosphere. J from C was awesome just trying to figure out what was even going on!

  17. Fuck you Nate – I got a case of beer in the fridge, some beans in the cupboard, a couple of bottle to Tequila in the basement and I filled up my truck for only $25. I am going to ride this SOB out.

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