EU vs. The US. The Numbers Have It!

A popular topic in the blogosphere, given new life after comments by Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman, is the relative success of the United States vs. the states that make up the European Union. The European Union is a loose confederation of 27 countries in Europe, ranging from Spain to Estonia. Krugman goes so far to suggest that "[y]ou should always bear in mind that when the question is which to believe — official economic statistics or your own lying eyes — the eyes have it."

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Massachusetts Senate Election at a Glance

Inspired by Ironman's Political Calculations post on Many Eyes and a visualization on that site, I decided to try to visualize the 2010 Senate election in Massachusetts. Using the tools at the site and data from the Boston Globe, I present four visualizations (by town): the voter turnout decrease in 2010 from the 2008 Presidential elections, the Republican margin of victory by town in 2008 and 2010, and the Republican vote swing from 2008 to 2010.

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Massachusetts Special Election Update

The results are counted, and it's an upset in Massachusetts. Republican Scott Brown because the first Republican elected in a Massachusetts Senate seat since 1972. He defeated the state Attorney General, Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, 52% to 47% (the remaining 1% went to Independent candidate Joseph Kennedy). A whopping 2,249,026 votes were cast out of a registered voter base of 4,220,488 for a very high (53.3%) special election turnout in the light snow.

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Carnivals and Links, Week of January 18

Carnivals and links for the week of January 18.

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How Times Have Changed: Women Outearning Men

An interesting byproduct of the drive for male-female income equality in the workplace: the increase in the proportion of married couples in which a female earns more than the man. Not only are females earning more, in many cases, but they also are better educated than their male counterparts. The Pew Research Center gives us this interesting report on the new dynamics of married couples.

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Quick Update: Massachusetts Senate Race

We're a week closer to a potential upset in the special Massachusetts senate race (scheduled for voting tomorrow). The last 4 polling companies that have weighed in (according to Real Clear Politics data) come in at +10, +5, +10 and +3 Brown, and were all conducted since 1/14. These polls generally estimate a larger than normal turnout for a special election; only two candidates are on the ballot and there aren't any initiatives to vote on. They also suggest slightly positive ratings for President Obama among likely voters, although potentially under 50 percent.

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Links for the Week of January 11

Posts I liked, for around the internet and from right here at DQYDJ!

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Should the FDIC Limit Bank Interest Rates?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is a federal company created to insure commercial banks in the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. Member banks pay a percentage of their deposits into the fund in exchange for the backing of the "full faith and credit" of the United States Government. Seemingly, this means that any bank failures which drive the fund to undercapitalization would trigger the backing of the United States general fund. It also means that when the trust fund is low, as it is now, the FDIC should make moves to ensure the banks it serves don't 'bankrupt' the trust! In that vein, new FDIC rules which started January 1st limit the amount of interest 'problem' banks can charge to 75 basic points above the national average rate (weighted by bank capitalization).

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Handicapping Scott Brown: How Abnormal Would a Republican Senate Win in Massachusetts Be?

From the twilight zone department: various polls put Scott Brown, Republican challenger for the special election for Ted Kennedy's former Senate seat in Massachusetts, within striking distance of the Democratic favorite, Martha Coakley. Public Policy Polling yesterday released a poll suggesting a statistical dead heat in the race, while Rasmussen released poll results on January 4th showing Coakley with a 50% - 41% edge. The Boston Globe, however, counters with a poll showing likely voters leaning 53% to 36% towards Coakley - more in line with historical results in Massachusetts.

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Market Timers Agree: Buy Stock

What should you make about the Mark Hulbert article claiming that top market timing newsletters are bullish heading into the new year? After a 27.76% increase in the value of the S&P 500 (not counting dividends) in 2009, how much further does the stock market yet have to run? And what does a bullish consensus among market timers mean, exactly?

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