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©2010 by Richard Nolle

WOW! Median House Price in GoldAPR 26, 2010 - Chart of the Day is proof that even a free picture can be worth a thousand words. This one really is free: enter your email address, and you'll get one free chart per week. (Getting the daily chart will cost you some money - only the weekly one is free.) What kind of charts? Charts that reveal the markets, the economy . . . like the one that shows how, in inflation-adjusted dollars, the Dow is still 40 percent below its 2007 peak . . . or how, if priced in gold, the median single-family home is currently down 75 percent from its 2001 peak. In short, these are the kind of pictures that break through the fog of words belched out by the chattering class, the pundits whose mission it is to reassure us that all is well, that the bosses are in control and things are getting better.

I realize that lots of people will feel as though their eyes are glazing over at the mere mention of charts and graphs and matters economic. There's a reason economics is called "the dismal science," in the words of the Victorian historian Thomas Carlyle. But if you set aside the theorems, the statistics and the fact that our very lives hang in the balance of market forces that act whether we're aware of them for not, it might just make a little bit of sense to see what's going on in the economic environment in which we live and move and have our being . . . with any luck at all, before it's too late. Economics is a social science, and so the only way to escape its grip is to be a hermit of one kind or another. Unless you're comfortably hermetic, Chart of the Day will at least open your eyes to what's ahead - something you might like to know about while it's still possible to do something about it.

Maybe it's better not to know. Maybe the cattle are better off not seeing what's just around the bend in the stockyard. Maybe the lemmings behind the front row keep going because they can't see what those in the front row see - and those in the front row can't turn back because of the onrushing mob behind them. (Thanks, Dave, for pointing this one out to me!)

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