The Nastiness Index

Reading about the latest back and forth and then back again rounds between not that conservative Republicans, conservative Republicans, liberal Democrats, not so liberal Democrats makes you wonder if there is some way of quantifying the daily dose of political news. If we can quantify the level of terror threat in color coding, can we create a blue and red nastiness index for quantifying the political debates in a country.

The Nastiness Index can be used to decribe political equilibrium in a country. eg in USA if the Index shows high blue , and less red it means the Democrats are pummeling the Republicans. If the Index shows low blue and low red, it means all is quiet. If it shows high red, and low blue , it means the opposition is down and the administration is up.Stock markets can use this index to quantify the level of political activity, inactivity and stability of elected governments.

If the nastiness index shows high blue and high red, it means its election time folks.

Recession in 2008

2 cents /rupees on the economic slow-uh-down in the US (economy is resilient ,tax cuts ,blah blah!)

1) Recessions -especially recessions that are anticipated and planned for always look worst at the beginning.

2) While some can cut spending the usual way for Govts is supply side (fed  rate cuts) for more money  , and demand side(Keynes) stimulus spending

3) Political costs is always a key policy decider in economic slow downs. We may see more bi partisan ship as parties work together for welfare projects in an election year

4) Costs of War are likely to come down in 2008, Health Care will be reformed (pre or post) election, and Microsoft-yahoo consolidation deals are what makes slowdown exciting for tech people especially in Web 2.0 analytics

5) Credit costs will come down , and foreclosures  on mortgages cannot increase beyond a political threshold. Expect more respect to risk analytics from now on in financial services .Job layoffs could lead to more rather than less consultants.

6) The last slowdown was due to tech meltdown and an economic disruptive event/tragedy. This one is cyclical and will be less severe.

7) Expect some slowdown in outsourcing (I am India based 😦 )  and China based exports due to a) dollar depreciation and
inflation catching up in Asia c) 2008 Political sensitivities

8) Windows Vista may continue to slow your computer  down. Google phone software may be new innovator on your mobile. Expect more mashable technologies (from SAS ??) . Stand alone platforms will have to mash with others ,and that too online and faster.Consultants may have to learn more than one platform .eg. PMML ,R ???

9) We will have more interesting 2008 than 2007. That’s the economist in me speaking. As Alan Greenspan wrote we will live in the age of turbulence.

10) Expect more environmental analytics related work opening up in some time.

Sites for country analysis Data

Please note these websites will have their own citation /quotation/copyright  policy. This is in addition to the seperate list created on qualitative data (see archives) –

1) Eurostat’s web site (at for data on European Union Member States

2)International Monetary Fund’s website.

3) EarthTrends

  • 4) Nation Master

    5) France

    6) CIA World Fact Book

    7) World Bank (Covered earlier in achives of

    8) UN Stats

    9) BBC


    11) OECD – Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

    Please do let us know of feedback

    World Development Indicators

    The World Bank’s flagship collection of time series data is available for 75 $ and is updated for 2007. This is a very reasonable alternative for any data subscription as it is the most exhaustive and credible source of data.


    All the data , and all the countries !!

     World Bank data remains the most comprehensive source of independent data .

     It is recommended for all research related activities.

    I quote the Bank itself ”

    World Development Indicators (WDI) publication is the World Bank’s premier annual compilation of data about development. The 2007 WDI includes more than 900 indicators in over 80 tables organized in 6 sections: World View, People, Environment, Economy, States and Markets, and Global Links. How to Order


    Data are shown for 152 economies with populations of more than 1 million, as well as for Taiwan, China, in selected tables. Table 1.6 presents selected indicators for 56 other economies—small economies with populations between 30,000 and 1 million and smaller economies if they are members of the World Bank.”

    BBC Country Profiles


    BBC has a good collection of Country Profiles.

    Neatly Segmented with types of information ,

    quite useful for a top level summary level view on the

     country or as a starting point for a country analysis.

    It covers countries, territories and even some notable


    Copyright @ bbc. And access is free !!!

    Eg. India

    The World Bank (of Researchers)

    This is an extremely comprehensive site from the World Bank.

    It covers a lot of topics neatly segmented by countries.

    Lets say I clicked India.

    This gives the recent research on the country by the World Bank. It is quite comprehensive but good for a qualative feel of a country’s profile.

    Times Free Site for Global Business


    There is a new site by and in collabration with World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Initiative.

    The site is called

    and it has the following features –

    1) Graphical tools to view How a Country is , when it comes to doing business

    2) Google enable news for latest news

    3) Featured stories

    4) Weather news for travel

    The best point is that it is’s one page snapshot of the top 37 countries as measured by the most important competitive metrics- ease of doing business .

    And it is for free —-



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