Chart of the Day: September Best Month to Put Your Money Under a Mattress

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UPDATE: It turns out there’s nothing to this after all. Joshua Hedlund has the whole story here.


Here’s the weirdest chart you’re likely to come across today. It comes from a paper by Luc Laeven and Fabián Valencia and shows the starting month of all modern banking crises (i.e., those after 1970). By a huge margin, banking crises mostly start in the second half of the year, and the overwhelmingly most dangerous month is September.

Greg Ip tentatively suggests this might have something to do with the fact that October 30th marks the fiscal year-end for American mutual funds, but he’s not really convinced, and I don’t think I am either. Perhaps we could get a better answer if we grouped crises not by month, but by astrological sign. Are all those September crises in Virgo or Libra? Inquiring minds want to know.

UPDATE: I suppose there are lots of other things that show a similar pattern and thus might be related, but a reader sends along this one, which is sort of interesting. Maybe it’s all about the oil!

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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