Mark McHugh

Homework Assignment

In Open Thread on Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Barry Ritholtz challenged readers to redesign an accurate graphical representation of some data here.  The idea was to show how certain financials market caps have shrunk.  The author of the original chart seems to have used circle radii to construct the graphic.  The trouble is, you would want the area of the circles to be the comparison visual, not the radius.  You could take the raw data divide by 3.14 (pi), then take square root.  That would give you the correct radius size to use for comparison.  If you can construct such circle charts in Excel, I don’t know how (I run an old version because I’m cheap as hell).

I would think you would need an engineering program, like AutoCAD to create the circles.  You could also do it in a Google Sketch-up (free), but that’s a full pot of coffee assignment.

So here’s what I came up with using the author’s data:

jpmdata1Basic side by side.

I thought a more powerful presentation would be to show the losses, in Billions of dollars and percentage of Market Cap.  Which looks like this:

jpmdata2Using the secondary scale, I could not get the data to display side by side (hopefully this has been corrected in more recent versions of excel), so I had to use the overlay style you see here.

Hope you like it (tough shit if you don’t).

  1. Would you tell me so I understand better .. why is Citigroup the only bank inside of its own numbers?

  2. Sorry for the delay Greg (spam filter). To answer your question, it was the way I set the scale on the chart. I like to set them to use as much of the space as possible. Citi’s turned out that way because of the enormity of it’s market cap loss. Had the left hand scale been set to say 300, rather than 250 it would have protruded past the wide red bar (market cap loss). I chose not to have it display this way because the 250-300 range would have been empty.

    Thanks

  3. NICE WORK. Title: The Bigger They Are…

    http://gdpwealth.wordpress.com

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