The chart below contains macroeconomic and financial data on the US economy from 1775 to 1943. The chart is from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Fraser Archives. I’ve run across this chart several times over the course of the past year and I find new and interesting trends each time I look at it. The only thing I find a bit annoying about the chart is its size: it is hard to look at such a wide image online as an embedded PNG. To solve this problem, I’ve uploaded the image to Zoom.it and posted the resulting zommable image here.
For me, the most striking part about this plot is the correlation between spikes in commodity prices and the start of wars. Most economics models of rare disasters focus on the stock and bond pricing implications of rare drops in GDP due to wars and depressions. However, this infographic shows that commodity prices for goods like energy, housing, oil and metals are the most dramatically impacted by these rare events.
Be sure to expand the image to full screen mode if you want a more detailed look.