Business, Economics and Jobs

So how stressed is the financial system?


Madeline Wilson from the National Gallery of Victoria mimics the scream from Edvard Munch's famous hand-coloured lithograph version of 'The Scream.'


William West

As everyone knows, there's been plenty of stress in the financial system since 2008 and the global financial and economic crisis.

But thanks to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (hooray for freshwater economists!) we've now got a graph to prove it.

The dependable bank has put together something called the Cleveland Financial Stress Index, which constantly monitors stress levels in an easy-to-digest graphic format.

Here's a screen grab of the latest financial stress check-up, which the bank currently describes as "moderate." 

The index measures stuff like the credit and equity markets, as well as foreign exchange and interbank lending rates. 

Here's how the Wall Street Journal's excellent Real Time Economics blog described it:

The index’s arrival comes as part of a broad reappraisal of the importance of financial conditions to overall economic health. In the wake of the market meltdown of 2008 and subsequent massive government response and huge economic disruptions, analysts inside and outside of government have come to realize how important finance is to the overall economic vigor.

So relax. If you can.