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Finance, Travel

Next We’ll Be Streaming The Big Mac Index

Talk about fast news cycles.

It’s the Economist’s Big Mac Index for 2010 … again!

In a sign of these unusually uncertain times The Economist has speeded up their news cycle, and in the process seems to be taking themselves and their index more seriously. Used to be we’d get annual updates to the index, this one has taken only six months.

I’m guessing that somewhere in the depths of the newsroom is an aspiring summer intern taking a run at the IMF and the ECB. And why not.

Just to review, The Economist has been publishing their (not so tongue-in-cheek) Big Mac Index since 1986. It’s a reality check on world-wide currency exchange rates, based on the concept of Purchasing-Power Parity. Purchasing-Power Parity (PPP) says that exchange rates are correct when the price of similar goods are the same in each country. The Big Mac survey compares the price of a Big Mac all over the world. The Big Mac is, after all, a basket of standard ingredients put together in a consistent process.

Coming Soon, A Ringtone Quoting Exchange Rates

And while I have a hard time getting excited about this morning’s price of a Big Mac in Krakow, the fact that Lisbeth Salandar would have to fork over SKr 48.4 in Stockholm if she wanted to treat Mikael Blomqvist might raise my blood pressure a few millibars.

When the world gets even more unusually uncertain we can probably expect the BMI to go live stream, with possibly a Twitter Feed and an iPhone app.

Hold the ketchup.

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