Atlas Shrugged sales briefly top Audacity of Hope

From The Economist:

According to data from TitleZ, a firm that tracks bestseller rankings on Amazon, an online retailer, the bookâ??s 30-day average Amazon rank was 127 on February 21st, well above its average over the past two years of 542. On January 13th the bookâ??s ranking was 33, briefly besting President Barack Obamaâ??s popular tome, â??The Audacity of Hopeâ?.

Enough to give a guy some hope. The article continues:

Tellingly, the spikes in the novelâ??s sales coincide with the news (see chart). The first jump, in September 2007, followed dramatic interest-rate cuts by central banks, and the Bank of Englandâ??s bail-out of Northern Rock, a troubled mortgage lender. The October 2007 rise happened two days after the Bush Administration announced an initiative to coax banks to assist subprime borrowers. A year later, sales of the book rose after Americaâ??s Treasury said that it would use a big chunk of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Programme to buy stakes in nine large banks. Debate over Mr Obamaâ??s stimulus plan in January gave the book another lift. And sales leapt once again when the stimulus plan passed and Mr Obama announced a new mortgage-modification plan.

Whenever governments intervene in the market, in short, readers rush to buy Randâ??s book. Why? The reason is explained by the name of a recently formed group on Facebook, the worldâ??s biggest social-networking site: â??Read the news today? Itâ??s like â??Atlas Shruggedâ?? is happening in real lifeâ?. The group, and an expanding chorus of fretful bloggers, reckon that life is imitating art.

See the full article for more.