You learn the strangest things from reading economic blogs. Did you know that higher beer taxes will make you lazier at the gym? It's true! Or that Zach Galifianakis is the comedic genius of my generation? He certainly is weird! Or that "Alan Greenspan is a fan of men's underwear sales as an important economic indicator?" Now that just might be the fact of the day.

What on earth does underwear have to do with prolonging the recession? Hardly anybody actually sees your underwear, so it's the first thing you stop buying in a recession. That creates a lot of pent-up demand, so when underwear sales level off and start to increase, you could be seeing the beginning of a serious uptick in consumer demand. Where are we now? MSN's Michael Brush writes:

After a 12-month, 12% decline through the end of January, men's underpants sales leveled off during February and March, according to NPD. That suggests the economic (sic) was stabilizing...

How about the ladies? Bra sales were up 4 percent in the first quarter of this year. But the author was tactful enough to point out that Greenspan "doesn't seem to look as closely at women's lingerie." Thanks for that, Michael.

Thanks to Greg Mankiw for the afternoon amusement.

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