Business

Latest moneymaker? Sell your kidney on Google

Media IndustrySupplemental Nutrition Assistance ProgramAmazon KindleAuction Service

This is how bad things may be getting for some financially strapped people: They’re offering to auction off their kidneys on the Internet.

Type “I want to sell…” into a Google search query, and “kidney” recently made it into the top-four “autofill” list. Those are the automatic suggestions that the search engine offers as you begin typing.

This factoid comes courtesy of Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx Group in New York.

“I suspect that the highest number of kidneys sold by any one person will always be limited to ‘One,’” Colas wrote.

He included the Google searches in a quarterly report on obscure economic indicators, such as the number of people getting food stamps (rising), the number of people quitting their jobs voluntarily (rising) and the number of people buying guns (surging).

“Kidney” was not among the top four on Wednesday. However, it came up first when the letter “k” was added. It ranked just above the “Kindle,” suggesting people are either generally satisfied with their Amazon bookreaders or anxious to monetize their body parts.

By the way, for the search “I want to buy,” Facebook stock was among the top autofills during the most recent quarter, according to Colas. Perhaps that was before the company’s much-hyped initial public offering fell flat?

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Follow Walter Hamilton on Twitter @hamilton_walt

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