Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

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Jobs

The best summary of the state of our economy is the graph (below) of employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old. The decrease is large, but the most troubling feature of the graph is the flat trend .


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Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

Donald Marron likes European interest rates. Click on the image to get a bigger version. Can you find three distinct subperiods?

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.


Remember M1?

Money Supply M1 growth is now over 20% per year over a 12 month lag. M1 growth has touched 20% before, but not with excess reserves of $1.6 trillion. Where is M1 headed?


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Stumbling and Mumbling

"An extremist, not a fanatic”


September 29, 2014, 8:35 am, 1342849

Here's a glorious example of the media's bubblethink: the Guardian's political reporters describe Osborne's stewardship of the economy as the Tories "strongest card."

Let's just remind ourselves of the facts. Back in June 2010 the OBR forecast (pdf) that real GDP ...


September 27, 2014, 6:35 am, 1342215

In the Times, Danny Finkelstein expresses disquiet about Operation Yewtree:

"My word against some bloke after more than 20 years is good enough for you?" [Liz Kershaw] asked. The police wouldn't need other evidence to charge?
"Well" replied the officer. "If it was just one girl obviously ...


September 26, 2014, 10:35 am, 1341763

In the Times, Phillip Collins says:

Mr Miliband...would rather forget about the deficit and talk about something else. Alas, this is not a viable choice because reality keeps forcing its way in.

Whoa there. Who's reality? It not the reality of the markets, where real gilt yields are ...


September 25, 2014, 10:35 am, 1341151

Some of the opposition to Labour's proposed mansion tax seems to me to be confusing bugs with features.

For example, in the Times (£) Janice Turner claims the tax will hit "shabby family houses" which have soared in price because of the property explosion. But this is ...


September 24, 2014, 10:35 am, 1340456

Despite his denials, I suspect that Ed Miliband "forgot" to mention the deficit in his speech yesterday for the same reason schoolboys forget their homework - because they don't care about it.

If I'm right, he has an excellent antecedent. Back in 1933, Maynard Keynes ...


September 23, 2014, 8:35 am, 1339702

Dear political journalists.

Your job is to criticize Ed Miliband. Of course, this might be because he's doing a bad job. But it's also because you are well-paid and privately educated, and so naturally unsympathetic to most Labour leaders. You will, therefore, want to oppose him ...


September 22, 2014, 10:35 am, 1339104

At the end of an interview with Ed Balls this morning, Sarah Monague (02h 22m in) gave us a wonderful example of the ideological presumptions of supposedly neutral BBC reporting. She asked Nick Robinson: "It's about economic credibility here, isn't it?"

What's going on here ...


September 21, 2014, 8:35 am, 1338644

Is capitalism compatible with decent living standards for the worst off*? This old Marxian question is outside the Overton window, but it's the one raised by Ed Miliband's promise to raise the minimum wage to £8 by 2020.

First, the maths. This implies a rise ...


September 20, 2014, 8:35 am, 1338393

Simon Wren Lewis reminds me of Moe Szyslak.

No, I'm not trying for an improbable libel action. I'm referring to his call for a fiscal council. He says:

Politicians will believe anything that suits them. But what the independence referendum showed us is that voters ...


September 19, 2014, 10:35 am, 1337925

I have often accused rightists of making a "small truths, big error" rhetorical trick - of using a small truth to disguise a big mistake. I fear, though, that this post by Richard Murphy shows that the left can do the same thing.