Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 1/21/15

The website was down for a day and a half, but is back up now.

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


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 .

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

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?

Click on the chart for a larger version.


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Economic Principals (David Warsh)

March 1, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1431352

Republican Party business interests and  centrists have rallied around Jeb Bush. Tea Party conservatives so far seem to prefer Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to the rest of the list of would-be contenders – Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, and Marco Rubio. The first state primary is still ...

February 22, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1426924

The confrontation with Russia is becoming more alarming. Kathrin Hille, reporting from Moscow for the Financial Times, describes how cellphone operators are offering free ringtones of patriotic war songs, intended to evoke the defense of Moscow in 1941.

The government-led drive, named Hurray for Victory! comes as Moscow enters the homestretch ...

February 15, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1422900

So German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande succeeded.   They traveled to Moscow and persuaded Vladimir Putin to pledge to pause and perhaps eventually end Russia’s military support for the Russian-speakers in the Ukrainian civil war – more than 5,000 dead and 1 million refugees so far.

So the ...

February 8, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1418595

Incredible as it seems, it was only a year ago that US relations with Russia began their serious slide downhill. The first sign of trouble that I noticed was the cover of The New Yorker for February 3, 2014, on the eve of the Sochi Olympics.  A figure-skating Vladimir ...

February 1, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1414147

Why is the race for the Republican presidential nomination shaping up the way it is?  On Friday Mitt Romney ended his bid to return to the lists after only three weeks. It’s clear why he got out:  the Republican Establishment that supported his candidacy in 2012 has switched to backing ...

January 25, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1409603

First-magnitude stars of the generation of economists who began their work in the 1970s include Paul Krugman, Paul Romer, Lawrence Summers, Jeffrey Sachs, and, a late bloomer, Ben Bernanke.

It was Romer, 59, of New York University, who made a little news earlier this month at the economists’ meetings in ...

January 18, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1406457

Economic Principals is suffering the ill-effects of a serious hack. Visitors to  have not been affected in any way except, perhaps, by noticing the addition of a Spanish language advertisement for soccer shirts to the site’s footer. The archive was not damaged.

Instead EP’s host server was compromised by ...

January 11, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1402514

President Barack Obama claims credit for the recent spate of good economic news.   Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says, “The uptick appears to coincide with the biggest political change of the Obama administration’s long tenure in Washington: the expectation of a new Republican Congress.” The argument illustrates an ...

January 4, 2015, 2:34 pm, 1398502

It is one of the great explications of economics of modern times:  Milton Friedman and The Pencil, a couple of minutes drawn from Free to Choose, the ten-part television series he made with his economist wife, Rose Director Friedman, broadcast and published in 1980.

Friedman comes alive as he enumerates ...

December 28, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1395670

The economists are meeting in Boston next week, and Economic Principals has been getting ready for them, chiefly reading Barry Eichengreen’s Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses – and Misuses – of History (Oxford, 2015).

It’s in the nature of this business that ...