Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 3/9/15

The website was down several hours today, 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.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

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Economic Principals (David Warsh)

May 3, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1466764


The news out of Baltimore suggests some interesting lessons about the possibilities for meliorism. That’s what Boston intellectuals called their belief in progress, in the days before the relevant part of metaphysics became known, first as liberalism, and, recently, as progressivism. Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, John Dewey and Martin ...

April 26, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1462074


The early stages of the presidential campaign are unfolding as expected.  Jeb Bush is irritating his party’s right wing by periodically praising President Obama. Otherwise he remains as elusive as possible, in view of the gantlet of Red State primaries he must run in order to receive the Republican nomination. ...

April 19, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1457946

Running into economic bloggers Mark Thoma, of the University of Oregon, and Tyler Cowen, of George Mason University, at the annual Conference on Macroeconomics at the National Bureau of Economic Research last week, I was forced to reflect on the way I keep track of developments that, ...

April 12, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1454090

What propelled Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics to the top of the heap? As Bloomberg Businessweek memorably illustrated in 2012, most of the leadership arrayed against the financial crisis was educated to the task at MIT, starting with Ben Bernanke, of the Federal Reserve Board; Mervyn King, of the ...

April 5, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1450847

When John Makin, an economist long associated with the American Enterprise Institute, died last week, reporter Nick Timiraos gave him a gallant send-off  in The Wall Street Journal: “Economist Who Elevated Think-Tank Discourse.”

Makin, 71, had long been a favorite source for serious journalists. A University of Chicago Ph.D., he ...

March 30, 2015, 12:34 am, 1447354

EP was traveling and reporting last week. He tackled a task too tricky for the time allotted to it when he returned home.

Back next week!

March 22, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1443430

The news seems uniformly awful.  US relations with Israel are at a historic low ebb after the elections there. Another ugly election is coming up in May, in the United Kingdom.  NATO is planning maneuvers in the Baltic nations and Romania and Bulgaria. The ceasefire in southeastern Ukraine depends ...

March 15, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1439641

As something of beat reporter, I have half a dozen good stories about economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in various stages of preparation. So what to make of a recent book, MIT and the Transformation of American Economics (Duke, 2014).

I love it, naturally. Not only does it ...

March 8, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1435680

I spent some hours last week browsing the newly-released transcripts of Federal Open Market Committee meetings in 2009.  Mostly I relied on the extraordinary “live tour” and subsequent coverage by The Wall Street Journal team. Five years is not too long to wait to see what Fed policymakers were ...

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 ...