Economics Roundtable

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.

The Classic Economic Models cover micro, macro, and financial markets.

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Economic Principals (David Warsh)

August 30, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1536403

The prophet Elijah’s most famous forecast (I Kings 18:44) – the sudden storm, deduced from inconspicuous change, that ended a three-year drought – became a cliché in business journalism in the 1970s, as one industry after another was overtaken by rapid change that it hadn’t anticipated. There were no ...

August 23, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1532901

Terry Vaughn, a distinguished and widely-admired economics editor, died unexpectedly earlier this month in Princeton, N.J., of a stroke.  He was 68.

Peter Dougherty, director of Princeton University Press, prepared a summary of his friend’s publishing career:

Terry began… in 1971 as a sales representative for the then-college department at Oxford University ...

August 16, 2015, 10:34 pm, 1529328

The rivalry between Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman continued to the 1970s, but it shifted to new ground – to developments in the rapidly-expanding field of finance.   Samuelson was an active contributor, both with the research he described as his “Sunday painting,” and as a market participant. Friedman was more ...

August 9, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1525306

Before continuing, let me take a moment to remind EP readers of why this serial assumed the form it has – a form that may at times have seemed wayward.

My aim all along has been to explain what MIT-trained Ben Bernanke meant when he said in 2002, “You were right, ...

August 2, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1520566

Two volumes of Paul Samuelson’s Collected Scientific Papers appeared in 1966, 129 articles, 1,831 pages, published by the MIT Press. Samuelson was only fifty-one. To some it might have seemed premature, but then some part of the point must have been shock and awe: to demonstrate how far economists had ...

July 26, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1515908

It is not often that a book’s reception warrants front-page coverage in The New York Times, but this one did, in October 1946, some eighteen months after Oskar Morgenstern joined with John von Neumann to publish Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. The new approach, explained reporter Will Lissner, “has ...

July 19, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1511806

Having begun the laborious search for a new publisher, EP needed to attend to some housekeeping details before continuing its summer serial.

The next episode,  “An Altogether Different Angle,” will appear next week.

To those following the series closely, apologies for the delay.

To those discomfited  by the occasional 9,500 word column, not ...

July 12, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1507688

When Keynes died, in April 1946, The Times of London gave him the best farewell since Nelson after Trafalgar: “To find an economist of comparable influence one would have to go back to Adam Smith.” A few years later, Alvin Hansen, of Harvard University, Keynes’ leading disciple in the United ...

July 5, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1503883

Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, was “one of those days after which almost everything is different.” That’s how John Kenneth Galbraith described the Great Crash thirty years after the fact – a day of pandemonium on the New York Stock Exchange after a week of declines, the unmistakable end of ...

June 28, 2015, 8:34 pm, 1498294

(This is a re-worked section I cut from the bottom of the introductory episode of this fifteen-part serial, on May 17,  at a time when I was more worried about the length of installments than I am now. See if it helps make sense of what you have already ...