Economics Roundtable

NOTICE 4/30/18

The Economics Roundtable is back. The technical problem that has limited the set of blogs has been resolved. The RSS feed is, however, still not working.

Flushing caches will likely cause some old posts to show up for a day or two.


Employment as a Percentage of Population

The graph below shows employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old.


Click on the image to get a bigger version.


March 2017 Payroll Employment

Payroll employment has not grown impressively since 2000. Some baby-boomers retired, but that does not totally account for this graph.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


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.


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.


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Capital Chronicle


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848158
An earlier entry pointed out how many sub-strategies there are under the title ‘long/short’. Take one step back and consider this table from the 2016 Preqin Global Hedge Fund Report (click for larger version):



April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848159
Long/short – what could go wrong? Hedged positions, protection etc etc etc. And yet there are headlines like this one:

Here’s Why Long / Short Hedge Funds Are Getting Hammered

One of the problematic aspects of such an approach is that “long/short” is a hard category ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848160

It frequently is to those in the hole. Or as Professor Thaler of The Big Short fame says:

“Just buying cheap stocks doesn’t do you any good unless they get less cheap soon”


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848161


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848157
Most if not all advertising by financial services businesses is aspirational rather than functional. That is, the quality of the product is secondary to what it can do for your image and lifestyle.

Usually the spots ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848156
Keeping in similar vein to a number of the previous entries about the mysteries of defining, selecting and tracking hedge fund strategies here is a 2015 paper by Swiss wealth manager Pictet titled “Hedge fund indices: how representative are they?

Amongst its gems covering the biases ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848153

“It is usually agreed that casinos should, in the public interest, be inaccessible and expensive. And perhaps the same is true of Stock Exchanges. That ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848154
It is sometimes easy to treat economic policy in the abstract and overlook its human cost. Or make claims involving the Greater Good. Such claims always merit close scrutiny. This Bloomberg piece by Narayana ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848155
If tomorrow there was a sand shortage in the Sahara it would befuddle many. A close second is how after many years of expensive oil prices Venezulea (highest proven reserves in the world) is now asking the ladies to stop using hairdryers so that the country can negotiate ...


April 30, 2018, 8:04 pm, 1848152

Now Capitalized PrudentlyA decade ago this entry chronicling the incredible chase for the UK’s NCP Group’s car ...