Economics Roundtable

January 2014 Payroll Employment

We are getting closer to the previous peak.

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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William J. Polley

"Comments and observations on economics and whatever else catches my eye”

February 11, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1221573
A student sends me this link from the BEA discussing how much measured investment (and therefore GDP) would increase if R&D spending was counted as investment.

The only other place in the blogosphere where I see this linked is The Intangible Economy... which I think I had ...

February 11, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1221574
...and they don't even go to Ted Drewes', or Fitz's, or the Zoo (though they do mention Forest Park). Yet they still manage to pack in a lot of fun stuff.

Article here.

February 11, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1221575
Here's the statement:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April suggests that the economic recovery is proceeding and that the labor market is improving gradually. Household spending is increasing but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income ...

February 11, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1221576
Nice article in the NY Times on the switching cost of cell phones. Yes, economic theory really does work.

You would think that there were few barriers to switching cellphones. But the carriers try to make it harder to switch by locking customers into two-year contracts with high ...

February 11, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1221572
David Leonhardt examines our predicament in today's NY Times.

Finally, the idea that the world's rich countries need to cut spending and raise taxes has a lot of truth to it. The United States, Europe and Japan have all made promises they cannot afford. Eventually, something needs to ...

February 11, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1221571
Have you heard the Motel 6 radio commercial where Tom Bodett, the chain's long-time pitchman, tells you to visit all the state capitals this summer? He mentions Lincoln, NE; Austin, TX, and South Dakota's capital which he can't remember the name of until the end of the commercial. Of course, ...

February 11, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1221568
Your government at work again. Remember, they only want to protect you. That attorneys and CPAs should benefit from this at the expense of others is simply coincidence.

Yeah, right.

(Via Craig Newmark)

February 11, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1221569
NY Times obituary

I have a copy of his classic The Fractal Geometry of Nature, and I have his autograph from the 1990 Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus. His work was not universally accepted and still remains somewhat on the fringes. Yet it captured my imagination as ...

February 11, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1221570
Interesting question. The Wall Street Journal Real Time Economics blog looks to the FOMC members for clarity and finds precious little.

Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig continues to believe rates need to rise, which leaves him in opposition to the decision made just over a week ago ...

February 11, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1221567
It's been a while... far too long. Suffice to say that my day job has been keeping me very busy this year and has made blogging difficult. I want to rectify that, but it may be tough going for a while yet.

This, however, was enough to bring ...