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.


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William J. Polley

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

July 2, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1295112
I saw this a while back and am now catching up.  It's an article in the NY Times Magazine on "The Rise and Fall of GDP."  Definitely something to urge my students to read.

July 2, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1295113

July 2, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1295114
Daniel Gross (Slate) explains why we shouldn't worry about the size of the Fed's balance sheet.

The bottom line? The Fed wants to get the junk off its balance sheet and return to a situation in which it has about $1 trillion in assets, the lion's share of ...

July 2, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1295115

July 2, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1295111
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 ...

July 2, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1295110
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 ...

July 2, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1295107
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 ...

July 2, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1295108
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 ...

July 2, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1295109
...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.

July 2, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1295106
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, ...