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 .

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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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EconBrowser (James Hamilton)

"Analysis of current economic conditions and policy”

September 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1335950

That’s a title from a oped by former GW Bush speechwriter and current AEI scholar Marc Thiessen nearly a year ago. We can now evaluate whether in fact the implementation of individual insurance mandate component of the ACA did implode. From “New Data Show Early Progress in Expanding ...

September 16, 2014, 1:03 am, 1335486

Bruce Bartlett brought my attention to this article, which Mark Thoma mused was “The Stupidest Article Ever Written”. From The Inflation Debt Scam, by Paul Craig Roberts, Dave Kranzler and John Williams:

To understand how risky the rise of debt is, nominal debt must be compared to real ...

September 14, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1334768

A growing number of observers are starting to conclude that we’re never going to see the rebound in growth rates that many people had anticipated as the U.S. recovers from the Great Recession. Here I comment on a new paper in which Northwestern Professor Robert Gordon explains the ...

September 12, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1334243

How much can an independent Scotland rely upon?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has just released its 2014 International Energy Outlook.

Figure 1: Norway and offshore UK Oil production in millions of barrels (black), North Sea oil production, actual through ...

September 11, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1333606

As Ronald Reagan once said (although he did mean to say “stubborn”)

Regarding the implications of optimal currency area theory and Scottish independence, Reader Patrick Sullivan continues his reign of error, trying to argue that Canada did just fine, just like a bank crisis-free Scotland in a currency union ...

September 9, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1332214

A rapid collapse in the Wisconsin fiscal prospects (but pretty predictable, as long as one doesn’t believe in supply side miracles).

Three weeks ago, I documented the deterioration in Wisconsin budget prospects. Since then, the fiscal hemorrhaging has continued.

September 9, 2014, 11:03 am, 1331804

Ronald MacDonald (Glasgow) concludes that a currency union will not work for Scotland. From The Guardian:

One of the world’s top economists has warned that an independent Scotland’s economy would crash within seven years if it tried to use sterling.

Professor Ronald MacDonald, a currency expert who advises the ...

September 8, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1331485

Newcomers to macro often encounter problems in interpreting and using data. The first is how to report growth rates, particularly when trying to assess the current state of the economy. The second is how to read data reported at annual vs. quarterly vs. monthly rates. The third is accounting for ...

September 7, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1330735

Last week I commented on a puzzling phenomenon in bond markets this year– long-term rates have been falling at the same time that nearer-term rates have been rising. Bruegel has a review of some of the discussion of this around the web.

September 5, 2014, 1:03 am, 1329636

From Simon Kennedy in “Draghi Sees Almost $1 Trillion Stimulus With No QE Fight” (Bloomberg):

Mario Draghi signaled at least 700 billion euros ($906 billion) of fresh aid for his moribund economy and left a fight with Germany over sovereign-bond purchases for another day.

Draghi gave few details on the ...