Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

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Jobs

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?


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Mish’s Global Econ. Trend Analysis

"Thoughts on the great inflation/deflation/stagflation debate as well as discussions on commodities, currencies, interest rates, and policy decisions that affect the global markets.”


August 30, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1536396
In spite of the recent plunge on the Shanghai index, as recently as August 24, CALL options on the index were more expensive than PUT options.

This Bloomberg headline "If the Options Market Is Right, China's Stock Rescue Is Doomed" reads like something one would find in ...


August 29, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1536212
Still "Too Early"

After all the hemming and hawing by nearly every Fed governor, and despite the fact the Fed has to do something in just over two weeks, the Fed still does not know what to do.

Speaking in Jackson Hole Fed governor Stanley ...


August 28, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1536028
One of my constant themes over the past few years is the underfunding of state and local pension plans. Illinois is particularly bad, but let's look at some aggregate data.

The National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA) provides this grim-looking annual picture.

Annual Update


August 28, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1535849
Personal income for July rose as expected in today's Personal Income and Outlays report. Consumer spending rose nearly as expected, led of course by auto sales. Price pressure was nonexistent.

There's no hurry for a rate hike based on the July personal income and outlays report where ...


August 28, 2015, 3:33 am, 1535535
Economic Forecasts

Economist Steve Keen pinged me in response to my post Regional Manufacturing Expectations From Mars.

In that post, I compared Richmond Fed manufacturing survey expectations (six month look ahead projections made in February for August), to what actually happened in August.

In response, ...


August 27, 2015, 9:33 pm, 1535435
Disputes over GDP go on and on and on. MarketWatch reports By another measure, the U.S. economy was ho-hum in second quarter.

There are two ways to compute how well the economy is doing.

One is to tally all the goods and services produced during ...


August 27, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1535341
In the wake of a stronger than expected GDP report (see Second Quarter GDP Revised Up, as Expected, Led by Autos, Housing), some are questioning the stated growth.

For example, the Consumer Metrics Institute says "On the surface this report shows solid economic growth for ...


August 27, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1535193
Economists had been expecting today's second quarter GDP estimate to rise from initial readings, based largely on auto sales and housing, and they were correct.

"The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the 'advance' estimate issued last ...


August 27, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1535192
Unlike housing and auto sectors, economic regions dependent on oil activity remain severely stressed.

For example, the Kansas City Fed regional factory report came in today at -9, compared to an Economic Consensus of -4.

Factory activity in the Kansas City Fed's region remains in deep ...


August 27, 2015, 3:33 am, 1534860
Reason TV had an excellent interview with Jim Grant, editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer on the recent stock market turmoil. Grant says The Fed Turned the Stock Market Into a 'Hall of Mirrors'.

“Confoundingly to me, people have come to be quite accepting of the value ...