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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Sybil’s Star (Katy Delay)

"Proving that economics and sense of humor are not mutually exclusive”


August 5, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1312279
The penny has officially become worthless.† I finally had to admit this the other day when I found a pile of them in a parking lot, just as if they had been smelly old cigarette butts dumped out of a car ashtray by someone in a hurry.

A few ...


August 5, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1312278
I'm sitting behind my computer with an amazing view out my window. Europe (for me, France in particular) is beautiful this time of year.


August 5, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1312277
Price inflation seems to be right around the corner, if it isn't already here, which means that the Federal Reserve may soon have to put their QE genie back in its bottle. †At least that's my hope, for the sake of our children's future.


July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295953
If you'd like to see just how ridiculous politics can get, please take a look at these:

First, is the list of 23 "executive actions" [by the way, what are these?] Obama has just put in place to solve the gun problem. These are all for prime ...


July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295952
In spite of the hesitant Consumer Confidence Index, the New Year is bringing us improved animal spirits. The various stock indices are reaching record levels. Is it time to plunge back into ordinary investments, as the retail sector seems to be doing? Should we dust off the Modern Portfolio Theory ...


July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295936
Danny Vinik, publishing in Business Insider, discusses the pros and cons of extending unemployment benefits, but in spite of a good presentation of the issue, he draws the wrong conclusion.


July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295935
Publicly funded benefits such as welfare, food stamps, and other kinds of nationalized kindness are sometimes self-defeating. Would parents accept in their house and finance indefinitely the needs of an able-bodied grown person, plus his or her partner and their child, without expectation of a helping hand? Probably not. So ...


July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295933
I always read John Mauldin's weekly newsletter, and in one was a quoted passage that made me gasp in disbelief:

"In the economic sphere an act, a habit, an institution, a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. ...


July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295932
This weekend's Wall Street Journal published an article by Taos Turner on price inflation in Argentina. What I take away is that the country is in a state of internal warfare.

The Pertinent Fact:

According to the article, Argentina's public is now confronted with 30 percent annual ...


July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295934
The Keynesians are saying that price inflation is not a problem and probably won't arrive. The Austrians and others are saying that price inflation must come at some point, given all the monetary stimulus introduced by the Fed. But could they both be wrong?

I hypothesize that price inflation ...