Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

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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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"Economic analysis of current issues, every Friday.” Francisco M. Torralba.

July 23, 2014, 2:38 pm, 1303824
Quite a few things to note and ponder in this chartbook on the causes of death, from the always-appealing Bloomberg Visual Data. "How Americans die":

July 14, 2014, 3:23 pm, 1300828
Are low interest rates the new norm?

In a 2012 TV commercial for a U.S. bank, a stage curtain goes up to reveal Tom Sargent, Nobel laureate in economics. A voice asks: “Professor Sargent, can you tell me ...

July 7, 2014, 1:23 pm, 1297577
Gavyn Davies writes an excellent summary of the debate between the"mainstream-central bank-Keynesian" view of the economy and the "alternative-BIS-Wicksellian" view. (It's on the blog section of the Financial Times, but I'm not sure if it's gated.)

Davies juxtaposes a recent speech by Yellen to the ...

July 2, 2014, 11:23 pm, 1295723
Here's a couple of paragraphs from John's essay, to which he  links on his blog:

This line of analysis is obviously aimed at the long run. Thinking through how a freer and more
competitive health care and insurance market can work, and how most of the regulatory ...

July 2, 2014, 11:23 pm, 1295722
1. Forward interest rates and monetary tightening, by Jim Hamilton at Econbrowser. This is a nice refresher of forward interest rates, and an application of the Gurkaynak-Sack-Wright data set (xls).
2. A summary and critique of Summers' "great stagnation" hypothesis, by Stephen King at the FT. ...

July 2, 2014, 11:23 pm, 1295724
1. A scorching critique of the Fed's unconventional policies--by the president of the Philadelphia Fed. If you don't have time for the whole thing, read John Cochrane's excerpts and commentary.

2. À propos of unconventional monetary policy: how loose are monetary conditions anyway? Back in the day when ...

July 2, 2014, 11:23 pm, 1295720
1. Corruption perceptions. The 2013 results are in. Changes from 2012:

Biggest deterioration*: Syria, Spain, Gambia, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Yemen, Mauritius and Eritrea.

Biggest improvement*: Myanmar, Laos, Senegal, and Brunei.

*I list countries with an absolute change of the corruption score of at least five points, ...

July 2, 2014, 11:23 pm, 1295721
The concept of universal basic income (a.k.a. guaranteed minimum income) got a bit of traction in the media when the Swiss proposed in October to put it to referendum. The idea is to give a check every month to every adult citizen, regardless of age, income, wealth, job status, ...

July 2, 2014, 11:23 pm, 1295719

This is by Gavyn Davies at the Financial Times. In his article, Davies ponders whether the bull market can last another year.

I am a little alarmed by this:

July 2, 2014, 11:23 pm, 1295714
1. Housing bubble department: Switzerland, Australia.

2. Deflation, the zero-lower-bound, and multiple inflation equilibria, eurozone edition (this is a straight application of James Bullard's earlier paper, which in turn is an application of a paper by Benhabib, Schmitt-GrohĂ©, and Uribe). Hat tip to Gavyn Davies, at ...