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 .

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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Macro and Other Market Musings

David Beckworth.

October 9, 2015, 3:23 pm, 1555983
Ben Bernanke's memoir is now out and is unapologetically pro-Fed. It is titled "The Courage to Act" Here is the cover quote:

The main point of Bernanke's book ...

September 30, 2015, 1:23 pm, 1551341
So it appears the Bank of Japan (BoJ) had already doubled down on Abenomics before the prime minister announced a new NGDP level target. In late 2014, the BoJ said it would increase the growth of the monetary base and by implication the number of assets it ...

September 28, 2015, 3:23 pm, 1550270
So Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to adopt a NGDP level target:

Formally re-elected head of the ruling party, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday he has set out three new goals for “Abenomics” and will target a 20 percent increase in gross ...

September 22, 2015, 9:23 am, 1547449
The Cato Institute for Monetary and Financial Alternatives asked me to write a brief response to the last FOMC decision. It is now up at the Alt-M blog. Here is an excerpt:

Just a few months ago the FOMC was signaling it would almost certainly raise ...

September 4, 2015, 1:23 pm, 1539449
Over the past six years the Fed's preferred measure of the price level, the core PCE, has averaged 1.5 percent growth. That is well below the Fed's explicit target of 2 percent inflation. Why this consistent shortfall?
Some Fed officials are asking themselves this ...

August 27, 2015, 7:23 am, 1534948
First, peg the Chinese yuan to another currency that has been rapidly appreciating over the past year...

...this will choke ...

August 14, 2015, 9:23 pm, 1528921
Ramesh Ponnuru has a new article titled Fallible Fed Needs a Few Good Rules. Here is an excerpt:

Some Republicans think that Congress should supply a framework for the Fed, making it more rule-bound. One much-discussed approach would have the Fed follow the “Taylor rule” ...

August 14, 2015, 7:23 pm, 1528883
One of the more popular tales of 'expansionary austerity' was Canada in the mid-to-late 1990s. During this time Canada slashed government spending and brought down its debt-to-GDP ratio. Despite this fiscal stringency, the economy grew steadily and the unemployment rate fell. How was this possible?

August 11, 2015, 7:23 am, 1526325
So Chinadevalued its currency peg almost 2% against the dollar. It happened just as I was wrapping up a twitter debate on this very possibility, a very surreal experience. Many more twitter discussions erupted after the ...

August 7, 2015, 9:23 pm, 1524380

China's economy has been slowing down for the past few years and many observers areworried. The conventional wisdom for why this is happening is that China's demographic problems, ...