Economics Roundtable

January 2014 Payroll Employment

We are getting closer to the previous peak.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


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 .


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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"Views on the Economy and the World”


March 16, 2014, 11:23 am, 1241279

         The ECB should further ease monetary policy.  Inflation at 0.8% across the eurozone is below the target of “close to 2%.”  Unemployment in most countries is still high and their economies weak.  Under current conditions it is hard for the periphery countries to bring their costs the rest ...


February 26, 2014, 11:23 pm, 1232089

Commentators are taking note of the five-year anniversary of the fiscal stimulus that President Obama enacted during his first month in office.   Those who don’t like Obama are still asking “if the  fiscal stimulus was so great, why didn’t it work?”    What is the appropriate response?

Those who think that the spending ...


February 21, 2014, 11:23 am, 1229063

My preceding blog post described how market-oriented mechanisms to address environmentally damaging emissions, particularly the cap-and-trade system for SO2 in the United States, have recently been overtaken by less efficient regulatory approaches such as renewables mandates.   One reason is that Republicans — who originally were supporters of cap-and-trade — turned ...


February 18, 2014, 5:23 pm, 1227270

Markets can fail.  But market mechanisms are often the best way for governments to address such failures.  This has been demonstrated in areas from air pollution to traffic congestion to spectrum allocation to cigarette consumption.    Markets for emission allowances - in which those firms that can cheaply cut pollution trade ...


February 11, 2014, 5:23 pm, 1222241

Japan’s consumption tax rate is scheduled to increase substantially in April (from 5% to 8%).  The motive is to address the long-term problem of very high debt.  (Takatoshi Ito has stated the case in favor of the tax increase.)  Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has apparently decided to go ahead with ...


February 11, 2014, 5:23 pm, 1222242

 
On July 27 negotiators reached a compromise settlement in the world’s largest anti-dumping dispute, regarding Chinese exports of solar panels to the European Union.   China agreed to constrain its exports to a minimum price and a maximum quantity.   The solution is restrictive relative to the six-year trend of rapidly ...


February 11, 2014, 5:23 pm, 1222240

October 4 is the first Friday of the month, the day when the Bureau of Labor Statistics routinely reports the jobs numbers for the preceding month.   Is the havoc created by our current political deadlock over fiscal policy showing up as job losses?   We have no way of knowing.  On ...


February 11, 2014, 5:23 pm, 1222237

      Now that Janet Yellen is to be Chair of the US Federal Reserve Board, attention has turned to the candidate to succeed her as Vice Chair.  Stanley Fischer would be the perfect choice.   He has an ideal combination of all the desirable qualities, unique in the literal sense that ...


February 11, 2014, 5:23 pm, 1222238

 

      Most people know that the general trend in the dollar’s role as an international currency has been slowly downward since 1976.   International use of the dollar as a currency in which to hold foreign exchange reserves, to denominate financial transactions, to invoice trade, and ...


February 11, 2014, 5:23 pm, 1222239

     On October 14, the Mo Ibrahim Prize Committee announced, for the second year in a row, that it had not found anyone to whom to award its Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.

The Prize is given to a recently-retired Executive Head of State or Government in Africa who ...