Economics Roundtable

NOTICE 4/30/18

The Economics Roundtable is back. The technical problem that has limited the set of blogs has been resolved. The RSS feed is, however, still not working.

Flushing caches will likely cause some old posts to show up for a day or two.


Employment as a Percentage of Population

The graph below shows employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old.


Click on the image to get a bigger version.


March 2017 Payroll Employment

Payroll employment has not grown impressively since 2000. Some baby-boomers retired, but that does not totally account for this graph.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


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.


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.


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Financial Crisis and Recession

"Economic analysis by Susan Woodward and Robrt Hall”


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1848946

 

While plant and equipment spending for the entire economy was down in the fourth quarter, it only fell by 4.4 percent from its level in the fourth quarter of 2007.  By contrast, venture capital investment was down by 31 percent.  In the fourth quarter of ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1848947

The House has passed HR1 and the Senate is working on a counterpart fiscal stimulus bill. We will discuss HR1 for the sake of specificity and in the belief that the final law will be fairly similar to HR1.

The table below shows the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates of the spending ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1848948

We had pointed out earlier that, despite all the downdrafts in the economy and a recession that started at the end of 2007, real plant and equipment spending was still on its normal growth path as of the third quarter of 2008. The first estimates for the fourth quarter show ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1848949

 

  Here are our recommendations. A discussion follows.

The GSEs should be preserved, mainly because they are the most effective institutions for providing liquidity to the mortgage market.  Most mortgage investors, including depositories, prefer ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1848945

The Fed has indicated that it plans to pursue a policy of quantitative easing, that is, expanding its portfolio by borrowing in financial markets at low rates and investing the proceeds in higher-yielding private investments. The Fed’s acquisition of large amounts of Fannie and Freddie’s debt was a notable success ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1848944

With the January figure, payroll employment has crossed the line of the worst previous recession, the one beginning in July 1981, rescaled to the size of today’s labor force. One more bad month and the current recession will become the worst on record, apart from the Great Depression.


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1848941

More and more one hears the concern that the Fed has embarked on an expansionary policy that will result in high inflation once the economy returns to normal. John Taylor, a leading expert in this area, put the argument as follows, in recent Congressional testimony:

… ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1848942

The March payroll employment data showed that the decline in employment from the peak in December 2007 is now larger in percentage terms than the decline in the worst recession since 1960, in 1981-82. The plot below shows, however, that the decline is small in comparison to the Depression. The ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1848943

Policymakers continue to struggle to figure out how to turn a troubled bank into a good bank and a bad bank. Under the good-bank/bad-bank policy, the good bank will operate free from concerns about troubled assets, because these assets will be held by the fully independent bad bank. Most discussions of the ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1848940

Washington is turning its attention to the future, having put out most of the financial fires. The crisis seems to be over, but questions remain about how to manage under-capitalized banks and, especially, how to design a financial system for the future that is more robust to adverse shocks. With ...