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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The Baseline Scenario

"What happened to the global economy and what we can do about it?”


April 16, 2014, 8:35 am, 1256272

By James Kwak

I still have Nate Silver in my Twitter feed, and I used to be a pretty avid basketball fan, so when I saw this I had to click through:

Just how bad were the @DetroitPistons‘ Bad Boys? http://t.co/q7A05JunDn#Detroitpic.twitter.com/SOOk
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— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) April 15, ...


April 15, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1255975

By James Kwak

The Wall Street Journal reports that the SEC will soon decide (well, sometime this year) whether brokers should be subject to a fiduciary standard in their dealings with clients, as registered financial advisers are today. At present, brokers only need to show that investments they recognize ...


April 11, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1254482

By James Kwak

I was reading the plea deal in the SAC case, which was approved by the judge yesterday, and then I started reading the criminal indictment filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. What I noticed was how relatively simple it was for the prosecutors to convict SAC ...


April 9, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1253136

By James Kwak

No, I’m not talking about the fact that a major bank is named Fifth Third Bank. (As a friend said, why would you trust your money to a bank that seems not to understand fractions?) I’m talking about Fifth Third Bancorp. v. Dudenhoeffer, which was heard by ...


April 8, 2014, 2:36 pm, 1252495

By James Kwak

A while back I wrote a post critical of a Planet Money/This American Life episode on disability insurance. Among other things, I thought that the episode made too much of the fact that the number of people on federal disability insurance (SSDI or SSI) has gone up since ...


April 5, 2014, 2:35 am, 1251197

By Simon Johnson

No doubt there is still a lot of shouting to come, but this week a team at the International Monetary Fund completely nailed the issue of whether large global banks receive an implicit subsidy courtesy of the American government.   Is there a subsidy, is it large, and how ...


April 4, 2014, 12:36 pm, 1250933

By James Kwak

One of the criticism’s of Michael Lewis’s book is that he gets his moral wrong. High-frequency trading doesn’t hurt the little guy, as Lewis claims; instead, it hurts the big guy. The explanation is this: people sitting at their desks buying 100 shares of Apple are getting the ...


April 4, 2014, 12:36 pm, 1250932

By James Kwak

I accidentally glanced at the link to David Brooks’s recent column and—oh my god, is it stupid. You may want to stop reading right here to avoid being exposed to it.

Basically, Brooks says that the Supreme Court’s decision in McCutcheon is pro-democratic because it strengthens political parties ...


April 1, 2014, 2:35 am, 1248870

By Simon Johnson

Just a few short days ago, it looked like Citigroup was on the ropes. The company’s proposal for redistributing capital back to shareholders was rejected by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Given the global bank’s repeated fiascos – including most recently the theft ...


March 31, 2014, 2:36 pm, 1248604

By James Kwak

I recently finished reading Pound Foolish, by Helaine Olen, which I discussed earlier (while one-third of the way through). The book is a condemnation of just almost every form of personal financial advice out there, from the personal finance gurus (Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey) to the variable annuity salespeople to ...