Economics Roundtable

Database Maintenance 7/4/15

Routine database maintenance will induce some duplicated items for the next day or two.


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.


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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Keith Hennessey

"Your guide to American economic policy”


July 5, 2015, 12:34 am, 1501979

MIT Economist Dr. Jonathan Gruber, widely cited as “the architect of ObamaCare,” recently committed a Kinsley gaffe, “when a politician tells the truth – some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.”

This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score ...


July 5, 2015, 12:34 am, 1501980

President Obama’s economic campaign message is odd. Here is what he’s saying at most campaign events.

“There’s almost no economic measure by which we’re not doing better than we were when I took office.”

“But people are still anxious. And they’re anxious for three reasons.”

Overseas uncertainty: ISIL + ebola + Russia/Ukraine; “Although the economy ...


July 5, 2015, 12:34 am, 1501981

Mr. Melvin Watt runs FHFA, the Federal Housing Finance Agency charged with regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Yesterday Mr. Watt said:

To increase access for creditworthy but lower-wealth borrowers, FHFA is also working with the Enterprises to develop sensible and responsible guidelines for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios between 95 and 97 ...


July 5, 2015, 12:34 am, 1501982

Imagine the Chinese government decides to help the people of Kenya. To do this the Chinese government buys 5,000 wheeled loaders and excavators from Liugong Machinery and gives them for free to the Kenyan government, Kenyan construction firms, and groups of Kenyan citizens who want to build roads and stuff.

(Real world ...


July 5, 2015, 12:34 am, 1501978

A few days ago I wrote about MIT’s Dr. Jonathan Gruber’s honesty about lying to enact ObamaCare. Today I want to focus on a different part of this quote, his reference to “the stupidity of the American voter.”

In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said ...


July 5, 2015, 12:34 am, 1501977

The new four year term of the Director of the Congressional Budget Office begins soon. Now that Republicans will have majorities in the House and Senate, this job is entirely their call. The President is not involved. Incoming House and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price and Jeff Sessions will make this ...


July 5, 2015, 12:34 am, 1501974

Blue line (President Obama’s Budget): Table S-1 of the President’s budget. Gray line (historic debt): Historical Budget Data from January 2015 Baseline from CBO, Tab 1. The parenthetical about pre-crisis average debt/GDP between 35 and 40% similarly comes from this table. Yellow line (CBO long-term baseline): July 2014 Release from The 2014 ...


July 5, 2015, 12:34 am, 1501975

In his new budget President Obama once again proposes to flatten debt/GDP, to stabilize it over the next decade at a high level.

But wait, you say. That’s not stabilizing. That’s not “flat” debt/GDP, that’s a declining path. And it doesn’t look like ...


July 5, 2015, 12:34 am, 1501976

OMB Director Shaun Donovan criticized House Republicans today for their rule change on dynamic scoring. I’ll skip the preliminaries and offer responses to his main critiques.

OMB Director Shaun Donovan: “[U]sing dynamic scoring for official cost estimates would risk injecting bias into a broadly accepted, non-partisan scoring process that has has existed for decades.”

KBH:

No, ...


July 5, 2015, 12:34 am, 1501973

I’d like to associate myself with Dr. Charles Blahous’ endorsement of Dr. Keith Hall to be the new director of the Congressional Budget Office. Budget Committee Chairmen Tom Price and Mike Enzi made a strong pick by choosing Hall. I know him from his time at the Council of ...