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.


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 .


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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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Donald Marron

"Musings on Economics, Finance, and Life”


July 10, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1299389

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve confirmed that it would end new purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities (MBS)—what’s known as quantitative easing—in October. In response, the media are heralding the end of the Fed’s stimulus:

“Fed Stimulus is Really Going to End and Nobody Cares,” says the Wall Street Journal.

“Federal ...


July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295838

Photo Credit: FannyBanny1 via Compfight cc

Snowy owls are popping up all over the eastern United States and Canada. One even made it to Bermuda.

Biologists aren’t sure why. Perhaps a summer lemming boom fed many more snowy owlets than ...


July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295840

The Council of Economic Advisers just released an interesting paper examining the macroeconomic harm from the government shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship. To do so, they created a Weekly Economic Index from data that are released either daily or weekly (and weren’t delayed by the shutdown). These data include measures ...


July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295839

Congressional negotiators are trying to craft a budget deal by mid-December. Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square asked twelve experts what they hoped that deal would include. My suggestion: it’s time to fix the budget process:

Odds are slim that the budget conference will deliver anything big on substance. No grand ...


July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295837

A tribute to Ben Bernanke, sung to the tune of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. University of Chicago professor Anil Kashyap unveiled this Friday at economists’ big annual conference.



July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295836

Because macroeconomists have messed it up for every one else , says Noah Smith at The Week:

To put it mildly, economists have fallen out of favor with the public since 2008. First they failed to predict the crisis, or even to acknowledge that such crises were possible. Then they failed ...


July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295834

Jonathan Schwabish has just published a wonderful guide to visualizing economic data. If you produce charts, you really ought to study it.

Here’s one example, transforming a default Excel “spaghetti” chart into something more tasty:



July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295835

In a lengthy piece on “The Future of Jobs“, the Economist cites some estimates of the risk that IT will eliminate jobs over the next 20 years:

So Keynes was right: Economists should aspire to ...


June 28, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1292735

Blogging’s been very light of late, but I couldn’t let June 28th slip by without commemorating Tau Day.

Math aficionados often celebrate March 14 as Pi day, since Pi starts 3.14. All good fun. But as Michael Hartl argues over at the Tau Manifesto, Pi was likely a mistake. If ...


April 9, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1253302

Today I had the chance to testify before the House Small Business Committee on the many tax issues facing small business. Here are my opening remarks. You can find my full testimony here.

America’s tax system is needlessly complex, economically harmful, and often unfair. Despite recent revenue gains, ...