Economics Roundtable

March 2017 Fed Funds Rate

What is the effect of a 0.25% change in the Fed Funds rate?.

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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.

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May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

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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?


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Brad Setser:  Follow the Money


April 20, 2017, 12:34 pm, 1739503

A long time ago I confessed that I like to read the IMF’s World Economic Outlook (WEO) from back to front. OK, I sometimes skip a few chapters. But I take particular interest in the IMF’s data tables (the World Economic Outlook electronic data set is also ...


April 12, 2017, 6:34 pm, 1737503

There is no single definition of manipulation, to be sure—so no way of definitively answering the question. Over the last ten or so years, manipulation has been equated with “buying foreign exchange in the market to block appreciation.” That definition is certainly built into the criteria laid out in the ...


April 10, 2017, 4:34 pm, 1736513

I confess that I probably am the only person in the world who—setting aside the internal politics of the Trump White House—would be excited to write the Treasury’s foreign currency report this quarter.

Not because of China. I would say China met the existing 2015 manipulation criteria in the past and ...


April 10, 2017, 12:34 am, 1736252

Does China manage its currency against the dollar, against a basket, or to whatever is most convenient at any given point time? Cynics have argued that China seems to peg to the dollar when the dollar is going down and the basket when the dollar is going up.

The yuan’s moves ...


April 6, 2017, 12:34 am, 1735366

Martin Wolf’s important column does a wonderful job of illustrating the basic risk China poses to the world: at some point China’s savers could lose confidence in China’s increasingly wild financial system. The resulting outflow of private funds would push China’s exchange rate down, and rise to a big ...


April 4, 2017, 6:34 pm, 1734971

Has China’s current account surplus disappeared? Should I declare victory and go home? I always have thought a fast-growing, high investment emerging economy should run a current account deficit, not a surplus—

Not yet, I would say.

It is always dangerous to try to assess China’s trade and balance of payments ...


April 3, 2017, 12:34 pm, 1734460

Autos are one of the United States’ most important exports to China—ranking just behind aircraft and soybeans and (at times) non-monetary gold (through Hong Kong).

Broadly speaking, the U.S. exports completed autos to China, and imports auto parts.

But change is in latest end-use ...


March 30, 2017, 2:34 pm, 1733440

About two weeks ago, Puerto Rico’s oversight board approved Puerto Rico’s revised fiscal plan. The fiscal plan is roughly the equivalent in Puerto Rico’s case of an IMF program—it sets out Puerto Rico’s plan for fiscal adjustment. Hopefully it will make Puerto Rico’s finances a bit easier to understand.*

I ...


March 27, 2017, 6:34 pm, 1732204

The proxies for Chinese reserve sales show very modest sales in February. Foreign exchange settlement (which includes the state banks) shows $10 billion in sales, and only $2 billion counting forwards. The PBOC’s balance sheet shows similar changes—foreign reserves fell by $8.5 billion and foreign assets fell by $10.6 billion. ...


March 17, 2017, 10:34 am, 1729568

I have a new paper out with David Kamin of New York University Law School—it will be formally out in Tax Notes in a couple of weeks, but given that there is a live debate on the topic, we are posting it in draft form now—and the New York ...