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.


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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Stephen Williamson

"Stephen Williamson:  New Monetarist Economics
My lastest ideas on macroeconomics, monetaryu economics, economic policy and current events”

January 15, 2017, 6:34 pm, 1710737
What's a macro model? It's a question, and an answer. If it's a good model, the question is well-defined, and the model gives a good answer. Olivier Blanchard has been pondering how we ask questions of models, and the answers we're getting, and he thinks it's useful to divide ...

January 15, 2017, 12:34 pm, 1710706
This is a review of Ken Rogoff's "The Curse of Cash," forthoming in Business Economics.

Kenneth Rogoff has written an accessible and informative book on the role of currency in modern economies, and its importance for monetary policy. Rogoff makes some recommendations that would radically change the ...

January 11, 2017, 12:34 am, 1709481
Please bear with me, as I'm out of practice. My last blog post was September 8 (seems like yesterday). As a warmup, we're going to get into Paul Romer's "The Trouble with Macroeconomics." ...

September 19, 2016, 12:34 am, 1676059
I'm pleased to see that Narayana Kocherlakota seems interested in Neo-Fisherism. The crux of what he wants to say is in this note. What's that about? Narayana starts with a more-or-less standard New Keynesian (NK) reduced-form setup. There's an equation pricing a nominal bond (the "IS curve" in ...

September 19, 2016, 12:34 am, 1676058
Mark Thoma called my attention to a Vox blog post by Rachel and Smith, who are at the Bank of England. The post is a condensed version of this Bank of England working paper, which assembles a lot of evidence on low real interest rates, and takes a ...

September 19, 2016, 12:34 am, 1676060

September 19, 2016, 12:34 am, 1676055
In recognition of Dr. King's birthday, Narayana Kocherlakota is typically provocative. According to him, monetary policymakers pay insufficient attention to questions of economic inequality, and policy would be better if they were more cognizant:

...the Federal Reserve Act’s vision of economic diversity is largely regional and sectoral in nature. ...

September 19, 2016, 12:34 am, 1676054
Here's a remark I've heard more than once from macroeconomists who are old enough to remember the 1970s: If you could go back to 1979 and tell people that the big problem facing central banks in 2016 would be getting the inflation rate up to 2%, they would all have ...

September 19, 2016, 12:34 am, 1676056
The primary "liabilities" currently on the Fed's balance sheet are currency (Federal Reserve notes and coins), reserves (roughly, checking accounts of financial institutions held with the Fed), and reverse repos (ON-RRPs discussed in this post), which play an important role in the Fed's intervention to control overnight interest rates. ...

September 19, 2016, 12:34 am, 1676057
A helpful reader of my last post alerted me to one of the pitfalls of chain-weighted national income accounts data, complete with references (this one and this one). Chain weighting, in principle, gives us better measures of real GDP and inflation, but it has some negative side ...