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”

April 14, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1626782
Accepting neo-Fisherism is a 12-stage program. The first stage is admitting you have a problem. The twelfth stage is helping others to admit that they have a problem too. Going from stage one to stage twelve may be a tough battle - many could temporarily fall off the wagon. But ...

April 7, 2016, 4:35 pm, 1624765
Last week, I attended a conference on the fiscal theory of the price level (FTPL) in Chicago. Eric Leeper claims that I'm actually a closet FTPL person, and seems to have thought I belonged there, which is certainly fine with me. The assignment was to talk about research ideas. ...

March 25, 2016, 8:34 pm, 1621177
There has been some discussion of central bank forecasts and policy projections, including some blog posts by Tony Yates, Tony Yates part II, Narayana, David Andolfatto, and an editorial on Bloomberg.

The FOMC's dot plots are part of the economic projection materials published ...

March 5, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1615219
David Andolfatto draws some useful comparisons between Canada, 1990-1999, and the U.S., post-2008. As he points out, Canada experienced a decade-long slump in the 90s which featured a depressed participation rate and employment/population ratio. It's useful, I think, to show how this experience was different from what we're seeing ...

March 3, 2016, 10:34 pm, 1614737
Last week's numbers on the January pce deflator seemed to have sparked optimism in some people, though my non-macro friends are wondering why anyone is excited about more inflation. Here are what the 12-month inflation rates look like for the raw pce deflator and pce deflator excluding food and energy: ...

February 29, 2016, 10:34 pm, 1613532
I sometimes entertain myself by reading the liner notes on old vinyl records. This isn't liner notes, but I found this stuff on the cover of "Another Side of Bob Dylan," (1964).


Stereo "360 Sound." Playable on mono equipment. For best results use stereo needle.



February 14, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1608540
Strange thing happened the other day. I was looking for news stories on the keen insight and deft policy decisions of central bankers, and couldn't find any. Here are some of the other, less-flattering stories:

New York Times: "Swedish Bank Move Creates a Global Shudder"

David Beckworth: ...

February 1, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1604270
Here are some comments on Narayana Kocherlakota's "The Potential Power of Negative Nominal Interest Rates."

Negative nominal interest rates allow a central bank to achieve lower real interest rates, without raising inflation expectations.

So, negative nominal interest rates lower inflation expectations. Agreed.

...a negative nominal interest rate gives ...

January 31, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1603911
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 ...

January 18, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1599812
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. ...