Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 3/9/15

The website was down several hours today, but is back up now.

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.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

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Marginal Revolution

"Small steps toward a much better world”

April 17, 2015, 10:05 am, 1457153

That is the Gennaioli, Ma, and Shleifer paper being presented at the NBER macro conference, pdf here.  There are two key points to this paper.  First, actual data on the expectations of corporate CFOs have predictive power for investment, even when Tobin’s Q is measured.  Second, expectations about ...

April 17, 2015, 8:05 am, 1457053

Today I am at the NBER annual macroeconomics conference as an observer.  The program and papers are here, and they look very interesting.  You may be hearing more about this later; I am allowed to blog the presentations but not attribute specific comments to individuals.  The Bernanke talk ...

April 17, 2015, 2:05 am, 1456935

1. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson.  My favorite of his books, fun and readable as you would expect, many interesting details including what happens to you in water at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Philip Glass, Words Without Music.  “A lot of ...

April 17, 2015, 2:05 am, 1456934

A conglomerate on the order of the old Gulf + Western, China National runs more than 160 cigarette brands, manufactured in about 100 factories across the country, and uses its earnings to invest in banks, luxury hotels, a hydroelectric plant, a golf course, and even drugmakers. Most of its money goes to ...

April 16, 2015, 10:05 pm, 1456877

Just when it seemed the image of bankers couldn’t get any more battered or bizarre, the Dutch central bank has fired a 46-year-old female employee claimed to have been working after hours as a highly paid prostitute – specialising in sadomasochism.

The Dutch central bank forbids “indecent behavior,” she had failed ...

April 16, 2015, 4:05 pm, 1456705

I will second the recommendation.  Michael is a political scientist at UCLA, and this volume is one of the most important social books of the last fifteen years.  He shows the importance of “common knowledge” in explaining social phenomena, namely we create rational rituals so that others can ...

April 16, 2015, 12:05 pm, 1456547

That is a new must-read post from Dani Rodrik.  Here is a pieced-together excerpt:

…low domestic saving has been the perennial constraint on the Turkish economy…Under Erdogan, the constraint has become ever more binding, as the saving rate (and particularly, the private saving rate) has come down…

So how has ...

April 16, 2015, 8:05 am, 1456374

Joseph Heath’s Enlightenment 2.0 is one of the best books I have read in years. I offer an extensive review at the New Rambler. Here’s the opening:

Joseph Heath is a Canadian philosopher who is unusually conversant with economics and ...

April 16, 2015, 4:05 am, 1456260

His comment is very good, here is his first major paragraph:

There is no disputing the premise that technological advances are resulting in better information. But better information doesn’t imply more symmetric information. This is true even if the information is available to all parties. Consider genetic testing. A test that ...

April 16, 2015, 2:05 am, 1456207

That is the new book by Daniel Tudor and James Pearson, the subtitle is Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison Camps, Dissenters and Defectors.  The basic message is that North Korea is far more (black) marketized — and more corrupt — than most outsiders realize.  Here is one representative ...