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 .


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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July 24, 2014, 6:45 pm, 1305009
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July 24, 2014, 6:05 pm, 1305008

Mises Daily Thursday by Gary Galles:

Only individuals can determine what is efficient for themselves, and they will only engage in voluntary exchange when they believe it is the efficient thing to do. Some economists, and most governments, prefer to use other ...


July 24, 2014, 6:05 pm, 1305007

We’re still adding photos there, but you can see what’s been added so far at our Picasa page for Mises U 2014.


July 24, 2014, 6:05 pm, 1305006

Thursday, July 24 (Central Daylight Time)
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.—The Corrupt Origins of Central Banking in America | DiLorenzo
2:45 - 3:45 p.m.—Energy Policy | Murphy
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.—Four Things the State is Not | Woods


July 24, 2014, 6:05 pm, 1305005

Archived from the live broadcast, this Mises University lecture was presented at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, on 23 July 2014.


July 24, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1305002
The first half of 2014 sported record junk bond purchases by investors thirsty for yield, no matter how absurd the bond covenants or how risky the investment.

Things may have changed in July as the following chart shows, using JNK (the Barclays High Yield ETF) as a proxy for ...


July 24, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1305001

If you want America to become Scandinavia, then you won’t like Paul Ryan’s new anti-poverty plan. The House Budget chairman didn’t call for a universal basic income or universal preschool. And if you want Republicans to hush up and just accept the Obama minimum-wage agenda, you won’t like ...


July 24, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1305000

Both Sean Davis and Ben Domenech at the web magazine The Federalist have used the chart above in their recent posts about food inflation here and here. As the title of the chart implies, Davis ...


July 24, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1304938

Just as Australia repealed its debated carbon tax, India is intensifying its own taxation of non-renewable energy by doubling its coal tax from $0.83 to $1.67 per metric ton.

India estimates that the tax increase will generate $1.2 billion of additional revenues for its National Clean Energy Fund, ...


July 24, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1304937

Bankers tend to abhor risk. Especially geopolitical conflicts involving a nuclear power.

So risk managers around the world probably smiled Wednesday when the numbers came out showing their exposure to Russian creditors fell significantly in the first quarter, while Ukraine was facing the loss of its Crimea region and


July 24, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1304936

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen has made clear that her perceptions of a healthy labor market hinge on more than just the unemployment rate or the strength of recent job gains. Also high up on her labor-market dashboard is wage growth. As labor markets tighten, workers should be able ...


July 24, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1304935
From the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC): Apartment Markets Continue Expansion in July NMHC Quarterly Survey

Apartment markets continued to expand in the second quarter of 2014, as growth accelerated in all four indexes in the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions. The market ...


July 24, 2014, 4:45 pm, 1304934
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July 24, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1304933

Roberts returns to the topic of development this week in his conversation with Columbia's Chris Blattman, advocate of a radical approach to fighting poverty.

Share YOUR thoughts on this week's episode...Join the conversation in the comments, or start your own offline. We love to hear from you!

Check Your Knowledge:

1. ...


July 24, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304931

…in South Korea, the Hanwha Eagles (former team of Hyun-Jin Ryu) have gone “next level” by providing robots to stomp and yell unifying chants for those who cannot attend the game in person.

There is more here, good short video, the robots take on the actual ...


July 24, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304930
(July 24, 2014 03:00 PM, by Art Carden) Earlier today, I blogged about Adam Thierer's Permissionless Innovation. Over the last few months, I've been struck by how frequently I hear public policy questions expressed in terms of granting permission: should we allow people to earn such high incomes,... (3 COMMENTS)


July 24, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304927
90% Customer Satisfaction Too Much for Brussels

Bussels and Spain both stepped up attacks on Google over the past few days. Let's dive into the insanity with a Mish-translated report from Les Echos: Brussels Ready to Revive Showdown with Google

Pressure from Brussels increases on Google. The ...


July 24, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304926
Some interesting happenings in Ukraine today, in Kiev rather than the war zone. Issues concern unpaid soldiers, pro-Russian MPs, and various oil schemes to finance the war.

Let's take a look starting with Kiev Government Breaks Up as EU Mulls Fresh Russia Sanctions

Ukraine’s premier Arseniy ...


July 24, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304925

On July 15 the Congressional Budget Office rolled out updated projections for Social Security, which show the system’s long-term deficit has nearly quadrupled since 2008 to 4% of payroll. This means that to pay full benefits through 75 years would require an immediate and permanent increase in the Social ...


July 24, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304924

As in a Greek tragedy, Argentina finds itself yet once again moving rapidly and inexorably towards an external debt default. For barring any last minute backing down by US District Court Judge Thomas Griesa, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, or Elliot Management’s Paul Singer, Argentina will almost certainly default on July ...


July 24, 2014, 3:23 pm, 1304923
The Fed's QE3 program is scheduled to end later this year. This will bring to a close the Fed's five year experiment with QE programs. They have been incredibly controversial, especially among those who believe these programs enabled the federal government to run large budget deficits. Those holding ...


July 24, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1304860

Japanese trade data for June, released Thursday, may not have encouraged analysts looking for a pickup in exports to end a two-year streak of trade deficits.

Yet the figures are not all ...


July 24, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1304859
Two cleaners rest on a bench at the Bund in Shanghai on July 23, 2014. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

It has been a rocky year for China’s economy ...


July 24, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1304858

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, July 24, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter.

Highlights

Hannon’s Take: BOE Seeks Clarity on Wages As First Rate Rise Awaits Carney: U.K. Economy ...


July 24, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1304857

It has become a common refrain: “It’s too hard to get a mortgage.” But is it true?

An analysis from economists at Goldman Sachs tries to shed some light ...


July 24, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1304856

Bankers tend to abhor risk. Especially geopolitical conflicts involving a nuclear power.

So risk managers around the world probably smiled Wednesday when the numbers came out showing their exposure to Russian creditors fell significantly in the first quarter, while Ukraine was facing the loss of its Crimea region and


July 24, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1304855
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July 24, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1304854
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July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304849

Tax expenditures for retirement saving top $100 billion annually—from 401(k)-type plans ($61.4 billion) to IRAs ($17.6 billion) to tax preferences for pensions ($35.1 billion)—but these subsidies disproportionately benefit higher-income households and do relatively little to improve the balance sheets of low- and moderate-income Americans. According to one study, the ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304848

In an extensive new analysis of House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp’s tax reform plan, my Tax Policy Center colleagues confirm his proposal would raise about the same amount of money over 10 years as current law and impose roughly the same tax burden across income groups as ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304850

Maybe Chicago is not their kind of town. Five Chicagoans, all Walgreen board members, need to decide whether to pack up and move the company’s headquarters to Europe. Walgreen is in the second stage of its merger with Swiss-based Alliance Boots that could slash Walgreen’s tax bill by ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304851

The IRS is getting a lot of flak these days about lost emails and alleged politically motivated activity. But last week I ran into a problem that hit much closer to home. It appears that the IRS telephone help line is out of service, at least for my basic tax ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304853

When President Obama proposed his 2015 budget last March, he vowed to cut taxes for working class Americans while making sure high income households pay their “fair share.” New Tax Policy Center estimates show that, like it or not, Obama would do pretty much as he promised. Low-income ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304852

On the Hill this week: The House may vote to make bonus depreciation permanent. The Senate Finance Committee may present a transportation funding plan reflecting a compromise with the House Ways and Means Committee. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has scheduled ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304847

Smoothing pensions to fund highways: A bumpy, short road. The House Ways & Means Committee will include “pension smoothing” in a $10.9 billion highway funding bill to be marked up tomorrow. In 2012 lawmakers covered two years of highway and transit funding by ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304846

Pity House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp. He wants to rewrite the tax code in a serious way, but instead he’s spending his days trying to come up with imaginary revenue sources to pay for important spending priorities ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304841

Expect the House to approve some permanent changes in the charitable deduction this week. They include contributions of food inventory, real property for conservation purposes, and  IRA distributions for charitable purposes. The measure would also allow individuals’ charitable contributions made between the end of ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304845

The thing about pension smoothing: The bumps always come back. Neither the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget nor TPC’s Len Burman will suspend disbelief when it comes to the latest gimmick to patch the Highway Trust Fund. Maybe “stupid tax tricks” work politically but “pretending ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304842

A highway bill could soon head down Pennsylvania Avenue. The House Rules Committee  plans to send to the floor the Ways & Means panel’s short-term highway funding bill today. After a floor vote sometime this week, it’s seen as the likely version to land ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304840

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and his state legislature have embarked on a wonderful natural experiment. Once again we are testing the question: Can tax cuts pay for themselves? The answer– yet again– is a resounding no.

We’ve tried this experiment time and again. And tax cut proponents such as economist Art Laffer ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304843

Congress keeps playing with the Highway Trust Fund—but why? The House Ways & Means Committee approved its effort to fund the Highway Trust Fund through May, 2015. To reach a bipartisan deal, the Senate Finance Committee ultimately took a slightly different approach in a $10.8 billion proposal ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304844

Congress is in the midst of another Perils of Pauline political showdown: This time the drama is over how to finance the highway trust fund, which will be unable to pay its bills in a couple of weeks. House Republicans have cooked up one set of gimmicks to keep ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304835

Congress and corporate America are in a dangerous and mutually destructive race: The more lawmakers threaten to ban the practice of inversions—where U.S. based multinationals merge with foreign firms to lower their tax bill– the more firms race to complete the deals while they can. The more deals, the more ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304834

Australia repeals its two-year-old carbon tax. It’s been a contentious issue for seven years. Australia is one of the biggest producers of carbon emissions per capita. Its government is committed to reducing emissions to 5 percent below year 2000 levels  by 2020. A carbon ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304836

Treasury calls for quick Congressional action, because Congress is known to be… quick. Secretary Jack Lew asked top congressional tax writers to act now to end corporate inversions, and make such legislation retroactive to May of this year, giving Congress time to


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304833

Another big inversion deal heads to closing. Pharmaceutical giant AbbVie agreed to purchase UK drugmaker Shire, making it the largest US company so far to move its address overseas for lower taxes. The deal, now estimated to be worth about $55 billion, will likely close despite ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304839

If you cut it, will it do more? The IRS budget has been cut by $1 billion over the past four years, with a subsequent loss of 10,000 IRS jobs. Late Monday night, the House GOP by voice vote voted to cut $1.14 billion for the ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304837

Nice piece by Tax Notes reporter Lindsey McPherson describing the recent history of the tax extenders. Four take-aways:  There is always last-minute drama over bringing them back, most are repeatedly extended, they are almost never paid for, and they are frequently rolled into a bigger bill.

In 2004, 2006, ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304838

The newest Congressional Budget Office long-term budget outlook, released today, is more evidence that the long-term federal budget problem may be forgotten, but it is not gone.

Here are six takeaways.

1. The size of the budget deficit today isn’t a problem, and it’s not much of a problem for ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304826

Have Obama’s tax policies reduced income inequality? TPC has some new data, but the answer depends on who you compare him to. Relative to George W. Bush, who pushed major tax cuts for high-income households, Obama has reduced inequality. But compared to Bill Clinton, his policy is pretty ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304832

Did banks help a hedge fund avoid $6.8 billion in US taxes? Yes, according to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs panel’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Its report, released in advance of this morning’s hearing, argues that “basket option structures” were designed to conceal two things: the ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304827

Has President Obama’s tax policy reduced income inequality? It depends on what you are comparing it to.

White House Council of Economic Advisors chief Jason Furman claims that President Obama’s tax policies have sharply reduced inequality. Today’s Washington Post Wonkblog featured some new tables from the Tax Policy Center ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304828

Two appeals courts deliver opposing rulings on Affordable Care Act tax subsidies. The DC Circuit Court ruled yesterday that the tax credits can only go to residents in states that run their own  health exchanges. In Richmond, VA, the 4th Circuit Court said the ACA language isn’t clear, so the ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304831

In recent months, several governors have complained about the April, 2014, surprise in state tax revenues. They say they were shocked when personal income tax payments fell far below expectations. They shouldn’t have been.

What happened? In part, in an effort to beat an upcoming increase in capital gains taxes, ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304830

Today, I testified before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (the “Subcommittee”) on the abuse of structured financial products by hedge funds, in particular by the Renaissance funds. This is what I told the Subcommittee:

Almost a century ago, Congress reduced the tax rate for long-term capital gains. Then, ...


July 24, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1304829

Unlike the rest of us, many high-income, influential people and organizations have close to a free hand when it comes to their taxes. Already underfunded and understaffed, the IRS seems incapable of stopping many aggressive or even abusive interpretations of the tax laws, often by hedge funds or politically-motivated tax-exempt ...


July 24, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1304824

Interesting interview by David Andolfatto of Michael Woodford. Woodford is skeptical of QE.

Andolfatto

You talk about Fed purchases of risky assets. I mean, do you have in mind some loose connection of the Fed’s purchase of the mortgage-backed securities, the agency debt?

Woodford

I think that the main ...


July 24, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1304823

There is a new piece of interest in Technology Review, here is one excerpt:

Psychologists have always assumed that patterns of behavior change more quickly in countries that emphasize collectivism. Once an idea has taken hold, the pressure to conform means it spreads rapidly. “It has previously been argued ...


July 24, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1304820

John Stossel’s column this week is called “Policing America,” and he points to the fact that violent crime in America peaked in 1991 at 758.2 crimes per 100,000 population, and has consistently fallen in almost every year since then. ...


July 24, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1304821

This morning at AEI, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled a new set of policy reforms aimed at reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility throughout America. Ryan’s plan seeks to reconnect struggling Americans with their local communities and give social-services programs the flexibility to better serve individual needs. ...


July 24, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1304819

In an interesting article that is forthcoming in the next issue of Economic Affairs, Vincent Geloso (Ph.D. candidate at the London School of Economics) presents an interesting defense of “ticket scalping,” arguing that it can provide an effective form of risk management and greater certainty of profits for artists, concert ...


July 24, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1304758

This week’s map takes a look at when each state first adopted its cigarette tax. Although the federal government had been taxing tobacco since the 18th century and cigarettes specifically since 1862, states did not begin doing so until the early 20th century – when manufactured cigarettes surpassed ...


July 24, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1304757

Is this why prices are sticky?:

Sticky prices and behavioural indifference curves, by John Komlos, Vox EU: Many quantities fail to respond smoothly to price changes. This column stresses that the ‘endowment effect’ – a well-known behavioral economics concept – implies kinks in indifference curves at the current consumption ...


July 24, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1304756

Andrew Gelman:

Meritocracy won’t happen: the problem’s with the ‘ocracy’, by Andrew Gelman, Monkey Cage: I’ve written about this before but I think the topic is worth returning to, because it comes up a lot in our political discourse.

For example, consider this recent post by Robert ...


July 24, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1304755

Me, at MoneyWatch:

Should the Fed have to play by a rule?: What if the U.S. Federal Reserve Board had to implement monetary policy according to a specific rule that would require specific policy actions depending on the circumstances?

That's the intent of a bill Republicans in the House of ...


July 24, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1304754
The new home sales report for June - combined with the downward revisions for previous months - was very weak.

The Census Bureau reported that new home sales this year, through June, were 225,000, Not seasonally adjusted (NSA). That is down 4.3% from 235,000 during the first half ...


July 24, 2014, 12:45 pm, 1304753
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July 24, 2014, 12:34 pm, 1304752
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July 24, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1304749

Thursday, July 24 (Central Daylight Time)
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.—How War Leads to Big Government | Higgs
10:15 - 11:15 a.m.—The Case for Privatization… of Everything | Block
11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.—The Robber Barons and the Progressive Era | Woods


July 24, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1304748

July 24, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1304747
(July 24, 2014 10:04 AM, by Bryan Caplan) When backed into a corner, most hard-line utilitarians concede that the standard counter-examples seem extremely persuasive. They know they're supposed to think that pushing one fat man in front of a trolley to save five skinny kids is morally obligatory.... (6 COMMENTS)


July 24, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1304746
(July 24, 2014 11:45 AM, by Art Carden) This morning, I read Adam Thierer's Permissionless Innovation, which you can get as a $0 PDF. From a few discussions in which I've been involved regarding Uber's attempt to enter the Birmingham market, it's clear that the idea of a... (0 COMMENTS)


July 24, 2014, 11:33 am, 1304745

This is very very crude. It's something off the top of my head scribbled on a scrap of paper as an outline for a first draft. But I will never go beyond that outline, because I wouldn't be any good at doing it.

The history of the Old Keynesian model is ...


July 24, 2014, 11:33 am, 1304744

When I heard the phrase "Margarita Declaration" I had much higher (and drunker) hopes than 131 environmental groups banding together to call for an end to capitalism.

A UN-backed conference on climate change ended with a call to end capitalism. The conference, organised by the Venezuelan government, saw 130 ...


July 24, 2014, 11:03 am, 1304681

It has become a common refrain: “It’s too hard to get a mortgage.” But is it true?

An analysis from economists at Goldman Sachs tries to shed some light ...


July 24, 2014, 11:03 am, 1304680
The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 406 thousand.

May sales were revised down from 504 thousand to442 thousand, and April sales were revised down from 425 thousand to408 thousand.

Sales of new single-family houses in ...


July 24, 2014, 11:03 am, 1304679
From the Kansas City Fed: Growth in Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Edged Higher

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the July Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that growth in ...


July 24, 2014, 10:45 am, 1304678
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July 24, 2014, 10:36 am, 1304677
Is it a game-changer? A tipping point? A moment when the economy finally turned a corner for the better in a meaningful way? Possibly. Meantime, one can argue that this is why the stock market has been rallying this year: … Continue reading →


July 24, 2014, 10:36 am, 1304676

Simon Wren Lewis says that the commentariat's tendency to excuse the coalition's reckless fiscal policy is due in part to groupthink:

Very Serious People’ talk to each other more often than they talk to people acquainted with the data.

His point is broader and more ...


July 24, 2014, 10:04 am, 1304671
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Pleading for punitive taxes on Americans who buy imported steel, Thomas Gibson of the American Iron and Steel Institute insists that we all should follow the rules of trade (Letters, July 24).  Mr. Gibson is right about following rules, but his ...


July 24, 2014, 10:04 am, 1304670

My http://angrybearblog.com/2014/07/anchored-perceive
d-inflation-or-how-fox-news-helped-obama.html has received more attention than I would have guessed. This should be a semi-serious post on the topic.

The puzzling fact is the persistently too high forecasts of next years consumer price index inflation reported in the University of Michigan Thomson Reuters Survey of Consumer ...


July 24, 2014, 9:33 am, 1304668

|Peter Boettke|

Consider the findings of Dr. Sarah Necker, she finds that there is a considerable amount of naughtiness among economist when it comes to their scholarly publishing practices. Her results are interesting in a number of ways, but more so for anyone who never really bought ...


July 24, 2014, 9:33 am, 1304667

I think so:

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma are among the most vocal Republican skeptics of the science that burning fossil fuels contributes to ...


July 24, 2014, 9:23 am, 1304666

by Julie L. Hotchkiss, a research economist and senior policy adviser at the Atlanta Fed, and Fernando Rios-Avila, a research scholar at the Levy Institute

A recent Policy Note published by the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College shows that what we thought had been a decade of essentially ...


July 24, 2014, 9:23 am, 1304665
This year’s piecemeal reform is next year’s loophole. Only radical restructuring has a chance of creating fair taxation


July 24, 2014, 9:03 am, 1304604

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, July 24, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter.

Highlights

Hannon’s Take: BOE Seeks Clarity on Wages As First Rate Rise Awaits Carney: U.K. Economy ...


July 24, 2014, 9:03 am, 1304603
The DOL reports:

In the week ending July 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 284,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since February 18, 2006 when they were 283,000. The previous week's level ...


July 24, 2014, 8:44 am, 1304601
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July 24, 2014, 8:44 am, 1304602
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July 24, 2014, 8:44 am, 1304600

WHEN Alibaba launched Yu’E Bao, an online investment fund, there was a flood of optimism that the e-commerce company would shake up the sclerotic Chinese banking sector. For a while it did just that. But its performance ...


July 24, 2014, 8:36 am, 1304599
Momentum Has Not Been ‘Overgrazed’: A Visual Overview in 10 Slides Claude B. Erb | May 10, 2014 The return to “momentum” does not seem to be the victim of “overgrazing”. Conceptually, overgrazing occurs when too much capital chases too … Continue reading →


July 24, 2014, 8:36 am, 1304598

Have Obama’s Tax Policies Reduced Income Inequality? TPC has some new data, but the answer depends on who you compare him to. Relative to George W. Bush, who pushed major tax cuts for high-income households, Obama has reduced inequality. But compared to Bill Clinton, his policy is pretty ...


July 24, 2014, 8:05 am, 1304597

In most Darwinian models there is competition across siblings for resources and parental attention, from the womb but also stretching into adulthood.  Siblings who do well therefore will be hyper-aware of the strategies employed by their brothers and sisters.  They will need to counter those strategies on a very regular ...


July 24, 2014, 8:04 am, 1304596
(July 24, 2014 07:04 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) Amazon selling $9.99 monthly subscriptions for "all-you-can-read" on Kindle is exciting news. Some have argued that this will change completely our relationship with the book as an object. Indeed, many people who invest lots of their time in reading tend... (0 COMMENTS)


July 24, 2014, 8:04 am, 1304595
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 118 of H.L. Mencken’s, A Second Mencken Chrestomathy (1995); specifically, it’s reprinted from a piece that Mencken wrote for the June 1920 Smart Set:

It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world, but idealism.  Men get into trouble by taking all their gaudy visions ...


July 24, 2014, 8:04 am, 1304594

Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism adds an additional look at the ‘inversion’ process and rationale:

Kenneth Thomas has been on this beat at Angry Bear. Here’s a short overview of how inversion deals work earlier this week,,,

,,,

David Cay Johnston emailed me that there were errors in Forbes ...


July 24, 2014, 7:33 am, 1304590

Sad tale, but rathercommon.

Yet today the Strohs, as a family business or even a collective financial entity, have ceased to exist. The company has been sold for parts. The trust funds have doled out their last pennies to shareholders. While there was enough cash flowing for ...


July 24, 2014, 7:33 am, 1304588

So effective that people go on "Iron Dome dates??" Geez.


July 24, 2014, 7:33 am, 1304589

I don't know about "love," but everybody seems to agree that it's amazingly good for us.


July 24, 2014, 7:23 am, 1304587
This Mini Lecture discusses issues of labour productivity, low-wage work and economic growth of emerging markets.


July 24, 2014, 5:33 am, 1304550

#6--Human error--is, I'm guessing, the biggest threat.


July 24, 2014, 5:33 am, 1304549
As I suspected would happen, the exclusive Reuters interview in which "Commander Alexander Khodakovsky acknowledges rebel fighters had BUK missiles" has been challenged.

In my analysis of the Reuters article (see Ukraine Rebel Commander Admits Having BUK Missiles; Damning Contradictions?), I point out considerable discrepancies ...


July 24, 2014, 5:23 am, 1304547
Each year the Human Development Report published by the United Nations gives a special focus on a particular issuerelated to development. In 2014 that issue is vulnerability.To quote from the opening of the report:"Real progress on human development, then, is not only a matter of enlarging people’s critical choices and ...


July 24, 2014, 5:23 am, 1304548
A new online comedy series launches on Thursday 24th July!The series tells the story of Scott and Adrian, two lovers on theverge of break up. Scott runs an oil company – bath oils that is – andAdrian spends their money as if it’s his own. Will they work thingsout or ...


July 24, 2014, 5:03 am, 1304502

Previously, we found that the worst state for jobs for teens in the U.S. is California.

But we have bad news for the teens in that state. In 2014, the worst state for job-seeking teens, California, is getting worse:


July 24, 2014, 5:03 am, 1304501

July 24, 2014, 3:23 am, 1304499

This is a very short book. I read the whole thing in 40 minutes.  It has one main idea: what if you could create a less variable portfolio that returns as much as the traditional 60% S&P 500, 40% Barclays Aggregate blend?  Wouldn’t you want ...


July 24, 2014, 3:03 am, 1304464
Two cleaners rest on a bench at the Bund in Shanghai on July 23, 2014. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

It has been a rocky year for China’s economy ...


July 24, 2014, 2:05 am, 1304463

The author of this new and excellent book is my colleague Peter T. Leeson and the subtitle is Why Self-Governance Works Better Than You Think.  Here is one excerpt:

Twenty-two of thirty-seven street gangs Jankowski (1991: 78-82) studied have written constitutions.  Sicilian Mafiosi follow a largely unwritten code of ...


July 24, 2014, 1:33 am, 1304461
Jean Claude Juncker (Mr. "Lie When It's Serious") is already accused of sending the UK down the drain.

Please consider British firms fear red tape hell as EU orders equality and green energy reports.

British companies will be forced to publish details of their ...


July 24, 2014, 1:03 am, 1304407

By Eva Dou

Taiwan has long been home to many of Apple 's key suppliers.

Getty Images

But is the iPhone maker’s business really big enough to ...


July 24, 2014, 1:03 am, 1304406

Japanese trade data for June, released Thursday, may not have encouraged analysts looking for a pickup in exports to end a two-year streak of trade deficits.

Yet the figures are not all ...


July 24, 2014, 12:34 am, 1304405

Only individuals can determine what is efficient for themselves, and they will only engage in voluntary exchange when they believe it is the efficient thing to do. Some economists, and most governments, prefer to use other standards of efficiency such as “potential compensation” ...


July 24, 2014, 12:34 am, 1304404
Teaser:

A ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304354

TUESDAY

Hungary’s central bank releases a policy statement at 1300 GMT Nigeria’s central bank releases a policy statement BOE’s Haldane speaks in London at 1900 GMT

WEDNESDAY

BOE releases minutes of its July 9-10 policy meeting at 0830 GMT BOE’s Carney speaks in Glasgow at 1145 GMT ECB’s Weidmann speaks in London at 1930 GMT

THURSDAY

New Zealand’s central ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304349

President Barack Obama is again taking aim at the “skills gap” separating many unemployed workers from the companies that could hire them.

Mr. Obama, in his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, said he had asked Vice President Joe Biden “to lead an across-the-board reform ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304348

July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304347

Millennials get flack for postponing marriage, living with parents and shying away from homeownership. But what’s less discussed is how, to some extent, they’re just responding rationally to their local housing markets.

Nearly half of Americans between the ages of 23 and 34 who lived in metro areas with “ideal housing ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304350

The Bank of Korea is gearing up to cut its benchmark interest rates and may move as soon as next month, say economists, due to signs economic growth is slowing.

The nation’s new finance minister, Choi Kyung-hwan, recently made the case for a rate cut in Parliament. Second quarter gross domestic ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304352

Recent college graduates are paying a price for entering the workforce in the shadow of a deep recession: Their wages are growing far more slowly than the U.S. average.

“The wage growth gap points to continued weakness in the overall labor market,” wrote San Francisco Fed economists Bart Hobijn and Leila ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304353

July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304346

The U.S. housing market appears to be finding its footing after a sharp rise in mortgage rates last summer, on top of some big price gains, deflated sales.

The National Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday that sales of previously owned homes rose 2.6% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304351
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Meeting in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza last week, leaders of the five BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – finally put some flesh on the bones of a long-awaited plan ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304341

Uncertainty breeds volatility. That’s why even though volatility levels are near record lows, the Institute of International Finance sees choppy markets ahead.

Investors have been willing to take on more risk, pushing borrowing costs down and buoying stock values, amid strengthening confidence in the U.S. and global recoveries. But with perhaps ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304340

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, July 23, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter.

Highlights

Da Costa’s Take: The Fed Still Has Little Reason to Worry About Inflation Regulators Said ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304339

Manufacturers, by definition, make things.

But is that definition outdated? That’s the question behind a move among federal government agencies to reclassify as “manufacturers” companies like Apple Inc., which controls every aspect of the iPhones and other products it sells–except their actual fabrication. Production is ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304338

Hungary’s central bank governor has said the institution was done cutting interest rates, but analysts aren’t so sure.

The central bank  on Tuesday lowered its benchmark rate by 0.2 percentage point to 2.10%, a deeper cut than expected and the latest in a series of monthly cuts since August 2012, ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304345

It’s a good time to be a vegan. Meat prices are up 9.4% in June from a year earlier, and pork, fish and eggs are more expensive, too.

Prices for the food Americans ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304337

By Eva Dou

Taiwan has long been home to many of Apple 's key suppliers.

Getty Images

But is the iPhone maker’s business really big enough to ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304344

When the Federal Reserve started tests late last year of its so-called reverse repo facility, some officials hoped it would play a starring role in the campaign to raise interest rates when the time comes.

But now the Fed thinks the new tool will play no more than a “useful supporting ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304343
A wholesale market in Hyderabad. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

India is on the verge of torpedoing another trade pact, and at issue yet again are the country’s ...


July 23, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1304342
t Reuters

Last year, Australia’s central bank cut rates to a record low 2.5% to help boost flagging growth as a mining boom slowed.

While that extreme measure ...


July 23, 2014, 10:45 pm, 1304336
A


July 23, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1304335
Teaser:

The ...


July 23, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1304278
The scams never end, and this one was really disgusting (ripping off people in financial trouble) ... from the LA Times: Authorities crack down on mortgage-relief scams nationwide

Federal and state officials filed lawsuits accusing dozens of companies of ripping off struggling homeowners by falsely promising help in ...


July 23, 2014, 8:05 pm, 1304275

Tuesday was another full day of lectures and talks at Mises University. for photos, see here and here. We’ve added 8 more lectures from Tuesday in mp3 format to the Mises U 2014 archives, including:

The Anarcho-Pacifism of Leo Tolstoy by 

July 23, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1304274
Wednesday, at 2:28 EST Reuters published an exclusive interview with Alexander Khodakovsky of the so-called Vostok battalion - or eastern battalion: Khodakovsky Acknowledges Rebels had BUK Missiles.

In an interview with Reuters, Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the Vostok Battalion, acknowledged for the first time since the airliner ...


July 23, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1304220
From Gavyn Davies at the Financial Times: Another false alarm on US inflation?

There have been a few false alarms about a possible upsurge in inflation in the US in the past few years, even as core inflation on most measures has remained extremely subdued. ... Another such ...


July 23, 2014, 6:45 pm, 1304219
The White House said the downing of two additional Ukrainian military aircraft Wednesday confirms U.S. charges that Moscow has continued to support and supply pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine, even after the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. ...


July 23, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1304218
A


July 23, 2014, 6:36 pm, 1304217

Has President Obama’s tax policy reduced income inequality? It depends on what you are comparing it to.

White House Council of Economic Advisors chief Jason Furman claims that President Obama’s tax policies have sharply reduced inequality. Today’s Washington Post Wonkblog featured some new tables from the Tax Policy Center ...


July 23, 2014, 6:05 pm, 1304212


July 23, 2014, 6:05 pm, 1304213

The good people at the Polish Mises Institute (Instytut Misesa) inform me that my recent article on Scottish secession has been translated into Polish.

There are numerous other translations there as well, such as this one, a QJAE ...


July 23, 2014, 6:05 pm, 1304211


July 23, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1304208
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being interviewed along with David Stockman by Jay Taylor, a hard money advocate and author of Turning Hard Times Into Good.

The audio is about 32 minutes long. You can play it here: Mish and Stockman with Jay Taylor.

We ...


July 23, 2014, 5:23 pm, 1304206
Apparently, it is open season on market monetarists. The red dots you see on our chest are from the laser scopes on the new keynesian guns of Tony Yates, Simon Wren-Lewis, and Paul Krugman. These individuals have been firing away with their critiques of ...


July 23, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1304145

The recent death of Eric Garner after an incident with New York police has recently made headlines and sparked controversy about excessive force and police practices. Sources report that police and prosecutors are investigating the use of a chokehold by an officer in the process of detaining ...


July 23, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1304144

The House Committee on Ways and Means amended the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act last Thursday and has issued a comprehensive report on the bill. The bill, or H.R. 3393, was developed by Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Danny Davis (D-IL) in an attempt to further ...


July 23, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1304143

Hungary’s central bank governor has said the institution was done cutting interest rates, but analysts aren’t so sure.

The central bank  on Tuesday lowered its benchmark rate by 0.2 percentage point to 2.10%, a deeper cut than expected and the latest in a series of monthly cuts since August 2012, ...


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304141
Some analysts are again projecting that the age of higher interest rates has finally arrived. The Fed is tapering and the US economy is expanding moderately, despite a first-quarter setback. David Kotok last week wrote that the central bank’s tapering … Continue reading →


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304142
US economic growth slowed in June, according to the Chicago Fed National Activity Index. The benchmark’s three-month average (CFNAI-MA3) fell to +0.13 last month from an upwardly revised +0.28 for May. Today’s update was in line with The Capital Spectator’s … Continue reading →


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304140
The Federal Reserve’s tapering is underway. The central bank’s quantitative easing (QE) program that generated record levels of monetary liquidity in recent years is on track to fade into history by the end of the year. The approaching demise of … Continue reading →


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304138

Did banks help a hedge fund avoid $6.8 billion in US taxes? Yes, according to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs panel’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Its report, released in advance of this morning’s hearing, argues that “basket option structures” were designed to conceal two things: the ...


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304139

Another big inversion deal heads to closing. Pharmaceutical giant AbbVie agreed to purchase UK drugmaker Shire, making it the largest US company so far to move its address overseas for lower taxes. The deal, now estimated to be worth about $55 billion, will likely close despite ...


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304137

In recent months, several governors have complained about the April, 2014, surprise in state tax revenues. They say they were shocked when personal income tax payments fell far below expectations. They shouldn’t have been.

What happened? In part, in an effort to beat an upcoming increase in capital gains taxes, ...


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304136

Today, I testified before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (the “Subcommittee”) on the abuse of structured financial products by hedge funds, in particular by the Renaissance funds. This is what I told the Subcommittee:

Almost a century ago, Congress reduced the tax rate for long-term capital gains. Then, ...


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304135

Unlike the rest of us, many high-income, influential people and organizations have close to a free hand when it comes to their taxes. Already underfunded and understaffed, the IRS seems incapable of stopping many aggressive or even abusive interpretations of the tax laws, often by hedge funds or politically-motivated tax-exempt ...


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304134

Two appeals courts deliver opposing rulings on Affordable Care Act tax subsidies. The DC Circuit Court ruled yesterday that the tax credits can only go to residents in states that run their own  health exchanges. In Richmond, VA, the 4th Circuit Court said the ACA language isn’t clear, so the ...


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304133

Fans of that great 1970s TV series Colditz will remember an episode in which an inmate tries to feign madness in order to get repatriated to Britain, only to actually go mad. I was reminded of this by Ed Miliband's speech at the weekend.


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304132

Most of the retrospectives on Tony Blair, prompted by the 20th anniversary of his becoming Labour leader strike me as missing something.

Whilst I agree with Stephen, James and John that Britain was better place when Blair left office than when ...


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304131

This morning, I got into a Twitter row with Jackart. He says: "State spending CAUSES lack of private investment." I agree with him that this can happen sometimes. But I disagree with him that it happened with Gordon Brown's fiscal loosening in the mid-00s.

My ...


July 23, 2014, 4:34 pm, 1304130

The Federal Aviation Administration has halted all flights from the U.S. to Israel for 24 hours in response to a rocket attack near Ben Gurion Airport:

Major American airlines stopped flying to Israel on Tuesday after a rocket fell near Ben-Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv, and after the ...


July 23, 2014, 4:34 pm, 1304129

Highlights from Day One of Mises University.


July 23, 2014, 4:34 pm, 1304128

“Progressives” throughout history repeatedly show a fondness for social engineering and state control.


July 23, 2014, 4:34 pm, 1304127

All too many of the reforms being proposed for the central bank are just more of the same central planning. Real reform of the Fed begins with setting interest rates free, the abolition of deposit insurance, and ending the Fed’s position as lender ...


July 23, 2014, 4:34 pm, 1304125
A


July 23, 2014, 4:34 pm, 1304126
A


July 23, 2014, 4:34 pm, 1304124
Teaser:

Tuesday’s ...


July 23, 2014, 4:34 pm, 1304123
Teaser:

Many ...


July 23, 2014, 4:34 pm, 1304122
Teaser:

Hungry ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304108

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano gave his first lecture in a series at Mises University on US Constitutional law.

Waiting as he’s introduced by Joseph Salerno:

Welcoming the students:


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304109

Lew Rockwell writes:

Today is Bettina Bien Greaves’s 97th birthday. She was Mises’s personal assistant, and she’s still working to teach Austrian economics to new generations. The Mises Institute is honored by her support, as we are all honored to know her. What a great lady. (Thanks to Judy Thommesen)


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304107

Some images from Day2 of Mises U.

Roger Garrison:

Lucas Engelhardt:

Robert Higgs:


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304110


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304106

Monday was the first full day for students at Mises U, and all talks are now available in Mp3 format here.  The day began with a series of lectures by Joseph Salerno, Guido Hulsmannm, and David Gordon. Students then met for lunch on the Mises Institute patio. (Photos ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304104

Don Boudreaux  at Café Hayek highlighted yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article by Mary Anastasia O’Grady where she asks “What Really Drove the Children North”? Her answer, “Our appetite for drugs caused the violence that made life unbearable in much of ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304105

Mises Daily Tuesday by Andrew Syrios

From prohibition to eugenics to nativism and to Marxism, “progressives” throughout history have repeatedly shown a great fondness for endless social engineering and state control of pretty much anything and everything.


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304098

1. The shipping container apartment.

2. Why not buy more store brands?

3. Cows are a good Indian investment after all.

4. Can sanctions stop Putin?

5. Let them eat cosmopolitanism.  But note: I never argue “…that egalitarianism as a political force in America ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304097

…on July 13, about four days before the actual incursion began, about 67 percent of Israelis supported a ground operation. By authorizing one, Netanyahu has given the public what it has demanded.

That is from Brent Sasley.

Fred Kaplan wonders whether Israel has lost its ability ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304099

There is a new NBER Working Paper from Brianna Cardiff-Hicks, Francine Lafontaine, and Kathryn Shaw, and the abstract is this:

With malls, franchise strips and big-box retailers increasingly dotting the landscape, there is concern that middle-class jobs in manufacturing in the U.S. are being replaced by minimum wage jobs ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304096

China’s total debt load has climbed to more than two and a half times the size of its economy, underscoring the difficult challenge facing Beijing as it seeks to spur growth without sowing the seeds of a financial crisis.

The total debt-to-gross domestic product ratio in the world’s second-largest economy reached ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304102

Mises Daily Wednesday by Brendan Brown:

All too many of the reforms being proposed for the central bank are just more of the same central planning. Real reform of the Fed begins with setting interest rates free, the abolition of deposit insurance, ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304095

From my email:

The Washington Post today launches ‘Storyline’, a new digital initiative led by economics writer Jim Tankersley examining how U.S. public policy is affecting the lives of Americans across the nation. Storyline will feature a mix of narrative writing, data journalism and visual storytelling to explore big ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304103

Jacob Huebert, author of Libertarianism Today, summarizes the current situation:

Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting decisions about the future of ObamaCare on Tuesday.

In one, the Halbig v. Burwell decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304101


Wednesday, July 23 (Central Daylight Time)
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.—Hayek and Keynes: Head to Head | Garrison
2:45 - 3:45 p.m.—FDA and Consumer Welfare | Higgs
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.—Contrasting Views of the Great Depression | Murphy


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304100

The economy here is just fine by most traditional measures.  And yet:

Virginia has an unemployment rate of 5.1 per cent but average hourly wages in the year to May 2014 declined by 0.1 per cent.

That is from a probably gated piece, by James Politi, surveying the U.S. labor ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304086

Elaine Sciolino is pretty critical.  She writes:

A new consumer protection law meant to inform diners whether their meals are freshly prepared in the kitchen or fabricated somewhere off-site is comprehensive, precise, well intentioned — and, to hear the complaints about it, half-baked.

Public decree No. 2014-797, drafted and passed ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304088

July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304087

The subtitle is An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness, and the author is Russ Roberts.  The focus is on Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments and why that is an important book.  This is Russ’s best book in my opinion, so you should consider buying it


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304094

From Neil Irwin at The Upshot:

Five years into the economic recovery, businesses still aren’t plowing much money into big-ticket investments for the future. Nonresidential fixed investment — what businesses spend on equipment, software, buildings and intellectual property — still hasn’t bounced back to its pre-crisis share of the ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304090

Slowest Growing Populations (%, 2000-10)

1 Moldova -13%

2 Georgia -8%

3 #Ukraine-7%

4 Bulg -6%

5 Latvia -6%

6 Lithuania -5%

7 Belarus -5%

That is from here, the most rapidly growing populations are given here, some Gulf states and Africa, both are tweets from Ian Bremmer.


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304089

The manufacturing sector is now operating at 77.8 percent of its capacity, according to Federal Reserve data, well above the 76 percent average during the last expansion and not far from the 79.1 percent peak during the mid-2000s.

That is from Neil Irwin.  As I’ve been saying for over ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304092

When it comes to mail delivery service in Iceland, two days stand out from the rest. The first is when the IKEA catalogue arrives. The second is when the bókatíðindi shows up in the mailbox.

“This is the Christmas catalogue,” says Bryndís Loftsdóttir of the Icelandic Publishers Association, handing over a ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304091

It seems not.  Responding to an earlier piece by Ray Fisman, Tino Sanandaji writes:

Fisman doesn’t cite any plausible mechanism through which private schools could have dragged down the test scores of the 86 percent of Swedish pupils who attend public schools. The explanation cannot be that ...


July 23, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1304093

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304085
A


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304083
(July 22, 2014 12:46 PM, by David Henderson) We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance. At least until states that wish to can set up Exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for the millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health... (22 COMMENTS)


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304084
(July 22, 2014 11:45 AM, by Art Carden) " Original.... (10 COMMENTS)


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304082
(July 23, 2014 12:08 AM, by Bryan Caplan) I recently re-read J.D.Salinger's 1951 classic, The Catcher in the Rye, prompting Tyler to do the same. My top reactions:1. Other than losing his brother Allie, Holden has no external problems. He is a rich kid living in the most... (8 COMMENTS)


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304079
(July 23, 2014 03:11 PM, by David Henderson) Last night, I saw on Facebook that John Blundell died yesterday. He was only 61 years old. Less than two months ago, I had posted on his personal reminiscences of the three Austrian economics conferences in the mid-1970s, two of... (0 COMMENTS)


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304081
(July 23, 2014 10:31 AM, by Scott Sumner) Is British public policy more left wing or right wing, compared to Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Denmark? The Heritage rankings suggest they are about the same, with Denmark coming in at number 10 in the world (at 76.1),... (13 COMMENTS)


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304080
(July 23, 2014 01:10 PM, by Art Carden) There has been an explosion of commentary on regulations in Birmingham regarding Uber and its services; I streamed part of yesterday's City Council meeting at which they voted to delay a decision until next week. I wrote an open letter... (5 COMMENTS)


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304075

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304074
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to an e-mail correspondent (whose name is used here with her kind permission):

Ms. Molly Mills

Dear Ms. Mills:

Thanks for alerting me to Joe Nocera’s article on the cystic-fibrosis wonder drug Kalydeco - a drug that now costs each patient more than $300,000 annually (“The $300,000 Drug,” July 18).  ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304078
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 11 of Donald R. Leal’s and Roger E. Meiners’s important 2002 collection, Government vs. Environment; specifically, it’s from Leal’s and Meiners’s chapter 1 (“Greener Pastures? The Defective Attraction of Federal Environmental Policy”):

Under national command and control of the environment for three decades, the ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304077

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304076
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 411-412 of Kevin Dowd‘s 1994 essay “Free Banking,” which is chapter 59 in The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics (Peter J. Boettke, ed., 1994; links added):

Another point that stands out [in a review of the empirical evidence] is the high degree of stability ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304073

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304070
(Don Boudreaux)

Responding to my report that Ms. Molly Mills e-mailed me to claim that (original emphasis)

[a]ll sick people should have access to drugs at affordable prices!!!!!

the great University of Virginia economics teacher – and antitrust scholar (and economics-mystery writer) – Ken Elzinga asks via e-mail to me:

One wonders ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304069
(Don Boudreaux)

This news is so, so sad.

I learned last night, from an e-mail sent by Walter Grinder, that John died earlier in the day yesterday.  As I read Walter’s e-mail, a deep sadness descended upon me (as, I know, it descended upon many others) – sadness not only ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304071
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 127 of Deirdre McCloskey’s lovely 1996 book, The Vices of Economists – The Virtues of the Bourgeoisie:

Virginia Woolf wrote famously, “About December 1910 human nature changed.”  Well, one doubts it.  What did change, and has been changing all through the closing decades of the ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304072

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304065

Guest post by Bruce Carman.

He first comments on an article from Jeremy Grantham who says that a coming bubble is likely.

“. . . There are massive reserves of labor in the official unemployment plus room for perhaps a 2% increase in labor participation rates as ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304066

The great Yitzhak Rabin has been long forgotten, assassinated by the Israeli ultranationalist, Yigal Amir–a forerunner of the cruel Zionist Netanyahu and the she-devil, Ayled Shaked. But the Zionist hard right would not have risen to power if it had not help from the West. Among those who blindly walk ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304068

Corporate “inversions” are back in the news again, as multinational corporations try every “creative” way they can to get out of paying their fair share of taxes for being located in the United States. With inversions, the idea is to pretend to be a foreign company even though it ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304064


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304067

Traffic jam in Beijing, China.

Simon Wren-Lewis writes about the difference between how the neofiscalists and market monetarists view the solution to the world’s economic woes. Basically, neofiscalists are ready to use whatever is necessary. Market monetarists limit themselves ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304063

Via Economist’s View ‘California’s Job Growth Defies Predictions after Tax Increases’:

This article, by David Cay Johnston, is getting a surprising number of retweets:

State’s job growth defies predictions after tax increases, by David Cay Johnston, The Bee: Dire predictions about jobs being destroyed spread across California in 2012 as ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304059
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Economist online magazine has an article called, Jobs are not Enough, where they show a poor understanding of effective demand.

“Economic growth over the business cycle is driven mostly by swings in demand, and in recent years demand has been held back: households have been repaying their ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304061

John Bluedorn and Shengzu Wang wrote a post on the IMF blog called, Euro Area: An Unbalanced Rebalancing? They talk about the unbalanced Current Account trade balances within Europe where creditor nations continue with large surpluses, even though debtor nations are moving toward surpluses themselves. They give reasons of ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304060

David Cay Johnston emailed me that there were errors in Forbes contributor Tim Worstall’s recent criticisms of the linked article. Indeed there are, but the biggest one (or at least the funniest one) isn’t the one Johnston pointed me to.

Worstall writes that AbbVie’s pending inversion will not, ...


July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304062

I read an article by Gavyn Davies, Another False Alarm on US Inflation?. He states that projections of rising inflation are not warranted due to lack of wage-growth pressures. I agree with him, but I want to go one step further and say that the uptick in inflation is ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304034

The existence of a productivity gap between Canada and the United States should ultimately manifest itself in terms of the growth rate of real per capita GDP. If productivity growth in Canada is consistently below that of the United States, then our real per capita GDP should also not grow ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304033

I was off at the cottage when Simon Wren-Lewis and Paul Krugman responded to my post on neo-fiscalism. Amusingly, given Simon's metaphor, the handbrake on the MX6 seized on as I was driving, slowing me down and creating a nasty smell. I did a ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304032

|Peter Boettke|

One of the books I have been reading this summer is Peter Schuck'sWhy Government Fails So Often?(Princeton, 2014). So far, it is excellent. Here is David Henderson's reaction to his work, which I basically share.


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304031

|Peter Boettke|

I received the sad news yesterday that John Blundell passed away. I have known John and Christine from the moment I decided to get serious about a career as an academic and scholarship within the classical liberal tradition of political and social thought. My wife ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304029

Yes, indeed: a day the Congress is not passing new laws is generally a good day for business.


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304030

Works for me.

1. Fun as adjective

Old school: "That would be a lot of fun."

New school: "That would be very fun."


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304028

I don't know how general the author's findings are, of course, but he argues that anything over a 500 thread count is probably not cost-effective.


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304024

"I just didn’t want to deal with all the complaining."I can definitely relate, but it is what you're getting paid for.

See also "Give Me a Better Grade--I Deserve It." I got one of these last year. A student objected to my suggesting she write more concisely. ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304023

Imprecisely titled--the author means not the universities per se, but the students--but still interesting. And sad because the students in question attend my alma mater.

(And, come to think of it, "flaccid" is also a poor choice. Better would be a reference to Edward James Olmos in Stand and ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304025

Timothy B. Lee, Vox:

Badger blames rising demand for the high cost of living in these cities. But the real culprit is strict regulations that make it almost impossible to expand the housing stock in most parts of these cities. . . .

It doesn't have ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304027

Heh. Elizabeth Warren, call your office.

There's nothing like a good fight overcorporate welfareto bring out the Left's love of Big Business.


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304022

Excellent brief exposition of an important difference between crony capitalism and true capitalism.


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304026

Just the personal experience of one Montreal headhunter, but for MBAs it's probably worth considering.


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304017

July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304016

I take exception to #10 but most of the rest made mesmile or laugh.

9. NASCAR

What it means everywhere else:A bunch of cars going around in a circle for hours on end.

What it means in North Carolina:It’s a sport. It’s a ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304021

"Fair enough. What’s the media’s excuse?"

UPDATED: link included now. Thanks to commenters.


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304018

For the online-interested autodidacts among you.


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304015

"Python has surpassed Java as the top language used to introduce U.S. students to programming and computer science, according to a recent survey posted by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)."

It's what Nobel Laureate economist Thomas Sargent is teaching these days.


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304019

By Anthony Daniels aka Theodore Dalrymple. Excerpt:

By the time they are 15 or 16, twice as many children in Britain have a television as have a biological father living at home. The child may be father to the man, but the television is father to the ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304020

Let's hope that this works out and real soon.


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304014
Milton Friedman's alleged license plate, showing the equation of exchange
The excruciatingly large revisions that U.S. first quarter GDP growth underwent from the BEA's ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304013
Steen Jakobsen, chief economist and CIO at Saxo Bank, has an interesting article today on War & Markets which I present below as a guest post.

Steen says ...

Prepare for less growth, less certainty and more geopolitical risk
Crude oil price is simplest proxy for ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304012
President Obama came out swinging today and issued a Stern Warning to Russia on Isolation in response to the crash of MH17.

Barack Obama has warned Russia it risks further international isolation if it does not intervene directly with the pro-Russian separatist rebels to "compel them to ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304007
I have strong evidence from Ukrainian citizen Anatoly Shary that Kiev is caught in a third major lie regarding Buk deployment.

It takes a while to go over the evidence, condensed below, all having to do with the number 312 painted on a missile launcher.

Follow the ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304006
Anatoly Shary, the Ukrainian citizen who started the "312" Investigation (see Ukraine Caught in Third Major Lie? Magic Number 312) has a 1 minute 44 second video update in which he claims to know when and where Kiev made that bogus claim.