Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 1/21/15

The website was down for a day and a half, 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.


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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March 4, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1433680
Hypocrisy of the Toronto real estate board is stunning. The board threatened brokers who list sales prices. Their excuse is "privacy".

"If 41,160 members have access to this information and are free to give it to [clients], I don't think it is private information." said Fraser Beach, a broker ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1433631

India’s finance minister this week released a budget that includes, among other things, a five per cent reduction in the corporate income tax. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, won a landslide election last May on a pro-growth agenda.

The proposed budget would move India, one of the world’s ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1433630
Then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

In early 2009, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gathered his colleagues on a conference call to provide a heads-up ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1433629
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks during a hearing of the House committee hearing Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Steering central bank policy depends more than anything ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1433628
From Greg Ip at the WSJ: Janet Yellen, Forecasting Ace

Her forecasts as a Fed official have been strikingly accurate, as the release of 2009 transcripts to the Fed’s deliberations make clear. If she worked on Wall Street, she’d be a “hot hand.” This does not mean as ...


March 4, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1433627

The newest entrants in the tax reform sweepstakes are senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT).  Their plan is filled with a number of interesting and credible ideas but ducks many important questions. And, while it is not accompanied by a budget score, the elements that it specifies ...


March 4, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1433624
(March 4, 2015 04:39 PM, by David Henderson) The answer to the question I asked in the title seems as if it should be "Yes." And not just "yes," but "Obviously yes." Yet economist John Whitehead says that one can't conduct cost-benefit analysis of a policy. Specifically, he... (2 ...


March 4, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1433623


March 4, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1433560

Earlier today Senators Rubio and Lee released their “Economic Growth and Family Fairness Tax Reform Plan.” We have modeled the economic and budgetary effects of the plan and will release our full results Monday, but the following is a preview.

On the business side, the plan is strongly pro-growth ...


March 4, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1433559

Here are some great links from this week:

The Texas Public Policy Foundation has a new report about repealing the Texas Margin Tax. They find repeal would produce $10.8 billion in new real personal income in the first year and $16 billion over 5 years. The state would be ...


March 4, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1433558
Federal Reserve officials spent 2009 worrying about the worst U.S. economic downturn they had seen in their lives, the weakness of the nascent recovery and the uncertainties surrounding their policy options.


March 4, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1433557
Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for February. The consensus, according to Bloomberg, is for an increase of 230,000 non-farm payroll jobs in February (with a range of estimates between 200,000 and 252,000), and for the unemployment rate to decline to 5.6%.


March 4, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1433556

The newest entrants in the tax reform sweepstakes are senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT).  Their plan is filled with a number of interesting and credible ideas but ducks many important questions. And, while it is not accompanied by a budget score, the elements that it specifies ...


March 4, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1433550

If you've been reading Bill Gross's last few letters, you'll know that he's been a bit grumpy of late. It's that dang new trend that has hit bond markets, negative interest rates. Gross has ...


March 4, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1433549
People in California complain their flooring is making them sick. The complaints have one source in common, Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring from China with toxic levels of Formaldehyde, up to 20 times the maximum amount in one test. US manufactured flooring does not have the same defects.

Health and ...


March 4, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1433548
Senators Mike Lee and Marco Rubio announced a bold and attractive tax plan today. I especially appreciate their desire to eliminate the current tax code's bias for debt over equity finance.


March 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1433486

Lately, we have seen good job growth numbers which has led to a reduction in the unemployment rate. At first glance, this is an encouraging sign for the economy. But when we have a closer look at data on business dynamics, it is clear that the overall economy has ...


March 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1433485
Ben Bernanke in July 2009 Getty Images

Federal Reserve policy makers faced a dark economic outlook as 2009 began. They cut some of the tension at their ...


March 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1433484
Illinois posted the sharpest drop in unemployment among all U.S. states last year. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Unemployment fell in every state and the nation’s capital last year—something ...


March 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1433483
Freighters and cargo containers sit idle at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as a backlog of more than 30 container ships sit anchored outside the Port ...


March 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1433482

Paul Ryan says "I do not like cap and trade because I think the costs far outweigh the benefits." John Whitehead (who provides the Ryan quotes) responds:

Rep. Paul Ryan is getting the economics wrong on cap and trade and a revenue neutral carbon tax: Way wrong...

The costs of ...


March 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1433481
Fed's Beige Book "Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and based on information collected on or before February 23, 2015. "

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicate that economic activity continued to expand across most regions and sectors from early January through mid-February. Six ...


March 4, 2015, 2:34 pm, 1433480
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March 4, 2015, 2:05 pm, 1433476

Here is the GMU press release:

Marginal Revolution University’s “Everyday Economics” video series has been nominated for an International Academy of Web Television award in the Best Documentary or Educational Series category.

There is more information here.


March 4, 2015, 2:05 pm, 1433475

Ms Schneider reckons that more than half of the world’s feed crops will soon be eaten by Chinese pigs.

That is from The Economist, via Scott Sumner, whose post is of interest more generally on numerous matters.  Scott also cites The Economist for telling us that


March 4, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1433474
(March 4, 2015 03:31 PM, by David Henderson) What's the difference between Silk Road and e-Bay? George Washington University political science professor Henry Farrell recently wrote a piece titled "Dark Leviathan." He states his case so well that I won't try to paraphrase it. Instead, I'll quote one... (1 ...


March 4, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1433470

Way wrong:

Q: Higher natural gas and oil production is great for energy independence. How concerned, though, are you about climate change?

A: Well, look at it this way: Are we going to be a fossil fuel dependent economy for the medium term? Yes. Our entire economy is wired for that. So ...


March 4, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1433469

From greenh-gas@mailer.eia.gov:

These estimates of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) are based on the State Energy Data System. The state data include a summary table with total energy-related CO2 by state beginning in 1990, a table with emissions by fuel in 2012 and a table with emissions by sector in 2012. Detailed ...


March 4, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1433468
This Slate articledrew my attention to a recent scholarly PNAS piece. Here is the PNAS article's abstract:

"Before the Syrian uprising that began in 2011, the greater Fertile Crescent experienced the most severe drought in the instrumental record. For Syria, a country marked by poor governance and ...


March 4, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1433407

In a new 580-page report, a government advisory panel calls for “bold actions” to “transform the food system” and bring about a fundamental shift in people’s diets and lifestyles. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee advocates “a diet higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, ...


March 4, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1433406

LAKE FOREST, Ill.—Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Wednesday the Federal Reserve should hold off until early 2016 to raise interest rates, saying that acting before inflation comes more into line with the central bank’s target could hurt its credibility.

The central banker, whose remarks came to reporters ...


March 4, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1433405

NEW YORK—Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George wants to see the U.S. central bank start raising short-term interest rates at some point over the summer, worrying that if Fed doesn’t get moving soon future rate increases may have to be more aggressive.

“I continue to support liftoff towards ...


March 4, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1433404

Friederike Niepmann and Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr of the NY Fed's Liberty Street Economics blog:

No Guarantees, No Trade!: World trade fell 20 percent relative to world GDP in 2008 and 2009. Since then, there has been much debate about the role of trade finance in the Great Trade Collapse. Distress in ...


March 4, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1433403

Bad news for those who propose education as the solution to inequality:

How Higher Education Perpetuates Intergenerational Inequality, by Tim Taylor: Part of the mythology of US higher education is that it offers a meritocracy, along with a lot of second chances, so that smart and hard-working students of ...


March 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1433400
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March 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1433402
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March 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1433401
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March 4, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1433399

The siren song of retirement income free of state taxes continues to seduce politicians. No matter that there is little evidence that high taxes on pension income drive away seniors, or that few older people move from one state to another for any reason at all. No matter that tax-free ...


March 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1433394
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to a hostile correspondent:

Mr. Marion Ellis

Dear Mr. Ellis:

Calling my criticism of Paul Krugman’s most-recent column “shallow,” you applaud Krugman’s denial that (quoting Krugman) “the market for human labor is like the market for anything else.”

Of course the market for human labor differs in ...


March 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1433393
James Carville was certainly right: “It’s the economy, stupid.” And under Democrats (compared to Republicans), the economy kicks ass: This is GDP growth, but that kick-assness is blatant in any economic measure you look at, from job growth to stock-market returns to household income to government deficits. And it’s true over any ...


March 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1433392
Resident Fellow Thomas Miller discusses King v. Burwell on CSPAN'S 'Washington Journal.'


March 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1433391

Chairman Shelby, Ranking Member Brown, and distinguished members of the committee, thank you for convening today’s hearing on Federal Reserve Accountability and for inviting me to testify. I am a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, but this testimony represents my personal views. My research is focused on banking, ...


March 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1433390

Billionaire Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson sat in the House Chamber Tuesday Morning as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress.

At that moment, though, Adelson was, on paper, a host of a viewing party two blocks away at the Capitol Hill Club, a GOP haunt. The viewing ...


March 4, 2015, 11:33 am, 1433389
In my column on dynamic scoring, I wrote:

[A]ccurate dynamic scoring requires more information than congressional proposals typically provide. For example, if a member of Congress proposes a tax cut, a key issue in estimating its effect is how future Congresses will respond to ...


March 4, 2015, 11:33 am, 1433388
When I taught at Columbia University in the early 1990s, I wondered about our Ph.D. program. Yes, we were an Ivy League School but at that time Columbia Econ's senior faculty focused on a narrow set of topics such as International Trade. I also wondered about all of the Ph.D. ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1433326

The Supreme Court will today hear arguments in King v. Burwell, a case concerning the insurance premium subsidies in the Affordable Care Act.

The plaintiffs’ argument is that the health care law does not allow the federal government to provide these subsidies in states that failed to set up their ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1433325
Reuters

Mario Draghi started 2015 with a bang by unveiling a €1 trillion ($1.1 trillion)-plus asset purchase program, mostly government bonds, at the European Central Bank’s first meeting on Jan. 22.

Act Two won’t be quite as dramatic, ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1433322
Charles Evans, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Bloomberg News

NEW YORK–Raising short-term interest rates off currently near zero levels ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1433323
Dallas ranks highly in Zillow’s index. The U.S. energy boom fueled much of the city’s growth. Among U.S. metro areas, the largest over-the-year employment increase in December was in ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1433324

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, March 4, 2015:

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup

Highlights


Douglas’s Take: U.K. and U.S. Lawmakers Pressing for More Central Bank Accountability Yellen Scolds ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1433321
William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Bloomberg News

NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley warned Wednesday that borrowing ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1433317
March 17, 2009: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke with board members at a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve’s interest rate-setting body, in ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1433320

The Federal Reserve is a large and sprawling organization, with key personnel at its Washington headquarters and sprinkled across the 12 regional reserve banks. Here’s a brief rundown of the officials who show up in the transcripts from the Federal Open Market Committee’s 2009 meetings, and the positions they ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1433318
AFP/Getty Images

With hindsight, we know that the economy reached a turning point in mid-2009: It stopped shrinking and began growing again. But the expansion would be slow and ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1433316

LAKE FOREST, Ill.–Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Wednesday that low inflation remains a bit of a puzzle as the economy shows momentum.

Mr. Evans, whose remarks came during a question-and-answer session here, described the economy as doing better and showing momentum. But he said that isn’t enough ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1433319
The U.S. Federal Reserve building on July 30, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The year 2009 was a busy one for the Federal Reserve, which ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1433315
The February ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 56.9%, up from 56.7% in January. The employment index increased in February to 56.4%, up from 51.6% in January.Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.

From the Institute for Supply Management: February 2015 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®


March 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1433314
The Federal Reserve released the transcripts for the 2009 FOMC meetings today. Here is SF Fed President Janet Yellen in June 2009:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. At our meeting in late April, we had begun to see hopeful signs of impending economic recovery, and subsequent economic and ...


March 4, 2015, 10:44 am, 1433313
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March 4, 2015, 10:44 am, 1433311
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March 4, 2015, 10:44 am, 1433312
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March 4, 2015, 10:44 am, 1433310
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March 4, 2015, 10:44 am, 1433309
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March 4, 2015, 10:44 am, 1433308

INDIANA is a state of economic contrasts. Indianapolis, its biggest city, is dominated by thriving high-tech industries such as aerospace and chemical manufacturing. Its third Congressional district has the highest proportion of the workforce employed in manufacturing of any district in the ...


March 4, 2015, 10:44 am, 1433307

LIKE most other central banks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has a schedule for its monetary-policy meetings—firm dates on which its top brass gathers to consider changing interest rates. But much of the important action is now taking place between such ...


March 4, 2015, 10:35 am, 1433306
Payrolls at US companies posted another respectable gain in February, advancing 212,000 over the previous month, according to this morning’s update of the ADP Employment Report. The increase is a bit soft relative to the consensus forecast, but the gain still reflects a healthy bias for expansion. Reviewing the numbers ...


March 4, 2015, 10:34 am, 1433305

Tax reform: Go big or go home, or at least, not very far. TPC’s Len Burman says that senators Marco Rubio’s and Mike Lee’s proposal to eliminate the tax on capital gains would do more harm than good. The senators argue that it’s a step toward a consumption ...


March 4, 2015, 10:34 am, 1433304

The siren song of retirement income free of state taxes continues to seduce politicians. No matter that there is little evidence that high taxes on pension income drive away seniors, or that few older people move from one state to another for any reason at all. No matter that tax-free ...


March 4, 2015, 10:34 am, 1433303

Here's Leicester manager Nigel Pearson talking about tonight's game against Man City:

Do I expect any backlash or do I take encouragement from their recent results? I think a bit of both.

This is an example of how mistaken beliefs can cancel out. On the ...


March 4, 2015, 10:34 am, 1433302
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March 4, 2015, 10:05 am, 1433300

1. The obviously correct legal answer is to toss at least part of ACA back into the hands of Congress for a rewrite.  (There is rarely a well-defined “intent of the legislature” in most matters of detail, yet the wording itself is clear.)  But since many people do not like ...


March 4, 2015, 10:04 am, 1433299

Any good cook will tell you that you need great ingredients to pull off a great dish. Less discussed, but just as true: You need to cook the ingredients in the right order.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has nearly all of the right ingredients to win the GOP nomination. He is ...


March 4, 2015, 9:33 am, 1433298

By Deirdre McCloskey and it's a tour de force in a small space.

I don't agree--small corruption might be "O,K." but large-scale corruption is not. And cutting the federal government would go a long way to solving the problem.

But it's an impressive piece: Jay Cost is wrong, Samuel Bryan ...


March 4, 2015, 9:33 am, 1433297
My co-author Prof. Siqi Zheng teaches at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Her University is one of the top schools in China and proudly calls itself the MIT of China. Until recently, the President of her university was an energetic 51 years old named


March 4, 2015, 9:23 am, 1433294
The Reserve Bank of India is officially an inflation targeter. The agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the RBI was signed on February 20, and published a few days ago. The target is to "bring inflation below 6 per cent" by January 2016. For financial year 2016-17 ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433230
CEOs of some of the largest U.S. companies expect the economy to accelerate modestly this year, but still plan to hold steady on their hiring plans. (Photo by Justin ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433231
Kenneth Gilkes Jr., profiled in a Wall Street Journal article in February 2014, is now back in the workforce full time. Kenneth Gilkes Jr.

Kenneth Gilkes Jr. ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433232

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Tuesday, March 3, 2015:

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Ready, Fire, Aim … Let’s Reform the Fed Foreign Banks Brace for Fed ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433229
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney European Pressphoto Agency

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney admitted on Tuesday that the U.K. central bank has been hurt by ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433233
Cranes are pictured against the sunset at a construction site in the Toyosu district in Tokyo on Feb. 12. Reuters

Japan’s central bank should hold fire on ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433228
Bank of Canada Gov. Stephen Poloz is framed by seats while speaking during a news conference upon the release of the Monetary Policy Report in Ottawa Jan. 21, 2015. 


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433226

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and her husband, Nobel-prize-winning economist George Akerlof, reported total assets of between $4.9 million and $13.4 million last year, according to documents released Thursday by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

Ms. Yellen is one of several millionaires on the Fed, with the wealthiest officials having ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433225
 Happier times: A woman walks past the Nasdaq sign in New York’s Times Square March 9, 2000. Getty Images

I, for one, miss ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433227
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, left, and ranking member Sherrod Brown, right, listen as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433222

 

International Monetary Fund resident representative for Vietnam, Sanjay Kalra IMF

HANOI—Vietnam has managed to maintain stable macroeconomic conditions over recent years, with low inflation and a gradually ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433224
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) on Tuesday urged the Federal Reserve to strengthen a rule curbing its emergency-lending powers. Bloomberg News

The Federal Reserve has a ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433223

A network of liberal activists is planning a series of small demonstrations outside of several Federal Reserve district banks Thursday, intending to highlight elevated unemployment among minority communities and urging officials not to raise interest rates any time soon.

Fed officials have indicated they plan to lift their benchmark short-term ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433221
Reuters

Mario Draghi started 2015 with a bang by unveiling a €1 trillion ($1.1 trillion)-plus asset purchase program, mostly government bonds, at the European Central Bank’s first meeting on Jan. 22.

Act Two won’t be quite as dramatic, ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433218

NEW YORK–Raising short-term interest rates off currently near zero levels this year would be a mistake, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Wednesday.

“We should be patient in raising interest rates,” Mr. Evans said. “I think economic conditions will evolve in a way such that it will ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433219
Dallas ranks highly in Zillow’s index. The U.S. energy boom fueled much of the city’s growth. Among U.S. metro areas, the largest over-the-year employment increase in December was in ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433220

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, March 4, 2015:

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup

Highlights


Douglas’s Take: U.K. and U.S. Lawmakers Pressing for More Central Bank Accountability Yellen Scolds ...


March 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433217
From ADP:

Private sector employment increased by 212,000 jobs from January to February according to the February ADP National Employment Report®. ... The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis.
...
Goods-producing ...


March 4, 2015, 8:44 am, 1433216
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March 4, 2015, 8:44 am, 1433215
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March 4, 2015, 8:44 am, 1433214
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March 4, 2015, 8:44 am, 1433213
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March 4, 2015, 8:35 am, 1433212
A recent paper (“Evaluating Trading Strategies”) on the hazards of backtesting in The Journal of Portfolio Management has been receiving a fair amount of attention lately, inspiring some folks to go off the deep end and argue that econometric analysis of investment strategies is always a bad idea. That’s a ...


March 4, 2015, 8:35 am, 1433211

Tax reform: Go big or go home, or at least, not very far. TPC’s Len Burman says that senators Marco Rubio’s and Mike Lee’s proposal to eliminate the tax on capital gains would do more harm than good. The senators argue that it’s a step toward a consumption ...


March 4, 2015, 8:34 am, 1433210
Teaser:

Leave ...


March 4, 2015, 8:04 am, 1433207
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 35 of L. Earle Birdzell’s 1975 paper “Business and Government: The Walls Between” (in Neil H. Jacoby, ed., The Business-Government Relationship: A Reassessment [1975]):

For practical purposes today, American business today has no political rights.  True, burglary and embezzlement against a corporation are still ...


March 4, 2015, 7:33 am, 1433204

"Falling oil prices are no longer a threat to Texas."

We'll see, but the author makes a pretty convincing case.


March 4, 2015, 7:33 am, 1433203

That's consistent with my reading.

But you can't argue with his guy's advice, either: "The Brutally Honest 6 Reasons You Are Still Overfat". (Link via Instapundit.)


March 4, 2015, 7:33 am, 1433201

Great things could well be coming.

Sing along with Ol' Blue Eyes: "The Best is Yet To Come".


March 4, 2015, 7:33 am, 1433202

From the BBC, highlighting the research of John Leach, University of Portsmouth.

So the only reliable way to shortcut this kind of impaired thinking, most survival experts agree, is by preparing for an emergency in advance. . . .Typically, survivors survive not because they are braver or ...


March 4, 2015, 7:33 am, 1433200
Friederike Niepmann and Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr

World trade fell 20 percent relative to world GDP in 2008 and 2009. Since then, there has been much debate about the role of trade finance in the Great Trade Collapse. Distress in the financial sector can have a strong impact ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433166
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) on Tuesday urged the Federal Reserve to strengthen a rule curbing its emergency-lending powers. Bloomberg News

The Federal Reserve has a ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433165

A network of liberal activists is planning a series of small demonstrations outside of several Federal Reserve district banks Thursday, intending to highlight elevated unemployment among minority communities and urging officials not to raise interest rates any time soon.

Fed officials have indicated they plan to lift their benchmark short-term ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433167
 Happier times: A woman walks past the Nasdaq sign in New York’s Times Square March 9, 2000. Getty Images

I, for one, miss ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433164

 

International Monetary Fund resident representative for Vietnam, Sanjay Kalra IMF

HANOI—Vietnam has managed to maintain stable macroeconomic conditions over recent years, with low inflation and a gradually ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433162

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, March 4, 2015:

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup

Highlights


Douglas’s Take: U.K. and U.S. Lawmakers Pressing for More Central Bank Accountability Yellen Scolds ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433163
Reuters

Mario Draghi started 2015 with a bang by unveiling a €1 trillion ($1.1 trillion)-plus asset purchase program, mostly government bonds, at the European Central Bank’s first meeting on Jan. 22.

Act Two won’t be quite as dramatic, ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433161
From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Little Changed in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications increased 0.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 27, 2015. ...

The Refinance Index increased 1 percent ...


March 4, 2015, 6:44 am, 1433160

INDIA'S central bank cut its main interest rate from 7.75% to 7.5% today, giving qualified approval to the government's recent budget. Last month the bank had said that future interest-rate reductions would depend on fiscal rectitude. The cut came a day ...


March 4, 2015, 6:35 am, 1433159
● Eurozone Retail Sales Surge In January | WSJ ● Eurozone Composite PMI: economic growth at 7-month high | Markit ● Harsh Winter Weather Bit Into US Auto Sales in February | NY Times ● Germany Services PMI: Sharpest rise for 5 months in Feb | Markit ● UK Services ...


March 4, 2015, 6:04 am, 1433158
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March 4, 2015, 5:33 am, 1433154



(p. C3) Beginning in January 1920, something much worse than a recession blighted the world. The U.S. suffered the steepest plunge in wholesale prices in its history (not even eclipsed by the Great Depression), as well as a 31.6% drop in industrial production and a 46.6% fall ...


March 4, 2015, 5:23 am, 1433153

Photo Credit: Fortune Live Media

As I mentioned yesterday, there wasn’t anything that amazing and new in the annual letter of Berkshire Hathaway.  Lots of people found things to comment on, and there is always something true ...


March 4, 2015, 5:23 am, 1433152

Reader’s Question: What will be the inflation rate in 2020?

Firstly, I can’t resist a few economics ‘jokes’

“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today. “ “The First Law of Economists: For every ...


March 4, 2015, 5:03 am, 1433095

 

International Monetary Fund resident representative for Vietnam, Sanjay Kalra IMF

HANOI—Vietnam has managed to maintain stable macroeconomic conditions over recent years, with low inflation and a gradually ...


March 4, 2015, 5:03 am, 1433094

March 4, 2015, 4:35 am, 1433093

One of the most useful insights of public economics is the "theory of second best." The idea is that adopting some but not all of the features of optimal policy—the seminal article on the subject called this “piecemeal policy recommendations”—may actually make the economy less efficient.

A great example is ...


March 4, 2015, 4:05 am, 1433092

to raise labor share, unions have to decrease markups or the cost of capital; don’t see evidence or mechanism there

That is from A Macroeconomist, on Twitter.  A union which simply grabs for more from the employer will raise marginal cost and induce an offsetting boost in the price, ...


March 4, 2015, 3:33 am, 1433089
Greg Mankiw has a nice op-ed on dynamic scoring

The issue: When the congressional budget office "scores" legislation, figuring out how much it will raise or lower tax revenue and spending, it has been using "static" scoring. For example, it assumes that a tax cut has no ...


March 4, 2015, 2:05 am, 1433036

I used to think it was a decent enough school, and now:

Sweet Briar College announced today that it is shutting down at the end of this academic year.

Small colleges close or merge from time to time, more frequently since the economic downturn started in 2008. But the move is unusual ...


March 4, 2015, 2:04 am, 1433035

Today, March 4 (“March Forth”) is National Grammar Day. In past years, the National Grammar Day organization promoted the annual date as follows: “Language is something to be celebrated, ...


March 4, 2015, 1:33 am, 1433034
There's an excellent post on Keep Talking Greece this evening on the simmering feud between Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and Spanish prime minister Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Tsipras made a claim that Rajoy's plan is to "wear down, topple or bring our government to unconditional surrender before our work ...


March 4, 2015, 1:33 am, 1433033

Today, March 4 (“March Forth”) is National Grammar Day. In past years, the National Grammar Day organization promoted the annual date as follows: “Language is something to be celebrated, and March 4 is the perfect day to do it. It’s not only a ...


March 3, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1433004
Markit has new reports out today on service activity in China and Japan.

The former shows a bit of growth, the latter contraction. Because the reports are diffusion indices that give no weighting to the size of the companies reporting, one must look at these reports with a broad ...


March 3, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1432951
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney European Pressphoto Agency

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney admitted on Tuesday that the U.K. central bank has been hurt by ...


March 3, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1432949
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, left, and ranking member Sherrod Brown, right, listen as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol ...


March 3, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1432950
Bank of Canada Gov. Stephen Poloz is framed by seats while speaking during a news conference upon the release of the Monetary Policy Report in Ottawa Jan. 21, 2015. 


March 3, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1432948

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and her husband, Nobel-prize-winning economist George Akerlof, reported total assets of between $4.9 million and $13.4 million last year, according to documents released Thursday by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

Ms. Yellen is one of several millionaires on the Fed, with the wealthiest officials having ...


March 3, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1432947
 Happier times: A woman walks past the Nasdaq sign in New York’s Times Square March 9, 2000. Getty Images

I, for one, miss ...


March 3, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1432945

A network of liberal activists is planning a series of small demonstrations outside of several Federal Reserve district banks Thursday, intending to highlight elevated unemployment among minority communities and urging officials not to raise interest rates any time soon.

Fed officials have indicated they plan to lift their benchmark short-term ...


March 3, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1432946
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) on Tuesday urged the Federal Reserve to strengthen a rule curbing its emergency-lending powers. Bloomberg News

The Federal Reserve has a ...


March 3, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1432944

Today we are fortunate to present a guest contribution written by Ricardo T. Fernholz, Assistant Professor of Economics at Claremont McKenna College.

Recent trends in income and wealth inequality have drawn much attention from both academics and the general public. Atkinson, Piketty, and Saez (2011) and Saez and ...


March 3, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1432943

Colleges in the US charge high sticker prices but routinely offer discounts to individual students. This column presents research showing that colleges use a student’s federal aid form to learn about willingness-to-pay and to engage in substantial price discrimination in a way that amounts to a tax on income, with ...


March 3, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1432942

There were 24 sovereign defaults and debt restructurings between 1997 and 2013. Using data on 180 debt restructurings – for both sovereign bonds and sovereign syndicated bank loans – this column argues that the roughly 75% ‘haircut’ Argentina imposed on its creditors in 2005 was an outlier. Greece’s ‘haircut’ of ...


March 3, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1432941

Recessions can lead to an increase in youth unemployment, which could later negatively affect labour market outcomes. This column explores the effect of recessions on criminal activity. The findings indicate a substantial effect on initiating and forming youth careers. There is initially strong and eventually long-lasting detrimental effect of entering ...


March 3, 2015, 10:04 pm, 1432940
(March 4, 2015 12:06 AM, by Bryan Caplan) I just reviewed all 50 responses to my original Ukraine prediction challenge. Seven comments did not make unconditional predictions, and two were obvious jokes. Here's how I scored the remaining 41 sets of predictions:1. My last post named six major... (0 ...


March 3, 2015, 9:33 pm, 1432938

1. Chart of the Day I – the Global Stock Market Rally. The Morgan Stanley Capital International world stock market index is up by 7.3% over the last year, and has been hovering in record-high territory over the last week. As I


March 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1432888
Wednesday:
• At 7:00 AM ET, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

• At 8:15 AM, the ADP Employment Report for February. This report is for private payrolls only (no government). The consensus is for 220,000 payroll jobs added in ...


March 3, 2015, 8:44 pm, 1432887

I am so pleased to offer the following post by Carolina Reid, a premier housing researcher at UC Berkeley, about her excellent study of how mortgage servicers matter in creating home-saving opportunities. Welcome Carolina to Credit Slips.

By now we’re all familiar with a plethora ...


March 3, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1432883
(Don Boudreaux)

There are many candidates for ‘worst Paul Krugman column ever.’  Yesterday’s column is among them.  David Henderson wrote wisely on that column over at EconLog.  Here’s a comment that I left there:

David is absolutely correct: that column by Krugman awful. It’s anti-economics. It’s written as though ...


March 3, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1432882

1. Chart of the Day I – the Global Stock Market Rally. The Morgan Stanley Capital International world stock market index is up by 7.3% over the last year, and has been hovering in record-high territory over the ...


March 3, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1432881
In an effort to arrest hyperinflation and general panic over rising food prices, Ukraine's Central Bank Hikes Benchmark Rate to 30 Percent.

Ukraine's central bank will raise its benchmark refinancing rate to 30 percent from 19.5 percent, the head of the central bank said on Tuesday, as ...


March 3, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1432833

A report of mine was quoted recently in the Wall Street Journal, and it drew a response from a concerned reader.

The “Notable & Quotable” of Feb. 23, which is from the Tax Foundation’s report “Sources of Personal Income,” correctly points out that middle-class Americans earn substantial ...


March 3, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1432832
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, left, and ranking member Sherrod Brown, right, listen as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol ...


March 3, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1432828

A network of liberal activists is planning a series of small demonstrations outside of several Federal Reserve district banks Thursday, intending to highlight elevated unemployment among minority communities and urging officials not to raise interest rates any time soon.

Fed officials have indicated they plan to lift their benchmark short-term ...


March 3, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1432830
 Happier times: A woman walks past the Nasdaq sign in New York’s Times Square March 9, 2000. Getty Images

I, for one, miss ...


March 3, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1432831

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and her husband, Nobel-prize-winning economist George Akerlof, reported total assets of between $4.9 million and $13.4 million last year, according to documents released Thursday by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

Ms. Yellen is one of several millionaires on the Fed, with the wealthiest officials having ...


March 3, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1432829
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) on Tuesday urged the Federal Reserve to strengthen a rule curbing its emergency-lending powers. Bloomberg News

The Federal Reserve has a ...


March 3, 2015, 6:44 pm, 1432827
A


March 3, 2015, 6:44 pm, 1432826
A


March 3, 2015, 6:44 pm, 1432825
A


March 3, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1432824
Teaser:

Anyone ...


March 3, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1432820
Delicious.


March 3, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1432819
Former Missouri Sen. John Danforth sharply criticized the state’s current political discourse during his eulogy for state auditor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Schweich on Tuesday. “Words do hurt. Words can kill. That has been proven right here in our home state,” the Republican told an audience packed with the state’s top ...


March 3, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1432817

In Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Piketty 2014) Thomas Piketty presents a compelling story of the ascendency of capital and the powerlessness of the market forces to arrest the growing threat to democracy from growing wealth – and its increasing concentration in the hands of the few. Piketty prescribes a ...


March 3, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1432818
Senior Fellow John Bolton discusses Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming speech to Congress on Fox News' 'America's Newsroom.'


March 3, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1432816

While Asia seems largely peaceful compared to Eastern Europe and the Middle East, it is, in fact, a region of growing risk. The balance of power in the region appears to be shifting towards China, while America’s alliances remain in need of upgrading to focus on new threats. North Korea’s ...


March 3, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1432812

|Peter Boettke|

One of the more ambitious and exciting educational ventures we have launched at the Mercatus Center at GMU over the past few years is our Adam Smith ...


March 3, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1432811


March 3, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1432748
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney European Pressphoto Agency

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney admitted on Tuesday that the U.K. central bank has been hurt by ...


March 3, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1432749
CEOs of some of the largest U.S. companies expect the economy to accelerate modestly this year, but still plan to hold steady on their hiring plans. (Photo by Justin ...


March 3, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1432747
Bank of Canada Gov. Stephen Poloz is framed by seats while speaking during a news conference upon the release of the Monetary Policy Report in Ottawa Jan. 21, 2015. 


March 3, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1432746
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, left, and ranking member Sherrod Brown, right, listen as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol ...


March 3, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1432745

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and her husband, Nobel-prize-winning economist George Akerlof, reported total assets of between $4.9 million and $13.4 million last year, according to documents released Thursday by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

Ms. Yellen is one of several millionaires on the Fed, with the wealthiest officials having ...


March 3, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1432744
A


March 3, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1432743

IN THE run up to Britain's next general election, due to be held in May, the Conservatives plan to focus on simple themes, such as jobs and the economy. That stands in stark contrast to their last general-election campaign in 2010, when ...


March 3, 2015, 4:05 pm, 1432739

1. The New Rambler, a new book review journal, edited by Eric Posner, Arian Vermeule, and Blakey Vermeule, looks very good plus I owe them a review.

2. Toulouse School of Economics magazine (pdf).

3. WaPo covers the best places to visit internationally, now that the ...


March 3, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1432738
(Don Boudreaux)

In the comments section of this EconLog post by David Henderson (a post that highlights Charley Hooper’s excellent case against government restrictions on insider trading) I offered the following comment:

Regarding an exchange above [in the EconLog-post's comments section] between Zeke and David Henderson –

David argued (as ...


March 3, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1432736
Vice President of Foreign & Defense Policy Studies Danielle Pletka discusses Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress on Fox News' 'Happening Now.'


March 3, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1432737
Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies Peter Wallison discusses factors that have led to financial crisis in 2008 on Fox Business's 'Opening Bell.'


March 3, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1432734

What an odd sight — the Prime Minister of the state of Israel striding into the House chamber to address a joint meeting of Congress for all the world looking more popular than the president of the United States. Not a page from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, ...


March 3, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1432735

Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family franchise, gave a stem-winder of a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference last Friday.

It was an odd spectacle, as he fished around in his kit bag while telling the audience to make sure you carry around “your Bible and your ...


March 3, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1432733

The impending oral argument in King v. Burwell has unleashed a flood of editorials, op-eds, and amicus briefs imploring the Supreme Court to uphold the Obama administration’s position in the case. They all rehearse the same sketchy arguments about the language and history of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Constant ...


March 3, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1432730

Last night I spoke with my Dutch ancestor again. Nick van Rowe told me about the Land Theory of Value, which began with the French, but was perfected by the Dutch. This is what he told me:

Science has proved that land existed prior to both labour and capital. The Universe ...


March 3, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1432729
Is the Chicago pension system so messed up and union work rules so entrenched the only way to change either of them is bankruptcy? I think so.

So does Dennis Byrne who wrote on his blog today Chicago's Only Salvation: A Detroit-Like Bankruptcy.

This is ...


March 3, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1432728

“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”