Economics Roundtable

Database Maintenance 7/4/15

Routine database maintenance will induce some duplicated items for the next day or two.


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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August 4, 2015, 11:33 am, 1521684

The surge in SUV sales is due in part to relatively low gasoline prices, which ended July at about $2.70 per gallon nationwide.

via www.dispatch.com

Gas and cars are complementary goods. When the price of one falls, the demand for the other increases. In this case, the price of gas has ...


August 4, 2015, 11:33 am, 1521686

Ohio and other states that rely heavily on coal for electricity will have to make major changes in how they power their homes and businesses over the next 15 years under President Barack Obama’s unprecedented plan to drastically curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

Obama said on Monday that the average household would save ...


August 4, 2015, 11:33 am, 1521685

Ohio and other states that rely heavily on coal for electricity will have to make major changes in how they power their homes and businesses over the next 15 years under President Barack Obama’s unprecedented plan to drastically curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

Obama said on Monday that the average household would save ...


August 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1521623
Notes: This CoreLogic House Price Index report is for June. The recent Case-Shiller index release was for May. The CoreLogic HPI is a three month weighted average and is not seasonally adjusted (NSA).

From CoreLogic: CoreLogic Reports National Home Prices Rose by 6.5 Percent Year Over ...


August 4, 2015, 10:44 am, 1521622
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August 4, 2015, 10:44 am, 1521621
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August 4, 2015, 10:34 am, 1521620

Paul Mason's claim that we're entering the post-capitalist era has met some some sneering from the right. But I wonder: might we not be reverting to a pre-capitalist era instead?

I mean this in three different senses.

First, we might be seeing ...


August 4, 2015, 10:04 am, 1521612
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 8 of my colleague Chris Coyne’s superb 2008 book, After War: The Political Economy of Exporting ...


August 4, 2015, 10:04 am, 1521611
(Don Boudreaux)

Tom Miller reflects on 50 years of Medicare.  A slice:

Aside from the basic numbers of budgetary imbalances and continuing fiscal pressures, ...


August 4, 2015, 10:04 am, 1521610

College enrollment has increased, but graduation rates remain discouragingly mediocre, especially among low-income students. Consequently, researchers and policymakers have focused on how students choose colleges that maximize their potential success, especially regarding “undermatching”—when high-achieving, low-income students enroll in colleges that are less selective than they are qualified to attend.

The focus ...


August 4, 2015, 10:04 am, 1521609

President Barack Obama has announced more regulation in the name of climate, requiring a 32 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. Economic conservatives and those who believe in separation of powers are opposed. Given the role China has played in climate debates in the past, it is worth ...


August 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1521539

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Signs of Stability in Core Inflation Should Comfort Fed Official Powell: U.S. Should ...


August 4, 2015, 8:44 am, 1521538
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August 4, 2015, 8:44 am, 1521537
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August 4, 2015, 8:34 am, 1521536
The expected risk premium for the Global Market Index (GMI) ticked up in July, touching a two-month high. GMI — an unmanaged, market-value weighted mix of the major asset classes — is projected to earn an annualized 3.7% over the “risk-free” rate in the long term. (For details on the ...


August 4, 2015, 8:34 am, 1521535
Private nonfarm payrolls in the US are projected to increase by 227,000 (seasonally adjusted) in tomorrow’s July update of the ADP Employment Report, based on The Capital Spectator’s average point forecast for several econometric estimates. The average projection is modestly below June’s increase. Two estimates based on recent surveys of ...


August 4, 2015, 8:04 am, 1521534
(August 4, 2015 07:04 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) I suspect that one of the most enduring legacies of the Greek crisis may be the making of Yanis Varoufakis into a global opinion leader. It is a curious phenomenon. Varoufakis was the leading Greek negotiator in a round of... (0 ...


August 4, 2015, 8:04 am, 1521533


August 4, 2015, 8:04 am, 1521532

The Clinton e-mail scandal reached a new level of seriousness when the intelligence community inspector general found classified information from five intelligence agencies in e-mails housed on Clinton’s private server. It is against the law to remove classified information from government facilities and retain it after you have left office ...


August 4, 2015, 7:33 am, 1521528

Yes, indeed, unless significant changes are made, you'll be entitled to wonderful health care benefits, but you just won't be able to get them. (Kinda like how rent control makes apartments "affordable" but . . . unobtainable.)

Related: "Absent Strong Action, Medicare Goes the Way of Greece".


August 4, 2015, 7:33 am, 1521527

Brian Yablonski, adjunct fellow of PERC:

Western orthodoxy suggests the white man’s irresistible drive for wealth led to the bison genocide. Reality, however, proved more complicated. Their near extinction was due to a host of factors ranging from adverse climate issues, introduction of the transcontinental ...


August 4, 2015, 7:33 am, 1521526

Alex Tabarrok elegantly refutes the attack on the "gig economy".

Some restaurants offer burgers without fries and a drink. These restaurants cater to low-income people who enjoy fries and drinks but can’t always afford them. To rectify this sad situation a presidential candidate proposesThe Happy Meal Act. ...


August 4, 2015, 7:33 am, 1521525

It's enough to break an irony meter: virtually all the scapegoats of the Chapel Hill scandal--Chapel Hill, as proudly progressive a school as you'll find--are, or will be, minorities and women.

Related: a graphic presentation of some of the data, "Analysis of Student Athlete involvement in the ...


August 4, 2015, 7:33 am, 1521524

By an AP reporter, reprinted in the Washington Post, no less.

It’s getting more expensive to be an employer and small business owners say that’s making it harder for them to make money.

The health care law, minimum wage increases and paid sick leave laws in ...


August 4, 2015, 6:44 am, 1521477
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August 4, 2015, 6:34 am, 1521475
● US personal spending +0.4% and income +0.2% in June ● US auto sales surge 5.3% in July ● ISM: US manufacturing growth ticks down in July ● US construction spending rises by a sluggish 0.1% in June ● Gallup: US consumer spending flat in July


August 4, 2015, 5:33 am, 1521472
Every month, 3D printing possibilities get increasingly elaborate.

For example (with thanks to reader Tim Wallace for the links): The Goal of MX3D is to 3D print a steel bridge. Really.

With our robots that can “draw” steel structures in 3D, we will print a bridge ...


August 4, 2015, 5:33 am, 1521471



(p. 227) The fact that some people are led into a practice in pursuit of goals that are external to the practice-- money, fame, or what have you-- need pose no threat to the integrity of the practice itself. So long as those goals do not penetrate ...


August 4, 2015, 5:03 am, 1521441

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, Aug. 3, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Fed Doesn’t Demand Wage Growth Before Increasing Interest Rate Bullard: “In Good Shape” ...


August 4, 2015, 5:03 am, 1521440
The Federal Reserve in Washington. SAMUEL CORUM/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

The latest inflation figures aren’t making the Federal Reserve’s job any easier.

Consumer-price growth has been running below the ...


August 4, 2015, 5:03 am, 1521439
Bloomberg News

Australia’s central bank left interest rates unchanged on Tuesday, as expected, while leaving the door open for a cut later in the year should the economy falter.

The ...


August 4, 2015, 5:03 am, 1521438

In our last installment in our national dividend series, we were striving to turn our work in developing a consumption-based national dividend concept for measuring the economic well-being of typical Americans into a monthly economic indicator.

It turns out however that our source for ...


August 4, 2015, 4:44 am, 1521437
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August 4, 2015, 4:04 am, 1521436

What concrete changes would I make in schools? The idea that you need to take a whole class to learn some topic is absurd. Whatever you’ve learned is probably going to be obsolete. A class is to spur your interest, to expose you to a new role model, a new ...


August 4, 2015, 4:04 am, 1521435
(August 4, 2015 03:02 AM, by David Henderson) In a comment on a recent post of mine on worker safety, in which I highlighted the "Job Safety" entry by W. Kip Viscusi in The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, MikeDC wrote: If you've got an impoverished and hungry subsistence... (1 ...


August 4, 2015, 4:04 am, 1521434

The failure of talks in Maui last weeks to reach final agreement on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement raises new, if slim, hope that this corporate wishlist may not be delivered after all. Friday was the last chance to get a deal that could be pushed through the


August 4, 2015, 3:03 am, 1521381
Bloomberg News

Australia’s central bank left interest rates unchanged on Tuesday, as expected, while leaving the door open for a cut later in the year should the economy falter.

The ...


August 4, 2015, 3:03 am, 1521380

August 4, 2015, 3:03 am, 1521379

Tim Duy:

Gearing Up For Employment Day, by Tim Duy: The big event this week is the employment report. Fed watchers will eagerly dive into the data, looking for signs that the labor market made "some" further improvement. "Some" improvement appears to be an important hurdle to clear before ...


August 4, 2015, 2:04 am, 1521377

1. Painter: Marko Čelebonović.  Plus lots of the art in the monasteries.

2. Performance art: Marina Abramović.  I still love this video of the staring game.

3. Author: Danilo Kiš, the Serbian Borges.  ...


August 4, 2015, 2:04 am, 1521376
(August 4, 2015 12:01 AM, by Bryan Caplan) [Warning: Season 4-5 Walking Dead spoilers]In zombie survival sensation The Walking Dead, the protagonists are captured by a community of hipster cannibals. The community is called Terminus; its members, Terminants. Their business model:1. Lure human survivors to their compound with... (1 ...


August 4, 2015, 2:04 am, 1521375

Congress fought a bruising legislative battle in order to ensure its right to review the Iran deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. But like the dog that caught a car, Congress now faces the question of what to do with it. Should there be a straight ...


August 4, 2015, 12:44 am, 1521354

Finding employment in the formal sector in developing countries is difficult. Countries with an abundance of informal firms suffer from low aggregate productivity. This column suggests that as countries develop, more workers transition from the informal to the formal sector. A ten-year period of rapid growth in Vietnam displayed a ...


August 4, 2015, 12:44 am, 1521353

Italy’s productivity has been stagnant since the late 1990s. This column argues that public sector inefficiency could be partially responsible for the country’s low labour productivity. The evidence suggests that Italy could realise significant macroeconomic productivity gains if average public sector efficiency were to improve from its current faltering levels.


August 3, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1521351
It was already difficult to imagine Congress mustering up enough support to override a presidential veto of a bill to kill the Iran deal, but it will be impossible now that Kerry Secures Gulf Support.

Gulf Arab countries gave cautious backing on Monday to the nuclear deal ...


August 3, 2015, 10:34 pm, 1521314
Teaser:


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521266

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, July 30, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Labor Data is at the Top of The Fed’s Rate Hike Dashboard Fed ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521265

Economic policy makers at the White House spent much of the last six years putting out fires sparked by the financial crisis and recession. Now, they are turning to seemingly mundane matters ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521267
Rachael Heffner, profiled in a Wall Street Journal article about student debt last year, rented a room in her parents’ basement with her boyfriend. CATALIN ABAGIU ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521269

Here is the full statement from the Federal Reserve’s policy-making committee.

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that economic activity has been expanding moderately in recent months. Growth in household spending has been moderate and the housing sector has shown additional improvement; however, business ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521264
Government data on economic output was revised for the past three years in part due to a new accounting of military spending. KELLY M. AGEE/U.S. NAVY ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521270
There is already evidence that home-price growth is starting to slow. JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES

Home prices have been rising at twice the rate of income growth and ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521268

The Federal Reserve releases a statement at the conclusion of each of its policy-setting meetings, outlining the central bank’s economic outlook and the actions it plans to take. Much of the statement remains the same from meeting to meeting. Fed watchers closely parse changes between statements to see how the ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521261
Shoppers walk along Lexington Avenue in the eastern Midtown section of Manhattan in April. “It is the consumer that is in the driver’s seat always, and they continue to ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521263
The U.S. economy accelerated modestly in the second quarter, according to the Commerce Department’s gross domestic product report released Thursday.


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521256

MOSCOW–The Bank of Russia cut interest rates Friday for the fifth time this year citing economic risks, but declined to commit on whether there would be further monetary easing.

The central bank slashed the key rate by 50 basis points to 11%, in line with the market consensus, taking its total ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521258
Brad Breitbach uses a surfboard to protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks on Hawaiis island of Maui. WILL MAULDIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Some of the bitterest foes ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521257

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, July 31, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: GDP Data Support a Soon-and-Slow Rate Hike Strategy Modest Growth in U.S. Economy


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521259
A debt clock on Capitol Hill in July. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

For the last 18 months, investors have enjoyed a period of relative calm when ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521262
Google’s European headquarters in Dublin. Profits made by multinational companies, many of which are American, show up in GDP figures, and are likely to be exaggerated by tax-avoidance schemes, ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521260
Businesses pulled back on investments in the second quarter, in part due to a slowdown in the oil and gas extraction sector. ANDREW BURTON/GETTY IMAGES

U.S. consumers stepped up their spending ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521255
Not a single city with a population above 300,000, such as Philadelphia, reported that economic conditions had worsened over the last year and 23% said they had improved greatly.


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521254
Of the 10 busiest U.S. markets for home construction, those that grew the fastest in this year’s first half from the same period a year ago generated more than ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521251
The Federal Reserve in Washington. SAMUEL CORUM/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

The latest inflation figures aren’t making the Federal Reserve’s job any easier.

Consumer-price growth has been running below the ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521252

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, Aug. 3, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Fed Doesn’t Demand Wage Growth Before Increasing Interest Rate Bullard: “In Good Shape” ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521253
The first week of August brings important data readings that are sure to catch the notice of Federal Reserve officials.


August 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1521250

Reader Mike V castigates me for over-use of logs.

I’m not at all averse to logs, but they have a time an a place. You are trying to point out relatively small changes in income over a short time-series – not the nearly exponential changes in the S&P 500 ...


August 3, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1521249
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Neil King reports that many prominent people agree ...


August 3, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1521187
From the Federal Reserve: The July 2015 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices

Regarding loans to businesses, the July survey results indicated that, on balance, banks reported little change in their standards on commercial and industrial (C&I) loans in the second quarter of 2015. In addition, ...


August 3, 2015, 6:44 pm, 1521183
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August 3, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1521173
Fellow Jonah Goldberg discusses comments made by Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Fox News' 'Your World with Neil Cavuto'


August 3, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1521172

More bad news for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and the ruling Workers’ Party, as authorities arrested a powerful political chieftain early Monday morning. José Dirceu, former chief of staff to ex-president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, was arrested in connection with the Petrobras corruption scandal rocking the South American ...


August 3, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1521171
Dissatisfied with alleged concessions to Russia, the leader of the Right Sector battalion, Dmytro Yarosh, seeks a nationwide no-confidence referendum in President Petro Poroshenko.

The Right Sector is an illegal battalion that Kiev tolerates because its fighters are well-trained, well-equipped, and willing to take on the separatists.


August 3, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1521170
Back in the 1990s, Tomas Piketty wrote a short book about economic inequality. Harvard University Press has now published an English translation Paul Krugman reviews it in today's NY Timesand declares that the book is out of date and no longer reflects the profession's consensus about the causes and ...


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August 3, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1521101

So Joe Biden is (maybe) going to run for president. In a moving and uncharacteristically newsbreaking column, Maureen Dowd (with apparently inside sourcing, as Bill Kristol notes) writes that Biden was urged to run by his dying 46-year-old son Beau Biden. As my Washington Examiner colleague


August 3, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1521096

Another day, another article about the gendered impacts of air conditioning.

Here's the story: North American offices are air conditioned to a temperature which is, from a female perspective, too cold. Women shiver at their desks; men are just fine.

It's a serious environmental issue. When women have office space ...


August 3, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1521095
1934 Chinese silver dollar with Sun Yat-sen
I have been hitting me head against the wall these last few weeks trying to understand Chinese monetary policy, ...


August 3, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1521034

A quick one before hitting the road. Is deficit fetishism bullshit? This is from Simon Wren-Lewis:

Is deficit fetishism innate or contextual?: In a couple of interesting posts, Jonathan Hopkin and Ben Rosamond, political scientists from the LSE and Copenhagen respectively, talk ...


August 3, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1521033

I have time for one more... This is John Whitehead at Environmental Economics:

Are all tax increases a bad thing?: Not necessarily. And yet, Greg Mankiw:

As long-time readers of this blog know, I have long advocated greater use of Pigovian taxes, such as taxes on carbon emissions.Such taxes ...


August 3, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1521032

Today we are fortunate to have a guest contribution written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at Harvard University, and former Member of the Council of Economic Advisers, 1997-99.

The plunge of China’s stock market that has taken place since June has received a ...


August 3, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1521031
Based on a WardsAuto estimate, light vehicle sales were at a17.5 million SAAR in June. That is up 6.4% from July 2014, and up 3.3% from the 17.0 million annual sales rate last month.


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August 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1521023

Singapore as an independent nation will be fifty years old this August 9.  In the comments, a number of you have asked me why I find Singapore so special.

I would cite three features of the country above all else:

1. ...


August 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1521022
(August 3, 2015 02:04 PM, by David Henderson) There has been a lot of excitement recently over what many people call the "sharing economy," in which new firms such as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and other website businesses are increasing the value of capital assets. Uber and Lyft allow... (0 ...


August 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1521021

August 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1521020
(Don Boudreaux)

The dominant theme of some of the great classic works in the classical-liberal tradition – books such as Ludwig ...


August 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1521019

What kind of society would you desire if you had to enter it cold, sight unseen? The classic example: What would have been the opinion of antebellum slaveholders if there were an equal chance they would enter society as a slave owner or ...


August 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1521018

Traveling recently in what might be called “new frontline” states—Estonia, Ukraine, and Moldova—I was struck by the depth of concern I encountered about Russian propaganda. And not just propaganda aimed at the Russian population and neighboring countries. At a conference in Tallinn, a Politico reporter and experienced Russia hand who ...


August 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1521015

The deal between Iran, the United States, and the European Union on Tehran’s nuclear program, if it becomes operationalized as scheduled, will ensure that Iran will have nuclear weapons by 2025, if not well before. As Michael Mandelbaum has explained , the Obama Administration’s unwillingness to credibly threaten the use ...


August 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1521016

Some lunchtime reading:

New Laws Explain Why Fast Growing Networks Break- Wired  

Last month, United Airlines grounded nearly 5,000 flights when its computer system crashed. The culprit: a faulty network router. Later on the same morning, another computer glitch halted trading on the New York Stock Exchange for over three hours…

Researchers ...


August 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1521017

Be on the lookout for the culminating report of AEI’s American Internationalism Project this fall, written by former Senators Jon Kyl and Joseph Lieberman, which will make the case for American leadership in terms that are relevant to all Americans.

A strong, bipartisan commitment to global leadership has informed America’s foreign ...


August 3, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1521011

Not necessarily. And yet, Greg Mankiw:

As long-time readers of this blog know, I have long advocated greater use of Pigovian taxes, such as taxes on carbon emissions.Such taxes can correct incentivesby aligning private and social costs, and the revenue from such taxes can be used to reduce other, distortionary ...


August 3, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1521010

August 3, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1520949

Gary Hufbauer is the Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

A seminal thinker and world-renowned expert on international trade, commerce, and taxation, for the past decades, Dr. Hufbauer’s research has significantly influenced the arena of international economics. Few, if any, other scholars have the ...


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August 3, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1520940
(August 3, 2015 10:36 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Interesting email from Todd Proebsting, reprinted with his permission. Dear Prof. Caplan, Your recent attempt at a wager on Iran's nuclear progress, and the subsequent exchange with the author about why you wanted 10:1 odds reminded me that the CIA... (5 ...


August 3, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1520937

Faute de mieux. That means “for want of something better” in Secretary of State John Kerry’s second language. It’s also the best case made by its journalistic defenders for approval of the nuclear weapons deal Kerry negotiated with Iran. Or to be more exact, for rallying 34 votes in the ...


August 3, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1520938


August 3, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1520939

Part One:

Part Two:


August 3, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1520936

It must be getting lonely for Google in the battle over Europe’s increasingly extraterritorial demands regarding the (misnamed) “right to be forgotten.” As Europe raises the stakes yet again, Google is still not seeing any support from the Obama administration.

To review, in May 2014, the European Court of Justice ...


August 3, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1520934

HAD anyone believed President Obama’s mantra that “all options are on the table” to deal with Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the Vienna agreement might have emerged less advantageously for Tehran. But no one took Mr. Obama’s threat of military force seriously — a credibility gap that Israel still fears and ...


August 3, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1520935

Bill Kristol: “I’m very pleased to be joined today by Christina Sommers, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, former philosophy professor. Once a philosophy professor, always a philosophy professor, right? Author of many important works, including most recently, Freedom Feminism, and, of course, star of the wonderful series ...


August 3, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1520933

Abstract:

We examine the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on part-time employment. Because the ACA’s employer health insurance mandate applies to individuals who work 30 or more hours per week, employers may try to avoid the mandate by cutting workers’ hours below the 30-hour threshold in order to avoid ...


August 3, 2015, 11:33 am, 1520931
On July 24, the Conference Board asked the question: Is Wage Growth Accelerating?

The Board's answer was "All signs point to Yes!"

One big question regarding the US economy is whether wage growth is accelerating. You might think that this is a pretty straightforward question ...


August 3, 2015, 11:33 am, 1520930
As long-time readers of this blog know, I have long advocated greater use of Pigovian taxes, such as taxes on carbon emissions.Such taxes can correct incentivesby aligning private and social costs, and the ...


August 3, 2015, 11:03 am, 1520868
Note: This was released early.

The ISM manufacturing index suggested expansion in July. The PMI was at 52.7% in July, down from 53.5% in June. The employment index was at 52.7%, down from 55.5% in June, and the new orders index was at 56.5%, up from 56.0%.


August 3, 2015, 11:03 am, 1520867
The Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending increased slightly in June:

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during June 2015 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,064.6 billion, 0.1 percent above the revised May estimate of $1,063.5 ...


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August 3, 2015, 10:34 am, 1520862

It's widely agreed that Jeremy Corbyn's popularity is due in large part to the mediocrity of the alternatives. As if to demonstrate this, Chris Leslie - Shadow Chancellor - claims that Corbynomics would be inflationary.


August 3, 2015, 10:04 am, 1520859
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 39 of the 1993 Reissue edition of Darrell Huff’s classic 1954 volume, How to Lie With ...


August 3, 2015, 10:04 am, 1520858

Last week, the National Journal (NJ) published an article on “social-impact financing”—often referred to as pay for success or social impact bonds—entitled: “Is Wall Street Starting to Recruit in Pre-K?” Most of the article’s focus is on describing this innovative new approach to public financing that uses private dollars ...


August 3, 2015, 9:33 am, 1520855

Greece faces a stark choice: stay in the euro and implement the policies demanded by its creditors or exit and re-introduce its own national currency. The dimensions of this decision go far beyond economics, affecting Greece’s political and cultural identity for generations. Yet, even in a narrow sense – determining ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 am, 1520790

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, Aug. 3, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Fed Doesn’t Demand Wage Growth Before Increasing Interest Rate Bullard: “In Good Shape” ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 am, 1520789
The Federal Reserve in Washington. SAMUEL CORUM/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

The latest inflation figures aren’t making the Federal Reserve’s job any easier.

Consumer-price growth has been running below the ...


August 3, 2015, 9:03 am, 1520788
From the BEA, the Personal Income and Outlays report for June:

Personal income increased $68.1 billion, or 0.4 percent ... in June, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
...
Real PCE -- PCE adjusted to remove price changes -- decreased less than 0.1 percent in June, in ...


August 3, 2015, 8:44 am, 1520786
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August 3, 2015, 8:34 am, 1520783
A partial rebound was in play in July after widespread losses dominated the global markets during the previous two months. Notably, last month witnessed a sharp increase in US real estate investment trusts (REITs)–the first increase after three monthly declines. Stock markets in the developed world were mostly higher in ...


August 3, 2015, 8:04 am, 1520782

Private schools for the poor are growing rapidly throughout the developing world. The Economist has a review:

Private schools enroll a much bigger share of primary-school pupils in poor countries than in rich ones: a fifth, according to data compiled from official ...


August 3, 2015, 7:33 am, 1520779

As often is the case, causality is in doubt here. But it's still either a bit funny or a bit disturbing, you decide.


August 3, 2015, 7:33 am, 1520778

Scott Sumner:

Here's the obvious solution. Privatize the DMV by letting competing companies provide this service, and compensate them per customer at the current spending level of the government service. Since the private sector is far more efficient than the public sector, they can do this at ...


August 3, 2015, 7:33 am, 1520780

According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists it's thePhiladelphia Federal Reserve's index of manufacturing activity.


August 3, 2015, 7:33 am, 1520775

The article's subhead is "The city’s devastating affordability crisis has an unlikely villain—its famed progressive politics."

That needs an adaptation of an old joke: "What's unlikely, Kimo Sabe?"

Related: "How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained)". It's long and complicated, but part of ...


August 3, 2015, 7:33 am, 1520776

Chester Finn and Bruno Manno thoughtfully and self-critically examine the state of play for one of the most important changes in public education in the last 50 years.. Bottom line:

There's reason for hope. This movement is still basically bipartisan — a rarity in today's polarized policy world. Most ...


August 3, 2015, 7:33 am, 1520777

Video of a debate about possible rent control in Seattle. Co-starring for the pro-control side is a holder of an economics Ph.D. from N.C. State (don't blame me, I had nothing to do with it).

After listening to her and remembering how futilely I fought against the economic dopiness ...


August 3, 2015, 7:33 am, 1520774
Stavros Peristiani and Joo Santos

Unlike mortgage-backed and home equity-backed securities, collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), whose collateral is predominantly corporate loans, are slowly but steadily recovering. This revival, illustrated in the chart below, spotlights again a sector of nonagency structured finance that has been scrutinized for its ...


August 3, 2015, 7:33 am, 1520773
Fromthis collection of Milton Friedman quotations, here is one I had not heard before:

“I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable ...


August 3, 2015, 6:44 am, 1520710

Seafood is highly perishable and supply is often uncertain. Roger Berkowitz, CEO of Legal Sea Foods talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of running 34 seafood restaurants up and down the east coast. Berkowitz draws on his 22 year tenure as CEO ...


August 3, 2015, 6:34 am, 1520709
● US employment costs decelerated sharply in Q2 ● US consumer sentiment softens more than expected in July ● Puerto Rico misses bond payments over the weekend ● PMI: Eurozone manufacturing output rises “solidly” in July ● PMI: manufacturing decline in China accelerates in July ● Greek stock market crashes ...


August 3, 2015, 5:03 am, 1520687

Last week, we considered what the potential impact of stock buybacks would be to the S&P 500 as if the venerable stock market index was the stock price of a single company. We concluded our analysis as follows: