Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


The best summary of the state of our economy is the graph (below) of employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old. The decrease is large, but the most troubling feature of the graph is the flat trend .

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

Donald Marron likes European interest rates. Click on the image to get a bigger version. Can you find three distinct subperiods?

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.

Remember M1?

Money Supply M1 growth is now over 20% per year over a 12 month lag. M1 growth has touched 20% before, but not with excess reserves of $1.6 trillion. Where is M1 headed?

Click on the chart for a larger version.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

The Classic Economic Models cover micro, macro, and financial markets.

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September 29, 2016, 4:04 am, 1679440

Here are two notable excerpts:

The windows were usually clamped shut and the blinds were often drawn; one of Rand’s cats had jumped to an untimely death, condemning visitors thereafter to endure the stuffy air in her apartment.

Are cats that stupid?  (Did not Aristotle describe the cat as ...

September 29, 2016, 3:03 am, 1679418

September 29, 2016, 2:04 am, 1679417

Part of me feels no, we should not let up on the worry, it does seem truly bad.  And yet, when I look at market prices, I don’t see such a high level of gloom or angst.  Here is my latest Bloomberg column, it makes a number ...

September 29, 2016, 12:04 am, 1679405

Each year, Americans give more than $350 billion to charity. In addition to the religious and educational institutions at the center of American ...

September 28, 2016, 9:03 pm, 1679387
The GDP release will be for Q2. Here are two looks at Q3 ...

Atlanta Fed GDP Now:

The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2016 is 2.8 percent on September 28, down from 2.9 percent ...

September 28, 2016, 8:04 pm, 1679386

Sean Illing in particular, here is one excerpt:


Nate Silver

Underrated. Nate Silver is famous, and he writes on topics where everyone has their own view. When you do that, people think you’re always wrong, and when you are actually, as he was on Trump, people ...

September 28, 2016, 8:04 pm, 1679385
Asked by Holt what he would do to prevent cyberattacks, Trump replied: “As far as the cyber . . . we should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we’re not. I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC [Democratic National Committee]. She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia. ...

September 28, 2016, 7:33 pm, 1679384
I am happy to read that UCLA has swapped out its diesel buses and now purchased clean buses (from China's BYD) but the entire fleet consists of 16 buses. This article ignores the fact that probably 75% of UCLA's employee transport miles commuting to campus take place in private ...

September 28, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1679373
(September 28, 2016 06:42 PM, by David Henderson) Charlie Schultze, Brookings Institution economist and former economic adviser to President Jimmy Carter has died at age 91. Charlie was old-school in the best sense of that term. From what I could tell at a distance, he believed in using... (0 COMMENTS)

September 28, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1679341

Today is September 28, the anniversary of the Norman invasion of England in 1066. After becoming king, William the Conqueror continued the existing land tax (“danegeld”) and commissioned the Domesday Book in 1085 to survey land values across the kingdom for tax purposes.

Here are some interesting ...

September 28, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1679339
Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in August to 1.03%, down from 1.08% in July. Freddie's rate is down from 1.45% in August 2015.

This is the lowest rate since July 2008.

Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%.

September 28, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1679340
From Bloomberg: OPEC Agrees to First Oil Output Cut in Eight Years

In two days of round-the-clock talks in Algiers, the group agreed to drop production to 32.5 million barrels a day, the delegate said, asking not to be named because the decision isn’t yet public. That’s nearly 750,000 ...

September 28, 2016, 4:44 pm, 1679338

September 28, 2016, 4:44 pm, 1679337

September 28, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1679336

September 28, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1679335

South Korea’s tendency to intervene to limit the won’s appreciation is well known.

When the won appreciated toward 1100 (won to the dollar) last week, it wasn’t that hard to predict that reports of Korean intervention would soon follow.

Last Thursday Reuters wrote:

“The South Korean currency, emerging Asia’s best performer this year, ...

September 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679332
(Don Boudreaux)

Dr. Peter Navarro
University of California – Irvine

Dr. Navarro:

You write in your document “Scoring ...

September 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679331

Donald Trump tells blacks — typically in front of whites — that because their lives are so horrible and hopeless, they should take a flier and for once vote for the Republican presidential nominee. “What the hell do you have to lose?” Trump said before a suburban Detroit audience last month.

That ...

September 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679330

I just spent an evening watching the first Trump-Clinton debate. I feel like I need a long shower. I don’t know about you, but I found that to be one of the least enlightening and most tedious Monday nights I can remember. Anyway, a few quick thoughts.

First, NBC’s Chuck Todd ...

September 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679329

Over the last seven plus years of the Obama presidency, Congress has done little to constrain a leader who arrogated to himself more executive authority than any president in recent memory. Obamacare? Check. Iran deal? Check. Iraqi troop withdrawal? Check. Annexation of Crimea? Nada. North Korea nuclear tests? Nada. Spread ...

September 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679328

Every great nation has a deep appreciation for a culture of learning. It was true for ancient civilizations in Greece, Africa, Asia, and Mexico. It was true during the Italian Renaissance, as well as the Enlightenment movements in Europe and Scotland, both of which influenced a generation of revolutionary colonists to throw off the ...

September 28, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1679292

Robert Rich, Joseph Tracy, and Ellen Fu at the NY Fed's Liberty Street Economics:

U.S. Real Wage Growth: Slowing Down With Age: In Monday’s post, we described the estimation of real wage growth rates for different cohorts of U.S. workers. We showed that the life-cycle pattern of ...

September 28, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1679291

Marcus Noland at PIIE:

Scoring the Trump Trade Plan: Magical Thinking: Back in the 1970s, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabelle Allende, and other Latin American writers developed a literary style featuring wild juxtapositions and metaphysical leaps that came to be known as magical realism. “Scoring the Trump Economic Plan: ...

September 28, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1679290

Paul Krugman:

VAT of Deplorables: I’ve been writing about Donald Trump’s claim that Mexico’s value-added tax is an unfair trade policy, which is just really bad economics. ...

But it turns out that Trump wasn’t saying ignorant things off the top of his head: he was saying ignorant things fed ...

September 28, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1679285

The bailout agreement between Greece and its German-led creditors assumes rapid growth from late 2016 onward, including an official forecast of 2.7% growth in 2017. Private-sector economists believe next year’s growth could be closer to 0.6%.

Exports are stagnant, and unemployment remains at 23%.  Here is

September 28, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1679279
Times change. USC Football is now ranked below both its College (#15) and its Economics Department (#24 based on REPEC productivity measures). The WSJ ranking places USC where it deserves to be. I have taught USC undergraduates for 3 semesters now and I will testify under ...

September 28, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1679248

The severe floods that hit Louisiana last month added to the economic pain of southern cities already struggling with job losses amid a slowdown in the energy sector.

The Lafayette and Houma-Thibodaux metro areas of the Pelican State saw some of the sharpest job losses nationwide in August, according to ...

September 28, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1679247
From economist Josh Lehner at Oregon Office of Economic Analysis Peak Renter In RealLife

A year ago our office asked “Is 2015 Peak Renter?” We laid out a straightforward case examining the three main underlying drivers for the shift into rentership over the past decade: household finances, demographics, ...

September 28, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1679246

September 28, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1679245

September 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679240

September 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679239
He was the very best–a personal hero of mine.

September 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679236

Like clockwork, every few years, it happens. Confronted with a persistent problem for which there’s no easy solution or with a looming crisis for which there’s no easy out, the White House or State Department do the diplomatic equivalent of wishing it away: They order a change of vocabulary, convincing ...

September 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679238
Authored by Mike Kimel I straddle a couple of economic worlds.  In my day job, I run the Pricing and Market Analytics group for a foreign manufacturing company.  But I also retain at least an ear to the ground in a small business my wife and I started about seven ...

September 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679237

September 28, 2016, 11:33 am, 1679235

In case you missed the debate Monday night (I wish I had), I think this was the only environmental economics:

Donald Trump on Monday sparred with Hillary Clintonover whether he has called climate change a hoax as they debated the nation's energy policy.

Clinton said the United States should invest in clean ...

September 28, 2016, 11:33 am, 1679234

This post was inspired by an analysis that Brian Wang featured last November at his Next Big Future blog that attempts to answer the question: ...

September 28, 2016, 11:03 am, 1679202

Today, we are very excited to release our annual State Business Tax Climate Index, now in its 13th edition. Our Index gives taxpayers, the media, and policymakers a barometer to judge their state tax systems against the rest of the country, while providing a roadmap to reform their ...

September 28, 2016, 11:03 am, 1679201
This was released last week by the ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Jumped 5.7% in August

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 5.7% in August, following a 2.1% decline during July. In August, the index equaled 141.8 (2000=100), up from 134.2 in July. ...

September 28, 2016, 10:34 am, 1679200

A commenter on a previous post asks: why is immigration such an obsession on the left? To answer this question, let’s first note that the free market right should be strongly opposed to immigration controls.

This is simply because immigration is a matter of freedom. ...

September 28, 2016, 10:34 am, 1679199

I saw Shimon Peres, who passed away yesterday, only once and it was at a conference on inflation stabilization in Jerusalem in 1990. He had led the national unity government during 1984-86 which had successfully brought down the country's triple-digit inflation. The conference organizer, the great Michael Bruno, ...

September 28, 2016, 10:04 am, 1679196
(Don Boudreaux)

The Fraser Institute today released a study that I co-authored with Fraser’s Charles Lammam, Joel Emes, and ...

September 28, 2016, 10:04 am, 1679195

September 28, 2016, 9:03 am, 1679165
From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 0.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 23, 2016.

... The Refinance Index decreased 2 percent ...

September 28, 2016, 8:34 am, 1679164

You can find any answer you want by comparing the current curve to various points in its history. Over the past 30 trading days, for instance, the curve is more or less unchanged. But comparisons over longer periods reveal a modest flattening.

A flatter curve may be a ...

September 28, 2016, 8:04 am, 1679163
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 134 of the 2007 2nd Edition of Gary Becker‘s 1971 textbook, Economic Theory ...

September 28, 2016, 7:33 am, 1679161

Near the bottom Ben Stein masterfully states what the CEO of Wells Fargoshould have said to Elizabeth Warren.

Related: Jon Gabriel also offers an excellent version in "Turning the Tables on Sen. Warren".

September 28, 2016, 7:33 am, 1679160

"Small businesses, along with all other taxpayers in North Carolina, have experienced a dramatic improvement in their state’s tax climate in recent years."

September 28, 2016, 7:33 am, 1679159

As the kids say, yasssssss! Don't tailgate.

September 28, 2016, 7:33 am, 1679158
Robert Rich, Joseph Tracy, and Ellen Fu

Second of two posts In Monday’s post, we ...

September 28, 2016, 7:33 am, 1679157

September 28, 2016, 6:44 am, 1679147

September 28, 2016, 5:33 am, 1679144

The Onion--as it isoften--is pitch-perfect.

September 28, 2016, 5:03 am, 1679126

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust have released the results of their 2016 Employer Health Benefits Survey, which gives an idea of how much the health insurance coverage provided by U.S. employers costs.

Those costs are divided between employers ...

September 28, 2016, 5:03 am, 1679125

September 28, 2016, 4:04 am, 1679123

Our findings provide empirical evidence that ride-sharing services such as Uber significantly decrease the traffic congestion after entering an urban area.

Here is the paper, by Li, Hong, and Zhang, via the excellent Kevin Lewis.  Kevin also directs our attention to this paper by ...

September 28, 2016, 2:04 am, 1679104

1. Robert Kanigel, Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs.  Lots of information about Jane Jacobs, so it has to be a good book and indeed it is.  I found Becoming Jane Jacobs more engaging to read, but this one covered the latter ...

September 28, 2016, 1:23 am, 1679103
‘Most of us could do with a little more randomness in our lives’

September 28, 2016, 12:44 am, 1679093