Economics Roundtable

January 2014 Payroll Employment

We are getting closer to the previous peak.

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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Oligopoly Watch

"The latest maneuvers of the new oligopolies and what they mean”

February 11, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1223224

LCD price fixers "sorry"

Three giants of the LCD (liquid crystal display) industry will soon plead guilty to price fixing, Korean-based LG Display Co. will pay $400 million, Taiwan-based Chunghwa Picture Tubes $65 million, and Japan-based Sharp $120 million.

A Bloomberg News article (LG Display, Sharp ...

February 11, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1223229

DHL expresses itself out of US market

We've called it often before. In a three-company oligopoly (a triopoly?), the #3 company is always at risk. That's especially true when #1 and #2 keep the pressure on, and where there is no earth-shattering innovation that offers #3 a way ...

February 11, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1223227

Wherein my taxes fund Citigroup's new acquisition

First was the knowledge that Citigroup was in a bad way thanks to bad loans and credit cards. Then Citigroup tried to buy rival Wachovia, but was beaten out by Wells Fargo. Then came a new bailout of Citigroup ...

February 11, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1223228

Brazilian bank deals

The Brazilian banking business has seen two large acquisitions over the last few weeks.Banco do Brasil, a state-owned bank, announced a deal to buy majority share in Nossa Caixa. The deal is for around $2.25 billion. The new bank ...

February 11, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1223226

Brands and the (incredible shrinking) Big Three

"Just how serious are they about shrinking their vast lineups of different brands and models to match the current harsh reality of the market?" That’s the key question asked in the New York Times t "Big Three May Need ...

February 11, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1223225

More medical deals

While the current crisis has put an end to deals in many areas, there are still some areas where the chance of bargains and a belief in the long range have allowed the pace of acquisitions I to keep on track. The health area ...

February 11, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1223213


The big news today is the acquisition of drugmaker Schering-Plough by Merck. While it's being called a merger in the press, it is clear that Merck comes out on top in terms of staffing and name. But curiously, it's being structured as a reverse takeover, where ...

February 11, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1223212

Cargill and food prices

We've written a lot about Cargill, the privately-held conglomerate that is key oligopoly worldwide food industry. It is constantly in the news. It has been recently declared Australia's leading whet exporter. It was the victim of partial takeover (of its rice operations) ...

February 11, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1223210

Another LCD cartel member fined

Last December we reported the multi-million dollar fines given to a cartel of LCD makers, including South Korea's LG Displays, Taiwan-based Chunghwa Picture Tube, and Japan-based Sharp. These companies were convicted of meeting to set prices on desktop computer, laptop and ...

February 11, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1223211

Evil Empire buys rival, quashes anticompetition suit

News Corp, through its News America Marketing unit, recently bought out competitor Floorgraphics for an undisclosed sum. Both companies are in the businesses of selling coupon inserts and in-store advertising.

The deal is to in itself remarkable or very big. But ...