Economics Roundtable

NOTICE 9/30/177

The Economics Roundtable website has been up and running for a couple of days now. Further periods of testing will be necessary. The RSS feed is still not working. The left sidebar links are also probably not updating correctly.

The problems were caused by updates to the programming language php and to the Apache operating system. It is taking time to track down the problems this causes with my system. - Bill Parke

March 2017 Fed Funds Rate

What is the effect of a 0.25% change in the Fed Funds rate?.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

March 2017 Payroll Employment

Payroll employment has not grown impressively since 2000. Some baby-boomers retired, but that does not totally account for this graph.

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May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

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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 .

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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”

September 12, 2017, 1:17 pm, 1773447

Erectile oligopoly accused of cartel

Swiss antitrust officials have charged the three leading makers of erectile dysfunctional drugs of a price-fixing cartel. The three are Bayer (Levitra), Pfizer (Viagra), and Eli Lilly (Cialis). According to the Swiss officials, the three companies set and enforced similar "recommended ...

September 12, 2017, 1:17 pm, 1773448

Stupidest deals: Fiat-Chrysler

With few mergers and acquisitions taking place now, and a growing number falling apart, we will start looking at the deals over the last few years that have turned out to be disasters. Not for executives, consultants, private equity groups, and bankers - they've ...

September 12, 2017, 1:17 pm, 1773449

Getting hosed


The EU competition commission recently fined a cartel of marine hose manufacturers for price fixing. Marine hose is a ...

September 12, 2017, 1:17 pm, 1773450

Pfizer to buy Wyeth

Well, the deal came through and finally moved at lightning speed. Wyeth has agreed to be acquired by Pfizer, making the #1 drug company even large in scope. The cost was an amazing $68 billion in cash and stock, a very rich deal ...

September 12, 2017, 1:17 pm, 1773446

Stacking oligopolies

The proposed merger of Live Nation and TicketMaster is a clear case of two oligopolies stacking on one another to extend their near-monopoly control vertically.

Live Nation either owns of has the right to book nearly every major pop music venue in the US ...

September 12, 2017, 1:17 pm, 1773445

The coming Kindle monopoly?

For a long time, selling books has been an oligopoly. On the brick-and-mortar world, it is Wal-Mart, Borders, and Barnes & Noble. In the digital world, there's Amazon, which dwarfs any competitors.

These four have driven all but a ...

September 12, 2017, 1:17 pm, 1773442

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 ...

September 12, 2017, 1:17 pm, 1773443

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) ...

September 12, 2017, 1:17 pm, 1773444


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 ...

September 12, 2017, 1:17 pm, 1773441

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 ...