Economics Roundtable

NOTICE 4/30/18

The Economics Roundtable is back. The technical problem that has limited the set of blogs has been resolved. The RSS feed is, however, still not working.

Flushing caches will likely cause some old posts to show up for a day or two.

Employment as a Percentage of Population

The graph below shows employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old.

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.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

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.

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.

RSS Feed

Oligopoly Watch

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

April 30, 2018, 8:08 pm, 1849597

The dark night of Citigroup and Bank of America

How the might have fallen! Citigroup and BoA had pushed to dominate financial services by buying up rivals and expanding horizontally. Over the last few years, they have bought into areas from stock brokering, investment banking, wealth management, ...

April 30, 2018, 8:08 pm, 1849598

Broken China

In December 2004 we reported

Ireland-based Waterford Wedgwood the world's leader maker of fine china and crystal announced it will buy competitor Royal Doulton, based in the UK. These leaders in the luxury tableware market have both been suffering due to ...

April 30, 2018, 8:08 pm, 1849599

Panasonic buys Sanyo

Mergers between Japanese consumer electronics giants have been few and far between, even though you would think hat these companies would want to reduce competition by buying out rivals. These wide-ranging companies (including Hirtachi, Canon, Konica Minolta, Epson, Sony, and many others) have long ...

April 30, 2018, 8:08 pm, 1849600

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 ...

April 30, 2018, 8:08 pm, 1849596


Big UK banks seem to be in just as bad shape as their American cousins. The government is about to start a second round of bailouts (Of up to $100 billion) and the targets are rumored to be the three biggest: Royal Bank of Scotland, ...

April 30, 2018, 8:08 pm, 1849595

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 ...

April 30, 2018, 8:08 pm, 1849592

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 ...

April 30, 2018, 8:08 pm, 1849593

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 ...

April 30, 2018, 8:08 pm, 1849594

Getting hosed


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

April 30, 2018, 8:08 pm, 1849591

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 ...