Economics Roundtable

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”

July 7, 2015, 10:34 am, 1504867


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, ...

July 7, 2015, 10:34 am, 1504868

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, ...

July 7, 2015, 10:34 am, 1504869

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 ...

July 7, 2015, 10:34 am, 1504870

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 ...

July 7, 2015, 10:34 am, 1504866

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 ...

July 7, 2015, 10:34 am, 1504865

Getting hosed


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

July 7, 2015, 10:34 am, 1504862

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 ...

July 7, 2015, 10:34 am, 1504863

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 ...

July 7, 2015, 10:34 am, 1504864

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 ...

July 7, 2015, 10:34 am, 1504861

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 ...