Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 3/9/15

The website was down several hours today, but is back up now.

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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Oligopoly Watch

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

July 2, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1294632

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 ...

July 2, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1294634

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 ...

July 2, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1294635

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 ...

July 2, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1294633

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 ...

July 2, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1294620

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 ...

July 2, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1294621

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 2, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1294619


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 ...

July 2, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1294616

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 ...

July 2, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1294617

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 ...

July 2, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1294618

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) ...