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.


Jobs

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.


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April 25, 2015, 11:33 am, 1461787
Roland Fryer has won the John Bates Clark Award. The past three winners have been Roland Fryer (Harvard faculty), Matthew Gentzkow (Harvard undergrad and PhD), and Raj Chetty (Harvard undergrad, PhD, and faculty).


April 25, 2015, 11:33 am, 1461786

April 25, 2015, 11:33 am, 1461785
What motivates people to conserve water? Most economists would recite the "the Law of Demand". 1/2 cent a gallon water provides weak incentives to conserve --- so Californians face Jerry Brown's water restrictions and crazy prices. While California is home to 100s of top economists, we face deadweight loss ...


April 25, 2015, 11:33 am, 1461784
The WSJ reports some optimismabout aggregate water demand by California golf courses. Recall that golf courses are well watered but California is in the midst of serious drought. Is golf "doomed" in California? Of course not.

A direct quote:

"Most of California’s 900-plus golf courses, particularly ...


April 25, 2015, 11:03 am, 1461743
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April 25, 2015, 10:44 am, 1461742
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April 25, 2015, 10:04 am, 1461734
Angry Bears are, I’m sure, familiar with the 27 % crazification factor. . Although a joke, it does pop up rather often in opinion polls. I think there might be another constant — I am tempted to call it the sanity factor or sanification factor. It is the fraction of ...


April 25, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461703
This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.

Here is the unofficial problem bank list for April 2015.

Changes and comments from surferdude808:

Update on the Unofficial Problem Bank List for April 2015. During the month, the list fell ...


April 25, 2015, 8:05 am, 1461702

Financial Post: Canada is now the first country in the world to require that for every new regulation introduced one of equivalent burden must be removed.

C-21, has been operating as policy for several years already, which means that the costs of new rules must be quantified and equal or ...


April 25, 2015, 8:04 am, 1461701
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 175 of the late Mancur Olson’s classic 1982 work, The Rise and Decline of Nations (original emphasis):

Another myth that generates a lot of poverty and suffering is that the economic development of the poor countries is, for fundamental economic or extra-institutional reasons, extremely difficult, and requires ...


April 25, 2015, 7:33 am, 1461699

Fighter jet pilots are cool.


April 25, 2015, 6:35 am, 1461680
● Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World By Donald Sull and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt Q&A with co-author via The Wall Street Journal WSJ: Where, in the business context, might “simple rules” help more than a complicated approach? Donald Sull: Well, a common decision that people face in ...


April 25, 2015, 5:33 am, 1461678

I'm ready.


April 25, 2015, 5:24 am, 1461677

Photo Credit: joiseyshowaa

Despite the large and seemingly meaty title, this will be a short piece.  I class these types of investors together because most of them have long investment horizons.  From an asset-liability management standpoint, that would ...


April 25, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461662

April 25, 2015, 2:44 am, 1461656

Regulators and financial institutions increasingly depend on statistical risk forecasting. This column argues that most risk modelling approaches are highly inaccurate and confidence intervals should be provided along with point estimates. Two major approaches, value-at-risk and expected shortfall are compared, and while the former is found to be superior in ...


April 25, 2015, 2:05 am, 1461655

Marijn Roovers’ epicurean delights have graced the tables of some of the Netherlands’ finest restaurants. But the food designer’s Chocolate Globe is his most intricate — and technologically advanced — creation. A chocolate shell just 0.8 millimetres thick is embossed in gold with the chocolate’s continent of origin, and it ...


April 25, 2015, 1:03 am, 1461635

Recent decisions by the European Union’s executive arm not to punish countries for violating fiscal rules, weaken their credibility and raise doubt on whether the EU’s rules can be a basis for confidence, a member of the European Central Bank‘s Executive Board said Friday.

In remarks prepared for delivery in Florence, ...


April 25, 2015, 1:03 am, 1461634

Harvard professor Roland Fryer, an economist who has done pioneering work on the sources and magnitude of racial inequality, won the John Bates Clark medal, which is given to the most promising American economist under 40 years old.


April 25, 2015, 1:03 am, 1461633
Next week’s roster of reports will bring a first look at the winter economy, two readings of consumer optimism, consumer income and spending and factory surveys. All that plus a two-day Fed meeting! In a busy week, here are five things to watch:


April 24, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1461632
The San Francisco Bay Area Region Transportation system (BART) has a major problem: aging tracks that border on unsafe.

The San Francisco Chronicle details the problem in BART has New Problem: Old Tracks.

The nearly half-century-old system needs to replace its worn steel rails and cross ...


April 24, 2015, 9:33 pm, 1461612

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released its annual report on the “Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers, 2014,” and here are some highlights:

Age. For workers ages 16 to 19 years old, only 15.3% made the minimum wage or less in 2014 (about 1 in every 6.5 workers in that ...


April 24, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1461500
Note: With lower gasoline prices, vehicle miles driven have reached a new high on a rolling 12 month basis.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported:

Travel on all roads and streets changed by 2.8% (6.1 billion vehicle miles) for February 2015 as compared with February 2014.

Travel ...


April 24, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1461499

On Thursday, President Barack Obama revealed that a U.S. drone strike had killed Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto, two aid workers held hostage on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Al Qaeda had sought to trade the two for prisoners held by the United States and an end to drone ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1461437

Recent decisions by the European Union’s executive arm not to punish countries for violating fiscal rules, weaken their credibility and raise doubt on whether the EU’s rules can be a basis for confidence, a member of the European Central Bank‘s Executive Board said Friday.

In remarks prepared for delivery in Florence, ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1461436

Harvard professor Roland Fryer, an economist who has done pioneering work on the sources and magnitude of racial inequality, won the John Bates Clark medal, which is given to the most promising American economist under 40 years old.


April 24, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1461435
Next week’s roster of reports will bring a first look at the winter economy, two readings of consumer optimism, consumer income and spending and factory surveys. All that plus a two-day Fed meeting! In a busy week, here are five things to watch:


April 24, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1461434

John Cochrane weighs in on the discussion of unit roots:

Unit roots, redux: Arnold Kling's askblog and Roger Farmer have a little exchange on GDP and unit roots. My two cents here.

I did a lot of work on this topic a long time ago, in ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1461433

Interesting paper:

No Price Like Home: Global House Prices, 1870-2012, by Katharina Knoll, Moritz Schularic, and Thomas Steger: Abstract: How have house prices evolved over the long‐run? This paper presents annual house prices for 14 advanced economies since 1870. Based on extensive data collection, we show that real house ...


April 24, 2015, 4:05 pm, 1461429

The announcement is here., with lots of detail.  Here is the first paragraph:

Roland Fryer is an influential applied microeconomist whose work spans labor economics, the economics of education, and social problems and social interactions.  His innovative and creative research contributions have deepened our understanding of the sources, magnitude, ...


April 24, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1461428


April 24, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1461425

How should one think about the unfolding allegations rocking the Clinton-Industrial Complex (which includes both her campaign and her foundation)?

By now, you may have heard about Peter Schweizer’s book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.

The book isn’t ...


April 24, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1461427

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on same-sex marriage on April 28. We at the American Enterprise Institute have long been interested in how and when society changes its mind. We have looked at the evolution of opinions on issues as different as women’s roles in society, abortion, the ...


April 24, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1461426

Traditional marriage in the U.S. makes its last stand this week at oral arguments before the Supreme Court. If same-sex marriage wins out, the next question is what to do with the vanquished? Should we tolerate opposition to gay marriage?

What should be done, legally and socially, with photographers who don’t ...


April 24, 2015, 3:34 pm, 1461420

Well, another Ontario budget has come and gone. The government still plans to balance its budget by 2017. According to the budget projections it will do this largely by increasing revenues and restricting expenditure growth.

Between 2014/15 and 2017/18, revenues are expected to grow from ...


April 24, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1461419
In a move 100% guaranteed to blow up at a later date, the ECB Said to Start Buying Covered Bonds With Negative Yields.

The European Central Bank started buying covered bonds with negative yields as its asset-purchase program reduces the supply of the highly rated debt, according to ...


April 24, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1461358

At NPR’s Planet Money, Quoctrung Bui has put together an attractive and interesting data visualization on real income growth in the United States. As he describes it, there are two distinct eras for income growth since 1917:

In the first phase, known as the great compression, inequality fell. ...


April 24, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1461357

And actually decline, in dollar terms.

Figure 1 displays total reserves and non-advanced country reserves, denominated in US dollars.

Figure 1: Foreign exchange reserves, total (blue), and held by non-advanced countries (red), in trillions of USD. Source: IMF COFER.

Note the drop ...


April 24, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1461356
From economists at Nomura: US Q1 GDP: It will likely show that final sales barely grew, but April data should be better.

Adverse weather conditions, West Coast port disruptions, the stronger dollar and the decline in crude oil prices all likely hurt economic activity in Q1 2015. Business investment slowed ...


April 24, 2015, 2:05 pm, 1461354

1. Deng Xiaoping: A Revolutionary Life, by Alexander V. Pantsov and Steven I. Levine.  Why not read a biography of one of the most important men of the twentieth century?  I found this book valuable even though I am already familiar with the Ezra Vogel tome on Deng.  ...


April 24, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1461353

A convoy of seven cargo ships left Iran’s largest port of Bandar Abbas last week reportedly carrying arms for the al Houthi rebels in Yemen. Just three days after the US announced the arrival of the USS Roosevelt aircraft carrier strike group into the area, the Iranian ships appeared ...


April 24, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1461349
David Glasner has a very nice post on Price Stickiness and Economics with great comments from Rajiv Sethi, Richard Lipsey and Kevin Donoghue among others. David reacts to a post from Noah Smith: this is all classic stuff


April 24, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1461348
Durable goods orders are somewhat of a mixed bag today, but beneath the headline rise, weakness is easy to find.

The Bloomberg Consensus was for a 0.5% rise, and the actual result was a whopping 4% gain due to transportation.

Yet, transportation for last ...


April 24, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1461287

A wobbly start to the year is not deterring economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from a fairly upbeat growth outlook for 2015.

“With winter behind us, we expect above-trend growth to resume in the second quarter and continue for the rest of 2015,” writes Mary Daly, senior ...


April 24, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1461286
Research finds direct link between summer job programs for poor youth and decreased incarceration and mortality rates. Associated Press

The largest U.S. summer employment program aimed at disadvantaged ...


April 24, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1461285
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is meeting his eurozone counterparts in Riga on Friday and Saturday, where discussions will focus on the progress of negotiations between Greece and its ...


April 24, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1461284

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, April 24, 2015:

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup


Highlights

Hannon’s Take: ECB Faces a Marathon, Not a Sprint U.S. Wages Are Historically Great, ...


April 24, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1461283
Japan features extremely high innovation and relatively low religiosity. Getty Images

Countries that are intensely religious are typically less innovative than those that aren’t, according to a ...


April 24, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1461282

Some bad ideas just won't die:

Zombies of 2016, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Last week,...Chris Christie ... gave a speech in which he tried to position himself as a tough-minded fiscal realist. In fact, however, his supposedly tough-minded policy idea was a classic zombie — ...


April 24, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1461281

Nick Bunker:

Monopsony and market power in the labor market: We’ve all heard the term “monopoly,” even if it’s just in the context of the board game. But a related term, or even another face of monopoly, is monopsony. A monopsony is when a firm is the sole purchaser ...


April 24, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1461280
From the Philly Fed:

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for March 2015. In the past month, the indexes increased in 41 states, decreased in four, and remained stable in five, for a one-month diffusion index of 74. Over ...


April 24, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1461279
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April 24, 2015, 12:05 pm, 1461276

April 24, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1461275
(April 24, 2015 01:51 PM, by David Henderson) Yesterday, I posted the first part of my 1987 review of the late Barbara Bergmann's book The Economic Emergence of Women. Here's the next part: To combat discrimination against women, Bergmann would have the government step up its enforcement of... (0 COMMENTS)


April 24, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1461274
*This is a slightly edited version of a post I posted here yesterday afternoon and have removed.  There’s also an addendum about an op-ed piece by Martin O’Malley in today’s Washington Post. —- Okay, so all you politics obsessives probably heard about a comment Martin O’Malley made to PBS Morning Edition host ...


April 24, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1461273

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) offers enormous opportunities. These flow from its comprehensiveness, both in terms of issues and the potential parties to the agreement. The TPP embraces some of the world’s most important trading states and its provisions will guide future negotiations, including with additional TPP members.

With the opportunities come ...


April 24, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1461272

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced soaring rates of e-cigarette use among teens. The number of middle and high school students using electronic cigarettes tripled between 2013 and 2014, according to a government survey of 22,000 schoolchildren. Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC Director, called this trend ...


April 24, 2015, 11:33 am, 1461268
Unfathomable Depths by Ibai Acevedo
Denmark's Nationalbank and the Swiss National Bank are the world's most interesting central banks right now. As the ...


April 24, 2015, 11:33 am, 1461267

April 24, 2015, 11:03 am, 1461206

We did it!

Today – April 24th – is the day Americans as a whole have worked long enough to pay off their tax bill for the year.

In 2015, American’s will pay $4.85 trillion in taxes of all kinds to federal, state, and local governments. This amounts to 31 ...


April 24, 2015, 11:03 am, 1461204

A wobbly start to the year is not deterring economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from a fairly upbeat growth outlook for 2015.

“With winter behind us, we expect above-trend growth to resume in the second quarter and continue for the rest of 2015,” writes Mary Daly, senior ...


April 24, 2015, 11:03 am, 1461205
Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan said negative interest rates are necessary to curb demand for the overvalued Swiss franc. Reuters

BERN—Negative interest rates introduced by the ...


April 24, 2015, 11:03 am, 1461203
Research finds direct link between summer job programs for poor youth and decreased incarceration and mortality rates. Associated Press

The largest U.S. summer employment program aimed at disadvantaged ...


April 24, 2015, 11:03 am, 1461201

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, April 24, 2015:

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup


Highlights

Hannon’s Take: ECB Faces a Marathon, Not a Sprint U.S. Wages Are Historically Great, ...


April 24, 2015, 11:03 am, 1461202
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is meeting his eurozone counterparts in Riga on Friday and Saturday, where discussions will focus on the progress of negotiations between Greece and its ...


April 24, 2015, 11:03 am, 1461200
Japan features extremely high innovation and relatively low religiosity. Getty Images

Countries that are intensely religious are typically less innovative than those that aren’t, according to a ...


April 24, 2015, 11:03 am, 1461199
According to Black Knight's First Look report for March, the percent of loans delinquent decreased 12% in March compared to February, and declined 15% year-over-year.

The percent of loans in the foreclosure process declined 2% in March and were down about 27% over the last year.


April 24, 2015, 10:44 am, 1461197
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April 24, 2015, 10:44 am, 1461198
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April 24, 2015, 10:44 am, 1461196
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April 24, 2015, 10:44 am, 1461195
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April 24, 2015, 10:35 am, 1461194

The GOP may be close to a budget deal. The Hill reports that House and Senate negotiators may be close to a deal on a budget resolution. Congress needs to complete final action on spending bills before October 1 when it faces the return of the sequester and a ...


April 24, 2015, 10:34 am, 1461193

Was Hayek merely a Cold Warrior who is irrelevant today, or does he still have something to teach us? I ask because of two things that have happened to me this morning.

First, I read Steven's observation that my scepticism about the efficiency of bonuses ...


April 24, 2015, 10:04 am, 1461184
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 193 of the 1991 Liberty Press edition of Bruno Leoni’s masterful 1961 volume, Freedom and the Law (original emphasis):

If abiding with legal norms actually depended in the main on coercion, or even on the mere fear of it, the whole process would be so ...


April 24, 2015, 10:04 am, 1461183

Last week, AEI’s Critical Threats Project in partnership with Norse Corporation released, “The growing cyberthreat from Iran: The initial report of Project Pistachio Harvest.” Unsurprisingly for a report with 23,000 words, 100 endnotes and 120 gigabytes of data (check it all out at www.pistachioharvest.com), interest has taken many forms, ...


April 24, 2015, 10:04 am, 1461182

About 60 percent of the Army will receive training no higher than squad level — typically nine to 10 soldiers — this year. In fact, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said that it will be 2020 before the Army, Navy and Marines reach an acceptable level of readiness ...


April 24, 2015, 10:04 am, 1461180

A few weeks ago, I wrote about North Korea’s nuclear breakout, and that the U.S. government was finally beginning to acknowledge the degree to which North Korea’s nuclear capabilities could no longer be ignored. Yet even as the Obama administration continues to talk about the North Korean nuclear “program,” along ...


April 24, 2015, 10:04 am, 1461181

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has an important week ahead of him. Between ironing out a pivotal trade deal and discussing US-Japan defense relations, Prime Minister Abe’s upcoming trip to the USA will be packed with substance. In anticipation of the prime minister’s summit with President Obama and a historic ...


April 24, 2015, 9:23 am, 1461177
‘One myth is that inequality in the UK has risen since the financial crisis. In fact it has fallen quite sharply’


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461114
D.R. Horton Inc. homes under construction near Dallas on April 21, 2015. Kris Hudson/The Wall Street Journal

Sales of D.R. Horton Inc.’s entry-level ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461108
The Federal Reserve Board’s building in Washington Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

The Federal Reserve should consider keeping bond buys as a regular tool of monetary policy rather than return ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461110

SYDNEY—Australia’s central bank is likely to nudge its economic-growth forecasts lower, some economists say, as commodity-price falls continue to hurt the resource-rich economy with no offsetting currency declines to cushion the blow.

The increasing likelihood of a downgrade might also shift the balance of probability toward ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461113
The Fed did not reply to a Congressional request for names of officials who make have inappropriately shared confidential policy information. Kevin Wolf/Associated Press

The Federal Reserve has ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461112
People are reflected in an electronic board displaying the Nikkei stock average in Tokyo Thursday. The Nikkei was at a 15-year high. Reuters

Two of Japan’s biggest ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461111

The eurozone economy is getting back on the growth track, as the European Central Bank‘s monetary policies begin to take hold, the central bank’s chief economist said in remarks prepared for delivery Thursday.

Peter Praet said, however, the currency bloc can’t run on all cylinders without moves from other actors, such ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461109

South Korea’s exports are slipping just as Japan’s are picking up, as a weak yen has made Japanese goods more competitive globally.

The situation could get still worse for South Korean exporters if ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461107

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, April 23, 2015:

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup


Highlights

Douglas’s Take: BOE Sees Little Sign Lowflation Threatens Spending ECB Raises Ceiling on Emergency Lending ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461103
New data shows the numbers of families with at least one unemployed member remains elevated even after the recession. Bill Wolf/Associated Press

In some ways, U.S. families ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461104

Working youth account for around 30% of 16-to-18 year olds who leave high school early, and they tend to be disproportionately male, Hispanic and first-generation immigrants, according to a new analysis ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461106
Wages have been rising, particularly for those in the restaurant industry, but workers say their pay is still too low. Scott Olson/Getty ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461105
The 30% rally in European stocks is grounded in solid fundamentals, Chief economics commentator Greg Ip says. Ludovic Marin/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Given the eurozone’s propensity for shooting ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461101

A wobbly start to the year is not deterring economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from a fairly upbeat growth outlook for 2015.

“With winter behind us, we expect above-trend growth to resume in the second quarter and continue for the rest of 2015,” writes Mary Daly, senior ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461102
Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan said negative interest rates are necessary to curb demand for the overvalued Swiss franc. Reuters

BERN—Negative interest rates introduced by the ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461100
Research finds direct link between summer job programs for poor youth and decreased incarceration and mortality rates. Associated Press

The largest U.S. summer employment program aimed at disadvantaged ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461098

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, April 24, 2015:

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup


Highlights

Hannon’s Take: ECB Faces a Marathon, Not a Sprint U.S. Wages Are Historically Great, ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461099
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is meeting his eurozone counterparts in Riga on Friday and Saturday, where discussions will focus on the progress of negotiations between Greece and its ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461097
Japan features extremely high innovation and relatively low religiosity. Getty Images

Countries that are intensely religious are typically less innovative than those that aren’t, according to a ...


April 24, 2015, 9:03 am, 1461096
From Merrill Lynch:

We are forecasting GDP growth of 1.5% in 1Q, suggesting the economy hit a soft patch at the start of the year. Business investment looks particularly weak with a likely decline in nonresidential structures investment, as suggested by the monthly Census data, and sluggish growth in ...


April 24, 2015, 8:44 am, 1461095
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April 24, 2015, 8:44 am, 1461094
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April 24, 2015, 8:35 am, 1461093
The outlook for first-quarter US growth has been cut to the bone, according to the current estimate of the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow data. But if the “wisdom” of the crowd is accurate this time, it’s only a temporary stumble. Most economists continue to expect a robust Q2 snapback. The Wall ...


April 24, 2015, 8:35 am, 1461092

How about using revenue from a carbon tax to help pay for corporate tax rate cuts?

That’s the idea proposed yesterday by Rep. John Delaney (D-MD). His political calculation: Democrats would back the bill as a way to reduce carbon emissions and slow climate change. Republicans would support the plan ...


April 24, 2015, 8:35 am, 1461091

The GOP may be close to a budget deal. The Hill reports that House and Senate negotiators may be close to a deal on a budget resolution. Congress needs to complete final action on spending bills before October 1 when it faces the return of the sequester and a ...


April 24, 2015, 8:05 am, 1461089

Joseph Heath has written an interesting and thoughtful comment on my review of his excellent book Enlightenment 2.0 (fyi, we have never communicated but it turns out that Heath is a long time reader of MR.). Samuel Hammond concisely summarized on twitter part of Heath’s response:

In reply to


April 24, 2015, 8:04 am, 1461088
Nick Hanauer, Joseph Sitglitz videos. This is the latest presentation Nick Hanauer has made regarding the upside downness of our economy and the backward, selfish thinking that has gotten us here. In this one he is talking to his “plutocrat” friends: We plutocrats need to see that the United States ...


April 24, 2015, 8:04 am, 1461087


April 24, 2015, 7:33 am, 1461083
Arnold Kling's askblog and Roger Farmer have a little exchange on GDP and unit roots. My two cents here.

I did a lot of work on this very early in my career, in How Big is the Random Walk in GNP? (the first one) Permanent ...


April 24, 2015, 7:33 am, 1461082

Tyler advises readers to "[b]eware selection". He's got that right, but it's still interesting.


April 24, 2015, 7:33 am, 1461080

She doesn't look quite the same, of course, but she has her health and is happy to have had her moment in the sun.


April 24, 2015, 7:33 am, 1461081

Some of these are pretty good,


April 24, 2015, 7:03 am, 1461063
Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan said negative interest rates are necessary to curb demand for the overvalued Swiss franc. Reuters

BERN—Negative interest rates introduced by the ...


April 24, 2015, 6:44 am, 1461062

Despite the convergence between men and women in many labour market indicators, women are still vastly underrepresented at the boardroom level. Using Italian data, this column presents new evidence on the impact of having a female CEO on the distribution of wages for male and female workers within firms. Female ...


April 24, 2015, 6:35 am, 1461061
● US jobless claims edge up, but trend signals firmer labor market | Reuters ● PMI: US manufacturing output growth slows in April | Markit ● New-home sales in US tumble from 7-year high | MarketWatch ● US consumer confidence fell for 2nd week after close to 8-year high | ...


April 24, 2015, 5:33 am, 1461057

Mother Nature in full force in Chile.

Time lapse video here.


April 24, 2015, 5:33 am, 1461056
McDonald's is closing 700 stores this year, 350 of which took place first quarter. That sounds like a lot but it pales in comparison to the 32,500 stores in the chain.

Still it is a sign of Multiple Problems for McDonald's

On Wednesday, McDonald’s had reported ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461039
Financial regulators are focused on the wrong metrics to prevent the next crisis, says economist Eric Tymoigne. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The effort by financial regulators to ensure big ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461035
People are reflected in an electronic board displaying the Nikkei stock average in Tokyo Thursday. The Nikkei was at a 15-year high. Reuters

Two of Japan’s biggest ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461036
The Fed did not reply to a Congressional request for names of officials who make have inappropriately shared confidential policy information. Kevin Wolf/Associated Press

The Federal Reserve has ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461037
D.R. Horton Inc. homes under construction near Dallas on April 21, 2015. Kris Hudson/The Wall Street Journal

Sales of D.R. Horton Inc.’s entry-level ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461038
A flag advertising a newly built home for sale flaps in the breeze in Richmond, Va. Research by economists at TD Securities show the uptrend in resale home values ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461034

The eurozone economy is getting back on the growth track, as the European Central Bank‘s monetary policies begin to take hold, the central bank’s chief economist said in remarks prepared for delivery Thursday.

Peter Praet said, however, the currency bloc can’t run on all cylinders without moves from other actors, such ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461029
Wages have been rising, particularly for those in the restaurant industry, but workers say their pay is still too low. Scott Olson/Getty ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461033

SYDNEY—Australia’s central bank is likely to nudge its economic-growth forecasts lower, some economists say, as commodity-price falls continue to hurt the resource-rich economy with no offsetting currency declines to cushion the blow.

The increasing likelihood of a downgrade might also shift the balance of probability toward ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461030

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, April 23, 2015:

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup


Highlights

Douglas’s Take: BOE Sees Little Sign Lowflation Threatens Spending ECB Raises Ceiling on Emergency Lending ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461031
The Federal Reserve Board’s building in Washington Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

The Federal Reserve should consider keeping bond buys as a regular tool of monetary policy rather than return ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461032

South Korea’s exports are slipping just as Japan’s are picking up, as a weak yen has made Japanese goods more competitive globally.

The situation could get still worse for South Korean exporters if ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461028
The 30% rally in European stocks is grounded in solid fundamentals, Chief economics commentator Greg Ip says. Ludovic Marin/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Given the eurozone’s propensity for shooting ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461026
New data shows the numbers of families with at least one unemployed member remains elevated even after the recession. Bill Wolf/Associated Press

In some ways, U.S. families ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461027

Working youth account for around 30% of 16-to-18 year olds who leave high school early, and they tend to be disproportionately male, Hispanic and first-generation immigrants, according to a new analysis ...


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461025

Six minutes and 17 seconds of the all the unique THX "Deep Note" sound system checks that have played before your feature presentation at your local THX-certified movie theater. Time to turn the sound up!


April 24, 2015, 5:03 am, 1461024

April 24, 2015, 4:44 am, 1461023
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April 24, 2015, 3:24 am, 1461019

15 years is a long time to wait for a 1%/yr return

The big news of the day is that the NASDAQ Composite hit a new high for the first time ...


April 24, 2015, 2:05 am, 1460978

A pressing question, said Rudolf Jaenisch, an M.I.T. biology professor, is why anyone would want to edit the genes of human embryos in order to prevent disease. Even in the most severe cases, involving diseases like Huntington’s in which a single copy of a mutated gene inherited from either parent ...


April 24, 2015, 2:05 am, 1460977

Chad writes me:

What jobs (particularly ones we think of as being inherently beneficial to society) might America have too many of? Political journalism comes to mind this particular month, since we apparently have enough to carefully monitor the Chipotle orders of presidential candidates 19 months before the election. Writers ...


April 24, 2015, 2:04 am, 1460976
Right. So the the same day that I posted about the substantial fall in the uninsured rate for adults that we have seen since Obamacare went into effect, a conservative writes at the Wall Street Journal making exactly the same arguments that Matt Yglesias had refuted. Cliff Asness writes in ...


April 24, 2015, 12:44 am, 1460915

During financial crises, fire sales (or forced asset sales) could further aggravate the financial fragility. However, evidence on why agents do not take actions to avoid collateral liquidation is scant. This column uses data on foreclosures and house prices from the US housing crisis to present new evidence on the ...


April 24, 2015, 12:04 am, 1460913
(April 24, 2015 12:00 AM, by Bryan Caplan) No one protested me when I spoke at Oberlin College last week. (Topic: The Myth of the Rational Voter). A few days later, however, Oberlin showed factual feminist Christina Hoff Sommers a rather different face:The entrance to the classroom where... (0 COMMENTS)