Economics Roundtable

January 2014 Payroll Employment

We are getting closer to the previous peak.

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 17, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1257146
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April 17, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1257142

As family, friends, and colleagues mourn the passing of the Leonard Rosen, the fitting tribute by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen ...


April 17, 2014, 2:34 pm, 1257141

The invasion of Crimea may have cost Russia a lot more than it expected:

MOSCOW — Russia’s economy has been hit hard by the turmoil in neighboring Ukraine, Kremlin officials said Wednesday, as pro-Russia separatists battled to ...


April 17, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1257139

By Tim Price

[The Cobden Centre]

“The European Central Bank has given its strongest signal yet that it is prepared to embrace quantitative easing to prevent the euro zone from sliding into deflation or even a prolonged period of low inflation.”

- ‘Draghi strengthens QE signal’, Financial Times, April 4, 2014.

Yes, ...


April 17, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1257138

In tough times, do happy or sad songs top the charts? Do we prefer music that reflects our fears and hardships, or tunes that allow us to temporarily forget our troubles?

Newly published research suggests the answer varies dramatically by genre. Pop fans reflexively gravitate to music that mirrors ...


April 17, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1257137

In case anyone is interested, I put together a lot of stuff I have been doing with inflation expectations into a soft of manuscript here (warning 19 poorly written pages)

The conclusions

Inflation expectations are not anchored. A simple regression model fits both the median Livingston Survey respondent’s expected CPI inflation ...


April 17, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1257133
In his strongest message yet to Ukraine, the EU, and US, Putin says Russia ready to act in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of his readiness to deploy troops in eastern Ukraine if diplomatic efforts fail to resolve the escalating crisis there.

The threat came ...


April 17, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1257132
Alyssa Cambron, Michael Fleming, Deborah Leonard, Grant Long, and Julie Remache

In August 2013, we wrote a series of blog posts on the use of the Federal Reserve’s System Open Market Account (SOMA) portfolio in monetary policy operations. Since the onset of the financial crisis, the ...


April 17, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1257131


April 17, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1257130

2011 Nobel economist Thomas Sargent really economized on words when he gave a graduation speech at UC-Berkeley on May 16, 2007. The entire text of his two-minute speech appears below:

I remember how happy I felt when I graduated from Berkeley many years ago. But I thought the ...


April 17, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1257067

The choice to exclusively breastfeed isn’t an easy one, demonstrated by the fact that only 16% of American women do so for the doctor-recommended six months. As the Journal reported earlier this week, women face a slew of cultural and institutional impediments to breastfeeding, including the $5 billion U.S. ...


April 17, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1257068

The U.S. business sector has been a major laggard when it comes to demand. After a strong 2010, growth in business spending on new plant and equipment has decelerated in each year of this recovery.

Economists think that trend will change in 2014. The latest surveys of regional manufacturers done ...


April 17, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1257066

The rich got richer, the poor got poorer.

recent article by Labor Department senior economist Aaron Cobet highlights the sharp disparity between the wealthiest and poorest Americans in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 recession.

“While average income has returned to pre-recession levels, income gains have been distributed unevenly,” Mr. Cobet said.

The economist ...


April 17, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1257064
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April 17, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1257065
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April 17, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1257063
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April 17, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1257062
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April 17, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1257061
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April 17, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1257060

In light of General Mills policy of claiming that its binding mandatory arbitration requirement (with class action waiver) applies to anyone who purchases its products, including via third-party vendors, I have decided, to post the following legal notice, applicable to all persons, everywhere:     


April 17, 2014, 12:34 pm, 1257059

Guest post by Jonathan H. Adler, a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and a regular contributor to the Volokh Conspiracy.

It can be a bit lonely working on environmental issues from the "right" side of the political spectrum. Environmental academics and activists ...


April 17, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1257056

Frank Hollenbeck writes in today’s Mises Daily: 

Most economists today, however, have sold themselves to the enemy. They work for government agencies such as the IMF, OECD, World Bank, central banks, or academic institutions where their research is heavily subsidized by government ...


April 17, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1257055

April 17, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1257054
(April 17, 2014 01:28 PM, by David Henderson) Answer: No. But it has become increasingly common for people, even otherwise numerate analysts, to write as if it can. Consider a recent instance. In the Spring 2014 issue of Regulation, Sam Batkins and Mitch Boynton discuss a case in... (3 COMMENTS)


April 17, 2014, 11:33 am, 1257052

In an excellent essay (“The Many Problems with ‘Equal Pay’”), Richard Esptein argues that “the market, not the President, should determine how much women earn,” here’s an excerpt (emphasis added):

Without exception, more sophisticated studies that seek to control for some of these differences narrow the perceived 77 ...


April 17, 2014, 11:33 am, 1257051

The chart above displays another new energy milestone for the Great American Energy Boom: Net petroleum imports have been below 30% for the most recent five months (October 2013 to February 2014, EIA data here) – ...


April 17, 2014, 11:03 am, 1257010

An unprecedented period of low productivity growth in the U.K. may partly be explained by the fact that fewer businesses collapsed in the years following the financial crisis than during previous recessions, according to economists at the Bank of England.

The key to the “productivity puzzle” is central to determining how ...


April 17, 2014, 11:03 am, 1257009

Breastfeeding in America hit its lowest rates ever in the 1970s, and since then health organizations world-wide have tried to halt unnecessary formula feeding.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and American Society of Pediatrics ...


April 17, 2014, 11:03 am, 1257008
From the Philly Fed:April Manufacturing Survey

Manufacturing activity in the region increased in April, according to firms responding to this month’s Business Outlook Survey. The survey’s broadest indicators for general activity, new orders, shipments, and employment all remained positive and increased from their readings in March. Price pressures ...


April 17, 2014, 10:44 am, 1257007
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April 17, 2014, 10:35 am, 1257006

Sometimes, it's the little words that reveal so much. I was struck by Phil's response to Rashida Manjoo's claim that sexism is worse in the UK than elsewhere. He writes:

I didn't for one moment think that the UK's sexism problem was worse ...


April 17, 2014, 10:04 am, 1257005
(April 17, 2014 09:23 AM, by Scott Sumner) TravisV sent me to the following graph of industrial production: That looks like good news. To see why it is bad new, we need to take a brief digression. The recent recession has been rather unusual. RGDP fell sharply between... (0 COMMENTS)


April 17, 2014, 10:04 am, 1257004
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 37 of F.A. Hayek’s 1960 volume, The Constitution of Liberty:

The argument for liberty is not an argument against organization, which is one of the most powerful means that human reason can employ, but an argument against all exclusive, privileged, monopolistic organization, against the use ...


April 17, 2014, 10:04 am, 1257003

David Zetland at Aguanomics mentions a very local proposition by yours truly as part of a question posed on UN world water day March 22. Purely anecdotal and personal, but I found people willing to chart water use but not to go downstairs and turn off the ...


April 17, 2014, 9:33 am, 1257000

I saw Tim's post and clicked on the Amazon link. I love the listing -- "Used - Like New". Also, Amazon is finally recognizing that a PhD from an SEC school is not a real PhD.


April 17, 2014, 9:33 am, 1257001

In the mail yesterday--get yours today (it will help our publisher recoup our whopping advance):


April 17, 2014, 9:33 am, 1256999

Mark Thoma:

Paul Krugman:

Rising Sun: Joe Romm draws our attention to the third slice of the latest IPCC report on climate change, on the costs of mitigation; the panel finds that these costs aren’t that big — a few percent of GDP even by the end of the ...


April 17, 2014, 9:33 am, 1256998

The Comics Curmudgeon:

New-school Mark Trail: not only does he consort with geese but he also expresses the human emotion of affection for his wife? Bizarre. I mean, at least he’s doing it from a distance of several miles, so he won’t be expected ...


April 17, 2014, 9:03 am, 1256935

Just how worried should the European Central Bank be about the strong euro? Some economists say, not at all.

A strong currency can make an economy’s goods and services more expensive in global markets, damping exports. It could also weaken already low inflation in the euro zone by reducing the cost ...


April 17, 2014, 9:03 am, 1256934

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, April 17

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

Highlights

Da Costa’s Take: Bubbles, Bubbles, Toil, and Trouble Yellen Stakes Out a Flexible Policy Path Lockhart: ...


April 17, 2014, 9:03 am, 1256933
The DOL reports:

In the week ending April 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 304,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 2,000 from 300,000 to 302,000. The 4-week moving average was 312,000, a ...


April 17, 2014, 8:45 am, 1256932
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April 17, 2014, 8:36 am, 1256928
There’s a growing list of economic clues that suggest that the moderate pace of expansion, although battered and bruised in January and February, revived last month. Consider yesterday’s update on industrial output, which increased 0.7% in March—a gain that translates … Continue reading →


April 17, 2014, 8:04 am, 1256925

That is the new paper by Christiano, Eichenbaum, and Trabandt, and it is the most thorough study of the topic I know.  They arrive at this conclusion, the last sentence being of particular interest to me (emphasis added):

We argue that the vast bulk of movements in aggregate real economic activity ...


April 17, 2014, 8:04 am, 1256924

The latest, uh, must-have appears to be positive pregnancy test results.

Women across the country are selling — and buying — them on Craigslist.

One post from Buffalo, New York, sums up the appeal for potential shoppers:

“Wanna get your boyfriend to finally pop the question? Play a trick on Mom, Dad or ...


April 17, 2014, 8:04 am, 1256923
(Don Boudreaux)

So far, the discussion – sparked by Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys – about the privately planned and financed construction of a tunnel in which a fiber cable is run from Chicago to New Jersey misses some important points.  (I reach this assessment, of course, not having read ...


April 17, 2014, 7:33 am, 1256920

Speculative musings, from an inadequate historical background.

We tend to take it for granted that the world looks like this, from a monetary perspective:

The world is divided into currency areas. Each currency area has one alpha bank (the king). All the other banks are beta banks (subjects, who follow ...


April 17, 2014, 7:33 am, 1256918

The article doesn't really explain the "why," but the data are interesting enough.


April 17, 2014, 7:33 am, 1256919

"The Top 1% of Recording Artist Superstars Capture 77% of All Revenues From Internet-Based Sales; the Remaining 99% Divide the Remaining 23% of Revenues".

Who's up for taxing the hell out of those filthy rich musicians?

:-)


April 17, 2014, 7:33 am, 1256917

From a 2007 Berkeley graduation speech. (Link via Utopia--You Are Standing On It.)


April 17, 2014, 7:33 am, 1256916
Tobias Adrian and Nina Boyarchenko

This post is the fifth in a series of six Liberty Street Economics posts on liquidity issues.

One of the most innovative and potentially far-reaching consequences of regulatory reform since the financial crisis has been the ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256881
Nobuyuki Nakahara, a former Bank of Japan policy board member who is an adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, says the bank may need to consider successive rounds of ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256880
Growth in China’s electricity output picked up in March from its January-February pace. Reuters

BEIJING—Official data shows China’s economy in the first quarter grew at its slowest ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256879

It’s that time of year again when speculation mounts over what promising young U.S. economist will run off with the American Economic Association’s John Bates Clark medal.

Set to be announced Thursday, the Clark medal is the field’s second-most prestigious honor after the Nobel Prize in economics. It is given every ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256878

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, April 16

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

Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Connecting the Fed’s Dots Yellen Lays Groundwork for Rules on Short-Term Credit Markets ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256873

The United Nations‘ World Meteorological Organization said its weather model forecasts show a fairly large potential for the occurrence of a weather phenomenon known as El Niño by mid-year, threatening to hinder production of various food crops around the globe.

An El Niño phenomenon is associated with above-average water temperatures in ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256872

The surge in the number of Americans receiving Social Security disability benefits – up 42% since 2004 – appears to have hit a plateau, but it’s unclear if the program has actually peaked and will ever recede.

The number of Americans receiving benefits hit 10,939,936 in March 2013, and has hovered ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256871
Reuters

Central banks aren’t known for making bold, long-range predictions on energy market dynamics. That’s for good reason, since commodities such as oil and gas are among the most ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256874

For those wondering why the euro has remained stubbornly strong in the face of repeated verbal intervention from top European Central Bank officials, look no further than the latest current account numbers.

The euro zone’s current-account surplus, a broad measure of its international financial position, stood at 21.9 billion euros ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256875

Larger-than-expected gains in production mean the U.S. industrial sector is operating at its highest rate since 2008.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that industrial output increased a larger-than-expected 0.7% in March on top of a 1.2% jump in February. In turn, capacity utilization increased to 79.2% in March, the best reading ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256870

NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said that some of Europe’s economic challenges spring from the still-unfinished work of strengthening its banking sector after the 2008 financial crisis.

Europe has drawn criticism from economists for failing to do more to beef up its banks’ capital cushions against losses and clean ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256877

The recession left deep scars on the U.S. economy, and two features of the lackluster recover – sluggish productivity growth and lower labor-force participation – may persist for years to come.

That’s according ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256876
Dennis Lockhart Reuters

The Federal Reserve will likely not begin raising interest rates until the second half of 2015 as it waits for confirmation that its forecasts ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256864

A roundup of economic news on Asia and emerging markets from around the Web.

North Korea’s Illicit Economy: Sheena Chestnut Greitens examines how illicit activities — often controlled by the North Korean elite — help prop up a dictatorial regime starved for hard currency.

Watershed Moment: The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook records ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256862

Just how worried should the European Central Bank be about the strong euro? Some economists say, not at all.

A strong currency can make an economy’s goods and services more expensive in global markets, damping exports. It could also weaken already low inflation in the euro zone by reducing the cost ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256863

Slowing growth in China’s massive economy has raised concerns that the rest of Asia would suffer if China continues to lose momentum.

Rapid growth in lending to the mainland would seem ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256865

Lackluster home-construction in March has left economists divided on how to handicap the industry’s output for the rest of this year, with some predicting the pace will pick up and others saying expectations need to be reined in.


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256866
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher reiterated his support Wednesday for the central bank’s effort to wind down its bond-buying stimulus program.

“I’ll continue ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256868

The Federal Reserve’s “beige book” report, out Wednesday, offers a view of economic conditions across the country from anecdotes gathered by the central bank’s 12 districts. The latest report covered mid-February through early April, and most regional banks said economic activity improved since the start of the year ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256867
Janet Yellen, chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, speaks at the Economic Club of New York on Wednesday. Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and Princeton University ...


April 17, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256869

The Federal Reserve’s latest “beige book” report Wednesday said economic conditions improved in most regions of the country and, in some areas, had rebounded from weather-related slowdowns earlier this year. The following are excerpts from a district-by-district summary of economic conditions from mid-February through early April.


April 17, 2014, 6:44 am, 1256861

LAST year Thomas Piketty, an economist at the Paris School of Economics and a renowned expert on global inequality, published a book titled "Capital in the Twenty-first Century"—in French. It was released in English on March 10th. Wereviewedthe book earlier this year, but it is detailed and important enough, ...


April 17, 2014, 5:33 am, 1256857

I'm not really sure, however, the KFC version would be up to par.


April 17, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256822

Slowing growth in China’s massive economy has raised concerns that the rest of Asia would suffer if China continues to lose momentum.

Rapid growth in lending to the mainland would seem ...


April 17, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256821

What happens when the long-term unemployed are suddenly cut off from being able to cash in on the federal government's extended unemployment benefits program?

That's the case for ...


April 17, 2014, 4:44 am, 1256820
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April 17, 2014, 4:04 am, 1256819

For rent and utilities to be considered affordable, they are supposed to take up no more than 30 percent of a household’s income. But that goal is increasingly unattainable for middle-income families as a tightening market pushes up rents ever faster, outrunning modest rises in pay.

The strain ...


April 17, 2014, 3:33 am, 1256816
Another bloodless coup in Ukraine is underway. This time, it's in the Donetsk region.

Should it come to that ending, it would be the third Ukrainian coup in a matter of months (counting the ouster of former president Viktor Yanukovych followed by the coup in Crimea).

Talk of ...


April 17, 2014, 3:23 am, 1256815

The growth of corporations is always constrained by something.  The trick is figuring out what the “something” is.  Tonight, I am here to simplify it for you.

Financial businesses that are regulated

We value these via book value or tangible book value.  Capital levels constrain business growth, so look at the return ...


April 17, 2014, 1:33 am, 1256798
Much progress has been made on overseeing the largest banks, but a good deal more must be done to toughen standards and end government subsidies, an economist writes.


April 17, 2014, 1:03 am, 1256777

April 17, 2014, 1:03 am, 1256776

Robert Reich:

Antitrust in the New Gilded Age, by Robert Reich: We’re in a new gilded age of wealth and power similar to the first gilded age when the nation’s antitrust laws were enacted. Those laws should prevent or bust up concentrations of economic power that not only harm ...


April 17, 2014, 1:03 am, 1256775

Antonio Fatás:

Secular stagnation or secular boom?: The notion that some countries are caught in a long and protracted period of low growth ... has been labeled "secular stagnation". The pessimism that the idea of secular stagnation has created has been reinforced by the notion the potential for emerging ...


April 17, 2014, 12:34 am, 1256774

Economists today have sold themselves to the enemy. They work for government agencies such as the IMF, OECD, the World Bank, central banks, or academic institutions where their research is heavily subsidized by government agencies. To succeed they have to toe the line, ...


April 17, 2014, 12:04 am, 1256773
(April 17, 2014 01:04 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Back in 2008, I noted an obscure TARP provision: SEC. 134. RECOUPMENT.Upon the expiration of the 5-year period beginning upon the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with... (1 COMMENTS)


April 17, 2014, 12:04 am, 1256772
(Don Boudreaux)

Richard Rahn is rightly appalled by civil asset forfeiture.

George Will righty applauds the truth that Tim Sandefur emphasizes about the U.S. Constitution and America’s founders.  Here’s Will’s conclusion:

Sandefur says progressivism “inverts America’s constitutional foundations” by holding that the Constitution is “about” democracy, which rejects the framers’ ...


April 16, 2014, 10:44 pm, 1256759
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April 16, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1256758

Earlier this month there was tremendous press attention to new data indicating that enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s health insurance exchanges had surpassed 7 million. The White House took a victory lap while much of the press, desperate to write something positive after months of reporting ...


April 16, 2014, 10:04 pm, 1256754
You may have read that health care spending in the private sector picked up both in the fourth quarter of 2013, and during the first two months of this year. Recent data from ...


April 16, 2014, 9:33 pm, 1256753
EL Pais reports Spanish Public Debt Threatens to Exceed 100% of GDP in 2014

Via translation

General government debt accumulated through February was 987.945 billion euros, an amount that represents 96.5% of gross domestic product (GDP). This represents a new record in the amount of money ...


April 16, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1256737

A roundup of economic news on Asia and emerging markets from around the Web.

North Korea’s Illicit Economy: Sheena Chestnut Greitens examines how illicit activities — often controlled by the North Korean elite — help prop up a dictatorial regime starved for hard currency.

Watershed Moment: The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook records ...


April 16, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1256736
Some more data from DataQuick: California March Home Sales

An estimated 32,923 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide in March. That was up 28.2 percent from 25,680 in February, and down 12.8 percent from 37,764 sales in March 2013, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

Last month’s ...


April 16, 2014, 8:44 pm, 1256735
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April 16, 2014, 8:44 pm, 1256734
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April 16, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1256732

|Peter Boettke|

Edward Lopez did me the great honor of organizing an 'author meets his critic' session at the recent APEE meetings on my Living Economics (2012).* David Colander was the chosen critic. David is in many ways the perfect person for this task due ...


April 16, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1256731

One of the most important goals of Obamacare is to increase the number of people with health insurance coverage. Has it worked?

As we all know, the White House reported that over seven million Americans signed up for private health plans on Obamacare’s newly created and IT-troubled exchanges, and Medicaid enrollment ...


April 16, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1256686
Economist Tom Lawler sent me the preliminary table below of short sales, foreclosures and cash buyers for several selected cities in March.

From CR: Total "distressed" share is down in all of these markets, mostly because of a sharp decline in short sales.

Foreclosures are down in most ...


April 16, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1256685
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April 16, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1256684
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April 16, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1256680

We don’t need a ruling class, Lew Rockwell tells Ben Swann. (Mp3, 35 minutes)


April 16, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1256616

We recently outlined a bill introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), which would expand the EITC and pay for it in part by further limiting the deduction for executive compensation. The Senator believes that the ability for corporations to fully deduct performance-based compensation represents a massive loophole, ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1256612

The Federal Reserve’s “beige book” report, out Wednesday, offers a view of economic conditions across the country from anecdotes gathered by the central bank’s 12 districts. The latest report covered mid-February through early April, and most regional banks said economic activity improved since the start of the year ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1256615
Reuters

Central banks aren’t known for making bold, long-range predictions on energy market dynamics. That’s for good reason, since commodities such as oil and gas are among the most ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1256614

NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said that some of Europe’s economic challenges spring from the still-unfinished work of strengthening its banking sector after the 2008 financial crisis.

Europe has drawn criticism from economists for failing to do more to beef up its banks’ capital cushions against losses and clean ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1256613

The Federal Reserve’s latest “beige book” report Wednesday said economic conditions improved in most regions of the country and, in some areas, had rebounded from weather-related slowdowns earlier this year. The following are excerpts from a district-by-district summary of economic conditions from mid-February through early April.


April 16, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1256609

Lackluster home-construction in March has left economists divided on how to handicap the industry’s output for the rest of this year, with some predicting the pace will pick up and others saying expectations need to be reined in.


April 16, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1256610
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher reiterated his support Wednesday for the central bank’s effort to wind down its bond-buying stimulus program.

“I’ll continue ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1256611
Janet Yellen, chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, speaks at the Economic Club of New York on Wednesday. Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and Princeton University ...


April 16, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1256608
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April 16, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1256607
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April 16, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1256604

A house listed for just under $600,000 in East Vancouver sold for $643,000 after its first weekend on the market.

According to the Huffington Post B.C., Vancouver’s cheapest listed single family home attracted large numbers to open houses, with two written offers pushing the final purchase price seven per cent ...


April 16, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1256603
(April 16, 2014 04:29 PM, by David Henderson) On a flight home from Las Vegas last night, I found the April 14 issue of Time magazine. I hadn't read it in years. On the last page was a feature called "10 Questions." They were 10 questions to "activist,... (2 COMMENTS)


April 16, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1256599
I am teaching two graduate classes this quarter, and that gives me the opportunity to publicize some ideas that I'm teaching in my classes, and that I have been working on for some time. I plan to put up a series of posts explaining the ideas in my 2010 book, ...


April 16, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1256598
Pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine intensified their defiance against Kiev on Wednesday, seizing half a dozen armored vehicles and parading them through towns of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk.

The Financial Times reports Pro-Russia forces intensify defiance in eastern Ukraine

The escalating tension, a day after Kiev launched ...


April 16, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1256597

by Thom Walstrum and Scott Brave

A summary of economic conditions in the Seventh District from the latest release of the Beige Book and from other indicators of regional business activity:

• Overall conditions: Growth in economic activity in the Seventh District picked up ...


April 16, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1256596
The Affordable Care Act imposes economic burdens that are the equivalent of taxes, an economist writes.


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256534

Yesterday was Tax Day, and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld shared a letter he sent to the IRS with his Twitter followers. Rumsfeld said he did his best to fill out his taxes but says he's not sure he got it right, due to the complexity ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256530
Dennis Lockhart Reuters

The Federal Reserve will likely not begin raising interest rates until the second half of 2015 as it waits for confirmation that its forecasts ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256531

The recession left deep scars on the U.S. economy, and two features of the lackluster recover – sluggish productivity growth and lower labor-force participation – may persist for years to come.

That’s according ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256532

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, April 16

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

Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Connecting the Fed’s Dots Yellen Lays Groundwork for Rules on Short-Term Credit Markets ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256533

It’s that time of year again when speculation mounts over what promising young U.S. economist will run off with the American Economic Association’s John Bates Clark medal.

Set to be announced Thursday, the Clark medal is the field’s second-most prestigious honor after the Nobel Prize in economics. It is given every ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256524

NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said that some of Europe’s economic challenges spring from the still-unfinished work of strengthening its banking sector after the 2008 financial crisis.

Europe has drawn criticism from economists for failing to do more to beef up its banks’ capital cushions against losses and clean ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256529

Larger-than-expected gains in production mean the U.S. industrial sector is operating at its highest rate since 2008.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that industrial output increased a larger-than-expected 0.7% in March on top of a 1.2% jump in February. In turn, capacity utilization increased to 79.2% in March, the best reading ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256525
Reuters

Central banks aren’t known for making bold, long-range predictions on energy market dynamics. That’s for good reason, since commodities such as oil and gas are among the most ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256528

For those wondering why the euro has remained stubbornly strong in the face of repeated verbal intervention from top European Central Bank officials, look no further than the latest current account numbers.

The euro zone’s current-account surplus, a broad measure of its international financial position, stood at 21.9 billion euros ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256526

The surge in the number of Americans receiving Social Security disability benefits – up 42% since 2004 – appears to have hit a plateau, but it’s unclear if the program has actually peaked and will ever recede.

The number of Americans receiving benefits hit 10,939,936 in March 2013, and has hovered ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256527

The United Nations‘ World Meteorological Organization said its weather model forecasts show a fairly large potential for the occurrence of a weather phenomenon known as El Niño by mid-year, threatening to hinder production of various food crops around the globe.

An El Niño phenomenon is associated with above-average water temperatures in ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256523

The Federal Reserve’s latest “beige book” report Wednesday said economic conditions improved in most regions of the country and, in some areas, had rebounded from weather-related slowdowns earlier this year. The following are excerpts from a district-by-district summary of economic conditions from mid-February through early April.


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256522

The Federal Reserve’s “beige book” report, out Wednesday, offers a view of economic conditions across the country from anecdotes gathered by the central bank’s 12 districts. The latest report covered mid-February through early April, and most regional banks said economic activity improved since the start of the year ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256521

Travel day today, so for now a quick repost of Janet Yellen's speech today, more later as I can:

Monetary Policy and the Economic Recovery, by Janet Yellen, FRB: Nearly five years into the expansion that began after the financial crisis and the Great Recession, the recovery has come ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256520

When in need of a quick post, Paul Krugman is always a good source:

Supply, Demand, and Unemployment Benefits: Ben Casselman points out that we’ve had a sort of natural experiment in the alleged effects of unemployment benefits in reducing employment. Extended benefits were cancelled at the ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1256519
Fed's Beige Book "Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and based on information collected before April 7, 2014."

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest economic activity increased in most regions of the country since the previous report. The expansion was characterized as modest or ...


April 16, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1256517
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April 16, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1256518
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April 16, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1256513

From the March issue of The Free Market: 

Gary North Donates 10,000 Books to Mises Institute

Dr. North said that he decided to donate the library to the Institute as a way to assist the Institute’s Fellows and faculty. “The Mises Institute has very bright summer interns: Ph.D. candidates working on their dissertations, ...


April 16, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1256512

Mike Konczal explains that Ted Cruz’s claim that the current situation is similar to the 70s is utterly insane. However, he concedes too much to Republican myth makers. He wrote

“in the 1970s there was a bipartisan effort to deregulate markets ranging from transportation to finance to energy, ...


April 16, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1256511

Of course Carter’s approach to dealing with energy did not consist only with eliminating the insane regulation keeping US crude oil prices below world crude oil prices. Totally aside from (and opposite too) freeing the market, he also subsidized potential new sources of energy. As I recalled correctly, ...


April 16, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1256510

Last week, the Senate Press Gallery denied SCOTUSblog’s application for a press pass, and advised us that it would refuse to renew the credential it had previously granted Lyle when it expires next month.  We were disappointed in that decision, and we are grateful for the support that we ...


April 16, 2014, 1:23 pm, 1256504
Here is our weekly economics news quiz. Ten questions on the latest economics and business news in a quiz format powered by the Zondle website!Have a go and good luck!


April 16, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1256442

The United Nations‘ World Meteorological Organization said its weather model forecasts show a fairly large potential for the occurrence of a weather phenomenon known as El Niño by mid-year, threatening to hinder production of various food crops around the globe.

An El Niño phenomenon is associated with above-average water temperatures in ...


April 16, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1256441

The surge in the number of Americans receiving Social Security disability benefits – up 42% since 2004 – appears to have hit a plateau, but it’s unclear if the program has actually peaked and will ever recede.

The number of Americans receiving benefits hit 10,939,936 in March 2013, and has hovered ...


April 16, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1256440
There were 203 thousand total housing starts in Q1 this year (not seasonally adjusted, NSA), down 2% from the 208 thousand during Q1 of 2013. Note: Permits were up 6% in Q1 2014 compared to Q1 2013 - still weak growth, but positive.

The weak start to 2014 was ...


April 16, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1256439
From Fed Chair Janet Yellen: Monetary Policy and the Economic Recovery. Excerpts:

Is there still significant slack in the labor market?
...
I will refer to the shortfall in employment relative to its mandate-consistent level as labor market slack, and there are a number of different indicators ...


April 16, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1256438
One of the biggest questions hovering over the federal budget – and, indeed, over the U.S. economy – is whether the recent slowdown in the pace of health-care spending growth will persist. Experts disagree. Here's a taste of the debate.


April 16, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1256435
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April 16, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1256436
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April 16, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1256437
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April 16, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1256434
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April 16, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1256433
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April 16, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1256428
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April 16, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1256429
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April 16, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1256430
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April 16, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1256431
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April 16, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1256432
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April 16, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1256427

In this week's episode, Roberts talks with political scientist Steven Teles about his recent National Affairs piece, Kludeocracy in America.

In the spirit of continuing our conversation, we'd love to hear from you on the questions below.

Questions below the fold:

Check Your Knowledge:

1. What is "kludge," and why does ...


April 16, 2014, 12:34 pm, 1256426
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April 16, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1256421

Brendan Brown writes in today’s Mises Daily:

In its just-published World Economic Outlook the IMF trumpets the view that the real level of equilibrium interest rates worldwide has declined substantially since the 1980s and is now in slightly negative territory. There ...


April 16, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1256420

Rothbard Graduate Seminar

JUNE 8-13 2014

Sponsored by Alice Lillie

The purpose of the Rothbard Graduate Seminar is to provide an intense study of Misesian and Rothbardian economic analytics, along with the substantive conclusions of that research in related fields.

The ...


April 16, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1256419

April 16, 2014, 11:33 am, 1256417
Via Translation from the Italian website L'Anti Diplomatico, former EU Commissioner and and signatory of the Manifesto of European solidarity, Frits Bolkestein proclaims the "Monetary Union has Failed".

In his conference "Europe Without €" held in Rome on Saturday 12 April, Fred Bolkestein, a former commissioner ...


April 16, 2014, 11:33 am, 1256412

1.) HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning, The Wall Street Journal reports: “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who led the government’s troubled rollout of the 2010 health-care law, will step down, her spokeswoman confirmed Thursday, capping a rocky five years in the Obama ...


April 16, 2014, 11:33 am, 1256414

Federal income taxes went up last year, a financial reality becoming ever clearer to many higher-earning Americans as tax day looms. But how much higher can Washington clip wealthier Americans before rising tax rates really weigh on US economic growth?

Quite a bit, some would argue. Despite those tax hikes, the ...


April 16, 2014, 11:33 am, 1256415

A trend is sweeping the nation: e-cigarettes. Will the government stem the momentum of a health craze bound to save millions of lives? AEI scholar Sally Satel discusses the benefits of e-cigarettes for both individuals and the US as a whole.

Follow AEIdeas on Twitter at @AEIdeas.


April 16, 2014, 11:33 am, 1256416

The Hill published my piece “Plan C: A Simple Fix for Fannie and Freddie” on April 7. Many people liked it, but I got an unhappy call of which the gist was: “You have given aid and comfort to the hedge funds and speculators in Fannie and Freddie’s ...


April 16, 2014, 11:33 am, 1256413

If you’re looking for 10 valuable lessons on welfare reform, AEI’s Robert Doar has them. Doar was commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) from early 2007 until the end of 2013, and “from 1995 until the end of 2013, New ...


April 16, 2014, 11:33 am, 1256407

States can look forward to increasing financing problems as the cost of their Medicaid programs grows. That is true even if they do not expand coverage to everyone with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, as called for by the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. I ...


April 16, 2014, 11:33 am, 1256411

Tell me how economic stuff works, Team Gawker:

A new report estimates that U.S. taxpayers spend more than $6 billion each year to provide government benefits to low-paid Walmart workers. The Walton family, which owns Walmart, is worth $149 billion, and is always working to pay lower taxes.

I think I’m ...


April 16, 2014, 11:33 am, 1256408

What’s the best way to reduce poverty and increase economic mobility?

On this episode of Ricochet’s Money & Politics Podcast, I chat with AEI’s  Robert Doar. Before joining AEI, Doar was commissioner of New York City’s Human Resources Administration, the largest local social services agency in the United States. In ...


April 16, 2014, 11:33 am, 1256409

AEI’s Kevin Hassett provided a pointed critique of Thomas Piketty’s new book, “Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century,” Tuesday, telling an audience at the Tax Policy Center that Piketty’s prediction of a “potentially terrifying” future, in which capitalism collapses under the weight of wealth concentration, is not grounded in economic ...


April 16, 2014, 11:33 am, 1256410

The March consumer inflation numbers showed prices rising faster than expected and up from last month. In the 12 months through March, consumer prices increased 1.5% versus 1.1% in February. The core CPI, which strips out the volatile energy and food bits, rose 1.7% versus 1.6% in February.

Analysis from IHS ...


April 16, 2014, 11:33 am, 1256406

1. Chart of the Day: US oil production topped 8.3 million barrels per day last week for the first time in 26 years, going back to April 1988.

2. Markets in Everything: Watch ...


April 16, 2014, 11:23 am, 1256405
A production possibility frontier (PPF) shows the maximum possible output combinations of two goods or services an economy can achieve when all resources are fully and efficiently employed


April 16, 2014, 11:23 am, 1256404
Here are twelve more questions covering markets and market failure - test your understanding with this zondle-powered quiz!


April 16, 2014, 11:03 am, 1256350

Larger-than-expected gains in production mean the U.S. industrial sector is operating at its highest rate since 2008.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that industrial output increased a larger-than-expected 0.7% in March on top of a 1.2% jump in February. In turn, capacity utilization increased to 79.2% in March, the best reading ...


April 16, 2014, 11:03 am, 1256349

For those wondering why the euro has remained stubbornly strong in the face of repeated verbal intervention from top European Central Bank officials, look no further than the latest current account numbers.

The euro zone’s current-account surplus, a broad measure of its international financial position, stood at 21.9 billion euros ...


April 16, 2014, 11:03 am, 1256348
From the Fed: Industrial production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production increased 0.7 percent in March after having advanced 1.2 percent in February. The rise in February was higher than previously reported primarily because of stronger gains for durable goods manufacturing and for mining. For the first quarter as ...


April 16, 2014, 10:45 am, 1256347
One of the biggest questions hovering over the federal budget – and, indeed, over the U.S. economy – is whether the recent slowdown in the pace of health-care spending growth will persist. Experts disagree. Here's a taste of the debate.


April 16, 2014, 10:44 am, 1256346

YESTERDAY theNew York Times ran a piece on a brewing rent crisis in America:

For rent and utilities to be considered affordable, they are supposed to take up no more than 30 percent of a household’s income. But that goal is increasingly unattainable for middle-income families as a tightening market ...


April 16, 2014, 10:04 am, 1256345
(April 16, 2014 09:02 AM, by Scott Sumner) Tyler Cowen directed me to a long interview of Larry Summers. I have two general impressions after listening to the interview: 1. Larry Summers seems brilliant. 2. I disagree with him on just about everything. That got me wondering why... (1 COMMENTS)


April 16, 2014, 10:04 am, 1256344
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 1 of William Baumol’s, Robert Litan’s, and Carl Schramm’s 2007 book, Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity (emphasis added):

The most astonishing thing about the extraordinary outpouring of growth and innovation that the United States and other economies have achieved over ...


April 16, 2014, 9:33 am, 1256339

Jason Bram and Richard Deitz

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s monthly business surveys include special supplementary questions on topics of interest. April’s survey questions focused on how difficult it has been for firms in the region to find and retain workers with basic skills, ...


April 16, 2014, 9:33 am, 1256338
This story about the Census Bureau is amazing to me: The Census is changing its annual survey about health insurance. As a result, the new data will not be comparable to the old, making it much harder to gauge the effects of the Affordable Care Act.

Is thisa ...


April 16, 2014, 9:23 am, 1256337
Here are some revision quizzes for students to check their understanding of market failure


April 16, 2014, 9:23 am, 1256336
Today is the final day of posting resources aimed at testing knowledge on diagrams (please see the links at the bottom of this page for easy access to Monday and Tuesday's blog posts). The resources are aimed at testing knowledge on some of the key diagrams that students need to ...


April 16, 2014, 9:03 am, 1256277

Gov. Steve Beshear's problematic tax overhaul seems to have fizzled out, with the Legislature enacting a revenue bill with just a few small tax changes. The final plan that became law, HB 445, had many small components leading to only very slight tax changes in the ...


April 16, 2014, 9:03 am, 1256276

The recession left deep scars on the U.S. economy, and two features of the lackluster recover – sluggish productivity growth and lower labor-force participation – may persist for years to come.

That’s according to Robert Hall, a Stanford University economics professor, former president of the American Economic Association, co-father of the  ...


April 16, 2014, 9:03 am, 1256275
Dennis Lockhart Reuters

The Federal Reserve will likely not begin raising interest rates until the second half of 2015 as it waits for confirmation that its forecasts ...


April 16, 2014, 9:03 am, 1256274
From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000. This is 2.8 percent above the revised February estimate of 920,000, but is 5.9 percent below the March 2013 rate of 1,005,000.

Single-family housing ...


April 16, 2014, 8:35 am, 1256273
The Federal Reserve is mulling a new set of tougher banking rules to boost the odds that the financial system will remain sufficiently liquid when the next crisis strikes. It’s a worthy goal, if only because one day another event … Continue reading →


April 16, 2014, 8:35 am, 1256272

By James Kwak

I still have Nate Silver in my Twitter feed, and I used to be a pretty avid basketball fan, so when I saw this I had to click through:

Just how bad were the @DetroitPistons‘ Bad Boys? http://t.co/q7A05JunDn#Detroitpic.twitter.com/SOOk
fzCqq4

— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) April 15, ...


April 16, 2014, 8:35 am, 1256271

Real wages are probably rising. The ONS estimates that nominal wages rose 1.9% in the year to February - though there's a big sampling error - whilst CPI inflation then was 1.7%. This, though, might have a downside.

I say this because a plausible reason ...


April 16, 2014, 8:04 am, 1256268

Let us start with “Teheran markets in everything”:

I think this happens only in Tehran. Some people get paid to walk behind your car, so the traffic cameras can not capture your plate number when you enter the restricted traffic areas!

The photo alas does not reproduce, and that is from


April 16, 2014, 8:04 am, 1256267

As unemployment declines and the labor market tightens up, many expect wages to rise. Then as wages rise, inflation has a chance to perk up again. But I want to show a graph that I will be watching in order to determine if inflation will truly respond to rising labor ...


April 16, 2014, 7:33 am, 1256263

April 16, 2014, 7:33 am, 1256264

Yet another example of just how evil cancer is:

The shortage of oxygen, or hypoxia, created when rapidly multiplying kidney cancer cells outgrow their local blood supply can accelerate tumor growth by causing a nuclear protein called SPOP — which normally suppresses tumor growth — to move ...


April 16, 2014, 7:33 am, 1256262

Supposedly it cost $50 million to build. So even at $45,000/night, I don't see how it works out as a sound investment.


April 16, 2014, 7:33 am, 1256261

Just three days after the Washington Post revealed the heinous practice, the Social Security Administration announced "it will immediately cease efforts to collect on taxpayers’ debts to the government that are more than 10 years old."

Commentary by Ed Morrissey and by Megan ...


April 16, 2014, 7:33 am, 1256260
Dong Beom Choi and Lily Zhou

This post is the fourth in a series of six Liberty Street Economics posts on liquidity issues.

Liquidity transformation—funding longer-term assets with short-term liabilities—is one of the main functions that banks provide. However, this liquidity ...


April 16, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256233

It’s that time of year again when speculation mounts over what promising young U.S. economist will run off with the American Economic Association’s John Bates Clark medal.

Set to be announced Thursday, the Clark medal is the field’s second-most prestigious honor after the Nobel Prize in economics. It is given every ...


April 16, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256232

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, April 16

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

Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Connecting the Fed’s Dots Yellen Lays Groundwork for Rules on Short-Term Credit Markets ...


April 16, 2014, 7:03 am, 1256231
From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications increased 4.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 11, 2014. ...

The Refinance Index increased 7 percent from ...


April 16, 2014, 6:44 am, 1256230
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April 16, 2014, 6:44 am, 1256229
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April 16, 2014, 5:23 am, 1256226
Here are twelve more questions covering markets and market failure - test your understanding with this zondle-powered quiz!


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256204

A roundup of economic news on Asia and emerging markets from around the Web.

Losing Interest: Two of the world’s most prominent economic institutions, the International Monetary Fund and Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, recently warned that the global economy may be facing an extended period of low ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256205

Some 7.4 million Americans last month were working part-time jobs because they couldn’t find full-time work. Many of them will have better luck as the economy improves, but others could be locked out by the changing nature of the U.S. economy, four Federal Reserve economists argue ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256203
A security guard stands outside the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo on April 2. Bloomberg News

On Monday, the newest 10-year Japanese government ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256197

At the end of your tax forms, you may have noticed a little box where you can donate extra money to help pay down the national debt. Are big-hearted and deep-pocketed Americans helping to narrow deficits and reduce the federal debt with the donation box?

No, they’re ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256196

Grocery shoppers may soon need more green in their wallets to afford their next salad.

The cost of fresh produce is poised to jump in the coming months as a three-year ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256198

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Tuesday, April 15

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

Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: So Far So Good On The U.S. Growth Forecast Kuroda Says BOJ Will Act ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256199
REUTERS

China’s banks made more new loans in March than the previous month. But economists pointed out the stock of outstanding bank loans grew at ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256202
Blocks of housing, many abandoned mid-development, line the streets in the northeastern city of Yingkou, one of China’s numerous rust-belt towns that have seen a glut of property supply.


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256201
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the Supreme People’s Assembly in Pyongyang, in this still image taken from video released by Kyodo April 9, 2014.


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256200
A shot of buildings in Sanya, Hainan province, China, on April 6, 2014. Bloomberg News

The deepening property glut in China’s smaller and medium-sized cities is the ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256195

Today, April 15, is Tax Day in the U.S. when Americans fork over money to Uncle Sam — and to their tax preparer.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, more than half of taxpayers hire someone to prepare their taxes. The cost of that service is rising at a far faster ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256193

The Federal Reserve should pledge to keep short-term interest rates near zero until the U.S. economy is within a year of achieving both full employment and 2% inflation, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said Tuesday.

“My personal view is that, ideally, forward guidance should, for the time ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256188

For years, the fast-growing Asian tigers have been held out as the model for economic development. Now, as inequality becomes a greater focus for policy makers, Asian countries facing a ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256194

The U.S. banking sector has become less efficient in recent decades despite the increased use of new technologies like high-frequency trading and products such as derivatives, according to two papers presented at a Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta conference.


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256186
Growth in China’s electricity output picked up in March from its January-February pace. Reuters

BEIJING—Official data shows China’s economy in the first quarter grew at its slowest ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256189

A slight easing in New Zealand’s inflation in the first quarter of the year probably won’t keep the central bank from raising interest rates when it meets next week — but it may mean rates don’t need to rise as far or as fast as economists were expecting.


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256187
Nobuyuki Nakahara, a former Bank of Japan policy board member who is an adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, says the bank may need to consider successive rounds of ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256192

 

Several years of sound economic management have left the Philippines with what appears to be one of the strongest government balance sheets in Asia: a current account surplus of nearly 5% of ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256191
Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC. in 2013. Getty Images

Less than a week since Reserve Bank of India ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256190
O ZUMApress.com

China’s GDP growth fell in the first quarter to its slowest pace since September of 2012, slipping to 7.4% on-year growth from 7.7% in the ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256185

According to preliminary data published by the U.S. Census Bureau, the trailing twelve month average of median sale prices for new homes fell in February 2014 after peaking a month earlier.

The preliminary new home sale price for February 2014 was $261,800, which was up from ...


April 16, 2014, 5:03 am, 1256184

April 16, 2014, 4:45 am, 1256183
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April 16, 2014, 4:04 am, 1256182

I enjoyed this piece by Sarah Turcotte:

Tour caddies are well-compensated. The winning looper this week will pocket a nice $144,000. But they earn that 10 percent. A long-running joke among caddies is that there are only three rules: Show up, keep up and shut up. Truth is, their ...


April 16, 2014, 3:33 am, 1256178
Here are some interesting charts from my friend Nick at Sharelynx Gold. (Login Required)

Gold vs. US Dollars



Gold vs. Euros



Gold vs. Ukraine Hyyvnia


April 16, 2014, 3:23 am, 1256177

I’ve been blogging for over seven years… this is just an experiment, and unlikely to be repeated.  Here goes:

Have you ever read through comment streams on major financial news and blogging websites?  Or the Message Boards at Yahoo?  It is often ugly, bitter, and uninformed.  That’s why I am bringing ...


April 16, 2014, 3:23 am, 1256176
Here are some revision quizzes for students to check their understanding of market failure


April 16, 2014, 3:23 am, 1256175
We’ve got a busy programme of CPD for Economics and Business Studies in the summer term and we’d be delighted if you and your colleagues were able to join us. Brief details below.


April 16, 2014, 3:03 am, 1256157

A slight easing in New Zealand’s inflation in the first quarter of the year probably won’t keep the central bank from raising interest rates when it meets next week — but it may mean rates don’t need to rise as far or as fast as economists were expecting.


April 16, 2014, 3:03 am, 1256156

For years, the fast-growing Asian tigers have been held out as the model for economic development. Now, as inequality becomes a greater focus for policy makers, Asian countries facing a ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 am, 1256158
O ZUMApress.com

China’s GDP growth fell in the first quarter to its slowest pace since September of 2012, slipping to 7.4% on-year growth from 7.7% in the ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 am, 1256155
Nobuyuki Nakahara, a former Bank of Japan policy board member who is an adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, says the bank may need to consider successive rounds of ...


April 16, 2014, 3:03 am, 1256154
Growth in China’s electricity output picked up in March from its January-February pace. Reuters

BEIJING—Official data shows China’s economy in the first quarter grew at its slowest ...


April 16, 2014, 2:04 am, 1256153

A four-year slowdown in health spending growth could be coming to an end.

Americans used more medical care in 2013 as the economy recovered, new reports show. Federal data suggests that health care spending is now growing just as quickly as it was prior to the recession.

“We’re at the highest level ...


April 16, 2014, 1:33 am, 1256152
The China Dailyreports that foreign firms in China are seeking out 2nd and 3rd tier Chinese cities that feature blue skies because Beijing is just too polluted. The introduction of a competitive system of cities would make urban China an even stronger nation. The centralization of the powerful government ...


April 16, 2014, 1:03 am, 1256143
Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC. in 2013. Getty Images

Less than a week since Reserve Bank of India ...


April 16, 2014, 1:03 am, 1256141

A slight easing in New Zealand’s inflation in the first quarter of the year probably won’t keep the central bank from raising interest rates when it meets next week — but it may mean rates don’t need to rise as far or as fast as economists were expecting.


April 16, 2014, 1:03 am, 1256142
O ZUMApress.com

China’s GDP growth fell in the first quarter to its slowest pace since September of 2012, slipping to 7.4% on-year growth from 7.7% in the ...