Economics Roundtable

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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- Recent Entries


February 10, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1607380
From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Inch Further Into 1-Year Lows

Mortgage rates barely budged today, but did manage to gain just a bit of ground. That means another 1-year low, technically, although many lenders are quoting the exact some conventional 30yr fixed rates ...


February 10, 2016, 6:44 pm, 1607379
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February 10, 2016, 6:44 pm, 1607378
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February 10, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1607376

Throughout this campaign season and even before it, the president and presidential hopefuls alike have shied away from committing American “combat troops” or “boots on the ground” to fighting against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Despite the fact that we have, in fact, deployed 3,700 troops to ...


February 10, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1607377

President Obama released the final budget plan of his presidency today, and we can all be grateful that it’s his last. It is a plan that will be, and should be, ignored in Congress because of its deceptions and implausibility.


February 10, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1607374

Read the PDF.

Executive Summary

The current farm bill, formally titled the Agricultural Act of 2014, was signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 7, 2014. The act’s provisions radically changed the structure of price and revenue-per-acre subsidy programs for crops that have received subsidies for more than ...


February 10, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1607373

Who won the Lamar Alexander prize in the New Hampshire primary? The reference, as I noted in an earlier blogpost, is to the 1996 Republican primary, when Lamar Alexander finished 3.63 percent and 7,590 votes behind Bob Dole in the contest for second place behind Pat Buchanan. Dole went on ...


February 10, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1607375

Work is the backbone of the economy, but the structure and strength of the labor force depend on another pillar of American society: the family. As presidential candidates try to ...


February 10, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1607340
Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Wednesday called the legality of negative rates “a question we still would need to investigate more thoroughly.” PETE MAROVICH/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Federal ...


February 10, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1607339

The Philadelphia Fed has released leading indicators for December. Essentially zero growth over the next six months is predicted.

Figure 1 compares the performance of the indicators for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Nation, normalized on 2011M01 (when Governors Dayton and Walker took office).


February 10, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1607338
Teaser:

This ...


February 10, 2016, 4:05 pm, 1607334

Africa Internet Group is set to become the continent’s first “unicorn” after securing an investment valuing the ecommerce group at more than $1bn.

French insurer Axa will pay €75m for an 8 per cent stake in Africa Internet Group, which owns several start-ups including online retailer Jumia, ...


February 10, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1607333
(February 10, 2016 03:46 PM, by Scott Sumner) In my previous post I criticized Paul Krugman's claim that monetary policy could not have been tightening significantly during the summer of 2008, as real bond yields remained low. In other words, Krugman claimed that low bond yields were telling... (0 COMMENTS)


February 10, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1607332
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a reply to a follow-up e-mail from my former Clemson ...


February 10, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1607331
Looking at the past six months, Sears was outperforming Wal-Mart until mid-December. (Graphic via CNN)


February 10, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1607294
An excerpt from an article by Jon Hilsenrath at the WSJ: Fed Sees Risks to U.S. Economy Rising

The Fed’s assessment of the balance of risks is meaningful because officials won’t be inclined to raise short-term interest rates again if it sees growing risks to the outlook. Ms. ...


February 10, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1607293
Another update ... during the recession, I wrote about the troubles in Las Vegas and included a chart of visitor and convention attendance: Lost Vegas.

Since then Las Vegas visitor traffic has recovered to new record highs.

Visitor traffic was 2.9% above the record set in ...


February 10, 2016, 2:44 pm, 1607292
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February 10, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1607290

February 10, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1607289

This small, family-owned Chicago Mexican restaurant specializes in barbecued goat.  It is the best barbecued goat I have had, the best accompanying sauce I have had outside of Mexico (you must order it separately), and the best tortillas I have had outside of Mexico.  It is one of ...


February 10, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1607288

February 10, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1607287
(Don Boudreaux)

One of the silver linings around the dark cloud of rampant economic ignorance is that such ignorance brings out the best in ...


February 10, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1607285

Manchester, New Hampshire –

It is difficult to overstate how total and complete Donald Trump’s dominance was here in the New Hampshire GOP primary. Trump won 35.1% of the vote – almost 20 points ahead of his nearest rival, John Kasich (with 15.9). Cruz, Bush, and Rubio came in with ...


February 10, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1607286

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared the Zika virus a global health emergency. Zika is particularly dangerous to pregnant women, as it has been linked to birth defects and developmental disabilities in babies. Practicing physician Scott Gottlieb explains in today’s Wall Street Journal:

In the US, Zika will likely confine ...


February 10, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1607284

With the Rio Olympics six months away, Brazil is battling an outbreak of Zika virus that has infected an estimated 1.5 million people. The infection is linked to microcephaly, a congenital condition in which babies are typically born with underdeveloped brains. The World Health Organization has declared the Zika outbreak ...


February 10, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1607283

The global diplomatic community is again promising serious sanctions against North Korea for its latest missile launch. Meanwhile, the Pentagon belatedly announces it will quadruple its defense budget for European activities, in the face of continued Russian interventionism in Ukraine, while doubling its budget for anti-ISIS operations. These are just three of ...


February 10, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1607282

Five years ago, Hosni Mubarak stepped down from his de facto position as Egyptian president for life. At the moment, at least for those fighting to wrest back their vote from one of the Middle East’s most entrenched dictators, it was a fleeting high point in an Arab Spring that ...


February 10, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1607281

Recent turbulence in the international financial markets suggests that the global economy may see a significant downturn running up to the November elections. That in turn could have ...


February 10, 2016, 1:23 pm, 1607277

Recently, Liverpool supporters protested about plans to increase the price of many ticket (the most expensive seat in the Main Stand will now be £77). Many supporters complain that football tickets have risen well above the rate of inflation in recent years, making football less accessible to supporters on lower-incomes. ...


February 10, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1607245
The national median existing single-family home price grew nearly 7% to $222,700 in the fourth quarter, compared with the same time last year, Realtors said. SCOTT ...


February 10, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1607244

Eugene White at the Bank of England's Bank Underground:

Rescuing a SIFI, Halting a Panic: the Barings Crisis of 1890, Bank Underground: The collapse of Northern Rock in 2007 and Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, and AIG in 2008 renewed the debate over how a lender of last resort should ...


February 10, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1607243

From the NBER Digest:

The Cap-and-Trade Sulfur Dioxide Allowances Market Experiment: The Acid Rain Program led to higher levels of premature mortality than would have occurred under a hypothetical no-trade counterfactual with the same overall sulfur dioxide emissions.


February 10, 2016, 11:03 am, 1607208
From Fed Chair Janet Yellen: Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress. Excerpt:

Financial conditions in the United States have recently become less supportive of growth, with declines in broad measures of equity prices, higher borrowing rates for riskier borrowers, and a further appreciation of the dollar. These ...


February 10, 2016, 10:44 am, 1607207
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February 10, 2016, 10:44 am, 1607205
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February 10, 2016, 10:44 am, 1607206
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February 10, 2016, 10:44 am, 1607204
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February 10, 2016, 10:04 am, 1607203
(February 10, 2016 09:48 AM, by Scott Sumner) David Beckworth and Ramesh Ponnuru have produced some excellent pieces on the mistakes made by the Fed in 2008. Here's an excerpt from their latest: Krugman thinks the behavior of long-term real interest rates contradicts our thesis. They rose in... (0 COMMENTS)


February 10, 2016, 10:04 am, 1607202
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to someone who says that he was ...


February 10, 2016, 9:33 am, 1607199

Congress has said this is dead on arrival and won't even talk with the White House budget director about it buthey, there is some good economics in here and that should be applauded:

President Obama is proposing significant funding increases to environmental regulators and clean energy research as part of his ...


February 10, 2016, 9:03 am, 1607167
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen before a congressional committee in December. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen visits lawmakers Wednesday and Thursday for two days of ...


February 10, 2016, 8:34 am, 1607166
The positive bias to the US stock market over the long run means that drawdowns rarely exceed 10%. But this isn’t one of those times. The S&P 500 is posting a decline in excess of 10% from the market’s previous peak, offering one more sign that the trend is weak—the ...


February 10, 2016, 8:34 am, 1607165

It’s not just public sector workers and benefit recipients who are suffering from fiscal austerity. So too now are bank shareholders.

The FT reports that the sharp fall in banking stocks so far this year is due in part to fears of more negative ...


February 10, 2016, 8:34 am, 1607164
Teaser:

Rather ...


February 10, 2016, 8:04 am, 1607163

Say you’re not one to believe the mainstream media. Maybe you think climate change is an elaborate hoax or the medical community is trying to hide the myriad dangers of vaccinations. Perhaps you are utterly convinced the government is overrun by reptilian beings.

Where on Earth can you go to ...


February 10, 2016, 8:04 am, 1607162
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 307 of the 1978 collection, edited by Eric Mack, of Auberon Herbert’s essays, The Right ...


February 10, 2016, 8:04 am, 1607161


February 10, 2016, 7:34 am, 1607158

I was going to comment "Look in the dictionary under locking the barn door after the horse is gone and you'll see 'UNC'" but I like Glenn Reynolds's much better: "Just what they needed, a new administrator".

And this bit from the piece is just too funny for words:


February 10, 2016, 7:34 am, 1607159

According to researchers at the University of Texas-Dallas:

One surprising finding: More leniency on time limits is associated with a reduction — not an increase — in returns.


February 10, 2016, 7:34 am, 1607157

Kinda hard to believe.

The mini V8 engine is 32 mm long, 24 mm wide and about 27 mm tall.

It was constructed with paper and some scotch tape [t]o reduce friction on the valves.


February 10, 2016, 7:34 am, 1607156

"But near-nudity as a fashion choice, however beautiful the female form underneath, is neither stylish nor elegant."


February 10, 2016, 7:03 am, 1607125

Last week, we used a well established method of statistical analysis to demonstrate that layoffs were beginning to spread to the states outside of the eight oil-patch states where they had previously been concentrated.

Today, we're digging into that discovery to see if we ...


February 10, 2016, 7:03 am, 1607124
From the MBA: Rates Drop, Refi Applications Surge in Latest MBA Weekly Surve

Mortgage applications increased 9.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 5, 2016.
...
The Refinance Index ...


February 10, 2016, 6:34 am, 1607123
● Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Win in New Hampshire | NY Times ● Yellen to face Congress amid uncertainty on Fed policy | WaPo ● US job openings at near-record 5.6 million in Dec | CNBC ● US small business optimism index falls to 2yr low in Jan | ...


February 10, 2016, 4:44 am, 1607097
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February 10, 2016, 3:03 am, 1607076

February 10, 2016, 2:44 am, 1607074
The Global Crisis was a watershed, not just for economies around the world, but for economics as a discipline. This column introduces a special issue of Economic Policy that collects key papers on the Global Crisis published in its aftermath between 2009 and 2014. The papers chart the evolution of ...


February 10, 2016, 2:44 am, 1607075
Macroprudential policies are meant to reduce procyclicality in financial markets and associated systemic risks. However, empirical evidence on which policies are most effective is still preliminary and inconclusive. This column documents the use of macroprudential policies by a large set of countries over an extended period, and covering many instruments. ...


February 10, 2016, 2:44 am, 1607073
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February 10, 2016, 2:04 am, 1607072

When private companies can’t or won’t go public, they become easy pickings for their competitors to buy them…In my not so humble opinion, this is the ultimate productivity and investment killer in the USA today.

And this:

One of the reasons today’s 3700 public companies hoard cash is because they know that ...


February 10, 2016, 2:04 am, 1607071

When you disaggregate the data at the state level, wages don’t look so sticky any more:

…states that experienced larger employment declines between 2007 and 2010 had significantly lower nominal wage growth during the same time period…Our estimates suggest that real wages also vary significantly with local measures of unemployment at ...


February 10, 2016, 12:35 am, 1607051

By James Kwak

From the Times (order of quotations reversed):

Mr. Sanders was the choice, nearly unanimously, among voters who said it was most important to have a candidate who is “honest and trustworthy.”

[Clinton] has gone so far as to promise to rethink and adjust her campaign strategy in hopes of connecting ...


February 10, 2016, 12:04 am, 1607045
(February 10, 2016 12:21 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Welcome to the third installment of the EconLog Reading Club on Ancestry and Long-Run Growth. This week's paper: Spolaore, Enrico, and Roman Wacziarg. "How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development?" Journal of Economic Literature 51 (2): 325-369. The authors'... (0 COMMENTS)


February 10, 2016, 12:04 am, 1607044
(Don Boudreaux)

I just discovered this superb 2014 Learn Liberty video featuring my old Clemson University colleague Dan Benjamin ...


February 9, 2016, 11:03 pm, 1607012
Chinese customers buy goods for the Lunar New Year holiday at a market in Binzhou, in eastern China’s Shandong province. STR/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

If China’s economy is stalling, ...


February 9, 2016, 10:44 pm, 1607011
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February 9, 2016, 10:05 pm, 1607010

Paul Krugman is in fact tweeting there.  His first “real tweet” is:

Prediction: By the fall, moderate Republican pundits will declare that given the Democrat’s flaws, Trump is the better choice.

The post @NYTimeskrugman is no longer just a bot appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.


February 9, 2016, 9:33 pm, 1607009

February 9, 2016, 8:44 pm, 1606987
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February 9, 2016, 8:04 pm, 1606983

My market hermeneutics is this: Japan is trying to weaken its currency by confiscating resources from its financial institutions only, using negative interest charges on bank deposits held at the Bank of Japan.  The market says “we don’t believe this can work.  If you really want to weaken your currency, ...


February 9, 2016, 7:34 pm, 1606982

|Peter Boettke|

Paul Romer is obviously one of the most interesting economic minds of his generation. Listen to this discussion of how changes in rules and changes in technology can result in peaceful yet revolutionary transformation.

Paul Romer Demonstrates a Peaceful Method ...


February 9, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1606955
Wednesday:
• At 7:00 AM ET, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

• At 10:00 AM, Testimony by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress, Before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives


February 9, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1606952
(Don Boudreaux)

This morning I discovered that the rear window of my car is completely shattered.  (I’ve no idea how it happened, although I ...


February 9, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1606950

“Balancing the budget is the big one,” says Penny Schmitthenner in the VFW hall.

It’s a odd rallying call, but at John Kasich’s election-eve rally — a snow-drenched event outside an old-school general store — putting receipts in balance with expenses, was at the heart of the enthusiasm.


February 9, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1606949

Regular readers are aware that I write often about the need to rebuild the armed forces. That’s because, while military power is not the primary or preferred instrument of national influence, it is the foundation of America’s foreign policy. By deterring or, where necessary, defeating aggression, it reinforces the various soft power ...


February 9, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1606951

President Obama’s recent pledge of $450 million to support Colombia’s peace process (dubbed “Paz Colombia”) is a significant political boost. However, it is a drop in the bucket in terms of what that South American country will need to demobilize and resettle guerrillas and develop swaths of territory isolated by ...


February 9, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1606945

Today, President Obama released his fiscal budget for 2017. From Social Security to tuition-free community college, what will it actually mean for the next budgetary year? Some scholars offer their thoughts on how the numbers translate into policy goals.


February 9, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1606946

The federal government is largely responsible for the outsized role standardized tests play in public schools.

In 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act established standardized tests as the focal point of school accountability systems, and since then the focus on standardized tests, and the consequences attached to them, has only ...


February 9, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1606947

The rhetoric from senior Pentagon officials leading up to President Obama’s last defense budget release does not match the hard numbers. While the Pentagon was directed to “maliciously” comply with last year’s budget deal and request far less than allowed — and preferred by Congressional Republicans — the clear signal ...


February 9, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1606948

Back in 1995, now-Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said, “I personally happen not to be a great believer in the free enterprise system for many reasons.”

And ...


February 9, 2016, 5:34 pm, 1606941
Allan Meltzer and John Taylor organized a Statement on Policy Rules Legislationsigned by quite a few famous economists. John's blog explains in some detail.

Stating a rule or "strategy" about what things the Fed will react to also will help the Fed to pre-commit to things it ...


February 9, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1606940


1. Chart of the Day (above). The National Restaurant Association reported last week that its monthly Restaurant Performance Index (RPI), based on a national survey ...


February 9, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1606909
Graduates of Bowie State University, one of America’s 10 oldest historically black universities, put messages on their mortarboard hats during the school’s graduation ceremony. Nursing is among the highest-earning ...


February 9, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1606908

Today we are fortunate to present a guest contribution written by Yin-Wong Cheung (City University of Hong Kong), Sven Steinkamp (Universitt Osnabrck) and Frank Westermann (Universitt Osnabrck).

After 7 years of highly expansionary monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank is expected to pursue a new policy stance, ...


February 9, 2016, 4:05 pm, 1606905

US bank stocks have suffered a brutal start to 2016. Out of the 90 stocks on the S&P financials index, just seven were in positive territory for the year, after the market closed on Monday.

Two of the biggest losers, Bank of America and


February 9, 2016, 4:05 pm, 1606904
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February 9, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1606903
(Don Boudreaux)

Peter Yoo asks that I again share here at Cafe Hayek my September 2007 Freeman article entitled “The ...


February 9, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1606902

February 9, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1606863
Oil prices are down today, with Brent at $30.51 per barrel, and WTI at $28.08.

Here is an excerpt from the EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) released today.

Brent crude oil prices are forecast to average $38/b in 2016 and $50/b in 2017. Forecast West Texas Intermediate (WTI) ...


February 9, 2016, 2:05 pm, 1606857

1. How I read.

2. Speed dating for rabbits.

3. Is Rwanda a Potemkin Village?

4. Legally notarize a document from your phone.  Notice how I just write “phone”?  Two years ago I would have written “smart phone.”

5. The economics of Arizona’s crackdown ...


February 9, 2016, 1:34 pm, 1606854


February 9, 2016, 1:23 pm, 1606853

The deadline to apply for this year’s Hyman P. Minsky Summer Seminar is approaching:

Organized by the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College with support from the Ford Foundation

Levy Institute
Blithewood
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

June 10–18, 2016

The seventh Minsky Summer Seminar will be held at the Levy Economics Institute in June 2016. ...


February 9, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1606822
 The latest report on the economy’s churn shows a labor market that has in some respects returned to prerecession levels. LYNNE SLADKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The number of Americans ...


February 9, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1606821
President Barack Obama released his $4 trillion-plus budget in his final year at the White House on Tuesday. GABRIELLA DEMCZUK/GETTY IMAGES

President Barack Obama released his final ...


February 9, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1606820

New column:

Why the Working Class Is Choosing Trump and Sanders, by Mark Thoma: Donald Trump recently defended Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid:

“Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid. ...


February 9, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1606819
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February 9, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1606818
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February 9, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1606817
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February 9, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1606811
(February 9, 2016 10:02 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the 21st Century" has been widely debated. So, one wonders if there is anything new that could actually be added at this point. I found this article by Antonio Foglia quite intriguing. I shall disclose that... (1 ...


February 9, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1606810

As famously stated by Fed Chairman William McChesney Martin in 1955: “The Federal Reserve, after the recent increase in the discount rate, is in the position of the chaperone who has ordered the punch bowl removed just when the party was really warming up.”

As the Fed is now finding out, ...


February 9, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1606808

Nearly two years after the OPM data breach occurred (in March 2014), and more than a year after it was first noticed by the Federal government (in April 2015), the Obama Administration has now come forward with a cybersecurity plan. While it is nice that the Administration has ...


February 9, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1606809

Despite its isolation, despite its poverty, despite breathless international condemnations, North Korea marches ever closer to fielding a functioning intercontinental ballistic missile. More troubling, Pyongyang is also making progress in miniaturizing a nuclear weapon to put atop such an ICBM, even as its collection of bombs grows.

And so Kim Jong-un, ...


February 9, 2016, 11:33 am, 1606807


February 9, 2016, 11:03 am, 1606774
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen heads to Capitol Hill on Wednesday and Thursday for two days of congressional testimony.


February 9, 2016, 11:03 am, 1606773

Narayana Kocherlakota:

Negative Rates: A Gigantic Fiscal Policy Failure: Since October 2015, I’ve argued that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) should reduce the target range for the fed funds rate below zero. Such a move would be appropriate for three reasons:

It would facilitate a more rapid ...


February 9, 2016, 11:03 am, 1606772
From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings increased to 5.6 million on the last business day of December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires and separations were little changed at 5.4 million and 5.1 million, respectively. ...


February 9, 2016, 10:44 am, 1606771
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February 9, 2016, 10:44 am, 1606770
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February 9, 2016, 10:44 am, 1606769
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February 9, 2016, 10:44 am, 1606768
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February 9, 2016, 10:44 am, 1606767

Argentina faces a complicated task in settling with its remaining holdouts, but there has been recent progress. The country has agreed ...


February 9, 2016, 10:35 am, 1606766

Amidst all the talkof a recession, this chart presents something of a puzzle. It shows that there’s a decent correlation (0.57) between annual changes in the All-share index and in UK industrial production*.


February 9, 2016, 10:04 am, 1606765
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to a young woman – a student at the University of Iowa – who tells ...


February 9, 2016, 10:04 am, 1606764

As frontrunners in the Republican presidential primary campaign, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Marco Rubio will have the opportunity to explain how they will reignite the economy and protect our security while remaining true to constitutional principles. One area where they should agree is on blocking the growth of the ...


February 9, 2016, 9:03 am, 1606728
The fence that divides Tijuana, Mexico, from San Diego. If the number of low-skilled Mexican immigrants were to drop by half because of tougher border enforcement, some economists calculate ...


February 9, 2016, 9:03 am, 1606727
From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): After Modest Gain Last Month, Small Business Optimism Takes a Stumble

The Index of Small Business Optimism fell 1.3 points from December, falling to 93.9. ...

Reported job creation improved in January, with the average employment gain per ...


February 9, 2016, 8:44 am, 1606726
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February 9, 2016, 8:35 am, 1606725
Yesterday’s tumble in US equities fueled another leg down in Treasury yields. As the bear market in stocks rolls on, the crowd continued to rush into the safe-haven trade, pushing the 10-year yield down to 1.75% yesterday (Feb. 8)–the lowest level in about a year, based on daily data via ...


February 9, 2016, 8:04 am, 1606724

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s a good opportunity to think about all those roses and how the market process brings them to our door.

Our Principles of Microeconomics course at MRUniversity has two videos on this theme beginning with I, Rose and followed up with the the ...


February 9, 2016, 8:04 am, 1606723
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 480 of Deirdre McCloskey’s 2006 volume, The Bourgeois Virtues:

“Real wealth” in the economist’s way of ...


February 9, 2016, 8:04 am, 1606722


February 9, 2016, 7:34 am, 1606718

Since thinking about cancer is scary and difficult, the book reviewed here might well be worth reading.


February 9, 2016, 7:34 am, 1606719

John Lott explains.

The truth is that government expenditures and campaign expenditures have increased in tandem. Total campaign spending soared from $1.6 billion in 1998 to $3.77 billion in 2014. Federal government spending rose at virtually the same rate, going from $1.65 trillion to $3.9 trillion.

With ...


February 9, 2016, 7:34 am, 1606717

"Distillates demand in January fell at a rate only seen before during US recessions".

(With the qualification that market quantities are affected by both demand and supply, the graph doesn't look good.)


February 9, 2016, 7:03 am, 1606689

Yesterday, the news broke that the Apollo Education Group ...


February 9, 2016, 6:44 am, 1606688
The White House’s annual spending blueprint is routinely deemed “dead on arrival” as soon as its lands on Capitol Hill. How Barack Obama managed to achieve broad aims of his annual policy wishlist last year is instructive as he enters his final budget battle.


February 9, 2016, 6:35 am, 1606687
● Fed’s labor index falls in Jan to lowest level in 10 mos. | MarketWatch ● US Employment Trend Index increased in Jan, But at slower pace | CB ● The World’s Economy Soared Last Year (or Plunged) | NY Times ● Central banks make global economy vulnerable, says OECD ...


February 9, 2016, 6:04 am, 1606686

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pummeled Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for being overly scripted during the New Hampshire debate, pouncing when Rubio, for the third time, repeated his stock line that President “Obama knows exactly what he is doing” by moving the country to the left. “There it is, there ...


February 9, 2016, 5:34 am, 1606683

Well, at least they've been warned.

See also "Pacific Northwest in fear of massive earthquake, tsunami".


February 9, 2016, 5:34 am, 1606681

Sounds reasonable--at least worth experimenting with--to me. (Link via Marginal Revolution.)


February 9, 2016, 5:34 am, 1606682

I knew about some of these, but I wasn't aware of "flash fill," which looks like it could be quite useful.

More on the uses of flash fill here.


February 9, 2016, 4:04 am, 1606651

McMindfulness is the commodified, marketised and reductionist version of mindfulness practice which consists in the construction of courses, “apps”, books, and other items for sale to the public.

There is more here, via the excellent Mark Thorson.

The post McMindfulness markets in everything appeared first on


February 9, 2016, 3:03 am, 1606634

February 9, 2016, 2:04 am, 1606633

Many of us think this diagram shows there has been some kind of structural break in the labor market, and/or that recovery is proceeding slowly.  Paul Krugman, very recently, suggests that structural factors play little role because the measured unemployment rate is now below five ...


February 9, 2016, 1:03 am, 1606617

Or, breaking up the big banks might provide some visceral joy, but it’s not clear to me that solves the key problem of financial fragility in modern capitalist systems.

I recently talked on C-SPAN’s BookTV about my book, Lost Decades, coauthored in Jeffry Frieden. In it, I recounted the ...


February 9, 2016, 12:04 am, 1606613

Deutsche Bank AG became the largest lender in at least four years to feel compelled to reassure investors and employees that it has enough cash to pay its debts.

Germany’s biggest bank said in a statement Monday that it has more-than-sufficient means to pay coupons on its riskiest debt both this ...


February 9, 2016, 12:04 am, 1606612
(February 9, 2016 12:16 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Twenty five years ago, I interned at the Cato Institute and met Jerry Taylor. Now he runs the Niskanen Center. Here's what Jerry says about the movement we've both inhabited for decades:Libertarians love to preach the virtues of markets. Yet... (0 ...


February 9, 2016, 12:04 am, 1606611

The US Navy remains at a crossroads between the grueling demands of global presence and necessary investments in cutting-edge warfighting capabilities. The 2017 defense budget decisively invests in a naval fleet that is more capable, but smaller. Meanwhile, the Navy’s new maritime strategy exhorts sailors to prepare to fight and ...