Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 1/21/15

The website was down for a day and a half, but is back up now.


May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


Jobs

The best summary of the state of our economy is the graph (below) of employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old. The decrease is large, but the most troubling feature of the graph is the flat trend .


Click on the image to get a bigger version.


Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

Donald Marron likes European interest rates. Click on the image to get a bigger version. Can you find three distinct subperiods?

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.


Remember M1?

Money Supply M1 growth is now over 20% per year over a 12 month lag. M1 growth has touched 20% before, but not with excess reserves of $1.6 trillion. Where is M1 headed?


Click on the chart for a larger version.


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March 5, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1434306

Over at AEI, Mark Perry put together a chart that got a lot of attention yesterday. The chart shows that for the first time ever, Americans are spending more money at restaurants and bars than they spend at grocery stores. (For reference, the total numbers are $50 billion each, with ...


March 5, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1434305
A few thoughts ... it seems this might be the year that we see an increase in real wages. Here are a few signs:

1) The official data suggests we are getting closer to full employment. The unemployment rate (U-3) has fallen to 5.7%, and


March 5, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1434304
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March 5, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1434297
(Don Boudreaux)

Cato’s Ted Galen Carpenter wisely warns against entangling alliances.  A slice:

As my colleague Doug Bandow has correctly observed, Washington collects allies with less thought and discrimination than most people collect Facebook friends.  In doing so, we also collect all of the disputes and feuds that those “friends” ...


March 5, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1434296

Last week, Keith Hall was selected to be the new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director. A few high profile past CBO analyses – scoring the Affordable Care Act and a minimum wage hike – have drawn ...


March 5, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1434293
I don't often just post links, but sometimes a post is so good, and so complete, it just needs reading without comment.

Marginal Revolution on Kleptocracy

Ok, one comment. The mainstream media are focused on the racial element. This problem is much deeper than race.


March 5, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1434292
Today the euro sunk to a low last seen in August of 2003. One euro is now worth $1.10.



click on chart for sharper image

Apparently this is a "success" even though the ECB was hell bent on ...


March 5, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1434291
The Editors

Recent news of banks scaling back on the issuance of car loans to borrowers with a weak credit history, coupled with recent media investigations into auto lending fraud, have drawn renewed attention to a surge in subprime auto lending. That boom ...


March 5, 2015, 3:23 pm, 1434290

Five or six times each month, the Atlanta Fed posts a "nowcast" of real gross domestic product (GDP) growth from the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model. The most recent model nowcast for first-quarter real GDP growth is provided in table 1 below alongside alternative forecasts from the Philadelphia ...


March 5, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1434229
February’s jobs report will be a test for whether the labor market can continue its impressive growth streak even in the face of global turmoil and icy conditions in parts of the country.


March 5, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1434227

Noah Smith:

Economists' Biggest Failure: One of the biggest things that economists get grief about is their failure to predict big events like recessions. ...

Pointing this out usually leads to the eternal (and eternally fun) debate over whether economics is a real science. The profession's detractors say that if ...


March 5, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1434228

I wasn't aware of this, apparently for good reason:

Washington Strips New York Fed’s Power, by Jon Hilsenrath, WSJ: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, once the most feared banking regulator on Wall Street, has lost power... The Fed’s center of regulatory authority is now a little-known committee ...


March 5, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1434226
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March 5, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1434225

Thanks to Epiq Systems, the latest monthly bankruptcy figures are out, and ...


March 5, 2015, 2:05 pm, 1434219

The copyright on Mein Kampf is running out in 2016, so what will Germany do?  Here is the latest:

The Institut für Zeitgeschichte got the call, and apparently their critical edition should be available already shortly after the copyright runs out, in January 2016. In Die Zeit they


March 5, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1434218
(March 5, 2015 02:12 PM, by David Henderson) OMG. In my recent post "Krugman's Priceless Economics," I criticized a recent column by Paul Krugman in which he argued against thinking about labor markets in terms of supply and demand. I quoted the following from his article: Specifically, this... (6 ...


March 5, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1434215

Some quick impressions from today’s oral argument at SCOTUS, particularly after reading the transcript:

*The ballyhooed “standing” issue predictably was a big yawn. Petitioners’ attorney Michael Carvin quickly disassembled an opening barrage of recycled question from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (query: did she renew a subscription to Mother Jones or just ...


March 5, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1434216

In late February British tabloids carried the bizarre story of would-be adoptive parents, Abigail, 33, and Brian, 45 who were denied the chance to adopt by the Staffordshire County Council because Brain had been observed using (“vaping”) an electronic cigarette.

The couple, who preferred to keep their full names private, had ...


March 5, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1434217

This afternoon in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, AEI resident scholar Claude Barfield provides careful analysis of the implications surrounding successful ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the economic and security repercussions that would result from failure ...


March 5, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1434214

If anyone had any doubts that most members of Congress oppose the Obama administration’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran, they can put them aside after viewing the response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before Congress Tuesday.

Fifty-some Democratic members chose not to attend. Joe Biden arranged to be out ...


March 5, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1434210

We have two great guests joining us on the podcast this week. First, Representative Todd Young from Indiana’s 9th district joins us to discuss his Social Impact Bond Act legislation that’s designed to create public-private partnerships and use the market to help people earn their way out of poverty.

Later on ...


March 5, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1434213

Opinions about the big Obamacare case the Supreme Court heard this week are highly polarized. But the court could find a way to split the difference between the conservative and liberal readings of the law — and that might be the worst of all worlds.

The case, known as King v. ...


March 5, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1434211

This blog series analyzes the most important Iran news events of the past week and provides an outlook of the regime’s strategic calculus.

Outlook:

Iran’s Great Prophet 9 [Payambar-e Azam 9] military exercises were held February 25-27 throughout the Persian Gulf and showcased the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)’s latest weapons and ...


March 5, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1434212

About a year ago, the Obama administration found itself on the defensive abroad.

In late 2013, China had established an Air Defense Identification Zone over the East China Sea, imposing rules that amounted to a Chinese assertion of sovereignty over international airspace and disputed territories. The following month, a Chinese warship ...


March 5, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1434209

Civic education in our schools is a mess. Survey results routinely show how shockingly little American students know about our history and government. Educators and elected officials rightly worry about low levels of youth engagement.

Some of the nation’s most heralded attempts to cultivate a civic disposition can be found in ...


March 5, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1434208

Yesterday, the chart above went slightly viral on Twitter (almost 1,000 re-Tweets), so I’ll feature it here on the blog as the “chart of the day.” The chart shows the ...


March 5, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1434205

Yesterday, the chart above went slightly viral on Twitter (almost 1,000 re-Tweets), so I’ll feature it here on the blog as the “chart of the day.” The chart shows the gradual convergence over the last several decades between the amount of money ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1434145

Chuck Marr over at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities seems pretty upset over the new Rubio-Lee tax reform plan. He is calling it a “Huge new windfall at the top.” He is also concerned about the plan not addressing the soon-to-expire temporary expansion of the Child ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1434144

Today is the ten-year anniversary for this blog. Ten years! It hardly seems like that long. When I started, I didn't expect much.

So far as I can recall, I haven't missed a single day in all that time. Sometimes it's just a simple post with links, etc., but there have ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1434143
Yesterday I posted a employment preview for February. Here are some excerpts from Goldman Sachs economist David Mericle:

We expect nonfarm payroll job growth of 220k in February, below the consensus forecast of 235k. Labor market indicators were mixed in February, and we expect that the effect ...


March 5, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1434141
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March 5, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1434142
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March 5, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1434140
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March 5, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1434139

AFTER January’s momentous announcement of the adoption of quantitative easing (QE), today’s meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB) was bound to be something of an anticlimax. As Mario Draghi, the bank’s president, said in Nicosia, where the governing council had convened ...


March 5, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1434138

With my attention drawn to other matters, my personal blogging has been light for the past month. One of the things that had my attention was the Caulkett case currently pending before the Supreme Court. The issue in Caulkett is whether a wholly underwater second mortgage can be avoided in ...


March 5, 2015, 12:05 pm, 1434135

March 5, 2015, 11:34 am, 1434134

I’m teaching History of Economic Thought again this year and during my progression through the material this term what has struck me is the very long road over time –literally hundreds of years - to understanding markets and value as the simultaneous interaction both supply and demand side factors culminating ...


March 5, 2015, 11:33 am, 1434133

|Peter Boettke|

'The Great Recession was a consequences of the rules breaking down, not of the market failing.'

Watch this lecture from 2012 by James M. Buchanan.


March 5, 2015, 11:33 am, 1434132
March 5, 2015

The Honorable John Boehner Speaker
House ...


March 5, 2015, 11:23 am, 1434131
Is Financial Reregulation Holding Back Finance for the Global Recovery?

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

The National Press Club
Washington, D.C.
April 15–16, 2015

The 2015 Minsky Conference will address, among other issues, the design, flaws, and current status of the Dodd-Frank ...


March 5, 2015, 11:23 am, 1434130

Yesterday I participated in a press conference and gave the first of a series of lectures in Madrid on MMT and the Job Guarantee. At the press conference, Alberto Garzón announced his party’s plan to create a million jobs in a targeted JG: “IU plantea un plan de ...


March 5, 2015, 11:03 am, 1434069

For those of you in San Diego I wanted to call attention to a roundtable discussion this Friday March 6 on some of the ongoing concerns about European sovereign debt. I’ll be appearing along with Jeffrey Frieden from Harvard (who will be quite familiar to regular readers of


March 5, 2015, 10:44 am, 1434067
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March 5, 2015, 10:44 am, 1434068
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March 5, 2015, 10:44 am, 1434066
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March 5, 2015, 10:44 am, 1434065
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March 5, 2015, 10:44 am, 1434064

YESTERDAY the Federal Reserve released transcripts of its monetary-policy meetings in 2009 (as always, there is a five-year lag). So we thought it would be a good opportunity to look at how the Fed's thinking has changed over time. Taking data from ...


March 5, 2015, 10:35 am, 1434063
Private nonfarm payrolls in the US are projected to increase by 230,000 (seasonally adjusted) in tomorrow’s February update from the Labor Department, based on The Capital Spectator’s median point forecast for several econometric estimates. The monthly prediction reflects a substantial deceleration in growth vs. January’s 267,000 gain. Two estimates based ...


March 5, 2015, 10:35 am, 1434062
New filings for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, reaching the highest level since last May. Is this an early warning sign of trouble for the labor market and, by extension, the economy? No, not yet. It could be nothing more than weather-related turbulence courtesy of a harsh winter. But ...


March 5, 2015, 10:35 am, 1434061

This passage from Paul Krugman has stirred controversy:

Conservatives — with the backing, I have to admit, of many economists — normally argue that the market for labor is like the market for anything else. The law of supply and demand, they say, determines the ...


March 5, 2015, 10:04 am, 1434059
(Don Boudreaux)

The title of this post comes from Deirdre McCloskey.  It’s the term Deirdre uses to describe the proximate source of the vast riches enjoyed daily by ordinarily people in modern market-oriented societies.  Innovation is the act or process of coming up with a new, creative idea. ...


March 5, 2015, 9:33 am, 1434054

Gov. John Kasich’s tax package took body blows yesterday from the left and right of the economic philosophical spectrum.

The conservative Tax Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., sharply criticized parts of the governor’s tax package, particularly the elimination of the state income tax for most small businesses and sole proprietors and the increase in ...


March 5, 2015, 9:33 am, 1434053

A Natural Resource Damage Assessment case study for the classroom and beyond:

A long-fought legal battle to recover $8.9 billion in damages from Exxon Mobil Corporationfor the contamination and loss of use of more than 1,500 acres of wetlands, marshes, meadows and waters in New Jersey has been quietly settled by ...


March 5, 2015, 9:33 am, 1434052

Senior Fellow, Kennedy School of Government and Business School, Harvard University; former Deputy Governor at the Bank of England; former member G20 Financial Stability Board Steering Committee.

Has the experience of the crisis changed your view of the central bank policy tool kit?

Deputy Governor Tucker: It would be hard for it ...


March 5, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433991

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, March 5, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Lawmakers Ought to Look to Tarullo, not Dudley, on Fed Supervision Failures Yellen ...


March 5, 2015, 9:03 am, 1433990
The DOL reported:

In the week ending February 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 320,000, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 313,000. The 4-week moving average was 304,750, an increase of 10,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 294,500.


March 5, 2015, 8:44 am, 1433989
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March 5, 2015, 8:44 am, 1433988
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March 5, 2015, 8:35 am, 1433987
What should we expect for tomorrow’s February payrolls report from the US Labor Department? As usual, ADP’s estimate of job creation in the private sector offers a valuable clue. The current forecast based on yesterday’s update: government data will continue to show private payrolls rising above the 200,000 mark for ...


March 5, 2015, 8:34 am, 1433986

The Rubio-Lee tax reform plan: Interesting, very expensive, and DOA. The GOP senators offer a framework for a huge tax cut that would add trillions to the debt over the next ten years while moving the revenue code towards a consumption tax. TPC did a preliminary analysis of ...


March 5, 2015, 8:34 am, 1433985
Teaser:

A ...


March 5, 2015, 8:05 am, 1433983

In Ferguson and the Modern Debtor’s Prison I wrote:

You don’t get $321 in fines and fees and 3 warrants per household from an about-average crime rate. You get numbers like this from bullshit arrests for jaywalking and constant “low level harassment involving traffic stops, court appearances, high fines, and the ...


March 5, 2015, 8:04 am, 1433982
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 295 of Randy Simmons’s 2011 Revised Edition of his and the late William Mitchell’s excellent 1994 book on public choice, Beyond Politics:

Americans’ desire to protect their privacy and rights to be different is impressive.  Protagonists of equality never, it seems, make clear precisely what, ...


March 5, 2015, 7:33 am, 1433979

One reason:

In the U.S., testing is the most searingly divisive issue. The business of assessing students through high school has grown 57% in just the past three years, to $2.5 billion, according to the Software & Information Industry Association. Some believe “high-stakes testing” is the best ...


March 5, 2015, 7:23 am, 1433978
Source: Greg Ip
After six years of low interest rates many yields are now crossing the zero percent boundary. Interest rates in Europe ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433940
William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Bloomberg News

NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley warned Wednesday that borrowing ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433939

The Federal Reserve is a large and sprawling organization, with key personnel at its Washington headquarters and sprinkled across the 12 regional reserve banks. Here’s a brief rundown of the officials who show up in the transcripts from the Federal Open Market Committee’s 2009 meetings, and the positions they ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433941
Charles Evans, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Bloomberg News

NEW YORK–Raising short-term interest rates off currently near zero levels ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433942
Dallas ranks highly in Zillow’s index. The U.S. energy boom fueled much of the city’s growth. Among U.S. metro areas, the largest over-the-year employment increase in December was in ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433937
AFP/Getty Images

With hindsight, we know that the economy reached a turning point in mid-2009: It stopped shrinking and began growing again. But the expansion would be slow and ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433938
The U.S. Federal Reserve building on July 30, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The year 2009 was a busy one for the Federal Reserve, which ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433935

LAKE FOREST, Ill.–Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Wednesday that low inflation remains a bit of a puzzle as the economy shows momentum.

Mr. Evans, whose remarks came during a question-and-answer session here, described the economy as doing better and showing momentum. But he said that isn’t enough ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433936
March 17, 2009: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke with board members at a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve’s interest rate-setting body, in ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433931
Illinois posted the sharpest drop in unemployment among all U.S. states last year. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Unemployment fell in every state and the nation’s capital last year—something ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433930
Freighters and cargo containers sit idle at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as a backlog of more than 30 container ships sit anchored outside the Port ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433934

LAKE FOREST, Ill.—Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Wednesday the Federal Reserve should hold off until early 2016 to raise interest rates, saying that acting before inflation comes more into line with the central bank’s target could hurt its credibility.

The central banker, whose remarks came to reporters ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433933

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George wants to see the U.S. central bank start raising short-term interest rates at some point over the summer, worrying that if Fed doesn’t get moving soon future rate increases may have to be more aggressive.

“I continue to support liftoff towards the ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433932
Ben Bernanke in July 2009 Getty Images

Federal Reserve policy makers faced a dark economic outlook as 2009 began. They cut some of the tension at Federal Open ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433928
Then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

In early 2009, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gathered his colleagues on a conference call to provide a heads-up ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433925
Changes at the Federal Reserve have shifted regulation of large Wall Street financial firms to Washington from New York. Here’s a look at the revamp.


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433926

The outgoing leader of the Dallas Fed said Wednesday his plan to reform the U.S. central bank had caught the ear of Congress, although he declined to handicap the future of his proposal.

Richard Fisher, who will leave the leadership role of the bank later in the month, said “I ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433927
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks during a hearing of the House committee hearing Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Steering central bank policy depends more than anything ...


March 5, 2015, 7:03 am, 1433929
Federal Reserve officials spent 2009 worrying about the worst U.S. economic downturn they had seen in their lives, the weakness of the nascent recovery and the uncertainties surrounding their policy options.


March 5, 2015, 6:44 am, 1433924
A


March 5, 2015, 6:35 am, 1433923
● US private sector adds jobs in February, but growth slows: ADP | Reuters ● Faster Services Growth in U.S. Points to Resilience | Bloomberg ● Fed’s Beige Book: US Economic Recovery Continues Despite Trouble Spots | RTT ● Eurozone retail PMI points to further drop in sales | Markit ...


March 5, 2015, 5:33 am, 1433920

Touring is where the money is at: artists supposedly get about 60% of the ticket price.


March 5, 2015, 5:33 am, 1433918

March 5, 2015, 5:33 am, 1433919

Great, just great:

Coleman and the College Board tout the SAT as a measure of what they define as "college readiness," but what this peek at some questions suggests is that the revised exam is being used as yet another assessment exam that shapes rather than reflects ...


March 5, 2015, 5:03 am, 1433866

March 5, 2015, 2:05 am, 1433810

Smaldino and Epstein have a new paper, note they are not responsible for my blog post heading, they called it “Social conformity despite individual preferences for distinctiveness.”  The abstract is here:

We demonstrate that individual behaviours directed at the attainment of distinctiveness can in fact produce complete social conformity. ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433773
William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Bloomberg News

NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley warned Wednesday that borrowing ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433774
Charles Evans, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Bloomberg News

NEW YORK–Raising short-term interest rates off currently near zero levels ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433777
Reuters

Mario Draghi started 2015 with a bang by unveiling a €1 trillion ($1.1 trillion)-plus asset purchase program, mostly government bonds, at the European Central Bank’s first meeting on Jan. 22.

Act Two won’t be quite as dramatic, ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433776

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, March 4, 2015:

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

Highlights


Douglas’s Take: U.K. and U.S. Lawmakers Pressing for More Central Bank Accountability Yellen Scolds ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433775
Dallas ranks highly in Zillow’s index. The U.S. energy boom fueled much of the city’s growth. Among U.S. metro areas, the largest over-the-year employment increase in December was in ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433772

The Federal Reserve is a large and sprawling organization, with key personnel at its Washington headquarters and sprinkled across the 12 regional reserve banks. Here’s a brief rundown of the officials who show up in the transcripts from the Federal Open Market Committee’s 2009 meetings, and the positions they ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433771
The U.S. Federal Reserve building on July 30, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The year 2009 was a busy one for the Federal Reserve, which ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433769
March 17, 2009: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke with board members at a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve’s interest rate-setting body, in ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433768

LAKE FOREST, Ill.–Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Wednesday that low inflation remains a bit of a puzzle as the economy shows momentum.

Mr. Evans, whose remarks came during a question-and-answer session here, described the economy as doing better and showing momentum. But he said that isn’t enough ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433770
AFP/Getty Images

With hindsight, we know that the economy reached a turning point in mid-2009: It stopped shrinking and began growing again. But the expansion would be slow and ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433764
Illinois posted the sharpest drop in unemployment among all U.S. states last year. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Unemployment fell in every state and the nation’s capital last year—something ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433765
Ben Bernanke in July 2009 Getty Images

Federal Reserve policy makers faced a dark economic outlook as 2009 began. They cut some of the tension at Federal Open ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433763
Freighters and cargo containers sit idle at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as a backlog of more than 30 container ships sit anchored outside the Port ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433767

LAKE FOREST, Ill.—Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Wednesday the Federal Reserve should hold off until early 2016 to raise interest rates, saying that acting before inflation comes more into line with the central bank’s target could hurt its credibility.

The central banker, whose remarks came to reporters ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433766

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George wants to see the U.S. central bank start raising short-term interest rates at some point over the summer, worrying that if Fed doesn’t get moving soon future rate increases may have to be more aggressive.

“I continue to support liftoff towards the ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433758
Changes at the Federal Reserve have shifted regulation of large Wall Street financial firms to Washington from New York. Here’s a look at the revamp.


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433762
Federal Reserve officials spent 2009 worrying about the worst U.S. economic downturn they had seen in their lives, the weakness of the nascent recovery and the uncertainties surrounding their policy options.


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433759

The outgoing leader of the Dallas Fed said Wednesday his plan to reform the U.S. central bank had caught the ear of Congress, although he declined to handicap the future of his proposal.

Richard Fisher, who will leave the leadership role of the bank later in the month, said “I ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433761
Then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

In early 2009, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gathered his colleagues on a conference call to provide a heads-up ...


March 5, 2015, 1:03 am, 1433760
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks during a hearing of the House committee hearing Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Steering central bank policy depends more than anything ...


March 5, 2015, 12:04 am, 1433756
(March 4, 2015 11:37 PM, by Scott Sumner) Over the years I've argued that economists are horribly confused about the concept of "income." They use income for tax incidence discussions and also economic inequality, whereas on theoretical grounds consumption is clearly the appropriate variable. And yet until a... (0 ...


March 5, 2015, 12:04 am, 1433755
Maggie Mahar has been featured at Angry Bear Blog and has written for Angry Bear Blog from time to time. This article has been taken from her blog, Health Beat. Obamacare’s critics continue to argue that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will self-destruct. Now, some claim the mandate that uninsured ...


March 4, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1433753
Today the National Bank of Ukraine announced new capital controls on currency transactions. All Interbank Transactions Over $10,000 are Banned.

The national Bank of Ukraine has expanded the list of administrative restrictions for stabilization of the hryvnia, in particular, completely prohibiting the withdrawal of foreign dividends and ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1433732

The outgoing leader of the Dallas Fed said Wednesday his plan to reform the U.S. central bank had caught the ear of Congress, although he declined to handicap the future of his proposal.

Richard Fisher, who will leave the leadership role of the bank later in the month, said “I ...


March 4, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1433731
Changes at the Federal Reserve have shifted regulation of large Wall Street financial firms to Washington from New York. Here’s a look at the revamp.


March 4, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1433730

We have to thank University of Wisconsin-Madison economics professor Menzie Chinn, because we don't think that we could have produced a better chart showing the difference in post-recession economic performance of states that adopted labor, tax and regulation policies preferred by Republicans over states ...


March 4, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1433729

Global value chains (GVCs) clearly promote trade and investment but their impact on domestic value-added is less clear. This column discusses new evidence showing that GVCs participation stimulates domestic value, but not for all nations. It is necessary for low- and middle-income countries to increase their absorptive capacities if they ...


March 4, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1433728

Transportation costs fell precipitously during the last century leading many observers to posit that the world has ‘become flat’. If this were true, the costs of transporting goods should no longer have much bearing on firms’ location choices and the spatial structure of economic activity. This column, using manufacturing data ...


March 4, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1433727

In a global financial system, macroprudential policies may create international spillovers. This column presents new evidence on how the organisational structure of a bank affects the magnitude of these spillovers. An increase in capital requirements at home causes foreign branches to reduce their lending growth to other banks operating in ...


March 4, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1433726
A


March 4, 2015, 10:34 pm, 1433725
Teaser:

Monetary ...


March 4, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1433680
Hypocrisy of the Toronto real estate board is stunning. The board threatened brokers who list sales prices. Their excuse is "privacy".

"If 41,160 members have access to this information and are free to give it to [clients], I don't think it is private information." said Fraser Beach, a broker ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1433631

India’s finance minister this week released a budget that includes, among other things, a five per cent reduction in the corporate income tax. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, won a landslide election last May on a pro-growth agenda.

The proposed budget would move India, one of the world’s ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1433630
Then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

In early 2009, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gathered his colleagues on a conference call to provide a heads-up ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1433629
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks during a hearing of the House committee hearing Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Steering central bank policy depends more than anything ...


March 4, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1433628
From Greg Ip at the WSJ: Janet Yellen, Forecasting Ace

Her forecasts as a Fed official have been strikingly accurate, as the release of 2009 transcripts to the Fed’s deliberations make clear. If she worked on Wall Street, she’d be a “hot hand.” This does not mean as ...


March 4, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1433627

The newest entrants in the tax reform sweepstakes are senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT).  Their plan is filled with a number of interesting and credible ideas but ducks many important questions. And, while it is not accompanied by a budget score, the elements that it specifies ...


March 4, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1433624
(March 4, 2015 04:39 PM, by David Henderson) The answer to the question I asked in the title seems as if it should be "Yes." And not just "yes," but "Obviously yes." Yet economist John Whitehead says that one can't conduct cost-benefit analysis of a policy. Specifically, he... (2 ...


March 4, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1433623


March 4, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1433560

Earlier today Senators Rubio and Lee released their “Economic Growth and Family Fairness Tax Reform Plan.” We have modeled the economic and budgetary effects of the plan and will release our full results Monday, but the following is a preview.

On the business side, the plan is strongly pro-growth ...


March 4, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1433559

Here are some great links from this week:

The Texas Public Policy Foundation has a new report about repealing the Texas Margin Tax. They find repeal would produce $10.8 billion in new real personal income in the first year and $16 billion over 5 years. The state would be ...


March 4, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1433558
Federal Reserve officials spent 2009 worrying about the worst U.S. economic downturn they had seen in their lives, the weakness of the nascent recovery and the uncertainties surrounding their policy options.


March 4, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1433557
Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for February. The consensus, according to Bloomberg, is for an increase of 230,000 non-farm payroll jobs in February (with a range of estimates between 200,000 and 252,000), and for the unemployment rate to decline to 5.6%.


March 4, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1433556

The newest entrants in the tax reform sweepstakes are senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT).  Their plan is filled with a number of interesting and credible ideas but ducks many important questions. And, while it is not accompanied by a budget score, the elements that it specifies ...


March 4, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1433550

If you've been reading Bill Gross's last few letters, you'll know that he's been a bit grumpy of late. It's that dang new trend that has hit bond markets, negative interest rates. Gross has ...


March 4, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1433549
People in California complain their flooring is making them sick. The complaints have one source in common, Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring from China with toxic levels of Formaldehyde, up to 20 times the maximum amount in one test. US manufactured flooring does not have the same defects.

Health and ...


March 4, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1433548
Senators Mike Lee and Marco Rubio announced a bold and attractive tax plan today. I especially appreciate their desire to eliminate the current tax code's bias for debt over equity finance.


March 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1433486

Lately, we have seen good job growth numbers which has led to a reduction in the unemployment rate. At first glance, this is an encouraging sign for the economy. But when we have a closer look at data on business dynamics, it is clear that the overall economy has ...


March 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1433485
Ben Bernanke in July 2009 Getty Images

Federal Reserve policy makers faced a dark economic outlook as 2009 began. They cut some of the tension at their ...


March 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1433483
Freighters and cargo containers sit idle at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as a backlog of more than 30 container ships sit anchored outside the Port ...


March 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1433484
Illinois posted the sharpest drop in unemployment among all U.S. states last year. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Unemployment fell in every state and the nation’s capital last year—something ...


March 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1433482

Paul Ryan says "I do not like cap and trade because I think the costs far outweigh the benefits." John Whitehead (who provides the Ryan quotes) responds:

Rep. Paul Ryan is getting the economics wrong on cap and trade and a revenue neutral carbon tax: Way wrong...

The costs of ...


March 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1433481
Fed's Beige Book "Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and based on information collected on or before February 23, 2015. "

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicate that economic activity continued to expand across most regions and sectors from early January through mid-February. Six ...


March 4, 2015, 2:34 pm, 1433480
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March 4, 2015, 2:05 pm, 1433476

Here is the GMU press release:

Marginal Revolution University’s “Everyday Economics” video series has been nominated for an International Academy of Web Television award in the Best Documentary or Educational Series category.

There is more information here.


March 4, 2015, 2:05 pm, 1433475

Ms Schneider reckons that more than half of the world’s feed crops will soon be eaten by Chinese pigs.

That is from The Economist, via Scott Sumner, whose post is of interest more generally on numerous matters.  Scott also cites The Economist for telling us that


March 4, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1433474
(March 4, 2015 03:31 PM, by David Henderson) What's the difference between Silk Road and e-Bay? George Washington University political science professor Henry Farrell recently wrote a piece titled "Dark Leviathan." He states his case so well that I won't try to paraphrase it. Instead, I'll quote one... (1 ...


March 4, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1433470

Way wrong:

Q: Higher natural gas and oil production is great for energy independence. How concerned, though, are you about climate change?

A: Well, look at it this way: Are we going to be a fossil fuel dependent economy for the medium term? Yes. Our entire economy is wired for that. So ...


March 4, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1433469

From greenh-gas@mailer.eia.gov:

These estimates of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) are based on the State Energy Data System. The state data include a summary table with total energy-related CO2 by state beginning in 1990, a table with emissions by fuel in 2012 and a table with emissions by sector in 2012. Detailed ...


March 4, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1433468
This Slate articledrew my attention to a recent scholarly PNAS piece. Here is the PNAS article's abstract:

"Before the Syrian uprising that began in 2011, the greater Fertile Crescent experienced the most severe drought in the instrumental record. For Syria, a country marked by poor governance and ...


March 4, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1433407

In a new 580-page report, a government advisory panel calls for “bold actions” to “transform the food system” and bring about a fundamental shift in people’s diets and lifestyles. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee advocates “a diet higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, ...


March 4, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1433406

LAKE FOREST, Ill.—Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Wednesday the Federal Reserve should hold off until early 2016 to raise interest rates, saying that acting before inflation comes more into line with the central bank’s target could hurt its credibility.

The central banker, whose remarks came to reporters ...


March 4, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1433405

NEW YORK—Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George wants to see the U.S. central bank start raising short-term interest rates at some point over the summer, worrying that if Fed doesn’t get moving soon future rate increases may have to be more aggressive.

“I continue to support liftoff towards ...


March 4, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1433403

Bad news for those who propose education as the solution to inequality:

How Higher Education Perpetuates Intergenerational Inequality, by Tim Taylor: Part of the mythology of US higher education is that it offers a meritocracy, along with a lot of second chances, so that smart and hard-working students of ...


March 4, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1433404

Friederike Niepmann and Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr of the NY Fed's Liberty Street Economics blog:

No Guarantees, No Trade!: World trade fell 20 percent relative to world GDP in 2008 and 2009. Since then, there has been much debate about the role of trade finance in the Great Trade Collapse. Distress in ...


March 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1433402
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March 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1433400
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March 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1433401
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March 4, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1433399

The siren song of retirement income free of state taxes continues to seduce politicians. No matter that there is little evidence that high taxes on pension income drive away seniors, or that few older people move from one state to another for any reason at all. No matter that tax-free ...


March 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1433394
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to a hostile correspondent:

Mr. Marion Ellis

Dear Mr. Ellis:

Calling my criticism of Paul Krugman’s most-recent column “shallow,” you applaud Krugman’s denial that (quoting Krugman) “the market for human labor is like the market for anything else.”

Of course the market for human labor differs in ...


March 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1433393
James Carville was certainly right: “It’s the economy, stupid.” And under Democrats (compared to Republicans), the economy kicks ass: This is GDP growth, but that kick-assness is blatant in any economic measure you look at, from job growth to stock-market returns to household income to government deficits. And it’s true over any ...


March 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1433391

Chairman Shelby, Ranking Member Brown, and distinguished members of the committee, thank you for convening today’s hearing on Federal Reserve Accountability and for inviting me to testify. I am a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, but this testimony represents my personal views. My research is focused on banking, ...


March 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1433392
Resident Fellow Thomas Miller discusses King v. Burwell on CSPAN'S 'Washington Journal.'


March 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1433390

Billionaire Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson sat in the House Chamber Tuesday Morning as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress.

At that moment, though, Adelson was, on paper, a host of a viewing party two blocks away at the Capitol Hill Club, a GOP haunt. The viewing ...


March 4, 2015, 11:33 am, 1433389
In my column on dynamic scoring, I wrote:

[A]ccurate dynamic scoring requires more information than congressional proposals typically provide. For example, if a member of Congress proposes a tax cut, a key issue in estimating its effect is how future Congresses will respond to ...


March 4, 2015, 11:33 am, 1433388
When I taught at Columbia University in the early 1990s, I wondered about our Ph.D. program. Yes, we were an Ivy League School but at that time Columbia Econ's senior faculty focused on a narrow set of topics such as International Trade. I also wondered about all of the Ph.D. ...