Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 3/9/15

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


May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


Jobs

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


Click on the image to get a bigger version.


Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

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

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.


Remember M1?

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


Click on the chart for a larger version.


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April 18, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1457756
(April 18, 2015 05:06 PM, by Scott Sumner) George Selgin has a new post discussing a paper he wrote with David Beckworth and Berrak Bahadir. In the paper they argue that the Fed set its policy rate too low during the early 2000s, and that this decision contributed... (1 COMMENTS)


April 18, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1457755
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to Mother Jones:

Congratulations!  You’ve well and truly slain a straw man by reporting that “[c]onservatives have long portrayed minimum-wage increases as harbingers of economic doom, but their fears simply haven’t played out” (“As Cities Raise Their Minimum Wage, Where’s the Economic Collapse the Right Predicted?” ...


April 18, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1457754


April 18, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1457753
Today the NY Times has a front page piece on the mistreatment of specific dogs in China. The Times reports that you don't want to be Tibetan Mastiff. Here is a memorable quote: "

"There once was a time, during the frenzied heights of China’s Tibetan mastiff craze, ...


April 18, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1457742
Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said on Saturday that he wants an orderly appreciation of the dollar. Reuters

Finance officials from the world’s largest emerging-market nations are ...


April 18, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1457738
Congratulations. You are more productive than ever. Just don't expect to be paid more for it. In reality, some machine is doing all that for you.



Japan Times reports Robots Leave Behind Chinese Factory Workers

According to the International ...


April 18, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1457733
Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said on Saturday that he wants an orderly appreciation of the dollar. Reuters

Finance officials from the world’s largest emerging-market nations are ...


April 18, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1457732

This seems implausible to me, yet there seems to be evidence for it:

Are we kidding ourselves on competition?, by Joshua Gans: ...Consider a situation where there are 10 firms in a market and they compete with one another. Now suppose that all shareholders — say because they are following the ...


April 18, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1457731
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April 18, 2015, 11:03 am, 1457653

The U.S. economy has downshifted rather abruptly in the last few months, prompting new discussion within the Federal Reserve about delaying its first interest-rate increase. Yet the growth deceleration should not come as a surprise, because the Fed has already tightened.

True, the Fed’s interest-rate target remains close to zero. ...


April 18, 2015, 11:03 am, 1457652

WASHINGTON–European Central Bank governing council member Ewald Nowotny said Friday the central bank’s emergency-lending program can’t become a long-term financing mechanism for Greek banks.

“Due to the legal structure, the ECB isn’t in the situation to substitute long-term financing, that’s a political decision,” Mr. Nowotny said at the International Monetary Fund’s ...


April 18, 2015, 11:03 am, 1457654
Grocery prices, including tomatoes, are falling, the Labor Department said Friday. Paul J. Richards/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Americans saw some price ...


April 18, 2015, 11:03 am, 1457651
Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The Federal Reserve released new details about the committee at the center of its bank supervision policy, giving the public its first look at what has become ...


April 18, 2015, 11:03 am, 1457650
The economic data flow waxes and wanes. The week ahead is another waning period. Despite the sparse calendar, here are five items worth watching.


April 18, 2015, 11:03 am, 1457649
The key economic reports this week are March new home sales on Thursday and existing home sales on Wednesday.

----- Monday, April 20th -----
8:30 AM ET: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for March. This is a composite index of other data.

----- Tuesday, April 21st -----


April 18, 2015, 10:44 am, 1457648
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April 18, 2015, 9:33 am, 1457645
This past week, The House ofRepresentativespassed repeal of the estate tax. This is a policy change I have long supported, for reasons explained here.


April 18, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457628

From Vox EU:

Explaining the dearth of private investment, by Aqib Aslam, Samya Beidas-Strom, Daniel Leigh, Seok Gil Park, Hui Tong: Business investment in advanced economies contracted sharply during the global crisis and has recovered little since. This column argues that the main factor holding back investment is overall ...


April 18, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457627

First paper:

Declining Desire to Work and Downward Trends in Unemployment and Participation, by Regis Barnichon and Andrew Figura: Abstract The US labor market has witnessed two apparently unrelated trends in the last 30 years: a decline in unemployment between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, and a ...


April 18, 2015, 8:35 am, 1457626
● Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower By Henry M. Paulson Interview with author on CNBC Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said Wednesday the growth model powering China’s economy is running out of steam. Paulson, author of the new book “Dealing With China: An Insider Unmasks ...


April 18, 2015, 8:34 am, 1457625

Finally, The Hill has unearthed a story that makes me care about Hillary Clinton’s lunch choices.

Do you tip at fast food restaurants?

It’s an ethical dilemma tailor made for HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and thrust ...


April 18, 2015, 8:04 am, 1457624
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 223 of the late Bernard Seigan‘s excellent 1997 volume, Property and Freedom:

Human experience reveals the fallibility of [Paul] Ehrlich’s position.  Even if there will, in time, be less tonnage of each of these resources, human ingenuity will provide substitutes to satisfy needs ...


April 18, 2015, 6:44 am, 1457595

Business investment in advanced economies contracted sharply during the global crisis and has recovered little since. This column argues that the main factor holding back investment is overall economomic weakness. In some countries other contributing factors include financial constraints and policy uncertainty. Fixing the investment dearth will require fixing the ...


April 18, 2015, 5:33 am, 1457594

Supposedly, everything is Indo-European except Finnish, Hungarian, and Estonian.


April 18, 2015, 5:33 am, 1457593

I'd guess it's as much for dad as it is for a stroller-aged tot.


April 18, 2015, 5:03 am, 1457580

April 18, 2015, 4:04 am, 1457579
I think you want to read this excellent post by Jonathan Chait. That is all.


April 17, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1457569
Denials in Greece about its sorry state of affairs are now so ridiculous that even some ardent Greek supporters are likely laughing out loud (off the record of course).

Please consider Greece Scrapes Bottom of Barrel in Hunt for Cash to Stay Afloat.

Greece will need ...


April 17, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1457564

Wisconsin employment falls in March; continues to lag the Nation.

Figure 1: Wisconsin nonfarm payroll employment from December 2014 (blue), February 2015 (red), March 2015 (green). March release from DWD. Source: BLS, and WI DWD.

The big shift downward is due ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1457534

Winter for …

From Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The University of Wisconsin-Madison will eliminate about 400 positions, most of them vacant, and will close or restructure several academic programs across campus over the next two years in response to state budget cuts, Chancellor Rebecca Blank announced on her blog Friday.

The College ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1457533
From the Philly Fed:

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for February 2015. In the past month, the indexes increased in 46 states, decreased in one, and remained stable in three, for a one-month diffusion index of 90. Over ...


April 17, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1457528

On The Chronicle of Higher Education blog, they provide a summary (“Tenure, Not Hiring, Is Chief Bottleneck to STEM Faculty Diversification“) of the paper “Faculty Hiring and Tenure by Sex and Race: New Evidence From a National Survey,” which was presented today in Chicago at the American Educational ...


April 17, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1457478

WASHINGTON–European Central Bank governing council member Ewald Nowotny said Friday the central bank’s emergency-lending program can’t become a long-term financing mechanism for Greek banks.

“Due to the legal structure, the ECB isn’t in the situation to substitute long-term financing, that’s a political decision,” Mr. Nowotny said at the International Monetary Fund’s ...


April 17, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1457477
Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The Federal Reserve released new details about the committee at the center of its bank supervision policy, giving the public its first look at what has become ...


April 17, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1457476
The economic data flow waxes and wanes. The week ahead is another waning period. Despite the sparse calendar, here are five items worth watching.


April 17, 2015, 6:35 pm, 1457475

Newly declared GOP presidential hopeful Senator Marco Rubio is trying something truly (Bill) Clintonesque—navigating between the demands of his party’s base and a more centrist, forward-looking political agenda. Nowhere is it more obvious than in tax policy. And nowhere is the road ahead more risky for his presidential ambitions.

In March, ...


April 17, 2015, 6:35 pm, 1457474

There’s a bipartisan House effort to double the federal gas tax. It would raise the 18.4 cents-per-gallon tax to about 30 cents, would be inflation adjusted, and would rise again in three years if Congress does not find another way to pay for federal transportation projects. The bill’s sponsors—mostly ...


April 17, 2015, 6:35 pm, 1457473

While there is no chance that Congress will agree to broad-based tax reform before the next president takes office in 2017, lawmakers are making one last effort to enact a more narrow business-based reform. But they face a big challenge:  reforms under consideration could raise taxes paid by many small ...


April 17, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1457468
New Seasonal Pattern?

Yesterday Fed Governor Stanley Fischer proclaimed U.S. Economy Should Rebound After ‘Poor’ First Quarter.

“There’s definitely a rebound on the way already, and we’ll see at what speed it proceeds,” Mr. Fischer said during an interview on CNBC. “The first quarter was poor. ...


April 17, 2015, 5:23 pm, 1457467
This week we learned that Ben Bernanke does not view NGDP level targeting, price level targeting, or a higher inflation target as the best way to deal with the zero lower bound (ZLB) problem. Now I believe the "what to do at the ZLB" debate is becoming ...


April 17, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1457406

The U.S. economy has downshifted rather abruptly in the last few months, prompting new discussion within the Federal Reserve about delaying its first interest-rate increase. Yet the growth deceleration should not come as a surprise, because the Fed has already tightened.

True, the Fed’s interest-rate target remains close to zero. ...


April 17, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1457404
The economic data flow waxes and wanes. The week ahead is another waning period. Despite the sparse calendar, here are five items worth watching.


April 17, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1457405

WASHINGTON–European Central Bank governing council member Ewald Nowotny said Friday the central bank’s emergency-lending program can’t become a long-term financing mechanism for Greek banks.

“Due to the legal structure, the ECB isn’t in the situation to substitute long-term financing, that’s a political decision,” Mr. Nowotny said at the International Monetary Fund’s ...


April 17, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1457403
The corner stone of The New York Federal Reserve Bank is seen in New York’s financial district March 25, 2015. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The Federal Reserve released new ...


April 17, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1457402
Some excerpts from interesting analysis by Goldman Sachs economists Alec Phillips and Hui Shan: An Update on Student Loans: A Bigger Headwind but Still Not a Deal Breaker

The upshot is that the student debt burden on young households has increased and it has become a bigger headwind to ...


April 17, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1457401
The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI and the trimmed-mean CPI this morning:

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (2.6% annualized rate) in March. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index also rose 0.2% (2.2% annualized rate) during the month. The ...


April 17, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1457399
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Huffington Post:

Hillary Clinton insists that “[t]here’s something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker” (“Hillary Clinton Blasts Pay For CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers In Campaign Kickoff,” April 15).

Well now.  As a speaker Ms. Clinton is paid, on average, $300,000 ...


April 17, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1457397

Republicans have again picked up the fight against inheritance taxes, and they have the public on their side. Democrats, on the other hand, have an important industry behind them.

The House on Thursday passed a bill that would totally repeal the estate tax, also known as the death tax. The Senate ...


April 17, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1457396

So far, of the declared candidates for president, the only one who voted for the Iraq War is the Democrat.

I recently made that observation on Twitter and the response was instructive. I will refrain from reprinting the more piquant language from Hillary Clinton’s supporters, but one common theme was that ...


April 17, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1457398

Raed al-Jiburi, the governor of the Salahuddin Province, has confirmed to Iraqiyya Television that Iraqi forces have killed Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, Vice Chairman of Saddam Hussein’s Revolutionary Command Council, and the most wanted member of the “deck of cards” still at large. The Kurdish ...


April 17, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1457393

In April of 2015, AEI’s Claude Barfield authored a preliminary paper entitled “The Political Economy OF TTIP:  The View from the United States.” The paper was presented at UC Berkeley’s conference, “


April 17, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1457395

From the Wall Street Journal:

New research from Henry Siu at the University of British Columbia and Nir Jaimovich from Duke University shows just how much the world of routine work has collapsed. ...


April 17, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1457394

A single mother works for a fast-food restaurant. Her hours fluctuate from week to week, and she is never able to work more than 30 hours in a given week. She loses her job in June, and can’t find another until September. It’s the same story with her new job: ...


April 17, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1457392

1. Chart of the Day I (above). Over the last decade, medical care costs have increased by 44.6%, almost double the overall rate of increase in consumer prices of 25.3% between 2004 and 2014. Meanwhile, the average price of ...


April 17, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1457391

Here are reactions to several of the most hotly debated sections of the new TPA bill:

1.) Labor and the Environment. The administration has touted the provisions on labor and the environment as the first and most advanced rules in any trade agreement for labor standards and adherence to international environmental agreements. ...


April 17, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1457390

On March 23, Ted Cruz announced he is running for president in a packed auditorium at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. On April 7, Rand Paul announced he is running for president amid the riverboat décor of the Galt House hotel in Louisville, Ky. On April 12, Hillary Clinton announced ...


April 17, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1457389

This year marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, and polls show that Americans are sympathetic to efforts to protect the environment, but that global warming, climate change, and the nation’s energy problems are not their top priorities. Infographic by Olivier Ballou.


April 17, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1457384
Not wanting to be left behind in the race for autonomous cars, French manufacturer Peugeot says the 508 Peugeot Model will contain "self-driving aids for bottleneck situations." Via translation from l'informaticien.

Imagine a car that automatically adapts to a bottleneck ahead, handling the "accordion " for you. ...


April 17, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1457383

1. Chart of the Day III (above). Over the last decade, medical care costs have increased by 44.6%, almost double the overall rate of increase in consumer prices of 25.3% between 2004 and 2014. Meanwhile, the average price of cosmetic surgery (based on ...


April 17, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1457321

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, April 17, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Draghi and Praet Try to Show Resolve on Bond Purchases Weak Economic Data ...


April 17, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1457318

The U.S. economy has downshifted rather abruptly in the last few months, prompting new discussion within the Federal Reserve about delaying its first interest-rate increase. Yet the growth deceleration should not come as a surprise, because the Fed has already tightened.

True, the Fed’s interest-rate target remains close to zero. ...


April 17, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1457320
Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

By one measure, wages for most U.S. workers peaked more than four decades ago.

Adjusted for inflation, average weekly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees–the bulk of ...


April 17, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1457319
Grocery prices, including tomatoes, are falling, the Labor Department said Friday. Paul J. Richards/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Americans saw some price ...


April 17, 2015, 2:34 pm, 1457317
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April 17, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1457314
(April 17, 2015 02:53 PM, by David Henderson) Yesterday's electronic New York Times and today's print edition carries the news story "Use of E-Cigarettes Rises Sharply Among Teenagers, Report Says" by Sabrina Tavernise. It's actually very good. Indeed, it reminds me of some of the best of the... (1 COMMENTS)


April 17, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1457313
Long time readers of Angry Bear will be familiar with the Northwest Plan for a Real Social Security Fix. It has been pushed here in a series of posts and in innumerable comments (mostly by Dale Coberly) since 2009 including this core post: NW Plan for a Real Social Security ...


April 17, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1457308


John Cochrane has writtentwo poststhat question the ability to implement negative interest rates given the wide range of 0%-yielding escape hatches available to investors. These escapes include gift ...


April 17, 2015, 1:23 pm, 1457307

In a recent interview, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said, “The first quarter was poor. That seems to be a new seasonal pattern. It's been that way for about four of the last five years.”

The picture below illustrates the vice chair's sentiment. Output in the first quarter has ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1457246
From housing economist Tom Lawler: Texas: Non-Farm Payoll Employment Fell in March

The Texas Workforce Commission reported that non-farm payroll employment in the Lone Star State declined by 25,400 (or -0.22%) on a seasonally adjust basis in March, the first monthly decline since September 2009 ...


April 17, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1457245
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April 17, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1457244
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April 17, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1457243

Debt restructuring is the second largest source of outside financing for Ukraine’s new IMF program. The Fund itself brings $17.5 billion over four years; $9.6 billion comes from governments and other multilaterals (including Europe, the United States, and most recently, China), leaving $15.3 billion for the "debt operation." The jargon makes debt restructuring sound like ...


April 17, 2015, 12:35 pm, 1457242

While there is no chance that Congress will agree to broad-based tax reform before the next president takes office in 2017, lawmakers are making one last effort to enact a more narrow business-based reform. But they face a big challenge:  reforms under consideration could raise taxes paid by many small ...


April 17, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1457241
Teaser:

In ...


April 17, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1457234
(Don Boudreaux)

Writing recently in the Washington Post, the Cato Institute’s David Boaz makes the case for giving taxpayers greater say over how their money is spent.

Steve Horwitz argues that

[w]hile the [political] right resists same-sex marriage and the left thinks that cultural paradigm shifts are responsible for the transformation ...


April 17, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1457233


April 17, 2015, 11:33 am, 1457231
Last week I attended the first half of the conference on the Handbook of Macroeconomics Volume 2, organized by John Taylor and Harald Uhlig, held at Hoover. The conference program and most of the papers are here. The second half will be in Chicago April 23-25, program here


April 17, 2015, 11:33 am, 1457230

At the website LoveMyGasPrice.com you can buy insurance (like a gasoline futures contract) against rising gas prices. For $3.99 per month, you can cap your gas price at $2.75 per gallon over the next 12 months, to cover  20 gallons per month. ...


April 17, 2015, 11:03 am, 1457165
A new report by the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Science in the Public Interest suggests that some food ingredients have been falling through the cracks, with nobody in authority confirming that they are safe.

By law, the federal government has long accepted food ...


April 17, 2015, 11:03 am, 1457164

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, April 17, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Draghi and Praet Try to Show Resolve on Bond Purchases Weak Economic Data ...


April 17, 2015, 11:03 am, 1457163
Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

By one measure, wages for most U.S. workers peaked more than four decades ago.

Adjusted for inflation, average weekly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees–the bulk of ...


April 17, 2015, 11:03 am, 1457162
Grocery prices, including tomatoes, are falling, the Labor Department said Friday. Paul J. Richards/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Americans saw some price ...


April 17, 2015, 11:03 am, 1457161

First paper at the NBER Annual Conference on Macroeconomics

Expectations and Investment, by Nicola Gennaioli, Yueran Ma, and Andrei Shleifer: Abstract Using micro data from Duke University quarterly survey of Chief Financial Officers, we show that corporate investment plans as well as actual investment are well explained by CFOs’ ...


April 17, 2015, 11:03 am, 1457160

Click on graph for larger image.

The preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for April was at 95.9, up from 93.0 in March.

This was ...


April 17, 2015, 10:44 am, 1457159
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April 17, 2015, 10:44 am, 1457158
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April 17, 2015, 10:44 am, 1457156
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April 17, 2015, 10:44 am, 1457157
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April 17, 2015, 10:35 am, 1457155
The three-month average of the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is expected to increase slightly to -0.07 in the March update that’s scheduled for Monday (Apr. 20), based on The Capital Spectator’s median point forecast for several econometric estimates. The projection is incrementally above the -0.08 reading for February, ...


April 17, 2015, 10:34 am, 1457154

Tim and Richard have been having an argument about Laffer curves. Here, in no particular order, are my notes on the matter.

1. There are (at least) two Laffer curves - one that relates top tax rates to GDP, and on that relates ...


April 17, 2015, 10:05 am, 1457153

That is the Gennaioli, Ma, and Shleifer paper being presented at the NBER macro conference, pdf here.  There are two key points to this paper.  First, actual data on the expectations of corporate CFOs have predictive power for investment, even when Tobin’s Q is measured.  Second, expectations about ...


April 17, 2015, 10:04 am, 1457152
(Don Boudreaux)

Suppose that you are charged with selling a single food item to at least a hundred million people in a highly diverse society.  You can pick whatever item you wish, but you can pick only one.  If you fall short of getting at least 100,000,000 people to voluntarily ...


April 17, 2015, 10:04 am, 1457151

There is a sound criticism of the legislation commonly referred to as Trade Promotion Authority: it’s overdue. A bill was put forward yesterday and hits the right notes on commerce and American leadership, while promoting transparency. Introducing it ...


April 17, 2015, 9:34 am, 1457145

Is Woodford's "cashless" economy a model of a monetary exchange economy, or a model of a barter economy? (In a monetary exchange economy, all other goods are only exchanged for one good called "money"; in a barter economy each good can be exchanged for any other good.)

If you answer "barter ...


April 17, 2015, 9:33 am, 1457144

April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457083

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, April 16, 2015:

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


Watch this Live WSJ Central Banks Event: Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer and ECB executive board member Peter Praet discuss “The Elusive Pursuit of Inflation” at an IMF/WSJ panel, moderated ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457082

In the heat of the U.K. election campaign, the International Monetary Fund has cast doubt on one of the central pledges of Britain’s main political parties: To balance the books within the next five-year parliament.


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457080

Vitor Constancio, vice president of the European Central Bank, said Thursday that economic recovery in Europe remains “gradual and moderate,” underscoring the need for loose monetary policy in the eurozone for the foreseeable future.

“Monetary policy has to remain accommodative with low interest rates,” Mr. Constancio said, adding that “getting Europe ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457079
Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will join the Chicago hedge fund Citadel as a senior adviser. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, a ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457081

Children. They’re our future, or so that song from The Simpsons asserts, over and over again.

If that is so, and it seems obvious that it is, then the eurozone economy may be heading into a rather bleak couple of decades.

Figures released by the European Union’s statistics agency Thursday show ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457074
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said he thinks current inflation and job market data don’t support moving short-term rates off of their near-zero levels. Reuters

Federal Reserve Bank ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457075

The U.S. economy has improved to a point where the risks of delaying policy tightening by the Federal Reserve could soon outweigh the benefits of keeping rates near zero, a top Fed official said Thursday, suggesting a June liftoff in rates is possible if incoming data allow.

“If it turns out ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457076
Dennis Lockhart, president, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Reuters

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said Thursday that unexpected economic weakness over the start of ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457073
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will serve as a senior adviser to Citadel, a Chicago-based hedge fund. Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The news that former Federal Reserve ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457078
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer. Bloomberg News

The U.S. economy had a weak start to 2015 but growth should rebound going forward, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457077
The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in 2006. AFP/Getty Images

The trade legislation U.S. senators introduced on Thursday is so controversial that Washington can’t even agree on ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457068
China wants its yuan currency used more widely around the world to challenge the dollar’s hegemony. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

 

American strategic economic leadership, to an unappreciated extent, ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457069

The European Central Bank‘s bond-buying program will likely continue at least until September 2016, as previously announced, ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet said Thursday.

In announcing a sizable asset-purchase program and a specific time frame for its implementation, “we are very strongly confident, unfortunately, that is what will be needed,” Mr. ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457070
Stanley Fischer Bloomberg News

U.S. wages may be starting to pick up, a development that could help policy makers at the Federal Reserve feel more confident that ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457072

A top Federal Reserve official said Thursday the dollar’s strength is crimping growth in the U.S. and may require the central bank to delay raising interest rates.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren told an audience in London that the greenback’s rise is hitting exports and manufacturing and ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457071
Construction workers do touch-up work on a newly constructed home near Jacksonville, Fla. Kris Hudson/The Wall Street Journal

The Commerce Department’s monthly figures on the new-home ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457067

WASHINGTON–India’s central bank chief signaled Thursday he’s at peace with Federal Reserve rate increases when they arrive, despite past misgivings.
“I don’t think we expect the Fed to remain on hold forever,” Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said as part of a panel discussion at the International Monetary ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457066
A shepherd near Allahabad, India. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Still confused about those sizzling new economic-growth figures coming out of India? You’re not alone.

The country’s Central Statistical ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457065

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, April 17, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Draghi and Praet Try to Show Resolve on Bond Purchases Weak Economic Data ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457064
Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

By one measure, wages for most U.S. workers peaked more than four decades ago.

Adjusted for inflation, average weekly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees–the bulk of ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457063

I am here today (as is Tyler Cowen, he explains the rules we have to follow):

NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH, INC.
30th Annual Conference on Macroeconomics
Martin Eichenbaum and Jonathan Parker, Organizers
April 17 and 18, 2015
The Royal Sonesta Hotel
Cambridge, MA


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457062

Not all macroeconomic models failed during the Great Recession. "Old-time macroeconomics" ... "provided excellent guidance":

That Old-Time Economics, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: America has yet to achieve a full recovery from the ... financial crisis. Still, it seems fair to say that we’ve made up much, though ...


April 17, 2015, 9:03 am, 1457061
From the BLS:

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index declined 0.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The ...


April 17, 2015, 8:44 am, 1457060
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April 17, 2015, 8:35 am, 1457059
US economic growth slowed in this year’s first quarter, perhaps to the point that the quarterly change for Q1 GDP will be flat in the Commerce Department’s “advance” estimate that’s scheduled for release on Apr. 29. From a business cycle perspective, however, the recent deceleration is modest so far. Indeed, ...


April 17, 2015, 8:35 am, 1457058

There’s a bipartisan House effort to double the federal gas tax. It would raise the 18.4 cents-per-gallon tax to about 30 cents, would be inflation adjusted, and would rise again in three years if Congress does not find another way to pay for federal transportation projects. The bill’s sponsors—mostly ...


April 17, 2015, 8:05 am, 1457053

Today I am at the NBER annual macroeconomics conference as an observer.  The program and papers are here, and they look very interesting.  You may be hearing more about this later; I am allowed to blog the presentations but not attribute specific comments to individuals.  The Bernanke talk ...


April 17, 2015, 7:33 am, 1457049

April 17, 2015, 7:33 am, 1457048

Short answer: pretty darn good.


April 17, 2015, 7:33 am, 1457047
Andrew Haughwout



On Tuesday, April 14, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York hosted an all-day workshop entitled Chapter 9 and Alternatives for Distressed Municipalities and States. The workshop was jointly organized ...


April 17, 2015, 7:23 am, 1457046
If Britain’s top economists were in charge, what policies would they implement? Tim Harford sets the challenge


April 17, 2015, 6:44 am, 1457017
A


April 17, 2015, 6:44 am, 1457016
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April 17, 2015, 6:35 am, 1457015
● March housing starts in US rise but miss estimates | USA Today ● US jobless claims hit highest level in six weeks | MarketWatch ● Consumer Comfort in US Cools From Highest Level Since 2007 | Bloomberg ● Philly Fed Index Rises More Than Expected In April | RTT ...


April 17, 2015, 6:04 am, 1457014
(Don Boudreaux)

…from page 70 of David Mamet’s 2011 book, The Secret Knowledge:

[T]o indulge  in any racial preference is not to award to a Race, but to the State the power to create differing classes of citizens, and to rule on who shall belong to each class.

...


April 17, 2015, 5:33 am, 1457010

"Two rock musicians find flaws—and hope—in a book that suggests how artists can earn a decent living even after free online access to music has ravaged the business."


April 17, 2015, 5:33 am, 1457009
It's pretty rare for Bernanke for former Fed chair Ben Bernanke to say much of anything that makes any sense. He recently he did, just not in context.

“I don’t see anything magical about targeting 2 percent inflation,” Bernanke told a conference in Washington sponsored by the International Monetary ...


April 17, 2015, 5:23 am, 1457008

Photo Credit: wackystuff

No one wants to be a forced seller in a panic. So how does anyone get into that situation?  Two things: bad planning and a bad scenario.

Let’s start with the obvious stuff: the moment you start ...


April 17, 2015, 5:03 am, 1456978
A shepherd near Allahabad, India. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Still confused about those sizzling new economic-growth figures coming out of India? You’re not alone.

The country’s Central Statistical ...


April 17, 2015, 5:03 am, 1456977

Not long ago, in an e-mail exchange with an individual who accused us of being "likely in the the top 5-10%" (which we are, definitely, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more!), and therefore of being "clearly unable to understand the lives ...


April 17, 2015, 5:03 am, 1456976

April 17, 2015, 4:04 am, 1456975
Tax day has come and gone and nothing extraordinary happened (at least nothing extraordinary enough to be reported by the Washington Post or the New York Times). This non news should be news, because the much hated Obamacare mandate has been applied. Some Refund checks (many of which have not ...


April 17, 2015, 3:33 am, 1456972
David Andolfatto asks in a twitter exchange for evidence that deviations of GDP from trend are non-stationary. Here is the raw data. Figure 1 is the residual from a regression of the log of real GDP on a constant and a time trend for quarterly US data from ...


April 17, 2015, 3:03 am, 1456937
A shepherd near Allahabad, India. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Still confused about those sizzling new economic-growth figures coming out of India? You’re not alone.

The country’s Central Statistical ...


April 17, 2015, 2:44 am, 1456936

Ukraine's bond restructuring talks are in high gear, and, as ever, Russia is trouble du jour. Not only is it threatening to hold out in the bond deal and take Ukraine to arbitration, Russia also seems poised to block IMF disbursements to Ukraine using an arcane Fund policy on "lending into ...


April 17, 2015, 2:05 am, 1456935

1. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson.  My favorite of his books, fun and readable as you would expect, many interesting details including what happens to you in water at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Philip Glass, Words Without Music.  “A lot of ...


April 17, 2015, 2:05 am, 1456934

A conglomerate on the order of the old Gulf + Western, China National runs more than 160 cigarette brands, manufactured in about 100 factories across the country, and uses its earnings to invest in banks, luxury hotels, a hydroelectric plant, a golf course, and even drugmakers. Most of its money goes to ...


April 17, 2015, 2:04 am, 1456933
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April 17, 2015, 2:04 am, 1456932

Read the PDF.

A recent study conducted by AEI’s Critical Threats Project and Norse Corporation describes Iran’s footprint in cyberspace and identifies important trends in Iranian cyberattacks. Data from Norse systems combined with open-source information collected by CTP analysts have allowed us to ...


April 17, 2015, 1:23 am, 1456930
Financial stability has been a bubbling topic since 2008--although it never really stopped simmering since the emerging market crises of the 1990s. Over the past year or so, a dominant view seems to be forming that financial instability risks are rising, particularly among some emerging-market countries.

Here's a list ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456915

Vitor Constancio, vice president of the European Central Bank, said Thursday that economic recovery in Europe remains “gradual and moderate,” underscoring the need for loose monetary policy in the eurozone for the foreseeable future.

“Monetary policy has to remain accommodative with low interest rates,” Mr. Constancio said, adding that “getting Europe ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456916

Children. They’re our future, or so that song from The Simpsons asserts, over and over again.

If that is so, and it seems obvious that it is, then the eurozone economy may be heading into a rather bleak couple of decades.

Figures released by the European Union’s statistics agency Thursday show ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456914
Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will join the Chicago hedge fund Citadel as a senior adviser. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, a ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456913
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer. Bloomberg News

The U.S. economy had a weak start to 2015 but growth should rebound going forward, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456911
Dennis Lockhart, president, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Reuters

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said Thursday that unexpected economic weakness over the start of ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456912
The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in 2006. AFP/Getty Images

The trade legislation U.S. senators introduced on Thursday is so controversial that Washington can’t even agree on ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456909
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said he thinks current inflation and job market data don’t support moving short-term rates off of their near-zero levels. Reuters

Federal Reserve Bank ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456908
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will serve as a senior adviser to Citadel, a Chicago-based hedge fund. Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The news that former Federal Reserve ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456910

The U.S. economy has improved to a point where the risks of delaying policy tightening by the Federal Reserve could soon outweigh the benefits of keeping rates near zero, a top Fed official said Thursday, suggesting a June liftoff in rates is possible if incoming data allow.

“If it turns out ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456907

A top Federal Reserve official said Thursday the dollar’s strength is crimping growth in the U.S. and may require the central bank to delay raising interest rates.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren told an audience in London that the greenback’s rise is hitting exports and manufacturing and ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456903
China wants its yuan currency used more widely around the world to challenge the dollar’s hegemony. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

 

American strategic economic leadership, to an unappreciated extent, ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456902

WASHINGTON–India’s central bank chief signaled Thursday he’s at peace with Federal Reserve rate increases when they arrive, despite past misgivings.
“I don’t think we expect the Fed to remain on hold forever,” Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said as part of a panel discussion at the International Monetary ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456904

The European Central Bank‘s bond-buying program will likely continue at least until September 2016, as previously announced, ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet said Thursday.

In announcing a sizable asset-purchase program and a specific time frame for its implementation, “we are very strongly confident, unfortunately, that is what will be needed,” Mr. ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456905
Stanley Fischer Bloomberg News

U.S. wages may be starting to pick up, a development that could help policy makers at the Federal Reserve feel more confident that ...


April 17, 2015, 1:03 am, 1456906
Construction workers do touch-up work on a newly constructed home near Jacksonville, Fla. Kris Hudson/The Wall Street Journal

The Commerce Department’s monthly figures on the new-home ...


April 17, 2015, 12:44 am, 1456901

An oft expressed view is that the Eurozone is a straitjacket on periphery members and income convergence has slowed, halted or reversed.  This column argues that EZ convergence never stopped. What changed was the type of convergence. Today’s convergence is neither nominal nor real, it is structural.  Structural convergence presents ...


April 17, 2015, 12:44 am, 1456900
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April 17, 2015, 12:04 am, 1456898

Key Points

Malicious Iranian cyber activity has increased significantly since the beginning of 2014. Data collected by AEI and the Norse Corporation indicate that attacks launched from Iranian internet protocol (IP) addresses increased 128 percent between January 1, 2014, and mid-March 2015. The number of Norse sensors hit by Iranian IPs ...


April 17, 2015, 12:04 am, 1456897

If you have trouble registering for this event, please email conferences@aei.org.

Carbon taxes are potentially the most efficient instrument for mitigating climate change and represent a practical extension of fuel excise taxes. At the same time, carbon taxes can be part of a broader fiscal reform enabling decreases in other taxes ...