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.


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.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

The Classic Economic Models cover micro, macro, and financial markets.

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- Recent Entries

February 25, 2017, 1:33 pm, 1723420
At USC, I'm providing more time supplying public goods than I used to at my previous university post. Yesterday, I spent three hours interviewing high school students who have been already been accepted into USC and now are competing to receive a full tuition paid merit scholarship. ...

February 25, 2017, 1:33 pm, 1723419

In Warren Buffett’s annual letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, just released today, he offers some advice on how invest wisely using low-cost index ...

February 25, 2017, 12:04 pm, 1723410
(Don Boudreaux)

In this short video, Nick Gillespie and some of his Reason colleagues further expose the ugliness and destructiveness ...

February 25, 2017, 11:33 am, 1723408
Numerous news reports suggest that President Trump will tap Kevin Hassett to chair the Council of Economic Advisers. This would be an excellent choice. Here is an overview of Kevin's perspectives on economic policy, and here is my old review of his book Dow 36,000.

February 25, 2017, 11:03 am, 1723399
The key economic report this week is the second estimate of Q4 GDP.

Other key indicators include the February ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing indexes, February auto sales, and the Case-Shiller house price index.

----- Monday, Feb 27th -----
8:30 AM: Durable Goods Orders for January from the Census ...

February 25, 2017, 10:44 am, 1723398

This is a joint post by Mark Weidemaier and Mitu Gulati.

About a decade and a half ago, exit consents were a big deal in sovereign debt restructuring. At the time, sovereign bonds governed by New York law required unanimous bondholder approval before any modification to the ...

February 25, 2017, 10:04 am, 1723395
(February 25, 2017 09:59 AM, by Scott Sumner) James Alexander has a new post discussing recent trends in NGDP growth in the UK: UK RGDP saved by accelerating NGDP Unfortunately, the headline is a bit misleading. NGDP (left scale) grew at a 5.0% rate in the first half... (0 COMMENTS)

February 25, 2017, 10:04 am, 1723394
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 267 of the 1991 Robert Schalkenbach Foundation edition of Henry George‘s 1886 ...

February 25, 2017, 10:04 am, 1723393

February 25, 2017, 7:33 am, 1723377

I laughed. (But, please, don't try this at home.)

February 25, 2017, 6:34 am, 1723371

February 25, 2017, 5:33 am, 1723367

If it weren't for them being relatively caloric and having oxalates, I'd certainly eat a lot more.

February 25, 2017, 4:04 am, 1723356

The big news was that China actually started to apply real pressure to North Korea, namely ceasing to buy their coal for the rest of the year.  That may prove a phantom or reversed piece of news, but still it is real progress of some kind, if ...

February 25, 2017, 3:03 am, 1723343

February 25, 2017, 2:04 am, 1723341

During one of the greatest economic booms in the history of the world, working-age men had trouble staying alive.

That is the disheartening news from China, where its insurance regulator recently updated a more-than 10-year-old table of mortality rates. A key finding: Mortality rates among Chinese men aged 41 to ...

February 25, 2017, 12:34 am, 1723333
By: Richard Kocur

In a recent television interview, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, head of one of America’s largest health insurers, commented that selling insurance across state lines is “an outdated concept” in these days of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Bertolini went on ...

February 25, 2017, 12:34 am, 1723332
By: Mises Institute

President’s Day was this week, and there was no better way to celebrate than making the case for abolishing the position. As Ryan McMaken noted, history has vindicated the fears of the Anti-Federalists ...

February 25, 2017, 12:34 am, 1723331
By: Jp Cortez

In 1850, French economist Frédéric Bastiat published an essay that is misunderstood, or more often, unread, titled, “That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen.” Bastiat brilliantly illustrated, through the parable of the broken window,the destructive effects ...

February 24, 2017, 11:03 pm, 1723314
This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.

Here is the unofficial problem bank list for February 2017.

Changes and comments from surferdude808:

Update on the Unofficial Problem Bank List for February 2017. During the month, the list dropped from ...

February 24, 2017, 10:44 pm, 1723313
Global value chains offer a new way for developing countries to industrialise. This column provides a deep examination of the pattern of developing countries’ integration in these chains and shows that changes in integration are increasingly driven by low- and middle-income countries, while the integration of high-income countries has begun ...

February 24, 2017, 10:04 pm, 1723311

Larry Summers reflects on Ken Arrow with a memory that captures well the academic life. I had similar experiences watching my father, a professor of mechanical engineering, interacting with his students in our home.

My mother’s brother, the Nobel economist Kenneth Arrow, died this week at the age of 95. He was ...

February 24, 2017, 6:04 pm, 1723245
(February 24, 2017 07:50 PM, by David Henderson) We have demonized government and laughed at government and called it incompetent, not paid taxes to support it. And we have a situation now, in my opinion, where--having done all that, having exalted the private sector, demonized government, what we... (0 COMMENTS)

February 24, 2017, 6:04 pm, 1723244

Back in September, I testified before the House Financial Services Committee on the allegation that the Obama administration had paid Iran a ransom—at the time it was believed to be $400 million but it was later revealed that the figure was more than three times that amount—in cash ...

February 24, 2017, 5:23 pm, 1723241

My latest Macro Musings podcast is with Hester Peirce. Hestor is a Senior Research Fellow and director of the Financial Markets Working Group at the Mercatus Center. She previously served on Senator Richard Shelby’s staff on the Senate Committee ...

February 24, 2017, 4:44 pm, 1723210
The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States will profoundly affect the US and world economies. This column argues that the stock market has already identified winners and losers among companies and industries. It finds, for example, that investors expect US firms paying high taxes to be ...

February 24, 2017, 4:34 pm, 1723209

Take out U.S. exports of manufactures to Canada and Mexico, and the United States manufacturing exports to the world are about 3 percent of U.S. GDP.*

Non-NAFTA manufacturing imports are over 7 percent of U.S. GDP.

These calculations are based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) data for manufacturing ...

February 24, 2017, 4:04 pm, 1723208

Today, we present a guest post written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and formerly a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. A shorter version appeared on February 21st in Project Syndicate.

Those who favor financial deregulation ...

February 24, 2017, 4:04 pm, 1723207
(Don Boudreaux)

Pres. Donald J. Trump
White House

Mr. Trump:

You said at today’s CPAC meeting that “we’re going to make ...

February 24, 2017, 4:04 pm, 1723206
Fellow Jonah Goldberg comments on President Trump's speech at CPAC.

February 24, 2017, 4:04 pm, 1723205

Substance and style. It’s easy to get them confused, or mistake one for the other. And though they’re never entirely unconnected, exactly how much so is a matter of debate.

This is especially true when it comes to evaluating President Trump’s performance — a word particularly ambiguous in his case, as ...

February 24, 2017, 4:04 pm, 1723204

It’s an eye-opening finding: If the U.S. no longer had any illegal immigrants, its GDP would be $5 trillion smaller over 10 years. That’s the conclusion of a recent study. But while the number is big, it’s not clear it tells us much about what to do about ...

February 24, 2017, 3:33 pm, 1723203

Arrow's major influence on my research, other than all of the background welfare stuff that I am too ignorant to understand how to fully make the connection, was as chair of the NOAA Panel on Contingent Valuation. Paul Portney (1994) describes it like this (emphasis added):

Environmentalists insisted that the ...

February 24, 2017, 3:03 pm, 1723172
New home sales for January were reported at 555,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR). This was below the consensus forecast, and the three previous months were all revised down. So overall this was a disappointing report.

Sales were up 5.5% year-over-year in January, However, January and ...

February 24, 2017, 2:34 pm, 1723171
By: Ryan McMaken

In the days following the 2016 election, there were already worrying signs that the Trump administration didn't merely view the War on Drugs as a useful source of rhetoric to please someConservatives. With the appointment of Jeff Sessions — ...

February 24, 2017, 2:04 pm, 1723170

Crude birth rates in Guangxi and Gansu edged down in 2016 from a year earlier. Both poor, western provinces have a large share of ethnic minorities, who were already exempt from the one-child policy, but are now assimilating the low-birth habits of the richer ethnic Han majority.

More surprising are ...

February 24, 2017, 2:04 pm, 1723168

February 24, 2017, 2:04 pm, 1723169
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Charles Lane deserves applause.  Not only does he expose the radical-left-wing origins of the Trump ...

February 24, 2017, 2:04 pm, 1723167

North Korea has managed to outdo itself once again. According to Malaysian authorities, the assassination of Kim Jong-nam — estranged half-brother to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un — was carried out with VX nerve agent. Not to put too fine a point on it, but… North Korea used a weapon of ...

February 24, 2017, 1:03 pm, 1723133
The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for February was at 96.3, down from 98.5 in January.

While consumer confidence edged upward in late February, it remained slightly below the decade peak recorded in January. Overall, the Sentiment Index has been higher during the past three months than anytime ...

February 24, 2017, 12:44 pm, 1723130

February 24, 2017, 12:44 pm, 1723132

February 24, 2017, 12:44 pm, 1723131

February 24, 2017, 12:34 pm, 1723129
By: Kevin R. C. Gutzman, Jeff Deist

Dr. Kevin Gutzman is a history professor at Western Connecticut State University, a New York Times best-selling author, and one of the leading Constitutional scholars in ...

February 24, 2017, 12:04 pm, 1723125

February 24, 2017, 12:04 pm, 1723124

A French artist is preparing to be entombed for a week inside a 12-tonne limestone boulder in a modern art museum in Paris, after which he will emerge and attempt to hatch a dozen eggs by sitting on them for weeks on end.

…He once spent a fortnight inside a ...

February 24, 2017, 12:04 pm, 1723123

Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” had an unfortunate turn of phrase the other day. She said it’s the mission of the press to “control exactly what people think.”

My suspicion is that this was less a Freudian slip than a simple slip-up. Brzezinski was referring to her fear ...

February 24, 2017, 12:04 pm, 1723121

General H.R. McMaster’s appointment as National Security Advisor has revived the debate about the structure, personnel, and focus of the NSC. In particular, Stephen Bannon’s status as a permanent member on the principals committee has received renewed attention.

When first announced in President Trump’s executive order, a whole litany ...

February 24, 2017, 12:04 pm, 1723122

Is this really the “Asian Century”? Many have conjectured yes, that China and the Far East as a whole could overtake America, in military might and economic power, if not in global cultural influence. But how realistic is that? Michael Auslin argues in The End of the Asian ...

February 24, 2017, 11:03 am, 1723088

I am here today:

EF&G Research Meeting
Laura Veldkamp and Jon Steinsson, Organizers
February 24, 2017
Federal Reserve Bank of New York 33 Liberty Street New York, NY


Friday, February 24:

9:00 am Matthias Kehrig, Duke University Nicolas Vincent, HEC Montreal ...

February 24, 2017, 11:03 am, 1723087

"So why do Republicans hate Obamacare so much?":

Death and Tax Cuts, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: Across the country, Republicans have been facing crowds demanding to know how they will protect the 20 million Americans who gained health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act... And ...

February 24, 2017, 11:03 am, 1723086
The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 555 thousand.

The previous three months were revised down..

"Sales of new single-family houses in January 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000, according to estimates ...

February 24, 2017, 10:45 am, 1723085

February 24, 2017, 10:34 am, 1723084

February 24, 2017, 10:04 am, 1723080
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 314 of UCLA economist William Allen’s 1989 collection of the transcripts of his insightful and still-germane ...

February 24, 2017, 10:04 am, 1723079

February 24, 2017, 10:04 am, 1723078

February 24, 2017, 8:44 am, 1723041

Republicans do not yet have a full replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”), but the outlines of one are emerging. The

February 24, 2017, 8:34 am, 1723040

Economic forecasting that’s largely informed by politics is a treacherous affair, but it may be unavoidable in the current climate. If you’re a Donald Trump supporter there’s a good chance that you’re anticipating stronger US growth. But if you voted for someone else last November, it wouldn’t be surprising to ...

February 24, 2017, 8:04 am, 1723037

Probably not, so say Fichtner, de Rugy, and Michel, here is one bit:

The efficiency claims of proponents rely on several key assumptions that are required for the tax to be non-distortionary. Mainly, the border adjustment must be implemented completely, and international currency markets must fully adjust. For ...

February 24, 2017, 8:04 am, 1723036
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Peter Navarro, Director of the new National Trade Council, calls your report on the ...

February 24, 2017, 8:04 am, 1723035

February 24, 2017, 7:33 am, 1723032

A "When life hands you lemonade . . ." deal.

February 24, 2017, 7:33 am, 1723031

Pictures of some sweet things and moments.

February 24, 2017, 7:33 am, 1723030
Mary Amiti, Oleg Itskhoki, Jozef Konings

There has been much ...

February 24, 2017, 5:33 am, 1723010

Some notes toward the history of San Francisco's famous "Singles Safeway," a forerunner to D.C.'s "Social Safeway".

First link courtesy of my older daughter.

February 24, 2017, 5:03 am, 1722996

February 24, 2017, 3:03 am, 1722964

Dominic Walliman's brief overview of the major fields and divisions within mathematics and how they generally relate to one another:

Our favorite sections of the map are the portions dedicated to dynamical ...

February 24, 2017, 2:04 am, 1722963

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one bit:

But I would say that the Articles, for all their formal flaws, are badly underrated. They are a brilliant construction for a power vacuum, given that the relevant parties in the 1780s couldn’t agree on ...

February 24, 2017, 2:04 am, 1722962

From CNNMoney, President Trump:

“With Mexico we have $70 billion in deficit. … It’s unsustainable. … We’re not going to let it happen, can’t let it happen,”

Here is actual data on the US-Mexico trade balance:

February 24, 2017, 12:34 am, 1722932
By: Tate Fegley

On Monday, January 23rd, President Trump announced a hiring freeze on federal workers, with an exception for jobs that are ostensibly related to national security or public safety. The exception includes uniformed military personnel, but does not include the military’s ...

February 24, 2017, 12:34 am, 1722931
By: Gary Galles

Recently, Harvard political theorist Danielle Allen wrote in the Washington Post of “The most important phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance” — “with liberty and justice for all.”

Allen recognized that justice required “equality before the law” and that freedom ...