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

September 30, 2016, 7:23 pm, 1679991
The IMF reports in the latest WEO that the world has a low inflation problem:

By 2015, inflation rates in more than 85 percent of a broad sample of more than 120 economies were below long-term expectations, and about 20 percent were in deflation—that is, ...

September 30, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1679977
From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Mixed, But Closer to Recent Lows

Mortgage Rates were mixed today, with some lenders in slightly weaker territory while others offered modest improvements versus yesterday. The dichotomy has to do with the timing of yesterday's market movements. Bond ...

September 30, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1679974
Petri is a favorite of mine; I read her regularly.  For those who aren’t familiar with her: Her blog columns are humorous ones about (mostly) politics, and of course these days mostly about the presidential election. Suffice it to say that this column of hers today is not along those lines. ...

September 30, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1679973

If Saudi Arabia had no oil, the world would be a very different place. Bernard Lewis, the famous emeritus professor of Islamic history at Princeton University, famously analogized the influence of Saudi oil wealth on Islam by saying:

If the Ku Klux Klan or Aryan Nation obtained total control of ...

September 30, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1679970

Item 1: According to The College Fix: “This year, college students across the country will be taught, sometimes from Day One, that being male and female is a choice on a spectrum, not a biological trait.”

Item 2: According to a press release from The University of ...

September 30, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1679950

Technology is reshaping economies around the world. Automation is taking jobs. New financial tools are transforming how people engage with the global economy. And policy makers are struggling to navigate the disruption.

On Monday, Oct. 3, join International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Facebook Live for a video interview ...

September 30, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1679949

In Monday’s debate Secretary Clinton said:

We had the worst financial crisis, the Great Recession, the worst since the 1930s. That was in large part because of tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy, failed to invest in the middle class, took their eyes off of Wall Street, and created ...

September 30, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679945

Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced the Solitary Confinement Reform Act, which would require federal prisons to ensure that any period in solitary is as brief as possible and under the least restrictive conditions possible. It would also mandate that prisoners in solitary spend at least ...

September 30, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679944

As someone who does software and hardware, I don’t think we are anywhere near the point where a mix of hardware and software in everyday things will give us anything more than sorrow. We are already seeing rather scary things with the Internet of Things: Denial of service attacks ...

September 30, 2016, 3:33 pm, 1679941

From the inbox:

My name is David Knoller, and I am the Executive Producer of a new drama series entitledTHE ONE PERCENTfrom the MRC (Media Rights Capital) the studio who produces HOUSE OF CARDS. The creators of our series areAlejandro Iñárritu,the director and writer of Birdman & The Revenant, ...

September 30, 2016, 3:33 pm, 1679940

…. is from Joel Finkelstein’s article in The Week titled “How the ‘War on Drugs’ Actually Encourages Drug Addiction” (emphasis mine):

Since Richard Nixon famously called for an ‘all-out offensive’ on the war on drugs in 1971, the U.S. government has funneled a trillion dollars into the effort. What ...

September 30, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1679909
Here is a minor indicator I follow from the National Restaurant Association: RPI drops into contraction territory

Due in large part to declines in both same-store sales and customer traffic, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) fell below 100 in August. The RPI stood at 99.6, down ...

September 30, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1679906

September 30, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1679905

September 30, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1679904

Yesterday, the Nevada Supreme Court handed down its decision on the nation’s most ambitious Education Savings Account (ESA) program. ESAs give parents control over some or all of per-pupil state education funds to build a customized educational program for their child.

For ESA proponents, the court’s ruling brings some ...

September 30, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1679903

What will history ultimately record as the most dramatic industrial revolution? The Economist’s Ryan Avent makes his case in The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-first Century that we are living through it. According to him, the nineteenth century, while offering crucial lessons in how ...

September 30, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1679902

CBS News and the New York Times have started polling “likely voters,” a group the pollsters believe is more likely to turn out on Election Day. In the CBS News/NYT early September poll, likely voters weren’t wild about either candidate. Only around half of each candidate’s supporters “strongly” favor the candidate. Fifty-one ...

September 30, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1679869

Hillary Clinton "got Gored":

How the Clinton-Trump Race Got Close, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: Monday’s presidential debate was a blowout... Hillary Clinton was knowledgeable, unflappable and — dare we say it? — likable. Donald Trump was ignorant, thin-skinned and boorish.

Yet on the eve of the debate, polls showed ...

September 30, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1679868
Chicago PMI: September Chicago Business Barometer Up 2.7 Points to 54.2

The MNI Chicago Business Barometer increased 2.7 points to 54.2 in September from 51.5 in August, recovering most of lost ground experienced in the previous month.
In response to September’s special question, 79% of Chicago panellists ...

September 30, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1679867

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly...So goes the story of the regulation of the United States economy, according to this week's EconTalk guest, John Cochrane. Cochrane is ...

September 30, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679861

Wall Street fears a Trump presidency. Stocks may lose 10 to 12 percent of their value if he wins the November election, and there may be a broader economic downturn.

These conclusions arise from close analysis of financial markets during Monday’s presidential ...

September 30, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679860
(September 30, 2016 12:52 PM, by David Henderson) Yesterday, co-blogger Scott Sumner wrote an excellent post taking on the Boston Globe columnist Renee Loth's weak case against marijuana legalization. (Her column is from April, but it's still relevant.) The case is even weaker than Scott says. Consider this... (0 COMMENTS)

September 30, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679859
(Don Boudreaux)

In some earlier post (or posts) – that I cannot now find – I’ve tried to convey the thought ...

September 30, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679858
Any American under the age of 50 has no memory of living with a liberal Supreme Court. That could change soon. Were a Democratic appointee to fill the current opening, laws could change on voting rights, corporate power, campaign finance, criminal justice and many other issues. “For the first time ...

September 30, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679857
Larry Summers wrote a post yesterday about the hollowing out of the middle class and how that has lowered consumption and led to secular stagnation. He says that this effect must be taken into account for policy. Well I sit here after 4 years of building models of Effective Demand ...

September 30, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679856

As US forces, the Syrian Kurds, the Iraqi army and Popular Mobilization Forces, and Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga close in on the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) in both Iraq and Syria, much is being made about the apocalyptic ideology and symbolism of the looming battle, especially if the ...

September 30, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679855

With a growing number of American assets being sold to Chinese investors, many are concerned about China’s expanding presence. Derek Scissors describes ...

September 30, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679852

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump brought up the issue of paid family leave in the first few minutes of the first Presidential debate, which speaks to the importance of this policy discussion in America today. Millions of working families have to forego their paychecks when the ...

September 30, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679853

Rising college tuition prices have become a serious obstacle for many low and middle income students. One potential way to manage those costs is through Advanced Placement (AP), which allows students to earn college credit in high school, thereby reducing the time and money needed for a degree. But not ...

September 30, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679854

Eric Trump thinks that his father showed “a lot of courage” during the debate by not bringing up Bill Clinton’s sex scandals: “I mean, he really took the high ground where he had the opportunity to go very, very low. And I’m proud of him for doing that.” Donald Trump ...

September 30, 2016, 11:23 am, 1679851

In the last macroblog post we introduced the new version of the nominal Wage Growth Tracker, which allows a look back as far as 1983. We have also produced various cuts of these data comparable to the ones on the Wage Growth Tracker web page ...

September 30, 2016, 11:03 am, 1679820

The tax world lost a good friend yesterday with the passing of Jim Lyons. For the past eight years, Jim was a senior Republican staffer on the Senate Finance Committee. He was extremely well liked and respected by people on both sides of the political aisle.

Jim, 43, joined the ...

September 30, 2016, 11:03 am, 1679819

Today is September 30, the date in 2008 when the national debt passed the $10 trillion mark. Today it stands at $19.5 trillion.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

California LAO Reviews Film Tax Credit Program: While careful to note that the state can justify the program as a defensive ...

September 30, 2016, 10:44 am, 1679818

September 30, 2016, 10:34 am, 1679817

At this week’s Labour conference, Tom Watson told members to stop “trashing” the record of New Labour. This raises a paradox – that if any party should be attacking the record of a successful recent leader, it should be the Tories, not Labour.

Put yourself in ...

September 30, 2016, 10:04 am, 1679816

Analyses of the effects of election outcomes on the economy have been hampered by the problem that economic outcomes also influence elections . We sidestep these problems by analyzing movements in economic indicators caused by clearly exogenous changes in expectations about the likely winner during Election Day. Analyzing ...

September 30, 2016, 10:04 am, 1679815
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 17-18 of the 2016 Mercatus Center re-issue of my late colleague Don Lavoie’s excellent 1985 volume ...

September 30, 2016, 10:04 am, 1679814

Fifty-eight percent in a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll say they expect Hillary Clinton to win the presidency, while 29 percent believe Donald Trump will win. In three earlier askings of this question, between 50 and 59 percent said they expected Clinton to win. Of those who thought Clinton would win, ...

September 30, 2016, 9:03 am, 1679792
The BEA released the Personal Income and Outlays report for August:

Personal income increased $39.3 billion (0.2 percent) in August according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. ... personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $6.2 billion (less than 0.1 percent).
Real PCE decreased 0.1 ...

September 30, 2016, 8:34 am, 1679791

Volatility Managed Portfolios
Alan Moreira and Tyler Muir (Yale University)
June 18, 2016
Managed portfolios that take less risk when volatility is high produce large alphas, substantially increase factor Sharpe ratios, and produce large utility gains for mean-variance investors. We document this for the market, value, momentum, profitability, return ...

September 30, 2016, 7:33 am, 1679787

The Velvet Underground. This is the longer, more up-tempo--better--version.

September 30, 2016, 7:33 am, 1679786

"Because you’re never too young to bring the LOLs."

September 30, 2016, 7:33 am, 1679785
Anna Snider

In recent months, there have been some high-profile assessments of how far the Federal Reserve has come in terms of communicating about monetary policy since its “secrets of the temple” days. While observers say the transition to greater transparency “still seems to ...

September 30, 2016, 6:44 am, 1679771
David Wessel: In the not-so-distant past, the IMF was derisively labeled “It’s Mostly Fiscal” for its unwavering advice to governments to cut their budget deficits. Those days have clearly passed.

September 30, 2016, 5:33 am, 1679769

I don't know whether it's admirable consistency or plain crazy, but after 43 years Angus is still performing and still performing in his schoolboy uniform.

September 30, 2016, 5:03 am, 1679757

Not long ago, Katie Burke suggested in American Scientist that the term pseudoscience should stop being used, arguing that:

Using the term pseudoscience... leads to unnecessary polarization, mistrust, disrespectfulness, and confusion around science ...

September 30, 2016, 3:03 am, 1679737

September 30, 2016, 2:34 am, 1679736

I really liked the ECB’s recent report on the slowdown in global trade (summarized here), for five reasons.

1) It doesn’t assume that trade should always grow faster than output. A liberalization of trade (or a fall in transportation costs—or less attractively, new opportunities to take advantage of transfer ...

September 30, 2016, 2:04 am, 1679735

Joel Slemrod goes through the details (pdf), including a discussion of a co-authored 1990 paper by Feldstein and Krugman, and also the Lerner theorem.  As you might expect, there is much wisdom, and microeconomics, in that six-page piece.  His answer on the tax ...

September 30, 2016, 2:04 am, 1679734

People, I do think there is a uniquely bad figure on the American national scene right now, and I am hoping for that figure to leave the stage very soon.  Nonetheless intellectual honesty and the pursuit of truth require me to communicate the following result to you.  This is ...

September 30, 2016, 12:04 am, 1679722

Join AEI for a two-day conference, highlighting several mortgage and collateral risk measures and their applications. International experts from a variety of backgrounds will share lessons learned from their efforts to objectively measure housing risk.

Since the financial crisis, researchers have been using big data to develop objective, timely, and detailed ...

September 29, 2016, 11:33 pm, 1679721

September 29, 2016, 9:03 pm, 1679712
From Merrill Lynch: Elections: what keeps us up at night?

The US elections are quickly approaching and, in our view, have become one of the most significant near-term risks for the economy and markets. The facts are changing quickly, both in terms of the policies that each candidate supports ...

September 29, 2016, 8:34 pm, 1679711

September 29, 2016, 7:33 pm, 1679708

From the inbox:

Dear Colleague,

I am writing to let you know that one or more of your papers was cited in issue 3 of volume 3 of the J. of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (JAERE). I have attached a PDF of the paper; the authors and title are:

Laura ...

September 29, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1679698
Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in August to 1.24%, down from 1.30% in July. The serious delinquency rate is down from 1.62% in August 2015.

These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure".

September 29, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1679697
(September 29, 2016 05:17 PM, by Scott Sumner) Polls show that 58% of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana. Even Texans support it. But an initiative to legalize pot in (very liberal) Massachusetts may fail. One reason is anti-legalization editorials like the following, in the highly influential Boston... (0 COMMENTS)

September 29, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1679696
I posted this graph yesterday which has 234 data points from 1954 to 2016… The graph implies that as profit rates come easier over the nominal cost of money the percentage of gross private investment to GDP tends downward. I tweeted this graph to Miles Kimball who is in favor ...

September 29, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1679695

As I’ve said before, higher education reform increasingly feels like a rerun of the past two decades of K-12 reform—only on a 15 year time delay. In the past few years, President Obama and now Hillary Clinton have issued proposals that would give Washington unprecedented sway over higher ed, and ...

September 29, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1679691

Sign me up ANC!

Audubon North Carolina said it will soon reach out to private landowners across Watauga County to encourage them to protect and restore priority bird habitats, while simultaneously helping landowners enhance their property in cost-effective and sustainable ways.

// ...

September 29, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1679690

1. Chart of the Day I (above). Thanks to the shale gas revolution and cheap natural gas, we’re in the middle of the “great reversal” as ...

September 29, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679658
(September 29, 2016 02:03 PM, by Amy Willis) In a campaign season here in the United States that seems more like a shouting match than politics, this week's EconTalk episode raises an interesting question. According to guest John Cochrane, a.k.a. The Grumpy Economist, the main issue that... (0 COMMENTS)

September 29, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679657
Coming soon: President Barack Obama, who’s expected to campaign [in Florida] at least twice before Election Day. First Lady Michelle Obama — more popular than her husband — will likely visit Florida as well, in addition to the ad she cut for Clinton that’s currently airing on Florida radio. “Hillary Clinton’s ...

September 29, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679655

A new study of a conditional cash transfer program in New York City and Memphis, Tennessee, raises questions about the employment effects of government transfers that are not tied to work.

Family Rewards 2.0 was a conditional cash transfer program ...

September 29, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679656

Welcome to the American Enterprise Institute’s spotlight on the 2016 election! This page features current analysis of the 2016 presidential campaign from AEI’s election experts. It also houses AEI’s 2016 data points series and Political Report archives. Together, these materials are a comprehensive resource for historical analysis of the American ...

September 29, 2016, 3:33 pm, 1679652

September 29, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1679620

California’s state Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) is out today with a comprehensive review of the impact of the state’s film tax credit program. Their report reviews the program as it existed from 2009 to 2014, before a change that year both boosted the amount of credits awarded (from $100 ...

September 29, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1679619

U.S. agricultural exports have surged the past two months, helping cut the trade deficit and boosting the outlook for short-term economic growth.

One big factor? Soybeans. Bumper harvests at home, crop shortfalls in South America and solid demand—especially from China—have propelled international feed sales.

Soybean exports will add about 1% to ...

September 29, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1679618

Paul Krugman:

A General Theory Of Austerity?: Simon Wren-Lewis has an excellent new paper trying to explain the widespread resort to austerity in the face of a liquidity trap, which is exactly the moment when such policies do the most harm. His bottom line is that austerity ...

September 29, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1679616

Larry Summers:

The decline of the middle class is causing even more economic damage than we realized: I have just come across an International Monetary Fund working paper on income polarization in the United States that makes an important contribution to the secular stagnation debate. The authors ...

September 29, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1679617

Greg Mankiw:

Trumponomics: Regular readers of this blog know that I often disagree with Paul Krugman. But I come here today agree with a recent post of his on the analysis put out by two Trump economic advisers. The Trump advisers' analysis is truly disappointing (though perhaps ...

September 29, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1679615
The Case-Shiller house price indexes for July were released Tuesday. Zillow forecasts Case-Shillera month early, and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.

From Zillow: August Case-Shiller Forecast: New Home Price Peaks Within Sight

According to Zillow’s August Case-Shiller forecast, ...

September 29, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1679614

September 29, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1679613

You’ve heard and read by now lots of spin and speculation about who won and where the polls are going to move after Monday’s presidential debate. We’ll know the answers to these questions soon. The more important question for the long run is how each of these candidates would govern. ...

September 29, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1679606


From YouTube:

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and Academy Award-winning actor, and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio, BEFORE THE FLOOD presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change. BEFORE THE FLOOD will be in ...

September 29, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1679575

Today is September 29, the date in 1789 when the first session of Congress adjourned after a 209-day session that included establishing the Departments of State, War, and Treasury; passing the Judiciary Act; and imposing a revenue tariff. Congress did not meet again until January 1790.

Here are some ...

September 29, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1679573

September 29, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1679574

September 29, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1679572

September 29, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679563

That is my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt:

Self-driving vehicles are also likely to help the suburbs most. One of the worst things about the suburbs is the commute to the city or to other parts of the suburbs. But what if you could read, text or ...

September 29, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679562

Taking a test on a hot and polluted day can result in a measurably lower score which, if the test is for something like a university entrance exam, can have permanent consequences. I find both of these results hard to believe which doesn’t necessarily mean that they shouldn’t be ...

September 29, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679561
(September 29, 2016 12:16 PM, by David Henderson) In a very pessimistic essay about America's future, my former Hoover colleague Angelo Codevilla writes: What goes by the name "constitutional law" has been eclipsing the U.S. Constitution for a long time. But when the 1964 Civil Rights Act substituted... (0 COMMENTS)

September 29, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679556

For the first time of his presidency, Congress overrode President Barack Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). As my colleagues, Danielle Pletka and Ambassador John Bolton point out, the law could “endanger Americans” by creating an exception to the concept of sovereign immunity that fundamentally won’t get ...

September 29, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679559


This paper advocates for a market-rate, unsubsidized approach for producing economical rental housing largely intended for service and line-production workers—workers that account for 38 percent of national private and public jobs. The paper includes primers on rental housing economics and policies and a report on efforts ...

September 29, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679560

Given the good news in the Census Bureau’s annual report on poverty and income, can we conclude that minimum wage increases have proven their benefits? To consider, let’s take a step back and recall that an underlying reality of minimum wage increases is a familiar one in economics: tradeoffs.

Raising ...

September 29, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679557

In a recent editorial in support of a carbon tax, The Washington Post complains that “Americans are burning record amounts of gasoline,” arguing that “one of the most glaring … flaws” of the “Environmental Protection Agency fuel-efficiency mandates” is the reality that the regulations “cannot control how much ...

September 29, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1679558

Three months after the Brexit vote, it’s time for the UK’s leaders to “get this country moving again,” as JFK once exhorted Americans. Or “make Britain great again,” per Donald Trump, if you prefer.

Brexit was undeniably a revolution in human affairs, opening up vistas for Britain once buried in European Union ...

September 29, 2016, 11:33 am, 1679555
Regular readers of this blog know that I often disagree with Paul Krugman. But I come here today agree with a recent post of his on the analysis put out by two Trump economic advisers. The Trump advisers' analysis is truly disappointing (though perhaps not surprisingly so, given ...

September 29, 2016, 11:03 am, 1679524
From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Retreat in August

After bouncing back in July, pending home sales cooled in August for the third time in four months and to their lowest level since January, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking ...

September 29, 2016, 10:44 am, 1679523

September 29, 2016, 10:44 am, 1679522

September 29, 2016, 10:04 am, 1679520

Page to support Annual Dinner Spotlight:

September 29, 2016, 9:03 am, 1679488

The U.S. is a hotbed of “knowledge capitals,” according to a new analysis of the world’s largest cities.

The new cluster analysis of more than 100 of the world’s biggest metro areas and their economies shows seven distinct types, from finance-driven giants like New York to gateways for emerging regions like ...

September 29, 2016, 9:03 am, 1679487
From the BEA: Gross Domestic Product: Second Quarter 2016 (Third Estimate)

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2016 (table 1), according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP ...

September 29, 2016, 9:03 am, 1679486
The DOL reported:

In the week ending September 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 254,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 252,000 to 251,000. The 4-week moving average was 256,000, a ...

September 29, 2016, 8:34 am, 1679485

Correlations between asset classes have been trending up lately, a directional bias that could be a warning sign, according to several market observers.

Michael Harris at the Price Action Lab Blog yesterday advised that “the 60-day stock-bonds correlation spiked this month from about -0.50 to +0.20. A ...

September 29, 2016, 7:34 am, 1679483

You are driving a car with rear-wheel steering and no reverse gear. You are driving alongside a wall. If you drive too close to the wall you are trapped, because you would need to steer your rear wheels into the wall in order to get your front wheels to move ...

September 29, 2016, 7:33 am, 1679482

I think this is just an attempt to be funny, but I admit that these days, I'm less and less sure.

September 29, 2016, 7:33 am, 1679480

From the New York Times. Not listed is one of my faves, "Apple, Fennel and Endive Salad with Feta".

September 29, 2016, 7:33 am, 1679481

Old-timers like me remember the huge to-do when Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs. What they--and I--might not have known is that the match was probably fixed.

September 29, 2016, 7:03 am, 1679459

In the course of our projects, we occasionally come across data that is pretty interesting in and of its own accord. In the following chart, we've opted to show the cumulative distribution of individual income for the United States, China and the World, as expressed ...

September 29, 2016, 6:04 am, 1679458
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from Bryan Riley’s excellent 2016 essay “How Americans Benefit from Trade“:

Someone said NAFTA could have been ...

September 29, 2016, 5:33 am, 1679455

Interesting but unsurprising if you read my 2009 post.

September 29, 2016, 4:04 am, 1679440

Here are two notable excerpts:

The windows were usually clamped shut and the blinds were often drawn; one of Rand’s cats had jumped to an untimely death, condemning visitors thereafter to endure the stuffy air in her apartment.

Are cats that stupid?  (Did not Aristotle describe the cat as ...

September 29, 2016, 3:03 am, 1679418

September 29, 2016, 2:04 am, 1679417

Part of me feels no, we should not let up on the worry, it does seem truly bad.  And yet, when I look at market prices, I don’t see such a high level of gloom or angst.  Here is my latest Bloomberg column, it makes a number ...

September 29, 2016, 12:04 am, 1679405

Each year, Americans give more than $350 billion to charity. In addition to the religious and educational institutions at the center of American ...