Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


Jobs

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


Click on the image to get a bigger version.


Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

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

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.


Remember M1?

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


Click on the chart for a larger version.


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September 30, 2014, 1:03 am, 1343382

A year and a half since the Bank of Japan kicked off its aggressive easing measures, promising to spur 2% inflation in “about two years,” there still isn’t a consensus on exactly what this timetable means among market participants and policy makers.

The rate of inflation appears on the verge of ...


September 30, 2014, 1:03 am, 1343381
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the U.N. Climate Summit in New York, Sept 23. Reuters

Faced with a drop in demand after an April sales tax ...


September 29, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1343378
As many as 63 seriously misguided teenaged girls from France, 40 from Germany, and 50 in the UK have left their countries to join ISIS in Syria.

The Guardian has a fascinating report on Schoolgirl jihadis: the female Islamists leaving home to join Isis fighters.


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343357

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, September 29, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter.

Highlights

Blackstone’s Take: Base Effects to Give ECB Some Breathing Room Secret Review Found New York ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343356

NEW YORK—In a television interview Monday, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago leader Charles Evans again said the U.S. central bank should hold off on raising interest rates until officials are truly confident of the recovery’s durability.

Speaking to CNBC, Mr. Evans said, “I think there will be quite some time before ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343358

MONDAY

Chicago Fed’s Evans is interviewed on CNBC at 8 a.m. EDT Chicago Fed’s Evans speaks on the economy and monetary policy at the National Association for Business Economics annual meeting in Chicago at 9 a.m. EDT

TUESDAY

Reserve Bank of India releases a policy statement at 11 a.m. local time ECB’s Lautenschlaeger speaks ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343355
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans in 2012. Associated Press

NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Monday the U.S. central bank ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343361

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said in a television interview Sunday he is worried the U.S. central bank will raise interest rates too late and risk letting price pressures get out of control.

The U.S. is “definitely pulling ahead of the rest of the world” in terms ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343360
Demonstrators disperse as tear gas is fired by police during a protest on Sept. 29 in Hong Kong. Getty Images

Pro-democracy protests paralyzing the center ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343359
An elderly man shops for groceries a supermarket in Tokyo. European Pressphoto Agency

The Bank of Japan is sticking to its bullish forecast ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343350

Economists and market participants in the U.S. like to fixate on every wiggle in consumption and inflation data. A tenth of a percentage point increase in the Consumer Price Index can spark fears that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, not to mention lead to repricing of the $1 ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343349

NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said Monday he might want to start raising interest rates next spring, rather than wait until later in the year as many of his colleagues prefer.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal Monday, Mr. Fisher said the timing of ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343354

Business economists are skeptical that the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate will top 1% by the end of next year as central bank officials project.

The poll of 46 professional forecasters by the National Association for Business Economics pegged the federal-funds rate target at 0.845% at the end of 2015. That reading ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343348

The European Central Bank has suffered an early setback in its battle to persuade households and businesses that inflation will pick up over coming months and years.

The ECB sets great store by “anchoring” inflation expectations to ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343351
Food prices continued to climb in September, according to Premise Data Corp., led by processed meats, including bologna and hot dogs. Getty Images

While overall inflation remains ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343353

Consumer prices held flat in August from a month earlier, resulting in a closely watched annual inflation gauge slipping further below the Federal Reserve’s target.

The price index for personal consumption expenditures—the Fed’s preferred ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343352
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans Associated Press

 

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Monday he wouldn’t be comfortable with a move ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343347

Time heals all wounds, and that idea may finally be moving into the forefront when it comes to consumer finances. But households still carry a few scars from the Great Recession.

A ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343345

A year and a half since the Bank of Japan kicked off its aggressive easing measures, promising to spur 2% inflation in “about two years,” there still isn’t a consensus on exactly what this timetable means among market participants and policy makers.

The rate of inflation appears on the verge of ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1343346

The Federal Reserve has flooded the financial system with trillions of dollars as part of its effort to boost the economy. All that money out there presents the central bank with a challenge as it contemplates when and how to raise interest rates. And it has had unintended consequences, including ...


September 29, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1343344

When dealing with people in a potentially hostile environment (such as a zombie apocalypse) how do we decide if we should trade with strangers or kill them? It turns out time preference and the division of labor has a lot to do with ...


September 29, 2014, 10:04 pm, 1343340
(Don Boudreaux)

In a new and, I’m certain, well-researched research paper, Alice Chen, Emily Oster, and Heidi Williams explore reasons why infant mortality is higher in the U.S. than it is in many other developed countries.  (HT Tyler Cowen)  Here’s the abstract:

The US has a substantial – and poorly ...


September 29, 2014, 9:33 pm, 1343339

Here are some questionable statistics about CEO pay that we learn about from the AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch webpage:

1. In 2013 the CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 331:1 and the CEO-to-minimum-wage-worker pay ratio was 774:1. America is supposed to be the ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343308

NEW YORK—In a television interview Monday, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago leader Charles Evans again said the U.S. central bank should hold off on raising interest rates until officials are truly confident of the recovery’s durability.

Speaking to CNBC, Mr. Evans said, “I think there will be quite some time before ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343307
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans in 2012. Associated Press

NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Monday the U.S. central bank ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343309

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, September 29, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter.

Highlights

Blackstone’s Take: Base Effects to Give ECB Some Breathing Room Secret Review Found New York ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343306

Business economists are skeptical that the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate will top 1% by the end of next year as central bank officials project.

The poll of 46 professional forecasters by the National Association for Business Economics pegged the federal-funds rate target at 0.845% at the end of 2015. That reading ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343312
Demonstrators disperse as tear gas is fired by police during a protest on Sept. 29 in Hong Kong. Getty Images

Pro-democracy protests paralyzing the center ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343311
An elderly man shops for groceries a supermarket in Tokyo. European Pressphoto Agency

The Bank of Japan is sticking to its bullish forecast ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343310

MONDAY

Chicago Fed’s Evans is interviewed on CNBC at 8 a.m. EDT Chicago Fed’s Evans speaks on the economy and monetary policy at the National Association for Business Economics annual meeting in Chicago at 9 a.m. EDT

TUESDAY

Reserve Bank of India releases a policy statement at 11 a.m. local time ECB’s Lautenschlaeger speaks ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343304
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans Associated Press

 

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Monday he wouldn’t be comfortable with a move ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343305

Consumer prices held flat in August from a month earlier, resulting in a closely watched annual inflation gauge slipping further below the Federal Reserve’s target.

The price index for personal consumption expenditures—the Fed’s preferred ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343299

Time heals all wounds, and that idea may finally be moving into the forefront when it comes to consumer finances. But households still carry a few scars from the Great Recession.

A ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343301

NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said Monday he might want to start raising interest rates next spring, rather than wait until later in the year as many of his colleagues prefer.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal Monday, Mr. Fisher said the timing of ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343300

The European Central Bank has suffered an early setback in its battle to persuade households and businesses that inflation will pick up over coming months and years.

The ECB sets great store by “anchoring” inflation expectations to ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343298

The Federal Reserve has flooded the financial system with trillions of dollars as part of its effort to boost the economy. All that money out there presents the central bank with a challenge as it contemplates when and how to raise interest rates. And it has had unintended consequences, including ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343303
Food prices continued to climb in September, according to Premise Data Corp., led by processed meats, including bologna and hot dogs. Getty Images

While overall inflation remains ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343302

Economists and market participants in the U.S. like to fixate on every wiggle in consumption and inflation data. A tenth of a percentage point increase in the Consumer Price Index can spark fears that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, not to mention lead to repricing of the $1 ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1343297
Tuesday:
• At 9:00 AM ET, S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for July. Although this is the June report, it is really a 3 month average of May, June and July. The consensus is for a 7.5% year-over-year increase in the Composite 20 index (NSA) for July. The Zillow ...


September 29, 2014, 8:44 pm, 1343295

The assumption of sticky prices is central in understanding the effect of monetary policies on the economy. Yet, how to best model price stickiness is an unresolved issue. This column assesses a selection of models that are able to reproduce cross-sectional heterogeneity in the setting of prices. The authors derive ...


September 29, 2014, 8:44 pm, 1343296

Offshoring of production can have a deep impact on the wages and welfare of workers with different abilities through its effect on technological progress. This column argues that, when labour is sufficiently cheap abroad, firms have incentives to offshore low-skill tasks and invest in skill-biased technologies at home. Over time, ...


September 29, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1343293

The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber is worried that Hillary Clinton hasn’t gotten the memo. It’s not enough for Scheiber that the likely Democratic presidential nominee will almost certainly make inequality a core theme of her 2016 campaign. One can expect calls for universal preschool, a higher minimum wage, ...


September 29, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1343242

The Federal Reserve has flooded the financial system with trillions of dollars as part of its effort to boost the economy. All that money out there presents the central bank with a challenge as it contemplates when and how to raise interest rates. And it has had unintended consequences, including ...


September 29, 2014, 6:05 pm, 1343241

On Mises’s Birthday:

We live in a time in which many people claim to be libertarians or at least hint that they are. This includes many obviously unlibertarian people such as Bill Maher, Paul Ryan, and Michelle Bachmann. It’s arguably a good thing when people who have no real interest ...


September 29, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1343240
(September 29, 2014 04:02 PM, by Art Carden) Pete Boettke has a great post on the intellectual legacy of Ludwig von Mises at Coordination Problem (HT: Pete Boettke via Twitter). With speculation about the possibility of a shared Baumol-Kirzner Nobel Prize, this is an interesting time to be... (0 COMMENTS)


September 29, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1343239
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s the text of the truly splendid talk that John Cochrane gave this past Friday at a Hoover Institution conference, in honor of Gary Becker, on inequality.  Two slices:

But there are lots of different kinds of inequality, and an enormous variety of different mechanisms at work. Lumping ...


September 29, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1343238
Last week, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform subpoenaed documents from the Treasury Department and IRS that could have a huge impact on Pruitt v. Burwell, Halbig v. Burwell, King v. Burwell, and Indiana v. IRS – four lawsuits that could have a huge impact on ObamaCare. Those cases challenge the federal government’s ability to implement ...


September 29, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1343233
US Bombed Wrong Refineries in Syria

Oil is in the news in many countries in many ways. Let's take a look starting with a couple of paragraphs buried in the Financial Times report Barack Obama Admits US Underestimated Isis.

Allied aircraft on Sunday struck three ...


September 29, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1343232


September 29, 2014, 5:23 pm, 1343231

Consider this scenario. You travel out of town to meet up with an old friend. Your hotel is walking distance to the appointed meeting place, across a large grassy field with which you are unfamiliar.

With good conditions, the walk is about 30 minutes but, to you, the quality of ...


September 29, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1343170

Morgan Stanley, six years after getting bailed out by taxpayers, is now doing research on inequality. The former investment bank released a report last week that attributes growing inequality to many factors, including taxes:

Though tax policies are still largely supportive of lower income groups, they have become less ...


September 29, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1343169

According to this year’s International Tax Competitiveness Index, Estonia has the most competitive tax system in the developed world.

Key drivers for Estonia’s high rank are its relatively low corporate tax rate at 21 percent with no double taxation of dividend income, a nearly flat 21 percent income tax ...


September 29, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1343167

The European Central Bank has suffered an early setback in its battle to persuade households and businesses that inflation will pick up over coming months and years.

The ECB sets great store by “anchoring” inflation expectations to ...


September 29, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1343168

NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said Monday he might want to start raising interest rates next spring, rather than wait until later in the year as many of his colleagues prefer.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal Monday, Mr. Fisher said the timing of ...


September 29, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1343166

Time heals all wounds, and that idea may finally be moving into the forefront when it comes to consumer finances. But households still carry a few scars from the Great Recession.

A ...


September 29, 2014, 4:45 pm, 1343165
A


September 29, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1343164

THIS week: Bill Gross leaves PIMCO, trade deals in trouble and the rising US dollar


September 29, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1343159

The shooting death of John Crawford in an Ohio Walmart store well illustrates the difference between private security and monopoly government security which is the final judge of its own actions, and which enjoys essentially limitless access to cash via ...


September 29, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1343158

Electronic currencies are typically viewed as “disruptive” innovations that will upset the existing structure of the banking industry (and even the economy and society at large), rather than “sustaining” innovations that generate incremental changes within the existing structure (here I’m borrowing Clayton Christensen’s famous terms). But people sometimes forget that ...


September 29, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1343157

Some Austrians and libertarians think that managerial hierarchies, even within fully private companies, are inherently inefficient (or, worse, the indirect result of government intervention). I think this view is mistaken, for a variety of reasons (see these links for some ...


September 29, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1343156

Hopscotching the globe as Thailand’s prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra repeatedly encountered a distressing problem: bad Thai food.

Too often, she found, the meals she sampled at Thai restaurants abroad were unworthy of the name, too bland to be called genuine Thai cooking. The problem bothered her enough ...


September 29, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1343150
Note: These are remarks I gave in a concluding panel at the Conference on Inequality in Memory of Gary Becker, Hoover Institution, September 26 2014. The conference program here, where you can see the great papers I allude to. I'll probably rework this to a more general essay, ...


September 29, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1343149
The alleged recovery in Spain is already over. Retail sales are down month-over-month and year-over-year in July. August and September are both projected to be weak.

Vial translation from El Economista, Manufacturers and Retailers Warn of Another Consumption Slowdown.

After a slight recovery in the first ...


September 29, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1343148

Quite a lot, as James Courtovich explains in today’s Wall Street Journal – they are both examples of pro-consumer, innovative, disruptive, superior and cheaper alternatives to entrenched, bureaucratic, unionized, and anti-consumer/student, status quo monopoly providers. In words, both Uber and school choice provide better, low-cost alternatives to transportation and ...


September 29, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1343085

Each year, the Council on State Taxation (COST) estimates the share of total state and local taxes that are paid by businesses. The lastest edition of the report found that firms paid 44.9 percent of total U.S. state and local taxes last year—amounting to nearly $671 billion.

Here’s the breakdown ...


September 29, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1343084
Note: I follow several house price indexes (Case-Shiller, CoreLogic, Black Knight, Zillow, FHFA, FNC and more). The timing of different house prices indexes can be a little confusing. Black Knight uses the current month closings only (not a three month average like Case-Shiller or a weighted average like CoreLogic), ...


September 29, 2014, 2:45 pm, 1343083
A


September 29, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1343082

Lending programs create special challenges for federal budgeting. So special, in fact, that the Congressional Budget Office estimates their budget effects two different ways. According to official budget rules, taxpayers will earn more than $200 billion over the next decade from new student loans, mortgage guarantees, and the Export-Import ...


September 29, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1343081

September 29, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1343080
Jared Bernstein has offered a muscular and cogent response to my recent take-down of his CAP paper on inequality and growth. (I called it “week-kneed.”) I’d like to respond to his many excellent points in just two ways. 1. My critique is primarily of his rhetoric, not his reasoning. Progressives, IMO, should ...


September 29, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1343077

Lending programs create special challenges for federal budgeting. So special, in fact, that the Congressional Budget Office estimates their budget effects two different ways. According to official budget rules, taxpayers will earn more than $200 billion over the next decade from new student loans, mortgage guarantees, and the Export-Import ...


September 29, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1343075

Last week, the Treasury Department finally put out a description of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), complete with everything but candor.

Those who have been following my op-eds about FSOC know that this is an agency set up by the Dodd-Frank Act, consists of the heads of all the federal ...


September 29, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1343076

In today’s “The Showoff Society” Paul Krugman continues to blame the drive for status among America’s most successful workers for abundant waste that yielded stagnant wage growth.

Yesterday, he failed to recognize the drive for status fuels investment, risk-taking and innovation that helped spur US ...


September 29, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1343074

Here’s an excerpt from Russell Gold’s article in today’s WSJ about “peak oil” titled, “Why Peak-Oil Predictions Haven’t Come True: More Experts Now Believe Technology Will Continue to Unlock New ...


September 29, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1343073

For 28-straight months, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge — the price index for personal consumption expenditures — has undershot the central bank’s 2% target. It advanced just 1.5% in August. Given what happened before the past three tightening cycles, should there be any rush to start raising rates? ...


September 29, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1343072

Paul Krugman recently accepted a position at an income inequality institute at the City University of New York (CUNY). According to a public records request (first reported by Gawker), Krugman will be paid $25,000 per ...


September 29, 2014, 1:23 pm, 1343071
1. Labor under-utilization: We keep thinking, long and hard, about how much slack there is in the job market. Gavyn Davies brings our attention to a timely conference put on by the Peterson Institute. The "consensus" --at least as gauged by Davies-- is that the unemployment rate in ...


September 29, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1343008

The Senate this month unanimously passed a bill exempting welfare benefits under Native American tribal jurisdictions from being counted as “income” for the purposes of income tax. The bill passed by voice vote in the House.

This bill was uncontroversial, largely because it is good policy. It resembles the ...


September 29, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1343007
Food prices continued to climb in September, according to Premise Data Corp., led by processed meats, including bologna and hot dogs. Getty Images

While overall inflation remains ...


September 29, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1343006

Economists and market participants in the U.S. like to fixate on every wiggle in consumption and inflation data. A tenth of a percentage point increase in the Consumer Price Index can spark fears that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, not to mention lead to repricing of the $1 ...


September 29, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1343005

New paper from Joseph Stiglitz:

Reconstructing Macroeconomic Theory to Manage Economic Policy, by Joseph E. Stiglitz, NBER Working Paper No. 20517, September 2014 NBER: Macroeconomics has not done well in recent years: The standard models didn't predict the Great Recession; and even said it couldn't happen. After the bubble burst, ...


September 29, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1343004

At MoneyWatch:

Why are economic forecasts wrong so often?: The Queen of England famously asked why economists failed to foresee the financial crisis in 2008. "Why did nobody notice it?" was her question when she visited the London School of Economics that year.

Economists' failure to accurately predict ...


September 29, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1343002
From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Strengthens

Texas factory activity increased again in September, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose markedly from 6.8 to 17.6, indicating output grew at a faster pace ...


September 29, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1343003
NOTE: We've had a power outage in my neighborhood. I'll be catching up on some earlier releases.

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Fall Slightly in August

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, fell 1.0 percent to 104.7 in August from ...


September 29, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1343001
The BEA released the Personal Income and Outlays report for August this morning:

Personal income increased $47.3 billion, or 0.3 percent ... in August, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $57.5 billion, or 0.5 percent.
...
Real PCE -- PCE adjusted ...


September 29, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1343000

THE members of the Federal Open Market Committee are not overly fond of being stuck at the zero lower bound (ZLB). Since December of 2008, the Fed's preferred policy lever, the federal funds rate, has rested between 0% and 0.25%: effectively the lowest possible level, since the zero return on ...


September 29, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1342997

Mises Daily Monday by Brendan Brown

The Japanese government claims it’s still fighting deflation, although there are no signs of it in Japan. Through a mixture of chance, habit, and economic sclerosis, prices have been stable in Japan, but Abenomics makes the ...


September 29, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1342995

Mises Daily Monday: Rothbard explains how Mises laid the foundation for Austrian Business Cycle Theory:

In The Theory of Money and Credit, Mises provided the basics for the long-sought explanation for that mysterious and troubling economic phenomenon — the business cycle.


September 29, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1342996

Save 20% in the Mises Store, today only. Use coupon code MISES133 at checkout. 


September 29, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1342994
(September 29, 2014 11:45 AM, by Art Carden) This is an edited version of my comment on this Reddit thread. OP had offered this quote from his microeconomics professor: "Government is the only institution which is allowed to hold a gun to your head and force you to... (0 COMMENTS)


September 29, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1342993
Matt Bruenig and Demos have thrown down the gauntlet against libertarian ideology. Trevor Burrus at Cato has picked it up. Should be worth tuning in. Matt pulls no punches. He’s emerged in the last year as one of the mediasphere’s most convincing voices for progressive ideas and policies, based (IMO) on air-tight arguments and thinking, backed ...


September 29, 2014, 11:33 am, 1342989

Here’s an excerpt from Russell Gold’s article in today’s WSJ about “peak oil” titled, “Why Peak-Oil Predictions Haven’t Come True: More Experts Now Believe Technology Will Continue to Unlock New ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 am, 1342928

MONDAY

Chicago Fed’s Evans is interviewed on CNBC at 8 a.m. EDT Chicago Fed’s Evans speaks on the economy and monetary policy at the National Association for Business Economics annual meeting in Chicago at 9 a.m. EDT

TUESDAY

Reserve Bank of India releases a policy statement at 11 a.m. local time ECB’s Lautenschlaeger speaks ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 am, 1342927

Consumer prices held flat in August, resulting in a closely watched inflation gauge slipping further below the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.

The price index for personal consumption expenditures—the Fed’s preferred inflation measure—advanced just ...


September 29, 2014, 11:03 am, 1342926
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans Associated Press

A senior Federal Reserve official said Monday that the rise of the U.S. dollar could challenge the ...


September 29, 2014, 10:45 am, 1342925
A


September 29, 2014, 10:45 am, 1342924
A


September 29, 2014, 10:04 am, 1342923
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the New York Times:

In his New York Times blog on Wednesday - in a post entitled “Having It and Flaunting It” – Paul Krugman complained that America’s rich are obsessed with exhibiting their wealth in the form of “ostentatious” consumption.  Indeed, Mr. Krugman asserted that “for ...


September 29, 2014, 9:33 am, 1342920

|Peter Boettke|

Ludwig von Mises was born on this day in 1881. He would live his mark as one of the greatest teachers of economics in the 20th century, and perhaps, I would argue, the greatest systematic economic thinker history has ever known. On the occasion of his birthday, ...


September 29, 2014, 9:33 am, 1342919

The Chronicle has an article today on the lack of humor in scholarly journals:

Stephen Heard once wrote a paper about how pollen spreads among the flowers of a certain endangered plant. In it he speculated that the wind might play a role by shaking loose the pollen. To ...


September 29, 2014, 9:33 am, 1342918

The global financial crisis started in 2007 when European banks came under increasing strain. If forced to specify the crisis kickoff, we would pick Thursday, August 9, the day that BNP Paribas halted redemptions from three investment funds because it couldn’t value their holdings of U.S. mortgages. Responding ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 am, 1342856
An elderly man shops for groceries a supermarket in Tokyo. European Pressphoto Agency

The Bank of Japan is sticking to its bullish forecast ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 am, 1342853
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans in 2012. Associated Press

NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Monday the U.S. central bank ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 am, 1342855

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, September 29, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter.

Highlights

Blackstone’s Take: Base Effects to Give ECB Some Breathing Room Secret Review Found New York ...


September 29, 2014, 9:03 am, 1342854

NEW YORK—In a television interview Monday, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago leader Charles Evans again said the U.S. central bank should hold off on raising interest rates until officials are truly confident of the recovery’s durability.

Speaking to CNBC, Mr. Evans said, “I think there will be quite some time before ...


September 29, 2014, 8:44 am, 1342852
A


September 29, 2014, 8:35 am, 1342851
PIMCO’s star manager, Bill Gross, is moving on to Janus. By some accounts, the Janus brand will be rejuvenated with the arrival of the “bond king,” a moniker earned over a long run of outsized returns in plying the waters … Continue reading →


September 29, 2014, 8:35 am, 1342850

Congress is in recess through the mid-term elections. Read the Daily Deduction each Monday until then. 

Apple’s new products might not bend, but its tax deals are under some pressure. Later today, the European Union’s European Commission is expected to release its opening decision on Apple’s 1991 ...


September 29, 2014, 8:35 am, 1342849

Here's a glorious example of the media's bubblethink: the Guardian's political reporters describe Osborne's stewardship of the economy as the Tories "strongest card."

Let's just remind ourselves of the facts. Back in June 2010 the OBR forecast (pdf) that real GDP ...


September 29, 2014, 8:34 am, 1342848

The course in introductory computer science at Harvard College this year surpassed elementary economics in popularity. It has 818 enrollments, or nearly 12 percent of the undergraduate population, compared to 711 students in Economics 10. For most of the last thirty years, the economics course has been the catalog’s ...


September 29, 2014, 8:05 am, 1342843

If you can work from home, where should home be? NomadList has combined data on internet speed, the cost of rental housing and food, local weather conditions including air quality and other factors to come up with an interesting list. Here’s the top ten.


September 29, 2014, 8:04 am, 1342842
(Don Boudreaux)

… is the title of Chapter 5 of William Easterly’s excellent 2006 book, The White Man’s Burden:

The rich have markets, the poor have bureaucrats.


September 29, 2014, 7:33 am, 1342839

Surprise, surprise, there was plenty of politics involved.

With the federal government taking over a large share of the health care business through the new Affordable Care Act exchanges, providers such as CVS need to be in regulators' good books. CVS's drug business is at the mercy ...


September 29, 2014, 7:33 am, 1342840

David P. Goldman, world-class pessimism about the Middle East.

When I wrote about the region’s refugee disaster at Tablet in July (“Between the Settlers and Unsettlers, the One State Solution is On Our Doorstep“) the going estimate was only 10 million. A new UN study, though, ...


September 29, 2014, 7:33 am, 1342838

"One doesn’t have to be an economic genius to realize that increasing demand while decreasing supply is likely to cause a problem."

Truer words were never written.

Related: "Doctoring in the Age of ObamaCare:Endlessly entering data or calling for permission to prescribe or trying to avoid Medicare penalties—when ...


September 29, 2014, 7:33 am, 1342837

Noted attorney Harvey Silverglate:

. . . . just about everywhere we turn, when we see the results of organized labor in thepublic sphere, we see disaster—not for the workers, but for those who are supposed to be served by vital public institutions and services.

With a very ...


September 29, 2014, 7:33 am, 1342836

As complete and razor-sharp a takedown of a prominent person as I've seen in a while.

Pardon my incivility, Chancellor Dirks, but I don't give a shit whether youwishto honor an ideal; I care whether you will comply with the law. If you don't, you should be ...


September 29, 2014, 7:33 am, 1342835

In case you missed it, Ezekiel Emanuel, supposedly one of the country's leading bioethicists and an important advisor for Obamacare, recently wrote in The Atlantic that he hopes to die at age 75. 75 years is enough, he writes.

I was going to post that if this is "bioethics," I absolutely ...


September 29, 2014, 7:33 am, 1342834
Kenneth D. Garbade

From time to time, and most recently in the April 2014 meeting of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, U.S.Treasury officials have questioned whether the Treasury should have a safety net that would allow it to continue to meet its obligations even in the event of ...


September 29, 2014, 6:45 am, 1342794
The economy is picking up steam, but it's not happening in enough of the right places for candidates who are trying to defend their turfs heading into the November elections. WSJ's Sudeep Reddy explains why weak wage growth means many Americans aren't feeling the benefits of upticks in GDP and ...


September 29, 2014, 6:45 am, 1342793

The world has not yet begun to deleverage its crisis-linked borrowing. Global debt-to-GDP is breaking new highs in ways that hinder recovery in mature economies and threaten new crisis in emerging nations – especially China. The latest Geneva Report on the World Economy argues that the policy path to less ...


September 29, 2014, 6:44 am, 1342792
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September 29, 2014, 6:44 am, 1342791

Martha Nussbaum of the University of Chicago and author of Creating Capabilities talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about an alternative to GDP for measuring economic performance at the national level. She is a proponent of the capabilities approach that emphasizes how easily individuals can ...


September 29, 2014, 5:03 am, 1342745

How many of you recall what we wrote at the beginning of September 2014 about the dynamics of a stock market where investors are shifting their focus from one point in time in the future to another?


September 29, 2014, 5:03 am, 1342744

September 29, 2014, 5:03 am, 1342743

The difference between the rich and the poor is larger than most people realize:

Our Invisible Rich, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Half a century ago, a classic essay in The New Yorker titled “Our Invisible Poor” took on the then-prevalent myth that America was an affluent ...


September 29, 2014, 4:45 am, 1342742

American employees put in longer workweeks than Europeans. They are also more likely to work at undesirable times, such as nights and weekends. This column argues that the phenomena of long hours and strange hours are related. One possibility for this is cultural – Americans simply enjoy working at strange ...


September 29, 2014, 4:05 am, 1342741

Swiss voters on Sunday rejected a plan to ditch the country’s all-private health insurance system and create a state-run scheme, exit polls showed.

Some 64 percent of the electorate shot down a plan pushed by left-leaning parties who say the current system is busting the budgets of ordinary residents, figures from ...


September 29, 2014, 3:03 am, 1342691

Business economists are skeptical that the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate will top 1% by the end of next year as central bank officials project.

The poll of 46 professional forecasters by the National Association for Business Economics pegged the federal-funds rate target at 0.845% at the end of 2015. That reading ...


September 29, 2014, 2:05 am, 1342690

That is from Ian Bremmer on Twitter.

The game-theoretic dynamic of such situations is of course not always a happy one.  Pro-semi-autonomy views in Hong Kong feel desperate and are losing leverage.  China feels it can play tough, ...


September 29, 2014, 1:03 am, 1342672
Demonstrators disperse as tear gas is fired by police during a protest on Sept. 29 in Hong Kong. Getty Images

Pro-democracy protests paralyzing the center ...


September 29, 2014, 1:03 am, 1342671

Business economists are skeptical that the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate will top 1% by the end of next year as central bank officials project.

The poll of 46 professional forecasters by the National Association for Business Economics pegged the federal-funds rate target at 0.845% at the end of 2015. That reading ...


September 29, 2014, 12:34 am, 1342670

In The Theory of Money and Credit, Mises provided the basics for the long-sought explanation for that mysterious and troubling economic phenomenon — the business cycle.


September 29, 2014, 12:34 am, 1342669

The Japanese government claims it's still fighting deflation, although there are no signs of it in Japan. Through a mixture of chance, habit, and economic sclerosis, prices have been stable in Japan, but Abenomics makes the future of the yen anyone's guess.


September 29, 2014, 12:04 am, 1342667
(September 28, 2014 10:30 PM, by Scott Sumner) Many pundits, especially highly intelligent liberal pundits, often fall into the trap (fatal conceit?) of assuming that because they can't explain why the market would do something, the market must be wrong. But markets are almost infinitely subtle. A commenter... (0 COMMENTS)


September 29, 2014, 12:04 am, 1342666
(September 29, 2014 12:04 AM, by Bryan Caplan) When the American left complains about domestic poverty, you might think the American right's standard response would be either:1. "What poverty? By any sensible standard, the 'American poor' are rich."2. "America doesn't have a poverty problem; it's the American poor... (0 COMMENTS)