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 28, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1463274
An interesting article came my way today courtesy of a friend "BC". The article is Deconstructing ShadowStats. Why is it so Loved by its Followers but Scorned by Economists? by Ed Dolan.

Mish readers likely know that I believe inflation to be understated, and that I also ...


April 28, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1463273
The Fed manufacturing surveys continue to disappoint. Today, the Richmond Fed reading came in at -3 matching the lowest guess on Bloomberg.

The headline index is in the minus column for the second month in a row, at minus 3 vs March's minus 8. New orders are ...


April 28, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1463212
Dona Stone, in Rowlett, Texas, watches online videos to learn to repair her own appliances. “It’s empowering to know I can fix my own stuff,” she says.


April 28, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1463211
The Fed will probably repeat that it won’t start lifting borrowing costs until it sees more improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident inflation will move toward its 2% target. Beyond that, any changes could be very subtle.


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April 28, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1463200
(April 28, 2015 10:35 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Does anyone claim that living on-campus increases the return to education? Nothing turned up on a quick look at Google Scholar.... (3 COMMENTS)


April 28, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1463199
(Don Boudreaux)

It’s common to encounter assertions and suggestions that facts are more objective – that facts are more revealing, more important, more real, more trustworthy – than theory.  The intended conclusion is that if theory predicts X but the facts show not-X, then the theory is wrong.

It is indisputable ...


April 28, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1463197

Did The New York Times break the law over the weekend by apparently naming three undercover CIA agents in its article on the CIA’s drone program? Certainly, the decision to publish the names at first blush seems to fall under the terms of the Agent Identities Act of ...


April 28, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1463198

Economics has made significant contributions to public policy over the years—free trade and airline deregulation come to mind—but none more significant than the reform of the way governments allocate scarce radio spectrum.

Spectrum allocations used to be political decisions. Among the most notorious was the Federal Communications Commission’s grant of an ...


April 28, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1463196

It’s unfair and ignorant of history and culture to see Iraqi Shi’ites as Fifth Columnists for Iran but, perhaps it’s time to excuse the Iraqis for increasingly seeing Iran as their benefactor. After all, the Iranians have become masters of the information operation.

Earlier this month, Iraqi forces reportedly killed Saddam ...


April 28, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1463195

Among its myriad flaws, the US tax code does a poor job of incentivizing domestic research and investment, crucial ingredients to future US economic growth. It is not clear that any of the tax reform proposals currently on the table will do much to remedy this deficiency.

There are provisions currently ...


April 28, 2015, 11:03 am, 1463131

Some Democrats in the House of Representatives are today unveiling legislation that would repeal Obamacare's "Cadillac Tax." 

Many have expressed an interest in repealing the tax, but the reasoning given by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) is worth examination: “the excise tax is an unnecessary change that would adversely impact beneficiaries ...


April 28, 2015, 11:03 am, 1463130
Construction workers add a roof to a new home in the Andalucia neighborhood of San Antonio, Texas. Bloomberg News

Prices of new homes have zoomed ...


April 28, 2015, 11:03 am, 1463129

At MoneyWatch:

Why trade deals don't get more public support, by Mark Thoma: Although President Obama supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, he's running into resistance from many progressives. Why are they opposed to a deal that negotiators have worked on for years, includes ...


April 28, 2015, 11:03 am, 1463127

Rajiv Sethi in the NY Times:

The Trader as Scapegoat: A British trader, Navinder Singh Sarao, is facing extradition to the United States. Federal prosecutors accuse him of having significantly contributed to the “flash crash” of May 6, 2010, in which major American stock markets plunged dramatically in a ...


April 28, 2015, 11:03 am, 1463128

In this session, Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, interviews former U.S. Treasury Secretaries Timothy Geithner, Henry Paulson and Robert Rubin about global economic trends, public finance and capital markets.


April 28, 2015, 11:03 am, 1463126
S&P/Case-Shiller released the monthly Home Price Indices for February ("February" is a 3 month average of December, January and February prices).

This release includes prices for 20 individual cities, two composite indices (for 10 cities and 20 cities) and the monthly National index.

Note: Case-Shiller reports Not ...


April 28, 2015, 11:03 am, 1463125
From the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Sector Activity Remained Soft; Employment and Wages Grew Mildly

Overall, manufacturing conditions remained soft in April. The composite index for manufacturing moved to a reading of −3 following last month's reading of −8. The index for shipments and the index for new orders ...


April 28, 2015, 10:35 am, 1463124

It's become a cliche to bemoan the fact that politicians are disproportionately Oxford PPEists. This is odd, as there's not much evidence that they read much E. Here are seven basic principles of economics that don't seem to be wholly grasped by the main parties.

1. ...


April 28, 2015, 9:03 am, 1463060
Ten things to know about U.S. "fast track" trade legislation.


April 28, 2015, 8:44 am, 1463059
President Barack Obama discusses his outlook for the U.S. economy and why infrastructure investments could help give it a long-term boost.


April 28, 2015, 8:35 am, 1463058
The US services sector in April continues to expand at a brisk pace as manufacturing stumbles. That’s the message in yesterday’s economic updates in context with recent numbers available for this month. The case for anticipating a second-quarter bounce back for the US economy, in other words, remains a bit ...


April 28, 2015, 8:35 am, 1463057

The GOP is putting the finishing touches on the first budget resolution in a decade. The Hill reports that an agreement could be voted on by the end of the week. The Associated Press reports that the final resolution will reportedly drop the House provision to move part ...


April 28, 2015, 8:05 am, 1463049

One of the least-convincing tropes of financial journalism is the article explaining how business firms can increase profits and at the same time engage in some conventional, culturally-approved, do-good activity such as improving the environment, saving energy, or helping the poor. The latest version is how to increase profits by increasing wages.

Here is ...


April 28, 2015, 8:04 am, 1463048
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 173-174 of Angus Deaton’s data-rich 2013 book, The Great Escape:

Even beyond the point of having escaped from poverty and deprivation, new goods and services enable people to do things that were previously impossible, and these possibilities make life better.  Take a few examples and ...


April 28, 2015, 8:04 am, 1463047


April 28, 2015, 8:04 am, 1463046

The Iran deal is a disaster. No, I’m not talking about the nuclear agreement President Obama is negotiating with Tehran (though that is a disaster, too), but rather the Iran deal that Obama cut with Congress.

The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act that Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) negotiated with Obama comes ...


April 28, 2015, 7:33 am, 1463043

April 28, 2015, 7:33 am, 1463042

It was slow, and very painfully, coming, but at least in this case, justice has prevailed.


April 28, 2015, 7:33 am, 1463044

Yet another example of "BaptistsandBootleggers," this time with actual Baptists.

Link courtesy of Ted C.


April 28, 2015, 7:33 am, 1463041

If I were in the California legislature--God forbid--I'd reallocate money from high-speed rail to helping cities and towns retrofit the buildings that still need it in case the Big One comes.

Just sayin'.


April 28, 2015, 7:33 am, 1463039

The Washington Post ran the "Republican Nutcase Check List" and the "The Democratic Whackjob Survey". Both are supposed to be questions the party's presidential nominee should answer.

One is heavy on social issues and things that aren't the federal government's business; the other mentions important economic issues ...


April 28, 2015, 7:33 am, 1463040

April 28, 2015, 7:03 am, 1462978

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Tuesday, April 28, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Role Reversal, As China Eases And Fed Waits At Exit Door China Readies ...


April 28, 2015, 6:44 am, 1462977
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April 28, 2015, 6:35 am, 1462975
● PMI: Strong US service sector growth maintained in April | Markit ● Dallas Fed Index: Texas manufacturing activity weakens again | DMN ● With economy uncertain, no Fed rate hike is seen before fall | AP ● 2% Inflation Target Is Questioned as Fed Policy Panel Prepares to Meet ...


April 28, 2015, 5:24 am, 1462971

Photo Credit: Graham

Welcome back to this irregular series where I go through the large blunders that I have committed in my investments.  Let’s start with an unusual one: a telecommunications partnership.

In the late ’80s the US ...


April 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1462916

How many times has the median sale price of the new homes sold in the U.S. sustainably doubled since the U.S. Census Bureau began monitoring them in January 1963?

The answer is revealed in our chart below!


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April 28, 2015, 3:33 am, 1462910
Relative vs. Absolute Value

As I watch valuations on stocks soar higher and higher into the stratosphere, I keep asking "where is the value?"

The problem for most is confusing "relative" value vs. absolute value. Stocks may be "cheap vs. bonds" but what does that matter if bonds ...


April 28, 2015, 3:03 am, 1462865
Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan, spoke on April 8 after a policy board meeting that didn’t deliver any surprises. Akio Kon/Bloomberg News

Tokyo share ...


April 28, 2015, 2:44 am, 1462863

When panic strikes, people tend to withdraw cash. While there were upticks in currency-to-deposit ratios in the autumn of 2008 and early 2009, they were modest and very short-lived compared to the Great Depression. This column argues that leading central banks learnt from the 1930s mistakes and acted decisively to ...


April 28, 2015, 2:44 am, 1462864

Commodity prices are very persistent. A boom is always followed by a bust, and after a slump, a boom comes along. This column reviews some basic aspects of commodity theory and their role in the last boom. Finally, it presents arguments stating that lower commodity prices are here to stay ...


April 28, 2015, 2:05 am, 1462861

I have read and heard many times that TPP will bring harsher intellectual property law than is appropriate for the poorer Asian countries.  In general poorer countries often benefit from weaker IP enforcement, more copying, and lower prices.  This is standard stuff.

It is less commonly recognized by the critics, however, ...


April 28, 2015, 1:03 am, 1462840
American 20-somethings had children in 2012 at a pace that would lead to 948 births per 1,000 women over their lifetimes, meaning less than one child per woman—the “slowest ...


April 28, 2015, 12:04 am, 1462839
(April 28, 2015 12:01 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Noah Smith, writing for Bloomberg view, isn't happy with the educational signaling "fad." Here's my point-by-point reply. Noah's in ps, I'm not.Talk to economists, and you'll find a large number who believe that college -- that defining institution of America's... (0 COMMENTS)


April 28, 2015, 12:04 am, 1462838
Then Governor of Maryland from 2007-2015,i.e. less than 90 days ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_O%27Malley Until a week ago most politically connected Americans knew Maryland as being a deep-blue State and Martin O’Malley as the only Progressive Democrat alternative to Hillary Clinton (Bernie S not being a Democrat, at least not yet). At ...


April 27, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1462835
I am convinced the best thing for Greece is to tell the troika where to go. And recent events (at least until today) suggested Greece would do just that.

On the other hand, extreme sentiment is usually wrong. It may not be, it just usually is. So please ...


April 27, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1462820
Small businesses in New York City, facing markedly higher rents, are estimated to close by the hundreds every month. Across the U.S., the number of small businesses has actually declined ...


April 27, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1462819
Tuesday:
• At 9:00 AM ET, S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for February. Although this is the February report, it is really a 3 month average of December, January and February prices. The consensus is for a 4.6% year-over-year increase in the National Index for February. The Zillow forecast is ...


April 27, 2015, 10:34 pm, 1462818
Teaser:

Factoring ...


April 27, 2015, 9:33 pm, 1462814
After my unit roots redux post, a few people have asked for a nontechnical explanation of what this is all about.


Suppose there is an unexpected movement in any of the ...


April 27, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1462769
Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in March to 1.73%, down from 1.81% in February. Freddie's rate is down from 2.20% in March 2014, and the rate in March was the lowest level since December 2008.

Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February ...


April 27, 2015, 8:44 pm, 1462767
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April 27, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1462766
(Don Boudreaux)

Mr. John Oliver, Host
Last Week Tonight

Dear Mr. Oliver:

You elicited lots of laughs while criticizing Wal-Mart and other retailers for selling clothes made in low-wage sweatshops.  It’s true that pay and work conditions in third-world factories are awful compared to pay and work conditions in first-world workplaces.  ...


April 27, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1462765
Oddly, Paul Krugman thinks that TPP is not really about trade. CEA Chair Jason Furman, however, writes the following:

The starting point of TPP is the contrast between U.S. tariffs and those of our partner countries. Our trade-weighted average applied tariff rate ...


April 27, 2015, 7:23 pm, 1462764
I want to come back to one of the points from my last post. There I noted the global economy was hit by a series of large positive supply shocks beginning in the mid-1990s: the rapid advances in technology and the opening up of Asia. The former ...


April 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1462702

North Dakota is at it again! 2015 will be yet another year in which the state sees lower rates. Last Thursday, Governor Jack Dalrymple signed legislation (SB 2349) that will reduce both individual and corporate rates retroactive to January 1, 2015. Individual income tax ...


April 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1462699

MONDAY

Bank of Israel releases a policy statement 0830 GMT (4:30 a.m. EDT) ECB’s Nouy speaks at event in Brussels 1200 GMT (8 a.m. EDT) ECB’s Constancio gives speech at event in Brussels 1230 GMT (8:30 ...


April 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1462698
The risk that eurozone countries would be forced to abandon the euro and go back to their old, devalued currencies was a major factor pushing up Spanish, Italian and ...


April 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1462700
Reuters

Federal Reserve officials have made clear they won’t raise interest rates at their policy meeting Tuesday and Wednesday. And they’ve stopped using phrases such as “considerable time” and ...


April 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1462701

Ohio Gov. John Kasich elaborated on his possible presidential run Sunday, saying that he’ll decide based on his fundraising outlook and odds of success.

“I’ve taken another big step, for me, which is to create a political organization to begin to accumulate more resources so I can travel more robustly and ...


April 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1462695
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, second from left, at a welding demonstration at Chicago’s Daley College in March 2014. GETTY IMAGES

The fast-changing technological infrastructure of financial ...


April 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1462697

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, April 27, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Missing From Secular Stagnation Debate, The Role of Enormous Debt FedSpeak CheatSheet: ...


April 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1462694

Tighter banking rules may not be enough to avert financial crises, the head of Norway’s central bank said Monday.

Norges Bank Governor Oystein Olsen said in a speech in London that central banks should be prepared to raise interest rates to safeguard financial stability and shouldn’t rely solely on newer “macroprudential” ...


April 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1462693
Small businesses in New York City, facing markedly higher rents, are estimated to close by the hundreds every month. Across the U.S., the number of small businesses has actually declined ...


April 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1462696
The Polish currency briefly strengthened past the psychological level of four zlotys to the euro last week (JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

WARSAW—Poland’s main interest rate may remain ...


April 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1462692

From the NBER (open link to earlier version):

Are Immigrants a Shot in the Arm for the Local Economy?, by Gihoon Hong and John McLaren, NBER Working Paper No. 21123: Most research on the effects of immigration focuses on the effects of immigrants as adding to the supply of ...


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April 27, 2015, 6:35 pm, 1462685

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration proposed a small and almost unnoticed change in retirement savings rules that could be a big help to middle-income seniors who want to preserve assets to pay for medical and long-term care costs in very old age.

The proposal would exempt those who have $100,000 ...


April 27, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1462683

In response to Governor Chris Christie’s proposal to increase the Social Security retirement age, Paul Krugman and Vox’s Ezra Klein have weighed in, calling it, in Klein’s terms, “a disaster for the poor.” Their basic objection, apart from a general indisposition to cut benefits, is that the retirement ...


April 27, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1462681


April 27, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1462680

1. Chart of the Day. More permits for single-family homes have been issued in Houston than in the entire state of California both: a) this year through March (9,184 in Houston vs. 9,081 in California) and b) from 2011 through March 2015 (133,462 ...


April 27, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1462619

I testified last week to the newly established Connecticut Tax Review Panel, which is undertaking a comprehensive look of the state’s tax system throughout 2015. Co-chaired by former Rep. Bill Dyson (D) and former Sen. Bill Nickerson (R), the panel has been instructed by the Legislature to consider and ...


April 27, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1462618
The FOMC meeting starts tomorrow and the statement will be released Wednesday at 2:00 PM ET. No change in policy is expected.

Here is a preview from Merrill Lynch:

At the March FOMC meeting, the Fed took any policy changes in April off the table. We don’t ...


April 27, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1462617
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April 27, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1462616

Here's an early obit.  It's hard for me to imagine a chapter 11 world without Harvey Miller.  Although the adjective is over-used, I think it would be difficult to argue the man was not transformative to bankruptcy law.  He was an incredible mentor, and I ...


April 27, 2015, 4:35 pm, 1462615

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration proposed a small and almost unnoticed change in retirement savings rules that could be a big help to middle-income seniors who want to preserve assets to pay for medical and long-term care costs in very old age.

The proposal would exempt those who have $100,000 ...


April 27, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1462614
Teaser:

Persistently ...


April 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1462611
(Don Boudreaux)

Philosopher Jason Brennan argues that government ought not fund philosophy.

Here are Benjamin Zycher’s important thoughts from last-week’s Earth Day.  A slice:

That renewable power is vastly more expensive than conventional generation is an eternal truth that no amount of political propaganda can refute, as ...


April 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1462609

Another attempt, this one by Inc. magazine Leigh Buchanan, to explain two alarming facts about US entrepreneurship:

The Kauffman Foundation, citing its own research and drawing on U.S. Census data, concluded that the number of companies less than a year old had declined as a share of all businesses by nearly ...


April 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1462608

Our guest this week is Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush and current co-host of The Five on Fox News. Dana gives us the scoop on her new book, “And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side,” which details ...


April 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1462610

Watch the latest video at <a href=”http://video.foxnews.com”&am
p;amp;gt;video.foxnews.com</a&a
mp;amp;gt;


April 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1462607

In a world increasingly characterized by a global savings glut, Germany stands out as the major industrialized country that has the largest external current account surplus. This should be a real concern to the United States since Germany’s external imbalance is now constituting an important headwind to the US economic ...


April 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1462605

It began as an ordinary piece of fan mail, thanking me for writing a book I published a few years ago (“Coming Apart”) and expressing the writer’s shared concern with the loss of seemliness in American life. And then the ordinary suddenly became extraordinary:

I write to give you my personal ...


April 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1462606

Many people are intrigued by official Chinese GDP growth dropping from 13% in 2007 to 7% now. This is better: official Chinese coal production growth fell from 12.7% in 2008 to (approximately) -3.5% in the first quarter of this year. It’s an economic and social sea change.

Also ...


April 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1462604

1. Chart of the Day. More permits for single-family homes have been issued in Houston than in the entire state of California both: a) this year through March (9,184 in Houston vs. 9,081 in California) and b) from 2011 through March 2015 (133,462 ...


April 27, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1462598
New orders in the Dallas Fed manufacturing survey came in negative for the sixth straight month today.

Weakness was expected due to collapse in oil prices, but the business activity range number was lower than any Bloomberg Consensus estimate.

Bloomberg Consensus


April 27, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1462537

Sometimes people mention Tennessee on the list of states without an income tax, but residents there will tell you that’s not entirely true. Tennessee has a unique tax on interest and dividends, named the “Hall tax” after Frank Hall, the state senator who ushered the tax into existence in ...


April 27, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1462535

The United States is the only country in the developed world that taxes its citizens who live in foreign countries.

The U.S. taxes Americans abroad on worldwide income and requires them to file their taxes with the U.S., in addition to the country in which they reside. Though Americans abroad ...


April 27, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1462536

From Margaret MacMillan’s The War That Ended Peace (p. 228), on the state of the crumbling, top-heavy Austrian Empire near the turn of the 20th century:

“A single tax payment in Vienna went through the hands of twenty-seven ...


April 27, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1462534

Tighter banking rules may not be enough to avert financial crises, the head of Norway’s central bank said Monday.

Norges Bank Governor Oystein Olsen said in a speech in London that central banks should be prepared to raise interest rates to safeguard financial stability and shouldn’t rely solely on newer “macroprudential” ...


April 27, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1462533
The automakers will report April vehicle sales on Friday, May 1st. Sales in March were at 17.05 million on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR), and it appears sales will be strong in April too. April sales (SA) will probably be the best since 2005.

Note: There ...


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April 27, 2015, 2:05 pm, 1462525

1. What are the new status symbols? (for one operator of private flights, the number of pets exceeded the number of people on a flight sixty-five different times; actually that strikes me as possibly efficient).  And here is an article on the Four Seasons private jet ...


April 27, 2015, 2:05 pm, 1462524

From Robert Trivers. Here is Trivers on William Hamilton:

Certainly one of the most creative minds I have ever met in biology. I still remember the day a graduate student came running down the hall saying “Have you heard Hamilton thinks that bacteria use clouds for dispersal? As quick as ...


April 27, 2015, 2:05 pm, 1462523

Eric Posner’s (with Adrian and Blakey Vermeule) new and excellent venture The New Rambler asked me to write a book review for them.  The impish side of me thought “what book better to review than the old Rambler?”, namely by Samuel Johnson?  Here is the opening of my ...


April 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1462521

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s collapse into government conservatorship was a long six and a half years ago. In spite of endless discussions of reform, they remain in conservatorship limbo, where they are run by their regulator as wards of the state, with de minimis capital. Nobody wants the old ...


April 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1462522

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Washington, DC (April 27, 2015) — For millennia, human survival has depended on our innate abilities to fight pathogens and repair injuries. Only in recent history has medical science improved the quality of our lives and assured longevity. While physicians and academic researchers contribute to such progress, ...


April 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1462520

Wikipedia tells me that “Generation K” refers to “the collective nickname given to a trio of young starting pitchers in the New York Mets organization in 1995.” Of course, “K” is baseball shorthand for a strikeout. But the next time you hear about “Generation K,” it will almost assuredly ...


April 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1462517

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has received a lot of attention for her new plan to complete the work of the Dodd-Frank Act. This plan would sow the financial services ground with salt as Rome did to Carthage, ensuring that nothing will grow in the future. It’s hard to understand why someone ...


April 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1462518

Like spring, bipartisanship is busting out all over. Even more so maybe: Washington in a time of alleged global warming is suffering through a chilly, wet springtime, but bipartisanship is sprouting up like gangbusters.

Exhibit A is the Corker-Cardin legislation, passed unanimously in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, providing for limited ...


April 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1462519

This presidential race is shaping up as a contest of dynasties — potentially setting up an election next fall that includes the exact same names that were on the ballot in 1992, Clinton vs. Bush. I’m not knocking former Secretary Hillary Clinton or former Gov. Jeb Bush, but the choice ...


April 27, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1462512


April 27, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1462511


April 27, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1462510

Second Oldest Daughter of Env-Econ sent me a text informing me that Env-Econ is blocked by her high school's internet-tubes filter. She thinks it is probably because of headlines like this*. That was taken from a quote in the New York Times. Does the high school censor the ...


April 27, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1462509
Richard Baldwin's Vox is an excellent platform for spreading economic research ideas. My eleven pieceson Vox have been downloaded roughly 160,000 times. My mother can't have downloaded all of those copies? Dora Costa and I have just published a new Vox piece. Our Death and the Media ...


April 27, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1462447

Last week, I testified before Florida Senate Appropriations Committee and met with members of the Florida House to discuss the poor economics of film incentives.

After years of the film industry reporting incredible returns on investment—often 5-to-1 or better—for state film tax credits, state revenue offices and legislative bureaus ...


April 27, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1462446
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, second from left, at a welding demonstration at Chicago’s Daley College in March 2014. GETTY IMAGES

The fast-changing technological infrastructure of financial ...


April 27, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1462445
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April 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1462442
(April 27, 2015 01:57 PM, by David Henderson) My review of Alex Epstein's The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels has been accepted by Regulation magazine and will be published in the Summer issue. In my review I quote Epstein quoting a passage from Milton and Rose Friedman's Free... (0 COMMENTS)


April 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1462441
Jeff Jacoby had an interesting article in the Boston Globe on Sunday where he argue that if the demand for something doubled the price must increase—it is basic introductory economics. http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/04/25/supp
ly-and-demand-not-profiteering-why-overdose-drugs-
cost-more/IjJAbWF His argument is so typical of how so many columnist and/or bloggers demonstrate that a little knowledge is a ...


April 27, 2015, 11:33 am, 1462440
The NY Times arguesthat California's economy will crumple because of drought. Its reporters sketch a tail of the rich fighting the poor over an essential resource (water) resulting in class warfare. The NY Times wants to kill two birds with one stone as it attempts to focus attention ...


April 27, 2015, 11:03 am, 1462379
The Polish currency briefly strengthened past the psychological level of four zlotys to the euro last week (JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

WARSAW—Poland’s main interest rate may remain ...


April 27, 2015, 11:03 am, 1462377

Why don't prognosticators accept responsibility for their prediction errors?:

Nobody Said That, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Imagine yourself as a regular commentator on public affairs — maybe a paid pundit, maybe a supposed expert in some area, maybe just an opinionated billionaire. You weigh in on ...


April 27, 2015, 11:03 am, 1462378

I am here today: Milken Institute Global Conference:

Program Glance

Sat, 04/25 05:30 PM - 10:00 PM Global Gourmet Games Reception and Dinner ...


April 27, 2015, 11:03 am, 1462376
Note: I follow several house price indexes (Case-Shiller, CoreLogic, Black Knight, Zillow, FHFA, FNC and more). Note: Black Knight uses the current month closings only (not a three month average like Case-Shiller or a weighted average like CoreLogic), excludes short sales and REOs, and is not seasonally adjusted.

From ...


April 27, 2015, 11:03 am, 1462375
From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Weakens Again

Texas factory activity declined in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, posted a second negative reading in a row, coming in at -4.7.


April 27, 2015, 10:44 am, 1462374
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April 27, 2015, 10:35 am, 1462372

Death to the Minnesota estate tax? Minnesota House Republicans want the state’s estate tax to affect fewer bequests, sooner. Right now, if a decedent’s is worth $1.4 million or more, the estate tax pays at a rate starting at 9 percent and rising to 16 percent. Fewer than 3 ...


April 27, 2015, 10:34 am, 1462371
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April 27, 2015, 10:04 am, 1462369
(April 27, 2015 09:30 AM, by Scott Sumner) I'd like to make readers aware of a site called EconTalk Extra. There is a very good recent post by Amy Willis discussing my EconTalk conversation with Russ Roberts. Unfortunately I didn't respond to comments until this morning, as I... (0 COMMENTS)


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April 27, 2015, 9:33 am, 1462363

The IPCC expects a 5-degree world to be characterized by "major extinctions around the globe" and a "reconfiguration of coastlines worldwide." Just beyond that, at 6 degrees, we're looking a "catastro-f***" that would be almost "infinitely costly," said [Gernot Wagner], the Environmental Defense Fund economist [and sporadic contributor ...


April 27, 2015, 9:33 am, 1462362

When President Nixon and Chairman Mao shook hands in Beijing in 1972, only 17% of the 862 million Chinese lived in urban areas and the entire stock of housing was state owned. Today, more than half of China’s 1.4 billion residents live in cities, while 9 out of ...


April 27, 2015, 9:03 am, 1462300
Reuters

Federal Reserve officials have made clear they won’t raise interest rates at their policy meeting Tuesday and Wednesday. And they’ve stopped using phrases such as “considerable time” and ...


April 27, 2015, 9:03 am, 1462299

MONDAY

Bank of Israel releases a policy statement 0830 GMT (4:30 a.m. EDT) ECB’s Nouy speaks at event in Brussels 1200 GMT (8 a.m. EDT) ECB’s Constancio gives speech at event in Brussels 1230 GMT (8:30 ...


April 27, 2015, 9:03 am, 1462297

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, April 27, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Missing From Secular Stagnation Debate, The Role of Enormous Debt FedSpeak CheatSheet: ...


April 27, 2015, 9:03 am, 1462298
The risk that eurozone countries would be forced to abandon the euro and go back to their old, devalued currencies was a major factor pushing up Spanish, Italian and ...


April 27, 2015, 8:44 am, 1462294
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April 27, 2015, 8:35 am, 1462290

Death to the Minnesota estate tax? Minnesota House Republicans want the state’s estate tax to affect fewer bequests, sooner. Right now, if a decedent’s is worth $1.4 million or more, the estate tax pays at a rate starting at 9 percent and rising to 16 percent. Fewer than 3 ...


April 27, 2015, 8:34 am, 1462289
Teaser:

The ...


April 27, 2015, 8:04 am, 1462287
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 11 of the 1991 Liberty Press edition of Bruno Leoni’s 1961 volume, Freedom and the Law (original emphasis):

Both the Romans and the English shared the idea that the law is something to be discovered more than to be enacted and that nobody is so powerful in his ...


April 27, 2015, 8:04 am, 1462286
by Dale Coberly Social Security Works  by Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson A friendly review from a different perspective. I have great respect for Altman and Kingson for the work they they have done writing this book.  I disagree with their ultimate “fix” for Social Security (it ain’t broke), but ...


April 27, 2015, 7:34 am, 1462283

Here is a very simple model of a pure exchange economy where the mechanics of exchange (who can trade what with whom) determine whether very small departures of prices from market-clearing cause very large welfare losses.

There are three goods, apples, bananas, and carrots, with prices Pa, Pb, and Pc.

There are ...


April 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1462279

Some fine advice from people who've been there.


April 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1462278

. . . is this: "Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket."For insight into American politics I'd put it almost on a par with "Bootleggers and Baptists".

Scott McKay at The American Spectator gives us another example.


April 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1462276

Noted economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin energetically rebuts the claim that "the American government subsidizes Walmart to the tune of 7.8 billion dollars a year, by issuing food stamps to over one in ten of its workers."


April 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1462277

George Will explains why opposition to e-cigarettes is yet another example of this powerful theory.

My modest contribution to the theory is to note that, sometimes, the Baptists and the bootleggers can be the same people. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Clinton Foundation!