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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May 27, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1481540

1. Chart of the Day I. In 2010, Obama set an ambitious goal to double US exports and create two million new export-related jobs. That ended being a completely unrealistic goal – US exports over the last five years have increased by only ...


May 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1481489

At Vox, Sarah Kliff has a piece about the trend of rising health insurance deductibles. She writes: "Your employer's health insurance costs are going down. But yours are going up. The higher deductibles are part of a larger trend happening in the health insurance market right now: employers increasingly ...


May 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1481488

In this second part of the halftime report for Tax Foundation Forum: Making Sense of Profit Shifting, we discuss the key takeaways from the first half of our series on profit shifting (read part I here). In this post, we’ll cover themes four through six:

Missing pieces for ...


May 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1481487
Lennar Corp. homes under construction near Jacksonville, Fla., in March. Kris Hudson/The Wall Street Journal

U.S. construction lending continued to recover on a glacial pace in the ...


May 27, 2015, 6:44 pm, 1481486
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May 27, 2015, 6:35 pm, 1481483

GOP Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee recently got into a spirited debate with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace about Huckabee’s  proposal to replace all federal taxes with a national retail sales tax, called the FairTax by its supporters.  Wallace pointed out that low-income people spend a much larger share of their ...


May 27, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1481482

1. Chart of the Day I. In 2010, Obama set an ambitious goal to double US exports and create two million new export-related jobs. That ended being a completely unrealistic goal – US exports over the last five years have increased by only ...


May 27, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1481478


May 27, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1481416

From a New York Times editorial in 1992:

The present tax code is riddled with wasteful contradictions and complexity. For example, profit from corporate investment is taxed twice -- when earned by the corporation and again when distributed to shareholders. That powerfully discourages savings and investment -- ...


May 27, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1481415

Colorado’s experiment with marijuana legalization is yielding an unexpected high, with state revenues substantially outpacing projections. Under the influence of these and other unanticipated revenues, the state is moving forward with a provision of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) that has languished unused for years: taxpayer refunds.

Colorado’s Taxpayer's ...


May 27, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1481414
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) is among the trade legislation’s biggest critics. CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES

Just when you thought Washington politics couldn’t be any more confusing, a ...


May 27, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1481413
The Case-Shiller house price indexes for March were released this yesterday. Zillow forecasts Case-Shillera month early, and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.

From Zillow: Expect More of the Same from Case-Shiller in April

The March S&P/Case-Shiller (SPCS) data ...


May 27, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1481412

John Nash passed away this week. This column pays tribute to a mathematician whose contributions to economics are enormously influential.


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May 27, 2015, 4:35 pm, 1481406

Redesign the EITC to help more low-income workers. TPC’s Elaine Maag thinks that’s the way to go. She explains in her new paper: “A worker credit based on individual earnings, and not contingent on having children at home, could provide substantial benefits to all low-income workers, ease administration for the IRS, and ...


May 27, 2015, 4:35 pm, 1481405

Congress will be in recess next week. The Daily Deduction will post on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, after Memorial Day, and will return to its regular schedule on Monday, June 1.

Wisconsin’s GOP: Tax bikes to pay for bike paths, use tax dollars to expand private schools. Presidential hopeful Governor Scott ...


May 27, 2015, 4:35 pm, 1481404

Congress is in recess this week. The Daily Deduction will return to its regular schedule on Monday, June 1.

Congress delays a highway bill for two more months. Just before leaving town for its Memorial Day recess, and with no funding solution in the tank, Congress extended spending authority until the ...


May 27, 2015, 4:35 pm, 1481403

It is easy to mock Senator Marco Rubio, who cashed out $68,241 in IRA retirement funds last September. The GOP presidential hopeful, who made about $230,000 last year, told Fox News he needed the dough to prepare for his campaign, buy a new $3,000 refrigerator, and fix his busted a/c. ...


May 27, 2015, 4:35 pm, 1481402

GOP Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee recently got into a spirited debate with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace about Huckabee’s  proposal to replace all federal taxes with a national retail sales tax, called the FairTax by its supporters.  Wallace pointed out that low-income people spend a much larger share of their ...


May 27, 2015, 4:05 pm, 1481400

1. Critical review of the Alice Goffman book.  Like Alex, I thought the felony made the whole thing more interesting, though of course I do not approve.

2. Fertility is rising for educated women.

3. Has there been a supercapacitor breakthrough?

4. The Future ...


May 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1481399

May 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1481398


May 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1481397

Spain woke up on Monday to confirmation that its relatively stable two-party system of the past thirty-five years had been fundamentally transformed. In last year’s European elections, the center-left Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and the center-right People’s Party (PP) saw their joint vote share reduced from close to 80 percent ...


May 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1481395

Kevin, you beat me to it.

Here are the first few paragraphs from the Los Angeles Times article:

Labor leaders, who were among the strongest supporters of the citywide minimum wage increase approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, are advocating last-minute changes to the law that could create an ...


May 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1481396

Last week, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak ordered his navy and coast guard to rescue Asia’s latest boat people, thousands of Rohingyas fleeing Burma. He may have already known about the discovery of 139 graves of migrants on Malaysian territory, a horrific discovery the government announced this week.

Mr. Najib’s action, ...


May 27, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1481391
The curious story of the day is back-to-back reports, minutes apart, by the same news agency, saying different things.

I commented on that just a bit ago in Greece Says Creditor Agreement Deal Close, Senior Eurozone Official Says "I Wish it Were True".

There is ...


May 27, 2015, 3:23 pm, 1481390

Last Friday's inflation report was interesting. The consumer price index (CPI) rose only 1.2 percent in April, as falling energy and flat food prices helped to keep the overall index in check.

Does a 1.2 percent (annualized) rise in the cost of living sound about right to you? No? ...


May 27, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1481329
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May 27, 2015, 2:34 pm, 1481325

As I noted last week, the City of Los Angeles recently became the latest American city to adopt a minimum wage increase that will raise the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour in a few years. ...


May 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1481315

May 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1481314

The cause of free college got another boost last week when Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent Senator from Vermont and Democratic presidential candidate, introduced the “College for All Act,” a bill to make four-year public colleges and universities tuition-free.

Sanders framed the need for free public college by saying that, “in ...


May 27, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1481312
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul joins the Illinois Policy Institute at the 1871 Center for a discussion about how to transform Chicago, the state of Illinois and the U.S. with liberty-based public policy solutions.

Tickets are completely sold out, but you can watch the livestream at 12:45 p.m. ...


May 27, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1481311
The curious story of the day is back-to-back reports, minutes apart, by the same news agency, saying different things.

Greece Says has Begun Drawing Up Agreement with Creditors

Here is Reuters headline number one: Greece Says has Begun Drawing Up Agreement with Creditors

Greece ...


May 27, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1481310

And, at the least, every author should know that what they are submitting to journals is not made up data:

Last week, [LaCour and Green's] finding that gay canvassers were in fact powerfully persuasive with people who had voted against


May 27, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1481248

Americans are feeling better about their household finances but many remain on shaky ground when it comes to saving for emergency expenses and retirement, according to a Federal Reserve survey.

A total of 65% of respondents in the Fed’s 2014 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking said they were “living comfortably” ...


May 27, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1481247
Energy-rich states have experienced significant job cuts in recent months amid plunging oil prices. North Dakota is the only state where the jobless rate increased last month from a ...


May 27, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1481246

A follow up to yesterday's post on what to do about inequality:

Inequality has been on the rise since the 1970s - Tony Atkinson and Sabine Alkire ask what can be done about it? Inequality was a topic covered in The Economic Journal 125th ...


May 27, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1481245

Robert Reich believes, as I do, that monopoly power is one of the reasons that the distribution of income has been skewed toward the top:

Whatever Happened to Antitrust?: Last week’s settlement between the Justice Department and five giant banks reveals the appalling weakness of modern antitrust.

The ...


May 27, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1481244

RightWisconsin writes:

…crony capitalism is currently wreaking havoc on the conservative Republican brand of free markets and limited government.

The most obvious example of crony capitalism came this weekend with the Wisconsin State Journal’s blockbuster story about another loan gone bad from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). The storyline ...


May 27, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1481243
The FDIC released the Quarterly Banking Profile for Q1 today:

Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reported aggregate net income of $39.8 billion in the first quarter of 2015, up $2.6 billion (6.9 percent) from a year earlier. The increase in ...


May 27, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1481242
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May 27, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1481236

What's the track record of multi-billion dollar projects affecting the lives of millions of people? Surprisingly poor according to this week's guest, Oxford University''s Bent Flyvbjerg this week on such megaprojects. Now we'd like to hear about what you took away from this week's episode. Share your thoughts with ...


May 27, 2015, 12:35 pm, 1481235

Several top officials of the international governing board for soccer, which also serves as the organizing committee for the World Cup every four years, have been arrested in Switzerland after indictments were issued by a Federal ...


May 27, 2015, 12:05 pm, 1481232

Some people are calling Steven Lubet’s new review of Alice Goffman’s On the Run “troubling” and even “devastating” but I am non-plussed. Lubet questions the plausibility of some of Goffman’s accounts:

She describes in great detail the arrest at a Philadelphia hospital of one of the 6th Street Boys who ...


May 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1481230

For months Saudi Arabia was cagey about its oil strategy. The kingdom claimed its decision not to cut production and stop the slide in prices was solely about letting the oil market reset itself. That charade is over.

The Saudis now openly boast that their strategy to let oil prices collapse ...


May 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1481231

Opposition to the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) is now at the point where the bank’s reauthorization is genuinely in doubt. Spurred by accusations of corporate welfare, crony capitalism and outright corruption, opponents believe the Ex-Im Bank’s palpable violation of free-market principles fully warrants its early demise.

The Ex-Im Bank’s critics have ...


May 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1481229

Editor’s note: This articles appears in the June 1 edition of The Weekly Standard. The original content can be viewed here.

On May 14, I joined a tiny, highly exclusive group of Republicans, namely those who have decided not to seek our party’s presidential nomination. By contrast, the coach section of ...


May 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1481228

Editor’s note: This post appears in a Brookings Institution discussion series on the Great Gatsby Curve.

It is hard to square the central claim of Great Gatsby Curve proponents—of a link between income inequality and economic mobility—with recent trends in the US, or with variation within the country.

Inequality is up, mobility ...


May 27, 2015, 11:34 am, 1481226

This post is mostly questions, not answers. I am hoping the commenters will write this post for me. Because I don't have a comparative advantage at this sort of thing.

[BTW, JP Koning has an excellent post, much better than this, drawing a parallel between Greece's proposed and Alberta's ...


May 27, 2015, 11:03 am, 1481165

Should Maryland be able to use its tax system to punish interstate commerce? The U.S. Supreme Court answered that question with a “no” last week in an unusual 5 to 4 split (Alito, Roberts, Kennedy, Breyer, and Sotomayor against Scalia, Thomas, Ginsburg, and Kagan).

The Court majority relied on a 200-year-old ...


May 27, 2015, 11:03 am, 1481164
From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in April. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from March, 11 states had increases, and 16 states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ...


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May 27, 2015, 10:35 am, 1481159

All economists know the theory of the second-best. This is the idea that a government action that would be sub-optimal in an ideal world can in fact improve welfare in a less than perfect one; for example, if there is monopoly, price controls which would be ...


May 27, 2015, 10:04 am, 1481155

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May 27, 2015, 10:04 am, 1481153

Sometime between now and the Republican nomination, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will enjoy a rally in the polls — nationally, and maybe in New Hampshire.

Maybe the first debates will provide the Christie boom. Maybe he’ll master the town halls in the Granite State. There’s also a decent chance the ...


May 27, 2015, 9:34 am, 1481149

|Peter Boettke|

A new working paper is out by my colleagues at Mercatus -- "How the Internet, the Sharing Economy, and Reputational Feedback Mechanisms Solve the 'Lemons Problem.'" The lead author Adam Thierer has been doing some great work at Mercatus on entrepreneurship and public policy, and ...


May 27, 2015, 9:33 am, 1481148
It is growing cheaper for "Benevolent Big Brother" to watch you. Cops will have body cameras, Amtrak train engineers will be on "candid camera". Cars are video taped at EZ Pass access points. Would Professors give better lectures if Deans could randomly sample video of our lectures? (I ...


May 27, 2015, 9:03 am, 1481086

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

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: What We’ve Learned from Yellen and Fischer Fischer: Weak Growth Could Delay Rate ...


May 27, 2015, 9:03 am, 1481085
Might cell-phone data give advance insight into the job market? Researchers, using non-U.S. call data (unrelated, as far as we know, to this particular tower) found that after mass ...


May 27, 2015, 8:44 am, 1481084
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May 27, 2015, 8:44 am, 1481082
A recent post by David Bailey and David Bookbinder on the Niskanen Center blog Climate Unplugged addresses a common Conservative criticism of unilateral climate mitigation efforts by the United States or other ...


May 27, 2015, 8:35 am, 1481081
How’s that second-quarter rebound working out for the US? It’s still a shaky affair, but there are signs that the macro trend has strengthened a bit, based on a preliminary review of sentiment indicators for May. At the very least, the latest numbers suggest that that the US isn’t slipping ...


May 27, 2015, 8:04 am, 1481079
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 153-154 of the 1975 HarperPerennial printing of the third (1950) edition of Joseph Schumpeter‘s 1942 volume, 


May 27, 2015, 7:34 am, 1481075
I had the pleasure last week of attending the conference onCentral Bank Governance And Oversight Reformat Hoover, organized by John Taylor.

Avoiding the usual academic question of what should the Fed do, and the endless media question will-she-or-won't she raise rates, this conference focused onhowcentral banks should make ...


May 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1481074

"Lewis Hamilton's Pole Lap Shows Just How Insane Monaco Is". He didn't win, but this brief video from his vantage point is interesting.

"The 10 most beautiful cars money can buy". Except for the F-Type, they don't interest me, but your mileage may vary.


May 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1481073

I agree completely.

The warning labels and messages are everywhere: on ladders, cigarettes, and lawnmowers, on prescription drugs and alcoholic beverages. Most of these warnings are expected. We hardly recognize them any more. We’ve become jaded and mesmerized by them.

Manufacturers go to laughable lengths to ...


May 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1481072
Marco Cipriani and Julia Gouny




In February, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s trading desk announced it will publish a new overnight bank funding rate early ...


May 27, 2015, 7:03 am, 1481009
The gap in pay is increasingly because some companies pay much better than others. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

U.S. earnings inequality has increased greatly in the last three ...


May 27, 2015, 7:03 am, 1481010
How consumers experience inflation varies based on what they are buying. Kevin Hagen/Getty Images

Are prices higher today than a year ago or lower? That depends on ...


May 27, 2015, 7:03 am, 1481008
Zuma Press

Greece’s central bank did not request an increase to the amount of money Greek banks can borrow under an emergency lending program by the European Central Bank, ...


May 27, 2015, 7:03 am, 1481007
From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 1.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 22, 2015. ...

The Refinance Index decreased 4 percent from ...


May 27, 2015, 6:44 am, 1481006
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May 27, 2015, 6:35 am, 1481005
● New Home Sales In US Rise 6% in April After Decline in March | NY Times ● US Home prices rose faster than expected in March | USA Today ● US service sector business activity expands at a slower pace in May | Markit ● The Conference Board US ...


May 27, 2015, 5:33 am, 1481003

Rosie O'Donnell had a clue: "Golf is not a sport. Golf is men in ugly pants, walking."

And there's Winston Churchill: "Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose."


May 27, 2015, 5:33 am, 1481002

May 27, 2015, 5:33 am, 1481001
Replaced by a Robot

I sometimes get asked what I am going to do when I am replaced by a robot. On other occasions, I get emails from people hoping I get replaced by a robot.

Those in the second group typically accuse me of not knowing what ...


May 27, 2015, 5:03 am, 1480963
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Debate heated up among the Bank of Japan’s policy board members in late April over the BOJ’s 2.0% inflation target and commitment to defeat deflation, highlighting ...


May 27, 2015, 5:03 am, 1480962

How realistic is annual growth of 2% in Japan? That’s the level of expansion targeted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration as it seeks to bring the good times back to Japan ...


May 27, 2015, 5:03 am, 1480961

Via The Telegraph: a world map showing the national debt burden by country around the globe:

Some excerpts from the related article, which quotes Andrew Wilson, the head of Goldman ...


May 27, 2015, 5:03 am, 1480959

John Cochrane points to this from the Richmond Fed (he has a few additional comments):

Bailout Barometer: How Large is the Financial Safety Net?: ...The Bailout Barometer is our estimate of the share of financial system liabilities for which the federal government provides protection from losses. In ...


May 27, 2015, 5:03 am, 1480960

May 27, 2015, 5:03 am, 1480958

The start of a longer post from Cecchetti & Schoenholtz

Do central banks need capital?: If you ask monetary economists whether we should care if a central bank’s capital level falls below zero (even for an extended period of time), most will say no. Pose the same question to ...


May 27, 2015, 4:44 am, 1480957

In the policy circles, there are confronting positions regarding Greece’s assistance programme and the structural reforms it should implement. This column argues that the best response is pragmatism and sequential compromise. Efficiency requires an assistance programme providing the country with debt relief with an intervention of an institution such as ...


May 27, 2015, 4:44 am, 1480956

China has experienced a decade-long housing market boom, with the market being compared to the housing bubbles of Japan in the 1980s and the US in the 2000s. This column uses data on mortgage loans in 120 cities to investigate whether the Chinese housing market might trigger a financial crisis. ...


May 27, 2015, 4:05 am, 1480955

It is far from clear whether Europe can act as an engine of world recovery.

You will find more pessimism here, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.


May 27, 2015, 2:05 am, 1480911

I have been hearing this question more and more lately, even in China.  Overall I think it has gone from an underrated effect to an overrated effect.  Tim Worstall offers an introduction to this debate.

Let’s not forget that you do in fact pay for Facebook access, indirectly, when ...


May 27, 2015, 2:04 am, 1480910
(May 27, 2015 12:03 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Here's a great yarn of betting and political irrationality courtesy of EconLog reader Mathieu Giroux, used with his permission. My Uncle, like the vast majority of people living in North America, is not a fan of the idea of open... (0 COMMENTS)


May 27, 2015, 2:04 am, 1480909

As an invited member of Investor Business Daily’s “Brain Trust” – a select group of opinion writers including Steve Moore and Art Laffer – I have a front page article in Wednesday’s titled “Saudis’ Drive To Kill U.S. Shale Has Backfired.” Here’s an ...


May 27, 2015, 1:33 am, 1480908

As an invited member of Investor Business Daily’s “Brain Trust” – a select group of opinion writers including Steve Moore and Art Laffer – I have a front page article in Wednesday’s titled “Saudis’ Drive To Kill U.S. Shale Has Backfired.” Here’s an ...


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May 26, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1480876


This post is about the Alberta Prosperity Certificate, one of the world's stranger monetary experiments. Issued in late 1936 and early 1937 by the newly-elected Alberta government, these ...


May 26, 2015, 11:03 pm, 1480861
Jeffrey Lacker Reuters

BATON ROUGE, La.—Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker said Tuesday he still hasn’t decided whether to vote for an interest-rate increase at the ...


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May 26, 2015, 10:34 pm, 1480858
Teaser:

The ...


May 26, 2015, 10:05 pm, 1480856

Roughly 50% of Chinese savings – amounting to as much as half of GDP – lie in real estate alone, with 20% in deposits, 11% in stocks, and 12% in bonds. To compare, in the United States, real estate, insurance, and pensions each account for about 20% of ...


May 26, 2015, 10:04 pm, 1480855

After putting the intelligence budget through three years of sequestration-level funding—and the likely return to sequestration levels this year, the United States is in serious jeopardy of repeating the fatal mistakes of the early 1990s when it drastically slashed its intelligence budget and exposed the nation to serious risks. In ...


May 26, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1480830

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released on Tuesday was the latest report to show a relentless rise in housing prices, causing some economists to ask: Is another bubble forming?

According to Tuesday’s data housing prices have been climbing for 35 consecutive months, but economists pointed to several reasons why that ...


May 26, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1480831

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen plans to skip the central bank’s high-profile conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., this year.

Ms. Yellen “does not plan to attend the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium in August,” a Fed spokesperson said Tuesday. “However, she looks forward to ...


May 26, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1480829

The Federal Reserve and other financial regulators have yet to adequately deal with the problem of banks that are viewed as too big to fail—and many of their interventions only heighten the perception, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said Tuesday.

“Perceived guarantees thus encourage fragility, which induces interventions, which encourages further ...


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May 26, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1480821

Tuesday a revolutionary court in Tehran began trying Washington Post Iran correspondent Jason Rezaian on charges of espionage. Rezaian, who has already been held for more than ten months, is but one of four American hostages which the Islamic Republic holds.

Former FBI agent Robert Levinson just passed his 3,000th day ...


May 26, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1480820

This Monday we celebrated Memorial Day, a day of commemorating those who gave their life in the service of their country. Even as we honor their memory, let’s not forget about the veterans who made it home but experience a traumatic mental state called Post traumatic ...


May 26, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1480819
To highlight the enormous and growing income inequality issue, please consider California Dreaming: Record $500 Million Tag on L.A. Home.

Nile Niami, a film producer and speculative residential developer, is pouring concrete in L.A.’s Bel Air neighborhood for a compound with a 74,000-square-foot (6,900-square-meter) main residence and ...


May 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1480765

Tax Foundation Forum: Making Sense of Profit Shifting has reached its midpoint. In this halftime report, we provide a synopsis of the first nine of the 18 interviews in the series. This two-part review summarizes the key takeaways to this point and focuses on the interview series’s six underlying ...


May 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1480764

HERZLIYA, Israel–Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Monday the central bank expects to follow a “gradual and relatively slow” trajectory of short-term interest-rate increases over the next three to four years to bring borrowing costs back to “normal” levels.

Mr. Fischer said observers focus too much on when


May 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1480763
MICHAEL GOTTSCHALK/PHOTOTHEK/GETTY IMAGES

Financial chiefs from the Group of Seven nations will discuss policies to achieve sustainable economic growth and fight potential risks from the present loose monetary policy, ...


May 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1480761

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Tuesday, May 26, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Fed Confronts an Economy Plagued by Mismeasurement Yellen: Fed on Track to ...


May 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1480762

A top Bank of England official said Tuesday the central bank may soon need to ask banks to maintain thicker cushions of capital.

Martin Taylor, a former banker who sits on the BOE’s Financial Policy Committee, which safeguards financial stability, said the U.K. may be nearing that point in the economic ...


May 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1480760

TALLINN, Estonia—Large-scale bond purchases by the European Central Bank may spur governments to build up debt without taking needed steps to overhaul their economies, a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council said Tuesday.

“It is no secret that I did not support the plan to buy government bonds. ...


May 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1480759
Stanley Fischer, vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bloomberg News

The Federal Reserve could take a slower approach to raising interest rates if weaker-than-expected growth overseas ...


May 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1480758

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen plans to skip the central bank’s high-profile conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., this year.

Ms. Yellen “does not plan to attend the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium in August,” a Fed spokesperson said Tuesday. “However, she looks forward to ...


May 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1480757

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released on Tuesday was the latest report to show a relentless rise in housing prices, causing some economists to ask: Is another bubble forming?

According to Tuesday’s data housing prices have been climbing for 35 consecutive months, but economists pointed to several reasons why that ...


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May 26, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1480747
Two more regional manufacturing reports came out today, from Dallas and Richmond.

The Dallas region was the weakest in six years thanks to oil. For details, please see Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index Collapses: Lowest Production Reading in 6 Years, Orders Contract 7th Month, New Orders 5th Month.


May 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1480686
Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis speaks at a conference in Athens. His government faces some tough decisions over the next month.  Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

As Greece ...


May 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1480682

A top Bank of England official said Tuesday the central bank may soon need to ask banks to maintain thicker cushions of capital.

Martin Taylor, a former banker who sits on the BOE’s Financial Policy Committee, which safeguards financial stability, said the U.K. may be nearing that point in the economic ...


May 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1480684

HERZLIYA, Israel–Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Monday the central bank expects to follow a “gradual and relatively slow” trajectory of short-term interest-rate increases over the next three to four years to bring borrowing costs back to “normal” levels.

Mr. Fischer said observers focus too much on when


May 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1480685
Loretta Mester, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland BLOOMBERG NEWS

In a speech that didn’t comment on monetary policy outlook, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland ...


May 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1480683
MICHAEL GOTTSCHALK/PHOTOTHEK/GETTY IMAGES

Financial chiefs from the Group of Seven nations will discuss policies to achieve sustainable economic growth and fight potential risks from the present loose monetary policy, ...


May 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1480681

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Tuesday, May 26, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Fed Confronts an Economy Plagued by Mismeasurement Yellen: Fed on Track to ...


May 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1480679
Stanley Fischer, vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bloomberg News

The Federal Reserve could take a slower approach to raising interest rates if weaker-than-expected growth overseas ...


May 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1480680

TALLINN, Estonia—Large-scale bond purchases by the European Central Bank may spur governments to build up debt without taking needed steps to overhaul their economies, a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council said Tuesday.

“It is no secret that I did not support the plan to buy government bonds. ...


May 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1480678
Earlier today the last two regional Fed surveys for May were released. As expected, the Dallas Fed was especially weak due primarily to weakness in the oil sector.

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Contracts Further

Texas factory activity declined again in May, according to business ...


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May 26, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1480672
Teaser:

Millennials ...


May 26, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1480666
(Don Boudreaux)

One of my closest friends is Lyle Albaugh.  He’s an extraordinarily smart, entrepreneurial, energetic, creative, and successful businessman in the D.C. area. ...


May 26, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1480665

Last weekend’s dismal local election results in Spain should be a wake-up call for Europe. Since not only do those elections suggest that Spain now has joined the ranks of other major European countries like France and Italy, where political fragmentation has taken root. Those results also have clouded significantly ...


May 26, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1480664

When economists talk about America suffering a “great stagnation,” that is the conclusion they draw from the data represented in these two charts, via a new Goldman Sachs research note:

The two charts basically ...


May 26, 2015, 3:34 pm, 1480659

1. Find better stories.

The Canadian media does a pretty good job of covering Statistics Canada and OECD news releases, and think tank reports. Where they lag behind the US is in coverage of academic research.

Take, for example, a paper published in Canadian Public Policy last year by Luc ...


May 26, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1480598

Chris Blattman:

The geek heretic: My first job abroad was helping to roll out rural Internet in India, by radio. It was 2001, the peak of the dot com boom, but before the ubiquity of mobile phones. Connecting remote villages in India to the Internet via radio waves was the ...


May 26, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1480597

From today's links, Lane Kenworthy asks Tim Smeeding about reducing inequality:

How to reduce incomeinequality: Tim Smeeding knows more than virtually anyone else about inequality and poverty in the United States and other rich nations. I asked him what he recommends to reduce income inequality. His ...


May 26, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1480596
The expected slowdown in year-over-year price increases has occurred. In October 2013, the National index was up 10.9% year-over-year (YoY). In March 2015, the index was up 4.1% YoY. However the YoY change has only declined slightly over the last six months.

As I've noted before, I ...


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(May 26, 2015 12:01 PM, by Alberto Mingardi) Spain voted on Sunday in a number of administrative jurisdictions. These were local elections, so one should not underestimate the local peculiarities that may have influenced the outcome. However, the big news is that the Popular (Christian-Democrats) and the Socialist... (0 COMMENTS)


May 26, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1480585
(Don Boudreaux)

Quoting page 228 of Stanley Lebergott’s indispensable 1984 volume, The Americans: An Economic Record:

[A]nnual deaths in the entire United States from ...


May 26, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1480584
Fellow Jonah Goldberg discusses the Supreme Court's hearing on Obamacare on Fox News' 'America's Newsroom'


May 26, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1480583
Senior Fellow John Bolton discusses the ongoing situation in Ramadi on Fox News' 'America's Newsroom'


May 26, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1480580
New Home Sales Rebound

Last month, new home sales fell a very steep 11.4 percent to a 481,000 annual rate. Given the volatile nature of this series one might have expected a bounce in May and sure enough we got one, albeit not enough to wipe out April's dismal ...


May 26, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1480579
Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index Plunges Below Any Economist's Estimate

Fed manufacturing surveys remain weak at best. Today the Dallas Fed Business Activity Index fell to negative 20.8, well below the bottom end of any Bloomberg Estimate.




Contraction in ...


May 26, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1480578

From the inbox:

Dear John,

On behalf of PLOS and the PLOS ONE editorial team, I would like to thank you for participating in the peer review process this past year at PLOS ONE. We very much appreciate your valuable input in 2014. We know there are many claims ...


May 26, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1480577

The pending 67% minimum wage hike in LA (from $9 to $15 per hour by 2020), which is the same as a $6 per hour tax (or $12,480 annual tax per full-time employee), already has business owners planning to leave, see this letter in today’s New York Times:

Effects of ...