Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


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

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

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

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.

Remember M1?

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

Click on the chart for a larger version.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

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

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- Recent Entries

October 1, 2014, 1:03 am, 1344092
Five takeaways from a surprisingly positive Bank of Japan tankan survey of business sentiment that will likely lessen pressure on the central bank to take further action.

October 1, 2014, 12:44 am, 1344091

October 1, 2014, 12:44 am, 1344090

This week's episode was a conversation with University of Chicago philosopher Martha Nussbaum. She and EconTalk host Russ Roberts discussed her work on the capabilities approach, the limits of GDP, stoicism, and the value of philosophy.

We'd like to hear your reaction to their conversation. As always, our goal is ...

October 1, 2014, 12:34 am, 1344089

2014’s new US Farm Bill eliminates many direct subsidies to farmers, while replacing them with subsidized insurance programs. This will lead to higher costs for taxpayers and distorted markets in the future.

October 1, 2014, 12:05 am, 1344087

Emily Wax-Thibodeaux reports:

The new supervisor thought his idea was innocent enough. He wanted the baristas to write the names of customers on their cups to speed up lines and ease confusion, just like other Starbucks do around the world.

But these aren’t just any customers. They are regulars at ...

October 1, 2014, 12:04 am, 1344086
(October 1, 2014 12:05 AM, by Bryan Caplan) I've long believed that human beings are overly touchy. Many actively look for excuses to take offense. This excess negativity isn't just unpleasant. Due to the scarcity of attention and patience, unreasonable offense frequently crowds out reasonable offense. It's no... (1 ...

October 1, 2014, 12:04 am, 1344085
(Don Boudreaux)

“G. Pyle” – who describes himself or herself as “a darn reg’lar” Cafe patron – points out to me by e-mail that the Quotation of the Day from exactly three years ago, one from the great Harold Demsetz, is relevant to today’s earlier letter to Paul Krugman.

October 1, 2014, 12:04 am, 1344084
(Don Boudreaux)

Intrigued by G. Pyle pointing me to a Cafe Hayek post of exactly three years ago, I went – just out of curiosity – to see what was posted at the Cafe exactly ten years ago today.  Here’s the last of three Cafe posts from September ...

September 30, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1344083
On September 4, ECB President pulled out a financial bazooka including a pledge to build up the ECB's balance sheet by another €1 trillion.

Draghi confirmed the asset purchases would "include the real estate, the RMBS, real estate ABS. It would also include a fairly wide range of ABS ...

September 30, 2014, 9:33 pm, 1344059

Legal challenges to various aspects of Obamacare (aka the Affordable Care Act) keep traveling on a rollercoaster. Today’s episode of the law’s continuing courtroom soap operate involves a ruling by a federal district court in Oklahoma, which overturned a 2012 IRS rule authorizing premium assistance tax credits in federal exchanges ...

September 30, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1344051
Wednesday will be busy! First, from the National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Performance Index Registers August Gain

Driven by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels and a more optimistic outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) posted a solid gain in August. ...

September 30, 2014, 8:44 pm, 1344049

Clinical practice guidelines recommend treating all patients with similar attributes the same way. This column argues that, under conditions of uncertainty or ambiguity, this may be bad advice. Treating similar patients differently provides two benefits. The first is diversification – assigning similar patients to different treatments limits the consequences of ...

September 30, 2014, 8:44 pm, 1344050

Negative real interest rates imply redistribution from savers to debtors. This column, by the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, argues that such redistribution would benefit the whole economy. It would strengthen aggregate demand – including investment demand – at time when such a boost is clearly needed.

September 30, 2014, 8:44 pm, 1344048

High debt and deflation have afflicted Japan, the Eurozone, and the US. However, the implemented so far monetary and fiscal policies have been disappointing. This column discusses the importance of helicopter money in the form of overt monetary financing in addressing these problems. The overt money financing is the policy ...

September 30, 2014, 8:34 pm, 1344047

Let’s ...

September 30, 2014, 8:05 pm, 1344046

Thomson Reuters has been predicting Nobel Prizes for the last dozen years, with modest success, and this year names Israel Kirzner as a potential economics winner, in a hypothetical joint prize with William Baumol for research in entrepreneurship. (This is one ...

September 30, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1344045

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new state crude oil production data yesterday for the month of July, and one of the highlights of that monthly report is that oil output in America’s No. 1 oil-producing state – Texas ...

September 30, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1344027

The cross-currents of the global economy leave the world’s central banks confronting varied policy choices in the months ahead. The U.S. and U.K. recoveries finally have enough momentum for the Federal Reserve and Bank of England to anticipate raising raise short-term interest rates from record lows next year. The European ...

September 30, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1344026

September 30, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1344023
Mark Thoma wrote today that the Fed should not raise rates too soon, because… “If the Fed raises rates too soon, it is working class households who will be hurt the most by the slower recovery of employment.” His thinking is not deep enough. He just sees that a rise ...

September 30, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1344020
In 2010, vice-president Joe Biden publicly vowed the US would be “totally out” of Afghanistan “come hell or high water, by 2014.”

In a few short months, 2014 will be gone. Are US troops out of Afghanistan? Nope. Iraq? Nope. Instead, we have troops in Syria.

Political Promises

September 30, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1344018

1. From Margaret Wente’s article “The New Campus Sex Puritans” in the Globe and Mail:

Sixty years ago, sexual behavior among the young caused deep alarm among the puritanical religious right. Today, it causes deep alarm among the puritanical progressive left. Like their forebears, they are doing their best ...

September 30, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1344019

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new state crude oil production data yesterday for the month of July, and one of the highlights of that monthly report is that oil output in America’s No. 1 oil-producing state – Texas ...

September 30, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1343961

We've been asked which states adjust their gasoline tax for inflation. Most states (and the federal government) define their gas tax in so many cents per gallon, which can make a difference as time passes and inflation erodes the purchasing power of that tax rate. For example, the federal ...

September 30, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1343960

China’s devalued exchange rate has made it a pariah of U.S.-based manufacturing and a beloved target of countless U.S. political diatribes and bills seeking to censure Beijing for its currency policy.

But it is key U.S. ally Germany that’s sapping growth from the global economy, according to the latest ...

September 30, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1343958

The time might be approaching for the U.S. Treasury to rethink its strategy of issuing more long-term debt relative to short-term debt, a former senior U.S. Treasury official said Tuesday.

The Treasury has been lengthening the average maturity of the debt it issues for several years. At 68.4 months as of ...

September 30, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1343959

Infrastructure investment is the antidote to serial disappointments in global growth.

That’s what the International Monetary Fund is touting ahead of a gathering of top finance officials from around the world.

Especially for advanced economies, infrastructure investment “is one of the few remaining policy levers available to support growth, given ...

September 30, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1343957

Earlier this year, the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers signed a two-year deal ...

September 30, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1343956

Martin Wolf, in "Why inequality is such a drag on economies": 2012, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the US ranked highest among the high-income countries in the share of relatively low-paying jobs. ...

September 30, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1343955
Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined slightly in August to 1.99% from 2.00% in July. The serious delinquency rate is down from 2.61% in August 2013, and this is the lowest level since October 2008.

The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked ...

September 30, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1343954

September 30, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1343953

A poll released today by the conservative Hudson Institute and the liberal group Public Citizen finds that nearly 9 in 10 voters surveyed favor clear rules that define political activities by non-profit tax-exempt organizations. The public’s desire for clarity is not surprising, given the amount of undisclosed campaign money ...

September 30, 2014, 4:34 pm, 1343952

More than a year after first putting the proposal before its commissioners for consideration, the Federal Communications Commission has eliminated a long standing rule that barred local stations from broadcasting games on local ...

September 30, 2014, 4:34 pm, 1343951

September 30, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1343948

Pierre Mouganie has a new paper:

In 1997, the French government put into effect a law that permanently exempted young French male citizens born after Jan 1, 1979 from mandatory military service while still requiring those born before that cutoff date to serve. This paper uses a ...

September 30, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1343947
Okay, well, as all you AB regular readers know, yesterday I posted a post deconstructing—and, yes, that’s what I did—a blog post on the Forbes website by William F. Cannon.  He blogs there on “health, freedom, and other uncertainties,” but his day job is Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato ...

September 30, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1343943
Reader Mike wonders how interest can ever be repaid in a credit-based economy.

Hi Mish,

I wonder if you would be able to comment on this from Bill Gross in For Wonks Only:

"A credit-based financial economy (as opposed to pure cash) depends on ...

September 30, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1343942

A recent New York Times piece frets that communities lucky enough to get Google Fiber superfast internet don’t yet know what to do with all that blazing bandwidth. (Well, other than exploring the ability to download 600 cute cat photos a second.) But give them time. As ...

September 30, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1343941

Over at Pacific Standard, Noah Berlatsky writes about the strange copyright case of Alice Randall’s 2001 The Wind Done Gone, a parody of Gone with the Wind. Berlatsky notes that “a district court at first forbade publication of The Wind Done Gone, arguing the work was a ...

September 30, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1343940

September 30, 2014, 3:23 pm, 1343939
You may have seen my post giving you an example of introducing the concept ofdiseconomies of scale on Sunday where you ask a large team of students to draw an image of Steve Jobs. This next one is nothing like that!Instead, here's another example of a future-proofed activity that uses ...

September 30, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1343875

Last week, Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet signed legislation that would reform much of Chile’s tax system in order to raise tax revenue for the country.

This law would raise the top corporate income tax rate from 20 percent to 27 percent by 2017.

The law also creates a separate corporate ...

September 30, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1343874

In June 2014, the Internal Revenue Service released a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” at the recommendation of the Taxpayer Advocate Service. The publication attempts to clearly outline the fundamental rights a taxpayer has when filing their returns and dealing with the IRS in general.

In an attempt to further ...

September 30, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1343873

A top Bank of England policy maker said Tuesday he doesn’t think that providing more explicit guidance on the future path of interest rates in the U.K. would be a very good idea.

David Miles, one of nine rate-setters on the BOE’s Monetary Policy Committee, said in a speech at the ...

September 30, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1343872
A few key points:
1) There is a clear seasonal pattern for house prices.
2) The surge in distressed sales during the housing bust distorted the seasonal pattern.
3) Even though distressed sales are down significantly, the seasonal factor is based on several years of data - and the factor ...

September 30, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1343871
I started 2014 expecting a slowdown in year-over-year (YoY) prices as "For Sale" inventory increases, and the price slowdown is very obvious! The Case-Shiller Composite 20 index was up 6.7% YoY in July; the smallest YoY increase since November 2012 (the National index was up 5.6%, also the slowest YoY ...

September 30, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1343870

September 30, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1343869

September 30, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1343868

September 30, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1343867

September 30, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1343864

Mises Daily Tuesday by Ron Paul:

Devolving government into smaller units promotes economic growth. The smaller the size of government, the less power it has to hobble free enterprise with taxes and regulations.

Just because people do not wish to live under ...

September 30, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1343865

Mises Daily Tuesday by Mark Tovey:

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 ...

September 30, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1343863
(Don Boudreaux)

Heres’ a letter to Paul Krugman:

Mr. Krugman:

On your blog recently you wrote that conspicuous spending by the rich “imposes negative externalities on the rest of the population” (“Having It and Flaunting It,” Sept. 24).  You are here, I assume, endorsing the argument made by Cornell economist

September 30, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1343796

Chile has for many years had one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the developed world, and also one of the fastest rates of economic growth. Between 2000 and 2010, Chile’s corporate tax rate was 15 to 17 percent, lower than that found in any developed country except ...

September 30, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1343795

The S&P Case-Shiller national home price index is up just 5.6% in the year ended in July, continuing a slowing trend since late 2013.

Las Vegas was one of just ...

September 30, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1343794

Household incomes in the Plains states are booming.

Nebraska and North Dakota posted the strongest income growth in the second quarter among all 50 states. Overall incomes—reflecting what Americans earn in salary, rental income and government assistance—grew a seasonally adjusted 2.7% in those states in the spring, Commerce Department data show.

Incomes ...

September 30, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1343793

The two neighboring states of Wisconsin and Minnesota share a similar economic structure and size; and yet their fortunes have diverged over the past three years. One correlate of Wisconsin’s growth deficit is state and local government spending.

First, let’s document Wisconsin’s lagging performance along three dimensions — gross state ...

September 30, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1343791

September 30, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1343792

September 30, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1343790

September 30, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1343789

September 30, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1343788

TODAY Russia submitted its budget to the Duma, the lower house of the parliament. After three rounds of discussions, Vladimir Putin, the president, will sign it into law. The budget shows how much trouble the Russian economy is in—and how unwilling the government is to face up to reality.

It’s an ...

September 30, 2014, 12:36 pm, 1343787
The ISM Manufacturing Index is expected to decline slightly to 58.1 in tomorrow’s update for September vs. the previous month, based on The Capital Spectator’s median econometric point forecast. The estimate is still well above the neutral 50.0 mark and … Continue reading →

September 30, 2014, 12:36 pm, 1343786

By James Kwak

I wrote a column that went up this morning at The Atlantic about the ProPublica/This American Life story about the New York Fed. The gist of the argument is that we all knew the New York Fed was captured; for people like Tim Geithner, that’s a feature, ...

September 30, 2014, 12:34 pm, 1343785

The smaller the size of government, the less power it has to hobble free enterprise with taxes and regulations.

September 30, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1343781

Whenever you see someone use the word “neoliberalism” you are probably dealing with someone who spends most of his or her time in a left-wing echochamber where people believe they are being oppressed by “free markets” and that things will be set ...

September 30, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1343780

September 30, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1343779
(September 30, 2014 11:13 AM, by Scott Sumner) There is a sort of zero sum aspect to exchange rates. Any change in exchange rates means one currency is weaker and one is stronger, relative to the other. But exchange rates tell us nothing about whether currencies are weaker... (0 COMMENTS)

September 30, 2014, 11:33 am, 1343776

A year ago saw the final post on The Oil Drum, a popular blog — started in 2005 — devoted to discussing the idea that global oil production had peaked. Next up was an age of energy scarcity and economic collapse. Actually what peaked was interest in “peak ...

September 30, 2014, 11:33 am, 1343777

In a  recent TechRepublic piece, reporter Erin Carson points out various myths about driverless cars. One of them involves passenger passivity. Although the eventual goal is that your car can motor to the office while you kick back and work on the Penske file or watch ...

September 30, 2014, 11:33 am, 1343775

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Syl Schieber and I return to the question of whether Americans face a “retirement crisis,” as many articles and organizations have claimed.

The first chart is from the OECD and compares the income of retirees in a given country to the average income in ...

September 30, 2014, 11:33 am, 1343774

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new data this week on international energy production for the month of June, and here are some highlights of that update:

1. For the 20th month in a row starting in November 2012, “Saudi ...

September 30, 2014, 11:33 am, 1343773

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new data this week on international energy production for the month of June, and here are some highlights of that update:

1. For the 20th month in a row starting in November 2012, “Saudi ...

September 30, 2014, 11:03 am, 1343710
Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers delivers remarks during the 2014 annual conference of the Export-Import Bank in April in Washington. Getty Images

The U.S. government over time ...

September 30, 2014, 11:03 am, 1343709

The European Central Bank must be wondering when it will catch a break.

On Monday, surveys published by the European Commission showed it was at risk of losing its battle to persuade consumer and households that the inflation rate will soon start to pick up, and edge towards its target over ...

September 30, 2014, 11:03 am, 1343708

The Federal Reserve should continue to act fully independently from the U.S. Treasury even in times of crisis, Fed Gov. Jerome Powell said Tuesday in response to calls for closer cooperation between the two bodies in a Brookings Institution paper.

The research, of which former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers is a ...

September 30, 2014, 11:03 am, 1343707

At MoneyWatch:

The silver lining in falling college enrollment, by Mark Thoma: College enrollment "declined by close to half a million (463,000) between 2012 and 2013, marking the second year in a row that a drop of this magnitude has occurred," according to a report from the ...

September 30, 2014, 11:03 am, 1343706

I have a new column:

Why Have Policymakers Abandoned the Working Class?, by Mark Thoma: The risks associated with a negative economic shock can vary widely depending on the wealth of a household. Wealthy households can, of course, absorb a shock much easier than poorer households. Thus, it’s important to ...

September 30, 2014, 11:03 am, 1343705
S&P/Case-Shiller released the monthly Home Price Indices for July ("July" is a 3 month average of May, June and July prices).

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

Note: Case-Shiller reports ...

September 30, 2014, 10:44 am, 1343704

September 30, 2014, 10:44 am, 1343703

September 30, 2014, 10:44 am, 1343702

THERE has been a widespread media narrative recently which says that the British labour market recovery has relied on low-paying jobs. We highlighted this trend, and its implications for tax revenues, in the print edition two weeks ago. However, the Independent's John Rentoul claims we have all got ...

September 30, 2014, 10:44 am, 1343701

The CFPB entered into a Consent Order with Flagstar Bank regarding its default mortgage servicing practices. This order is really important. It's the first enforcement action of the CFPB's new servicing rules, and its "benching" remedy that prevents Flagstar from most default servicing until it demonstrates ...

September 30, 2014, 10:36 am, 1343700
Private nonfarm payrolls in the US are projected to rise 204,000 (seasonally adjusted) in tomorrow’s September update of the ADP Employment Report, based on The Capital Spectator’s median econometric point forecast. The expected monthly gain matches August’s increase. Compared with … Continue reading →

September 30, 2014, 10:36 am, 1343699

For a long time, I've argued that government borrowing is due is large part to the corporate sector's financial surplus - its excess of retained profits over capital spending. However, today's GDP figures show that something else is also happening.

These show that ...

September 30, 2014, 10:34 am, 1343698

The ...

September 30, 2014, 10:05 am, 1343691

Bras, girdles and leggings infused with caffeine and sold as weight loss aids were more decaf than espresso, and the companies that sold them have agreed to refund money to customers and pull their ads, U.S. regulators said on Monday.

The Federal Trade Commission said Wacoal America and Norm Thompson Outfitters, ...

September 30, 2014, 10:04 am, 1343690

September 30, 2014, 9:33 am, 1343688

Scientists announced Monday that human-caused climate change contributed to and/or amplified nine of 2013's most extreme weather events, making one of the most definitive statements yet on the direct link between individual weather extremes and human-induced climate change.

In a new report released in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society ...

September 30, 2014, 9:03 am, 1343625

Bank of Japan officials are losing their hopes for a quick rebound of the economy, their confidence further shaken by a slew of poor indicators released on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the central bank’s thinking.

While the BOJ’s policy board isn’t expected to decide on any additional measures ...

September 30, 2014, 9:03 am, 1343626

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Tuesday, September 30, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter.


Hilsenrath’s Take: Report Points to Downsides of Fed’s Consensus Culture Fed Rate Policies Aid Foreign ...

September 30, 2014, 9:03 am, 1343624

U.S. workers who have been out of a job for six months or longer can and will reenter the labor market as the unemployment rate falls further, according to a new paper countering arguments that the long-term jobless are increasingly unemployable due to an erosion of skills.

That doesn’t mean that

September 30, 2014, 8:45 am, 1343623

September 30, 2014, 8:36 am, 1343622
The Treasury market’s inflation forecast via 10-year Notes continues to fall and the US stock market has turned wobbly too. That’s a troubling combination… if it continues. The antidote to this mini re-run of heightened disinflation risk is economic growth. … Continue reading →

September 30, 2014, 8:04 am, 1343621
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 146 of Ludwig von Mises‘s 1951 essay “Profit and Loss,” as reprinted in the 2008 Liberty Fund edition of Mises’s 1952 collection, Planning for Freedom:

What has been called the democracy of the market manifests itself in the fact that profit-seeking business is unconditionally ...

September 30, 2014, 7:33 am, 1343615

New York Times columnist stumbles onto truth. But instead of lamenting how big business has gotten, why not greatly decrease what they can lobby for by limiting government?

September 30, 2014, 7:33 am, 1343614

And as the government pays for more and more of our health care, you ain't seen nothing yet.

September 30, 2014, 7:33 am, 1343611

Victor Davis Hanson: "About the best choice is to support without qualification the only two pro-American and constitutional groups in the Middle East, the Israelis and Kurds."

Works for me.

September 30, 2014, 7:33 am, 1343613

"So corporate insiders are using company cash and borrowed money to buy back company shares while selling the same shares from their personal accounts. Venture capital firms are IPOing their portfolios as fast as they can get them out the door. Private equity firms are selling. And AAII members are ...

September 30, 2014, 7:33 am, 1343612

I don't agree with everything--on #5, I think kids need a lot more "workforce-prep mentality" from the schools and on #8, lots of things make little kids cry, including the current curriculum--but for both supporters and opponents of Common Core there's food for thought here.

And see also former ...

September 30, 2014, 7:33 am, 1343610
Fatih Karahan, Samuel Kapon, and Kaivan K. Sattar

Job openings are arguably one of the most important indicators of recovery in the labor market, as they reflect employers’ willingness to hire. The number of job openings has recovered steadily since the recession, yet through the end of ...

September 30, 2014, 7:24 am, 1343609

Photo Credit: Ron

There’s a significant problem when you are a supremely big and connected financial institution: your failure will have an impact on the financial system as a whole.  Further, there is no one big enough to rescue ...

September 30, 2014, 7:03 am, 1343558

Brazilians face many options in the Oct. 5 vote, but for economists and investors the options are clear: It is reform or die.

Some economists say that even if incumbent ...

September 30, 2014, 6:04 am, 1343557
(September 30, 2014 05:45 AM, by Art Carden) Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has joined The Oatmeal, XKCD, and Botched Spot as one of my favorite comics. This particular installment was especially brilliant. It proposes a browser plug-in that makes the opportunity cost of military hardware explicit. The night... (0 COMMENTS)

September 30, 2014, 5:03 am, 1343469
Japan’s industrial output unexpectedly fell 1.5% in August. Bloomberg News

A raft of economic data released Tuesday continues to paint a picture of sluggish growth for ...

September 30, 2014, 5:03 am, 1343468

September 30, 2014, 4:44 am, 1343467

THE argument that American officials lacked the capability or authority to save Lehman Brothers—and, potentially, to spare the world the most wrenching financial crisis since the 1930s—never really withstood close scrutiny. In 2012, I wrote:

There was no reason that Lehman had to fail. It had tons of assets on ...

September 30, 2014, 4:05 am, 1343466

Europe got some good news in early June as the EU changed its statistical guidelines on how to compute GDP. Among other changes, expenditures on prostitution and illicit drugs (hookers and blow, colloquially) will now be included.

Of course, some countries have been including these items for years. Back in 2006, ...

September 30, 2014, 4:04 am, 1343465
by: Mark Jamison; A retired Postmaster having served the town and community of Webster, N.C. Mark can also be read on Save The Post Office, a blog discussing the state of the USPS. “In the following weeks, Mr. Green would go on to scream at me, ALL YOU ARE IS ...

September 30, 2014, 3:03 am, 1343402
A row of newly constructed homes selling in the new Sydney suburb of Greenhills Beach Reuters

SYDNEY–Australia’s central bank and banking regulator are on course to announce ...

September 30, 2014, 3:03 am, 1343401
Pedestrians walk past advertisements for property at an estate agents office in Beijing. Bloomberg News

Just how much will a downturn in China’s property market hurt the ...

September 30, 2014, 2:44 am, 1343400

September 30, 2014, 2:34 am, 1343399

Northern ...

September 30, 2014, 2:05 am, 1343398

Deconstruction of the EU’s actual greenness must start by separating old renewables from new renewables — an essential task because in most countries the old renewables still provide the largest combined contribution in the green category. Readers of European news might be forgiven if they thought that wind turbines and ...

September 30, 2014, 2:05 am, 1343397

A poll last week by the Chinese University of Hong Kong showed that 46.3% of the city’s residents opposed Occupy Central while 31.3% supported it. But the group has more support among the young. According to the poll, 47% of people under 24 back Occupy Central compared with 20.9% of ...

September 30, 2014, 2:04 am, 1343396

September 30, 2014, 2:04 am, 1343395
(September 30, 2014 12:50 AM, by Bryan Caplan) I often argue that popular ideas are deeply mistaken. I attacked everything from nationalism and militarism to Tiger Parenting and labor market regulation. There's one utterly corrupt outlook, though, that I almost never bother to criticize. As soon as I... (0 COMMENTS)

September 30, 2014, 2:04 am, 1343394
(September 30, 2014 02:41 AM, by David Henderson) This discussion is related to the time inconsistency of optimal policy, which occurs when the government cannot implement an optimal tax policy because the stated policy is inconsistent with the government's incentives over time. Consider a proposal made by the... (1 COMMENTS)

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 ...