Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


Jobs

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


Click on the image to get a bigger version.


Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

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

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.


Remember M1?

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


Click on the chart for a larger version.


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- Recent Entries


October 23, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1356371
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October 23, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1356372
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October 23, 2014, 12:34 pm, 1356370
Three economic updates today provide more evidence that moderate growth endures for the US. The numbers du jour—weekly jobless claims, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index, and Markit’s US purchasing managers index (PMI) for manufacturing—paint an upbeat profile of the macro trend. The main takeaway: the deflationary threat festering in ...


October 23, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1356366

Today is the 78th birthday of Ralph Raico, the foremost historian of classical liberalism.  Among many other works, Ralph is the author of two outstanding collections of essays, Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School and Great Wars and Great Leaders.  As the latter title suggests, he is a ...


October 23, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1356365

LearnLiberty.org is offering a new course developed by George Crowley of Troy University titled “Subliminal Lessons from South Park: A Super Primer on Economics and Politics.” The course blurb:

Hooowdy Ho Everbody! We are excited to bring you our newest ...


October 23, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1356364
The Fed is an accomplice to the increase in inequality. An accomplice is an entity that helps another entity commit a crime. The real change that led to increased inequality is the conspicuous drop in labor share after the crisis. Record profits by firms were not being transmitted to labor. ...


October 23, 2014, 11:33 am, 1356356

That’s the question raised in a new Washington Post column by AEI economist Mike Strain. Or as the click-friendly headline puts it: “Janet Yellen is in danger of becoming a partisan hack: The Federal Reserve chair shouldn’t be picking a side in political debates.”

Keep in mind Strain is no reflexive Yellen ...


October 23, 2014, 11:03 am, 1356293

Low ranked by ALEC-Laffer, California and Minnesota continue to power along, as shown in data released today by the Philadelphia Fed.

Figure 1: Log coincident indices for Minnesota (blue), Wisconsin (bold red), Kansas (green), California (teal), United States (black), all ...


October 23, 2014, 11:03 am, 1356292
This house price index is only for houses with Fannie or Freddie mortgages.

From the FHFA: FHFA House Price Index Up 0.5 Percent in August

U.S. house prices rose in August, up 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing ...


October 23, 2014, 10:44 am, 1356291
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October 23, 2014, 10:34 am, 1356290

John Harris writes:

Perhaps those who reduce people’s worries and fears [about immigration] to mere bigotry should go back to first principles, and consider whether, in such laissez-faire conditions, free movement has been of most benefit to capital or labour.

Let's do this. ...


October 23, 2014, 10:34 am, 1356289

John Harris writes:

Perhaps those who reduce people’s worries and fears [about immigration] to mere bigotry should go back to first principles, and consider whether, in such laissez-faire conditions, free movement has been of most benefit to capital or labour.

Let's do this. ...


October 23, 2014, 10:34 am, 1356288
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October 23, 2014, 9:33 am, 1356283

There are two different monetary policies. The green monetary policy gives you the green AD curve, and the red monetary policy gives you the red AD curve. Both monetary policies give you exactly the same equilibrium P* and Y*. (You can interpret P* as the price level, or as the ...


October 23, 2014, 9:23 am, 1356282

Photo Credit: whologwhy || Danger: Butterfly at work!

There’s a phenomenon called the Butterfly Effect.  One common quotation is “It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s ...


October 23, 2014, 9:03 am, 1356221

ISTANBUL—Turkey’s central bank on Thursday held interest rates steady for a second consecutive month, signaling policymakers will stick with a tight stance as an emerging-market selloff weakens the lira and inflation remains stubbornly high.


October 23, 2014, 9:03 am, 1356220

The Bank of Japan now sees a much bigger possibility of inflation slipping below 1%, pushed down by falling crude oil prices, according to people familiar with the central bank’s thinking, a development that could rekindle market speculation for additional easing.

While the BOJ recognizes that lower oil prices are ultimately ...


October 23, 2014, 9:03 am, 1356217

The European Central Bank’s increasingly desperate battle to prevent the eurozone from sliding into deflation suffered a fresh setback in October, as businesses cut their prices at the fastest rate since early 2010.

Some of Europe’s biggest companies have been roiled by weak pricing power, noting that as one factor ...


October 23, 2014, 9:03 am, 1356218

A majority of risk managers at North American financial institutions are worried that the growing wealth gap poses a risk to the financial system.

The Professional Risk Managers’ International Association and FICO, the credit analytics firm, polled bank risk managers on the consequences of inequality during their quarterly survey. ...


October 23, 2014, 9:03 am, 1356219

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, October 23, 2014:

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Highlights

Douglas’ Take: Global Growth Worries Echo Across the Pond U.S. Agencies Approve Relaxed Mortgage Rules


October 23, 2014, 9:03 am, 1356216
The DOL reports:

In the week ending October 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 283,000, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 2,000 from 264,000 to 266,000. The 4-week moving average was 281,000, a ...


October 23, 2014, 8:44 am, 1356215
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October 23, 2014, 8:05 am, 1356214

In 2002 Chinese investors spent just $2.7bn on acquisitions and greenfield projects abroad but by 2013 the total had increased 40-fold to $108bn.

From Jamil Anderlini at the FT, there is more here.


October 23, 2014, 8:05 am, 1356212

This amazing video, introduced by Philip Zimbardo, discusses a real world Milgram “experiment” in which people obeyed an authority figure to an astounding degree, even when the authority figure was just on the telephone.

The video comes from the Heroic Imagination Project which hopes to ...


October 23, 2014, 8:05 am, 1356213

From The Daily Beast:

Greg and Jill Henderson, founders of Hendo, have developed a real hoverboard. Yes, the flying skateboard that millions of moviegoers have wished were real since Back to the Future Part II premiered back in 1989 may become the must-have Christmas gift for 2015. Using “hover engines” that create ...


October 23, 2014, 8:04 am, 1356211
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 284 of the eminent Harvard historian Richard Pipes’s wonderful 1999 volume, Property and Freedom (footnote excluded):

The trend of modern times appears to indicate that citizens of democracies are willing heedlessly to surrender their freedoms to purchase social equality (along with economic security), apparently oblivious ...


October 23, 2014, 7:33 am, 1356207

I'm giving BookBub a try. So far, it seems worth some clicks.


October 23, 2014, 7:33 am, 1356206

What surprised me: conservatives don't advertise much on ABC Family and Comedy Central and Liberals don't advertise much on the Golf Channel.


October 23, 2014, 7:33 am, 1356204

"The White House Says This Scientific Theory Explains Why It Isn't More Open To The Press".

The White House has a scientific explanation for why reporters aren't allowed to view President Barack Obama's interactions with campaign donors:The very act of observing an event can change the event's ...


October 23, 2014, 7:33 am, 1356205

Interview. 66 and still rockin'.

Link courtesy of Michael Greenspan.


October 23, 2014, 7:33 am, 1356203

I've been a fan of Mike Rowe since his early days on the Discovery Channel's 'Dirty Jobs.' I don't always agree with his political views, but he's entertaining. He has a new show on CNN called 'Somebody's Gotta Do it,' where he highlights what seem to many like ...


October 23, 2014, 6:44 am, 1356143
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October 23, 2014, 6:44 am, 1356142
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October 23, 2014, 6:44 am, 1356141
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October 23, 2014, 6:44 am, 1356140

TECHNOLOGY companies from Google to Audi have made remarkable strides in autonomous vehicle technology over the last few years. This progress is the more impressive given the fact that a decade ago technologists considered driving to be a near un-automatable task. Despite the extraordinary pace of improvement, however, ...


October 23, 2014, 6:34 am, 1356139
● US Inflation Remains Tame | Wall St Journal Consumer-price index ticks up 0.1%, likely giving Fed leeway on rate hikes ● Euro-Area Manufacturing Grows as Risk of Recession Eases | Bloomberg A Purchasing Managers’ Index showed manufacturing in the region unexpectedly grew this month, while Spain’s economy showed signs ...


October 23, 2014, 5:33 am, 1356134



(p. A11) Mr. Bryce's engrossing survey has two purposes. The first is to refute pessimists who claim that technology-driven economic growth will burn through the planet's resources and lead to catastrophe. "We are living in a world equipped with physical-science capabilities that stagger the imagination," he writes. ...


October 23, 2014, 5:23 am, 1356133

The German economy has been one of the world’s strongest economies in the post-war period. There are many aspects of the German economy which deserve praise and emulation – not least strong productivity growth, a booming export sector and prolonged low ...


October 23, 2014, 5:03 am, 1356078

LONDON—A senior Bank of England official Thursday pushed back against critics who claim central bank policies only benefit the wealthy.

Those critics say ultralow interest rates and central-bank asset purchases have fueled a surge in asset prices without spurring durable economic growth, benefiting the rich yet doing little for the wider ...


October 23, 2014, 5:03 am, 1356077
The Impact of a Foreign Terror Incident on the U.S. Stock Market

The unfortunate news of yesterday's Parliament Hill terrorist incident in Ottawa provides the background for a quick study of the impact that such events can have on the U.S. stock market. We ...


October 23, 2014, 4:44 am, 1356076
As part of the move to a banking union, the largest banks in the Eurozone will soon be supervised by the ECB. This column argues that supervision and the lender of last resort function should be seen as a joint product. After the introduction of the euro, the national central ...


October 23, 2014, 2:05 am, 1356034

Let’s assume books — at the margin of course — bring some external social value, perhaps by stimulating ideas production or by improving the quality of voting and citizenship.  If that were the case, at which margin should we look for this external benefit?  I can think of a few ...


October 23, 2014, 2:04 am, 1356033
(October 23, 2014 12:08 AM, by Bryan Caplan) How is blogging different from traditional media? My knee-jerk answer is, "It caters to a higher-IQ audience," but that's not really true. The real story is that blogging lets a million voices bloom - including but hardly limited to voices... (0 COMMENTS)


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355990
Reuters

China’s support policies seemed to have pulled economic growth out of a slump in August. The country’s economic data rebounded in September and the economic growth rate for ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355984

Last week’s financial market volatility could cost the U.S. around 8,000 jobs, according to a rough estimate published Tuesday by Renaissance Macro Research.

Neil Dutta, the firm’s head of economics, calculated the figure ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355983

Many market participants believe there’s a point in a dramatic market selloff when the Federal Reserve will step in and do something to staunch the bleeding.

Call it the Fed “put.” While both men denied it, former Fed chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke were both thought by many to be ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355982
The European Central Bank hopes this year’s tests will appear more credible than those conducted in 2010 and 2011. AP

It’s not the credit rating firm’s “baseline” ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355985

Federal Reserve officials have said the latest round of soft eurozone economic data is not enough to worry them about the U.S. outlook – or revise their fairly optimistic forecasts in the months ahead.

“It’s not really a surprise that growth in Europe has been underperforming for some time,” Boston Fed ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355981
An ocean front area in Miami, Florida. Getty Images

In many American cities, the landlords are increasingly Chinese.

Big institutional Chinese investors who want global real-estate portfolios typically


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355989

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Tuesday, October 21, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter.

Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Fed Brings a Culture War to Wall Street Fed to Banks: Shape Up ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355988
New York University has faced criticism for its high student-debt loads.

Soft entry-level housing demand has fanned fears that rising student loan burdens may be crimping home purchases.

But new ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355987
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, in Vero Beach, Fla., this month, has put jobs front and center. Getty Images

The campaign offices of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355986
The Flatirons rock formations in Boulder, Colorado. The Centennial State became the latest to record a jobless rate below 5%. Sarah Portlock/The Wall Street Journal

The unemployment ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355974

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Wednesday that veteran official Christine Cumming will retire next summer.

Christine Cumming, first vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355973
A vendor displays a souvenir with pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong to visitors at the underpass outside the Great ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355972

Policy makers and economy-watchers now seem more worried about disinflation rather than accelerating inflation. That wasn’t the expectation at the start of the year. In January, economists surveyed by The Wall Street ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355971

Mortgage holders in the U.K. don’t appear to be losing sleep over fear that the Bank of England will increase interest rates soon, according to a survey released Thursday.

The poll by research firm YouGov PLC in association with the Council of Mortgage Lenders found 60% of ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355975

Roughly 10% of U.S. children were living with a grandparent in 2012, up from 7% in 1992, according to a report from the Census Bureau released Wednesday.

The increase stems partly ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355976

Americans who receive Social Security benefits will see a modest increase in their checks next year to cover higher consumer prices.

The annual cost-of-living adjustment will amount to 1.7% for 2015,


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355979
Traders work in the crude oil and natural gas options pit on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Getty Images

The recent sharp fall in ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355980
A worker at a textile factory in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province. Zuma Press

China’s economy slowed down a fraction in the third quarter of the year. If you ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355978
Japanese Vice Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura Bloomberg News

The yen is likely to weaken further due to differences of monetary policies in the U.S. and Japan, but ...


October 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1355977

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, October 22, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter.

Quote of the Day: “In 30-40 years, the Fed will admit they caused the Great Recession”—Cato Institute CEO John Allison


October 23, 2014, 12:34 am, 1355970
David Wessel gives us five reasons to worry about deflation. Should we worried? Well, probably not for the reasons Wessel mentions, which are:

First:

Deflation is a generalized decline in prices and, sometimes, wages. Sure, if you’re lucky enough to get a raise, your paycheck goes further–but those whose ...


October 23, 2014, 12:34 am, 1355969

Tom Woods explains the “unacceptable“ opinions behind freedom and free markets.


October 23, 2014, 12:34 am, 1355968

The terms “quid pro quo” has been twisted to now include government handouts and state-mandated exchanges, so long as the value of goods trading hands are deemed to be of “equal value.” True voluntary exchange, on the other hand, is something quite different.


October 23, 2014, 12:04 am, 1355966

October 22, 2014, 10:44 pm, 1355911
The long awaited credit risk retention rules for securitization are out. The big question--whether the qualified residential mortgage or QRM exemption would be narrower than the CFPB's qualified mortgage or QM safe harbor to the Ability to Repay requirement for mortgages is no. QRM=QM. The short ...


October 22, 2014, 10:05 pm, 1355909

According to Guy McPherson, Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources, Ecology, etc., at the University of Arizona, has declared that (presumably man-made) climate change is “irreversible” and that, basically, we’re all doomed.

As I’ve noted before, anyone who actually values human liberty and ...


October 22, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1355876

Integration, cointegration and the evaluation of time series data for public policy analysis. As my first economics teacher said, “ya gotta be careful”.

Bruce Thompson at Urban Milwaukee’s Data Wonk writes:

…the data shows Gov. Walker has had little impact, positive or negative, on how the state grows jobs.

Dr. Thompson ...


October 22, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1355875
From Kathleen Madigan at the WSJ: Why Rising Rents Haven’t Pumped Up Inflation

For the 12 months ended in September, [owners’ equivalent rent] OER is up 2.7%, up from 2.2% a year ago. (Actual rent paid by tenants is up a faster 3.3%.)

OER is the big ...


October 22, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1355871


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355814

Last week’s financial market volatility could cost the U.S. around 8,000 jobs, according to a rough estimate published Tuesday by Renaissance Macro Research.

Neil Dutta, the firm’s head of economics, calculated the figure ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355813

Many market participants believe there’s a point in a dramatic market selloff when the Federal Reserve will step in and do something to staunch the bleeding.

Call it the Fed “put.” While both men denied it, former Fed chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke were both thought by many to be ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355816
The Flatirons rock formations in Boulder, Colorado. The Centennial State became the latest to record a jobless rate below 5%. Sarah Portlock/The Wall Street Journal

The unemployment ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355817
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, in Vero Beach, Fla., this month, has put jobs front and center. Getty Images

The campaign offices of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355818
New York University has faced criticism for its high student-debt loads.

Soft entry-level housing demand has fanned fears that rising student loan burdens may be crimping home purchases.

But new ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355812
The European Central Bank hopes this year’s tests will appear more credible than those conducted in 2010 and 2011. AP

It’s not the credit rating firm’s “baseline” ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355815

Federal Reserve officials have said the latest round of soft eurozone economic data is not enough to worry them about the U.S. outlook – or revise their fairly optimistic forecasts in the months ahead.

“It’s not really a surprise that growth in Europe has been underperforming for some time,” Boston Fed ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355807

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, October 22, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter.

Quote of the Day: “In 30-40 years, the Fed will admit they caused the Great Recession”—Cato Institute CEO John Allison


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355811
An ocean front area in Miami, Florida. Getty Images

In many American cities, the landlords are increasingly Chinese.

Big institutional Chinese investors who want global real-estate portfolios typically


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355808
Japanese Vice Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura Bloomberg News

The yen is likely to weaken further due to differences of monetary policies in the U.S. and Japan, but ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355809
Traders work in the crude oil and natural gas options pit on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Getty Images

The recent sharp fall in ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355810
A worker at a textile factory in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province. Zuma Press

China’s economy slowed down a fraction in the third quarter of the year. If you ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355806

Americans who receive Social Security benefits will see a modest increase in their checks next year to cover higher consumer prices.

The annual cost-of-living adjustment will amount to 1.7% for 2015,


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355804

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Wednesday that veteran official Christine Cumming will retire next summer.

Christine Cumming, first vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355805

Roughly 10% of U.S. children were living with a grandparent in 2012, up from 7% in 1992, according to a report from the Census Bureau released Wednesday.

The increase stems partly ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355802

Policy makers and economy-watchers now seem more worried about disinflation rather than accelerating inflation. That wasn’t the expectation at the start of the year. In January, economists surveyed by The Wall Street ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355803
A vendor displays a souvenir with pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong to visitors at the underpass outside the Great ...


October 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1355801

Mortgage holders in the U.K. don’t appear to be losing sleep over fear that the Bank of England will increase interest rates soon, according to a survey released Thursday.

The poll by research firm YouGov PLC in association with the Council of Mortgage Lenders found 60% of ...


October 22, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1355800
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October 22, 2014, 6:05 pm, 1355798

Austrian economist Micheal Pollaro writes that with the end of QE3 coming that stock market bulls need to take a note of caution because the Austrian measure of the money supply is already falling. This is typically a sign of trouble for stock markets.

The Federal Reserve’s ...


October 22, 2014, 6:05 pm, 1355797

Venezuela loses $728MM for each 1$ the oil price drops. Assuming oil @ $104 in 2014 and $96 in 2015 Vzla’s $ deficit in 2015 will be $27.8bn

That is from Moisés Naim on Twitter.  Here is more on the same topic.


October 22, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1355796
(October 22, 2014 05:01 PM, by Alberto Mingardi) What does it mean that Amazon has "too much power"? Paul Krugman has published a vehement column on the online retailer, arguing basically that Amazon enjoys a significant "market power" vis-à-vis publishers. He refers to the feud between Amazon and... (2 COMMENTS)


October 22, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1355795
Noah Smith made a thought-provoking statement on twitter, “Sometimes I wonder what actually causes recessions.” He received a slew of responses. While one could point to many causes, including tight money and the beats of butterfly wings, I look primarily to the dynamics of productivity. Here is a graph of ...


October 22, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1355793

On the White House blog, Ann Arbor-based Zingerman’s Deli co-owner Paul Saginaw extols the virtues of raising the minimum wage, here’s an excerpt of his post titled “A Small Business Owner’s Perspective: ‘A High Road on the ...


October 22, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1355732

A wealth tax would not be good for the U.S. economy.

In his book, Capital in the 21st Century, Thomas Piketty suggests a wealth tax to fight income inequality. In a recent report, we used our Taxes and Growth model to evaluate the impact of such a tax on ...


October 22, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1355731

Michigan’s Senate approved a bill yesterday to extend the state’s film tax credit program, which was limited and reduced in 2011 and set to expire in 2017. It’s now up to the House to decide whether to proceed. From Mlive:

The bill would eliminate a ...


October 22, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1355730

Mortgage holders in the U.K. don’t appear to be losing sleep over fear that the Bank of England will increase interest rates soon, according to a survey released Thursday.

The poll by research firm YouGov PLC in association with the Council of Mortgage Lenders found 60% of ...


October 22, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1355729
With QE3 expected to end next week, by request, here is an updated timeline of QE (and Twist operations):

• November 25, 2008: Press Release: $100 Billion GSE direct obligations, $500 billion in MBS

• December 16, 2008 FOMC Statement: Evaluating benefits of purchasing longer-term Treasury ...


October 22, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1355728
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October 22, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1355727

Yves Smith has had some great coverage of the AIG bailout trail over on Naked Capitalism.  While the litigation, as Yves has characterized it, is a bit like a brawl between the ugly stepsisters, it's telling us all kinds of stuff we didn't know (or at least couldn't ...


October 22, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1355726
Is it just me, or did Joni Ernst just effectively announce that she wants to kill farm subsidies?  Of course, how effectively she announced it will depend on whether her opponent, Bruce Braley, picks up this ball and runs with it. Although maybe she’s talking about something else she thinks ...


October 22, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1355719

…. is from Alex Epstein’s forthcoming book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels“:

The cheap, plentiful, reliable energy we get from fossil fuels, combined with human ingenuity, gives us the ability to transform the world around us into a place that is far safer from any health hazards (man-made or ...


October 22, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1355658

Policy makers and economy-watchers now seem more worried about disinflation rather than accelerating inflation. That wasn’t the expectation at the start of the year. In January, economists surveyed by The Wall Street ...


October 22, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1355657
The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI and the trimmed-mean CPI this morning:

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% (1.8% annualized rate) in September. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index also rose 0.1% (1.8% annualized rate) during the month. The ...


October 22, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1355656
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October 22, 2014, 2:34 pm, 1355655
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October 22, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1355654

In the 1970s, Penthouse magazine had a reputation for featuring the ideas of unorthodox political thinkers and movements. That’s why in October 1976 it interviewed Murray Rothbard to ask about the rapidly-growing philosophy of libertarianism. This interview is now difficult to find, but was recently excavated from the archives at ...


October 22, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1355653

Michela Giorcelli and Petra Moser have a new paper, the abstract is this:

This paper exploits variation in the adoption of copyright laws within Italy – as a result of Napoleon’s military campaign – to examine the effects of copyrights on creativity. To measure variation in the quantity and ...


October 22, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1355652
Linda Beale announced her return to blogging after the death of her husband here.   (Dan here…Welcome back to blogging Linda.) by Linda Beale The result of taxpayers’ financial bailout of GMAC GMAC, as most of you likely know, was General Motors’ financial group.  GMAC had originated as a means ...


October 22, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1355646
Inquiring minds are tuned into the Saxo Bank's 4th Trading Debate on Volatility and Performance.

Another "Shock Drop" in Markets

Saxo Bank CIO Steen Jakobsen says Another 'Shock Drop' is Coming and it's Coming Soon

Steen takes the view that central bank policy ...


October 22, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1355647
In yet another embarrassing moment for the Obama administration, Isis Claims it has US Airdrop of Weapons.

A US airdrop of arms to besieged Kurds in Kobani appears to have missed its target and ended up in the hands of Islamic State (Isis) militants.

Video footage ...


October 22, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1355645

The economic impact of the minimum wage is one of the most studied public-policy topics I’ve run across. But sometimes these analyses have an air of unreality about them. At an AEI event earlier this year, Heidi Shierholz — then an EPI think tanker, now the US Labor ...


October 22, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1355644

MIT Technology Review’s David Talbot offers some helpful perspective on that Lockheed Martin announcement of a breakthrough in nuclear fusion. The company says it’s on track to sell a small, very powerful reactor within a decade. Not surprisingly, the piece gives room to the skeptics to ...


October 22, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1355582

Roughly 10% of U.S. children were living with a grandparent in 2012, up from 7% in 1992, according to a report from the Census Bureau released Wednesday.

The increase stems partly ...


October 22, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1355580
A vendor displays a souvenir with pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong to visitors at the underpass outside the Great ...


October 22, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1355581

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Wednesday that veteran official Christine Cumming will retire next summer.

Ms. Cumming, currently first vice president and chief operating officer at the bank, has worked there for 35 years, holding numerous positions. She worked primarily on bank operations and payments systems, as well ...


October 22, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1355579

I am not convinced that telling the kids to be good or else -- when there's a history of not doing much to enforce the request -- will work:

Will the big banks ever clean up their act?, by Mark Thoma: Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley ...


October 22, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1355578

Chris Dillow:

Persuasion with statistics: Mark Thoma's point that apparently strong econometric results are often the product of specification mining prompts Lars Syll to remind us that eminent economists have long been wary of what econometrics can achieve.

I doubt if ...


October 22, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1355577

Everything you ever wanted to know about helicopter money:

Helicopter money, by Simon Wren-Lewis, Mainly Macro: Periodically articles appear advocating, or discussing, helicopter money. Here is a simple guide to this strange sounding concept. I go in descending order of importance, covering the essential ground in points 1-7, and ...


October 22, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1355576
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October 22, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1355574
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October 22, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1355575
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October 22, 2014, 12:34 pm, 1355573
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October 22, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1355569

The notion that the Federal Reserve has been acting to manipulate stock markets has been active for decades, but rarely has that notion been openly discussed in the mainstream media. In this article by Howard Gold the Fed is praised for its “market timing” as Fed official quickly responded ...


October 22, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1355568

October 22, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1355567
(Don Boudreaux)

Paul Krugman’s recent New York Times column on Amazon’s alleged market power reads like countless pro-antitrust articles, essays, and court opinions from the mid-20th century.  Here’s the thrust:

A currently big, successful, and well-known company that admittedly has pioneered great efficiency-enhancing production or distribution procedures – procedures that have, ...


October 22, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1355566
Indeed, they are; state and local governments are closer to the people.  It’s just that the people they’re closer to probably aren’t, well … you. So, here’s a question: Why isn’t, say, Kay Hagan, who’s running against the North Carolina Senate Majority Leader, or Charlie Crist, who’s running against Florida ...


October 22, 2014, 11:33 am, 1355564

Mark Thoma:

There's a version of this in econometrics, i.e. you know the model is correct, you are just having trouble finding evidence for it. It goes as follows. You are testing a theory you came up with, but the data are uncooperative and say you are wrong. But instead of ...


October 22, 2014, 11:33 am, 1355563

Retraction Watch:

There’s a new journal in town.

Inference’s first issue includes a lengthy review of a laboratory by a tennis instructor, a set of caricatures, and an exchange of emails from 1996 that is “perhaps, less remarkable for what it says than for the fact that it took ...


October 22, 2014, 11:03 am, 1355502
With the release of the CPI report this morning, we now know the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), and the contribution base for 2015.

Currently CPI-W is the index that is used to calculate the Cost-Of-Living Adjustments (COLA). Here isa discussion from Social Security on the current ...


October 22, 2014, 10:44 am, 1355501
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October 22, 2014, 10:34 am, 1355500
The three-month average of the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is expected to decelerate a bit to +0.03 in tomorrow’s update for September, according to The Capital Spectator’s median econometric point forecast for several econometric estimates. The projection is marginally below August’s +0.07 reading, which reflected above-average economic growth ...


October 22, 2014, 10:34 am, 1355499

Mark Thoma's point that apparently strong econometric results are often the product of specification mining prompts Lars Syll to remind us that eminent economists have long been wary of what econometrics can achieve.

I doubt if many people have ever thought ...


October 22, 2014, 9:23 am, 1355488
Reports out over the last couple of days suggest that government spending on free nursery places for 3 year olds since 1998 has not produced any valuable educational or economic outcome. The policy was introduced as part of a series of reforms introduced by Tony Blair when he came to ...


October 22, 2014, 9:03 am, 1355429

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, October 22, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter.

Quote of the Day: “In 30-40 years, the Fed will admit they caused the Great Recession”—Cato Institute CEO John Allison


October 22, 2014, 9:03 am, 1355428

Americans who receive Social Security benefits will see a modest increase in their checks next year to cover higher consumer prices.

The annual cost-of-living adjustment will likely amount to 1.7% for 2015,


October 22, 2014, 9:03 am, 1355427
From the BLS:

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.7 percent before seasonal adjustment.
...
The index ...


October 22, 2014, 9:03 am, 1355426
Note: This index is a leading indicator primarily for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment.

From AIA: Architecture Billings Index Shows Robust Conditions Ahead for Construction Industry

With all geographic regions and building project sectors showing positive conditions, there continues to be a heightened level of demand ...


October 22, 2014, 8:44 am, 1355425
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October 22, 2014, 8:44 am, 1355424
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October 22, 2014, 8:34 am, 1355423
Welcome to the big snapback… so far. The prices of risky assets have made a huge U-turn in recent days. Battered and bruised has given way to robust and rising. It may turn out to be a fleeting resurgence, but the rebound looks impressive at the moment. US real estate ...


October 22, 2014, 8:04 am, 1355421
(October 22, 2014 06:05 AM, by Scott Sumner) Here's Matt Yglesias on fiscal stimulus: What the country needs is a stimulative process that has the bureaucratic properties of monetary policy, but the heft and comprehensibility of fiscal stimulus. If we had a national sales tax like Japan does,... (0 COMMENTS)


October 22, 2014, 8:04 am, 1355420
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 94 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague James M. Buchanan‘s 2005 book, Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative: The Normative Vision of Classical Liberalism:

To be free to choose implies acceptance of the results of choices made, which means, in turn, that there should be ...


October 22, 2014, 7:33 am, 1355417

22-year-old West African woman combats Ebola by "invent[ing] her own equipment".


October 22, 2014, 7:33 am, 1355415

Ira Stoll, in the New York Post, speculates on the reason for Krugman's call for antitrust action against Amazon:

It’s enough to make a cynic suspect that the Times’ panic over Amazon isn’t about online retailer’s market power or disparate treatment at all, but the fact that ...


October 22, 2014, 7:33 am, 1355416

October 22, 2014, 7:23 am, 1355413
Why can’t the UK government get its deficit down? This question has been exercising commentators recently, in the light of the latest assessment from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) that George Osborn will once again miss his target for the deficit in the 2014/15 financial year. Of ...