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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- Recent Entries


May 29, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1482972
Here is a minor indicator I follow from the National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Performance Index Posts Moderate Gain in April

Driven by stronger same-stores sales and customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) posted a moderate gain in April. The RPI – a monthly ...


May 29, 2015, 8:44 pm, 1482971

Socio-economic conditions like wealth and education have been demonstrated to be powerful predictors of life expectancy. Similarly, over the 20th century, a tendency for women to outlive men has emerged in much of the Western world. Using data for countries from all around the world, this column shows how socio-economic ...


May 29, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1482943

I recently attended a lecture given by Arnold Kling, who is a former Federal Reserve economist on the Board of Governors staff, former senior economist at Freddie Mac, and all-around financial and monetary expert. The talk was very interesting--his appraisal of the housing collapse is that it was ...


May 29, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1482942
Next week’s economic calendar is as crowded as the Republican field of presidential candidates. Take the time to watch for these five items.


May 29, 2015, 6:44 pm, 1482941
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May 29, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1482939
Illinois House Bill 298 would allow Illinois municipalities to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. That bill is endorsed by Governor Bruce Rauner, and currently rests in the house rules committee.

As soon as Illinois passes Bill 298, a number of Illinois cities are highly likely to file bankruptcy as ...


May 29, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482878

Manal Corwin is the National Leader of the International Tax practice of KPMG LLP and Principal in Charge of Washington National Tax—International Tax Policy. She is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Tax Affairs in the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department.

Ms. Corwin is ...


May 29, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482877

ISTANBUL—Turkey’s central bank said Friday the measures taken to support foreign exchange liquidity and long-term borrowing help to buffer the country’s economy against the global shocks and said it may take additional measures if deemed necessary.

In its twice-yearly financial stability report published on its website, the central bank said households ...


May 29, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482876
An investor looks at stock information at a securities firm in Shanghai late last year. Emerging market economies with stronger fundamentals are better positioned to weather policy spillovers, according ...


May 29, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482875

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, May 29, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: GDP Revisions Show Economy Exposed to Shocks Bullard: Look for New Ways to ...


May 29, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482873
Getty Images

The nature of employment seems to be undergoing radical change. Among the trends weakening the traditional model of steady, full-time employment are on-demand work platforms like ...


May 29, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482874
A new Cleveland Fed paper finds no support for fears of hyperinflation due to bond buying. BLOOMBERG

Worries that the Federal Reserve’s bond buys would lead to runaway inflation were ...


May 29, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482872
The U.S. economy faltered in the first quarter of 2015, according to Commerce Department data released on Friday. Here’s a quick look at the report.


May 29, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482869
Lucky graduates of George Washington University this month in Washington, D.C. ALEX BRANDON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

There’s mounting evidence it’s a particularly good time to graduate from college.

In ...


May 29, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482871
The Commerce Department tries to account for recurring seasonal factors–things like weather, holidays and production schedules–to better identify underlying trends in the economy. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GETTY ...


May 29, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482868
Next week’s economic calendar is as crowded as the Republican field of presidential candidates. Take the time to watch for these five items.


May 29, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482870
U.S. economic growth slowed, but economists expect a second-quarter bounce. Real private inventories contributed less than the initially estimated, one reason for the downward revision that also suggests the second quarter ...


May 29, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482867

The conclusion of the most recent speech by Narayana Kocherlakota, President Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

I am an economist, and economics is often, with good reason, called the “dismal” science. But my message to you today is one of hope and optimism.

From 2006 to 2009, we saw a ...


May 29, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482866
Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in April to 1.73% from 1.78% in March. The serious delinquency rate is down from 2.13% in April 2014, and this is the lowest level since September 2008.

The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in ...


May 29, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1482865
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May 29, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1482863
(May 29, 2015 02:42 PM, by David Henderson) A number of commenters on my proposed bet with Bob Murphy seem to have missed the point. Rather than respond to each of them in comments that I know few people will read, I'm responding here. Various people have argued... (2 COMMENTS)


May 29, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1482862

May 29, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1482861

Friday morning, Gallup released the results of a survey showing that more Americans call themselves pro-choice than pro-life by 50 to 44 percent. Gallup noted that this time was the first time since 2008 that the pro-choice label had a statistically significant lead over the pro-life one. Several other recent ...


May 29, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1482860

April may or may not be the cruelest month, but this year April was particularly cruel for Affordable Care Act subsidy recipients. A recent H&R Block analysis says that 61 percent of tax filers will have to repay part of the premium subsidies they received to buy health insurance ...


May 29, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1482856
Unexpected Chicago PMI Crash

Looking for signs of strength? You will not find them in today's Chicago PMI report.

The Bloomberg Consensus estimate was for a 53.1 expansion reading. Instead, the PMI came in at 46.2, well below the bottom of the consensus range of 51.0 ...


May 29, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1482795

Last year we wrote that negative GDP growth illustrates the need for bonus depreciation. The same is true exactly one year later.

This morning the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) revised its first quarter GDP growth number downward. The revised estimate pegged GDP growth at -0.7 percent for ...


May 29, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1482794

May 29, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1482793
Excuse this pet peeve, but for some reason, when a business executive is interviewed on CNBC (and elsewhere), they are asked about economics in addition to their assumed areas of expertise. News flash: Business executives are NOT experts in economics (This should be called the "Jack Welch rule").


May 29, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1482792
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May 29, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1482791
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May 29, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1482788
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May 29, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1482790
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May 29, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1482789
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May 29, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1482783
(May 29, 2015 12:42 PM, by Scott Sumner) Over at TheMoneyIllusion I discuss a new paper by James Bullard, et al, on the case for NGDP targeting. The Wall Street Journal reported some additional comments by Bullard: He said his model is consistent with the Fed maintaining its... (0 COMMENTS)


May 29, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1482781
Senior Fellow John Bolton discusses recent events in China and Iraq on Fox Business Network's 'Varney &Co.'


May 29, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1482782
Senior Fellow John Bolton discusses national security on Fox News' 'America's Newsroom.'


May 29, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1482780

Should we replace the income tax with a national sales tax? Some commonsense on the FairTax by the Tax Policy Center:

The tax is designed to protect low-income people from higher taxes via a large new cash transfer program called a “prebate.”  Every household would get a cash transfer equal ...


May 29, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1482779

Earlier this week, Goldman Sachs published a modstly upbeat research note suggesting the US economy is doing better than we think because we are mismeasuring productivity. The bank argues that “potential biases in the GDP statistics resulting from the growth of software and digital content” means “we would be ...


May 29, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1482778

As a teacher, I can tell you that my job is comprised of three, distinct elements—passion, instructional practice, and…frustration. As an avid reader of anything and everything to do with education, I know that there is plenty written on the first two components, but not nearly enough on the latter. ...


May 29, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1482765
First quarter GDP came in at -0.7% pretty much in line with the Bloomberg Consensus estimate of -0.8%.

First-quarter GDP was revised down about as expected, to minus 0.7 percent vs expectations for minus 0.8 and compared with an initial reading of plus 0.2 percent. Updated source data ...


May 29, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1482764

The Onion:

Stating that any damage would be limited to just a handful of species that somehow managed to survive that long, officials from the Shell Oil Company assured the public Wednesday that most of the Arctic wildlife living near their proposed drilling site will be extinct well before their next ...


May 29, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1482763

David Coady, Ian W.H. Parry, Louis Sears and Baoping Shang:

This paper provides a comprehensive, updated picture of energy subsidies at the global and regional levels. It focuses on the broad notion of post-tax energy subsidies, which arise when consumer prices are below supply costs plus a tax to reflect environmental ...


May 29, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1482702
Lucky graduates of George Washington University this month in Washington, D.C. ALEX BRANDON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

There’s mounting evidence it’s a particularly good time to graduate from college.

In ...


May 29, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1482701

Policymakers have little idea how many people live:

The Insecure American, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: America remains, despite the damage inflicted by the Great Recession and its aftermath, a very rich country. But many Americans are economically insecure, with little protection from life’s risks. ... But all ...


May 29, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1482700
From the Philly Fed:

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for April 2015. In the past month, the indexes increased in 40 states, decreased in six, and remained stable in four, for a one-month diffusion index of 68. Over ...


May 29, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1482698
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May 29, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1482699
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May 29, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1482695
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May 29, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1482694
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May 29, 2015, 12:35 pm, 1482693
As expected, US GDP for the first quarter was revised down to a modest decrease in today’s update from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Economic activity slumped 0.7% in the first three months of the year in seasonally adjusted annualized terms, below the mild 0.2% rise previously reported. The negative ...


May 29, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1482692

Heading into today’s release of the first revision of the Gross Domestic Product numbers for the first three months of the year, most analysts were expecting bad news of some sort. Last month’s first report had already shown ...


May 29, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1482691
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May 29, 2015, 12:05 pm, 1482686

Most indie films and documentaries don’t get to most markets. It’s hard for a theatre to know which of the many indie films audiences really want to see and without the scale of a NYC it doesn’t make sense for theatres to gamble on a screening that might not make ...


May 29, 2015, 12:05 pm, 1482685

May 29, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1482684
(Don Boudreaux)

Further evidence of the validity of the point that I made in my most-recent Pittsburgh Tribune-Review column is ...


May 29, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1482677

“The Great Decoupling: An Interview with Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee” is a must-read Q&A from Harvard Business Review. I’ve written often about the two MIT academics and their work on labor markets and the impact of technological change. Two things from the HBR interview that I want to ...


May 29, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1482683

Rick Santorum is running for president, and every conservative and Republican should listen to him.

I can see readers’ eyes rolling now. Many conservatives, libertarians, and moderate Republicans dislike Santorum. They may think he’s a horrible messenger. They may find him terribly wrong on some issues. They may think he has ...


May 29, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1482681

Let’s say, just for kicks, you murdered your husband (or wife). Your neighbors have been suspicious ever since your nightly arguments suddenly stopped, right around the time you put something large in your trunk and drove off in the middle of the night. Now they see you driving his car ...


May 29, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1482682
Fellow Marc Thiessen discusses the United States fight against ISIS on Fox News' 'The Kelly File'


May 29, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1482678

India just announced that growth in gross domestic product (GDP) stood at 7.3 percent during the fiscal year April 2014 – March 2015. This will be seized upon by some as world-beating, even ahead of China’s. It will be heralded as a sign of India’s global economic rise. In fact, ...


May 29, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1482679

So the US economy went and did a very bad thing. Instead of growing during the first three months of this year — government’s first estimate was a 0.2% increase — it shrank. Now positive is sure better than negative, especially when many speculated/hoped/prayed/wished 2015 would see a marked acceleration in ...


May 29, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1482680

Tolstoy famously remarked that all happy families are alike but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. The same might be said of the unhappy state of the Greek and Puerto Rican economies. But while both those economies are struggling with very high debt burdens within a monetary ...


May 29, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1482676

Under Obamacare, doctors have been strained by costly new regulations, intricate payment “reforms” that tie their Medicare reimbursement to complex federal reporting requirements, and mandates that they install and make “meaningful” use of electronic health records.

Add a new burden to the mix: The proportion of patients they see are rapidly ...


May 29, 2015, 11:03 am, 1482614

Douglas Shackelford is the Dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation.

A world-renowned authority on taxation and business strategy, Dr. Shackelford has studied the profit shifting phenomenon since its early stages. His ...


May 29, 2015, 11:03 am, 1482613
The Commerce Department tries to account for recurring seasonal factors–things like weather, holidays and production schedules–to better identify underlying trends in the economy. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GETTY ...


May 29, 2015, 11:03 am, 1482612
U.S. economic growth slowed, but economists expect a second-quarter bounce. Real private inventories contributed less than the initially estimated, one reason for the downward revision that also suggests the second quarter ...


May 29, 2015, 11:03 am, 1482611

Click on graph for larger image.

The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for May was at 90.7, up from the preliminary reading of 88.6, and ...


May 29, 2015, 10:44 am, 1482610
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May 29, 2015, 10:44 am, 1482609
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May 29, 2015, 10:44 am, 1482608
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May 29, 2015, 10:44 am, 1482607
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May 29, 2015, 10:35 am, 1482606

One problem with the Labour party is that it has too many Brownites and Blairites and not enough Brailsfordites.

I mean, of course, Sir Dave Brailsford. He has explained how he made British cyclists into world-beaters by aggregating marginal gains:

If you broke down ...


May 29, 2015, 10:34 am, 1482605
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May 29, 2015, 10:04 am, 1482601
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 257-258 of Hayek’s 1992 collection, The Fortunes of Liberalism (Peter G. Klein, ed.), which is volume ...


May 29, 2015, 10:04 am, 1482600


May 29, 2015, 10:04 am, 1482599

Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and her party’s candidate for president of Taiwan, will have her work cut out for her when she arrives in the United States at the end of May. She will aim to show voters back home that she can represent Taiwan ...


May 29, 2015, 10:04 am, 1482598

This editorial will be published in the June 8 edition of The Weekly Standard.

Buried deep in the House version of this year’s defense authorization is a brief provision that has great potential to improve and accelerate the way the armed services buy weapons​—​yes, an actual reform of Pentagon procurement. The ...


May 29, 2015, 9:34 am, 1482596

This was written by CBC Radio's Matthew Lazin-Ryder

1. Pitch better stories

Frances Woolley rightly states that Canadian journalists put a disproportionate amount of our time into following up on Stats Can reports, OECD reports, and think-tank publications. The primary reason is simplicity. Virtually any of the talking heads in ...


May 29, 2015, 9:03 am, 1482533

A big day in state tax yesterday, good and bad:

Texas: The Texas House approved a reduction in the margin tax (modified gross receipts tax on business) by 25 percent coupled with an increase in homestead exemptions in the property tax, sending the combined bill to Governor Abbott’s desk. ...


May 29, 2015, 9:03 am, 1482532

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, May 29, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: GDP Revisions Show Economy Exposed to Shocks Bullard: Look for New Ways to ...


May 29, 2015, 9:03 am, 1482531
A new Cleveland Fed paper finds no support for fears of hyperinflation due to bond buying. BLOOMBERG

Worries that the Federal Reserve’s bond buys would lead to runaway inflation were ...


May 29, 2015, 9:03 am, 1482530
Getty Images

The nature of employment seems to be undergoing radical change. Among the trends weakening the traditional model of steady, full-time employment are on-demand work platforms like ...


May 29, 2015, 9:03 am, 1482529
The U.S. economy faltered in the first quarter of 2015, according to Commerce Department data released on Friday. Here’s a quick look at the report.


May 29, 2015, 9:03 am, 1482528
From the BEA: Gross Domestic Product: First Quarter 2015 (Second Estimate)

Real gross domestic product -- the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes -- decreased at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015, according ...


May 29, 2015, 8:35 am, 1482527
The recent stumble in US economic data raises new questions about the timing of the Fed’s plans for raising interest rates. The earliest forecast for the first round of tightening monetary policy has been pushed up to September, although some analysts say that the turning point for rates will come ...


May 29, 2015, 7:34 am, 1482522
The WSJ notable and quotable picked a lovely snippet from “On Writing Well” (1976) by William Zinsser, who died May 12 at age 92.

Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon.


May 29, 2015, 7:33 am, 1482520

I can't say they "blew my mind," but your mileage may vary and they were interesting.


May 29, 2015, 7:33 am, 1482521

Supposedly, we've seen peak SEC.


May 29, 2015, 7:33 am, 1482519
Amy Farber

Within the New York Public Library Digital Collections is the Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views. Stereoscopic photographs were ...


May 29, 2015, 7:23 am, 1482518
‘If fair trade does deliver higher incomes for farmers, it may prove too successful for its own good’


May 29, 2015, 7:03 am, 1482465
An investor looks at stock information at a securities firm in Shanghai late last year. Emerging market economies with stronger fundamentals are better positioned to weather policy spillovers, according ...


May 29, 2015, 6:44 am, 1482464
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May 29, 2015, 6:35 am, 1482463
● US Jobless Claims Rise, But Job Growth Still Seen Strong | WSJ ● US pending home sales race to nine-year high in April | Reuters ● Consumer Comfort in US Slumps on Views of Buying Climate | Bloomberg ● Eurocoin Business Cycle Indicator Rises Further In May | RTT ...


May 29, 2015, 6:05 am, 1482462

The book itself has not yet come to my pile, though perhaps it still will.  This one is self-recommending, so here is the basic information, it is due out June 2:

Alvin Roth, Who Gets What — and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design.

If you do ...


May 29, 2015, 5:33 am, 1482459

May 29, 2015, 5:03 am, 1482432

ISTANBUL—Turkey’s central bank said Friday the measures taken to support foreign exchange liquidity and long-term borrowing help to buffer the country’s economy against the global shocks and said it may take additional measures if deemed necessary.

In its twice-yearly financial stability report published on its website, the central bank said households ...


May 29, 2015, 5:03 am, 1482431

How many U.S. companies have been publicly listed on the AMEX, NASDAQ and NYSE stock market exchanges over each of the past 40 years?

The answer is graphically presented in the following chart!


May 29, 2015, 5:03 am, 1482430

May 29, 2015, 3:33 am, 1482428
In the strive for zero labor factories we are nearly there. Is 90% good enough?

China Daily reports Manufacturing Hub Starts Work on First Zero-Labor Factory.

A manufacturing hub in South China's Guangdong province has begun constructing the city's first zero-labor factory, a signal that the ...


May 29, 2015, 3:24 am, 1482427

This is a difficult book to review.  Let me tell you what it is not, and then let me tell you what it is more easily as a result.

1) The book does not give you detailed biographies of the people that it features.  Indeed, the ...


May 29, 2015, 2:44 am, 1482386

Most of us intuitively believe that politicians reduce taxes and increase spending in the run up to elections to curry favour with voters. But our logic may well be flawed. This column presents evidence from recent Italian elections suggesting that things aren’t so black and white. Yes, some municipalities set ...


May 29, 2015, 2:05 am, 1482384

A memorial dedicated to the 32 Basque whalers who were killed in the West Fjords in 1615 in what’s known as Iceland’s only mass murder was unveiled in Hólmavík, the West Fjords, on April 22, the last day of winter. At the occasion, West Fjords district commissioner Jónas Guðmundsson revoked ...


May 29, 2015, 2:05 am, 1482383

Nearly half of the biggest US metropolitan areas have yet to recoup all the lost jobs from the Great Recession and almost a third have failed to return to previous levels of output, according to analysis that underscores the fragmenting urban fortunes beneath the surface of America’s recovery.

Research on ...


May 29, 2015, 2:04 am, 1482382

If you have trouble registering for this event, please contact conferences@aei.org.

The US Navy and Marine Corps serve as the forward edge of American power, influence, and aid by reassuring allies and deterring would-be adversaries. Through the dedication of their sailors and marines, the Navy and Marines have met increased global ...


May 29, 2015, 12:44 am, 1482353
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May 28, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1482292
From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Microscopically Lower

Mortgage rates barely budged today. Those that budged moved almost imperceptibly lower from yesterday's latest rate sheets. In general, there was simply very little movement in underlying markets and lenders' rate sheets matched the tone. [Rates ...


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May 28, 2015, 8:34 pm, 1482283

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!


May 28, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1482280
(Don Boudreaux)

Is toleration of minimum-wage regulations that are imposed locally (in contrast to imposed nationally) ...


May 28, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1482223

Douglas Shackelford is the Dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation.

A world-renowned authority on taxation and business strategy, Dr. Shackelford has studied the profit shifting phenomenon since its early stages. His ...


May 28, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1482222

Mr. Melvin Watt runs FHFA, the Federal Housing Finance Agency charged with regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Yesterday Mr. Watt said:

To increase access for creditworthy but lower-wealth borrowers, FHFA is also working with the Enterprises to develop sensible and responsible guidelines for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios between 95 and 97 ...


May 28, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1482219

A few days ago I wrote about MIT’s Dr. Jonathan Gruber’s honesty about lying to enact ObamaCare. Today I want to focus on a different part of this quote, his reference to “the stupidity of the American voter.”

In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said ...


May 28, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1482220

MIT Economist Dr. Jonathan Gruber, widely cited as “the architect of ObamaCare,” recently committed a Kinsley gaffe, “when a politician tells the truth – some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.”

This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score ...


May 28, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1482221

President Obama’s economic campaign message is odd. Here is what he’s saying at most campaign events.

“There’s almost no economic measure by which we’re not doing better than we were when I took office.”

“But people are still anxious. And they’re anxious for three reasons.”

Overseas uncertainty: ISIL + ebola + Russia/Ukraine; “Although the economy ...


May 28, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1482218

The new four year term of the Director of the Congressional Budget Office begins soon. Now that Republicans will have majorities in the House and Senate, this job is entirely their call. The President is not involved. Incoming House and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price and Jeff Sessions will make this ...


May 28, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1482214

I’d like to associate myself with Dr. Charles Blahous’ endorsement of Dr. Keith Hall to be the new director of the Congressional Budget Office. Budget Committee Chairmen Tom Price and Mike Enzi made a strong pick by choosing Hall. I know him from his time at the Council of ...


May 28, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1482213

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!


May 28, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1482217

OMB Director Shaun Donovan criticized House Republicans today for their rule change on dynamic scoring. I’ll skip the preliminaries and offer responses to his main critiques.

OMB Director Shaun Donovan: “[U]sing dynamic scoring for official cost estimates would risk injecting bias into a broadly accepted, non-partisan scoring process that has has existed for decades.”

KBH:

No, ...


May 28, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1482215
Blue line (President Obama’s Budget): Table S-1 of the President’s budget. Gray line (historic debt): Historical Budget Data from January 2015 Baseline from CBO, Tab 1. The parenthetical about pre-crisis average debt/GDP between 35 and 40% similarly comes from this table. Yellow line (CBO long-term baseline): July 2014 Release from The 2014 Long-Term ...


May 28, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1482216

In his new budget President Obama once again proposes to flatten debt/GDP, to stabilize it over the next decade at a high level.

But wait, you say. That’s not stabilizing. That’s not “flat” debt/GDP, that’s a declining path. And it doesn’t look like ...


May 28, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1482209

I like when The Daily Show makes my job easy:

The Daily Show
Daily Show Full Episodes, More Daily Show Videos,


May 28, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1482208
Here is the video of my May 21st 2015 Keynote at a Drexel University conference on sustainability. Here is the video of my May 26th 2015 talk about China at the LSE.


May 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482147

States depend on a variety of sources for tax revenue, but one of the most common are individual income taxes. This week’s map shows state and local combined individual income tax collections per person in the 2012 fiscal year (the latest data available).

Click on map to enlarge. (See our ...


May 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482142

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 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482145
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 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482146

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 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482144
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 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482143
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 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482139
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 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482141
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 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482138
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 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482140

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 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482136

The Federal Reserve should refrain from using interest-rate policy to address risks to financial stability “even as a last resort,” San Francisco Fed President John Williams said Thursday.
That is because the effects of monetary policy on financial markets and excess risk taking are highly uncertain and potentially detrimental to ...


May 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482137
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 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482134

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

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


Highlights

Hannon’s Take: In Search of Lost Inflation Fed’s Williams: Monetary Policy Should Not Be Used ...


May 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482133
Occupational therapy had an annual median wage of $75,400 in 2012. JOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES

For young women setting out on their careers, the best path involves science ...


May 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482135
Ewald Nowotny, governor of Austria’s central bank, gestures as he addresses the ECB and its watchers conference in Frankfurt, Germany, in  March. Bloomberg News

VIENNA–The European Central ...


May 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482131
The Wall Street Journal

For the Bank of England, Britain’s slip into negative inflation hasn’t been a cause for much concern. Despite official data showing a slight fall in ...


May 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482130

Remarks made by a top European Central Bank policymaker to a private audience last week drew fresh scrutiny when a senior European Union official requested more information about the incident.

In a letter addressed to ECB President Mario Draghi dated May 27, the European ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, asked the ECB to ...


May 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482132

By Gaurav Raghuvanshi and Pedro Nicolaci da Costa

The Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates at some point this year as the economy rebounds from a weak first quarter, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said Thursday.

Still, recent economic softness appears to have taken its toll on Mr. Williams optimism, ...


May 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482127

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota reiterated Thursday that he thinks it would be a mistake for the Fed to raise its benchmark short-term interest rate this year.

The Fed “can only achieve its congressionally mandated price and employment goals by being extraordinarily patient in reducing the level of ...


May 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482128

 

U.S. economic growth for the first quarter is expected to be revised down Friday, partly because the trade deficit was far wider than previously estimated, as imports surged. 


May 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482129
James Bullard says it’s time for the Fed to consider adopting a nominal gross domestic product target–and he’s got a model to prove it. Reuters

The Federal ...


May 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482126

From a much longer IMF profile of Hélène Rey, professor of economics at the London Business School:

... Among her most influential work is the research she did with Gourinchas when she was at Princeton on the role of the United States in a globalized financial system. Blanchard says it ...


May 28, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1482125
The automakers will report May vehicle sales on Tuesday, June 2nd. Sales in April were at 16.5 million on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR), and it appears sales will be strong in May too.

Note: There were 26 selling days in May, one less than ...


May 28, 2015, 4:05 pm, 1482123

The Essential Hayek, by Don Boudreaux.  I cannot (yet?) find an Amazon listing.

Adrian Wooldridge, The Great Disruption: How Business is Coping with Turbulent Times.

Dirk Philipsen, The Little Big Number: How GDP Came to Rule the World and What to Do About It.

Steven J. Levitt and Stephen ...


May 28, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1482122
(May 28, 2015 06:01 PM, by David Henderson) As regular readers of Econlog probably know, I had a bet with Bob Murphy a few years ago about inflation and I won. Bob is a good sport and he paid up. I follow this part of co-blogger Bryan Caplan's... (0 COMMENTS)


May 28, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1482121

Last week, three Democratic Representatives introduced HR 2408, The Child Poverty Reduction Act of 2015. The purpose of the legislation is to establish a Federal Agency Working Group on Reducing Child Poverty aimed at cutting child poverty in half in 10 years and eliminating it in 20 years. The ...


May 28, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1482119


May 28, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1482118
Chalk up another €5 billion in capital flight from Greece in April. Total eurozone exposure to Greek currency liabilities now sits at €115 Billion, not counting accelerated capital flight in recent weeks.

The following two charts produced with data from EuroCrisis Monitor.

Greece Target2 Imbalance ...


May 28, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1482057

 

U.S. economic growth for the first quarter is expected to be revised down Friday, partly because the trade deficit was far wider than previously estimated, as imports surged. 


May 28, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1482056

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota reiterated Thursday that he thinks it would be a mistake for the Fed to raise its benchmark short-term interest rate this year.

The Fed “can only achieve its congressionally mandated price and employment goals by being extraordinarily patient in reducing the level of ...


May 28, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1482055
Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in April to 1.66%, down from 1.73% in March. Freddie's rate is down from 2.15% in April 2014, and the rate in March was the lowest level since November 2008.

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


May 28, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1482054
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May 28, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1482043

There are many good reasons to undertake corporate tax reform this year. Politicians from both sides of the aisle have declared support for cutting the headline corporate tax rate and recouping the lost revenue through a broadening of the tax base. President Obama’s budget for fiscal year 2016 calls ...


May 28, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1482041

In my new The Week column, I look at the Bernie Sanders charge — one also leveled by Elizabeth Warren — that the US economy is an immoral, rigged game. (A funny thing to say, I think, about an economy that produces more billionaire entrepreneurs than any other large, ...


May 28, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1482042

A few weeks ago, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released the 2014 national results of eighth-graders’ tests in Civics, Geography, and US History. In absolute terms, these test results are not encouraging. However, if you dig a little deeper, and look at progress over time by student ...


May 28, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1482039
A Swedish man reached the absolute end of what he can take anymore and profanely complains about Swedish politicians. The man is the founder of a new political party called Riksdemokraterna.

Warning: graphic language.



Link if video does not play: