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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October 25, 2014, 8:44 pm, 1357716

Heightened economic uncertainty has attracted much recent attention. Policymakers repeatedly emphasise uncertainty as a key factor driving the last two recessions – in particular the depth and length of the Great Recession. This column proposes asymmetric hiring rules as a mechanism that generates endogenous and joint movements in macro and micro ...


October 25, 2014, 8:04 pm, 1357715
My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. How worried should we be about the eurozone? Is the single currency area, the weakest link in the global economic chain since the crisis, about to...


October 25, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1357678

Loren Adler and Adam Rosenberg report:

…the disproportionate role played by prescription drug spending (or Part D) has seemingly escaped notice. Despite constituting barely more than 10 percent of Medicare spending, our analysis shows that Part D has accounted for over 60 percent of the slowdown in Medicare benefits since 2011 ...


October 25, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1357677
Brad DeLong responds to Paul Krugman’s post on The Profits-Investment Disconnect. Why are profits high, but investment low? Brad DeLong says… “Profits are not high now because demand is high, throughput is high, and capacity is being fully used. Profits are high now because the labor share is unusually low. ...


October 25, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1357675

Shale pioneer and “petropreneur extraordinaire” Harold Hamm (Continental Resources CEO) has a great op-ed in today’s Investor’s Business Daily titled “Fracking Revolution Cuts Prices, Drives A Stake Through OPEC’s Heart.” Mr. Hamm outlines some of the important, and yet frequently ...


October 25, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1357656

Dietz Vollrath:

Scale, Profits, andInequality, Growth Economics: After my post last week on inequality, I got a number of (surprisingly reasonable) responses. I pulled one line out of a recent comment ... because it encapsulates an argument for *not* caring about inequality.

“Gates and the Waltons really did probably add ...


October 25, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1357655
The key report this week is Q3 GDP on Thursday.

There will be an FOMC meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the FOMC is expected to announce the end of QE3 on Wednesday.

----- Monday, October 27th -----
10:00 AM ET: Pending Home Sales Index for September. ...


October 25, 2014, 2:34 pm, 1357654

Late yesterday, a Federal Judge issued a temporary stay against a New Jersey plan that would have allowed sports betting to go forward in the state starting this weekend:

A federal judge on Friday blocked New ...


October 25, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1357650

1. The Danish nudge.

2. Clone your dog in Korea for 100k.

3. China’s strangest buildings.

4. There is no great stagnation, unbundling your breakfast edition.

5. Kevin Drum health update, we all wish him well.

6. I agree with David Denby, *Fury* ...


October 25, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1357649
The main point (if any) is that wonkblog without Ezra Klein is still excellent. Matt O’Brien wrote an excellent post on what’s wrong with Europe. It includes an excellent intro to Krugmanian macro and a description of the problem. I had two tiny comments. O’Brien discusses “structural reform” well, but ...


October 25, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1357648
China eased purchase restrictions last month ending its four-year campaign to contain home prices. And what a ridiculous campaign it was. Prices are down less than 1% this month and less then 1% year-over-year.

Bloomberg reports China Home-Price Drop Spreads as Easing Doesn’t Halt Fall.

Prices ...


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357627

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 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357626

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 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357625

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 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357622

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 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357623

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 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357624

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 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357618
The German economy’s strong focus on the car industry is also a risk, says Clemens Fuest, director of the Centre for European Economic Research. “If this market stops growing ...


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357616

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, October 24, 2014:

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Highlights

Blackstone’s Take: ECB Hopes Its Credibility Can End Europe’s Banking Stress Fed’s 2015 Stress Test ...


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357617
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Figures released on Friday showed U.K. economic growth slowed in the third quarter. Here are five things of note.

#1: A Respectable Performance

The U.K. economy was 0.7% larger in the third quarter than in the ...


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357620
A Chinese worker gathers up sheep’s wool after it was processed and bleached at a factory near Zhangzhou, China. Getty Images

A 10% increase in China’s minimum ...


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357621
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

If you’re good with a scalpel and willing to move, Kansas could be the place for you.

Surgeons in the Sunflower State make more—when adjusting for cost ...


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357615
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, center, took more than two weeks off before the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium on Aug. 23. Associated Press

How does ...


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357619
The time frame around Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda’s inflation goal is looking increasingly fuzzy. Bloomberg News

The magic number was “two” when the Bank of ...


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357611
New research studied whether the cost of a wedding and the marriage’s duration were related. Many interpreted the data as “cheap weddings make for long-lasting marriages.” Not necessarily.


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357609

How’s the housing market doing? The answer is that it depends on your time frame.

Looking back against 2011, when prices and sales hit bottom, the market is clearly improved.

Compared with last ...


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357614
Congress and the president put off the hard choices of what spending to cut and what to increase. “We seem to be drifting into the changes,” CBO Director Douglas ...


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357610
Dropping energy prices—a big positive for the economy—are filtering through recent economic data. Here are five ways gasoline prices have been a factor in recent reports.


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357608
The main event next week will be the Federal Reserve policy meeting, when it is widely expected that the Fed will announce the end of bond-buying.


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357612

If you saw a public-opinion poll that had a 15.7% margin of error, you probably wouldn’t take it too seriously. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, for example, had a respectable 3.1% margin of error for registered voters.


October 25, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357613

Home sales rose to their highest annual pace in September in six years, but the new-home market is still depressed by historical standards.

To get a sense of just ...


October 25, 2014, 11:33 am, 1357600
...Cliff Claven was in The Empire Strikes Back. My worlds have collided. Mind blown.


October 25, 2014, 11:03 am, 1357591
This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.

Here is the unofficial problem bank list for Oct 24, 2014.

Changes and comments from surferdude808:

It was the fourth time in 2014 for the FDIC to close a bank on back-to-back ...


October 25, 2014, 10:04 am, 1357589
(October 25, 2014 09:50 AM, by Scott Sumner) Back in the 1980, I believed the Fed needed to target inflation or NGDP, and if they did so the problem of high inflation could be solved. These views were widely mocked by people on both the left and the... (0 COMMENTS)


October 25, 2014, 10:04 am, 1357588
Back in 2007 the state of Florida changed the way to insure beach properties and is mentioned at Angry Bear here. Reuters reports here here and Waters edge crisis. SEASIDE SOCIALISM Breakneck development at the shore has trapped Florida in a costly Sisyphean effort to maintain its perpetually eroding beaches. ...


October 25, 2014, 9:03 am, 1357568
A


October 25, 2014, 9:03 am, 1357567
Excerpts from a research piece by economist Kris Dawsey at Goldman Sachs:

US data have generally been solid since the last FOMC meeting, with a few exceptions. However, concern about downside risks to global growth increased—echoed by Fed communications—while financial market volatility rose considerably. The market-implied date of the ...


October 25, 2014, 8:34 am, 1357566
● Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values By Lawrence A. Cunningham Q&A with author via ValueWalk Q: What inspired you to write this book and what are some of its key implications? A: For one, it celebrates Berkshire Hathaway’s 50th anniversary under Warren Buffett’s leadership. And, for the ...


October 25, 2014, 8:05 am, 1357563

The rematch starts in November, but it is by no means obvious that the champion Carlsen is favored.  Anand is separated from his Indian well-wishers and relatives (which helps him), he has been playing well lately, and he feels he has nothing to lose at this point.  It ...


October 25, 2014, 8:04 am, 1357562
(Don Boudreaux)

The Free To Choose Network’s new program, Suffer No Fools – a wonderful documentary of life (so far!) of my great colleague Walter Williams – airs on Tuesday, October 28th, at 6:00pm (and again at 12:00am on Oct. 29th) on two Tucson public-television stations: KUAT, channel 6, and ...


October 25, 2014, 8:04 am, 1357561
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 67 of the 2007 Liberty Fund edition of Ludwig von Mises’s 1949 magnum opus, Human Action:

It is impossible to understand the history of economic thought if one does not pay attention to the fact that economics as such is a challenge to the conceit of ...


October 25, 2014, 7:33 am, 1357560

Long but very interesting profile of the Eagles's coach.


October 25, 2014, 6:44 am, 1357551
A


October 25, 2014, 6:44 am, 1357550
A


October 25, 2014, 5:33 am, 1357548

Future politicians or university professors, only cuter.


October 25, 2014, 5:33 am, 1357547



Source of graph: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.



(p. A1) WASHINGTON -- Is a family ...


October 25, 2014, 5:03 am, 1357542

October 25, 2014, 4:05 am, 1357541

This year China is set to pay an interest bill of about $1.7tn, an amount not far short of India’s entire GDP last year ($1.87tn) but larger than the economies of South Korea, Mexico and Indonesia.

That is from James Kynge at the FT, there is more here.


October 25, 2014, 3:03 am, 1357537
Congress and the president put off the hard choices of what spending to cut and what to increase. “We seem to be drifting into the changes,” CBO Director Douglas ...


October 25, 2014, 3:03 am, 1357538
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, center, took more than two weeks off before the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium on Aug. 23. Associated Press

How does ...


October 25, 2014, 3:03 am, 1357539

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, October 24, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter.

Highlights

Blackstone’s Take: ECB Hopes Its Credibility Can End Europe’s Banking Stress Fed’s 2015 Stress Test ...


October 25, 2014, 3:03 am, 1357536

Home sales rose to their highest annual pace in September in six years, but the new-home market is still depressed by historical standards.

To get a sense of just ...


October 25, 2014, 3:03 am, 1357533
Dropping energy prices—a big positive for the economy—are filtering through recent economic data. Here are five ways gasoline prices have been a factor in recent reports.


October 25, 2014, 3:03 am, 1357532

How’s the housing market doing? The answer is that it depends on your time frame.

Looking back against 2011, when prices and sales hit bottom, the market is clearly improved.

Compared with last ...


October 25, 2014, 3:03 am, 1357531
The main event next week will be the Federal Reserve policy meeting, when it is widely expected that the Fed will announce the end of bond-buying.


October 25, 2014, 3:03 am, 1357535

If you saw a public-opinion poll that had a 15.7% margin of error, you probably wouldn’t take it too seriously. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, for example, had a respectable 3.1% margin of error for registered voters.


October 25, 2014, 3:03 am, 1357534
New research studied whether the cost of a wedding and the marriage’s duration were related. Many interpreted the data as “cheap weddings make for long-lasting marriages.” Not necessarily.


October 25, 2014, 2:05 am, 1357530

So says one new paper on PubMed, by de Ridder D, Kroese F, Adriaanse M, Evers C.:

Three experimental studies examined the counterintuitive hypothesis that hunger improves strategic decision making, arguing that people in a hot state are better able to make favorable decisions involving uncertain outcomes. ...


October 25, 2014, 12:34 am, 1357525

Mises Weekends: Jeff Deist and Patrick Barron address the issue of monetary imperialism.


October 25, 2014, 12:34 am, 1357524

Liberty-loving people are right to be appalled by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, just about every evil in the legislation has already been inflicted on the market through 50 years of state destruction of the healthcare market.


October 24, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1357499
From Merrill Lynch:

The October FOMC meeting is likely to see the end of QE3 buying, as the Fed tapers the final $15bn in asset purchases. ... Tapering has been largely contingent on an improving labor market, and that has generally continued. The FOMC also has indicated multiple times ...


October 24, 2014, 8:44 pm, 1357498

There are several conflicting channels through which monetary policy could affect the distribution of wealth, income, and consumption. This column argues that contractionary monetary policy raised inequality in the US, while expansionary monetary policy lowered it. This evidence stresses the need for monetary policy models that take into account heterogeneity ...


October 24, 2014, 8:05 pm, 1357496

Michael Pollaro, Mark Thornton, and I went looking for some good introductory materials to help newcomers understand Austrian Business Cycle Theory.

Pollaro posted this helpful article over at Forbes, noting:

Indeed, we would say that without ABCT investors are at a competitive ...


October 24, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1357495


October 24, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1357434
From the FDIC: State Bank of Texas, Dallas, Texas, Assumes All of the Deposits of the National Republic Bank of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

As of June 30, 2014, The National Republic Bank of Chicago had approximately $954.4 million in total assets and $915.3 million in total deposits. ... The ...


October 24, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1357429
Things are about to get more interesting in the EU as a review of budget procedures shows the UK, Greece, and Italy owe more money, but Germany and France will get money back.

Curiously, this came about following a review of non-profit organizations from churches and universities to trade ...


October 24, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1357428

It’s national retirement week, so we have rounded up some of the top pieces by AEI economist Andrew Biggs on retirement, Social Security, and whether or not Americans are saving enough.

“Is there a retirement crisis?” Biggs:

Adequate retirement income, in this sense, is an income that allows retirees ...


October 24, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1357427

John. G. Taft is undoubtedly a smart man. He runs the Royal Bank of Canada’s wealth management department for the U.S., which you couldn’t do without being pretty bright. One pitfall for bright people, however, is that you sometimes think because you know a lot about one thing that you ...


October 24, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1357426

In today’s WSJ, physicist and Manhattan Institute senior fellow Mark Mills explains why “The Oil Price Swoon Won’t Stop the Shale Boom,” and why in fact Shale Boom 2.0 is ...


October 24, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1357364

A new paper on wealth inequality from economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman – who have written frequently on the subject – was released earlier this month. This paper is far better than previous attempts to measure inequality. It includes pensions and other sources ...


October 24, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1357363
The main event next week will be the Federal Reserve policy meeting, when it is widely expected that the Fed will announce the end of bond-buying.


October 24, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1357362
From housing economist Tom Lawler:

Census “guesstimated” that new SF home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 467,000 in September, up 0.2% from August’s downwardly-revised (by 7.5% to 466,000) pace. Sales estimates for June and July were also revised downward (by 2.4% and 5.4%, respectively). ...


October 24, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1357361
More than 90% of federal employees say they are willing to put in extra effort to get their work done, but far fewer are satisfied with their jobs, pay or the agencies for which they work, according to an annual survey released Friday about the federal workforce.


October 24, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1357360
A


October 24, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1357359
A


October 24, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1357356

Mises Daily Friday by Robert Murphy:

Robert Murphy, contra Real Clear Markets and Forbes, explains why money is not like a ruler and doesn’t measure value.


October 24, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1357355
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s another letter to my new correspondent from New Jersey:

Dear Mr. Sloan:

I appreciate your correspondence.  Thank you for it.

You ask if I agree that, because successful entrepreneurs “such as [Jeff] Bezos … benefit disproportionately” from government-supplied infrastructure, these entrepreneurs should be taxed at rates higher than those levied ...


October 24, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1357351

The Economist magazine’s Free Exchange column cites new research suggesting that geography is a big factor in unemployment, especially for lower income Americans, Simply put. “Jobs are often located where poorer people cannot afford to live.” 

One study the piece does not mention is that from the ...


October 24, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1357290
New research studied whether the cost of a wedding and the marriage’s duration were related. Many interpreted the data as “cheap weddings make for long-lasting marriages.” Not necessarily.


October 24, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1357289
Dropping energy prices—a big positive for the economy—are filtering through recent economic data. Here are five ways gasoline prices have been a factor in recent reports.


October 24, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1357288

How’s the housing market doing? The answer is that it depends on your time frame.

Looking back against 2011, when prices and sales hit bottom, the market is clearly improved.

Compared with last ...


October 24, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1357287

Maybe we'll finally start discussing something I've been writing about for years with little traction, how market power affects the distribution of income (the disconnect between income and the contribution to final product that occurs when market power exists):

The Profits-Investment Disconnect, by Paul Krugman: I caught a bit ...


October 24, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1357286

Tim Taylor:

What Path for Development in Africa -- and Elsewhere?: As I've pointed out from time to time, the countries of sub-Saharan Africa have been experiencing genuine conomic growth for the last decade or so, and not just in oil- and mineral-exporting countries, creating what ...


October 24, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1357285
A


October 24, 2014, 2:34 pm, 1357284

Robert Murphy explains why people trade goods, and the role of money.


October 24, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1357279

Mises Daily Thursday by Tom Woods:

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

Check out Tom Woods’s interview about the book on Mises Weekends:


October 24, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1357278

Mises Daily Thursday by  Gary Galles:

The term “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 ...


October 24, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1357277

Mises Daily Friday by Nicholas Freiling:

Public accommodation laws that prohibit discrimination render property rights moot and create a legal system designed to force agreement with the state’s official moral code.


October 24, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1357276

Jeff Deist and Patrick Barron address the issue of monetary imperialism. How does the US use the dollar as a weapon of economic and cultural power? How long can it last? What might the unprecedented collapse of a worldwide reserve currency look like? And how do the BRIC nations and ...


October 24, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1357275

Ebola plush toys have been selling so fast in response to this year’s outbreak that a Connecticut manufacturer, Giantmicrobes Inc., can’t keep them in stock.

The company, which was founded a decade ago, makes stuffed toys based on the appearance of microbes like Ebola, Chicken pox, bed bugs, ...


October 24, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1357274
Noah Smith provoked a conversation here at Angry Bear by wondering what causes recessions. Recessions are not such a mystery when you see the interaction between effective demand and such things as productivity. The conversation took place in the comments section of a previous post on Productivity’s role as a ...


October 24, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1357272
Okay, here’s what Christie actually said: I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage. I really am. I don’t think there’s a mother or father sitting around the kitchen table tonight in America saying, ‘You know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God all ...


October 24, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1357273
Okay, here’s what Christie actually said: I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage. I really am. I don’t think there’s a mother or father sitting around the kitchen table tonight in America saying, ‘You know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my ...


October 24, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1357268
There's some interesting discussion points in the UK-based Absolute Return Partners October 2014 Letter, by Niels C. Jensen, most of which I agree with, others not.

Japan-Style Deflation in Our Backyard?

It is no secret that we have been long-standing believers in deflation being a more ...


October 24, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1357267

Matt Ridley has a great column on why cheap oil is unambiguously good news – it makes the world richer and fairer, and in the process allows us to abolish much more poverty, disease and misery. Here’s an excerpt:


October 24, 2014, 1:23 pm, 1357266
Happiness is around six times more sensitive to economic growth when that ‘growth’ is negative


October 24, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357204

Home sales rose to their highest annual pace in September in six years, but the new-home market is still depressed by historical standards.

To get a sense of just ...


October 24, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357203

If you saw a public-opinion poll that had a 15.7% margin of error, you probably wouldn’t take it too seriously. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, for example, had a respectable 3.1% margin of error for registered voters.


October 24, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357202

Simon Wren-Lewis:

Redistribution between generations: I ought to start a series on common macroeconomic misunderstandings. (I do not watch zombie films.) ... Here is one that crops up fairly regularly - that government debt does not involve redistribution between generations. The misunderstanding here is obvious once you see that ...


October 24, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1357201
The new home sales report for September was slightly above expectations at 467 thousand on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR). With the downward revision to August sales, sales for September were at the the highest sales rate since July 2008.

Sales for the previous three months (June, ...


October 24, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1357200
A


October 24, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1357199
A


October 24, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1357198

There are three major new regulations shaping the housing finance market:  QM (qualified mortgage), QRM (qualified residential mortgage) and Reg X.  QM is a safe harbor from the statutory ability-to-repay requirement that applies to all mortgages.  QRM is a safe harbor from the statutory risk retention requirement that ...


October 24, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1357197

October 24, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1357196
(October 24, 2014 11:54 AM, by David Henderson) You can take the boy out of Canada, but you can't (completely) take Canada out of the boy As a U.S. federal employee, I'm going through a security clearance for the first time in years. The guy who came to... (2 COMMENTS)


October 24, 2014, 11:33 am, 1357193

Andy Borowitz, not trying to satirize conservatives for once:

An organization of University of North Carolina athletic boosters expressed shock and outrage today over a report that a few members of U.N.C. sports teams may have taken real classes, despite the widespread availability of fake ones.


October 24, 2014, 11:33 am, 1357192

From the WSJ Micro Review:

Natural-Gas Prices Fall Even With Chill Nearing
by: Timothy Puko
Oct 20, 2014

TOPICS:Supply and Demand

SUMMARY:When cold weather looms across the U.S., natural-gas prices usually rise. This year they are falling, after a ...


October 24, 2014, 11:33 am, 1357191

Some time series data:

U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased in 2013 by 129 million metric tons (2.5%), the largest increase since 2010 and the fourth-largest increase since 1990. Emissions trends reflect a combination of economic factors (population multiplied by per capita output [GDP/population]), energy intensity (energy use per dollar ...


October 24, 2014, 11:33 am, 1357190

The Theory, as taught to generations of economics students:

“Economists say there is a zero bound on the nominal interest rate: it cannot go below zero.” “Nobody would lend money at a negative nominal rate of interest because they could do better by simply holding cash.”

–Paul Krugman et al., “Economics: European Edition”

The ...


October 24, 2014, 11:33 am, 1357189

Well, this is curious. Part of the Republican brand, I thought, was that the GOP was the party of debt reduction and the need to reform entitlements. Paul Ryan made his name as a policy wonk because of his support for Medicare reform. And recall that President Bush unsuccessfully pushed ...


October 24, 2014, 11:03 am, 1357127
Congress and the president put off the hard choices of what spending to cut and what to increase. “We seem to be drifting into the changes,” CBO Director Douglas ...


October 24, 2014, 11:03 am, 1357126

Today we are fortunate to have a guest contribution written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at Harvard University, and former Member of the Council of Economic Advisers, 1997-99.

The latest World Economic Outlook, released this month by the International Monetary Fund, warns ...


October 24, 2014, 11:03 am, 1357125
The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 467 thousand.

August sales were revised down from 504 thousand to466 thousand, and July sales were revised down from 427 thousand to404 thousand.

"Sales of new single-family houses in ...


October 24, 2014, 10:34 am, 1357124
Teaser:

Every ...


October 24, 2014, 10:34 am, 1357123
Teaser:

Everyone ...


October 24, 2014, 10:05 am, 1357118

If you use the word “contagion” these days, people are likely to think you’re talking about ebola. Backup five years ago, and contagion was the buzzword to describe the financial crisis.

The European government bond market was falling apart, and allegedly it had nothing to do with the precarious public ...


October 24, 2014, 10:05 am, 1357117

With the IRS scandals of early 2014 all but a distant memory, some closure is coming to the groups that the long arm of the tax law harassed. Unfortunately the verdicts aren´t going the way the affected would like.

The IRS may have inadvertently figured out how to win its ...


October 24, 2014, 10:04 am, 1357116
(October 24, 2014 09:28 AM, by Art Carden) WARNING: CONTAINS FROZEN SPOILERS. My daughter is four years old, which means we consume a lot of Disney Princess merchandise: movies, toys, etc. As one might expect, everyone in our house basically knows every word to every song from Frozen.... (0 COMMENTS)


October 24, 2014, 9:03 am, 1357053
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Figures released on Friday showed U.K. economic growth slowed in the third quarter. Here are five things of note.

#1: A Respectable Performance

The U.K. economy was 0.7% larger in the third quarter than in the ...


October 24, 2014, 9:03 am, 1357051
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, center, took more than two weeks off before the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium on Aug. 23. Associated Press

How does ...


October 24, 2014, 9:03 am, 1357052

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, October 24, 2014:

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Highlights

Blackstone’s Take: ECB Hopes Its Credibility Can End Europe’s Banking Stress Fed’s 2015 Stress Test ...


October 24, 2014, 9:03 am, 1357050
According to Black Knight's First Look report for September, the percent of loans delinquent decreased in September compared to August, and declined by 12% year-over-year.

Also the percent of loans in the foreclosure process declined further in September and were down 33% over the last year. Foreclosure inventory ...


October 24, 2014, 8:44 am, 1357049
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October 24, 2014, 8:34 am, 1357048
Healthcare is hot, energy is not. That’s the message in the trailing one-year total return data for ETFs that track the major sectors for the US equity market (see list below for tickers and links). Measured by one-total performance, the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) is up nearly 24% ...


October 24, 2014, 8:34 am, 1357047

Matthew Yglesias argues that “Amazon is doing the world a favor by crushing book publishers.” His essay is a response to the “


October 24, 2014, 8:05 am, 1357045

In the United States we are using advanced technology like fingerprint scans to pay for goods. In Venezuela they are using advanced technology like fingerprint scans to ration goods. Here is the WSJ:

Amid worsening shortages, Venezuela recently reached a milestone of dubious distinction: It has joined the ranks of ...


October 24, 2014, 8:04 am, 1357044
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from the final paragraph of F.A. Hayek’s brilliant and profoundly important December 11, 1974 Nobel Prize lecture, “The Pretense of Knowledge“:

There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to ...


October 24, 2014, 7:33 am, 1357038

"I'm gonna add some bottom so that the dancers just won't hide."

Too much Red Hot Chili Pepper and Jamiroquai but otherwise, reasonable selections.


October 24, 2014, 7:33 am, 1357037

The New York Times argues that 80 can be the new 50.

Long may it wave.


October 24, 2014, 7:33 am, 1357036

"You’ll never be able to unsee these."


October 24, 2014, 7:33 am, 1357035
Moreno Bertoldi, Philip R. Lane, Paolo Pesenti, and ValérieRouxel-Laxton

The reason why the macroeconomic policy mix has been different ...


October 24, 2014, 7:33 am, 1357034

At the risk of biting a hand that fed me a tiny morsel, here's an interesting take on the Amazon/Hachette book fight. To me, the interesting piece here is the question of value-added. What value does the publisher add to the publishing process?

In the traditional book purchasing paradigm, ...


October 24, 2014, 7:23 am, 1357033

Readers Question: You have partially explained the answer to my question in your reply to my other question, “What will we do when we can’t pay back the money owing to ...


October 24, 2014, 7:03 am, 1356972

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 24, 2014, 7:03 am, 1356968

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 24, 2014, 7:03 am, 1356969

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 24, 2014, 7:03 am, 1356971

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 24, 2014, 7:03 am, 1356967

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 24, 2014, 7:03 am, 1356970

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 24, 2014, 7:03 am, 1356962
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Figures released on Friday showed U.K. economic growth slowed in the third quarter. Here are five things of note.

#1: A Respectable Performance

The U.K. economy was 0.7% larger in the third quarter than in the ...


October 24, 2014, 7:03 am, 1356963
The German economy’s strong focus on the car industry is also a risk, says Clemens Fuest, director of the Centre for European Economic Research. “If this market stops growing ...


October 24, 2014, 7:03 am, 1356964
The time frame around Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda’s inflation goal is looking increasingly fuzzy. Bloomberg News

The magic number was “two” when the Bank of ...


October 24, 2014, 7:03 am, 1356965
A Chinese worker gathers up sheep’s wool after it was processed and bleached at a factory near Zhangzhou, China. Getty Images

A 10% increase in China’s minimum ...


October 24, 2014, 7:03 am, 1356966
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

If you’re good with a scalpel and willing to move, Kansas could be the place for you.

Surgeons in the Sunflower State make more—when adjusting for cost ...


October 24, 2014, 6:44 am, 1356961
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October 24, 2014, 6:44 am, 1356960
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October 24, 2014, 6:35 am, 1356959
● Treasuries Advance as NY Ebola Case Boosts Safest Assets | Bloomberg Treasuries rose the most in a week after a doctor in New York City tested positive for Ebola, spurring demand for the haven assets amid concern any outbreak of the virus can weigh on the global economy. ● ...


October 24, 2014, 6:04 am, 1356956
by Linda Beale Both the rich and ordinary Americans misunderstand their economic interests There is class warfare going on, right now, all across this country.  It’s highlighted by the election gimmicks and gambits of those on the right who claim to be supporting ordinary Americans but whose real intentions show ...


October 24, 2014, 6:04 am, 1356957


October 24, 2014, 6:04 am, 1356955
by Joseph Joyce Martin Wolf’s Warning It is time for the 2014 Globie—a (somewhat fictitious) prize I award once a year to a book that deserves recognition for its treatment of the consequences of globalization. (Previous winners can be found here.) The financial turmoil of the last week makes this ...


October 24, 2014, 5:23 am, 1356953
The Local Government Association (which represents local councils in the UK) have joined the debate about term time holidays for pupils this week. They argue that current rules banning term time holidays or imposing fines on those families who take such breaks do not recognise the complexities of modern families ...


October 24, 2014, 5:03 am, 1356900
The time frame around Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda’s inflation goal is looking increasingly fuzzy. Bloomberg News

The magic number was “two” when the Bank of ...


October 24, 2014, 5:03 am, 1356899
The German economy’s strong focus on the car industry is also a risk, says Clemens Fuest, director of the Centre for European Economic Research. “If this market stops growing ...


October 24, 2014, 5:03 am, 1356898

We need you to watch the following video, in which Dave Hax describes how to freehand draw a perfect circle. Once you've seen how, we need you to duplicate his "target" pattern of the three concentric circles on a sheet of paper, making the innermost ...


October 24, 2014, 5:03 am, 1356897

October 24, 2014, 5:03 am, 1356896

"What's a plutocrat to do?":

Plutocrats Against Democracy, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: ...The ... political right has always been uncomfortable with democracy..., there is always an undercurrent of fear that the great unwashed will vote in left-wingers who will tax the rich, hand out largess to the ...


October 24, 2014, 2:05 am, 1356849

It is undeniably true that Amazon has a very large share of the market for e-books. What is not true is that Amazon faces a lack of competition in the digital book market. Barnes & Noble — a company that knows something about books — sells e-books, and does so ...


October 24, 2014, 2:05 am, 1356848

A party can deviate only so far from its core voters:

Cutting federal health and retirement spending has long been at the top of the GOP agenda. But with Republicans in striking distance of winning the Senate, they are suddenly blasting the idea of trimming Social Security benefits.

The latest attack came ...


October 24, 2014, 1:33 am, 1356846

October 24, 2014, 12:34 am, 1356797

Public accommodation laws that prohibit discrimination render property rights moot and create a legal system designed to force agreement with the state's official moral code.