Economics

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  • Why Israel?

    Project Syndicate RSS-Feed
    Shlomo Ben-Ami
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:50 am
    The grotesque coupling of solidarity with Palestine and anti-Jewish invective seems to have forged a politically correct form of anti-Semitism that is drowning out legitimate criticism of Israel's policies in Gaza. Why does Israel’s controversial behavior, unlike that of other countries, call into question its right to exist?
  • The Exaggerated Death of Inflation

    Project Syndicate RSS-Feed
    Kenneth Rogoff
    2 Sep 2014 | 2:30 am
    Modern central banking has worked wonders to bring down inflation. Ultimately, however, a central bank’s anti-inflation policies can work only within the context of a macroeconomic and political framework that is consistent with price stability.
  • Black Knight releases Mortgage Monitor for July

    Calculated Risk
    Bill McBride
    1 Sep 2014 | 9:40 pm
    Black Knight Financial Services (BKFS) released their Mortgage Monitor report for July today. According to BKFS, 5.64% of mortgages were delinquent in July, down from 5.70% in June. BKFS reports that 1.85% of mortgages were in the foreclosure process, down from 2.82% in July 2013.This gives a total of 7.49% delinquent or in foreclosure. It breaks down as:• 1,713,000 properties that are 30 or more days, and less than 90 days past due, but not in foreclosure.• 1,136,000 properties that are 90 or more days delinquent, but not in foreclosure.• 935,000 loans in foreclosure process.For a…
  • Hong Kong Newspaper Drops Democracy Advocate’s Column

    NYT > International Business
    By CHRIS BUCKLEY
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:09 am
    The columnist’s supporters said The Hong Kong Economic Journal’s decision was a blow to the city’s beleaguered media freedoms, a criticism the newspaper rejected.
  • Let the Middle East Govern Itself

    Project Syndicate RSS-Feed
    Jeffrey D. Sachs
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:05 am
    The West's interventions have consistently destabilized the Middle East, while causing massive suffering in the affected countries. It is time for the US and other powers to allow the Middle East to govern itself in line with national sovereignty and the United Nations Charter.
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    Real Time Economics

  • Grand Central: Euro Will be Judge and Jury for Mario Draghi

    WSJ Staff
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:05 am
    The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Tuesday, September 2, 2014 Sign up for the newsletter Highlights Blackstone’s Take: Euro Will be Judge and Jury for Mario Draghi CBO, Fed Growth Forecasts Unattainable, Northwestern’s Gordon Says Inflation Stays Below Fed’s Target for 27th Straight Month BOJ May Be Reluctant to Affirm Positive Economic Cycle Australia Central Bank Holds Interest Rates Steady BLACKSTONE’S TAKE: EURO WILL BE JUDGE AND JURY FOR MARIO DRAGHI The recent slide in the euro has made the European Central Bank’s job of boosting growth and…
  • Baby Boom or Economy Bust: Stern Warnings About China’s Falling Fertility Rate

    WSJ Staff
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:52 am
    A baby-themed ad in Taizhou. Reuters China needs a baby boom—and badly, researchers say. “Get married soon and have lots of children.” That’s the advice that 49-year-old Huang Wenzheng gave to college students at a recent forum in Beijing about China’s population and urban policy. Mr. Huang, one of the most outspoken one-child policy opponents in China, along with other activists and economists, said at the forum that China needs babies more urgently than ever before, and the country’s economic fate depends on whether Beijing can do more to encourage child births. A shirking…
  • CBO, Fed Growth Forecasts Unattainable, Northwestern’s Gordon Says

    Jon Hilsenrath
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    The Congressional Budget Office’s projection of modest annual U.S. output growth of 2.2% in the coming decade is unattainable, as is the Federal Reserve’s expectation of growth near 3% in the next two years, according to a new paper by Northwestern University economics professor Robert Gordon. Slow growth in the productivity of the U.S. labor force and a slowdown in the growth of the workforce make it impossible to meet these meager projections without overheating the economy, Mr. Gordon says in a new working paper. Instead, in his baseline forecast, the economy will grow at a 1.6% rate…
  • Writing China: Nicholas Lardy, ‘Markets Over Mao’

    Bob Davis
    2 Sep 2014 | 2:50 am
    Courtesy of the Peterson Institute for International Economics For the past 30 years, Nicholas Lardy has chronicled the immense changes in China’s economy and revealed some of the system’s biggest flaws. The problems include the banking sector’s bad loans in the late 1990s and the institutionalized exploitation of savers, via meager bank deposit rates, to finance economic growth.  In his latest book, “Markets Over Mao,” the 68-year old senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington D.C., takes on China’s state-owned enterprises. His surprising…
  • Labor Day Turns Attention Back to Minimum-Wage Debate

    Eric Morath
    1 Sep 2014 | 9:35 am
    The White House and union leaders are using Labor Day reinvigorate efforts to raise the minimum wage. Legislation to increase the federal pay floor from $7.25 an hour stalled in Congress this spring, but Democrats hope the issue will resonate with voters in November, especially in states with closely contested Senate races. “Raising the minimum wage would be one of the best ways to give a boost to working families,” President Barack Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio address. He pointed to stronger job creation gains this year but noted many workers are in low-paying jobs. Raising…
 
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    naked capitalism

  • 2-for-1 Links Split

    Lambert Strether
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:46 am
    Before anyone asks, the Antidote will stay exactly where it is.
  • Links 9/2/14

    Lambert Strether
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:55 am
  • Publish or Be Damned – Or Why Central Banks Need to Say More About The Path of Their Policy Rates

    Lambert Strether
    2 Sep 2014 | 1:55 am
    In the wake of the crisis, forward guidance has become a prominent tool of monetary policy. This column argues that central banks should go a step further, communicating to the public the internal policy debate that goes into monetary policy formation – especially regarding uncertainty. Since policy is determined contingent on a range of possible outcomes, forward guidance would become more effective by explicitly communicating how policy would respond along this uncertain path.
  • Obama Phones It In for Labor Day

    Lambert Strether
    2 Sep 2014 | 1:25 am
    Granted, Obama gives good phone. But none of what he says will translate to policy.
  • Hidden Bomb in Single-Family Rental Securitizations: Trigger Risk

    Yves Smith
    1 Sep 2014 | 11:11 pm
    Yield-hungry investors have been snapping up single family rental securitizations, with recent deals heavily oversubscribed. Buyers have been comforted by raging agency reviews that give the top tranches AAA grades, based on loss cushions that these scorekeepers treat as generous (a dissenting view comes from Standard & Poors, which stated that the "operational infancy" of these rental securitizations made them ineligible for a triple A rating). However, investors appear to be overlooking a risk component that can deliver large-scale losses. We'll call it trigger risk.
 
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    Alpha.Sources

  • Weak economic data would test bonds in the periphery

    CV
    7 Aug 2014 | 1:50 am
    Volatility has engulfed the eurozone in the past few weeks, but bond markets remain a relative sea of calm. This could change quickly however, if the economic data in the periphery takes a serious turn for the worse. Given the absence of active balance sheet expansion at the ECB, Q3 PMIs have suddenly taken in critical importance   Picture is courtesey of Pantheon Macroeconomics and has also been posted on Twitter. 
  • Is the Euro Overvalued?

    CV
    16 Jul 2014 | 7:43 am
    Well, yes if you ask Mr. Draghi it is, but not if you look at fundamental long run charts. Looking at both the REER and the trade weighted index, the euro is currently bang on average. Obviously, the ECB would like a weaker currency, but the best way to reach that objective will probably be to do nothing. It is difficult to expect a weaker currency amid a cyclical recovery with strong portfolio inflows and a current account surplus.    ---  Pictures are courtesey of Pantheon Macroeconomics and have also been posted at Twitter. 
  • Confirming or Rejecting the idea of a eurozone recovery

    CV
    14 Jul 2014 | 4:42 am
    The following chart is an interesting one, depicting the sub-index from the EC consumer survey for major purchase intentions in the eurozone over the next year. Still moribund, this indicator suggests that the consumer is still very cautious in the euro area, but what if it breaks higher?  I will be watching this closely for a move higher—or a move back down into its post-crisis range—in coming months.    Picture is courtesey of Pantheon Macroeconomics, and has also been posted at Twitter.
  • The Big Short on Volatility

    CV
    21 Apr 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Two investment themes in particular, since 2008, have been predominant in my view and the continuation or unravelling of both hold the key to successful asset allocation in the next 3-5 years. The first is the suppression of volatility on the back of aggressive and ongoing central bank intervention. The second is the hunt for yield characterised by two key currents. Firstly, investors have been pushed far out the risk spectrum (often reluctantly). Secondly, we have seen bonds and stocks appreciate and depreciate together which has put into question core tenets of traditional portfolio…
  • Changing correlations

    CV
    14 Apr 2014 | 2:18 am
    I am currently moving my life 300 miles north which entails more headbanging over missing internet, tv and other amenities in my new flat, IKEA flatpacks rather than looking at the market. One of the tidbits that did register last week however was Draghi's comments at the IMF that the euro is now starting to become a problem.  It is clear that the ECB is priming the market here for something. Although I am quite sure that this "something" will be underwhelming. One thing though that needs to be watched is the catalyst, in my view, for this recent jawboning by the ECB. Basically, the fact…
 
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    The American Prospect

  • The Stupidity of Hating Your Senator for Living Where You've Sent Her to Work

    Paul Waldman
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:44 am
    (MSNBC/Morning Joe) This year, not one, but two, incumbent senators up for re-election have been dogged by the "issue" of the precise location where they rest their heads at the end of a weary day of lawmaking. First it was Republican Pat Roberts, who, we learned in February, lists the home of some friends as his official residence in Kansas; apparently he crashes there when he's in the state. And now it's Democrat Mary Landrieu, whose heretofore unimpeachable Louisiana roots (her father Moon was the mayor of New Orleans in the 1970s, and her brother Mitch holds that office today) are now…
  • Labor's New Groove: Taking the Struggle From Streets to Legislatures at the Twilight of Collective Bargaining

    Harold Meyerson
    1 Sep 2014 | 6:31 am
    (AP Photo/Paul Beaty) Demonstrators rally for better wages outside a McDonald's restaurant in Chicago, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. Demonstrations planned in 100 cities are part of push by labor unions, worker advocacy groups and Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Labor Day, 2014, comes at a time when Americans have concluded—correctly—that their country is downwardly mobile. In a Rutgers University poll released last week, 71 percent of Americans said they believed the changes to the economy caused by the Great Recession are permanent. (Asked the same question in November…
  • Why the Legacy of Katrina on New Orleans Is Different From Disasters That Befell Other Cities

    Courtney Young
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:40 am
    Rescue personnel search from victims as they traverse the New Orleans 8th Ward in the flooded city of New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Water continued to rise after the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina, which pounded the coast on August 29. How to remember Hurricane Katrina? I consider this each year as the anniversary approaches. I assume it’s something that most people do when the anniversary of a traumatic event draws near. New Orleans is not my hometown; I grew up two hours northwest from it in Louisiana’s fourth largest city, Lafayette. The day before Katrina reached land, my…
  • Is Elizabeth Warren Just an Ordinary Politician?

    Paul Waldman
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:09 am
    Hero-worship is always risky in politics, because if you put all your hopes on one politician, eventually you're sure to be disappointed. And so it has come that Elizabeth Warren, who inspires more dewy-eyed infatuation than any other current Democratic officeholder, may have given her liberal admirers a reason to feel dismayed. This article from the Cape Cod Times is a week old, but it's just now making the rounds, and it shows that on one subject, Warren isn't quite the same strong progressive some might hope her to be. Here's what happened when a constituent criticized her vote to send an…
  • Still Nader After All These Years

    Robert Kuttner
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:48 am
    (AP Photo/George Ruhe, File) In this April 27, 2008, file photo, Ralph Nader speaks to supporters as he campaigns for his 2008 independent presidential bid in Waterbury, Connecticut. For many Democrats who came of age after 2000, Ralph Nader is a crank who cost Al Gore the presidency. But Nader deserves a more honored place in the progressive pantheon. Over the years, Nader has understood the stranglehold of corporate power on democracy as well as anyone, and throughout his career he has creatively organized counterweights. In the heyday of postwar reform, the 1960s and 1970s, Nader-inspired…
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Noted for Your Evening Procrastination for September 1, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 5:37 pm
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Evening Must-Read: Bloomberg View: Stopping Europe's Descent Into Deflation - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Evening Must-Read: Paul Krugman: Inflation, Septaphobia, and the Shock Doctrine - Washington Center for Equitable Growth #FF America's Best, Most Substantive, and Most Accurate Center-Left Polemicist Is... Jonathan Chait: Monday Focus for September 1, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Morning Must-Read: Free Exchange: Germany's Hyperinflation-Phobia - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Plus: Things to Read on the Evening…
  • Monday Smackdown: DeLong Self-Smackdown: The "Greeks"

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 4:46 pm
    It is kinda scary that I only knew what seven out of these fifteen were: Greeks: Wikipedia: Delta measures the rate of change of option value with respect to changes in the underlying asset's price.... Vega is the derivative of the option value with respect to the volatility of the underlying asset.... The glyph used is the Greek letter nu... [looks] like a Latin vee.... Another possibility is that it is named after Joseph de la Vega, famous for Confusion of Confusions.... Theta... [is] the amount of money per share of the underlying that the option loses in one day [at a constant…
  • Over at Equitable Growth: #FF America's Best, Most Substantive, and Most Accurate Center-Left Polemicist Is... Jonathan Chait: Monday Focus for September 1, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 6:32 am
    Over at Equitable Growth A Baker's Dozen of recent keepers: Keystone Fight a Huge Environmentalist Mistake Why I’m So Mean Wasting Away in Hooverville Greg Mankiw Loves One Percent, Doesn’t Know Why Fear of a Female Fed Chief Why Is Obama Caving on Taxes? The Lonely Death of the Republican Health Plan What Caused The Deficit? The Morality Of Political Hostage-Taking Paul Ryan Is Making Things Up Again READ MOAR And three that require excerpting: READ MOAR (11) Jonathan Chait: Why Washington Accepts Mass Unemployment: "The recovery looks safe for those of us... ...who are not already…
  • Liveblogging World War I: September 1, 1914: Tannenberg: Aftermath

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 6:10 am
    From Dennis Showalter: Tannenberg: The roundup of [Samsonov's Russian] 2nd Army’s broken center continued throughout August 31. Skirmish lines and small columns of XVII Corps pushed their way through the forest from the north, collecting stragglers as they went. An Orthodox chaplain negotiated the surrender of several thousand exhausted soldiers to Schmettau just outside Willenberg. At 11:00 a.m. Kluyev himself handed over another thousand men to a detachment of I Corps. Hour by hour the numbers grew. Hundreds, then thousands of men sat glumly under the guard of a few German riflemen.
  • Sam Wang Says the Polls Give Harry Reid a More than 50% Chance of Being Senate Majority Leader Next January...: Live from The Roasterie CCCXX: September 1, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 3:40 am
    Sam Wang: Senate Democrats Are Outperforming Expectations: "The PEC Senate poll snapshot is more favorable to Democrats than... ...The Upshot... The Monkey Cage... FiveThirtyEight, and Daily Kos.... Today’s PEC snapshot... favors the Democrats with a 70% probability.... The major media organizations (NYT, WaPo, 538)... all use prior conditions like incumbency, candidate experience, funding, and the generic Congressional ballot... and opinion polls.... The first data column is the current PEC poll median. The next two columns show what a polls-only win probability looks like. Finally,…
 
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    Calculated Risk

  • Black Knight releases Mortgage Monitor for July

    Bill McBride
    1 Sep 2014 | 9:40 pm
    Black Knight Financial Services (BKFS) released their Mortgage Monitor report for July today. According to BKFS, 5.64% of mortgages were delinquent in July, down from 5.70% in June. BKFS reports that 1.85% of mortgages were in the foreclosure process, down from 2.82% in July 2013.This gives a total of 7.49% delinquent or in foreclosure. It breaks down as:• 1,713,000 properties that are 30 or more days, and less than 90 days past due, but not in foreclosure.• 1,136,000 properties that are 90 or more days delinquent, but not in foreclosure.• 935,000 loans in foreclosure process.For a…
  • State and Local Governments: Contributions to GDP and Employment

    Bill McBride
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    Two and half years ago I argued that "most of the drag from state and local governments would be over by mid-year 2012. Just eliminating the drag from state and local governments would help GDP and employment growth". This has been an important change.Here is a graph showing the contribution to percent change in GDP for residential investment and state and local governments since 2005. Click on graph for larger image.The blue bars are for residential investment (RI), and RI was a significant drag on GDP for several years. RI (blue) added to GDP growth for a few years, before subtracting in Q4…
  • Mortgage Rates: A Long Way to Fall for a Significant Increase in Refinance Activity

    Bill McBride
    31 Aug 2014 | 6:26 pm
    I've seen some recent discussion suggesting that mortgage refinance activity might pickup significantly if mortgage rates fall just a little more. I think this is incorrect.First, from Freddie Mac last week: Mortgage Rates Remain Low Heading Into Holiday WeekendFreddie Mac ... released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged amid mixed news on the housing front heading into the Labor Day weekend....30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.10 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending August 28, 2014,…
  • Restaurant Performance Index declined in July

    Bill McBride
    31 Aug 2014 | 9:49 am
    From the National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Performance Index Dipped in July Due in part to a dampened outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a modest decline in July. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.0 in July, down from a level of 101.3 in June and the second consecutive monthly decline. Despite the recent downticks, the RPI remained above 100 for the 17th consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the…
  • Schedule for Week of August 31st

    Bill McBride
    30 Aug 2014 | 10:11 am
    This will be a busy week for economic data.  The key report is the August employment report on Friday.Other key reports include the ISM manufacturing index on Tuesday and August vehicle sales on Wednesday.The ECB rate decision and press conference with ECB President Mario Draghi on Thursday will be closely watched.----- Monday, September 1st -----All US markets will be closed in observance of the Labor Day holiday.----- Tuesday, September 2nd -----Early: Black Knight Mortgage Monitor report for July.10:00 AM: ISM Manufacturing Index for August. The consensus is for a decrease to 56.8…
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    Crooked Timber

  • Breaking News! Wise to Forward Salaita Appointment to Trustees! Updated

    Corey Robin
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:44 pm
    We are getting reports out of the University of Illinois that Chancellor Wise is going to forward the Salaita appointment to the Board of Trustees for a vote on September 11. A group of Gender and Women’s Studies students reports the following: From GWS Undergraduate Stephanie Skora’s report back on meeting with Chancellor Wise on Monday, September 1, 2014: The meeting with Chancellor Wise was a success, and we have gained some valuable information and commitments from the Chancellor! We have discovered that the Chancellor HAS FORWARDED Professor Salaita’s appointment to the…
  • Salaita By the Numbers: 5 Cancelled Lectures, 3 Votes of No Confidence, 3849 Boycotters, and 1 NYT Article (Updated Thrice)

    Corey Robin
    31 Aug 2014 | 8:17 pm
    The New York Times has weighed in with a strong piece on the Salaita affair. This is significant for two reasons. First, while we in academia and on social media or the blogosphere have been debating and pushing this story for weeks, it hasn’t really broken into the mainstream. With a few exceptions, no major newspaper has covered it. Now that the Times has, I’m hoping Salaita’s story will get even more attention, possibly from the networks as well. Second, in addition to covering the basics of the case, the piece shows just how divisive and controversial Chancellor…
  • Sunday Photoblogging: The Last Day of Summer

    Belle Waring
    31 Aug 2014 | 7:27 am
    For some people, anyway. I don’t normally post photos with people, but this little girl was born right on this blog and look at her now! All grown up and going to Martha’s Vineyard. Everyone’s glad to be home in Singapore eating roti prata and murtabak, though. Well, no, I miss real summer like that. High dunes and cold water and fresh corn and berry cobbler and lobster rolls. But if you read my aunt Laura Wainwright’s book Home Bird you can hear that it gets wickedly cold in the wintertime. Later when I’m not tired I’ll make it be so you can click on a…
  • The peculiar status of PhD-employees

    Ingrid Robeyns
    31 Aug 2014 | 6:32 am
    One thing that has struck me for years is the peculiar status of people taking a PhD-degree in the Netherlands (and in a few other continental European countries – I don’t know how many exactly). They are hired by the university, as employees, to write a dissertation, and help teach about one course a year, during four years (in Belgium they may have to teach more, but in those cases they have 6 years, of which one third has to be spent on teaching, and two thirds on working towards the PhD-degree). I call this category of people pursuing a PhD-degree PhD-employees: they have a…
  • Hoover channels LaRouche

    John Quiggin
    31 Aug 2014 | 2:31 am
    Despite my attempts at zombie-slaying, the myth that Rachel Carson advocated and caused a worldwide ban on DDT, leading to the deaths of millions, keeps being reanimated. I came across an example that is interesting mainly because of its provenenance. It’s by Henry I Miller of the Hoover Institute and Gregory Conko of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. CEI is hack central, so nothing it produces ought to surprise anyone. But Hoover boasts a Who’s Who of (what remains of) the right wing intellectual apparatus: Hnery Kissinger, Condi Rice, John Taylor and Harvey Mansfield, among…
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    Dealbreaker

  • Opening Bell: 09.02.2014

    Dealbreaker
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:43 am
    Heady U.S. IPO Market Rolls Into Autumn (WSJ) Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. plans this month to begin a marketing roadshow for what could be the largest IPO ever, potentially raising more than $20 billion. New York office landlord Paramount Group Inc. filed preliminary paperwork last week for what may be the largest-ever… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
  • Write-Offs: 08.29.14

    Dealbreaker
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:30 am
    $$$ JPMorgan Hack Said to Span Months Via Multiple Flaws [Bloomberg] $$$ Ukraine Invasion Claims Wipe Out Russia Bondholder Gains [Bloomberg] $$$ Brazil Falls Into Recession with Second Quarter GDP [Reuters] $$$ A Midtown landlord is taking cramped city living to new heights — by renting a 2 bedroom apartment with 22 beds, according to… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
  • Get Ready To Hear “I’ll Have My Assistant Make A Reservation At Denny’s” A Lot More Often

    Bess Levin
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:39 am
    The Denny’s that opens Friday in the Financial District will offer a $300 version of its popular Grand Slam wake-up — complete with a bottle of 2004 Dom Perignon Premier Cru Champagne. The breakfast fit for a king is called the “Grand Cru Slam” — but besides the vino, it’s the standard morning eye-opener of… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: breakfast, Denny's, Dom Perignon, Grand Cru Slam, lunch, move over Loews Regency, watch your back Four Seasons, you take someone here and they'll know you mean business
  • You Now Have Two Ways To Evaluate Mortgage-Backed Securities

    Jon Shazar
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:13 am
    You can do the work yourself, what with all of the new information banks will have to disclose about all of the garbage they’re hiding in them. Or you can trust that the ratings agencies will live up to the spirit of the new rule directing them to do what they say they do, rather… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: ratings agencies, SEC, we did it!
  • Swiss Bankers Suddenly Bashful About Listing “Sparkling Water,” “Hooker For Client” On Expense Reports

    Bess Levin
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:12 am
    To that end, Hans in accounting is also getting a little too pushy with the “Was this prostitute really necessary? Is this threesome going to help Q4 revenue?” line of questioning. Zurich’s red-light district is dimming. Bankers who have been core patrons of the city’s sex industry and cabarets are curbing spending. The venues of… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: expense reports, prostitutes, rules, Switzerland, Zurich
 
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    Econbrowser

  • Bond market conundrum redux

    James_Hamilton
    31 Aug 2014 | 12:12 pm
    As the U.S. economy returns to healthier growth, many of us expected long-term interest rates to return to more normal historical levels. But the general trend has been down since the end of the Great Recession. The 10-year rate did jump back up in the spring of 2013. But during most of this year it has been falling again. Nominal yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bond, from FRED. And it’s not just that people are getting used to the idea that inflation is always going to be low. The drop in the yield on a 10-year Treasury inflation-protected security (TIPS), whose coupon and par value go…
  • Quantitative Implications of Wisconsin Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

    Menzie Chinn
    30 Aug 2014 | 2:07 pm
    No succor from the QCEW series that the Walker Administration previously touted [1] DWD released QCEW figures for first quarter 2014. Since the QCEW figures are not seasonally adjusted, I have estimated a series consistent with the BLS private nonfarm payroll employment series based on the QCEW data. Figure 1: Wisconsin private nonfarm payroll employment (blue), path implied by Governor Walker’s August 2013 pledge (red), and employment implied by QCEW series (orange), all in thousands, seasonally adjusted. Source: BLS, DWD, and author’s calculations. Figure 1 includes an estimate…
  • Wisconsin Forecasted to Lag Further Behind Minnesota

    Menzie Chinn
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:55 pm
    And Kansas travels its own path Bruce Bartlett brings my attention to this article noting Minnesota’s economic performance. This reminded me to check on the Philadelphia Fed’s forecast for the next six months, released earlier today. What’s interesting to me is the fact the cumulative growth gap between Minnesota and Wisconsin (relative to 2011M01) is forecasted to grow — rather than shrink — over the next six months. Figure 1: Log coincident indices for Minnesota (blue bold), Wisconsin (red bold), Kansas (green), California (teal), and United States (black), all…
  • “U.K. Wants EU to Block Russia From SWIFT Banking Network”

    Menzie Chinn
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:11 am
    From Bloomberg:: The U.K. will press European Union leaders to consider blocking Russian access to the SWIFT banking transaction system under an expansion of sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, a British government official said. … “There’s no doubt that in the short term restricting Russian usage of SWIFT would be extremely disruptive to Russian financial and commercial activities,” said Richard Reid, a research fellow for finance and regulation at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Russian economic authorities themselves accede to the increasing likelihood of recession…
  • Russian Forces in Ukraine

    Menzie Chinn
    28 Aug 2014 | 1:16 pm
    Edit/update 8/30: T72BM (only known to be in service in the Russian army) in Ukraine, 8/26. Source: IISS From NYT: NATO released photographs on Thursday that it said shows Russian artillery units operating in Ukraine, and asserted that more than 1,000 Russian soldiers had now joined the separatists fighting there against the Ukrainian armed forces. Source: NYT. The MICEX is down 1.84% today; the Russian Trading System Cash Index is down 3.43%. Source: Bloomberg. Thus far, risk indicators such as VIX are not evidencing upward spikes, but that could change very quickly. Given the downturn in…
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    EconLog: Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Uber Wars. The Ban Menace

    Alberto Mingardi
    2 Sep 2014 | 7:01 am
    (September 2, 2014 07:01 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) The BBC reports that Uber has been banned in Germany by a Frankfurt court: A court in Frankfurt ruled that the firm lacked the necessary legal permits to operate under German law. It has emerged that the firm was told... (1 COMMENTS)
  • Against Winning

    Bryan Caplan
    2 Sep 2014 | 12:22 am
    (September 2, 2014 12:22 AM, by Bryan Caplan) When I was a child, adults taught us to look down on bad winners.  The maxim: "It's not whether you win or lose; it's how you play the game."  The implicit model was something like: Yes, winning is better than... (7 COMMENTS)
  • Predicting bubbles

    Scott Sumner
    1 Sep 2014 | 4:00 pm
    (September 1, 2014 04:00 PM, by Scott Sumner) MaynardGKeynes recently left this comment: Simple fact is that Shiller correctly predicted 3 of the last 3 bubbles (2000, housing, 2007). That's a widely held view, but is it correct? This is from Eugene Fama's Nobel Prize lecture (in the... (11 COMMENTS)
  • The Role of Unions

    David Henderson
    1 Sep 2014 | 1:51 pm
    (September 1, 2014 01:51 PM, by David Henderson) Every Labor Day in the last few years, we hear about the decline of unions and how that has been a bad thing. What I find striking is how economically uninformed most of this commentary is. Start with the fact... (11 COMMENTS)
  • Robert Litan on Microeconomists' Contributions

    David Henderson
    31 Aug 2014 | 12:20 pm
    (August 31, 2014 12:20 PM, by David Henderson) Robert Litan gives a nice 15-minute speech in which he highlights some of the main contributions that microeconomists have made that have generated, over 30+ years, hundreds of billions (and possibly trillions) of dollars in consumer and producer surplus. (These... (10 COMMENTS)
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    NYT > Money & Policy

  • Childhood Diet Habits Set in Infancy, Studies Suggest

    By CATHERINE SAINT LOUIS
    1 Sep 2014 | 9:21 pm
    Research published in the journal Pediatrics indicates that early preferences for fruits and vegetables or, conversely, sugary drinks last into age 6.
  • Military Medicine: Smaller Military Hospitals Said to Put Patients at Risk

    By SHARON LaFRANIERE and ANDREW W. LEHREN
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:58 pm
    Many of the hospitals run by the armed forces are so small and the trickle of patients so thin that doctors and nurses say their ability to properly treat serious illnesses is compromised.
  • Well: Of Little Help to Older Knees

    By NEW YORK TIMES
    1 Sep 2014 | 3:58 pm
    Middle-aged and older patients are unlikely to benefit in the long term from surgery to repair tears in the meniscus, pads of cartilage in the knee, a new review of studies has found.
  • Well: A Benefit of Legal Marijuana

    By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
    1 Sep 2014 | 3:52 pm
    A new study has found evidence that legal access to marijuana is associated with fewer opioid overdose deaths, but researchers said their findings should not be used as the basis for the wide adoption of legalized cannabis.
  • Well: Birth Weight and Diabetes

    By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
    1 Sep 2014 | 3:33 pm
    African-Americans born at low birth weight are at an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes later in life, a new study has found.
 
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    Economist's View

  • Fed Watch: Fed Positioning to Normalize Policy

    Mark Thoma
    2 Sep 2014 | 12:24 am
    Tim Duy: Fed Positioning to Normalize Policy, by Tim Duy: With the leaves turning to gold signaling the end of summer, so too will the Fed be facing its own change of seasons as quantitative easing comes to an end. With asset purchases likely ending in October, time is growing short for the Fed to communicate a plan for the normalization of policy. To be sure, the outline of the plan is already in place, with interest on reserves playing a primary role backed by overnight repurchase operations. The timing of any action to raise rates, however, is likely to become a more contentious issue…
  • Links for 9-02-14

    Mark Thoma
    2 Sep 2014 | 12:06 am
    Hard money is not a mistake - interfluidity Inflation, Septaphobia, and the Shock Doctrine - Paul Krugman Back to College, the Only Gateway to the Middle Class - Robert Reich Is America's health care underperformance a myth? - Noahpinion Margaret Archer on social change - Understanding Society State/Local Govs: Contributions to GDP and Employment - Calculated Risk It's OK to make money hurting the poor, but not helping them - James Choi Fed ignores likelihood of weaker growth - FT.com Migration and welfare in the US and Europe - vox Labour's austerity problem - mainly macro
  • 'What Unions No Longer Do'

    Mark Thoma
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:16 am
    Justin Fox: What Unions No Longer Do, by Justin Fox: Forty years ago, about quarter of American workers belonged to unions, and those unions were a major economic and political force. Now union membership is down to 11.2% of the U.S. workforce, and it’s increasingly concentrated in the public sector — only 6.7% of private-sector workers were union members in 2013. This isn’t exactly news... What doesn’t get talked about so much, though, are the consequences. Income inequality has, for example, become a hot topic. You might think that the dwindling away of an institution that…
  • Paul Krugman: The Medicare Miracle

    Mark Thoma
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:24 am
    Good news on health care costs: The Medicare Miracle, By Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: So, what do you think about those Medicare numbers? What, you haven’t heard about them? Well, they haven’t been front-page news. But something remarkable has been happening on the health-spending front, and it should (but probably won’t) transform a lot of our political debate. The story so far: We’ve all seen projections of giant federal deficits... Policy wonks have long known ... that ... health care, rather than retirement, was driving those scary projections. Why? Because, historically,…
  • Links for 9-01-14

    Mark Thoma
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:06 am
    Bond market conundrum redux - Econbrowser Stopping Europe's Descent Into Deflation - Bloomberg View More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft’ - NYTimes.com Commodity Prices: Financialization or Supply/Demand? - Michael Roberts Why central banks need to say more about the path of their policy rates - vox The Changing Face of Temporary Employment - NYTimes.com Summer Ends Now - David Warsh
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    EconTalk

  • Nathan Blecharczyk on Airbnb and the Sharing Economy

    Russell Roberts
    1 Sep 2014 | 3:30 am
    Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and chief technology officer of Airbnb, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Airbnb, one of the earliest companies to use technology to allow individuals to share underused resources, and in the case of Airbnb, housing. Blecharczyk and Roberts discuss how a design conference and the Democratic National Convention got Airbnb started, how the company aligns incentives to overcome the trust problem of house-sharing, and the rise of technology and online social networks to make a new business model possible. Along the way, Blecharczyk gives his take on the…
  • Continuing Conversation... Daphne Koller on Education, Coursera, and MOOCs

    Amy Willis
    26 Aug 2014 | 11:15 am
    This week, Russ Roberts chatted with former Stanford professor and Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller about the present and future of online education. We'd like to hear your thoughts about blended learning and/or online education. Use the prompts below and post your response in the comments, or start your own conversation offline and let us know how it goes. We love to hear from you. Check Your Knowledge: 1. What are the commonalities among all of Coursera's offerings? What makes Coursera unique in the online education community today? Going Deeper: 2. Koller insists that Coursera and other…
  • Daphne Koller on Education, Coursera, and MOOCs

    Russell Roberts
    25 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    Daphne Koller of Coursera talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about online educational website Coursera and the future of education both online and via bricks-and-mortar. Koller, co-founder of Coursera with Andrew Ng, explains how Coursera partners with universities, how they try to create community and interaction, and the likely impact of widespread digital education on universities and those who want to learn. The conversation includes a discussion of why Koller left a chaired position in computer science at Stanford University to run a for-profit start-up in a crowded field. Play Time:…
  • Continuing Conversation... Terry Anderson on the Environment and Property Rights

    Amy Willis
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:27 am
    This week Roberts discussed free-market environmentalism with Terry Anderson, of the Property and Environment Research Center and the Hoover Institution. FME's unique combination of free-market principles and environmental stewardship may not be as radical as when it was introduced, yet still is not mainstream. Let us know your thoughts on its potential. We hope you find the prompts below useful. As always, we love to hear from you! Check Your Knowledge: 1. Why does Anderson assert that we should expunge the term "externality" from our vocabulary? To what extent do you agree with him? Going…
  • Terry Anderson on the Environment and Property Rights

    Russell Roberts
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    Terry Anderson, Distinguished Fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about free-market environmentalism, the dynamics of the Yellowstone ecosystem, and how property rights can protect natural resources. Play Time: 1:03:36 How do I listen to a podcast? Download Size:29.2 MB Right-click or Option-click, and select "Save Link/Target As MP3. Readings and Links related to this podcast episode Related Readings HIDE READINGS About this week's guest: Terry Anderson's Home page at PERC. Terry…
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    Environmental Economics

  • There goes the demand and supply for jocks easy econ-A

    John Whitehead
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:28 am
    This is a good thing: Tar Heels in search of the easy A, beware. Starting this fall, UNC-Chapel Hill transcripts will provide a little truth in grading. From now on, transcripts for university graduates will contain a healthy dose of context. Next to a student’s grade, the record will include the median grade of classmates, the percentile range and the number of students in the class section. Another new measure, alongside the grade point average, is the schedule point average. A snapshot average grade for a student’s mix of courses, the SPA is akin to a sports team’s strength of…
  • Saturday beer post

    John Whitehead
    30 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    You'd be hard-pressed to talk me into a mail or telephone survey these days. From the Chronicle of Higher Education: ... a host of researchers, spurred by the rising cost of telephone polls and plummeting participation rates, are pushing to use a new generation of online-only surveys for their research. This work, which relies on subjects volunteering to be polled, carries great promise of allowing researchers to expand experiments beyond the usual suspects. But it also carries perils. ... "Right now we don't know if the methods they employ are, or are not, going to have a…
  • I'm a "hackademic," what are you?

    John Whitehead
    30 Aug 2014 | 5:27 am
    Source: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1738
  • Friday beer post

    John Whitehead
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:00 pm
    From the western NC best kept secret list: Laughing Seed Cafe, Asheville Not so long ago, eating at a vegetarian restaurant could be an ascetic experience even for vegetarians. But all those meat eaters have no idea what they’re missing when they walk past the Laughing Seed Cafe. It distills much that is distinctive about modern Asheville’s charms and quirks to a single place. After the restaurant opened in 1991, it helped lead Asheville’s downtown revival and now highlights a list of eateries that likely give the city the heaviest concentration of vegetarian restaurants per capita on…
  • And I hear there will be a crab feast afterwards

    John Whitehead
    27 Aug 2014 | 10:38 am
    Just a little something to make Tim jealous, from the ASSA program (searching on Q5):
 
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    footnoted*

  • EZCorp’s Doozy $25K/Mo Housing Perk For Chairman

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:59 am
    Two weeks ago, we wrote about EZCorp Inc. and its generous payouts to its executives — something we’ve coveredextensively in the past — so much so that it has become something of a Frequent Flyer here at footnoted. The pixels on that post had barely set when tthe operator of pawnshops filed another doozy of a filing. The company, which announced the appointment of Stuart Grimshaw, the CEO of Australian financial firm Queensland Ltd., as its executive chairman on Aug. 13 waited until the following day to include the basket full of goodies it was offering Grimshaw to take the…
  • From $1 to $675K for new LA Times chief!

    Michelle Leder
    18 Aug 2014 | 7:19 am
    There’s been lots written over the past few days about Austin Beutner, who was named publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times last week. In the press release, the newspaper described Beutner as an “entrepreneur, philanthropist and public servant”. The press release (and most of the subsequent press coverage including this story in the very newspaper that Beutner will be running)  noted how he famously accepted a mere $1 salary when he was named First Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles in January 2010. Given all of that Michelle, being relatively new to Los Angeles, took more…
  • EZCorp: The gift that keeps on giving

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    13 Aug 2014 | 11:12 am
    With a market cap of just over $500m, EZCorp may be one of the smaller companies whose filings we read. But over the years, it has yielded more than its share of disclosures from fat salary raises at the company to mind-boggling retirement packages for its executives, especially for its former CEO and director Joseph Rotunda. So when the pawnshop operator disclosed in a recent  8-K  that Rotunda — who announced his retirement in 2010 — is back as a director at the company, it naturally piqued our interest. And what a comeback! Rotunda, who earlier served as CEO and director for…
  • Walgreen’s CFOs: coming and going

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    7 Aug 2014 | 5:21 am
    Walgreen Co., which has been engaged in a very-public soul-searching over whether it should or shouldn’t  leave the country in search of lower taxes saw its stock plunge nearly 15% plunge yesterday after it finally decided to stay put in Illinois. The news generated countless headlines (see here and here and here, for example). The 8-K providing more details was filed less than 3 minutes before the SEC closed up shop for the day on a day when around 500 8-Ks were filed. But with all of this intense interest over to invert-or-not-to-invert, another 8-K filed late Monday afternoon, seems…
  • No penny-pinching at Family Dollar

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:08 am
    Family Dollar Stores Inc. may have been looking to prevent its flock of penny-pinching consumers from migrating to big discount retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with its move to merge with Dollar Tree Inc., but the deep-discount firm didn’t penny-pinch when it came to making payouts for CEO Howard Levine, who is set retain his post once the merger is complete. In one of its nine filings yesterday related to the proposed merger, Family Dollar Stores disclosed that Levine is in line to get a potential $5 million in payout, including salary, bonus and restricted stock units.
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    Free exchange

  • A new growth crisis

    Economist.com
    1 Sep 2014 | 9:42 am
    THIS week: Central bank meetings and the performance of real wages
  • The dollar's sterling work

    C.W. | LONDON
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:53 am
    A FORTHCOMING paper in the Journal of Development Economics looks at the dollar’s ascendancy to global reserve currency. Barry Eichengreen, of the University of California, Berkeley, and two economists from the ECB up-end the conventional history of when the dollar became top dog.Economic historians have typically believed that until the second world war the British pound sterling remained the leading international currency. The system was geared in favour of sterling, the argument goes: bankers instinctively used the pound because everyone else did. Economists refer to this as inertia. An…
  • Learn, and be less unequal

    C.W. | LINDAU, GERMANY
    23 Aug 2014 | 8:43 am
    IN THIS week’s Free exchange column, we look at why globalisation may not reduce inequality in developing countries. Lots of theories have been proposed. We discuss one, outlined by Eric Maskin of Harvard University. Mr Maskin has been working for over a decade on this theory, which he is developing alongside Michael Kremer, a Harvard colleague. In a nutshell, Mr Maskin argues that skilled workers in developing countries are coveted by multinational companies and see wage rises. Unskilled workers are ignored, so their wages fall. (The thesis is tricky to grasp at first, so please read the…
  • A less dovish Yellen, a more dovish Draghi

    G.I. | JACKSON HOLE, WY.
    22 Aug 2014 | 9:14 pm
    The contradictory signals generated by American labour market data in the last year have provided grist for both hawks and doves at the Federal Reserve. For hawks, the rapid decline in the unemployment rate shows slack in the economy is disappearing so the Fed should tighten soon. For doves, the low rate of wage growth suggests there’s plenty of slack and tightening should wait.Since becoming chair, Janet Yellen has usually been in the second camp, on balance interpreting the data as suggesting there wasn’t any urgency about raising rates. Her speech to the Kansas City Fed’s Economic…
  • New numbers, same conclusion

    J.P.
    22 Aug 2014 | 10:59 am
    THE ECONOMIST recently published an article about the costs and benefits of various kinds of zero- and low-carbon energy, “Sun, wind and drain”. The article was based on research by Charles Frank of the Brookings Institution (whose paper is here). Dr Frank, citing the work of Paul Joskow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argued that the usual way of calculating energy costs—so-called “levelised costs”, or the total capital and operating cost of a generating unit over its lifetime—was flawed when applied to renewable-energy sources and therefore not a useful way of…
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    Greg Mankiw's Blog

  • A Nice Application of the Coase Theorem

    Greg Mankiw
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:21 am
    From Josh Barro.
  • 25 Brightest Young Economists

    Greg Mankiw
    27 Aug 2014 | 2:11 pm
    Here is a list.  By the way, six are at Harvard, more than any other school.
  • News from Amazon

    Greg Mankiw
    26 Aug 2014 | 3:33 am
    In the Business & Money category:Source And in all books:SourceTo users of my favorite textbooks: Thank you!  Have a great semester.
  • What To Make of Corporate Tax Inversions

    Greg Mankiw
    23 Aug 2014 | 9:41 am
    Click here to read my column in Sunday's NY Times.
  • Teaching Conference

    Greg Mankiw
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:57 am
    I will be speaking at the annual conference of the National Economics Teaching Association, which this year is being held on Thursday, November 6th and Friday, November 7th, 2014 in San Diego, CA.  If you want to consider attending, click here for more information. You can potentially win a free trip to the conference, as well as some cash, by entering this contest.
 
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    Hedge fund

  • High net worth?

    Veryan Allen
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:05 am
    Mainly I work with institutions and very wealthy clients. But good hedge funds are ideal for ALL investors. Why are they prevented from accessing the best? Proper hedge funds are a NEW return source and are LOWER risk than long only. Why risk capital in passive funds that do NO analysis or due diligence? Skills are reliable, asset classes are not.1. Most hedge funds now focus on institutions. It is less total work to get one big client to give you $100 million than to get 100 clients to give you $1 million each. Some alternative investment firms have handed back or refused high net worth…
  • Emerging markets

    Veryan Allen
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:08 pm
    The highest returns will come from NOT WHERE YOU LIVE. National bias in this borderless world? Emerging markets are for long/short as long only is too risky. Markets offer alpha capture from short and long security selection not buy and hold. The best past performers, THEN frontiers South Africa and Australia, proved since 1900 that demographics and GDP growth have little effect on stocks. Emerging market beta? NO. Emerging market alpha? YES.Buy the unpopular and short sell the trendy. When the crowd loves somewhere, get short. I've made the most alpha shorting emerging markets but…
  • Active or passive

    Veryan Allen
    25 Aug 2014 | 4:58 pm
    Active or passive? Name ANY business where passive succeeded in the long term. Index funds are just low frequency trading strategies with horrific drawdowns and abysmal risk adjusted returns. Active is the only option in the REAL world because "passive" funds track trading decisions of index construction firms. Should you risk your life savings on lists of stocks or hard working top talent that actually earns its fees?Choosing WHICH passive index is an active decision requiring skill. Prudent men invest in skill. If you think the best stock pickers work at Standard and Poor's, MSCI…
  • Hedge Fund Test

    Veryan Allen
    22 Aug 2014 | 8:14 am
    Alpha is so rare that only the most dedicated, hard working and talented can find it. All top portfolio managers require 50,000 hours to get skilled and work 100 hour weeks, minimum, to maintain such competence. Such people do NOT run traditional funds highly dependent on an underlying index. They also score 10/10 on The Hedge Fund Test. How will you do?1) Asset allocation: If global thermonuclear war, a Richter scale 11 earthquake, a new ice age, an alien invasion and a Texas-sized asteroid striking earth all occur later today, how much money will you make and how much will "cheap"…
  • Accredited investor?

    Veryan Allen
    20 Aug 2014 | 5:28 pm
    Rich enough to reduce risk? Why are the mass affluent not permitted to invest with quality money managers or access sound financial advice? Ancient laws make managers not good enough to run hedge funds available to everyone but prevent Mom and Pop from accessing top talent. Why should non-millionaires have to make do with managers that aren't skilled enough to run hedge funds? Why "protect" retirees from best investment products. Who is REALLY being protected?1. Freedom. How wealthy should one be to allowed to invest with elite fund managers? The "accredited investor" amount must be REDUCED…
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    Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

  • France Needs a "Thatcher Moment" But First a Depression

    1 Sep 2014 | 11:32 pm
    It is amusing reading day in and day out the Keynesian cure for what ails Europe, especially France.Consider France. Public spending amounts to 57% of French GDP, yet Keynesians want still more. The sad irony is that 100% would not be enough. In fact, it would make matters worse.France suffers from too much government spending and too much government interference everywhere one looks.The Problem On Sunday, in Eurozone Currency Dispute Intensifies: France Wants More ECB Action to Correct Overvalued Euro, Germany Doesn't I summed up the problem. Inflation Won't Cure FranceContrary to popular…
  • Black Sea Oil Claims Before and After Russia Annexed Crimea

    1 Sep 2014 | 7:37 pm
    The significance of the annexation of Crimea by Russia goes far beyond land territorial claims. Here are a couple of maps that show how Crimea affects oil rights in the black sea.Black Sea Claims Before Crimea Annexation Black Sea Claims After Crimea Annexation The above charts from the New York Times article In Taking Crimea, Putin Gains a Sea of Fuel Reserves.Russia did not annex Crimea just because of Black Sea claims. But, those claims make it all the more unlikely that Russia would ever cede Crimea back to Ukraine under any circumstances.Moreover, Russia has no land connection to Crimea,…
  • Eurozone Manufacturing PMI at 13-Month Low, with Germany Worse than Expected, Italy and France in Contraction

    1 Sep 2014 | 7:27 am
    The Markit Eurozone Manufacturing final data shows Eurozone Manufacturing PMI at 13-month low in August. The rate of expansion in eurozone manufacturing production eased to its lowest during the current 14-month growth sequence in August, as companies faced slower increases in both total new orders and new export business. The final seasonally adjusted Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI® posted 50.7 in August, down from 51.8 in July, its lowest reading since July last year. The headline PMI was also below its earlier flash estimate of 50.8. National PMI data signalled a broad easing in the…
  • Putin Calls for Eastern Ukraine Statehood

    31 Aug 2014 | 4:20 pm
    Putin threw fat into the Ukrainian fire today by calling for Talks on Eastern Ukraine Statehood.The question at hand is" What precisely does Putin mean by "statehood" ?Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Sunday for immediate talks on the "statehood" of southern and eastern Ukraine, although his spokesman said this did not mean Moscow now endorsed rebel calls for independence for territory they have seized.The Kremlin leader's remarks, two days after a public appearance in which he compared the Kiev government with Nazis and warned the West not to "mess with us", came as Europe and the…
  • Eurozone Currency Dispute Intensifies: France Wants More ECB Action to Correct Overvalued Euro, Germany Doesn't

    31 Aug 2014 | 9:06 am
    The currency and fiscal battleground front lines in Europe remains the same. France wants QE, fiscal stimulus, and more leeway on meeting fiscal deficit targets. Germany doesn't. And the fighting has strengthened.The idea that ECB can produce nirvana by devaluing the euro is ridiculous. Yet, that's the battle cry of the day.Bloomberg reports France Asks for More Action From ECB to Correct Overvalued Euro. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called for more action from the European Central Bank to lower the value of the euro, amid concerns the 18-nation region might be headed toward…
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    Overcoming Bias

  • Beware Status Arrogance

    Robin Hanson
    31 Aug 2014 | 7:12 am
    Imagine that you are expert in field A, and a subject in field B comes up at party. You know that there may be others at the party who are expert in field B. How reluctant does this make you to openly speculate about this topic? Do you clam up and only cautiously express safe opinions, or do you toss out the thoughts that pop into your head as if you knew as much about the subject as anyone? If you are like most people, the relative status of fields A and B will likely influence your choice. If the other field has higher status than yours, you are more likely to be cautious, while if the…
  • Fundamentalists Are Not Traditionalists

    Robin Hanson
    26 Aug 2014 | 4:35 pm
    In my last two years of college I rebelled against the system. I stopped doing homework and instead studied physics by playing with equations (and acing exams). In this I was a “school fundamentalist.” I wanted to cut out what I saw as irrelevant and insincere ritual, so that school could better serve what I saw as its fundamental purpose, which was to help curious people learn. I contrasted myself with “traditionalists” who just unthinkingly continued with previous habits and customs. One of the big social trends over the last few centuries has been a move toward reforming previous…
  • Security Has Costs

    Robin Hanson
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:50 am
    Technical systems are often insecure, in that they allow unauthorized access and control. While strong security is usually feasible if designed in carefully from the start, such systems are usually made fast on the cheap. So they usually ignore security at first, and then later address it as an afterthought, which as a result becomes a crude ongoing struggle to patch holes as fast as holes are made or discovered. The more complex a system is, the more different other systems it is adapted to, the more different organizations that share a system, and the more that such systems are pushed…
  • Liked For Being You

    Robin Hanson
    24 Aug 2014 | 9:20 am
    What do people want to be liked for? You are advised to tell a pretty woman she is smart and a smart woman she is pretty. But people don’t seem that happy with being liked for features like wealth, fame, beauty, strength, talent, smarts, or charisma. People do seem to prefer being liked for more stable features that they are less likely lose with time. But they still often aren’t that happy with being liked for easily visible and hence “shallow” features, relative to “deep” features that take time and attention to discover. And they sometimes say “I want to be liked just…
  • Regulating Infinity

    Robin Hanson
    17 Aug 2014 | 11:20 am
    As a professor of economics in the GMU Center for the Study of Public Choice, I and my colleagues are well aware of the many long detailed disputes on the proper scope of regulation. One the one hand, the last few centuries has seen increasing demands for and expectations of government regulation. A wider range of things that might happen without regulation are seen as intolerable, and our increasing ability to manage large organizations and systems of surveillance is seen as making us increasingly capable of discerning relevant problems and managing regulatory solutions. On the other hand,…
 
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    All Articles on Seeking Alpha

  • Upstream Giant National Oilwell Varco: Undervalued With Room To Grow

    2 Sep 2014 | 5:38 am
    By Christian Lamarco: Background National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) provides equipment for upstream oil and gas companies worldwide. They have a market cap of 37.19B. Their three main segments have been rig technology, petroleum services & supplies, and distribution & transmission. Rig technology designs, manufactures, sells and services oil and gas drilling systems. Demand is driven in two ways: first from drilling by contractors, oilfield service companies, and oil and gas companies, and second; by the overall level of drilling activity as the company services and repairs existing…
  • Update: Apple - At Least 6% Upside From The Mobile Payment Opportunity, Potentially Much More

    2 Sep 2014 | 5:34 am
    By AtonRa Partners:Bloomberg reported yesterday that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) would turn the iPhone 6 (to be unveiled on September 9) into a mobile wallet through a partnership with major payment networks, banks and retailers and that this mobile payment platform would be powered by a NFC (near-field communication) chip.In our March article "Apple: Mobile Payments, A $40-60bn Opportunity", we explained that Apple had no choice but to ship a NFC-enabled iPhone 6, notably if it did not want to be sidelined from the Chinese market where NFC is becoming a smartphone standard. We added that…
  • Update: AeroVironment - Google Moving Fast On Drones, Other Tech Giants To Catch Up Through M&A?

    2 Sep 2014 | 5:31 am
    By AtonRa Partners:It looks like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is moving fast on drones following its recent acquisition of Titan Aerospace, with The Atlantic reporting that Google has carried out over 30 test flights for its drone initiative, known as Project Wing. Google's objective is to use drones for a same-day delivery service, which is likely to compete in the future with Prime Air, a drone delivery service Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been testing for months.In our March and July articles on AeroVironment (NASDAQ:AVAV), we explained that the M&A appeal of drone makers was rising…
  • Glori Energy Responds To Negative Seeking Alpha Article

    2 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    By Stuart Page: On August 27, 2014, an article about Glori Energy Inc . (the "Company") (NASDAQ: GLRI) was posted on Seeking Alpha. While the Glori believes that diversity of opinion is an essential aspect of a free and fair market that facilitates accurate price discovery, the Company also believes that, by definition, there can be no diversity with respect to the facts. The article in question reaches a conclusion based on a series of assertions. Unfortunately, many of these assertions are factually inaccurate and directly contradict a series of public announcements and disclosures made by…
  • Richard M. Nixon And Nu Skin's 5th Amendment

    2 Sep 2014 | 5:29 am
    By Mohan Murali:New developments related to Nu Skin (NYSE: NUS) since the publication of the article titled, "Is Nu Skin Insolvent?" necessitated this follow-up article in just four short days.Many observations made in "Is Nu Skin Insolvent?" were based on the most recent SEC filings by Nu Skin. In retrospect, it's an oversight on my part not to look deep enough into the previous SEC filings, which paint an even bleaker picture of Nu Skin's financial situation. A professional investor and a hedge fund manager, Mr. John Hempton of Bronte Capital also looked into Nu Skin's SEC filings. In his…
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out?

    Andrew
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:24 am
    Evelyn Lamb adds to the conversation that Jeff Leek and I had a few months ago. It’s a topic that’s worth returning to, in light of our continuing discussions regarding the crisis of criticism in science. The post Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • On deck this week

    Andrew
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    Mon: Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? Tues: Questions about “Too Good to Be True” Wed: I disagree with Alan Turing and Daniel Kahneman regarding the strength of statistical evidence Thurs: Why isn’t replication required before publication in top journals? Fri: Confirmationist and falsificationist paradigms of science Sat: How does inference for next year’s data differ from inference for unobserved data from the current year? Sun: Likelihood from quantiles? We’ve got a full week of statistics for you. Welcome back to work, everyone! The post On deck this week appeared first on…
  • On deck this month

    Andrew
    30 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? Questions about “Too Good to Be True” I disagree with Alan Turing and Daniel Kahneman regarding the strength of statistical evidence Why isn’t replication required before publication in top journals? Confirmationist and falsificationist paradigms of science How does inference for next year’s data differ from inference for unobserved data from the current year? Likelihood from quantiles? My talk with David Schiminovich this Wed noon: “The Birth of the Universe and the Fate of the Earth: One Trillion UV Photons Meet Stan” Suspicious graph…
  • Avoiding model selection in Bayesian social research

    Andrew
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:57 am
    One of my favorites, from 1995. Don Rubin and I argue with Adrian Raftery. Here’s how we begin: Raftery’s paper addresses two important problems in the statistical analysis of social science data: (1) choosing an appropriate model when so much data are available that standard P-values reject all parsimonious models; and (2) making estimates and predictions when there are not enough data available to fit the desired model using standard techniques. For both problems, we agree with Raftery that classical frequentist methods fail and that Raftery’s suggested methods based on…
  • When we talk about the “file drawer,” let’s not assume that an experiment can easily be characterized as producing strong, mixed, or weak results

    Andrew
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:52 pm
    Neil Malhotra: I thought you might be interested in our paper [the paper is by Annie Franco, Neil Malhotra, and Gabor Simonovits, and the link is to a news article by Jeffrey Mervis], forthcoming in Science, about publication bias in the social sciences given your interest and work on research transparency. Basic summary: We examined studies conducted as part of the Time-sharing Experiments in the Social Science (TESS) program, where: (1) we have a known population of conducted studies (some published, some unpublished); and (2) all studies exceed a quality threshold as they go through peer…
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    Streetsblog New York City

  • NYC: One City, By Bike: Huge Opportunities for NYC Cycling in the de Blasio Era

    Jon Orcutt
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:28 am
    Jon Orcutt was NYC DOT’s policy director from 2007 to 2014. He developed DOT’s post-PlaNYC strategic plan, Sustainable Streets, oversaw creation of the Citi Bike program, and produced the de Blasio administration’s Vision Zero Action Plan. In this five-part series, he looks at today’s opportunities to build on the breakthroughs in NYC cycling made during the Bloomberg administration. Part 1 – What’s Next for New York City Cycling Policy? Bike transportation in New York City unquestionably saw historic progress during the second half of the Bloomberg…
  • NYC: Chin Calls for Safety Fixes After Driver Injures Three Women on South Street

    Stephen Miller
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:05 am
    South Street at Rutgers Slip, before a traffic signal and crosswalks were installed last year. Photo: Google Maps A driver seriously injured three women in the crosswalk at South Street at Rutgers Slip in Manhattan yesterday, and one of the victims is facing life-threatening injuries. In response, Council Member Margaret Chin called on DOT to study pedestrian safety along this stretch of South Street, where many residents of Chinatown and the Lower East Side cross beneath the FDR Drive to access the East River Esplanade. DOT says it is conducting a safety review of the intersection, where it…
  • NYC: The Weekly Carnage

    Summer Greenstein
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:51 am
    The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage. The intersection of Park Avenue and 108th Street, where unlicensed driver Nojeem Odunfa killed cyclist Jerrison Garcia. Image: Google Maps Fatal Crashes (5 Killed Since Aug. 15; 127 This Year*) Midtown: 62-Year-Old Man Struck by SUV Driver While Crossing Avenue P (DNA) East Harlem: Jerrison Garcia, 25, Struck on Bicycle at Park Avenue and E. 108th Street (Streetsblog) Maspeth: Karoll Grzegorczyk, 32, Struck by…
  • NYC: Eyes on the Street: Our Long PPW Bike Lane Nightmare Is Almost Over

    Stephen Miller
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    Repaved sections of Prospect Park West are being striped, with orange barrels marking the bike lane in the meantime. Until now, the lane had been erased, pushing northbound cyclists onto the sidewalk or into head-on traffic. Photo: Heather Boyer/Twitter Lesson learned? Last week, DOT wiped away the Prospect Park West bike lane for street repaving without installing any temporary cones to preserve the bike route during construction. Drivers parked at the curb, pushing northbound cyclists into oncoming traffic or onto the sidewalk. Now, DOT has demarcated the bike lane with orange cones as it…
  • NYC: Today’s Headlines

    Stephen Miller
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:57 am
    Man Who Used Car As Weapon in Bronx Hit-and-Run Faces Attempted Murder Charges (DNA) Driver Injures Three Women, One Critically, Beneath FDR Downtown (Gothamist, DNA) Driver Smashes Jeep Into Ozone Park Pizzeria (Forum) State, Brookfield Point Fingers Over Downtown Greenway Closure Begun in 2007 (Downtown Express) Without Work Rule Reform, LIRR Union Deal Is Nothing to Celebrate (PlaNYourCity) Ticketed for Driving in the Bus Lane Multiple Times? It’s OK: City Will Cancel All But One (Bklyn Paper) Citi Bike Working With Cornell Data Scientist to Improve Rebalancing (CityLab) Precinct…
 
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    The Big Picture

  • 10 Tuesday AM Reads

    Barry Ritholtz
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:15 am
    Welcome back my friends to the linkfest that never ends: Its the first work day back since Summer ended, but we have you covered  (continues here): • For stocks, September can be the cruelest month. (WSJ) • Why is the Shiller CAPE so High? (Philosophical Economics) • Size Matters (Barron’s) • The strategic flight (TRB) see also A Global Passive Benchmark with ETFs and Factor Tilts (GesaltU) Continues here  
  • Peer-to-Peer Lending Is Poised to Grow

    Guest Author
    2 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    Peer-to-Peer Lending Is Poised to Grow Yuliya Demyanyk and Daniel Kolliner     Peer-to-peer lending—a type of lending which matches individual borrowers with investors—is a recent innovation. But because it fills at least two gaps left by traditional lending sources, the peer-to-peer-lending market is likely to continue growing for some time. Emerging first in the United Kingdom in 2005 and arriving in the United States a year later, the peer-to-peer market has been growing rapidly since its inception, while traditional consumer bank loans and credit-card lending have been…
  • Humanity’s Cultural History in 5-minutes

    Barry Ritholtz
    1 Sep 2014 | 4:30 pm
    From Nature: All roads lead from Rome, according to a visual history of human culture built entirely from the birth and death places of notable people. The 5-minute animation provides a fresh view of the movements of humanity over the last 2,600 years. Maximilian Schich, an art historian at the University of Texas at Dallas, and his colleagues used the Google-owned knowledge base, Freebase, to find 120,000 individuals who were notable enough in their life-times that the dates and locations of their births and deaths were recorded. The list includes people ranging from Solon, the Greek…
  • Busy States of America

    Barry Ritholtz
    1 Sep 2014 | 11:30 am
    Click either graphic for interactivity awesomeness. Source: Retale Click graphic for interactivity awesomeness. Source: Retale
  • Take It Easy: So Long, Summer 2014

    Bob Lefsetz
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:30 am
    The sun is out, the surf is up and it’s a beautiful Southern California day. That’s right, we might be plagued by earthquakes and gridlock, but when the elements align, which is nearly every day, when you get behind the wheel and crank up the radio, you feel like a million bucks. So I just went for an MRI at Kerlan-Jobe, for a hip injury that occurred skiing the ice two and a half years ago, I’m wondering what is causing the pain at this late date, and after lying in the tube for forty five minutes running every sexual fantasy possible through my brain to avoid concentrating…
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    The Epicurean Dealmaker

  • Labor Day

    1 Sep 2014 | 11:04 am
    Diego Rivera, Melancholy Promenade, 1904Thomasina: “Oh, Septimus! — can you bear it? All the lost plays of the Athenians! Two hundred at least by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides — thousands of poems — Aristotle’s own library! … How can we sleep for grief?”Septimus: “By counting our stock. Seven plays from Aeschylus, seven from Sophocles, nineteen from Euripides, my lady! You should no more grieve for the rest than for a buckle lost from your first shoe, or for your lesson book which will be lost when you are old. We shed as we pick up, like travellers who must carry everything…
  • All Hail and Farewell, the Trophy Kids

    23 Aug 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Adolphe-William Bouguereau, The Birth of Venus, 1879Mildred: “That Ted Forrester’s nice-looking, isn’t he? Veda likes him.”Monte: “Who wouldn’t? He has a million dollars.”— Mildred Pierce (1945)Wall Street has a problem.Kevin Roose, who wrote the definitive bildungsroman/sob story of early-2010s twenty-somethings on Wall Street, nails it. Finance is no longer the first choice of ambitious, high-achieving college graduates. Technology is:Hyperdriven, multitalented young people aren’t picking tech over finance because it pays more. They’re picking it because the lifestyle is…
  • A Cure Worse Than the Disease

    10 Aug 2014 | 10:11 am
    Messenger: “I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.”Beatrice: “No; an he were, I would burn my study. But, I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no young squarer now that will make a voyage with him to the devil?”Messenger: “He is most in the company of the right noble Claudio.”Beatrice: “O Lord, he will hang upon him like a disease: he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio! if he have caught the Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound ere a’ be cured.”— William Shakespeare, Much Ado About…
  • Where Did He Learn to Negotiate Like That?

    2 Aug 2014 | 3:39 pm
    Korbin Dallas: “We need to find the leader. Mangalores won’t fight without the leader.”Mangalore Leader: “One more shot, we start killing hostages.”Korbin Dallas: “That’s the leader.”Mangalore Leader: “Send someone to negotiate.”Security Chief: [to Dallas] “I I I I I’ve never negotiated I…”Korbin Dallas: “Mind if I… try?”Security Chief: “No, no, sure, sure. Sure. [to Mangalores] We’re sending somebody in to negotiate!”Korbin Dallas: [walks into room, shoots Mangalore leader between the eyes] “Anybody else want to negotiate?”Security Chief:…
  • Improve Yourself

    27 Jul 2014 | 1:08 pm
    Liberal Education makes not the Christian, not the Catholic, but the gentleman. It is well to be a gentleman, it is well to have a cultivated intellect, a delicate taste, a candid, equitable, dispassionate mind, a noble and courteous bearing in the conduct of life.— John Henry Cardinal Newman, The Idea of a UniversityLast week, former Yale professor and current essayist and writer William Deriesiewicz penned a jeremiad against elite higher education in this country which not only excoriated his former employer but also all such cognate institutions of higher learning which aspire to the top…
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    OUPblog

  • The real story of Saint Patrick

    Mohamed Sesay
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    Everyone knows about Saint Patrick — the man who drove the snakes out of Ireland, defeated fierce Druids in contests of magic, and used the shamrock to explain the Christian Trinity to the pagan Irish. It’s a great story, but none of it is true. The shamrock legend came along centuries after Patrick’s death, as did the miraculous battles against the Druids. Forget about the snakes — Ireland never had any to begin with. No snakes, no shamrocks, and he wasn’t even Irish. The real story of St. Patrick is much more interesting than the myths. What we know of Patrick’s life…
  • The Wilderness Act of 1964 in historical perspective

    Abbey Lovell
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    Signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on 3 September 1964, the Wilderness Act defined wilderness “as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” It not only put 1.9 million acres under federal protection, it created an entire preservation system that today includes nearly 110 million acres across forty-four states and Puerto Rico—some 5% of the land in the United States. These public lands include wildlife refuges and national forests and parks where people are welcome as visitors, but may not take…
  • The US Supreme Court should reverse Wynne – narrowly

    Alice
    1 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    Maryland State Comptroller of the Treasury v. Brian Wynne requires the US Supreme Court to decide whether the US Constitution compels a state to grant an income tax credit to its residents for the out-of-state income taxes such residents pay on out-of-state income. Brian and Karen Wynne live in Howard County, Maryland. As Maryland residents, the Wynnes pay state and county income taxes on their worldwide income. The Maryland income tax statute provides that Maryland residents who pay income taxes to states in which they do not live may credit against their Maryland state income tax liability…
  • Stop and search, and the UK police

    Alice
    1 Sep 2014 | 3:30 am
    The recent announcement made jointly by the Home Office and College of Policing is a vacuous document that will do little or nothing to change police practice or promote better police-public relations. Let us be clear: objections to police stop and search is not just a little local difficulty, experienced solely in this country. Similar powers are felt to be just as discriminatory throughout North America where it is regarded as tantamount to an offence of ‘driving whilst black’ (DWB). This and other cross-national similarities persist despite differences in the statutory powers upon…
  • How does color affect our way of seeing the world?

    Sara Pinotti
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:30 am
    There is a study of color perception that has gotten around enough that I would like to devote this post to how I see it, according to my take on whether, and how, language “shapes” thought and creates a “worldview.” The experiment involved the Himba people, and is deliciously tempting for those seeking to show how language creates a way of seeing the world. There are two parts to the experiment. Part One: presented with a group of squares, most of them various shades of green and one of them a robin’s egg-style blue, Himba tended to have a hard time picking out which square was…
 
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    Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    2 Sep 2014 | 2:30 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 193 of James Gwartney’s insightful 2013 essay “The Public Choice Revolution and Principles of Economics Texts,” which is chapter 13 of Public Choice, Past and Present: The Legacy of James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock (Dwight R. Lee, editor, 2013) (link added):​ The bulk of the economics profession continues to ignore public-choice analysis, and it is almost totally absent from most principles texts.  As a result, the mainstream approach is leaving both current students and the general public with a misleading, false, and romantic view of…
  • Some Links

    Don Boudreaux
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:06 am
    (Don Boudreaux) Bob Murphy explains why intervention by the home government abroad promotes intervention by the home government at home.  Reality is not optional. Speaking of which: I offer again this link to a post of mine from nine years ago explaining why I object to calls by the likes of the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal for active U.S.-government involvement in foreign-government and military affairs. Here’s Steve Chapman on Uncle Sam’s latest war in Iraq. Dwight Lee is not only one of the best natural economists that I’ve ever known – he’s…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:05 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 10 of Roger Koppl’s hot-off-the-press monograph, From Crisis to Confidence: Macroeconomics after the Crash (original emphasis): [T]he central banks inappropriately and needlessly expanded the volume of credit in the years before the boom, thus ensuring a subsequent bust [in 2008].  It was not bankers gone wild that caused the unsustainable boom; it was central bankers gone wild. I just finished reading this truly superb work by Roger – a work that I’ll blog more on later.  I’ll say here only that Roger masterfully exposes the…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    30 Aug 2014 | 9:56 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page xxvii of Michael Huemer’s 2013 book, The Problem of Political Authority: This book addresses the foundational problem of political philosophy: the problem of accounting for the authority of government.  This authority has always struck me as puzzling and problematic.  Why should 535 people in Washington be entitled to issue commands to 300 million others?  And why should the others obey?  These questions, as I argue in the following pages, have no satisfactory answers. My brilliant colleague Bryan Caplan calls Michael Huemer his favorite…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    30 Aug 2014 | 7:05 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from my friend the superb economist and wit Dwight Lee (as related by my colleague Larry White in the comments section of this EconLog post by David Henderson): You can tell for whose benefit an institution is run by looking at who gets the closest parking spaces. At universities the students get the most distant spaces, administrators and faculty the closest. At Wal-Mart, they ask the employees to park away from the entrance.
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    Dollars & Sense Blog

  • “Labor Day” Links: Rand Wilson, Steve Early, Jeannette Wicks-Lim

    Chris Sturr
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:23 am
    (1) Jeannette Wicks-Lim on the Real News Network.  Frequent D&S author and staff economist at the Political Economy Research Institute, Jeannette Wicks-Lim, in an interview back in 2009 about the coming low-wage future. The email today from TRNN linking to the piece was entitled “Labor Day: The Less-Radical Alternative to May Day.” I consider this witty understatement. If you do a Google Images search for “Labor Day” (or click this link) you get lots of American flag waving, and the slogan: “Labor Day: Celebrating the Achievements of America’s…
  • Thursday Links: Boots, Salaita, Kalamazoo, etc.

    Chris Sturr
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:37 am
    (1) Boots Riley talks communism on Fox:  See what happens when someone criticizes capitalism on an Ohio Fox affiliate.  The story at the Plain Dealer website is great; the comment section is hilarious. See also the original story at the Lakewood Citizen website. (2) Holding Bankers Accountable, New York Times Room for Debate: Lisa Gilbert and Bartlett Naylor of Public Citizen have a piece in this forum, as does Lynn Stout. (3) NYT endorses Tim Wu for NYS lt. gov., a day after failing to endorse Wu’s running mate, Zephyr Teachout, for governor, which many commenters at…
  • Friday Links: Gaza, Ferguson, Argentina, and unemployment

    Chris Sturr
    22 Aug 2014 | 12:36 pm
    (1) Max Blumenthal, interviewed on Jung & Naiv.  An excellent interview with Max Blumenthal, contextualizing the assault on Gaza in the rise of right wing and genocidal rhetoric in Israel.  (Hat-tip to Marjo van der Veen.) A wide-ranging interview, well worth watching the whole thing, but one point he makes (in response to a question from the interviewer, who is German, about anti-semitic rallies in Berlin) that is especially good:  ”Zionism is using Jews as human shields; they’re speaking in the name of all Jews, and claiming that this war they are carrying out is being…
  • Wednesday Links

    Chris Sturr
    13 Aug 2014 | 11:24 am
    (1) Claudia Roth Pierpont, A Raised Voice: How Nina Simone turned the movement into music.  Great piece in the current New Yorker. Read while listening to “Mississippi Goddam” (above). (2) Frederick Reese, In Greece Privatization Schemes, Who Benefits?  From Mint Press. (3) Gerald Friedman, What Happened to the Recovery? Pts. I and II.  Our latest offering, Jerry Friedman’s “Economy in Numbers” column from our last two issues. Great information about the so-called recovery, all in one place. Cross-posted at our sister blog, Triple Crisis, here and here.
  • Martin Khor: The Gaza Carnage Must Stop

    Martin Khor
    5 Aug 2014 | 9:06 am
    This is an op-ed piece in the China Post by Martin Khor, who is a contributor to our sister blog, Triple Crisis, and is executive director of the South Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. Here are links to our four most recent pieces on Palestine and Israel: Sam Bahour, Palestine’s Golden Oil (March/April 2012). Jennifer C. Olmsted, The Physical and Economic Devastation of Gaza (June, 2009). Lucy Mair and Robyn Long, Backs to the Wall (November/December 2003). Alex Hogan, A Palestinian Labor Leader Speaks Out: Interview with Mohammed Saleh Aruri (May/June 2003). The 2009 piece by Jennifer…
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    Japan Economy Watch

  • Abenomics - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    Edward Hugh
    14 Aug 2014 | 8:05 am
    If this week's economics news is positive then that is good.  But if it's bad then that's even better, since there is more potential for it to improve next week, and if it doesn't, well that's doubly better since there will be  even more reason for central banks to step in and push up asset prices. Maybe all this sounds peculiar, even perverse, but it would seem to be how many people working in
  • Japan Inflation At A 32 Year High?

    Edward Hugh
    29 Jun 2014 | 12:23 pm
    Just in case anyone was in any doubt last weeks newspaper  headlines blared it out for us loud and clear - Japanese inflation is back, and has even hit levels last seen in 1982. (Click on image below for better viewing). In fact consumer prices in Japan rose at an annual rate of 3.4% in May according to the Bank of Japan's preferred measure, driven higher from one month to another by the
  • Will Japan Re-enter Deflation in April 2015?

    Edward Hugh
    20 Jun 2014 | 3:20 am
    Reading the most recent statements from Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda or Finance Minister Taro Aso you would get the impression that the days of deflation are now well and truly numbered in Japan. Martin Schulz, economist at Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo, goes even further. “Deflation is over in Japan,” he told Bloomberg Television First Up’s Angie Lau . Even Japan’s industrial
  • The Growing Mess Which Will Be Left Behind By The Abenomics Experiment

    Edward Hugh
    2 Mar 2014 | 3:30 am
    According to wikipedia, "overdetermination is a phenomenon whereby a single observed effect is determined by multiple causes at once, any one of which alone might be enough to account for ("determine") the effect.That is, there are more causes present than are necessary to generate the effect".  In this strictly technical sense Japan's deflation problem is overdetermined - there are multiple
  • The Real Experiment That Is Being Carried Out In Japan

    Edward Hugh
    13 May 2013 | 9:06 am
    The future never resembles the past - as we well know. But, generally speaking, our imagination and our knowledge are too weak to tell us what particular changes to expect. We do not know what the future holds. Nevertheless, as living and moving beings, we are forced to act. - John Maynard Keynes Discussions of the population problem have always had the capacity to stir up public sentiment much
 
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    Credit Slips

  • Detroit: "Now Is Not the Time for Defiant Swagger..."

    Melissa Jacoby
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    Plan confirmation time. Doesn't everyone relish a big trial? Headlines in national newspapers breathlessly proclaim that the fate of Detroit's future is in the hands of one single judge! Well, no. Let's get literal about the judicial role at this juncture. There's no way over the finish line without a determination by the bankruptcy court that the City has met its burden of showing its plan satisfies all legal requirements by a preponderance of the evidence. This standard includes the City showing that the plan is not likely to fail. Back in January 2014, as the parties…
  • Single-Point-of-Entry: No Bank Left Behind

    Adam Levitin
    31 Aug 2014 | 4:42 pm
    Last December the FDIC put out for comment a proposal for a Single-Point-of-Entry (SPOE) Strategy to implement its Orderly Liquidation Authority (OLA) under Title II of Dodd-Frank. Single-Point-of-Entry has gotten a lot of policy traction. The Treasury Secretary supports it and there’s huge buy-in from Wall Street.  And it’s an approach that is likely to ensure financial stability in the event that a systemically important financial institution gets into trouble.  There’s just one problem with it.  SPOE means “No Bank Left Behind”.   Here’s the idea behind SPOE. SIFIs have…
  • With a whole lot more

    Stephen Lubben
    28 Aug 2014 | 1:22 pm
    Thoughts on cramdown and "make whole" call provisions, over at Dealb%k.
  • Duties to Serve in Housing Finance

    Adam Levitin
    26 Aug 2014 | 1:18 pm
    Mark Fogarty has a nice write-up in National Mortgage News of a book chapter about duties to serve in housing finance that I wrote with Jannecke Ratcliffe for a volume entitled Homeownership Built to Last (Brookings/Joint Center on Housing Studies 2014).  It's a real pleasure to realize that someone has actually read our chapter! 
  • MBS Settlements--Following the Money

    Adam Levitin
    25 Aug 2014 | 7:48 pm
    Financial crisis litigation has been going on for several years now and has been resulting in lots of piecemeal settlements. As a result, it's easy to miss the big picture.  There's actually been quite a lot of settlements covering a fair amount of money.  (Not all of it is real money, of course, but the notionals add up).   By my counting, there have been some $94.6 billion in settlements announced or proposed to date dealing with mortgages and MBS.  This count excludes things like CDO litigation and Lehman Brothers litigation. I've also likely missed some settlements…
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    The Aleph Blog

  • Q&A with Guy Spier of Aquamarine Capital

    David Merkel
    2 Sep 2014 | 12:45 am
    In the near future, I will be writing a a review of Guy Spier’s The Education of a Value Investor, which will be released next week.  Until then, to whet your appetite, here is an 11 question Q&A that I did with Guy, for which I give him thanks, because his time is valuable.What company have you owned the past that was the most surprising to you? (In prospect or in retrospect)I think that many have surprised me in one direction or another, but one of the more memorable was Duff and Phelps Credit rating – which I purchased in the mid-1990’s at a 7 Price to Earnings ratio. The…
  • Book Review: Deep Value

    David Merkel
    2 Sep 2014 | 12:16 am
    This is a book that starts with a simple premise: buy stocks at a fraction of the per share intrinsic value of the company, conservatively calculated.  Neat idea, huh, and it is called value investing.The author starts by giving a preview of where he will end — with Carl Icahn when he was much younger, where he was buying closed-end funds at large discounts, and pressuring managers to liquidate the fund.  Eventually he started doing the same with overcapitalized companies trading a discount to the net worth of the company.Then the author takes us on a trip through history, starting…
  • Using Mean Reversion and Momentum for Possible Advantage

    David Merkel
    30 Aug 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Photo Credit: Martin KennyOne of the challenges of fundamental investing is trying to find decent ideas that are off the radar. There are a number of ways to try to do that by looking at:smaller foreign companiescompanies that have made some significant losses.companies where the relative performance is so awful that no manager benchmarked to an index would dare touch the company.small companies with modest insider buying.companies in boring industries that you know can’t have any significant growth.  (This excludes “buggy whip” industries.)companies where insiders own so…
  • Two Portfolios. Pick One.

    David Merkel
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:16 pm
    Photo Credit: James WheelerI’m going to show you two portfolios — I’m not initially going to tell you much about either one, but then you can consider which one you might like better.  Here’s portfolio A:And here is portfolio B:There is one obvious difference in the two portfolios: portfolio B has gone up more than portfolio A in the past year.  But the hidden story is that portfolio A’s stocks have had price returns of -85% or worse over the past four years, whereas portfolio B’s stocks have has price returns of 1000% or better.  They are the only…
  • The Art of Extracting Large Commissions From Investors

    David Merkel
    27 Aug 2014 | 10:04 pm
    Photo Credit: dolphinsdockThe dirty truth is that some investments in this life are sold, and not bought.  The prime reason for this is that many people are not willing to learn enough to save and invest on their own.  Instead, they rely on others to corral them and say, “You ought to be saving and investing.  Hey, I’ve got just the thing for you!”That thing could be:Life InsuranceAnnuitiesFront-end loaded mutual fundsIlliquid securities like Private REITs, LPs, some Structured NotesEtc.Perhaps the minimal effort necessary to avoid this is to seek out a fee-only financial…
 
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    Quoting the Crisis

  • Microsoft’s $29.6 billion scam: Tech giant leads the way in...

    29 Aug 2014 | 11:07 am
    Microsoft’s $29.6 billion scam: Tech giant leads the way in tax-avoiding innovation David Sirota, salon.com More and more companies who enjoy huge benefits operating in the U.S. are trying to weasel their way out of taxesReading companies’ annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission is a reliable cure for insomnia. Every so often, though…
  • Beware the enormous bubble in bonds Chris Martenson,...

    29 Aug 2014 | 11:05 am
    Beware the enormous bubble in bonds Chris Martenson, marketwatch.com There’s an enormous bubble building in global bond markets, warns Chris Martenson.The only question now is: Who will take the losses?There’s a saying on Wall Street: Stocks are for show, but bonds are for dough.The flash, sizzle and focus…
  • A European Lost Decade?

    22 Aug 2014 | 4:03 am
    A European Lost Decade?: Michael Heise, project-syndicate.org Europe’s current economic predicament sounds a lot like Japan’s in the 1990s, which culminated in a “lost decade” of stagnant growth and deflation from which the country is still working to recover. How can Europe avoid a similar fate?
  • The Founding Fathers backed Thomas Piketty – and feared a...

    6 Jul 2014 | 12:42 am
    The Founding Fathers backed Thomas Piketty – and feared a powerful 1 percent Joseph Blasi, salon.com This 4th of July, remember the truth about founding fathers, and their prescient warnings about income inequalityMany of Amer­i­ca’s Founders believed that exces­sive wealth inequal­i­ty would be incom­pat­i­ble with hav­ing a rep­re­sen­ta­tiv…
  • More U.S. Parents Tell College-Age Children: You’re on Your Own

    6 Jul 2014 | 12:32 am
    More U.S. Parents Tell College-Age Children: You’re on Your Own: Andrew O’Connell, hbr.org American parents are more likely now than in recent years to say that their children should pay for college: The proportion of adults saying their offspring should pay for most college costs rose from 27% to 32% over the past two yea…
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    IMF Survey Magazine

  • F&D Magazine’s 50th Birthday Issue Looks at Global Economics

    27 Aug 2014 | 12:29 pm
    The IMF’s Finance & Development (F&D) magazine marks its golden anniversary with a number of special features in its recently released September issue on the future of the global economy and a look back at how things have changed over the past 50 years.
  • New Fiscal Transparency Code to Improve Policies and Accountability

    7 Aug 2014 | 12:18 pm
    Transparency is critical for effective fiscal management, and helps ensure that governments have an accurate picture of their finances when making economic decisions, including of the costs and benefits of policy changes and potential fiscal risks.
  • Good Administration of Oil and Mining Revenues is Vital

    6 Aug 2014 | 2:03 pm
    Effective administration of public revenues derived from the petroleum and mining industries gets a boost with the release of a new IMF handbook. Policymakers and government officials in charge of administering oil, gas and mining revenues now have practical guidelines at their disposal.
  • Fiscal Policy to Address Energy’s Environmental Impacts

    31 Jul 2014 | 8:49 am
    Fiscal policies should be center stage in getting energy prices to reflect the harmful and environmental side effects associated with energy use, according to a new report released by the IMF.
  • Japan’s Bumpy Growth Path Puts Premium on Structural Reforms

    31 Jul 2014 | 7:49 am
    In its latest assessment of the Japanese economy, the IMF said the recent economic reforms are taking hold, but they need to be more comprehensive and sustained for an extended period. This would help achieve the new inflation target and guard against headwinds from a shrinking labor force and a large fiscal adjustment need.
 
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    Trends... Find them, ride them and get off.

  • Passive Vs. Active Investing at S&P 2000

    Howard Lindzon
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:51 am
    Today, at least 10 percent of all assets in the S&P 500 is ‘passive’. We can invest our money at the flick of a button to 500 stocks, but we still can’t move our money very quickly. I just sent a wire from Schwab to Wells Fargo …basically 3d printing a bitcoin is easier …#archaic #asshats — howardlindzon (@howardlindzon) August 25, 2014 I believe in passive investing. In this low interest rate boom for stocks, the longer you have deployed cash to the US Markets the more you have made. For most, dollar cost passive investing is good for 90 percent of…
  • Do You Cashtag? …and The Great Wall of Wall Street.

    Howard Lindzon
    31 Aug 2014 | 9:55 am
    There was a great piece yesterday in the New Yorker about the impossibility of the ‘language of finance‘. READ it! The message: The language of money is a powerful tool, and it is also a tool of power. Incomprehension is a form of consent. If we allow ourselves not to understand this language, we are signing off on the way the world works today—in particular, we are signing off on the prospect of an ever-widening gap between the rich and everyone else, a world in which everything about your life is determined by the accident of who your parents are. Those of us who are…
  • Kill All The Data Scientists! …and The Timeline is Everything.

    Howard Lindzon
    25 Aug 2014 | 9:10 pm
    Who isn’t a ‘data scientist’ in 2014? Here is Wikipedia’s definition…color me confused. I deem anyone a ‘data scientist’ in 2014 , as a confusionist. The timeline what really matters most. Search and UI are what matter after that. Finally, its how you read this infinite tape that separates the big winners from the losers in the investing business. Of course Facebook would argue otherwise. They should. It’s never been about the timeline for them. But, they have gotten so big and the multiple so high, that the timeline and real-time now matters to…
  • Google…When expensive is Cheap and Cheap is Expensive…and How I Hunt

    Howard Lindzon
    23 Aug 2014 | 6:27 am
    Google has been public for 10 years. They have NOT been a conventional company. My partner in Social Leverage 50 @ivanhoff has a great post up on Google entitled ‘When Expensive is Cheap and Cheap is Expensive‘: 10 years ago, Google was trading near $100 with a P/E of 130. Today, it is trading near $600 with a P/E of around 30. What is the lesson? At the time of Google’s IPO, investors didn’t know about gmail, Youtube, Android and countless other cloud services, innovations and venture investments that Google was going to make. Most likely, Google’s management also had no…
  • Stocktwits Appoints Ross Levinsohn, Rob Peck to Board

    Howard Lindzon
    8 Aug 2014 | 6:18 am
    Stocktwits has been growing fast this year. Our users are more engaged than ever — or “addicted,” as they often say on the stream. Behind the scenes we have been working on a great redesign (coming very soon) and some improvements to our 5-star iPhone app. Our biggest new launch will be Search. We have over 5 years of data, and millions of messages on tickers and indexes that we want to give our members access to so they can locate specific messages from the past. Soon Stocktwits search will allow you to find a stream on any topic, person, stock or combination of the three.
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    Economic Principals

  • Summer Ends Now

    dw
    31 Aug 2014 | 3:30 pm
    Labor Day in the United States, and EP has taken the day off.  Herewith a re-issue of EP’s edition of July 18, 2004. Frank Levy, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  and Richard Murnane, of Harvard University,  had just published The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market (Princeton, 2004).  It turned out to be one of the most prescient books of the decade. Murnane has continued to teach. His econometrics horn book for graduate students,  Methods Matter: Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research,  with John…
  • Nobel Süd: the Afterglow

    dw
    24 Aug 2014 | 4:38 pm
    LINDAU, BAVARIA — Organizations extend their influence by involving the young. Science fairs, the Model United Nations, central banking competitions for college students: all are designed to encourage young leaders eager to succeed. Something of the sort went on last week in this little nineteenth-century summer resort at a corner of Switzerland and Germany, where the Lindau Foundation gathered some 460 young economists to rub elbows for three days with eighteen Nobel laureates in the economic sciences. Mark Thoma, of the University of Oregon, proprietor of Economist’s View, was…
  • Political Arithmetick Becomes Measurement Economics

    dw
    17 Aug 2014 | 2:06 pm
    (Please see the correction appended below) The Econometric Society was founded in 1932 with the idea of combining economic theory, measurement, and statistical technique to create a powerful new means of analysis. Econometrics has grown to be an important field of study, but it remains a topic within economics instead of one subtending it. Eighty-two years later, does economics need another sub-discipline concerned with data? It would seem so. The recently-formed Society for Economic Measurement is holding its inaugural meetings at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business this…
  • The Startling Story behind a Famous Footnote

    dw
    11 Aug 2014 | 4:05 pm
    Progress is a slippery word; but none can doubt that price theory, the preoccupation with markets that historically has at the heart of economics, has seen a great deal of elaboration in the least 75 years.  Jerry Green, of Harvard University, gave a graphic illustration when he travelled to Middlebury Colllege last fall to give a lecture on the history of the discipline. He carried with him a series of graduate micro texts. He held up Microeconomic Theory: A Mathematical Approach, by James Henderson and Richard Quandt, the slim book (291 pp.) with which he began his graduate education in…
  • Reinterpreting the Revolution

    dw
    3 Aug 2014 | 10:12 am
    When he was eighteen, before entering college, John Micklethwait toured the US for a year with a friend, traveling on Greyhound buses. When they arrived in San Francisco, they spent a memorable evening with expat British businessman Antony Fisher, founder of London’s Institute of Economic Affairs, and his downstairs neighbor, Milton Friedman. They talked about the possibilities now that Margaret Thatcher had been elected prime minister and Ronald Reagan president of the United States. The conversation made a deep impression on Mickelthwait. Then it was back to Magdalen College, Oxford, and…
 
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • College Admission Secrets

    Alex Tabarrok
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:38 am
    Most colleges are non-profits with unclear ownership status so their incentives do not lead to simple profit-maximization. Don’t be fooled, however, neither do colleges maximize student welfare or the public good. Instead colleges pursue some index of free cash flow, prestige, and administrative and faculty independence. The result is some peculiar outcomes. Most businesses, for example, don’t want to reject customers but colleges often encourage students to apply so that they can reject them. The Washington Monthly’s college issue has an excellent primer, Ten Ways…
  • Why I endorsed Evo Morales

    Tyler Cowen
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:30 pm
    Well, “endorsed” isn’t exactly the right word, but I did say “simpatizante.”  Here are my views: 1. I disagree with most of his economic policy, for reasons you can find stated in Adam Smith and the other classical economists. 2. Governments work very hard to stay in power. 3. In a weighted average of public opinion sense, I think of Bolivia as about 60-70% “indigenous,” one way or another. 4. If a Bolivian government is not strongly connected to the country’s indigenous population, that government cannot have a strong base.  Yet it will still…
  • China mixed marriage markets in everything

    Tyler Cowen
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:43 am
    Chinese authorities in the restive western region of Xinjiang have begun offering large cash incentives for interracial marriages in the latest attempt to quell growing unrest among the mainly Muslim Uighur ethnic group that inhabit the region. The policy, celebrated by local Communist party officials as advancing the “great cause of assimilation” and “ethnic unity”, offers couples entering into mixed marriages an annual bonus of Rmb10,000 ($1,600), equivalent to 135 per cent of average annual rural incomes. Uighurs, Mongolians and other ethnic minorities who marry people from the…
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    1 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    1. What people cured of blindness see. 2. Shoes that show you the way. 3. Which states are in the Midwest?  I say no to all the marginal cases, including Kentucky.  And how can it be that not everyone thinks Iowa is in the Midwest? 4. China insurance markets in everything. 5. Who is the gun salesman of the year? 6. Maids are no longer servants. 7. Interest rates. 8. Update on charter city plans in Honduras.
  • Is China seeing a great stagnation?

    Tyler Cowen
    1 Sep 2014 | 4:49 am
    From ChinaRealTime: China’s 1% average annual growth in total factor productivity between 1978 and 2012 – a period when average per capita annual incomes rose from $2,000 to $8,000 — compares with 4% annual gains for Japan during its comparable 1950-1970 high-growth period, 3% for Taiwan from 1966-1990 and 2% for South Korea from 1966-1990, he said, when purchasing power in the relative economies is taken into account. “Our study shows that China’s spectacular growth in the reform period has been mainly investment-driven and quite inefficient,” Mr. Wu wrote. A big problem, which…
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Monday Smackdown: DeLong Self-Smackdown: The "Greeks"

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 4:46 pm
    It is kinda scary that I only knew what seven out of these fifteen were: Greeks: Wikipedia: Delta measures the rate of change of option value with respect to changes in the underlying asset's price.... Vega is the derivative of the option value with respect to the volatility of the underlying asset.... The glyph used is the Greek letter nu... [looks] like a Latin vee.... Another possibility is that it is named after Joseph de la Vega, famous for Confusion of Confusions.... Theta... [is] the amount of money per share of the underlying that the option loses in one day [at a constant underlying…
  • Over at Equitable Growth: #FF America's Best, Most Substantive, and Most Accurate Center-Left Polemicist Is... Jonathan Chait: Monday Focus for September 1, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 6:32 am
    Over at Equitable Growth A Baker's Dozen of recent keepers: Keystone Fight a Huge Environmentalist Mistake Why I’m So Mean Wasting Away in Hooverville Greg Mankiw Loves One Percent, Doesn’t Know Why Fear of a Female Fed Chief Why Is Obama Caving on Taxes? The Lonely Death of the Republican Health Plan What Caused The Deficit? The Morality Of Political Hostage-Taking Paul Ryan Is Making Things Up Again READ MOAR And three that require excerpting: READ MOAR (11) Jonathan Chait: Why Washington Accepts Mass Unemployment: "The recovery looks safe for those of us... ...who are not already…
  • Liveblogging World War I: September 1, 1914: Tannenberg: Aftermath

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 6:10 am
    From Dennis Showalter: Tannenberg: The roundup of [Samsonov's Russian] 2nd Army’s broken center continued throughout August 31. Skirmish lines and small columns of XVII Corps pushed their way through the forest from the north, collecting stragglers as they went. An Orthodox chaplain negotiated the surrender of several thousand exhausted soldiers to Schmettau just outside Willenberg. At 11:00 a.m. Kluyev himself handed over another thousand men to a detachment of I Corps. Hour by hour the numbers grew. Hundreds, then thousands of men sat glumly under the guard of a few German riflemen.
  • Sam Wang Says the Polls Give Harry Reid a More than 50% Chance of Being Senate Majority Leader Next January...: Live from The Roasterie CCCXX: September 1, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 3:40 am
    Sam Wang: Senate Democrats Are Outperforming Expectations: "The PEC Senate poll snapshot is more favorable to Democrats than... ...The Upshot... The Monkey Cage... FiveThirtyEight, and Daily Kos.... Today’s PEC snapshot... favors the Democrats with a 70% probability.... The major media organizations (NYT, WaPo, 538)... all use prior conditions like incumbency, candidate experience, funding, and the generic Congressional ballot... and opinion polls.... The first data column is the current PEC poll median. The next two columns show what a polls-only win probability looks like. Finally, the…
  • Liveblogging the American Revolution: August 31, 1776: George Washington Explains...

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Aug 2014 | 5:13 am
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    99% Invisible

  • 130- Holdout

    Roman Mars
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:24 am
    Around 2005, a Seattle neighborhood called Ballard started to see unprecedented growth. Condominiums and apartment buildings were sprouting up all over the community which had once been mostly single family homes and small businesses. Around this time, developers offered a woman named Edith Macefield $750,000 dollars for her small house, which was appraised at around $120,000. They wanted to build a shopping mall on the block where Macefield had lived for the last 50 years. Macefield turned down the money. Developers went forward with the shopping mall anyway. The mall enveloped her house on…
  • 129- Thomassons

    Roman Mars
    26 Aug 2014 | 10:39 am
    Cities, like living things, evolve slowly over time. Buildings and structures get added and renovated and removed, and in this process, bits and pieces that get left behind. Vestiges. Just as humans have tailbones and whales have pelvic bones, cities have doors that open into a limb-breaking drop, segments of fences that anyone can walk around, and pipes that carry nothing at all. Most of the time, these architectural leftovers rust or crumble or get taken down. But other times, these vestiges aren’t removed. They remain in the urban organism. And sometimes—even though they no longer…
  • 128- Hacking IKEA

    Roman Mars
    19 Aug 2014 | 2:46 pm
    IKEA hacking is the practice of buying things from IKEA and reengineering—or “hacking”—them to become customized, more functional, and often just better designed stuff. The locus of the IKEA hacking movement is a website called IKEAhackers.net. It’s a showcase for people who have tricked out their KALLAXES, their ARKELSTORPS and their FLÄRDFULLS . Would-be hackers can gather tips from other hackers, and once they’re ready, post pictures and how-to guides of their own hacks. IKEAhackers.net was started in 2006 by Jules Yap (Jules is not her real first name—it’s a…
  • 127- The Sound of Sports

    Roman Mars
    11 Aug 2014 | 7:05 pm
    Way back in October 2011 (see episode #38, true believers!), we broadcast a short excerpt of a radio documentary produced by Peregrine Andrews about faking the sounds of sports on TV broadcasts. It was one of our most popular and provocative programs ever, primarily because people were shocked that any aspect of a sporting event might be faked. Since then, I’ve received several requests from the audience asking where they can hear the full-length documentary. Well today, my friends, you are in luck. When we think of the sound of sports on TV or radio, it’s generally commentary.
  • 126- Walk This Way

    Roman Mars
    4 Aug 2014 | 7:22 pm
    As humans have developed cities and built environments, we have also needed to develop ways to find our way through them. Sam Greenspan went on a wayfinding tour with Jim Harding in the Atlanta airport. Harding is one of the expert “invisibles” that do critical, but generally unrecognized work profiled in a new book by David Zweig.
 
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    Eat the Bankers.com

  • Michael Silverstein – The $10 Trillion Prize: Captivating the Newly Affluent in China and India

    Sinclair Noe
    30 Aug 2014 | 11:30 am
    Listen to the interview with the author and then click on the banner for more information or to buy the book. Meet your new global consumer You’ve heard of the burgeoning consumer markets in China and India that are driving the world economy. But do you know enough about these ... The post Michael Silverstein – The $10 Trillion Prize: Captivating the Newly Affluent in China and India appeared first on Eat the Bankers.com.
  • Megan McArdle – The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success

    Sinclair Noe
    30 Aug 2014 | 11:02 am
    Listen to the author, then click on the banner for more information or to buy the book. For readers of Drive, Outliers, and Daring Greatly, a counterintuitive, paradigm-shifting new take on what makes people and companies succeed Most new products fail. So do most small businesses. And most of us, ... The post Megan McArdle – The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success appeared first on Eat the Bankers.com.
  • Greg Mckeown – Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

    Sinclair Noe
    30 Aug 2014 | 10:55 am
    Listen to the author, then click on the banner for more information or to buy the book. INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized? Are you often busy but not productive? Do you ... The post Greg Mckeown – Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less appeared first on Eat the Bankers.com.
  • Geoffrey Moore – Crossing the Chasm, 3rd Edition: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers

    Sinclair Noe
    30 Aug 2014 | 10:27 am
    The bible for bringing cutting-edge products to larger markets—now revised and updated with new insights into the realities of high-tech marketing In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey A. Moore shows that in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle—which begins with innovators and moves to early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards—there ... The post Geoffrey Moore – Crossing the Chasm, 3rd Edition: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers appeared first on Eat the Bankers.com.
  • Greg Link – Smart Trust: Creating Prosperity, Energy, and Joy in a Low-Trust World – with Stephen M.R. Covey

    Sinclair Noe
    30 Aug 2014 | 10:17 am
    After illustrating the global relevance of trust with his book The Speed of Trust by selling more than one million copies in twenty-two languages, Stephen M.R. Covey again illuminates the hidden power of trust to change lives and impact organizations in Smart Trust. In a compelling and readable style, he ... The post Greg Link – Smart Trust: Creating Prosperity, Energy, and Joy in a Low-Trust World – with Stephen M.R. Covey appeared first on Eat the Bankers.com.
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    iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

  • More Jobs That Pay Decent Wages: How To Fight Poverty In The United States

    iMFdirect
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    By Deniz Igan  (Version in Español) Something unusual happened this year. For the first time in almost ten years, a book by an economist made it to Amazon’s Top 10 list. Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century captured the attention of people from all walks of life because it echoed what an increasing number of Americans have been feeling: the rich keep getting richer and poverty in America is a mainstream problem. The numbers illustrate the troubling reality. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 6 Americans—almost 50 million people—are living in poverty. Recent…
  • Structural Reforms Can Help Japan’s Post-Consumption Tax Blues

    iMFdirect
    14 Aug 2014 | 12:00 pm
    By Stephan Danninger  (Versions in 日本語) Japan’s GDP declined by almost 7 percent in the second quarter, more than many had forecast including us here at the IMF.  Many cite the increase in the sales tax this April for this decline.  But that is not the full story. Yes, it is true that consumer responses to major tax increases are difficult to predict, and large spending swings are not unusual. We see this pattern in many countries (see chart) including Germany’s 2007 VAT increase, which had a short-lived impact. But Japan needs to tackle other constraints on growth, such as…
  • U.S. Labor Force: Where Have All the Workers Gone?

    iMFdirect
    7 Aug 2014 | 8:20 am
    By Ravi Balakrishnan (Version in Español) It’s not supposed to be this way. As the U.S. economy recovers, hirings increase and people are encouraged to look for jobs again. Instead, the ratio of the adult population with jobs, or looking for one—what’s called the labor force participation rate—has been falling, standing at 62.9 percent in July 2014 (Figure 1). This represents a 3 percentage point decline since the Great Recession and the lowest rate since 1978. What is more remarkable is that fully one-half of the gains in participation rates between 1960 and 2000—those driven by…
  • Can Japan Afford to Cut Its Corporate Tax?

    iMFdirect
    5 Aug 2014 | 8:55 am
    By Ruud de Mooij and Ikuo Saito (Versions in 日本語) It is no surprise that, as part of its revised growth strategy presented in June, the Japanese government has announced it will reduce the corporate income tax rate. At more than 35 percent for most businesses, the Japanese rate is one of the highest among the industrialized countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (see Chart 1). Moreover, at a time when Japan needs to boost economic growth, the corporate income tax rate is generally seen as the country’s most growth-distortive tax. But can Japan afford a…
  • Europe’s Russian Connections

    iMFdirect
    1 Aug 2014 | 7:45 am
    By Aasim M. Husain, Anna Ilyina and Li Zeng (Version in Русский) The conflict in Ukraine and the related imposition of sanctions against Russia signal an escalation of geopolitical tensions that is already being felt in the Russian financial markets (Chart 1). A deterioration in the conflict, with or even without a further escalation of sanctions and counter-sanctions, could have a substantial adverse impact on the Russian economy through direct and indirect (confidence) channels. Chart 1 What would be the repercussions for the rest of Europe if there were to be disruptions in trade or…
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    EconomicPolicyJournal.com

  • Mrs. Ron Paul: They are going after my son!

    2 Sep 2014 | 4:50 am
    EPJ has learned that Carol Paul, the wife of Ron Paul, has been telling close associates that the developing Ron Paul Inc. scandal is about going after Rand, and to a significant degree she is correct. I would say that many of the early players in the developing scandal just wanted to clean out what they viewed as bad, incompetent political operators, around both Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann.
  • What Ron Paul Did Wrong

    1 Sep 2014 | 7:07 pm
    By Robert Wenzel As the Ron Paul Inc. scandal unfolds for all to see, the question must be asked, how did all this come to pass? I remain in the camp, until shown otherwise by cold hard facts, that Ron Paul very likely knew nothing about the lunatic shenanigans of Ron Paul Inc. But is there any culpability on Dr. Paul's part? As an outsider, it always looked to me that RP was more interested
  • Obama Calls for Minimum Wage Hike

    1 Sep 2014 | 7:07 pm
    Yes, lets keep the low productivity urban primitives from ever experiencing what it is like to have a job and get a weekly pay check. Let's raise the minimum wage so high that there is no chance that they are ever legally hired by anyone. President Obama earlier today renewed his call to raise the federal minimum wage. It is not an accident that he did so while addressing a crowd of about 6,000
  • California Bill Would Require All College Sexual Encounters to Be Approved by College Administration or the State

    1 Sep 2014 | 6:03 pm
    I am not making this up. From California Senate Bill 967: This bill would require the governing boards of each community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, and the governing boards of independent postsecondary institutions, in order to receive state funds for student financial assistance, to adopt policies concerning
  • Tom Woods Comments on the Developing Ron Paul Inc. Scandal

    1 Sep 2014 | 5:34 pm
    In retrospect, it's a good thing I was purged by these people. They destroy everything they touch http://t.co/s3gFdMGZuN #tlot — Thomas Woods (@ThomasEWoods) September 2, 2014 @libertyisdead1 McConnell so clueless, thinks he's reaching out to the Tea Party by hiring most loathed operator of all. #DeservesIt — Thomas Woods (@ThomasEWoods) September 2, 2014
 
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    Carl Futia

  • Guesstimates on September 2, 2014

    2 Sep 2014 | 5:55 am
    September S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2001-2010. I think this market is headed for 2080. QQQ: Upside target is 103.00.  TNX (ten year note yield): There is strong support near 2.25% and I think the 2014 decline in yields will end near that level. Once it does I expect yields to head well over 3.00%.Euro-US Dollar: Support is at 131.25. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. October Crude:  Crude is headed for 90.December Gold:  Gold is hovering at 1285 support but I think this support will fail and then then gold will head below 1100. December…
  • Guesstimates on August 29, 2014

    29 Aug 2014 | 5:52 am
    September S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1998-2005. I think this market is headed for 2080. QQQ: Upside target is 103.00.  TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: Support is at 131.25. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. October Crude:  Crude is headed for 90.December Gold:  Gold is hovering at 1285 support but I think this support will fail and then then gold will head below 1100. December Silver: Silver is headed down once more. My bear market target remains 13.00. Google:…
  • Guesstimates on August 28, 2014

    28 Aug 2014 | 6:06 am
    September S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1985-1994. I think this market is headed for 2080. QQQ: Upside target is 103.00.  TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: Support is at 131.25. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. October Crude:  Crude is headed for 90.December Gold:  Gold is hovering at 1285 support but I think this support will fail and then then gold will head below 1100. December Silver: Silver is headed down once more. My bear market target remains 13.00. Google:…
  • Attention Traders

    27 Aug 2014 | 10:46 am
    As you know I have started to post the S&P E-mini trades I make in my trading seminar CarlFutiaRealTime  on this blog's Twitter feed (at the top of the right hand column). You can follow me here on Twitter for free but keep in mind that the trade postings are delayed 5-10 minutes. Since I started posting these trades on October 14 they have generated  72 points profit on a one contract basis. This is a return of 36% on a 10k trading account to margin a single contract (a very conservative approach since day trade margin on a single contract is only about $2,500). Since the start…
  • green light

    27 Aug 2014 | 10:46 am
    Last week I pointed out that my three favorite US stock market trend indicators were all bullish as they were trading above their 50 day moving averages (green lines in top three charts). But I did express concern that European stock market was flirting with a potential bear market and that this was dangerous for US stocks if it materialized.The second chart from the bottom shows the European Stoxx Index. You cans see that during the past week it has recovered smartly and is now trading above its own 50 day moving average. I think this means that the danger of a bear market in Europe has…
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    True Economics

  • 2/9/2014: Levada Poll: Decline in Russian Public Support for Intervention in Ukraine

    2 Sep 2014 | 12:59 am
    Levada Centre published the latest analysis of public opinion in Russia in relation to the crisis in Ukraine. The details are here [in Russian]: http://www.levada.ru/29-08-2014/chislo-storonnikov-vtorzheniya-na-ukrainu-za-polgoda-sokratilos-vdvoeTop results summarised:Numbers of Russians who are prepared to support Russian direct engagement in an open military conflict is now below the number of those who oppose an open intervention for the first time since accession of Crimea.43% of respondents "definitely" or "likely" will not support an open military confrontation with Ukraine now stands…
  • 1/9/2014: BRIC Manufacturing PMIs: August 2014

    1 Sep 2014 | 2:53 pm
    With Brazil PMIs for Manufacturing sector finally in, time to update chart for BRIC Manufacturing PMI (data by Markit):The above shows several interesting things:Overall BRICs performance (Manufacturing data so far) is a mixed bag: Brazil and China barely above 50.0, signalling very slow growth (if any, as these readings are not statistically distinguishable from 50.0). Meanwhile, Russia showing relatively weak, but growth, while India showing rather modest growth.Brazil posted its first above 50.0 reading after four consecutive months of below 50 readings. But the 'recovery' rate is very…
  • 1/9/2014: Irish Manufacturing PMI: August 2014

    1 Sep 2014 | 2:23 am
    Irish Manufacturing PMIs released by Markit and Investec today show very robust and accelerating growth in the sector in August. These are seasonally adjusted series, and given this is a generally slower month for activity, acceleration is more reflective of y/y trends than m/m. Nonetheless, the PMI hit 57.3 in August, up on already blistering 55.4 in July, marking the highest PMI reading since December 1999.Per release: "…output and new orders each rose at sharper rates. This encouraged firms to up their rates of growth in input buying and employment. Meanwhile, input prices fell for the…
  • 1/9/2014: Russia Manufacturing PMI: August 2014

    1 Sep 2014 | 1:51 am
    Russia's HSBC Manufacturing PMIs for August show that the economy "continued to experience a tentative recovery in business conditions in August. Faster growth of new orders led to a further rise in output, albeit at a weaker rate than in July."On the negative side, "Growth of new orders and output remained historically weak, however, and new export business continued to decline in the latest period. Input price inflation strengthened for the first time in five months, linked to the weaker ruble and shortages of some inputs. Output prices alsoincreased at a stronger rate, but overall…
  • 31/8/2014: Did President Putin Call for a Statehood for E. Ukraine?

    31 Aug 2014 | 10:53 am
    Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an interview to Interfax news agency in which he said (in Russian): "Президент России считает, что киевские власти должны начать переговоры по вопросам государственности юго-востока страны. "Нужно немедленно приступить к субстантивным, содержательным переговорам, и не по техническим вопросам, а по вопросам политической…
 
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    Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

  • Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – August 20 2014

    20 Aug 2014 | 2:48 pm
    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications. The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases. The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate…
  • Homebuilder Blues: NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Ratings August 2014

    20 Aug 2014 | 12:31 pm
    Recently, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that assessments of housing activity improved notably in August with the composite HMI index climbing to 55 from 53 the prior month while the "buyer traffic" index rose to a level of 42.Looking at the data, its pretty clear that while there was a bit of a pullback in activity earlier in the year, homebuilder sentiment and, in particular, assessments of buyer activity have improved.
  • Retail Sales: July 2014

    13 Aug 2014 | 11:10 am
    Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest nominal read of retail sales  showing modest activity in July with sales going flat from June and rising 3.7% on a year-over-year basis on an aggregate of all items including food, fuel and healthcare services. Nominal "discretionary" retail sales including home furnishings, home garden and building materials, consumer electronics and department store sales declined slightly, falling 0.1% from June but rising 1.68% above the level seen in July 2013 while, adjusting for inflation, “real” discretionary retail sales declined 0.23% on the…
  • Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – August 13 2014

    13 Aug 2014 | 10:54 am
    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications. The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases. The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate…
  • Construction Spending: June 2014

    1 Aug 2014 | 8:20 am
    Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released their latest read of construction spending showing slumping results for June with total private construction spending, single family construction spending and non-residential construction spending all declining over the month. On a month-to-month basis, total residential spending declined -0.3% from May climbing 7.4% above the level seen in June 2013 and remaining well below the peak level seen in 2006.Single family construction spending declined 1.40% from May rising 8.5% since June 2013 remaining well below it's peak level reached in…
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    Stock Trading To Go

  • STTG Market Recap August 29, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:10 pm
    A spike in the closing moments of the day helped cap off a strong August as the S&P 500 finished up 0.33% and the NASDAQ 0.50%. Volume was very light ahead of the holiday weekend. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final take on consumer sentiment rose to 82.5 in August from 81.8 the month before. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S.... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap August 28, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:38 pm
    Indexes opened down to begin Thursday's action but dip buyers came in slowly during the day to minimize losses. At the end of the day the S&P 500 fell 0.17% and the NASDAQ 0.26%. All systems remain on go. Figures from the Commerce Department showed the economy expanded more than previously projected, with gross domestic product rising at a 4.2 percent annualized pace, versus an... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap August 27, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:22 pm
    A quiet day of rest and consolidation, consistent with a serious rally. The S&P 500 finished flat while the NASDAQ fell 0.02%. News flow was very light as we come to the end of summer and many are enjoying vacation; volume out there reflects this. Original post: STTG Market Recap August 27, 2014 Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap August 26, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    26 Aug 2014 | 5:00 pm
    A day after crossing over 2000 but then falling back the S&P 500 finished above that big round number. The S&P 500 gained 0.11% and the NASDAQ 0.29%. The day's economic reports came in well above expectations; orders for durable goods rose 22.6 percent last month versus a 7.5 percent estimate. The bookings for longer-lasting goods came on increased demand for commercial aircraft. ... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap August 25, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    25 Aug 2014 | 3:52 pm
    The S&P 500 hit the much commented 2000 level mid day Monday but fell back a tiny bit in the afternoon. This is only a psychological number but humans are attracted to those big round numbers. As we mentioned Friday a tiny pullback in the indexes worked off a very extreme short term oversold condition and that led to an immediate round of buying today. So the bull market has... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
 
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    Political Calculations

  • The U.S. Stock Market in the Era of World War I

    2 Sep 2014 | 1:06 am
    Coming over a century after many of the original events, we thought it was about time we got around to revisiting the history of the S&P 500, or rather, its predecessor indices and components, during the era of the First World War. Our table below presents an overview of the market from January 1912 through March 1925, showing how the market's price per share, trailing year earnings per share and trailing year dividends per share evolved throughout what might be described as a series of very disruptive events: The table below indicate the key milestones of the period: Timeline of Major Events…
  • How to Boost Your IQ With Science

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:25 am
    What if you could hack your brain to boost your IQ? Would you do it? How can you do it? Garth Sundem, author of Geek Logik, one of our all time favorites, is back in print with Beyond IQ, which taps the expertise of today's top researchers in psychology for how to expand your mental abilities. And all you need to get started is this book, a 9-volt battery, a couple of wires, a 2 milli-Amp resistor and two moist sponges to attach to your head and your left arm.... Seriously! At least if you're as serious as the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which has used a device…
  • How to Achieve Purchasing Power Equality with the Minimum Wage

    28 Aug 2014 | 1:13 am
    Now that we've established what the relative purchasing power of a dollar is in each of the United States, we're going to apply that information today to solve one of the great problems of our time: how to set the minimum wage in each state in order to achieve purchasing power equality. After all, it goes against the ultimate liberal ideals of fairness and equality of outcomes if, thanks to nothing other than the relative cost of living in each state, that a minimum wage earner in Mississippi is able to buy more things with their earnings than can a person earning the identical wage in a high…
  • Temporal Trends in U.S. Housing

    27 Aug 2014 | 1:17 am
    It's a mistake to treat housing prices as if they're a function of time. They're not. But we're going to treat them that way today to illustrate how differently the trend in median new home sale prices has behaved since institutional investors dialed down their year-long buying frenzy after July 2013. The chart below reveals what we find: The initial inflation phase of the second U.S. housing bubble ran from July 2012 through July 2013. During that time, the trailing twelve month average of the median sale price of new homes sold in the United States increased at an average rate of…
  • The Relative Cost of Living by State

    26 Aug 2014 | 1:12 am
    The Tax Foundation has provided a wonderful illustration of the relative cost of living in each of the United States: In the map, the Tax Foundation has adjusted the value of $100 according to its spending power in each state, or rather, for each state's relative purchasing power parity, and in doing so, has shown that 100 U.S. dollars is not worth the same in each state in terms of how much of a defined basket of goods and services that it can buy. It occurs to us that there's another way can illustrate the data, which might provide the basis for some other interesting analysis. So, to that…
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    Calafia Beach Pundit

  • What happened to all the profits?

    28 Aug 2014 | 3:10 pm
    In the six years ending June, 2014 (a period which encompasses the worst of the 2008 financial crisis and the entirety of the recovery to date), the after-tax profits of U.S. corporations totaled about $8.9 trillion. This marked an all-time record for corporate profits, both nominally and relative to GDP: profits averaged about 9.4% of GDP per year. By comparison, over the past 55 years, after-tax corporate profits have averaged only about 6.4% of GDP per year.Over the same six-year period, the federal government borrowed about $7.4 trillion from the U.S. and global capital markets to fund…
  • Durable goods orders blowout

    26 Aug 2014 | 9:02 am
    Janet Yellen just took a roundhouse blow to the chin: July durable goods orders rose by an astounding 22.6%, and are up over 33% in the past year, thanks mainly to a surge in Boeing's aircraft orders. This virtually demolishes her meme that the economy is sickly and in need of ongoing, extraordinary monetary ministrations. We know that aircraft orders are quite volatile on a month-to-month basis, but as the graph above shows, the July jump in orders is unprecedented. Orders of this magnitude don't come from an economy that is struggling. This news reflects a global increase in confidence in…
  • The dollar is up but it's still weak

    25 Aug 2014 | 1:47 pm
    In the past three years, the dollar has risen over 10% against a basket of major currencies (see graph below). That's good on the margin, but the fact remains that the dollar is still quite weak from a long-term historical perspective. To put it another way, rather than saying that the dollar is strong on the margin, it's more accurate to say it's "less weak." However you put it, though, the dollar is confirming that the Fed is on the right track and the U.S. economy is doing better on the margin than most other countries, even though this remains the weakest recovery ever.This chart compares…
  • Stocks still shy of a real high

    25 Aug 2014 | 10:51 am
    In the span of just over 5 years and 5 months, the S&P 500 index of U.S. stocks has tripled from its March 9, 2009 closing low. Today it breached the 2000 mark for the first time ever. Its long upward march over the decades remains intact, with yet more room on the upside.In real terms, however, the S&P 500 is still about 5% shy of its all-time set in August 2000, as the graph above shows.Relative to nominal GDP, stocks today are around the same level as they were in the early 1960s. Back then inflation was low and stable, and 10-yr bond yields were 4% and relatively stable. However,…
  • Great news: the Fed is likely to raise rates sooner rather than later

    20 Aug 2014 | 7:22 pm
    Since all the evidence to date suggests that the economy continues to improve on the margin, the FOMC (in their statement released today) is right to think that they may have to raise short-term interest rates sooner than expected. The market agrees, and that makes higher-interest-rates-sooner-than-expected virtually certain. At this point, I'm guessing that the FOMC will begin to raise rates no later than March of next year. However, at the rate things are improving, there is no reason they couldn't begin to "lift off" sooner than the end of this year.This amounts to a triple dose of good…
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    Donald Marron

  • How Economic Insights Shaped the Web Economy

    Donald
    30 Aug 2014 | 2:22 am
    In this TEDx talk, Bob Litan shows how economic insights shaped the web economy, from dating to search to travel to logistics.
  • Who Owns the Right to Recline? Property Rights in the Sky

    Donald
    26 Aug 2014 | 7:57 am
    “On Sunday, a United Airlines flight was forced to divert after two passengers got into an argument over the Knee Defender, a $22 gadget that stops the person in front of the user from reclining,” report Alex Davies and Julie Zeveloff at Business Insider. By packing people in tight spaces, air travel naturally sparks conflict over property rights. Who gets the overhead space? Or, in this case, who owns the right to recline? Users of the Knee Defender believe they do. Deploying the gadget is thus no different from a homeowner putting up a fence to keep out unwanted intrusions.
  • The Federal Reserve is Not Ending Its Stimulus

    Donald
    10 Jul 2014 | 10:51 am
    Yesterday, the Federal Reserve confirmed that it would end new purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities (MBS)—what’s known as quantitative easing—in October. In response, the media are heralding the end of the Fed’s stimulus: “Fed Stimulus is Really Going to End and Nobody Cares,” says the Wall Street Journal. “Federal Reserve Plans to End Stimulus in October,” reports the BBC. This is utterly wrong. What the Fed is about to do is stop increasing the amount of stimulus it provides. For the mathematically inclined, it’s the first derivative of stimulus that…
  • Happy Tau Day

    Donald
    28 Jun 2014 | 1:47 pm
    Blogging’s been very light of late, but I couldn’t let June 28th slip by without commemorating Tau Day. Math aficionados often celebrate March 14 as Pi day, since Pi starts 3.14. All good fun. But as Michael Hartl argues over at the Tau Manifesto, Pi was likely a mistake. If we could rewrite math history, we’d do better to venerate tau, which equals 2 times pi, or about 6.28. So Happy Tau Day! Hartl marshals multiple arguments in his manifesto. But the best reason is likely the simplest. The two most interesting things about a circle are its radius and its perimeter (aka…
  • Seven Tax Issues Facing Small Business

    Donald
    9 Apr 2014 | 12:47 pm
    Today I had the chance to testify before the House Small Business Committee on the many tax issues facing small business. Here are my opening remarks. You can find my full testimony here. America’s tax system is needlessly complex, economically harmful, and often unfair. Despite recent revenue gains, it likely will not raise enough money to pay the government’s future bills. The time is thus ripe for wholesale tax reform. Such reform could have far-reaching effects, including on small business. To help you evaluate those effects, I’d like to make seven points about the tax issues…
 
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    Supply and Demand (in that order)

  • The best way to read ebooks?

    29 Aug 2014 | 2:50 pm
    For multi-device users, amazon's kindle is nice. You can buy a book once and view the same book (including your personal bookmarks and notes) on PC, Mac, ios, android, and more. My only complaint here is that on PC or Mac you cannot double click one of the book's illustrations in order to enlarge it.My work around for PC- or Mac-based illustration views is to switch to (or stay in) full-screen single-column reading when I want a close look at an illustration. On a PC, the two buttons are next to each other on the kindle app bar (see the upper left in this screen shot):On a Mac, the…
  • Side Effects: The Economic Consequences of the Health Reform

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:03 am
    Spending on health care has grown faster than the economy itself, even while the share of the population without health insurance was increasing. The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., Obamacare) intends to reverse these trends, but in doing so has economic side effects. Businesses are complaining about the ACA's new tax and regulatory burdens, whereas supporters say that it is a long-overdue "shot in the arm" that will promote entrepreneurship and a "more rapid economic recovery."Positive and negative tax effects of the ACA are carefully documented. The book offers a comprehensive market analysis…
  • Available now!

    28 Aug 2014 | 1:39 pm
    Spending on health care has grown faster than the economy itself, even while the share of the population without health insurance was increasing. The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., Obamacare) intends to reverse these trends, but in doing so has economic side effects. Businesses are complaining about the ACA's new tax and regulatory burdens, whereas supporters say that it is a long-overdue "shot in the arm" that will promote entrepreneurship and a "more rapid economic recovery."Positive and negative tax effects of the ACA are carefully documented. The book offers a comprehensive market analysis…
  • Recent economic growth

    30 Jul 2014 | 10:23 am
    Average annualized growth of real GDP per capita (FRED series A939RX0Q048SBEA)3.2% last quarter0.2% last two quarters (i.e., 2013-Q4 through 2014-Q2)1.1% last three quarters1.7% last four quartersNote that the 0.2% does not use any data from the "bad winter" (2014-Q1): it is just the annualized percentage difference between 2013-Q4 and 2014-Q2.
  • Employment just went down

    6 Jun 2014 | 6:35 am
    Please don't forget that the establishment survey excludes agricultural workers and many of the self-employed. The establishment survey has a lot going for it, but only for the part of the economy it covers. For anyone interested in the national economy, I recommend using the establishment survey plus unincorporated self-employed (from the household survey, seasonally adjusted) plus agricultural workers (also from the household survey, seasonally adjusted). See also the BLS on this matter.One of the critiques of the household survey is that it is noisy month-to-month -- I agree. But my…
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out?

    Andrew
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:24 am
    Evelyn Lamb adds to the conversation that Jeff Leek and I had a few months ago. It’s a topic that’s worth returning to, in light of our continuing discussions regarding the crisis of criticism in science. The post Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • On deck this week

    Andrew
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    Mon: Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? Tues: Questions about “Too Good to Be True” Wed: I disagree with Alan Turing and Daniel Kahneman regarding the strength of statistical evidence Thurs: Why isn’t replication required before publication in top journals? Fri: Confirmationist and falsificationist paradigms of science Sat: How does inference for next year’s data differ from inference for unobserved data from the current year? Sun: Likelihood from quantiles? We’ve got a full week of statistics for you. Welcome back to work, everyone! The post On deck this week appeared first on…
  • On deck this month

    Andrew
    30 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? Questions about “Too Good to Be True” I disagree with Alan Turing and Daniel Kahneman regarding the strength of statistical evidence Why isn’t replication required before publication in top journals? Confirmationist and falsificationist paradigms of science How does inference for next year’s data differ from inference for unobserved data from the current year? Likelihood from quantiles? My talk with David Schiminovich this Wed noon: “The Birth of the Universe and the Fate of the Earth: One Trillion UV Photons Meet Stan” Suspicious graph…
  • Avoiding model selection in Bayesian social research

    Andrew
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:57 am
    One of my favorites, from 1995. Don Rubin and I argue with Adrian Raftery. Here’s how we begin: Raftery’s paper addresses two important problems in the statistical analysis of social science data: (1) choosing an appropriate model when so much data are available that standard P-values reject all parsimonious models; and (2) making estimates and predictions when there are not enough data available to fit the desired model using standard techniques. For both problems, we agree with Raftery that classical frequentist methods fail and that Raftery’s suggested methods based on…
  • When we talk about the “file drawer,” let’s not assume that an experiment can easily be characterized as producing strong, mixed, or weak results

    Andrew
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:52 pm
    Neil Malhotra: I thought you might be interested in our paper [the paper is by Annie Franco, Neil Malhotra, and Gabor Simonovits, and the link is to a news article by Jeffrey Mervis], forthcoming in Science, about publication bias in the social sciences given your interest and work on research transparency. Basic summary: We examined studies conducted as part of the Time-sharing Experiments in the Social Science (TESS) program, where: (1) we have a known population of conducted studies (some published, some unpublished); and (2) all studies exceed a quality threshold as they go through peer…
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    Beyond Economics

  • State of the Economy: The End of Growth?

    Rob Kaulfuss
    31 Aug 2014 | 10:28 am
    The well-off are back to partying and politicians are arguing over the bar tab The U.S. and world economy almost went down the drain in 2008-09, but thanks in part to extraordinary measures by the U.S. Federal Reserve and central bankers around the world, economic collapse was avoided. Although the lights are back on, the rate of economic growth remains below the escape velocity rate needed to move forward. While corporate profits are up and the stock market is at record highs, many on the lower decks are still cleaning up the mess if they are even back on the boat. Perhaps it is time to…
  • The Not So Promised Land of Fracking

    Rob Kaulfuss
    7 Jan 2013 | 5:23 pm
    The movie Promised Land depicts the dilemma faced by rural farms and towns by the fracking boom. While the makers of the film do reveal their biases in terms of the potential environmental and economic exploitation of poor, rural America, they attempt to provide a balance of perspectives that include some surprising twists with the conclusion left up in the air. Although we don’t actually see fracking or the results of it in the film, here is what a fracked landscape looks like. The oil, gas, and financial industries would have us believe that the shale gas and oil boom will…
  • The Future of Economics and Society as We Know It

    Rob Kaulfuss
    8 Aug 2011 | 9:07 am
    Climate Change, Energy, Electric Cars and the Path to a Sustainable Future PowerPoint of Talk by Rob Kaulfuss, 9/27/2012 at MCC Richard Heinberg delivers a clear and powerful message on the urgent need for the world to begin the transition to a sustainable future. He takes a big picture perspective on the interconnectedness of economics, energy, the environment, and society. Don’t Worry There’s Plenty of Oil (NOT) Interview on The Keiser Report 300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds Who Killed Economic Growth The End of Growth (Chapter summaries; excerpts below) We are, and…
  • The Internet as a Monkey Trap

    Rob Kaulfuss
    13 Jul 2011 | 9:19 am
    Google, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, email, text messaging, gaming, virtual worlds…what is your banana? What so captures your attention that you can’t let go? I saw a cartoon of a monkey trap (not this one) over 25 years ago in an article entitled Computers as Poison. The idea has stuck with me ever since. Today, I came across this explanation which describes the attention capture phenomenon quite well. SEEKING: How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that’s dangerous. Slate (8/12/09) You can’t stop doing it. Sometimes it feels as if the…
  • ANTHROPOCENE: A New Era of Human Civilization on Earth

    Rob Kaulfuss
    1 Jun 2011 | 4:41 pm
    From The Economist cover story of May 28, 2011: “Humans have changed the way the world works. Now they have to change the way they think about it, too.” Human civilization evolved during a period of relatively stable climate over the last 10,000 years. With a rapidly developing and industrialized world, now at about 7 billion and headed for 9-10 billion, humans have become a significant driving force in changing the Earth. Here is an excerpt from the 5/28 cover story of The Economist magazine: Humans have become a force of nature reshaping the planet on a geological scale—but…
 
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    Businomics Blog

  • I Don't Know What It Means: Hitchhiking Robot

    Bill Conerly
    18 Aug 2014 | 10:07 pm
    The AP has a story about a robot hitchhiking across Canada. This seems very important, though I don't quite know what it all means.
  • Poor Countries, Rich Countries

    Bill Conerly
    13 Aug 2014 | 1:40 pm
    My fellow Forbes.com contributor Ana Swanson asks the question, "Would You Rather Be Rich in a Poor Country, or Poor in a Rich Country?" Her article has some startling statistics. For example, the poorest five percent of Americans have incomes higher than 60 percent of the world's population. In my speeches I often hear from people who are focused on rankings (are we number one?) rather than levels. I ask them, which would be better for America? If Canada were as poor as Mexico, or If Mexico were as rich as Canada? I know which I think would be better. How about you?
  • Housing Vacancy Improving

    Bill Conerly
    29 Jul 2014 | 8:40 am
    The housing market is improving, according to vacancy figures released today by the government. Forget "bank-owned" and what Realtors call "inventory." The best way to look at the housing market is to see how many housing units are empty. The "owned" category (most single family homes and condos) has been close to normal for some time, though there's certainly room for a couple more tenths of a percent decline. The rental category took a big drop, which is positive for the housing industry, even if negative for home-hunters. Both categories are important, as…
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    TheMoneyIllusion

  • Moral hazard: If you are not taking socially excessive risks, you aren’t doing your job

    ssumner
    30 Aug 2014 | 5:05 pm
    Tyler Cowen recently quoted from a paper by Cheng, Raina and Xiong (in the AER) on the banking crisis: We analyze whether mid-level managers in securitized finance were aware of a large-scale housing bubble and a looming crisis in 2004-2006 using their personal home transaction data. We find that the average person in our sample neither timed the market nor were cautious in their home transactions, and did not exhibit awareness of problems in overall housing markets. Certain groups of securitization agents were particularly aggressive in increasing their exposure to housing during this…
  • Either Lars or I am really, really wrong

    ssumner
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:22 am
    I’ve argued that China is currently overtaking the US in the race to have the world’s largest economy, and will have an economy twice the size of the US within a few decades.  I’ve picked on Lester Thurow for claiming it wouldn’t happen until the 22nd century.  And now Lars Christensen has suggested it might never happen.  Those are fighting words to a Sinophile like me.  Here’s Lars: However, the [World Bank] argument was completely bogus as it was based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) rather than on actual exchange rates (To be fair we should blame the…
  • About those struggling middle class Americans

    ssumner
    27 Aug 2014 | 7:18 am
    I’m a bit of an extremist on saving.  That partly reflects my supply side views—government policy discourages savings in 100s of ways.  It partly reflects the fact that successful economies like Singapore and Switzerland tend to save a lot.  And it partly reflects my (patient) personality.  I’ve been in all 5 quintiles at various stages of my life, and can always save money at any income. I often get into debates with commenters, and eventually it reaches the point where I’m told Americans are too poor to save.  I don’t get it. Isn’t America the…
  • French Socialists purge far-left wing Krugmanites from government

    ssumner
    26 Aug 2014 | 5:32 am
    Update:  I’ve been told that Mr. Montebourg is a strong foe of the ECB’s tight money policy.  So don’t take this post as a blanket criticism of his views.  He’s right about the ECB. The French government spends 56.1% of GDP, one of the highest ratios in the world.  Even the relatively left-wing Hollande thinks that’s enough.  But believe it or not there is (or was) a faction in the government that thinks France’s problems are caused by not spending even more.  Here is the FT François Hollande has purged his embattled Socialist government of…
  • 2001: A Market Odyssey (Shiller out of sample)

    ssumner
    25 Aug 2014 | 9:35 am
    Any fool can data mine and find spurious correlations.  The real test is how they do out of sample. Robert Shiller became famous in 1996 with his “irrational exuberance” claim (or at least one degree of separation from famous, as it was when Greenspan repeated this claim that the public took notice.) Shiller’s model looks at the ratio of stock prices to an average of inflation-adjusted earnings over the previous 10 years. When he made the call this ratio was near the mid-20s, well about the historical average of 16.  So how’s this model done since? Not well at all.
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    Scott Lincicome

  • Video: Heritage Event on Energy Exports

    12 Aug 2014 | 3:06 pm
    The Heritage Foundation has posted the video of last month's event on US energy exports.  The video is here and embedded below.  (I start around 53:00, if you're just desperate to watch me wave my arms around like a crazyperson.)Enjoy!This feed originates at the personal blog of Scott Lincicome (http://lincicome.blogspot.com).
  • Announcements

    21 Jul 2014 | 5:56 pm
    Although this blog has gone pretty quiet over the last few months (an understatement, I know), I've been keeping busy with plenty of (non-toddler-related) stuff, including--This Thursday, July 24, I'll be speaking at the Heritage Foundation at an event on "Energy Exports and Free Trade."  The lineup for the event is (if I do say so myself) pretty stellar, and the subject matter couldn't be more timely.  Here's the description:Expanding domestic energy production over the past few years has provided a welcome boost to the American economy. The federal government, however, has…
  • Archaic US Trade Policies Inflate Gas Prices, Enrich Cronies

    22 Apr 2014 | 7:05 pm
    Cross-posted on Cato's blog:The summer driving season is still weeks away, but rising U.S. gas prices are already back in the news.  Last week, the average price for regular gasoline at U.S. gas stations hit $3.6918 a gallon – the highest since March 22, 2013 and up 43 cents this year.  Much of this price depends on global supply and demand, but certainly not all of it.  In fact, two archaic, little-known U.S. policies – vigorously defended by the well-connected interest groups who benefit from them – restrict free trade in petroleum products and, as a result,…
  • Oil & Gas Exports Event: Video and Materials (and Two Important Updates)

    12 Feb 2014 | 4:00 pm
    If you weren't lucky enough to hear me, Mark Perry and Jim Bacchus opine on the "shale revolution" and the myriad problems with current US policy on oil and gas exports, you're in luck: Cato just posted the video, which is also imbedded below.If you'd like a closer look at Mark's or my presentation, you can download them here and here, respectively.  They remain up to date, except for two big developments that warrant mention:First, a few minutes after the Cato event ended, Senator Ted Cruz announced a comprehensive energy plan, one of the core planks of which is the…
  • Upcoming Cato Event on Oil & Gas Exports

    23 Jan 2014 | 11:44 am
    The Cato Institute will be hosting a great event on February 10, 2014 on oil and gas exports.  Details are below, and registration information is available at Cato's website. Hope you can make it.Boom to Bust? How Export Restrictions Imperil America’s Oil and Gas BonanzaFebruary 10, 2014 11:30AM Hayek Auditorium Featuring James Bacchus, Former WTO Appellate Body Jurist and Former U.S. Congressman; Scott Lincicome, Cato Institute Adjunct Scholar and International Trade Attorney; and Mark Perry, Professor of Economics, University of Michigan–Flint, and American Enterprise…
 
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    Jesse's Café Américain

  • Franklin Roosevelt: On Labor, Wages, and Confidence

    1 Sep 2014 | 9:28 am
    "A man must always live by his work, and his wages must at least be sufficient to maintain him." Adam Smith "The issue isn't just jobs. Even slaves had jobs. The issue is wages." Jim Hightower Some analysts are confusing higher wages with monetary stimulus. Nothing could be further from the truth, at least in the real world of today. Monetary
  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Cap 'n Coil

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:14 pm
    Nothing really happened of note in the Comex warehouses for gold. Silver is seeing the usual movements, in and out, with CNT providing quite a bit of the action. We are now trading the metals for September, which is an active month for silver and not gold. US markets will be closed on Monday for Labor Day. There was commentary overnight about the Coppock indicator which is signaling an
  • SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Hubris R' Us

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:14 pm
    The SP 500 futures managed to close at exactly 2000.00.  Cute. There was a remarkable amount of complacency in the US trade today as the summer help took the markets into a three day weekend with plenty simmering on the geopolitical stove.   Acampora:  There Is NO WAY the Market Will Crash As you know, today was the end of the month. Next week the pros come back from vacation and
  • Coppock Indicator: An Intermediate Term Bottom For Gold Is In

    28 Aug 2014 | 9:17 pm
    The data wrangler, Nick Laird from Sharelynx, sent these long term technical charts of gold in US dollars with a note saying, "I like the look of it Jess. It's a deep cyclical indicator and you can see from its past performance how it works for gold."   I have to admit that this is one indicator I am not given to using,
  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - A Tale of Two Metals Markets - Shout and Feel It

    28 Aug 2014 | 1:25 pm
    Nothing of particular interest was shown in the Comex reports from yesterday. Tomorrow we bid adieu to the August contract. Time to move our eyes to the September month which is active for silver but not gold. The precious metals are unfortunately very politicized in this currency war. That is both a risk, and an opportunity. There was intraday commentary on the metals here. There are
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • False democracy

    chris dillow
    1 Sep 2014 | 6:23 am
    At the gym yesterday morning, I caught sight of a TV show discussing "is fracking the future?" Who might usefully discuss this question: geologists? energy economists? Nope. There was the ubiquitous vested interest; Vivienne Westwood, a frock designer; and James Delingpole, whose field of expertise has yet to be discerned. What's going on here is yet another example of the Robbie Savageization of the media. What matters is not knowledge, intellect or wisdom but the narcisstic assertion of mere opinion. And "good" TV (or radio) consistents not in enlightenment but in…
  • Emergence

    chris dillow
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:57 am
    The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission this week reminded us of an old fact - that privately educated people are disproportionately represented among top jobs. Why is this? It's not solely because prviate schools give people a better chance of going on to get good degrees. This paper shows that, even controlling for university, the privately educated have a slight advantage in their chances of getting top jobs. And this one shows that, controlling for degree, there's an earnings premium for the privately-schooled. This is consistent with anecdotal evidence. Sajid Javid's…
  • UK vs US living standards

    chris dillow
    27 Aug 2014 | 6:44 am
    Fraser Nelson's claim that the UK is poorer than any US state other than Mississippi has met with some scepticism on Twitter. However, I reckon he might be right. Put it this way. Last year, UK GDP was £1612bn in current prices. With a population of 64.1m this gives us GDP per head of £25161. With the exchange rate averaging $1.57 last year, we have GDP per head in dollars of $39503. US GDP (pdf) was $16768.1bn spread over 316.3m, giving GDP per head of $53013. These are close to Fraser's numbers. One reason for this difference is simply that Americans work more; the OECD estimates…
  • Constraints, real & imagined

    chris dillow
    26 Aug 2014 | 6:14 am
    Simon's post reminds me of Sidney Webb's reaction to Britain leaving the gold standard in 1931: "nobody told us we could do that." The 1929-31 Labour government tore itself apart because it thought the gold standard was a binding constraint which demanded fiscal austerity. But in fact, the constraint was imaginary. Abandoning the gold standard had no great ill-effects. European social democrats are in the same position Webb was. They are seeing binding constraints when in fact there are only illusory ones. In the euro area, a relaxation of the stability and growth pact to…
  • Public vs private racism

    chris dillow
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:05 am
    Which is better - to be a racist in words but not actions, or in actions but not words?* This is one question posed by the Malky Mackay affair. To see my point, let's juxtapose him (and football generally) with the film and TV business. Many black actors have felt the need to leave the UK to pursue their careers for want of good jobs here. But this is not the case for black footballers. I suspect that 20-something black men get a better deal relative to their white peers in football than they do in other walks of life** (though this might be a low bar), and - so far - there is no…
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    David Smith's EconomicsUK.com

  • French lessons in how not to run an economy

    David Smith
    31 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Britain and France are two nations separated by just 21 miles of sea but sharply divided by their economic performance. France, economically stagnant, is experiencing rising...
  • IEA's shadow MPC votes 6-3 for rate hike

    David Smith
    31 Aug 2014 | 1:59 am
    In its email poll closing Thursday 27th August, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) recommended by six votes to three that Bank Rate should be raised on September 4th, including four votes for a rise...
  • Baby-boomers take some of the rap for falling pay

    David Smith
    17 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Strange things are happening. Pay should not be falling at a time when employment is booming – up by 820,000 over the past year – and...
  • It can get sticky when you're a honeypot for migrants

    David Smith
    3 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Immigration is an issue it would be easy to file away in the “too difficult” drawer. Is it one of those where good economics – most...
  • Shadow MPC votes for half-point rate hike

    David Smith
    3 Aug 2014 | 1:59 am
    At its meeting of Tuesday 15th July, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) recommended that Bank Rate should be raised on Thursday 7th August, including five votes for a rise of ½%. Those urging a...
 
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    Top Gun Financial Planning

  • Interview With Mint.com

    Greg Feirman
    5 Aug 2014 | 7:10 am
    Check out this short interview I did with Mint.com.  
  • It’s A Bull Market

    Greg Feirman
    16 Jul 2014 | 4:12 am
    NOTE: Every week or two I wrote a Client Note for my clients. I post most but not all of the notes to my blog but with a time delay usually between 1 day and 1 week. To receive the Client Notes at the same time as my clients, sign up in the box in the right hand corner of the website. The S&P is up another 1% since I last checked in in early June (“That 2013 Feeling”, June 9) and what I said then still applies.  The path of least resistance continues to be higher. The stock market sold off yesterday on the following comments by Fed Chair Janet Yellen: Valuation metrics in…
  • That 2013 Feeling

    Greg Feirman
    8 Jun 2014 | 7:41 pm
    NOTE: Every week or two I wrote a Client Note for my clients. I post most but not all of the notes to my blog but with a time delay usually between 1 day and 1 week. To receive the Client Notes at the same time as my clients, sign up in the box in the right hand corner of the website. Only a few weeks ago the S&P seemed stuck below 1900 and market sentiment had turned bearish.  Star hedge fund manager David Tepper punctuated the bearishness when he told an audience full of investors at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas “Don’t be too frickin’ long”. A few weeks…
  • The Carnage Beneath The Surface

    Greg Feirman
    10 May 2014 | 2:14 pm
    NOTE: Every week or two I wrote a Client Note for my clients. I post most but not all of the notes to my blog but with a time delay usually between 1 day and 1 week. To receive the Client Notes at the same time as my clients, sign up in the box in the right hand corner of the website. Despite the relatively muted action in the major market indexes something big is happening beneath the surface.  While the Dow and S&P are within striking distance of their all time highs, many of the leading stocks from last year have suffered a beating in the last couple of months.  A chart from BeSpoke…
  • Why Stocks Could Keep Going Higher In 2014

    Greg Feirman
    28 Dec 2013 | 1:27 pm
    NOTE: Every week or two I wrote a Client Note for my clients. I post the notes to my blog but with a time delay usually between 1 day and 1 week. To receive the Client Notes at the same time as my clients, sign up in the box in the right hand corner of the website. ***** I have finally come around to the view that the path of least resistance for stocks is higher. The first and most important reason is that the Fed and global central banks remain highly accommodative.  The much feared Fed taper finally occurred two weeks ago – and stocks rocketed higher!  One reason could be that…
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    Project Syndicate RSS-Feed

  • The Exaggerated Death of Inflation

    Kenneth Rogoff
    2 Sep 2014 | 2:30 am
    Modern central banking has worked wonders to bring down inflation. Ultimately, however, a central bank’s anti-inflation policies can work only within the context of a macroeconomic and political framework that is consistent with price stability.
  • Let the Middle East Govern Itself

    Jeffrey D. Sachs
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:05 am
    The West's interventions have consistently destabilized the Middle East, while causing massive suffering in the affected countries. It is time for the US and other powers to allow the Middle East to govern itself in line with national sovereignty and the United Nations Charter.
  • Why Israel?

    Shlomo Ben-Ami
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:50 am
    The grotesque coupling of solidarity with Palestine and anti-Jewish invective seems to have forged a politically correct form of anti-Semitism that is drowning out legitimate criticism of Israel's policies in Gaza. Why does Israel’s controversial behavior, unlike that of other countries, call into question its right to exist?
  • Down with Dengism

    Minxin Pei
    1 Sep 2014 | 6:30 am
    China has held a series of high-profile ceremonies honoring the 110th anniversary of former leader Deng Xiaoping’s birth. But, though Deng deserves appreciation for having brought China back from the abyss of Maoism, his authoritarian development model is impeding China’s prospects.
  • Democracy in the Twenty-First Century

    Joseph E. Stiglitz
    1 Sep 2014 | 3:30 am
    The economist Thomas Piketty’s forecast of still higher levels of inequality does not reflect the inexorable laws of economics. Indeed, the main question today is not really about capital in the twenty-first century; it is about democracy in the twenty-first century.
 
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    OilPrice.com Daily News Update

  • Geothermal Power Gathering Steam in U.S.

    1 Sep 2014 | 12:17 pm
    The bubbling sulfur springs and powerful, majestic geysers of Yellowstone National Park are visible manifestations of the potential for geothermal energy in the United States. Yet for various reasons -- including logistics, economics and permitting issues -- geothermal has not even come close to reaching its potential. That could be changing, though, with the introduction this summer of a series of geothermal bills that may hasten its development and remove some bureaucratic obstacles. Renewable Energy World reported at the end of July that U.S.…Read more...
  • Return to the Arctic: Shell Looks Set To Take Another Run

    1 Sep 2014 | 12:13 pm
    Shell could be returning to the Arctic after a two-year hiatus. The company submitted a drilling plan to the U.S. Department of Interior on Aug. 28, which suggests it is considering returning to the icy waters in the far north to look for oil. While no final decision has been made, Shell’s submission puts the company on track to drill in the summer of 2015.Shell has spent several years and nearly $6 billion on its Arctic campaign thus far. Harsh conditions, poor infrastructure, and a short drilling season hindered its progress, but it was…Read more...
  • We Are On The Verge Of An Electric Car Battery Breakthrough

    1 Sep 2014 | 12:07 pm
    Electric vehicles are cool. They’re inexpensive to operate, can make our air cleaner, and help reduce the amount of climate change-causing gases released into the atmosphere. But right now, they’re also mostly just for rich people. The initial cost of buying the car, combined with their limited availability, is just too much for most people to justify making the switch.That could soon change, though, because investment pundits think that Tesla Motors is on the verge of achieving something big: A battery cheap enough to make electric…Read more...
  • Is Coal Really Peaking In China?

    1 Sep 2014 | 11:45 am
    Better Technologies Needed for Emissions to Start Falling“While uncertainty over the changes in coal stockpiles still exists, we’re confident that the unbelievable may be at hand: peak coal consumption in China.” So concludes a recent blog post from the Sierra Club’s Justin Guay and Greenpeace International’s Lauri Myllyvirta, the latter of whom recently published an analysis suggesting that Chinese coal consumption dropped in the first half of 2014:What does this recent (possible) dip auger for future emissions and…Read more...
  • Norway’s NADL and Rosneft Sign Long-Term Deals, Despite Sanctions

    1 Sep 2014 | 11:23 am
    Russian oil giant Rosneft has just bought nearly one-third of the Norway’s North Atlantic Drilling Ltd. (NADL), which wants to do more business with the Kremlin-run oil company despite Western sanctions.In deals first announced in May and signed over the past three months, NADL will let Rosneft use six Norwegian offshore rigs to drill for oil until 2022, and simultaneously sell the Russian company 30 percent of its shares for $0.25, for a total of $4.25 billion.The deals went through despite two sets of sanctions imposed by the United States…Read more...
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    zentrader.ca

  • Treat Yourself Like The Most Important Investment You Will Ever Make

    Jeff Pierce
    1 Sep 2014 | 1:16 am
    How much time is spent reading the prospectus of this investment or that? How much energy do we pour into researching our next big investment? It is not as if they all turn out as expected. But in general, we tend to perform some type of due diligence when making a big investment in a company. Why, then, do we not apply the same due diligence to the biggest investment of all: ourselves? When it comes to investing in businesses, there are rules and BEST practices that we can apply. Buy low; sell high is one such axiom. Here are a few more that may not make great bumper stickers, but are good…
  • Options Reveal 7 Ways Stocks Can End 2014

    chris
    31 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    By Chris Ebert Very few things can be known for sure about the future; and even when something is known for sure, the word sure is open to interpretation. Certainly, one can be reasonably sure that the sun will rise tomorrow, though technically even that it is not 100% certain. It is possible to be sure about the future of the stock market – perhaps not quite as sure as tomorrow’s sunrise – but sure nonetheless. As the Lobour Day holiday is upon us, and with the final trading months of the year now approaching, we may find it helpful to take some time to consider what we actually know…
  • Financial Astrology – Crude Update

    Jeff Pierce
    30 Aug 2014 | 3:26 pm
    By Astrology Traders The Markets The bullish trend we were expecting in the middle of August gained additional strength in last weeks trading session. The technical long term trend is for the Nasdaq has realigned to the upside and joins the DJIA. The Nasdaq has done a ‘whipsaw’, as Jeff likes to call it, giving a signal that is bullish for all the indexes. Jeff often sees this type of market being followed up by a very big bullish breakout. We could see this type of move next week or in the second week of September. We will continue to hold our long positions, trim profits, and…
  • Could QTMM Be The Next PLUG?

    jeff pierce
    25 Aug 2014 | 12:30 pm
    By Jeff Pierce Below is one of the most bullish charts I’ve seen in awhile. Let’s start with the weekly and note the massively overbought RSI condition in June/July. This is often a warm up to what’s to come. Yes it’s a penny stock and that’s why it doesn’t make my tradewithZEN watchlist, but these are exactly the sort of momentum stocks I look for that can provide excellent returns. Check out the weekly chart of PLUG and I think you’ll see what I’m seeing. RSI bullish trends oscillate between 80-40. We’ve corrected back to the 40 level…
  • Stock Owners More Important Than Stock Prices

    chris
    24 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    By Chris Ebert Last week’s market analysis concluded with a simple observation “… a move to 1988 or 1935, at any time in the next week or so, would be quite natural.” Well, it’s now evident that the market chose 1988, not because that level is somehow magical, but because it represents a boundary between two different types of trading environments, just as 1935 represented a boundary. Above 1988 is a zone known here as lottery fever for its feverish buying of stocks that drives prices higher without regard for fundamentals, economic news, or anything else that otherwise might cause…
 
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    NEW ECONOMY

  • Let’s End Poverty: We Have the Money, Do We Have the Will?

    Dean Paton
    28 Aug 2014 | 3:55 pm
    Photo by Tomasz Wagner. I am driving my old red Jeep near my house. I stop for a traffic light and see a disheveled man, trying to smile, wanting to look me in the eye, and holding a cardboard sign on which he has printed in thick, black letters: “No job. Anything helps. God bless.” Do I roll down my window and hold out some coins? Or pretend I don’t see him? Do I avoid eye contact because, deep down, seeing him forces me to confront a scary reality—that I, too, could wind up begging on the streets? Do I let his presence reinforce the common belief that poverty is inevitable, a…
  • The Faces Behind the Fight for $15 an Hour

    Betty Udesen
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:15 am
    It was an outrageously ambitious goal—a 64 percent pay hike to more than twice the federal $7.25 an hour minimum wage. But in a short time the Seattle City Council met the demands of workers and organizers, unanimously approving the first $15 minimum wage in the nation. Read more about how it happened here, and meet some of the workers on the frontlines below. For low-wage workers, Seattle's minimum wage increase means a chance to go to school, pay the rent, and visit the dentist. Portraits and interviews by Betty Udesen. Imeleta Noa, 51 Noa works 36 hours a week and is paid $10.53 per hour…
  • If Unions Are Breaking Automakers, Why Are BMW and Mercedes So Rich?

    Thom Hartmann
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:43 am
    Photo by Ben / Flickr. When the financial crisis of 2008 sent U.S. automakers to the precipice of failure, conservatives, notably Mitt Romney, urged the Obama administration to let the car companies go bankrupt. Neoconservatives blamed “high wages” paid to unionized autoworkers for the inability of GM, Ford, and Chrysler to compete. In his book The Crash of 2016, author Thom Hartmann points out a flaw in the argument that high wages to American workers are the problem. He says: Click here to subscribe to YES! Actually, Germany paid their autoworkers about $67 an hour (including wages and…
  • America Keeps People Poor On Purpose: A Timeline of Choices We've Made to Increase Inequality

    Liz Pleasant
    21 Aug 2014 | 4:35 pm
    This infographic was featured in The End Of Poverty, the Fall 2014 issue of YES! Magazine. It was adapted from Who Stole the American Dream? by Hedrick Smith. Random House Publishing Group, 2012, 592 pages. Read more: Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around Infographic: Why Social Security's Not Going Broke Why Germany Is Backing Away From a Trade Deal that Lets Corporations Sue the Government Seattle Wins $15 Minimum Wage—Will Your Town Be Next?
  • Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around

    Dean Paton
    21 Aug 2014 | 4:32 pm
    Pearl Street, New York City. "This little girl and this man (I assume homeless) were talking, and they were laughing, smiling, and loving every minute of it," writes photographer Eric Magnuson. "The little girl couldn't care less what the man looked like or what situation he was in. She just saw him as another person." Photo by Eric Magnuson. Inequality and poverty are suddenly hot topics, not only in the United States but also across the globe. Since the early 1980s, there has been a growing underclass in America. At the same time a much smaller class, now called the superrich, built its…
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    Central Bank News

  • BIS' payments committee CPSS renamed CPMI

    centralbanknews.info
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:52 pm
        The Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS), one of the standing committees hosted by Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS, has been renamed as the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) to better reflect its actual activities, according to the BIS.    The origins of CPSS date back to the late 1970 when central banks intensified their cooperation in international payment and settlement systems following the June 26, 1974 failure of the small German bank Bankhaus Herstatt.    German regulators liquidated Herstatt but…
  • Egypt holds rate to limit inflation, anchor expectations

    centralbanknews.info
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:44 pm
        Egypt's central bank maintained its benchmark overnight deposit rate at 9.25 percent, as expected, saying its key rates are appropriate to anchor inflation expectations "and limit a generalized price increase given the lagged transmission of the previous rate hike across the economy."    In July the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) surprised financial markets by raising its rate by 100 basis points in what it described as a preemptive move to anchor inflation expectations and limit a general increase in prices following the government's price increase on a range of…
  • Australia maintains rates, still sees period of stable rates

    centralbanknews.info
    1 Sep 2014 | 9:37 pm
        Australia's central bank maintained its benchmark cash rate at 2.50 percent, as widely expected, and repeated its previous quidance that "on present indications, the most prudent course is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates."    The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which has held its rate steady since August 2013, changed its description of the exchange rate of the Australian dollar, saying it "remains above most estimates of its fundamental value" given the declines in commodity prices, a statement that seems slightly softer than in past months when…
  • This week in monetary policy: Egypt, Australia, Brazil, Poland, Canada, Sweden, euro area, U.K. and Mexico

    centralbanknews.info
    1 Sep 2014 | 6:36 am
        This week (September 1 - 5) nine central banks are scheduled to decide on monetary policy, including those for the countries and jurisdictions of Egypt (which was originally scheduled last week), Australia, Brazil, Poland, Canada, Sweden, the euro area, the United Kingdom and Mexico.        Following table includes name of the country, its MSCI classification, the date the policy decision will be announced, the current policy rate, and the rate one year ago. COUNTRY MSCI             …
  • Monetary Policy Week in Review – Aug 25-29, 2014: Markets mull Draghi as Israel cuts, Colombia raises rates

    centralbanknews.info
    31 Aug 2014 | 8:22 pm
        Speculation over further monetary easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) dominated global monetary policy last week as financial markets continued to digest the implication of Mario Draghi’s speech in Jackson Hole.    In his speech on Friday Aug. 22 ECB President Draghi said he will use "all the available instruments needed to ensure price stability" and is "ready to adjust the policy stance further."    In addition, Draghi went beyond his normal language about the need for fiscal discipline and called on euro area policymakers to loosen the fiscal…
 
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    Business Insider

  • Ukrainian Military: Russian Forces Are Strengthening Positions Inside The Country

    Pavel Polityuk and Kiryl Sukhotski
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:43 am
    KIEV (Reuters) - Russian troops are strengthening their positions in eastern Ukraine and using aid shipments to smuggle in arms and other supplies to separatist forces, Kiev's military said on Tuesday. Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said units of Russian troops had been identified in the big regional center of Donetsk, towns and villages to its east and in south-east areas near the Sea of Azov. Fifteen more Ukrainian servicemen were killed in fighting in the past 24 hours, Lysenko said. President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of…
  • The 21 Most Miserable Countries In The World

    Elena Holodny
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:40 am
    It's hard to get by when you don't have a job and the price of goods is rising. That maxim is behind the dramatically named "Misery Index," which adds together a country's unemployment and inflation rates. The higher the number, the more "miserable" your country is. The index was created by economist Arthur Okun, and it was an extremely popular measurement during the Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan presidencies. There have been some criticisms of the misery index. Extensive studies have shown that unemployment influences happiness (or rather, unhappiness) significantly…
  • New Video Provides A Stunningly Detailed Look At The iPhone 6

    Lisa Eadicicco
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:38 am
    The latest iPhone 6 leak, which comes courtesy of Russian website Rozetked, shows exactly what Apple's next smartphone will look like from the front, back, side, and any other angle you could possibly imagine. The video, which was first spotted by 9to5Mac, shows the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 alongside the iPhone 5s. This is one of the rare times we're actually seeing the front panel attached to the rear plate. Luxury designer Feld & Volk posted photos that had reportedly shown a rendering of a fully assembled iPhone 6, but this might be the first time we're seeing the real thing.  Here's a…
  • Apple's iPhone 6 Opening Weekend Sales Might Be Worse Than Expected (AAPL)

    Jay Yarow
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:35 am
    Apple analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray is raising his price target to $120, up from $105.  Apple is currently at ~$103.2o, which is an all-time high. Though, Apple's market cap is ~$613 billion, which is far behind it's all-time market cap value of $665 billion. (This discrepancy is thanks to Apple's massive share buyback program.) Munster's note is light on a detailed argument for upping the price target. Munster's price boost basically comes down to the following, "We remain buyers of Apple and are raising our price target to $120 (from $105) ahead of the upcoming launch of…
  • iPhone 6 Sales Will Be So Big That They'll Move The Needle On Chinese Exports (AAPL, FXI, GMF, EWT, SWKS)

    Myles Udland
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:27 am
    iPhone 6 is coming, and the economic impact is going to be huge. In a note to clients, Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists Ting Lu and Marcella Chow write that iPhone 6 should boost China's export growth by 1% per month for the rest of 2014. iPhone 6 sales are also expected to boost Taiwan's export growth 2% per month from August through October, and 1% from November through January.  Lu and Chow write: "We found that the upcoming iPhone 6’s release could add about 1% per month to China export growth for the rest of 2014, while Taiwan’s export growth could be boosted by around…
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    Business + Economy – Articles – The Conversation

  • Economic outlook in Australia remains murky

    Timo Henckel, Research Associate, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis at Australian National University
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:40 pm
    The picture of Australia's economy right now is murky.PSJeremy/Flickr , CC BYThe CAMA RBA Shadow Board is a project by the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, based at the ANU, which asks industry and academic economists what interest rate the Reserve Bank of Australia should set. The picture of the Australian economy painted by the latest data is murky. The housing market and indicators of sentiment are strengthening but growth remains slightly below trend and the unemployment rate rose to 6.4% in July. Relative to the previous month, the CAMA RBA Shadow Board has become slightly…
  • Individual contracts come back – but don't mention the WorkChoices

    David Peetz, Professor of Employment Relations at Griffith University
    1 Sep 2014 | 1:29 pm
    Individual contracts are coming back - but not as we knew them.AAP/Julian SmithThe government is proposing amendments to the Fair Work Act, including to the operation of “individual flexibility arrangements” (IFAs). The amendments are attracting a lot of attention, including from unions, some of whom claim they will make IFAs like the Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) that were prominent in the WorkChoices period and that famously cut overtime pay, penalty rates and other “protected” award conditions. The Government claims it is just implementing recommendations of the Review of…
  • Qantas turn-around: is Alan Joyce the right leader for the job?

    Peter Gahan, Professor of Management + Director, Centre for Workplace Leadership, Faculty of Business and Economics at University of Melbourne
    31 Aug 2014 | 9:11 pm
    Commentators have clamoured for the head of Alan Joyce after Qantas posted a $2.8 billion statutory loss.AAP/Paul Miller Since becoming CEO in November 2008, Alan Joyce has led Qantas through one crisis after another: the global shut-down of operations in the 2011 industrial dispute; a major downgrade of Qantas credit rating; the decision to abandon its Singapore hub in favour of Dubai; thousands of job losses… and, now, the mother of all operating losses. He has faced ongoing and persistent criticism from unions, industry experts, shareholders and loyal customers. Since taking on the top…
  • Did Qantas bet the house on the wrong planes?

    Hamza Bendemra, Research Engineer at Australian National University
    31 Aug 2014 | 8:51 pm
    Questions are being asked of the Qantas board over fleet decisions made years ago.Halans/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SAWhen Qantas posted a A$2.8 billion loss - the highest in the airline’s history - last week, one critical point was that $2.6 billion came from a write-down of the value of the aircraft in the Qantas international fleet, as it plans to to split its domestic and international arms. It is the result of a devaluation intended to reflect the fleet’s value in today’s market. Qantas wants investors to consider this loss part of its restructuring efforts to get the airline back in the…
  • It's personal: why leaders don't turn climate knowledge into action

    Simon Divecha, Business School at University of Adelaide
    31 Aug 2014 | 1:07 pm
    The prime minister's business adviser Maurice Newman continues to distract business leaders on the issue of climate change.Julian Smith/AAPThere is an abundance of profitable business opportunity to be found in addressing sustainability issues. These stand out against the difficulties we face implementing effective change. Globally, the World Bank recently found that tackling climate change would help to grow the world’s economy by US$1.8 to 2.6 trillion a year. Private sector investors argue for action as well. One prominent example is the Carbon Disclosure Project which represents 767…
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    Mindful Money » Shaun Richards

  • What does the transfer window just gone tell us about the economics of England’s Premier League?

    Shaun Richards
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:23 am
    Last night at 11pm British Summer Time the latest transfer window for the UK football premiership closed. I would say slammed shut but in fact some deals  such as the move of the England international Danny Welbeck to Arsenal had not yet been completed. Actually I also recall the former Stoke City and Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis informing listeners on BBC Radio FiveLive that he had done deals past the deadline and told the Football Association that they had lost the fax. So we already have in inkling as to the murky nature of much of this but let us press on by examining the scale of…
  • UK monetary policy is expansionary for banks and housing but what about exporters?

    Shaun Richards
    1 Sep 2014 | 3:34 am
    On Friday I took a look at the UK housing market and today I wish to look at an associated area which is UK monetary policy. The underlying state of play has been expansionary for quite some time as we have had the Official Base Rate at 0.5% since the spring of 2009 and some £375 billion of Quantitative Easing was added to that as the Bank of England sought to reduce longer-term interest-rates too. Then as I examined on Friday we have also seem some £45.7 billion of cheap liquidity offered to our banks under the Funding for Lending Scheme. At the moment seven of the nine members of the…
  • If UK house prices are peaking then what happens next?

    Shaun Richards
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:16 am
    One of the features of the latest UK economic recovery has been the surge in house prices particularly in London. Of course it it is also true to say that this rise in house prices has been one of the drivers of the recovery itself. This is a very familiar pattern for the UK although this time around the methodology has been different. Usually the official Bank of England Base Rate is cut to influence mortgage rates lower and thus there is more interest in and affordability for house purchases. This phase however started with a Base Rate which had been at 0.5% for some time which…
  • After a two-year holiday it looks as though the Swiss Franc might be back

    Shaun Richards
    28 Aug 2014 | 3:20 am
    The economic situation at the moment has several features which are inter-twined. We have the flaring up of several flash points of which the most dangerous at the moment appears to be in the Ukraine. Also we have a struggling Euro area economy an example of which has appeared this morning where even one of the current outperformers Spain has declared consumer inflation running in August at an annual rate of -0.5%. In response to this the European Central Bank will unveil its Targeted Long-Term Refinancing Operations (TLTRO) next month and of course it has already dipped one of its toes into…
  • Rather than economic recovery 2014 is more likely to see France return to recession

    Shaun Richards
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:26 am
    This is a week that should have been set relatively fair for La Republique France. The consequences of the speech made by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and his hints at possible Quantitative Easing have been very favourable for French government bond prices. Ordinarily governments like to bask in such developments and claim that it is a result of confidence in their policies, however France has instead had a government reshuffle including its minister for the economy. Accordingly, the situation looks uncertain and unsure in a country which is considered to be one of the major…
 
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    SurvivalBlog.com

  • Notes for Tuesday – September 02, 2014

    Hugh James Latimer
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:42 pm
    We are running a five-part series on EMS this week. This is an area where there has been a burst of activity, both in writing of articles for SurvivalBlog and in the searching of archives. If you are one of those who needs this information, make sure you are printing out a hard copy of it. Simply click on the title of the article; you will then see a “print” link under the title. o o o Today, we present another entry for Round 54 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,100+ worth of prizes for this round include: First Prize: A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course…
  • Musings of a Law Enforcement Paramedic – Part 1, by LEO Medic

    Hugh James Latimer
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:42 pm
    I am a peace officer by trade, but I am also a paramedic. This article will have five sections to it, based on experiences, thoughts, and training that I have seen and done on a few topics that I think may benefit the readers. The daily sections will be: Certifications/Training Options Tactical Combat Casualty Care Lessons/Training Canine ALS/TCCC Selection of Gear Carried Training Tips A lot of this will be geared towards the retreat group that already has some medical training and for the medical coordinator, but it is applicable to someone looking to start somewhere. First, let me share a…
  • Letter Re: 9 Volt Batteries

    Hugh James Latimer
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:41 pm
    Folks, If you’re like me you are heavy in AA and AAA cells and rechargeables, and you’re light in 9v batteries (with none rechargeable). This may be a problem for our 9v devices. I found a couple items that might be of some use: Battery Holder for (8) AA with Standard Snap Connector : BH383 Philmore Battery Holder for (6) AA with Standard Snap Connector : BH363 This allows you to make a 9v battery with AA cells. The connector is the same as a 9v connector. The good news is that this makes a great 9v battery, about 2500mAh compared to about 200mAh. It is inexpensive– the…
  • News From The American Redoubt:

    Hugh James Latimer
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:40 pm
    Coal industry dealt another setback as Oregon blocks export plan – will feds help?- H.L. o o o Albertsons data breach involved 3 states – RBS o o o When RightNow sold to Oracle for $1.8 billion, who got the money? o o o Sentinel High principal, vice principal suspended o o o Bison hunt starts slowly in northwest Wyoming o o o Paging Sheriff Longmire! Investigation into decapitated body progresses (Powell, Wyoming)
  • Economics and Investing:

    Hugh James Latimer
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:40 pm
    Economy in Severe Trouble-John Williams. – B.B. o o o West Virginia Unprepared For Future Without Coal. – J.S. o o o Two experts warn correction could total 60%. – J.W. o o o Is China disguising itself as Belgium to buy US government bonds?. – CDV
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    Trading Heroes

  • How To Individually Track Multiple Trading Systems In The Same Account

    Hugh Kimura
    26 Aug 2014 | 10:51 pm
    If you only have one trading account, it can be tough to track the performance of multiple trading methods since all the trades are mixed together. How do you know what the starting balance is for each trade? How can you mark each trade with the trading method used? This post will show you exactly how to do it. The post How To Individually Track Multiple Trading Systems In The Same Account appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • Forex Programming Services Directory

    Hugh Kimura
    21 Aug 2014 | 5:56 pm
    It can be difficult to find custom Forex programming services. This directory will help you find the best service for your needs. The post Forex Programming Services Directory appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • FXChartist Lite – Forex iPhone Charting App First Look

    Hugh Kimura
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:45 pm
    Ever wonder how mobile Forex charting could be simpler? This just might be the answer you are looking for. This post will review the new FXChartist charting app and show you what you could be missing (in a good way). The post FXChartist Lite – Forex iPhone Charting App First Look appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • Big Metatrader 4 Update: Virtual Hosting, “Depth of Market,” Tile Windows And More

    Hugh Kimura
    5 Aug 2014 | 7:34 pm
    The Metatrader 4 Build 670 update is the most exciting one in a long time. Here's why... The post Big Metatrader 4 Update: Virtual Hosting, “Depth of Market,” Tile Windows And More appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • How to Get Started With Incremental Automation In Forex Trading

    Hugh Kimura
    29 Jul 2014 | 8:18 am
    Trading automation isn't all or nothing. This post will show you how you can use Incremental Automation to assist your trading The post How to Get Started With Incremental Automation In Forex Trading appeared first on Trading Heroes.
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    OpenMarkets

  • Market Update: Labor Day Week Ahead

    OpenMarkets
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:17 pm
      As August comes to end, Jack provides an overview of the market’s performance and what we have to look forward to in the coming shortened week.
  • What China’s Appetite for Food Companies Means for Futures

    Nelson Low
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:01 am
    China’s huge appetite means it is almost always a factor in setting the price on a range of commodities. Now we see a new trend, as China is not just buying pork and soybeans on international markets, but gobbling up a range of international food and agricultural companies as well. This is significant because we can now expect Chinese buying to ripple not just across agricultural commodity markets, but also international derivative markets, as companies seek to manage the risks that come with these cross-border acquisitions. As Chinese companies find themselves with newly-acquired foreign…
  • Why There’s High Interest in the New Zealand Dollar

    Sean Hayden
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:39 pm
      During the early part of 2013 New Zealand suffered a severe drought, and due to its large agricultural sector this affected economic growth. The declining economic conditions led to the visible drop in large open interest holders (LOIH) in New Zealand Dollar (NZD) futures, visible on the graph.     After the drought, the NZD rallied over the last year due to strong domestic growth.  Inflation accelerated during the end of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, half of which was due to house price rises and household utilities rises. This coupled with rising business confidence…
  • MONDAY OUTLOOK: FARMERS PREPARE FOR HARVEST

    OpenMarkets
    25 Aug 2014 | 2:44 pm
      We featured an infographic recently on the growth in mobile device use to access CME Group ag market data. As farmers prepare for harvest in a year that has seen mostly favorable weather, that growth may be increasing again. Last week, Pro Farmer completed its annual crop tour, which features scouts manually surveying crops in seven states. Their results closely resemble estimates by the USDA for corn and soybean yields this year that show a near record crop.     Tuesday:   U.S. State Street Investor Confidence Index 10:00 AM ET     Wednesday:   U.S. Dairy…
  • Blu Putnam: Abenomics Likely to Disappoint

    Blu Putnam
    22 Aug 2014 | 12:12 pm
      A spotlight shines very brightly on Japan at the moment – and especially on Prime Minister Abe – not unexpected of course when an economic policy bears your name.  Abenomics was sold to the electorate in December 2012 partly on hope and partly on a willingness to give change a chance based on the frustrations of the past two decades. There is a burning desire in Japan to regain some of the past economic glory and to attain annual real GDP growth rates above 2 percent and possibly higher.  Unfortunately, it may happen and here is why. Over the long-run, the arithmetic of real GDP…
 
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    What is Economics?

  • Positive economics

    nyaga
    10 Aug 2014 | 12:22 am
    This is an economic analysis that involves deducing the way the population is reacting from their facts. This is also termed as value free economics. This branch of economics deals with the exact thing that is happening in the real life situation that is, it takes the exact character portrayed by the population at hand and trying to figure out why this is happening. In other terms positive economics, is a branch of economics which bears in mind the causes and the effects of a behavior that a population portrays in a particular condition that is held at per. The summary of this branch can be…
  • Normative economics

    nyaga
    10 Aug 2014 | 12:19 am
    This is a branch of economics, which is involved in analytical review that deals with the opinion of economics. This is also termed as judgmental economics. The reason that makes it normative economics is, it takes the from the word norms, norms means basically the view with which people and their culture revolves in a particular way. Normative economics is always based on deducing from the way a person behaves and tends to be so much into it in such a way it states that the whole population with which he comes he from behaves the same way of which it is not always true. Normative economics…
  • Monetary theory and practice:

    nyaga
    10 Aug 2014 | 12:17 am
    This is an economics discipline which is involved in analyzing the way money came into place, how it is being used by the economies in the world and more so discusses on how the same money has facilitated economic transactions in the economy under consideration and the whole world at large. The discipline has various grounds which make it up which in crude they are: Barter trade, monetary trade, financial institutions handling, controlling and distributing the same in an economy. To have a deep understanding of this economics discipline one needs to understand some of the monetary economics…
  • Economic Growth and its Indicators

    nyaga
    1 Apr 2014 | 5:06 am
    Economic Growth: This is a term that is very often used in economics to show how much capita has increased from one economic year to another. The economic growth rate is mostly determined in percentage and is always announced and made public to the whole country at budget reading either annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly basis. The government will also try to forecast the next period’s rate of economic growth. Economic Indicators: these are the qualitative and quantitative social measures that indicate economic growth. From analysis that has taken course in the previous years,…
  • Classical economic

    nyaga
    11 Mar 2014 | 2:03 am
    Classical economics is regarded as the father and the first modern economic school of thought advanced by a group of economist in between eightieth and the nineteenth centuries. The major contributors to the classical economic were Adam smith, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill among others.  These group of economist believed that the market should not be interfered with and should be left free to regulate itself. Adam smith for example coined the term invisible hand which implied that the market will always move to equilibrium without intervention from external forces. Classical economics…
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    eWallstreeter

  • Halbig and the individual mandate

    2 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    In what is perhaps the strangest rhetorical move in the Halbig litigation, the challengers maintain that they’re trying to protect people from the individual mandate. They point out that ACA exempts families from the mandate penalty if, after taking tax credits into account, they would have to spend more than 8\% of their income to […]
  • The Lands of the Afro-Colombians

    2 Sep 2014 | 4:27 am
    We mentioned briefly in an earlier post how over the past decade or so the Afro-Colombian communities, mostly of the Pacific littoral, have managed to gain collective title to their lands. This is a remarkable story in many ways, and like our examples from Perú, it constitutes a major challenge to James Scott’s vision as it provides another case where poor marginalized people, rather than fleeing from the state, managed to use the power of the state to their advantage. Here is the s
  • You have not become who you will always be

    2 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    I did not expect my children to express sadness around their birthdays. As they’ve aged they’ve been better able to articulate why. “I don’t want to grow up,” they’ve told me, crying. Crying! Their emotions are mixed. Birthdays are exciting, and they have a good time too. But the sense of the gradual, inexorable chipping […]
  • Fed Watch: Fed Positioning to Normalize Policy

    2 Sep 2014 | 12:24 am
    Tim Duy: Fed Positioning to Normalize Policy, by Tim Duy: With the leaves turning to gold signaling the end of summer, so too will the Fed be facing its own change of seasons as quantitative easing comes to an end....
  • France Needs a "Thatcher Moment" But First a Depression

    1 Sep 2014 | 11:32 pm
    It is amusing reading day in and day out the Keynesian cure for what ails Europe, especially France.Consider France. Public spending amounts to 57\% of French GDP, yet Keynesians want still more. The sad irony is that 100\% would not be enough. In fact, it would make matters worse.France suffers from too much government spending and too much government interference everywhere one looks.The Problem On Sunday, in Eurozone Currency Dispute Intensifies: France Wants More ECB Action to Correct Overva
 
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    Columbia Business School: Ideas At Work RSS

  • Fragile by Design

    21 Aug 2014 | 8:07 am
    In his new book, Professor Charles Calomiris shows how unlikely political coalitions have contributed to banking crises in some countries, and helped create stability in others.
  • Selling Sense

    20 Aug 2014 | 8:40 am
    Marketers know that consumers’ sensory experiences while making purchasing decisions affect which products they choose. For example, while Unilever sells both Axe and Dove deodorant, the sound made by Axe spray is engineered to sound different than Dove spray. Marketers also often use sampling to steer consumers toward a certain product — perfume companies, for instance, may offer fragrance samples on different colored test strips, ensure sampled fragrances are different colors, or that they are sampled in a particular order.
  • Leading Opinion Online

    5 Aug 2014 | 12:55 pm
    The Idea Design online networks to foster high-quality content from opinion leaders. 
  • Pro-borrower or Pro-lender?

    5 Aug 2014 | 12:33 pm
    Commercial contract laws that govern lending can generate big business for states — but borrower beware.
  • Dealing in Data

    23 Jul 2014 | 1:29 pm
    When it comes to negotiating the most profitable prices, humans help — but data delivers.
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    Monetary Realism

  • Why did the Natural Rate of Interest Plummet?

    Michael Sankowski
    30 Aug 2014 | 7:26 am
    One of the more remarkable claims since the financial crisis of 2008 is that the natural rate of interest is now below zero, and it has been below zero since the financial crisis. If you look at the very best estimates of the natural rate of interest over the last 50 years, one broad fact is pretty clear–it’s been around 2 1/2% for nearly the entire time leading up to the financial crisis of 2008.  Here is a good estimate we have for the natural rate of interest, which is shown in the graph below, shows a slow moving, consistent natural rate of interest of around 2 1/2%. Here is…
  • Cullen’s New Book

    Michael Sankowski
    19 Jun 2014 | 7:06 am
    He’s been a bit modest about it, but Cullen has written a book which looks dang interesting: Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Know About Money and Finance I don’t have my copy yet, so I can’t do a full review. Cullen has run an investment advisory for the last several years, and this book is about investing. Here is part of the blurb: “In Pragmatic Capitalism, Cullen Roche explores how our global economy works and why it is more important now than ever for investors to understand macroeconomics.” I fully agree with this – investing today…
  • China Asks: How much will it cost us to make Solar Cheaper than Coal?

    Michael Sankowski
    5 Jun 2014 | 8:21 am
    Do you remember when Dr. Evil was going to hold the world ransom for $1,000,000? This is what we are facing today in Solar – the Dr. Evil ultimatum. The cost to get Solar to coal parity is going to be laughably tiny. The cost sounds like a lot of money to old people, or to people who haven’t thought it through, or to people who do not know how large world GDP is today and how much we spend on energy already. But the cost is tiny, and China laughed when they found out the cost. I’ve been in a twitter argument with Michael Shellenberger. Michael Shellenberger is a sharp guy,so please read…
  • Hey Guys! Let’s Reinvent The Wheel! VA edition

    beowulf
    30 May 2014 | 3:19 pm
    GOP leaders, whistle-blower join in calls to privatize veterans’ care The idea of privatization has gained steam since allegations of a wait-list at a VA facility in Phoenix were exposed last month, but the concept has been posed for years by conservative lawmakers, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in 2008 and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who both faced a backlash from such groups as the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Last week, McCain, a Vietnam veteran, began working on a plan with GOP Sens. Richard Burr, N.C., and Tom Coburn, Okla., to allow veterans to receive health care…
  • A tale of 2 r’s

    Michael Sankowski
    24 May 2014 | 7:41 am
    The Piketty data problems are the huge talk right now, but I want to point out something entirely different. Brad Delong points out there are 4 different rates and Piketty does not do a great job differentiating them: The four different r’s are: The real interest rate at which metropolitan governments can borrow: call this r1. The real interest rate that is the actual average return on wealthin the society and economy: call this r2. The real interest rate that is the average risky net rate of accumulation–what capital receives, minus the risk of confiscation or destruction or…
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    FTMDaily.com

  • Live Trading Webinar with Jerry Robinson – Today @ 10am CST

    Jerry Robinson
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:35 am
    On today's live Trigger Trade Pro webcast, Jerry Robinson will provide new trading ideas and trading education, Bring your questions. Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • 7 Ways To Cash In On Consumerism

    Jay Peroni
    30 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Jay Peroni, CFP, shares his favorite retail stocks, and answers an important reader question about things to consider when thinking about retiring.Author informationJay PeroniJay Peroni, CFP® is the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • JERRY ROBINSON: Stocks Soar as Bankrupt U.S. Economy Stagnates

    Jerry Robinson
    26 Aug 2014 | 7:52 am
    On today's podcast, economist Jerry Robinson shares his unique insights on the U.S. stock market and America's ongoing economic issues.Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Top 10 Stock Picks for the Coming Year

    Jay Peroni
    22 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Jay Peroni, CFP, gives his top 10 stocks for the next 12-18 months using his "Proud To Own" process. Plus, Jay provides seven oil and gas pipeline companies worth a second look.Author informationJay... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Is This a Triple Top?

    Jerry Robinson
    20 Aug 2014 | 7:09 pm
    This is a subscribers-only market commentary from Jerry Robinson. Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the author of Bankruptcy of Our Nation: Your Financial... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
 
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    Exchange Rates UK - Currency News

  • Pound to Canadian Dollar Exchange Rate (GBP/CAD) Falls; Cdn Lower vs Euro (EUR) & US Dollar (USD)

    Samuel Allen
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    The Pound to Canadian Dollar exchange rate saw gains early on Monday; however, following the release of disappointing UK Manufacturing figures which fell to their lowest level in the latter 14 months, the Pound has begun to depreciate. Canada however will publish their Manufacturing figures on Tuesday, which may show some further... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Australian Dollar Forecasts: GBP/AUD Exchange Rate Steady; Aussie Sees Losses vs Euro & US Dollar

    Tom Trevorrow
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate (GBP/AUD) had been trending higher earlier today. However, Sterling has begun to fall in the currency market against the Euro (EUR), US Dollar(USD), and Canadian Dollar (CAD) despite positive UK figures. There may however be some impact on the Pound from poor data releases yesterday and the... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Pound Sterling Today: UK Manufacturing PMI Sends GBP/EUR and GBP/USD Exchange Rates Lower

    Adam Solomon
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    The Pound Sterling (GBP) moved higher against the majority of the 16 most actively traded exchange rates on Monday with a move through 1.66 GBP/USD against the US Dollar helping trigger stop-loss buying to a peak around 1.6640, while the Euro (EUR) also remained on the defensive, which helped underpin the UK to an extent. The Pound to... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Euro Rate Today - EUR to USD Lower Today; EUR/GBP Exchange Rate Rebounds Off 2 Year Lows

    Yvic Carr
    1 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    Euro Rate Today - The Euro to Dollar exchange rate saw an eleven month low, whilst hitting a two year dip versus the British Pound Sterling (GBP) as the Eurozone recovery pales in comparison to the US economic expansion. Recent figures have shown the 18 nations that make up the Eurozone economy have all failed to impress, with... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Rand Exchange Rates Update - GBP ZAR Rate Consolidates, SA Currency Down vs Euro (EUR), US Dollar (USD) and Cdn Dollar

    Tom Trevorrow
    1 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    The Pound to Rand exchange rate (GBP/ZAR) continues to sit higher on the forex markets today despite the Sterling complex failing to continue to perform well. The British Pound (GBP) on Friday against most of its major counterparts, including the Euro (EUR), US Dollar (USD) and Canadian Dolar (CAD) as market participants reacted to an... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
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    BusinessClimate.com Blog

  • Young Professionals Flock to Affordable, Vibrant Cities

    Emily McMackin
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Cities across the U.S. are vying hard to attract talented, college-educated workers to make their communities more enticing to investors and entrepreneurs. The ones doing the best job of this are those that provide economic opportunity — not just in the jobs they create, but also in the salaries they pay, the affordability they offer, the diversity of businesses they provide and the communities they cultivate. With the economy still on the mend and more than 2 million graduates age 25 or older unemployed, cities with low unemployment and a high supply of jobs are the obvious magnets for…
  • Best States for Entrepreneurs: Surprises, Fast Movers

    Bill McMeekin
    26 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    And the best state for entrepreneurs is…not California. At least not according to a new ranking from a tam of economists at the University of Nebraska. The 2014 edition of the State Entrepreneurship Index has, wait for it, North Dakota topping the list of the best states for entrepreneurs. The ranking uses 2013 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau, Patent and Trademark Office and Bureau of Economic Analysis to analyze each state’s net growth in business establishments, per capita growth in business establishments, business formation rates, numbers of…
  • The New Entry-Level Job: Today’s Jobs Demand More Experience, Responsibility

    Emily McMackin
    21 Aug 2014 | 7:03 am
    Mid-level jobs are the new entry-level jobs — without the pay bump. That’s the new job trend highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article that examines how technology and the post-Recession economy have reshaped the way companies run their businesses and what they expect of employees. With the economy still shaky, firms are determined to stay lean by automating and outsourcing core functions, along with slashing training budgets and payrolls. And many are going a step further and eliminating entry-level jobs altogether, making it more difficult than ever for graduates to gain a…
  • Numbers Game: State Business Tax Burdens

    Bill McMeekin
    19 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    U.S. Businesses ponied up $613 billion in local and state taxes in 2012, nearly 60 percent of the total in the form  property taxes and general sales taxes.  As a recently released study by Anderson Economic Group notes, business tax burdens vary widely by state. But what is universal is that every state, small and large, considers its tax structure to be in some way advantageous to business. Wyoming, for example, touts its favorable tax environment – no corporate or individual state income tax, no inventory tax, and comparatively low sales and property taxes – and its fiscal…
  • Best for Business: Western Cities Among Best Climates for Business, Tech Investment

    Emily McMackin
    14 Aug 2014 | 11:33 am
    Economic opportunity is moving westward. Eight of the top 10 cities on Forbes’ newly released Best Places for Business and Careers list include metros in the West or Midwest, with the exception of No. 1 ranked Raleigh and No. 10 ranked Nashville. The list rated the 200 largest metros in the U.S. based on jobs, costs, income growth, quality of life and the level of workforce education. Cities that topped the ranks had more in common than just geography. They also shared low costs, a highly educated workforce and an influx of investment from top finance, health care and technology…
 
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    Shaun Da Costa

  • Fulfilling the ‘Indonesian Dream’

    shaundacosta89
    17 Aug 2014 | 7:44 am
    Photo: State Dept./Erik A. Kurniawan Last month, Joko Widodo, commonly known as “Jokowi”, helped mark a move towards the consolidation of the world’s third largest democracy by winning the 2014 Indonesian presidential election.  A former furniture maker turned politician, Jokowi’s win represents a shift away from the country’s political and military elite, which has traditionally dominated the post.  Jokowi himself has compared the victory to fulfillig the ‘Indonesian dream’ by stating “now, it’s quite similar to America, yeah?  There…
  • Surprising statistics that may change your perception of London

    shaundacosta89
    6 Aug 2014 | 2:57 pm
    So on the day that the super cars of the super rich descended on London, it was also announced that ‘world’s greatest city‘ has more millionaires than any other city worldwide.  In addition, London now accounts for 72 billionaires – almost 10 per cent of all the billionaires in the world. Some would see this as great news, a true testament of London’s economic might and status as a global powerhouse and  – you don’t have to go far to hear this kind of rhetoric from the media and politicians nowadays. While it is true that London alone, is…
  • Is the circular economy a utopian concept?

    shaundacosta89
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:06 pm
    Recently at work I have been asked to look at the concept of the circular economy (CE) for an upcoming project.  You may have heard of the concept via the media, in fact you have probably been bombarded with advertisements with one of the most successful CE business models each day.  Studies even predict that the adoption of CE business models within the EU could lead to net materials cost savings worth up to $630 billion per year by 2025.  However, the more I read into the CE, the more I question whether it is a quasi-utopian concept. So what is the circular economy? Well, for the past…
  • Norwich North, the land that time forgot?

    shaundacosta89
    8 May 2014 | 11:57 am
      Whilst walking home from the city a few months ago I saw the above sticker posted in the subway by Anglia Square.  At the time it made me laugh as I have always heard comments from people regarding the north of the city and how it is fares unfavourably to the south.  Furthermore, escaping the north of the city has always been a long running joke between me and my friends. After initially forgetting the sticker, my interest was sparked again whilst looking through the ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings for a recent work assignment.  Out of interest, I scrolled down to view the…
  • The world’s largest free trade area is being negotiated and it’s taking place behind closed doors

    shaundacosta89
    1 May 2014 | 2:43 pm
    Chances are, you probably haven’t heard about the TTIP.  Last month the fourth round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations took place between the US and EU.  These so-called ‘secretive talks‘ have been hailed as an ‘assault on democracy’ by some commentators.  Indeed, the negotiating mandate for the EU remains a restricted document, but what is the TTIP and why is it causing such a stir? The Goals of the TTIP The main aim of the TTIP is to remove a number of trade barriers between the EU and US ‘to make it easier…
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    Latest blog entries

  • Ready for (Another) War with Russia?

    31 Aug 2014 | 6:35 pm
    Just when you thought the Cold War was dead and buried, the war contractors and their lobbyists decided to dust off a tried and true model to line their pockets. The same foolish old men that brought us a war with Afghanistan and Iraq are eager once again to stuff other people and their money into a Ukrainian meat grinder. War is the word. War with Russia, of all nations, as if the US hadn't tried it before. Other pseudo-tangles with the Russians brought us North Korea, the Vietnam War, the Taliban, the Bay of Pigs and other bright spots in world history. In spite of poor historical outcomes,…
  • The 12 Days of Police Militarization: What did they Really Get?

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:43 pm
    The Pentagon's hand-me-down program, which places old military hardware into the eager hands of police departments across the country, runs the gamut from frightening to bizarre. The so-called 1033 program's complete list (available for download below) reads like a Steven Seagal version of the 12 days of Christmas, and so without so much as two turtle doves... SoTP brings you the 12 days of police militarization.   1 Practice Antipersonnel Mine Stark County, Ohio caught my eye with a practice antipersonnel mine. I was glad to see that it wasn't a real anti-personnel mine. Though, if they…
  • US Military Blows Up More Stuff in Search of Peace

    10 Aug 2014 | 12:43 pm
    The US Military has been blowing up Iraq since I was 5 years old. In spite of all the politicians promises that this blowing up of Iraqi stuff would lead to a new tomorrow, where peace and prosperity flood into the region, this brave new world has failed to arrive.   The previous 24 years of blowing up Iraq haven't achieved their stated aims, so we listen again to blather from elected officials that certainly, this time, the bombs will bring peace. Perhaps the previous explosions weren't powerful enough, or were too powerful. Certainly, they tell us, finding the right target, or blowing…
  • Bitcoin Fading Away

    25 Jul 2014 | 3:32 pm
    Ask yourself, how is TacoCoin better than AppleByte? The market says one AppleByte is nearly ten times as valuable as a TacoCoin. Why? What makes it better? How are they different? An AppleCoin is one hundred times as valuable as an AppleByte, on the other hand. How about NewYorkCoin, which has increased in value 2500% in the past 24 hours, or FlappyCoin, down 93%? Then there is ByteCoin (BCN) and, yes, ByteCoin (BTE). One is the #16 cryptocurrency by market cap. The other's value isn't calculable since no one knows how many there are. How can you know the difference? With 103 currencies with…
  • The Future of the Internet is Unfolding in Africa

    10 May 2014 | 9:00 am
    With "net neutrality" laws looming in our near future, internet killswitch legislation brewing in California, and the ever-present monthly bills for Internet Service Providers, it may seem that the best days of the internet are behind us. Like the Wild West giving way to the Bureau of Land Management, it might appear that the exciting freshness of the Internet wearing off. However, hope for a faster, tougher, freer internet is cropping up in places that most people don't immediately associate with the cutting edge of technology: Africa. But it's for a good reason. While most people in the…
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    FT Alphaville

  • K Street to boutique

    FT Alphaville
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:43 am
    Group LP has agreed to pay Mr. Cantor an annual base salary of $400,000. Group LP has also agreed to pay Mr. Cantor an initial cash amount of $400,000 and grant Mr. Cantor $1,000,000 in initial restricted stock units (“RSUs”), based on the average closing price of the Company’s common stock on the five trading days prior to his start date. The initial RSUs will generally vest in equal installments on each of the third, fourth and fifth anniversaries of his start date. For calendar year 2015, Group LP has agreed to pay Mr. Cantor minimum incentive compensation of $1,200,000 in cash and…
  • Markets Live: Tuesday, 2nd September, 2014

    Paul Murphy
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:02 am
    Live markets commentary from FT.com Continue reading: Markets Live: Tuesday, 2nd September, 2014
  • The (early) Lunch Wrap

    Dan McCrum
    2 Sep 2014 | 2:47 am
    Ukraine wars of escalation || UK construction activity up || Germany bans Uber || BMW unveils bulletproof car || Great Barrier Reef dump plan canned || Japan wage growth boosts stocks Continue reading: The (early) Lunch Wrap
  • Quindell confirms RAC JV is dead

    Dan McCrum
    2 Sep 2014 | 1:25 am
    The plan to revolutionise the car insurance industry has crashed. Quindell has announced that what it claimed in April was the world’s largest ever deal to put monitoring devices in cars, is dead. As the FT reported in August, a joint venture with the RAC to put so-called telematics devices in cars of RAC members failed to get going and talks to restructure the entity, called Connected Car Solutions, fell apart. Quindell said that it is paying a net £3.5m to buy out its joint venture partner, and has abandoned plans for significant investment in CCS this year.*Continue reading:…
  • Nixon, back from dead, helping Nu Skin

    Dan McCrum
    2 Sep 2014 | 12:10 am
    John Hempton has written a quite remarkable post on Nu Skin, the multi-level marketing company that he has decided to short. The hedge fund manager was browsing through the company’s debt covenants, when he spotted something odd: the signature of a dead president. Not only resurrected, but now working at JP Morgan…Continue reading: Nixon, back from dead, helping Nu Skin
 
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • College Admission Secrets

    Alex Tabarrok
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:38 am
    Most colleges are non-profits with unclear ownership status so their incentives do not lead to simple profit-maximization. Don’t be fooled, however, neither do colleges maximize student welfare or the public good. Instead colleges pursue some index of free cash flow, prestige, and administrative and faculty independence. The result is some peculiar outcomes. Most businesses, for example, don’t want to reject customers but colleges often encourage students to apply so that they can reject them. The Washington Monthly’s college issue has an excellent primer, Ten Ways…
  • Why I endorsed Evo Morales

    Tyler Cowen
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:30 pm
    Well, “endorsed” isn’t exactly the right word, but I did say “simpatizante.”  Here are my views: 1. I disagree with most of his economic policy, for reasons you can find stated in Adam Smith and the other classical economists. 2. Governments work very hard to stay in power. 3. In a weighted average of public opinion sense, I think of Bolivia as about 60-70% “indigenous,” one way or another. 4. If a Bolivian government is not strongly connected to the country’s indigenous population, that government cannot have a strong base.  Yet it will still…
  • China mixed marriage markets in everything

    Tyler Cowen
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:43 am
    Chinese authorities in the restive western region of Xinjiang have begun offering large cash incentives for interracial marriages in the latest attempt to quell growing unrest among the mainly Muslim Uighur ethnic group that inhabit the region. The policy, celebrated by local Communist party officials as advancing the “great cause of assimilation” and “ethnic unity”, offers couples entering into mixed marriages an annual bonus of Rmb10,000 ($1,600), equivalent to 135 per cent of average annual rural incomes. Uighurs, Mongolians and other ethnic minorities who marry people from the…
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    1 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    1. What people cured of blindness see. 2. Shoes that show you the way. 3. Which states are in the Midwest?  I say no to all the marginal cases, including Kentucky.  And how can it be that not everyone thinks Iowa is in the Midwest? 4. China insurance markets in everything. 5. Who is the gun salesman of the year? 6. Maids are no longer servants. 7. Interest rates. 8. Update on charter city plans in Honduras.
  • Is China seeing a great stagnation?

    Tyler Cowen
    1 Sep 2014 | 4:49 am
    From ChinaRealTime: China’s 1% average annual growth in total factor productivity between 1978 and 2012 – a period when average per capita annual incomes rose from $2,000 to $8,000 — compares with 4% annual gains for Japan during its comparable 1950-1970 high-growth period, 3% for Taiwan from 1966-1990 and 2% for South Korea from 1966-1990, he said, when purchasing power in the relative economies is taken into account. “Our study shows that China’s spectacular growth in the reform period has been mainly investment-driven and quite inefficient,” Mr. Wu wrote. A big problem, which…
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    Zero Hedge

  • Eric Cantor Sold For $3.4 Million: Former Head Republican Joins M&A Investment Bank As Vice Chairman

    Tyler Durden
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:02 am
    Back in June, when the political career of Eric Cantor came to a sudden, stunning end at the hands of an unknown "tea-partier", we commented that the biggest losers from Cantor's ignoble fall from Congressional grace were his biggest donors. As showed back then, these were as follows:   Less than three months later, their loss is Cantor's gain, who after a long auction process has finally, and very expectedly, sold himself off to the highest bidder which as the WSJ reported overnight was none other than boutique M&A advisory firm, Moelis & Co. Per the WSJ, "Mr. Cantor, 51 years…
  • Frontrunning: September 2

    Tyler Durden
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:40 am
    Ukraine Shifts to Defense Against Russian Incursion (WSJ) U.S. forces carry out operation against al-Shabaab in Somalia (Reuters) Bond Markets Tilt Toward Frankfurt as Draghi Negates Fed (BBG) Another "unexpectedly" - Swiss Economy Unexpectedly Stalls as Euro Area Takes Toll (BBG) Japan's 'Abenomics' feared in trouble as challenges build (Reuters) Germany Imposes Nationwide Ban on Uber's Cab-Hailing Service (WSJ) Japan's 'forward guidance', the GPIF, has "already begun a highly anticipated portfolio reshuffle" (WSJ) Detroit Brings Bankruptcy Plan to Court With Billionaires (BBG) Burger King…
  • US Futures Levitate To New All Time High As USDJPY Surges Above 105; Gold Slammed

    Tyler Durden
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:04 am
    Just when we thought centrally-planned markets could no longer surprise us, here comes last night's superspike in the USDJPY which has moved nearly 100 pips higher in the past few trading days and moments ago crossed 105.000. The reason for the surprise is that while there was no economic news that would justify such a move: certainly not an improving Japanese economy, nor, for that matter, a new and improved collapse, what the move was attributed to was news that Yasuhisa Shiozaki, who has been advocating for the GPIF to reduce allocation to domestic bonds, may be appointed the Health…
  • Where Do ISIS Fighters Come From?

    Tyler Durden
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:06 pm
    Everywhere... Welcome To The New Normal Crusades...   Source: The Economist
  • Asian Property Prices Are Falling "As If There's A Global Financial Crisis"

    Tyler Durden
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:00 pm
    With China's property developers slashing prices, piling on incentives, and still seeing sales slump; it is no surprise that demand from the top to the bottom across Asia is falling. As Reuters reports, even Singapore's Sentosa Cove (the man-made island resort billed as Asia's Monte Carlo) is eerily silent as the billionaires seem to be staying away with prices down over 20-30% in the past year. New mortgage business is down over 40% as "the rential can't even cover the mortgage anymore." As one analyst notes, "the tables have turned," adding rather ominously that, "The way prices have…
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    nextnewdeal.net

  • Campus Network Looks Ahead for Policy Engagement

    rgoldfarb
    22 Aug 2014 | 4:52 am
    The Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network has nine years of success under its belt, and is ready for more in its tenth. “We know the old way of doing things isn’t going to cut it anymore. We want to pioneer a new process of civic engagement…” This is the opening line of the purpose statement our Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network staff articulated for this year. Its brazen rejection of the status quo and forward-looking promise of a new mode of policy change encapsulates the ethos of our network as we move into a new year. We believe that local, people-centric policy change can…
  • Stefaan Verlhurst: Mean and Lean Local Government

    rgoldfarb
    21 Aug 2014 | 3:50 am
    The Next American Economy project brought together 30 experts from various disciplines to envision tomorrow's economic and political challenges and develop today's solutions. Their assignment: be bold, and leave the conventional wisdom -- and their own opinions -- behind. In today's video, Stefaan Verhulst of GovLab speculates on future municipal policy that allows cities to do more with less. Stefaan Verhulst, Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of GovLab, speculates on future municipal policy that allows cities to do more with less. Combining open-source data…
  • Curbing Campus Sexual Assault is Not About the Money

    rgoldfarb
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    The cost of sexual assault on college campuses far outweighs that of implementing bipartisan, comprehensive reform.   On August 13, I stood with Senator Gillibrand, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and survivors, among others, at the Senator’s New York press conference on the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA). Currently co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of Senators, eight Democratic and seven Republican, this bill represents a tough but common sense reform. It requires universities to designate Confidential Advisors as a resource for survivors, provide a minimum standard…
  • Suspensions are Keeping Students of Color from their Diplomas

    rgoldfarb
    18 Aug 2014 | 4:07 am
    Policies that strictly limit the use of suspension and expulsion in schools will help to close the racial education gap. Despite being ranked as one of the best states to live in, Minnesota still suffers from racial inequality. Even if laws and politics treat everyone equally, the educational experience is different for people of different races. In 2013, only 62 percent of students of color graduated from high school, as opposed to 85 percent of white students. Similarly, a smaller proportion of students of color will finished college compared to their white counterparts: 33 percent of white…
  • Lenny Mendonca: The Inconvenient Truth About Inequality

    tprice
    13 Aug 2014 | 3:54 am
    The Next American Economy project brought together 30 experts from various disciplines to envision tomorrow's economic and political challenges and develop today's solutions. Their assignment: be bold, and leave the conventional wisdom -- and their own opinions -- behind. In today's video, Lenny Mendonca of McKinsey & Company discusses the groundwork that's been laid for a serious national debate about inequality -- and the forces working to silence it. "Thomas Piketty and Capital will be to this decade what Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth were to the last decade," speculated McKinsey…
 
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    Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

  • Labor Day Reading

    Jared Bernstein
    1 Sep 2014 | 6:56 am
    Some great articles worth a look on labor, unions, wages, and more: EJ Dionne on an exemplary employer and the workers who went to bat for him. Jon Cohn interviews one of the deepest thinkers I know on labor issues: Rich Yeselson. An important look at the problem of “wage theft” in the NYT. Bob Kuttner on some recent wins for workers. A strong NYT editorial with good ideas as to useful policies to address the deficits in labor’s bargaining power that I discuss here. What else? Add you own links in comments.
  • On Labor Day, a call for calling it like it is

    Jared Bernstein
    1 Sep 2014 | 4:22 am
    Over at PostEverything. There are times when “social unrest” and “class warfare”–analyzing the power imbalance between labor and capital–are appropriate responses to persistent economic injustice. And those of us who work in that space can’t be shy about it. (OTEers will recognize that this ground has been plowed before in these parts.)
  • Stan’s Plan: Show Me the Money!

    Jared Bernstein
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:51 am
    Stan Collender is one of my favorite budget wonks, and I don’t say that lightly. His work has a long history of clarity and common sense and I believe we share the same concerns that the direction of fiscal policy in recent years threatens to leave our government without the resources it needs to meet the challenges we face. So it was with nervous curiosity that I read this post of his advocating the abolition of the corporate tax, as this is something I’ve been worrying about a lot lately. What with the recent inversion dust-up, this idea to kill the corporate tax and replace it with…
  • Musical Interlude: Sonny and Brownie

    Jared Bernstein
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:17 am
    I avoid superlatives, so trust me when I tell you that Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee are the greatest blues duo ever. I mean, these guys are just pure music, and if their blues don’t thoroughly soothe your soul then get yourself down to the ER posthaste as your soul needs medical attention. I recently rediscovered their album of spirituals, Just a Closer Walk With Thee. Problem is, I can’t find links to hardly any of the tunes. Now, unlike the current budget deficit (2.9% of GDP this year as per new CBO report), this is a deficit that greatly concerns me. Come on,…
  • An Awfully Bleak Poll

    Jared Bernstein
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:27 pm
    Clearly, there are a lot of people who feel that the economic recovery–over five years old by now, at least by the official count–isn’t reaching them. That’s a central result from a pretty gloomy poll out today from Rutgers University. I put some thoughts and data together over at PostEverything, showing the gaps between real GDP growth, corporate profitability, the stock market, and middle-class household incomes. As you see, the disconnect kinda jumps out attcha. Sources: BEA, Standard and Poors, Sentier Research. As noted in the WaPo piece, I was struck by this…
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    Freakonomics

  • Is Microsoft Word Biased Against Microeconomists?

    Stephen J. Dubner
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    Considering its own company name, you wouldn’t think so. But here’s what I ran into during a recent spell-check:
  • Who Runs the Internet? A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

    Freakonomics
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:58 am
    (Photo: James Cridland) This week’s podcast is a rebroadcast of our episode called “Who Runs the Internet?” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript; it includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) Does virtual mayhem — from online ranting to videogame violence — help reduce mayhem in the real world? Though Steve Levitt says there is no solid data on this, in the episode he and Stephen Dubner hypothesize: LEVITT: Maybe the biggest effect of all of having…
  • Parking Is Hell: A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

    Freakonomics
    21 Aug 2014 | 6:41 am
    (Photo: @gueamu) This week’s podcast is a rebroadcast of our episode  “Parking Is Hell.” (You can subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript; it includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) The episode begins with Stephen Dubner talking to parking guru Donald Shoup, a professor of urban planning at UCLA and author of the landmark book The High Cost of Free Parking. In a famous Times op-ed, Shoup argued that as much as one-third of urban congestion is caused by people cruising for curb…
  • Parking is Hell: Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    20 Aug 2014 | 2:58 pm
    This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Parking is Hell [MUSIC: Artist Name; “Song Title” (from Album Title)] [MUSIC: The Diplomats of Solid Sound; “Don’t Touch My Popcorn” (from Let’s Cool One Donald SHOUP: I think, you know, 50 years from now, when people look back on New York, and of course other cities, that they’ll say, ‘What did these people think they were doing?’ Stephen J. DUBNER: That’s Donald Shoup. He is a college professor, at UCLA, who is obsessed—well it’s not really fair to call him obsessed—who is…Yeah, actually he is obsessed.
  • What Do Medieval Nuns and Bo Jackson Have in Common? A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

    Freakonomics
    14 Aug 2014 | 6:31 am
    This week’s podcast is a rebroadcast of our episode called “What Do Medieval Nuns and Bo Jackson Have in Common?” (You can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript; it includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) (Photo: Kevin Dooley) The episode is about spite. As in “cutting off your nose to spite your face” spite. Lisi Oliver, a linguist at Louisiana State University, tells us about the probable origin of this phrase. You’ll also hear Bo Jackson talk about a costly…
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    interfluidity

  • Hard money is not a mistake

    Steve Randy Waldman
    1 Sep 2014 | 5:23 pm
    Paul Krugman is wondering hard about why fear of inflation so haunts the wealthy and well-off. Like many people on the Keynes-o-monetarist side of the economic punditry, he is puzzled. After all, aren’t “rentiers” — wealthy debt holders — often also equity holders? Why doesn’t their interest in the equity appreciation that might come with a booming economy override the losses they might experience from their debt positions? Surely a genuinely rising tide would lift all boats? As Krugman points out, there is nothing very new in fear of inflation by the rich.
  • Welfare economics: housekeeping and links

    Steve Randy Waldman
    11 Jul 2014 | 11:55 am
    A correspondent asks that I give the welfare series a table of contents. So here’s that… Welfare economics: Introduction The perils of Potential Pareto Inequality, production, and technology Welfare theorems, distribution priority, and market clearing Normative is performative, not positive I think I should also note the “prequel” of the series, the post whose comments inspired the exercise: Should markets clear? Much more interesting than any of that, I’ll add a box below with links to related commentary that has come my way. And of course, there have been two…
  • Welfare economics: normative is performative, not positive (part 5 and conclusion of a series)

    Steve Randy Waldman
    7 Jul 2014 | 1:20 pm
    This is the fifth (and final) part of a series. See parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. For those who have read along thus, far, I am grateful. We’ve traveled a long road, but in the end we haven’t traveled very far. We have understood, first, the conceit of traditional welfare economics: that with just a sprinkle of one, widely popular bit of ethical philosophy — liberalism! — we could let positive economics (an empirical science, at least in aspiration) serve as the basis for normative views about how society should be arranged. But we ran into a problem.
  • Welfare economics: welfare theorems, distribution priority, and market clearing (part 4 of a series)

    Steve Randy Waldman
    22 Jun 2014 | 2:56 pm
    This is the fourth part of a series. See parts 1, 2, 3, and 5. Comments are open on this post. What good are markets anyway? Why should we rely upon them to make economic decisions about what gets produced and who gets what, rather than, say, voting or having an expert committee study the matter and decide? Is there a value-neutral, “scientific” (really “scientifico-liberal“) case for using markets rather than other mechanisms? Informally, we can have lots of arguments. One can argue that most successful economies rely upon market allocation, albeit to greater and…
  • Welfare economics: inequality, production, and technology (part 3 of a series)

    Steve Randy Waldman
    11 Jun 2014 | 10:19 pm
    This is the third part of a series. See parts 1, 2, 4, and 5. Last time, we concluded that output cannot be measured independently of distribution, “the size of the proverbial pie in fact depends upon how you slice it.” That’s a clear enough idea, but the example that we used to get there may have seemed forced. We invented people with divergent circumstances and preferences, and had a policy decision rather than “the free market” slice up the pie. Now we’ll consider a more natural case, although still unnaturally oversimplified. Imagine an economy in which…
 
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    Why Nations Fail

  • The Lands of the Afro-Colombians

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:27 am
    We mentioned briefly in an earlier post how over the past decade or so the Afro-Colombian communities, mostly of the Pacific littoral, have managed to gain collective title to their lands. This is a remarkable story in many ways, and like our examples from Perú, it constitutes a major challenge to James Scott’s vision as it provides another case where poor marginalized people, rather than fleeing from the state, managed to use the power of the state to their advantage. Here is the story. Indigenous peoples in Colombia had collective title to their lands at least since Law 89 of…
  • The Rise and Decline of General Laws of Capitalism

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    25 Aug 2014 | 11:21 am
    It is hard not to be impressed by the meteoric success of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a success that has spawned dozens, and perhaps hundreds, of reviews and reactions from social scientists and journalists. Yet we felt that few, if any, of these reviews touched on what we thought was the biggest shortcoming of the book. Sure, one can — and should, and we do — quibble with the theory (and especially the way it is presented and the way it follows the put-down that economic theory gets from Piketty) and the strong predictions about the future…
  • The Coatsworth Thesis

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    19 Aug 2014 | 1:52 pm
    The reactions of the campesinos in Chachapoyas to the state might not have been completely surprising to people who had read the work of the historian John Coatsworth. In Chapter 1 of Why Nations Fail we present a comparative economic and political history of the Americas showing how the very different institutions that got set up in colonial Latin America led to its long-run development. In characterizing these institutions as extractive on the one hand we focused on economic institutions, such as systems of labor coercion, designed to exploit indigenous peoples to the benefit of colonists.
  • Do People Really Dislike the State So Much? (with thanks to Joshua Walker)

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    15 Aug 2014 | 7:55 pm
    Scott’s work emphasizes the fact that people don’t really like living in states and they get away from them if they can. This argument certainly mirrors a great deal of anthropological evidence from small scale and stateless societies and it is certainly true in some cases as our last several blogs (here and here) suggested. But our argument has a logical corollary which ends up looking like the opposite of Scott’s thesis: if people think they can control the state and use it in their interests, then they will demand that it takes action and expands. This argument has been…
  • Shakespeare in the Bush

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    12 Aug 2014 | 12:32 pm
    Though it is a bit of a distraction from the theme of state formation, we can’t mention the Tiv and the work of Paul and Laura Bohannon without mentioning Laura Bohannon’s wonderful story published in 1966 “Shakespeare in the Bush”. Here she relates the problems of telling the story of Hamlet in a completely different cultural context. You can read the story here: http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/picks-from-the-past/12476/shakespeare-in-the-bush
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    Credit Writedowns

  • The Italian Runaway Train

    Edward Hugh
    18 Aug 2014 | 7:07 am
    By Edward Hugh There has been lot’s of debate in the press and in academic circles over the last week or so about whether Italy’s latest contraction constitutes a triple dip recession or simply a continuation of what’s been going on over many many years. This is an interesting theoretical nicety, but in fact what is happening in Italy at the moment goes a lot further than problems faced by a recession dating committee. The real issue that arises in the context of the Euro Area at the moment is a far more specific one. Will the ECB do QE? And if it does when will it push the button? And…
  • Abenomics – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    Edward Hugh
    16 Aug 2014 | 5:53 pm
    By Edward Hugh In an article entitled “Why Japan’s GDP Plunge Isn’t As Bad As It Seems”, Bloomberg writer Bruce Einhorn put it like this: The last time Japan raised the consumption tax, in 1997, the economy went into a tailspin. The impact doesn’t seem to be as bad this time, though. The economy contracted at an annualized 6.8 percent in the second quarter of the year. Bad, to be sure, but not dismal. For all its severity, the plunge was actually smaller than many economists had expected, with a survey of 37 economists by Bloomberg showing a median estimate of a 7 percent decline.
  • “I am determined that the American dollar must never again be a hostage in the hands of international speculators”

    Edward Harrison
    15 Aug 2014 | 10:07 am
    Below is the video of Richard Nixon closing the gold window exactly 43 years ago to day. Hat tip to Raja Korman More About: currency, gold, gold standard, history, Political Economy, Richard Nixon, United States, Weekly The most in-depth research and analysis is on Credit Writedowns Pro. “I am determined that the American dollar must never again be a hostage in the hands of international speculators” originally appeared on Credit Writedowns Links: RSS - Daily - Weekly - Twitter - Facebook - Contact Credit Writedowns Feed # abf0d081857b85fe6be494728740a4f1 Related posts: Credit…
  • Some brief thoughts on private debt, financial fragility and economic growth

    Edward Harrison
    4 Aug 2014 | 10:07 am
    I am very interested in the intersection of private debt, financial fragility and economic growth because I believe this intersection is pivotal in understanding whether the secular forces which led to the Great Financial Crisis have been arrested. I want to use Ireland as a jumping off point here for a wider questioning. [Content protected for Gold members only] In short, both in the U.S. and in Europe, this business cycle needs to be longer and incomes need to be higher to prevent the same secular issues which caused the Great Financial Crisis from precipitating another crisis when this…
  • Economic and market themes: 2014-08-01 US, China, Argentina, France

    Edward Harrison
    1 Aug 2014 | 9:16 am
    This week’s economic and market themes piece is going to be a little shorter than usual because I have covered a lot of the major topics earlier in the week. [Content protected for Gold members only] My take here is that France and Italy are the countries to watch in Europe. Watch Italy because it is in a precarious position, perhaps the worst outside of Greece. And because it is so large, it matters for the Eurozone. Europe cannot allow Italy to fail. And a sovereign restructuring is as unthinkable now as it was when I was running through Italian default scenarios three years ago. Europe…
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    Liberty Street Economics

  • The Value of a College Degree

    Blog Author
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz This post is the first in a series of four Liberty Street Economics posts examining the value of a college degree. Not so long ago, people rarely questioned the value of a college degree. A bachelor’s degree was seen as a surefire ticket to a career-oriented, good-paying job. Today, however, many people are uncertain whether going to college is such a wise decision. It’s easy to see why. Tuition costs have been rising considerably faster than inflation, student debt is mounting, wages for college graduates have been falling, and recent college graduates…
  • Turnover in Fedwire Funds Has Dropped Considerably since the Crisis, but It’s Okay

    Blog Author
    25 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Rodney Garratt, Antoine Martin, and James McAndrewsThe Fedwire Funds Service is a large-value payment system, operated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, that facilitates more than $3 trillion a day in payments. Turnover in Fedwire Funds, the value of payments made for every dollar of liquidity provided, has dropped nearly 75 percent since the crisis. Should we be concerned? In this post, we explain why turnover has dropped so much and argue that it is, in fact, a good thing.     For several years leading up to the crisis, the key factors affecting the…
  • Historical Echoes: Federal Reserve Clams

    Blog Author
    22 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Marja Vitti We’ve already talked about clams being used as money as late as 1933, but some genuine clam shells found during the construction of the New York Fed’s building at 33 Liberty Street sparked both geological interest and many witty remarks about “clams” being fossilized under a bank.      It was 1921 when the New York Fed finally broke ground on their construction project. The excavation began that summer, and with it, foundation work that was deemed the largest undertaking in New York City at that time because the basement floors extended five stories underground to…
  • The Declining U.S. Reliance on Foreign Investors

    Blog Author
    20 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Thomas Klitgaard and Preston MuiThe United States has been borrowing from the rest of the world since the mid-1980s. From 2000 to 2008, this borrowing averaged over $600 billion per year, which translates into U.S. spending exceeding income by almost 5.0 percent of GDP. Borrowing fell during the recent recession, as would be expected, and then rebounded with the recovery. Since 2011, however, borrowing has trended down and fell to 2.4 percent of GDP in 2013, the smallest amount as a share of GDP since 1997. A reduced dependency on foreign funds can be viewed as a favorable…
  • Just Released: Firms Weigh in on Affordable Care Act in August Business Surveys

    Blog Author
    18 Aug 2014 | 5:45 am
    Jason Bram and Michael Kubiske The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s monthly surveys of manufacturers and service-sector firms include special supplementary questions on topics of interest. The August survey questions focused on the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on businesses in the District, and how, if at all, firms are making changes in response to it.      One clear finding of this survey (and of a somewhat similar survey we did last July) was that the ACA was widely seen as raising health coverage costs for businesses. We asked firms how much their…
 
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    The Incidental Economist

  • Halbig and the individual mandate

    Nicholas Bagley
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    In what is perhaps the strangest rhetorical move in the Halbig litigation, the challengers maintain that they’re trying to protect people from the individual mandate. They point out that ACA exempts families from the mandate penalty if, after taking tax credits into account, they would have to spend more than 8% of their income to get health coverage. Eliminating tax credits in states with federal exchanges would mean that many more people would exceed that 8% figure. For the challengers, that’s a good thing. In Michael Cannon’s words, “a victory for the Halbig plaintiffs would…
  • You have not become who you will always be

    Austin Frakt
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    I did not expect my children to express sadness around their birthdays. As they’ve aged they’ve been better able to articulate why. “I don’t want to grow up,” they’ve told me, crying. Crying! Their emotions are mixed. Birthdays are exciting, and they have a good time too. But the sense of the gradual, inexorable chipping away at their youth is palpable, even to them, as it is to me. I’m 42. I get it. I don’t want to age anymore either. This is a common feeling among adults. I guess kids feel it too, or my kids anyway. Maybe it’s genetic,…
  • Healthcare Triage: Systematic Reviews

    Aaron Carroll
    1 Sep 2014 | 11:53 am
    Healthcare Triage covers systematic reviews: You’ve probably heard of “evidence-based medicine”. It’s the idea that we practice based on research and data. There’s another way of practicing called “eminence-based medicine”. It’s the idea that we listen to the person who’s been around the longest or who has somehow managed to be labelled the expert. It used to be that such a person would periodically get to write a review article in some journal, and that would be how everyone learned what to do in medicine. That’s a problem. We’ve got a solution. Systematic reviews! Here…
  • Gluten free

    Austin Frakt
    30 Aug 2014 | 7:00 am
    Via Bill Gardner and in honor of Aaron’s Healthcare Triage video on the subject, which I had requested: @afrakt
  • Healthcare Triage News: Pot, Foul Language, and Pain

    Aaron Carroll
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:11 am
    This week’s HCT news: What are people talking about this week? Better yet, what should they be talking about? We’re talking about marijuana and obscene language. Enjoy! Tell your friends to watch! @aaronecarroll
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    LewRockwell

  • The Truth About the Cold War

    David Gordon
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:01 pm
    I recommend that readers begin with the essay by Murray Rothbard listed here. As Rothbard often stressed, one cannot infer a nation’s foreign policy from the nature of its domestic regime. Communist totalitarianism did not necessitate an aggressive foreign policy; and in the post-World War II period, Rothbard contended, Russian foreign was largely defensive in character. The main Communist danger to America was internal rather than external. Alperovitz, Gar. The Decision to the Use the Atomic Bomb.Argues that the decision to use atomic weapons against Japan was intended as an anti-Russian…
  • Protesting in a Police State

    No Author
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:01 pm
    If you’re planning on participating in a peaceful demonstration or protest keep one thing in mind, at any time it could turn into a bloody riot. In the past it has been a common practise for governments to send agent provocateurs to mingle among the demonstrators until a given time or signal, and then to begin instigating violence as both a way to demonize the peaceful protesters in the media, and as an excuse to send in the riot troops to bust heads. As demonstrations around the world can attest to, this tactic has not gone out of fashion. So what should you do if suddenly rubber bullets,…
  • Good News for Polar Bears

    No Author
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:01 pm
    The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’ Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change. But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012. To put it another…
  • Is Even Henry Kissinger Terrified?

    Bionic Mosquito
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Henry Kissinger is out with an essay in the Wall Street Journal “on the Assembly of a New World Order” (HT Ed Steer).  Some parts of it are rather difficult to understand or interpret (is it written in code that only the elite can decipher?).  I will attempt to go through it line by line (probably not every single line) and see if, by the time I finish, I can make some sense of it. Libya is in civil war, fundamentalist armies are building a self-declared caliphate across Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan’s young democracy is on the verge of paralysis. Translated: Pretty much…
  • Recovery?

    No Author
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Presented with little comment aside to suggest one scratch beneath the thinning veneer of record nominal stock prices every once in a while to take the temperature of the ugly reality that no one is talking about… 1) Stocks are at record highs because global growth is ‘improving’…   FACT: There is a record divergence between the ‘market’ and plunging growth expectations 2) Stocks are at record highs because employment is ‘improving’…   FACT: There is a record divergence between the ‘market’ and the employed population…
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    Angry Bear

  • Lump of Labor Day Special: Advanced (Elementary) Concepts in Mathematics

    Dan Crawford
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:05 pm
    Sandwichman at Econospeak writes more on the of ‘labor’: Lump of Labor Day Special: Advanced (Elementary) Concepts in Mathematics “…if there be but a certain proportion of work to be done; and that the same be already done by the not-Beggars; then to employ the Beggars about it, will but transfer the want from one hand to another…” – John Graunt, 1662. In a previous post, Graunt Work, I discussed the theological foundations of John Graunt’s Natural and Political Observations made upon the Bills of Mortality and hinted at the unacknowledged survival of…
  • What John DiIulio Said

    Robert Waldmann
    1 Sep 2014 | 4:34 pm
    I think this is too good to excerpt just read “Want better, smaller government? Hire another million federal bureaucrats.” by John DiIulio. He argues that the obsession with keeping the number of Federal civilian employees low has reduced efficiency and created powerful concentrated interests represented by powerful lobbies. The fact that he was “the first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives”under W and assigned the task of replacing “bureaucrats” with non-profits makes his current argument more striking. I have only…
  • Graunt Work

    Dan Crawford
    31 Aug 2014 | 3:11 pm
    Lifted from open thread Aug. 31, 2014 by Sandwichman. My latest on the lump of labor fallacy takes the story back to the 17th century and John Graunt’s Observations on the Bills of Mortality. Graunt speculated about a certain PROPORTION of work to be done. The fallacy claim alleges the assumption of a fixed QUANTITY of work to be done. (One would hope that mathematically-inclined folks would be able to tell the difference between a proportion and a quantity, or between a ratio and an integer. Apparently, though, this subtle mathematical distinction has eluded the Harvard / M.I.T. / L.S.E.
  • A Closer Look at the Pay-Me-to-Not-Recline Argument

    Dan Crawford
    31 Aug 2014 | 7:27 am
    Peter Dorman at Econospeak describes a common example of thought experiments on markets and externalities, and concludes with “More complex considerations that take into account dynamics, interaction effects and the like never intrude.  What you end up with is an ideological truncation of economics, and, as the Great Airplane Debate illustrates, it is largely ideology that frames public discourse.” (Re-posted with permission). Sometimes I mention to acquaintances that much of what they read that is called economics is NOT ‘economics’, even in general terms, largely…
  • Tennessee Decides to Expand Medicaid

    run75441
    31 Aug 2014 | 7:18 am
    In my own state of Michigan, there was a battle in the Republican controlled state legislature to expand Medicaid for the 600,000 uninsured citizens. It did pass with some legislators such as Michigan State Senator Joseph Hune complaining loudly about how its passage made him “sick to his stomach.” Even with the passage, the state legislature delayed its implementation from January 1st to April 1 2014 costing the state $millions in aid. Republican Governor Rick Snyder supported the passage of the Medicaid Expansion after commissioning a study by the State Senate Fiscal Agency…
 
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    Macro and Other Market Musings

  • Another Bond Market Conundrum?

    1 Sep 2014 | 8:05 am
    Is the U.S. economy in the midst of another bond  market "conundrum"? The last time we had one was in 2005 when former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan became perplexed over long-term interest rates failing to rise with the tightening of monetary policy. Some observers see something similar happening today. They note that the Fed has been tightening monetary policy with its tapering of QE3 and yet the benchmark 10-year treasury interest rate has been falling since the beginning of 2014. This conundrum gets even more interesting when one looks at the five-year treasury interest rate. It has…
  • About the Fed Not Trying Hard Enough To Hit Its Inflation Target

    24 Aug 2014 | 1:16 pm
    It is hard not to be cynical when you see charts like this one. It shows what appears to be a systematic relationship over the past 6 years between changes in the Fed share of marketable treasuries and PCE core inflation: The figure indicates the Fed allows its share of marketable treasuries to change--by either engaging in LSAPs or refraining from doing so as the total share grows--so that core PCE inflation stays in the 1% to 2% corridor. Here is the scatterplot of this data:Now this is just a reduced-form relationship, but it is highly suggestive and consistent with my claim from an…
  • Talking About the Past Five Years

    22 Aug 2014 | 11:33 am
    I recently gave a talk to the Financial Planning Association of Kentucky. The slides from the presentation are below and readers of this blog with be familiar with many of them. In case you are not familiar, below is the slide outline and where to go for more information. The audience asked many questions that led the discussion beyond what was presented on the slides, including the Triffin Dilemma for US treasuries, why the Fed likes core PCE, and what is holding back the recovery. It was a lively and fun discussion. Slide Outline(1)  Monetary Policy Tightened During the Recession. See…
  • The Secular Stagnation Bug is Spreading at the Fed

    15 Aug 2014 | 3:01 pm
    Speaking of secular stagnation, it appears to be catching on at the Fed. Here is CNBC's Alex Rosenberg:Is there something seriously wrong with the economy? It's a scary prospect, and a concern that's gotten louder and louder over the past year. In economic circles, it goes by the alliterative name of "secular stagnation." And it's a phrase that Fed watchers are likely to hear more and more in the months ahead. Recent comments by the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, Stanley Fischer, indicate questions within the central bank about whether the slow growth that has followed the recent…
  • Secular Stagnation: Missing the Forest for the Trees

    15 Aug 2014 | 12:41 pm
    There is a new VoxEU ebook on secular stagnation. The book is a collection of essays by many prominent economists, most of whom are proponents of secular stagnation. As readers know, I am not convinced that this problem lingers over the U.S. economy and have explained why at the Washington Post and on this blog. This latest book does nothing to ease my skepticism. Many of the authors continue to mismeasure the real interest rate and ignore what I see as important technology and demographic developments that undermine the case for secular stagnation. Let's review these key issues.First, real…
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    niesr.ac.uk

  • The public sees international students as an asset and source of talent

    HeatherRolfe
    27 Aug 2014 | 1:44 am
    What do the public think about international students? Do they see them simply as generating revenue for universities or as longer term migrants who can bring new talent to the UK? New research by British Future shows that there is support for international students among the general public who both recognise the benefits they bring and believe we should make us of their skills and talent.
  • The benefits of attracting high skilled migrants

    AnnaRosso
    4 Aug 2014 | 2:39 am
    It is a matter of fact that migration is at the centre of the economic and political debate. On one side, we can find economists that regard immigration as beneficial for the country. On the opposite side, because of the large expansion of flows after 2004, public opinion is much less positive, forcing politicians to introduce measures that aim at reducing net migration 'from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands'.
  • Welfare reform and the "jobs miracle"

    JonathanPortes
    22 Jul 2014 | 3:22 am
    The recent performance of the UK labour market since the financial crisis has astonished almost everyone. Employment did not fall nearly as much as might have been expected, given the size of the contraction, and the subsequent period of stagnation.  And when it started growing again it grew much faster than expected.  The overall employment rate is now back more or less at its previous peak (in early 2005) and may well rise even further.
  • Setting the record straight: factchecking the UK press

    JonathanPortes
    23 Jun 2014 | 1:16 am
    On the subjects I write about most – immigration, labour markets, welfare – the British press frequently gets things wrong, sometimes very wrong.  Since I think my position as Director of NIESR gives me both an opportunity and a responsibility to try to improve the quality of public debate on these issues, I do my best to redress the balance. Mostly that’s by blogging, twitter or media commentary. But sometimes, when it’s simply a question of fact, what is really required is not a counterargument, but a correction.
  • All in this together? The impact of tax and spending decisions by gender, disability, ethnicity and age

    JonathanPortes
    18 Jun 2014 | 6:06 am
    [Note: the views set out in this post are that of the author, not those of the Equality and Human Rights Commission]
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    Bruegel - Latest Updates

  • Blogs review: The bond market conundrum redux

    1 Sep 2014 | 10:52 pm
    What’s at stake: Fed tapering was widely expected to push up US yields. Instead, US yields have fallen since the beginning of the year, raising the question of whether we’re seeing a new version of the Greenspan 2005 conundrum. Interestingly, a successful explanation of this new conundrum cannot just rely on a flight to safety explanation as it also needs to rationalize why 5-year yield and 10-year yield have diverged over the same period. Tapering and interest rates Jeff Sommer writes that yields have been falling with embarrassing consistency in 2014 despite forecasts to the contrary…
  • Is Europe saving away its future?

    1 Sep 2014 | 12:46 am
    This article was published by Vox. The Crisis affected public spending. Research and innovation is one area often highlighted as needing protection. This column does not find strong evidence that European countries sacrificed research and innovation more than other government expenditure. However, there is strong heterogeneity across countries. Innovation lagging and fiscally weak countries cut R&I spending while innovation-leading forged it ahead. Research of this divide and long-term growth is still limited. Trends in public R&I budgets in EU countries during the crisis The…
  • EU at a Crossroads

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:45 am
    We are pleased to announce that Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan is coming to Bruegel to talk about the economic choices ahead for Europe. More information about this event will be available shortly SpeakersIntroduction by Guntram Wolff, Director of BruegelKeynote by Pier Carlo Padoan, Italian Minister of FinanceModerated by Tom Nuttall, The EconomistThe keynote will be followed by a commentary by the moderator and a lively discussion with the audience.Practical detailsVenue: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 BrusselsTime: Monday 13 October, 12.45-14:30. Lunch will be served at…
  • Improving the role of equity crowdfunding in Europe's capital markets

    28 Aug 2014 | 11:44 pm
    Summary Crowdfunding is a growing phenomenon that encompasses several different models of financing for business or other ventures. Despite the hype, equity crowdfunding is still the smallest part of the crowdfunding market. Because of its legal framework, Europe has been at the forefront of equity crowdfunding market development. Equity crowdfunding is more complex than other forms of crowdfunding and requires proper checks and balances if it is to provide a viable channel for financial intermediation in the seed and early-stage market in Europe. It is important to explore this new channel…
  • Healthcare Systems and Ageing Populations

    28 Aug 2014 | 6:47 am
    The ageing of populations is the most influential factor of healthcare system design. In Japan, 25% of the total population in 2013 was aged 65 years or older and the government population agency predicts that the proportion of this age cohort will rise to 30% and 39% in 2025 and 2050, respectively. A key concept of healthcare reform in Japan is “integration” in terms of both healthcare delivery system and healthcare finance system. There are, however, high political barriers. Europe is facing similar issues in terms of an ageing population and the implications for healthcare systems.
 
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    TaxVox

  • On Credits, Boycotts, and the Economy

    Renu Zaretsky
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    Congress is in recess until Monday, September 8. The Daily Deduction will resume its regular schedule when Congress returns. There will be creditsAlaskans like the way oil industry profits are taxed–barely. The state grants a corporate income tax credit for qualified oil and gas service-industry expenditures. Ballot Measure No. 1 would have repealed the credit available under the state’s Oil and Gas Production Tax, but the referendum was rejected by a narrow margin after absentee votes were tallied. Oil companies spent millions of dollars opposing  the measure. Movin’ on up” to…
  • CBO’s Spending Projections Map the Coming Fiscal Battle

    Howard Gleckman
    28 Aug 2014 | 12:49 pm
    Without changes in the law, health care, Social Security, and interest on the debt will eat up 85 percent of all new federal government spending over the next 10 years, according to the latest estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. By contrast, CBO expects most of the rest of government, including income security for low-income households, national defense, transportation, health and safety, education, and the like to shrink to its lowest levels—as a share of the economy—since before World War II. Combined, all of government—except for health care, Social Security, and net…
  • Could The U.S. Fix Taxation of Multinational Corporations With A Sales-Based Formula?

    Howard Gleckman
    26 Aug 2014 | 1:54 pm
    Corporate inversions have been the topic of the summer for tax wonks (beats jellyfish and beach traffic, I suppose), but the issue is a classic bit of Washington misdirection. Instead of focusing on the real disease—an increasingly dysfunctional corporate income tax—we are obsessing over a symptom—firms such as Burger King engaging in self-help reform by relocating their legal residences overseas. The good news is the tax inversion flap has generated some interesting ideas for broader changes in the way we tax multinational firms. One, raised in a July paper published in Tax Notes by…
  • Tax Rates: Growth, Competition, and Debt

    Renu Zaretsky
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    Congress is in recess until September 8. The Daily Deduction will next appear on Tuesday, September 2. It will resume its regular schedule on Monday, September 8. Individual tax rates: If you cut them, what will grow? Representative Paul Ryan, who is likely to become the next chair of  the House Ways and Means Committee, wants to cut the top individual tax rate because he’s a “classic growth conservative.” But what might such a cut do to the deficit? TPC’s Howard Gleckman describes TPC’s latest estimates. “A one percentage point cut in the top rate would add $108 billion to the…
  • How Much Would An Individual Tax Rate Cut Add to the Deficit, and Who Would Benefit?

    Howard Gleckman
    21 Aug 2014 | 1:01 pm
    Reducing tax rates is a guiding principal of most tax reform plans. Even Democrats who see reform partly as a tool to boost revenues agree that some money generated by eliminating tax preferences ought to go to rate reduction. But how much does Treasury lose when Congress reduces individual tax rates, and which taxpayers benefit the most from the cuts? My Tax Policy Center colleague Elena Ramirez has just updated TPC’s estimates and the results are illuminating. A one percentage point across-the-board reduction in tax rates would add $662 billion to the budget deficit over 10 years—about…
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    Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

  • In Case You Missed It…

    CBPP
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:25 am
    This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, state budgets and taxes, health care, food assistance, and the economy. On the federal budget and taxes, Chuck Marr pointed to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen’s comments about the potential “catastrophic” effects of House-passed IRS funding cuts to taxpayer services. Will Fischer argued that while House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s endorsement of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s plan to limit the mortgage interest deduction is moving in the right direction, greater changes are…
  • The Basics of the Minimum Wage

    CBPP
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    As Labor Day approaches, it’s worth taking a closer look at the important role that the minimum wage plays for millions of workers nationwide, its contribution to the economy, and how it could be strengthened.  Our new Policy Basic explains these key facts. The federal minimum wage — the lowest hourly rate an employer can legally pay workers under the law — is now $7.25.  Where states and municipalities have enacted their own higher minimum wage laws, employers must pay at least the state or local minimum.  As of August 1, 2014, 23 states and the District of Columbia have minimum…
  • Counting Down to August 31 Deadline to Adopt Community Eligibility

    Becca Segal
    28 Aug 2014 | 10:20 am
    Schools have a few more days before the August 31 deadline to opt in to the Community Eligibility Provision.  Community eligibility — which allows high-poverty schools to offer breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge without having to process meal applications —is a proven success and an important tool to help children achieve their academic goals.  More than 28,000 schools nationwide are eligible to adopt the provision and become hunger-free. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has encouraged states to continue to accept applications after the deadline and even after the…
  • Wisconsin and Wyoming Tally Fiscal Cost of Rejecting Health Reform’s Medicaid Expansion

    Jesse Cross-Call
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    Recent budget reports from Wisconsin and Wyoming show that their failure to adopt health reform’s Medicaid expansion is costing them millions of dollars in forgone budget savings. In Wisconsin, the legislature’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates that the expansion, which covers non-elderly adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty line, would have saved the state $206 million in the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years combined. Governor Scott Walker chose instead to extend Medicaid coverage to adults only up to 100 percent of the poverty line through a separate waiver. …
  • Ryan Backs Reform to Mortgage Interest Deduction — But Bigger Changes Needed

    Will Fischer
    27 Aug 2014 | 10:34 am
    Endorsing House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp’s proposal to limit the mortgage interest deduction recently, Budget Chairman Paul Ryan explained that it “ought to be a middle class tax break, not something for higher-income earners.”  He’s right to criticize the deduction for favoring those at the top but, while Camp’s proposal moves in the right direction, policymakers should go further. The deduction, which Camp would limit to mortgages up to $500,000 (cutting the current $1 million limit in half), is ripe for reform (see graph).  Some 42 percent of its benefits go to…
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    Eschaton

  • What Could Go Wrong

    2 Sep 2014 | 5:31 am
    Everybody loves flying death robots, and our crack intelligence teams certainly always know who the bad guys are.The Pentagon is preparing to open a drone base in one of the remotest places on Earth: an ancient caravan crossroads in the middle of the Sahara.After months of negotiations, the government of Niger, a landlocked West African nation, has authorized the U.S. military to fly unarmed drones from the mud-walled desert city of Agadez, according to Nigerien and U.S. officials.There's this weird country on the other side of the world that flies killing machines over your city on a regular…
  • Morning Thread

    2 Sep 2014 | 2:23 am
    To go with the first cuppa!
  • Late Night

    1 Sep 2014 | 6:30 pm
    Rock on.
  • Monday Night

    1 Sep 2014 | 4:24 pm
    Less lazy blogging will hopefully return tomorrow.
  • Rescue thread.

    1 Sep 2014 | 1:57 pm
    Sam Seder has a collection of stirring and inspirational rabble-rousing speeches up for Labor Day.
 
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out?

    Andrew
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:24 am
    Evelyn Lamb adds to the conversation that Jeff Leek and I had a few months ago. It’s a topic that’s worth returning to, in light of our continuing discussions regarding the crisis of criticism in science. The post Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • On deck this week

    Andrew
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    Mon: Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? Tues: Questions about “Too Good to Be True” Wed: I disagree with Alan Turing and Daniel Kahneman regarding the strength of statistical evidence Thurs: Why isn’t replication required before publication in top journals? Fri: Confirmationist and falsificationist paradigms of science Sat: How does inference for next year’s data differ from inference for unobserved data from the current year? Sun: Likelihood from quantiles? We’ve got a full week of statistics for you. Welcome back to work, everyone! The post On deck this week appeared first on…
  • On deck this month

    Andrew
    30 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? Questions about “Too Good to Be True” I disagree with Alan Turing and Daniel Kahneman regarding the strength of statistical evidence Why isn’t replication required before publication in top journals? Confirmationist and falsificationist paradigms of science How does inference for next year’s data differ from inference for unobserved data from the current year? Likelihood from quantiles? My talk with David Schiminovich this Wed noon: “The Birth of the Universe and the Fate of the Earth: One Trillion UV Photons Meet Stan” Suspicious graph…
  • Avoiding model selection in Bayesian social research

    Andrew
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:57 am
    One of my favorites, from 1995. Don Rubin and I argue with Adrian Raftery. Here’s how we begin: Raftery’s paper addresses two important problems in the statistical analysis of social science data: (1) choosing an appropriate model when so much data are available that standard P-values reject all parsimonious models; and (2) making estimates and predictions when there are not enough data available to fit the desired model using standard techniques. For both problems, we agree with Raftery that classical frequentist methods fail and that Raftery’s suggested methods based on…
  • When we talk about the “file drawer,” let’s not assume that an experiment can easily be characterized as producing strong, mixed, or weak results

    Andrew
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:52 pm
    Neil Malhotra: I thought you might be interested in our paper [the paper is by Annie Franco, Neil Malhotra, and Gabor Simonovits, and the link is to a news article by Jeffrey Mervis], forthcoming in Science, about publication bias in the social sciences given your interest and work on research transparency. Basic summary: We examined studies conducted as part of the Time-sharing Experiments in the Social Science (TESS) program, where: (1) we have a known population of conducted studies (some published, some unpublished); and (2) all studies exceed a quality threshold as they go through peer…
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    macroblog

  • What Kind of Job for Part-Time Pat?

    macroblog
    25 Aug 2014 | 12:35 pm
    As anyone who follows macroblog knows, we have been devoting a lot of attention recently to the issue of people working part-time for economic reasons (PTER), which means people who want full-time work but have not yet been able to find it. As of July 2014, the number of people working PTER stood at around 7.5 million. This level is down from a peak of almost 9 million in 2011 but is still more than 3 million higher than before the Great Recession. That doesn’t mean they won’t ever find full-time work in the future, but their chances are a lot lower than in the past. Consider Pat,…
  • Seeking the Source

    macroblog
    21 Aug 2014 | 1:32 pm
    As the early data on the third quarter begin to roll in, the (very tentative) conclusion is that nothing we know yet contradicts the consensus gross domestic product (GDP) forecast (from the Blue Chip panel, for example) of seasonally adjusted annualized Q3 growth in the neighborhood of 3 percent. The latest from our GDPNow model: The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2014 was 3.0 percent on August 19, up from 2.8 percent on August 13. The nowcast for inventory investment ticked up following the Federal Reserve's industrial…
  • Are You Sure We're Not There Yet?

    macroblog
    18 Aug 2014 | 1:51 pm
    In recent macroblog posts, our colleagues Dave Altig and John Robertson have posed the questions Getting There? and Are We There Yet?, respectively. "There" in these posts refers to "full employment." Dave and John conclude that while we may be getting there, we're not there yet. Not everyone agrees with that assessment, of course. Among the recent evidence some observers cite in defense of an approaching full-employment and growing wage pressures is the following chart. It shows a rather strong correlation between survey data from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) on the…
  • Are We There Yet?

    macroblog
    12 Aug 2014 | 6:03 am
    Editor’s note: This macroblog post was published yesterday with some content inadvertently omitted. Below is the complete post. We apologize for the error. Anyone who has undertaken a long road trip with children will be familiar with the frequent “are we there yet?” chorus from the back seat. So, too, it might seem on the long post-2007 monetary policy road trip. When will the economy finally look like it is satisfying the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) dual mandate of price stability and full employment? The answer varies somewhat across the FOMC…
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • False democracy

    chris dillow
    1 Sep 2014 | 6:23 am
    At the gym yesterday morning, I caught sight of a TV show discussing "is fracking the future?" Who might usefully discuss this question: geologists? energy economists? Nope. There was the ubiquitous vested interest; Vivienne Westwood, a frock designer; and James Delingpole, whose field of expertise has yet to be discerned. What's going on here is yet another example of the Robbie Savageization of the media. What matters is not knowledge, intellect or wisdom but the narcisstic assertion of mere opinion. And "good" TV (or radio) consistents not in enlightenment but in…
  • Emergence

    chris dillow
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:57 am
    The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission this week reminded us of an old fact - that privately educated people are disproportionately represented among top jobs. Why is this? It's not solely because prviate schools give people a better chance of going on to get good degrees. This paper shows that, even controlling for university, the privately educated have a slight advantage in their chances of getting top jobs. And this one shows that, controlling for degree, there's an earnings premium for the privately-schooled. This is consistent with anecdotal evidence. Sajid…
  • UK vs US living standards

    chris dillow
    27 Aug 2014 | 6:44 am
    Fraser Nelson's claim that the UK is poorer than any US state other than Mississippi has met with some scepticism on Twitter. However, I reckon he might be right. Put it this way. Last year, UK GDP was £1612bn in current prices. With a population of 64.1m this gives us GDP per head of £25161. With the exchange rate averaging $1.57 last year, we have GDP per head in dollars of $39503. US GDP (pdf) was $16768.1bn spread over 316.3m, giving GDP per head of $53013. These are close to Fraser's numbers. One reason for this difference is simply that Americans work more; the OECD…
  • Constraints, real & imagined

    chris dillow
    26 Aug 2014 | 6:14 am
    Simon's post reminds me of Sidney Webb's reaction to Britain leaving the gold standard in 1931: "nobody told us we could do that." The 1929-31 Labour government tore itself apart because it thought the gold standard was a binding constraint which demanded fiscal austerity. But in fact, the constraint was imaginary. Abandoning the gold standard had no great ill-effects. European social democrats are in the same position Webb was. They are seeing binding constraints when in fact there are only illusory ones. In the euro area, a relaxation of the stability and growth pact to…
  • Public vs private racism

    chris dillow
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:05 am
    Which is better - to be a racist in words but not actions, or in actions but not words?* This is one question posed by the Malky Mackay affair. To see my point, let's juxtapose him (and football generally) with the film and TV business. Many black actors have felt the need to leave the UK to pursue their careers for want of good jobs here. But this is not the case for black footballers. I suspect that 20-something black men get a better deal relative to their white peers in football than they do in other walks of life** (though this might be a low bar), and - so far - there is no…
 
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    Moneybox

  • The 10 Fastest Growing Companies in New York City

    Christine Lagorio-Chafkin
    30 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    This article originally appeared in Inc. Believe the hype: New York City is home to more fast-growing companies than any other city in America. Two hundred and four of them, to be exact, made it onto the 2014 Inc. 5000. Let's zoom in on just the top 10 of those, which together form a fascinating and diverse portrait of modern commerce. Two are trying to take a bite out of Madison Avenue. Three are fresh spins on old hospitality industries. Two of these businesses would likely not exist without social media. These are New York's fastest-growing young companies. And they certainly do have an…
  • At Work, Every Friday Should Be a Summer Friday

    Melissa Dahl
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:26 pm
    This article originally appeared in Science of Us. Summer doesn’t officially end until late next month, but who are we kidding: This is our last real week of summer, which makes August 29 our last summer Friday of 2014. If you’re lucky enough to work at a company with “summer Fridays,” that wonderful seasonal tradition of closing the office early on the Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you’re about to head back into the cold reality of the five-day, 40-hour workweek.  But you shouldn’t have to. The concept behind summer Fridays should be a year-round perk, several…
  • So You’re Rich for an American. Does That Make You Rich for New York?

    Jordan Weissmann
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:11 pm
    New Yorkers have a notoriously skewed sense of wealth—at least when they work in industries like finance or media and live in Manhattan or Brooklyn. It’s hard not to, seeing how we’re surrounded by expensive restaurants, expensive apartments, and expensively dressed people who seem able to afford it all. So, as an econ writer, it’s usually a somewhat strange experience when I get into conversations here about class. If I mention that a six-figure salary counts as rich in much of the country—that just $250,000 gets you into the top 2 percent—the response is usually, “Sure, but…
  • 76 Ways to Make Money in Digital Media

    David Plotz
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:15 am
    In much the same way I used to quiz my grandmother about how she survived the Great Depression, a younger colleague recently asked me what online journalism was like in the 1990s (we started Slate in 1996). As I started to talk about it, I realized that the journalism itself hasn’t changed that much—blah blah social media, blah blah interactives, blah blah longform—but what has changed is the money. There didn’t used to be any. Now there’s a lot. As an exercise, I made myself two lists: all the sources of revenue I can remember for 1998 digital journalism and all the sources of…
  • Forget the Rent: Why New York and San Francisco Are Actually Amazing Bargains

    Jordan Weissmann
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:17 am
    New York and San Francisco are synonymous with out-of-control rents. But they're more of a bargain than most of us realize. The New York Citizens Budget Commission, a nonprofit devoted to state and city government issues, recently ranked 21 large U.S. cities and found that New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., (also thought of as an expensive place to live) were actually among the most affordable. How is that possible? First, families in these cities tend to earn more. Second, they spend less money commuting. The typical New York household, for instance, pays a ludicrous amount of…
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    Economic Development BlogEconomic Development Blog -

  • Four Corners Economic Development Snags PESCO Expansion in Farmington, NM

    Economic Development HQ.com
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:15 pm
    Oil-field servicing provider Process Equipment and Service Company (PESCO) announced another expansion at their headquarters in Farmington, NM. Gov. Susana Martinez at PESCO jobs announcement in Farmington, NM (photo – PESCO) PESCO executives and Governor Susana Martinez, who made the announcement at the factory, were joined by New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Jon Barela and local officials from San Juan County and Four Corners Economic Development. PESCO is adding a 16,000-square-foot shop to their factory at Farmington, and will create another 150…
  • Northeastern Economic Developers Association Conference

    Economic Development HQ.com
    1 Sep 2014 | 9:22 pm
    The Northeastern Economic Developers Association (NEDA) Conference is scheduled to be held from Sept 7-9, 2014 in Worcester, MA. NEDA Conference The NEDA Conference is a part of the Build Northeast Conference and Expo. It is organized as a collaborative effort by NEDA, the Massachusetts Economic Development Council, National Association of Development Companies (NADCO), the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Worcester Business Development Corp. The conference is recognized as a professional development event by the IEDC, and counts towards recertification of Certified Economic…
  • Economic Development News – Labor Day Edition

    Economic Development HQ.com
    31 Aug 2014 | 9:29 pm
    Labor Day weekend travel and events are by themselves a contributor to economic development, but there’s a lot of other news too. Labor Day (photo – commerce.gov) For starters, the Department of Commerce published its usual Labor Day update with interesting facts and figures about America’s workforce and industry sectors. Did you know that there were 2,661,890 registered nurses as of May 2013, and their ranks are expected to swell by 526,800 from 2012 to 2022? That’s more than the job growth projected for any other occupation. Meanwhile, the AAA’s projections show…
  • Advocacy Groups Seek Multi-State Cooperation for Tesla Gigafactory Site Selection

    Economic Development HQ.com
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:17 am
    A collection of advocacy groups has published an open letter in which they call for states competing for the Tesla Gigafactory project to start working with each other instead of competing. Tesla Gigafactory site selection finalists (photo – teslamotors.com) The Tesla Gigafactory site selection process pits the states of California, Nevada, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico in a contest to win the prize of a $4-5 billion factory and 6,500 jobs. Tesla has taken the unusual step of declaring that they will be breaking ground on sites in two to three states in order to ensure there will be no…
  • North Carolina Starts Losing Productions After Defunding Film Tax Credit Program

    Economic Development HQ.com
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:43 pm
    When the North Carolina State Legislature adjourned without approving a raft of economic development measures, Gov. Pat McCrory was forced to sign a budget which puts a $10 million cap for film incentives. Film=Jobs (photo – Rep. Susi Hamilton) The current refundable film tax credit program, which allows film and television productions in the state to claim a credit against 25 percent of eligible expenses, expires on Jan 1, 2015. Lawmakers including State Representatives Ted Davis Jr. and Susi Hamilton wrote to the Governor to request that the Legislature be reconvened for a special…
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    Washington Center for Equitable Growth

  • Department of “Huh?!”: What Does Money Velocity Tell Us about Low Inflation in the U.S.

    Brad DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 5:58 pm
    Yi Wen and Maria Arias appear to say that the Federal Reserve has done two independent things since 2008: Increased the stock of money at 33%/year. Pursued an unconventional exceptionally-low interest-rate policy that has reinforced the recession. The extremely strong implication of their piece is that the Federal Reserve could have (a) kept money growth strong and produced a high money stock while (b) keeping interest rates from falling to the zero lower bound, or, alternatively (a) kept the money growth rate low and produced a relatively small money stock constant while still (b) pursuing…
  • Things to Read on the Evening of September 1, 2014

    Brad DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 5:31 pm
    Must- and Shall-Reads: Jonathan Chait: Feast of the Wingnuts Steven Greenhouse: More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft’ Peter Watts: Are We There Yet? En Route to Dystopia with the Angry Optimist   Paul Krugman: Inflation, Septaphobia, and the Shock Doctrine: “The bad news from Europe is a reminder that the basic insight some of us have been trying to convey, mostly in vain, ever since 2008 remains valid: the great danger facing advanced economies is that governments and central banks will do too little, not too much…. Yet the power of the hard money/fiscal austerity…
  • Evening Must-Read: Bloomberg View: Stopping Europe’s Descent Into Deflation

    Brad DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 5:26 pm
    Bloomberg View: Stopping Europe’s Descent Into Deflation: “Until recently it was debatable… …whether Europe’s economy was recovering. No longer. Its recovery has stopped. The question now is whether the stagnation will tip over into something worse…. The preliminary estimate of euro-area inflation in August from a year earlier is 0.3 percent…. There’s no growth in the euro area…. What can the ECB do? Draghi says the bank has already acted…. Yet the package of measures the ECB unveiled in June didn’t amount to much….
  • Evening Must-Read: Paul Krugman: Inflation, Septaphobia, and the Shock Doctrine

    Brad DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 5:22 pm
    Paul Krugman: Inflation, Septaphobia, and the Shock Doctrine: “The bad news from Europe is a reminder that the basic insight… …some of us have been trying to convey, mostly in vain, ever since 2008 remains valid: the great danger facing advanced economies is that governments and central banks will do too little, not too much…. Yet the power of the hard money/fiscal austerity orthodoxy (yes, market monetarists want one without the other, but they have no constituency) remains immense. Why?… The one percent (or actually the 0.01 percent)… have much more to…
  • #FF America’s Best, Most Substantive, and Most Accurate Center-Left Polemicist Is… Jonathan Chait: Monday Focus for September 1, 2014

    Brad DeLong
    1 Sep 2014 | 6:11 am
    A Baker’s Dozen of recent keepers: Keystone Fight a Huge Environmentalist Mistake Why I’m So Mean Wasting Away in Hooverville Greg Mankiw Loves One Percent, Doesn’t Know Why Fear of a Female Fed Chief Why Is Obama Caving on Taxes? The Lonely Death of the Republican Health Plan What Caused The Deficit? The Morality Of Political Hostage-Taking Paul Ryan Is Making Things Up Again And three that require excerpting: (11) Jonathan Chait: Why Washington Accepts Mass Unemployment: “The recovery looks safe for those of us… …who are not already screwed. That, sadly, has come…
 
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    The Indian Economist

  • The Bogey of Love Jihad

    Karmanye Thadani
    1 Sep 2014 | 2:24 am
    In the light of an MP from the BJP spewing venom agains […]The post The Bogey of Love Jihad appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • Dusk of the golden days for Red Bull Racing?

    TIE
    31 Aug 2014 | 7:30 am
     By Aunpriya Singh Edited by  Anandita Malhotra,Senior […]The post Dusk of the golden days for Red Bull Racing? appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • Can Modi Pull a Rajinikanth?

    TIE
    31 Aug 2014 | 7:30 am
     By Vishal Sridhar Edited by Anandita Malhotra ,Senior […]The post Can Modi Pull a Rajinikanth? appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • In Defense of The Big Bang Theory

    TIE
    31 Aug 2014 | 7:30 am
    By Saurabh Gandhi Edited by Namrata Caleb, Senior Edito […]The post In Defense of The Big Bang Theory appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • Is Our Nation Heading Towards A Communal Crisis?

    TIE
    31 Aug 2014 | 7:30 am
    By Tanvi Sharma Edited by  Anandita Malhotra,Senior edi […]The post Is Our Nation Heading Towards A Communal Crisis? appeared first on The Indian Economist.
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    FiveThirtyEight » Economics | FiveThirtyEight

  • The Poorest Corner Of Town

    Ben Casselman
    26 Aug 2014 | 5:50 am
    FERGUSON, Mo. — “I am!” “Mike Brown!” “I am!” “Mike Brown!”By midnight on Wednesday, this call-and-response, and others like it — “Hands up, don’t shoot,” “What’s his name? Mike Brown,” and the old standby, “No justice, no peace!” — had been going on for hours. An early-evening thunderstorm and the calm but firm interventions of local clergy helped make this perhaps the most peaceful night since Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown 11 days earlier. Still, there were several moments when it felt like a…
  • If A Computer Can Diagnose Cancer, Will Doctors Become Obsolete?

    Andrew Flowers
    22 Aug 2014 | 11:59 am
    The “computational pathologist,” a computer software program known as the C-Path, can examine thousands of tissue scans at lightning speed to diagnose patients with breast cancer and even predict their survival rates. Some believe the C-Path, which is built on digital imagery, is as good as or even better than a human doctor.Quickly advancing technologies like the C-Path raise all sorts of questions for economists about the future of the U.S. workforce. Labor economists have long expected computers to displace workers who perform routine tasks — for example, file clerks, cashiers…
  • The Countries Where You’re Surrounded By Tourists

    Nate Silver
    18 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    When traveling in Tokyo a couple of years ago, I was struck by how few tourists there were. Sure, taking advice from an English-language website or guidebook could still lead you to a place with plenty of gaijin. But I didn’t have the sense of being surrounded by fellow tourists that one sometimes gets in Rome or Paris or Barcelona.The statistics bear this out. Barcelona gets about twice as many international tourists each year as Tokyo. But that’s only part of the story. Barcelona’s metro-area population is about 4.7 million — compared to 39.4 million for Tokyo. Relative to the…
  • Summer Jobs Are Slowly Disappearing

    Ben Casselman
    13 Aug 2014 | 11:40 am
    Maurice Brown has spent the summer doing something that’s increasingly unusual for American teenagers: going to work.Brown, 17, works 25 hours a week as a fry cook at a McDonald’s down the street from where he lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts. While classmates were at the beach or the mall, Brown was learning life skills — how to behave in a professional workplace, how to multitask when the lunch rush started, how not to talk back when his managers criticized him. He said he hopes the experience will help him get a job after college. And though the pay was low, he was able to buy his…
  • Corporate America Hasn’t Been Disrupted

    Ben Casselman
    8 Aug 2014 | 4:25 am
    Talk to anyone in Silicon Valley these days, and it’s hard to go more than two minutes without hearing about “disruption.” Uber is disrupting the taxi business. Airbnb is disrupting the hotel business. Apple’s iTunes disrupted the music industry, but now risks being disrupted by Spotify. Listen long enough, and it’s hard not to conclude that existing companies, no matter how big and powerful, are all but doomed, marking time until their inevitable overthrow by hoodie-wearing innovators.In fact, the opposite is true. By a wide range of measures, the advantages of incumbency in…
 
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    Vox - All

  • Why one organization is building a clock that will tick for 10,000 years

    Joseph Stromberg
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    When you hear the phrase "long-term," what time span do you think about? The Long Now Foundation wants to get you thinking about the next 10,000 years For most people, a long-term plan is five years. 50 years is an unfathomably long time. 100 years, of course, is longer than most people's lives. The Long Now Foundation wants to get you thinking about the next 10,000 years. "Civilization is revving itself into a pathologically short attention span," writes co-founder Stewart Brand in an essay explaining the central idea of the organization, which was founded in 01996 (they use five-digit…
  • How political science conquered Washington

    Ezra Klein
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    Perhaps the single best thing that's happened to political journalism in the time I've been doing it is the rise of political science. In 2005, when I came to Washington, knowing political science wasn't a legitimate form of knowing about politics, or at least it wasn't presented as one to young journalists like meThere were a few reporters who kept up with the profession — the late, great David Broder was known for attending the American Political Science Association's annual convention, for instance — but, on the whole, political journalism dealt with political science episodically and…
  • Eight facts that explain what’s wrong with American health care

    Sarah Kliff
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    1) Americans pay way, way, way more for health care than anyone else Health care in the United States is expensive. Insanely, outlandishly expensive. We spend $2.8 trillion on healthcare annually. That works out to about one-sixth of the total economy and more than $8,500 per person — and way more than any other country. If the health-care system were to break off from the United States and become its own economy, it would be the fifth-largest in the world. "It would be bigger than the United Kingdom or France and only behind the United States, China, Japan and Germany," says David…
  • Jennifer Lawrence is more than a nude photo

    Alex Abad-Santos
    1 Sep 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Over the weekend, nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and several other female celebrities and athletes were leaked on the internet. The photos were  probably hacked from Lawrence's and her fellow celebrities' phones and computers without their consent — a complete invasion of privacy. But there's something more than just a violation of privacy here. Lawrence isn't the first — Scarlett Johansson was hacked in 2012 — and probably (unfortunately) will not be the last female celebrity or athlete this happens to. And it's time to think about how these hacks, and the interest in them reflect…
  • Three sentences no one should forget about unions

    Ezra Klein
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:10 pm
    Ex-union strategist Richard Yeselson makes a crucial point in his discussion of organized labor with the New Republic's Jonathan Cohn: What's ironic about that is that unions are inherently conservative institutions, which historically developed parallel with the development of capitalism itself. They are as much a part of capitalism as Henry Ford or Apple. Unions use contracts — and there's nothing more intrinsic to capitalism than the right of contract — to link their members to the fortunes of the companies they contract with. This is a point often lost in the debate about unions:…
 
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    Commentary - Money, Banking and Financial Markets

  • Who does macropru for nonbanks?

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:15 am
    A central lesson of the 2007-09 financial crisis is that we should be much more worried about financial intermediation performed outside the banking system. Even if banks are resilient, with capital buffers sufficient to withstand all but the largest shocks, other parts of the financial system can make it fragile. Indeed, making the banks safe may simply shift risk-taking elsewhere.So, to reduce the frequency and severity of financial crises, we must contain systemic risk that comes both from banks and from outside the traditional banking system. To do so, we need regulation of market…
  • China's Capital Controls and the Exchange Rate Regime

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:12 am
    When the Chinese government wanted to damn the great Yangtze River, it moved more than a million people. When it wanted ring roads running through the 20 million people of Beijing, China built 270 miles in less than 30 years. So, when Chinese leaders say that they want Shanghai to be a global financial center and their currency the renminbi (RMB) to be an international leader, it’s natural to ask how, when, and at what cost.In a recent post, we concluded that vast, politically sensitive reforms would be needed to make the RMB a key currency for global finance and central bank reserves. We…
  • Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:24 am
    On the occasion of the Fed’s Jackson Hole Symposium, the New York Sun published an editorial attacking central banking and fiat money. Let’s get this out of the way at the start: we are big fans of both. In our view, the world is a more stable and prosperous place with central banks than it was without them. And fiat money allows a central bank to stabilize the price of goods and services that would be quite volatile if, instead, we chose to steady the price of gold (the Sun’s apparent favorite). The result is higher growth from which we all benefit.We also like tabloids. They’re…
  • Measuring inflation: Signal extraction redux

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    21 Aug 2014 | 5:16 am
    Not long ago, we posted a commentary discussing the difficulty of interpreting GDP data. The problem is one of extracting the true signal of economic growth from the noisy way that we measure output.This signal extraction problem is generic in economics (and other sciences that use statistics). Indeed, one of us began his professional career trying to discern the trend of U.S. inflation. It was 1980 and the inflation numbers were hitting a peak of nearly 20%. The standard operating procedure at the time was to take things like food, energy and some housing-related items out of the index and…
  • To RMB or not to RMB? Lessons from Currency History

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:42 am
    China is the world’s largest trader and (on a purchasing power parity basis) is about to surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy (see chart). China already accounts for about 10% of global trade in goods and services, and over 15% of global economic activity.China and the United States: PPP-adjusted Real GDP (2011 International U.S. Dollars in Trillions) Source: World Bank. Data through 2013. Authors' simulation from 2014 assumes annual growth rate of 6.5% for China and 2.3% for the United States. So, as China takes its place as the biggest economy on the globe, will its…
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    Credence Independent Advisors

  • EU banks to get stress tests ‘a month early’

    Kareem Sattar
    2 Sep 2014 | 12:26 am
    Banks will get preliminary information on how they have fared in the European Central Bank’s landmark assessment of the sector a month early, so they can prepare a “market response”, according to reports. Investors are keenly awaiting the results of the ECB’s unprecedented review, which will force lenders to come to terms with any lingering weaknesses, adjust capital buffers and write off soured loans to regain the trust of investors. The health checks started about six months ago and banks have so far been given little information about the outcome to prevent the…
  • Global Equity markets at their best in August, after five months

    Chris Ferguson
    31 Aug 2014 | 4:04 am
    The trading for the month of August ended on Friday the 29th, witnessing a rise in the global equity markets, reaching their peak in five months, since February. The rise was attributed to the strong U.S. data and German bond yields rising up from their record lows, amid expectations that the European Central Bank (ECB) would ease monetary policy next week, fading away. The S&P 500 index; which is the U.S. benchmark, ended on Friday above the 2,000 milestone for the third time, setting a new closing high. The rise in the S&P for August is the best since February. The euro-zone…
  • France continues to struggle as German confidence erased in ‘one fell swoop’

    Thomas Crowe
    27 Aug 2014 | 11:59 pm
    Outlook for French business remains bleak, while a key consumer gauge in Germany suggests Europe’s biggest economy will “shift down a gear or two at least” France’s new government was dealt an early blow on Wednesday after a key gauge showed business optimism deteriorated in August. French factory confidence fell to its lowest level in more than a year in August, adding to signs that the economy may struggle to grow after a stagnant first half. A slump in retail trade also dragged down overall business optimism.     The French government announced its second…
  • S&P 500 closes above 2,000 for first time

    Dermot Crawford
    26 Aug 2014 | 10:44 pm
    Index boosted by economic data pointing to renewed confidence in the world’s largest economy. The S&P 500, America’s blue-chip index, closed above the 2,000 mark for the first time on Tuesday, as new data bolstered confidence that the world’s largest economy is recovering. The index, which tracks 500 top-tier companies, rose 1pc to end at 2000.2, after a report showed the biggest ever jump in orders of durable goods and fresh figures pointed to an increase in consumer confidence. The S&P 500′s jump burnished a winning streak that has already seen the index set…
  • Markets prepare for money taps to be turned on in the eurozone

    Jamil Al Maani
    26 Aug 2014 | 2:53 am
    Financial markets yesterday placed bets on the European Central Bank (ECB) launching its own emergency bond-purchase programme before the end of the year in order to boost prices and growth in the weakening euro area. The single currency slumped to $1.3198 yesterday, its lowest level against the dollar in almost a year, amid further poor economic data from the eurozone and signs that political dissent over the setting of macro-economic policy is bubbling over. Speaking at the Jackson Hole central bankers’ summit in Wyoming last Friday, the ECB president Mario Draghi sent his strongest…
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