Economics

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Goldman Sachs says “People are People”

    footnoted*
    Michelle Leder
    24 Feb 2015 | 7:32 am
    Buried in the 405-page tome that Goldman Sachs filed at 9:44 pm last Friday — several hours after the SEC closed its electronic window, which means the filing did not become publicly available until Monday morning — was a very interesting (and new) disclosure that provided some insight into the company’s view of the world and should be welcome news to Goldman’s 34,000 employees. In an age of high frequency trading and big data, the company said that human beings are the company’s greatest resource. This disclosure came buried at the bottom of a 1,500 word risk…
  • Links 3/4/15

    naked capitalism
    Yves Smith
    4 Mar 2015 | 3:55 am
  • Greecification of Spanish Politics and the Lies of Spain's Ministers

    Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:22 pm
    There's an excellent post on Keep Talking Greece this evening on the simmering feud between Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and Spanish prime minister Minister Mariano Rajoy.Tsipras made a claim that Rajoy's plan is to "wear down, topple or bring our government to unconditional surrender before our work begins to bear fruit and before the Greek example affects other countries… And mainly before the elections in Spain. ... for obvious political reasons".Spanish foreign minister García Margallo, returned fire with a statement (a lie actually), that “Had Spain not given  €32.744…
  • “Middle-Class Economics”

    The Baseline Scenario
    James Kwak
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:46 am
    By James Kwak Supposedly President Obama is making “middle-class economics” one of the key themes of his final two years in office. I don’t really know what this is supposed to mean in a country where people making ten times the median household income call themselves “middle class” and there are tens of millions of people in poverty. For starters, I think it’s important to understand the distribution of wealth in the country as it stands today. That’s the theme of a story I wrote on Medium earlier this week, “The Magnitude of…
  • Bill Gross: Too Much Debt, Too Many Zombie Corporations, Low Interest Rates Destroy Pension System

    Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis
    2 Mar 2015 | 6:54 pm
    In an Bloomberg Television interview Bill Gross of Janus Capital spoke with Bloomberg Television's Trish Regan about the outlook for Federal Reserve policy, the U.S. economy and his objectives at Janus Capital.Key Quotes"Not even thin gruel is being offered to our modern-day Oliver Twist investors. You have to pay to come to the dinner table and then sit there staring at an empty plate." "The interest rate can't be raised substantially even over the next two to three years.""The US has escaped the liquidity trap that euroland and Japan are in. But, not necessarily for all time.""[Low interest…
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    Real Time Economics

  • The 2009 FOMC Laugh Track: Fed Humor in a Bleak Economic Year

    Sudeep Reddy
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:06 am
    Ben Bernanke in July 2009 Getty Images Federal Reserve policy makers faced a dark economic outlook as 2009 began. They cut some of the tension at their Federal Open Market Committee meetings with their usual brand of central banking humor. The FOMC’s 11 meetings and phone calls in 2009 featured 303 moments of laughter–marked in the transcripts, released Wednesday, by a [Laughter] tag. We’ve collected some of the best and worst ones here. Many of these were lame cracks to bring a bit of levity to an otherwise long and dreary gathering. If you read the transcripts for the jokes (Pro tip:…
  • Fed’s George: Fed Should Raise Rates in Middle of the Year

    Michael S. Derby
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:02 am
    NEW YORK—Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George wants to see the U.S. central bank start raising short-term interest rates at some point over the summer, worrying that if Fed doesn’t get moving soon future rate increases may have to be more aggressive. “I continue to support liftoff towards the middle of this year due to improvement in the labor market, expectations of firmer inflation, and the balance of risks over the medium and longer run,” Ms. George said in the text of a speech prepared for a local event in Kansas City, Mo. “Waiting until economic…
  • Fed’s Evans Sees Early 2016 as Timeframe for Rate Increase

    Mark Peters and Michael S. Derby
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:38 am
    LAKE FOREST, Ill.—Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Wednesday the Federal Reserve should hold off until early 2016 to raise interest rates, saying that acting before inflation comes more into line with the central bank’s target could hurt its credibility. The central banker, whose remarks came to reporters after a speech here, said he is going into this month’s meeting of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee, where he holds a vote this year, with an open mind. But he added that current data isn’t showing the uplift in inflation needed to convince…
  • Fed’s Evans Says Low Inflation Is A Bit of a Puzzle

    Mark Peters and Michael S. Derby
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:15 am
    LAKE FOREST, Ill.–Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Wednesday that low inflation remains a bit of a puzzle as the economy shows momentum. Mr. Evans, whose remarks came during a question-and-answer session here, described the economy as doing better and showing momentum. But he said that isn’t enough to merit a rate increase until 2016 because of low inflation, which has fallen short of the central bank’s 2% price target for nearly three years. The central banker said low inflation isn’t just an issue here, but one that is being seen around the world. He…
  • Live Tour: The Federal Reserve’s 2009 Transcripts

    WSJ Staff
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:05 am
    March 17, 2009: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke with board members at a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve’s interest rate-setting body, in Washington. Reuters Join us as we dig into full transcripts released by the Federal Reserve today of its Federal Open Market Committee meetings in 2009, a busy year, indeed. As the economy turned a corner, who got it right and who got it really wrong? Who was worried about inflation and who was eager to raise rates? What was the debate about launching quantitative easing? And what made policy makers…
 
 
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    Alpha.Sources

  • Regulative Mission Creep?

    CV
    8 Feb 2015 | 11:00 pm
    The financial sector has been regulated and fined into submission following the crisis, but the equity research team at Credit Suisse had a rebellious thought this weekend. In a piece extolling the virtues of dividend stocks, they postulate the following development: As bond yields fall to zero, duration matching for pension funds and insurance companies becomes nearly impossible and, consequently, we believe there will be significant pressure on regulators to allow higher equity weightings. On the global equity strategy team, we see a scenario where pension funds and insurance companies are…
  • Tightrope Walking

    CV
    1 Feb 2015 | 1:22 am
    Investors face some big questions at the moment, and depending on which answer you pick, your asset allocation will differ substantially.  The big macroeconomic question can be summed up in a discussion about inflation v deflation. The global economy are currently affected by three deflationary head winds . Firstly, the need to repair balance sheets following the crisis in 2008; secondly, the slowdown in China and unravelling of investment tied up in the commodities space; and thirdly, rapidly ageing populations in Europe and Japan. Faced with such tremendous forces, you would argue that…
  • Exclusive: Transcript from ECB canteen 14.00 CET 22/11/15

    CV
    22 Jan 2015 | 9:28 am
    With sincere apologies to Geri Halliwel   The Eurostoxx is rising Bears are getting low  According to our sources  The ECB’s the place to go    Cause' today for the first time  Just about half past two  For the first time in history It's gonna start raining euros    It's raining euros Hallejulah It's raining euros Amen   It's raining euros Hallejulah It's raining euros Amen   The periphery is rising  Weideman’s getting low  According to our sources  The ECB’s the place to go    Cause' today…
  • Dodging Bullets

    CV
    16 Jan 2015 | 8:27 am
    What a week. If you are still standing, I suppose that counts for something in itself. I retain my relatively constructive stance towards this not being a repeat of 2008, but we should not be blind. The market is trading shit and anyone being long risk the last six months must feel a bit like Neo from the Matrix. So you managed to dodge the oil bullet, you managed to dodge the HY bullet, you managed to dodge the copper bullet and you managed to dodge the CHF bullet ... but will you dodge the next? Meanwhile, the bull market in benchmark fixed income is now getting silly, and I wonder…
  • Too Many Cheerleaders?

    CV
    13 Jan 2015 | 11:13 am
    After doing away with the extremes in my recent post, and advocating a continuing constructive market stance based on country and sector rotation, I thought that I needed to put a face on the anti-thesis of Hussman whom I, perhaps unfairly, stung a little bit. You will not find a more hardened advocate for the bull market than Jeffries' David Zervos and his (in)famous Spoos and Blues call, recently re-wamped into a Spoos and Qs variant. In one of his latest missive, he notes;  With all that said, I feel just fine about our Spoos and Q’s call for 2014. Adding that to the trophy…
 
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    re: The Auditors

  • Deloitte US First Female CEO; There’s More We Don’t Know

    Francine
    2 Mar 2015 | 4:29 pm
    Wouldn’t it be nice if investors and other interested parties could look up Cathy Engelbert in a public and easily accessible registry and find out about all the audit clients where she has been a lead partner or a Quality Control partner? Has she ever been named in a lawsuit or been sanctioned? Let’s hope not. Here’s what I think really matters about Engelbert’s appointment. From my piece at Medium.com. More important than being a woman is the fact that Engelbert is an audit leader rather than a consulting or tax leader. EY’s chose its new US CEO from its tax lobbying…
  • PwC Settles Campbell Overtime Case; Impact To Profession Is Happening Now

    Francine
    2 Mar 2015 | 4:22 pm
    PwC recently agreed to settle the Campbell v. PwC overtime class action lawsuit pending in California. Two former unlicensed PwC accounting associates, with the support of law firm Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, filed a motion on October 24, 2007 that sought to certify a class of all associates and senior associates employed by PwC in California. I first wrote about the case on October 25, 2007. Here’s an excerpt from my wrap-up at Medium.com. The accounting profession wants to be elite, like law, even though the public accounting business model at the largest firms is built on the…
  • Speaking Engagements/Conferences

    Francine
    2 Mar 2015 | 4:40 am
    I’m on the road visiting universities, attending select conferences and forums and speaking to groups of all kinds. If you would like me to visit your university and your accounting/audit program, please write soon to lock in fall and winter dates. Contact me at fmckenna@mckennapartners.com to schedule a presentation at your university, conference, firm or for a private briefing. Coming Up: March 23-24, 2014, I’ve been asked again, my 5th year, to be a preliminary judge for the Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. ( I am a two-time award…
  • When Auditors Get Mixed Up In M&A, Smaller Clients Get Hurt

    Francine
    3 Feb 2015 | 9:21 am
    Over at Medium.com I’ve written about a new academic study, Shared Auditors in Mergers and Acquisitionsto be published soon in the Journal of Accounting and Economics that documents an interesting, rarely commented on auditor conflict of interest. The data suggests that when an acquiring company and its target share the same auditor, the audit firms favor acquirers at the expense of the smaller target audit clients. The researchers are also more bold than I have ever seen in an academic study in alleging that auditors prioritize their own self-interest and larger clients by using…
  • Journalists’ Obligations In The Shareholder Value Maximization Debate

    Francine
    14 Jan 2015 | 2:53 pm
    I wrote at Medium.com on January 6 about two journalists, both at the New York Times, who penned sympathetic stories about shareholders and other stakeholders that were paid short shrift when dominant shareholders or corporate insiders dominate the agenda. These journalists, in service to shorter and simpler narratives, shortcut coverage of the active and contentious debate about shareholder value maximization. Nelson Schwartz’s December 6 piece, “How Wall Street Bent Steel: Timken Bows to Activist Investors, and Splits in Two” describes the crying shame in Ohio of “activist…
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    The American Prospect

  • Saving Obama from a Bad Trade Deal

    Kevin P. Gallagher
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:50 am
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) In this June 11, 2013, photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, prior to a trip to Europe for a Group of Eight summit of major Western democracies, where the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with Europe was be a top item. The deal is touted as a means of boosting growth and jobs by eliminating tariffs and other barriers, but those expectations are unlikely to be fulfilled in the deal, which would benefit corporations far more than governments or citizens, which would likely be hurt. Plans to…
  • Netanyahu's Campaign Road Show Comes to Washington

    Gershom Gorenberg
    3 Mar 2015 | 2:56 pm
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves as he step to the podium prior to speaking before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015.  In the end, Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before Congress was precisely what was expected from the beginning, from the day that House Speaker John Boehner publicly invited the Israeli prime minister: an Israeli campaign event before a more impressive and much more sycophantic audience than the Israeli prime minister could have found at home; a Republican show designed to use Israel against…
  • The Perils of Privatization

    Ann Hagedorn
    3 Mar 2015 | 6:50 am
    This article appears as part of a special report, "What the Free Market Can't Do," in the Winter 2015 issue of  The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here. One November morning in 2004, three U.S. military men boarded a small turboprop plane at Bagram Air Base near Kabul for a two-and-a-half-hour flight to Farah, a base in western Afghanistan. They were Lieutenant Colonel Michael McMahon, Chief Warrant Officer Travis Grogan, and Specialist Harley Miller, the only passengers on Flight 61. The flight was operated by an affiliate of Blackwater, the private military company under U.S.
  • Is Hillary a Sure Thing in 2016?

    Robert Kuttner
    3 Mar 2015 | 5:45 am
    (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Woods) Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Wednesday, January 21, 2015.  This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post. You hear two competing stories about Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in 2016. According to the first, she has a lock on the nomination and the election. Hillary is sure to win the nomination, in this narrative, because there are no other plausible candidates, especially if Elizabeth Warren doesn't get in. And Clinton begins with a…
  • CPAC Labor Panel Does GOP No Favors in Outreach to Latinos, Women

    Rachel M. Cohen
    1 Mar 2015 | 9:25 pm
    (Photo: Ron Sachs / CNP via AP Images) Governor Scott Walker, Republican of Wisconsin, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National at National Harbor, Maryland on Thursday, February 26, 2015. He's expected to sign new anti-union legislation, passed by the Wisconsin Senate on the day before, into law if, as is likely, the bill passes the state assembly. On February 26, day one of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, a panel convened on the state of the labor movement. To describe the tone of presenters as…
 
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Links and Tweets...

    J. Bradford DeLong
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:52 pm
    Lunchtime Must-Read: Zachary Tracer: Hospital Stocks Surge After Justice Kennedy Criticizes Obamacare Challenge http://equitablegrowth.org/?p=9616 Michael Tomasky: "[Michael Schmidt's New York] Times piece... says that there were ‘new’ regulations that Clinton was supposed to abide by.... So if these new regulations went into effect after she left State, then what rule did she violate, exactly?.... The [New York] Times has some questions to answer to: Did you know that the new regs went into effect after Clinton left office? And if you didn’t, why not? And if you did, why did…
  • Liveblogging History: James A. Garfield: Inaugural Address, 1881

    J. Bradford DeLong
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:38 pm
    James A. Garfield: Inaugural Address, 1881: Fellow-Citizens: WE stand to-day upon an eminence which overlooks a hundred years of national life—a century crowded with perils, but crowned with the triumphs of liberty and law. Before continuing the onward march let us pause on this height for a moment to strengthen our faith and renew our hope by a glance at the pathway along which our people have traveled. It is now three days more than a hundred years since the adoption of the first written constitution of the United States—the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The new…
  • 4 Mar 2015 | 10:03 am

    J. Bradford DeLong
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:03 am
    Lunchtime Must-Read: Zachary Tracer: Hospital Stocks Surge After Justice Kennedy Criticizes Obamacare Challenge: "Tenet Healthcare Corp. and HCA Holdings Inc. led a rally among hospital companies as a Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare’s insurance subsidies drew questions from a pivotal justice... ...Anthony Kennedy... said Wednesday there is a ‘powerful’ point to the Obama administration’s argument that the health-care law would fall apart if the subsidies were ruled unlawful. ‘There is a serious constitutional problem,’ Kennedy said, if the court rules for the challengers’…
  • The Very Puzzling Political Economy of King v. Burwell: Focus

    J. Bradford DeLong
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:49 am
    Over at Equitable Growth: Ezra Klein, one of the viri illustres making us hope that the press corps over the next generation will actually be a net plus to the nation (cough, Judy Miller of the New York Times; cough, Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post) has a good post that, I think, misses one important point: Ezra Klein: Republican States Suffer If Obamacare Loses at the Supreme Court: "For Republicans, the challenge to Obamacare's individual mandate made good political sense... READ MOAR ...if the mandate was repealed, it would cripple the law.... The White House would have to agree to... at…
  • Equitable Growth Conference in a Box: Topics: Focus

    J. Bradford DeLong
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:50 am
    Over at Equitable Growth: More often than I would have thought likely, people ask me: "We're thinking of having a conference about economic inequality What should be on the agenda?" My standard answer makes three points: Have the conference about not inequality but equitable growth. "Inequality" automatically forces you into a partisan political frame, and you may want to get there at the end of your conference but you probably do not want to start there. Focus down: you cannot cover the whole topic--you need to pick one or two or three subtopics if you are going to…
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    Calculated Risk

  • Yellen in June 2009: Sluggish Recovery, Low inflation for "few years"

    Bill McBride
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:40 am
    The Federal Reserve released the transcripts for the 2009 FOMC meetings today. Here is SF Fed President Janet Yellen in June 2009: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. At our meeting in late April, we had begun to see hopeful signs of impending economic recovery, and subsequent economic and financial developments have strengthened the view that the economy is bottoming out. Even so, the outlook over the next several years remains disturbing. My modal forecast shows economic growth resuming next quarter, but I expect the recovery to be quite gradual. The output and employment gaps are, at a minimum, quite…
  • ISM Non-Manufacturing Index increased to 56.9% in February

    Bill McBride
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:00 am
    The February ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 56.9%, up from 56.7% in January. The employment index increased in February to 56.4%, up from 51.6% in January. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction. From the Institute for Supply Management: February 2015 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in February for the 61st consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.The report was issued today by Anthony Nieves, CPSM, C.P.M., CFPM,…
  • ADP: Private Employment increased 212,000 in February

    Bill McBride
    4 Mar 2015 | 5:19 am
    From ADP: Private sector employment increased by 212,000 jobs from January to February according to the February ADP National Employment Report®. ... The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis....Goods-producing employment rose by 31,000 jobs in February, down from 45,000 jobs gained in January. The construction industry added 31,000 jobs, the same number as last month. Meanwhile, manufacturing added 3,000 jobs in February, well below January’s 15,000.Service-providing…
  • MBA: Mortgage Applications Little Changed in Latest Weekly Survey

    Bill McBride
    4 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Little Changed in Latest MBA Weekly SurveyMortgage applications increased 0.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 27, 2015. ...The Refinance Index increased 1 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.2 percent from one week earlier....The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.96 percent from 3.99…
  • Wednesday: ADP Employment, ISM non-Manufacturing, Beige Book

    Bill McBride
    3 Mar 2015 | 4:11 pm
    Wednesday:• At 7:00 AM ET, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.• At 8:15 AM, the ADP Employment Report for February. This report is for private payrolls only (no government). The consensus is for 220,000 payroll jobs added in February, up from 213,000 in January.• At 10:00 AM, the ISM non-Manufacturing Index for February. The consensus is for a reading of 56.5, down from 56.7 in January. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion.• At 2:00 PM, Federal Reserve Beige Book, an informal review by the Federal Reserve…
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    Crooked Timber

  • French Existentialism and the Theatre of the Absurd

    Juliet Sorensen
    3 Mar 2015 | 8:06 am
    (Author’s Note: this following was published in the “Tales Out of School” column of the Winter 2015 edition of Andover Magazine. I thought the Crooked Timber community might find it of interest, as well.) We weren’t walking like animals with horns. “Rappelez-vous, vous êtes des rhinocéros!” exhorted Mr. Sturges, swinging his own head ponderously back and forth in the approximation of a rhino’s.  And so we moved, on all fours in a chilly classroom in Sam Phil, trying for all the world to embody the humans in…
  • Guest blogger: Juliet Sorensen

    Eszter Hargittai
    2 Mar 2015 | 7:05 pm
    I’m delighted to introduce Juliet Sorensen who is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern Law School’s Center for International Human Rights. Instead of annotating her CV here, I’d rather share how we met. The Public Voices Fellowship is an initiative of The OpEd Project whose mission is to get more under-represented voices onto oped pages. In 2013-14, both Juliet and I participated in the program at Northwestern. Over the course of the academic year, we attended four day-long workshops with 18 fellow Northwestern faculty members to learn about the ins-and-outs…
  • A pig in a poke

    John Quiggin
    1 Mar 2015 | 9:43 pm
    I’m doing some work on the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, currently being negotiated in secret by diplomats and business representatives from 12 countries. Two facts of interest (a) Australia’s Trade Minister Andrew Robb is claiming that a final agreement might be reached by mid-March. While this looks over-optimistic, it implies there is a near-final text (b) Obama has sought “fast-track” negotiating authority, but there is no sign that this is going to happen soon, given that quite a few Democrats oppose the deal outright, and many Republicans are…
  • Sunday photoblogging: Baltimore, Cork.

    Chris Bertram
    1 Mar 2015 | 2:29 am
  • Awakening to Cultural Studies

    Corey Robin
    28 Feb 2015 | 12:28 pm
    Leonard Nimoy’s death reminded me of a moment in college. I don’t remember what year it was, but I was talking with a student who was writing a paper—or was it his senior thesis?—on Star Trek. The paper/thesis was about how the TV show’s representations of race filtered and processed various anxieties and aspirations of the Cold War, particularly ideas about civil rights in the US and decolonization abroad. Recalling this conversation, I was reminded of one of the critical aspects of my college education: realizing that mass culture or popular culture…
 
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    Econbrowser

  • Guest Contribution: “Analyzing Recent Trends in the U.S. Wealth Distribution”

    Menzie Chinn
    3 Mar 2015 | 6:03 pm
    Today we are fortunate to present a guest contribution written by Ricardo T. Fernholz, Assistant Professor of Economics at Claremont McKenna College. Recent trends in income and wealth inequality have drawn much attention from both academics and the general public. Atkinson, Piketty, and Saez (2011) and Saez and Zucman (2014), among others, document these trends for different countries around the world and have prompted a substantive debate about the underlying causes and the appropriate policy responses, if any. A General Approach In new research (Fernholz, 2015), I develop a general…
  • Some Government Workers Will Get Pay Raises in Wisconsin

    Menzie Chinn
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:29 am
    From State troopers who protect Governor given $4 an hour pay raise: Just after Republican lawmakers announced they were rejecting raises for rank-and-file state troopers, Gov. Scott Walker’s administration granted $4-an-hour raises to the State Patrol officers responsible for protecting the governor. … The pay bump will cost the state about $36,500 and comes at a time when the Republican governor is routinely traveling out of state — with the officers for security — to attend what amount to campaign events leading up to a presidential run. The top two Republicans in the…
  • What is the new normal for the real interest rate?

    James_Hamilton
    1 Mar 2015 | 8:48 am
    The yield on a 10-year Treasury inflation protected security was negative through much of 2012 and 2013, and remains today below 0.25%. Have we entered a new era in which a real rate near zero is the new normal? That’s the subject of a new paper that I just completed with Ethan Harris, head of global economics research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Jan Hatzius chief economist of Goldman Sachs, and Kenneth West professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin, which we presented at the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum annual conference in New York on Friday. For the project we…
  • The Measurement and Display of Data Series

    Menzie Chinn
    27 Feb 2015 | 12:15 pm
    What are these series? They are log GDP for the first terms of the most recent seven presidencies, SAAR, normalized to the quarter of inauguration. Figure 2: Nominal GDP, billions of $, SAAR, normalized to quarter of inauguration of first term for Obama (blue), GW Bush (red), Clinton (green), GHW Bush (black), Reagan (teal), Carter (purple), Nixon (chartreuse). Source: BEA (2014Q4 second release), and author’s calculations. Some would object that using nominal GDP is misleading. In defense of reporting nominal magnitudes, reader Ironman writes: It is our practice to always present…
  • (Not) The Leader of the Pack, Again: Wisconsin and Her Neighbors

    Menzie Chinn
    26 Feb 2015 | 2:10 pm
    Political Calculations criticizes me for comparing Wisconsin economic performance against Minnesota, but not other neighbors. Normally, we’re entertained by Chinn’s analysis, since it frequently involves comparisons of the job growth between Wisconsin and its western neighbor Minnesota since Walker was sworn into office in January 2011, which we find funny because of all the states surrounding Wisconsin, the composition of Wisconsin’s economy is much less similar to Minnesota than it is to any of the states with which the state shares waterfront footage on Lake Michigan,…
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    EconLog: Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Illegal Means Illegal

    David Henderson
    4 Mar 2015 | 3:31 pm
    (March 4, 2015 03:31 PM, by David Henderson) What's the difference between Silk Road and e-Bay? George Washington University political science professor Henry Farrell recently wrote a piece titled "Dark Leviathan." He states his case so well that I won't try to paraphrase it. Instead, I'll quote one... (0 COMMENTS)
  • Scoring Your Ukraine Predictions

    Bryan Caplan
    4 Mar 2015 | 12:06 am
    (March 4, 2015 12:06 AM, by Bryan Caplan) I just reviewed all 50 responses to my original Ukraine prediction challenge.  Seven comments did not make unconditional predictions, and two were obvious jokes.  Here's how I scored the remaining 41 sets of predictions:1. My last post named six major... (2 COMMENTS)
  • Krugman's Priceless Economics

    David Henderson
    3 Mar 2015 | 3:53 pm
    (March 3, 2015 03:53 PM, by David Henderson) As regular readers of my posts on Econlog know, although I am often critical of Paul Krugman, I defend him when he's doing good economics (here, for example). His New York Times column yesterday, though, "Walmart's Visible Hand," essentially throws... (27 COMMENTS)
  • The last New Keynesian left alive

    Scott Sumner
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:42 am
    (March 3, 2015 11:42 AM, by Scott Sumner) I've done numerous posts pointing out that prior to 2008, New Keynesian economists believed the fiscal multiplier was roughly zero. Paul Krugman used to say that aggregate demand was essentially whatever Alan Greenspan wanted it to be. Jared Pincin sent... (8 COMMENTS)
  • What Happened in Ukraine

    Bryan Caplan
    3 Mar 2015 | 12:09 am
    (March 3, 2015 12:09 AM, by Bryan Caplan) A year ago I challenged EconLog readers to make unconditional predictions about the Ukraine conflict:Challenge: In the comments, go on the record and predict what will actually come of the emerging Ukrainian-Russian conflict.  Only unconditional, falsifiable predictions count.  No claims... (5 COMMENTS)
 
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    Economist's View

  • 'Rep. Paul Ryan is Getting the Economics Wrong on Cap and Trade and a Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax'

    Mark Thoma
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:54 am
    Paul Ryan says "I do not like cap and trade because I think the costs far outweigh the benefits." John Whitehead (who provides the Ryan quotes) responds: Rep. Paul Ryan is getting the economics wrong on cap and trade and a revenue neutral carbon tax: Way wrong... The costs of cap and trade do not outweigh the benefits. It might be the case that the costs of a climate policy, any climate policy, outweigh the benefits. But cap and trade is a policy instrument, not something for which you conduct a benefit-cost analysis. The economics says that if the government decided to undertake…
  • 'How Higher Education Perpetuates Intergenerational Inequality '

    Mark Thoma
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:46 am
    Bad news for those who propose education as the solution to inequality: How Higher Education Perpetuates Intergenerational Inequality, by Tim Taylor: Part of the mythology of US higher education is that it offers a meritocracy, along with a lot of second chances, so that smart and hard-working students of all background have a genuine chance to succeed--no matter their family income. But the data certainly seems to suggest that family income has a lot to do with whether a student will attend college in the first place, and even more to do with whether a student will obtain a four-year college…
  • 'No Guarantees, No Trade!'

    Mark Thoma
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:24 am
    Friederike Niepmann and Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr of the NY Fed's Liberty Street Economics blog:  No Guarantees, No Trade!: World trade fell 20 percent relative to world GDP in 2008 and 2009. Since then, there has been much debate about the role of trade finance in the Great Trade Collapse. Distress in the financial sector can have a strong impact on international trade because exporters require additional working capital and rely on specific financial products, in particular letters of credit, to cope with risks when selling abroad. In this post, which is based on a recent Staff…
  • Links for 03-04-15

    Mark Thoma
    4 Mar 2015 | 12:06 am
    How Negative Can Rates Go? - Paul Krugman To Fight Inequality, Tax Land - Bloomberg View Impossible choices, & markets - Stumbling and Mumbling Recessions and the making of career criminals - Vox EU The Fed Is Weird. Get Over It. - Bloomberg View Robots are hurting middle class workers - Lawrence Summers Taxes and fairness in an era of high inequality - Heather Boushey Improving the Oversight of Large Financial Institutions - Janet Yellen Financial aid information helps US colleges price discriminate - Vox EU The Constitutionality of the Second Bank of the United States - Brad DeLong…
  • 'Can Competition Fix Net Non-Neutrality?'

    Mark Thoma
    3 Mar 2015 | 9:52 am
    Joshua Gans: Can competition fix net non-neutrality?: Short answer: it isn’t obvious that it can. Let me back up a second and explain why I am revisiting this issue again. Tim Harford published an article a few days ago that took his masterful econsplaining skills to the issue of net neutrality. But in providing his characteristically clear exposition, he crystallised where many economists (including Tim) slip up on the issue of whether broadband competition would get rid of net non-neutrality and make net neutrality regulations redundant. ... The problem here is that we believe that…
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    EconTalk

  • David Zetland on Water

    Russell Roberts
    2 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    David Zetland of Leiden University College in the Netherlands and author of Living with Water Scarcity talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of water management. Issues covered include the sustainability of water supplies, the affordability of water for the poor, the incentives water companies face, and the management of water systems in the poorest countries. Also discussed are the diamond and water paradox, campaigns to reduce water usage, and the role of prices in managing a water system. Play Time: 1:00:02 How do I listen to a podcast? Download Size:27.6 MB…
  • Steil Follow-up

    Russ Roberts
    26 Feb 2015 | 1:10 pm
    I want to thank everyone who responded to the Benn Steil continuing education post. Most of the responses were related to the question about war's impact on GDP and why I thought war was bad for the economy even though it boosts GDP. Listener/reader David Hurwitz did a nice job on these topics. He wrote: Wartime spending meant less of everything consumers would want like cars, refrigerators, more housing square feet per person, etc. Thus in a real sense, the economy is worse off in terms of both production goods that exist in the world, and net global economic capability as a consequence of…
  • Continuing Education... Mike Munger on Choosing in Groups

    Amy Willis
    26 Feb 2015 | 5:21 am
    Last year's most popular guest, Duke University's Mike Munger, was back on EconTalk this week, discussing the process of choosing in groups. Their conversation ranged from Odysseus to the Lewis and Clark expedition, and more. Now it's your turn...Choose one of the questions below and submit your reply via email to mail@econtalk.org by midnight on Monday. Some of the responses will again be highlighted in our follow-up. Thanks for helping us continue the conversation. 1. Munger and Roberts, in discussing the Lewis and Clark expedition, suggest there is something "fundamentally human" about…
  • Your Favorite Episodes of 2014

    Russ Roberts
    24 Feb 2015 | 4:52 pm
    I want to thank everyone who completed the survey--almost 1200 people responded from over 60 countries. Here are the top ten episodes of 2014 as voted by you. Every episode got at least 3% of the vote. The top episode got 25%. I especially want to thank you for your comments. Your interest in EconTalk and your appreciation for our efforts is deeply satisfying to me. I hope 2015 can be even better as we try to add ways for you to deepen your learning if that interests you. 1. Michael Munger on the Sharing Economy 2. Marc Andreessen on Venture Capital and the Digital Future 3. Bryan Caplan on…
  • Michael Munger on Choosing in Groups

    Russell Roberts
    23 Feb 2015 | 3:30 am
    Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book (co-authored with Kevin Munger), Choosing in Groups. Munger lays out the challenges of group decision-making and the challenges of agreeing on constitutions or voting rules for group decision-making. The conversation highlights some of the challenges of majority rule and uses the Lewis and Clark expedition as an example. Play Time: 1:15:12 How do I listen to a podcast? Download Size:34.5 MB Right-click or Option-click, and select "Save Link/Target As MP3. Readings and Links related to this podcast…
 
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    Environmental Economics

  • State CO2 emissions release

    John Whitehead
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:28 am
    From greenh-gas@mailer.eia.gov: These estimates of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) are based on the State Energy Data System. The state data include a summary table with total energy-related CO2 by state beginning in 1990, a table with emissions by fuel in 2012 and a table with emissions by sector in 2012. Detailed tables for individual states provide emissions by fuel and sector for data beginning in 1980. Documentation for methodology is also included on the page.  See the all State tables at: http://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/state/state_emissions.cfm There must be a research…
  • Rep. Paul Ryan is getting the economics wrong on cap and trade and a revenue neutral carbon tax

    John Whitehead
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:27 am
    Way wrong:  Q: Higher natural gas and oil production is great for energy independence. How concerned, though, are you about climate change? A: Well, look at it this way: Are we going to be a fossil fuel dependent economy for the medium term? Yes. Our entire economy is wired for that. So should we get it from the Middle East, or should we get it from ourselves? And natural gas is cleaner fuel. You can get into this modeling debate about climate change, and I think the jury is out as to the cost and benefits of these ideas. I do not like cap and trade because I think the costs far outweigh the…
  • Quote of the Day: Whether you're heterodox, orthodox or paradox, it's a good quote

    Tim Haab
    3 Mar 2015 | 12:31 pm
    “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” Murray Rothbard HT: SP via FB
  • When was the last time you saw "permanent income hypothesis" in the news?

    John Whitehead
    3 Mar 2015 | 8:22 am
    Today: While few outside of Texas and North Dakota are complaining about this huge savings that consumers have enjoyed since energy prices began falling last summer, economists have been stumped recently trying to figure out exactly what consumers are doing with the windfall. They have not gone on a shopping spree at the mall or online. Results at many retail chains have been mixed, and some stores that are middle-class fixtures, like Sears and J.C. Penney, continue to struggle. One hint at what consumers might be thinking came Monday, when new government data on the economy showed a healthy…
  • What is a California beach town willing to pay to avoid oil drilling?

    John Whitehead
    3 Mar 2015 | 6:48 am
    Numbers. I can't resist: On Tuesday, the residents of Hermosa Beach are going to vote yet again on an oil and gas drilling initiative — whether to allow a contract with the energy company E&B Natural Resources Management to proceed despite a current drilling ban. The contract, which could mean hundreds of millions of dollars for the local government, received final approval from the City Council in 1992, but it has been in limbo ever since. A vote to block the drilling would come at an unusual cost: $17.5 million in damages to the energy company, the equivalent of about half the…
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    footnoted*

  • Goldman Sachs says “People are People”

    Michelle Leder
    24 Feb 2015 | 7:32 am
    Buried in the 405-page tome that Goldman Sachs filed at 9:44 pm last Friday — several hours after the SEC closed its electronic window, which means the filing did not become publicly available until Monday morning — was a very interesting (and new) disclosure that provided some insight into the company’s view of the world and should be welcome news to Goldman’s 34,000 employees. In an age of high frequency trading and big data, the company said that human beings are the company’s greatest resource. This disclosure came buried at the bottom of a 1,500 word risk…
  • A very good deal at Ross Dress for Less

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    20 Feb 2015 | 10:52 am
    Anyone who’s ever shopped at a Ross Dress for Less knows what to expect: fluorescent lights highlighting piles of off-price clothes and shoes. Shopping there is more about the hunt for a good deal than anything else. Judging by this 8-K filed earlier today, a former Ross executive has found an unusually good deal — one most Ross shoppers could only fantasize about. For the next two years, Doug Baker, the former chief merchandising officer at Ross’ dd’s DISCOUNTS, will collect his regular base salary of $960,000. He’ll also get bonuses — up to 75% of his…
  • Straight talk in filings?

    Michelle Leder
    4 Feb 2015 | 8:11 am
    SEC filings are not exactly known for their straight talk. Executives resign to spend more time with their families. And there’s never (ever!) any disagreements when the executives or directors or the accounting firms that audit the companies step down suddenly. In other words, it’s not exactly the “Straight Talk Express” So you can imagine our surprise when we came across this 8-K that The Fresh Market filed late in the day a few weeks ago. In it, the company said it “had terminated” the employment of CEO Craig Carlock. I think that most people would read…
  • CFO Picks Doughnuts Over Steaks

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    15 Jan 2015 | 8:41 am
    We noticed a strange coincidence in the filings earlier this week made by two different restaurant companies. First came this 8-K filed by casual steak chain, Texas Roadhouse Inc. on Jan. 12 , in which it disclosed at the very bottom of the filing that Price Cooper IV had renewed his employment agreement on Jan. 8. Later that same day, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. announced that Cooper had been named its new CFO. It struck us a bit odd. Why would Cooper renew his employment agreement with Texas Roadhouse, a company he had been working at for the past nine years, when it seems pretty likely…
  • SEC filings stats in 2014: a look back

    Michelle Leder
    5 Jan 2015 | 11:10 am
    Each year, once the numbers become available, we like to take a look at some of the SEC filings stats for the prior year. As we tweeted on Friday, there were 668,635 filings made to the SEC in 2014, which represented a modest uptick from the 655,846 filings made in 2013. But those numbers really only tell a small piece of the story. As we do each year, we asked the folks at Morningstar Document Research to help us crunch the numbers to figure out which date is the busiest day for filings (Valentine’s Day…again), which companies filed the most filings (pick your favorite large…
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    Free exchange

  • Lights, action, cut

    J.O'S. | MUMBAI
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:20 am
    LIKE most other central banks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has a schedule for its monetary-policy meetings—firm dates on which its top brass gathers to consider changing interest rates. But much of the important action is now taking place between such meetings. On March 4th, the RBI cut its main interest rate by 0.25 percentage points, to 7.5%, the second such reduction in three months. Like the previous cut, in January, it was made outside the bank’s normal cycle of meetings. Is anxiety about the economy making the RBI trigger-happy or does something else explain this?The previous…
  • The two worlds of deindustrialisation

    C.W. | INDIANAPOLIS AND GARY
    4 Mar 2015 | 5:55 am
    INDIANA is a state of economic contrasts. Indianapolis, its biggest city, is dominated by thriving high-tech industries such as aerospace and chemical manufacturing. Its third Congressional district has the highest proportion of the workforce employed in manufacturing of any district in the country. A few hours’ drive away, though, lies Gary. Since the collapse of its steel industry in the 1980s, the city's economy has imploded. The poverty rate is extremely high. On a Sunday afternoon, Gary's main street was nearly deserted; most of the shops were boarded up.Indianapolis and Gary are two…
  • That will do nicely

    THE NEWS TEAM
    4 Mar 2015 | 1:53 am
    INDIA'S central bank cut its main interest rate from 7.75% to 7.5% today, giving qualified approval to the government's recent budget. Last month the bank had said that future interest-rate reductions would depend on fiscal rectitude. The cut came a day after the government set a formal inflation target for the bank, of 4%, from 2016-17.Dig deeper:India's new budget included plenty of overdue reforms (February 2015)Now is the moment for the Indian economy to shine (February 2015)
  • Easier said than done

    C.R. | LONDON
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:39 am
    IN THE run up to Britain's next general election, due to be held in May, the Conservatives plan to focus on simple themes, such as jobs and the economy. That stands in stark contrast to their last general-election campaign in 2010, when the party championed the "Big Society". This was the rather abstract idea that the voluntary sector could expand to replace some of the functions that the state could no longer afford to carry out itself. Many grassroots activists criticised the concept bitterly for being unintelligible to voters on the campaign doorstep. And it is hardly mentioned at all in…
  • The capitalist calendar

    The Economist
    3 Mar 2015 | 8:34 am
    THIS week: Warren Buffett's shareholder letter and the 2015 Super Return private-equity shindig
 
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    Greg Mankiw's Blog

  • No Way to Avoid It

    Greg Mankiw
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:47 am
    In my column on dynamic scoring, I wrote:[A]ccurate dynamic scoring requires more information than congressional proposals typically provide. For example, if a member of Congress proposes a tax cut, a key issue in estimating its effect is how future Congresses will respond to the reduced revenue. This raises important questions for which we have no easy answers. In the coming years, will these Congresses respond quickly to the revenue shortfall, or will they let budget deficits fester? When they act to close the budget gap, will they increase taxes, or will they cut spending? If they cut…
  • On Dynamic Scoring

    Greg Mankiw
    28 Feb 2015 | 11:00 am
    Click here to read my column in Sunday's New York Times.
  • Sentence of the Day

    Greg Mankiw
    26 Feb 2015 | 6:55 am
    "genetic differences explained roughly 33% of the variations in individual savings rates."Read more here.
  • What matters more--the productivity slowdown or the inequality increase?

    Greg Mankiw
    19 Feb 2015 | 1:17 pm
    The Economic Report of the President was released today.  A friend draws my attention to Table 1-3 on page 34, which presents several historical counterfactuals.  It finds: 1. If productivity growth had not slowed after 1973, the median household would have $30,000 of additional income today.2. If income inequality had not increased after 1973, the median household would have $9,000 of additional income today.So, which is the bigger problem? (Of course, neither has an easy solution.)
  • Nobel Prize for Sale

    Greg Mankiw
    17 Feb 2015 | 6:48 am
    I don't know the story behind this, but apparently a Kuznets heir is selling his Nobel Prize.Update 2/24: With less than 2 days to go, no one has offered the minimum bid of $150,000.Update 2/26: Someone offers the minimum bid.Update 2/27: It goes for $390,848.
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    Hedge fund

  • Low cost or low risk

    Hedge Fund
    27 Feb 2015 | 5:00 am
    Do you prefer low cost or low risk? Wall Street darling Jack Bogle says the high risk, no skill funds he sells are "low cost". Passive funds have extremely high costs considering the severity of losses and years spent in drawdown destroying retirees' lives. Genius salesman Bogle steals investors' precious time gambling on dumb lists of stocks he hasn't even analyzed! I like low risk, high skill because I care about my clients' most precious asset. TIME.I don't risk a cent on Bogle's crazy ideas. He gambles the most money on the biggest names and most addicted debtors while…
  • Warren Buffett fund

    Hedge Fund
    26 Feb 2015 | 3:08 pm
    Asset classes or skill strategies? One counterexample, yes ONE, is enough to destroy efficient market dogma and kill the silly high risk passive indexing fad. Past returns DO predict the future if the manager is talented. Hedge fund managers Warren Buffett and George Soros only invest in skill. So I do too. Why risk YOUR MONEY on "averages"? Why avoid the best? Invest in smart people not dumb lists of stocks and bonds.Some amateurs claim that Berkshire Hathaway isn't a hedge fund! Warren Buffett has focused on absolute return investing since 1950s…
  • 2 and 20

    Hedge Fund
    12 Feb 2015 | 2:06 am
    2 and 20? A friend just ate at a top restaurant. Experts say she was ripped off. Nearby was a much more famous eatery crowded with satisfied clients. Food there cost a few dollars compared to hundreds where she ate. I asked about her irrational decision avoiding "cheap" products but she said while aware of "lower" fees, differences in SKILL, EXPERIENCE and VALUE were obvious between 3 star Michelin chefs and McDonalds' burger flippers.McDonalds and index firms price "cheap" products correctly judging by the ingredients, work and talent that goes into them. My clients can't stomach the…
  • Best hedge fund

    Hedge Fund
    8 Feb 2015 | 10:08 am
    Best hedge fund? Performance needs mean I must do due diligence at all top SKILL BASED managers. I define "best" by risk adjusted returns. Not AUM or fame which are often negatively correlated with future performance. Steep losses and high volatility are what market "averages" deliver every few years. TIME in drawdowns is NEVER recovered by investors. 50% drawdowns by the long only equity crowd are a disgrace.YOUR money is too important to be risked on any average. I prefer talent that delivers INDEPENDENTLY of market direction. Though rare, skill can be detected with thorough analysis. For…
  • Active or passive fund

    Hedge Fund
    31 Dec 2014 | 3:58 pm
    Active v passive "debate" is better phrased as smart active v dumb active. Index funds are just unskilled low frequency trading strategies with horrific volatility, unacceptable drawdowns and abysmal risk adjusted returns. Why invest in "cheap" dumb active products that lost trillions in 2008 and endured 50% drawdowns twice last decade?Smart active is the ONLY option in the REAL world; "passive" funds track ACTIVE decisions of index construction firms. Should you risk your life savings on dumb lists of stocks or hard working talent that actually earns its fees? Name ANY business sector…
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    Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

  • Charlie Named Name

    Jeff Matthews
    28 Feb 2015 | 10:04 am
    Ned Isakoff: “You got me blacklisted from Hop Sing’s?”Delivery Man:  “She named name!”—Seinfeld, “The Race”  Like Elaine Benes in that Seinfeld episode, Charlie Munger named name. Two names, in fact: Greg Abel and Ajit Jain. Unlike Elaine Benes’s name-naming, however, the two named by Munger have nothing to do with Communist agitation and the destruction of capitalism as we know it—far from it.   Rather, they have everything to do with Capitalist orthodoxy in its purest, most meritocratic form: who might succeed Warren Buffett as CEO of…
  • From Cleaning Harbors to Feeding Roughnecks: “Next Year in Jerusalem!”

    Jeff Matthews
    11 Jan 2015 | 8:42 am
     The Canadian tar sands have been very good to Clean Harbors, a perennial Wall Street favorite that evolved from a disaster cleanup business (for which the company’s web pages still carry a plug at the bottom: “For 24-Hour Emergency Response, call 800.OIL.TANK”) into a diversified industrial service company through 35-plus acquisitions costing about $2 billion over 25 years. The tar sands business came with the 2009 acquisition of Eveready, and so swiftly did CLH expand deeper into so-called unconventional energy (everything from feeding and housing roughnecks in lodges to…
  • The NotMakingThisUp Book Review: The Best Least Looked-Forward-To Book I Have Ever Received, John Cleese's "So, Anyway..."

    Jeff Matthews
    27 Dec 2014 | 8:27 am
     I received for Christmas the least looked-forward-to book I have ever received: John Cleese’s “So, Anyway…”.   Cleese, of course, is a founder of Monty Python, the wildly successful British comedy group that took male teenagers by storm in the early 1970s and was considered inheritor to The Beatles’ mantle as conquerors of America by none other than George Harrison (according to his friend Eric Idle, another Python).  Cleese is also co-creator, co-writer, producer and star of what has been called the best TV sitcom ever created, Fawlty Towers. …
  • Shazam! From the Boss to the King to John & Paul (But Not George or Ringo), Not to Mention Jessica & Nick, and Taylor Swift

    Jeff Matthews
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:45 pm
    2014 Editor’s Note: Well, Michael Bublé’s computer is still releasing holiday songs, which is the worst we can say about this year’s holiday music survey.  The best we can say—and it is truly good news—is that The Boss’s hard-driving, live version of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” done entirely without computer-aidedBublé-style vocals, seems to be gaining much deserved traction.   Meanwhile, one of our previous also-ran mentions in the What-Did-We-Do-To-Deserve-This? category, one Taylor Swift, deserves a big boo-yah for telling the Spotify…
  • Activist Targets IBM: “Bring Out the Belgian Waffle!”

    Jeff Matthews
    25 Nov 2014 | 10:06 am
    IBM trades to highs on activist related speculation  (161.85 +0.95)—Briefing.com, November 23, 2014  IBM Chief Counsel: “Ginni?  Fred here.”   IBM CEO Ginni Rometty:  “What’s wrong?”  Chief Counsel: “Activists are circling.”  Rometty: “Oh geez.”  Chief Counsel: “Yeah.  I’ve got the biggest shark of all on hold.  He wants to talk.”  Rometty: “Carl Icahn??”  Chief Counsel:  “No.   Icahn watches Netflix and uses an iPhone.  He thinks we’re ‘old economy.’  Worse…
 
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    Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

  • Greecification of Spanish Politics and the Lies of Spain's Ministers

    3 Mar 2015 | 10:22 pm
    There's an excellent post on Keep Talking Greece this evening on the simmering feud between Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and Spanish prime minister Minister Mariano Rajoy.Tsipras made a claim that Rajoy's plan is to "wear down, topple or bring our government to unconditional surrender before our work begins to bear fruit and before the Greek example affects other countries… And mainly before the elections in Spain. ... for obvious political reasons".Spanish foreign minister García Margallo, returned fire with a statement (a lie actually), that “Had Spain not given  €32.744…
  • Business Activity Contracts in Japan, Modest Expansion in China; PBOC Rate Cut Seen

    3 Mar 2015 | 6:57 pm
    Markit has new reports out today on service activity in China and Japan.The former shows a bit of growth, the latter contraction. Because the reports are diffusion indices that give no weighting to the size of the companies reporting, one must look at these reports with a broad brush.Japan Business Activity ContractsThe Markit Japan Services PMI shows service sector business activity contracts in February. Key pointsService sector activity falls, while new business remains just inside growth territoryInput price inflation eased at Japanese services firmsBusiness sentiment strengthensJapan…
  • Ukraine Hikes Rate to 30%, Requires Corporations to Sell 75% of Foreign Currency Earnings; Miners Not Paid For 3 Months

    3 Mar 2015 | 3:23 pm
    In an effort to arrest hyperinflation and general panic over rising food prices, Ukraine's Central Bank Hikes Benchmark Rate to 30 Percent. Ukraine's central bank will raise its benchmark refinancing rate to 30 percent from 19.5 percent, the head of the central bank said on Tuesday, as the bank tries to rein in rocketing inflation and persistent currency weakness. The new interest rate, which comes into effect on Wednesday, is the highest for 15 years. Central bank chief Valeriia Gontareva said in a media briefing that the decision was taken because the bank saw the "threat of inflation had…
  • Chicago's Only Possible Salvation: Bankruptcy - a Name That Cannot be Spoken

    3 Mar 2015 | 12:08 pm
    Is the Chicago pension system so messed up and union work rules so entrenched the only way to change either of them is bankruptcy? I think so. So does Dennis Byrne who wrote on his blog today Chicago's Only Salvation: A Detroit-Like Bankruptcy.This is a guest post from Byrne.Chicago's Only Salvation: A Detroit-Like BankruptcyWait, I thought only the Republican Party was being torn asunder by a rift between the establishment middle and the fringe. That impression was nailed down, again, last week by the embarrassing fracture among House Republicans over funding for the Department of Homeland…
  • Bill Gross: Too Much Debt, Too Many Zombie Corporations, Low Interest Rates Destroy Pension System

    2 Mar 2015 | 6:54 pm
    In an Bloomberg Television interview Bill Gross of Janus Capital spoke with Bloomberg Television's Trish Regan about the outlook for Federal Reserve policy, the U.S. economy and his objectives at Janus Capital.Key Quotes"Not even thin gruel is being offered to our modern-day Oliver Twist investors. You have to pay to come to the dinner table and then sit there staring at an empty plate." "The interest rate can't be raised substantially even over the next two to three years.""The US has escaped the liquidity trap that euroland and Japan are in. But, not necessarily for all time.""[Low interest…
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    Oddhead Blog

  • Unlock your Spock

    David Pennock
    28 Feb 2015 | 8:19 am
    Unlock your Spock, The thinking jock. In reason, stock. Your head full chock. Emotion, block. Religion, knock. Illogic, mock. To scissors, rock. Don’t jump rejoice, Without his voice, To guide your choice, Of rolls or Royce. Don’t improvise. When chance arise, Try on for size, This Enterprise. This guy insider. Calm decider. Anger hider. Truth abider. The one that bends. Who letter sends. Ends pretends, And makes amends. The man who plans. Buys minivans. Stores up his cans. Controls his glands. No chitter chat, Or swagger frat. A diplomat. A clever cat. His omissions: Intuitions,…
  • Microsoft Researchers co-authored 21% of papers at the ACM Conference on Economics and Computation

    David Pennock
    6 Jul 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Twenty-six researchers from Microsoft Research labs in Boston, China, India, Israel, New York City, Redmond, Silicon Valley, and the United Kingdom co-authored a remarkable seventeen of the eighty papers published in the 2014 ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (EC’14). Moshe Babaioff served as General Chair for the conference and many other Microsoft Researchers served roles including (senior) PC members, workshop organizers, and tutorial speakers. For research at the intersection of economics and computation, IMHO there’s no stronger “department” in the world…
  • Bernie’s Credo

    David Pennock
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:38 pm
    My dad died this morning, smiling up until the end. He was an amazing man and an incredible dad — a modern, sensitive, involved dad who was way ahead of his time — a model for me. I wrote about my Dad in 2010. At the end of his beautiful memoir (composed using Blurb) — a document I cherish — my dad wrote his “personal credo”. It not only is eloquent and profound (and references calculus), it really does reflect the way he lived his life every single day. Here it is: Be honest (always be truthful) Be kind (care about others) Be fair (judge others with care)…
  • Last call: Postdoc positions at Microsoft Research NYC

    David Pennock
    11 Jan 2013 | 8:57 am
    Microsoft Research New York City seeks outstanding applicants for 2-year postdoctoral researcher positions. We welcome applicants with a strong academic record in one of the following areas: Computational social science Online experimental social science Algorithmic economics and market design Machine learning We will also consider applicants in other focus areas of the lab, including information retrieval, and behavioral & empirical economics. Additional information about these areas is included below. Please submit all application materials by January 11, 2013 for full consideration.
  • A toast to the number 303: A redemptive election night for science, and The Signal

    David Pennock
    10 Nov 2012 | 1:19 pm
    The night of February 15, 2012, was an uncomfortable one for me. Not a natural talker, I was out of my element at a press dinner organized by Yahoo! with journalists from the New York Times, Fast Company, MIT Tech Review, Forbes, SF Chronicle, WIRED, Reuters, and several more [1]. Even worse, the reporters kept leading with, “wow, this must a big night for you, huh? You just called the election.” We were there to promote The Signal, a partnership between Yahoo! Research and Yahoo! News to put a quantitative lens on the election and beyond. The Signal was our data-driven antidote…
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    Overcoming Bias

  • Growth Could Slow

    Robin Hanson
    2 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    Human history has seen accelerating growth, via a sequence of faster growth modes. First humans grew faster than other primates, then farmers grew faster than foragers, and recently industry has grown faster than farming. Most likely, another even faster growth mode lies ahead. But it is worth remembering that this need not happen. For a very concrete historical analogue, the Cambrian Explosion of multi-cellular life seems to have resulted from an accelerating series of key transitions. But then around 520 million years ago, after life had explored most multi-cellular variations, change…
  • Eight Million Visits

    Robin Hanson
    25 Feb 2015 | 5:00 am
    If milestones mean something to you, here’s a new one. There is a lot it doesn’t catch, but the Sitemeter widget on this blog has been here from the very start, and it at least gives a consistent measure of traffic. And according to it, we’ve now had eight million visits here at OvercomingBias.com.
  • Why Prefer Potential?

    Robin Hanson
    23 Feb 2015 | 5:30 am
    Movies that win Oscars seem to gain more viewers as a result. But it also seems that on the whole people are a lot more eager to watch Oscar nominated movies before the Oscar winners are announced. After the show, people think less about movies and more about other things. Which is odd – a burst of info comes out about which movies are good, and in response people get less interested in watching movies. If getting info about movie quality makes people like movies less, that might explain why movie execs were so keen to kill movie prediction markets. But it still leaves us with the…
  • Ian Morris on Foragers, Farmers, Industry, & Ems

    Robin Hanson
    18 Feb 2015 | 6:25 pm
    The book Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels by Ian Morris will be published March 22. As I don’t see any other reviews on the web, it seems I get to be the first. This is from the publisher’s blurb: Most people in the world today think democracy and gender equality are good, and that violence and wealth inequality are bad. But most people who lived during the 10,000 years before the nineteenth century thought just the opposite. … Fundamental long-term changes in values, Morris argues, are driven by the most basic force of all: energy. Humans have found three main ways to get the…
  • Old Prof Vices, Virtues

    Robin Hanson
    16 Feb 2015 | 8:25 am
    Tyler on “How bad is age discrimination in academia?”: I believe it is very bad, although I do not have data. I started my Ph.D. at the age of 34, and Tyler hired me here at GMU at the age of 40. So by my lights Tyler deserves credit for overcoming the age bias. Tyler doesn’t discuss why this bias might exist, but a Stanford history prof explained his theory to me when I was in my early 30s talking to him about a possible PhD. He said that older students are known for working harder and better, but also for being less pliable: they have more of their own ideas about what is…
 
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida; Carlin advances

    Andrew
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    There wasn’t much enthusiasm yesterday, but I do have to pick a winner, so I’ll go with Zbicylist’s comment: “Carlin. Are there 7 words you can’t say in a seminar? Let’s find out.” And today we have two more modern French intellectuals! I don’t have much of anything to say about either of these guys so I’ll pass this one on to all of you. P.S. As always, here’s the background, and here are the rules. The post Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida; Carlin advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social…
  • These are the statistics papers you just have to read

    Andrew
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:02 am
    Here. And here. Just kidding. Here’s the real story. Susanna Makela writes: A few of us want to start a journal club for the statistics PhD students. The idea is to read important papers that we might not otherwise read, maybe because they’re not directly related to our area of research/we don’t have time/etc. What would you say are the top ten (or five) statistics papers that you think statistics PhD students should read? What do all of you think? We’ve listed the most-cited statistics papers here. This list includes some classics but I don’t think they’re…
  • George Carlin (2) vs. Barbara Kruger

    Andrew
    3 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    To decide yesterday‘s contest, I’ll have to point to Jeremy’s comment: Rembrandt in a walk: -He believes that “God is in every leaf on every tree”. Most of his greatest paintings are portraits of himself or regular people (as opposed to portraits of kings or Popes, or mythical battles, or etc.) Same for his etchings. -He believes in embracing variation. Check out especially his later work, which is famously unpolished and is all the more evocative for it. In contrast, Russell spent his whole career trying, and failing, to impose more precision on the foundations of…
  • One simple trick to make Stan run faster

    Andrew
    3 Mar 2015 | 6:02 am
    Did you know that Stan automatically runs in parallel (and caches compiled models) from R if you do this: source(“http://mc-stan.org/rstan/stan.R”) It’s from Stan core developer Ben Goodrich. This simple line of code has changed my life. A factor-of-4 speedup might not sound like much, but, believe me, it is! The post One simple trick to make Stan run faster appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • Introducing shinyStan

    Jonah Sol Gabry
    2 Mar 2015 | 2:30 pm
    As a project for Andrew’s Statistical Communication and Graphics graduate course at Columbia, a few of us (Michael Andreae, Yuanjun Gao, Dongying Song, and I) had the goal of giving RStan’s print and plot functions a makeover. We ended up getting a bit carried away and instead we designed a graphical user interface for interactively exploring virtually any Bayesian model fit using a Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm. The result is shinyStan, a package for R and an app powered by Shiny. The full version of shinyStan v1.0.0 can be downloaded as an R package from the Stan…
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    Streetsblog New York City

  • NYC: TSTC Dangerous Roads Report: NYC Must Fund Vision Zero Street Redesigns

    Brad Aaron
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:18 am
    TSTC called on NYC to fully fund redesigns of the city’s most dangerous streets, including Broadway in Manhattan. Photo: Brad Aaron The latest pedestrian fatality report from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign finds that New York City’s widest and most heavily-traveled streets continue to be the most dangerous for walking. TSTC’s “Most Dangerous Roads for Walking” report ranks streets in terms of total pedestrian fatalities from 2011 to 2013, based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For the second consecutive year, Jericho Turnpike in…
  • NYC: Today’s Headlines

    Stephen Miller
    4 Mar 2015 | 5:55 am
    Observer: De Blasio Administration Must Step Up Efforts for Vision Zero to Have Teeth Two Pedestrians Injured in Separate Crashes, One a Hit-and-Run, on 207th Street in Inwood (DNA) City Issued 10,000 Sidewalk Snow Removal Tickets So Far This Winter, Concentrated in the Bronx (NYT) Greenpoint Man Sues NYPD, Says Off-Duty Officer Hit Him With Van Before Assaulting Him (Post) Rosemarie Mifsud, 42, Begins Recovery; Driver Who Hit Her Claims His Brakes Failed (Post) Uber to Nearly Double Size in NYC, Wants City to Increase TLC’s Budget to Ease Expansion (Crain’s) 10 Additional Groups…
  • NYC: No Easy Answers at City Council Hearing on Trucks and Bike/Ped Safety

    Stephen Miller
    3 Mar 2015 | 1:52 pm
    Trucks pose an outsize danger on New York City streets. This afternoon, elected officials, agency staff, union representatives, and advocates tackled the issue at a City Council transportation committee hearing. Photo: jeevs sinclair/Flickr DOT defines trucks as vehicles with two axles and six tires or vehicles with three or more axles. They comprise 3.6 percent of New York City’s 2 million vehicle registrations, said DOT Deputy Commissioner Ryan Russo, and account for 7 percent of the city’s traffic. While professional truck drivers usually have a better safety record than the…
  • NYC: Mark Levine Launches Petition to Bring 125th Street Bus Lanes West of Lenox

    Ben Fried
    3 Mar 2015 | 1:02 pm
    You don’t see this level of political commitment to repurposing street space that often. Council Member Mark Levine. Council Member Mark Levine has launched a petition calling on NYC DOT and the MTA to extend bus lanes on 125th Street west of Lenox Avenue. Select Bus Service on 125th was originally envisioned with river-to-river dedicated bus lanes, but neighborhood power brokers got the city to scale it back. The SBS route debuted last year with a bus lane east of Lenox In January, DOT and the MTA reported that on the section of 125th Street with bus lanes, SBS is running 32 to 34…
  • NYC: The Post Imagines a Nightmare City Where All Speeders Get Caught

    Brad Aaron
    3 Mar 2015 | 9:37 am
    Actual New York Post headline You have to feel sorry for the three — three! — New York Post reporters stuck with attacking Mayor de Blasio for NYPD enforcement of the speed limit. It’s a story package so fatuous it could only have come from the Post editorial braintrust. What else could explain the manufactured fury over last November’s uptick in summonses, when each precinct ticketed an average of six speeding drivers a day, up from three. Or the sob story of an ambulette fleet owner who freely acknowledges that his employees ignore the speed limit to such an extent…
 
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    The Big Picture

  • Congrats to Josh on 100k Followers!

    Barry Ritholtz
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    Click thru for live Twitter feed     Congrats to my colleague and partner Josh Brown, for hitting a major milestone this week: 100,000 Twitter followers. If you are not following Josh on Twitter, you are missing some of the most insightful and hilarious comments about the workings of the financial markets in all the land. Seriously great stuff.  
  • Please Stop Talking About Inflation Adjusted Nasdaq

    Barry Ritholtz
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:30 am
    The last refuge of scoundrels is their blind insistence that all data points must be adjusted for inflation. I was reminded of this earlier in the week when Nasdaq, after 15 long years, closed above the 5,000 mark. The immediate response from parts of the bearish contingency was to demand that the numbers take into account the rise in prices. There are many, many reasons why this is irrelevant to investors.  Let’s focus on just three: The first is technicals. When practitioners of this form of analysis look at support and resistance lines in a graph of a stock or index, they are actually…
  • 10 Wednesday AM Reads

    Barry Ritholtz
    4 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Its Wednesday, and we have only had two snowstorms so far this week, with another expected tomorrow. No worries, there is only 16 days to Spring. And, our morning train reads: • Wall Street Has Its Eyes on Millennials’ $30 Trillion Inheritance (Bloomberg) • Innovation, not easy money, is behind the Nasdaq’s return to 5,000 (MarketWatch) see also The Last Nasdaq 5000 Was Happier (Real Time Economics) • Why Buzzfeed is the most important news organization in the world (Stratechery) • Wolf: The riches and perils of the fossil-fuel age (FT) see also US running out of…
  • Investment in the Euro Area: Why Has It Been Weak?

    Guest Author
    4 Mar 2015 | 2:00 am
  • Google’s New Network: MVNO

    Barry Ritholtz
    3 Mar 2015 | 5:30 pm
    MVNO: Mobile Virtual Network Operator Google Inc. (GOOGL) announced yesterday that it plans to unveil a new wireless service within the next few months. The service would be small and available within the U.S, and it is intended to integrate with Android products. Google’s already-strained relationship with the telecom industry could widen if the product is perceived as a threat to wireless carriers like Verizon (VZ), Sprint (S) and AT&T (T). Google to Big Telecom: Work with us or perish Source: Yahoo
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    The Epicurean Dealmaker

  • Uncle Warren Explains It All to You

    1 Mar 2015 | 1:45 pm
    “Sure, sure.”— Sidney J. Mussburger, The Hudsucker ProxyApparently some doddering old fart in Omaha, Nebraska published a celebratory letter yesterday in connection with an obscure anniversary some of you might have heard about. Something to do with a mid-range furniture store or failed textile mill or something. Anyway, I felt compelled to read it, if only because every financial pundit in the Western Hemisphere has been recommending its salutary virtues to me with a fervor approaching the evangelical. Personally, I found it more hokey and self-congratulatory than illuminating, but…
  • Goldman Sachs Doesn’t Care What You Think

    14 Feb 2015 | 9:20 am
    A cat may look at a king.— English proverbSo, in an apparent effort to raise its rank in the Most Recognized Polling Firm in America Sweepstakes, Harris Poll recently published a survey of 27,278 individuals across this fine land to determine America’s 100 most- and least-loved corporations. Bloomberg Business subsequently took time out of its busy day to gleefully report that Goldman Sachs, investment bank and über squid of the global financial markets, finished dead last:People hate Goldman Sachs more than oil spills and the Koch brothers.Well, far be it for me to rain on Bloomberg’s…
  • Passing Fair

    18 Jan 2015 | 1:13 pm
    What though the sea with waves continuall Doe eate the earth, it is no more at all ; Ne is the earth the lesse, or loseth ought : For whatsoever from one place doth fall Is with the tyde unto another brought : For there is nothing lost, that may be found if sought.― Edmund Spenser, The Faerie QueeneMunicipal bond market maven, government official, and longtime Twitter fixture Kristi Culpepper penned an interesting riposte yesterday to Leon Wieseltier’s recent jeremiad against the disruptive cultural effects of technology in The New York Times. Leon, you may recall, laid about rather…
  • Nerd Intersectionality

    2 Jan 2015 | 12:45 pm
    Infancy is not what it is cracked up to be. The child seems happy all the time to the adult, because the adult knows that the child is untouched by the real problems of life; if the adult were similarly untouched he is sure that he would be happy. But children, not knowing that they are having an easy time, have a good many hard times. Growing and learning and obeying the rules of their elders, of fighting against them, are not easy things to do. Adolescence is certainly far from a uniformly pleasant period. Early manhood might be the most glorious time of all were it not that the sheer…
  • The Morning After

    1 Jan 2015 | 6:02 am
    Frans Hals, The Laughing Cavalier, 1624There is an inn, a merry old inn beneath an old grey hill, And there they brew a beer so brown That the Man in the Moon himself came down one night to drink his fill.The ostler has a tipsy cat that plays a five-stringed fiddle; And up and down he runs his bow, Now squeaking high, now purring low, now sawing in the middle.The landlord keeps a little dog that is mighty fond of jokes; When there’s good cheer among the guests, He cocks an ear at all the jests and laughs until he chokes.They also keep a horned cow as proud as any queen; But music turns her…
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    OUPblog

  • Keys and bolts

    Alice
    4 Mar 2015 | 5:30 am
    I received a question whether I was going to write about the word key in the series on our habitat. I didn’t have such an intention, but, since someone is interested in this matter, I’ll gladly change my plans and satisfy the curiosity of our friend. A detailed and highly technical entry on key can be found in my introduction to an etymological dictionary of English, and in this blog, I usually try not to repeat the information given elsewhere in my published works. But in the present case, I have an excuse. My dictionary can be found in many college libraries, but despite the…
  • The IOM’s effort to dislodge chronic fatigue syndrome

    Julia Callaway
    4 Mar 2015 | 4:30 am
    The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently released their report regarding a new name (i.e., systemic exertion intolerance disease) and case definition for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In brief, the IOM proposed that at least four symptoms needed to be present to be included in this new case definition: substantial reductions or impairments in the ability to engage in pre-illness levels of occupational, educational, social or personal activities; post-exertional malaise; unrefreshing sleep; and at least one of the two following symptoms: cognitive impairment or orthostatic intolerance.
  • Abraham Lincoln, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, and the Dred Scott Case

    Julia Callaway
    4 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    Dred Scott, an African-American slave, appealed to the Supreme Court for his freedom based on having been brought by his owners to live in a free territory. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, writing for the majority, wrote that persons of African descent could not be, nor were ever intended to be, citizens under the US Constitution, and thus the plaintiff Scott was without legal standing to file a suit. Taney infamously argued that blacks “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit…” Dred…
  • A festival of colorful emotions

    Alex Guyver
    4 Mar 2015 | 1:30 am
    It is as if a massive color palette fell on earth from the hand of the Almighty. The whole atmosphere is painted with bright colors—red, pink, yellow, blue, green, and purple. Young and old, men and women—all are soaked in colored water, running around, laughing loudly, shouting, and throwing mud on each other. It is a war where a water gun is your weapon, colored water is your bullet, and colored powder is your smoke screen. If you are a foreigner, locals tell you not to go out on this day. If you are unable to control your curiosity, they will have no mercy on you. This is the festival…
  • Are ultra-low interest rates dangerous?

    DanP
    4 Mar 2015 | 12:30 am
    The industrialized world is currently moving through a period of ultra-low interest rates. The main benchmark interest rates of central banks in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the euro-zone are all 0.50% or less. The US rate has been near zero since December 2008; the Japanese rate has been at or below 0.50% since 1995. Then there are the central banks that have gone negative: the benchmark rates in Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland are all below zero. Other short-term interest rates are similarly at rock-bottom levels, or below (see figures 1 and 2). Figure 1, by Richard S.
 
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    Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

  • Paul Krugman and the Foundations of Economic Science

    Don Boudreaux
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:44 am
    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to a hostile correspondent: Mr. Marion Ellis Dear Mr. Ellis: Calling my criticism of Paul Krugman’s most-recent column “shallow,” you applaud Krugman’s denial that (quoting Krugman) “the market for human labor is like the market for anything else.” Of course the market for human labor differs in detail from the market for other goods and services such as automobiles.  Contrary to Krugman’s suggestion, however, these differences do not render standard supply-and-demand analysis any less applicable to the market for human labor than…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    4 Mar 2015 | 4:28 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 35 of L. Earle Birdzell’s 1975 paper “Business and Government: The Walls Between” (in Neil H. Jacoby, ed., The Business-Government Relationship: A Reassessment [1975]): For practical purposes today, American business today has no political rights.  True, burglary and embezzlement against a corporation are still crimes, but more to keep out interlopers and to preserve the goose intact for more formal exploitation than because of any governmental solicitude for the victim.
  • Supply and Demand Analysis Captures Social Forces and Political Power

    Don Boudreaux
    3 Mar 2015 | 4:04 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) There are many candidates for ‘worst Paul Krugman column ever.’  Yesterday’s column is among them.  David Henderson wrote wisely on that column over at EconLog.  Here’s a comment that I left there: David is absolutely correct: that column by Krugman is awful. It’s anti-economics. It’s written as though its author is unfamiliar with the introductory chapters of a principles-of-microeconomics textbook. And I’m not talking here about the conflict between the theoretical prediction that higher minimum wages cause job losses for some…
  • A Note On Corporate Rule-Making and Insider Trading

    Don Boudreaux
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:33 am
    (Don Boudreaux) In the comments section of this EconLog post by David Henderson (a post that highlights Charley Hooper’s excellent case against government restrictions on insider trading) I offered the following comment: Regarding an exchange above [in the EconLog-post's comments section] between Zeke and David Henderson – David argued (as did the pioneering scholar on this matter, Henry Manne) that proscriptions against insider trading should be left to corporations and not be hijacked or otherwise overridden by politicians or government bureaucrats or courts. Zeke then…
  • Stagnant Thinking

    Don Boudreaux
    3 Mar 2015 | 5:28 am
    (Don Boudreaux) In today’s Wall Street Journal, the Cato Institute’s Alan Reynolds clearly explains, again, that middle-class Americans have emphatically not suffered economic stagnation since the 1970s.  Lest anyone suppose that this stagnation claim is fading away or that it is espoused only by fringe figures, Reynolds quotes the current Council of Economic Advisors chairman, Jason Furman, as having recently lamented at the Vox blog that America has suffered a 40-year stagnation in incomes for the middle class and those working to get into the middle class. Reynolds rightly…
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    Dollars & Sense Blog

  • Links on SYRIZA-Eurogroup Agreement

    Chris Sturr
    26 Feb 2015 | 6:05 am
    Links on Greece:  Now that the Syriza government has reached an agreement with the powers that be in Europe to extend its bailout for four months, there seems to be a lot of disagreement about how to assess it, even among commentators and sources that I trust. Most people seem to think the outcome is bad for Syriza and Greece, but some people think the jury is still out and the agreement may give Syriza some breathing room to make more headway later; others think it’s bad but Syriza was forced or even blackmailed into it; others blame Syriza’s strategy and call for it to admit…
  • D&S on PBS!

    Chris Sturr
    14 Feb 2015 | 7:43 am
    We are featured in an episode of the PBS show Religion & Ethics Newsweekly! It airs this weekend–here’s the schedule for our local station, WGBH: Saturday 2/14/15 11:30 AM WGBH World Sunday 2/15/15 6:00 AM WGBX 44 Monday 2/16/15 7:30 AM WGBH World Monday 2/16/15 1:30 PM WGBH World And here’s the video (or watch it on the show’s website here): Plus:  funny valentines!  (From this Flickr account–these are the least offensive/bizarre.) The post D&S on PBS! appeared first on Dollars & Sense Blog.
  • Links on Higher Ed and Housing

    Chris Sturr
    13 Feb 2015 | 7:31 am
    (1) Higher ed:  There’s a nice piece by Jefferson Fish at Psychology Today‘s website, of all places, on the corporatization of universities: A University Is Not Walmart. (Hat-tip to Polly Cleveland.) This is a wide-ranging overview piece, covering everything from student debt, to the rise in percentage of administrators on university payrolls vs. staff actually involved in teaching, to how universities favor faculty who can bring in grant money, to the shift to adjunct teaching, to how MGUs (Money Grubbing Universities, as frequent D&S blog reader TM calls them) profit…
  • Greece and TINA: Syriza Igniting Debates

    Mike-Frank Epitropoulos
    11 Feb 2015 | 1:53 pm
    Margaret Thatcher coined the radical neo-liberal slogan/mantra, “There Is No Alternative”—what most of us know as, “TINA.” Naomi Klein brilliantly developed the history and use of TINA in both theory and practice in her bestseller, The Shock Doctrine. TINA has been the driving force of the Troika, the EU and the US (to varying degrees) in dictating, justifying and implementing austerity, privatization drives, and most importantly—the deconstruction of anything “democratic.”   In the US, we have witnessed the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision and, in Greece and the…
  • Cover Story, plus: Greece Links

    Chris Sturr
    8 Feb 2015 | 7:30 am
    A large crowd gathers at LA Plaza, Los Angeles on November 7, 1933 to participate in a Hunger March. The protest was organized by the Communist Party and the United Front Conference Against Hunger. From the Los Angeles Public Library’s Harry Quillen photo collection. The photographer is Harry Quillen. (1) Cover Story Posted: Where Are Today’s Mass Movements?:  We have posted the cover story for our current issue, Where Are Today’s Mass Movements?, by Trudy Goldberg.  The subtitle is “What we can learn from the millions who demonstrated for jobs, government relief,…
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    Credit Slips

  • Servicing Matters

    Katie Porter
    3 Mar 2015 | 4:12 pm
    I am so pleased to offer the following post by Carolina Reid, a premier housing researcher at UC Berkeley, about her excellent study of how mortgage servicers matter in creating home-saving opportunities. Welcome Carolina to Credit Slips. By now we’re all familiar with a plethora of Wall Street financial acronyms, from ABSs to CDOs and CDSs. But what about MSRs (mortgage servicing rights)?  Until a year ago, I had never heard of MSRs, so I was surprised to find out that the rights to collect my mortgage payment are traded on Wall Street, much in the same way mortgage backed securities are…
  • Sheep, Goats, and Government Debts - Happy Lunar New Year, 1937 Edition

    Anna Gelpern
    1 Mar 2015 | 1:03 am
    Like many others, I have been struggling to figure out whether the new lunar year is a Sheep or a Goat. I found the answer last week in the archives of the League of Nations Committee for the Study of International Loan Contracts, which spent four years from 1935 to 1939 investigating why sovereign debt was so screwed up, and what to do about it. During these four years, committee notables and their experts managed to foresee just about every 21st century sovereign debt controversy, from pari passu and feckless trustees to the epic and tiresome battle between contractual and…
  • SPOE: Backdoor Bailouts and Funding Fantasies?

    Adam Levitin
    25 Feb 2015 | 8:22 pm
    I'm thrilled that Jay Westbrook has finally come into blogosphere with his posts on Single-Point-of-Entry.  I've blogged a little on SPOE already, but I want to highlight what I still think are two critical problems with SPOE.  In keeping with Jay's spirit, let's call them "Backdoor Bailouts" and "Funding Fantasies".  Is SPOE a Bailout Under Another Name? There is a fundamental tension in financial institution resolution between minimizing disruptive spillovers from firm failure and avoiding the moral hazard and taxpayer expense of government picking…
  • Translating the Warren-Yellen Exchange

    Adam Levitin
    25 Feb 2015 | 8:04 pm
    Senator Elizabeth Warren surprised a lot of people by laying into Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen as hard as she ever laid into Timothy Geithner. I think this was a really important exchange. But it's easy to miss exactly what's being communicated in it. Senator Warren's comments can basically be translated as follows:   "Janet, I like you, but let me level with you. You need to replace your General Counsel, pronto. He's not on the same page about regulatory reform, and it's a problem. There's really no place for obstruction by Fed staffers, even…
  • TBTF and The Single Point of Entry (SPOE): Part Two

    Jay Lawrence Westbrook
    25 Feb 2015 | 7:11 am
    In an earlier post I described the FDIC’s proposed SPOE approach to resolution of SIFI banks and other financial institutions under Title II of Dodd-Frank. That post discussed two of the three components of SPOE: control of the process by the regulator and no bailout for management or owners. This post lays out the role of the third component, the “forlorn hope” debt. That debt is unsecured debt owed to a bank holding company (BHC) and predestined to get little or nothing in case of the failure of the BHC. It serves in effect as a debt reserve to buffer the financial distress of the…
 
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    The Aleph Blog » The Aleph Blog

  • One Potential Weakness of Berkshire Hathaway

    David Merkel
    4 Mar 2015 | 1:51 am
    Photo Credit: Fortune Live MediaAs I mentioned yesterday, there wasn’t anything that amazing and new in the annual letter of Berkshire Hathaway.  Lots of people found things to comment on, and there is always something true to be reminded of by Buffett, but there was little that was new.  Tonight, I want to focus on a few new things, most of which was buried in the insurance section of the annual report.Before I get to that, I do want to point out that Buffett historically has favored businesses that don’t require a lot of capital investment.  That way the earnings are free to…
  • The “Secret” of Berkshire Hathaway

    David Merkel
    3 Mar 2015 | 12:05 am
    Photo Credit: Chuck Coker || Another Dynamic Duo and their secret BatcaveThis piece has kind of a long personal introduction to illustrate my point.  If you don’t want to be bored with my personal history, just skip down to the next division marker after this one.=–=-=-=-=-==–==-=–=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=There will always be a soft spot in my heart for people who toil in lower level areas of insurance companies, doing their work faithfully in the unsexy areas of the business.  I’ve been there, and I worked with many competent people who will forever be…
  • Simple Stuff: On Bid-Ask Spreads

    David Merkel
    28 Feb 2015 | 1:31 am
    Photo Credit: Eddy Van 3000This piece is an experiment.  A few readers have asked me to do explanations of simple things in the markets, and this piece is an attempt to do so.  Comments are appreciated.  This comes from a letter from a friend of mine:I hope I don’t bother you with my questions.  I thought I understood bid/ask but now I’m not sure.For example FCAU has a spread of 2 cents.  That I understand – 15.48 (bid) – that’s the offer to buy and 15.50 (ask) – that’s the offer to sell.Here’s where I’m confused.  How is it possible that those numbers could more…
  • Advice on Organizing Asset Allocations and Managers

    David Merkel
    26 Feb 2015 | 1:06 am
    Photo Credit: Roscoe EllisI was reading an occasional blast email from my friend Tom Brakke, when he mentioned a free publication from Redington, a UK asset management firm that employs actuaries, among others. I was very impressed with what I read in the 32-page publication, and highly recommend it to those who select investment managers or create asset allocations, subject to some caveats that I will list later in this article.In the UK, actuaries are trained to a higher degree to deal with investments than they are in the US. The Society of Actuaries could learn a lot from the Institute of…
  • A New Exercise in Industry Rotation

    David Merkel
    17 Feb 2015 | 2:15 am
    At Abnormal Returns, over the weekend, Tadas Viskanta featured a free article from Credit Suisse called the Credit Suisse Global Investment Returns Yearbook 2015.  It featured articles on whether the returns on industries as a whole mean-revert or have momentum, whether there is a valuation effect on industry returns, “social responsibility” in investing, and the existence of equity discount rate for the market as a whole.There are no surprises in the articles — it is all “dog bites man.”  They find that:Industry returns exhibit momentumThere is a valuation…
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    Quoting the Crisis

  • Wal-Mart’s pay hike will have massive ripple effects in...

    1 Mar 2015 | 4:58 am
    Wal-Mart’s pay hike will have massive ripple effects in America Rupert Neate, The Guardian, businessinsider.com After decades of shop floor and political campaigning, US retailers are finally finally beginning to increase their minimum wages. While the increase is benefiting millions of workers across the country, its driving force is market…
  • Robert Reich on Redefining Full-Time Work, Obamacare, and...

    25 Jan 2015 | 11:35 am
    Robert Reich on Redefining Full-Time Work, Obamacare, and Employer Benefits Walter Frick, hbr.org One of the U.S. Congress’s first acts of 2015? Trying to redefine what counts as full-time work, from 30 hours a week up to 40. It’s part of the latest attempt by Republicans to alter Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, and …
  • ALBERT EDWARDS: ‘This Is The Year Markets Really...

    25 Jan 2015 | 11:25 am
    ALBERT EDWARDS: ‘This Is The Year Markets Really Panic’ Robert Huebscher, businessinsider.com Albert Edwards admits that his “über bear” reputation is well deserved, at least with respect to equities, an asset class he has dismissed for the last 10 years. His bearishness has not abated, and for the coming year, he fears that “deflation wil…
  • Oil Companies Are Looking At ‘Outright...

    25 Jan 2015 | 11:21 am
    Oil Companies Are Looking At ‘Outright Liquidations’ Akin Oyedele, businessinsider.com The carnage from low oil prices is about to get even uglier.Conway Mackenzie, the largest restructuring firm in the US, says that oil drillers will begin shutting down as soon as the second quarter, followed closely by explorers, according to…
  • A Lot Of Those People Who Left The US Labor Force Since The...

    16 Jan 2015 | 5:01 pm
    A Lot Of Those People Who Left The US Labor Force Since The Financial Crisis Just Aren’t Coming Back Shane Ferro, businessinsider.com Last week’s excellent jobs report was excellent.EXCEPT … it showed no upward trend in real average hourly wages.Some people have speculated this is because demographic shifts mean higher-paid, older Boomers are retiring as younger, lower-p…
 
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    The Baseline Scenario

  • “Middle-Class Economics”

    James Kwak
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:46 am
    By James Kwak Supposedly President Obama is making “middle-class economics” one of the key themes of his final two years in office. I don’t really know what this is supposed to mean in a country where people making ten times the median household income call themselves “middle class” and there are tens of millions of people in poverty. For starters, I think it’s important to understand the distribution of wealth in the country as it stands today. That’s the theme of a story I wrote on Medium earlier this week, “The Magnitude of…
  • What Is Citigroup Hiding From Its Shareholders Now?

    Simon Johnson
    11 Feb 2015 | 7:53 am
    By Simon Johnson In the early and mid-2000s, Citigroup had compensation practices that can fairly be described as a disaster for shareholders (and for the broader economy). Top executives, such as then-CEO Chuck Prince, received big bonuses and generous stock options. Lower level managers and traders were paid along similar lines. These incentives encouraged Citi employees to take risks and boost profits. Unfortunately for shareholders, the profits proved largely illusory – when the dangers around housing and derivatives materialized fully, the consequences almost destroyed the firm. The…
  • Tax Breaks (for the Rich) Are Forever

    James Kwak
    29 Jan 2015 | 7:13 pm
    By James Kwak This week I returned to one of my favorite topics: raising taxes, particularly on the rich. First I wrote an article for Medium about the single most obvious change that should be made to the tax code: eliminating the step-up in basis at death for capital gains taxes. If you’re not sure what step-up in basis means, or why it’s a ridiculous idea, you should read the article. Then today I wrote an article for the Atlantic about why (a) killing 529 plans was a great idea in President Obama’s latest tax proposals and (b) why 529 plans are impossible to kill.
  • Nominate A Qualified Undersecretary Of Domestic Finance Now

    Simon Johnson
    25 Jan 2015 | 12:36 pm
    By Simon Johnson The Obama administration urgently needs to nominate a qualified individual as Undersecretary for Domestic Finance at the Treasury Department. The Dodd-Frank financial reforms are under sustained and determined attack, and the lack of a confirmed Undersecretary is making it significantly harder for Treasury to effectively defend this important legislation. Failing to fill this Undersecretary position would constitute a serious mistake that jeopardizes a signature achievement of this presidency. In the continuing absence of an Undersecretary for Domestic Finance, the…
  • Shareholders, Managers, and Capitalism

    James Kwak
    21 Jan 2015 | 8:06 am
    By James Kwak This morning I posted an article over at Medium about the question—raised again by Goldman analysts earlier this month—of whether JPMorgan should be broken up. The answer is obviously yes. The interesting thing is that this is not a socialist-vs.-capitalist, academic-vs.-manager, regulator-vs.-businessman sort of argument. It’s a shareholder-vs.-manager issue, and the shareholders are wondering why Jamie Dimon insists on defending an empire that is best known for crime and ineptitude. Earlier this month I wrote another Medium article about whether or not directors have…
 
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    Trends... Find them, ride them and get off.

  • Nasdaq 5,000 …Finally the Nasdaq Passes my Cholesterol Level

    Howard Lindzon
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:24 am
    In March 2000, the last time we hit 5,000 on the Nasdaq, my kids were 1 and 2. They were perfect and I can’t believe I am so lucky they remain so. I had a quotron and paid for real time stock prices. I had a Nokia phone. I had never heard of Ambien. CNBC sucked. I was an 8 handicap. I weighed 190 pounds. In the 15 years since, only my golf handicap and CNBC have not changed. I’m an 8 handicap with better equipment and CNBC sucks. Stock prices have changed wildly as have the leaders of the Nasdaq. The MOST important change in the markets is a wider, deeper and wonderful…
  • Millennials, Millennials, Millennials…and Goldman Sachs as Buzzfeed

    Howard Lindzon
    1 Mar 2015 | 4:51 pm
    Goldman Sachs has their eyes set finally on Millennials. They have this ‘Coming of Age‘ set of trends that they recently published. They do not like to share information publicly without a reason that benefits them. To be honest, there is nothing actionable for public market investing from the infographics. The Washington Post actually has this millennial myth debunking piece. Nike (long), UnderArmour (long), Disney, Netflix (long), Apple (long) and Google (long) have been and will continue to be the public market winners of this millennial financial phenomenon because they…
  • Kill all the Economists…and Remember YahooBaba and BabaHoo?

    Howard Lindzon
    25 Feb 2015 | 8:22 am
    Markets around the world are breaking out to major highs: The FTSE in London The DAX in Germany The S&P in the USA The Nikkei in Japan The Nasdaq has closed higher for 11 straight days. The last time that happened was 1992. Those years ahead were good my friends: ChOTD-2/25/15 #2) Nasdaq Composite 9 Straight Closes > Open 1992-2015 QQQ COMPQ http://stks.co/q1ZTL — Dana Lyons (@JLyonsFundMgmt) Feb. 25 at 05:11 AM These ‘all-time highs’ are wonderful for people that own stocks and trend followers …like me. Apple, Nike, UnderArmor, Resmed are stocks of mine that…
  • If The Stock Market had The Oscar’s…I Would Like to Thank the Bull Market and the God of Fear and Greed….

    Howard Lindzon
    23 Feb 2015 | 8:41 am
    I have long wanted to have an ESPY’s for Financial Markets. If you want to help with this project, please get in touch with me. If I had to give two Academy Awards for ‘bad acting’ in a the the markets in 2014 they would go the bankers (Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) who brought Castlight Health (CSLT) public and Janet Yellen for yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded room full of Biotech investors. Here is the Castlight Health IPO: CSLT THE favorite short of 2014/15 $7 pr. target now achieved —> http://stks.co/d1jgC ZU COUP FUEL BOX STUDY http://stks.co/f1oEK…
  • The State of The Markets in 2015….The Bears Have Been Lucky and The Public Ripped Off Again

    Howard Lindzon
    22 Feb 2015 | 8:47 am
    My friend Niv put together this excellent post ‘When Exponential Progress Becomes Reality‘ it is worth a full read. For my market brain this is the most important part: Human perception is linear, technological progress is exponential. Our brains are hardwired to have linear expectations because that has always been the case. Technology today progresses so fast that the past no longer looks like the present, and the present is nowhere near the future ahead. Then seemingly out of nowhere, we find ourselves in a reality quite different than what we would expect. This is why I poke…
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    Economic Principals

  • Understanding Scott Walker

    dw
    1 Mar 2015 | 1:30 pm
    Republican Party business interests and  centrists have rallied around Jeb Bush. Tea Party conservatives so far seem to prefer Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to the rest of the list of would-be contenders – Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, and Rick Santorum. The first state primary is still eleven months away.  But to understand the appeal of Bush and Walker to their respective constituencies, it helps to know something about the situation on the ground in Wisconsin. Walker, 47, who rose from state legislator in 1993 to county executive for…
  • Scarier Than You Think

    dw
    22 Feb 2015 | 2:15 pm
    The confrontation with Russia is becoming more alarming. Kathrin Hille, reporting from Moscow for the Financial Times, describes how cellphone operators are offering free ringtones of patriotic war songs, intended to evoke the defense of Moscow in 1941. The government-led drive, named Hurray for Victory! comes as Moscow enters the homestretch in an impassioned and increasingly shrill campaign to commemorate the end of the Second World War. Meanwhile, The New York Times, as part of the rollout of its redesigned magazine, commissioned Sovciet-born Russian novelist Gary Shteyngart to hole up for…
  • Bloomberg vs. The Economist: Whence the Difference of Opinion?

    dw
    15 Feb 2015 | 12:58 pm
      So German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande succeeded.   They traveled to Moscow and persuaded Vladimir Putin to pledge to pause and perhaps eventually end Russia’s military support for the Russian-speakers in the Ukrainian civil war – more than 5,000 dead and 1 million refugees so far. So the pressure on President Obama from US hawks to begin a proxy war with Russia by supplying weapons to the Ukrainians will ease, at least not now. For a sensible opinion, see Bloomberg View in the days before the bargain [T[he law that president Petro Poroshenko…
  • The Generation of ’91

    dw
    8 Feb 2015 | 1:00 pm
    Incredible as it seems, it was only a year ago that US relations with Russia began their serious slide downhill. The first sign of trouble that I noticed was the cover of The New Yorker for February 3, 2014, on the eve of the Sochi Olympics.  A figure-skating Vladimir Putin leaps while five little Putin lookalikes feign disinterest from the judges’ stand. A month later, after a series of increasingly violent demonstrations in Kiev, the recently-elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled to Moscow. I still don’t know what to believe about those events. Were they a…
  • A More Dangerous World

    dw
    1 Feb 2015 | 1:03 pm
    Why is the race for the Republican presidential nomination shaping up the way it is?  On Friday Mitt Romney ended his bid to return to the lists after only three weeks. It’s clear why he got out:  the Republican Establishment that supported his candidacy in 2012 has switched to backing Jeb Bush. But why did he get in? We know something about this, thanks to Dan Balz and Philip Rucker of The Washington Post One issue that seemed to weigh on Romney was the Jan. 7 terrorist attack in Paris on the Charlie Hebdo publication. Romney talked about the issue with close advisers the night before he…
 
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • MRU is nominated for an International Academy of Web Television award

    Tyler Cowen
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:12 am
    Here is the GMU press release: Marginal Revolution University’s “Everyday Economics” video series has been nominated for an International Academy of Web Television award in the Best Documentary or Educational Series category. There is more information here.
  • Just to repeat myself….

    Tyler Cowen
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:21 am
    1. The obviously correct legal answer is to toss at least part of ACA back into the hands of Congress for a rewrite.  (There is rarely a well-defined “intent of the legislature” in most matters of detail, yet the wording itself is clear.)  But since many people do not like what Congress would do (or not do) in this situation, this is an option which cannot be discussed very much.  The critics would have to let on that they do not consider the current Congress to be a legitimate governing body. 2. Along the lines of my recent blog post, it is remarkable how many…
  • Labor union sentences to ponder

    Tyler Cowen
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:14 pm
    to raise labor share, unions have to decrease markups or the cost of capital; don’t see evidence or mechanism there That is from A Macroeconomist, on Twitter.  A union which simply grabs for more from the employer will raise marginal cost and induce an offsetting boost in the price, restoring capital’s share (to some degree, depending on assumptions), and of course passing some of the burden along to consumers, most of whom are workers.  The tweeter did also note that unions might decrease income inequality within the category of labor, however.  Nick Bunker comments on that. …
  • Sweet Briar will close

    Tyler Cowen
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:01 pm
    I used to think it was a decent enough school, and now: Sweet Briar College announced today that it is shutting down at the end of this academic year. Small colleges close or merge from time to time, more frequently since the economic downturn started in 2008. But the move is unusual in that Sweet Briar still has a $94 million endowment, regional accreditation and some well-respected programs. But college officials said that the trend lines were too unfavorable, and that efforts to consider different strategies didn’t yield any viable options. So the college decided to close now, with…
  • Tuesday assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:29 am
    1. The New Rambler, a new book review journal, edited by Eric Posner, Arian Vermeule, and Blakey Vermeule, looks very good plus I owe them a review. 2. Toulouse School of Economics magazine (pdf). 3. WaPo covers the best places to visit internationally, now that the dollar is stronger. 4. How much did ATMs displace bank tellers? 5. It’s all about the land, not the capital-output ratio.
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Links and Tweets...

    J. Bradford DeLong
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:52 pm
    Lunchtime Must-Read: Zachary Tracer: Hospital Stocks Surge After Justice Kennedy Criticizes Obamacare Challenge http://equitablegrowth.org/?p=9616 Michael Tomasky: "[Michael Schmidt's New York] Times piece... says that there were ‘new’ regulations that Clinton was supposed to abide by.... So if these new regulations went into effect after she left State, then what rule did she violate, exactly?.... The [New York] Times has some questions to answer to: Did you know that the new regs went into effect after Clinton left office? And if you didn’t, why not? And if you did, why did you leave…
  • Liveblogging History: James A. Garfield: Inaugural Address, 1881

    J. Bradford DeLong
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:38 pm
    James A. Garfield: Inaugural Address, 1881: Fellow-Citizens: WE stand to-day upon an eminence which overlooks a hundred years of national life—a century crowded with perils, but crowned with the triumphs of liberty and law. Before continuing the onward march let us pause on this height for a moment to strengthen our faith and renew our hope by a glance at the pathway along which our people have traveled. It is now three days more than a hundred years since the adoption of the first written constitution of the United States—the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The new…
  • 4 Mar 2015 | 10:03 am

    J. Bradford DeLong
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:03 am
    Lunchtime Must-Read: Zachary Tracer: Hospital Stocks Surge After Justice Kennedy Criticizes Obamacare Challenge: "Tenet Healthcare Corp. and HCA Holdings Inc. led a rally among hospital companies as a Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare’s insurance subsidies drew questions from a pivotal justice... ...Anthony Kennedy... said Wednesday there is a ‘powerful’ point to the Obama administration’s argument that the health-care law would fall apart if the subsidies were ruled unlawful. ‘There is a serious constitutional problem,’ Kennedy said, if the court rules for the challengers’…
  • The Very Puzzling Political Economy of King v. Burwell: Focus

    J. Bradford DeLong
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:49 am
    Over at Equitable Growth: Ezra Klein, one of the viri illustres making us hope that the press corps over the next generation will actually be a net plus to the nation (cough, Judy Miller of the New York Times; cough, Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post) has a good post that, I think, misses one important point: Ezra Klein: Republican States Suffer If Obamacare Loses at the Supreme Court: "For Republicans, the challenge to Obamacare's individual mandate made good political sense... READ MOAR ...if the mandate was repealed, it would cripple the law.... The White House would have to agree to... at…
  • Equitable Growth Conference in a Box: Topics: Focus

    J. Bradford DeLong
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:50 am
    Over at Equitable Growth: More often than I would have thought likely, people ask me: "We're thinking of having a conference about economic inequality What should be on the agenda?" My standard answer makes three points: Have the conference about not inequality but equitable growth. "Inequality" automatically forces you into a partisan political frame, and you may want to get there at the end of your conference but you probably do not want to start there. Focus down: you cannot cover the whole topic--you need to pick one or two or three subtopics if you are going to get anywhere. Have a…
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    Dani Rodrik's weblog

  • Premature deindustrialization in the developing world

    Dani Rodrik
    12 Feb 2015 | 5:56 am
    Mention “deindustrialization,” and the image that comes to mind is that of advanced economies making their way into the post-industrial phase of development. In a new paper,[1] I show that the more dramatic trend is one of deindustrialization in the developing countries. This is a trend that is appropriately called premature deindustrialization, since it means that many (if not most) developing nations are becoming service economies without having had a proper experience of industrialization. Latin America appears to be the worst hit region. But worryingly similar trends are very much in…
  • Greek elections, democracy, political trilemma, and all that

    Dani Rodrik
    7 Jan 2015 | 6:37 am
    Two-and-a-half years ago I wrote a short piece titled "The End of the World as We Know It" which began like this: Consider the following scenario. After a victory by the left-wing Syriza party, Greece’s new government announces that it wants to renegotiate the terms of its agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. German Chancellor Angela Merkel sticks to her guns and says that Greece must abide by the existing conditions. Fearing that a financial collapse is imminent, Greek depositors rush for the exit. This time, the European Central Bank refuses to…
  • Levels of intellectual responsibility

    Dani Rodrik
    3 Jan 2015 | 7:18 am
    This piece on “Erdogan’s Willing Enablers” prompts me to put down a few thoughts on the role that various members of the Turkish media and intelligentsia have played in enabling the steady deterioration of the political climate in Turkey over the last decade. What stands out with these intellectuals is that, even if they were not in all cases liberal in outlook, they all claimed to espouse values consistent with Western democracy: respect for human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law.    I don’t want to go over the entire saga of how leading Turkish intellectuals…
  • Services, manufacturing, and new growth strategies

    Dani Rodrik
    15 Oct 2014 | 7:15 am
    I gave a talk yesterday on New Growth Strategies at the World Bank, which was more or less an elaboration of this short piece. I argued that industrialization had pretty much run out of steam as a growth strategy, that services would need to be the focus going forward, and that this required in turn a different policy mindset about how to increase productivity. In particular, I argued that policies focusing on generating a sequence of sectoral “winners,” which worked so  well in manufacturing (garments to car seats to cars to electronics), would have much smaller payoff in services,…
  • Back to sanity on economic convergence

    Dani Rodrik
    11 Sep 2014 | 1:50 pm
    It’s been interesting to watch how the conventional wisdom on rapid convergence – developing countries closing the gap with the advanced economies – has been changing over the last few years. It wasn’t so long ago that the world was in the grips of emerging-markets mania, projecting wildly optimistic growth numbers decades into the future. For the last 4-5 years, I have been writing that the pace of convergence we have experienced over the last two decades is unsustainable. There were temporary factors (cheap capital, low interest rates, high commodity prices, rapid Chinese expansion)…
 
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    99% Invisible

  • 155- Palm Reading

    Roman Mars
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:34 pm
    Reports of palm theft have appeared in LA, San Diego, and Texas; palm rustling also gets a mention in Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief. To understand why someone would want to steal a palm tree, we need to understand their value—which has a lot to do with the space they occupy in our collective imagination. We don’t plant palms for any of the normal reasons we want other trees around. They produce little shade, are difficult to climb, and don’t, for the most part, produce edible fruit. Palm trees, it seems, do something else.  They’re evocative. They’re transportative. They…
  • 154- PDX Carpet

    Roman Mars
    24 Feb 2015 | 3:56 pm
    Portlanders have a tradition when visiting their airport: taking a picture of their feet. It’s not to show off their shoes, but rather, what’s under them. They are documenting the famous PDX airport carpet. Julie Sabatier from Rendered has the story. PDX Carpet
  • 153- Game Over (R)

    Roman Mars
    17 Feb 2015 | 7:44 pm
    A few months before the end of the world, everyone was saying their goodbyes. The world that was ending was The Sims Online, an online version of The Sims. Even though The Sims was one of the most popular computer games ever made, the massively-multiplayer online version did not do well. Despite rebranding the game as EA-Land, sales did not improve, and EA Games decided to pull the plug. This is a collaboration with Robert Ashley from A Life Well Wasted and originally presented on Snap Judgment in 2010. Game Over
  • 152- Guerrilla Public Service

    Roman Mars
    10 Feb 2015 | 9:27 pm
    At some point in your life you’ve probably encountered a problem in the built world where the fix was obvious to you. Maybe a door that opened the wrong way, or poorly painted marker on the road. Mostly, when we see these things, we grumble on the inside, and then do nothing. But not Richard Ankrom. Guerrilla Public Service
  • 151- La Mascotte

    Roman Mars
    3 Feb 2015 | 1:30 pm
    The idea of the mascot came to America by way of a popular French opera from the 1880s called La Mascotte. The opera is about a down-on-his luck farmer who’s visited by a girl named Bettina; as soon as she appears, the farmer’s crops start doing well and his life turns around. The word “mascotte” is a play on the French slang word “masco,” meaning “witch.” Hence, “mascotte” (or the anglicized “mascot”) came to mean a person or thing that brings good luck. La Mascotte
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    Eat the Bankers.com

  • The Lights Are On

    Sinclair Noe
    3 Mar 2015 | 3:05 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 85 = 18,203 SPX – 9 = 2107 NAS – 28 = 4979 10 YR YLD + .04 = 2.12% OIL + 1.00 = 50.59 GOLD – 2.40 = 1204.50 SILV – .13 = 16.33   Just a few economic reports today.   Corelogic reports home prices jumped 1.1% in January to take the year-over-year gain to 5.7%. CoreLogic said 27 states and the District of Columbia are at or within 10% of their peak.   The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index fell to 120.9 from an upwardly revised December reading of 133.5.  Small businesses cut back on borrowing. Cold weather…
  • Holy Grail

    Sinclair Noe
    2 Mar 2015 | 3:15 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 155 = 18,288 SPX + 12 = 2117 NAS + 44 = 5008 10 YR YLD + .08 = 2.08% OIL + .06 = 49.82 GOLD – 7.80 = 1206.90 SILV – .22 = 16.46   February was the best month for stocks since October 2011. The S&P 500 gained 5.5% in February. March is off to a fine start. The Dow Industrial Average closed at a record high. The S&P 500 closed at a record. The Nasdaq Composite hit 5000 for the first time in 15 years. And if you wonder why we celebrate when the indices hit records, it is because 15 years ago we didn’t know it would take 15 years to…
  • Live Long and Prosper

    Sinclair Noe
    27 Feb 2015 | 3:16 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 81 = 18,132 SPX – 6 = 2104 NAS – 24 = 4963 10 YR YLD – .01 = 2.00% OIL + 1.03 = 49.20 GOLD + 4.50 = 1214.70 SILV + .04 = 16.67   We are wrapping up the first 2 months of trading. January was a down month for stocks, but February turned positive, with record high closes posted for the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000. The Nasdaq went almost entirely green for the month, closing in on 5000, and actually setting a new monthly closing high, taking out the March 2000 monthly close of 4572.   For the month, the Dow Industrial…
  • Neutrality Matters

    Sinclair Noe
    26 Feb 2015 | 2:53 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 10 = 18,214 SPX – 3 = 2110 NAS + 20 = 4987 10 YR YLD + .05 = 2.01% OIL – 2.01 = 48.98 GOLD + 5.00 = 1210.20 SILV – .01 = 16.63   The Federal Communications Commission has voted to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility. Tom Wheeler, the commission chairman, said the FCC was using “all the tools in our toolbox to protect innovators and consumers” and preserve the Internet’s role as a “core of free expression and democratic principles.”   The new rules, approved 3 to 2 along party lines, are intended to…
  • Milk and Cookies. Enjoy While You Can.

    Sinclair Noe
    25 Feb 2015 | 3:10 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 15 = 18,224 SPX – 1 = 2113 NAS – 0.98 = 4967 10 YR YLD – .02 = 1.97% OIL + 1.75 = 51.03 GOLD + 2.90 = 1205.20 SILV + .22 = 16.64   Another record high for the Dow Industrial Average. These are the days of milk and cookies.   Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen continued her semi-annual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony today in front of the House Financial Services Committee. The prepared opening remarks were identical to the testimony yesterday in the Senate. The Q&A session became a bit testy today as Yellen was accused of…
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    iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

  • Building A Monetary Union in Africa

    iMFdirect
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:45 am
    By iMFdirect It’s like the European Union but for East Africa. In this podcast by the IMF, find out how Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi stand to benefit from the creation of the East African Community.  There will be a common currency as well as more trade and investment too.  Will a union also expose them to more risk? These five countries have already seen some benefits from regional integration. “It took more than three weeks to move goods from Kenya or Tanzania to Uganda; now it takes four to six days,” said the IMF’s Oral Williams, one of the editors of a…
  • Down But Not Out

    iMFdirect
    2 Mar 2015 | 8:55 am
    By Jeff Hayden We drew our inspiration for Finance & Development‘s cover from Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Rivera, a Mexican artist, was commissioned in 1932 to paint the 27-panel visual epic as a tribute to the city’s assembly-line workers, scientists, doctors, secretaries, and laborers, many of whom were struggling at the time to keep their jobs amid the devastation of the Great Depression. Rivera’s murals are complex and sparked both controversy and admiration. But something about the mural format—the sweeping canvas, the…
  • Fiscal Impact of Lower Oil Prices on Latin America and the Caribbean

    iMFdirect
    26 Feb 2015 | 8:20 am
    By Robert Rennhack and Fabián Valencia (version in Español and Português) The plunge in world oil prices—from $105 to about $50 per barrel since mid-2014—has been a boon for oil-importing countries, while presenting challenges for oil exporters. In general, oil importers will enjoy faster growth, lower inflation, and stronger external positions, and most will not encounter any significant fiscal pressures. Oil exporters will tend to face slower growth and weaker external current account balances and some will run into fiscal pressures, since many rely on direct…
  • Fiscal Arrangements in Federations: Four Lessons for Europe

    iMFdirect
    25 Feb 2015 | 1:04 pm
    By Martine Guerguil Does the European Union need closer fiscal integration, and in particular a stronger fiscal center, to become more resilient to economic shocks? A new IMF book, Designing a European Fiscal Union: Lessons from the Experience of Fiscal Federations, published by Routledge, examines the experience of 13 federal states to help inform the debate on this issue. It analyzes in detail their practices in devolving responsibilities from the subnational to the central level, compares them to those of the European Union, and draws lessons for a possible future fiscal union in Europe.
  • Fair Play—Equal Laws for Equal Working Opportunity for Women

    iMFdirect
    23 Feb 2015 | 7:17 am
    By Christine Lagarde  (Versions in 中文, Français, 日本語, Русский, عربي and Español) Leveling the legal playing field for women holds real promise for the world—in both human and economic terms. Unfortunately, that promise remains largely ignored and its potential untapped. In too many countries, too many legal restrictions conspire against women to be economically active—to work. What can be done to remove these barriers?  A new study done by IMF economists seeks to answer that question. The bottom line? It’s about a fair, level playing field. We can…
 
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    WordPress.com News

  • Four Themes for Photographers and Photobloggers

    Krista
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:00 am
    Maybe you’re working on a 365 project, with a photo for each day of the year. With a couple months under your belt, you might be looking for a new theme to showcase your work. Let’s check out four themes where the typography and color palettes step aside so that your photos get your visitors’ full attention. Cubic Made with photographers and photobloggers in mind, Cubic is eye-catching and bold out of the box. Its pleasing homepage grid showcases your posts’ featured images. Consider this subtle, almost ethereal application of Cubic at WE THE BIRDS, a site…
  • March Blogging U. Courses: Blogging and Photo 101

    Michelle W.
    27 Feb 2015 | 8:00 am
    Registration for March’s Blogging U. courses is now closed, and both courses have started. Check back later in the month to learn more and register for April’s offerings! Blogging 101: Zero to Hero — March 2 – 20 Blogging 101 is three weeks of bite-size assignments that take you from “Blog?” to “Blog!” Every weekday, you’ll get a new assignment to help you publish a post, customize your blog, or engage with the community. Whether you’re just getting started or want to revive a dormant blog, we’ll help you build blogging habits and…
  • New Theme: Lyretail

    Caroline Moore
    26 Feb 2015 | 9:00 am
    Happy Theme Thursday, all! Let’s dive right into a new free theme: Lyretail Designed by Mel Choyce, Lyretail is a stunning visual treat for your personal site. The theme puts your social presence front and center, displaying social links prominently below the site’s title and logo, so readers can easily find you on your favorite social networks. Secondary information, like a Custom Menu or Widgets, are tucked behind a convenient slide-down menu, while bold featured images grace the header, putting your photographs front and center. Read more about Lyretail on the Theme Showcase,…
  • WordPress for iOS: New Visual Editor and More!

    Meredith
    25 Feb 2015 | 5:03 pm
    WordPress for iOS version 4.8 comes with exciting editor and navigation enhancements. Visual Editor We’re thrilled to announce that the 4.8 release includes a beautiful new visual editor. With the new editor, you can add rich text like bold, italics, links, and lists naturally as you type. You can also insert images with a tap, seeing real-time uploading progress and images right in the post. Before New Editor App users have long wished for a “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) editor on iOS. Until now, a rich mobile editing experience on the iOS app was reserved for those…
  • Five Themes for Poets (and Other Text-Loving Bloggers)

    Ben Huberman
    25 Feb 2015 | 8:00 am
    Over at The Daily Post, our first poetry-focused Blogging U. course, Writing 201: Poetry, has just entered its second week. It’s been a blast, with hundreds of poets sharing their work, experimenting with new forms, and commenting on their peers’ poems. After working hard on polishing their elegies, haiku, and ballads, most writers want to make sure their readers can enjoy their work to the fullest. This is where choosing the right theme can play an important role (this is true for non-poets too, of course): you want your posts to be readable, clean, and inviting. Here…
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    EconomicPolicyJournal.com

  • Video: Peter Schiff on Renouncing US Citizenship

    4 Mar 2015 | 8:47 am
  • How Much Formal Education Do Americans Get?

    4 Mar 2015 | 6:42 am
  • Block vs. Bedrick: An Exchange on Education Tax Credits

    3 Mar 2015 | 10:01 pm
    The following exchange took place between Walter Block, professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans and Jason Bedrick, policy analyst at the Cato Institute. It is reprinted with permission. Dear Jason: > > Congratulations on a splendid presentation. In my view, you are one of the > most articulate, charming, knowledgeable, charismatic speakers we have ever > had at Loyola. Your
  • MUST READ: My Life as a Climate Lukewarmer

    3 Mar 2015 | 9:49 pm
    By  Matt Ridley I am a climate lukewarmer. That means I think recent global warming is real, mostly man-made and will continue but I no longer think it is likely to be dangerous and I think its slow and erratic progress so far is what we should expect in the future. That last year was the warmest yet, in some data sets, but only by a smidgen more than 2005, is precisely in line with such
  • A Master Networker Shares His Top 20 Networking Tips

    3 Mar 2015 | 6:28 pm
    By Richard Feloni At one of Jon Levy's house parties you could find yourself, as we recently did, making fajitas with Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Regina Spektor and leading snake venom expert Zoltan Takacs before watching live presentations from Bill Nye the Science Guy and break-dancing pioneer Richard "Crazy Legs" Colón. Levy may not be a Wall Street billionaire or hotshot advertising
 
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    Carl Futia

  • Guesstimates on March 4, 2015

    4 Mar 2015 | 6:03 am
    March S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2096-2110. The market is headed above the 2200 level over the next couple of months. QQQ: The current rally should carry to 112.00 TNX (ten year note yield): I think that the market is headed up to 3.00%. Euro-US Dollar: The ECB’s quantitative easing program will drop the euro below 1.00 over the coming months. Resistance above the market is at 1.17.Dollar-Yen: Support is at 116. The bull market has much further to go over the coming months. 140-45 is my longer term target zone. April Crude:  The longer term trend in oil prices…
  • Guesstimates on March 3, 2015

    3 Mar 2015 | 5:53 am
    March S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2106-2116. The market is headed above the 2200 level over the next couple of months. QQQ: The current rally should carry to 112.00 TNX (ten year note yield): I think that the market is headed up to 3.00%. Euro-US Dollar: The ECB’s quantitative easing program will drop the euro below 1.00 over the coming months. Resistance above the market is at 1.17.Dollar-Yen: Support is at 116. The bull market has much further to go over the coming months. 140-45 is my longer term target zone. April Crude:  The longer term trend in oil prices…
  • Guesstimates on March 2, 2015

    2 Mar 2015 | 6:08 am
    March S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2097-2107. The market is headed above the 2200 level over the next couple of months. QQQ: The current rally should carry to 112.00 TNX (ten year note yield): I think the flight to quality dropped the note yield to 1.65%. I think that low will hold and that the market is now headed up to 3.00%. Euro-US Dollar: The ECB’s quantitative easing program will drop the euro below 1.00 over the coming months. Resistance above the market is at 1.17.Dollar-Yen: Support is at 116. The bull market has much further to go over the coming months.
  • Guesstimates on February 27, 2015

    27 Feb 2015 | 5:51 am
    March S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2105-2118. The market is headed above the 2200 level over the next couple of months. QQQ: The current rally should carry to 112.00 TNX (ten year note yield): I think the flight to quality dropped the note yield to 1.65%. I think that low will hold and that the market is now headed up to 3.00%. Euro-US Dollar: The ECB’s quantitative easing program will drop the euro below 1.00 over the coming months. Resistance above the market is at 1.17.Dollar-Yen: Support is at 116. The bull market has much further to go over the coming months.
  • Guesstimates on February 26, 2015

    26 Feb 2015 | 5:54 am
    March S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2111-2121. The market is headed above the 2200 level over the next couple of months. QQQ: The current rally should carry to 112.00 TNX (ten year note yield): I think the flight to quality dropped the note yield to 1.65%. I think that low will hold and that the market is now headed up to 3.00%. Euro-US Dollar: The ECB’s quantitative easing program will drop the euro below 1.00 over the coming months. Resistance above the market is at 1.17.Dollar-Yen: Support is at 116. The bull market has much further to go over the coming months.
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    True Economics

  • 4/3/15: Composite Activity Indicators for BRIC & Russia: February

    4 Mar 2015 | 7:17 am
    Having covered Manufacturing PMIs (http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2015/03/2315-bric-manufacturing-pmi-february.html) for BRICs and Services PMIs (http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2015/03/4315-bric-services-pmis-stronger-growth.html), let's take a look at the data for combined metrics of two sectors.First, table below summarises the changes in Manufacturing and Services PMIs across all BRICs:Markit - the source of both PMI data sets - also reports Composite PMI of their own. My data is based on same inputs but takes a more simple approach of combining the two data points for each country.
  • 4/3/15: BRIC Services PMIs: Stronger Growth and Russia Divergence

    4 Mar 2015 | 5:57 am
    I covered BRIC Manufacturing PMI earlier this week: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2015/03/2315-bric-manufacturing-pmi-february.htmlNow, let's take a look at the Services sectors performance.Russia Services PMI are covered in detail here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2015/03/4315-russian-services-and-composite.htmlBrazil Services PMI came in at a surprising 52.3, breaking four months streak of sub-50 readings and rising strongly up on 48.4 in January. 3mo average through February 2015 is at 49.9 against the 3mo average through November 2014 at 49.3. An improvement on 3mo basis, but…
  • 4/3/15: Russian Services and Composite PMIs signal continued deterioration in the economy

    4 Mar 2015 | 4:20 am
    Services PMI for Russia for February 2015 came in at a disappointing - nay disastrous - 41.3 down from January 43.9 and marking the fifth consecutive month of contraction. 3mo average through February is now at 43.7 which is much worse than already poor 3mo average through November 2014 (47.5) and is down massively on 3mo average through February 2014 (51.5). February reading is the lowest in 71 months.Composite PMI came in at 44.7 - marking a sharp contraction in the economy, down from 45.6 in January 2015. February was the 5th consecutive monthly sub-50 reading and  the lowest for 69…
  • 4/3/15: Core biases in Hedge Funds returns

    3 Mar 2015 | 11:56 pm
    My second post on the topic of measuring hedge funds returns for LearnSignal blog, covering the issue of biases in measurement, induced by timing and risk considerations is now available here: http://blog.learnsignal.com/?p=161
  • 3/3/15: Those 'tanked' Russian Forex reserves

    3 Mar 2015 | 5:14 am
    So, according to some Western media, Russian forex reserves have tanked in February 2015. What happened, folks?At the end of January 2015, Russian forex reserves stood at USD376.208 billion. Of which USD327 was in currency and liquid assets form. The latest data, given to us is for February 20, 2015 when, according to the Russian Central Bank, the reserves dropped to USD364.6 billion - a drop of 3.11% or USD11.6 billion. That's a lot of cash. But is not qualifying it as 'tanked'. Here's a chart plotting all reserves changes m/mSo (incomplete still) data for February puts drawdowns from the…
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    Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

  • Weekly Unemployment Claims: Initial and Continued February 26 2015

    26 Feb 2015 | 10:45 am
    Today’s jobless claims report showed a notable increase to initial unemployment claims and a decrease to insured unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims remained above the 300K level. Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims jumped 31,000 to 313,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “insured” claims declined by 21,000 to 2.401 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 1.8%.
  • FHFA Monthly Home Prices: December 2014

    26 Feb 2015 | 10:37 am
    Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released the latest results of their monthly house price index (HPI) showing that in December, nationally, home prices increased 0.81% from November rising 5.45% above the level seen in December 2013.The FHFA monthly HPI are formulated from home purchase information collected from mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • New Residential Construction Report: January 2015

    18 Feb 2015 | 8:29 am
    Today’s New Residential Construction Report showed worsening results with total and single family permit activity declining since December while total starts also declined 2.0% over the same period.Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, declined 3.1% from December to 654K single family units (SAAR), and rose 5.8% above the level seen in January 2014 but still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005.
  • Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – February 18 2015

    18 Feb 2015 | 8:19 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…
  • NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Sentiment: February 2015

    17 Feb 2015 | 11:51 am
    Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that overall assessments of housing activity declined in February with the composite HMI index falling to 55 while the "buyer traffic" index declined to a level of 39 from 44 in the prior month.Overall, conditions for new home construction appear to have softened some recently and still remain below the peak assessments see prior to the Great Recession.
 
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    The Economic Populist

  • New Head of CBO makes Preposterous Claims on Disability

    Bud Meyers
    2 Mar 2015 | 10:08 am
    90% of the drop in the labor force since the Great Recession is attributed to young prime-age workers going on Social Security disability. OMG!!! Can this be true? Would the new CBO lie? Hasn't the Congressional Budget Office always been touted as a "non-partisan" body of the U.S. Government, and can always be wholly trusted to provide our political leaders with unbiased facts, free and clear of any ideological spin? Evidently, not any more. Share
  • Supply-Side Economics' Maraschino Cherry

    Econ_unmasked
    1 Mar 2015 | 8:11 pm
    If you want to get a liberal's blood boiling, simply mention the phrase Supply-Side Economics at the next cocktail party. Be extra careful not to toss in additional synonyms, such as Reaganomics, Voodoo or Trickle-down economics, because his fuse might pop. Should I find myself at such a party, I would try to play peacemaker by asking the party attendees to consider the possibility that both the Left and Right share the same core economic defect: free trade. In other words, nearly all schools of economics amount to Voodoo. Share
  • Q4 2014 GDP Revised Down to 2.2%

    Robert Oak
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:45 pm
    Fourth quarter 2014 real GDP was revised 0.4 percentage points lower to 2.2%.  That's quite disappointing, although still mediocre growth.  The reason for the revision reduction was inventories did not grow nearly as much as originally estimated and imports increased.  Real consumer spending was barely revised.  Overall Q4 GDP cutting isn't that surprising, more Q3 GDP's lack of trade deficit impact was. Share
  • Gas Price Drop Deflates Consumer Price Index

    Robert Oak
    26 Feb 2015 | 1:48 pm
    The Consumer Price Index dropped -07% for January, the largest monthly drop since December 2008 and the steepest monthly decline in a series of seven.  Gasoline prices plummeted -18.7%, the steepest since December 2008.  The drop in gas overwhelmed the Consumer Price Index and was the cause of the overall drop.  Inflation with setting gasoline prices as unchanged would have shown a 0.1% increase in CPI.   CPI measures inflation, or price increases. Share
  • "Accounting Gimmicks" in Social Security

    Bud Meyers
    26 Feb 2015 | 1:26 pm
    The first attack on Social Security this year was with the false accusation that there was rampant fraud in the disability program, when two different reports show only 0.4% fraud in the program — far less than any other government program — and probably far less than employee theft in the private sector — and much less that's found in the defense industry. Share
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    Stock Trading To Go

  • STTG Market Recap Mar 3, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    3 Mar 2015 | 4:27 pm
    Tuesday gave us a rare down day on the NASDAQ of late - only the third in nearly a month (and one of those 3 was a fractional drop). The S&P 500 fell 0.45% and the NASDAQ 0.56% - while many reasons could be offered the NASDAQ simply needs a breather. There was some weak auto sales data but considering the weather in February it should not come as a surprise. Original post: STTG Market... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Mar 2, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    2 Mar 2015 | 3:44 pm
    The train keeps on rolling as we've exited the best month in a few years and entered March with a bang. The S&P 500 gained 0.61% and the NASDAQ 0.90% to kick off the new month. NASDAQ 5000 has become a rallying cry for much of the financial media and today that level was hit. This was the first time it has crossed this level since March 2000 i.e. the month that the great crash began. ... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Feb 27, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    27 Feb 2015 | 4:02 pm
    The NASDAQ took a much needed breather Friday as the index fell 0.49% while the S&P 500 dropped 0.30%. Still this month was the best since October 2011 for the S&P 500 and January 2012 for the NASDAQ. The S&P 500 gained 5.5% for the month, while the NASDAQ rose 7.1%. Fourth-quarter GDP was revised to show growth of 2.2%. Analysts polled by Reuters expect GDP growth of 2.1%, after... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Feb 26, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    26 Feb 2015 | 4:46 pm
    All systems remain go - when there is a potential change in the outlook we'll be the first to note it but no clouds on the horizon right now. The S&P 500 fell 0.15% while the NASDAQ remains in a quite rare run here up another 0.42%. If not for yesterday's fractional loss in the NASDAQ it would have been up 12 sessions in a row today. The S&P 500 has gained 5.8% in February, poised... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Feb 25, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    25 Feb 2015 | 2:28 pm
    The NASDAQ barely broke it's winning streak with a 0.02% loss Wednesday to end the consecutive up days at 10. The S&P 500 was down 0.08% but this is just consolidation at this point after a big run up. New U.S. single-family home sales in January fell a less-than-expected 0.2 percent to 481,000 and supply rose to its highest level since 2010, hopeful signs for the sluggish housing... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
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    Peter Gallagher

  • Draft history of ICC: final chapters

    pwg
    5 Feb 2015 | 1:45 pm
    Last year, I completed the manuscript of a centennial history of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). It’s a long work: 400 pages, more or less. It will be only the second history of this remarkable institution. The first was published in 1938. ICC commissioned the history in 2013, but has recently decided to wait […]
  • The Wallenbergs at the ICC

    pwg
    20 Jan 2015 | 3:29 pm
    Peter Wallenberg, the scion of the great Swedish family of bankers and industrialists, died on 19 January aged 88. Among his many achievements was to lead the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) during the most difficult period for business in the late 20th Century. Here is a summary of the story. There’s a little more […]
  • Can multilateralism be revived?

    pwg
    16 Nov 2014 | 3:49 pm
    Shawn Donnan at the FT says that it needs a healthier life-style. Multilateralism is weaker than it has ever been. But, in trade, it has never been as robust as it seemed on the surface. For now, I doubt there is a reasonable prospect it can be revived in its original form. Instead, we should […]
  • Is a plurilateral the ‘way out’ for WTO on agriculture?

    pwg
    1 Oct 2014 | 2:42 pm
    Q: under what circumstances would a critical-mass (CM) plurilateral agreement on agriculture be a way “out of the mess” in the WTO agriculture negotiations? A: any CM plurilateral works as a “way out” of the WTO stalemate where it offers a degree of benefits to the members of the plurilateral agreement such that they were […]
  • Evaluation of a “Critical Mass” agreement on agriculture

    pwg
    1 Oct 2014 | 4:55 am
    The stalemate in Geneva on the December 2013 Bali Agreement concerning both Trade Faciliation and agriculture subsidies has revived some interest in the potential for a plurilateral agreement on Agriculture among WTO members. I attach to this brief post a pre-print of the summary that Andy Stoler and I wrote for the journal Global Governance […]
 
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    Political Calculations

  • Dividends: U.S. Continues Economic Contraction in February 2015

    3 Mar 2015 | 12:39 am
    Following its apparent contraction in January 2015, it appears that the U.S. economy continued to contract in February 2015. We're basing that assertion on the number of publicly-traded U.S. companies that announced they would be reducing their cash dividend payments to their shareholders during the month of February 2015. With 38 companies taking that action, the number is lower than the 57 firms that took similar actions in January 2015, but is still well elevated above the number that would appear to correspond to a shrinking economy. We believe that the number of companies cutting their…
  • The Composition of Income by Type in the U.S.

    1 Mar 2015 | 11:56 pm
    Where do Americans get the income they earn each year? According to the IRS, via the Tax Foundation, the answer is to be found in the interactive chart below, which shows the IRS' preliminary data for how many billions of dollars Americans earned in 2012 through salaries and wages, capital gains, taxable pensions, dividends, unemployment benefits, et cetera.... One thing we should note about this particular data is that the figure for Wages and Salaries is increased by the business incomes earned by the owners of S-corporations and sole proprietorships, where the owners of these kinds of…
  • "That's No Dwarf Planet...."

    27 Feb 2015 | 12:36 am
    Perhaps the only thing cooler that the JPL's image of the dwarf planet Ceres taken by the Dawn probe.... Would be if the folks at JPL had to finish Obi Wan Kenobi's "That's no moon..." quote. It certainly beats seeing faces on Mars!
  • Walker's Wisconsin

    26 Feb 2015 | 3:51 am
    As econoblog readers, we follow Econbrowser pretty regularly, mainly for Jim Hamilton's insights, but recently, we've begun paying closer attention to the comments of his co-blogger, Menzie Chinn, who is an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. That's primarily because of the recent rise to prominence of Wisconsin state governor Scott Walker in 2016 presidential polling, whose performance in office Chinn has often criticized. Normally, we're entertained by Chinn's analysis, since it frequently involves comparisons of the job growth between Wisconsin and its western…
  • Hollywood Actors Believe Minimum Wage Hikes Cost Jobs

    25 Feb 2015 | 12:22 am
    Aren't Hollywood actors supposed to be among the most ardent supporters of left wing causes? And as members of organized labor unions going back for decades, aren't Hollywood actors supposed to be looking out for the interests of those among their ranks who are clearly being exploited for their talent for precious little pay? So you would think that such ardent supporters of left wing causes and union members would stand in solidarity with their fellow actors to prevent them from having their talent exploited for precious little pay. But you would be wrong, because these same people also…
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    Calafia Beach Pundit

  • 10 charts to watch

    2 Mar 2015 | 1:48 pm
    The news and the economic fundamentals haven't changed much in recent months, but on the margin there has been some modest improvement. The following charts highlight some of the more interesting developments that bear watching.Rising profits have been the source of most of the gains in equity prices in recent years. Since the post-recession low in PE ratios (13.9 in August 2010), ratios have increased by 35% to almost 19 today. Over the same period, earnings have increased almost 50%. However, profits growth has declined in the past year, with S&P 500 trailing earnings up only 4.4% in…
  • TIPS say the deflation "threat" has passed

    26 Feb 2015 | 2:20 pm
    According to the pricing of TIPS and Treasuries, the bond market has decided that the negative inflation shock of falling oil prices has run its course. In fact, inflation expectations have been rising since year end: the bond market now sees inflation (of the CPI variety) averaging 1.7% over the next five years, and 2.0% from years 5 through 10. With the labor market having improved in recent months and long-term inflation expectations now back to levels that the Fed deems appropriate, it's only a matter of time before the Fed begins to raise short-term rates. This long-awaited…
  • Good news overseas

    23 Feb 2015 | 6:37 pm
    The outlook for Europe has improved significantly in the past month or so, a fact that still seems to be flying under the mainstream media's radar. On balance, the outlook for the global economy continues to improve. Very good news.Released last Friday, the Markit Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers' Index jumped to 53.5, as shown in the chart above. This means the outlook for the Eurozone economy has brightened considerably of late, no doubt due in part to a relaxation of Russia/Ukraine tensions and the likelihood of an acceptable solution to the Greek debt crisis. Even if Greece were to…
  • The 65-year trends in equity prices

    20 Feb 2015 | 10:14 am
    It's taken almost 15 years, but the S&P 500 has finally exceeded its August 2000 high in inflation-adjusted terms (though just barely). Here's how I see the long term trends for this index, in nominal and real terms:The nominal index is now 37% above its 2000 high, and over the past 65 years it has risen at an annualized rate of about 7.7% per year. The trend lines I've drawn represent annualized growth of just over 6%.In inflation-adjusted terms, over the past 65 years the S&P 500 has risen at an annualized rate of about 3.9%. The trend lines represent 3% annualized growth. The CPI…
  • Reading the market tea leaves: swap and credit spreads still relatively benign

    19 Feb 2015 | 6:32 pm
    Swap spreads are excellent coincident and forward-looking indicators of the general health of the financial markets and the economy. (See my short primer on the subject here.) They are therefore one of the most important indicators for investors to follow. The news of late has been mixed to negative, with a modest pickup in growth in the U.S. economy overshadowed by increased tensions in the mideast, weak economic growth in Europe, the return of the "Grexit" problem (the potential for a default on the part of the Greek government, or a decision to leave the Euro), the collapse of oil prices…
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    Donald Marron

  • Three Things You Should Know About Dynamic Scoring

    Donald
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:59 am
    The House recently changed the rules of budget scoring: The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation will now account for macroeconomic effects when estimating the budget impacts of major legislation. Here are three things you should know as we await the first official dynamic score. 1. Spending and regulations matter, not just taxes You might think dynamic scoring is just about taxes. It’s not. Spending and regulatory policies can also move the economy. Take the Affordable Care Act. CBO estimates that the law’s insurance subsidies will reduce labor supply by 1.5 to…
  • Tax Policy and Investment by Startups and Innovative Firms

    Donald
    9 Feb 2015 | 11:29 am
    Our tax system includes many provisions to boost business investment, particularly by startups and innovative firms. In a new Tax Policy Center study, Joe Rosenberg and I find that those incentives are often blunted by other features of the tax code: We examine how tax policies alter investment incentives, with a particular focus on startup and innovative businesses. Consistent with prior work, we find that existing policies impose widely varying effective tax rates on investments in different industries and activities, favor debt over equity, and favor pass-through entities over…
  • Spin Alert: DOE Loans Are Losing Money, Not Making Profits

    Donald
    17 Nov 2014 | 8:32 am
    The Department of Energy snookered the media last week with a report that seems to show that its clean energy lending programs are profitable. “Remember Solyndra? Those loans are making money,” went a typical headline. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Taxpayers are losing money on DOE lending. Less than originally expected, and less than you would expect given media coverage of Solyndra, Fisker, and a few other failed loans. But smaller losses are still losses, not profits. To understand DOE’s spin, consider a simple example. Suppose your spouse borrows $10,000 from a bank at 5 percent…
  • A “Normal” Budget Isn’t Really Normal

    Donald
    20 Oct 2014 | 7:15 am
    Treasury closed the financial books on fiscal 2014 last week. As my colleague Howard Gleckman noted, the top line figures all came in close to their 40-year averages. The $483 billion deficit was about 2.8 percent of gross domestic product, for example, slightly below the 3.2 percent average of the past four decades. Tax revenues clocked in at 17.5 percent of GDP, a smidgen above their 17.3 percent 40-year average. And spending was 20.3 percent, a bit below its 20.5 percent average. Taxes, spending, and deficits thus appear to be back to “normal.” If anything, fiscal policy in 2014 was…
  • The $300 Billion Question: How Should Congress Budget for Federal Lending Programs?

    Donald
    29 Sep 2014 | 9:48 am
    Lending programs create special challenges for federal budgeting. So special, in fact, that the Congressional Budget Office estimates their budget effects two different ways. According to official budget rules, taxpayers will earn more than $200 billion over the next decade from new student loans, mortgage guarantees, and the Export-Import Bank. According to an alternative that CBO favors, taxpayers will lose more than $100 billion. Those competing estimates pose a $300 billion question: Which budgeting approach is best? As I document in a new report and policy brief, the answer is neither…
 
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    Supply and Demand (in that order)

  • The War on Poverty

    27 Feb 2015 | 7:11 pm
    According to Milton FriedmanThe war on poverty of which so much has been made since then has been a very good thing indeed for many thousands of civil servants who have been able to make excellent careers and many thousands of academic people who have been able to do study after study on poverty.From Friedman on Galbraith
  • Opeds about Redistribution and Obamacare

    23 Feb 2015 | 7:04 am
    I published three opeds in the Wall Street Journal, but do not reproduce them here in real time to be consistent with WSJ's copyright. Here are some shortcuts to ungated versions:“The Myth of Obamacare’s Affordability.”  Wall Street Journal.  September 9, 2014.  Page A17.“A Recovery Stymied by Redistribution.”  Wall Street Journal.  June 30, 2014.  Page A11.“How Obamacare Wrecks the Work Ethic.”  Wall Street Journal.  October 3, 2013.  Page A13.
  • Robocall cost-benefit analysis

    12 Jan 2015 | 5:52 pm
    I just answered a Robocall from Covered Illinois touting Obamacare policies.  Will the time I spent answering the call be counted in any cost-benefit analysis?
  • Republicans help to socialize medicine

    8 Jan 2015 | 3:44 pm
    Wow!  A widespread failure to consider the economics of health reform has led Republicans to push legislation to (unwittingly, may we suppose?) promote socialized medicine, and Democrats to oppose it!The new Republican-sponsored bill ("Save American Workers Act") is about changing the "definition of full-time work" from 30+ hours to 40+ hours. But we are not really talking about definitions because the federal government does not publish the English dictionary.What we are talking about the threshold for getting free stuff: government-financed health care in this case. Because…
  • Program participants sometimes OVERestimate disincentives; good new book

    12 Dec 2014 | 11:53 am
    I commonly hear it claimed that health insurance assistance does not discourage work because the rules are too complicated for people to understand that work does not pay. This claim is full of errors of logic and fact (see here and scroll to Q8). But let's look at one: why should we assume that people underestimate work disincentives rather than overestimate them?Here's one story in which one man, Dave Campbell, decided to reduce his work hours in order to reduce his income in order to qualify for Medicaid, when it now appears that he probably would have qualified without reducing income....
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida; Carlin advances

    Andrew
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    There wasn’t much enthusiasm yesterday, but I do have to pick a winner, so I’ll go with Zbicylist’s comment: “Carlin. Are there 7 words you can’t say in a seminar? Let’s find out.” And today we have two more modern French intellectuals! I don’t have much of anything to say about either of these guys so I’ll pass this one on to all of you. P.S. As always, here’s the background, and here are the rules. The post Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida; Carlin advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social…
  • These are the statistics papers you just have to read

    Andrew
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:02 am
    Here. And here. Just kidding. Here’s the real story. Susanna Makela writes: A few of us want to start a journal club for the statistics PhD students. The idea is to read important papers that we might not otherwise read, maybe because they’re not directly related to our area of research/we don’t have time/etc. What would you say are the top ten (or five) statistics papers that you think statistics PhD students should read? What do all of you think? We’ve listed the most-cited statistics papers here. This list includes some classics but I don’t think they’re…
  • George Carlin (2) vs. Barbara Kruger

    Andrew
    3 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    To decide yesterday‘s contest, I’ll have to point to Jeremy’s comment: Rembrandt in a walk: -He believes that “God is in every leaf on every tree”. Most of his greatest paintings are portraits of himself or regular people (as opposed to portraits of kings or Popes, or mythical battles, or etc.) Same for his etchings. -He believes in embracing variation. Check out especially his later work, which is famously unpolished and is all the more evocative for it. In contrast, Russell spent his whole career trying, and failing, to impose more precision on the foundations of…
  • One simple trick to make Stan run faster

    Andrew
    3 Mar 2015 | 6:02 am
    Did you know that Stan automatically runs in parallel (and caches compiled models) from R if you do this: source(“http://mc-stan.org/rstan/stan.R”) It’s from Stan core developer Ben Goodrich. This simple line of code has changed my life. A factor-of-4 speedup might not sound like much, but, believe me, it is! The post One simple trick to make Stan run faster appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • Introducing shinyStan

    Jonah Sol Gabry
    2 Mar 2015 | 2:30 pm
    As a project for Andrew’s Statistical Communication and Graphics graduate course at Columbia, a few of us (Michael Andreae, Yuanjun Gao, Dongying Song, and I) had the goal of giving RStan’s print and plot functions a makeover. We ended up getting a bit carried away and instead we designed a graphical user interface for interactively exploring virtually any Bayesian model fit using a Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm. The result is shinyStan, a package for R and an app powered by Shiny. The full version of shinyStan v1.0.0 can be downloaded as an R package from the Stan…
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    TheMoneyIllusion

  • Real wage bleg

    ssumner
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:37 am
    Paul Krugman has a column discussing the plight of America’s workers: The point is that extreme inequality and the falling fortunes of America’s workers are a choice, not a destiny imposed by the gods of the market. And we can change that choice if we want to. We all know that workers have done very poorly in recent decades, but exactly how do we know this?  Michael Darda sent me an email pointing out that real wages have been rising since about 1994 (ironically when NAFTA was enacted), after falling during previous decades.  Here’s a graph showing hourly real wages, where I…
  • The great unwashed masses (there’s weakness in numbers)

    ssumner
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:54 am
    Over at Econlog I have a new post pointing out that back in 2006 New Keynesians like Brad DeLong believed in monetary offset.  I should clarify one point, however. I am basically talking about the New Keynesian elite, the people who follow the latest developments in macroeconomics. A paper by Daniel Klein and Charlotta Stern (2006) points to a 2003 survey done by the AEA that showed that most economists favored using fiscal stimulus for purposes of fine-tuning the economy.  Read that again, I didn’t say “most Keynesians,” I said most economists.  Fiscal skeptics like…
  • Odd notes

    ssumner
    1 Mar 2015 | 10:29 am
    1.  Look how Newsweek puts things in perspective: The bombardment was preceded by a large-scale Kurdish operation against Isis in northern Iraq, which saw 5,000 Kurdish fighters, supported by US-led coalition airstrikes, sweep around Mosul to recapture an area larger than the size of Andorra, Liechtenstein and San Marino combined. That large, eh? 2.  This surprised me: Ms Schneider reckons that more than half of the world’s feed crops will soon be eaten by Chinese pigs. And some more information: As a result, land use is changing drastically on the other side of the world. In Brazil, more…
  • Long and variable leads (a reply to Tony Yates)

    ssumner
    27 Feb 2015 | 5:53 pm
    Tony Yates expresses shock that someone calling himself a market monetarist could reject Milton Friedman’s famous “long and variable lags” claim about monetary policy. I have great respect for Friedman, but when I did my research on monetary policy in the interwar years (which is the period where it is easiest to clearly identify monetary shocks) I wasn’t able to find significant lags.   The monthly WPI and industrial production indices seemed to move almost immediately and sharply after monetary shocks.  If NGDP data had been available, it would have also responded…
  • It turns out that the US was never at the zero bound

    ssumner
    26 Feb 2015 | 6:07 am
    Matt Yglesias has a very interesting new post: Something really weird is happening in Europe. Interest rates on a range of debt — mostly government bonds from countries like Denmark, Switzerland, and Germany but also corporate bonds from Nestlé and, briefly, Shell — have gone negative. And not just negative in fancy inflation-adjusted terms like US government debt. It’s just negative. As in you give the German government some euros, and over time the German government gives you back less money than you gave it. In my experience, ordinary people are not especially excited about…
 
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • When biases collide

    chris
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:17 am
    Here's Leicester manager Nigel Pearson talking about tonight's game against Man City: Do I expect any backlash or do I take encouragement from their recent results? I think a bit of both. This is an example of how mistaken beliefs can cancel out. On the one hand, we have the hot hand fallacy (well, cold hand in this case); the idea that unusually bad performance persists*. On the other, there's the gambler's fallacy; the idea that a run of unusually bad outcomes increases the likelihood of a good one. In giving equal weight to both errors, Mr Pearson has come to a reasonable…
  • Impossible choices, & markets

    chris
    3 Mar 2015 | 6:52 am
    In the day job, I point out that it is impossible for young people to save optimally for their retirement. This isn't just because of the well-known problems of weakness of will or low incomes, but also because of unavoidable uncertainties about how future tastes and working conditions will change. This, though, is not the only big but impossible decision we expect young people to make. It is also impossible for them to make the right career choices. This isn't just because their characters and preferences are not yet fixed and so they cannot know what jobs they are best suited for.
  • What failure of macroeconomics?

    chris
    28 Feb 2015 | 5:04 am
    I'm in two minds about Frances' critique of macroeconomics. A bit of me disagrees, but a bit thinks she might be understating the problem. First, a disagreement. In one respect, the 2008 crisis actually strengthened economics. The investor who followed the sell in May rule, or who used foreign buying of US equities as a sell signal, would have been out of equities before the crash of 2008. In this sense, the financial crisis actually vindicated the claim that economists can fulfill the useful function of warning of trouble ahead. Of course, these two guides told us nothing about the…
  • The "cost" bias

    chris
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:04 am
    Simon's claim that fiscal austerity has been a disaster reminds me of a big bias in the media - the misuse of the word "cost". Very often, when the press use the word "cost" to describe a policy, what they really mean is a transfer. For example, the BBC says that "offering four weeks paid paternity leave will cost £150m a year". No, it won't. This is a benefit for working fathers but a cost to their employers. This is a transfer, not a cost. Similarly, the Guardian writes: "A cut in the cap on tuition fees would cost just under £2bn." It might…
  • Why Miliband is right

    chris
    26 Feb 2015 | 5:43 am
    Ed Miliband is right. MPs should be banned from having paid directorships and consultancies.  However, I don't say this for the conventional reasons. It's not because such jobs distract MPs from their duties to voters and the country. The way to stop an MP doing a lousy job isn't to stop him doing other jobs but to ensure that he gets either deselected or voted out. In this context, stronger powers of recall would be better than a ban on outside work. Nor is it because such directorships will lead to MPs' votes being swayed by specific commercial interests. As Simon…
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    David Smith's EconomicsUK.com

  • If Europe keeps growing, Brexit won't happen

    David Smith
    1 Mar 2015 | 1:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Greece’s negotiations with its creditors have provided us all with an entertaining glimpse into the dysfunctional family that is the eurozone. So we have had Wolfgang...
  • IEA's shadow MPC votes 6-3 to keep rates on hold

    David Smith
    1 Mar 2015 | 12:59 am
    The Shadow MPC has voted to keep rates on hold, entrenching its reversal, at the last meeting, of its long-standing call for rate rises. Those favouring a hold included members arguing that there is no inflationary pressure and/or that the...
  • 'Good' deflation boosts growth - will it bring forward rate rises?

    David Smith
    15 Feb 2015 | 1:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. It is easy to get depressed about deflation. Deflation and depression are linked in the mind for good reason. In what economic historians call the first...
  • Osborne needs to be careful with that axe

    David Smith
    8 Feb 2015 | 1:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. George Osborne has, in spite of everything, a pretty good story to tell on the budget deficit. The scale of the borrowing problem the coalition inherited...
  • Consumers are buoyed by the 'feel-better' factor

    David Smith
    1 Feb 2015 | 1:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. A month into the year and questions about the recovery are already being asked. Growth slowed at the end of last year, with the smallest quarterly...
 
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    Project Syndicate RSS-Feed

  • New Equities for Infrastructure Investment

    Justin Yifu Lin, et al.
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:20 am
    Though infrastructure projects are among the most productive investments a society can make, existing asset classes fail to provide the structure needed to compete with traditional equity or debt. That is why economies would benefit from a new asset class that could harness the potential of private money for public infrastructure.
  • Publicly Funded Inequality

    Kemal Derviş
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:20 am
    In the hands of a capable entrepreneur, a technological breakthrough can be worth billions, owing to regulatory protections and the winner-take-all nature of the global economy. What is often overlooked is the role that public money plays in creating this modern concentration of private wealth.
  • A Silk Glove for China’s Iron Fist

    Brahma Chellaney
    4 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    For years, China has sought to encircle South Asia with a “string of pearls": a network of ports connecting its eastern coast to the Middle East that would boost its strategic clout and maritime access. With the maritime Silk Roach initiative, China is attempting to put a virtuous veneer on the same strategy.
  • Trashing the ASEAN Brand

    Gareth Evans
    4 Mar 2015 | 3:35 am
    Three of Southeast Asia's most important states – Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia – are raising serious doubts about their commitment to the rule of law, the integrity of their judicial systems, and the quality of mercy in the administration of justice. Worse, their political backsliding jeopardizes the entire region's prospects.
  • Japan’s Sensitive Military Normalization

    Jamie Metzl
    4 Mar 2015 | 3:34 am
    Given the threats that Japan faces – and its exemplary record of responsible behavior since WWII – constitutional constraints on its ability to defend itself should be eased. But overcoming opposition to Japan's military normalization will require the country to demonstrate that it has come to terms fully with its wartime record.
 
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    OilPrice.com Daily News Update

  • Crude Down Following Biggest Weekly Inventory Rise In 14 Years

    4 Mar 2015 | 9:30 am
    So much for last night's lower than expected API build, DOE data shows a massive build compared to the 3.95 mm barrels expected: • *CRUDE OIL INVENTORIES ROSE 10.30 MLN BARRELS, EIA SAYS This is the 8th build in a row and biggest weekly inventory rise in 14 years.This is the fastest inventory build EVER...and WTI has broken back below $50...Related: No Real Oil Price Relief Until Q3Unambiguously good still? By ZerohedgeMore Top Reads From Oilprice.com: Here’s What Will Send Oil Prices Back Up Again Could Oil Prices Plummet A Second…Read more...
  • Blackbird Energy Announces Two Major Discoveries

    3 Mar 2015 | 3:33 pm
    In a world where only 5% to 10% of oil and gas projects are economic, Blackbird Energy Inc. (TSX-V: BBI), a junior E&P company, has just made two major discoveries that appear to fit into this small group of projects. With its condensate (high quality oil) and highly liquids-rich gas discoveries in both the Upper and Middle Montney intervals, Blackbird has significantly de-risked its oil & gas project that sits in a great “neighborhood” at Elmworth, Alberta, Canada. Over the last two years, Blackbird has established a very significant…Read more...
  • No Real Oil Price Relief Until Q3

    3 Mar 2015 | 3:21 pm
    Most of the publicly traded upstream oil & gas company share prices have moved up off the lows they set in December and January as crude oil prices have stabilized. Although it is encouraging, I do expect to see lots of share price movement (up and down) as the oil & gas sector struggles during the first half of 2015. We are not out of the woods yet, but there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel and investors are beginning to return to the sector. The oil markets should tighten in the third quarter. The International Energy Agency…Read more...
  • Impotent Western Sanctions Fail To Disrupt Russian Energy Exports

    3 Mar 2015 | 3:08 pm
    Energy exports from Russia, in the form of coal, oil, natural gas and uranium, continue to flow unimpeded, despite Western efforts to damage the Russian economy for interfering in Ukraine. In some ways, the sanctions have had the desired effect. But in others, notably the energy trade, they have failed, and in fact it could be argued they have backfired, by hurting the businesses that do business with Russia. Moreover, the sanctions have further isolated Russia from Europe and drawn it closer to alternative energy partners, namely Turkey and China.…Read more...
  • Oil Majors Balk At Mexican Offshore Proposals

    3 Mar 2015 | 2:51 pm
    The Mexican government has unveiled much-anticipated offers for offshore acreage in the Gulf of Mexico for oil exploration. In this second phase of “Round One” auctions, Mexico is offering up nine production sharing contracts across five areas, holding an estimated 355 million barrels of oil combined. The Mexican government has anticipated very strong interest for this round as the fields are located in shallow water where state-owned oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has already been actively drilling. Even better, the fields that…Read more...
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    zentrader.ca

  • Do Meteorologists Make Good Stock Traders?

    chris
    1 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    By Chris Ebert Try this: Look out of the window and, based on what is seen, make a prediction about tomorrow’s weather. If it’s sunny today, does that mean it will be sunny tomorrow? Or, if it’s cloudy today does that make it any more or less probable that it will rain tomorrow? That’s just the sort of process that many participants in the stock market face on a daily basis. Traders can learn a lot about their own trading simply by considering what it is that makes a weatherman good (or not so good) at predicting the weather. Perhaps, instead of just looking out of the window, a bit…
  • Thursday Evening Options Brief 26-Feb-15

    chris
    26 Feb 2015 | 3:00 pm
    By Chris Ebert Note to readers: The weekly updates of the S&P 500 options market are now presented here each Thursday evening. In-depth analysis of the options presented here will continue to be published each Sunday morning. Probably the most important factor an individual retail stock market trader needs to be concerned with at the moment is whether or not big-money interests are putting their support behind the most recent rally in stock prices – the rally that saw the the 2100 level surpassed for the S&P 500 index. If big institutions and large investors are behind the current…
  • The Federal Reserve Bank Is Bullish On US Economic Growth

    Jeff Pierce
    25 Feb 2015 | 12:07 pm
    The December jobs report marked yet another turning point for the US economy with the unemployment rate falling to 5.6%. The 0.2% drop saw the number of unemployed people dropping to 8.7 million – a decline of 383,000. During the course of 2014, the number of unemployed people declined by 1.1 million and the unemployment rate dropped by 1.1%. Breaking down the stats further, the following unemployment rates for various demographics were evident: adult men (5.3%), adult women (5%), Asians (4.2%), Hispanics (6.5%), blacks (10.4%) and whites (4.8%). Further, the data revealed that long-term…
  • The Best Time To Ignore Stock Prices

    chris
    22 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    By Chris Ebert Note to readers: the following weekly analysis is based upon findings in the Thursday Evening Options Brief. Like most aspects of the stock market, the life of the technical trader is full of paradoxes. Take, for instance, the fact that many technical traders use the same charting tools to analyze the market. The result of this type of technical group-think is that large numbers of traders are likely to come to a similar conclusion at approximately the same time. When these folks place trades, their mere presence in the market tends to make their conclusion a self-fulfilling…
  • Thursday Evening Options Brief 19/02/15

    chris
    19 Feb 2015 | 3:00 pm
    By Chris Ebert Note to readers: The weekly updates of the S&P 500 options market are now presented here each Thursday evening. In-depth analysis of the options presented here will continue to be published each Sunday morning. In the stock market, height is important. But, speed is even more important. If stock prices move too slowly, traders get anxious, even when prices are climbing to new highs. A rally without a little irrational exuberance can be a dangerous thing. Exuberance keeps fingers from hovering over the sell button. Exuberance keeps short sellers on their toes; quite simply,…
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    Economy Watch

  • What Happens at the End of Greece's Four-Month Extension?

    The Conversation UK
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:02 am
    greeceeu.jpg Home Page News Page The world breathed a sigh of relief when Greece accepted a four-month extension to its current bailout programme on February 20. After much political rhetoric to the contrary, newly-elected Syriza promised to continue with reforms. The deal is such that the vital last injection of cash that is propping up its economy – worth €7.2 billion – will only be delivered when these reforms are in action. <p>The world breathed a sigh of relief when Greece accepted a four-month extension to its current bailout programme on February 20. After much…
  • China's SOE Foreign Investment Process, not Sinister, but Complicated

    East Asia Forum
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:46 am
    china_power_plant.jpg Home Page News Page China’s international energy investments and acquisitions have drawn much interest from foreign observers. Some analysts tend to believe that it represents a national energy procurement strategy driven by the central government. <p>China&rsquo;s international energy investments and acquisitions have drawn much interest from foreign observers. Some analysts tend to believe that it represents a national energy procurement strategy driven by the central government.&nbsp;</p> See Also links url: …
  • New Japanese Ag Minister Hayashi Brings New Life to the TPP Negotiations

    East Asia Forum
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:27 am
    containership.jpg Home Page News Page Japan’s new Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) Yoshimasa Hayashi, who previously served in the position in 2012–14, was a logical choice to take over from his disgraced predecessor Koya Nishikawa. He arrived at the Prime Minister’s Office (Kantei) only five minutes after Nishikawa left, and was apparently selected because he was ‘the only one that could immediately do the job’. <p>Japan&rsquo;s new Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) Yoshimasa Hayashi, who previously served in…
  • Lower Your Expectations about Policy Changing Statements from the ECB

    Marc Chandler
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:47 am
    ecb.jpg Home Page News Page The ECB meets tomorrow.  We do not attribute any significance to its location in Cyprus.  A couple times a year, the ECB meets outside of Frankfurt.  <p>The ECB meets tomorrow. &nbsp;We do not attribute any significance to its location in Cyprus. &nbsp;A couple times a year, the ECB meets outside of Frankfurt.&nbsp;</p> See Also links url:  http://www.economywatch.com/features/The-Bank-of-Canada-Meets-and-Disappointing-PMI-Data-comes-from-Japan-UK-and-the-Eurozone.03-04-15.html Title:  The Bank of Canada Meets and…
  • Will Bitcoin Soon Replace Paper Money?

    EW News Desk Team
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:27 am
    An Australian economics professor has predicted that electronic currency such as Bitcoin will replace paper cash within a decade. Others believe this prediction is unrealistic given the slow adoption of the digital currency. But, all sides agree that digital currency will have an influence on the fiat currency systems of the world.  <p>An Australian economics professor has predicted that electronic currency such as Bitcoin will replace paper cash within a decade.&nbsp;</p> read more
 
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    Central Bank News

  • Albania maintains rate at 2.0% as inflation picks up

    centralbanknews.info
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:03 am
        Albania's central bank maintained its key interest rate at 2.0 percent, but issued no immediate statement.    The Bank of Albania, which cut its rate by 25 basis points in January following cuts of 75 basis points in 2014, said on Jan. 28 that it would maintain easy monetary conditions "some quarters ahead" to achieve its inflation target but also signaled that it was unlikely to reduce rates further.    Albania's inflation rate rose to 1.3 percent in January from 0.7 percent in December.    In January the central bank forecast annual inflation…
  • Canada holds rate, lower dollar to help boost exports

    centralbanknews.info
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:55 am
        Canada's central bank maintained its benchmark target for the overnight rate at 0.75 percent, as expected, saying easier financial conditions and a lower dollar since its January rate cut will help boost exports and investments, helping mitigate the negative effects from lower oil prices.    The Bank of Canada (BOC), which surprised markets by cutting its rate by 25 basis points in January, said economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2014 was in line with its expectations and most of the negative impact on income and demand would appear in the first half of…
  • Poland cuts rate 50 bps as deflation deepens

    centralbanknews.info
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:48 am
        Poland's central bank cut its monetary policy reference rate by 50 basis points to 1.50 percent, a move that was largely expected following last month's guidance by the National Bank of Poland (NBP) that it did not rule out further rate cuts if deflation continued.    The NBP's previous rate cut of 50 basis points was in October 2014 but since then the fall in consumer prices has deepened. Since the NBP embarked on a monetary easing cycle in November 2012, it has cut the benchmark rate by 325 points.    Polish consumer price inflation fell to minus 1.3…
  • India cuts rate by 25 bps in another surprise move

    centralbanknews.info
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:48 pm
         India's central bank cut its benchmark repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.50 percent in a surprise move and said further adjustment of monetary policy would depend on new data.    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which also surprised financial markets in January by cutting its rate by 25 basis points in January, said softer readings on inflation were expected to come through in  the first half of the 2015/16 financial year, which begins on April 1, before rising to below 6 percent in the second half of the year.    "Given low…
  • Central Bank News Link List - Mar 3, 2015: Denmark spends $25 bln in Feb to keep peg, reserves to hit high

    centralbanknews.info
    3 Mar 2015 | 12:28 pm
    Here's today's Central Bank News' link list click through if you missed the previous link list. The list comprises news about central banks that is not covered by Central Bank News. The list is updated during the day with the latest developments so readers don't miss any important news.Denmark spends $25 bln in Feb to keep peg, reserves to hit new high (Reuters)Canada consumer gloom deepens before Poloz interest rate meeting (Bloomberg)South Africa’s CBank says interest rates to be unchanged in short term (Reuters)Inflation still a concern, says India’s Rajan (PTI)Turkish…
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    Business Insider

  • Fed says wage pressures were moderate across the economy

    Myles Udland
    4 Mar 2015 | 11:00 am
    The Federal Reserve's latest Beige Book is set for release at the top of the hour.  The Beige Book is a collection of anecdotal observations from each of the Federal Reserve's 12 business districts regarding the current economic outlook in their region.  Recent Beige Book releases have seen particular attention paid to commentary in the energy sector, which notably impacts businesses in the Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Atlanta Fed regions.  Beige Book's are released eight times per year, and Wednesday's release comes ahead of Friday's big jobs report and is the Fed's…
  • John Doerr: the greatest tech entrepreneurs are 'white, male, nerds'

    Sam Colt
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:58 am
    In a recording of a public presentation played in Ellen Pao's discrimination suit against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, partner John Doerr told Sequoia Capital's Mike Moritz that the most successful tech entrepreneurs are "white, male, nerds." Doerr was giving a keynote with Moritz at a National Venture Capital Association meeting in 2008, when he described being in an Amazon warehouse and seeing programming language books next to titles like "The Joy of Sex." "These were male nerds trying to get help from an online service," Doerr said. "That correlates more with any…
  • Traders says these three things are behind Wednesday's sell-off (SPX)

    Akin Oyedele
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:58 am
    Stocks are red across the board in trading, with the Dow falling up to 130 points. Earlier, we got the ADP employment report which missed estimates at 212,000, versus 219,000 expected. In an afternoon email, the NYSE's Rich Barry said investors are paying attention to three things: Traders are taking some profits off the table as stocks looked a little stretched out and tired after a spectacular month of February. Crude oil's sharp reversal to the downside following this morning's inventory data release shook stocks up a little. Traders showing a little concern that the Fed might move to…
  • This Silicon Valley coffee shop just raised $15 million in venture capital and is planning to take over the US

    Melia Robinson
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:58 am
    Philz Coffee is just about the official beverage of Silicon Valley. Founder Phil Jaber tells Business Insider that his 30 unique blends fuel employees of Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn through long coding sessions into the night. The San Francisco-based coffee chain just raised $15 million in venture capital from Summit Partners and angel investors, including Yahoo's chairman, Maynard Webb, Facebook's chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, former Apple exec Ron Johnson, and rapper and investor Snoop Dogg, according to TechCrunch. The company has 18 shops in the Bay Area…
  • Read the angry emails Hillary Clinton's top aide sent to a bunch of reporters

    Colin Campbell and Hunter Walker
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:57 am
    A key member of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton's team sent multiple angry emails to a group of journalists Tuesday night. The messages criticized a source for being a "lying liar" and what the aide described as a reporter's "cockamamie theory." The heated exchange was the latest chapter in the growing controversy over Clinton's use of a private email address for official business when she was secretary of state from 2009 until 2013. It began after Gawker writer J.K. Trotter published a story indicating two of Clinton's top aides used "secret email accounts"…
 
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    Business + Economy – Articles – The Conversation

  • To clean up the financial system we need to watch the watchers

    Andrew Schmulow, Senior Research Associate, Melbourne Law School. Visiting Researcher, Oliver Schreiner School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. at University of Melbourne
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:11 pm
    Who's watching Australia's financial regulators? Cobalt123/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SAScandals involving Australia’s financial advice sector and the regulation of it have continued into another month, the latest chapter of which has involved NAB’s financial advice division. But this is not the first time NAB has attracted attention for its behaviour and the oversight of it. There was the time when the Australian Investments and Securities Commission (ASIC) allowed NAB to review and massage ASIC’s own media statement about NAB malfeasance. And the controversy when it was discovered…
  • Boris Nemtsov's warning for Russia: corruption will cause collapse

    Gennadi Kazakevitch, Deputy Head, Department of Economics at Monash University
    3 Mar 2015 | 6:32 pm
    A sign remembering murdered Russian democracy activist Boris Nemtsov sums up the mood: it reads "Boris"; but with the last letter added it means “fight”. AAP/EPA/Sergei IlnitskyFollowing Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov’s assassination, various Russian media outlets supporting the government characterised him - as if reading from a script - as a rather insignificant politician. But as international media coverage of thousands attending his funeral attest, the opposite is true. Nemtsov, a pro-market and pro-democracy campaigner, was one of the most prominent outspoken…
  • The national security issue that will hit Australia's economy

    Gregory Austin, Visiting Professor, Australian Centre for Cyber Security at UNSW Australia
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:18 am
    Australia's cybersecurity approach has suffered from a lack of leadership. Lukas Coch/AAPUS President Barack Obama is seeking US$14 billion to tackle it. The UK wants to build a start-up industry around it. And Australia is in the middle of what could be a year-long review into getting better at it. The issue is cybersecurity, and at risk is the entire digital economy and consumer confidence in it. In this Cyber insecurity series we investigate the size and nature of the cybercrime threat, the industry growing with it, and the solutions emerging to get in front of it. National security is…
  • Vain, deluded, indecisive, biased: this is the "average" consumer

    Paul Harrison, Senior lecturer, Graduate School of Business at Deakin University
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:18 am
    The "average" Australian according to statistics is a 37 year-old woman with two kids, a mortgage and three bedroom house. But how "typical" are her consumer choices? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com, CC BYWho is the “typical” or “average” consumer? Is there such a thing? What do they look like? How do they make decisions? Am I an average (or perhaps a below average) consumer? It’s something that comes up a lot in discussions around consumer protection, consumer advocacy, and regulation. Judges in consumer cases, for example, often ask whether the average…
  • Universities are misguided to evade controversy with 'ethics'

    Gigi Foster, Associate professor at UNSW Australia Business School
    2 Mar 2015 | 5:49 pm
    Evaluations of research ethics do not benefit from a tick-box approach. Image sourced from Shutterstock.comAustralia’s social science research, like that in most developed countries since the infamous Milgram experiments took place at my alma mater in 1961, occurs under the watchful eye of ethics boards. University ethics boards assess research involving human subjects against standards, such as the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. The standards are guided by the core value of respect for the individual research participant. This value is of fundamental importance.
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    SurvivalBlog.com

  • Notes for Wednesday – March 04, 2015

    Hugh James Latimer
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:29 pm
    The shooting sports industry lost a dearly loved member when Marval Hornady, Co-Founder Of Hornady Ammunition Passes at 102 Years of Age. o o o The supply of green tip SS109 (M855) 5.56mm ammo has dried up almost completely in the United States in the past two weeks. I’ve heard from two different friends and a consulting client that vendors at gun shows on both coasts last weekend were demanding and getting $1.50 to $1.60 per round for this scarce ammo. However, I also heard that www.WhatACountry.com has some available for just 69 cents per round. Theirs is Australian military SS109…
  • Reaching Out to the Un-Prepped, by Mark C. – Part 1

    Hugh James Latimer
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:29 pm
    If you are reading this and you have a high interest in prepping but maybe someone you know or someone close to you does not, read on. You’ve tried to reason with them, but the result is the same. Whether it’s your passion or persistence, they get overwhelmed and simply glaze over. Or, maybe they become unsettled or scared. Either way you lose them, and that frustrates you because you feel time is running out. If they would just read Patriots or survivalblog.com! Right? Well, print this out and give it to them. Now, if you’re reading this because you’re the one that won’t read…
  • Letter: A Few Thoughts on Water Storage

    Hugh James Latimer
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:28 pm
    Hugh, I reuse polyethelene 2.5 gallon theatrical fog fluid tanks for water storage. The fog fluid is a glycol, and the tank will smell for awhile. I first rinse the tanks to get all the gross product residues out. I then begin a leaching process by filling the tank with very hot water and let it sit until cool. I then repeat the process multiple times, until there is no smell. I do two more leachings after that. Another point that I thought was missed is biofilms. These, like slimes, adhere to the walls and are almost impossible to get rid of. E. coli is one of these film producers, and…
  • Economics and Investing:

    Hugh James Latimer
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:27 pm
    Target To Cut Thousands Of Jobs, Eyes $2 Billion In Cost Cuts – T.P. o o o US running out of room to store oil; price collapse next?. – G.P. o o o Items from Mr. Econocobas: “Spectacular Developments” In Austria: Bail-In Arrives After €7.6 Billion Bad Bank Capital Hole “Discovered” Video: Peter Schiff – Shocking Admission & Denial from Alan Greenspan Consumer Spending Drops for Second Straight Month
  • JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:

    Hugh James Latimer
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:27 pm
    Books Where There Is No Vetby Bill Forse (Amazon is currently out, but the book can be ordered from talcuk.org) Preparedness Now!: An Emergency Survival Guide (Expanded and Revised Edition) by Aton Movies Resistance: Untold Stories of Jewish Partisans (PBS Documentary) Jack Reacher
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    Trading Heroes

  • How To Use The RSI Indicator In Forex Trading

    Hugh Kimura
    17 Feb 2015 | 4:22 am
    The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is one of the most well-known and widely available indicators in trading. Even if you have heard of it before, you may not know how it works or the different ways that you can use it to trade. This post get into the details and show you different ways that you can use it. The post How To Use The RSI Indicator In Forex Trading appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • Forex Patterns And Probabilities Is One Of Those Books

    Hugh Kimura
    10 Feb 2015 | 6:18 am
    If you are tired of trading books that only give you part of a trading method in order to sell you a more expensive course, then this book could be for you. This post will share what I liked about this book, what I skipped over and how not to go from trader to high school teacher. The post Forex Patterns And Probabilities Is One Of Those Books appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • How To Trade Forex For Beginners

    Hugh Kimura
    3 Feb 2015 | 8:18 am
    If you are just getting started in Forex trading, you may be looking for a guide to get your trading education off on the right foot. This post will give you a simple four step process that has helped myself and other traders avoid confusion and make some real progress. The post How To Trade Forex For Beginners appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • TTL019 – Mike Melissinos On Trend Following, Trading A Fund And The Trading Tribe

    Hugh Kimura
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:18 am
    Learn how Mike Melissinos started his fund, how he trades and how he handles investors a little differently than other fund managers. He also shares how the NYC Trading Tribe helped his trading. There is a ton of tips in this one hour interview, so be sure to have your notebook ready. The post TTL019 – Mike Melissinos On Trend Following, Trading A Fund And The Trading Tribe appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • 3 Simple Ways To Avoid FXCM And Alpari Like Broker Risk

    Hugh Kimura
    20 Jan 2015 | 8:18 am
    The Swiss Franc announcement caught everyone by surprise, even some brokers. Find out how you can prevent yourself from losing your entire account when events like this happen. These three tips can help you hedge your risk. The post 3 Simple Ways To Avoid FXCM And Alpari Like Broker Risk appeared first on Trading Heroes.
 
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    OpenMarkets

  • MARKET UPDATE: DATA DEPENDENT

    OpenMarkets
    3 Mar 2015 | 2:56 pm
    Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on capitol hill today, putting a slight damper on the bulls in the market.  The rest of the week brings two big announcements though with the Beige Book and Unemployment number.  Jack reminds viewers that this Fed is data dependent which means traders and investors need to pay careful attention to the data that comes out around these announcements.
  • Why It’s a Boom Time for Palm Oil: Interview with Chong Kim Seng

    OpenMarkets
    2 Mar 2015 | 12:52 pm
    As the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, Malaysia is naturally positioned to be at the center of trade of the world’s most consumed edible oil.  But to make sure it retains this pre-eminent position in today’s increasingly financialized commodity markets, Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Berhad (BMD) has not been resting on its laurels. In recent years, it has set an aggressive expansion path, increasing both product offering and international reach while also consolidating its crude palm oil futures contract as the global benchmark. To drive this strategy, BMD has also stepped up its…
  • Monday Outlook: Winter Weather’s Impact

    OpenMarkets
    2 Mar 2015 | 4:37 am
      Several major economic reports will be released this week, and the market will be watching how much weather affects this data.  Heavy snow and cold across the Midwest and Northeast United States in February could impact the consumer spending report released today, the jobs numbers released Friday, and maybe most important, the Fed’s Beige Book data released Wednesday – key for the FOMC to use at its March meeting in two weeks. Economic Calendar Monday: Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure 8:30 AM ET   Tuesday: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speech 8:15 PM ET  …
  • MARKET UPDATE: FEBRUARY CLOSE

    OpenMarkets
    27 Feb 2015 | 3:13 pm
    Today is the last trading day of the month.  This has been the strongest February ever in the history of the stock market.  This comes at the close of a historically strong period for stocks.  Jack urges viewers to keep an eye on cash flows coming into the beginning of next week and to pay attention to the data, especially the unemployment number next Friday.
  • These Three Factors Are Holding Back Growth in Latin America

    Erik Norland
    27 Feb 2015 | 1:00 pm
    Latin American currencies have weakened a great deal since early 2014 in large part due to slow growth in the region. These trends are likely to continue through 2015, for three primary reasons. Lower commodity prices:  US Dollar (USD) prices for agricultural, energy and metals exports have fallen across the board and will reduce export revenue to varying degrees in the region. Large current account deficits:  In many Latin American nations, trade deficits are larger than historical norms and may require weaker domestic demand (less imports) in order to compensate for sluggish (or negative)…
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    azizonomics

  • On the Race to Mars and the Economics of Colonizing Space

    Aziz
    20 Feb 2015 | 10:47 am
    It is at least a little exciting to see that NASA wants to put a human on an asteroid by 2025 and on Mars by 2030. Why not very exciting? Because NASA — unlike with the Moon — is not on track to be the first one there. Yes, governments — the largest of which are capable of borrowing, spending and taxing trillions — still have the most economic power of any agency at their disposal. Yet if their plans for space exploration are anything to go by, they no longer have anything like the most ambition. Elon Musk, by contrast, plans to be on Mars by 2020, and establish a colony he wants to…
  • You should need a license to take out a mortgage

    Aziz
    12 May 2014 | 5:24 am
    In The Atlantic, Moisés Naím points to a recent study that poses three simple questions on personal finance: 1. Suppose you had $100 in a savings account and the interest rate was 2 percent per year. After five years, how much do you think you would have in the account if you left the money to grow? A) more than $102; B) exactly $102; C) less than $102; D) do not know; refuse to answer. 2. Imagine that the interest rate on your savings account is 1 percent per year and inflation is 2 percent per year. After one year, would you be able to buy A) more than, B) exactly the same as, or C)…
  • In defense of economic thinking

    Aziz
    8 May 2014 | 11:54 am
    My colleague Damon Linker recently wrote a piece entitled “How economic thinking is ruining America,” arguing that political considerations such as community, loyalty, citizenship, and the common good have been “sacrificed on the altar of economic profit-seeking.” As an economic thinker myself, I was bound to find some disagreement with Linker’s view. But there is also a fair amount of common ground. As Linker argues, the years since the 2008 recession have been rough: “Inequality is up, while growth, job creation, and middle class wages are running far…
  • Are teen pregnancies good for the economy?

    Aziz
    28 Apr 2014 | 4:14 am
    At Pew Research Center, Eileen Patten points out that “[t]he teen birth rate in the U.S. is at a record low, dropping below 30 births per 1,000 teen females for the first time since the government began collecting consistent data on births to teens ages 15-19″: [Pew] What’s changed? “The short answer is that it is a combination of less sex and more contraception. Teenagers have a greater number of methods of contraceptives to choose from,” Bill Albert, the chief program officer of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, told TIME. He…
  • Is the economy really twice as large as we thought?

    Aziz
    25 Apr 2014 | 8:25 am
    Since the mid-20th century, economists, governments, businesses, and just about everyone else has used gross domestic product (GDP) to measure the size of the economy. But is it thebest metric for the job? Some economists are saying no. GDP is a measure of the level of spending on finished goods in the economy. It is a measure of final production. If a pencil sells for 50 cents, it increases GDP by 50 cents. But a good deal more spending tends to occur in the process of making a pencil. At the very least, the manufacturer has to acquire resources to make the pencil — someone must harvest…
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    eWallstreeter

  • Eat Your Brussels Sprouts Or Else

    4 Mar 2015 | 9:30 am
    In a new 580-page report, a government advisory panel calls for “bold actions” to “transform the food system” and bring about a fundamental shift in people’s diets and lifestyles. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee advocates “a diet higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.” It wants people to eat fewer “burgers, sandwiches, [and] mixed dishes,” instructs them to use less salt, recommends more exercise, and sugg
  • New Japanese Ag Minister Hayashi Brings New Life to the TPP Negotiations

    4 Mar 2015 | 9:27 am
    containership.jpg Home Page News Page Japan’s new Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) Yoshimasa Hayashi, who previously served in the position in 2012–14, was a logical choice to take over from his disgraced predecessor Koya Nishikawa. He arrived at the Prime Minister’s Office (Kantei) only five minutes a
  • 'No Guarantees, No Trade!'

    4 Mar 2015 | 9:24 am
    Friederike Niepmann and Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr of the NY Fed's Liberty Street Economics blog: No Guarantees, No Trade!: World trade fell 20 percent relative to world GDP in 2008 and 2009. Since then, there has been much debate about the role...
  • Paul Krugman and the Foundations of Economic Science

    4 Mar 2015 | 8:44 am
    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to a hostile correspondent: Mr. Marion Ellis Dear Mr. Ellis: Calling my criticism of Paul Krugman’s most-recent column “shallow,” you applaud Krugman’s denial that (quoting Krugman) “the market for human labor is like the market for anything else.” Of course the market for human labor differs in detail from the market for [...]
  • 3 Things That May Be Hurting America’s Economic Confidence

    4 Mar 2015 | 8:18 am
    How do we explain February's drop in economic confidence?
 
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    The Last Embassy

  • ACA/Obamacare: Meet the Man Who Exposed the Gruber Videos

    W.E. Heasley
    2 Mar 2015 | 4:15 am
  • ACA: Is It Only The Tunnel Vision of the Enrollment Number That Makes for Success?

    W.E. Heasley
    1 Mar 2015 | 9:49 am
    ‘Last week, the White House took to Twitter for purposes of publicizing its latest Obamacare enrollment blarney. Far more informative than the tweet’s fictitious sign-up numbers was the schmaltzy video to which it was linked. Staged in the Oval Office, this one-act farce features a simpering HHS Secretary briefing our Thespian in Chief, who then delivers the following soliloquy: “The Affordable
  • ACA/Obamacare: Reprieving Blunderers

    W.E. Heasley
    21 Feb 2015 | 2:01 pm
    “WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is giving a reprieve to up to 6 million Americans who face fines for failing to sign up for health insurance this year, opening up enrollment again during the critical tax filing season. At the same time, it’s admitting another colossal blunder: 800,000 ObamaCare enrollees were sent the wrong tax information and have been asked to delay filing their
  • ACA/Obamacare: Narrow Networks and Heavy Users of Health-care

    W.E. Heasley
    21 Feb 2015 | 11:41 am
    “The health insurance market is changing. And the changes are not good. Even before there was Obamacare, most insurers most of the time had perverse incentives to attract the healthy and avoid the sick. But now that the Affordable Care Act has completely changed the nature of market, the perverse incentives are worse than ever. Writing in the New York Times Elizabeth Rosenthal gives these
  • ACA/Obamacare: Behind the Enrollment Numbers

    W.E. Heasley
    21 Feb 2015 | 8:27 am
    “ObamaCare’s enrollment in its second year is at 11.4 million people, a total far exceeding the 7 million who signed up last year.” “Here’s three reasons why it is getting better numbers for ObamaCare 2.0: A functioning HealthCare.gov The first year of ObamaCare enrollment was largely defined by its barely functional, $2 billion website, HealthCare.gov. The mess of glitches prevented
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    FTMDaily.com

  • CHART: NASDAQ Hits 5,000 For First Time in 15 Years

    Jerry Robinson
    3 Mar 2015 | 5:56 pm
    Congratulations America! It only took 15 years to make your money back from Wall Street. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • PODCAST: Buy and Hold is Dead

    Jerry Robinson
    3 Mar 2015 | 1:05 pm
    On today’s show, economist and FTMDaily.com founder Jerry Robinson shares some of the major moves he is making with his own investments as the stock market reaches new highs. Since December of... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • CHART: How to Profit from the “Barron’s Effect”

    Jerry Robinson
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:47 am
    Early on in my trading career, I discovered an unusual trading technique that I call the "Barron's Effect." [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • CHART: Our Buy Signal on India Last March is Up 47%

    Jerry Robinson
    2 Mar 2015 | 6:51 am
    Since issuing a long-term buy signal on India one year ago, Indian stocks are up nearly 50%. Get our latest buy signals here. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Trigger Trade Pro Update – March 2015

    Jerry Robinson
    1 Mar 2015 | 7:57 pm
    It was another profitable week for our online trading community! [[ 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

  • Dollar Exchange Rate Today: GBP/USD Struggles To Regain Momentum Slipping Under 1.54

    Adam Solomon
    4 Mar 2015 | 2:30 am
    Today's Exchange Rate Report for the Pound Sterling to Euro and US Dollar Conversions (With Live Forex Rates) The Pound to euro exchange rate was unable to regain last week’s momentum, although any trading losses were relatively small as tight ranges continued to dominate. The GBP/EUR rate found support in the region of 1.37 level... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Pound to Dollar: Short-Term (GBP-USD) Exchange Rate Predictions

    Tony Redondo
    4 Mar 2015 | 2:30 am
    Today's Pound Sterling to Dollar (GBP/USD) Exchange Rate Short-Term & Long-Term Forecasts GBP/USD Exchange Rate Softens but Remains in Tight Range The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate remains completely range bound with neither better than expected UK construction data or the lack of any meaningful economic data out of the US having... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Exchange Rate Forecasts for Pound, Euro, Rupee and Dollar: GBP/EUR, GBP/USD, GBP/INR Rates and Events This Week

    Colin Lawrence
    4 Mar 2015 | 2:00 am
    Today's Pound Sterling Outlook vs the Euro, Indian Rupee and the US Dollar Conversions The Pound remained in a tight range against the Euro, US Dollar and Indian Rupee after Markit’s Construction Purchasing Managers Index printed favourably. Economists had expected the index would weaken, therefore the rise initially offered the... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Exchange Rate ALERT: Pound Euro Smashes Best 2015 Highs, GBP/EUR Benefits From Weak Euro

    Tom Trevorrow
    3 Mar 2015 | 3:00 pm
    Today's Pound Sterling to Euro Exchange Rate Forecast With Live GBP EUR FX Predictions Demand for the British Pound (GBP) exchange rate dropped back on Monday as investors turned their attention to the up and coming general election in May, despite an impressive UK Manufacturing report which showed output grew the most in 7... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Mid-Week Exchange Rate Forecasts for the Pound, Euro and the US Dollar

    Colin Lawrence
    3 Mar 2015 | 3:00 pm
    British Pound Sterling Forecasts vs Euro and the US Dollar for 2015/2016 Foreign exchange rate markets saw the British Pound advance against the Euro while remaining in a tight range against the US Dollar on Wednesday before UK data releases. However, the Euro could continue to trade softly after final Eurozone and German Services and... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
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    BusinessClimate.com Blog

  • Downtown Rebound: Job Growth Rising in Urban Centers of Most Major Cities

    Emily McMackin
    27 Feb 2015 | 3:30 am
    There is a new hot spot for business, and it can be found in the downtown districts of most large and medium-sized cities. Employment in city centers is growing, especially among young professionals and recent graduates, reversing a longtime trend toward centralizing jobs in suburban office parks – the standard setting for most people working in metropolitan areas over the past few decades. As population rises in urban centers across the U.S., employers are following. For the first time since the 1950s, employment growth in cities is undergoing a major shift, migrating from surrounding…
  • Manufacturing Sector: Job Gains Take Root

    Bill McMeekin
    25 Feb 2015 | 3:30 am
    Has the U.S. manufacturing sector made a rebound? The stats from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests it has, and so does Harry Moser, founder and president of the Reshoring Initiative and proselytizer-in-chief for the advantages of domestic production and local sourcing. Jobs in the manufacturing sector numbered 12,330,000 (seasonally adjusted) in January, according to BLS figures, up nearly 230,000 jobs from a year earlier. Much of the increase came in durable goods manufacturing, items like cars, appliances, computers and machinery expected to last at least three years. Motor…
  • STEM Jobs Top the Highest-Paying, Most In-Demand Jobs in the Nation

    Emily McMackin
    20 Feb 2015 | 3:30 am
    For the best-paying, most plentiful jobs, technology is the future. Jobs within the tech industry dominate a new list released by Forbes and compiled by jobs website Glassdoor of the highest-paying, in-demand jobs in America, representing more than half of the top 25 slots. These jobs include roles like software architect, software development manager, solutions architect and computer hardware engineer – positions sought after not only at tech companies, but at any business with a deep investment in technology, from biomedical firms to media companies. Glassdoor compiled the list by combing…
  • Food Manufacturing: Growth on the Menu

    Bill McMeekin
    18 Feb 2015 | 3:30 am
    We break away from ruminating about the pleasures of craft beers and the rising popularity of distilled spirits to focus on a topic that has become front and center in the wave of winter storms, arctic temperatures, and bitter wind chills gripping much of the nation. Yes, food, and more specifically, food manufacturing. While storms may be emptying the grocery stores of milk and bread, there is no shortage of food manufacturing. Site consultant Jay Garner, president of Garner Economics and an expert in food manufacturing facility location, notes that the food manufacturing sector (which…
  • Robots Rising: Robotic Advances Transform Manufacturing and Future Workforce

    Emily McMackin
    13 Feb 2015 | 3:30 am
    Call it the rise of the robots. Machines are becoming just as common as workers on factory floors, as more manufacturers invest in industrial robots to handle jobs once reserved for low-skilled workers. Plants across the country and around the world are adding robots to their workforce at a faster pace than ever, according to newly released study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Nearly 10 percent of routine tasks in factories are already automated, and that percentage is expected to reach up to 25 percent over the next decade as technologies improve, BCG predicts. With robots becoming…
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    The Conscience Blog

  • Great Read

    Iyobosa
    4 Mar 2015 | 12:40 am
    Hello world. Today’s read touches on a poignant issue and that is the property market in the UK. I’ve previously touched on this issue here where I spoke about the dramatic effect gentrification is having on London. This piece has similarities. The report is from Transparency International UK and they make suggestions that could deter potential criminals laundering their dirty money into the UK property market. Property in London is a secure investment as the price rarely drops due to excess demand and limited supply. Moreover, if precaution is not applied then inflationary…
  • Great Read

    Iyobosa
    17 Nov 2014 | 12:35 am
    Hello world. Today’s read is from long time Daily Telegraph columnist Liam Halligan. Halligan has accurately pointed to flaws in the current economic revival attempt and has pointed the finger at the current recovery effort in its unfortunate failures to lead to genuine economic growth. In the coming weeks I’ll be discussing the economic effort as we approach the next election in 2015. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11233155/Recovery-The-UKs-economic-revival-is-far-from-secure.html
  • Scottish Independence: Be Careful What You Wish For

    Iyobosa
    18 Sep 2014 | 2:48 am
    Scottish not British This is a special piece about the SNP’s attempts for a Currency Union with the rest of the UK. It is flawed and the implications could be drastic. All patriotic rhetoric aside, the Scottish people should be careful of what they wish for. Without question the potential breakup of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a monumental and truly unique event. The Scottish people have been granted their request for the right as Scots to self-determination. This would result in much greater powers shifting away from Westminster and into the Scottish…
  • Tricky Situation

    Iyobosa
    17 May 2014 | 2:41 am
    Government’s current stance with regards to the potential Pfizer takeover of AstraZeneca sends mixed messages about UK recovery.  Chairman & CEO Ian Read David Cameron’s stance with regards to Pfizer’s potential takeover of AstraZeneca is somewhat peculiar. Research & Development especially in the Science industry signals innovation, persistence and longevity. Therefore the employment associated to the Science industry appears to be the kind that the UK economy desperately requires in order to aid the fragile recovery. The anomaly comes as a surprise because both the Prime…
  • Great Read

    Iyobosa
    11 May 2014 | 6:00 am
    Hello World. Liam Halligan has a reputation as a straight-talking, logical and insightful journalist and this piece is no different. In his piece in The Telegraph Halligan discusses the present banking system in place in the UK and more specifically highlights the link between Investment and retail divisions. He goes on to explain and clarify that only complete separation will ensure catastrophic government bail-outs will not occur in the future, which could potentially save taxpayers billions. I’ve touched on this issue here.  …
 
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    Macro Brief

  • February Metroscopia Poll Confirms Podemos Lead

    admin
    8 Feb 2015 | 5:49 am
    February’s Metroscopia poll for El País, published on Sunday, showed that leftist upstart Podemos keep the lead to win Spain’s next general election for the third time in four months, and the second month in a row.   Podemos maintains Spain’s first political force with 27.7% of the estimated vote, but the vote is down by five tenths. Separately, Mariano Rajoy’s governing Popular Party increases its share slightly to 20.9%, from 19.2% in January and recover to second place while the PSOE, victim of internal fighting falls to third place with 18.3%. Finally, at the fourth…
  • U.S. January Employment Report: Comments from Christophe Barraud

    admin
    8 Feb 2015 | 5:03 am
    Christophe Barraud, Chief Economist & Strategist at Market Securities, sent me his analysis concerning the U.S. January employment report:   1/ Despite negative temporary factors (adverse weather conditions, labor disputes at major West ports…), NFP rose 257K in January, well ahead of a consensus of ~230K. There was also a big net upward revision to November-December of 147K that left the three-month average growth at 336K (highest since Nov. 97).  With the latest revisions, the U.S. added 3.12 million jobs in 2014 (an upward revision to the prior estimate of 2.95 million), the…
  • The USD Will Pursue its Rally as Investors Underestimate the Pace with which the Fed Will Tighten its Policy

    admin
    1 Feb 2015 | 11:04 am
    According to the Bloomberg, on January 30, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said investors are wrong to expect the Fed to postpone an interest-rate increase beyond midyear, with the U.S. economy leading global growth and unemployment dropping and noted that:   The market has a more dovish view of what the Fed is going to do than the Fed itself… … Markets should take it at face value from the Fed’s rate projections   In this context, I decided to take a look at both Fed fund futures and latest FOMC median forecasts (December) and the fact is…
  • The Significant Decline of Oil Rig Count Suggests Downside Pressure on U.S. Oil Production

    admin
    1 Feb 2015 | 9:19 am
    According to Baker Hughes, in the week ended January 30, the total number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States came in at 1,223, compared with 1,317 in the prior week and 1,422 a year ago. The 94 oil rigs laid down made up the biggest one-week drop since 1987, the earliest year for which the company has data available.     The two states losing the most rigs were Texas (down 58 and cutting the state’s count to 695 rigs vs 840 at the beginning of January) and Oklahoma (down 10). North Dakota and Wyoming each lost four and Ohio lost three. California and Pennsylvania were…
  • Understanding the Weakness of Oil Prices

    admin
    26 Jan 2015 | 11:39 am
    Following several requests, we decided to write an article concerning oil prices to identify:   1) The main factors which explain the recent weakness. 2) What to watch to catch the next move.   Before starting, we would like to thank our friend, Christophe Barraud, Chief Economist & Strategist at Market Securities but also Top Forecaster of the U.S. Economy, who sent us a lot of stuff in order to complete our views.     It is important to remember that the short term supply and demand curves for oil are very steep which means that a small shock on one side has…
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    FT Alphaville

  • Yellen’s bleak outlook in March 2009

    FT Alphaville
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:42 am
    At the January 2009 FOMC meeting, Janet Yellen was cautiously hopeful that fiscal stimulus would lead the economy out of recession before the end of the year, but she worried that the economy would remain mired in a period of high slack and low inflation for many years. This mood was reinforced by her comments at the March meeting, which included this bit:Continue reading: Yellen’s bleak outlook in March 2009
  • The fog of financial crises, FOMC transcripts edition

    FT Alphaville
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:11 am
    Given how tense and chaotic was the last half of 2008, Ben Bernanke had to make a number of decisions quickly and without the guidance of any well-established protocol. In at least a couple of the 2009 transcripts, Ben Bernanke regrets that he bypassed either an FOMC vote or a wider consultation with others at the Fed.Continue reading: The fog of financial crises, FOMC transcripts edition
  • Abenomics and Japanese inequality, again

    Matthew C Klein
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:57 am
    Another data point for those keeping track of the impact of “Abenomics”, via a recent speech by Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda: Continue reading: Abenomics and Japanese inequality, again
  • Fed releases 2009 meeting transcripts

    FT Alphaville
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:01 am
    Opening one of the transcripts at random, the January 27-28 meeting starts with a casual laugh as Ben Bernanke observes the small number of sitting governors on the FOMC during one of the the most consequential years in monetary policymaking history: CHAIRMAN BERNANKE. As you know, Governor Kroszner resigned in anticipation of the appointment of the new Governor, Dan Tarullo. But Dan has not yet cleared the Senate, so obviously he won’t be attending the meeting, which leaves the Governors here as an embattled few, [laughter] and I think the lowest number of sitting Governors probably in a…
  • Markets Live: Wednesday, 4th March, 2015

    Paul Murphy
    4 Mar 2015 | 3:01 am
    Live markets commentary from FT.com Continue reading: Markets Live: Wednesday, 4th March, 2015
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • MRU is nominated for an International Academy of Web Television award

    Tyler Cowen
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:12 am
    Here is the GMU press release: Marginal Revolution University’s “Everyday Economics” video series has been nominated for an International Academy of Web Television award in the Best Documentary or Educational Series category. There is more information here.
  • Just to repeat myself….

    Tyler Cowen
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:21 am
    1. The obviously correct legal answer is to toss at least part of ACA back into the hands of Congress for a rewrite.  (There is rarely a well-defined “intent of the legislature” in most matters of detail, yet the wording itself is clear.)  But since many people do not like what Congress would do (or not do) in this situation, this is an option which cannot be discussed very much.  The critics would have to let on that they do not consider the current Congress to be a legitimate governing body. 2. Along the lines of my recent blog post, it is remarkable how many…
  • Labor union sentences to ponder

    Tyler Cowen
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:14 pm
    to raise labor share, unions have to decrease markups or the cost of capital; don’t see evidence or mechanism there That is from A Macroeconomist, on Twitter.  A union which simply grabs for more from the employer will raise marginal cost and induce an offsetting boost in the price, restoring capital’s share (to some degree, depending on assumptions), and of course passing some of the burden along to consumers, most of whom are workers.  The tweeter did also note that unions might decrease income inequality within the category of labor, however.  Nick Bunker comments on that. …
  • Sweet Briar will close

    Tyler Cowen
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:01 pm
    I used to think it was a decent enough school, and now: Sweet Briar College announced today that it is shutting down at the end of this academic year. Small colleges close or merge from time to time, more frequently since the economic downturn started in 2008. But the move is unusual in that Sweet Briar still has a $94 million endowment, regional accreditation and some well-respected programs. But college officials said that the trend lines were too unfavorable, and that efforts to consider different strategies didn’t yield any viable options. So the college decided to close now, with…
  • Tuesday assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:29 am
    1. The New Rambler, a new book review journal, edited by Eric Posner, Arian Vermeule, and Blakey Vermeule, looks very good plus I owe them a review. 2. Toulouse School of Economics magazine (pdf). 3. WaPo covers the best places to visit internationally, now that the dollar is stronger. 4. How much did ATMs displace bank tellers? 5. It’s all about the land, not the capital-output ratio.
 
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    Zero Hedge

  • Some Of The Best Bearish Signals Are Failed Bullish Ones...

    Tyler Durden
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:14 am
    And, as NewEdge's Brad Wishak points out, that's exactly what we are seeing play out on the NYSE here. Being the world's largest exchange by market capitalization ($16 trillion), failures like this are typically worth paying attention to...     Chart: Bloomberg h//t Brad Wishak At NewEdge
  • Ferguson Cop Cleared Of Civil Rights Violations

    Tyler Durden
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:56 am
    "There is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson’s stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety," states a report from The Justice Department, clearing Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson of civil rights violations in the shooting of Michael Brown last year. Although this was somewhat expected, as we noted previously, the DoJ's report points specifically to "some prosecution witness accounts cannot be relied on because their accounts cannot be reconciled with the DNA bloodstain evidence and other credible witness accounts."   As The NY Times…
  • "Patient" - What's In A Word?

    Tyler Durden
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:40 am
    Submitted by Sean Corrigan via True Sinews blog, After yet another masterly performance before Congress – one which was immediately confounded by the usual cacophony of cross-talk from the Pigeons and Doves (no Hawks!) among her colleagues – Madame Yellen has left no-one really the wiser as to what the all-things-to-all-men Federal Reserve thinks it is actually doing with regard to monetary policy. Is she ‘patient’ or not? And is ‘patient’ a nudge-nudge, wink-wink code for a period stretching beyond the next few FOMC meetings or is it just a tacit…
  • The Scariest Spreadheet In Fed Possession Revealed

    Tyler Durden
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:14 am
    Yesterday we reported that over the past few weeks, something very disturbing has taken place at the Atlanta Fed Center for Quantitative Economic Research, which keeps a model, called GDPNow, that mimics the methods used by the BEA to estimate real GDP growth. According to the AtlantaFed, "the GDPNow forecast is constructed by aggregating statistical model forecasts of 13 subcomponents that comprise GDP. Other private forecasters use similar approaches to “nowcast” GDP growth. However, these forecasts are not updated more than once a month or quarter, are not publicly available, or do not…
  • How's That Deflation Working Out For You?

    Tyler Durden
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:50 am
    Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform blog, The BLS put out their monthly CPI lie last week. They issued the proclamation that inflation is dead. Did you know your costs are 0.1% lower than they were one year ago. They then used these deflation numbers to proclaim your real wages soared last month. It’s all good. The American consumer is so flush with cash, they decided to spend less money for the second month in a row. The Wall Street shysters are so happy with declining consumer spending, declining corporate profits, and a global recession, they pushed the NASDAQ up to 5,000…
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    nextnewdeal.net

  • Reduce Police Brutality Through Community-Building

    rgoldfarb
    2 Mar 2015 | 8:28 am
    Efforts that connect police to the community in which they serve help to reduce encounters that lead to extrajudicial killings by police. In Darren Wilson’s grand jury testimony, he describes Michael Brown, an unarmed teen, as a “demon.” After he fired the first shot, Wilson says he heard a “grunting, like aggravated sound” coming from the teenager. He explains, “You could tell he was looking through you. There was nothing he was seeing.” After firing 12 rounds, Wilson eventually shot Brown in the head, killing him. In a 911 report, a caller related that someone, possibly a…
  • Make the Stop Overdose Stat Act a Priority for 2015

    rgoldfarb
    26 Feb 2015 | 7:52 am
    It’s time for Congress to take an evidence-based and public health focused approach to the epidemic of opioid overdoses. Opioid overdose is an epidemic in the United States. Drug overdose death rates have more than tripled since 1990, with the vast majority of these deaths attributable to an increase in the prescription and sale of opioid medications. The death rate from heroin overdose doubled between 2010 and 2012, and young people are now more likely to die from drug overdose than from motor vehicle crashes. These statistics may be surprising, but their causes are familiar – commonly…
  • Millennials Want More Than Obama’s Keystone Veto

    rgoldfarb
    25 Feb 2015 | 12:04 pm
    The president's veto of Keystone XL was not the decisive step towards transforming the country's energy usage that Millennials are looking for. In June 2013, President Obama revealed his carefully crafted litmus test for approving the Keystone XL pipeline, stating that the project’s effect on climate change would be the deciding factor in his decision. Upholding this ‘climate test’ in his 2015 State of the Union, he called on Americans to set their sights higher than a single pipeline. However, the president’s 104-word veto message to the Senate on Tuesday, which cites the necessary…
  • Guns on Campus: Not an Agenda for Women's Safety

    rgoldfarb
    25 Feb 2015 | 4:03 am
    Allowing guns on campus won't reduce sexual assault on campus - instead, it will increase the risk of homicide. Two years ago, Republican leaders released a post-mortem analysis of the 2012 election in an effort to better understand how they lost the single woman’s vote by 36 percent. The 100-page report recommended that GOP lawmakers do a better job listening to female voters, remind them of the party’s “historical role in advancing the women’s rights movement,” and fight against the “so-called War on Women.” Look no further than recent GOP-led efforts to expand gun rights on…
  • Four Ways to Prune a Rose: Why the NYT Missed the Mark on the Inequality Debate

    tprice
    19 Feb 2015 | 1:37 pm
    On Tuesday, the New York Times' data-minded blog The Upshot posted an article reporting on an inequality study performed by Georgetown University's Stephen J. Rose. The article's title boldly stated that "Inequality Has Actually Not Risen Since the Financial Crisis." Although the study's analysis is mathematically correct, the study is framed and conducted in a way that makes its findings irrelevant to the larger discussion of inequality in America. Here's why: 1.    Rose's study examines income and ignores wealth, which is actually the most stark indicator of inequality in America…
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    Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

  • More on how the Fed can boost minority outcomes

    Jared Bernstein
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:14 am
    A few more points regarding this question of the extent to which the Fed can help boost economic outcomes for African-Americans. As I and numerous others have noted, the NYT piece underappreciates the disproportionate boost black employment, earnings, and incomes get from full employment. More on that in a moment. I asked my CBPP colleague Chad Stone what he thought about all this and I found his answer resonant: Appelbaum wrote: “It’s not obvious, however, that holding down borrowing costs for a little longer would be an effective way to address the underlying problem. Indeed, the…
  • The Fed, full employment, African-Americans, and an event that brings it all together

    Jared Bernstein
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:16 pm
    As a tireless (some would say tiresome) advocate for full employment and the benefits it yields for working people, you can imagine how I was thrown by this NYT headline over a piece by economics reporter Bin Appelbaum: Black jobless rates remain high, but Fed can’t do much to help. “Shots fired!” as the kids say. I find this hard to believe in the following sense. Black unemployment has averaged almost twice that of overall unemployment since the monthly data begin in 1972 (avg: 1.9, with standard deviation of 0.15, so not a ton of variation around that mean). Crudely, that implies…
  • A currency chapter in the TPP will not diminish our Fed’s independence

    Jared Bernstein
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:39 am
    Members of Congress and interested observers have advocated adding a chapter to the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP) that takes action against trading partners who manage their currencies to subsidize their exports to us and tax our exports to them. An often heard argument against this idea is that it would put our own Federal Reserve Bank in the cross hairs. In order to lower the cost of borrowing and stimulate demand in weak economies, the Fed lowers the short-­term interest rate or engages in “quantitative easing” to lower longer ­term rates. One side-effect of such actions…
  • “Right-to-work”–one of the greatest misnomers ever heard

    Jared Bernstein
    2 Mar 2015 | 7:18 am
    Over at PostEverything. I feel very strongly about this one. Not that everyone should end up where I am on this issue of labor rights, but just that the debate should be less fraught with such misleading and phony rhetoric.
  • Musical Interlude: An old fav (from 1788)

    Jared Bernstein
    27 Feb 2015 | 1:07 pm
    OK, I know some consider this Mozart piano sonata as just a simple ditty for kids to work out on (Mozart himself described it as “for beginners”). But I found an old CD of it the other day played by none other than my fav pianist for this sort of thing–Alicia De Larrocha–and upon listening to it I was transported to a far, far better place. And now, you may join me there!
 
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    Freakonomics

  • The Maddest Men of All: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Stephen J. Dubner
    26 Feb 2015 | 8:00 am
    Ogilvy & Mather’s Rory Sutherland, an enthusiast of behavioral economics. (Photo: Betsy Weber) Our previous Freakonomics Radio episode, “Hacking the World Bank,” discussed how Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, is using the insights of behavioral economics to fight poverty. Kim acknowledged that non-profits like the World Bank are playing catch-up: KIM: If you were to go to Ogilvy or any of the big public-relations companies and give them this [new World Bank report on behavioralism], I think they would laugh at us in the sense that they would have been utilizing…
  • The Maddest Men of All Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    26 Feb 2015 | 8:00 am
    This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “The Maddest Men of All“ [MUSIC: Pearl Django, “Almost Home” (from Collected Original Compositions Rory SUTHERLAND: I’m Rory Sutherland. I’m the vice chairman of Ogilvy and Mather in the U.K. Stephen J. DUBNER: Now, that is a pretty impressive title. But we should say that you hardly had a typical climb up the corporate ladder, did you? You’ve been described as the “worst trainee” Ogilvy and Mather ever had. SUTHERLAND: Yes, I was actually so bad that I was booked on to a time-management course and I got the date…
  • New Miracle Sleep Aid Discovered!

    Freakonomics
    23 Feb 2015 | 9:26 am
    From a podcast listener named Jessica Graham in Sydney, Australia: My name is Jess and for most of my adult life I have been afflicted by various forms of sleeplessness. Would I call it insomnia? I don’t know if it could be classified as clinical insomnia, but all I can say is up until a few months ago I did dread that point in the night where you turn off the light (where normal people drop off to sleep within a matter of minutes) and where, I, on the other hand, would spend many hours tossing and turning as my brain would come up with a thousand and one things to ruminate over instead…
  • Hacking the World Bank Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    19 Feb 2015 | 8:10 am
    This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Hacking the World Bank” [MUSIC: The Diplomats of Solid Sound, “Soul Slaw” (from Instrumental, Action, Soul Stephen J. DUBNER: Back in 2012, Jim Yong Kim was minding his own business, carrying out his duties as president of Dartmouth College. He was in his third year there. Then his phone rang. And he learned that the President of the United States wanted to hire him away. Jim Yong KIM: Quite literally on a Monday, a Dartmouth graduate from 1983, Tim Geithner, called me and said, “Jim, would you consider being president…
  • Hacking the World Bank: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Greg Rosalsky
    19 Feb 2015 | 8:10 am
    Dr. Kim, second from left, didn’t have a typical background for a World Bank president. (Official White House photo: Sonya N. Herbert) Since its inception in 1944, the World Bank, a multilateral organization charged with financing the development of poor nations, has been led by macroeconomists, bankers, and government insiders. The White House’s 2012 nomination of President Jim Yong Kim – a physician, anthropologist, and academic who used to advocate dismantling the Bank — broke the mold. He is the focus of our latest Freakonomics Radio podcast, “Hacking the World…
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    Credit Writedowns

  • When do we decide that Europe must restructure much of its debt?

    Michael Pettis
    26 Feb 2015 | 11:33 am
    By Michael Pettis It is hard to watch the Greek drama unfold without a sense of foreboding. If it is possible for the Greek economy partially to revive in spite of its tremendous debt burden, with a lot of hard work and even more good luck we can posit scenarios that don’t involve a painful social and political breakdown, but […] The most in-depth research and analysis is on Credit Writedowns Pro. When do we decide that Europe must restructure much of its debt? originally appeared on Credit Writedowns Links: RSS - Daily - Weekly - Twitter - Facebook - Contact Related posts: Global…
  • How to look at the Greece bailout deal

    Edward Harrison
    21 Feb 2015 | 6:45 am
    Yesterday, Greece received an agreement in principal to extend its existing bailout program for another four months from the institutions administering that program. I believe this deal is a good basis for further work down the line. But Greece has a lot of work ahead of it, if it is to move to a new program. Moreover, Syriza will have to sell this deal as a bridge to the sustainable economic outcome it sold to its electorate in the January elections. At the same time, the Germans and the Finns at a minimum will have to sell this deal to their parliaments for it to work. Some thoughts below…
  • Negotiating strategies and political constraints regarding Greece

    Edward Harrison
    20 Feb 2015 | 5:21 pm
    I am going to leave my market-based analysis and enter the murky waters of the political economy. I don’t like the uncertainty of the political economy, given how it is based on the quixotic and unpredictable actions of individuals. But the political economy is important in crisis situations and one cannot analyze an outcome properly without taking the politics into consideration. I was a diplomat at one point in time and hope that experience will aid me here. I have been good at understanding some of the political constraints in Europe so far and intend to discuss them here. The most…
  • A decision-tree framework for thinking about the Greek – Troika negotiations

    Edward Harrison
    20 Feb 2015 | 4:56 pm
    This is a short post to update you on Greece. I continue to believe a deal can get done. Recent events demonstrate this is so. Nevertheless, the potential for policy error remains high. Brief thoughts below using a decision tree model framework The most in-depth research and analysis is on Credit Writedowns Pro. A decision-tree framework for thinking about the Greek – Troika negotiations originally appeared on Credit Writedowns Links: RSS - Daily - Weekly - Twitter - Facebook - Contact Related posts: Full Text: George Soros on reflexivity and a potential eurozone breakup Some thoughts…
  • Tax Anticipation Notes: A Timely Alternative Financing Instrument for Greece

    Guest Author
    16 Feb 2015 | 4:08 am
    The recent election of an explicitly anti-austerity party in Greece has upset the prevailing policy consensus in the eurozone, and raised a number of issues that have remained ignored or suppressed in policy circles. Expansionary fiscal consolidations have proven largely elusive. The difficulty of achieving GDP growth while reaching primary fiscal surplus targets is very evident in Greece. Avoiding rapidly escalating government debt to GDP ratios has consequently proven very challenging. Even if the arithmetic of avoiding a debt trap can be made to work, the rise of opposition parties in the…
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    Liberty Street Economics

  • No Guarantees, No Trade!

    Blog Author
    4 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Friederike Niepmann and Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr World trade fell 20 percent relative to world GDP in 2008 and 2009. Since then, there has been much debate about the role of trade finance in the Great Trade Collapse. Distress in the financial sector can have a strong impact on international trade because exporters require additional working capital and rely on specific financial products, in particular letters of credit, to cope with risks when selling abroad. In this post, which is based on a recent Staff Report, we shed new light on the link between finance and trade, showing that changes in…
  • Euro Area Inflation Expectations–Anchors Away?

    Blog Author
    2 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Matthew Ploenzke, Robert Rich, Michael Stewart, and Joseph Tracy Euro area inflation expectations have been falling at both short- and long-term horizons, with the latter development suggesting the current low inflation environment is perceived as likely to persist. Because long-term inflation expectations play a key role in the decisions of households and firms, economists have stressed the importance of long-term inflation expectations being anchored at a central bank’s target. In this post, we use survey data on inflation forecasts to document evidence of recent “unanchoring” of euro…
  • The 2005 Bankruptcy Reform and the Foreclosure Crisis

    Blog Author
    25 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    Stefania Albanesi, Jaromir Nosal, Zachary Bleemer, and Matthew Ploenzke Second in a two-part series Our previous post showed that the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) was associated with a sizable rise in foreclosure, in addition to a decline in bankruptcy filings and a rise in insolvency. In this post, we examine one possible explanation for the rise in foreclosure: the substitution hypothesis. Prior to the 2005 reform, individuals facing insolvency could discharge their unsecured debt via bankruptcy, thus retaining the ability to remain…
  • Insolvency after the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform

    Blog Author
    23 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    Stefania Albanesi, Jaromir Nosal, Zachary Bleemer, and Matthew Ploenzke Correction: The source notes for the charts in this post were incomplete and have been corrected. We regret the error. First in a two-part series Personal bankruptcy was introduced in the United States through the Bankruptcy Act of 1978. After passage of the act, bankruptcy rates rose steadily until 2005, when Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA). BAPCPA was signed by President George W. Bush on April 20, 2005, and applied to bankruptcy cases filed on or after…
  • Payback Time? Measuring Progress on Student Debt Repayment

    Blog Author
    20 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    Meta Brown, Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw Correction: We changed the adjective describing borrowers owing less than $5,000 from “high-balance” to “small-balance” in the first line of the seventh paragraph. We regret the error. Third in a three-part series Student debt continues to make headlines because of its high balances and high rates of delinquency and default—troubling issues that we discussed in our previous posts this week. A less prominent, but still important, issue is the pace at which former students are—or are not—paying…
 
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    The Incidental Economist

  • ‘Pennhurst:’ Reason for optimism in King, or reason for worry in other areas of the law?

    Adrianna McIntyre
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:45 am
    With oral arguments in King this week—today!—I’ve temporarily reprised my my Vox-writer role. Yesterday, I published a piece on Pennhurst, a legal doctrine that could prove consequential. Like Chevron, it hinges on the justices reading the law as ambiguous, but Pennhurst is a doctrine that demonstrates deference to the states—not to federal agencies—so it might prove more palatable to the conservative justices. The government does have one legal doctrine, however, that might be especially persuasive to right-leaning judges. It’s called the Pennhurst doctrine, and its…
  • In defense of the NNT

    Austin Frakt
    4 Mar 2015 | 5:22 am
    Hilda Bastian pushed back against recent promotion of the concept of the number needed to treat (NNT), including the post authored by me and Aaron at The Upshot. Bastian’s main point is that the NNT is too complex for patients, and therefore not helpful in communicating risk reduction of treatments. In her post, titled “The NNT: An Overhyped and Confusing Statistic,” she wrote, [An NNT] takes data about patients, inverts it to a “treater” perspective, and then requires them to go through cognitive gymnastics to get back to their point of view. Well before my…
  • Patients overestimate benefits, underestimate harms of treatment. What if they knew the truth?

    multiple authors
    4 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    The following is co-authored by Austin Frakt and Aaron Carroll. It originally appeared on The Upshot (copyright 2015, The New York Times Company). Click over to that version of the post to see the accompanying chart. If we knew more, would we opt for different kinds and amounts of health care? Despite the existence of metrics to help patients appreciate benefits and harms, a new systematic review suggests that our expectations are not consistent with the facts. Most patients overestimate the benefits of medical treatments, and underestimate the harms; because of that, they use more care.
  • Our little blog has come a long way

    Aaron Carroll
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:17 am
    This is a screenshot I took of yesterday’s New York Times home page (annotated by me, of course): There are times it’s nice to pause and reflect on how far this little blog has come. We’re grateful to all of you for your support! In case you missed the individual pieces, here is Nick’s op-ed and here is Austin and my Upshot piece. @aaronecarroll
  • Subjective vs. objective value in health care

    Austin Frakt
    3 Mar 2015 | 9:11 am
    In assessing “value” in health care, there’s a bit of tension among the experts. Some emphasize satisfaction, others quality metrics. It’s subjective vs. objective. Which way is best? I’ve been mulling this over for some time, and will begin to write about it—not in a fully formed way, but by conveying a few responses to articles as I read them. This post is about the excellent 2013 NEJM piece by Lisa Rosenbaum. Using the famous “illusion of attention” gorilla study by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris as an analogy, Rosenbaum says what I…
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    LewRockwell

  • Big Pharma’s Mass Vaccination Agenda

    No Author
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:01 pm
    Major US news media have presented a grossly distorted and misleading interpretation of vaccines and their relationship to public health since early January. These journalistic organs have suggested the recent measles outbreak in the Western US has been a crisis of monumental proportions. This flagrant and cynical sensationalism has become a foundation for intense advocacy on behalf of the pharmaceutical corporate and regulatory cartel targeting patient informed consent—a founding principal of modern medical practice and personal freedom. Keeping in mind the close to 300 vaccine products…
  • Disappointing Diesels

    Eric Peters
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:01 pm
    There’s something weird and cruel about the fact that diesel engines are – for the most part – for the  affluent-only. You’d think it’d be the reverse. And it is … in Europe. Over there, more than half the passenger vehicles on the road have diesels under the hood and most models (cars, crossovers, SUVs) offer the option. This is not surprising, given that gas costs about the same per gallon as a decent quality whiskey costs per liter here. But why aren’t diesel engines more commonly available here? Or rather, why are they almost exclusively offered in high-end models like the…
  • The Path to Global Economic Disaster?

    Mark Nestmann
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:01 pm
    One of the assumptions of the eurozone – those 19 countries in Europe that use the euro as their national currencies – is that if any country left the zone, economic disaster would follow in its wake. Only a few days ago, it appeared that heavily indebted Greece might be forced to drop the euro and return to the drachma, the currency it used before the euro. During the 1990s and early 2000s, Greece was spending money like a sailor on shore leave with a limitless credit card. The government ran up debts amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars to prepare for the 2004 Olympics, among…
  • Slouching Toward Extinction

    Brian Wilson
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:01 pm
    With all the Cheers and Jeers of C-PAC 2015 fading into Yesterday’s News, let us carpe the diem to add to the growing list of oxymoronic fantasies in desperate need of extinction, a term heard early and often whenever conservatives and libertarians congregate: “Limited Government”. Like “settled science”, the Tooth Fairy and Honest Politicians, not only is there no such thing, there never has been. The utter nonsense that a piece of parchment, even inscribed with swell ideas, can successfully “limit” the Leviathan, i.e. Big Government has been proven ludicrous for 226 years;…
  • A Libertarian Nightmare

    Robert Wenzel
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:01 pm
    Over at Salon, Edwin Lyngar tells us that he has given up on libertarianism because of a recent vacation he took to the Honduras. He classified the trip as a nightmare: My libertarian vacation nightmare: How Ayn Rand, Ron Paul & their groupies were all debunked I am really not sure how he reached the conclusion that the Honduras is a libertarian country, but he did:  Eliminate all taxes, privatize everything, load a country up with guns and oppose all public expenditures, you end up with Honduras. Privatize everything? Empresa Nacional de Energía Eléctrica is Honduras’s…
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    Angry Bear

  • Why Liberals Keep Losing

    Steve Roth
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:50 am
    James Carville was certainly right: “It’s the economy, stupid.” And under Democrats (compared to Republicans), the economy kicks ass: This is GDP growth, but that kick-assness is blatant in any economic measure you look at, from job growth to stock-market returns to household income to government deficits. And it’s true over any lengthy period (say, 30+ years) […]
  • Dear AB Readers: Please start a whispering campaign that I am Jewish.

    Beverly Mann
    3 Mar 2015 | 2:46 pm
    Former Missouri Sen. John Danforth sharply criticized the state’s current political discourse during his eulogy for state auditor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Schweich on Tuesday. “Words do hurt. Words can kill. That has been proven right here in our home state,” the Republican told an audience packed with the state’s top political figures, including Democratic Gov. […]
  • A Special Treat

    Beverly Mann
    3 Mar 2015 | 1:53 pm
    Delicious.
  • Open thread March 3, 2014

    Dan Crawford
    3 Mar 2015 | 4:17 am
  • How the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell Debacle Will End [Addendum added]

    Beverly Mann
    2 Mar 2015 | 8:46 pm
    I have known for the last five weeks—since January 27, to be exact—that the Supreme Court will uphold the Administration’s interpretation of the federal-subsidies provisions in the ACA when it issues its decision in the infamous King v. Burwell case whose argument date at the Court is Wednesday.  I also have known since then that […]
 
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    Macro and Other Market Musings

  • Paul Krugman Needs a T-Shirt

    2 Mar 2015 | 12:01 pm
    Paul Krugman is frustrated (my bold):In my own case, I’d guess that about 80 percent of what I’ve had to say about macroeconomics since the crisis was prefigured in my 1998 liquidity trap paper, which was classic MIT style — a stylized little model backed by and applied to real-world events, with lots of data used simply. (Seriously, skim that piece and you’ll see why I sometimes seem so frustrated: People keep rolling out arguments I showed were wrong all those years ago, or trotting out arguments I made back then as something new and somehow a challenge to conventional wisdom.)Here…
  • The Origins of the Eurozone Monetary Policy Crisis

    2 Mar 2015 | 9:21 am
    I made the case in my last post that the Eurozone crisis was largely a monetary policy crisis. That is, had the ECB lowered interest rates sooner and begun its QE program six years ago the fate of the Eurozone would be more certain. Instead it raised interest rates in 2008 and 2011, waited until this year to begin QE, and allowed inflation expectations to drift down. In short, had the ECB been more Fed-like the Eurozone crisis would have been far milder.This begs the question as to why the ECB failed to act more Fed-like. Why did it effectively keep monetary policy so tight for so long? To…
  • The Eurozone Counterfactual

    25 Feb 2015 | 10:10 pm
    Imagine the ECB had not raised its interest rate target in 2008 and 2011, but had lowered it. Also imagine the ECB began its open-ended QE program back in 2009. Would there now be a brighter future for the Eurozone? If the answer is yes, then the Eurozone economic debacle is at its core a monetary policy crisis. There are compelling reasons to believe the answer to this counterfactual question is, in fact, yes. A comparison of total money spending growth in the United States and Eurozone is one of them. Unlike the ECB, the Fed did cut its target policy interest rate quickly and implement QE…
  • Don't Worry, Be Happy: Falling Treasury Yields Edition

    9 Jan 2015 | 8:24 am
    Long-term treasury interest rates are falling again with the 10-year treasury briefly dipping below 2% this week. Some observers see this decline in yields as an omen for the U.S. economy:The United States economy is accelerating... Yet a huge bond market with a strong track record for predicting economic problems is flashing a warning sign right now.The prices of Treasury bonds are rallying fiercely. The slide in oil prices has elevated concerns about growth in the global economy, and investors, as they do in times of stress and uncertainty, are seeking out the safety of government…
  • Solving the ZLB Problem without Eliminating Cash

    4 Jan 2015 | 9:57 pm
    Should the Federal Reserve should eliminate cash as a way to avoid the zero lower bound (ZLB) problem? Ken Rogoff says yes in a recent paper. John Cochrane, on the other hand, is not ready to give up cash and is convinced that even if we did it would not solve the ZLB problem. Who is right?Before answering these questions, let us recall the nature of the ZLB problem. It occurs when the market-clearing level of nominal short-term interest rates turn negative while actual short-term interest rates get stuck at 0%. This happens because individuals would rather hold paper currency at 0%…
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    niesr.ac.uk

  • The Coalition Government’s record on immigration

    JonathanPortes
    23 Feb 2015 | 5:59 am
    Immigration was a central issue in the 2010 election, with the Conservatives pledging to reduce net migration to the “levels of the 1990s, when it was tens of thousands per year". Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats suggested an amnesty for irregular migrants who had been in the country for more than ten years.
  • Will you become an All-Star Athlete? The answer may depend on when you were born.

    AlexBryson
    17 Feb 2015 | 6:24 am
    Can the number of people born in the same year as you (i.e., the size of your birth cohort) affect your chances of success in life?  Or how about the month of year you are born in (i.e., your relative age), does that matter in terms of predicting success? If you are a professional athlete where success and performance can be pretty accurately measured, does any of this birth stuff really matter?
  • Why do firms run all-employee stock purchase plans?

    AlexBryson
    16 Feb 2015 | 3:39 am
    Across Britain around half of all listed firms run some kind of all-employee stock purchase plan (ESPP). These offer workers the opportunity to buy shares in the firm at discounted rates. But why do firms do this, and what do they hope to get out of them? Perhaps they are just a tax-efficient way of paying workers?
  • Experience counts: smoothing the school to work transition

    RichardDorsett
    4 Feb 2015 | 2:30 am
    The youth unemployment rate in the UK is now at 16 per cent, nearly four times that of the rest of the working age population. While the youth labour market is particularly susceptible to cyclical fluctuations, there are also structural issues that may not disappear with the return of economic growth as some young people struggle to make a successful transition from school into work. We estimate that roughly one in ten young people fall into this category.
  • How thinking and acting local can help the long-term unemployed

    HeatherRolfe
    12 Jan 2015 | 5:06 am
    When we think of welfare to work schemes we picture job centres, the Work Programme and providers such as A4E and Ingeus. We think of media representations of jobcentres,  through television sitcoms such as The Job Lot or the League of Gentleman's dispiriting job club run by the cruel pen-fetishist Pauline.
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    Bruegel - Latest Updates

  • Dynamic scoring and budget forecasting

    3 Mar 2015 | 12:31 am
    What’s at stake: In January, House Republicans formally adopted a budgeting rule known as “dynamic scoring”, which aims to account for the macroeconomic effects of major legislations. While the move from static to dynamic scoring makes economic sense, some worry that it will invite politicized scorekeeping. Source: Econbrowser Gregory Mankiw writes that the new appointed CBO director, Keith Hall, will face a big challenge. Until now, conventional budget analysis has used a process called static scoring, which assumes that the path of gross domestic product remains the same when the…
  • Eurozone enlargement

    27 Feb 2015 | 2:07 am
       
  • Euro-area governance: what to reform and how to do it

    26 Feb 2015 | 11:32 pm
    The Issue Reform of the governance of the euro area is being held back by disagreement on what is at the root of the euro area’s woes. Pre-crisis, the euro area suffered from the built-up of financial imbalances, price and wage divergence and an insufficient focus on debt sustainability. During the crisis, the main problems were slow resolution of banking problems, an inadequate fiscal policy stance in 2011-13 for the area as a whole, insufficient domestic demand in surplus countries and slow progress with structural reforms to overcome past divergences.Policy Challenge Euro-area governance…
  • A Greek primary issue

    26 Feb 2015 | 7:34 am
    On the 25th February, the Greek ministry of finance published the final data for the execution of the State Budget in January 2015. This data is available at monthly frequency and on cash basis, which makes it well suited to assess the situation of public finances from a short term financing perspective. Moreover, it allows comparing actual outcomes with expected ones.   Source: Greek Ministry of Finance - State Budget Execution Bulletins Over the period January-September 2014, the State primary budget outperformed expectations. The actual outcome for the 9-months period was 2.5bn…
  • The gender pay gap

    26 Feb 2015 | 2:00 am
    Blogs review: Actress Patricia Arquette’s plea to address wage disparity between women and men during the Oscar ceremony has lead to interesting discussions in the blogosphere about the measurement, causes and evolution of the gender pay gap. The evolution of the gender pay gap Claudia Goldin writes that the mantra of the women’s movement in the 1970s was “59 cents on the dollar” and a more recent crusade for pay equality has adopted “77 cents on the dollar.” Claudia Goldin writes that of the many advances in society and the economy in the last century, the converging roles…
 
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    TaxVox

  • States Want To Cut Taxes Even More on Pensions. Bad Ideas Never Die.

    Howard Gleckman
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:24 am
    The siren song of retirement income free of state taxes continues to seduce politicians. No matter that there is little evidence that high taxes on pension income drive away seniors, or that few older people move from one state to another for any reason at all. No matter that tax-free retirement income benefits the rich at the expense of low- and moderate-income households. No matter that many states talking about doing this are facing serious budget shortfalls. In sum, excluding retirement income from state tax gives money that states don’t have to people who don’t need it to discourage…
  • On Tiny Steps, King Edward, and Hidden Assets

    Renu Zaretsky
    4 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    Tax reform: Go big or go home, or at least, not very far. TPC’s Len Burman says that senators Marco Rubio’s and Mike Lee’s proposal to eliminate the tax on capital gains would do more harm than good. The senators argue that it’s a step toward a consumption tax. But Len thinks some small steps aren’t worth taking. “If you want a consumption tax that eliminates taxation of the return to saving, go for it… [but] exempting capital gains from tax while leaving other capital income taxable and interest expense fully deductible… would likely hurt the economy.” Will the sun ever set…
  • Cutting Capital Gains Taxes is a Dead End, Not a Step on the Road to a Consumption Tax

    Len Burman
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:56 am
    One of the most useful insights of public economics is the "theory of second best." The idea is that adopting some but not all of the features of optimal policy—the seminal article on the subject called this “piecemeal policy recommendations”—may actually make the economy less efficient. A great example is the argument for eliminating taxes on capital gains, as Senators Marco Rubio and Mike Lee will reportedly propose as part of their tax reform plan. They say it’s an incremental step toward a consumption tax, which would be much more efficient than an income tax because it would…
  • Can Expectations Be Too Low?

    Renu Zaretsky
    3 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    Pot tax refunds for all in Colorado? Colorado’s controversial Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR)  says that the state cannot keep more tax revenue than it expected to collect in the year it levies a new tax. Colorado is on track to collect an extra $219 million in revenue in the current fiscal year and $59 million is expected to come from the new 28 percent pot tax. Barring a dramatic economic downturn between now and June 30, Colorado taxpayers, pot smokers or not, may be in for a bit of a windfall. What does California’s experience with dynamic scoring teach us? In the latest post in the…
  • Dynamic Scoring Forum: California’s Dynamic Revenue Estimating Experience

    Brad Williams
    2 Mar 2015 | 9:05 am
    This is one of a series of TaxVox guest blogs discussing dynamic scoring. California was one of the first states in the nation to undertake dynamic revenue estimation of tax proposals.  In 1994, governor Pete Wilson (R) signed Senate Bill 1837, which required the Department of Finance to prepare dynamic revenue estimates for proposals with a more-than-$10 million static effect.  It also required the Legislative Analyst’s Office to develop dynamic analyses of significant proposals included in the governor’s budget. Prior to this requirement, California revenue estimators had included…
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    Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

  • Ruling Against Health Reform Subsidies Would Be Wrong — and Harmful

    Judy Solomon
    4 Mar 2015 | 2:00 am
    As the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in King v. Burwell this morning, it’s critical that the Court recognize that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides premium tax credits for consumers in all states, as we’ve explained.  Invalidating the credits for people in states that didn’t create their own exchanges would be wrong from a legal perspective and would harm millions of Americans. The ACA clearly states that if a state elects not to establish its own exchange, “the Secretary [of Health and Human Services] shall . . . establish and operate such Exchange within the State.” …
  • Timing Gimmick Alert on Corporate Tax Reform

    Chye-Ching Huang
    3 Mar 2015 | 12:38 pm
    As we’ve explained, timing gimmicks pose a threat to fiscally responsible corporate tax reform.  A recent comment by Dr. Laura Tyson, a University of California, Berkeley professor and an adviser to a coalition of American businesses that favor comprehensive corporate tax reform, illustrates the point.  Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, she responded to a question by noting that one possible use of one-time revenues from a tax on multinationals’ current stock of overseas profits could be to “pay for” a permanent cut in corporate tax rates.  That’s a way for…
  • Another Day, Another Republican Health Non-Plan

    Edwin Park
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:59 am
    Three leading House Republicans — Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton — say they have a plan in case the Supreme Court rules that health reform subsidies are no longer available to people buying federal marketplace coverage.  Like the recent proposal from three Senate Republicans, this latest “plan” is very vague, but what we know about it strongly suggests that it would make coverage much less affordable, particularly for people who are older or in poorer health. The…
  • Republican Senators’ “Plan” for Health Subsidies Lacks Substance

    Edwin Park
    2 Mar 2015 | 1:44 pm
    Republican Senators Lamar Alexander, Orrin Hatch, and John Barrasso claim in a Washington Post op-ed today that they have a plan if the Supreme Court decides that health reform subsidies are no longer available to people buying coverage through federal marketplaces.  Their “plan,” however, is extremely vague — perhaps intentionally so, because the details would likely show that it would make coverage less affordable for marketplace enrollees, particularly those who are older or in poorer health, and threaten the stability of the overall individual health insurance market. The senators…
  • Do Right by States and Extend Children’s Health Funding Soon

    Jesse Cross-Call
    2 Mar 2015 | 9:32 am
    The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which along with Medicaid has played a central role in cutting the number of uninsured children to a historic low, has no new federal funding starting in October.  Congress should act soon to extend CHIP — for example, by attaching a funding extension to must-pass legislation in March to avert scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to physicians. Waiting until later in the year to fund CHIP or pursuing harmful program changes to it would make it unnecessarily difficult for states to administer their CHIP programs and risks disrupting coverage…
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    Eschaton

  • Shakedown Street

    4 Mar 2015 | 10:10 am
    I'm no saint, but I just can't imagine being a part of something like this.(via)
  • World-class

    4 Mar 2015 | 7:30 am
    I think it's an incredibly stupid description of cities but I also think what the writer of this sentence:New York is perhaps the only world-class American city that has not yielded entirely to the whims of the automobile.actually meant to write was:New York is perhaps the only world-class American city.
  • Maybe That's Not Such A Good Job After All?

    4 Mar 2015 | 6:28 am
    Who would have thought that years of demonizing teaches, removing worker protections, reducing salaries and benefits, and telling people that it's really only something 22-year-old Ivy grads should do for a couple of years out of college might start to convince people that maybe it isn't such an awesome career?Really hard to comprehend.
  • Supremo Day

    4 Mar 2015 | 6:02 am
    Today we get a sense of what the justices think about whether the Moops invaded Spain.
  • Late Night

    3 Mar 2015 | 8:34 pm
    enjoy
 
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida; Carlin advances

    Andrew
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    There wasn’t much enthusiasm yesterday, but I do have to pick a winner, so I’ll go with Zbicylist’s comment: “Carlin. Are there 7 words you can’t say in a seminar? Let’s find out.” And today we have two more modern French intellectuals! I don’t have much of anything to say about either of these guys so I’ll pass this one on to all of you. P.S. As always, here’s the background, and here are the rules. The post Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida; Carlin advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social…
  • These are the statistics papers you just have to read

    Andrew
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:02 am
    Here. And here. Just kidding. Here’s the real story. Susanna Makela writes: A few of us want to start a journal club for the statistics PhD students. The idea is to read important papers that we might not otherwise read, maybe because they’re not directly related to our area of research/we don’t have time/etc. What would you say are the top ten (or five) statistics papers that you think statistics PhD students should read? What do all of you think? We’ve listed the most-cited statistics papers here. This list includes some classics but I don’t think they’re…
  • George Carlin (2) vs. Barbara Kruger

    Andrew
    3 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    To decide yesterday‘s contest, I’ll have to point to Jeremy’s comment: Rembrandt in a walk: -He believes that “God is in every leaf on every tree”. Most of his greatest paintings are portraits of himself or regular people (as opposed to portraits of kings or Popes, or mythical battles, or etc.) Same for his etchings. -He believes in embracing variation. Check out especially his later work, which is famously unpolished and is all the more evocative for it. In contrast, Russell spent his whole career trying, and failing, to impose more precision on the foundations of…
  • One simple trick to make Stan run faster

    Andrew
    3 Mar 2015 | 6:02 am
    Did you know that Stan automatically runs in parallel (and caches compiled models) from R if you do this: source(“http://mc-stan.org/rstan/stan.R”) It’s from Stan core developer Ben Goodrich. This simple line of code has changed my life. A factor-of-4 speedup might not sound like much, but, believe me, it is! The post One simple trick to make Stan run faster appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • Introducing shinyStan

    Jonah Sol Gabry
    2 Mar 2015 | 2:30 pm
    As a project for Andrew’s Statistical Communication and Graphics graduate course at Columbia, a few of us (Michael Andreae, Yuanjun Gao, Dongying Song, and I) had the goal of giving RStan’s print and plot functions a makeover. We ended up getting a bit carried away and instead we designed a graphical user interface for interactively exploring virtually any Bayesian model fit using a Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm. The result is shinyStan, a package for R and an app powered by Shiny. The full version of shinyStan v1.0.0 can be downloaded as an R package from the Stan…
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    macroblog

  • Are Shifts in Industry Composition Holding Back Wage Growth?

    macroblog
    26 Feb 2015 | 11:50 am
    The last payroll employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) included some relatively good news on wages. Private average hourly earnings rose an estimated 12 cents in January, the largest increase since June 2007. Even so, earnings...
  • Are Oil Prices "Passing Through"?

    macroblog
    23 Feb 2015 | 12:03 pm
    In a July 2013 macroblog post, we discussed a couple of questions we had posed to our panel of Southeast businesses to try and gauge how they respond to changes in commodity prices. At the time, we were struck by...
  • Business as Usual?

    macroblog
    20 Feb 2015 | 8:44 am
    Each month, we ask a large panel of firms to compare their current sales with "normal times." In our February survey, the firms in our panel reported their sales were approaching normal. Indeed, on average, larger firms (those with 100 or more employees) tell us sales levels this month were right at normal. But smaller firms, although improving, are still lagging their larger counterparts (see the chart). (enlarge) These qualitative assessments suggest a continuation of the trend we've seen in our quarterly quantitative data (these data are compiled at the end of each quarter). In December,…
  • What's (Not) Up with Wage Growth?

    macroblog
    17 Feb 2015 | 12:25 pm
    In recent months, there's been plenty of discussion of the surprisingly sluggish growth in hourly wages. It certainly has the attention of our boss, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, who in a speech on February 6 noted that The behavior of wages and prices, in contrast, remains less encouraging, and, frankly, somewhat puzzling in light of recent growth and jobs numbers. So what's up—or not up—with wage growth? Using samples of matched worker-level wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Current Population Survey, chart 1 plots the annual time series of median…
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • When biases collide

    chris
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:17 am
    Here's Leicester manager Nigel Pearson talking about tonight's game against Man City: Do I expect any backlash or do I take encouragement from their recent results? I think a bit of both. This is an example of how mistaken beliefs can cancel out. On the one hand, we have the hot hand fallacy (well, cold hand in this case); the idea that unusually bad performance persists*. On the other, there's the gambler's fallacy; the idea that a run of unusually bad outcomes increases the likelihood of a good one. In giving equal weight to both errors, Mr Pearson has come to a…
  • Impossible choices, & markets

    chris
    3 Mar 2015 | 6:52 am
    In the day job, I point out that it is impossible for young people to save optimally for their retirement. This isn't just because of the well-known problems of weakness of will or low incomes, but also because of unavoidable uncertainties about how future tastes and working conditions will change. This, though, is not the only big but impossible decision we expect young people to make. It is also impossible for them to make the right career choices. This isn't just because their characters and preferences are not yet fixed and so they cannot know what jobs they are best suited for.
  • What failure of macroeconomics?

    chris
    28 Feb 2015 | 5:04 am
    I'm in two minds about Frances' critique of macroeconomics. A bit of me disagrees, but a bit thinks she might be understating the problem. First, a disagreement. In one respect, the 2008 crisis actually strengthened economics. The investor who followed the sell in May rule, or who used foreign buying of US equities as a sell signal, would have been out of equities before the crash of 2008. In this sense, the financial crisis actually vindicated the claim that economists can fulfill the useful function of warning of trouble ahead. Of course, these two guides told us nothing about the…
  • The "cost" bias

    chris
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:04 am
    Simon's claim that fiscal austerity has been a disaster reminds me of a big bias in the media - the misuse of the word "cost". Very often, when the press use the word "cost" to describe a policy, what they really mean is a transfer. For example, the BBC says that "offering four weeks paid paternity leave will cost £150m a year". No, it won't. This is a benefit for working fathers but a cost to their employers. This is a transfer, not a cost. Similarly, the Guardian writes: "A cut in the cap on tuition fees would cost just under £2bn." It…
  • Why Miliband is right

    chris
    26 Feb 2015 | 5:43 am
    Ed Miliband is right. MPs should be banned from having paid directorships and consultancies.  However, I don't say this for the conventional reasons. It's not because such jobs distract MPs from their duties to voters and the country. The way to stop an MP doing a lousy job isn't to stop him doing other jobs but to ensure that he gets either deselected or voted out. In this context, stronger powers of recall would be better than a ban on outside work. Nor is it because such directorships will lead to MPs' votes being swayed by specific commercial interests. As Simon says,…
 
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    Moneybox

  • Just Over Half of Americans Want Congress to Fix Obamacare if the Supreme Court Wrecks It

    Jordan Weissmann
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:10 am
    The Supreme Court is hearing arguments right now in King v. Burwell, a case that could thoroughly wreck Obamacare by nixing the insurance subsidies provided by the law for Americans in the 37 states that didn't set up their own health care exchanges. Earlier this week, I noted that a number of Republicans were getting nervous about the political ramifications of such a decision and were suggesting that Congress pass a "transitional" bill to keep the subsidies alive temporarily in order to avoid voter outrage over nightly news stories about sick people losing their coverage. If the…
  • Samsung Can Mock Apple All It Wants, but the iPhone Is Officially Outselling It

    Alison Griswold
    3 Mar 2015 | 3:37 pm
    Over the weekend at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Samsung unveiled two new smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge. Samsung’s announcement came with a sleek product video, but also with several jabs at Apple. The company reportedly poked fun at Apple’s “Bendgate” scandal and aspects of the iPhone 6 Plus’ camera. Samsung also rolled out the slogan “design with a purpose”—presumably a dig at what it sees as frivolous aesthetic choices by Apple. Well, Samsung can mock Apple all its wants, but the numbers tell a different story. In the latest quarter,…
  • There Are No Rich People in America

    Jordan Weissmann
    3 Mar 2015 | 3:22 pm
    Americans do not often admit to being rich. There are, of course, prominent exceptions. Warren Buffett will tell you he is in fact affluent. Kid Rock will too, and really exuberantly. Guys like Tom Perkins, the venture capitalist, will talk about how they're tired of being envied for their money and make unfortunate Nazi Germany analogies in order to illustrate their persecution complexes. But as a rule, we don't own up to our wealth. Just 1 percent of Americans say they are "upper class," according to the Pew Research Center. Everyone else thinks those words describe somebody…
  • JPMorgan Adds Another $50 Million to Its Gigantic Settlements Tally

    Alison Griswold
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:15 am
    JPMorgan Chase, the bank that has already paid out more than $27 billion in settlements over the past two years, is adding another $50 million to that tally over a “robo-signing” scandal. The Justice Department said Tuesday that JPMorgan will pony up $50 million in cash, mortgage loan credits, and loan forgiveness after it failed to properly review more than 50,000 documents filed in bankruptcy court. The term in this case is robo-signing, and it means basically what it sounds like—employees robotically signing off on documents without actually reviewing them. In some cases, this is…
  • Some Law Schools Will Now Accept Students Who Didn’t Take the LSAT. That’s an Awful Idea.

    Jordan Weissmann
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:06 am
    Recently, two law schools announced that they will begin accepting a select number of students who have not taken the LSAT, the much-loathed exam that has traditionally served as the make-or-break measuring stick for J.D. applicants and punctuated the academic career of many an aimless history major. As Bloomberg Business reported last week, "The State University of New York-Buffalo Law School and the University of Iowa College of Law said they would admit students from their respective undergraduate colleges" based on their grades and scores on other standardized tests.
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    Economic Development Blog » Economic Development Blog -

  • Oregon Economic Development Bill Seeks to Revitalize Main Streets

    Economic Development HQ.com
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:24 am
    The Oregon Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue is holding a public hearing on an economic development bill that would create a tax credit for certified historic commercial property rehabilitation projects. Video – Restore Oregon The Revitalize Main Street Act (SB 565) would establish a 25 percent rebate for certified rehabilitation of historic commercial buildings including hotels, theaters, factories, mills and other income-producing properties. The bill is being pushed by historic preservation group Restore Oregon, which claims that passage of this bill would provide a boost to…
  • Mead Johnson Nutrition Relocating Global Headquarters to Chicago

    Economic Development HQ.com
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:26 pm
    Pediatric nutrition products maker Mead Johnson Nutrition is relocating its global headquarters to the River Point Tower in Chicago. Mead Johnson Nutrition (photo – meadjohnson.com) The company has leased three floors amounting to approximately 75,000 square feet of office space in the mid-rise of River Point, and will move into the new space in mid-2017. The relocation of the Mead Johnson global headquarters from Glenview, IL brings 200 jobs to Chicago. Mead Johnson President and CEO Kasper Jakobsen said in a release announcing the relocation that locating in the center of a vibrant,…
  • ABB to Build New Manufacturing Site With 300 Jobs in Memphis, Tennessee

    Economic Development HQ.com
    3 Mar 2015 | 9:46 pm
    ABB announced plans to build a new manufacturing site and expand the customer experience center for their Low Voltage Products division near Memphis, Tennessee. ABB (photo – Roland zh/wikimedia) The company will invest $30 million into the project, and expects to create 300 jobs as part of the expansion. This includes 200 jobs that will be created initially, and another 100 jobs that will be added over the next five years. ABB’s Low Voltage Products division in Memphis is a part of the former operations of electrical components maker Thomas & Betts, which was acquired by ABB…
  • Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Energy Office to Provide Home MPG Ratings

    Economic Development HQ.com
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:34 am
    The Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Energy Office and the Energy Division of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs are collaborating on a federally funded project to develop a home energy score label. DOE Home energy score tool (photo – energy.gov) The project will enable people in both states to figure out a home’s projected energy cost and performance information in a uniform manner, similar to a miles-per-gallon (MPG) rating for automobiles. Both states will develop their home energy scoring labels using already developed and accepted…
  • JobsOhio Annual Report and Ohio Economic Development Strategic Plan

    Economic Development HQ.com
    3 Mar 2015 | 2:11 am
    Lead Ohio economic development non-profit corporation JobsOhio has published its annual report and strategic plan for executing its mission. JobsOhio report (photo – jobs-ohio.com) JobsOhio was established as a private, non-profit corporation created to drive job creation, capital investment and economic growth in Ohio. The headline news in the report is that both Ohio and JobsOhio did very well in 2014. The state’s unemployment rate at the end of the year stood at 4.8 percent, the lowest since 2001 and far below the national unemployment rate at the end of the year. JobsOhio, for…
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    Washington Center for Equitable Growth

  • Lunchtime Must-Read: Zachary Tracer: Hospital Stocks Surge After Justice Kennedy Criticizes Obamacare Challenge

    Brad DeLong
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:02 am
    Zachary Tracer: Hospital Stocks Surge After Justice Kennedy Criticizes Obamacare Challenge: “Tenet Healthcare Corp. and HCA Holdings Inc. led a rally among hospital companies as a Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare’s insurance subsidies drew questions from a pivotal justice… …Anthony Kennedy… said Wednesday there is a ‘powerful’ point to the Obama administration’s argument that the health-care law would fall apart if the subsidies were ruled unlawful. ‘There is a serious constitutional problem,’ Kennedy said, if the court rules for the challengers’…
  • The Very Puzzling Political Economy of King v. Burwell: Focus

    Brad DeLong
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:46 am
    Ezra Klein, one of the viri illustres making us hope that the press corps over the next generation will actually be a net plus to the nation (cough, Judy Miller of the New York Times; cough, Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post) has a good post that, I think, misses one important point: Ezra Klein: Republican States Suffer If Obamacare Loses at the Supreme Court: “For Republicans, the challenge to Obamacare’s individual mandate made good political sense… …if the mandate was repealed, it would cripple the law…. The White House would have to agree to… at least…
  • Equitable Growth Conference in a Box: Topics

    Brad DeLong
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:48 am
    More often than I would have thought likely, people ask me: “We’re thinking of having a conference about economic inequality What should be on the agenda?” My standard answer makes three points: Have the conference about not inequality but equitable growth. “Inequality” automatically forces you into a partisan political frame, and you may want to get there at the end of your conference but you probably do not want to start there. Focus down: you cannot cover the whole topic–you need to pick one or two or three subtopics if you are going to get anywhere.
  • The uncertain nature of the natural rate of interest

    Nick Bunker
    4 Mar 2015 | 4:45 am
    Over the past couple of months something strange swept across parts of Europe—yields on government-issued bonds turned negative as the European Central Bank prepares to buy bonds as part of its forthcoming quantitative easing program. This short-term phenomenon raises the question about the long-term trends in interest rates. Are the extremely low rates in not only the Eurozone but also the United States the result of a long-run trend known as secular stagnation? Or are these negative bond yields just the result of a particularly nasty business cycle? A new paper argues that the concerns…
  • Evening Must-Read: Martin Wolf: Riches and Perils of the Fossil-Fuel Age

    Brad DeLong
    3 Mar 2015 | 5:06 pm
    Martin Wolf: Riches and Perils of the Fossil-Fuel Age: “In 2035, emissions of CO2 are forecast [by BP] to be 18bn tonnes above levels suggested by the International Energy Agency’s ‘450 Scenario’… …Improvements in energy efficiency are a… more important driver of the relatively low growth in emissions than shifts in the fuel mix…. These forecasts… imply a faster rise in energy efficiency than between 2000 and 2013…. Could we do better?… We need an accelerated technological revolution…. The sense of the BP report… is…
 
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    FiveThirtyEight » Economics | FiveThirtyEight

  • Bad News For The Class Of 2008

    Andrew Flowers
    2 Mar 2015 | 5:16 am
    Timing is everything. And for Joe Moser the timing was bad.He graduated from the University of Iowa’s law school in 2011, one of the worst years to graduate from law school ever. He worked as a bartender in St. Louis, Missouri, while applying for jobs. It took about a year for him to land his first, with a small law firm. While he was glad to be working on cases instead of mixing drinks, he wasn’t happy with his paycheck.“Starting out, I was earning less than anticipated, but I just counted myself fortunate to have gotten a job at all,” said Moser, now 29 and an attorney with…
  • Are Moms Less Likely Than Dads To Pay Child Support?

    Mona Chalabi
    26 Feb 2015 | 3:22 am
    Dear Mona,I heard a piece of news that sounded strange: The proportion of deadbeat moms (women who do not fulfill their child support obligations) is higher than for deadbeat dads.Is this true?Jack, 32, San FranciscoDear Jack,When people write to me with a question, more often than not, they’ve had a personal experience that makes them feel invested in getting an answer. It turned out that was true for you, Jack; you let me know that growing up, you lived with one custodial parent while your other parent lived elsewhere — an experience you share with 28 percent of all American…
  • Chicago’s Unemployment Rate Could Cost Rahm Emanuel Votes

    Dan Hopkins
    23 Feb 2015 | 3:02 am
    On Tuesday, Chicago voters go to the polls to weigh in on Rahm Emanuel’s four years as mayor. If recent polling is accurate, Emanuel is the heavy favorite to win more votes than any of his competitors. What is less clear is whether he will clear the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid an April runoff.Like many cities, Chicago isn’t exactly accustomed to competitive mayoral races when there’s an incumbent on the ballot. Emanuel’s predecessor, Richard M. Daley, served as mayor from 1989 to 2011 and typically won re-election with north of 65 percent of the vote. So what’s holding…
  • What It Costs To Live In ‘Broad City’

    Saul Austerlitz
    5 Feb 2015 | 6:55 am
    Abbi and Ilana sit in their separate apartments in front of matching MacBooks, video-chatting as Ilana vapes her morning hit of marijuana and Abbi attempts to acquire a contact high through the computer screen. Ilana offers to come on over and get her high in the flesh, and Abbi suggests a post-smoke trip to her favorite store: “BBB!” She waves a coupon for the Bed Bath & Beyond chain in front of the computer screen, offering her best friend the promise of untold housewares riches. Abbi and Ilana sign off, and Abbi searches fruitlessly above her fridge, clawing at the empty air where…
  • Unemployment Has Changed. Unemployment Benefits Haven’t.

    Ben Casselman
    3 Feb 2015 | 11:20 am
    When Michelle Wilson lost her job at a Baltimore logistics company in July, unemployment benefits provided her with a vital lifeline. At $430 a week, the payments didn’t come close to replacing her $47,000 annual salary. But they did allow her to pay rent and utilities and make her monthly car payments while she looked for another job.Last week, however, Wilson’s lifeline disappeared. Six months after she lost her job, her benefits ran out. Now she’s dodging bill collectors’ phone calls and trying to figure out how to hold on to the car that she needs to get to job interviews. Despite…
 
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    Economics and everyday life at EconLife.com

  • A Good Federal Budget Story

    Elaine Schwartz
    4 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    Told by the World Court to stop the subsidies paid to cotton farmers that distort prices, the U.S. has settled the case by paying Brazilian cotton farmers.
  • Why It Takes So Long to Board an Airplane

    Elaine Schwartz
    3 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    Although airlines can increase productivity when they board passengers faster, they do not use the most efficient approaches.
  • How Tax Evasion Relates to Porsches

    Elaine Schwartz
    2 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    A big part of the shadow economy, the tax evasion in Greece that prevails among the self-employed substantially ups the deficit and distorts fiscal policy.
  • What We Can Learn From Warren Buffett

    Elaine Schwartz
    1 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    His 50th anniversary, Warren Buffett's letter to his shareholders again conveys what he did right, what he did wrong and his folksy investing advice.
  • Weekly Roundup: From Good Voices to Bad Marriages

    Elaine Schwartz
    28 Feb 2015 | 5:00 am
    Our everyday economics includes GDP, human capital, price system, public goods, taxes, gender pay gap, externalities, subsidies, marriage economics and ROI.
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    Vox - All

  • Read the transcript for the Supreme Court oral argument on Obamacare

    German Lopez
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:35 am
    The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the case that could dramatically limit Obamacare and deplete the health-care law's insurance subsidies for millions of people. Read the full transcript of the oral arguments:
  • Here's the newest Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

    Alex Abad-Santos
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:29 am
    You did it! Watch the new @Marvel's #Avengers #AgeOfUltron trailer and get your tickets NOW: http://t.co/bTsEOI4l7Z https://t.co/sc88VgG0hi — The Avengers (@Avengers) March 4, 2015 On Wednesday, Marvel released the latest trailer for the blockbuster sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron. Scarlet Witch's mind games. Ultron's background. A Hulk-Black Widow romance. There's a lot of new stuff there. Not to mention, the first look at Vision: (Marvel) Marvel has been giving us small teases with each new trailer, showing us Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and some…
  • Justice Department slams Ferguson police for pattern of racial bias

    German Lopez
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:15 am
    The Ferguson Police Department relied on tickets from racially skewed traffic stops of African Americans to help balance the city's budget, a report from the Department of Justice concluded. The report also found Ferguson police disproportionately use excessive force against black residents. The New York Times reports the findings will likely lead to significant changes in Ferguson, Missouri, by forcing the local police department to either settle with the Justice Department or face a lawsuit. The Justice Department report comes more than six months after former Ferguson police officer…
  • The outrageous reason the UK denied this well-known LGBT activist asylum

    Amanda Taub
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:10 am
    Well this is pretty outrageous. The UK Home Office — the government department responsible for processing asylum cases as well as other immigration matters — has rejected an asylum application from Aderonke Apata, a lesbian from Nigeria, because they don't believe she is really gay. The reasoning? That Apata — who is seeking asylum because she fears she will be persecuted in Nigeria over her sexuality — can't be a lesbian, because she has children. Apparently, in the Home Office's view, "lesbian" is a status akin to virginity: one step off the path of homosexuality and…
  • McDonald's will finally stop serving chicken pumped full of antibiotics. Here's why.

    Julia Belluz
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:00 am
    Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have become a massive health problem, killing thousands of people every year and prompting calls to phase out the unnecessary use of the drugs on farm animals and in people. That's because the more these drugs are used, the more quickly bugs develop resistance to them — rendering them useless.Now, McDonald's is taking a huge step in that direction, announcing today that the chain will stop buying chicken that has been reared on antibiotics used in humans within two years, according to Reuters.Given that McDonald's is the largest restaurant chain in the United…
 
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    Commentary - Money, Banking and Financial Markets

  • Living with uncertainty: What central banks do when they don't know the natural rate

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    2 Mar 2015 | 5:57 am
    “Unfortunately, we have as yet devised no method to estimate accurately and readily the natural rate of either interest or unemployment. And the ‘natural’ rate itself will change from time to time.” Milton Friedman, American Economic Association Presidential Address, 1968.What do you do if, on a dark and foggy night, you are forced to drive on a road with a sheer cliff on one side? Unless you know precisely where the road ends and the cliff begins, you will likely go slowly and keep your foot near the brakes. Driving like a tortoise is not the “first best” solution  – fog…
  • Forecasting Trend Growth: Living with Uncertainty

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    23 Feb 2015 | 5:40 am
    “Negative capability … is when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason…” John Keats, 1817.Will growth be high in the future?  Or, will it be low? Everyone is preoccupied with this question in one way or another. Individuals worry about whether their real incomes will grow. Fiscal policymakers wonder what will happen to tax revenues and required expenditures. And central bankers are trying to figure out whether they should ease or tighten monetary policy.In the end, what everyone usually needs is a…
  • The Congressional Reserve Board: A Really Bad Idea

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    16 Feb 2015 | 5:04 am
    “We are – I’ll be blunt – audited out the wazoo. Every Federal Reserve Bank has a private auditor. We have our auditor of the system. We have our own inspector general. We are audited. What he’s talking about is politicizing monetary policy.” Richard Fisher, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Dallas Morning News, February 9, 2015.What would you think if you were to open your morning newspaper to find the following headline?“Congress Closes Down Fed, Takes Over Monetary Policy”If you’re like us, you’d panic. In short order, you’d think that long-term inflation…
  • Interview with Timothy Geithner

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    12 Feb 2015 | 4:40 am
    President, Warburg Pincus; former Secretary of the Treasury of the United States; former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Has the experience of the crisis changed your view of the central bank policy tool kit?Secretary Geithner: In the United States, we completely redefined the lender of last resort tool kit, and the Federal Reserve Board Chairman redefined the frontiers of how to think about monetary policy at the zero bound. So yes. Absolutely.On the monetary policy side, it is clear and straightforward. Central banks have used a commitment to purchase assets – with…
  • Negative nominal interest rates: back to the future?

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    9 Feb 2015 | 5:26 am
    Goldsmiths were the forerunners to modern bankers. Originally, they would issue receipts to certify gold was deposited in their vaults. These eventually gave rise to fractional reserve banking, as goldsmiths used a portion of the gold to make loans.Well, we might be on our way back to the original version, but instead of keeping our gold safe, banks will be keeping our dollar, Swiss franc, yen, and euro notes safe!Believe it or not, this story is tied to a current puzzle facing investors and monetary policy makers alike:  how low can nominal interest rates go? Answer: if they go too low,…
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    Republic 3.0

  • Can Boomers and Millennials save America’s start-up engine?

    Anne Kim
    2 Mar 2015 | 2:00 am
    The Kauffman Foundation’s Jason Wiens talks about how these two demographic groups will chart the future course of entrepreneurship. The post Can Boomers and Millennials save America’s start-up engine? appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • Climate of incivility

    Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus
    27 Feb 2015 | 2:40 pm
    Climate McCarthyism is wrong, whether Democratic or Republican. The post Climate of incivility appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • Reason triumphs over Common Core opponents

    Anne Kim
    27 Feb 2015 | 2:07 pm
    Common Core opponents are losing the fight - a hopeful sign that sound policy can trump ideology. The post Reason triumphs over Common Core opponents appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • Let’s take a bipartisan path to economic growth – with trade

    Rep. Dave Reichert
    26 Feb 2015 | 2:00 am
    Trade Promotion Authority will clear the way for job-creating trade agreements. The post Let’s take a bipartisan path to economic growth – with trade appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • To grow manufacturing in America, look beyond our borders

    Linda Menghetti Dempsey
    25 Feb 2015 | 2:00 am
    The Ex-Im Bank and Trade Promotion Authority are essential for U.S. global competitiveness. Congress and the administration need to recognize it, and act. The post To grow manufacturing in America, look beyond our borders appeared first on Republic 3.0.
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    Principles of Economics and Business

  • Infographic - 10 Principles of Economics You Should Know

    27 Feb 2015 | 9:20 am
    Economics is a critical part of our life. Almost everything we do is in one way or the other connected to it. Whether we go to work in the morning, buy something to eat for lunch, or simply sit at home and watch TV in the evening, there is always a multitude of economic principles at play.Thus being familiar with the most fundamental of those principles can be extremely helpful, Not only will it help you to understand what is going on in the world around but it will also enable you to take well-informed and better decisions which is vitally important in all part of life. With this…
  • Basic Principles of Economics - Marginal Utility

    15 Feb 2015 | 12:49 pm
    The concept of marginal utility is one of the most fundamental principles of economics. It describes the additional satisfaction an individual gets from consuming one more unit of a good or service. This information is critical for predicting and explaining consumption decisions.Although actual utility cannot be measured in hard numbers, it is possible to reveal consumer preferences, tendencies, and other relevant aspects that are critical for decision making. However to be able to do this, we must first look at the principle in some more detail. Thinking at the marginFirst of all, to…
  • Macroeconomics - GDP and Welfare

    28 Jan 2015 | 1:20 pm
    Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is essentially an indicator of aggregate economic activity. In addition to that it is also frequently used to describe social welfare. The idea behind this is that GDP tends to correlate with consumption, which in turn is commonly used as a proxy for welfare. In other words, the more people consume, the happier they are supposed to be.Now, this line of argument seems a little too simplistic. Assuming causality based on a simple correlation between GDP and welfare may lead to false conclusions which can be highly problematic especially for policy…
  • Macroeconomics - Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

    15 Jan 2015 | 2:51 pm
    The Gross Domestic Product, also known as GDP, is arguably the most common indicator to describe a country's economic performance. Generally speaking it measures the total value of all goods and services produced in an economy over a set period of time (usually one year). It can be measured in nominal or real terms. There are three different approaches to calculating GDP: the value added approach, the income approach, and the expenditure approach. They should technically all lead to the same result, however due to estimation errors and minor inaccuracies that will hardly ever be the case…
  • Infographic - Money: Facts and Figures

    30 Dec 2014 | 6:34 am
    We all know what money is, right? We all use it, we go to work every day to earn it, we pay our bills with it. It's a part of everyday life. However, most people never think about what money really is. How it can be defined, what functions it has and what makes it valuable in the first place.Generally speaking, money is a set of assets that is commonly used and accepted as payment for goods and services in an economy. So basically everything can be considered money, as long as it fulfills certain criteria. To explain this in more detail, we have created an infographic that…
 
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    Penny Stock Dream

  • 400% Gains Within 5 Weeks and A New Pick Coming Within 2 days!

    3 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    400 Percent Gains And A New Pick Coming! Platinum Members Will Be Receiving It Early. In the past 5 weeks, we have seen our picks shoot up more than 400 percent, on very solid trading, as a result of solid runs on THCZ, TUNG, SUTI, and IJJP. Even more importantly, our most recent...
  • THCZ Continues To See Solid Growth. New Pick Coming Early To Platinum Members!

    2 Mar 2015 | 4:00 pm
    Our Pick On THCZ Has Continued To See Solid Growth! New Pick Coming Early To Platinum Members Soon. Today, we saw more solid gains on our pick on THCZ, with a solid close up an additional 12.46% on more than 9 million shares traded. The gains that this pick has been seeing for us over the course of the past week, have been nothing short of impressive but even more impressive, has...
  • Market News Update: HIPPQ (Hipcricket, Inc.) Was The OTC Stock Of The Day, With A Close Up 275%.

    25 Feb 2015 | 2:00 pm
    HIPPQ Was The OTC Stock Of The Day, With A Close Up 275%. That Means It Gained 400% In The Past Week! HIPPQ (Hipcricket, Inc.) has proven to be one of the most powerfully trading penny stocks in the world, these past few trading days, with 400% gains over the course of the past week! Today alone proved to be one of the strongest days this company has s...
  • After 300% Gains In 2 Weeks, A New Platinum Pick Is Coming Tomorrow Morning!

    24 Feb 2015 | 11:00 am
    New Platinum Pick Coming Tomorrow Morning! Might Not Be Released To Free Members. This is a big one; We wanted to hit you with this special mid-day update to let you all know that there is another big new early platinum pick being released tomorrow morning. This pick may be reserved purely for platinu...
  • 342% Gains In The Past 2 Weeks! Gain Early Access To Our New Pick!

    23 Feb 2015 | 1:27 am
    342% Gains In The Past 2 Weeks and A New Pick Is Coming! Get Exclusive Early Access To The New Pick, By Subscribing Here. Things have been going very well for us lately, with our penny stock picks gaining over 342% in the past two weeks, boding incredibly well for Platinum Members, who receiv...
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    Innovative Advisory Group

  • Proof That Share Buybacks are a Powerful Strategy for Building Wealth

    Kirk Chisholm
    26 Feb 2015 | 4:19 am
    Proof That Share Buybacks are a Powerful Strategy for Building Wealth The Curious Case of IBM Share Buybacks This is an overlay chart of IBM's stock price and its market cap since 2000. Do you notice anything interesting about this chart? Look closer... The stock price and market cap have performed differently. How can that be? Aren't they the same? While the stock price and market cap are highly correlated, they are not the same. Stock price - The stock price is the listed price based on what buyers and sellers are willing to pay for it. Market (cap) capitalization - The market cap of a…
  • The 2014 Predictions for Investments Summarized in One Picture

    Administrator
    19 Feb 2015 | 4:41 am
    The 2014 Predictions for Investments Summarized in One Picture     Who would have guessed it? Wall Street's 2014 predictions for investments proved to be wrong. 2014 was an interesting year for the global stock and bond markets. A lot of large macro events took place which fundamentally changed the landscape of global macro economics and ultimately the performance of markets across the globe. Read More... For more great content visit Innovative Advisory Group - Innovative Wealth Management.
  • Inflation Monitor – February 2015

    Kirk Chisholm
    14 Feb 2015 | 4:52 am
    Inflation Monitor – February 2015     Inflation Monitor - February 2015 - Introduction It is now February and it is off to a good start with the New England Patriot winning the Super Bowl... Sorry the big game. Even if you were not a fan, it was a great game to watch up until the last play. The win helped warm the city from the cold chill of deflation setting in around the US. It has been a few months since I have started the Inflation Monitor and each of those months has been marked with deflation. I have been saying for the past few years that deflation is in our future…
  • Why Does Deflation Scare the Federal Reserve and Economists Alike?

    Kirk Chisholm
    10 Feb 2015 | 4:41 am
    Why Does Deflation Scare the Federal Reserve and Economists Alike? Nothing to see here. I just got back from the TD Ameritrade 2015 annual conference in San Diego. They always put on a high qualify event. At this event was a luncheon hosted by TD, where keynote speaker, Craig Alexander, Chief Economist at TD Bank spoke about his view of the world. I make a point to listen to him each year at the conference and I am always impressed. He is a very smart and accomplished economist. However this year was a bit different. I am still trying to make sense of it. The majority of Craig’s speech was…
  • Why are Massachusetts Gas Prices so High at the Pump

    Kirk Chisholm
    5 Feb 2015 | 9:20 am
    Why are Massachusetts Gas Prices so High at the Pump   High Gas prices at the pump As I have been watching the price of oil drop over 50% from last summer, I have driven past the local gas stations and wondered... If the price of oil has dropped 50% then why are gas prices not following suit? Most people would naturally jump to the conclusion that it is the greedy gas station owners. However that thesis does not hold up well when you consider that competition between local gas stations drives down the prices to where they are barely making a profit. What is it about gas prices that have…
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