Economics

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  • Diving Into the GDP Report - Some Ominous Trends - Yellen Yap - Decoupling or Not?

    Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis
    31 Jan 2015 | 5:02 pm
    Yellen YapOn Thursday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen met with Senate Democrats at a private luncheon. She told the Democrats that the U.S. Economy is Strong. My first thought was "what the heck is Yellen doing holding a private lunch with Democrats only?" Had she met with Senate Republicans, I would have asked the same question.Apparently this is common procedure for Yellen, so perhaps I am reading too much into it. Yet, I cannot help wondering if the real purpose of the meeting was to persuade Democrats to block any "Audit the Fed" Initiatives.Glowing Report Regardless of the reason, Yellen had…
  • 5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar

    Real Time Economics
    Kathleen Madigan
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:48 pm
    Football fans may have Super Bowl Sunday, but economy-watchers look forward to Friday—the monthly employment report. How did hiring and wage growth kick off 2015? A strong report will support expectations of a solid expansion in 2015. Other economic reports are also worth a look. Here are five things to watch.
  • Health Care Cost Studies Pointedly Ignore Bad Incentives, Market Failure as Drivers

    naked capitalism
    Yves Smith
    1 Feb 2015 | 1:11 am
    An Academy Health Blog post last week set both Lambert's and my "something is wrong with this picture" alarm bells ringing. And it turns our for good reason.
  • Oil Prices Surge 8% After Long Slide Down

    NYT > International Business
    By CLIFFORD KRAUSS
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:09 am
    Energy experts said the sudden increase could be explained by various factors, including reports that the Islamic State terrorist group was advancing in an offensive near Iraq’s northern oil fields.
  • The Voice Mail Oracle Speaks (Silly)

    Paul Krugman
    By Paul Krugman
    31 Jan 2015 | 9:57 am
    What is technology trying to tell me?
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    Real Time Economics

  • 5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar

    Kathleen Madigan
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:48 pm
    Football fans may have Super Bowl Sunday, but economy-watchers look forward to Friday—the monthly employment report. How did hiring and wage growth kick off 2015? A strong report will support expectations of a solid expansion in 2015. Other economic reports are also worth a look. Here are five things to watch.
  • Two Fed Officials: Why Very Weak Inflation Unlikely to Deter Rate Hikes

    Michael S. Derby
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:43 pm
    How can the Federal Reserve even think about raising rates when price pressures are falling so short of the central bank’s official 2% target? That’s been a question on the minds of many central bank watchers, some Fed officials and financial market participants for some time. Inflation has fallen short of the Fed’s goal for two-and-a-half years. The crash in oil prices means overall levels of inflation are set to drop from already tepid levels, with a number of analysts predicting negative readings over coming months. And yet, every indication suggests that Fed officials remain unbowed…
  • Fed’s Williams Upbeat on Economy, Says Summer Rate Rise Likely

    Michael S. Derby
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:01 pm
    Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said Friday the U.S. economy remains on a solid path that will open the door to interest-rate increases in the summer. In an interview with CNBC, Mr. Williams said, “I see a lot of strength in the domestic economy,” adding there’s “a lot of momentum for very good growth.” He indicated he is not worried by the unexpectedly soft 2.6% fourth-quarter gross domestic product reading reported earlier Friday, and predicted 2015 will see activity rise by about 3%. Mr. Williams also expects to see the economy near “full…
  • Fed-Watchers Look to Janet Yellen’s February Testimony Before Congress

    Pedro Nicolaci da Costa
    30 Jan 2015 | 11:47 am
    Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen testifies in July before the House Financial Services Committee on monetary policy and the state of the economy. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images If Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen would like to start shifting the central bank away from rhetoric that has pointed to a first interest-rate increase around midyear, next month’s semiannual testimony before Congress may be just the forum. So far, Fed officials including Ms. Yellen have argued the sharp and ongoing drop in energy prices would create only a temporary drag on U.S. inflation, driving…
  • Americans Are Feeling Better About the Economy—a Lot Better

    Kathleen Madigan
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:58 am
    Getty Images Consumers are breaking into a happy dance and breaking out their wallets. Ever since oil prices began falling, consumers have been feeling better and been more willing to spend on stuff not flowing through a gas pump. The latest evidence of that came Friday with the release of the fourth-quarter gross domestic product report and the January consumer sentiment index. The Commerce Department reported real consumer spending jumped at a 4.3% annual rate, the fastest pace since 2006 and the main highlight of a disappointing report that showed the economy overall grew just 2.6% at the…
 
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    naked capitalism

  • Health Care Cost Studies Pointedly Ignore Bad Incentives, Market Failure as Drivers

    Yves Smith
    1 Feb 2015 | 1:11 am
    An Academy Health Blog post last week set both Lambert's and my "something is wrong with this picture" alarm bells ringing. And it turns our for good reason.
  • The Super Wealthy See Pitchforks and Guillotines in Their Future

    Yves Smith
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:32 pm
    The super wealthy are building better bunkers rather than a better society.
  • Did Argentina ‘Default’?

    Yves Smith
    31 Jan 2015 | 5:34 am
    A US court ruling has warped the otherwise precise meanings of three key words – “republic”, “sovereign”, and “default” – leading to absurdities like a New York district court holding the Republic of Argentina in “contempt of court”! The entire understanding of sovereign debt and its restructuring is being read through private “contract law” that cannot address the complex questions that are inherently public in nature, à la questions around restructuring Argentina’s debt. It appeared that a misreading of key words could benefit some vulture funds, but so far no one…
  • Links 1/31/15

    Yves Smith
    31 Jan 2015 | 3:59 am
  • Oil Price Soars, Rig Count Plunges Worst Ever, But Bloodletting Just Beginning

    Yves Smith
    31 Jan 2015 | 3:16 am
    The oil industry is dead-serious when it talks about slashing operating costs and capital expenditures. It has to. Preserving cash is suddenly a priority, after years when money was growing on trees.
 
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    Alpha.Sources

  • 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…
  • Middle of the Road

    CV
    6 Jan 2015 | 11:03 am
    I stopped reading Hussman regularly about a year ago. His pieces are not conducive for a good night's sleep—a a statement which may come back to haunt me—but mostly, just because he has been wrong for so long that I simply lost interest [1]. His latest article, however, is worth reading in its entirety because it is one of the few pieces I have read in a while that excellently captures the frame of mind of investors at the moment.  I will let John speak for himself;  Several years of persistent yield-seeking speculation provoked by zero-interest rate monetary policies…
 
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    re: The Auditors

  • 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…
  • Speaking Engagements/Conferences

    Francine
    14 Jan 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: February 18, 2014Stanford University and the Graduate School of Business. Visiting lecturer for undergraduate and graduate classes taught by Professor Anat Admati, author of the new book…
  • Auditors Can Be Whistleblowers: A Guest Post On Recent Developments In Whistleblower Case Law

    Francine
    5 Jan 2015 | 9:38 am
    It’s rare but it does happen. Employees of the largest audit firms do occasionally step up and blow the whistle on potentially illegal and/or unethical activities at their firm or its clients. The Guardian writes about the whistleblower now formally charged in Luxemburg for leaking PwC’s copies of tax letter ruling documents: A 28-year-old former PricewaterhouseCoopers auditor charged with theft and violating trade secrets in Luxembourg in the wake of the LuxLeaks tax avoidance scandal has revealed his identity and claimed he acted out of conviction, in an interview with the…
  • The Full Service Firm: McKenna Comments For Canada’s The Bottom Line On Legal Services

    Francine
    3 Jan 2015 | 8:58 am
    Jeff Buckstein at Canada’s The Bottom Line published a feature back in October about the largest public accounting firms’ expansion into legal services. We’re not talking about due diligence, corporate investigations and e-discovery activities but the inclusion of full-fledged law firms into the networks that will compete with traditional firms in the UK, China and other places where they are now allowed. My feelings about the firms’ re-expansion of their advisory, non-audit arms has been well documented here, in other publications and in my speeches. PwC’s 100+…
  • Duped By Fake Documents? All In A Day’s Work For Some Journalists

    Francine
    3 Jan 2015 | 6:11 am
    I could not resist writing at Medium.com about the teen trader who recently duped a journalist from New York magazine into believing he had made $72 million trading gold and other alternative assets. It’s not like auditors don’t get fooled every day by fake documents. The difference is most journalists are liberal arts majors with very little experience examining bank and brokerage statements. The business beat is one to two years too smart for words New York newbie journalism graduates have to spend slumming until they can do something more fun like fashion shows and movie or…
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    The American Prospect

  • One Big Reason for Voter Turnout Decline and Income Inequality: Smaller Unions

    Sean McElwee
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:45 am
    Two of the most commonly cited reasons for the lack of more liberal policymaking in the United States are the decline in unions and the rising class bias in voter turnout.  In the 2014 midterm congressional elections, the Democrats’ rout was largely attributed to a failure of their coalition to turn out at the polls. What is rarely examined, however, is the relationship between a decline in voter turnout and the dwindling number of union members. And as that turnout has declined, the control of the financial class over the entire political system—Republican and Democrat—has taken hold.
  • Exporting Financial Instability

    Kevin P. Gallagher
    29 Jan 2015 | 5:49 am
    (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) Activists wave Malaysian flags during a protest against Trans-Pacific Partnership ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's Malaysia visit, outside the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, April 25, 2014.  The late Dr. Martin Luther King is praised for saying “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Along the same lines, if we learned anything from the global financial crisis it is that financial instability anywhere is a threat to financial stability everywhere. The Obama administration appears not to have learned that lesson. The trade…
  • Are the Elites Catching Up with the People?

    Robert Kuttner
    28 Jan 2015 | 8:36 am
    Inequality has at last arrived as the issue that mainstream politicians can’t ignore. You see it in Obama’s better-late-than-never embrace of “middle-class economics” as the signature theme in his State of the Union address; and in a surprisingly leftish report of a commission co-chaired by former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. The new report by the Commission on Inclusive Prosperity, convened by the Center for American Progress, is frank in its acknowledgment of the inequality crisis. “Today, the ability of free-market democracies to deliver widely shared increases in prosperity…
  • Under Pressure From the Right, Gowdy Renews Benghazi Shenanigans

    Ari Rabin-Havt
    27 Jan 2015 | 2:10 pm
    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) House Select Committee on Benghazi chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., left and House Select Committee on Benghazi ranking member Elijah Cummings, D- Md., talk on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, before a House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing on the implementation of the Accountability Review Board recommendations.  The Benghazi Select Committee shed the bipartisan cloak it had worn in public, as Republican members used Tuesday’s hearing to bully Joel Rubin, deputy undersecretary of state for legislative affairs. For more than two hours…
  • Labor at a Crossroads: How Unions Can Thrive in the 21st Century

    Lance Compa
    27 Jan 2015 | 7:40 am
    This article was commissioned as part of "American Labor at a Crossroads: New Thinking, New Organizing, New Strategies," a conference presented on January 15, co-sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute, The Sidney Hillman Foundation, and The American Prospect. (View agenda here.)  Find our "Labor at a Crossroads" series here. (AP Photo/Long Beach Press-Telegram, Stephen Carr) Local 63 ILWU members form a picket line in the Port of Long Beach, California, on Friday July 9, 2010. Striking clerical workers at the nation's busiest port complex expanded their walkout to a fifth terminal…
 
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Linky Linky, Tweety Tweety...

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Feb 2015 | 8:34 pm
    Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca: Inside the Training Revolution http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/public-private-workforce-training-by-laura-tyson-and-lenny-mendonca-2015-01 Links and Tweets: http://delong.typepad.com/links/
  • Linky Linky, Tweety Tweety...

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jan 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Judith Tarr: "What frustrated me when I started selling professionally was the push to always write female protag because ‘you’re a girl, you have to.’ Between that and the push to squeeze the stories into set marketing categories, I sometimes got cranky. Then I’d get subversive. That wasn’t always as successful as it might have been, and I made some pretty big mistakes. But it was an awful lot of fun. Still is..." http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2015/01/31/writing-where-history-fantasy-and-science-fiction-intersect/#more-42293 Mark Thoma: Links for 01-31-15…
  • Noted for Your Nighttime Procrastination for January 31, 2015

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jan 2015 | 8:19 pm
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Paul Krugman: Bad Tayloring Paul Krugman: I See Very Serious Dead People Josh Barro: Why Obama’s Proposal for 529s Had No Chance Plus: Things to Read on January 31, 2015 Must- and Shall-Reads: Mark Thoma: Links for 01-31-15 <-- Mark Thoma's daily links are especially good today... Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price: The Increasingly Unequal States of America: Income Inequality by State, 1917 to 2012 David Cay Johnston: Economy Grows Incomes Shrink Chad Stone: The Unconvincing Claim That Unemployment Benefits Hurt Jobs Paul Krugman: Bad Tayloring…
  • Live from teh Roasterie: No: Jeb Bush Should Never Be President of Anything

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jan 2015 | 8:57 am
    Michael Kruse: Jeb 'Put Me Through Hell’: "In June, the medical examiner released Terri Schiavo’s autopsy... ...which confirmed what the judges had ruled for years based on the testimony from doctors concerning her prognosis. Her limbs had atrophied, and her hands had clenched into claws, and her brain had started to disappear. It weighed barely more than a pound and a third, less than half the size it would have been under normal circumstances. ‘No remaining discernible neurons,’ the autopsy said. She couldn’t see. She couldn’t feel, not even pain. Forty-one years after her…
  • Morning Must-Read: Paul Krugman: I See Very Serious Dead People

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:26 am
    Let me (surprise, surprise!) back up Paul here: There is no doubt that, technocratically, reflation is the low-hanging fruit to boosting equitable growth. Successfully returning to full employment would boost real GDP in the North Atlantic by 10% today, would boost future economic growth substantially as well, and would lift all economic classes more-or-less equally. No plausible policy shifts to produce "structural reform"--save possibly the "structural reform" of raising the price level in Germany and Holland relative to Italy and Spain by 20%--promises North Atlantic-wide benefits even a…
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    Calculated Risk

  • Schedule for Week of February 1, 2015

    Bill McBride
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:11 am
    The key report this week is the January employment report on Friday.Other key reports include the January ISM manufacturing index on Monday, January vehicle sales on Tuesday, the ISM non-manufacturing index on Wednesday, and the December Trade Deficit on Thursday.----- Monday, February 2nd -----8:30 AM ET: Personal Income and Outlays for December. The consensus is for a 0.2% increase in personal income, and for a 0.2% decrease in personal spending. And for the Core PCE price index to be unchanged.10:00 AM: ISM Manufacturing Index for January. The consensus is for a decrease to 54.5…
  • Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 388 Institutions

    Bill McBride
    31 Jan 2015 | 5:05 am
    This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.Here is the unofficial problem bank list for Jan 30, 2015. Changes and comments from surferdude808: As expected, the FDIC released an update on its enforcement action activities through December 2014 that contributed to all of the changes to the Unofficial Problem Bank List this week. In all, there were five removals and three additions that leave the list at 388 institutions with assets of $122.5 billion. A year ago, the list held 590 institutions with assets of $195.4 billion. When the weekly was list was first…
  • Restaurant Performance Index shows Expansion in December

    Bill McBride
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:47 pm
    I think restaurants are happy with lower gasoline prices (except, I hear, McDonald's) ...Here is a minor indicator I follow from the National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Performance Index Finished the Year on a Positive NoteDriven by positive sales and traffic and an uptick in capital expenditures, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) finished 2014 with a solid gain. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 102.9 in December, up 0.8 percent from its November level of…
  • Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined in December

    Bill McBride
    30 Jan 2015 | 11:31 am
    Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in December to 1.88%, down from 1.91% in November. Freddie's rate is down from 2.39% in December 2013, and the rate in December was the lowest level since December 2008. Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%. These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure".  Note: Fannie Mae will report their Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate for December next week.Click on graph for larger imageAlthough the rate is generally declining, the…
  • Comment on Q4 GDP and Investment: R-E-L-A-X

    Bill McBride
    30 Jan 2015 | 9:08 am
    There are legitimate concerns about a strong dollar, and weak economic activity overseas, impacting U.S. exports and GDP growth. However, overall, the Q4 GDP report was solid.The key numbers are: 1) PCE increased at a 4.3% annual rate in Q4 (the two month method nails it again), and 2) private fixed investment increased at a 2.3% rate. The negatives were trade (subtracted 1.02 percentage point) and Federal government spending (subtracted 0.54 percentage points). As usual, I like to focus on private fixed investment because that is the key to the business cycle.The first graph shows the…
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    Crooked Timber

  • Queensland election

    John Quiggin
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:28 pm
    We just had an election in my home state of Queensland, and the outcomes will be of some broader interest, I hope. The governing Liberal National (= conservative) Party has (almost certainly) gone down to a surprise defeat, going from 78 of 89 seats at the last election to a probable 40 or 41 this time. The key issues were broken promises (particularly regarding job cuts) and government proposals for privatisation. This can be seen either as a reversal or a repeat of the last election when the governing Labor Party went from 51 seats to 7. That election was also fought on broken promises and…
  • Thirteen Ways of Looking At A Trollbird

    John Holbo
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:16 am
    The author is a genius but would prefer to remain mildly anonymous. I think it reads like Donald Barthelme. (I mean, the Stevens influence is also pretty definitely there.) Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Trollbird I Among twenty reasonable comments, The only livid thing Was the caw of the trollbird. II I was of three minds, Like a blog In which there are three trollbirds. III The trollbird whirled in the autumn winds. It was a small part of the pantomime. IV A man and a man pretending to be a woman Are one. A man and a man pretending to be a woman and a trollbird Are one. V I do not know which…
  • Master Teachers?

    Harry
    30 Jan 2015 | 5:57 am
    William Bowen and Eugene Tobin’s new book, Locus of Authority: The Evolution of Faculty Roles in the Governance of Higher Education, has just been published: anyone interested in the governance of universities and colleges should read it. The first part is a very terse but interesting account of how ‘shared governance’ emerged over time in the US; the second part is devoted to a detailed discussion of how governance works, the challenges that the current common governance structures face, and proposals about for changes in governance that would help us cope with these…
  • Vaccination Exemptions in California Kindergartens

    Kieran Healy
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:19 am
    I came across a report yesterday, via Eric, about high rates of vaccination exemption in Sacramento schools. As you are surely aware, this is a serious political and public health problem at the moment. Like Eric, I was struck by just how high some of the rates were. So I went and got the data from the California Department of Public Health, just wanting to take a quick look at it. If you want to follow along, I put up a github repository with the data and R code for the plots. I’ll just confine myself to a few descriptive plots about “PBEs” or Personal Belief Exemption…
  • But Wait…There’s More!

    Belle Waring
    29 Jan 2015 | 7:04 pm
    Since the thread is long now and it’s hard to respond to everyone individually, I thought I would post instead. Objection 1: Chait has real-world examples of PC madness—you don’t even address those! Counterpoints: In the opening anecdote, a guy wrote a relatively mild, not funny at all anti-feminist satire for the more conservative college paper in which he laughed about majoring in womyn’s studies (LOL), laughed about trigger warnings, and laughed about intersectionality. As if that’s a thing, right!? In response, some college kids egged his door, and the other…
 
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    Dealbreaker

  • Write-Offs: 1.30.15

    Bess Levin
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:30 pm
    $$$ German and British Regulators Examining Deutsche Bank’s Controls and Reporting [Dealbook] $$$ Shake Shacks Surge In Market Debut [WSJ] $$$ Secret hedge fund shorts revealed [NetNet] $$$ Tom Brady’s $2.6 Million Super Bowl Pay Cut [Bloomberg] $$$ Suspect Tells Police He’s No ‘Good At The Robbery Thing’ [HP] $$$ Google’s strong fourth quarter leaves… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
  • 25 Year Old Who Spent Six-Figures On Single Bottle Of Champagne Going Away For A While

    Bess Levin
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:40 pm
    Attention, UK nightclub owners: put your bottle of bubbly on ice. Alex Pope, the Brit whose spending habits raised suspicion several years back, which turned out to be funded by scamming investors, will want that shit chilled when he springs out of the joint seven years hence. The Financial Conduct Authority of Britain said that… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: Alex Hope, Brits, champagne, comically large martini glasses, prison, scams
  • Ratings Agencies Back To Their Old Tricks, Ratings Agency Says

    Jon Shazar
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:00 pm
    Moody’s, S&P and Fitch took a lot of flak for being a little too optimistic about the creditworthiness of derivatives before those derivatives proved anything but creditworthy. S&P got sued over it, but there may have been other motivations for that, and the other two, as well as the industry as a whole, more or… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: CMBS, finger-wagging, Moody's, senses of superiority
  • Preet Bharara Does Not Need This Shit

    Jon Shazar
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:00 pm
    The four guys who got to retract their guilty pleas to the crime earlier this month? Yea, they won’t have to enter new pleas of any kind—unless the Second Circuit Court of Appeals sees the error of its ways, or the Supreme Court sees said error. Five men accused of trading on inside tips about… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: IBM, not insider trading, Preet Bharara
  • Venezuelan Fraudster Gets To Spend Extra 13 Years In U.S.

    Jon Shazar
    30 Jan 2015 | 11:00 am
    Francisco Illarramendi ran a hedge fund whose strategy was to steal about $400 million from Venezuela’s national oil company. This is illegal in the United States, and that is a lot of money—even if his lawyers say Illarramendi’s was the first Ponzi scheme in history to turn a profit for investors. And so instead of… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: better than the alternative?, Francisco Illarramendi, Ponzi schemes with a surplus, wholehearted intentions
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    Econbrowser

  • Another solid GDP report

    James_Hamilton
    31 Jan 2015 | 11:46 am
    The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced yesterday that U.S. real GDP grew at a 2.6% annual rate in the third quarter. Even factoring in the dismal start to the year, that leaves full-year GDP growth during 2014 at 2.4% (the best annual performance since 2010) and growth at an annual rate of 4% over the last 9 months. U.S. real GDP growth at an annual rate, 1947:Q2-2014:Q4. Blue horizontal line is drawn at the historical average (3.1%). Government spending had contributed 0.8 percentage points to the Q3 growth but subtracted 0.4 percentage points from Q4. Most of that swing can be attributed…
  • Some Observations on the 2014Q4 GDP Release

    Menzie Chinn
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:29 pm
    The external sector weighs in, and thinking about the length of the recovery. First note the contribution of exports and imports to growth (in an accounting sense), in percentage points. Figure 1: Contributions to real GDP growth, in percentage points of imports (green), exports (red), and all else (blue), all SAAR. Source: BEA 2014Q4 advance release, and author’s calculations. Instead of having an essentially net zero impact in the third quarter, import growth contributed -1.4 percentage points (annualized). To the extent that the higher growth in imports represents greater consumption…
  • More on U.S. Employment, Post-Trough

    Menzie Chinn
    29 Jan 2015 | 7:14 pm
    Reader rtd states “it is virtually guaranteed that after a nation’s business cycle trough, that same nation’s employment growth will display an upward trend.” I thought this an interesting enough assertion that it merited additional investigation. If one were looking at data in the US from the beginning of the nonfarm payroll series until the 1990-91 recession, this characterization would be apt, as shown in Figure 1. Figure 1: Log nonfarm payroll employment (blue). NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Long dashed line at end of WWII. Source: BLS via FRED, NBER and…
  • Implications for Economic Growth of Governor Walker’s Proposed Higher-Ed Funding Cuts

    Menzie Chinn
    28 Jan 2015 | 10:07 pm
    From Foxnews: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is calling for steep cuts to the University of Wisconsin System, while offering the network more freedom in exchange, … [H]is university plan … would cut funding by $300 million over two years… Source: Berger-Fisher (2013). This measure would amount to a 13% cut in state funding to the university system. In addition, the Governor’s proposal includes a continued tuition freeze until 2017, after which time tuition changes would be unconstrained. That means under the Governor’s plan, funding levels would be reduced, while…
  • The Economics of China, and More

    Menzie Chinn
    27 Jan 2015 | 7:13 pm
    Two extremely useful books on China and the Chinese Currency: The Oxford Companion to the Economics of China and Renminbi Internationalization: Achievements, Prospects, and Challenges. The The Oxford Companion to the Economics of China is edited by Shenggen Fan, Ravi Kanbur, Shang-Jin Wei, and Xiaobo Zhang. Here are the contents: Part 1: The China Model 1: Xiaopeng Luo: From a Manipulated Revolution to Manipulated Marketisation: A Logic of the Chinese Model 2: Joseph Stiglitz: Transition to a Market Economy: Explaining the Successes and Failures 3: Chen Zongsheng: Chinese Residents’…
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    EconLog: Library of Economics and Liberty

  • The CBO's forecast, with and without "austerity"

    Scott Sumner
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:38 am
    (January 30, 2015 10:38 AM, by Scott Sumner) After my previous post, commenters James (in London) and Jeff directed me to the official CBO forecasts of August 2012, with and without austerity: CBO's Baseline: Taking into account the policy changes listed above and others contained in current law,... (21 COMMENTS)
  • On Greece

    Alberto Mingardi
    29 Jan 2015 | 11:07 am
    (January 29, 2015 11:07 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) The world is pondering the odds of Mr Tsipras and Syriza succeeding. To win an election on a rather populist platform might be easy, but governing and entering into highly complex negotiations with European authorities is a different matter. I... (2 COMMENTS)
  • What is Ray Lopez Missing?

    David Henderson
    29 Jan 2015 | 10:55 am
    (January 29, 2015 10:55 AM, by David Henderson) Regular Econlog commenter Ray Lopez writes, in response to Scott Sumner: My first objection: aside from the "Open Letter" by the liberal leaning economists, that indeed predicted a 'double-dip recession' if sequestration happened, who else predicted a recession? Not the... (11 COMMENTS)
  • Lawson's Economic Freedom Bet

    Bryan Caplan
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:04 am
    (January 29, 2015 12:04 AM, by Bryan Caplan) In the face of Jeff Sachs' challenge, Bob Lawson proposes a bet on economic freedom:"Dear Tyler, I read with obvious interest your post (and the paper itself) about the endogeneity of institutions. Leaving aside my issues with the IV literature,... (6 COMMENTS)
  • Questions for Keynesians (Show me the data)

    Scott Sumner
    28 Jan 2015 | 1:37 pm
    (January 28, 2015 01:37 PM, by Scott Sumner) I'm seeing lots of comments to the effect that the 2013 austerity was not a big deal, and or the dreaded "fiscal cliff" never happened. OK, let's see some numbers. After all, if my critics just know that I am... (25 COMMENTS)
 
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    Economist's View

  • Links for 02-01-15

    Mark Thoma
    1 Feb 2015 | 12:06 am
    Delusions on the UK left - mainly macro Did John Taylor get us stuck at the ZLB? - longandvariable On Being A "Very Serious Person" - EconoSpeak Why shouldn't central banks buy risky (and illiquid) assets? - Nick Rowe The spatial inequality of greenhouse gas emissions - Vox EU Micro efficient, macro inefficient - Chis Dillow Nuclear will die. Solar will live - Noahpinion Asymmetric Delusions and Pragmatism - Greed, Green & Grains Vox pop journalism as a system of domination: Syriza edition - Club Troppo
  • 'Bad Tayloring'

    Mark Thoma
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:02 am
    PK: Bad Tayloring: Since they aren’t currently able to demand a return to the gold standard — and maybe a ban on paper money? — Republicans are pushing to mandate that the Fed follow the so-called Taylor rule, which relates short-term interest rates to unemployment (and/or the output gap) and inflation. John Taylor, not surprisingly, likes this idea. But it’s a really terrible idea, and not just for the reasons Tony Yates describes. ... The world has turned out to be a much more dangerous place than Taylor-rule enthusiasts imagined, so why impose a rule devised, we know now, by…
  • Links for 01-31-15

    Mark Thoma
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:06 am
    Cognitive vs. behavioral in psychology, economics... - Andrew Gelman The Unconvincing Claim That Unemployment Benefits Hurt Jobs - CBPP Securitization and Fraud, Used Car Edition - Conglomerate Blog Comment on Q4 GDP and Investment: R-E-L-A-X - Calculated Risk Five takeaways from slower US growth - FT.com I See Very Serious Dead People - Paul Krugman Q. and A. With Charles Plosser of the Fed - NYTimes.com The Economic Benefits of Paid Parental Leave - NYTimes.com A new Vox Debate on Secular Stagnation - Vox EU Bank portfolio choice and the macroeconomy - Vox EU Fiscal policy explains the weak…
  • 'Don't Trade Away Our Health'

    Mark Thoma
    30 Jan 2015 | 9:34 am
    Joe Stiglitz: Don't Trade Away Our Health: A secretive group met behind closed doors in New York this week. What they decided may lead to higher drug prices for you and hundreds of millions around the world. Representatives from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries convened to decide the future of their trade relations in the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (T.P.P.). Powerful companies appear to have been given influence over the proceedings, even as full access is withheld from many government officials from the partnership countries. Among the topics negotiators have…
  • U.S. Workers Still Waiting for Wage Growth

    Mark Thoma
    30 Jan 2015 | 9:34 am
    Jeffrey Sparshott of the WSJ: U.S. Workers Still Waiting for Wage Growth: U.S. employers aren’t yet getting squeezed by workers demanding higher wages. The employment-cost index, a broad gauge of wage and benefit expenditures, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in the fourth quarter last year, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s down from 0.7% in the two earlier quarters and jibes with other data showing only limited wage pressure across the U.S. Wages and salaries, which account for about 70% of compensation costs, climbed 0.5%, a slowdown from the third quarter’s 0.8% pace. Benefit…
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    EconTalk

  • Continuing Education... Alex Tabarrok on Private Cities

    Amy Willis
    27 Jan 2015 | 12:38 pm
    This week, we want to further the learning associated with Alex Tabarrok on Private Cities. We can learn a lot from one another. So this week, choose from one of the prompts below the fold, and post your reply (250 words or less, please!) in the comments. We'll highlight some of our favorites (and maybe even send some surprises your way). We also hope you'll comment on each others' replies. 1. How are charter cities, as envisioned by Paul Romer, different from private cities? Which has greater potential for encouraging entrepreneurial investment? For reducing transaction costs? Explain. 2. In…
  • Alex Tabarrok on Private Cities

    Russell Roberts
    26 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    Alex Tabarrok of George Mason University talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a recent paper Tabarrok co-authored with Shruti Rajagopalan on Gurgaon, a city in India that until recently had little or no municipal government. The two discuss the successes and failures of this private city, the tendency to romanticize the outcomes of market and government action, and the potential for private cities to meet growing demand for urban living in India and China. Play Time: 1:08:18 How do I listen to a podcast? Download Size:31.3 MB Right-click or Option-click, and select "Save Link/Target As…
  • Continuing Conversation... Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the Precautionary Principle and Genetically Modified Organisms

    Amy Willis
    21 Jan 2015 | 10:31 am
    Nassim Taleb returned to EconTalk this week, to discuss his recent paper on the risks inherent in genetically modified organisms. Contra last week's guest, Greg Page, Taleb sees the potential for global ruin in GMOS. Share your reactions to the following prompts with us, and let's continue the conversation. Check Your Knowledge: 1. Because GMOs are a "fat-tail" phenomenon, the precautionary principle should be invoked, according to Taleb. What does he mean by this? How can we know that GMOs do not represent a "thin-tail" phenomenon, according to Taleb? 2. What is the difference between harm…
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the Precautionary Principle and Genetically Modified Organisms

    Russell Roberts
    19 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Antifragile, Black Swan, and Fooled by Randomness, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a recent co-authored paper on the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the use of the Precautionary Principle. Taleb contrasts harm with ruin and explains how the differences imply different rules of behavior when dealing with the risk of each. Taleb argues that when considering the riskiness of GMOs, the right understanding of statistics is more valuable than expertise in biology or genetics. The central issue that pervades the conversation is how to…
  • Continuing Conversation... Greg Page on Food, Agriculture, and Cargill

    Amy Willis
    14 Jan 2015 | 10:18 am
    Greg Page, former CEO of Cargill spoke with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about what it's like to run a global food company and issues affecting world food markets. Here's your chance to test your knowledge and share your answers to questions from this week's conversation. Check Your Knowledge: 1. In stressing the interdependent nature of "food security," Page utilizes the concept of comparative advantage. What does comparative advantage mean, and how does it apply to food security? 2. When weather affects the supply of food in crucial producing countries, how do prices help maintain the world…
 
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    Environmental Economics

  • Digging deeper in the NYTimes/Stanford/RFF global warming poll

    John Whitehead
    31 Jan 2015 | 5:24 am
    25% support higher electricity taxes and 36% support higher gas taxes "to try to reduce future global warming." Here are the questions and results from the poll: Someone should run the crosstabs on these questions and the one where "more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change."
  • Zero: 3rd class

    John Whitehead
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:50 pm
    Sent from my iPhone
  • NAREA & CAES Call for papers (deadline 2/1)

    John Whitehead
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:38 am
    Submitted by Martin Heintzelman: The 2015 Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA) & the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society (CAES) Annual Meeting and Workshop will be held June 27-30 at Hotel Viking in the historic seaside town of Newport, Rhode Island. The 2015 conference features many opportunities to interact and learn including: Selected Paper sessions, Symposia, Plenary Talks, and Workshop Sessions. The Annual Meeting will begin with an opening evening reception at Hotel Viking on Sunday, June 28; the academic program will follow on Monday and…
  • "Most Americans Support Government Action on Climate Change, Poll Finds"

    John Whitehead
    30 Jan 2015 | 6:52 am
    From the inbox: An overwhelming majority of the American public, including nearly half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future. In a finding that could have implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, the poll also found that two-thirds of Americans say they are more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change. They are less likely to vote for candidates who question or deny the…
  • Teaching and research are complements, not substitutes

    John Whitehead
    30 Jan 2015 | 5:23 am
    It could have been anyone's governor: Just what do university professors do all day? Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has been hearing plenty on that topic since he remarked this week, during a discussion of his proposal to cut state appropriations for the University of Wisconsin system by $300-million over two years, that the universities “might be able to make savings just by asking faculty and staff to consider teaching one more class a semester.” ... The question is part of a larger public debate that goes back to at least 1967, when another Republican governor, Ronald Reagan of…
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    footnoted*

  • 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…
  • A big sendoff for Abercrombie’s CEO

    Michelle Leder
    10 Dec 2014 | 10:13 am
    By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard the news about the sudden retirement yesterday of Mike Jeffries, who had been Chairman and CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch after more than 20 years of running the company. You may have even seen the news that Jeffries would be getting $5.5m in “cash and benefits continuation” according to the 8-K that the company filed late yesterday. We wanted to take a closer look because Abercrombie and Jeffries has been something of a frequent flyer here at footnoted over the years. Indeed, we counted 37 separate items that we’ve written about…
  • What was Visa waiting for?

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    26 Nov 2014 | 8:10 am
    Disclosure practices of some companies don’t make sense, especially when it comes to their executive compensation. Take credit card giant Visa Inc., for instance. Over a year ago, on May 23, 2013 to be exact, the company announced via a press release the appointment of Ryan McInerney as the company’s president. On the same day, the company filed this 8-K, with his compensation details, including his $2 million signing bonus, which we covered here. So far, so good. Or so we thought, until we clicked open one of the exhibits filed with the company’s latest annual report on…
  • Is Actavis’ new CFO Really worth $22 Million?

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    14 Nov 2014 | 8:26 am
    When it comes to executive compensation, do the board members and compensation consultants who dole it out ever think there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing? That’s the question we found ourselves asking after reading the 8-K that Actavis plc filed late Wednesday. If you are a footnoted regular, you would know that we pay close attention to filings that come in after the close of the markets, especially on Fridays. So when Actavis, the Ireland-based pharmaceutical giant Actavis arrived a little after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, we sent out a quick note to our subscribers,…
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    Free exchange

  • The north-south divide

    C.W. | LONDON
    28 Jan 2015 | 8:31 am
    LOW OIL prices are not good for the Nigerian economy. In its latest forecasts, the IMF's predictions for the Nigerian economy in 2015 have been cut—from over 7% growth to about 5%. The naira, Nigeria's currency, is doing badly. But what are the effects of lower oil prices in different parts of the country?If new research from two Oxford economists is anything to go by, people in the largely Christian south of the country will do worse than those in the largely Muslim north. The paper looks at the human impacts of oil-price changes. It uses data on 34,000 women between the ages of…
  • Adam Smith on the financial crisis

    T.E. | NEW YORK
    27 Jan 2015 | 3:23 pm
    Quantitative easing? Bah humbug!TIRED of lightweights bickering over the financial crisis and its aftermath? Of economic upheaval becoming merely fodder for intellectually dishonest political campaigns? Wonder what biggest thinkers might have to say? Our efforts to consult the giants of economics have been hampered by an unfortunate fact: many of the most important ones are not only dead, but they died long before governments and central banks began to concoct such unconventional policy tools such as quantitative easing. That explains their absence from the argument—so far.In an attempt to…
  • The Greek Revolt

    Economist.com
    26 Jan 2015 | 4:26 pm
    THIS week: The implications of the Greek election and Davos deconstructed 
  • Wealth of generations

    H.C. | LONDON
    23 Jan 2015 | 6:44 am
    BRITAIN'S pensioners are a spoiled lot. They benefit from perks such as free bus travel and free television licences, and do not have to pay national insurance, one of Britain's two income taxes, on their private earnings. Last week George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer, introduced new savings bonds exclusively for over-65s. The bonds have an artificially high rate: the government will pay 4% to borrow from oldies for three years, versus a three-year gilt yield of around 0.6%. This does not chime well with the chancellor's professed policy priority of keeping Britain's borrowing costs…
  • Explaining a shocking stat

    C.W. | LONDON
    23 Jan 2015 | 3:40 am
    SINCE publishing our package on energy subsidies last week, a few people have asked us about one particular factoid. In the leader we say:By one count, such handouts [energy subsidies] led to extra consumption that was responsible for 36% of global carbon emissions in 1980-2010.We repeat the figure elsewhere in the issue. It is taken from a recent working paper (see accompanying VOX article) by Radoslaw Stefanski, now at the University of St Andrews. How does Mr Stefanski reach such an alarming figure?Historically, CO2 emissions for a given country have followed a hump-shaped…
 
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    Greg Mankiw's Blog

  • Ec 10 Guest Lectures

    Greg Mankiw
    30 Jan 2015 | 6:41 am
    Above are the seven guest lecturers for ec 10 this spring. How many do you recognize?  A first-class econonerd would recognize them all.Hint: Their initials are MF, GG, AA, AS, JS, JS, and LS.
  • Price Theory Summer Camp

    Greg Mankiw
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    This seems like a great opportunity for econ grad students.
  • The One Percent, Updated

    Greg Mankiw
    28 Jan 2015 | 5:45 am
    Piketty and Saez have updated their famous one-percent graph to 2013.  It is above. (Click on graphic to enlarge.)One thing that commentators sometimes fail to notice is that the big increase in the one percent's income share came between 1980 and 2000. Since 2000, it has fluctuated but without much of a trend.  Why, then, are we all talking about income inequality only now? I am not sure. One hypothesis is that we don't worry about inequality when everyone is doing well. Another hypothesis is that we now have a president with a political ideology that sees…
  • The 2014 Employment Boom

    Greg Mankiw
    27 Jan 2015 | 9:21 am
    Why did employment grow by about 3 million in 2014?  Here is the answer from a new paper:We measure the effect of unemployment benefit duration on employment. We exploit the variation induced by the decision of Congress in December 2013 not to reauthorize the unprecedented benefit extensions introduced during the Great Recession. Federal benefit extensions that ranged from 0 to 47 weeks across U.S. states at the beginning of December 2013 were abruptly cut to zero. To achieve identification we use the fact that this policy change was exogenous to cross-sectional differences…
  • Lazear on Wage Stagnation

    Greg Mankiw
    26 Jan 2015 | 6:25 am
    Eddie writes:The share of the private workforce employed in the BLS-defined industries “financial activities” and “hospitals” decreased by about 5% between 2010 and 2014. Jobs in these industries pay 29% and 24%, respectively, above the economy mean. Because a smaller share of labor is working those high-wage industries, the typical job in the economy is now lower-paying than in 2010.... So what accounts for the relative decline in jobs in high-wage hospitals and finance? One obvious possibility is increased regulation. The Affordable Care Act for hospitals and Dodd-Frank for…
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    Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

  • 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…
  • Now That's An Idea That Would Never Fly

    Jeff Matthews
    17 Nov 2014 | 2:08 pm
     Former BB&T* CEO John Allison has written a book about, well, about his time at BB&T, during which it grew from $275 million in assets to $152 billion (profitably) and some lessons learned along the way. American Banker, one of the publications Warren Buffett reads every day, is publishing excerpts from the book, covering everything from how BB&T got into the subprime auto lending business to how it looks for acquisitions (100 and counting during Allison's 35 years at the bank). And while Warren Buffett has long lambasted American CEOs for not providing…
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    Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

  • Diving Into the GDP Report - Some Ominous Trends - Yellen Yap - Decoupling or Not?

    31 Jan 2015 | 5:02 pm
    Yellen YapOn Thursday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen met with Senate Democrats at a private luncheon. She told the Democrats that the U.S. Economy is Strong. My first thought was "what the heck is Yellen doing holding a private lunch with Democrats only?" Had she met with Senate Republicans, I would have asked the same question.Apparently this is common procedure for Yellen, so perhaps I am reading too much into it. Yet, I cannot help wondering if the real purpose of the meeting was to persuade Democrats to block any "Audit the Fed" Initiatives.Glowing Report Regardless of the reason, Yellen had…
  • Canada in Recession, US Will Follow in 2015

    31 Jan 2015 | 12:14 pm
    On January 21 when the Canadian Central Bank unexpected slashed interest rates, I wrote Canadian Recession Coming Up. Following the rate cut, the yield curve in Canada inverted out to three years. Inversion means near-term interest rates are higher than long-term rates.I saw no other person mention the inversion at the time. An inverted yield curve generally portends recession.Nine days later, the Canadian yield curve is still inverted. Let's compare what I posted about the curve on January 21 vs. January 30. Canadian Yield Curve January 2130-year: 2.044% (Today's Low 1.998%)10-Year: 1.426%…
  • Greece Will Not Accept Bailout Extension or Deal With "Rottenly Constructed" Troika; Mish's Game Theory Math

    30 Jan 2015 | 4:27 pm
    Greece Will No Longer Deal with ‘Troika’It now strongly appears as if Greece, Germany, and the nannycrats in Brussels are all on one hell of a collision course. Both sides have dug in, and the war of words has escalated in all corners.For example, please consider Greece Will No Longer Deal with ‘Troika’, Yanis Varoufakis Says Greece will no longer co-operate with the “troika” of international lenders that has overseen its four-year bailout programme, the country’s finance minister said.Yanis Varoufakis also said Greece would not accept an extension of its EU bailout, which…
  • Financial Blogger Profile of "Mish" on Equities.Com

    30 Jan 2015 | 12:33 pm
    Daniel Banas at Equities.Com interviewed me last week via phone for their profile series on "the most distinct and noteworthy voices in the world of financial blogging."The interview transcript follows. First a few words ... I am honored to be on that list.The interview kicked off with a question on how I got started. I have commented on this before, but the short story is I was out of work, hanging around stock message boards, and Bill McBride (Calculated Risk) created the first template to my blog. Bill had just started his own blog and within a few years we became two of the top three…
  • Eurozone, Including Germany, in Deflation; Strange Times for Denmark, Deutschland and EU

    30 Jan 2015 | 11:31 am
    Eurostat released HICP Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices statistics today.In spite of promising that deflation would not hit again, here we are, and for the second month too. Euro area annual inflation is expected to be -0.6% in January 2015, down from -0.2% in December 2014 according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. This negative rate for euro area annual inflation in January is driven by the fall in energy prices (-8.9%, compared with -6.3% in December). Prices are also expected to fall for food, alcohol & tobacco (-0.1%, compared with…
 
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    Overcoming Bias

  • Placebos Show Care

    Robin Hanson
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:55 am
    I’ve suggested that the main function of medicine is to show that we care. I’ve suggested that we spend a lot on medicine to signal our care, and that this can explain the placebo effect, wherein the mere appearance of care increases health. Some apparently confirming evidence: Parkinson’s Disease patients secretly treated with a placebo instead of their regular medication performed better when told they were receiving a more expensive version of the “drug,” … While most people think of a placebo as a sugar pill that replaces a real medication, the impact more commonly…
  • Industry-Era Action Stories

    Robin Hanson
    24 Jan 2015 | 10:50 am
    This semester I teach graduate industrial organization. And while preparing, it occurred to me that if our stories adapted fast to our changing world, many and perhaps most action stories today would be about industrial organization, i.e., about firms competing over industries. The fact that most action stories today are not about this is a sad commentary on how slowly our stories adapt to our world. Let me explain. Action stories are about conflict; people fight over big things at stake. Stories about one-on-one physical fights or chases come come from deep in our animal background. Related…
  • Collusion In Quadratic Voting

    Robin Hanson
    22 Jan 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Two weeks ago I posted on the idea of quadratic voting, where voters pay a cost to buy votes, a cost that goes as the square of the number of votes they buy. Under certain reasonable assumptions, this voting system should produce economically efficient outcomes! Since so many get so obsessed with the objection that the rich might buy more votes, I focused on a “voting quarks” variation, wherein everyone gets the same number of points to spend across many elections. I mentioned that this system could make agenda-setting more important. And if we did not ensure anonymous…
  • Is `Libby’ A Slur?

    Robin Hanson
    19 Jan 2015 | 11:20 am
    I recently used the the word “Jews” in a draft, and someone suggested that might be offensive, and that I should instead used something like “people of Jewish descent.” I asked around, and while most people didn’t see any offense, at least a few thought that a few others would take offense. I suspect people are using a simple signaling heuristic here. When people insult or denigrate something they tend to do so with short familiar easy to say and understand words and phrases. So when other people want to signal that they do not intend to insult or denigrate something, they instead…
  • Ritual Instinct

    Robin Hanson
    15 Jan 2015 | 4:05 pm
    Humans have an instinct that is specific to arbitrary rituals, which we see as signaling group loyalty: Show a child how to perform some action that they haven’t seen before, and they will faithfully replicate not only the steps required to achieve the goal, but also superfluous ones. Why they do this is a puzzle, especially as other animals do not. … What if children can identify actions as causally opaque? If so, perhaps their brains see them as a cue to switch from normal reasoning to a “ritual stance” in which they interpret the behaviour of others as social signals,…
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Documenting a class-participation activity

    Andrew
    31 Jan 2015 | 2:03 pm
    Tian Zheng implemented my candies demo using Legos: Also lots of details on the results. The point here is not exactly what happened (but, yes, the demo did work) but rather the idea that you can use photos and graphs to document what worked in class. We should be able to do this sort of scrapbooking all the time as teachers. Next time: take some photos of the kids in class doing the activities, too (assuming that’s ok with them). The post Documenting a class-participation activity appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • Economics/sociology phrase book

    Andrew
    31 Jan 2015 | 6:11 am
    Mark Palko points me to this amusing document from Jeffrey Smith and Kermit Daniel, translating sociology jargon into economics and vice-versa. Lots of good jokes there. Along these lines, I’ve always been bothered by economists’ phrase “willingness to pay” which, in practice, often means “ability to pay.” And, of course, “earnings” which means “how much money you make.” But, to be fair, statisticians have some of these too. For example, in psychometrics we use the term “ability” to refer to the very specific ability to get certain questions correct on a test. The…
  • Cognitive vs. behavioral in psychology, economics, and political science

    Andrew
    30 Jan 2015 | 6:09 am
    I’ve been coming across these issues from several different directions lately, and I wanted to get the basic idea down without killing myself in the writing of it. So consider this a sketchy first draft. The starting point is “behavioral economics,” also known as the “heuristics and biases” subfield of cognitive psychology. It’s associated with various studies of cognitive illusions, settings where people systematically mispredict uncertain events or make decisions. Within psychology, this work is generally accepted but with some controversy which could be…
  • Six quick tips to improve your regression modeling

    Andrew
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:16 am
    It’s Appendix A of ARM: A.1. Fit many models Think of a series of models, starting with the too-simple and continuing through to the hopelessly messy. Generally it’s a good idea to start simple. Or start complex if you’d like, but prepare to quickly drop things out and move to the simpler model to help understand what’s going on. Working with simple models is not a research goal—in the problems we work on, we usually find complicated models more believable—but rather a technique to help understand the fitting process. A corollary of this principle is the need to be able to…
  • First day of class update

    Andrew
    28 Jan 2015 | 5:54 pm
    I got to class on time. The class went ok but I spent too much time talking, which is what happens when I don’t put a lot of effort ahead of time into making sure I don’t spend too much time talking. My first-day-of-class activity was ok but I think I needed another activity for the students, something more statistical, to better set the tone of the course. I think I should’ve given them a 10-minute work-in-pairs activity where I’d first give them some real-world problem and then ask them, in pairs, to design a study to address it. The problem could be anything: it…
 
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    Streetsblog New York City

  • NYC: DMV Revoked License of Driver Who Killed Allison Liao for Just 30 Days

    Brad Aaron
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:39 pm
    The motorist who killed 3-year-old Allison Liao could be back behind the wheel before long, as the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles revoked his license for just 30 days. Photo: Brad Aaron Following a hearing in early January, DMV administrative law judge Sidney Fuchs determined that Abu-Zayedeh failed to yield the right of way when he ran over Allison as she walked hand in hand with her grandmother across Main Street in Flushing on October 6, 2013. The DMV revoked Abu-Zayedeh’s license, but the length of the revocation was not announced. “The respondent failed to use…
  • NYC: The Search Is on for Healthy Food Vendors to Serve This South Bronx Plaza

    Stephen Miller
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:17 pm
    New food options could be coming to Roberto Clemente Plaza at the Bronx Hub. Image: Garrison Architects In the Meatpacking District, people can grab a seat and buy healthy prepared food from a vendor in a bustling plaza. But New Yorkers who live in less affluent neighborhoods tend not to have the same options — at least not yet. A new effort aims to bring several vendors to a plaza under construction in the South Bronx. Each of DOT’s public plazas has a local partner in charge of maintenance, tasked with keeping the space clean and putting out tables and chairs each day. While…
  • NYC: Citi Bike Expansion Plan Gets Going on the Upper West Side [Updated]

    Larissa Zimberoff
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:00 am
    Participants filled about a dozen tables for two separate hour-long sessions of bike-share station siting exercises last night. Photo: Larissa Zimberoff A public workshop last night set in motion the planning process for bike-share on the Upper West Side, part of Citi Bike’s phase two expansion that will double the number of stations and reach up to 125th Street by 2017. NYC DOT said the station map for the neighborhood should be finalized sometime this fall but did not give a timeline for implementation. DOT and Citi Bike staff held the event last night to get feedback from Upper West…
  • NYC: TLC Bolsters Cab Driver Safety Regs, Minus NYC Road Test Requirement

    Brad Aaron
    30 Jan 2015 | 9:39 am
    The TLC does not require cab drivers to take a New York City road test. Photo: Trish Naudon-Thomas The Taxi and Limousine Commission voted to revise some of its rules Thursday, strengthening safety requirements for drivers of for-hire vehicles as well as yellow and green cabs. But the TLC still does not require aspiring cabbies to pass a New York City road test before obtaining a hack license. There are 70,000 for-hire drivers currently licensed by the TLC, according to the agency, transporting almost as many passengers per day as yellow cabs. Surprisingly, until now the drivers of for-hire…
  • NYC: Today’s Headlines

    Stephen Miller
    30 Jan 2015 | 5:59 am
    Speaker’s Race: Heastie Gains Over Morelle (NYT, Observer, Capital); Nolan Still in Race (NYT) If Vision Zero Is Going to Succeed, NYC Streets Will Need Major Redesigns (Chelsea Now) Prendergast: Willets Point AirTrain Could Actually Cost $1 Billion, Double Cuomo’s Estimate (Capital) Nassau County NICE Bus Driver Kills Pedestrian in Jamaica While Turning (WNBC, Post, WPIX) Former Member Fondly Remembers How Shelly Quietly Killed Congestion Pricing (Capital) Is Skelos Next? Preet Bharara Investigating Senate Leader for Real Estate Ties (WNBC) Most of $1.3 Billion Thruway Bailout…
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    The Big Picture

  • Sarkar on Greece

    Kiron Sarkar
    1 Feb 2015 | 2:00 am
    There has been a great deal written about Greece recently. I therefore, somewhat timidly, add my penny’s worth. The Syriza Party, through their PM and their finance minister, has rejected the idea of cooperating with the Troika, the EU, ECB and the IMF. They are seeking debt forgiveness to meet their election pledges to the Greeks population. Right from the start, it must be said that the EuroZone will not entertain debt forgiveness. Two simple but crucial reasons as to why. —- Debt forgiveness for Greece will encourage other countries, who have far larger and unsustainable debt…
  • The “Greek Issue”

    Barry Ritholtz
    31 Jan 2015 | 1:30 pm
    Fascinating flowchart from Deutsche Bank: It is wrong to think that contagion stems only from Grexit. An excessive compromise with Greece could result in moral hazard, particularly in relation to structural reforms. This could undermine the medium-term stability of the euro area. The tail risk is that Greek politicians try to leverage too much the fear of Grexit “contagion risk”. We complete our analysis by looking at the vulnerability of other euro peripherals and the ex-post tools to limit contagion.   Source: Deutsche Bank, The Greek Issue
  • MiB: Howard Lindzon

    Barry Ritholtz
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:00 am
    This week, the “Masters in Business” podcast features angel investor Howard Lindzon, who runs the Social Leverage venture fund (amongst other things). Lindzon discusses the differences between public and private investing, how he got lucky with his first angel investment, and why making mistakes is one of the best ways to learn what not to do (like passing on investing in Twitter at $20 million valuation). You can hear it live on Bloomberg radio, download the podcast here or on Apple iTunes (when its posted, you can also stream it on Soundcloud below). All of our…
  • 10 Weekend Reads

    Barry Ritholtz
    31 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Good Saturday morning. Well, thats the first time we’ve had two consecutive negative months in several years. No worries, we have some longer form weekend reads while you digest that info: • The Super Bowl Scammer: Dion Rich Is the Godfather of Gatecrashing (Rolling Stone) • The Real Story Behind Jeff Bezos’s Fire Phone Debacle And What It Means For Amazon’s Future (Fast Company) • The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains. (The Atlantic) see also Why the modern world is bad for your brain (The Guardian) • Science, Meet Journalism. You Two Should Talk. (Wilson…
  • Apple Earnings Show Why You Can’t Trust Pundits

    Barry Ritholtz
    31 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
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    The Epicurean Dealmaker

  • 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…
  • Greatest Hits of 2014

    27 Dec 2014 | 6:45 am
    “I think it’s just elegant to have an imagination. I just have no imagination at all. I have lots of other things, but I have no imagination.”— The Seven Year ItchYes, O Dearly Beloved, it’s that time of year again. Time to dust off the circuit boards of the dedicated Google Analytics server farm for this two bit opinion emporium and determine which of my 37 beautiful children attracted the most attention from you delightful readers, spambots, and web crawlers in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Fourteen. As I have explained before, this may be the last year I bother to conduct…
  • Show Me the Money

    2 Dec 2014 | 9:59 am
    “Money changes everything.”— Some guy, probably without any moneyAndrew Ross Sorkin, access journalist extraordinaire and alleged shill for the Great and Good,1 put up a sensible op ed this morning to which I thought I would contribute a few brief supporting remarks. It seems Mr. Sorkin has taken somewhat of a shine to Antonio Weiss, a successful Lazard investment banker whom the current Administration has advanced as its candidate for under secretary of the Treasury for domestic finance, and he has been defending this paragon of sharp-dressed competence against detractors great and…
 
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    OUPblog

  • Thomas Aquinas and God

    AlyssaB
    1 Feb 2015 | 1:30 am
    One of the benefits of contemporary atheism is that it has brought to the forefront of modern consciousness the demand that believers offer some reason for the belief that they have. Of course, this demand is nothing new, and it even has scriptural support behind it, with St. Peter insisting that Christians ought always be prepared to give a reason for their hope (1 Peter 3:15). Accordingly, the Christian tradition has always cherished and promoted the cultivation of wisdom so that Christianity may be a reasonable belief to hold. Contemporary atheism has brought to the fore the same demand…
  • Free will, libertarianism, and luck

    Mohamed Sesay
    1 Feb 2015 | 12:30 am
    Do we have free will? Free will is one of the central topics in philosophy, both historically and in the present. The basic puzzles of this topic are easily felt. For instance, it’s easy to wonder whether factors beyond our control — our genetic constitution, the environment in which we were brought up, and so on — might be among the causes of our behavior. In the light of this, we might wonder whether it’s really possible for us to act freely or, instead, whether everything we do is ultimately shaped by these factors in such a way that undermines our free will. In…
  • Catching up with Sara Levine, Multimedia Producer

    SoniaT
    31 Jan 2015 | 5:30 am
    Another week, another great staff member to get to know. When you think of the world of publishing, the work of videos, podcasts, photography, and animated GIFs doesn’t immediately come to mind. But here at Oxford University Press we have Sara Levine, who joined the Social Media team as a Multimedia Producer just last year. When did you start working at OUP? I started working at OUP this past August, three months after completing my Master’s degree at Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture and Technology Program. How did you get started in multimedia production? I’ve been…
  • College Arts Association 2015 Annual Meeting Conference Guide

    Mohamed Sesay
    31 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    The Oxford University Press staff is happy that the College Arts Association 2015 Annual Conference (11-14 February 2015) will be held in our backyard: New York City! So we gathered together to discuss what we’re interested in seeing at this year’s conference, as well as some suggestions for those visiting our city. Alodie Larson, Editorial: I look forward to CAA. I love having the opportunity to meet authors, see old friends, and get together with the outstanding group of scholars who make up the Editorial Board for Grove Art. The years that New York hosts CAA are low-key for me, as I…
  • Essential considerations for leadership in policing (and beyond)

    Daniel Hall
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:30 am
    There are problems with defining the term ‘leadership’. Leadership often gets confused with the management function because, generally, managers are expected to exhibit some leadership qualities. In essence, leaders are instruments of change, responsible for laying plans both for the moment and for the medium and long-term futures. Managers are more concerned with executing plans on a daily basis, achieving objectives and producing results. Top police leaders have a responsibility for deciding, implementing, monitoring, and completing the strategic plans necessary to meet the needs and…
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    Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

  • My Review of Jeff Madrick’s ‘Seven Bad Ideas’

    Don Boudreaux
    31 Jan 2015 | 5:47 am
    (Don Boudreaux) In the current issue of Barron’s I review Jeff Madrick’s latest book, Seven Bad Ideas.  (My review is the last of the three reviews at this link.)  A slice (links added): Unlike Madrick, however, Austrians also understand that this imperfect competitive market process still outperforms all other methods of directing economic activity. The author naively thinks that to locate a market imperfection is to identify a sure opportunity for successful government intervention. Government officials spend other people’s money. So they are less driven than are consumers,…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    31 Jan 2015 | 4:25 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 128 of Thomas Sowell’s 2009 book, The Housing Boom and Bust: Few things blind human beings to the actual consequences of what they are doing like a heady feeling of self-righteousness during a crusade to smite the wicked and rescue the downtrodden.
  • Or, Hey, That Reagan Economy Must Have Been Quite Good at ‘Creating’ Jobs!

    Don Boudreaux
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:16 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to the Washington Post: Judith Barrett’s case for nationalized child care is full of flaws, not the least of which is her claim that “Mr. Reagan’s policies marked the beginning of the economy that required both partners in a couple to have to go to work - it was no longer optional” (Letters, Jan. 27). In fact, the percentage of women in the U.S. workforce increased steadily throughout all of the 20th century, starting at around 18 percent in 1901 and rising to around 47 percent one-hundred years later.  And the steepest rise in workforce…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:21 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from pages 59-60 of George Stigler‘s November 1959 Quarterly Journal of Economics article, “The Politics of Political Economists,” as reprinted in Stigler’s 1965 collection, Essays in the History of Economics (original emphases): The main reason for the [political] conservatism [of economists on the economic front] surely lies in the effect of the scientific training the economist receives.  He is drilled in the problems of all economic systems and in the methods by which the price system solves these problems.  It becomes impossible for…
  • Some Links

    Don Boudreaux
    29 Jan 2015 | 1:00 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) My colleague Pete Boettke was recently interviewed by The Daily Bell.  A slice: Closer to home, at GMU we have established a new research center that I am directing and Chris Coyne is the associate director. We have continued to grow our graduate student programs under the direction of Virgil Storr, and our journal editing – Review of Austrian Economics, The Independent Review, Public Choice, and Advances in Austrian Economics – as well as our editing of book series, including Cambridge Studies in Economics, Choice and Society, the Routledge series on Foundations of the…
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    Dollars & Sense Blog

  • Links on Yanis Varoufakis

    Chris Sturr
    31 Jan 2015 | 2:56 pm
    One of the exciting things about the new SYRIZA government in Greece is that the new finance minister is Yanis Varoufakis, a left economist. I am familiar with him because he has been interviewed many times on Behind the News, the radio show of Left Business Observer editor Doug Henwood. The latest episode of Behind the News compiles clips from five of those interviews, starting with one from 2008 in which he comments on the street demonstrations by students and unions, running through several interviews about the eurozone crisis, and ending (culminating?) in an interview from November in…
  • Mike-Frank Epitropoulos on SYRIZA Victory

    Mike-Frank Epitropoulos
    26 Jan 2015 | 10:54 am
    See also Mike-Frank Epitropoulos’s pre-election piece, A Second Demonstration Project for Greece. Patti Smith’s song People Have the Power has been adopted as SYRIZA’s anthem.  SYRIZA’s twitter feed posted another YouTube version of the song (as reported by the New York Times), but that version can’t be viewed in the United States. Anti-Austerity SYRIZA Wins Big—Now the Clash with the Crisis The left, anti-austerity SYRIZA party scored a decisive victory in the Greek elections on Sunday, with margins exceeding those of most polls.  This is the first time that…
  • Links: SYRIZA, SOTU, etc.

    Chris Sturr
    24 Jan 2015 | 10:30 am
    (1) Greek elections:  We just posted an article by Mike-Frank Epitropoulos on tomorrow’s elections in Greece, and what a SYRIZA election would mean: A Second Demonstration Project for Greece. The title alludes to the article Mike wrote for us back in May 2010, Greece as a Demonstration Project. Back then, the architects of austerity were using Greece as a demonstration project to see how a country’s population reacted to vicious austerity. Today, those same elites are worried about what the election of an anti-austerity, sometimes anti-capitalist party in Europe would demonstrate…
  • New Issue!

    Chris Sturr
    22 Jan 2015 | 3:44 pm
      New Issue!  Our Jan/Feb 2015 issue is (finally) out–or at least it is ready to be sent to the printers tomorrow. (E-subscribers will get their pdf by email tomorrow also.)  We posted John Miller’s “Up Against the Wall Street Journal” column today: Another Gift for Corporations–Lower Tax Rates, timely because of Obama’s discussion of tax reform in the State of the Union (more on the SOTU when I get a chance to post some links that have been accumulating on my desk).  There is lots else to enjoy in this issue.  Here is our p. 2 editors’ note:…
  • Support the Homelessness Marathon, Feb 17-18

    Chris Sturr
    9 Jan 2015 | 9:28 am
    I heard from my old friend in the Finger Lakes in upstate New York, Jeremy Alderson, about the upcoming 17th Homelessness Marathon, happening this coming Tuesday and Wednesday [CORRECTION–it’s on Tuesday, Feb. 17 and Wednesday Feb. 18th]. This is an annual, 14-hour, overnight radio broadcast focusing on homelessness, broadcast from the streets of a different city each year, airing the voices of the homeless themselves, and homeless advocates. The program often originates from a cold northern city–I remember volunteering for it when it happened in Cambridge, MA more than ten…
 
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    Credit Slips

  • Random Thoughts on Reform

    Michelle Harner
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:12 am
    I just finished discussing the “random walk” theory in my Corporate Finance class, so I thought I would close out my stint on Credit Slips with some “random thoughts” on reform. First, two expressions of sincere gratitude: I want to thank Bob Lawless and everyone at Credit Slips for the opportunity to blog about reform these past two weeks. It has been great fun. I also would like to thank the many practitioners, judges, financial advisors, academics, and industry groups who participated in the ABI Commission reform study process. Everyone made a meaningful contribution to the…
  • Bankruptcy Valuations: A Pair of Modest Proposals

    Adam Levitin
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:09 pm
    I want to take up Michelle Harner's call for "innovation and new approaches to valuation". Valuation may well be the most important issue in bankruptcy, and it is also the issue that is least subject to meaningful judicial review. Imagine a Court of Appeals trying to parse through discounted cash flow models or what are proper comparables. The lack of meaningful appellate review makes it all the more important that we get valuation right.  Our current valuation system is fundamentally adversarial.  Both sides put up evidence in the form of valuation compurgators experts,…
  • To Hedge or Not to Hedge

    Stephen Lubben
    29 Jan 2015 | 11:31 am
    Much is being made of American Airlines' "bold" decision to avoid hedging its fuel costs. I fully believe that corporations engage in way too much hedging, mostly to the benefit of big financial institutions. But let's be clear, a just out of bankruptcy counterparty is not going to be doing a lot of swaps deals anyway.
  • The Art of Valuation

    Michelle Harner
    29 Jan 2015 | 4:37 am
    Anyone who has ever litigated a valuation issue knows that valuation is more art than science. Experts often arrive at widely divergent valuations. Yet, these valuations are of the same company, for the same time period, based on the same data, and often invoke the same model. How then can the valuations be so different and, more importantly, which expert is right? Valuations of course can vary for a number of reasons, including different assumptions and inputs, and sometimes because of the methodology itself. But as one of my very astute students in Corporate Finance recently pointed out,…
  • Second-Liens and the Leverage Option

    Adam Levitin
    28 Jan 2015 | 8:47 am
    Susan Wachter and I have a new (short!) paper up on SSRN. It's called Second-Liens and the Leverage Option, and is about the curious absence of negative pledge clauses in US home mortgages, which enabled enormous amounts of second-lien leverage (much more than anyone realized) during the housing bubble. We have a very simple, narrowly tailored legislative fix that should make additional mortgage leverage via junior liens a bargained-for matter between the borrower and the senior lienholder(s), rather than an absolute right of the borrower.  Abstract is below the break: The finance…
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    The Aleph Blog » The Aleph Blog

  • Learning from the Past, Part 3

    David Merkel
    31 Jan 2015 | 8:29 pm
    Photo Credit: Thibaut Chéron PhotographiesI wish I could tell you that it was easy for me to stop making macroeconomic forecasts, once I set out to become a value investor.  It’s difficult to get rid of convictions, especially if they are simple ones, such as which way will interest rates go?In the early-to-mid ’90s, many were convinced that interest rates had no way to go but up.  A few mortgage REITs designed themselves around that idea.  Fortunately, I arrived at the party late, after their investments that implicitly required interest rates to rise soon, fell dramatically…
  • Talking About Value Investing and Fed Policy

    David Merkel
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:58 am
    Here is the second part of my interview on RT Boom/Bust. It was recorded while the FOMC was releasing its statement, so I had no idea at that time as to what the announcement had been.The interview covers my view of Apple (not one of my strong points), Fed Policy, and what should value investors do in this low interest rate environment. Note that not all of my opinions are strong ones, and that in my opinion is a good thing. Often the best opinions are not controversial.If you are interested in these topics, or listening to me, then please enjoy the above video. My segment is about seven…
  • Talking Mostly About Earnings

    David Merkel
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:02 am
    I was on RT Boom/Bust yesterday.  The segment that I taped here was mostly on corporate earnings.  There’s only seven minutes of me here — so enjoy it if you will.
  • Redacted Version of the January 2015 FOMC Statement

    David Merkel
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:01 am
    Photo Credit: DonkeyHoteyDecember 2014January 2015CommentsInformation received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in October suggests that economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace.Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in December suggests that economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace.Shades GDP up. This is another overestimate by the FOMC.Labor market conditions improved further, with solid job gains and a lower unemployment rate. On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources continues…
  • Choose Your Weatherman With Care

    David Merkel
    28 Jan 2015 | 12:06 am
    Photo Credit: Snowshoe PhotographyThis should be a short post. Weather forecasters deserve to be double-checked, as there has been a tendency among weather broadcasters to sacrifice accuracy for ratings, which can be goosed in the short run by offering a good scare.I offer the most recent snowstorm as a partial exhibit. There is a real cost to misforecasting, as this article from USA Today points out:The lost wages and tax revenue from stores and others businesses that shut down early Monday and kept employees home Tuesday, in anticipation of something far more … dramatic.The vacations,…
 
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    Quoting the Crisis

  • 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…
  • The Absence Of QE In The Markets Has Been Palpable Sam Ro,...

    13 Jan 2015 | 6:03 pm
    The Absence Of QE In The Markets Has Been Palpable Sam Ro, businessinsider.com One of the most controversial charts in the post-financial crisis tracks the trajectory of the stock market, highlighting the periods of time when the Federal Reserve was employing quantitative easing.During quantitative easing, the Fed is buyi…
 
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    The Baseline Scenario

  • 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…
  • Vote in the Democratic Shadow Primary Now: Support Elizabeth Warren

    Simon Johnson
    14 Jan 2015 | 5:48 pm
    By Simon Johnson The shadow primary for the Democratic Party is in full swing. What will be the ideas, themes, and messages that win support in 2016 – and will they carry the day in the presidential election? You can vote now at the Big Ideas project on almost every viable proposal from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Expressions of interest will feed into conversations on Capitol Hill and with presidential candidates. Nearly 1 million votes have already been cast. Voting ends Friday at noon. Currently, in the section on the Economy & Jobs, the proposal to restore…
  • The Republican Strategy To Repeal Dodd-Frank

    Simon Johnson
    7 Jan 2015 | 3:44 pm
    By Simon Johnson On January 7, 2015, Day 2 of the new Congress, the House Republicans put their cards on the table with regard to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reforms. The Republicans will chip away along all possible dimensions, using a combination of legislation and pressure on regulators – with the ultimate goal of relaxing the restrictions that have been placed on the activities of very large banks (such as Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase). The initial target is the Volcker Rule, which limits the ability of megabanks to place very large proprietary bets – and their ability to incur…
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    Trends... Find them, ride them and get off.

  • The State of The Markets…2015

    Howard Lindzon
    15 Jan 2015 | 9:53 am
    Things have for sure gotten tougher in the markets despite the free money, low interest rate environment. The 10 year yield in the USA is below 1.80 percent. You can buy that, not me. I would rather have cash and a few bitcoins below $200. Despite the boom in biotech and private investing, the overall ‘tape’ has changed. I could share a pile of data points, but here are just a few We didn't have a single four-day losing streak during all of 2014. Now we're headed to our second five-day losing streak since Christmas. — Eddy Elfenbein (@EddyElfenbein) January 15, 2015…
  • The Passive Investing Bubble

    Howard Lindzon
    11 Jan 2015 | 2:36 pm
    We are in a passive investing bubble. I am not sure how it ends, who and what the pricks are and how bad it really is, but you should NOT just set and forget. Tony Robbins says you can, if you buy his book. He the guy who said GET OUT of the markets in 2010. I am all for ETF’s. I am all for investing made easier and diversification. I am all for the cost cutting associated with robo investing and advising. But – I am also for paying top dollar for financial advisors. I am all for speculating, trading, investing, even done actively. This is the era of the mobile web and social…
  • The All-Time Low List – Look Away

    Howard Lindzon
    6 Jan 2015 | 6:58 am
    Yesterday I wrote about the power of the all time high list. For some reason more traders and investors are drawn to the all-time or yearly low lists. Most investors would do well to avoid a moments time thinking about them. The media loves a good mess. At the moment, because of the massive 5 year boom, the list is small. Mostly oil and metal drillers and a few broken IPO’s like the Habit and Zullily. The momentum has already left The Habit because the best shiny new hamburger object is Shake Shack and it is not even public yet. It might not be fair, but that is how the markets work.
  • The ‘All-Time High’ and Why It is my Favorite Market Indicator

    Howard Lindzon
    5 Jan 2015 | 8:07 am
    The all-time high list is my go to indicator. Since we have had a few crashes in my career (2000 and 2008) I have made some adjustments to allow for 5 year highs on occasion. I watch these lists daily with my partner @ivanhoff and over 3-6 months ANYONE can get a feel for what is working. I have found (and written about on this blog) that what is working in the private (early stage) markets can show itself in the public markets, but I am unsure if that works in reverse. I really DO NOT care what is not working. The rest of the world talks about failure and pain endlessly. Oil, Russia, Greece,…
  • Happy New Year – and More 2015 Predictions

    Howard Lindzon
    2 Jan 2015 | 9:05 am
    Happy new year everyone. I am so grateful for the turning of the page into 2015 even though for me personally and the Lindzon family 2014 was a keeper. I prefer to live in the moment and as far in the future as I can. It works for me. I have covered my key thoughts and trends for 2015 – here, here, and here, but will highlight some of my key ones and am adding some of the great roundups I have seen from around the web and my network. I am long sleep and security in 2015 and beyond. For sleep I added Resmed RMD and for security I have been long a few startups the last 5 years that have…
 
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    Economic Principals

  • Economist, Interrupted

    dw
    25 Jan 2015 | 12:30 pm
    First-magnitude stars of the generation of economists who began their work in the 1970s include Paul Krugman, Paul Romer, Lawrence Summers, Jeffrey Sachs, and, a late bloomer, Ben Bernanke. It was Romer, 59, of New York University, who made a little news earlier this month at the economists’ meetings in Boston when, at a session designed to showcase various contributions to “new growth theory,”  his own and others’, he turned to Robert Lucas and denounced Lucas’s “mathiness” in the matter. Lucas, 77, of the University of Chicago, who, thirty years before, had put Romer in…
  • Life in the Wild West

    dw
    18 Jan 2015 | 12:30 pm
    Economic Principals is suffering the ill-effects of a serious hack. Visitors to www.economicprincipals.com  have not been affected in any way except, perhaps, by having earlier noticed the addition of a Spanish language advertisement for soccer shirts to the site’s footer. The archive was not damaged. Instead EP’s host server was compromised by the installation of a number of “backdoors,” malware designed to permit the machine to be bent to nefarious tasks: spam generation, distributed denial of service attacks, traffic boosting schemes, and so on. Working on the Web is not for the…
  • Echo Chamber

    dw
    11 Jan 2015 | 1:49 pm
    President Barack Obama claims credit for the recent spate of good economic news.   Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says, “The uptick appears to coincide with the biggest political change of the Obama administration’s long tenure in Washington: the expectation of a new Republican Congress.” The argument illustrates an important but little-recognized fact of life. Whenever history is written in haste, political narrative tends to dominate the underlying economic story.  A case in point is Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses — and…
  • The New Division of Labor (contd.): The Shadow of Superstars

    dw
    4 Jan 2015 | 11:29 am
    It is one of the great explications of economics of modern times:  Written in 1958 by libertarian Leonard Read and subsequently performed by Milton Friedman as The Pencil, a couple of minutes of Free to Choose, the ten-part television series he made with his economist wife, Rose Director Friedman, broadcast and published in 1980. Friedman comes alive as he enumerates the various products required for the manufacture of a simple pencil: the wood (and, of course, the saw that cut down the tree, the steel that made the saw, the iron ore that made the steel and so on), graphite, rubber,…
  • Holiday Routine

    dw
    28 Dec 2014 | 1:26 pm
    The economists are meeting in Boston next week, and Economic Principals has been getting ready for them, chiefly reading Barry Eichengreen’s Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses – and Misuses – of History (Oxford, 2015). It’s in the nature of this business that holidays throw a special wrench into the works, So, reluctantly, EP is not writing this week.  Look for the Eichengreen piece in two weeks, after next week’s timely report.                                          dw
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • Consumer rating sentences to ponder

    Tyler Cowen
    1 Feb 2015 | 12:04 am
    “Highly specific pools of reputation information will become more useful in aggregate,” said Mr. Fertik, co-author with David C. Thompson of “The Reputation Economy,” a guide to optimizing digital footprints. “If you’re a really good Uber passenger, that may be useful information for Amtrak or American Airlines. But if you add in your reputation from Airbnb plus OpenTable plus eBay, it starts to get useful globally.” There is more here, interesting throughout.  But will there be errors in these measurements?  As I wrote to Ashok Rao, fresh regressions are a public good.
  • How Andrew Sullivan changed America

    Tyler Cowen
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:01 pm
    I wrote a short piece on this for Vox, here is one excerpt: Who is the most influential public intellectual of the last 20 years? This designation should go to someone who actually has helped change the world, rather than just changing lots of minds. It also should go to someone who has embodied key trends of the time, noting that for both standards I am focusing on the United States. Based on those standards, I am inclined to pick Andrew Sullivan, who is most recently in the news for his announcement that he is quitting after fifteen years of blogging. Any discussion of Sullivan’s…
  • Arrived in my pile

    Tyler Cowen
    31 Jan 2015 | 1:29 pm
    Doug Hendrie, Amalganations: How Globalisation is Good. Arnold Thackray, David Brock, and Rachel Jones, Moore’s Law: The Life of Gordon Moore, Silicon Valley’s Quiet Revolutionary. Jeffrey A. Frieden, Currency Politics: The Political Economy of Exchange Rate Policy, somehow this is oddly relevant these days. Andrew Levy, Huck Finn’s America: Mark Twain and the Era that Shape His Masterpiece, looks quite good on first glance. Rafael Yglesias, The Wisdom of Perversity, a novel.
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    31 Jan 2015 | 9:38 am
    1. Portland carpet markets in everything. 2. “Whole Foods, Half Off.” 3. China’s war against VPNs. 4. It’s a human/computer partnership at Netflix. 5. Does NPR “sound too white”?  And I hope there are hidden Danish fees in here. 6. Aging whales, and “What is your favorite breed of domestic pig?“
  • The new Syriza government is against all-inclusive resorts

    Tyler Cowen
    30 Jan 2015 | 11:10 pm
    Nonetheless it is considering tolerating them, as we are told by Air Genius Gary Leff.  Here is one short bit: The tourism minister says that even though the Greek Prime Minister is attacking all-inclusive resorts as it identifies problems with the country’s economy, it has no plans to make crackdown on these properties ‘its mission’. How reassuring.  Greece needs some Very Serious People in charge!  Right now it doesn’t have them.  And as you know, one thing worse than the Very Serious People is…the Not Very Serious People.  I think someone told them that all-inclusive…
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Linky Linky, Tweety Tweety...

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Feb 2015 | 8:34 pm
    Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca: Inside the Training Revolution http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/public-private-workforce-training-by-laura-tyson-and-lenny-mendonca-2015-01 Links and Tweets: http://delong.typepad.com/links/
  • Linky Linky, Tweety Tweety...

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jan 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Judith Tarr: "What frustrated me when I started selling professionally was the push to always write female protag because ‘you’re a girl, you have to.’ Between that and the push to squeeze the stories into set marketing categories, I sometimes got cranky. Then I’d get subversive. That wasn’t always as successful as it might have been, and I made some pretty big mistakes. But it was an awful lot of fun. Still is..." http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2015/01/31/writing-where-history-fantasy-and-science-fiction-intersect/#more-42293 Mark Thoma: Links for 01-31-15…
  • Noted for Your Nighttime Procrastination for January 31, 2015

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jan 2015 | 8:19 pm
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Paul Krugman: Bad Tayloring Paul Krugman: I See Very Serious Dead People Josh Barro: Why Obama’s Proposal for 529s Had No Chance Plus: Things to Read on January 31, 2015 Must- and Shall-Reads: Mark Thoma: Links for 01-31-15 <-- Mark Thoma's daily links are especially good today... Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price: The Increasingly Unequal States of America: Income Inequality by State, 1917 to 2012 David Cay Johnston: Economy Grows Incomes Shrink Chad Stone: The Unconvincing Claim That Unemployment Benefits Hurt Jobs Paul Krugman: Bad Tayloring…
  • Live from teh Roasterie: No: Jeb Bush Should Never Be President of Anything

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jan 2015 | 8:57 am
    Michael Kruse: Jeb 'Put Me Through Hell’: "In June, the medical examiner released Terri Schiavo’s autopsy... ...which confirmed what the judges had ruled for years based on the testimony from doctors concerning her prognosis. Her limbs had atrophied, and her hands had clenched into claws, and her brain had started to disappear. It weighed barely more than a pound and a third, less than half the size it would have been under normal circumstances. ‘No remaining discernible neurons,’ the autopsy said. She couldn’t see. She couldn’t feel, not even pain. Forty-one years after her…
  • Morning Must-Read: Paul Krugman: I See Very Serious Dead People

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:26 am
    Let me (surprise, surprise!) back up Paul here: There is no doubt that, technocratically, reflation is the low-hanging fruit to boosting equitable growth. Successfully returning to full employment would boost real GDP in the North Atlantic by 10% today, would boost future economic growth substantially as well, and would lift all economic classes more-or-less equally. No plausible policy shifts to produce "structural reform"--save possibly the "structural reform" of raising the price level in Germany and Holland relative to Italy and Spain by 20%--promises North Atlantic-wide benefits even a…
 
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    Dani Rodrik's weblog

  • 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)…
  • My moonlighting career of the last 4 years

    Dani Rodrik
    25 Jun 2014 | 10:20 am
    At long last, Turkey's consitutional court has reversed the conviction of the more than 200 officers previously found guilty in the bogus Sledgehammer coup plot, leading to the release on June 19th of all those in jail (including my father in law). Even though a retrial is to take place, the ruling is a coda to the last four-and-a-half years during which my wife and I moonlighted as criminal investigator, forensic analyst, and political activist. It has been a truly surreal and bizarre experience, given how so many intelligent people bought into -- and refused let go of -- a coup plot…
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    99% Invisible

  • 150- Under The Moonlight

    Roman Mars
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:59 pm
    In 1885, Austin, Texas was terrorized by a serial killer known as the Servant Girl Annihilator.  The murderer was never actually found, but he claimed eight victims, mostly black servant girls, all attacked in the dark of night. The very, very dark night of Austin in 1885. After night fell, Austin only had moonlight.  The city had no outdoor lighting until 1894, when Austin decided to buy more moonlight, in the form of towers. They were fifteen stories tall, each crowned with a circle of six lights, soaring way up above the city. Under The Moonlight
  • 149- Of Mice And Men

    Roman Mars
    20 Jan 2015 | 8:19 pm
    If you are looking at a computer screen, your right hand is probably resting on a mouse. To the left of that mouse (or above, if you’re on a laptop) is your keyboard. As you work on the computer, your right hand moves back and forth from keyboard to mouse. You can’t do everything you need to do on a computer without constantly moving between input devices. There is another way. A device called a “keyset” could help us navigate virtual environments without moving your hands back and forth. With the mouse in your right hand, the keyset would occupy your left hand. Its five…
  • 148- The Sizzle

    Roman Mars
    13 Jan 2015 | 8:17 pm
    The first trademark for a sound in the United States was issued in 1978 to NBC for their chimes. MGM has a sound trademark for their roaring lion, as does 20th Century Fox for their trumpet fanfare. Harley Davidson tried to trademark the sound of their motorcycles, but after years of litigation, they finally withdrew their application. Right now there are fewer than two hundred active trademarks for sounds. A surprisingly small number, considering sound has the power make—or break—a brand. Producer Katie Mingle spoke with Joel Beckerman and Tyler Gray, the authors of The Sonic…
  • 147- Penn Station Sucks

    Roman Mars
    6 Jan 2015 | 7:27 pm
    New Yorkers are known to disagree about a lot of things. Who’s got the best pizza? What’s the fastest subway route? Yankees or Mets? But all 8.5 million New Yorkers are likely to agree on one thing: Penn Station sucks. Reporter Ann Heppermann tells the story.
  • 146- Mooallempalooza

    Roman Mars
    30 Dec 2014 | 10:52 pm
    As you probably know, 99% Invisible is a show about the built world, about things manufactured by humans. We don’t tend to do stories about animals or nature. But our friend Jon Mooallem writes brilliant stories about the weird interactions between animals and humans, interactions that are becoming ever weirder and more designed. Mooallem is a writer with the New York Times Magazine and for Pop -Up Magazine, the live magazine in San Francisco, which is where we first heard these two stories. You might remember them as episodes #40 and #91 respectively, but now we present them…
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    Eat the Bankers.com

  • One Foot on the Gas, One Foot on the Brake

    Sinclair Noe
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:59 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 251 = 17,164 SPX – 26 = 1994 NAS – 48 = 4635 10 YR YLD – .08 = 1.67% OIL + 3.25 = 47.78 GOLD + 25.00 = 1284.10 SILV + .31 = 17.33 GDP growth slows. The Commerce Department reports fourth quarter gross domestic product grew by 2.6%, down from a very strong 5% growth rate in the third quarter. The results were below consensus estimates of 3% growth. For all of 2014, the economy grew 2.4% compared to 2.2% in 2013. Consumer spending advanced at a 4.3% pace in the fourth quarter – the fastest since the first quarter of 2006 and an…
  • Good Luck With That

    Sinclair Noe
    29 Jan 2015 | 3:01 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 225 = 17,416 SPX + 19 = 2021 NAS + 45 = 4683 10 YR YLD + .02 = 1.75% OIL + .09 = 44.54 GOLD – 25.20 = 1259.10 SILV – 1.04 = 17.02 Yesterday, the Federal Reserve said it would remain “patient” on raising rates, but indicated it saw the U.S. economy getting stronger. The Fed also said it has seen inflation decline, and it may decline further, but that low oil prices are probably temporary. The FOMC statement said that economic activity has expanded “at a solid pace” and that labor market conditions have improved. That was…
  • Fed Patiently Makes Hawkish Sounds

    Sinclair Noe
    28 Jan 2015 | 3:07 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 195 = 17,191 SPX – 27 = 2002 NAS – 43 = 4637 10 YR YLD – .10 = 1.72% OIL – 1.19 = 44.26 GOLD – 8.80 = 1284.30 SILV – .07 = 18.06 Microsoft’s stock logged its biggest one-day dollar decline in nearly 15 years on Tuesday, after the company posted disappointing earnings Monday afternoon. Shares of Microsoft closed down 9.2%, or $4.35, to $42.66 on Tuesday, wiping out $34.7 billion in stock-market value. The Dow Industrials dropped 291 points Tuesday. Then after the close of trade yesterday, Apple posted the largest quarterly net…
  • Ugly With Snow Flurries

    Sinclair Noe
    27 Jan 2015 | 3:12 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 291 = 17,387 SPX – 27 = 2029 NAS – 90 = 4681 10 YR YLD un 1.82% OIL + .65 = 42.80 GOLD + 10.80 = 1293.10 SILV + .13 = 18.13 New York City was shut down overnight. That “blizzard of the century” was indeed a bad storm but not the predicted “snowpocalyspe”, even though authorities shut down schools, roads, subways, and rail; and more than 8,000 flights were cancelled. Turned out to be an overabundance of caution. New England was socked quite solidly, but not the Big Apple. Weather forecasters got it wrong; not the first time. And once again…
  • Flowers for Angela

    Sinclair Noe
    26 Jan 2015 | 3:19 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 6 = 17, 678 SPX + 5 = 2057 NAS + 13 = 4771 10 YR YLD + .01 = 1.83% OIL – .49 = 45.10 GOLD – 12.80 = 1282.30 SILV – .39 = 18.01 It’s snowing in New York; this is a really, really big blizzard and it could dump up to 3 feet of snow across the northeast, with winds up to 60 miles per hour. The storm has already caused more than 1,800 flight cancellations, roads are closed in New York City except for emergency vehicles, rail traffic is also shut down, and schools are closed, and expect power outages across the Northeast. The Super Bowl will…
 
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    iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

  • A Big Step Forward for Bolstering Financial Inclusion

    iMFdirect
    28 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    By David Marston, Era Dabla-Norris, and D. Filiz Unsal Economists are paying increasing attention to the link between financial inclusion—greater availability of and access to financial services—and economic development. In a new paper, we take a closer look at exactly how financial inclusion impacts a country’s economy and what policies are most effective in promoting it. The new framework developed in this paper allows us to identify barriers to financial inclusion and see how lifting these barriers might affect a country’s output and level of inequality.  Because the more you know…
  • What’s not to love about free data

    iMFdirect
    26 Jan 2015 | 10:41 am
    By iMFdirect The IMF has released a new, free online data tool. You can find all sorts of good stuff: from budget numbers to balance of payments data, debt statistics to critical global indicators.  Good data supports good policy choices. With reliable and timely economic data, people can identify turning points in the economy or see looming risks. *Wonky Warning* The data platform provides greater dynamic data visualizations, which show development over time and interact with each other. It includes a richer library of statistical tools, such as forecasting, smoothing, and aggregation. The…
  • Learning to Live with Cheaper Oil in the Middle East

    iMFdirect
    22 Jan 2015 | 1:43 pm
    By Masood Ahmed (Version in عربي) The steep decline in global oil prices, by 55 percent since last September, has changed the economic dynamics of oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa. Our update of the Regional Economic Outlook, released yesterday, shows that these countries are now faced with large export and government revenue losses, which are expected to reach about $300 billion (21 percent of GDP) in the Gulf Cooperation Council and about $90 billion (10 percent of GDP) in other oil-exporting countries. Where prices will eventually settle is, of course, uncertain,…
  • (Yet) Another Year of Subpar Growth: Latin America and the Caribbean in 2015

    iMFdirect
    21 Jan 2015 | 7:57 am
    By Alejandro Werner (version in Español and Português) The turn of the year usually brings a fresh dose of optimism. Yet, worries dominate across much of Latin America and the Caribbean today, as 2015 marks yet another year of reduced growth expectations. Regional growth is projected at just 1¼ percent, about the same low rate as in 2014 and almost 1 percentage point below our previous forecastChallenging external conditions are an important drag for many countries. Still, it’s not too late for some good New Year’s resolutions to address domestic weaknesses and improve growth…
  • Global Economy Faces Strong and Complex Cross Currents

    iMFdirect
    19 Jan 2015 | 11:44 am
    By Olivier Blanchard (version in Español) The world economy is facing strong and complex cross currents.  On the one hand, major economies are benefiting from the decline in the price of oil.  On the other, in many parts of the world, lower long run prospects adversely affect demand, resulting in a strong undertow. We released the World Economic Outlook Update today in Beijing, China. The upshot for the global economy is that while we expect stronger growth in 2015 than in 2014, our forecast is slightly down from last October.  More specifically, our forecast for global growth in 2015 is…
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    WordPress.com News

  • Press Publish Tickets

    Jen Mylo
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:53 pm
    It is with great excitement that I announce the opening of ticket sales for the Press Publish conference series we teased here earlier this month! After scouring the web for bloggers with inspiring stories, successful blogs, and unique voices, we’ve confirmed the speaker lineups, and are thrilled to be including popular WordPress.com bloggers like Katherine Fritz, Jerry Mahoney, Emily Austin, and Russ Crandall. Here’s our collection of featured blogger speakers: You can see who’s speaking where by checking the event pages for Portland and Phoenix. In addition to…
  • Google Analytics for WordPress.com Business sites

    Ran
    29 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    The Stats on WordPress.com are a special favorite of many site owners — it’s our second-most visited screen. At a glance, you can see when you get the most traffic, which posts are making the biggest impact, who your most frequent commenters are, and more. It’s a great way to gain insights into your visitors and your site. To complement our built-in stats and to give you even more information about your traffic, you can now use Google Analytics with WordPress.com, as part of the WordPress.com Business plan. Add the Business plan to your site and get everything you need to…
  • One Theme, Three Ways: Customizing Twenty Fifteen

    Ben Huberman
    27 Jan 2015 | 8:00 am
    Our default theme this year, Twenty Fifteen, draws visitors’ eyes to what matters most — the text and images you publish on your site. Crisp typography, generous spacing, streamlined navigation: Twenty Fifteen shows that less can indeed be more (and that it can look great on any device). Keeping things simple and streamlined doesn’t mean you can’t make a theme your own, of course. From free custom color schemes (pictured in the gallery above) to a vertical header area with ample space to channel your (and your site’s) personality, Twenty Fifteen is a…
  • Notifications just got a boost!

    Fred Cheng
    20 Jan 2015 | 11:04 am
    If you’ve been tuning in to Hot Off the Press, you’ll know about recent updates to the WordPress.com interface along with some fantastic technical upgrades. To continue the momentum, we’ve introduced more interactive and robust notifications throughout WordPress.com. (Coming soon to a Jetpack blog near you.) Keep an eye on the new interface and let us know what you think! Why the change? We care about giving our users a streamlined and consistent experience across their devices. Unlike the old design, our new notifications look practically identical whether you are…
  • New Themes: Cubic and Wilson

    David A. Kennedy
    15 Jan 2015 | 7:40 am
    It’s Theme Thursday and today I’m happy to present two new free themes: Cubic and Wilson. Cubic Designed by WordPress.com’s own Thomas Guillot, Cubic is a clean, simple, and responsive theme. With its single-column, grid-based design crafted around large featured images, Cubic is the perfect fit for photobloggers. Read more about Cubic in the Theme Showcase, or activate it on your blog by going to Appearance → Themes. Wilson Designed by Anders Norén, Wilson is minimal yet bold. It’s a clean and simple theme for personal sites and blogs — make it your own with a…
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    EconomicPolicyJournal.com

  • Left Wing Anti-Bankster Party Flips: Hires Bankster to Advise on Debt

    1 Feb 2015 | 12:01 am
    This is a strange twist from the pre-election anti-bankster posture of the  Syriza party. The Greek government, now run by Syriza officials,  has hired US investment bank Lazard to advise it on its debt negotiations with  the troika of international lenders, the IMF, World Bank and ECB. On Saturday, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras issued a statement saying he was confident “we will soon
  • Super Bowl Day Chicken Consumption

    31 Jan 2015 | 6:27 pm
    According to the National Chicken Council’s 2015 Wing Report,, 1.25 billion wings will be eaten during Super Bowl XLIX, as fans watch the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots battle. In terms of weight, 1.25 billion wings would weigh 5,955 times more than the weights of the Seahawks and Patriots entire 52-man rosters combined. “Although the total amount of pounds of chicken produced last
  • Bill Maher Says Socialism Created America's Successful Middle Class

    31 Jan 2015 | 3:51 pm
    "The large, thriving middle class that America used to have didn't just appear out of the blue. It was created using an economic tool called socialism," said Maher on his show. He went on to say that heavy taxation and redistribution of wealth after WWII led to America's middle-class success.  This, of course, is absurd. Here are the facts. government revenue as a percent of GDP and in real
  • The Fed Manipulated Boom is Clearly On

    31 Jan 2015 | 2:15 pm
    via Joseph Weisenthal Can price inflation be far behind?  -RW 
  • How to Remember People's Names

    31 Jan 2015 | 12:41 pm
    Here's the video of the 6 year old girl who memorized the presidents, that is mentioned in the first video:
 
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    Carl Futia

  • Guesstimates on January 30, 2015

    30 Jan 2015 | 6:11 am
    March S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1997-2022. There have been four lows in the 1960-1985 zone during the past six weeks. For this reason any drop visibly below 1960 would have very bearish long term implications.    QQQ: Support is at 99.00. The next step up should carry to 107.00 TNX (ten year note yield): I think the current flight to quality has dropped the note yield to 1.65% so far. I think the yield will not go below the historical low at 1.39% and estimate that the market will hold support at 1.60%. Euro-US Dollar: The ECB’s quantitative easing…
  • Guesstimates on January 29, 2015

    29 Jan 2015 | 6:20 am
    March S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1984-2015. There have been three lows in the 1960-1985 zone during the past six weeks. I am expecting another such low, but any drop visibly below 1960 would have very bearish long term implications.    QQQ: Support is at 99.00. The next step up should carry to 107.00 TNX (ten year note yield): I think the current flight to quality has dropped the note yield to 1.70% so far. I think the yield will not go below the historical low at 1.39% and estimate that the market will hold support at 1.60%. Euro-US Dollar: The ECB’s…
  • Attention Traders

    28 Jan 2015 | 10:46 am
    As you know I post the S&P E-mini trades I make in my trading seminar CarlFutiaRealTime  on this blog's Twitter feed (at the top of the right hand column). You can follow me here on Twitter for free but keep in mind that the trade postings are delayed 5-10 minutes. Since I started posting these trades in October 2013 they have generated  a 84% return trading a single contract per $10,000 of account equity (a very conservative approach since day trade margin on a single contract is only about $2,700). Since the start of the seminar 42 months ago the trades made in the seminar…
  • stocks, gold, silver, and oil

    28 Jan 2015 | 10:45 am
    I am still bullish on world stock markets and in particular on the US market. The top chart shows the S&P 500 index which I think has a good shot at moving above the 2200 level during the next few months. But there is a possible problem visible in this chart.You can see that the index has traded sideways for near two months now in a range between 1973 and 2093 (green rectangle). There have been many up and down swings within this range which itself stands at the top of a nearly six year old bull market. I think the S&P will move upward out of this range but if I am wrong and instead a…
  • Guesstimates on January 28, 2015

    28 Jan 2015 | 6:05 am
    March S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2016-2052. It looks like strong support in the 2016-2020 range held yesterday and that the ES is now on its way into the 2080-90 zone.   QQQ: Support is at 99.00. The next step up should carry to 107.00 TNX (ten year note yield): I think the current flight to quality has dropped the note yield to 1.70% so far. I think the yield will not go below the historical low at 1.39% and estimate that the market will hold support at 1.60%. Euro-US Dollar: The ECB’s quantitative easing program will drop the euro below 1.00 over the…
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    True Economics

  • 30/1/15: Timeline of Russian Credit Ratings

    30 Jan 2015 | 8:43 am
    A neat summary of Russian sovereign ratings changes over time via RBC.ru:Click on image to enlargeSource: http://top.rbc.ru/economics/26/01/2015/54c6832e9a7947485b5dc04e#[lenta_body]-[news
  • 29/1/15: Where the Models Are Wanting: Banking Sector & Modern Investment Theory

    29 Jan 2015 | 4:03 am
    My new post for Learn Signal blog covering the shortcomings of some core equity valuation models when it comes to banking sector stocks analysis is now available here: http://blog.learnsignal.com/?p=152.Tune in next week to read the second part, covering networks impact on core valuation models validity.
  • 27/1/15: Greek Debt: Non-Crisis Porkies Flying Around

    27 Jan 2015 | 9:14 am
    There is an interesting sense of dramatic contradictions emerging when one considers on the one hand the outcome of the Greek elections, and on the other hand the statements from some EU finance ministers (for example see this: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-27/schaeuble-says-greece-needs-no-debt-cut-due-to-no-interest-phase.html). The basic contradiction is that one set of agents - the new Greek government and the Greek electorate - seem to be insisting on the urgency of a debt writedowns, while the other set of agents - majority of the European finance heads - seem to be…
  • 27/1/15: Bankruptcy & Capitalism Are Not the Same as Religion & Hell

    27 Jan 2015 | 6:33 am
    I have recently seen some economists offer the following explanation of the role of bankruptcy in the market economy: "Capitalism without bankruptcy is like catholicism without a concept of hell".That is a fallacious view at best, and a dangerous basis for policy formation to boot.It is fallacious for a number of reasons, relating to both philosophy and economics.Firstly: Capitalism, unlike religion is an ethical, but not a moralist (imperative) system. Hence, a concept of eternal damnation simply does not apply, nor should apply, to capitalism. Nothing eternal (imperative) is relevant to…
  • 26/1/15: Markets v Greece: Too Cool for School... for now

    26 Jan 2015 | 10:33 am
    There is much talk about the impact (or rather lack thereof) of Greek elections on the markets.In fact, the euro continued to price in the effects of a much larger factor - the QE announcement by the ECB, the stock markets did the same. Only bonds and CDS markets reacted to the Greek elections, and even here the re-pricing of Greek risks was moderate so far (see chart below and the day summary for CDS - both courtesy of CMA).The reason for this reaction is two-fold.Firstly, Greece is a small blip on the overall radar map of Euro area's problems. Even in terms of Government debt. Here is the…
 
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    Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

  • GDP: Q4 2014 (First Estimate)

    30 Jan 2015 | 1:16 pm
    Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released their first "estimate" of the Q4 2014 GDP report showing that the economy grew strongly in the third quarter with real GDP improving at an annualized rate of 2.6% from Q3 2014. On a year-over-year basis, real GDP increased 2.48% while the quarter-to-quarter non-annualized percent change was an increase of 0.65%.
  • Pending Home Sales: December 2014

    29 Jan 2015 | 10:57 am
    Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for December showing that pending home sales declined notably with the seasonally adjusted national index dropping 3.7% from November but still remaining 6.1% above the level seen in December 2013. The following chart shows the seasonally adjusted national pending home sales index along with the percent change on a year-over-year basis as well as the percent change from the peak set in 2005 (click for larger version).
  • New Home Sales: December 2014

    27 Jan 2015 | 8:25 am
    Today, the U.S. Census Department released its monthly New Residential Home Sales Report for December showing sales jumping 11.6% from November and rising 8.8% above the level seen in December 2013 but still remaining near an historically low level with 481K SAAR units. The monthly supply declined to 5.5 months while the median selling price increased 8.20% and the average selling price increased 17.62% from the year ago level. The following chart show the extent of sales decline to date (click for full-larger version).
  • S&P/Case-Shiller: November 2014

    27 Jan 2015 | 8:07 am
    Today's release of the S&P/Case-Shiller (CSI) home price indices for November reported that the non-seasonally adjusted Composite-10 price index declined from October with prices falling 0.26% from while the Composite-20 index declined 0.22% over the same period. The 10-city composite index increased 4.17% as compared to November 2013 while the 20-city composite increased 4.31% over the same period.Both of the broad composite indices still show significant peak declines slumping -20.55% for the 10-city national index and -19.42% for the 20-city national index on a peak comparison basis.
  • New Residential Construction Report: December 2014

    21 Jan 2015 | 7:41 am
    Today’s New Residential Construction Report showed mixed results with total permit activity declining 1.9% since November while total starts increased 4.4% over the same period.Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, increased 4.5% from November to 667K single family units (SAAR), and rose 8.1% below the level seen in December 2013 and still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005.
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    The Economic Populist

  • Boomers Vindicated in "Aging Work Force" Myth

    Bud Meyers
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:21 pm
    For quite a while I have been very suspicious of this "aging work force". The mainstream media has been reporting that they have been dropping like flies out of the labor force. Many times I've asked myself, "Why? Where have they all been going?" So the first thing I did was research the Social Security website to look at their retirement and disability statistics. But when I compared those numbers to the overall labor force participation rate and the employment-to-population ratio (found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics' website), something didn't add up. Share
  • Do Unemployment Benefits Cause Unemployment?

    Bud Meyers
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:14 pm
    The continued meme from the political right suggests that monthly disability benefits encourages people to have disabilities; Social Security checks are creating a generation of old lazy people; food stamps inspire poor people to quit their job (or not look for one) so they can eat steak and lobster for free; welfare checks seduces young unmarried women to lay on the couch all day long eating Bonbons while having multiple babies --- just as life insurance causes people to die prematurely; auto insurance recklessly leads to car accidents; home insurance rewards hard-working people to burn do…
  • How the Rich Avoid Taxes (for Dummies)

    Bud Meyers
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:10 pm
    James Kwak hit the nail(s) on the head about our corrupt tax system that mostly benefits the very rich. Here are three tax avoidance strategies that he brings to light --- and says these three tax schemes top his list for the ones most in need of tax reform... Share
  • Kochs are it! They're the Real Thing!

    Bud Meyers
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:04 pm
    A national political operation, organized by the multi-billionaire Koch brothers, is committing nearly a billion dollars ($889 million) to the looming 2016 presidential race in an unprecedented effort to help boost conservative/libertarian/Tea Party candidates. What You Want is a Koch. Share
  • The Fed's Not So Excellent Adventure

    Econ_unmasked
    28 Jan 2015 | 4:22 pm
    Quantitive easing, qualitative easing, yield curves, repos, interbank loans, interest rates, reserves, sterilization, discount windows, open market purchases, monetization, and of course mesmerization to calm the speculators are just some of the monetary gears and wheels that to the untrained eye appears to be a Rube Goldberg machine that no mere mortal can comprehend. To others it is not a machine, but a dance where bond and stock markets undulate to the monetary music emanating from the central bankers. Share
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    Stock Trading To Go

  • STTG Market Recap Jan 30, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:11 pm
    It remains a time for caution. After a brief flurry of optimism this Monday the rest of the week went quite badly. Friday the indexes opened mixed, sold off until mid day, tried to rally til mid afternoon, and then a flurry of selling into the close. Not great. The S&P 500 fell 1.30% and the NASDAQ 1.03%. A lower than expected fourth quarter gross domestic product hurt the market. ... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Jan 29, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    29 Jan 2015 | 4:40 pm
    Thursday was much the opposite of Wednesday; yesterday the market was up thru mid afternoon then suffered significant selling late. Today indexes were down thru mid afternoon and then buyers showed up. It's a very volatile market right now and not one that is very simple to deal with. The S&P 500 gained 0.95% and the NASDAQ 0.98%. Some dovish comments Janet Yellen made to lawmakers and... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Jan 28, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    28 Jan 2015 | 3:27 pm
    Wednesday's action was not very encouraging. Markets gapped up at the open and stayed in a small range until 2 PM, and then a heavy bout of selling kicked in. Again in bull markets we don't want to see up opens and down closes. It looked like the market had wanted to turn the corner late last week but action this week has been troubling. The S&P 500 fell 1.35% and the NASDAQ 0.93%. The... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Jan 27, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    27 Jan 2015 | 4:27 pm
    SPECIAL UPDATE - Watch my Ticker.tv interview of biotech fund manager Brad Loncar!Indexes gapped down at the open and were quite weak all session; the S&P 500 fell 1.34% and the NASDAQ 1.89%. Yesterday we noted the results of Microsoft could weigh on the NASDAQ today but the weakness was broader than that. Poor results by heavyweights such as Caterpillar (CAT) and Procter & Gamble... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • Interviewing Biotech Guru Brad Loncar Tonight 8:00 PM EST!

    Blain Reinkensmeyer
    27 Jan 2015 | 1:47 pm
    UPDATE - Video interview archive now available for viewing!Tonight, 8 PM EST, on my Ticker.tv channel StockJunkie, I am going to have the pleasure of interviewing Brad Loncar, a professional investor specializing in the biotech sector.As everyone knows, biotechs are RED HOT right now and to have Brad on LIVE to discuss the industry alongside his specific investment ideas has me VERY excited.I... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
 
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    Peter Gallagher

  • 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 […]
  • Editing Scrivener ‘Sync’ files

    pwg
    28 May 2014 | 4:57 am
    Do you use Scrivener? If so, and you’d like to edit your Scrivener files on another platform such as your iPad, I may have something that will help. I’ve made some ‘bundles’ and themes for the TextMate editor and the Textastic editor on the iPad that display inline annotations, comments and block-quotes in the text. […]
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    Political Calculations

  • How Much Is a CEO Really Worth?

    29 Jan 2015 | 11:59 pm
    How much should the Chief Executive Officer of a company be paid? Before we attempt to answer that question, let's see how much CEOs are paid. Back on 15 April 2014, Forbes reported on a "study" released by the AFL-CIO, once a significant labor organization in the United States, but now mostly a political fundraising operation for leftist causes: With CEO compensation analysis season in full swing, the AFL-CIO released data this morning stating that American CEOs in 2013 earned an average of $11.7 million–an eye-popping 331 times the average worker’s $35,293. Though down from 2012's…
  • The Fed Moves the Goalposts for Expectations

    28 Jan 2015 | 3:57 pm
    Going into Wednesday, 28 January 2015, investors had believed that the Fed was likely to indicate that the U.S. economy was performing solidly enough that it would begin to implement its plan to hike short term interest rates before the end of 2015-Q2 in June 2015. In fact, when the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee released its statement following the end of their two day meeting, that was the first impression that investors had, as stock prices spiked upward just after the statement was released at 2:00 PM. But then, they kept reading past the first several sentences and reset their…
  • Record Unaffordability for New Homes in 2014

    28 Jan 2015 | 12:05 am
    In terms of affordability, 2014 became the worst year on record for the median price of new homes sold in the United States. The chart below, showing the relationship between the trailing twelve month average of median new home sale prices and the trailing twelve month average of median household incomes reveals how new homes in the U.S. reached a record level of unaffordability for the typical American household. In this chart, we're measuring the affordability of U.S. median new home sale prices against the trend that existed between these prices and median household income in the…
  • The Immediate Impact of the ECB's QE on the US

    27 Jan 2015 | 12:18 am
    From our perspective, the most important and useful part of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis (EMH) is its assumption that asset prices change quickly to reflect the impact of new information upon the future expectations of investors. So what does the ability of investors to collectively and efficiently absorb and assess new information and to communicate the changes in their outlook through asset prices tell us about what the U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to do with respect to its plans to hike short term interest rates? Well, if we go by how U.S. stock prices responded after the European…
  • The Physics of Tom Brady's Balls

    25 Jan 2015 | 11:54 pm
    Can physics explain what's wrong with Tom Brady's balls? We're going to find out. Picking up on the speculation offered by a Boston sportswriter, who argued that weather alone was responsible for half of the underpressurization found in 11 of the 12 balls that the New England Patriots' offense brought with them to the 2015 AFC Championship game, we thought we'd check their math. It's a good thing that we did, because they botched it. Badly. We know that because of the physics that applies here, the combined gas law, which defines the relationship that exists between the internal pressure,…
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    Calafia Beach Pundit

  • Walls of worry persist

    29 Jan 2015 | 12:15 pm
    The market is still climbing walls of worry, and that's a good sign.As I see it, here's the bearish case for equities: The Fed is no longer "printing money" and is soon going to begin to raise short-term interest rates. The market has enjoyed a great party for years, but the Fed is about to take the punchbowl away. Equity valuations are stretched, and earnings reports are turning mixed. The energy sector has been savaged, and there may well be nasty ripple effects: layoffs and defaults. China is in a slump and over-burdened with debt. Europe is in another slump and no amount of QE is going to…
  • Why I still like Apple

    28 Jan 2015 | 11:13 am
    I've owned AAPL ever since 2002, and since late 2008 I have made numerous bullish posts on the company. Given yesterday's stellar earnings announcement—Apple set an all-time world record for quarterly profits—it's time to take yet another victory lap. I still own AAPL and have no plans to sell in the near future.Here's the history of Apple's stock price (split adjusted). Astounding.Even more astounding that Apple's market cap now exceeds the highest market cap Microsoft ever attained, and it is the reigning market cap champion of the world.With a trailing PE of just under 16, AAPL is…
  • King dollar comeback

    22 Jan 2015 | 2:30 pm
    It was just over three years ago that the dollar hit an all-time low against most of the world's currencies. Since then it has come roaring back, especially in the past several months. Gains have been uneven—huge gains against the yen, but not much against the pound, for example—and on balance the gains have simply restored the dollar to something close to its average value since the early 1970s. These gains may continue and could become problematic if they are excessive and rapid—strong and stable currencies are the healthiest—but for now it's appropriate to cheer the return of King…
  • Housing continues to improve

    21 Jan 2015 | 9:49 am
    December housing starts beat expectations (1089K vs. 1040K), but not by much, considering how volatile this series normally is, and how important seasonal adjustment factors can be. Missing from the headlines were upward revisions to the past two months. Pessimists will note that the level of starts in November 2013 was slightly higher than the latest reading, suggesting that starts have been relatively flat for the past year. I prefer to look at a 12-month moving average of starts: that shows starts last year were 8% higher than in 2013. That's pretty decent growth. Plus, as the chart above…
  • Bank lending surges, another sign of rising confidence

    20 Jan 2015 | 6:44 pm
    Confidence is making a comeback, and that's important because this recovery has been the weakest ever and the most risk-averse ever. Since last June, sharply lower oil prices have given a big boost to confidence, as I pointed out last week. Now we have the evidence of a substantial increase in bank lending, which reflects increased confidence on the part of banks and borrowers (banks more willing to lend, borrowers more willing to borrow). That's good, because easier access to credit can translate into more investment, more jobs, and more productivity. But there's an often-overlooked…
 
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    Supply and Demand (in that order)

  • 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....
  • Prof. Gruber "No one has ever questioned the quality" of GMSIM

    9 Dec 2014 | 7:28 am
    That's a quote from today's hearing (about the 46 minute mark), referring to the Gruber MicroSImulation Model.  It's reminiscent of this quote: Both claims are contradicted here, especially Chapter 7.The testimony also said that he was happy to "answer questions about the model and how it works" but I received no reply to the inquiry I sent Professor Gruber by email June 10, almost 3 months before my book would be published containing criticisms of GMSIM.
  • Real PCE per person

    26 Nov 2014 | 12:24 pm
    Real PCE per person was less in October than in August.  Year-over-year, it has grown 1.4 percent.Real GDP per capita has grown 1.7 percent year-over-year.
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Documenting a class-participation activity

    Andrew
    31 Jan 2015 | 2:03 pm
    Tian Zheng implemented my candies demo using Legos: Also lots of details on the results. The point here is not exactly what happened (but, yes, the demo did work) but rather the idea that you can use photos and graphs to document what worked in class. We should be able to do this sort of scrapbooking all the time as teachers. Next time: take some photos of the kids in class doing the activities, too (assuming that’s ok with them). The post Documenting a class-participation activity appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • Economics/sociology phrase book

    Andrew
    31 Jan 2015 | 6:11 am
    Mark Palko points me to this amusing document from Jeffrey Smith and Kermit Daniel, translating sociology jargon into economics and vice-versa. Lots of good jokes there. Along these lines, I’ve always been bothered by economists’ phrase “willingness to pay” which, in practice, often means “ability to pay.” And, of course, “earnings” which means “how much money you make.” But, to be fair, statisticians have some of these too. For example, in psychometrics we use the term “ability” to refer to the very specific ability to get certain questions correct on a test. The…
  • Cognitive vs. behavioral in psychology, economics, and political science

    Andrew
    30 Jan 2015 | 6:09 am
    I’ve been coming across these issues from several different directions lately, and I wanted to get the basic idea down without killing myself in the writing of it. So consider this a sketchy first draft. The starting point is “behavioral economics,” also known as the “heuristics and biases” subfield of cognitive psychology. It’s associated with various studies of cognitive illusions, settings where people systematically mispredict uncertain events or make decisions. Within psychology, this work is generally accepted but with some controversy which could be…
  • Six quick tips to improve your regression modeling

    Andrew
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:16 am
    It’s Appendix A of ARM: A.1. Fit many models Think of a series of models, starting with the too-simple and continuing through to the hopelessly messy. Generally it’s a good idea to start simple. Or start complex if you’d like, but prepare to quickly drop things out and move to the simpler model to help understand what’s going on. Working with simple models is not a research goal—in the problems we work on, we usually find complicated models more believable—but rather a technique to help understand the fitting process. A corollary of this principle is the need to be able to…
  • First day of class update

    Andrew
    28 Jan 2015 | 5:54 pm
    I got to class on time. The class went ok but I spent too much time talking, which is what happens when I don’t put a lot of effort ahead of time into making sure I don’t spend too much time talking. My first-day-of-class activity was ok but I think I needed another activity for the students, something more statistical, to better set the tone of the course. I think I should’ve given them a 10-minute work-in-pairs activity where I’d first give them some real-world problem and then ask them, in pairs, to design a study to address it. The problem could be anything: it…
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    Beyond Economics

  • Behind the Price of Oil

    Rob Kaulfuss
    12 Jan 2015 | 7:23 pm
    “Predicting the bottom for oil prices is like catching a falling chainsaw.” 01/23/15 Close: $49.00 (Brent) A Brief History of Oil Prices When oil was easy The industrial economy of the 20th century is built on cheap and easy oil The birth of OPEC and its actions in the mid to late seventies cause a spike in the price of oil, leading to inflation, down-sizing of cars, and talk of alternative energy OPEC realizes that they would be better off in the long run with a growing world economy addicted to cheap oil At the start of the 21st Century, globalization has really kicked in, China…
  • Still Waiting for the Growth that May Never Come

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

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

    Rob Kaulfuss
    8 Aug 2011 | 9:07 am
    Richard Heinberg delivers a clear and powerful message on the urgent need for the world to begin the transition to a sustainable future. He takes a big picture perspective on the interconnectedness of economics, energy, the environment, and society. Don’t Worry There’s Plenty of Oil (NOT) Interview on The Keiser Report 300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds Who Killed Economic Growth The End of Growth (Chapter summaries; excerpts below) We are, and will be, seeing a cavalcade of environmental and economic disasters, not obviously related to one another, that will stymie…
  • The Internet as a Monkey Trap

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

  • Eurobonds vs da world: relative trumps intrinsic value

    20 Jan 2015 | 2:03 pm
    “We have this imminent bond-buying by the ECB -- at least that’s what everybody is expecting -- and if euro-zone yields are falling that makes Treasury yields relatively attractive, even at these rates,” said Philip Marey, a senior market economist at Rabobank Groep in Utrecht, the Netherlands.(link)The current state of play for selected sovereign 10 year bonds (with a minor highlight added to the FT graphic):A scant year ago 10 year Spanish, Italian and Irish credit was cheaper than the US equivalent. And that was at a time when Euro QE was already in the air and US inflation was…
  • Journalistic risk in 2014

    8 Jan 2015 | 7:47 am
    Reporters Without Frontiers produced this report for 2014 on the dangers of practicing their metier around the globe. France joined the top 5 yesterday on a dark, dark day and in a shockingly dreadful manner.
  • Merry Christmas from OPEC

    24 Dec 2014 | 6:49 am
    Nice little graphic from the US Global Investors website:(link here to article)Whatever OPEC says there is a feeling that the pre-shale days are done. But perhaps more on that in the New Year.Season's Greetings to All!
  • What it is like to be a small business owner in France vs peers

    23 Dec 2014 | 6:54 am
    Someone took the trouble to quantify what most owners of small French business structures (ie under 250 employees) have known for a long time: they are getting a seriously bad deal compared to, erm, just about every peer one can think of. The following table comes from the Vernimmen site (Letter 128, December 2014) and compares a business reporting the same numbers (ie turnover of €20m) in France as compared to Germany:  One of the key underlying points is that the French system has much higher fixed social charges (line 13 and 3 times those of the Germany peer expressed as a…
  • Money can't buy happiness...

    20 Nov 2014 | 1:09 pm
    ...but a little bit helps.If your browser does not display the graphic the full article is here.
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    TheMoneyIllusion

  • Research bleg

    ssumner
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:38 pm
    In this post I’m going to throw out a bunch of graphs, and ask for advice.  First let me briefly discuss real wage cyclicality.  Many of the early macroeconomists believed that real wages should be countercyclical.  They held a sticky-wage theory of the business cycle.  When prices fell sharply, nominal wages seemed to respond with a lag (even in 1921.)  Thus deflation temporarily raised real wages, even as unemployment was rising. Real wages were quite countercyclical between the wars, but after WWII many studies found them to be acyclical, or even procyclical.  Most economists…
  • The issue SNB defenders don’t address

    ssumner
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:31 am
    A few weeks ago the Swiss National Bank stunned the markets and many economists by letting the SF appreciate by 20% against the euro.  On the face of it, this seemed inconsistent with Swiss policy goals (ending deflation.)  Switzerland is already in a mild deflation, and this is likely to make it more severe. Nonetheless, some claimed the move was inevitable and even beneficial (in a “lesser of evils” sense.)  It’s pretty hard to claim a move was inevitable if the markets and most pundits expected exactly the opposite—unless the SNB had inside information.  But…
  • Is the Fed behind the curve?

    ssumner
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:00 pm
    Quick follow-up to my previous post.  The 30-year T-bond yield just fell to 2.22%, the lowest ever.  Meanwhile Fed officials are itching to raise rates because the economy is in danger of overheating. Is the Fed behind the curve?  Yes.  The real question is how many curves.  I say the Fed is just entering the first curve at Indy, while the asset markets are heading down the final stretch toward the finish line.  The markets get it—low NGDP growth and low nominal interest rates as far as the eye can see.  Let’s predict how long it will take the Fed to catch up with the…
  • The New Normal (Bill Woolsey wins)

    ssumner
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:38 am
    In a post written 7 months ago I predicted that 3% NGDP growth would become the new normal: It’s becoming increasingly clear that when the labor market recovers, RGDP growth will be very slow, maybe 1.2%.  Add in about 1.8% on the GDP deflator, and 3% NGDP growth looks like the new normal, assuming the Fed intends to stick with 2% PCE inflation targeting.  Bill Woolsey wins!! The figures for 2014 were announced today.  NGDP growth was 3.70% (vs. 4.57% in the Year of Austerity.)  And RGDP growth was 2.48%, (vs. 3.13% in the Year of Austerity.)  Growth slowed because the Fed offset the…
  • Calomiris on Fed policy

    ssumner
    29 Jan 2015 | 8:18 pm
    Charles Calomiris suggests that the Fed will probably need to raise rates this year: Furthermore, because the fall in energy prices is a positive supply shock, nominal GDP growth will not be reduced by the decline in energy prices; indeed, it is likely to accelerate going forward. That means real GDP growth will accelerate alongside nominal GDP growth. From the perspective of forward-looking inflation targeting, the Fed rightly understands that it needs to maintain its plan to begin to remove accommodation this year. Overall it’s a thoughtful article, but I can’t help thinking…
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    Scott Lincicome

  • Kill the Jones Act; Kill It with Fire; Kill It Now

    22 Jan 2015 | 2:53 pm
    My latest in The Federalist (with help from an anonymous friend in the shipping industry):Lost in the never-ending debate about the KeystoneXL pipeline is great news for anyone who opposes cronyism and supports free markets and lower prices for essential goods like food and energy. Sen. John McCain has offered an amendment to repeal the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, which requires, among other things, that all goods shipped between U.S. ports be transported by American-built, owned, flagged, and crewed vessels....  The Jones Act and its related…
  • Yes, Of Course We Should End the Cuban Embargo

    23 Dec 2014 | 7:56 am
    My latest at The Federalist:Communist-hating lovers of liberty have offered myriad reasons to oppose the current Cuban embargo (see, for example, here and here), but today I want to focus on the most basic: over the last two decades, the United States government has utterly failed to justify its forcible, legislated ban on Americans’ freedom of travel, contract, and commerce. Because we live in a country of natural rights and limited, constitutional government, the state alone bears a heavy burden of proving that its restrictions on individual liberty are in fact warranted. In the case of…
  • Video: Heritage Event on Energy Exports

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

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

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

  • BBC and British Establishment Consider Greece

    31 Jan 2015 | 11:23 am
    The media person here is looking, not for understanding or even facts, but headlines. Sift everything you hear in the news now, especially regarding any people or nation who are running contrary to the Western global powers.
  • The Worst Trade Deal That You've Never Heard Of

    31 Jan 2015 | 8:50 am
    Obama's hypocrisy seems to  know no bounds.  He was for hope and change, openness and transparency, jobs and civil society.   He is a brand, a marketing product of identity politics.  Unfortunately, most of the politicians of both the left and the right are the same.   They are just targeted to different segments of the public.   They say what is required for their marketing
  • Lead, Kindly Light

    30 Jan 2015 | 7:38 pm
      Two versions based on John Henry Newman's famous poem, Lead Kindly Light. “May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done.
  • January investment Barometer: As Goes January, So Goes the Year

    30 Jan 2015 | 7:13 pm
    Here is how some investment options have fared for the month of January. I wonder how many people would have known this based on what they have heard from pundits and the financial press.    
  • China Takes Down Another 71 Tonnes of Gold Bullion From Shanghai

    30 Jan 2015 | 2:55 pm
    Major macro trend changes in long term buying habits by the world's major Banks don't matter. Daily prices are perfect indicators of all information.  No markets are ever rigged.   Central Banks don't know any more about their own long term strategies than a beer vendor at a ball game, and have about the same amount of buying power
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • Micro efficient, macro inefficient

    chris
    31 Jan 2015 | 5:02 am
    In the day job, I endorse Paul Samuelson's dictum that stock markets are "micro efficient" but "macro inefficient". This isn't to say that they are wholly efficient at the micro level: there are some anomalies and I prefer to think of markets as adaptive. But for practical purposes, investors should act as if the market were micro efficient and hold tracker funds. Theories don't have to be wholly true to be useful, and only the most Casaubonish pedant thinks otherwise. But here's the thing. The idea of markets as "micro efficient" but "macro…
  • Inequality, non-linearities & growth

    chris
    30 Jan 2015 | 6:12 am
    Might there be a non-linear relationship between inequality and growth? A new paper suggests so. It finds that "there is a range of values of changes in inequality where the link [with GDP growth] is weak", but that big reductions in inequality do boost growth. It concludes: Not all polices that reduce inequality will lead to faster economic growth. Instead, only those that greatly reduce inequality will. The paper is purely statistical, which poses the question: what sort of mechanisms might generate such a pattern? One possibility is that inequality depresses growth by generating…
  • The left's ideas

    chris
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:03 am
    In the Times, David Aaronovitch accuses the left of being "completely without ideas" and of sinking into the politics of "symbology" because they have "nothing else." I'm in two minds about this. One the one hand, it seems wrong. A few decent ideas get us a longish way towards leftist ideals: an expansionary fiscal policy including massive housebuilding to get us away from the zero bound; a citizens' basic income; a serious jobs guarantee (pdf); and worker democracy. One might add to this higher taxes on inheritance and top incomes and (though I'm…
  • Marginal product, & incomes

    chris
    28 Jan 2015 | 5:49 am
    How do you convert ability into income? This is a question promoted by Ann Bauer's claim that novelists often need subsidies from their family. Her point broadens. Many artists struggle to get by: I suspect Jolie Holland speaks for many when she says she barely makes a living. A novelist, academic and CEO might have very similar intellect and skill levels, but their income could differ by factors of thousands - and, as Will points out, academics' working conditions are deteriorating. Why the difference? The conventional neoclassical answer is that wages equal marginal product, and…
  • Basic income: some issues

    chris
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:01 am
    I try not to watch politics programmes on TV. Andrew Neil's interview with Natalie Bennett about a basic income reminds me why. I'm appalled by Natalie's inability to answer his first question: how to pay for it? The Citizens Income Trust has set out one way (pdf)* to do so: quite simply, abolishing the personal allowance and welfare benefits raises hundreds of billions. Mr Neil's implication that a BI of £71pw is inferior to a personal allowance of £10,000 for the low paid is also wrong. Take for example, someone earning £14,000 a year. She currently pays £800 in tax,…
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    David Smith's EconomicsUK.com

  • 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...
  • IEA's shadow MPC votes to hold rates

    David Smith
    1 Feb 2015 | 12:59 am
    In a significant reversal of its longstanding recommendation to raise rates, the Shadow MPC has voted to keep rates on hold. It should be emphasized that the driver of this shift was not a change in the personnel voting. Instead,...
  • Near-zero rates and QE look to be here to stay

    David Smith
    25 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. It has been a big week for monetary policy, led of course by the European Central Bank’s €1 trillion-plus quantitative easing (QE) programme but also here,...
  • How to prevent good deflation turning bad

    David Smith
    18 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. How unusual is deflation? The Office for National Statistics has an inflation measure which goes back to 1800, mainly based on the retail prices index (RPI)....
  • Why politicians struggle to even trim the size of the state

    David Smith
    11 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. It may already be too late, given that the election campaign is already in full swing and the claims and counter claims about the public finances...
 
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    Top Gun Financial Planning

  • Keeping It Simple In 2015

    Greg Feirman
    5 Jan 2015 | 7:07 pm
    NOTE: Every week or two I wrote a Client Note for my clients. I post most but not all of the notes to my blog but with a time delay usually between 1 day and 1 week. To receive the Client Notes at the same time as my clients, sign up in the box in the right hand corner of the website. As we start off 2015 on a down note a number of concerns are weighing on markets. First is the collapse in oil prices.  This is obviously bad for oil companies.  It is also bad for employment in oil related sectors which have created many solid middle class jobs in recent years.  For example, Hercules…
  • Pressure Point

    Greg Feirman
    13 Oct 2014 | 4:59 pm
    NOTE: Every week or two I wrote a Client Note for my clients. I post most but not all of the notes to my blog but with a time delay usually between 1 day and 1 week. To receive the Client Notes at the same time as my clients, sign up in the box in the right hand corner of the website. Last Thursday and Friday were the worst two days for the markets since February.  The S&P is testing its 200 day moving average (DMA) for the first time in 2 years. Real fear has entered the market for the first time in quite a while.  5 1/2 years into the bull market investors are worried: Is this just a…
  • Riding The Bull

    Greg Feirman
    3 Sep 2014 | 7:47 am
    NOTE: Every week or two I wrote a Client Note for my clients. I post most but not all of the notes to my blog but with a time delay usually between 1 day and 1 week. To receive the Client Notes at the same time as my clients, sign up in the box in the right hand corner of the website. Those of you who have followed me over the years know that I was slow to warm to this bull market.  However, in the last year I have evolved and come to embrace it.  I stopped trying to short it (see “The Loser’s Strategy”, August 4, 2013) and decided to invest more in line with what is…
  • Interview With Mint.com

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

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

  • The ECB and Its Critics

    Jean Pisani-Ferry
    31 Jan 2015 | 8:49 am
    The European Central Bank’s decision to embark on quantitative easing has triggered an avalanche of indictments, largely reflecting northern European (and especially German) concerns. Though the main charges against QE are unfounded, they must be confronted head-on, lest they undermine the ECB’s credibility and effectiveness.
  • Inside the Training Revolution

    Laura Tyson, et al.
    31 Jan 2015 | 5:30 am
    Effective workforce training requires identifying the necessary skills, creating the structures to teach them, and matching trained workers with available jobs. Investment must be accompanied by innovation, featuring new kinds of public-private partnerships, degree-granting institutions, and approaches to life-long learning.
  • Lessons of the Lord’s Resistance

    David Tolbert
    31 Jan 2015 | 5:00 am
    Nigeria's militant Islamist group Boko Haram increasingly resembles the Lord’s Resistance Army, which wreaked havoc in northern Uganda and South Sudan for decades. And, as with the LRA, national authorities and the international community have been slow to respond to the threat to regional stability that Boko Haram represents.
  • The Democratic Merits of Selective Schools

    Andrés Velasco
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:40 pm
    Chile’s Instituto Nacional, a completely free secondary school for boys, ranks among the best in the country – not least because of its wholly meritocratic admissions policy. Given this, the government's plan to institute an admissions lottery is wrong-headed – and could end up weakening Chilean democracy.
  • A Greek Burial for German Austerity

    Joschka Fischer
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:50 am
    Even before the leftist Syriza party's victory in Greece’s recent general election, it was obvious that, far from being over, the euro crisis was threatening to worsen. And it does not take a prophet to predict that the Greek election result will leave the European Union's German-backed austerity policy in tatters.
 
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    OilPrice.com Daily News Update

  • This Week In Energy: The War For Market Share Is Only Just Beginning

    30 Jan 2015 | 2:58 pm
    This week saw yet more bad news for the oil sector, as the EIA’s latest figures released on Wednesday showed U.S. Inventories at levels not seen since 1982, when the agency first started collecting such data. To put it another way, the last time an ounce of gold bought you 29 barrels of oil was 1988. This resulted in a dip midweek before modest gains began to emerge yesterday off the back of news coming from Iraq of Islamic State militants launching an offensive on Kurdish forces near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Iraqi production rose by…Read more...
  • Oil Market Blood Bath Has A Long Way To Go

    30 Jan 2015 | 2:44 pm
    Another Wednesday, another big build in domestic crude stocks, sending oil prices swooning again. Prices retreated another 3% to under $45 a barrel. Two majors, Hess and Royal Dutch Shell, reported some pretty bad numbers, proving that it’s not only the small independents that are in deep trouble here. The majors are hardly immune. Royal Dutch is cutting $15b of capex over the next 3 years and freezing dividends, following Conoco-Phillips (COP), first to the capex machete, dropping $2b off their spend in 2015 alone. And don’t get me…Read more...
  • Trade With Conviction But Also Caution

    30 Jan 2015 | 2:38 pm
    In most cases, conviction is a terrible trait for traders to have. Believing that you are right and the entire market is wrong is an almost surefire way to go bankrupt. It leads to averaging losers and other behavior that will quickly turn misfortune into disaster. That is why I bang on so much about having a stop loss in place, or at least a cut level in mind, whenever entering a trade. Even the best reasoned ideas can go wrong. There are times, however, when, especially from a longer term investor’s perspective, courage of your convictions…Read more...
  • Offshore Drilling To Make A Resurgence In U.S.

    30 Jan 2015 | 2:31 pm
    U.S. President Obama just made some dramatic changes to the offshore oil and gas landscape. Let’s take a look beneath some of the recent headlines to figure out just what Obama’s actions will mean for the offshore oil landscape. Storm Clouds in the Arctic First, the bad news for the oil industry. On January 27, the Obama administration moved to block oil and gas development in large swathes of the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Alaska. The Department of Interior issues five-year leasing plans, and under the next iteration (2017-2022),…Read more...
  • Global Energy Advisory – 30th January 2015

    30 Jan 2015 | 2:21 pm
    Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict Focus: Saudi Arabia What has happened in Saudi Arabia with the passing of King Abdullah should be viewed as no less than a coup that was waiting for this death to make its final move. One way or another, the change of regime will herald significant change for Saudi Arabia—and more importantly, on a wider geopolitical level. Saudi Arabia is in trouble and surrounded by enemies on all sides—mostly of its own creation. At the helm now is King Salman of the powerful Sudairi clan, while King Abdullah’s…Read more...
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    zentrader.ca

  • Early Look At The Best Currency Trade For 2015

    karen starich
    28 Jan 2015 | 5:38 am
    An Early Look At The Best Currency Trade For 2015 The currency markets have seen some big moves in 2014 and in many ways they have provided better opportunities for forex traders than stock markets have. While the S&P 500 is currently up around 13% year-to-date, volatility has been low for most of that time and most shorter term traders have struggled to make profits in individual equities this year. Currency trends In contrast, the currency markets have seen some spectacular moves and trend followers have been handsomely rewarded for sticking to their trades: We have seen USDJPY soar…
  • Super Bowl XLIX Link To Stock Prices

    chris
    25 Jan 2015 | 5:00 am
    By Chris Ebert Nobody, not even the most seasoned expert with the most extensive analysis, knows for sure who will win next week’s Super Bowl football championship. And not even the best trader in the world can say for sure where the stock market is going next week. What is known is how the winners will feel, and also how those watching from the sidelines will feel. In that respect, the winners of a sporting event are no different than winners in the game of trading stocks. Understanding those feelings can make or break a trader in the stock market. Feelings not only depend on winning or…
  • Options Tell Bouncing Ball From Falling Knife

    chris
    18 Jan 2015 | 5:00 am
    By Chris Ebert Ever wonder why stock prices sometimes bounce higher after a decline, and other times do not bounce at all, but continue to fall? It’s a phenomenon with which every trader and investor struggles. Sometimes a stock may behave like a bouncing ball, other times like a falling knife; and sometimes the market as a whole takes on these attributes, affecting a major stock index, for example the S&P 500, the Dow or the Nasdaq. While no single explanation is likely to describe how a stock will bounce off a support level or fall through it, here is one worth consideration: It is…
  • We’re Entering A Bearish Phase

    jeff pierce
    13 Jan 2015 | 6:41 am
    By Jeff PIerce When the XLF:XLP is under the 50 week ema the market is bearish and vice versa when it’s above the 50 week ema. This is simply a case of risk on vs risk off and it appears that risk off is starting to win with new multi month lows on this chart. With the recent volatility moves in the market it’s clear that we’re in an unstable environment and that is generally when big moves down can occur.
  • US Dollar Sentiment At Extreme Levels

    jeff pierce
    12 Jan 2015 | 8:24 pm
    By Poly This is an excerpt from this week’s premium update from the The Financial Tap, which is dedicated to helping people learn to grow into successful investors by providing cycle research on multiple markets delivered twice weekly. Now offering monthly & quarterly subscriptions with 30 day refund. Promo code ZEN saves 10%. A Daily Swing high to close out the week should be an indication that this Daily Cycle has finally topped. A Day 15 high would be consistent with past Cycles, although it would be yet another Right Translated Cycle. At this point, a decline into a DCL will take…
 
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    NEW ECONOMY

  • How to Hack City Money: Let 16 Year Olds Vote on Budgets, Get Banks to Invest Locally

    Shannan Stoll
    16 Jan 2015 | 3:15 pm
    Photo by Shutterstock. 1. Participatory budgeting where any resident age 16 and up can vote in: Vallejo, Calif. Just over one year after emerging from bankruptcy, the city of Vallejo, Calif., put its budgeting process into the hands of its residents. From October 2012 to early 2013, Vallejo citizens gathered in senior centers, elementary schools, and other public spaces to decide how to spend more than $3 million of their city’s tax dollars. The process, called participatory budgeting, began in Brazil in 1989 and has since spread to more than 1,500 cities worldwide. In the United States,…
  • This Rust-Belt Town’s Survival Strategy Is All About Giving Workers Control

    Abby Scher
    13 Jan 2015 | 2:50 pm
    This article originally appeared at Dissent. Photo by Shutterstock. The first thing you notice about Reading, Pennsylvania, the small city that lies an hour and a half north of Philadelphia, is its many parks and muscular civic buildings. Mount Penn anchors the east of the city with a steeply landscaped park and a historic district of graceful homes. The Blue Mountains rise in the distance. Localists are trying to rebuild social relations in communities hurt by disinvestment, not just create jobs and growth. “This is all WPA [the federal building program during the Great Depression] and the…
  • “They’re driven by love. And they’re fierce.” Naomi Klein on the Climate Heroes Who Inspire Her

    Sarah van Gelder
    7 Jan 2015 | 4:50 pm
    Naomi Klein. Photo by Aaron Stern. Note: Sections of this interview appeared at the YES! website on October 3, 2014. The climate crisis is no longer a future danger: Extreme weather, water shortages, heat waves, and flooding are here now. And the impacts of burning fossil fuels continue to worsen. Click here to subscribe to YES! Why has it taken so long to respond? Naomi Klein’s new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, explores that question. Klein points to the “terrible timing” of the climate crisis coming into public awareness—with NASA scientist James…
  • Vermonters Lobby for Public Bank—And Win Millions for Local Investment Instead

    Alexis Goldstein
    7 Jan 2015 | 11:55 am
    Photo by Shutterstock. Right before 2014 came to a close, Wall Street won an enormous victory in the year-end spending bill. The so-called “CRomnibus” bill, which included language written by Citigroup lobbyists, gutted a key piece of Wall Street reform meant to prevent future bailouts of big banks with taxpayer money. Reducing a state’s need to borrow from Wall Street, public banks threaten private banks’ profits. This win came after the financial industry spent years chipping away at the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which passed in 2010. Wall Street…
  • Laid-Off Baltimore Workers Beat Disney in Court—And Ask All the Right Questions About Urban Development

    Christina Arrison
    6 Jan 2015 | 4:37 pm
    Emanuel McCray addresses a crowd of supporters outside the ESPN Zone restaurant where he used to work. Photo courtesy of United Workers. Emanuel McCray is an army veteran with four combat tours under his belt. Despite his military service and his B.A. in political science, he, like many veterans, had a hard time finding work when he returned to civilian life in 2007. He felt pretty lucky when he finally found a position he loved, working as a host at ESPN Zone—a Disney-owned chain of sports bars. A sports fan, McCray prized the chance to interact with the many athletes who stopped in after…
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    Central Bank News

  • Trinidad & Tobago raises rate 25 bps, ready for challenge

    centralbanknews.info
    30 Jan 2015 | 9:04 pm
        Trinidad and Tobago's central bank raised its benchmark repurchase rate by another 25 basis points to 3.50 percent, its third increase in a row, and said it was "prepared to further position its monetary policy stance to address any challenges that may arise from unanticipated changes in global energy markets."    The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, which has raised its rate by 75 basis points since September, added that it had embarked on intensified open market operations to "aggressively" remove excess liquidity from the banking system in coming months and…
  • Central Bank News Link List - Jan 30, 2015: Bullard warns of asset bubble if Fed keeps rates too low

    centralbanknews.info
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:46 am
    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.Bullard warns of asset bubble if Fed keeps rates too low (Bloomberg)Brazil’s central bank opens door to smaller rate hike in March (Reuters)Fed’s Fisher: stronger dollar good for U.S. jobs (Reuters)Georgian central bank to tighten monetary policy next week (Reuters)Velarde opens door to Peru rate…
  • Colombia holds rate, temporary inflation rise from peso

    centralbanknews.info
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:39 am
        Colombia's central bank maintained its benchmark intervention rate at 4.5 percent and said it hopes there will only be a temporary rise in inflation from the devaluation of the peso, which will stimulate exports and import-competing businesses and moderate the negative impact on government finances.    The Central Bank of Colombia, which raised its rate by 125 basis points from April through August 2014,  added that domestic demand continues to show improving momentum in the context of full capacity utilization while there is some uncertainty about the impact of…
  • Denmark suspends bond issuance to limit FX inflow

    centralbanknews.info
    30 Jan 2015 | 9:31 am
        The Danish government has suspended the issuance of domestic and foreign bonds, saying this should help reduce interest rate spreads on longer-dated bonds and limit the inflow of foreign exchange, easing some of the upward pressure on the crown currency.    The Danish central bank, which on Thursday cut its deposit rate for the third time in 10 days to make it less attractive for investors to hold crowns, said rate cuts and foreign exchange purchases had widened the negative spread between money market rates in Denmark and the euro area.    However, the…
  • Russia cuts rate 200 bps to avoid further hit to growth

    centralbanknews.info
    30 Jan 2015 | 5:15 am
        Russia's central bank slashed its key policy rate by 200 basis points to 15.0 percent to avert "the sizable decline in economic activity against the background of negative external factors."    The Bank of Russia said its most recent rate rise - it raised rates by a total of 1,150 basis points last year including 650 points in December - had helped stabilize inflation expectations and the value of the ruble, describing the current "surge of inflation" as temporary and driven by an adjustment to the past depreciation of the ruble.    Russia's ruble has tumbled…
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    Business Insider

  • Australia beat England in cricket ODI

    1 Feb 2015 | 2:48 am
    Perth (Australia) (AFP) - Australia beat England by 112 runs in the one-day international tri-series final at the WACA Ground in Perth on Sunday.England made 166 from 39.1 overs in reply to Australia's 278 for eight.Join the conversation about this story »
  • Djokovic wins first set against Murray in Open final

    1 Feb 2015 | 2:14 am
    Melbourne (AFP) - World number one Novak Djokovic won the opening set in a tiebreaker over Britain's Andy Murray in the Australian Open final on Sunday.There were two service breaks each before the Serb took the tiebreaker 7-5 to claim the first set in 72 minutes.Join the conversation about this story »
  • Why Britain's chocolate tastes better than America's

    Dina Spector
    1 Feb 2015 | 2:02 am
    British and American chocolate may look similar, but they taste very different. American chocolate tastes "powdery," one British colleague tells me. It's "too sweet," another protests. British chocolate, on the other hand, is said to be richer and smoother.  The flavour distinctions aren't imaginary. They are tied to differences in recipes and manufacturing, depending on which side of the pond you're on. British chocolate tends to have a higher fat and cocoa content. American-made chocolate typically contains a larger dose of sugar.  According to UK rules, a product must…
  • Japan condemns 'despicable' IS hostage beheading claim

    Kyoko Hasegawa
    1 Feb 2015 | 1:18 am
    Tokyo (AFP) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday denounced as "heinous and despicable" the apparent beheading of a second Japanese hostage by the Islamic State group, as global leaders denounced the jihadists.IS claimed in a video released online Saturday that it had killed 47-year-old Kenji Goto -- the second beheading of a Japanese hostage in a week -- but made no mention of a captured Jordanian pilot it has threatened to kill.Goto, a respected war correspondent, is seen in an orange outfit -- similar to those worn by Guantanamo Bay inmates -- kneeling next to a standing masked man dressed…
  • US recalls two million cars again over airbag defect

    1 Feb 2015 | 12:36 am
    Washington (AFP) - US transport authorities have recalled more than two million Toyota, Chrysler and Honda vehicles for a second time over faulty airbags that may inadvertently inflate while the car is running.The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Saturday the recall was issued following the unexpected deployment of airbags in about 40 cars that had already been fixed under a previous recall.All 2.12 million vehicles involved in the latest warning were already under recall for an airbag default. "This is unfortunately a complicated issue for consumers, who may have to…
 
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    Business + Economy – Articles – The Conversation

  • Entrepreneurial ecosystems and the role of regulation and infrastructure

    Tim Mazzarol, Winthrop Professor, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Marketing and Strategy at University of Western Australia
    1 Feb 2015 | 12:39 am
    entrepreneurial ecosystem This is the second article on the topic of entrepreneurial ecosystems that build on a series of white papers developed by the Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand Ltd (SEAANZ). The first was published here in “The Conversation” in December 2014 and addressed the issues of what an entrepreneurial ecosystem is, and what role government policy can play in helping to foster their emergence and growth. He we look at the second White Paper, which focuses on the role of regulation, infrastructure and financing. However, in this article I will…
  • Explainer: fuel hedging and its impact on airlines and airfares

    Rico Merkert, Senior Lecturer in Aviation Management at University of Sydney
    29 Jan 2015 | 11:33 am
    When airlines fill up, it's not always easy to work out the cost. Patrick Lauke/Flickr, CC BY-NC-NDWith oil prices on the decline, and analysts predicting record profits for the 2014/15 financial year, Qantas and Virgin Australia are under increasing pressure to abolish fuel surcharges and lower their fares. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is investigating whether Qantas has been misleading with its surcharges, amid a growing perception airlines are pocketing all the fuel savings without passing any of the benefits on to their loyal customers. Virgin Australia moved…
  • Bandaids on broadband – Has Turnbull got what it takes to fix the NBN?

    Stephen King, Professor, Department of Economics at Monash University
    29 Jan 2015 | 2:15 am
    The rules around the NBN have moved rapidly over Christmas. On December 14th, the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, released new rules requiring all providers of high-speed broadband services to be vertically separated. These rules were aimed at TPG, which was rolling out fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) in urban apartment buildings. FTTB would compete against the NBN and potentially undermine the ability of the NBN to use high city prices to subsidise the bush. The new license conditions had their effect. They stopped TPG, at least temporarily. Fortunately, the Carrier License…
  • Without US support, multinational tax crackdowns will fail

    Roman Lanis, Associate Professor, Accounting at University of Technology, Sydney
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:09 pm
    Pressure is growing on Apple to pay more tax in Australia. Justin Lane/EPA/AAPIt’s no secret that companies including Apple, Google, Amazon, Uber, Airbnb and Ikea seem to pay less than their fair share of tax in Australia. Despite booking huge revenues from sales to Australian customers they are able to reduce their profits in this country by shifting profits to tax havens such as Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands, to name a few. Apple, for instance, transfers its intellectual property rights for all markets outside the Americas to a subsidiary in Ireland through a…
  • The PC review that could bring the government unstuck

    David Peetz, Professor of Employment Relations at Griffith University
    28 Jan 2015 | 1:57 pm
    Choosing the Productivity Commission to review industrial relations could prove politically embarrassing for both Workplace Relations Minister Eric Abetz and Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Paul Miller/AAPAustralia’s federal government has made a major political error, possibly terminal, in asking the Productivity Commission (PC) to inquire into industrial relations. Before the 2013 election, the strategy of the Coalition appeared to be to say as little as possible, especially about industrial relations. It would then go to the 2016 election, bolstered by the “sophomore surge” of new…
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    SurvivalBlog.com

  • Notes for Sunday – February 01, 2015

    Hugh James Latimer
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:30 pm
    February 1st is the anniversary of the secession of Texas from the United States in 1861. A State Convention considering secession opened in Austin on January 28th, 1861 and on February 1st, by a vote of 166-8, adopted an Ordinance of Secession from the United States. It’s important to note that not all Texans favored this act and the state Governor, Sam Houston, while being loyal to the union, refused offers from President Lincoln to keep him in office and was subsequently deposed as governer. We also remember February 1st, 2003, when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas…
  • The Hidden Weakness In Your Defense Plans, by T.S. – Part 2

    Hugh James Latimer
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:30 pm
    There are two tried, proven, and scientifically-documented ways to program the unconscious mind. Any professional or Olympic athlete will tell you that visualization works. If you watch winter Olympics downhill skiers stand at the top of their run, they are moving their bodies imagining the run as they want it before they even start. This programs the unconscious to see the same picture that the conscious imagines, and when the two work together amazing results follow. The other way to reprogram the unconscious mind is also well known and documented, though few have applied that knowledge to…
  • Letter Re: Early Literacy for Children

    Hugh James Latimer
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:29 pm
    HJL, I just read C.L.’s blog on early literacy for children, and I couldn’t agree more with the general trend of her commentary. Whether or not a child ever gets post-K12 education, the child, to the best of his or her ability, should be exposed as early as practical to as wide a variety of literature as possible, and not just what is “suggested” by what ever the local school board expects of them. Probably the best investment in personal education is reading anything and everything that can be gotten a hold of, simply to expose a child (a person, really, as reading…
  • Economics and Investing:

    Hugh James Latimer
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:29 pm
    Is Another “Mortgage Meltdown” on the Way? o o o Market indicators suggesting a correction is coming: On Black Tuesday Shiller PE Ratio was at 30. Today it is at 26.2 and volatility is back in a big way. o o o Corporate Profits Soar, Average Incomes Plummet. – PLC Items from Mr. Econocobas: Greece: Will Syriza or Its Creditors Blink First? Thanks Obamacare: This Is What Americans Spent The Most Money On In Q4
  • Odds ‘n Sods:

    Hugh James Latimer
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:28 pm
    Two More Bloomberglar Mayors Bite The Dust! Here is a familiar refrain, folks: Another two members of Mike Bloomberg’s anti-gun “Everytown for Gun Safety” statist cabal (formerly known as Mayors Against Illegal Guns) have been convicted. The first is Lucie Tondreau, the Democrat mayor of North Miami, Florida, “…on [felony] charges of participating in an $11 million mortgage fraud scheme. She faces up to 30 years in prison for conspiracy and wire fraud convictions when she is sentenced March 20.” The other recently-convicted mayor is Mount Vernon New York…
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    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.
  • Why “Exposing” Trading Scams Is The Worst Thing For Your Trading

    Hugh Kimura
    13 Jan 2015 | 11:14 am
    Trading scams are as old as the industry itself. But I believe that it is bad for business for us to cry scam too quickly. I'll show you why this is the case and how you can preserve your mental and financial capital for more important things. The post Why “Exposing” Trading Scams Is The Worst Thing For Your Trading appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit The Bank of Finland Museum In Helsinki

    Hugh Kimura
    6 Jan 2015 | 3:44 am
    I expected the Bank of Finland Museum to be pretty boring, but it was anything but. Find out why I liked it so much and why I recommend you visit it the next time you are in Helsinki. I also give you a bonus sightseeing spot nearby. The post 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit The Bank of Finland Museum In Helsinki appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • TTL018 – How Reynaldo Soriano Makes A Living Trading 1 Hour A Day

    Hugh Kimura
    23 Dec 2014 | 4:57 am
    In this episode, I had the pleasure of talking with Reynaldo Soriano, a professional trader who is originally from Australia, but now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He shares a lot of personal experiences and how he came back from a big loss to trade for a living. The post TTL018 – How Reynaldo Soriano Makes A Living Trading 1 Hour A Day appeared first on Trading Heroes.
 
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    OpenMarkets

  • MARKET UPDATE: JANUARY CLOSE

    OpenMarkets
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:47 pm
    The end of the month is here and January certainly lived up to expectations.  The pent up volatility throughout the month seems to have unleashed itself over the last few weeks.  There’s a saying: “as January goes, so goes the year,” but that hasn’t necessarily been the case.  Jack urges viewers to pay attention to the patterns that have been set over the course of the last few years, one of the patterns being weakness that follows the quadruple expiration &  quarter end and then bids coming into the market.  Next week the big stories will be interest rates and earnings which…
  • Is This The New Normal for Iron Ore?

    OpenMarkets
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:29 am
    Commodities are adjusting to the reality that the peak years of the China-driven commodity super-cycle are over.  With China producing half the world’s steel, no commodity is more exposed than iron ore to the deceleration in the world’s second-largest economy. Since the beginning of the year iron ore prices have already lost 50 percent. Despite these steep falls, the outlook for iron ore remains hard to call, buffeted by weak demand in its biggest market and an uncertain future supply picture. How supply adjusts to new lower prices is the key swing factor in most forecasts. An iron ore…
  • 7 Reasons the U.S. Labor Market Suggests a Strong Economy

    Erik Norland
    30 Jan 2015 | 5:00 am
      A number of the members of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) have shifted their focus from worrying about job creation (which has been stronger than their expectations) to hourly wage growth (which has been weaker than their expectations).   Indeed, 1.7 percent year on year growth for 2014 in average hourly earnings has led to much hand-wringing.  It shouldn’t have.  Lost in the news media’s focus on the nattering nabobs of negativity, there are seven pieces of excellent news for the economy from labor market developments, as follows:  The…
  • The Arguments for Abandoning a Zero Rate Policy

    Blu Putnam
    29 Jan 2015 | 9:32 am
      There is a very good probability, perhaps 60 percent, that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will move at its April 28-29 or its June 16-17 2015 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting to abandon its zero-rate policy.  There is a very small chance (5 percent or less) that the decision to raise short-term rates could come earlier, and a 35 percent probability of the decision being postponed into the second half of 2015 or even later.   Interestingly, the defining issue is the sustained low pattern of core inflation and not the state of United States labor markets.  Moreover,…
  • Monday Outlook: Fed Meeting and GDP

    OpenMarkets
    26 Jan 2015 | 5:20 am
      The expectation remains that the Fed will raise its benchmark interest rate this year. The question is when. The year’s first FOMC meeting and announcement comes this week, and the market will be looking for any hint of new language that might suggest the timing for a rate move. Preliminary fourth quarter U.S. GDP figures will also be released on Friday.   Economic Calendar Monday: Dallas Fed Mfg Survey 10:30 AM ET Tuesday: FOMC Meeting Begins 7:00 AM ET State St. Investor Confidence Index 10:00 AM ET U.S. New Home Sales 10:00 AM ET Wednesday: FOMC Meeting Announcement 2:00 PM…
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    eWallstreeter

  • Here's something you don't see every day

    31 Jan 2015 | 5:20 pm
    This is odd. In the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook for 2015, the US is the only one of the G7 and BRIC economies that had its IMF growth outlook revised up for this year. Torsten Sløk at Deutsche Bank passed along the following chart on Tuesday morning, and added: In the just-released IMF World Economic Outlook the 2015 forecast for the US has been raised by 0.5 to 3.6\%. I used to work at the IMF WEO division and I don't recall having seen before a forecast where the US was revised up sig
  • One Hard Economic Truth We Need to Address

    31 Jan 2015 | 5:06 pm
    President Obama has gotten the economy back on its feet, but there's still one big issue: The poor are getting left behind.
  • Diving Into the GDP Report - Some Ominous Trends - Yellen Yap - Decoupling or Not?

    31 Jan 2015 | 5:02 pm
    Yellen YapOn Thursday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen met with Senate Democrats at a private luncheon. She told the Democrats that the U.S. Economy is Strong. My first thought was "what the heck is Yellen doing holding a private lunch with Democrats only?" Had she met with Senate Republicans, I would have asked the same question.Apparently this is common procedure for Yellen, so perhaps I am reading too much into it. Yet, I cannot help wondering if the real purpose of the meeting was to persuade Democra
  • The upper middle class is ruining America

    31 Jan 2015 | 3:40 pm
    I first encountered the upper middle class when I attended a big magnet high school in Manhattan that attracted a decent number of brainy, better-off kids whose parents preferred not to pay private-school tuition. Growing up in an immigrant household, I’d felt largely immune to class distinctions. Before high school, some of the kids I knew were somewhat worse off, and others were somewhat better off than most, but we generally all fell into the same lower-middle- or middle-middle-class milieu
  • Is It OK to Cheat On Your Taxes? Some Americans Say Yes

    31 Jan 2015 | 1:06 pm
    Each year, an estimated 1.6 million people cheat on their taxes. Do you think it's OK to try and slip things by the IRS?
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    richardblundell.net

  • How the digital tide is turning in favour of Books and Music retailers

    Richard
    26 Jan 2015 | 2:34 am
    Specialist music and book retailers are recovering from 10 years of digital change - vinyl LPs, hardbacks and live events are their savours
  • Appetite for Disruption – has Apple lost theirs?

    Richard
    20 Dec 2014 | 6:40 pm
    In 2011 Apple disrupted the SMS text message by launching iMessage. Because it was set as the default means of sending message iPhone to iPhone, a large chunk of the global SMS messaging traffic disappeared overnight. Why then has it not done the same for FaceTime Audio, its equivalent voice-over-internet phone call system?
  • Employee engagement: where even the strongest brands like Virgin get it wrong

    Richard
    18 Oct 2014 | 9:20 pm
    In today's world of commoditised products, the human service element that provides the customer's emotional connection to a brand, has to be part of the whole package. Not ignored by the marketing team who just focus on brand assets and messaging, and not subject to additional payment.
  • Will the market price of data insight fall? The supply-demand economics of personal data

    Richard
    9 Jun 2014 | 4:09 am
    The commercial successes of the information era are those companies like Google and Facebook who have managed to monetise consumer’s personal information. These companies have not only benefited from the amount of personal data that is now available, they’ve also encouraged consumers to share more of it. Will there come a time however when the […]
  • Apple – the luxury goods company

    Richard
    31 May 2014 | 12:29 am
    Apple’s $3.2bn purchase of Dr Dre’s Beats Music could signal the start of a new strategy for Apple – the shift from a consumer electronics company, to a house of luxury brands Why buy Beats? Most of the noise in the media this week suggested that Apple had bought Beats for its music streaming service. […]
 
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    The Last Embassy

  • CGI Federal, The Designers of the Bungled Healthcare.gov Rollout, Are Back! Back at the IRS

    W.E. Heasley
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:15 am
    “The Internal Revenue Service is under investigation by an oversight subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee for signing a $4.46 million contract with a Canadian company called CGI Federal – despite the fact that the same company was responsible for the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov.” “Roskam reminded Koskinen that CGI Federal had already been fired by the Department of
  • ACA/Obamacare and April 15th: Time To Pony-Up The Penalty/Return The Subsidy

    W.E. Heasley
    30 Jan 2015 | 5:03 am
    “Some 3 million to 6 million Americans will have to pay an Obamacare tax penalty for not having health insurance last year, Treasury officials said Wednesday. It's the first time they have given estimates for how many people will be subject to a fine. The penalty is $95, or 1% of income above a certain threshold (roughly $20,000 for a couple). So you could end up owing the IRS a lot of
  • Healthcare.gov, Third-party Embedded Websites and Information Security

    W.E. Heasley
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:01 am
    ‘A little-known side to the government's health insurance website is prompting renewed concerns about privacy, just as the White House is calling for stronger cybersecurity protections for consumers. It works like this: When you apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, dozens of data companies may be able to tell that you are on the site. Some can even glean details such as your age, income,
  • ACA's Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan: Kiss $145 Million of Taxpayer Funds Goodbye

    W.E. Heasley
    24 Jan 2015 | 9:06 am
    "A startup insurance company loaned $145 million by the U.S. government under Obamacare is running out of money and being taken over by state officials in Iowa. The company, CoOportunity Health, which also serves Nebraska, was placed under Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart’s supervision this week and is no longer accepting new enrollees, according to a statement from his office. While
  • From Fortress to Frontier: How Innovation Can Save Health Care

    W.E. Heasley
    23 Jan 2015 | 1:09 pm
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    Monetary Realism

  • The Unpleasant Fiscal Arithmetic of Eurozone QE with Risk of Sovereign Defaults

    JKH
    20 Jan 2015 | 6:22 am
    Paul De Grauwe has written about potential fiscal effects from an anticipated ECB quantitative easing (QE) program: http://voxeu.org/article/quantitative-easing-eurozone-its-possible-without-fiscal-transfers The analysis is excellent to a point, but doesn’t go far enough. In fact, there are problems with the methodology and the conclusion. The subject involves complex aspects of Eurozone monetary policy – multiple sovereigns, the prospect of Eurozone QE purchases of multiple sovereign bonds, fiscal sharing of ECB seigniorage, and the potential for sovereign defaults. The ECB has not yet…
  • Why NGDP Targeting Won’t Work in Reality

    Cullen Roche
    14 Jan 2015 | 12:04 pm
    Congratulations to Scott Sumner on his new career and fund raising for a NGDP futures market. It looks like his dream of NGDP targeting could really come to fruition at some point. That’s a good thing because it means we might actually get to see whether there’s some real world effect behind all the theoretical talk. While I try to be open-minded about the efficacy of monetary policy (I am most certainly not against the use of monetary policy) I also am not convinced that NGDP targeting is the cure to our economic problems. For instance, here’s a comment from Sumner that…
  • Scott Sumner has a New Job

    Michael Sankowski
    13 Jan 2015 | 10:25 am
    Scott Sumner has a new job where he will be free to focus on monetary policy and NGDP futures. Good for him. NGDP isn’t a terrible way to help think about monetary policy. However, NGDP futures are a dead end. They cannot work. I feel a bit bad for the person who is funding Scott S over the next few years, because they will spend a decent amount of money finding out something I tried to give away for free. There are only a few possible contract designs for NGDP futures. All of them have deadly flaws. The flaws are not solvable with technology or new rules, because they happen at the…
  • Business Cycles: Are they really that mysterious?

    Michael Sankowski
    29 Dec 2014 | 6:43 am
    Noah Smith had a funny series of posts in the last few weeks. In the most popular one, he showed John Cochrane to be a propagandist. But Noah had two other posts which seem to be part of an intentional series. First, he wrote a post where he praised Roger Farmer for going after the real business cycle people for lowering the bar of success – and then not even clearing that bar. Then, he also had a post titled “Should Theories be Testable”. This post was “college-freshman dorm” questions to him, but as he points out: “But when you start making models that claim to be about some…
  • Monetarism

    JKH
    18 Dec 2014 | 2:36 am
    This is rather impressive: “Cash still exists in rather surprising quantity – about a trillion dollars, or more than $3,000 per capita, 77% of it in hundred-dollar bills. But you and I, corporate businesses, and financial markets use trivial amounts of cash. The legal, and especially corporate and financial economies, have moved to electronic, interest-bearing money. Almost all of us pay by credit cards or debit cards, linked to accounts that will, when interest rates rise, pay interest, and are mostly settled by netting between our banks –an essentially electronic accounting…
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    FTMDaily.com

  • Investing With a Kingdom Mindset

    Jay Peroni
    31 Jan 2015 | 5:50 am
    Jay Peroni, CFP, shares ways to grow, protect, and share your wealth in a way that honors God and your fellow believers. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Euro Woes Boost Gold

    Tom Cloud
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:19 pm
    Precious Metals Advisor, Tom Cloud, alerts gold and silver investors to upcoming events in Europe and in the United States that could have a big impact on the price of metals in the near-term. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Petrodollars, Saudi Arabia, and Greater Israel

    Jerry Robinson
    27 Jan 2015 | 3:25 pm
    On this week's program, Jerry Robinson provides a unique and stunning commentary on the complex relationship between the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Israel with the Petrodollar system in focus. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • How Low Will Greek Stocks Go?

    Jerry Robinson
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:37 am
    Can the newly elected Syriza party turn the country around and prevent further collapse? [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • CHART: U.S. Dollar and Euro Nearing Parity

    Jerry Robinson
    26 Jan 2015 | 5:30 am
    It takes $1.12 to purchase one euro... could the euro fall even further? [[ 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

  • Euro Exchange Rate Today: EUR/GBP, EUR/CAD, EUR/USD Rise as Euro-zone Unemployment Falls

    Colin Lawrence
    31 Jan 2015 | 11:30 am
    The Euro advanced versus the British Pound, (EUR/GBP), US Dollar (EUR/USD) and Australian Dollar (EUR/AUD) on Friday as Eurozone unemployment came in under forecast The Euro remained higher against the Pound and US Dollar after Eurozone joblessness fell. Friday’s Eurozone Unemployment Rate figure showed a dip from 11.5% to 11.4% in... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Pound Sterling to Euro Exchange Rate Outlook: Best GBP/EUR Rate in Seven Years Close for Euro Buyers

    Adam Solomon
    30 Jan 2015 | 5:30 am
    Pound Sterling to Euro (GBP/EUR) Exchange Rate News, Views and Conversion Rates Saturday: The Pound to Euro exchange rate is forecast to remain trading at the best conversion levels seen for seven years next week as events in Greece and Ukraine take centre stage in the forex markets. Sterling also came close to five year highs against... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Pound to Dollar Exchange Rate Forecast: GBP/USD Rebounds Off Near 2015 Lows

    Tony Redondo
    30 Jan 2015 | 5:00 am
    Today's Pound Sterling to US Dollar Exchange Rate Forecast With GBP/USD Conversion Rates Saturday: The Pound to Dollar exchange rate fell on Friday despite US Gross Domestic Product figures sliding from 5.0% to 2.6%, lower than forecasts of 3.0%. The US Dollar didn’t fall as dramatically as predicted, but the GBP/USD did rebound off... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Exchange Rates Report for Pound, Euro, US Dollar and the Australian Dollar

    Colin Lawrence
    29 Jan 2015 | 2:00 pm
    Pound Sterling Forecasts vs the Euro, Australian Dollar and the US Dollar for Today The Euro to Pound exchange rate closed the week trading at 0.7491 after edging lower on Friday's session. The week ahead brings us the latest BoE interest rate decision, an event that could see GBP/EUR volatility. The Pound to Dollar exchange rate... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Exchange Rates Today: British Pound vs Euro and Dollar Outlook

    Colin Lawrence
    29 Jan 2015 | 8:30 am
    Today's Pound Sterling Forecasts vs the Euro and US Dollar for the Remainder of the Week Update: University of Michigan Confidence figures are out on Friday and could be of influence for the US Dollar. The Euro could be impacted by any political developments after the recent Greek election. Foreign exchange rate markets witnessed... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
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    BusinessClimate.com Blog

  • Next Frontier of Technology: Mobile Apps to Drive Revenue, Job Growth in Tech Sector

    Emily McMackin
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    It’s no secret that technology is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, but within technology, what’s the fastest-growing niche? Hint: It’s connected to your smartphone. A new report released by the Boston Consulting Group shows that the mobile technologies industry brings in $3.3 trillion in revenue worldwide and directly supports 11 million jobs around the globe. That economic impact is on track to grow even more, as consumers, along with rising ranks of corporations and small- and medium-sized enterprises, rely on these technologies to communicate, make…
  • Tech, Energy Drive Best-Performing Cities

    Bill McMeekin
    28 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    The Milken Institute has released its annual Best-Performing Cities rankings, and while the centers of technology innovation continue to show well, the energy industry had a decided impact on the index this time around. The index ranks 200 large metros and 179 smaller metros on a variety of metrics including short- and long-term job growth, wage and salary growth, growth in high-tech GDP, and concentration of technology companies. Topping the large metro best-performing cities rankings: 1) San Francisco-San Mateo (3) 2) Austin-Round Rock (1) 3) Provo-Orem (2) 4) San Jose-Sunnyvale (4) 5)…
  • Packing a Punch: U.S. Manufacturing Still a Major Driver of Economic Growth

    Emily McMackin
    23 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    Its numbers may seem modest compared to other industries, but manufacturing is still a top driver of the U.S. economy and the nation’s best hope for raising wages for workers across the board, competing globally and maintaining its status as the wealthiest nation on the planet. Though the industry employs just 12 million workers – 8.8 percent of total employment – its economic impact extends much further, according to a newly released report from the Alliance for American Manufacturing. Manufacturing generated $2.1 trillion in GDP – or 12.5 percent of total U.S. gross domestic…
  • Distilled Spirits: High Proof of Success

    Bill McMeekin
    22 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    Man (and woman) cannot live by beer alone. While the craft craze is putting new froth into the beer business and helping to revitalize downtowns, the growing taste for the harder stuff is infusing the distilled spirits industry with growth. Retail sales of distilled spirits reached $66 billion in 2013, according to the Distilled Spirits Council trade association, and distilled spirits’ share of the alcoholic beverage market rose to 34.7 percent of sales, up 6 percentage points since 2000. The popularity of distilled spirits, such as Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, around the…
  • Global Manufacturing Competitiveness: U.S. Gaining Ground as Low-Cost Location

    Emily McMackin
    16 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    When it comes to global manufacturing competitiveness, the world map is shifting in a big way. Countries in Asia, eastern Europe and Latin America used to rank at the top of the list for large-scale manufacturers seeking the most cost-effective place to make products, while the U.S., western Europe and Japan landed at the bottom due to higher costs. While that might have been true in the past, it’s no longer the case, according to a recent report by the Boston Consulting Group that shows quite the opposite. BCG’s 2014 analysis, which examined the cost structures of 25 leading…
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    Macro Brief

  • 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…
  • ECB QE Amount came Above Expectations with Low Risk Sharing and Legal Headwinds

    admin
    22 Jan 2015 | 10:32 am
    The ECB unveiled a bigger than expected QE plan that will involve buying €60B a month including government bonds, covered bonds and ABS but excluding corporate bonds. The program scheme will begin in March and last until the end of September 2016; or “until the ECB sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation which is consistent with our aim of achieving inflation rates below, but close to, 2 per cent”. Therefore, it implies at least €1140B of purchases (19 x 60) so that the ECB balance sheet will exceed its 2012 top level in Sept. 2016 (previously than investors expected).
  • The ECB QE will be between €600B and €1.1T – Bloomberg, WSJ, FT

    admin
    21 Jan 2015 | 8:20 am
    Several articles coming from Bloomberg, WSJ and FT unveiled details concerning the ECB QE announcement:   1/ According to the WSJ, the bond purchases would reach €50 billion per month that would last for a minimum of one year, which implies a total of €600B (lower bound):   A proposal from the European Central Bank’s Frankfurt-based executive board calls for bond purchases of roughly €50 billion ($58 billion) per month that would last for a minimum of one year, according to people familiar with the matter.   Still, the executive board’s proposal indicates that the ECB…
  • ECB PREVIEW: Sovereign QE Imminent; Size, Risk-Sharing in Focus – Bloomberg

    admin
    21 Jan 2015 | 12:58 am
    Bloomberg made a review of economists’ views ahead of the ECB meeting:   Morgan Stanley - Expect ECB to embark on sovereign QE and announce government bond purchases of EU500b and private sector asset purchases of EU100b, economists including Elga Bartsch say in Jan. 19 note. - A negative deposit rate makes it difficult for ECB to meet its target merely through funding facilities as it effectively introduces a tax on excess bank reserves. - Difficult for ECB to raise deposit rate to zero without raising the refi rate at the same time Workable compromise for ECB would be a hybrid…
  • Four Different Scenarios For ECB Sovereign QE: Credit Suisse

    admin
    18 Jan 2015 | 8:34 am
    Ahead of the ECB meeting, Credit Suisse published a very interesting preview concerning the four most likely soevereign QE scenarios:   We consider four potential scenarios for ECB sovereign bond purchases depending on 1) the degree of risk sharing and 2) the size the ECB announces. We believe the market reaction to an announcement of QE is likely to be very different depending on these two factors.     4 scenarios:   1) Small size and low risk sharing: The first scenario is a purchase programme that is below €500bn and has risk sharing below 50% of the total programme.
 
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    FT Alphaville

  • The many faces of Jeroen Dijsselbloem

    Joseph Cotterill
    30 Jan 2015 | 8:52 am
    It’s Friday. You probably can’t wait for the weekend after a tough week. Continue reading: The many faces of Jeroen Dijsselbloem
  • FirstFT (the new Lunch Wrap)

    Chris Nuttall
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:58 am
    In Friday’s US update of the FirstFT newsletter: King Salman , Saudi Arabia’s new ruler, is stamping his authority on the kingdom with an overhaul of key security, political and economic officials. He also revealed big investments in projects and populist cash handouts, with state employees granted a two-months’ salary bonus. (FT)In corporate news, Qatar Airways has taken a 10 per cent stake in the British Airways-Iberia combo IAG, as European airlines consider cosying up to Arab world rivals that have provided keen competition in recent years. (By the way, the new Air Force One…
  • Is the DKK the new CHF?

    Izabella Kaminska
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:41 am
    It’s been a long time since so many developed central banks were tested by free market forces. And free market forces aren’t finished yet. Hot on the heels of the SNB giving up on its euro ceiling policy, the market is zoning in on the Danish central bank and its ability to maintain its euro-peg. As Dan already pointed out, the Danes have had to cut rates three times in in the last two weeks: January 19, January 22 and January 29. If that looks and feels desperate, perhaps that’s because it is? Continue reading: Is the DKK the new CHF?
  • Markets Live: Friday, 30th January, 2015

    Bryce Elder
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:02 am
    Live markets commentary from FT.com Continue reading: Markets Live: Friday, 30th January, 2015
  • China’s new normal, cut out and keep edition

    David Keohane
    29 Jan 2015 | 11:58 pm
    Here’s 28 of China’s 31 provincial and municipal governments adjusting to reality: Continue reading: China’s new normal, cut out and keep edition
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • Consumer rating sentences to ponder

    Tyler Cowen
    1 Feb 2015 | 12:04 am
    “Highly specific pools of reputation information will become more useful in aggregate,” said Mr. Fertik, co-author with David C. Thompson of “The Reputation Economy,” a guide to optimizing digital footprints. “If you’re a really good Uber passenger, that may be useful information for Amtrak or American Airlines. But if you add in your reputation from Airbnb plus OpenTable plus eBay, it starts to get useful globally.” There is more here, interesting throughout.  But will there be errors in these measurements?  As I wrote to Ashok Rao, fresh regressions are a public good.
  • How Andrew Sullivan changed America

    Tyler Cowen
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:01 pm
    I wrote a short piece on this for Vox, here is one excerpt: Who is the most influential public intellectual of the last 20 years? This designation should go to someone who actually has helped change the world, rather than just changing lots of minds. It also should go to someone who has embodied key trends of the time, noting that for both standards I am focusing on the United States. Based on those standards, I am inclined to pick Andrew Sullivan, who is most recently in the news for his announcement that he is quitting after fifteen years of blogging. Any discussion of Sullivan’s…
  • Arrived in my pile

    Tyler Cowen
    31 Jan 2015 | 1:29 pm
    Doug Hendrie, Amalganations: How Globalisation is Good. Arnold Thackray, David Brock, and Rachel Jones, Moore’s Law: The Life of Gordon Moore, Silicon Valley’s Quiet Revolutionary. Jeffrey A. Frieden, Currency Politics: The Political Economy of Exchange Rate Policy, somehow this is oddly relevant these days. Andrew Levy, Huck Finn’s America: Mark Twain and the Era that Shape His Masterpiece, looks quite good on first glance. Rafael Yglesias, The Wisdom of Perversity, a novel.
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    31 Jan 2015 | 9:38 am
    1. Portland carpet markets in everything. 2. “Whole Foods, Half Off.” 3. China’s war against VPNs. 4. It’s a human/computer partnership at Netflix. 5. Does NPR “sound too white”?  And I hope there are hidden Danish fees in here. 6. Aging whales, and “What is your favorite breed of domestic pig?“
  • The new Syriza government is against all-inclusive resorts

    Tyler Cowen
    30 Jan 2015 | 11:10 pm
    Nonetheless it is considering tolerating them, as we are told by Air Genius Gary Leff.  Here is one short bit: The tourism minister says that even though the Greek Prime Minister is attacking all-inclusive resorts as it identifies problems with the country’s economy, it has no plans to make crackdown on these properties ‘its mission’. How reassuring.  Greece needs some Very Serious People in charge!  Right now it doesn’t have them.  And as you know, one thing worse than the Very Serious People is…the Not Very Serious People.  I think someone told them that all-inclusive…
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    Zero Hedge

  • The German 10 Year Bund Effectively a Call Option at 30 Basis Points

    EconMatters
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:48 pm
    By EconMatters   Bonds are not Stocks   On Friday the German 10 Year Bund yield touched the 0.30 mark or 30 basis points, yeah that`s right the same instrument that was yielding 90 basis points in November of last year, a 140 basis points last May 2014, and 195 basis points at the beginning of 2014. It has gotten so ridiculous in the bond markets that I think investors have forgotten what bonds actually are as an asset class, they trade based on price appreciation like stocks, and this perverted mentality has completely ignored the risk component of what bonds represent as debt…
  • Socialist Exceptionalism

    Tyler Durden
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:00 pm
    "In the minds of the statists, "Government Works Better" and 'things' work at the surface; but at the core, it's a disaster... The Americans that look to the government to 'save' them - and even gleefully thank the government for helping bail them out - fail to realize that it was the government that f##ked them in the first place..."   Simply put, "debt-financed socialism and corporatism isn't working" and a day of reckoning is coming...
  • How Ukraine Can Save China From Its Existential Threat (Spoiler Alert: Girls)

    Tyler Durden
    31 Jan 2015 | 6:00 pm
    In China last year, just over 115 boys were born for every 100 girls, and since sonogram technology was introduced to China in the 1980s - allowing families to determine a baby’s gender during the first few months of pregnancy - the gender imbalance in the world's largest economy has grown colossal. However, as Beijing News recently explained, there may be a solution for China's 34 million woman shortfall... Ukrainian women, as "their economy is depressed but beautiful women are running rampant." While Foreign Policy notes that the best destinations for Chinese men to…
  • What Do They Know? Why Are So Many Of The Super Wealthy Preparing Bug Out Locations?

    Tyler Durden
    31 Jan 2015 | 5:15 pm
    Submitted by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog, A lot of ultra-rich people are quietly preparing to “bug out” when the time comes.  They are buying survival properties, they are buying farms in far away countries and they are buying deep underground bunkers.  In fact, a prominent insider at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland says that “very powerful people are telling us they’re scared” and he shocked his audience when he revealed that he knows “hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and…
  • 16% Of Global Government Bonds Now Have A Negative Yield: Here Is Who's Buying It

    Tyler Durden
    31 Jan 2015 | 5:04 pm
    A week ago many were surprised to learn that in his attempt to "fight deflation", the ECB's Mario Draghi unleashed the biggest deflationary wave of all time, when in the aftermath of the ECB's NIRP policy, and subsequently QE, an unprecedented €1.4 trillion in European debt with a maturity of more than 1 year traded down to subzero, as in negative, yields. But what happens if one expands the Eurozone NIRP universe to include the debt of other countries including Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and so on? Conveniently, JPM has done the analysis and finds that a mindblowing $3.6 trillion…
 
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    nextnewdeal.net

  • Roosevelt Reacts: What Else Did We Need From the 2015 State of the Union?

    rgoldfarb
    23 Jan 2015 | 10:13 am
    Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network members and alumni weigh in on President Obama's sixth State of the Union address. Brett Dunn, University of Alabama '17: In the face of strong Republican opposition, President Obama made his stance on many controversial topics quite clear. He outlined his views on topics such as the minimum wage, equal pay for women, LGBTQ+ rights, tax reform and more. These bold and somewhat ambitious goals for change in 2015 will require bipartisan compromise in Congress. It is likely, however, that there will be little correlation between President Obama’s bold…
  • After Four Decades with Roe, U.S. Women Still Need Abortion Access, and So Much More

    rgoldfarb
    23 Jan 2015 | 4:42 am
    As economic inequality takes center stage in politics, it's important to remember that reproductive justice and bodily autonomy are just as essential for secure lives. Yesterday’s 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision prompted a week of stark contradictions. Thousands of anti-choice protesters descended on Washington yesterday while the House of Representatives passed HR7, a bill limiting insurance coverage for abortions (after a broader abortion ban was – for the time – abandoned). Yesterday, Congressional Democrats re-introduced the Women’s Health Protection…
  • Obama’s Middle Class Economics Has to be About Fairness and Prosperity

    rgoldfarb
    22 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    The more-fair "middle-class economics" described in the State of the Union are also the right policies to help the economy grow. In coining the new term “middle-class economics” and linking it to raising wages and taxing the rich and Wall Street to put money in the pockets of working families, President Obama used his State of the Union address to ask the public that most potent of political questions: “Which side are you on?” And as Republicans say no to improving wages and making college more affordable in order to defend the super-rich, Americans will get a clear answer. That’s a…
  • For Now, Excitement of Free Community College Program Raises Lots of Questions

    rgoldfarb
    16 Jan 2015 | 5:24 am
    The initially available information about the president's free community college proposal leaves questions about implementation and additional costs unanswered. This piece expands on an earlier piece published at EAB. The President’s proposal to make the first two years of community college free for students “who are willing to work for it” has generated tremendous buzz in the higher education community over the past several days. For a sector of higher education that has experienced significant funding cuts as well as recent enrollment declines, this politically unlikely plan has led…
  • The Van Hollen Plan Takes on Soaring CEO Pay: A Debate We Need to Have

    tprice
    15 Jan 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Taxpayers are subsidizing ever-larger executive pay packages while their own wages stagnate. For the middle class to prosper, that needs to change. The intrepid economic proposals in Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s action plan “to grow the paychecks of all, not just the wealth of a few” may not win over a Republican Congress, but they will reinforce the progressive economic messaging championed by Senator Elizabeth Warren and conceivably embolden more Democrats to finally take command of our economic debate in advance of the 2016 presidential election. Though Van Hollen’s tax credits for…
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    Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

  • The Children Defense Fund’s new anti-poverty plan demands a close look

    Jared Bernstein
    30 Jan 2015 | 8:01 am
    Over at PostEverything.
  • 2014q4 GDP: On trend if you measure it “right” with no inflationary pressures in sight.

    Jared Bernstein
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:07 am
    Real GDP grew 2.6% in Q4 last year, slightly below expectations for 3% and slower than the past two quarters which averaged 4.8%. But while that slower pace–at least in today’s advanced report; we’ll see two updates based on more complete data in coming weeks–may cause some angst to some, OTEers know better. The annualized quarterly rates are jumpy and the best way to smooth out the noise is to look at year-over-year growth, in this case 2013q4 to 2014q4. The figure below plots both measures and as you can see, the smoother, yr/yr series cuts nicely through the noisier…
  • Fed in an interesting zone: strong growth, weak inflation

    Jared Bernstein
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:54 pm
    You’re hanging out at a party with your spouse. He’s a charming guy, life of the party, but he’s been known to get embarrassingly drunk and start breaking things. You watch him closely, observing that he’s drinking heavily as usual and you’re getting ready to shove in the car before things get ugly. But weirdly, they don’t. He’s knocking back the booze but increasingly coherent, funny, and engaging. What should you do? OK, perhaps not the best analogy but that’s the dilemma facing the Fed, whose FOMC released their statement this afternoon,…
  • Launch the Pig! Some awfully cynical R’s try to take credit for a recovery they’ve trashed for years.

    Jared Bernstein
    28 Jan 2015 | 1:40 pm
    Over at US News. We can have a good, substantive argument about whether and how much credit President Obama should get. But Grover Norquist…nuh uh.
  • The 529 microcosm: a revealing political train wreck re an inefficient tax break

    Jared Bernstein
    28 Jan 2015 | 12:28 pm
    This little train wreck over the White House’s proposal and then retraction of a plan to cut back on a wasteful yet beloved tax benefit is highly instructive. It’s a clear example of how much hot air there is in these fiscal debates, where policy makers and pundits scold everyone within earshot of the need for “fiscal responsibility,” then punt when they’ve got a chance to actually…you know…do something responsible. The benefit in question is the 529 college savings plan, a tax break that allows people to save as much as they want without paying tax on either accruals or…
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    Freakonomics

  • How Safe Is Your Job? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Stephen J. Dubner
    29 Jan 2015 | 7:19 am
    Economists preach the gospel of “creative destruction,” whereby new industries — and jobs — replace the old ones. But in this era of technological wonder, has creative destruction become too destructive? That’s the question we ask in our latest podcast, “How Safe Is Your Job?” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) It’s an expansive conversation with economists, historians, a…
  • How Safe Is Your Job? Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    29 Jan 2015 | 7:15 am
    [MUSIC: Nicholas Tremulis; “Juju’s Farewell” (from Little Big Songs   Richard LIEBERMAN: In terms of home entertainment in the late 19th century and into the 20th century, the piano was the focus. Stephen J. DUBNER: That’s Richard Lieberman.   LIEBERMAN: I’m professor of history at LaGuardia Community College and director of LaGuardia and Wagner Archives.   James BARRON: Part of it was prosperity. As people got more disposable income, they spent it on things like pianos.   DUBNER: And that’s James Barron, a New York Times writer. Barron and Lieberman have both…
  • Someone Else’s Acid Trip: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Christopher Werth
    22 Jan 2015 | 7:00 am
    (Photo: Christopher Michel) At first glance, Kevin Kelly is a contradiction: a self-described old hippie and onetime editor of hippiedom’s do-it-yourself bible, The Whole Earth Catalog, who went on to co-found Wired magazine, a beacon of the digital age. In our latest edition of FREAK-quently Asked Questions, Kelly sits down with Stephen Dubner to explain himself; the episode is called “Someone Else’s Acid Trip.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for…
  • Someone Else’s Acid Trip Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    22 Jan 2015 | 7:00 am
    [MUSIC: Greg Ruby Quartet, “Swing for Dudley” (from Look Both Ways   Stephen J. DUBNER It’s time for another edition of our FREAK-quently Asked Questions – that’s when we run a set of fixed questions past some noteworthy guest. The first time out, we talked to Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London:   Boris JOHNSON: I collect old cheese boxes.   DUBNER: Today, we’re putting the questions to Kevin Kelly, one of the founders of Wired magazine. He’s also a technology writer. His books include What Technology Wants and New Rules for the New Economy. He’ll tell us how he…
  • That’s a Great Question! A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Stephen J. Dubner
    15 Jan 2015 | 8:00 am
    (Photo: Steven Straiton) Having been at the Freakonomics Radio podcast for a while now, I’ve noticed a trend. During an interview, you ask someone a question and, before they answer, they say “That’s a great question!” Believe me, most of the questions I ask aren’t that great. So what’s going on here? Where did this reply come from? Is it a verbal tic, a strategic rejoinder, or something more? That’s the topic of our new episode, called (shockingly) “That’s a Great Question!” (You can subscribe to the podcast…
 
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    Credit Writedowns

  • Why quantitative easing and negative interest rates will fail

    Edward Harrison
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:20 am
    This is going to be a short thought piece. But the takeaway should be that the convergence to zero will continue unabated as the threat of inflation is muted given the combination of excess capacity, high private debt and unfavourable demographics. The subject is monetary policy. The most in-depth research and analysis is on Credit Writedowns Pro. Why quantitative easing and negative interest rates will fail originally appeared on Credit Writedowns Links: RSS - Daily - Weekly - Twitter - Facebook - Contact Related posts: The Fed, the interest income channel and net interest margins QE, the…
  • Pie in the Sky

    Niels Jensen
    14 Jan 2015 | 4:27 am
    We are still in a post-crisis environment, and enough people are still negative on equities, and interest rates are low enough, to provide plenty of purchasing power. We therefore expect it to be an ok period for equities over the next year or two – not outstanding given our modest growth expectations but ok. The trick is to be careful on emerging markets. If the U.S. dollar continues to be strong, it is an accident waiting to happen. The most in-depth research and analysis is on Credit Writedowns Pro. Pie in the Sky originally appeared on Credit Writedowns Links: RSS - Daily - Weekly -…
  • Yanis Varoufakis on fiscal waterboarding and Ponzi austerity

    Edward Harrison
    13 Jan 2015 | 5:43 am
    Yanis Varoufakis had a long interview on RT’s Boom Bust yesterday going into detail behind his political candidacy and what he expects SYRIZA to do regarding the unsustainable debt burden that the Greek government now has. Overall, despite his problems with the eurozone’s institutional structure, Yanis believes Greece leaving the eurozone would be a catastrophe for the simple fact that it does not have a currency and any attempt to leave would be seen as a prelude to a massive devaluation, inviting capital flight on a grand scale. This would be a catastrophe for the Greek banking system…
  • The convergence of safe asset yields toward zero

    Edward Harrison
    13 Jan 2015 | 4:35 am
    As low nominal GDP growth takes hold, we should expect short-term interest rates to remain low and for the yield curve to flatten. There are three main reasons this is so. First, low nominal growth rates imply low inflation. Second, to the degree market volatility produces risk-off sentiment, the bid for safe assets will further suppress yields. And third and most importantly, the natural rate of interest on a zero-day fiat currency liability is zero. I expect that the safe asset class in lowflation currency areas will be dominated by these trends, causing yields to stay low or even shrink.
  • Interview on Chinese CPI and PPI data for December

    Michael Pettis
    13 Jan 2015 | 4:02 am
    Deflationary pressures in China indicates that we probably need monetary tightening, not loosening. I know this sounds extremely counterintuitive, and so violates what we have learned about the world by assuming that the world looks a lot like the US, but there is both a logical argument behind it and what I think is overwhelming historical evidence. The convention that any economic variable that works one way in the US must work the same way in China is one of those assumptions that is implicit in so much that is written about the Chinese economy, and yet is made by foreign and Chinese…
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    Liberty Street Economics

  • Just Released: January Business Leaders Survey Indicates Regional Business Conditions Are Finally Back to Normal

    Blog Author
    16 Jan 2015 | 5:45 am
    Jaison R. Abel, Jason Bram, and Richard Deitz The New York Fed’s January Business Leaders Survey indicates that the regional economy kicked off the New Year on a positive note. This monthly survey—which covers firms in the service sector in New York State, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut—dates back to 2004, and this month marks the one-year anniversary of its public release. In addition to showing a solid increase in regional economic activity, employment, and wages, January’s survey signals that the regional economy has reached an important milestone: firms are…
  • Historical Echoes: The World of Bank Names, According to Andy Rooney

    Blog Author
    16 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Amy Farber Did’ya ever notice how silly those Historical Echoes posts can get? Andy Rooney passed in November 2011 (see the New York Times obituary and the obituary from CBS), so he missed his chance to comment on the Liberty Street Economics blog (although here’s a guy pretending to be Mr. Rooney talking about blogs). But while he was alive he sure had a lot of funny and insightful things to say on a lot of topics, including bank names.      Sometime in the late 1960s or 1970s, possibly before his regular gig as commentator at the end of 60 Minutes, he in fact…
  • FRN Follow-Up: Who Are the Market Participants?

    Blog Author
    14 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Ezechiel Copic, Luis Gonzalez, Caitlin Gorback, Blake Gwinn, and Ernst SchaumburgOn January 29, 2014, the U.S. Treasury held its first auction of a two-year floating-rate note (FRN), which pays a fixed spread over the floating thirteen-week bill rate rather than a fixed coupon. In this post, we investigate the aftermath of the January auction and highlight the important role played by dealers as intermediaries and by money market funds as ultimate investors. For more details on the FRN terms, please see our previous post, which offered an introduction to FRNs.     We…
  • Hybrid Intermediaries

    Blog Author
    12 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Nicola CetorelliA successful hybrid is an offspring of two species that, in a new environment, is better suited for survival than its own parents. Evolution in the financial “ecosystem” seems to have driven the emergence of hybrid intermediaries.     In several previous posts, I commented on the evolution of banks in particular and financial intermediation as a whole (see the first, fourth and seventh posts in our July 2012 series on bank evolution). In those posts, I argued that you can’t really understand the evolution of the banking firm without paying close…
  • Historical Echoes: Metaphors for Monetary Policy and Some GMAT Nostalgia

    Blog Author
    9 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Amy Farber Metaphors, similes, analogies—we know they’re not the same thing, but they can do pretty much the same job when illustrating what monetary policy is like (or what anything is like). Here are a few such monetary policy comparisons from some notable economists and commentators. For some reason, they all seem to involve physics. More exist, of course.      Note that monetary policy encompasses a range of concerns, not just a single issue. Therefore, the metaphors and analogies illustrate different phenomena. The Thermostat—Milton Friedman (2003)…
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    The Incidental Economist

  • Wheelchair stairs

    Austin Frakt
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:00 am
    Shared by Regina Kenney, via Steven Strogatz: These stairs/ramp are in Brussels. Apart from the visual appeal, I like this because it allows people in wheelchairs to navigate the stairs without segregating them from those on foot. Brilliant and beautiful! @afrakt
  • Healthcare Triage News: The flu vaccine is effective

    Aaron Carroll
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:06 pm
    There’s been a lot about vaccines in the news, recently, especially the flu vaccine. So we’re going to concentrate on that, in today’s Healthcare Triage News: This was adapted from two previous posts on the blog! @aaronecarroll
  • The placebo effect is crazy

    Aaron Carroll
    30 Jan 2015 | 8:50 am
    “Placebo effect of medication cost in Parkinson disease“: Objective: To examine the effect of cost, a traditionally “inactive” trait of intervention, as contributor to the response to therapeutic interventions. Methods: We conducted a prospective double-blind study in 12 patients with moderate to severe Parkinson disease and motor fluctuations (mean age 62.4 ± 7.9 years; mean disease duration 11 ± 6 years) who were randomized to a “cheap” or “expensive” subcutaneous “novel injectable dopamine agonist” placebo (normal saline). Patients were crossed over to the…
  • This is how outbreaks occur. It isn’t complicated.

    Aaron Carroll
    30 Jan 2015 | 6:10 am
    I’ve read way too much reporting, and way too many tweets, parsing how the latest measles outbreaks happened. Some are missing the point. This is how outbreaks of a disease that isn’t endemic to the United States occur: Someone travelling/living abroad contracts the disease and comes to the US Other people who are susceptible to the disease come into contact with them here at home Those people contract the disease Go back to step 2 That’s it. It doesn’t matter if the person from step one was an illegal immigrant, a doctor working overseas, or an Amish…
  • Don’t count on Congress to pick up the mess after King.

    Nicholas Bagley
    30 Jan 2015 | 5:44 am
    If the Supreme Court rules against the government in King v. Burwell, what would happen next? Many states without their own exchanges may not be able to move quickly enough to establish exchanges for 2016, as I explained at the New England Journal of Medicine. But what about Congress? It has the power to fix the problem with a stroke of the pen. Would it do so? You could try to tell an optimistic story. The Republicans in Congress will come under considerable pressure from constituents who’ve lost their tax credits. And, in exchange for a fix, the White House might cave to some Republican…
 
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    LewRockwell

  • Do You Dream of Owning a Classic Car?

    Eric Peters
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:01 pm
    It’s fun to own a “classic” (read, pre-modern) car. It can also be a hassle. Before you dive in, it’s a good idea to know what you’re in for, both good – and bad. The good: Pre-modern cars have personality; they’re interesting – something homogenized, same-same modern cars aren’t. Cars built in the ’70s and before were designed largely the way designers – rather than government bureaucrats – wanted them designed. Hence the wild fins, the jutting angles, the instantly recognizable differences between say a Chevy and a Ford (today, you tell them apart by the shape of…
  • Where Do Our Words Come From?


    No Author
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:01 pm
    There are said to be around 6,500 spoken languages around the world. While 2,000 of these languages are spoken by fewer than 1,000 speakers, others are much more common with words and phrases being passed down through generations and shared across countries and continents. A map has been designed to highlight the spread of these common languages by plotting words, and their translations, from population to population. Type a word in the interactive map below  Called Word Map, the interactive guide (pictured) was created by Easyway Language Centre in Brazil. To use the map, type any word in…
  • We’re Gonna Get Rich in Phoenix

    Charles Goyette
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:01 pm
    Rich!  We’re all going to be rich!  If only we could have the Super Bowl here every year! It has gotten a little noisy in the skies near my home.  With the Super Bowl here in metro-Phoenix this weekend the Scottsdale Airport is doing a rip-roaring business – emphasis on “roaring”. The airport is described as “a general aviation reliever facility with no commercial commuter or airline service.” But does it ever get the private jets of the rich and famous.  The Super Bowl is just one of the draws.  The Phoenix Open is underway in Scottsdale this weekend as well. Altogether…
  • Train Your Brain, Men


    Brett and Kate McKay
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:01 pm
    In this series on mastering your attention, we have emphasized the fact that attention is not just the ability to focus on a single task without being distracted, but in fact is comprised of several different elements that must be effectively managed. But this doesn’t mean that single-minded focus is not of paramount importance. Yesterday we compared managing your different kinds of attention to being the supreme commander of your mind – you must be able to deftly maneuver and deploy your units to various battles. But good management can only get you so far; to win the war on distraction,…
  • Doomsday

    No Author
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:01 pm
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    Angry Bear

  • Sergio Mattarella elected President of Italy

    Robert Waldmann
    31 Jan 2015 | 6:15 am
    Tbe Italian parliament has elected Sergio Mattarella president of the republic. For US readers, the Italian President is like the constitutional monarch of the parliamentary republic. Actual controversial decisions are made by the prime minister (now Matteo Renzi). The president has great power in theory on the understanding that it is used only of the […]
  • An Honest Guess about G and GDP in 2014q4

    Robert Waldmann
    30 Jan 2015 | 8:45 am
    Disappointingly, the BEA flash estimate is that US GDP grew at an annualized rate of only 2.6% from the third to the fourth quarter of 2014 after having grown at a 5 % annualized rate from the second to the third. This is well within the ordinary range of changes of growth rates without a […]
  • Another image of labor’s broken back: $48,887 in profit per employee!

    Daniel Becker
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:16 am
    This article via Yahoo news caught my attention: Five years into recovery, Dow Companies squeeze workers as investors thrive I think this picture spells it out rather well.   “As the chart shows, the 30 huge companies that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average have barely nudged their employee ranks higher…” But this is even […]
  • Open thread Jan.30, 2014

    Dan Crawford
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:39 am
  • Inequalities, National and Global

    Dan Crawford
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:30 am
    by Joseph Joyce Inequalities, National and Global The publication of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century brought attention to an issue that has been slowly seeping into public discourse. President Obama’s State of the Union address made it clear that we will not need to wait until the 2016 Presidential campaign to hear proposals […]
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    Macro and Other Market Musings

  • 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%…
  • Farewell Secular Stagnation

    31 Dec 2014 | 8:14 pm
    Marc Andreessen recently looked at the arguments for and against secular stagnation. He cited my Washington Post article when examining the case against secular stagnation. One of the points I make in it is that the proponents of secular stagnation incorrectly invoke the long decline of real interest rates as prima facie evidence for their view. Where they go wrong is that they look at real interest rates without accounting for the long decline in the risk premium. Once the risk premium is stripped out of their real interest measure there is no downward trend in real interest rates.
  • Tinkering On the Margins

    29 Dec 2014 | 7:59 am
    Paul Krugman disagrees with a point I made in my last post. Specifically, he takes issue with my claim that a monetary regime change is needed for both monetary policy and fiscal policy to effective at the zero lower bound (ZLB). To make my case, I gave as an illustration a scenario where the U.S. Treasury Department does a helicopter drop that is offset by the Fed tightening once the helicopter drop starts to raise inflation. I also said a helicopter drop in the Eurozone would face a similar fate from the ECB. Krugman thinks this is wrong: What Beckworth seems to be saying is…
  • Follow-Up to the Fed's Dirty Little Secret

    26 Dec 2014 | 2:23 pm
    My last post made the argument that monetary base injections at the zero lower bound (ZLB) can be effective if they are permanent. I also noted that this understanding is a standard view in macroeconomics and that it implies the Fed's QE programs were muted from the beginning given their temporary nature. The post generated further discussion from Paul Krugman, David Glasner, Scott Sumner, and Bill Woolsey. In addition, others responded in the comments sections of their blogs as well in twitter. I want to respond several of the issues raised in these discussions.First, some commentators were…
 
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    niesr.ac.uk

  • 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.
  • Halving the deficit

    JonathanPortes
    2 Jan 2015 | 3:30 pm
    There has been something of a storm in a teacup over the Prime Minister’s claim, repeated in the Conservatives’ election poster that the deficit has been halved.  Fraser Nelson, in particular, is very exercised about this, claiming that only economists think about the deficit as a percentage of GDP as opposed to the deficit in cash terms.
  • The 2015 Financial Times economists' survey: my answers

    JonathanPortes
    2 Jan 2015 | 1:49 am
    Today the Financial Times  published its annual survey of UK economists’ views of prospects for the year ahead.  As ever, before looking at what we think might happen this year, it’s worth looking at what we said last year.  The FT is quite complimentary about our record, saying we scored “many more hits than misses”, in particular on the course of the UK economy.  This is what I said last January:
  • Going straight - to the Work Programme - suits some prison leavers more than others

    AnithaGeorge
    19 Dec 2014 | 3:19 am
    It is common sense – supported by research – that if an ex-prisoner gets a job soon after release, they are far less likely to reoffend. And equally it has long been the case that employment support for ex-prisoners in the UK has been patchy, with prison leavers often getting little or no employment support until well after release – by which time, of course, lack of income and other factors associated with non-employment may already have led to reoffending.
  • Happier workers, higher profits?

    AlexBryson
    30 Oct 2014 | 3:41 am
    Citizens' wellbeing is rising to the top of the political agenda in Britain.  Just yesterday the government and its partners announced a What Works Centre for Wellbeing which initially has over £3.5 million over three years to investigate the determinants of wellbeing and how to improve it.  This follows government investments in wellbeing metrics developed and pioneered by the Office for National Statistics which, some argue, should be the basis for
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    Bruegel - Latest Updates

  • Europe's Energy Union

    29 Jan 2015 | 9:24 am
    Highlights of the event on 29 January at Bruegel with Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič. Full Recording of the event will be soon availableThe timely presentation by Maroš Šefčovič – just three days after presenting his plan on the Creation of a European Energy Union to the European Parliament, was followed by comments by Simone Mori (ENEL) and Georg Zachmann (Bruegel) and a open discussion.
  • Who’s (still) exposed to Greece?

    29 Jan 2015 | 9:01 am
    Since the start of the crisis, the structure of Greek debt has changed considerably (almost 80 percent of government financial liabilities are now accounted for by loans, against slightly less than 20 percent back in 2008). At the same time, the weight of public creditors has increased among the creditors of the government. Figure 1 shows a breakdown of the Greek general government financial liabilities across the main creditor sectors (with public creditor included in non-residents). At the end of 2013, debt due to official creditors amounted to 216 billion of loans (IMF/EU loans)…
  • The Italian malaise

    29 Jan 2015 | 7:31 am
    Whether looking at GDP figures or unemployment statistics, confidence indicators or inflation numbers, the perception is that European countries are at very different points of the economic cycle. The chart above provides yet another measure of the wide (and still widening) divergence within Europe’s economy. The figure offers an illustration of an index of the number of enterprises facing bankruptcy, setting Q1 2007 equal to 100. This allows to effectively compare trends, cutting through the different inherent economic characteristics of countries. As this data is cumbersome to produce, it…
  • The global race for innovation

    29 Jan 2015 | 5:38 am
    Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed guests,First of all, it is a real pleasure to be here. Today's discussion is one I've been looking forward to a great deal. I want to take this opportunity to tell you why I think Europe is well positioned in the global race for innovation and knowledge creation.If there is one thing Europe does well it's "pessimism". Pessimism always sells, even in politics. So let me instead focus on the strengths we have, not forgetting, of course, the many things we need to improve.Innovation is much more than a technical process.The first thing I want to tell you…
  • A European approach to corporate tax

    29 Jan 2015 | 1:22 am
    When a crowd of angry Americans threw 45 tonnes of tea into Boston harbour in 1773, their concern was the under-enforcement of the principle of ‘no-taxation without representation’ – that governments should not impose fiscal obligations on their citizens without them having a saying on it. More than two centuries later, some European Union member states might feel they have concerns of the same nature. The recent ‘tax-sweetener’ state-aid cases against Ireland for its agreements with Apple, Luxembourg with Amazon and Fiat, and the Netherlands with Starbucks have created momentum for…
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    TaxVox

  • Obama's Failure to Kill 529 Plans May Say Less About Tax Reform Than You Think

    Howard Gleckman
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:07 pm
    After President Obama proposed, and rapidly abandoned, a plan to curb the tax advantages of Sec. 529 college savings accounts, several wise observers, including my friend David Wessel at Brookings, saw an object lesson for broad-based tax reform. To wit: If lawmakers can’t ditch a single $1 billion tax break, how could they possibly agree to a full-blown rewrite that would eliminate scores of far more popular subsidies in return for lower tax rates? Actually, they could. The experience of the 1986 Tax Reform and, in a different way, of the immortal ever-expiring tax provisions dubbed The…
  • The Other Gambling Line on Super Bowl Sunday

    Richard C. Auxier
    30 Jan 2015 | 8:49 am
    Pop-quiz: What's the line on Sunday's game between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks? Answer: The Patriots are favored by one or two points (depending on what sportsbook you bet with). Next question: On what line do taxpayers report gambling winnings on their 1040 income tax form? Answer: Line 21 for “other income.” On the 1040, other income includes all taxable income not reported in other categories, including most prizes and awards, pay for jury duty, canceled debts, and, yes, gambling income. Suddenly important follow-up: Does "gambling income" include winnings from bets…
  • Spending Caps? What Spending Caps?

    Renu Zaretsky
    30 Jan 2015 | 5:00 am
    Up next week: The President’s Budget. President Obama will release his budget  for fiscal year 2016 on Monday. The plan would increase spending above the sequester limits of  the Budget Control Act of 2011. Steep cuts were triggered in 2013 when Congress failed to reach a budget deal, but were then temporarily suspended thanks to a deal struck between former Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray and former House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan. The President’s fiscal year 2016 budget would boost the sequester limits on domestic discretionary and military spending by 7 percent.
  • “Money Is Like Manure… Not Worth a Thing Unless It’s Spread Around.”

    Renu Zaretsky
    29 Jan 2015 | 5:00 am
    TPC shows how President Obama would redistribute income from the rich to the poor. The President will release his budget next week, and with it, a tax plan analyzed by the Tax Policy Center. TPC’s Howard Gleckman explains that under the plan, after- tax income would increase by about $175 in 2016 for households making $25,000 or less in expanded cash income. After-tax income would drop by about $29,000  for households making $663,000 or more. The very, very rich, who make at least $3.4 million a year, would see their after-tax income cut by about $168,000, on average.  Middle-income…
  • Is Obama Closing Retirement Savings Loopholes or Just Curbing Congress’ Generosity?

    Steven Rosenthal
    28 Jan 2015 | 1:16 pm
    In his upcoming budget, President Obama will propose to strip away the “loopholes” that permit wealthy individuals to accumulate large amounts in tax-favored retirement plans. He would prohibit a taxpayer from contributing any more to IRAs or other qualified retirement plans once his or her accounts reach a combined value of $3.4 million. For sure, $3.4 million is a lot of retirement savings. But many high-income workers can get there thanks to Congress’ repeated, explicit, and ongoing generosity, not because they exploit some obscure loopholes. Currently taxpayers can participate in a…
 
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    Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

  • New Obama Tax Proposals Are More Progressive Than They May Appear

    Robert Greenstein
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:20 pm
    The President’s new tax proposals would raise revenues from high-income and wealthy filers and devote much of the savings to other tax proposals that would benefit low- and moderate-income filers. Estimates from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) show that the President’s proposals are quite progressive, but some readers are interpreting those estimates as meaning that low- and middle-income families get only modest benefits. There are two main reasons why that’s not the case: 1. For technical reasons, the TPC estimates classify as “middle-income” some affluent filers who…
  • Obama Spending Proposal Makes Sense for Short and Long Run

    David Reich
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:46 pm
    The President’s proposal, in his upcoming fiscal year 2016 budget, to provide partial relief from the Budget Control Act’s (BCA) “sequestration” cuts for 2016 and fully offset it with alternate deficit reduction is consistent with both the BCA and long-term fiscal responsibility. The proposal, which would still leave non-defense appropriations 11 percent below their 2010 level adjusted for inflation (see graph), would allow modest near-term funding improvements in areas such as science, education, and infrastructure. And its offsetting deficit-reduction measures would likely improve…
  • In Case You Missed It…

    CBPP
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:17 pm
    This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, health reform, and the safety net. On the federal budget and taxes, in part five of our series on working-family tax credits, Chuck Marr pointed to our state-by-state fact sheets on how the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit reduce poverty, who benefits, and what states are doing to strengthen the credits.  He also explained that a proposed “repatriation tax holiday” costs money so couldn’t pay for highway construction (or anything else).  We marked EITC Awareness Day by pointing to resources…
  • The Unconvincing Claim That Unemployment Benefits Hurt Jobs

    Chad Stone
    30 Jan 2015 | 11:31 am
    Many conservatives, including the Wall Street Journal editorial page and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, are touting new research claiming that the expiration of emergency federal unemployment insurance (UI) benefits at the end of 2013 led employers to create 1.8 million additional jobs in 2014.  The same researchers previously claimed that the existence of emergency federal jobless benefits explained most of the persistence of high unemployment in the recovery from the Great Recession. These findings merit considerable skepticism. Let’s start with the 1.8 million net new jobs. …
  • Helping Eligible Workers Claim the EITC

    CBPP
    30 Jan 2015 | 8:18 am
    Some 21 percent of workers who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) don’t claim it, the IRS estimates, and the IRS and its partners have designated today as the 9th annual EITC Awareness Day to spread the word about the EITC through public events and engaging the media. As our Working-Family Tax Credit Essentials series explains, the EITC and Child Tax Credit reward work and reduce poverty. Research also shows that they help people in working families at every stage of life, from infancy through retirement. CBPP conducts a National Tax Credit Outreach Campaign to promote the tax…
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    Eschaton

  • Morning Thread

    1 Feb 2015 | 2:40 am
  • Saturday Evening Thread

    31 Jan 2015 | 5:40 pm
    ht Quentin Compson
  • Easy Peasy

    31 Jan 2015 | 1:00 pm
    I do not think they thought this part through very well......adding, a lot of not affluent people, whose annual interaction with the IRS was mostly a nuisance, are going to be entangled with them forever at a time when staffing has been cut and it's impossible to get through to a person on the phone. This is really a problem.
  • Afternoon Thread

    31 Jan 2015 | 12:03 pm
    It isn't hot outside.
  • Those Tracks Are A Mess

    31 Jan 2015 | 8:30 am
    Only a matter of time before there's a serious hazmat incident...
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Documenting a class-participation activity

    Andrew
    31 Jan 2015 | 2:03 pm
    Tian Zheng implemented my candies demo using Legos: Also lots of details on the results. The point here is not exactly what happened (but, yes, the demo did work) but rather the idea that you can use photos and graphs to document what worked in class. We should be able to do this sort of scrapbooking all the time as teachers. Next time: take some photos of the kids in class doing the activities, too (assuming that’s ok with them). The post Documenting a class-participation activity appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • Economics/sociology phrase book

    Andrew
    31 Jan 2015 | 6:11 am
    Mark Palko points me to this amusing document from Jeffrey Smith and Kermit Daniel, translating sociology jargon into economics and vice-versa. Lots of good jokes there. Along these lines, I’ve always been bothered by economists’ phrase “willingness to pay” which, in practice, often means “ability to pay.” And, of course, “earnings” which means “how much money you make.” But, to be fair, statisticians have some of these too. For example, in psychometrics we use the term “ability” to refer to the very specific ability to get certain questions correct on a test. The…
  • Cognitive vs. behavioral in psychology, economics, and political science

    Andrew
    30 Jan 2015 | 6:09 am
    I’ve been coming across these issues from several different directions lately, and I wanted to get the basic idea down without killing myself in the writing of it. So consider this a sketchy first draft. The starting point is “behavioral economics,” also known as the “heuristics and biases” subfield of cognitive psychology. It’s associated with various studies of cognitive illusions, settings where people systematically mispredict uncertain events or make decisions. Within psychology, this work is generally accepted but with some controversy which could be…
  • Six quick tips to improve your regression modeling

    Andrew
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:16 am
    It’s Appendix A of ARM: A.1. Fit many models Think of a series of models, starting with the too-simple and continuing through to the hopelessly messy. Generally it’s a good idea to start simple. Or start complex if you’d like, but prepare to quickly drop things out and move to the simpler model to help understand what’s going on. Working with simple models is not a research goal—in the problems we work on, we usually find complicated models more believable—but rather a technique to help understand the fitting process. A corollary of this principle is the need to be able to…
  • First day of class update

    Andrew
    28 Jan 2015 | 5:54 pm
    I got to class on time. The class went ok but I spent too much time talking, which is what happens when I don’t put a lot of effort ahead of time into making sure I don’t spend too much time talking. My first-day-of-class activity was ok but I think I needed another activity for the students, something more statistical, to better set the tone of the course. I think I should’ve given them a 10-minute work-in-pairs activity where I’d first give them some real-world problem and then ask them, in pairs, to design a study to address it. The problem could be anything: it…
 
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    macroblog

  • Contrasting the Financing Needs of Different Types of Firms: Evidence From a New Small Business Survey

    macroblog
    15 Jan 2015 | 7:59 am
    The National Federation of Independent Business's (NFIB) small business optimism index surpassed 100 in December, a sign that small business' outlook on the economy has now reached "normal" long-run average levels. But that doesn't mean that everything is moonlight and roses for small firms. One question from the NFIB's survey (one that is not used in its overall optimism index) concerns a firm's ability to obtain credit. The survey asks, "During the last three months, was your firm able to satisfy its borrowing needs?" The chart below shows the net percent (those responding "yes" minus those…
  • Gauging Inflation Expectations with Surveys, Part 3: Do Firms Know What They Don’t Know?

    macroblog
    9 Jan 2015 | 6:13 am
    In the previous two macroblog posts, we introduced you to the inflation expectations of firms and argued that the question you ask matters a lot. In this week's final post, we examine another important dimension of our data: inflation uncertainty, a topic of some deliberation at the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting (according to the recently released minutes). Survey data typically measure only the inflation expectation of a respondent, not the certainty surrounding that prediction. As a result, survey-based measures often use the disagreement among respondents as a proxy for…
  • Gauging Inflation Expectations with Surveys, Part 2: The Question You Ask MattersA Lot

    macroblog
    7 Jan 2015 | 12:21 pm
    In our previous macroblog post, we discussed the inflation expectations of firms and observed that—while on average these expectations look similar to that of professional forecasters—they reveal considerably more variation of opinion. Further, the inflation expectations of firms look very different from what we see in the household survey of inflation expectations. The usual focal point when trying to explain measurement differences among surveys of inflation expectations is the respondent, or who is taking the survey. In the previous macroblog post, we noted that some…
  • Gauging Inflation Expectations with Surveys, Part 1: The Perspective of Firms

    macroblog
    5 Jan 2015 | 10:35 am
    Inflation expectations matter. Just ask any central banker (such as the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, or the Bank of Japan). Central bankers measure inflation expectations in more than a few ways, which is another way of saying no measure of inflation expectations is entirely persuasive. Survey data on inflation expectations are especially hard to interpret. Surveys of professional economists, such as the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Survey of Professional Forecasters, reveal inflation expectations that, over time, track fairly close to the trend…
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • Micro efficient, macro inefficient

    chris
    31 Jan 2015 | 5:02 am
    In the day job, I endorse Paul Samuelson's dictum that stock markets are "micro efficient" but "macro inefficient". This isn't to say that they are wholly efficient at the micro level: there are some anomalies and I prefer to think of markets as adaptive. But for practical purposes, investors should act as if the market were micro efficient and hold tracker funds. Theories don't have to be wholly true to be useful, and only the most Casaubonish pedant thinks otherwise. But here's the thing. The idea of markets as "micro efficient" but…
  • Inequality, non-linearities & growth

    chris
    30 Jan 2015 | 6:12 am
    Might there be a non-linear relationship between inequality and growth? A new paper suggests so. It finds that "there is a range of values of changes in inequality where the link [with GDP growth] is weak", but that big reductions in inequality do boost growth. It concludes: Not all polices that reduce inequality will lead to faster economic growth. Instead, only those that greatly reduce inequality will. The paper is purely statistical, which poses the question: what sort of mechanisms might generate such a pattern? One possibility is that inequality depresses growth by generating…
  • The left's ideas

    chris
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:03 am
    In the Times, David Aaronovitch accuses the left of being "completely without ideas" and of sinking into the politics of "symbology" because they have "nothing else." I'm in two minds about this. One the one hand, it seems wrong. A few decent ideas get us a longish way towards leftist ideals: an expansionary fiscal policy including massive housebuilding to get us away from the zero bound; a citizens' basic income; a serious jobs guarantee (pdf); and worker democracy. One might add to this higher taxes on inheritance and top incomes and (though I'm…
  • Marginal product, & incomes

    chris
    28 Jan 2015 | 5:49 am
    How do you convert ability into income? This is a question promoted by Ann Bauer's claim that novelists often need subsidies from their family. Her point broadens. Many artists struggle to get by: I suspect Jolie Holland speaks for many when she says she barely makes a living. A novelist, academic and CEO might have very similar intellect and skill levels, but their income could differ by factors of thousands - and, as Will points out, academics' working conditions are deteriorating. Why the difference? The conventional neoclassical answer is that wages equal marginal product, and…
  • Basic income: some issues

    chris
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:01 am
    I try not to watch politics programmes on TV. Andrew Neil's interview with Natalie Bennett about a basic income reminds me why. I'm appalled by Natalie's inability to answer his first question: how to pay for it? The Citizens Income Trust has set out one way (pdf)* to do so: quite simply, abolishing the personal allowance and welfare benefits raises hundreds of billions. Mr Neil's implication that a BI of £71pw is inferior to a personal allowance of £10,000 for the low paid is also wrong. Take for example, someone earning £14,000 a year. She currently pays £800 in tax,…
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    Moneybox

  • See the Super Bowl Ads—Before the Super Bowl

    Alison Griswold
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:07 pm
    Sunday is the Super Bowl, which, if you're a football fan, means a chance to engage in some top-notch snacking while watching a sport you enjoy—or, if you’re like me and don’t really care about football one way or the other, a chance to still snack a lot while also watching some of the best ads of the year. For Super Bowl XLIX, brands paid a small fortune—$4.5 million, according to NBC—to lock up a single 30-second spot in the advertising lineup. That’s 120 times more than what an ad during the big game cost in 1967, at the inaugural Super Bowl, but times have changed. This year,…
  • Investors Are Stuffing Their Faces With Greasy, Delicious Shake Shack Stock

    Alison Griswold
    30 Jan 2015 | 8:09 am
    Shake Shack, the better-burger phenomenon, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday morning under the ticker “SHAK.” Investors are gobbling it up. After Danny Meyer’s burger joint sold 5 million shares at $21 apiece late Thursday, the stock opened at $47 and climbed as high as $50 in its inaugural hour of trading. That’s an increase of roughly 130 percent from the IPO price. Shake Shack raised $105 million from its offering on Thursday for a valuation of a little more than $745 million. Based on its current share price, the chain now has a market cap of about $1.71 billion.
  • Amazon Managed to Make Money. Everybody Is Shocked. (Seriously.)

    Alison Griswold
    29 Jan 2015 | 3:17 pm
    Amazon, the Wall Street darling famous for losing money to make money, has thrown just about everyone for a loop with its fourth-quarter report. That’s because for once Amazon didn’t miss, hit, or even slightly beat analysts’ earnings expectations—it crushed them. In the latest quarter, Amazon posted net income of $214 million, or earnings of $0.45 per share. Analysts had forecast Jeff Bezos’ company would report earnings of $0.17, or a bit more than one-third of the actual. It was the first time Amazon had topped estimates in six quarters. The company posted a small miss on…
  • Watch 48 Years of Classic Super Bowl Ads

    Miles Fletcher
    29 Jan 2015 | 1:11 pm
    It’s no secret that in 2015 it costs a small fortune to secure a 30-second Super Bowl ad spot. According to NBC, the average price of one of those coveted slots was a record $4.5 million for Super Bowl XLIX, or $4.4 million each for multiple spots. All commercials during the game broadcast are now sold out. It wasn’t always that way. In 1967, at the first Super Bowl, a 30-second ad cost $37,500, which is about $266,000 in current dollars. Not cheap, sure, but a far cry from today’s prices. How long did it take for the big game’s advertisers to make the jump from paying several tens of…
  • America’s Obsession With Healthy Food Is Driving Campbell’s Away From the Soup Business

    Alison Griswold
    29 Jan 2015 | 11:40 am
    Just one day after McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson stepped down following a string of rather spectacular failures, Campbell Soup Co. is also giving in to U.S. consumers. On Thursday, Campbell, the corporation behind brands like Pepperidge Farm, V8, Prego, and of course its eponymous label, announced a major restructuring. Instead of organizing around brands and geography, Campbell said it will split its operations into three product-based divisions: “America’s simple meals and beverages,” “global biscuits and snacks,” and “packaged fresh.” Campbell, for a bit of background, has by…
 
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    Economic Development Blog » Economic Development Blog -

  • Texas Governor Proposes Changes to Economic Development Programs

    Economic Development HQ.com
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:25 am
    There might soon be some sweeping changes to at least a couple of key Texas economic development tools and incentive programs. Texas (photo – dherrera_96/flickr) Governor Greg Abbott, who has previously stated that the state’s deal-closing Texas Enterprise Fund needs to be reformed, is now proposing to eliminate the Emerging Technology Fund. The Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) is a $485 million program that was first authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the Governor’s request, and has since been granted 2-year extensions four times. Texas universities have been…
  • The 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit Agenda

    Economic Development HQ.com
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:07 am
    The SelectUSA Investment Summit is scheduled to take place March 23-24, 2015 in the Washington, D.C. metro area. SelectUSA Investment Summit (photo – commerce.gov) The inaugural 2013 SelectUSA Investment Summit was judged to be a tremendous success, and not just in terms of attracting attention to the United States as an investment destination. The SelectUSA Summit started the process of facilitating many U.S. economic development projects by foreign companies that have since led to a spurt in FDI in-flow and job creation. Building on these results, the second Summit aims to bring…
  • Arkansas Economic Development Incentives Support Conway Chamber in Attracting Three Tech Projects

    Economic Development HQ.com
    29 Jan 2015 | 9:14 pm
    Governor Asa Hutchinson was joined by local officials in Conway, AR and the company executives of three tech firms to announce job creation projects in downtown Conway. Downtown Conway, AR (photo – Someone’s Moving Castle/wikipedia) With local support from the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas economic development incentives, the three companies (Metova Inc., Big Cloud Analytics, and Eyenalyze) are creating 140 jobs and investing a combined total of $2.5 million. Franklin, TN-based Metova Inc. is a mobile app development company that is creating 60 of these jobs and…
  • LVGEA Annual Report on Southern Nevada Economic Development Achievements

    Economic Development HQ.com
    29 Jan 2015 | 7:12 am
    The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance has released its annual report highlighting its achievements and performance metrics for 2014 as the regional economic development authority for Southern Nevada. LVGEA annual report (photo – lvgea.org) The report, released to coincide with their inaugural State of Economic Development Address, mentions that the LVGEA far exceeded job creation and capital investment targets by attracting 3,821 new jobs to the region in the last 12 months. The 23 new business projects and 10 expansion projects the LVGEA helped secure for Southern Nevada last year…
  • Start-Up NY Economic Development Program Attracts Another 18 Projects

    Economic Development HQ.com
    28 Jan 2015 | 10:11 pm
    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that another 18 businesses are locating or expanding in New York State under the Start-Up NY program. Start-Up NY (photo – ny.gov) These 18 new projects will be investing more than $12 million and are expected to create 295 jobs over the next five years in tax-free areas sponsored by educational institutions participating in Start-Up NY. The Start-Up NY economic development program is designed to accelerate entrepreneurialism and job creation, and is especially focused on attracting new startups and businesses to Upstate New York. It allows businesses…
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    Washington Center for Equitable Growth

  • Things to Read on January 31, 2015

    Brad DeLong
    31 Jan 2015 | 8:12 pm
    Must- and Shall-Reads: Mark Thoma: Links for 01-31-15 <– Mark Thoma’s daily links are especially good today… Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price: The Increasingly Unequal States of America: Income Inequality by State, 1917 to 2012 David Cay Johnston: Economy Grows Incomes Shrink Chad Stone: The Unconvincing Claim That Unemployment Benefits Hurt Jobs   Paul Krugman: Bad Tayloring: “The world has turned out to be a much more dangerous place than [John] Taylor-rule enthusiasts imagined, so why impose a rule devised, we know now, by economists who completely…
  • Afternoon Must-Read: Paul Krugman: Bad Tayloring

    Brad DeLong
    31 Jan 2015 | 1:09 pm
    Paul Krugman reads Tony Yates pointing out that John Taylor is, politely, incoherent in his advocacy that his version of the Taylor Rule be legislated in stone to command the Federal Reserve. Either monetary policy is much more powerful than the arguments for Taylor’s version of his rule presumes–in which case it is a very bad idea–or the world is much more risky than the arguments for Taylor’s version of his rule presumes–in which case it is a very bad idea. There is simply no coherent way to get from the macroeconomic history of the 2000s to the conclusion that…
  • Morning Must-Read: Paul Krugman: I See Very Serious Dead People

    Brad DeLong
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:24 am
    Let me (surprise, surprise!) back up Paul here: There is no doubt that, technocratically, reflation is the low-hanging fruit to boosting equitable growth. Successfully returning to full employment would boost real GDP in the North Atlantic by 10% today, would boost future economic growth substantially as well, and would lift all economic classes more-or-less equally. No plausible policy shifts to produce “structural reform”–save possibly the “structural reform” of raising the price level in Germany and Holland relative to Italy and Spain by 20%–promises…
  • Evening Must-Read: Josh Barro: Why Obama’s Proposal for 529s Had No Chance

    Brad DeLong
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:12 pm
    There are two major taxes on the upper middle class in our future–the carbon tax and the tax on “Cadillac” health-care plans. But these tax are coming because they will not be levied on the upper-middle class but on entities classified as unworthy–coal and oil companies and health-insurers. They will just be passed through to the upper middle class. So a lot rides over the next generation on the upper middle class’s remaining confused about tax incidence: Josh Barro: Why Obama’s Proposal for 529s Had No Chance: “The first rule of modern tax policy is…
  • Things to Read on the Evening of January 30, 2015

    Brad DeLong
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:46 pm
    Must- and Shall-Reads: Robert Waldmann: Comment on “What Failed in 2008?” Paul Krugman: Europe’s Greek Test   Justin Wolfers @JustinWolfers on Twitter: What This Morning’s U.S. Wage Numbers Mean: “Employment cost index only up 0.6% in the past quarter, putting it up 2.2 percent over the year. Consistent with inflation well below 2%. If you think the US labor market is anywhere near capacity, you expect wages to be growing at 3.5-4%. They’re growing at 2.2%. There’s nothing in these wage data to give the Fed any confidence that inflation is going to…
 
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    Bankrate.com » Economics

  • The very expensive blizzard that wasn’t

    Stacy Jones
    29 Jan 2015 | 1:05 pm
    One-day storm estimates: $265 million in Massachusetts, $700 million for New York, $289 million for New Jersey.
  • Podcast: The buzz about bonds

    Doug Whiteman
    26 Jan 2015 | 3:05 am
    Hear why bonds need a place in your portfolio, even if they seem less sexy than stocks.
  • Deflation and the ‘big game’

    Mark Hamrick
    26 Jan 2015 | 2:55 am
    The "big game" among this week's economic events is the Federal Reserve meeting. The Federal Open Market Committee huddles just days after Europe's Central Bank took a page out of the Fed's playbook, embarking on a trillion euros in asset purchases intended to lift the region's economy. It says something about our time that there's
  • Obama: New top taxes can help middle

    Mark Hamrick
    20 Jan 2015 | 3:05 am
    The president's State of the Union address will pitch new help for the middle class.
  • Podcast: Another good year for jobs?

    Doug Whiteman
    19 Jan 2015 | 3:05 am
    Find out if the job market will continue to improve in 2015 and lift wages, too.
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    FiveThirtyEight » Economics | FiveThirtyEight

  • Cuba Is Hoping To Replace Venezuelan Oil With American Tourists

    Francisco Toro
    16 Jan 2015 | 4:33 am
    Cuba’s strategic pivot toward the United States got specific on Thursday, as the White House announced new regulations easing travel and other restrictions for Americans wishing to go to the island. This same week, oil prices flirted with levels of $40 per barrel. Americans don’t usually think of these stories as being in any way related. But Venezuelans do.When the historic thaw between Cuba and the U.S. was announced last month, one detail jumped out at Venezuelans. Secret negotiations had begun, we were told, a year and a half before. In Caracas, everyone could do the math: The talks…
  • Yes, Some Companies Are Cutting Hours In Response To ‘Obamacare’

    Ben Casselman
    13 Jan 2015 | 8:03 am
    On Friday, I posted this chart, showing that nearly all the job growth since the recession ended has been in full-time jobs. Part-time employment is pretty much flat.I wasn’t trying to make a political point, but many readers saw one anyway. Specifically, they saw it as a refutation of a frequent Republican talking point: that the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” is killing full-time jobs because it requires employers to offer health insurance to their full-time (but not their part-time) workers.@bencasselman @DiegoUK -yet ANOTHER repuglican lie debunked!!!— Bev Miles…
  • Hard Cider Is Having A Moment

    Jonah Keri
    9 Jan 2015 | 3:12 am
    The most iconic scene in the movie “The Social Network” is a parable for the power of new business ideas. Justin Timberlake’s Sean Parker character is sitting across from Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), extolling the enormous potential of the little Web-based company they’ve started at Harvard, The Facebook. When a hot, new idea gets off the ground, Parker explains, the possibilities are limitless.“A million dollars isn’t cool,” Parker says. “You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.”Every company and industry dreams of…
  • 2015 Will Be The True Test Of The Economic Recovery

    Ben Casselman
    1 Jan 2015 | 4:01 am
    Every January since the recession ended in 2009, economists have predicted that this was the year the recovery would take off. In 2014, they were finally right.The year didn’t get off to a good start. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, shrank in the first three months of the year, something that’s rare outside of recessions. But most economists chalked up the weak numbers to the brutal winter storms that swept across much of the country. This time, at least, it looks like they were right: Once the weather warmed up, so did the economy.By pretty much any…
  • The Conventional Wisdom On Oil Is Always Wrong

    Ben Casselman
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    In 2008, I moved to Dallas to cover the oil industry for The Wall Street Journal. Like any reporter on a new beat, I spent months talking to as many experts as I could. They didn’t agree on much. Would oil prices — then over $100 a barrel for the first time — keep rising? Would post-Saddam Iraq ever return to the ranks of the world’s great oil producers? Would China overtake the U.S. as the world’s top consumer? A dozen experts gave me a dozen different answers.But there was one thing pretty much everyone agreed on: U.S. oil production was in permanent, terminal decline.
 
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    Vox - All

  • Map: Where NFL fans are on Facebook and Twitter

    Joseph Stromberg
    31 Jan 2015 | 6:00 pm
    This map, which Facebook built based on likes, shows the areas dominated by fans of each team. Facebook Some teams have vast, scattered regions of fans (the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers), others have fan bases that merely fill their state’s borders (the Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons), and fans of some relatively new teams still haven’t really spread beyond their metro regions (the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars). Zoom in and you’ll see some surprising trends — like how the Jets dominate exactly one county (Nassau) in an otherwise Giants-centric New York…
  • Chart: NFL players have become absolutely enormous

    Joseph Stromberg
    31 Jan 2015 | 1:00 pm
    The biggest shift in the evolution of the NFL has been the modern-day emphasis on passing instead of running. The second-biggest shift in the evolution of the NFL is even more tangible: players have gotten truly enormous. Noah Veltman In the early days, many players were large but still within the range of normal humans — around 200 pounds, and 6 feet tall. Today, the average player is now around 250 pounds, and 6’2" or so. The blob that forms at the top-right around the year 1995 or so is made up of today’s offensive linemen and defensive tackles, who are virtually all above 300 pounds…
  • 9 superb owl facts you need to know

    Phil Edwards
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:30 pm
    This is the weekend when all your friends are talking about the superb owl. No one can deny that the superb owl is a national obsession. It's trending on Twitter, lighting up Facebook, and some Las Vegas bookies are even taking superb owl bets. So we've put together these superb owl facts to explain the majestic bird of prey everyone is talking about. 1) Teddy Roosevelt kept a superb owl as a pet Theodore Roosevelt had a long history with owls, both as pets and trophies. You can still see Roosevelt's mounted snowy owl at the American Museum of Natural History (Roosevelt found the owl in…
  • Marshawn Lynch’s selective silence is a power move for black athletes

    Jenée Desmond-Harris
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:20 pm
    Marshawn Lynch doesn't answer journalists' questions unless he feels like it. In a much-discussed mandatory press conference at this week's Super Bowl Media Day, the Seattle Seahawks running back, who has a famously contentious relationship with the press, responded to questions with "I'm here so I won't get fined" a staggering 29 times. Then, in a Thursday statement, he lectured reporters, saying, "[I]t don't matter what y'all think, what y'all say about me; cause when I go home at night, the same people that I look in the face, my family, that I love, that's all that really matters to me."…
  • Republican bigwigs killed off a third Romney campaign — as political scientists expected

    Andrew Prokop
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:10 pm
    Mitt Romney's announcement Friday that he wouldn't run for president again came as a surprise to many. He was leading in the polls. He and his allies had been sending the message that he was "almost certain" to run again, as one Washington Post headline put it. "Every talk I've had w/ Mitt World leads me to believe he will run," Mark Halperin tweeted Friday morning — just as "multiple sources" told the Daily Beast that Romney was about to announce a third campaign. But other savvy observers saw Romney's demurral coming. Their secret? They didn't listen to what Romney and his people were…
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    Commentary - Money, Banking and Financial Markets

  • ECB Paddles Both Ways in the Rubicon

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    26 Jan 2015 | 5:32 am
    On January 22, the ECB crossed the Rubicon twice – but in opposite directions. In an effort to combat deflation and years of anemic growth, the central bank announced a sustained program of large-scale asset purchases. At the same time, it capped the amount of risk-sharing in the Eurosystem. Other central banks have done the first, but not the second.  And, while outright balance sheet expansion helped ease euro area financial conditions somewhat, the limit on risk-sharing works in the other direction. Rowing toward both shores at the same time doesn’t move a boat far or fast.We will…
  • Interview: Donald Kohn

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    22 Jan 2015 | 5:27 am
    Robert S. Kerr Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; Member of the Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England; former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.Has the experience of the crisis changed your view of the central bank policy tool kit?Vice Chairman Kohn: My answer is yes, to some extent. It changed my view on asset purchases. Before the crisis I was skeptical that asset purchases, particularly the possibility of U.S. Treasury bond purchases that we were talking about in the U.S. before the crisis, would have much effect. I thought that the Treasury market was extremely…
  • A Swiss Lesson in Time (Consistency)

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    19 Jan 2015 | 4:39 am
    You can set your watch by the Swiss trains. They are the envy of the world in many ways. The secret to the system is not just high-quality engineering and scrupulous maintenance. It is also the fact that the schedule is the same every day of the year, and that if one train is late (a rare occurrence that elicits a public apology), no other train waits for connecting passengers. Everyone believes that the trains will run on time because they do.Credibility is at the core of central banking as well. When a credible central banker speaks, households, businesses, and governments listen. And,…
  • Interview: Jean-Claude Trichet

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    15 Jan 2015 | 5:33 am
    Chairman, Group of Thirty; Former President, European Central Bank; Honorary Governor, Banque de France.Has the experience of the crisis changed your view of the central bank policy tool kit?President Trichet: I would say yes, of course. We had to invent in these exceptional circumstances new concepts that were difficult to think of or even unthinkable before the crisis. We had to cope with an absolutely dramatic situation, particularly after the Lehman Brothers collapse, which we did not foresee. The fragility of the financial system appeared to be much greater than anything we had in mind,…
  • Conflicts of Interest in Finance

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    12 Jan 2015 | 5:24 am
    “What is the virtue of a proportional response?”President Josiah Bartlet, The West Wing, Season I, Episode 3, 1999.Angered by a foreign downing of a U.S. airliner, and frustrated by the ineffectiveness of customary retaliation, fictional West Wing President Bartlet challenged his military advisors to devise a “disproportional response” that would go beyond “the cost of doing business” to deter future attacks and make Americans safe.Financial corruption does not put our lives directly at stake. Yet, it is easy to imagine how widespread and recurring corruption could lead a future…
 
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    Credence Independent Advisors

  • The Impact of Greek Parliamentary Elections on Europe

    Jamil Al Maani
    26 Jan 2015 | 2:55 am
    Five years in to the euro crises since 2009, on the 25th of January, general elections were held in Greece for the Greek parliament. The election results clearly show that Greek voters have rejected tax rises and government spending cuts, imposed by Eurozone and have elected the left-wing Syriza party. The Syriza party has won 149 out of the 300 seats, falling two seats short of 151 needed to form government without coalition partners. It is important to note here that the Syriza party is against austerity and has promised to roll back austerity measures and renegotiate Greece’s debts.
  • Action in the Eurozone

    Chris Ferguson
    22 Jan 2015 | 6:07 am
    It is expected that the ECB (European Central Bank) is going to announce its plan to add €1 trillion into the eurozone economy to overcome the its ailing economy. he idea is to reduce the cost of borrowing by QE (Quantitative Easing) or generating new money in order to pay off government debt. Therefore it is expected that government bonds worth up to €50bn (£38bn) per month until the end of 2016 could be purchased by ECB. This is double the amount previously expected. Government bonds are to be used because countries use government debt as an important way to raise money. Furthermore,…
  • Key Considerations of Behavioral Finance

    Kareem Sattar
    11 Jan 2015 | 2:02 am
    The central issue in behavioral finance is explaining why market participants make systematic errors contrary to the assumption of rational market participants. Such errors affect prices and returns, creating market inefficiencies. It also investigates how other participants take advantage (arbitrage) of such market inefficiencies. Some of the following traits, knows as heuristics follow. Psychology concepts that affect the way you manage your investments. In psychology and more specifically Behavioral Finance, heuristics are simple, efficient rules of thumb which people often use to form…
  • Dealing with market volatility

    Chris Ferguson
    2 Dec 2014 | 10:25 pm
    In the last week we have seen oil prices drop to a 5 year low with double digit falls in less than a week. This has disturbed many countries that are dependent on oil revenue such as Russia, Nigeria and Norway. The markets can be affected by numerous factors and a sometimes we simply do not see these factors coming. Investors are twice as likely to react to a fall in value as they are to an increase in the value of their holdings, and markets drop twice as fast they rise. The biggest gains or losses in markets happen in single day transactions. It is important not to sell a position as a…
  • What would be the implications should Scotland vote ‘YES’?

    Thomas Crowe
    11 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    Next week the Scottish nation will take to the polls to decide whether to remain part of the UK or go it alone. Although arguments have been made from both sides of the border about who will be better and worse off, the two camps are pretty evenly matched. There are a lot of grey areas that will be impossible to predict the outcome of until (and if) Scotland votes yes but I have tried to look at some of the potential implications based on what we know so far. The referendum itself The referendum is due to take place on 18th September. A new opinion poll on Scottish independence has found the…
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    Republic 3.0

  • Stepping up to the call for “a better politics”

    Jeff Harris
    29 Jan 2015 | 4:44 pm
    How “action civics” can fix the crisis in youth disengagement. The post Stepping up to the call for “a better politics” appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • The myth of the “Asian vote”

    Anne Kim
    21 Jan 2015 | 9:13 am
    Asian-Americans aren't a monolithic, formulaically winnable political constituency. So don't treat Asian voters that way. The post The myth of the “Asian vote” appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • Affordable housing must move beyond rent control

    Leonard Grunstein
    21 Jan 2015 | 8:55 am
    Extending New York's rent control regime might do more harm than good. But a little-known provision under existing law provides a better way to solve the city's affordable housing crisis. The post Affordable housing must move beyond rent control appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • Americans say: Avoid a showdown on immigration reform

    Stefan Hankin
    16 Jan 2015 | 3:14 pm
    Lincoln Park Strategies' latest poll finds that satisfying hard-liners on immigration will backfire with the public. The post Americans say: Avoid a showdown on immigration reform appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • The “New Rules Economy” – A growth agenda for the middle class

    Anne Kim
    15 Jan 2015 | 11:22 am
    The rules for middle class success have changed. Here's what the middle class needs and how government can help. The post The “New Rules Economy” – A growth agenda for the middle class appeared first on Republic 3.0.
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    Principles of Economics and Business

  • 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…
  • Macroeconomics - Deflation

    13 Dec 2014 | 3:50 am
    Deflation is often considered a highly unfavorable phenomenon. Although the idea of falling prices may seem appealing (at least from a consumer perspective), deflation is mentioned amongst the worst things that can happen to an economy.However there are different types of deflation that have different implications. In other words, the effects of deflation depend to a large extent on the particular context. Thus it becomes quite obvious that deflation is a rather complex issue. To keep things simple we shall distinguish between good deflation and bad deflation. Good deflationGood…
  • Microeconomics - Zero Profit Equilibrium

    30 Nov 2014 | 7:46 am
    In the long run equilibrium, firms in competitive markets make zero profit. This may seem odd, considering all the effort and time that has to be put into running a company. So why should these firms stay in business?The answer to this question lies in the definition of the term profit. What most people think of when they hear profit is a number on the balance sheet of a firm. We call this the accounting profit. However, for many economic issues, considering accounting profits may not be sufficient. In those cases, we need to look at a different type of profit as well; the so-called economic…
 
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    Penny Stock Dream

  • Our Alerts Gained A Combined 160% This Week, After Our Pick On QLTS Closed Up Another 16.67% Today!

    30 Jan 2015 | 2:40 pm
    Overall 160% Gains On Our Penny Stock Alerts This Week. Become A Platinum Member, To Get the Next Pick Early! QLTS closed the day out very nicely for us today, with a solid 16.67% gain. Between the movement seen here today and taking all of our other picks into account, our picks saw an overall gain of 160% over the course of the week.
  • Our Pick On ETBI Is Definitely One That You Will Want To Keep An Eye On.

    30 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    This Pick Is On High Alert: ETBI (Eastgate Biotech Corp.) Hey Dreamers, as you all know, yesterday we released a surprise mid-day alert on ETBI that performed very nicely, closing up 23.27 percent, from where we had initially released it, in a solid bounce. With this movement, our picks have now gained more than 140 percent, in the past 4 day...
  • Solid 23.27% Gain On Our Mid-Day Pick On ETBI. More Picks Soon To Come!

    29 Jan 2015 | 1:58 pm
    Solid 23.27 Percent Gain On Today's Mid-Day Pick. New Pick Soon To Come. This is a quick update to let you all know that today's mid-day announcement on ETBI went very well for us. When initially released, this was a pick that had completely flat-lined, meaning there was no sort of volume coming in but after our awareness initiative went into high gear, it moved from our initial release at .0275 to a close up 23....
  • Major New Mid-Day Surprise Pick On ETBI! Serious Bottom Bouncer Potential.

    29 Jan 2015 | 9:30 am
    Surprise Mid-Day Pick: ETBI (Eastgate Biotech Corp.) Major Bounce Potential Before The Close! As you know, we generally try to give you guys a solid heads up in advance, to let you know when to expect to see new picks but this one just popped up mid-day and we felt it important to bring to your attention ASAP. After 117 percent gains on our picks, over the course of the past...
  • Our Picks Are Up A Combined 117% In The Past 3 Days! New Pick On The Way!

    28 Jan 2015 | 1:50 pm
    QLTS Up Over 34 Percent In The Past 2 Days. IJJP And TUNG Up Over 82 Percent Combined Today. Plus A New Pick Is Coming! This is a special update to let you all know just how powerfully things have been coming together lately, for our most recent picks. Remember that we had mentioned that each of these picks would see large fluctuations to the posi...
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