Economics

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  • Well: The Antidepressant Generation

    NYT > Money & Policy
    By DORIS IAROVICI, M.D.
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    A growing number of young adults are taking psychiatric medicines for longer and longer periods, at the very age when they are also consolidating their identities, making plans for the future and navigating adult relationships.
  • The Future of the State Revisited: Reforming Public Expenditure

    iMFdirect - The IMF Blog
    iMFdirect
    16 Apr 2014 | 7:46 am
    By: Sanjeev Gupta and Martine Guerguil The global financial crisis brought to the fore the question of sustainability of public finances. But it merely exacerbated a situation that was bound to attract attention sooner or later—governments all over the world have been spending more and more in recent decades. Here at the IMF, we’ve been looking into the factors behind this increase in public spending, particularly social spending, and our latest Fiscal Monitor report discusses some of the options for spending reform. Explaining the Growth of Government How much governments spend mainly…
  • What I Am Going to Be Reading on the Plane Tomorrow...

    This Is Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
    J. Bradford DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:41 pm
    David M. Glantz, [Endgame at Stalingrad](a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0700619542/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0700619542&linkCode=as2&tag=brde-20)
  • Links 4/17/14

    naked capitalism
    Lambert Strether
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:55 am
    Ruff justice! French dogs voted ‘living beings’ after centuries of slumming it as ‘personal property’ (…and it means wealthy Parisiennes can leave their fortunes to them) Daily Mail Monetary Policy and the Economic Recovery Chair Janet L. Yellen At the Economic Club of New York, New York, New York In sum, the central tendency of FOMC participant projections for the unemployment rate at the end of 2016 is 5.2 to 5.6 percent, and for inflation the central tendency is 1.7 to 2 percent. If this forecast was to become reality, the economy would be approaching what my…
  • March .2% Price Increase Hides Surprising Weaknesses

    About.com US Economy
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:39 am
    Now that the worst of the winter storms have passed, energy prices fell .1%, thus keeping the lid on inflation. In March, fuel oil costs were 2.9% lower, after rising 4.1% in February. This offset a 7.5% increase in natural gas prices, which drove electricity costs up 1.1%. Gas prices fell  a welcome 1.7%, as they did in February....Read Full Post
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    Real Time Economics

  • Grand Central: Bubbles, Bubbles, Toil, and Trouble

    WSJ Staff
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:13 am
    The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, April 17 Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup Highlights Da Costa’s Take: Bubbles, Bubbles, Toil, and Trouble Yellen Stakes Out a Flexible Policy Path Lockhart: Fed Won’t Raise Rates Until Second Half of 2015 Japan Cuts Economic View on Tax Rise French Economy Minister Calls for ECB Easing DA COSTA’s TAKE The difficulties of revamping bank oversight in the wake of the worst financial crisis in generations were palpable at a conference on financial markets this week sponsored by…
  • Euro Strength May Be Overblown

    Christopher Lawton
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:38 am
    Just how worried should the European Central Bank be about the strong euro? Some economists say, not at all. A strong currency can make an economy’s goods and services more expensive in global markets, damping exports. It could also weaken already low inflation in the euro zone by reducing the cost of imported goods. With the exchange rate against the dollar hovering just under $1.40, ECB President Mario Draghi promised on Saturday that the ECB would act to rein in the euro and prevent already low inflation in the euro zone from falling even further. “A strengthening of the exchange rate…
  • Surging Loans to China Could Pose a Risk to Hong Kong’s Economy

    Michael S. Arnold
    17 Apr 2014 | 1:07 am
    Slowing growth in China’s massive economy has raised concerns that the rest of Asia would suffer if China continues to lose momentum. Rapid growth in lending to the mainland would seem to put Hong Kong at particular risk in case China’s economy experiences a “hard landing.” Of course, few analysts expect Chinese growth to slow sharply:. More likely is a gradual deceleration, after data Wednesday showed China’s gross domestic product growth slowed to 7.4% in the first quarter of the year, from 7.7% in the final quarter of 2014. Most analyses have focused on how slower Chinese growth…
  • Secondary Sources Asia: North Korea’s Illicit Economy

    Michael S. Arnold
    16 Apr 2014 | 4:30 pm
    A roundup of economic news on Asia and emerging markets from around the Web. –North Korea’s Illicit Economy: Sheena Chestnut Greitens examines how illicit activities — often controlled by the North Korean elite — help prop up a dictatorial regime starved for hard currency. –Watershed Moment: The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook records a watershed moment for the global economy: Emerging economies are now  larger than  advanced ones in terms of purchasing power GDP, Stephen Grenville notes. –Barbarians in the House: Yifan Hu says the craze about Yuebao —…
  • March Home Starts Cloud 2014 Forecasts

    Kris Hudson
    16 Apr 2014 | 12:57 pm
    Lackluster home-construction in March has left economists divided on how to handicap the industry’s output for the rest of this year, with some predicting the pace will pick up and others saying expectations need to be reined in. New suburban homes constructed and sold in California. Getty Images Data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau provided, as usual, several different viewpoints on the industry’s state. One of the headline numbers was a positive sign: Construction starts on single-family homes in March stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 635,000, marking increases…
 
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    naked capitalism

  • Links 4/17/14

    Lambert Strether
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:55 am
    Ruff justice! French dogs voted ‘living beings’ after centuries of slumming it as ‘personal property’ (…and it means wealthy Parisiennes can leave their fortunes to them) Daily Mail Monetary Policy and the Economic Recovery Chair Janet L. Yellen At the Economic Club of New York, New York, New York In sum, the central tendency of FOMC participant projections for the unemployment rate at the end of 2016 is 5.2 to 5.6 percent, and for inflation the central tendency is 1.7 to 2 percent. If this forecast was to become reality, the economy would be approaching what my…
  • General Mills Opens New Frontier in Denying Consumers Right to Sue: Just Use Its Products

    Yves Smith
    17 Apr 2014 | 1:47 am
    We have just moved beyond an event horizon as far as the corporate version of neo-feudalism is concerned. Remember that one of the salient qualities of feudalism was that the nobility had far more rights than the peasants. By contrast, one of the hoary old notions of jurisprudence is equality before the law. That doesn’t serve our corporate-overlords-in-the-making too well. Subverting jurisprudence over time via inculcating pro-business thinkings through the law and economics movement apparently isn’t good enough for them; they want even higher odds of favorable outcomes. One of…
  • Quelle Surprise! Ginnie Mae Says Bank of America Has Lots of Servicing Documents Missing; MERS Also in Hot Water

    Yves Smith
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:38 am
    An article by Kate Berry in American Banker earlier this week hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. Anyone who was paying attention to the mortgage beat in 2010 through 2012 knew that mortgage securitization originators and servicers were playing fast and loose with critical documents like mortgage notes because they couldn’t be bothered to observe their own contracts and transfer them to the mortgage trust as stipulated. But exposing that threatened to blow up the mortgage-industrial complex. So the Obama Administration and the major regulators labored mightily to engineer a…
  • When Will Big Business Figure Out That the Education-Industrial Complex is Eating its Lunch?

    Yves Smith
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:21 pm
    Yves here. This post points out how parochial Corporate America has become in its looting. Look at how some not-very-large changes in approach would leave those fat cats much better off! And they wouldn’t be so terrible for the rest of us either. By J. D. Alt, author of The Architect Who Couldn’t Sing, available at Amazon.com or iBooks. Originally posted at New Economic Perspectives. The Washington Post recently reported that Day Care now costs more—in 31 U.S. states—than a college education. In a fit of logic rarely exhibited in today’s journalism, the article explains that…
  • How the Junk Food Industry Preys on the Young in Emerging Markets

    Yves Smith
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:06 pm
    Yves here. This article presents a vignette on how Big Corporations, in this case, major beverage and food companies, will use any route possible to advance their profits, irrespective of the consequences to the broader community. We featured a case study of a far more sophisticated version of this strategy in a recent post, in which health care industry providers used planned obsolescence and no-real-value-added-but-nevertheless-hugely-costly “upgrades” to what would otherwise be mature products to fatten their wallets. Notice than in emerging markets, where foreign…
 
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    Alpha.Sources

  • Changing correlations

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

    CV
    7 Apr 2014 | 6:51 am
    I have a bit of time on my hands at the moment to read stuff that I otherwise wouldn't have time to read. For example I am currently reading Michael Lewis' new book Flash Boys about the ins and outs of high frequency trading. I will probably have more to say about that one in a few weeks, but for now I want to point to this recent BIS speech by former BOJ governor Masaaki Shirakawa.  I recommend you to read it in its entirety, it is worth the effort. Two points in particular are worth highlighting. Firstly, Shirakawa provides a non-consensus yet apt narrative on the interaction between…
  • Over and out for Forward Guidance

    CV
    2 Apr 2014 | 9:25 pm
    I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure." So said Mae West, the late American actress and entertainer, whose upbeat line is often used to denote a positive and openminded approach to life.  Yet, just because you try it once does not mean that you have to like it. For example, I recently travelled from London to New York only to stay for 18 hours. Spending 12 hours in airplane over the course of a full day is decidedly not something I intend to do again if I can help it.  I wonder whether Yellen would heed Mrs West's dictum in the context of trying to…
  • The big disconnect between leverage and spreads

    CV
    24 Mar 2014 | 12:09 am
    Matt King from Citigroup usually serves up nice presentations, but his past few highlighting the increasingly problematic increase in leverage among non-financial corporates is particularly illuminating. The latest installment is full of illuminating charts, but it will suffice to focus on the one below,  Source: Citgroup, Matt King (March 2014)   Since 1988 there has been a relative close, and logical, correlation between higher corporate leverage and higher spreads, but not this time around. It is difficult to find a clearer picture of the effect of a structurally low interest…
  • Negative current account in Japan makes a short JGB trade worth considering

    CV
    12 Mar 2014 | 12:05 am
    Investors are slowly but surely adjusting to a world where markets and becoming more uncorrelated and (macro)risks are now local instead of global. We are now living in a bottom-up world and global macroeconomists with a Cassandra bent are set to become an endangered species. Or so at least is the refrain from the Street researchers that I am following. Apart for some important qualifiers (see below) I tend to agree with this. I certainly never bought the recent misplaced worries about current account deficits in Brazil, India and Indonesia as the potential source of a new Eurozone type…
 
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    The American Prospect

  • Did Jesus Have a Wife?

    Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:57 am
    The world of ancient papyrology—the study of tiny scraps of manuscripts unearthed in archeological digs across the Mediterranean—is not, in general, a font of juicy media stories. That is, unless the papyrus in question seems to suggest that Jesus, long understood to have been celibate, was married. Last September, Harvard Divinity School professor Karen L. King presented her initial findings about a business-card-sized fragment of papyrus, believed to be the work of early followers of Jesus. The 33 words on the fragment included: Jesus said to them, “My wife …"  "she will be able to…
  • Daily Meme: The Passion of Kathleen Sebelius

    Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:44 pm
    Let's just say that this has not been Kathleen Sebelius's year. As secretary of Health and Human Services, she absorbed much of the blame for the botched rollout of the Obamacare website. Even after the White House exceeded its health insurance signup goal--the chance for a victory lap if there ever was one--Sebelius announced last week that she was stepping down. Republicans could barely conceal their glee upon hearing that their arch-nemesis was departing. Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn asked her Twitter followers whether they'd be breaking out "red solo cups" or "crystal stemware" to…
  • The Culture War Goes On

    Paul Waldman
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:10 pm
    These days, liberals might be forgiven for feeling that they've won the culture war, or at least that they're winning. With the large exception of abortion (on which opinions have basically not budged in decades and conservative states have moved aggressively to curtail women's rights), on most hot-button social issues the country continues to move left. Marriage equality is now embraced by a majority of Americans, as is marijuana legalization. Basic conservative ideas about family life—that women should stay home whether they want to or not, that children benefit from a good beating now…
  • Uncivil Disobedience and the Opposite of Patriotism

    Paul Waldman
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:57 am
    Back when George W. Bush was president, liberals were regularly accused of being disloyal or anti-American if they disagreed with the policies the administration was undertaking. As Bush himself said, you were either with us or with the terrorists, and as far as many of his supporters were concerned, "us" meant the Bush administration and everything they wanted to do, including invading Iraq. You may have noticed that now that there's a Democrat in the White House, conservatives no longer find disagreeing with the government's policies to be anti-American; in fact, the truest patriotism is…
  • Cuomo's Wedge

    Harold Meyerson
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:41 am
    On Monday, Mary Fallin, Oklahoma’s Republican governor, signed legislation forbidding her state’s cities from enacting ordinances that set their own minimum wage standards or that entitle workers to paid sick days. Even in hard-right Oklahoma, citizens were collecting signatures to put initiatives raising the minimum wage and mandating sick-day on the Oklahoma City ballot. Fallin has now put an unceremonious end to such egalitarian frippery. As an increasing number of cities have considered setting their minimum wages higher than those of their states, conservatives in state government…
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    Robert Reich

  • Antitrust in the New Gilded Age

    16 Apr 2014 | 4:28 pm
    We’re in a new gilded age of wealth and power similar to the first gilded age when the...
  • HAPPY TAX DAY, AND WHY THE TOP 1% PAY A MUCH LOWER TAX RATE THAN...

    15 Apr 2014 | 8:09 am
    HAPPY TAX DAY, AND WHY THE TOP 1% PAY A MUCH LOWER TAX RATE THAN YOU It’s tax time again, April 15, when our minds turn toward paying the taxes we owe or possibly getting a tax refund.But what we don’t think about enough is whether our tax system is fair.The richest 1 percent of Americans are now getting the largest percent of total national income in almost a century. So you might think they’d pay a much higher tax rate than everyone else.  But you’d be wrong. Many millionaires pay a lower federal tax rate than many middle-class Americans. Some don’t pay any federal taxes at…
  • WHY THE MINIMUM WAGE SHOULD REALLY BE RAISED TO $15 AN...

    8 Apr 2014 | 3:54 pm
    WHY THE MINIMUM WAGE SHOULD REALLY BE RAISED TO $15 AN HOUR Momentum is building to raise the minimum wage. Several states have already taken action  — Connecticut has boosted it to $10.10 by 2017, the Maryland legislature just approved a similar measure, Minnesota lawmakers just reached a deal to hike it to $9.50. A few cities have been more ambitious — Washington, D.C. and its surrounding counties raised it to $11.50, Seattle is considering $15.00 Senate Democrats will soon introduce legislation raising it nationally to $10.10, from the current $7.25 an hour. All this is fine as far as…
  • Today's Jobs Report and the Supreme Court's "McCutcheon" Debacle

    4 Apr 2014 | 8:49 am
    What does the Supreme Court’s “McCutcheon” decision this week have to do with...
  • McCutcheon, and the Vicious Cycle of Concentrated Wealth and Political Power

    3 Apr 2014 | 10:39 am
    If wealth and income weren’t already so concentrated in the hands of a few, the shameful...
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    This Is Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • What I Am Going to Be Reading on the Plane Tomorrow...

    J. Bradford DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:41 pm
    David M. Glantz, [Endgame at Stalingrad](a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0700619542/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0700619542&linkCode=as2&tag=brde-20)
  • Noted for Your Afternoon Procrastination for April 16, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:53 am
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Things to Read on the Afternoon of April 16, 2014 Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Afternoon Must-Read: Tyler Cowen (2008): Keynes’s General Theory, Chapter Four, The Choice of Units Washington Equitable Center for Growth | What Was I Thinking as 2008 Turned into 2009?: Wednesday Focus: April 16, 2014 Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Insights on Changes in Lifetime Earnings Inequality and Educational Attainment Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Afternoon Must-Read: Martin Wolf: Review of…
  • Principles of Economics * Macroeconomics * The Government Budget

    J. Bradford DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:35 am
    20140416 Budgeting and Macro Policy.pdf | 20140416 Budgeting and Macro Policy.ppt | 20140416 Budgeting and Macro Policy.key
  • Principles of Economics * Macroeconomics * Business-Cycle Recap

    J. Bradford DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:01 am
    20140416 Business Cycle Summary.pdf | 20140416 Business Cycle Summary.ppt | 20140416 Business Cycle Summary.key
  • What Was I Thinking as 2008 Turned into 2009?: Wednesday Focus: April 16, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:51 am
    Over at the Washignton Center for Equitable Growth: The slides from the talks I was giving as 2008 turned into 2009. The huge hole in them is the lack on my part of any consideration of the possibility that we might not do what was necessary--that we might fail to use fiscal and banking policy on a large-enough scale to rebalance aggregate demand at full employment in a short-run of two to three years... Sigh... I simply assumed that the political and economic logic would work together: the political logic was that all incumbents of whatever party were at grave risk in the next election if…
 
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    Calculated Risk

  • Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims at 304,000; 4-Week average lowest since 2007

    Bill McBride
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:37 am
    The DOL reports:In the week ending April 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 304,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 2,000 from 300,000 to 302,000. The 4-week moving average was 312,000, a decrease of 4,750 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since October 6, 2007 when it was 302,000.The previous week was revised up from 300,000.The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since January 2000.Click on graph for larger…
  • Thursday: Unemployment Claims, Philly Fed Mfg Survey

    Bill McBride
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:55 pm
    Some more data from DataQuick: California March Home SalesAn estimated 32,923 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide in March. That was up 28.2 percent from 25,680 in February, and down 12.8 percent from 37,764 sales in March 2013, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.Last month’s sales were the lowest for a March since 2008, when 24,565 homes sold – a record low for the month of March. California’s high for March sales was 68,848 in 2005. Last month's sales were 23.9 percent below the average of 43,251 sales for all months of March since 1988, when DataQuick's statistics…
  • Lawler: Preliminary Table of Distressed Sales and Cash buyers for Selected Cities in March

    Bill McBride
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:11 pm
    Economist Tom Lawler sent me the preliminary table below of short sales, foreclosures and cash buyers for several selected cities in March.From CR: Total "distressed" share is down in all of these markets, mostly because of a sharp decline in short sales.Foreclosures are down in most of these areas too, although foreclosures are up in the mid-Atlantic area and Orlando - and a little in Las Vegas (there was a state law change that slowed foreclosures dramatically in Nevada at the end of 2011 - so it isn't a surprise that foreclosures are up a little year-over-year).The All Cash Share…
  • Fed's Beige Book: "Economic activity increased in most regions"

    Bill McBride
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:07 am
    Fed's Beige Book "Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and based on information collected before April 7, 2014." Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest economic activity increased in most regions of the country since the previous report. The expansion was characterized as modest or moderate by the Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts. Chicago reported that economic growth had picked up, and New York and Philadelphia indicated that business activity had rebounded from weather-related slowdowns…
  • Yellen: Three Big Questions for the FOMC

    Bill McBride
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:20 am
    From Fed Chair Janet Yellen: Monetary Policy and the Economic Recovery. Excerpts: Is there still significant slack in the labor market?...I will refer to the shortfall in employment relative to its mandate-consistent level as labor market slack, and there are a number of different indicators of this slack. Probably the best single indicator is the unemployment rate. At 6.7 percent, it is now slightly more than 1 percentage point above the 5.2 to 5.6 percent central tendency of the Committee's projections for the longer-run normal unemployment rate. This shortfall remains significant, and in…
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    Crooked Timber

  • You Poor Bastards

    Belle Waring
    16 Apr 2014 | 7:22 am
    OK, my mom texted me earlier that it was snowing in D.C. That is wrecked-up sideways, people. LAND’S SAKES IT IS THE MIDDLE OF APRIL?! In a way I should really post the Weezer song “My Name is Jonas,” because, do you know what else? Guess what I received in a text today—words of deep concern from my little brother. Building’s not going as he planned. The vortex means digging is banned. The dozer will not clear a path; the driver swears he learned his math! The workers are going home—I reckon, because the dirt’s frozen! How’s the man meant to get…
  • Fuzzbot Wingfield

    Maria
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:39 am
    E and I are acquiring a hairy baby this weekend. We can’t agree on a name. He is against human names, except for when he isn’t. I tend towards cute ones that will be embarrassing to call out in a south London park. We’re not allowed to get pretentious ones after writers and such. Suggestions? Here’s what I have so far: Bo Milo (this has 3 ticks, one from me + 2 sisters) Buzz Bosco (two ticks.) Grover (I love this one but E keeps saying we can’t call our dog after a tax dodger. There were no muppets in his prep school childhood.) Boxy (after the dog in the…
  • “The Luck in the Head”

    Henry
    15 Apr 2014 | 12:43 pm
    A new collection of Ian Miller’s art is out today. When I was in my early twenties, I was mildly obsessed by Miller’s graphic novel collaboration with M. John Harrison, The Luck in the Head, to the point that a few years ago, when I could finally afford to, I bought a couple of the originals, including the ‘Procession of the Mammy’ shown above (reproduction isn’t wonderful; it’s far sharper and not nearly as drenched with red in real life). I thought about this graphic novel, and the Harrison short story it built on a lot last year, when Margaret Thatcher…
  • The Color Of His Presidency

    John Holbo
    14 Apr 2014 | 10:40 pm
    That’s the title of this really good (in my opinion) Jonathan Chait cover article in New York Magazine. At this point it would be customary for me to extract a nut graph but, you know, that results in a lot of squirrels fighting it out in comments about just the nut. I think the whole article deserves considerate discussion. So do that instead. (I will be Chait’s defender! Although, of course, if someone picks on one of the places where his foot slips … well, I can’t defend that.) UPDATE: Sorry, original link was to a subsection not the whole article. And original post…
  • Not Actually Sunday Anymore Sunday Photoblogging

    Belle Waring
    14 Apr 2014 | 4:33 am
    It’s cool that Chris and Ingrid were meeting up recently; Maria came here to have roti prata with me and John in Singapore just the other day. Maybe someday in the future perfect subjunctive all the CT authors could have met one another. Maybe someday we could all meet up at once and have a killer party! I would like it to be…on Ortygia in Syracuse, I think (the one in Sicily). It would be OK if it were in a different city too. HK would be cool. Mataram isn’t exactly a city, but it still might be nice to meet on Lombok somewhere. I took this photo on Lombok week before last,…
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    Dealbreaker

  • Write-Offs: 04.16.14

    Dealbreaker
    16 Apr 2014 | 3:30 pm
    $$$ Avenue Capital’s Lasry Said Buying Bucks for $550 Million [Bloomberg] $$$ Yellen Says Fed Committed to Policies to Support Recovery [Bloomberg] $$$ Hedge Funds Post Worst First-Quarter Results Since 2008 [BusinessWeek] $$$ Former Madoff aides seek to have convictions tossed [Reuters] $$$ The first 2,500 fans in attendance at MCU Park on July 5… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
  • Steve Cohen Needs Your Best Trade Ideas

    Bess Levin
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:40 pm
    He’s got 90 days to make his fine back. Can he do it? With your help, he just might. Even when he loses, the billionaire investor Steven A. Cohen manages to find a way to win. Overlooked in the judge’s approval last week of the guilty plea entered by Mr. Cohen’s hedge fund SAC Capital… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: fines, hit him with your best shot, insider-trading, Point72 Asset Management, Steve Cohen, the hedge fund formerly known as SAC Capital
  • Start Looking For ‘High-Utility’ Insults To Replace The Obscure Ones You’ve Been Using

    Jon Shazar
    16 Apr 2014 | 12:20 pm
    From 2021 or so, first-year analysts may not get the sarcasm when you call the garbage they produce “trenchant,” and may seek clarification when asked to prevaricate on a sensitive matter. Draft questions released today by the College Board, owner of the [SAT], illustrate the scope of the test’s first redesign since 2005. The new… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: falling standards, no way to produce new raconteurs, SAT
  • The Bitcoin Bugle: Sinobits!

    Jon Shazar
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:50 am
    The Chinese may not like bitcoin. And they may not want their banks doing any kind of business with anything bitcoin-related. But they aren’t going to be so vulgar as to ban it. In fact, they’ll even let their citizens waste their hard-earned yuan on it. BTC China, one of the country’s leading digital currency… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: ATMs that do not dispense anything, bitcoins, China
  • Paul Flowers Now Really Sorry About Those Times He Bought Coke, Crystal Meth

    Jon Shazar
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:54 am
    Questions from a parliamentary committee will not be the toughest faced by the former minister who moonlighted as chairman of a failing bank. Paul Flowers, the former chairman of Cooperative Bank PLC, was charged with drug possession Wednesday, five months after allegations of drug use by the 63-year-old Methodist minister sparked fresh investigations into how… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: apologies, Paul Flowers
 
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    Econbrowser

  • ACA Insurance Coverage Cost Update from CBO

    Menzie Chinn
    15 Apr 2014 | 9:26 am
    Estimated insurance coverage costs revised downward. From the CBO, Updated Estimates of the Effects of the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act, April 2014: Figure 3 from CBO, Updated Estimates of the Effects of the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act, April 2014. Relative to their previous projections, CBO and JCT now estimate that the ACA’s coverage provisions will result in lower net costs to the federal government: The agencies now project a net cost of $36 billion for 2014, $5 billion less than the previous projection for the year; and $1,383…
  • An Economic Sanctions Menu Targeting Russia

    Menzie Chinn
    13 Apr 2014 | 2:19 pm
    As Russia fosters heightened instability in the eastern portions of Ukraine [0], we should be considering what methods will impose maximum pain on Russian policymakers. Already, the Russian economy has taken a hit, even while in an already fragile state.[1] [2] From Robert Kahn at CFR: Direct bans on business trade and investment can meaningfully reduce Russian wealth and growth, but the most powerful effects on Russia stem from financial sanctions. In part, this reflects the inherent importance of finance for cross-border trade and investment. More specifically, the complexity of Russian…
  • Global Supply Chains and Macroeconomic Relationships in Asia

    Menzie Chinn
    13 Apr 2014 | 11:03 am
    The increase in vertical specialization in Asia has implications for the strength of linkages between the region’s economies, and the tendency to manage intra-regional exchange rates. From the paper: First, the conventional means of measuring international competitiveness are going to be less and less adequate, as production becomes more fragmented. … Second, the increasing role of intermediate inputs will likely drive down exchange rate pass through. This is true even if the increase is due to increasing arms-length transactions. … Third, business cycle correlations are…
  • Dispersion in Price Trends in the Euro Area

    Menzie Chinn
    10 Apr 2014 | 10:02 pm
    Recent indications are that, in the face of declining inflation, ECB President Draghi is considering embarking upon quantitative easing. Despite the technical difficulties accompanying such a measure [0] [1] I believe additional stimulative measures are nonetheless called for. This figure from the recently released World Economic Outlook (p.55) demonstrates that while the overall euro area inflation rate is still (barely) positive, the minimum inflation has clearly dipped into the negative region. Figure 2.3.3 from IMF, World Economic Outlook (April 2014), p. 55. Not only is deflation…
  • Wisconsin Economic Activity Forecasted to Lag

    Menzie Chinn
    9 Apr 2014 | 7:58 pm
    No catch-up in sight for Wisconsin with Minnesota [1] (or the Nation, for that matter) In a previous post, I noted that the most recent revisions had widened the gap between Wisconsin and other economies. Recently released forecasts from the Philadelphia Fed indicate the gaps will persist. Figure 1: Log coincident indices for Minnesota (blue), Wisconsin (red), Kansas (teal) and for the United States (black), all normalized to 2011M01=0. Source: Philadelphia Fed, and author’s calculations. As noted previously, the MN-WI gap has been revised to larger in the latest dataset, and the newest set…
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    EconLog: Library of Economics and Liberty

  • I've Won My TARP Bet

    Bryan Caplan
    17 Apr 2014 | 1:04 am
    (April 17, 2014 01:04 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Back in 2008, I noted an obscure TARP provision: SEC. 134. RECOUPMENT.Upon the expiration of the 5-year period beginning upon the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with... (5 COMMENTS)
  • I Agree with Barbara Ehrenreich

    David Henderson
    16 Apr 2014 | 4:29 pm
    (April 16, 2014 04:29 PM, by David Henderson) On a flight home from Las Vegas last night, I found the April 14 issue of Time magazine. I hadn't read it in years. On the last page was a feature called "10 Questions." They were 10 questions to "activist,... (14 COMMENTS)
  • Larry Summers is persuasive

    Scott Sumner
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:02 am
    (April 16, 2014 09:02 AM, by Scott Sumner) Tyler Cowen directed me to a long interview of Larry Summers. I have two general impressions after listening to the interview: 1. Larry Summers seems brilliant. 2. I disagree with him on just about everything. That got me wondering why... (13 COMMENTS)
  • Try Harder or Do Something Easier?

    Bryan Caplan
    16 Apr 2014 | 12:01 am
    (April 16, 2014 12:01 AM, by Bryan Caplan) A friend tells you, "I'm thinking of starting a restaurant.  Advise me."  You know that about 60% of new restaurants fail in their first three years - and have no reason to think that your friend would be anything other... (15 COMMENTS)
  • Smoking, Social Desirability Bias, and Dark Matter

    Bryan Caplan
    15 Apr 2014 | 10:03 am
    (April 15, 2014 10:03 AM, by Bryan Caplan) At the IEA blog, Kristian Niemietz points out that expenditure surveys fail to detect most of the tobacco sales visible in national product accounts.  For most goods, the two show broadly the same pattern: with small errors, what people profess... (5 COMMENTS)
 
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    Economist's View

  • 'Secular Stagnation or Secular Boom?'

    Mark Thoma
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:33 am
    Antonio Fatás: Secular stagnation or secular boom?: The notion that some countries are caught in a long and protracted period of low growth ... has been labeled "secular stagnation". The pessimism that the idea of secular stagnation has created has been reinforced by the notion the potential for emerging markets to grow is becoming weaker. ... Let's start with a simple chart that summarizes the pattern of annual growth in ... advanced and emerging markets... ... So stagnation might be the right label for 50% of the world, but accelerating growth is the right label for the other…
  • 'Antitrust in the New Gilded Age'

    Mark Thoma
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:24 am
    Robert Reich: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age, by Robert Reich: We’re in a new gilded age of wealth and power similar to the first gilded age when the nation’s antitrust laws were enacted. Those laws should prevent or bust up concentrations of economic power that not only harm consumers but also undermine our democracy — such as the pending Comcast acquisition of Time-Warner. ... In many respects America is back to the same giant concentrations of wealth and economic power that endangered democracy a century ago. The floodgates of big money have been opened... Remember, this is…
  • Links for 4-17-14

    Mark Thoma
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:03 am
    Piketty Day Notes - Paul Krugman Capital in the Twenty-First Century - Martin Wolf Rogoff talks financial crisis - Yale Daily News VC for the people - interfluidity Demand for Sand - Tim Taylor The dark side of wage growth - Chris Dillow A comment on Housing Starts - Calculated Risk The Housing “Recovery” - House of Debt Derivatives and the Eurozone crisis - vox Expectations Employment and Prices - Roger Farmer The Liquidity Stress Ratio - Liberty Street Economics The End of Our Financial Illusions - Simon Johnson Regulators’ attempts to hold back the financial tide are futile - FT.com…
  • 'Supply, Demand, and Unemployment Benefits'

    Mark Thoma
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:42 am
    When in need of a quick post, Paul Krugman is always a good source: Supply, Demand, and Unemployment Benefits: Ben Casselman points out that we’ve had a sort of natural experiment in the alleged effects of unemployment benefits in reducing employment. Extended benefits were cancelled at the beginning of this year; have the long-term unemployed shown any tendency to find jobs faster? And the answer is no. Let me ... ask, how was it, exactly, that reduced benefits were supposed to encourage employment in the first place? Making the unemployed miserable arguably increases labor supply, as…
  • Yellen: Monetary Policy and the Economic Recovery

    Mark Thoma
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:08 am
    Travel day today, so for now a quick repost of Janet Yellen's speech today, more later as I can: Monetary Policy and the Economic Recovery, by Janet Yellen, FRB: Nearly five years into the expansion that began after the financial crisis and the Great Recession, the recovery has come a long way. More than 8 million jobs have been added to nonfarm payrolls since 2009, almost the same number lost as a result of the recession. Led by a resurgent auto industry, manufacturing output has also nearly returned to its pre-recession peak. While the housing market still has far to go, it seems to…
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    EconTalk

  • Continuing Conversation... Steven Teles on Kludgeocracy

    Amy Willis
    16 Apr 2014 | 7:54 am
    In this week's episode, Roberts talks with political scientist Steven Teles about his recent National Affairs piece, Kludeocracy in America. In the spirit of continuing our conversation, we'd love to hear from you on the questions below. Questions below the fold: Check Your Knowledge: 1. What is "kludge," and why does Teles say the United States is a kludgeocracy? 2. What does Teles mean when he says, "we have a durable bias against undoing stuff we are already doing?" 3. Roberts says that his main take-away from Teles' article is that some elements of our constitutional system that he…
  • Steven Teles on Kludgeocracy

    Russell Roberts
    14 Apr 2014 | 3:30 am
    Steven Teles of Johns Hopkins University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about kludgeocracy, a term Teles coined in a National Affairs article to describe what Teles sees as the complex and unproductive state of political governance in the United States, particularly at the federal level. Teles argues that various rules and procedures in the Senate and the House allow politicians to slow down legislation in return for favors. Teles argues that both liberals and conservatives have an incentive to favor more transparency and a more streamlined governing process that would get things done.
  • Caplan Postmortem

    Russ Roberts
    10 Apr 2014 | 12:37 pm
    Here is my postmortem on the Caplan episode Bryan is a great debater and reasoner. Is he right on this issue? I don't know but he's provocative. I'd like to talk to someone on the other side who interprets the data differently. It's a topic I hope to come back to. Education is an easy topic to argue about partly because we've all gone to school and tend to think our experiences can help us understand what it accomplishes. But it's also possible that our experiences fool us. Just because I can't remember one moment from my 7th grade English class does not mean it had no impact. And the many…
  • Continuing Conversation... Bryan Caplan on College, Signaling, and Human Capital

    Amy Willis
    8 Apr 2014 | 7:13 am
    In this week's episode, Roberts talks with EconLog blogger Bryan Caplan about higher education. In the spirit of continuing conversation, here are some things to consider. As always, we love to hear from you! Questions below the fold: Check Your Knowledge: 1. What is the earning premium to college relative to high school, and how has it changed over time? What "psychological changes in the economy" have accounted for this change, according to Caplan? 2. In discussing the college premium, Roberts points out that the heterogeneity of the variables involved makes this figure problematic. Yet he…
  • Bryan Caplan on College, Signaling and Human Capital

    Russell Roberts
    7 Apr 2014 | 3:30 am
    Bryan Caplan of George Mason University and blogger at EconLog talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the value of a college education. Caplan argues that the extra amount that college graduates earn relative to high school graduates is misleading as a guide for attending college--it ignores the fact that a sizable number of students don't graduate and never earn that extra money. Caplan argues that the monetary benefits of a college education have a large signaling component rather than representing the value of the knowledge that's learned. Caplan closes by arguing that the subsidies to…
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    Environmental Economics

  • Another opportunity to explore the extent of solar subsidies

    John Whitehead
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:39 am
    Mark Thoma: Paul Krugman: Rising Sun: Joe Romm draws our attention to the third slice of the latest IPCC report on climate change, on the costs of mitigation; the panel finds that these costs aren’t that big — a few percent of GDP even by the end of the century, which means only a trivial hit to the growth rate. ... In fact, you should be optimistic...: the technological prospects for a low-emission economy have gotten dramatically better. It’s kind of odd how little attention the media give to the solar revolution, but this is really huge stuff: In fact, it’s possible that solar will…
  • zebrafinch3 didn't even give it a chance

    John Whitehead
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:28 am
    I saw Tim's post and clicked on the Amazon link. I love the listing -- "Used - Like New". Also, Amazon is finally recognizing that a PhD from an SEC school is not a real PhD. 
  • Well it's about dang time...

    Tim Haab
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:38 am
    In the mail yesterday--get yours today (it will help our publisher recoup our whopping advance):
  • I don't care about the lives saved, just tell me how many jobs were created!

    John Whitehead
    15 Apr 2014 | 5:06 am
    What is the economic value of research? From the Chronicle a few weeks ago: Just last week, at a budget hearing on Capitol Hill, a member of Congress cited a well-traveled number: $2.21. That figure, said Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations subcommittee in charge of education issues, is how much the National Institutes of Health generates in economic growth for every taxpayer dollar it receives. "That is an over-100-percent return on the investment," Ms. DeLauro assured her legislative colleagues. Others, including the NIH’s director,…
  • A philosopher questions happiness studies questions

    John Whitehead
    14 Apr 2014 | 5:56 am
    Daniel M. Haybron (an associate professor of philosophy at St. Louis University): What does it mean to be happy? The answer to this question once seemed obvious to me. To be happy is to be satisfied with your life. If you want to find out how happy someone is, you ask him a question like, “Taking all things together, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole?” Over the past 30 years or so, as the field of happiness studies has emerged from social psychology, economics and other disciplines, many researchers have had the same thought. Indeed this “life satisfaction” view of…
 
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    footnoted*

  • Hertz CFO being paid twice for one job

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    11 Apr 2014 | 10:14 am
    We’re always fascinated by the revolving door — and how some executives seem to make money both coming and going. One of our favorite examples was back in 2011 when Synthes CEO Michel Orsinger was hired by Johnson & Johnson. We saw fresh evidence of that earlier this week when Hilton Worldwide filed its proxy. As most people know, Hilton went public in Dec. 2013. By the time the company filed its S-1 on Sept. 12, its CFO, Thomas Kennedy, had already been gone for a month. While his separation agreement was attached to an S-1/A that the company filed on Nov. 8, we doubt that…
  • Proxy madness: mystery fees at Google

    Michelle Leder
    7 Apr 2014 | 6:09 am
    We’re deep in the midst of proxy season. Last week, for example there were 440 proxies filed. While we don’t read all of them, we continue to view proxies as important insight into how a company — and its board — thinks. As with most filings, this requires a fair amount of reading between the lines. So when we came across an odd disclosure in the proxy that Google filed shortly after 4 pm on March 28 — that’s the beginning of Friday Night Dump time as footnoted regulars know — we were a bit puzzled. For one, as we tweeted that evening, Google filed…
  • Advanced Micro Devices execs say game on!

    Michelle Leder
    26 Mar 2014 | 6:14 am
    Now that the 10-Ks are largely behind us, proxy statements are rolling in at a good and steady clip. Which means only one thing: it’s silly season for perks. To be sure, after 10-plus years of digging through SEC filings and finding all sorts of crazy things — from executive fish camps to highly valuable antique map collections — the bar for silly perks is pretty high. But when a friend of footnoted alerted us to a disclosure in Advanced Micro Devices Inc’s proxy filed yesterday, we just had to check it out for ourselves. There, on page 52 in footnote 13 to the…
  • Sears Holdings and the art of disclosure

    Michelle Leder
    21 Mar 2014 | 6:10 am
    Editors note: After this post was published, a spokesman for Sears Holdings contacted footnoted and provided a statement, which we include in italics below. As a matter of course, we typically write from the filings and do not contact the company for a comment. Last spring, Sears Holdings announced with much fanfare that it had lured Jeffrey Balagna away from Eli Lilly to replace its high-profile Chief Information Officer, Keith Sherwell. But as with most press releases, the details behind Balagna’s hiring were MIA. That changed on Monday when Sears filed its 10-K. Attached to the…
  • Stanley Black & Decker values synergy

    Michelle Leder
    12 Mar 2014 | 6:17 am
    Over the years, we’ve never ceased to be amazed about the creative names that companies come up with when it comes time to paying some of their top executives. Once upon a time, we used to keep a list of all the crazy names we’ve come across in the filings. On Tuesday, when Stanley Black & Decker filed its proxy statement, we learned about a new one: the synergy bonus. Of course, we can’t even say the word synergy without thinking of the “Synergy speech” in the 2004 movie, “In Good Company.” On page 20 of Tuesday’s proxy filing, the company…
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    Free exchange

  • Reading "Capital": Chapters 10, 11, and 12

    R.A. | LONDON
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:50 am
    LAST year Thomas Piketty, an economist at the Paris School of Economics and a renowned expert on global inequality, published a book titled "Capital in the Twenty-first Century"—in French. It was released in English on March 10th. We reviewed the book earlier this year, but it is detailed and important enough, in our opinion, to deserve additional discussion. We will therefore be publishing a series of posts over the next few weeks—live-blogging the book, as it were—to draw out its arguments at slightly greater length. You can read the previous entries for: the…
  • The spectre haunting San Francisco

    R.A. | LONDON
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:42 am
    YESTERDAY the New York Times ran a piece on a brewing rent crisis in America:For rent and utilities to be considered affordable, they are supposed to take up no more than 30 percent of a household’s income. But that goal is increasingly unattainable for middle-income families as a tightening market pushes up rents ever faster, outrunning modest rises in pay.The strain is not limited to the usual high-cost cities like New York and San Francisco. An analysis for The New York Times by Zillow, the real estate website, found 90 cities where the median rent — not including utilities —…
  • This is not a game theory

    R.A. | LONDON
    15 Apr 2014 | 4:30 am
    TYLER COWEN quotes an article in the Financial Times:Michael Ben-Gad, a professor at London’s City University who has studied the credibility of long-term promises by governments, questions whether Nato’s commitment to collective defence is absolute and asks what would happen if Russia’s border guards crossed the bridge that separates Narva from Ivangorod and took the Estonian town.“Would the US and western Europe really go to war to defend the territorial integrity of Estonia? I think Estonia has reasons to worry. Narva is the most obvious place; it is almost completely…
  • The Greek miscalculation

    R.A. | LONDON
    14 Apr 2014 | 4:12 am
    REPUTATIONALLY speaking, the European Union has had better moments (though Russia is doing its best to restore the appeal of linkages to the west). Thanks to the crisis in the euro zone, many of the EU's economies remain mired in near-recession conditions almost seven years after the first rumblings of global financial trouble. Anti-EU parties are on the rise. Just last week Britain's Institute of Economic Affairs awarded a €100,000 ($140,000) prize to the winner of a contest to design the best plan for British success after "Brexit": Britain's hypothetical departure from the union.The…
  • Interested in writing for us?

    The Economist
    10 Apr 2014 | 8:24 am
    APPLICATIONS are invited for The Economist's 2014 Marjorie Deane internships. Financed by the Marjorie Deane Financial Journalism Foundation, the awards are designed to provide work experience for a promising journalist or would-be journalist, who will spend three months at The Economist writing about economics and finance. Applicants are asked to write a covering letter and an original article of no more than 500 words that they think would be suitable for publication in the Finance and economics section. Applications should be sent to deaneintern@economist.com by April 18th. For more…
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    Greg Mankiw's Blog

  • Sometimes it's better to split the baby

    Greg Mankiw
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:16 am
    This story about the Census Bureau is amazing to me: The Census is changing its annual survey about health insurance.  As a result, the new data will not be comparable to the old, making it much harder to gauge the effects of the Affordable Care Act.Is this a White House conspiracy to hide the effects of the law, as some have suggested?  Maybe, but probably not. I have a lot of respect for the government data producers, so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt.Yet I don't see why the Bureau needs to make such a sudden change.  Why not, for a few years,…
  • The most fun event the Harvard economics department has sponsored since Kuznets did his song and dance number in drag

    Greg Mankiw
    15 Apr 2014 | 11:48 am
  • How to Give an Applied Micro Talk

    Greg Mankiw
    15 Apr 2014 | 7:33 am
    Advice from Jesse Shapiro.
  • Next time you hear someone advocate for single-payer healthcare, remember this

    Greg Mankiw
    11 Apr 2014 | 2:18 am
    From the NY Times:Two Florida doctors who received the nation’s highest Medicare reimbursements in 2012 are both major contributors to Democratic Party causes, and they have turned to the political system in recent years to defend themselves against suspicions that they may have submitted fraudulent or excessive charges to the federal government.... Topping the list is Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, 59, an ophthalmologist from North Palm Beach, Fla., who received $21 million in Medicare reimbursements in 2012 alone....  Dr. Melgen’s firm donated more than $700,000 to Majority PAC,…
  • Sentence of the Day

    Greg Mankiw
    9 Apr 2014 | 2:42 am
    For Deacon Patrick Moynihan, Head of LCS [Louverture Cleary School], the importance of teaching economics in Haiti is clear, “After theology—economics is the most important science to study because the two things that impact everyone are God and the market.”Here is the source.
 
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    Hedge fund

  • Luck or skill

    Veryan Allen
    3 Apr 2014 | 4:08 pm
    Past performance DOES predict the future if the manager is skilled. Hedge fund managers Warren Buffett and George Soros ONLY invest in skill strategies. One counterexample suffices to destroy efficient market dogma and forever eliminate the passive Taliban. I've invested client capital in so many counterexamples. The "average" is too risky for YOUR money.Mid-career professionals like Warren and George are thriving while hedge fund managers aged under 80 build experience. Over 41 years and net of fees, George turned $1,000 into $14 million and Warren to $3 million in his…
  • Hedge Fund Manager?

    Veryan Allen
    28 Mar 2014 | 8:14 am
    Hedge Fund Aptitude Test: to stay in or enter the hedge fund industry please select best answers. Competent portfolio managers score 10/10. Will you?1) Risk management: If global thermonuclear war, a Richter scale 12 earthquake, a new ice age, an alien invasion, a Texas-sized asteroid strikes your city and a world Ebola pandemic all occur today, how much money will your clients' make and how much will "cheap" index funds lose?i) I never think about my "event-driven" hedge fund being driven by eventsii) I pick stocks by visiting companies, studying balance sheets and finding value in a…
  • Flash boys

    Veryan Allen
    26 Mar 2014 | 4:08 pm
    High frequency investor? There is no long term. Sorry. Only a series of short terms and phase shifts to which portfolios must be constantly adapted. It's UNAVOIDABLE reality that we live in a high frequency world. There is no country I would invest in on a 1 year or more time horizon, no stock I would buy and hold and no manager I agree to lock ups or gates. Everyone exists under a permanent regime. RAPID CHANGE.Here's a good test for to ask your investment consultant. Ask them to recite from memory every holding in your portfolio. If they can't they are not paying enough…
  • Black swan or purple sheep

    Veryan Allen
    25 Mar 2014 | 5:07 am
    Hedge fund blog, a long only manager and an index zealot are flying to New Zealand to advise an institutional investor. As the plane lands they see one purple sheep in a field.Professor Passive says "Kiwi sheep are purple! I must buy them all now. At any price the farmers ask, no matter how expensive. No need to know the sheep's business or earnings. Forget about analysis or due diligence. Ignore risk! Prices are always correct as markets are efficient. It's not my money. I have academic tenure and a Nobel prize. Risk free...for me."Long only dude says "Some kiwi sheep are purple but the…
  • Top hedge fund

    Veryan Allen
    23 Mar 2014 | 11:08 am
    Top hedge fund? Recently I visited the offices of the world's best ever investor. Client performance needs mean I must do due diligence at all the greatest SKILL BASED managers. I work much harder than fund of funds in finding top managers. I don't bother with MARKET DEPENDENT strategies. Too risky and unsuitable for institutions and individuals with long term return targets. My alpha is manager selection; manager alpha is security selection.YOUR money is too important to be risked on "the market". I prefer allocating to talented humans that can deliver returns INDEPENDENTLY of market…
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    Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

  • The Easy Thing About “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”

    Jeff Matthews
    12 Apr 2014 | 8:18 am
     The easy thing about “The Hard Thing About Hard Things,” Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Ben Horowitz’s book about “Building a business when there are no easy answers,” is reading it.  That’s because it’s funny, to-the-point, and way more well-informed by real-world experience than most books that give advice ever are.    Like the secret to being a successful CEO: “Sadly, there is no secret, but if there is one skill that stands out, it’s the ability to focus and make the best move when there are no good moves.” And, “Managers must lay…
  • The Revolution Will Proceed, With or Without Holman Jenkins Jr.

    Jeff Matthews
    30 Mar 2014 | 5:45 am
     Once again, Holman Jenkins Jr. is defending the bad guy, this time in “Tesla Seeks Loophole, Not a Revolution” (see herefor our previous beef with the Wall Street Journal op-ed page writer). The “bad guy” Jenkins sticks up for in this weekend’s op-ed is not an individual, however, but rather the system of entrenched car dealers who have tried to shut out Tesla from selling its cars direct to consumers, with no “franchisee” in between, in various states around the country. What’s wrong with selling cars direct?  According to Jenkins, nothing,…
  • Ebay’s Got the Guy Who Helped Pioneer the World Wide Web, the Guy Who Created the Online Auctions Business, the Guy Who Helped Steve Jobs Save Apple, the Guy Who Dreamed Up Quicken, and the Guy Who Turned Around eBay on its Board; Who’s Icahn Enterprises L.P. Got?

    Jeff Matthews
    10 Mar 2014 | 5:20 am
     Carl Icahn is—and he likes to be told this—a great investor. Billions of dollars of value—literally, billions—have materialized not just in Carl’s own pocket and those of his fellow investors in Icahn Enterprises L.P., but also in the Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investment accounts of investors across America, thanks to Carl’s prodding, poking and pushing around of companies that show up on his value screen. They can be great companies with enormous cash piles and technology smarts such as Apple, which Wall Street suddenly worries will become a has-been like, say,…
  • Buffett Gives a Shout-Out, Nobody Hears It

    Jeff Matthews
    1 Mar 2014 | 4:09 pm
     Well the New York Times didn’t mention it, and the Wall Street Journal didn’t mention it, and for all we know the Arkansas Gazette didn’t mention it, either, so we’ll mention it: the giant shout-out Warren Buffett gave to Bank of America in today’s letter to shareholders.  (Turns out Carol Loomis was right on it in Fortune, here, but still...)  Until now, we avoided writing anything about the Buffett letter because his annual missive to shareholders has clearly “jumped the shark,” what with the universal breathless front-page coverage, not to mention…
  • IBM: “No, Really, We Love Our Customers! Honest! Wait! Come Back!”

    Jeff Matthews
    27 Feb 2014 | 5:04 am
     Well the IBM 2013 10K is out, and it kicks off with what can only be described as a 180-degree turn in the way the company presents itself to the public. As we pointed out here and here, IBM has spent the last five years presenting itself to the public as a shareholder-friendly—indeed, shareholder-obsessed—dividend-and-buyback machine that prided itself on jacking up margins (both gross and net) by swapping in and out of business lines,  “rebalancing” its workforce (i.e. layoffs), and avoiding the taxman however (and wherever—e.g. The Netherlands) the laws allowed it…
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    Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

  • Talk of Bloodless Coup in Donetsk; European Countries Resent US Tone; Low Hopes for Peace Talks; War, What Is It Good For?

    16 Apr 2014 | 11:13 pm
    Another bloodless coup in Ukraine is underway. This time, it's in the Donetsk region.Should it come to that ending, it would be the third Ukrainian coup in a matter of months (counting the ouster of former president Viktor Yanukovych followed by the coup in Crimea).Talk of Bloodless, Passive Coup in DonetskPlease consider Kiev’s Weak Grip on East Falters. Moscow is only an hour ahead of Donetsk but the inflammatory descriptions emanating from Russia over events in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday were much further distanced from reality.As President Vladimir Putin was talking of his…
  • Austerity In Spain? Where? Public Debt Threatens to Exceed 100% of GDP in 2014

    16 Apr 2014 | 6:29 pm
    EL Pais reports Spanish Public Debt Threatens to Exceed 100% of GDP in 2014Via translation General government debt accumulated through February was 987.945 billion euros, an amount that represents 96.5% of gross domestic product (GDP). This represents a new record in the amount of money the state, communities, and the municipalities have to return to financial institutions and investment funds. In February alone, the government liabilities increased by 8.130 billion, up 8% from the previous month.The debt problem is not just that you have to pay, but the difficulty to stop the frenzied pace…
  • Ukraine Separatists Seize Six Armored Personnel Carriers, Parade Them in Two Towns

    16 Apr 2014 | 11:17 am
    Pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine intensified their defiance against Kiev on Wednesday, seizing half a dozen armored vehicles and parading them through towns of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk.The Financial Times reports Pro-Russia forces intensify defiance in eastern Ukraine The escalating tension, a day after Kiev launched special operations against the separatists, prompted Nato to bolster its military presence on its eastern border, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the alliance’s secretary-general announced on Wednesday.Hundreds of local people in the centre of Kramatorsk cheered the vehicles and the…
  • Europe Without €: Former EU Commissioner Says "Monetary Union has Failed"

    16 Apr 2014 | 7:20 am
    Via Translation from the Italian website L'Anti Diplomatico, former EU Commissioner and and signatory of the Manifesto of European solidarity, Frits Bolkestein proclaims the "Monetary Union has Failed". In his conference "Europe Without €" held in Rome on Saturday 12 April, Fred Bolkestein, a former commissioner of the European Union and signatory of the Manifesto of European solidarity quotes former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in his address to the European Parliament in 1991: "EU policy is the essential counterpart to monetary union." The political union had to precede the formation of…
  • Gold Doomed or Resting? Gold vs. Major Currencies; Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Reiterate Sell Signal

    15 Apr 2014 | 11:17 pm
    Here are some interesting charts from my friend Nick at Sharelynx Gold. (Login Required)Gold vs. US DollarsGold vs. EurosGold vs. Ukraine HyyvniaIt took about 4,000 Hyyvnia to buy an ounce of gold at the end of 2008. It takes 17,444 now.Gold vs. Russia RublesGold vs. India RupeesGold vs. Argentina PesosGold vs. Venezuelan BolivarsGold vs. YenBy the way: Those in Argentina and Venezuela cannot buy gold at the quoted rates. The charts reflect "official" exchange rates. Black market rates are much much higher.Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Reiterate Sell SignalBloomberg reports Goldman Stands…
 
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    Overcoming Bias

  • The Future Of Intellectuals

    Robin Hanson
    14 Apr 2014 | 11:15 am
    Back in 1991, … [a reporter] described Andrew Ross, a doyen of American studies, strolling through the Modern Language Association conference … as admiring graduate students gawked and murmured, “That’s him!” That was academic stardom then. Today, we are more likely to bestow the aura and perks of stardom on speakers at “ideas” conferences like TED. … Plenty of observers have argued that some of the new channels for distributing information simplify and flatten the world of ideas, that they valorize in particular a quick-hit, name-branded,…
  • Multiplier Isn’t Reason Not To Wait

    Robin Hanson
    13 Apr 2014 | 1:20 pm
    On the issue of whether to help now vs. later, many reasonable arguments have been collected on both sides. For example, positive interest rates argue for helping later, while declining need due to rising wealth argues for helping now. But I keep hearing one kind of argument I think is unreasonable, that doing stuff has good side effects: Donating to organizations (especially those that focus on influencing people) can help them reach more people and raise even more money. (more) Giving can send a social signal, which is useful for encouraging more giving, building communities, demonstrating…
  • Rah Manic Monopolists?

    Robin Hanson
    9 Apr 2014 | 3:50 pm
    The vast majority of economic growth is caused by innovation. So when it comes to long term policy, innovation is almost the entire game – whatever policy causes substantially more innovation is probably better, even if has many other big downsides. One simple robust solution to the innovation problem would seem to be manic monopolists: one aggressively-profit-maximizing firm per industry. Such a firm would internalize the entire innovation problem within that industry, all the way from designers to suppliers to producers to customers – it would have full incentives to encourage…
  • Review of LockStep

    Robin Hanson
    8 Apr 2014 | 5:15 am
    Since the tech of science fiction tends to be more realistic than its social science, I am especially interested in science fiction praised for its social realism. Alas I usually find even those wanting. The latest such book is Lockstep. Cory Doctorow: As I’ve written before, Karl Schroeder is one of the sharpest, canniest thinkers about technology and science fiction I know. … Now he’s written his first young adult novel, Lockstep, and it is a triumph. Lockstep’s central premise is a fiendishly clever answer to the problem of creating galactic-scale civilizations in a…
  • Who Gains From Grit?

    Robin Hanson
    6 Apr 2014 | 10:25 am
    I’ve often said that while foragers did what felt natural, farmer cultures used religion, conformity, self-control, and “grit,” to get farmers do less-natural-feeling things. But as we’ve become rich over the last few centuries, we’ve felt those pressures less, and revived forager-like attitudes. Today “conservatives” and “liberals” have farmer-like and forager-like attitudes, respectively. I think the following recent quotes support this view. Tyler Cowen says workers today have less grit: There is also a special problem for some young men, namely those with especially…
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    A Dash of Insight

  • Weighing the Week Ahead: A Volatility Cocktail!

    oldprof
    12 Apr 2014 | 9:23 pm
    This week brings the makings of an explosive volatility cocktail: Important economic data; Key Q1 earnings reports; Options expiration; A short trading week; and An edgy market environment. This is a very unusual combination, and the various elements will compete for attention. Prior Theme Recap Last week I expected the theme to test the divergence between economic fundamentals and what I called "fluff." The latter term referring to the collection of top-calling, market-rigging, crash charts, and "This is the big one" stories. This was one of my better forecasts. The…
  • Strategy in the Face of Volatility

    oldprof
    10 Apr 2014 | 5:57 pm
    I planned to take tonight off since it is my Birthday and Mrs. OldProf is preparing my favorite dinner. On the other hand, I like to post whenever there is a market development that will get a lot of media buzz and contribute to investors being Scared Witless (TM OldProf). Please check out last year's post on this theme and remember how it played out. Here is the brief message: This is exactly what I said would be the theme of the week: Fluff or Fundamentals. If you have a list of stocks that you like, with appropriate price targets, you are happy to go shopping when the market provides…
  • Faceoff on Greece: An Interim Update

    oldprof
    8 Apr 2014 | 8:39 pm
    About two years ago the situation in Greece was at a flashpoint. It was at the top of the list of investor worries. Leading that argument was John Mauldin, who had written over thirty posts tagged Greece culminating with aggressive statements in June, 2012. He also has a book on the impending collapse of Europe using Greece as the poster country for a debt-ridden collapse. Mr. Mauldin has noted in his interesting and lively weekly reports that he has met with Congressional leaders who were influenced by his reasoning. At the same time, I suggested to readers that the Greek situation was…
  • Weighing the Week Ahead: Fluff or Fundamentals?

    oldprof
    5 Apr 2014 | 9:25 pm
    Sometimes markets emphasize simple themes, rejecting even modest efforts at nuance. The current big stories are the record highs in stocks, the length of time since the last significant correction, and the "market is rigged" meme. These themes are all easily grasped and interesting media fodder. It has set the agenda. Meanwhile, the economy seems to be providing a positive answer to early 2014 skepticism – Weather (!) or Not? The contrast between the economic fundamentals (and impending earnings results) and the "soft" stories will be the dominant theme during the…
  • How to Handle a Big Gain

    oldprof
    2 Apr 2014 | 6:05 pm
    Here is a happy problem: You have a large instant gain from one of your stocks. What should you do? The topic comes from an actual question raised at Scutify.com, where participants exchange ideas and get a wide range of opinions. (I get to play the role of the straight man in a world of day traders, revolutionaries, Bitcoin and gold zealots, and bubble callers. It is usually fun and there are some good ideas if you can sort through it all). The stock in question was trading about $4.00 yesterday and doubled in early trading because of a favorable ruling by an FDA Advisory Committee. Since I…
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    SeekingAlpha.com: Home Page

  • Interactive Brokers Could Benefit From Michael Lewis' Flash Boys

    17 Apr 2014 | 5:48 am
    By Mike Arnold:The world of high frequency trading ("HFT") was recently brought to light again by Michael Lewis' book, Flash Boys. While I won't opine on the practice of HFT, instead I want to focus on a business that could potentially benefit from additional regulatory scrutiny.The business in question is Interactive Brokers (IBKR), which I covered here, here and here [now exclusive to Seeking Alpha PRO subscribers].Interactive Brokers is made of an electronic brokerage ("the brokerage") and market making ("the market maker") business.IBKR is majority owned by Founder and CEO Thomas…
  • Linn Energy: Is This The Bottom?

    17 Apr 2014 | 5:43 am
    ByCasey Hoerth:For those long Linn Energy (LINE) or LinnCo (LNCO), 2014 has thus far been a bit disappointing despite the conclusion of the SEC inquiry and the execution of the acquisition of Berry Petroleum. Linn's quarterly guidance was disappointing, as were full-year results for 2013. Distribution coverage for 2013 was a razor-thin 1.01 times, a trend that looks to continue in 2014 as the Berry acquisition has proved to be not yet accretive to cash flow per share.As a result, shares and units of both the corporation and the partnership have dropped from around $33 to around $27 and $28,…
  • A Bullish Disconnect Between Stocks And Inflation

    17 Apr 2014 | 5:34 am
    By James Picerno: There's a growing list of economic clues that suggest that the moderate pace of expansion, although battered and bruised in January and February, revived last month. Consider yesterday's update on industrial output, which increased 0.7% in March - a gain that translates into a respectable 3.8% annual rise. Housing starts still look shaky, but most of the other key indicators at the end of this year's first quarter point to growth. Here's one more piece of empirical support for thinking positively when it comes to the macro trend: stable inflation expectations and a rising…
  • Consolidated Edison Might Not Be A Good Option

    17 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    By Gemstone Equity Research:Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED) is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the U.S. Consolidated Edison is a holding company that owns the Consolidated Edison of New York "CECONY," a regulated utility providing electric, gas, and steam services in New York City and Westchester County, the Orange and Rockland Utilities "O&R," a regulated utility, and the competitive energy businesses that sell electricity to retail customers. The company provides a wide range of products and services to its customers through its subsidiaries. The Earnings are not…
  • All America Latina Is Getting Taken-Out In A Stock-For-Stock Deal

    17 Apr 2014 | 5:27 am
    By Mike Arnold:Given my tendency to follow the international markets, I have been passively watching All America Latina (OTCQX:ALLAY) ("ALL"), a Brazilian rail and logistics operator for some time now. However, 2013 was not a kind year to ALL, which saw its stock price drop precipitously in conjunction with various operational mishaps and the Argentine government revoking certain of its rail concessions. (click to enlarge) ALLAY data by YChartsLike usual, however, low prices beget opportunity. Early in 2014, rumors of a potential takeover by a subsidiary of the Brazilian conglomerate Cosan…
 
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Looking for Bayesian expertise in India, for the purpose of analysis of sarcoma trials

    Andrew
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:47 am
    Prakash Nayak writes: I work as a musculoskeletal oncologist (surgeon) in Mumbai, India and am keen on sarcoma research. Sarcomas are rare disorders, and conventional frequentist analysis falls short of providing meaningful results for clinical application. I am thus keen on applying Bayesian analysis to a lot of trials performed with small numbers in this field. I need advise from you for a good starting point for someone uninitiated in Bayesian analysis. What to read, what courses to take and is there a way I could collaborate with any local/international statisticians dealing with these…
  • When you believe in things that you don’t understand

    Andrew
    15 Apr 2014 | 6:46 am
    This would make Karl Popper cry. And, at the very end: The present results indicate that under certain, theoretically predictable circumstances, female ovulation—long assumed to be hidden—is in fact associated with a distinct, objectively observable behavioral display. This statement is correct—if you interpret the word “predictable” to mean “predictable after looking at your data.” P.S. I’d like to say that April 15 is a good day for this posting because your tax dollars went toward supporting this research. But actually it was supported by the…
  • Transitioning to Stan

    Andrew
    14 Apr 2014 | 7:50 am
    Kevin Cartier writes: I’ve been happily using R for a number of years now and recently came across Stan. Looks big and powerful, so I’d like to pick an appropriate project and try it out. I wondered if you could point me to a link or document that goes into the motivation for this tool (aside from the Stan user doc)? What I’d like to understand is, at what point might you look at an emergent R project and advise, “You know, that thing you’re trying to do would be a whole lot easier/simpler/more straightforward to implement with Stan.” (or words to that…
  • On deck this week

    Andrew
    14 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Mon: Transitioning to Stan Tues: When you believe in things that you don’t understand Wed: Looking for Bayesian expertise in India, for the purpose of analysis of sarcoma trials Thurs: If you get to the point of asking, just do it. But some difficulties do arise . . . Fri: One-tailed or two-tailed? Sat: Index or indicator variables Sun: Fooled by randomness The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • “If you are primarily motivated to make money, you . . . certainly don’t want to let people know how confused you are by something, or how shallow your knowledge is in certain areas. You want to project an image of mastery and omniscience.”

    Andrew
    12 Apr 2014 | 11:17 am
    A reader writes in: This op-ed made me think of one your recent posts. Money quote: If you are primarily motivated to make money, you just need to get as much information as you need to do your job. You don’t have time for deep dives into abstract matters. You certainly don’t want to let people know how confused you are by something, or how shallow your knowledge is in certain areas. You want to project an image of mastery and omniscience. The op-ed is by New York Times columnist David Brooks, and I assume my correspondent was pointing to this recent post. But she could’ve been…
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    Streetsblog New York City

  • NYC: East 106th Street Road Diet and Bike Lanes Head to Manhattan CB 11

    Stephen Miller
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:01 pm
    DOT is proposing a road diet for East 106th Street. CB 11′s transportation committee could vote on it as soon as next month. Image: DOT Running between Fifth Avenue and FDR Drive, 106th Street in East Harlem should provide a key bike connection between Central Park and Randall’s Island. NYC DOT is proposing a road diet and painted bike lanes [PDF] to improve safety on the street, and Community Board 11′s transportation committee could vote on the plan soon. At 60 feet wide, 106th Street currently has two car lanes in each direction, even though one lane each way could…
  • NYC: Will Bratton Open Up Data on Traffic Crashes That Involve NYPD?

    Brad Aaron
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:57 am
    The senior who was seriously injured by the driver of a marked patrol car on the Upper West Side last weekend is the latest known victim of a crash involving a police driver, and the incident serves as a reminder that the NYPD keeps such data under wraps. Felix Coss was one of several pedestrians killed in recent years by an NYPD driver. The department does not publicize statistics on crashes involving NYPD vehicles. In recent years, operators of cruisers and other NYPD vehicles have killed pedestrians Felix Coss, Ryo Oyomada, Tamon Robinson, and Kok Hoe Tee, and police chases have preceded…
  • NYC: Icy and Dicy: Bridge Bike Commuters Report Hazards After Late Snowfall

    Stephen Miller
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:29 am
    “N’ice day to walk your bike to work,” tweeted Wiliamsburg Bridge commuter Will Sherman. Photo: Will Sherman/Twitter It wasn’t enough snow for a sneckdown, but last night’s storm did mess with more than a few commutes this morning. Bike commuters discovered slippery conditions riding across the East River after winter threw one more dusting of snow at New York City. Although the thin coating of snow on city streets melted under this morning’s sun, cyclists riding across the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, and Queensboro Bridges encountered stretches of…
  • NYC: Today’s Headlines

    Stephen Miller
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:59 am
    City Hall Talking With Yankees About Soccer Stadium Deal on Failed Parking Garage (CapNY) State DOT Sidesteps Key Funding and Policy Issues in Complete Streets Report (MTR) SUV Driver Crashes Head-On Into MTA Express Bus on First Avenue in Midtown, Injuring Two (WNBC) MTA to Repair Long-Closed Subway Entrance at Dyckman Street, Make Building Owner Pay (DNA) Anti-Carriage Group Releases Electric Car Design; Tabloids Are Unimpressed (WNYC, Post, News) NYU to Monitor Pedestrian Traffic (But Not Parking?) at Hudson Yards (Crain’s) Architects Design Futuristic Development Above Woodside…
  • NYC: Plaza Upgrades Planned Beneath Train Viaduct on Queens Blvd in Sunnyside

    Stephen Miller
    15 Apr 2014 | 1:58 pm
    Roberto Buscarsi plays during Make Music New York at 40th Street and Queens Boulevard. The parking in the background will remain, but space beneath the elevated 7 train in Sunnyside is set for some plaza improvements. Photo courtesy Sunnyside Shines BID The parking-flanked space in the middle of Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, beneath the vaulted elevated train viaduct at 40th and 46th Streets, today looks more forgotten than fun. The Sunnyside Shines BID is hoping to change that, and their plan to upgrade the pedestrian space was recently accepted by NYC DOT’s pedestrian plaza program.
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    The Big Picture

  • Why Has Hedge Fund AUM Hit New Record Highs?

    Barry Ritholtz
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    I have been fairly fascinated by hedge funds for quite some time. I began studying them earlier last decade. It has been an intriguing field for investigation for a number of reasons: 1) Alpha Generators: In the early days of hedge funds, they created a ton of Alpha. Like pre-expansion sports leagues, there was a limited number of talented managers, and most were superstars. 2) Brilliant Characters: The managers of some better-known funds are brilliant and insightful investors. Their Alpha generation suggests as much. But they are also characters in the fullest sense of that word: Quirky,…
  • How Do Investors Fight Through Market Noise?

    Barry Ritholtz
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:30 am
    Bloomberg’s Barry Ritholtz examines how investors react to big market moves, the role of fundamental analysis in today’s markets and the recent rough road for IPOs on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”
  • One Currency, Two Markets: The renminbi’s growing influence in Asia-Pacific

    Guest Author
    17 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
  • 10 Wednesday PM Reads

    Barry Ritholtz
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:30 pm
    My afternoon train reading: • Stop sabotaging your investments (MarketWatch) see also Ignore the Market, Watch the Data (Bloomberg View) • Stiglitz: How Much Trading Should There Be? (Bloomberg View) • Jeff Kleintop Sees Good Earnings Growth Ahead (Barron’s) see also Economic recovery accelerates as winter turns to spring (The Term Sheet) • Too Big to Jail (Newsweek) • Offshore Tax Havens Cost You $1,259 a Year (Fiscal Times) • Tesla vs. the Auto Dealers (New Yorker) • Stockbrokers who repeatedly failed a qualifying exam have worse disciplinary records (WSJ) • Why…
  • Wall Street Animals

    Barry Ritholtz
    16 Apr 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Hat tip Creators.com
 
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    The Epicurean Dealmaker

  • In Loco Parentis

    13 Apr 2014 | 4:53 pm
    “You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or… drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish. But they’ll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father.”— ParenthoodOne of the advantages of being a sole pseudonymous proprietor of an obscure online opinion emporium—insulated from the interference of officious editors, hypersensitive advertisers, and unhinged commenters still seething over the unflattering piece I posted about their dipsomaniac uncle six years ago—is the freedom to write whatever I will. Periodically then, this freedom licenses me to post…
  • The School of Hard Knocks

    10 Apr 2014 | 8:31 pm
    Power Figure, Kongo Peoples, 19th C.I am no student (We’re going down to meetFeel those vibrations) Of ancient culture(I know a neat excavation)Before I talkI should read a bookBut there’s one thingThat I do know:There’s a lot of ruinIn Mesopotamia— The B-52s, “Mesopotamia”Megan McArdle penned an impassioned plea last week for the (presumably elite, corporate, Bloomberg-View-reading)1 employers of America to consider hiring more ex-slackers. Notwithstanding her acknowledged bias as a self-described ex-slacker herself, Ms McArdle argued this made sense for two reasons: first, young…
  • This Situation Absolutely Requires a Really Futile and Stupid Gesture

    1 Mar 2014 | 9:55 am
    Bluto: “Hey! What’s this lyin’ around shit?”Stork: “What the hell we supposed to do, ya moron?”D-Day: “War’s over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.”Bluto: “What? Over? Did you say ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the… Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”Otter: [aside] “Germans?”Boon: “Forget it, he’s rolling.”Bluto: “And it ain’t over now. ’Cause when the goin’ gets tough…”Bluto: Bluto: Bluto: “The tough get goin’! Who’s with me? Let’s go!”— Animal HouseHamilton Nolan posted a really stupid piece on…
  • Venn Diagram

    20 Feb 2014 | 9:06 pm
    Anselm Kiefer, Sulamith, 1983If I make the lashes dark And the eyes more bright And the lips more scarlet, Or ask if all be right From mirror after mirror, No vanity’s displayed: I’m looking for the face I had Before the world was made. What if I look upon a man As though on my beloved, And my blood be cold the while And my heart unmoved? Why should he think me cruel Or that he is betrayed? I’d have him love the thing that was Before the world was made.— William Butler Yeats, “Before the World Was Made”De gustibus non est disputandum.— Latin maximMan believes that the world…
  • Gedankenexperiment

    10 Feb 2014 | 8:58 pm
    Do you wrestle with dreams? Do you contend with shadows? Do you move in a kind of sleep? Time has slipped away. Your life is stolen. You tarried with trifles, Victim of your folly.— Dirge for Jamis on the Funeral Plain, from “Songs of Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan— Frank Herbert, DuneI learned a very interesting fact today, O Dearly Beloved. Apparently, if you select a random entry from the online encyclopedia of human knowledge known as Wikipedia and click on the first linked term in the top entry and each linked entry thereafter (aside from italicized preambles and…
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    VoxEU.org: Recent Articles

  • Derivatives and the Eurozone crisis

    16 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Anne-Laure Delatte, Julien Fouquau, Richard Portes, 17 April 2014In retrospect, it is striking that the sovereign bond spreads of peripheral Eurozone countries surged while the economic conditions were gradually deteriorating. This column provides a new explanation for this phenomenon. It suggests that the markets in credit default swap indices have exacerbated shocks to economic fundamentals. The same change in fundamentals had a higher impact on the spread during the crisis period than it had previously.Full Article: Derivatives and the Eurozone crisis
  • Learning about global value chains by looking beyond official trade data: Part 2

    15 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Zhi Wang, Shang-Jin Wei, Kunfu Zhu, 16 April 2014One common measure of trade linked international production networks is the so-called VAX ratio, i.e. the ratio of value-added exports to gross exports. This column argues that this measure is not well-behaved at the sector, bilateral, or bilateral sector level, and does not capture important features of international production sharing. A new gross trade accounting framework is proposed that can better track countries’ movements up and down global value chains.Full Article: Learning about global value chains by looking beyond official trade…
  • Taxing, spending, and inequality

    14 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Benedict Clements, David Coady, Ruud de Mooij, Sanjeev Gupta, 15 April 2014The causes and consequences of rising inequality have stirred a lively debate on appropriate policy responses. This column reviews how governments have successfully used fiscal policy to address distributive concerns. It also examines the policy alternatives that countries can pursue in order to reduce income and wealth inequality at a minimum cost to efficiency. Such policies include exploitation of property taxes, reductions in tax deductions that favour upper-income groups, investing in increasing the human capital…
  • Predicting economic turning points

    13 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Hites Ahir, Prakash Loungani, 14 April 2014Forecasters have a poor reputation for predicting recessions. This column quantifies their ability to do so, and explores several reasons why both official and private forecasters may fail to call a recession before it happens.Full Article: Predicting economic turning points
  • UK growth: A new survey of macroeconomists

    13 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Angus Armstrong, Francesco Caselli, Jagjit Chadha, Wouter den Haan, 14 April 2014Fears that the financial crisis will have a significant negative impact on long-term UK economic growth are unfounded, according to a majority of the UK macroeconomics profession surveyed by the Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM). What’s more, the inaugural CFM survey, summarised in this column, indicates some optimism about the UK’s immediate capacity for higher growth: while roughly half of the respondents share the views of the Office of Budget Responsibility, the other half is substantially more optimistic…
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    OUPblog

  • A conversation with Craig Panner, Associate Editorial Director of Medicine Books

    VictoriaD
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    Few fields develop as rapidly as medicine, with new breakthroughs in research, tools, and techniques happening everyday. This presents an interesting challenge for many medical publishers — trying to get the latest information to students, practitioners, and researchers as quickly and accurately as possible. So we are delighted to present a Q&A with Associate Editorial Director of Medicine Books, Craig Panner. Craig began his career at Oxford University Press eight years ago, and currently works across Oxford University Press’s medicine titles. In the interview below, Craig…
  • Creative ways to perform your music: tips for music students

    VictoriaD
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:30 am
    By Scott Huntington Many music students have difficulty finding new venues in which to perform. A lot of the time it’s because we let our school schedule our performances for us. We’ll start the semester and circle the dates on the calendars that include our concerts and recitals, and that will be it. That’s fine, and can keep you pretty busy, but I’m here to tell you to get out there and plan on your own. You’ll become much more confident and even perform better at your concerts once you get a few smaller gigs under your belt. Here’s a few tips to help you along the way: Don’t…
  • What’s the secret to high scores on video games?

    KatherineS
    17 Apr 2014 | 1:30 am
    By Siu-Lan Tan When playing video games, do you play better with the sound on or off? Every gamer may have an opinion, but what has research shown? Some studies suggest that music and sound effects enhance performance. For instance, Tafalla (2007) found that male gamers scored almost twice as many points while playing the first-person shooter game DOOM with the sound on (chilling music, weaponfire, screams, and labored breathing) compared to those playing with the sound off. On the other hand, Yamada et al. (2001) found that people had the fastest lap times in the racing game Ridge Racer…
  • Prime Minister’s Questions

    Sara Pinotti
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:30 am
    By Andrew Dobson “Noisy and aggressive,” “childish,” “over the top,” “pointless.” These are just a few recent descriptions of Prime Minister’s Questions – the most watched event in the Parliamentary week. Public dismay at PMQs has led the Speaker, John Bercow, to consult with party leaders over reform.  The Hansard Society asked focus groups what they thought of PMQs as part of its annual look at public engagement. Nearly half said the event is “too noisy and aggressive”, the same proportion as those who felt that MPs behave unprofessionally. Meanwhile, a…
  • Henry Bradley on spelling reform

    Alice
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    By Anatoly Liberman Last week I wrote about Henry Bradley’s role in making the OED what it is: a mine of information, an incomparable authority on the English language, and a source of inspiration to lexicographers all over the world. New words appear by the hundred, new methods of research develop, and many attitudes have changed in the realm of etymology since the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, but nothing said in the great dictionary has become useless, even though numerous conjectures and formulations have to be revised. Unfortunately, the world knows…
 
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    Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

  • Tunnel Vision

    Don Boudreaux
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:28 am
    (Don Boudreaux) So far, the discussion – sparked by Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys – about the privately planned and financed construction of a tunnel in which a fiber cable is run from Chicago to New Jersey misses some important points.  (I reach this assessment without having read everything that’s out there on the matter.  It’s possible that I’ve missed some sterling blog posts or magazine essays on the matter.)  The object of the tunnel’s builders is to shave a few milliseconds off of the time that it takes traders in New Jersey to get information…
  • Some Links

    Don Boudreaux
    16 Apr 2014 | 7:59 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) Richard Rahn is rightly appalled by civil asset forfeiture. George Will righty applauds the truth that Tim Sandefur emphasizes about the U.S. Constitution and America’s founders.  Here’s Will’s conclusion: Sandefur says progressivism “inverts America’s constitutional foundations” by holding that the Constitution is “about” democracy, which rejects the framers’ premise that majority rule is legitimate “only within the boundaries” of the individual’s natural rights. These include — indeed, are mostly — unenumerated rights whose existence…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:23 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 1 of William Baumol’s, Robert Litan’s, and Carl Schramm’s 2007 book, Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity (emphasis added): The most astonishing thing about the extraordinary outpouring of growth and innovation that the United States and other economies have achieved over the past two centuries is that it does not astonish us.  Throughout most of human history, life expectancy was about half what it now is, or even less.  We could not record voices or speech, so no one knows how Shakespeare…
  • Taking Stock of Robert Reich

    Don Boudreaux
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:31 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to the producer of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”: Producer, Morning Joe MSNBC Dear Sir or Madam: On yesterday’s show Robert Reich proclaimed that “we really do have to spread, seriously, ownership because if most of the gains are coming from stock-rate gains, the whole country ought to be part of that.” One would think that a former U.S. Secretary of Labor would have heard of the institution called “the stock market.”  Anyone can buy shares of corporate stock there.  The existence of this market and the ready…
  • Spontaneous Underpinnings of Spontaneous Order

    Don Boudreaux
    15 Apr 2014 | 10:08 am
    (Don Boudreaux) I just ran across this 22-year-old essay by Albert Loan on spontaneous order.  I was in law school when I first read this essay.  I enthusiastically recommended it to several of my classmates.  Sadly, most did not understand Bert’s point, for it challenges directly what is perhaps the strongest implicit presumption of most legal scholars and law students today – namely, that law must be designed and enforced by a sovereign. Alas, I’d forgotten about Bert’s superb essay until, quite by chance, I ran across it just now while doing a google search.  I…
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    Dollars & Sense Blog

  • David Cay Johnston at the JP Forum, Tuesday 4/15

    Chris Sturr
    14 Apr 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Please join us this Tuesday, April 15th for a Tax Day talk by David Cay Johnston:  “Taxes and Inequality: Fixing A Broken System” Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 7:00 pm at  First Church JP, 6 Eliot St, Jamaica Plain, MA.  Hosted by the Jamaica Plain Forum. Please RSVP here or reply to this email.   Dollars & Sense is honored to co-sponsor a Tax Day conversation with David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and author of Free Lunch andPerfectly Legal, this Tuesday, April 15th, from 7-8:30 pm. While at The New York Times, Johnston won the 2001…
  • Congressman Bill Foster Explains Why Middle Class Tax Cuts Lead to Economic Growth

    Polly Cleveland
    6 Apr 2014 | 12:53 pm
    [Bill Foster (IL-11) says it better than I could myself—Polly] Washington, DC, Friday, April 4, 2014 – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) spoke on the House floor against H.R. 1874, which would direct the Congressional Budget Office to selectively use dynamic scoring in its analyses of tax and budget legislation.  The selective use of so-called dynamic scoring is a misleading attempt by House Republicans to justify tax breaks for the wealthy. Foster also spoke about the return-on-investment from to tax cuts for middle class families compared to tax cuts for the wealthy.  If you give…
  • New Issue!

    Chris Sturr
    29 Mar 2014 | 10:37 am
      (You may have noticed some problems with the blog–several of the posts from earlier this year have strangely disappeared.  I managed to repost Polly Cleveland’s most recent post, about water rights in California, but then noticed that several others had disappeared. I think it is WordPress database corruption, but I am not sure. I hope to clear it up soon.) Our March/April issue is (finally) out!  I have sent the full-color pdf to e-subscribers, and our printers have all the files to start printing.  See above–the cover (I forgot to email myself a larger version of…
  • Full-Page NYT Ad Against Proponents of Wage Hike

    Alejandro Reuss
    28 Feb 2014 | 6:06 am
    Click on image for full-sized pdf. In a full-page ad in Thursday’s New York Times, the Employment Policies Institute urged readers to “take a closer look” at eight of the 600 economists who have signed a petition endorsing a minimum-wage increase. (Four of the eight have written for Dollars & Sense.) The ad gives supposedly damning quotations for each, including four that characterize the individual as a “Marxist” of one kind or another. In most cases, these are quotations from the authors’ own work, and it is not our aim here to dispute that they…
  • Increasing the Minimum Wage Can Actually Create Jobs—If It’s Enforced

    Polly Cleveland
    13 Feb 2014 | 3:39 pm
    Back when I first studied economics, we “proved” in class that a minimum wage causes unemployment. You just draw supply and demand curves for labor, add a horizontal line for a wage above the “market clearing” competitive equilibrium wage, and—bingo!—a gap appears between labor supply and labor demand. Q.E.D. I took this orthodoxy on faith until 1992.That’s when David Card and Alan Krueger’s famous paper “Minimum Wages and Employment” appeared, comparing unemployment among fast food workers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania before and after New Jersey raised the minimum wage.
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    Blockindicator of Solar Green Energy Growth

  • Electricity From Green Energy

    block
    7 Apr 2014 | 9:45 pm
    Normally, workplace creates more greenhouse gases as as compared to homes and even factories. For example, a photocopier that is left on constantly for 7 years over its two-million copies life would eat substantial quantity of electrical energy, documents and toners. It likewise needs air-conditioning to cool down the operating heat. The greenhouse gas discharges might easily go beyond 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide which is more than the complete greenhouse gas emissions of a typical home over the very same 7-year period. Environment-friendly Electrical energy Workplace Equipment…
 
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    Credit Slips

  • Suffolk/NCLC Student Loans Symposium

    Dalié Jiménez
    15 Apr 2014 | 2:25 pm
    I had the pleasure of participating in this weekend's very successful Research Symposium on Student Loans organized by Kathleen Engel of Suffolk Law School and Deanne Loonin of the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) (NCLC, by the way, is looking to hire three attorneys!). In this post I want to mention some of the highlights. The symposium was not your typical academic conference. Although almost 20 papers were presented during the two days, a number of participants were from industry and nonprofits. Participants also heard from an NCLC client who had actually dealt with student loan…
  • Pre-paid Cards Enter the Credit Market, Thwarting the Primary Impetus for Using the Cards

    Nathalie Martin
    3 Apr 2014 | 10:24 am
    A while back, The PEW Charitable Trust did two fascinating papers, found here and here, on prepaid cards. The studies reported that nearly 12 million consumers loaded more than $64 billion onto prepaid cards in 2012, and that three of the top 10 companies now offering prepaid cards are highly recognizable banking institutions that did not offer the product before. This is a big change. Indeed, we here at credit slips do not even have a category for stories on pre-paid cards, but the cards are the next big thing. Since these reports came out, I have seen numerous conferences advertised to…
  • Thank You to Javier Arias and Andrew Dawson

    Bob Lawless
    3 Apr 2014 | 8:06 am
    On behalf of everyone at Credit Slips, I wanted to thank Professor Javier Arias of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and Professor Andrew Dawson of the University of Miami. It takes time out of a busy schedule to contribute to the Credit Slips community, and their contributions are well appreciated. Javier brought us up to date on the recent changes in the Spanish insolvency regime, and Drew offered his thoughts on some developments in chapter 15/transnational insolvency as well as on labor rights in chapter 11. Thank you again, both of you.
  • Reflections on the Dark Side

    Susan Block-Lieb
    2 Apr 2014 | 3:36 pm
    Thanks to all who commented on my earlier post on the interaction of §§ 544(a)(3) and 551 and homeownership in bankruptcy; as hoped, CreditSlip readers helped me frame the questions that I continue to have about Traverse and the larger policy questions it raises. Some readers emphasized the importance of variations in state mortgage law to the trustee’s strong-arm powers; others questioned whether these distinctions should affect the trustee’s power to sell the residence (or the avoided lien) following avoidance. Clearly, the trustee had the power to avoid the unrecorded mortgage in…
  • Supreme Court denies certiorari in Sinkfield (chapter 7 lien strip-off case)

    Jean Braucher
    31 Mar 2014 | 9:30 pm
    The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition for writ of certiorari in Bank of America v. Sinkfield, an 11th Circuit case raising the issue whether a junior lien wholly unsupported by collateral value can be stripped off in chapter 7.  The high court's denial of certiorari yesterday (March 31) is a victory not only for the debtor who prevailed in the case below but also for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, represented by the National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center, which argued in an amicus brief against Supreme Court review on the ground that the case…
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    NYT > Business Day

  • Jobless Claims Rise Less Than Expected

    By REUTERS
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:33 am
    The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week and remained near its pre-recession levels, offering further evidence of the economy's underlying strength.
  • DealBook: Morgan Stanley’s Earnings Increase 18%

    By PETER EAVIS
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:32 am
    Morgan Stanley’s results were driven in part by surprisingly strong performance in the bank’s fixed-income division, which trades bonds, derivatives and commodities.
  • DealBook: Profit and Revenue Drop at Goldman Sachs

    By RACHEL ABRAMS
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:01 am
    Goldman Sachs on Thursday reported a drop in first-quarter profit, to $2.03 billion, reflecting declines in its fixed-income unit and overall revenues, but its results beat expectations.
  • General Electric Earnings Fall, Outlook Strong

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:48 am
    General Electric is reporting lower net income than a year ago because last year’s results included the sale of NBC Universal. But the company said industrial divisions performed well and the economic environment was “positive.”
  • PepsiCo Jumps on Snack Sales, Cost Cuts

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:33 am
    PepsiCo reported a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit as the company slashed costs and sold more snacks around the world.
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    The Aleph Blog

  • On Approximate Valuation Methods

    David Merkel
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:25 pm
    The growth of corporations is always constrained by something.  The trick is figuring out what the “something” is.  Tonight, I am here to simplify it for you.Financial businesses that are regulatedWe value these via book value or tangible book value.  Capital levels constrain business growth, so look at the return on equity to help modify what the proper valuation level should be.  Book value and return on equity are what govern.Non-financial businesses that are regulated, such as utilities Look to the rate base that the regulators use.  Book value might be a good…
  • Peterson’s Guide to Financial Blog Commenters

    David Merkel
    15 Apr 2014 | 11:26 pm
    I’ve been blogging for over seven years… this is just an experiment, and unlikely to be repeated.  Here goes:Have you ever read through comment streams on major financial news and blogging websites?  Or the Message Boards at Yahoo?  It is often ugly, bitter, and uninformed.  That’s why I am bringing to you the Peterson’s Guide to Financial Blog Commenters!  Let’s have a look at the zoo:The Insult MastersThere are many who can’t argue the details of an article, so it saves time and face to insult the author or other commenters.  These are all too…
  • On a Concentrated Bond Market

    David Merkel
    14 Apr 2014 | 9:55 pm
    There have been a few articles recently on the underperformance of Pimco, and on the increasing concentration on the buy side of the bond market.  There is danger here for large active managers and their clients.Two years ago, I wrote a piece called Don’t Become the Market.  Though the piece doesn’t talk about it, I wrote it partly to explain the “London Whale” problem of JP Morgan.  Anytime you become big relative to a market that you use, your own actions affect the prices of the market.  This means that a market dominated by a firm or set of firms pursuing a…
  • Sorted Weekly Tweets

    David Merkel
    12 Apr 2014 | 8:36 pm
    US Policy & PoliticsNearly Half of Dodd-Frank Rules Still Unwritten http://t.co/TwzSawT298 Experiment of regulation by study committees continues albeit slow $$ Apr 12, 2014Banks Given Two Extra Years to Fully Comply With Volcker Rule http://t.co/XVfO9CKMm7 Banks prefer abolition; Fed offers a delay $$ #more? Apr 12, 2014How Big Banks Created a Fed to Serve Their Own Interests http://t.co/tUlNYE3px5 Fed almost always ends up being a shill 4 the banks $$ $XLF Apr 12, 2014Angry students snap photos of lunches, tell Michelle Obama: ‘You call this a [expletive]…
  • On Rising Rate Funds, or, Who Remembers ARM Funds in the Early ’90s?

    David Merkel
    12 Apr 2014 | 11:20 am
    In the early 90s, there were not many investment actuaries.  One of the Holy Grail ideas of the early-to-mid ’90s was creating floating rate funds with yield so that floating rate Guaranteed Investment Contracts could be profitably written.  I chronicled my efforts there in this article.One avenue that I went down and rejected was ARM [Adjustable Rate Mortgage] funds.  There was a minor craze for them in the early-to-mid ’90s, and there were not enough ARMs issued to meet the demand for high floating rates.  As such, the prices for blocks of ARMs rose above par, sometimes…
 
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    Quoting the Crisis

  • Class War with a Smiley Face

    31 Mar 2014 | 7:20 am
    Class War with a Smiley Face: When we hear about wage theft, we usually think of cases involving low-wage-earning retail or fast-food workers. But middle-class professionals have also frequently been victims of the practice. For example, like the Silicon Valley workers, nurses have had their earnings artificially depressed by wage-fixing cartels of their own. More broadly, middle class wages have declined or stagnated for years now (depending on which income group you look at), with economic gains being siphoned off by those at the top. It’s not just poor people or blue- and pink-collar…
  • "Few topics in American society have more myths and stereotypes surrounding them than poverty,..."

    31 Mar 2014 | 3:40 am
    “Few topics in American society have more myths and stereotypes surrounding them than poverty, misconceptions that distort both our politics and our domestic policy making. They include the notion that poverty affects a relatively small number of Americans, that the poor are impoverished for years at a time, that most of those in poverty live in inner cities, that too much welfare assistance is provided and that poverty is ultimately a result of not working hard enough. Although pervasive, each assumption is flat-out wrong.” - Mark R. Rank (via azspot)
  • "The wealthy 0.01% minority who rule over the 90% majority understands that the future of their..."

    30 Mar 2014 | 3:37 pm
    “The wealthy 0.01% minority who rule over the 90% majority understands that the future of their system depends on convincing or paying off 9.99% of the population who become the opinion leaders, the managers, the foremen, the supervisors, the small businessmen and the other shock troops of the system. The rich are like the pathetic men who frequent red-light districts — they must pay for it — and the right wing columnists/celebrities/media hacks/researchers do it for money, often working in the political equivalent of brothels, called think tanks. The choices offered young writers,…
  • New Co-op storm as board awards bosses huge pay and bonus...

    8 Mar 2014 | 2:53 pm
    New Co-op storm as board awards bosses huge pay and bonus deals Jamie Doward, theguardian.com Secret board documents revealed as battle looms with Co-operative membersThe embattled Co-operative Group, still reeling from a banking scandal and preparing to lay off up to 5,000 employees, faces a new storm over plans to pay its chief execut…
  • This Is Janet Yellen’s Biggest Challenge Matthew...

    16 Feb 2014 | 10:13 am
    This Is Janet Yellen’s Biggest Challenge Matthew O’Brien, theatlantic.com Forward guidance might only be as good as the data is bad.The Fed is try­ing to put back with the right hand what it’s tak­ing away with the left. But it might need to use both togeth­er if it’s going to speed up the recov­ery.Ever since…
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    24/7 Wall St.

  • Snack Food Sales Boost Pepsi Earnings

    Paul Ausick
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:25 am
    PepsiCo reported better-than-expected first-quarter 2014 results before markets opened Thursday morning, due largely to cost-cutting and higher snack-food sales.
  • Goldman Sachs Delivers on Earnings and Book Value Growth

    Jon C. Ogg
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:20 am
    Goldman Sachs is still a new Dow Jones Industrial Average component, and now the bulge bracket investment banking firm is out with its first-quarter earnings for 2014.
  • DuPont Blames the Weather for Earnings Miss

    Trey Thoelcke
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:05 am
    DuPont reported first-quarter results before markets opened Thursday that fell short of consensus expectations. It said adverse weather conditions reduced earnings but operating margins improved.
  • Morgan Stanley Stays Profitable

    Paul Ausick
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:45 am
    Morgan Stanley reported better-than-expected first-quarter results before markets opened Thursday. The bank has now posted a profit -- and beat earnings estimates -- in five consecutive quarters.
  • Weibo, the Twitter of China, Debuts Weak IPO Pricing

    Jon C. Ogg
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:35 am
    Weibo has priced its initial public offering of 16,800,000 shares at $17 per share for trading on Thursday. What investors will want to keep in mind was that it was expecting to sell 20 million...
 
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    The Baseline Scenario

  • Rumsfeldian Journalism

    James Kwak
    16 Apr 2014 | 4:30 am
    By James Kwak I still have Nate Silver in my Twitter feed, and I used to be a pretty avid basketball fan, so when I saw this I had to click through: Just how bad were the @DetroitPistons‘ Bad Boys? http://t.co/q7A05JunDn#Detroitpic.twitter.com/SOOkfzCqq4 — FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) April 15, 2014 In the article, Benjamin Morris tries to analyze how “bad”* the Detroit Pistons of the late 1980s and early 1990s (Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn, Dennis Rodman, etc.) were, with full 538 gusto: “That seems like just the kind of thing a data-driven operation might want…
  • Defending Kickbacks

    James Kwak
    15 Apr 2014 | 11:39 am
    By James Kwak The Wall Street Journal reports that the SEC will soon decide (well, sometime this year) whether brokers should be subject to a fiduciary standard in their dealings with clients, as registered financial advisers are today. At present, brokers only need to show that investments they recognize are “suitable” for their clients—roughly speaking, that they are in an appropriate asset class. Not surprisingly, the brokerage industry is up in arms. They want to be able to push clients into the products for which they receive the highest commissions—a practice that (they…
  • What Might Have Been . . .

    James Kwak
    11 Apr 2014 | 12:23 pm
    By James Kwak I was reading the plea deal in the SAC case, which was approved by the judge yesterday, and then I started reading the criminal indictment filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. What I noticed was how relatively simple it was for the prosecutors to convict SAC Capital for the insider trading committed by its employees. In short, because the firm enabled and benefited from the employees’ crimes, the firm was itself criminally liable. Looking back at the enormous amount of effort the Southern District has put into Preet Bharara’s crusade against insider trading,…
  • The Absurdity of Fifth Third

    James Kwak
    9 Apr 2014 | 9:53 am
    By James Kwak No, I’m not talking about the fact that a major bank is named Fifth Third Bank. (As a friend said, why would you trust your money to a bank that seems not to understand fractions?) I’m talking about Fifth Third Bancorp. v. Dudenhoeffer, which was heard by the Supreme Court last week. The plaintiffs in Fifth Third were former employees who were participants in the company’s defined contribution retirement plan. One of the plan’s investment options was company stock, and the employees put some of their money in company stock. (Most important lesson here:…
  • Disability Insurance Basics

    James Kwak
    8 Apr 2014 | 11:30 am
    By James Kwak A while back I wrote a post critical of a Planet Money/This American Life episode on disability insurance. Among other things, I thought that the episode made too much of the fact that the number of people on federal disability insurance (SSDI or SSI) has gone up since the financial crisis. The book I’m currently reading with my daughter at family reading time (she just finished a fictional book about a Polish immigrant girl in a mining community in the late nineteenth century) is Social Insurance: America’s Neglected Heritage and Contested Future, by Theodore…
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    Trends... Find them, ride them and get off.

  • Sports and Markets…DraftKings and Stocktwits

    Howard Lindzon
    16 Apr 2014 | 4:33 am
    Stocktwits is partnering through the summer with DraftKings – a New Fantasy Game that traders and investors love. DraftKings.com host rapid-fire fantasy sports contests, where you can both have fun and win cash. Their contests for PGA are simple — pick the best possible team of golfers under the designated salary cap, watch them perform over the weekend and collect your money when the tournament is over. Contests in other sports, like NBA and MLB, last just 1-day. DraftKings has a special contest—hidden from the rest of their customers—just for people at who click on this link.
  • The ‘Quantified Us’…The Future of Niche and Vertical Social Networks Like Stocktwits

    Howard Lindzon
    14 Apr 2014 | 6:31 am
    I was excited to see Stocktwits mentioned in ‘Wired’ recently in an article entitled ‘Forget the Quantified Self. We Need to Build the Quantified Us‘. The gist: The Quantified Us should be based on a select group of people who share similar goals, health conditions, or even similarity of emerging data patterns. They could be your friends, but they’re more likely strangers who happen to have a lot in common with you. We are already starting to see the beginnings of a Quantified Us movement starting to emerge, though we feel its full potential is untapped: StockTwits…
  • Social Data Boom – More Important Than You Think for Markets, Trading and Investing

    Howard Lindzon
    13 Apr 2014 | 3:38 pm
    One of our partners, GNIP, has an awesome whitepaper on ‘Social Media and Markets: The Coming of Age‘. It is well worth a download and read. I have been relying on social data very heavily since 2005. It is the year I started blogging, and here is the proof. It is amazing how many of those bloggers, investors and sites I followed back in 2005 (check that blogroll on the right side) continue to be my faves today. The biggest difference about blogging in 2005 versus today is the messiness of the platforms and the pages which I miss today and will likely return (that is a subject for…
  • The Stock Market in April 2014 – Burgers, Bandaids and Broken IPO’s

    Howard Lindzon
    11 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    The title sums up today’s stock market. We are in the midst of a technology boom, but it is burgers and bandaids that rule. Take a look at the charts of Mcdonalds (MCD) and Johnson and Johnson (JNJ): Now let’s take a look at the current IPO market. Healtcare and Software – a no brainer right?…nope: Here is a broken 3D printing IPO The idea of an ETF for IPO’s is really smart and useful, but maybe just the timing was a signal to be careful. The ETF is down 14 percent in just the last 3 weeks: The stock market is a wierd and whacky place. There is so much day to…
  • Twitter is the ‘Real’ Flappy Bird….and other Fear Mongering Headlines

    Howard Lindzon
    10 Apr 2014 | 11:24 am
    Twitter is locked in a sickening grind lower for the last two months. They are not alone. A lot of momentum stocks are down 30-50 percent from January highs. Take a look at 3D printing leader of 2013 DDD which Deutsche Bank upgraded their price target to $160 in January: (The DOODLE faeture in the upcoming ChartIQ release is wicked fun) I have been a little conservative since January and on March 10th starting adding a few index shorts on Stocktwits when some indicators starting flashing caution to me. Not enough as usual. Look at the Bankers bonuses that were ratcheting up and the biotech…
 
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    Economic Principals

  • A Hundred Years from Now

    admin
    13 Apr 2014 | 12:52 pm
    After spending a couple of days last week at the annual conference on macroeconomics of the National Bureau of Economics (more about that in July), I spent the remainder of my time last week reading In 100 Years: Leading Economists Predict the Future  (MIT Press, 2013), a collection of essays edited by Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, a professor of management and strategy at the London School of Economics. His Beautiful Game Theory: How Soccer Can Help Economics is scheduled to appear next month. What does it take to persuade ten distinguished economists to go out on a limb?  An invitation, for…
  • Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum – Why Choose?

    admin
    6 Apr 2014 | 1:17 pm
    For all the political controversy surrounding the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the remarkable thing is how few persons are affected by it. The first annual period of open enrollment ended last week, 7.1 million persons have signed up. Never mind the political bickering about the composition of the group – it is inside-baseball stuff, at least until plans begin setting their 2015 rates, early next year.  Never mind the more interesting question of why the implementation of the program was so badly botched. (Why are governments, at least in the US, so generally bad at buying…
  • Economic Principals Is Not Writing Today

    admin
    30 Mar 2014 | 3:08 pm
    Back next week! Share/Bookmark
  • The Spring Snaps Back

    admin
    23 Mar 2014 | 1:32 pm
    There was no particular moral to it when my old friend Fred Pillsbury told me the story of what happened the day his detachment of Marines in Okinawa learned that a second atom bomb had been dropped on Nagasaki and that the Pacific war was over. For weeks they had been preparing on Okinawa to invade Japan. “Everyone walked off whatever job they were doing and started to drink. There were terrible fights that night, sailors with soldiers, Seabees with Marines.” In time, Pillsbury’s story has become central to my understanding of US history in the twenty-odd years since the Cold War…
  • The Future of the Bundle

    admin
    16 Mar 2014 | 1:59 pm
    This week marks the beginning of Economic Principals’ thirteenth year as an online outlet instead of a newspaper column. EP’s proprietor was in a stock-taking mood. What’s been happening to the news business since he changed stands? I turned to newsman Felix Salmon’s five-part online series to find out. Dense with links, nearly all of them worth looking at, Content Economics has appeared at intervals February 2013-February 2014 on the Reuters website. That took most of a morning. I read it again in the afternoon. Salmon, for those who don’t know him (he is Felix to everyone else),…
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • Markets in everything, positive pregnancy tests

    Tyler Cowen
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:28 am
    The latest, uh, must-have appears to be positive pregnancy test results. Women across the country are selling — and buying — them on Craigslist. One post from Buffalo, New York, sums up the appeal for potential shoppers: “Wanna get your boyfriend to finally pop the question? Play a trick on Mom, Dad or one of your friends? I really don’t care what you use it for.” That particular test was going for the reasonable rate of $25 dollars. The tests in Texas seem to be slightly more expensive, at $30 a pop. There is more here, via Marcela Veselková.
  • Understanding the Great Recession

    Tyler Cowen
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:23 am
    That is the new paper by Christiano, Eichenbaum, and Trabandt, and it is the most thorough study of the topic I know.  They arrive at this conclusion, the last sentence being of particular interest to me (emphasis added): We argue that the vast bulk of movements in aggregate real economic activity during the Great Recession were due to financial frictions interacting with the zero lower bound. We reach this conclusion looking through the lens of a New Keynesian model in which firms face moderate degrees of price rigidities and no nominal rigidities in the wage setting process. Our model does…
  • The increasing costs of renting

    Tyler Cowen
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:52 am
    For rent and utilities to be considered affordable, they are supposed to take up no more than 30 percent of a household’s income. But that goal is increasingly unattainable for middle-income families as a tightening market pushes up rents ever faster, outrunning modest rises in pay. The strain is not limited to the usual high-cost cities like New York and San Francisco. An analysis for The New York Times by Zillow, the real estate website, found 90 cities where the median rent — not including utilities — was more than 30 percent of the median gross income. In Chicago, rent as a…
  • Vancouver’s cheapest house?

    Tyler Cowen
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:42 am
    A house listed for just under $600,000 in East Vancouver sold for $643,000 after its first weekend on the market. According to the Huffington Post B.C., Vancouver’s cheapest listed single family home attracted large numbers to open houses, with two written offers pushing the final purchase price seven per cent over asking. The price of the 100-year-old, 1,951-square-foot, three-bedroom, detached house at 2622 Clark Dr. was set low initially due to its smaller size and half lot site. “It’s very rare, and that’s why all the excitement,” said RE/MAX realtor Mary…
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:54 am
    1. Do sex ratios affect bird behavior?  And moody lizards. 2. The Brazilian gun library. 3. The (homoerotic) culture that is Finland.  Note that the link is itself…homoerotic.  And the Indian Supreme Court recognizes transgender as a third gender. 4. Excellent Jesse Shapiro slides on how to give an applied micro talk (pdf).  It starts with: “Your audience does not care about your topic.  You have one or two slides to change their minds.”  And the short list for the Clark medal, Jesse is on it. 5. NYT profile of Peter Chang. 6. The problems of Singapore. 7. Scott Sumner…
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    This Is Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • What I Am Going to Be Reading on the Plane Tomorrow...

    J. Bradford DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:41 pm
    David M. Glantz, [Endgame at Stalingrad](a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0700619542/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0700619542&linkCode=as2&tag=brde-20)
  • Noted for Your Afternoon Procrastination for April 16, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:53 am
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Things to Read on the Afternoon of April 16, 2014 Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Afternoon Must-Read: Tyler Cowen (2008): Keynes’s General Theory, Chapter Four, The Choice of Units Washington Equitable Center for Growth | What Was I Thinking as 2008 Turned into 2009?: Wednesday Focus: April 16, 2014 Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Insights on Changes in Lifetime Earnings Inequality and Educational Attainment Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Afternoon Must-Read: Martin Wolf: Review of…
  • Principles of Economics * Macroeconomics * The Government Budget

    J. Bradford DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:35 am
    20140416 Budgeting and Macro Policy.pdf | 20140416 Budgeting and Macro Policy.ppt | 20140416 Budgeting and Macro Policy.key
  • Principles of Economics * Macroeconomics * Business-Cycle Recap

    J. Bradford DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:01 am
    20140416 Business Cycle Summary.pdf | 20140416 Business Cycle Summary.ppt | 20140416 Business Cycle Summary.key
  • What Was I Thinking as 2008 Turned into 2009?: Wednesday Focus: April 16, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:51 am
    Over at the Washignton Center for Equitable Growth: The slides from the talks I was giving as 2008 turned into 2009. The huge hole in them is the lack on my part of any consideration of the possibility that we might not do what was necessary--that we might fail to use fiscal and banking policy on a large-enough scale to rebalance aggregate demand at full employment in a short-run of two to three years... Sigh... I simply assumed that the political and economic logic would work together: the political logic was that all incumbents of whatever party were at grave risk in the next election if…
 
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    Dani Rodrik's weblog

  • Higher food prices are good for the poor ... in the long run

    Dani Rodrik
    28 Mar 2014 | 6:01 am
    Guest post by Derek Headey A few years ago Dani very kindly let me guestblog on some of my work on the global food crisis (see here and also Dani’s much earlier comments here). In that earlier work I used Gallup World Poll data on subjective food security to conclude that the 2007-08 global food “crisis” seemingly had no adverse impact on the world’s poor. As The Economist noted (here), my results were subsequently corroborated by World Bank estimates, which suggested that global poverty continued to fall through the 2007-08 food crisis. In my most recent paper, however, I find an…
  • If the rest of the world really want to help Turkey

    Dani Rodrik
    21 Feb 2014 | 12:59 am
    Here is the one paragraph version of what is happening in Turkey. During the last decade in which he has been in power, Erdogan has allowed the Gulen movement to take control over the police, judiciary, and large parts of the state apparatus. The Gulen movement in turn established a republic of dirty tricks, with illegal wiretaps and video recordings, fabricated evidence, framing of innocent people, slander and disinformation as its modus operandi.  The monster Erdogan created eventually turned against him as the common enemy, the military and the rest of the secular establishment, were…
  • Economics as craft

    Dani Rodrik
    3 Jan 2014 | 5:20 am
    I have an article in the IAS’s quarterly publication, the Institute Letter, on the state of Economics.  Despite the evident role of the economics profession in the recent crisis and my critical views on conventional wisdom in globalization and development, my take on the discipline is rather positive. Where we frequently go wrong as economists is to look for the “one right model” – the single story that provides the best universal explanation.  Yet, the strength of economics is that it provides a panoply of context-specific models. The right explanation depends on the…
  • On premature deindustrialization

    Dani Rodrik
    11 Oct 2013 | 5:40 am
    Traditional economies grow and develop first by industrializing, and then by moving into services.  This has been the classic path to economic and political modernity. A few non-Western countries have been able to replicate this path: Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea are examples that come immediately to mind. I have been concerned for some time that for most latecomers this path has become increasingly difficult to traverse.  It is not that industrialization has gotten entirely out of reach. Most poor countries do experience some industrialization, and China has become the…
  • Goodbye Harvard, hello Institute for Advanced Study

    Dani Rodrik
    27 Jun 2013 | 6:49 am
    So big changes ahead for me. This is my last week at Harvard, as I am moving to the Institute for Advanced Study as the Albert O. Hirschman professor in the School of Social Science.  Here is the Institute’s official announcement.  My new home page is here, although it is barely under construction at the moment. (The Institute is located in Princeton, N.J, but no, it is not part of or affiliated with Princeton University.) Counting my undergraduate years, I have spent a total of 27 years at Harvard -- an inordinately long time. Harvard has been incredibly good to me, even though…
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    99% Invisible

  • 110- Structural Integrity

    Roman Mars
    15 Apr 2014 | 12:40 pm
    When it was built in 1977, Citicorp Center (later renamed Citigroup Center, now called 601 Lexington) was, at 59 stories, the seventh-tallest building in the world. You can pick it out of the New York City skyline by its 45-degree angled top. But it’s the base of the building that really makes the tower so unique. The bottom nine of its 59 stories are stilts. This thing does not look sturdy. But it has to be sturdy. Otherwise they wouldn’t have built it this way. Right? The architect of Citicorp Center was Hugh Stubbins, but most of the credit for this building is given to its…
  • 109- Title TK

    Roman Mars
    8 Apr 2014 | 12:07 pm
    The name is important. It’s the first thing of any product you use or buy or see. The tip of the spear. You are bombarded by thousands of names every day. In this daily barrage, only the names that are most interesting and most pleasant on the tongue can survive in your memory. So it’s no surprise that companies—especially large ones like Sony or Procter & Gamble—hire naming companies. That is, there are companies that come up with names for things. Cars, lines of yogurt, iPhone apps, small businesses, sodas, movies, and even theories have all been named by professionals.
  • 108- Barcodes

    Roman Mars
    1 Apr 2014 | 3:42 pm
    When George Laurer goes to the grocery store, he doesn’t tell the check-out people that he invented the barcode, but his wife used to point it out. “My husband here’s the one who invented that barcode,” she’d occasionally say. And the check-out people would look at him like, “you mean there was a time when we didn’t have barcodes?” A time without barcodes is hard to imagine now. But it wasn’t that long ago, and the story doesn’t start with George Laurer. It starts with an engineer named Joseph Woodland.
  • 107- Call Now

    Roman Mars
    25 Mar 2014 | 1:54 pm
    When it’s three o’clock in the morning and everything is going wrong in your life, there’s a certain kind of ad you might see on basic cable. Lawyers–usually guys–promise to battle the heartless, tight-wad insurance companies on your behalf. There’s disaster footage and stiff readings off of cue cards. The ads look like they were made in a high school A.V. class. Believe it or not, lawyer ads are actually tightly regulated. There was an era before ads like these were allowed–and a big bang after which they couldn’t be contained. And now, the legal world is in a…
  • 106- The Fancy Shape

    Roman Mars
    17 Mar 2014 | 10:47 pm
    Quatrefoil is the name of the four-lobed cloverleaf shape. It’s everywhere: adorning Gothic cathedrals, more modern churches, Rhode Island mansions, mission-style roofs in California, and decorating victorian homes from coast to coast. It’s embroidered on bedding, plastered on wallpaper, and patterned on public garbage cans. The quatrefoil has been re-interpreted and re-contextualized in a phenomenon called “iconographical drift.” The associations with the shape are constantly shifting depending on where it’s used, who is using it, and the purpose for which it is used.
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    bank-o-meter.com

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - What is Really Plausible

    Sinclair Noe
    16 Apr 2014 | 4:05 pm
    What is Really Plausibleby Sinclair NoeDOW + 162 = 16,424SPX + 19 = 1862NAS + 52 = 408610 YR YLD + .01 = 2.63%OIL + .05 = 103.81GOLD - .20 = 1303.20SILV + .07 = 19.73Let’s start with some earnings news and then we’ll move over to economic data. Google posted $3.4 billion in net income, or $5.04 per share, in the three months ended March 31, compared to $3.3 billion, or $4.97 per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 19% to $15.4 billion, but analysts had estimated $15.5 billion, and the shares were getting clobbered in late trades. IBM reported its lowest quarterly revenue in five…
  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - Yellen in the Lions' Den

    Sinclair Noe
    15 Apr 2014 | 4:05 pm
    Yellen in the Lions' Denby Sinclair NoeDOW + 89 = 16,262SPX + 12 = 1842NAS + 11 = 403410 YR YLD - .01 = 2.62%OIL - .22 = 103.83GOLD – 24.20 = 1303.40SILV - .41 = 19.66Stocks were all over the place today. We started with triple digit gains for the Dow Industrials, dipped to triple digit losses, then back into positive territory for the close with the major indices closing just below their morning highs. This kind of volatility does not engender confidence; it does warrant caution. The utilities sector gained 1.3% and finished ahead of the other groups, extending its YTD gain to 11.8%; the…
  • Monday, April 14, 2014 - Blood Moon and More

    Sinclair Noe
    14 Apr 2014 | 4:04 pm
    Blood Moon and Moreby Sinclair NoeDOW + 146 = 16,173SPX + 14 = 1830NAS + 22 = 402210 YR YLD + .02 = 2.64%OIL - .11 = 103.63GOLD + 8.20 = 1327.60SILV un = 20.07Here’s what you can expect; the Earth will eclipse the moon tonight about 10:58PM pacific time, adjust according to your time zone. The eclipse will take some time, a few hours. The moon will shift color from orange to blood red to brown, again depending on you locale and the weather. It should be interesting. The stock markets started the day in positive territory and as trading dragged on, the major indices moved lower on the very…
  • Friday, April 11, 2014 - Corrupt or Incompetent, Take Your Pick

    Sinclair Noe
    11 Apr 2014 | 4:10 pm
    Corrupt or Incompetent, Take Your Pickby Sinclair NoeDOW – 143 = 16,026SPX – 17 = 1815NAS – 54 = 399910 YR YLD - .01 = 2.62%OIL - .07 = 103.33GOLD + .30 = 1319.40SILV - .07 = 20.06The S&P 500 closed at its lowest level in two months. The gauge slipped 2.7% this week, the biggest loss since 2012. The Dow Industrial are down 2.4% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.3% today, capping its biggest two-day retreat since 2011; and down 3.1% for the week; closing at its lowest level in 4 months. The major US indices are all back in the red year to date. Biotechs fell for the…
  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 - Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

    Sinclair Noe
    10 Apr 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Mr. Toad’s Wild Rideby Sinclair NoeDOW – 266 = 16,170SPX – 39 = 1833 (-2.1%)NAS – 129 = 4054 (- 3.1%)10 YR YLD - .06 = 2.62%OIL - .20 = 103.40GOLD + 5.80 = 1319.10SILV + .19 = 20.13If you want to know why the stock market is up one day and down the next, and not just little moves but triple digit swings – I don’t know. If anybody says they know, they probably don’t. Maybe it’s the Fed, maybe it is earnings reporting season, maybe it’s a strong economy or a weak economy, or maybe the markets are just trying to imitate Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. The one thing we know is that…
 
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    About.com US Economy

  • March .2% Price Increase Hides Surprising Weaknesses

    15 Apr 2014 | 8:39 am
    Now that the worst of the winter storms have passed, energy prices fell .1%, thus keeping the lid on inflation. In March, fuel oil costs were 2.9% lower, after rising 4.1% in February. This offset a 7.5% increase in natural gas prices, which drove electricity costs up 1.1%. Gas prices fell  a welcome 1.7%, as they did in February....Read Full Post
  • Why March 1.1% Retail Sales Growth Is Good, Not Great

    15 Apr 2014 | 12:32 am
    Investors were relieved when retail sales rose a healthy 1.1% in March. Sales only rose a paltry .7% in February and fell .6% in January, thanks to brutal winter storms throughout much of the country. The improvement in March sales signals that shoppers are returning to stores as the weather improves....Read Full Post
  • 3 Ways Ukraine's Crisis Affects You

    13 Apr 2014 | 10:46 pm
    Russia extended its grip over Ukraine this weekend, as camouflaged troops and local rebels took over city halls and police stations throughout the east. That area is home ethnic Russians who don't want to be part of the European Union. However, those Russians were moved there by Joseph Stalin 50 years ago to strengthen the Soviet Republic's hold on the area. (Source: BBC, Ukraine Crisis: What Is Happening Where?, April 14, 2014)...Read Full Post
  • Why Is April 15 Tax Day?

    13 Apr 2014 | 7:51 am
    A reader asked why April 15 was chosen as tax day. Originally, back  in 1913, the deadline was March 1. That's because Congress passed the 16th Amendment, which created the income tax  on February 3, 1913. Congress gave everyone a year plus six weeks as the first deadline. The Revenue Act of 1918 moved the date forward to March 15. In 1955 some tax-code revisions pushed the date a month further, to April 15....Read Full Post
  • Where Are We in the Business Cycle and Why Should You Care?

    11 Apr 2014 | 1:22 am
    Do you share this reader's concern? I don't recognize the business cycle well and consequently, I did not get out of the stock market early before the contraction hit. I feared putting too much money into the stock market in the beginning of the expansion cycle. I wonder whether you have articles that give clear indication of where we are now in terms of the business cycle,  and suggested stock picks (or mutual funds/ETFs) for the current moment?...Read Full Post
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    Economix

  • The End of Our Financial Illusions

    By SIMON JOHNSON
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Much progress has been made on overseeing the largest banks, but a good deal more must be done to toughen standards and end government subsidies, an economist writes.
  • Stealth Taxes Are Still Income Taxes

    By CASEY B. MULLIGAN
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:44 am
    The Affordable Care Act imposes economic burdens that are the equivalent of taxes, an economist writes.
  • On Tax Day: What’s Fair?

    By JARED BERNSTEIN
    15 Apr 2014 | 11:46 am
    If the rich are getting richer, and the middle class incomes are stagnating, it seems fair that the rich pay more in taxes, writes an economist.
  • How Working Women Help the Economy

    By ANNIE LOWREY
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:39 am
    The shift of women into the workplace is one of the less heralded drivers of economic expansion. If American women didn't work, the economy would be about 11 percent smaller.
  • Opportunity for All and Social Innovation: Obama’s Policy Agenda

    By LAURA D'ANDREA TYSON and JONATHAN GREENBLATT
    13 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    The federal government is trying to involve private investors in programs that seek to solve societal problems, an economist and a White House official write.
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    iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

  • The Future of the State Revisited: Reforming Public Expenditure

    iMFdirect
    16 Apr 2014 | 7:46 am
    By: Sanjeev Gupta and Martine Guerguil The global financial crisis brought to the fore the question of sustainability of public finances. But it merely exacerbated a situation that was bound to attract attention sooner or later—governments all over the world have been spending more and more in recent decades. Here at the IMF, we’ve been looking into the factors behind this increase in public spending, particularly social spending, and our latest Fiscal Monitor report discusses some of the options for spending reform. Explaining the Growth of Government How much governments spend mainly…
  • Socrates & the Pope: Overheard at the IMF’s Spring Meetings

    iMFdirect
    14 Apr 2014 | 1:41 pm
    By IMFdirect editors Socrates’ famous method to develop his students’ intellect was to question them relentlessly in an unending search for contradictions and the truth—or at the very least, a great quote. The method was alive and well among the moderators, panelists and audiences of the IMF’s Spring Meetings seminars that took place alongside official discussions, where boosting high-quality growth, with a focus on the medium term, was at the top of the agenda.  Our editors fanned out and found a couple of big themes kept coming up.  Here are some of the highlights. Monetary policy…
  • Europe’s Economic Outlook

    iMFdirect
    11 Apr 2014 | 11:30 am
    By Reza Moghadam Economic growth across Europe is slowly picking up, which is good news. But the recovery is still modest and measures to boost economic growth and create jobs are important. Western Europe: picking up the pace The recovery projected last October for the euro area has solidified. This is reflected in our revised forecasts—e.g., the 2014 forecast for the euro area is up from 1 percent last October to 1.2 percent now, with important upgrades in countries like Spain. These revisions reflect the stronger data flow on the back of past policy actions, the revival of investor…
  • Arab Economic Transformation Amid Political Transitions

    iMFdirect
    11 Apr 2014 | 7:37 am
    By Masood Ahmed (version in عربي) The International Monetary Fund released today a new paper entitled “Toward New Horizons—Arab Economic Transformation amid Political Transitions.” The paper makes the case for the urgency of launching economic policy reforms, beyond short-term macroeconomic management, to support economic stability and stronger, job-creating economic growth in the Arab Countries in Transition—Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen. These countries face the risk of stagnation if reforms are delayed further.Economic conditions have deteriorated from…
  • Public Finances Are on the Mend, but No Clean Bill of Health

    iMFdirect
    9 Apr 2014 | 8:38 am
    By Sanjeev Gupta and Martine Guerguil (Version in Español Français, Русский, 中文, and 日本語) We’ve had a spate of good news on the economic front recently. Does this mean that we are finally out of the fiscal woods? According to our most recent Fiscal Monitor report, not yet, as public debt remains high and the recovery uneven. First, the good news. The average deficit in advanced economies has halved since the 2009 peak. The average debt ratio is stabilizing. Growth is strengthening in the United States and making a comeback in the euro area, and should benefit from…
 
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    EconomicPolicyJournal.com

  • Why Young Male Doctors Earn Much Higher Incomes Than Young Female Doctors

    17 Apr 2014 | 4:58 am
    By Thomas Sowell The "war on women" political slogan is in fact a war against common sense. It is a statistical fraud when Barack Obama and other politicians say that women earn only 77 percent of what men earn — and that this is because of discrimination. It would certainly be discrimination if women were doing the same work as men, for the same number of hours, with the same amount of
  • NYC's Socialist Mayor Sure Doesn't Like to Pay Taxes

    16 Apr 2014 | 8:08 pm
    NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has released his tax returns for 2013. According to WSJ, de Blasio earned $165,000 as public advocate last year and brought in an additional $52,000 in rent on a second home he owns in Park Slopes. de Blasio’s effective tax rate was, get this, 8.3%.
  • Laurence Vance with the Big Questions

    16 Apr 2014 | 5:56 pm
    Laurence writes: Why does the federal government have a Bureau of Land Management? Why does the federal government still own land outside of D.C.?
  • FIGHTING THE STATE: Battling the First FAA Prosecution of a Civilian Drone

    16 Apr 2014 | 5:03 pm
    In this video Luke Rudkowski interviews Brendan Schulman of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, a lawyer who is taking on first ever FAA case against a drone.
  • Some Sanity on Ukraine from the Council on Foreign Relations: Decentralization is the Solution

    16 Apr 2014 | 3:54 pm
    The Council on Foreign Relations put out this release earlier today: Dear Colleague, Yesterday, Russian president Vladimir Putin declared that Ukraine was on the “brink of civil war.” He might be right writes American University professor Keith Darden in Foreign Affairs. Even more than the battle between Russia and the West, the internal cleavages within the country threaten to tear it
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    Visualizing Economics

  • Real Price of Gold since 1791–2013

    Catherine Mulbrandon
    27 Mar 2014 | 9:57 am
    We've Moved! Update your RSS reader. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.visualizingeconomics.com/visualizingeconomicsUpdate your RSS reader with this new subscription address to get your latest updates from Visualizing Economics. Or switch to an email subscription
  • Demographics of households between $30,000 and $80,000

    Catherine Mulbrandon
    19 Mar 2014 | 1:52 pm
    We've Moved! Update your RSS reader. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.visualizingeconomics.com/visualizingeconomicsUpdate your RSS reader with this new subscription address to get your latest updates from Visualizing Economics. Or switch to an email subscription
  • Demographics of households with incomes above $80,000

    Catherine Mulbrandon
    12 Mar 2014 | 3:03 pm
    We've Moved! Update your RSS reader. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.visualizingeconomics.com/visualizingeconomicsUpdate your RSS reader with this new subscription address to get your latest updates from Visualizing Economics. Or switch to an email subscription
  • The Defining 20 US Industries

    Catherine Mulbrandon
    14 Feb 2014 | 9:05 am
    We've Moved! Update your RSS reader. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.visualizingeconomics.com/visualizingeconomicsUpdate your RSS reader with this new subscription address to get your latest updates from Visualizing Economics. Or switch to an email subscription
  • Stock Exponential Growth Rates

    Catherine Mulbrandon
    20 Jan 2014 | 1:30 pm
    We've Moved! Update your RSS reader. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.visualizingeconomics.com/visualizingeconomicsUpdate your RSS reader with this new subscription address to get your latest updates from Visualizing Economics. Or switch to an email subscription
 
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    Carl Futia

  • Guesstimates on April 16, 2014

    16 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    June S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1840-1858. The midpoint of the drop from 1892.50 is 1848. If the ES spends most of a day session above that level I would conclude that the market is headed to new highs. QQQ:  Downside target is 83.50. More weakness than that would probably break the 200 day moving average which would be a very bearish development. TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: The reaction is over and the euro is headed for 1.42.Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. May Crude:…
  • Guesstimates on April 15, 2014

    15 Apr 2014 | 5:57 am
    June S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1822-1834. I think a drop of at least 110-150 points is underway. QQQ:  Downside target is 83.50. More weakness than that would probably break the 200 day moving average which would be a very bearish development. TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: The reaction is over and the euro is headed for 1.42.Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. May Crude:  If crude has spent several days trading mostly above 103 resistance but so far has not spent much…
  • Guesstimates on April 14, 2014

    14 Apr 2014 | 6:11 am
    June S&P E-mini Futures: I think a drop of at least 110-150 points is underway. Today’s range estimate is 1815-1834. QQQ:  Downside target is 83.50. More weakness than that would probably break the 200 day moving average which would be a very bearish development. TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: The reaction is over and the euro is headed for 1.42.Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. May Crude:  If crude spends a day trading above 103 resistance I will look for continuation up to 111. June…
  • Guesstimates on April 11, 2014

    11 Apr 2014 | 6:15 am
    June S&P E-mini Futures: The ES collapsed yesterday without spending much time above 1861. I think a drop of at least 110-150 points is underway. Today’s range estimate is 1806-1826. QQQ:  Downside target is 83.50. More weakness than that would probably break the 200 day moving average, a very bearish development. TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: The reaction is over and the euro is headed for 1.42.Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. May Crude:  If crude spends a day trading above 103…
  • Attention Traders

    10 Apr 2014 | 9:36 am
    As you know I have started to post the S&P E-mini trades I make in my trading seminar CarlFutiaRealTime  on this blog's Twitter feed (at the top of the right hand column). You can follow me here on Twitter for free but keep in mind that the trade postings are delayed 5-10 minutes. Since I started posting these trades on October 14 they have generated  72 points profit on a one contract basis. This is a return of 36% on a 10k trading account to margin a single contract (a very conservative approach since day trade margin on a single contract is only about $2,500). Since the start…
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    True Economics

  • 17/4/2014: Savings and Income in Ireland: ILCU new survey data

    17 Apr 2014 | 2:53 am
    New survey from the ILCU on income and savings conditions for Irish households shows:1,696,000 people in Ireland have EUR100 or less left at the end of each month once the bills and taxes are paid, up 32,000 on December 2013 figure.Total population of Ireland aged 15 and older is estimated by the CSO to be 3,585,400, which means that a whooping 47% of people are living on incomes with basically zero risk cushion when it comes to covering normal expenses and with no means for securing retirement savings.1,154,000 live on income that delivers only EUR50 or less at the end of the month for…
  • 16/4/2014: Tearing Up Ukraine Well Before Crimea

    16 Apr 2014 | 3:24 pm
    Per Foreign Affairs (hardly a pro-Russian platform): two maps of two consecutive Governments in Ukraine showing the drivers of national rifts between Western and Eastern Ukraine:Yanukovich Presidency (last Government Cabinet)Maidan (Yatsenyuk Government Cabinet)I don't see Russian tanks in either of them. But I do see venal incompetence and nationalist preferences in both that are intrinsic to two, allegedly, different Governments.As I noted before, Ukraine needs a Government of National Unity, not a pro- or anti- Moscow/Maidan/EU/Nato/US/China/Japan/UN/IMF/... Government.
  • 16/4/2014: EU Parliament Passes Bail-ins, SRM and MiFID2

    16 Apr 2014 | 9:07 am
    So the EU Parliament voted in the three proposals relating to banking sector 'reforms' in the EU. These includedSRM set up - a EUR55bn Single Resolution Fund to be used as the last line of defence in the future banking crises. Here is an earlier note on how effective that will be in stopping bank runs: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2013/12/11122013-europe-have-any-firepower-for.html You can see recent assessment of the directive by the IMF and myself here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2013/03/1532013-imf-assessment-of-euro-area.htmlBank Restructuring and Resolution…
  • 15/4/2014: Flat Tax for Italy? Ask PIN...

    15 Apr 2014 | 3:04 am
    Last week Italy sold EUR3.5 billion in 2016 Bonds today at an average yield 0.93% and with bid cover of 1.41, delivering a record low yield. At these yields, it is easy to think that the Italian fiscal and economic crises are over. Or at least that they are easing substantially enough to allow for the repricing of risks and some breathing space when it comes to markets expectations concerning euro area's third largest economy.However, despite the positive news, Italy's economy remains a 'sick man' of Europe and it has been such for some time now. More importantly, the problem is unlike to go…
  • 10/4/2014: The curse of Long-Term Joblessness

    11 Apr 2014 | 3:13 am
    This is an unedited version of my Sunday Times column from March 30, 2014The unemployment crisis has not passed unnoticed in many households. Ours’ is no exception. Back in 2008, for a brief period of time, both of us found ourselves out of jobs. Thankfully, the spell was very short-lived. Then, in 2011, over a couple of months, I was dusting out my CV for unplanned updates. Just a few days ago, I learned that this year I will not be teaching two of the courses I have taught over the recent years. It's part-time unemployment, again, and this time it is down not to the economic crisis, but…
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    Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

  • Homebuilder Blues: NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Ratings April 2014

    15 Apr 2014 | 8:53 am
    Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that assessments of housing activity went flat in April with the composite HMI index climbing to 47 from 46 the prior month while the "buyer traffic" index remained unchanged at a level of 32.The recent pullback has been notable and while many are suggesting that inclement weather is responsible, only time will tell if this is the beginning of an ongoing downtrend for new construction or just a momentary pause.Looking at the data, it is fairly clear that the last year of results…
  • Envisioning Employment: Employment Situation March 2014

    4 Apr 2014 | 9:26 am
    The latest Employment Situation Report indicated that in March, net non-farm payrolls increased by 192,000 jobs overall with the private non-farm payrolls sub-component adding 192,000 jobs while the civilian unemployment rate went flat at 6.7% over the same period.It's important to note that with today's release (and revisions), the private non-farm payroll level has risen to the highest level seen in over six years and finally climbed higher then the level seen before the start of the Great Recession. Net private sector jobs increased 0.17% since last month climbing 1.99% above the…
  • Recovery-less Recovery: Unemployment Duration March 2014

    4 Apr 2014 | 9:16 am
    Today's employment situation report showed that conditions for the long term unemployed improved in February while still remaining distressed by historic standards.Workers unemployed 27 weeks or more declined to 3.739 million or 35.8% of all unemployed workers while the median term of unemployment declined to 16.3 weeks and the average stay on unemployment went declined to 35.6 weeks.Looking at the charts below (click for super interactive versions) you can see that today’s sorry situation far exceeds even the conditions seen during the double-dip recessionary period of the early…
  • On The Margin: Total Unemployment March 2014

    4 Apr 2014 | 9:05 am
    Today's Employment Situation report showed that in March “total unemployment” including all marginally attached workers increased to 12.7% while the traditionally reported unemployment rate went flat at 6.7%.The traditional unemployment rate is calculated from the monthly household survey results using a fairly explicit definition of “unemployed” (essentially unemployed and currently looking for full time employment) leaving many workers to be considered effectively “on the margin” either employed in part time work when full time is preferred or simply unemployed and no…
  • ADP National Employment Report: March 2014

    2 Apr 2014 | 2:54 pm
    Today, private staffing and business services firm ADP released the latest installment of their National Employment Report indicating that the situation for private employment in the U.S. improved in March as private employers added 191,000 jobs in the month bringing the total employment level 1.97% above the level seen in March 2013. Look for Friday’s (possibly postponed) BLS Employment Situation Report to likely show somewhat similar trends.
 
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    The Economic Populist

  • The Federal Reserve Destroyed Our Site

    Robert Oak
    23 Mar 2014 | 10:56 am
    Dear Economic Populist Readers.  You may have noticed we have stopped publishing articles.  This is because the Saint Louis Federal Reserve Fred Graph system was changed without even a warning.  They removed the very fast, professional economic graphing system and API, which we used heavily, and replaced it with more of a toy.  As a result over 3,000 articles on this site are now ruined and have terrible, distorted graphs that no one would consider publishing professionally. Share
  • An American in Ukraine Comments on the Ukraine Crisis

    JohnHenryHill
    21 Mar 2014 | 4:16 am
    An American in Ukraine Comments on the Ukraine Crisis by John-Henry Hill, M.D. Written: March 1, 2014 Edited: March 17, 2014 Share
  • Industrial Production Makes Up Ground From January's Bad WeatherRoars Back in February

    Robert Oak
    17 Mar 2014 | 10:18 am
    The Federal Reserve Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization report shows a 0.6% increase in industrial production.  Manufacturing alone grew by 0.8% for the month after plunging -0.9% in January due to horrific weather.  This is the largest factory output gain since last August,  Utilities were slightly down by -0.2% after January's polar vortex winter increase of 3.8%.  Mining increased 0.3%.  The G.17 industrial production statistical release is also known as output for factories and mines. Share
  • Wall Street and Multinationals Get Theirs While America Suffers

    Robert Oak
    14 Mar 2014 | 1:06 pm
    While America still suffers with repressed wages, increasing poverty and a vanishing middle class, Wall Street and big Multinational Corporations are having a party.  Bonuses increased 15% and are back to their pre-financial crisis excesses  Corporations hording cash offshore increased 11.8% in 2013 to a whopping $1.95 trillion. Share
  • Retail Sales February Sign of Life Squashed by Harsh Winter Sales

    Robert Oak
    13 Mar 2014 | 3:28 pm
    February 2014 Retail Sales increased 0.3% for the month.  This is the first increase in three months.  January was revised all the way down to -0.6% and December's drop was -0.3%.  Retail sales have now increased just 1.5% from a year ago.  January's decline was due to a real nose dive in auto sales, down -2.3% for the month.  Online retailers continue their rise with a 6.3% increase from a year ago.   Retail sales are reported by dollars, not by volume with price changes removed. Share
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    Stock Trading To Go

  • STTG Market Recap April 16, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    16 Apr 2014 | 4:02 pm
    Blain here: If you have not yet taken our 30 second reader survey, we'd really appreciate your feedback. Thank you in advance.We missed an interesting session yesterday with our quarterly survey so it is worth mentioning it today.   The market was very volatile yesterday but sometimes that can cause a shakeout of sorts when it comes at the end of a correction.  Also the NASDAQ hit a key moving average - the 200 day - which if nothing else is usually a place for momentum to reverse in the near term.  Was that the end of the correction?  Of course we never know until after the fact but…
  • STTG Q1 2014 Reader Survey

    Blain Reinkensmeyer
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    With the 1st Quarter of 2014 now behind us, it is time to take a break from our daily market recaps to conduct our next StockTradingToGo (STTG) Reader Satisfaction Survey.For newer readers, our quarterly surveys are only three questions and it is extremely important to participate.Your feedback ensures we continue to deliver the best possible commentary and analysis each evening, so please help us keep our free blog great and take the survey now,Thank you in advance for sharing your opinion. Market Recaps will resume tomorrow.Original post: STTG Q1 2014 Reader Survey
  • STTG Market Recap April 14, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    14 Apr 2014 | 4:14 pm
    Blain here:  Hi everyone, just wanted to give you a notice that we will be doing our quarterly STTG reader survey tomorrow so there will be no market recap. As always, it is just a few questions and we really appreciate hearing from you on how we are doing. See you then!Indexes bounced back from oversold levels but until proven otherwise this is just the natural ebb and flow of a downturn.   The S&P 500 gained 0.82% and the NASDAQ continues to lag, gaining 0.57%.  There was a key retail sales report which lifted spirits but truthfully generally when a market gets too extreme short…
  • STTG Market Recap April 11, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    11 Apr 2014 | 4:14 pm
    The selloff continued Friday as we hit short term oversold levels.   The S&P 500 fell 0.95% and the NASDAQ 1.34%.  For the week, the S&P 500 fell 2.6% and the Nasdaq lost 3.1%, the biggest weekly decline for both indexes since June 2012.  The market ignored a U.S. consumer sentiment reading that was a nine month high, with the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary April read on confidence coming in at 82.6 versus 80.0 in March.It is worth showing the longer term charts for the indexes for the second time this week to show where we are, and why it matters.   As we…
  • STTG Market Recap April 10, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    10 Apr 2014 | 3:04 pm
    While many in the financial media were cheering yesterday's gains, we told readers last week that there had been a major trend change, specifically in the NASDAQ and the recent volatility just meant random movement day to day.  In fact our quote yesterday was:We are seeing an increase in day to day volatility and random movement based on headlines so it remains a time to be cautious until we settle into a new pattern.Hopefully this cautious stance since last week has helped you look at the market at a different light which is certainly difficult to do when all it seems to do nowadays is go…
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    WILLisms.com

  • Forgotten Time Capsule From 1966 Discovered During Home Renovation. What Happened Next Will Make You Cry.

    Will Franklin
    3 Apr 2014 | 4:50 pm
    First off, apologies for the obnoxious Upworthy/Buzzfeed type of headline. But this really is a bit of a tear-jerker, in many ways. A woman in Arizona created a time capsule in 1966 and buried it in the walls of her home. Nearly fifty years later, it was discovered during a home remodel: A few things about this jumped out at me. First, it is a sad story, obviously, because the woman died tragically in the 1970s, and the husband (who had moved out of the home long ago) had no idea the time capsule even existed until just now. Now, maybe the political contents of the letter might have made the…
  • Paul Krugman Versus Milton Friedman.

    Will Franklin
    3 Apr 2014 | 3:27 pm
    Paul Krugman, from 1998, on the internet: The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in "Metcalfe's law"--which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants--becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine's. Meanwhile, in this National Taxpayers Union video from 1999, Milton Friedman describes what would become Bitcoin more than a decade before it ever existed:…
  • Midland's Oil Boom.

    Will Franklin
    1 Apr 2014 | 3:54 pm
    Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 979 -- The Oil Boom In Midland, Texas- Stumbled across some interesting numbers in this news report on the oil and gas business from the Midland Reporter-Telegram: By the numbers Mining/quarrying/oil and gas extraction in Midland County Year Gross sales 2002 $187,872,186 2003 $233,649,194 2004 $262,799,261 2005 $400,325,985 2006 $689,784,460 2007 $803,041,212 2008 $1,062,513,372 2009 $747,580,419 2010 $1,063,064,890 2011 $1,745,241,081 2012 $2,351,415,984 Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Here's what that looks like (click for larger version): Now, in…
  • Texas Has America's Highest Graduation Rate.

    Will Franklin
    31 Mar 2014 | 1:22 pm
    Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 978 -- Stop Saying Texas Has A High Dropout Rate Or Low Graduation Rate- Columns and blog posts about Texas have become almost a shorthand way of talking about all that is still right in America. There is still a place that is like the rest of America was in the Reagan era. There's hope here. And jobs. And optimism. The Texas Model is widely seen as the path to opportunity and prosperity. And rightfully so. But what about education? Doesn't Texas have one of the worst high school dropout rates in the nation? No. It doesn't. It turns out that Texas is not only…
  • American Homelessness.

    Will Franklin
    26 Mar 2014 | 8:09 am
    Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 977 -- Facts & Figures About Homelessness In The United States- The United States is still the most wealthy and powerful nation on the planet, but once-abundant opportunity seems ever more out of reach for what seems like an increasing number of Americans. The economy is growing at the sort of tepid levels Americans once mocked Europe for, and at the current pace of recovery, it may take several years or more before we're again at full employment. And that's assuming no more recessions in the meantime, a rare scenario. In all of this gloom, Texas has remained…
 
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    Political Calculations

  • Unemployment Benefits, Job Prospects and the Long-Term Unemployed

    17 Apr 2014 | 1:40 am
    What happens when the long-term unemployed are suddenly cut off from being able to cash in on the federal government's extended unemployment benefits program? That's the case for millions of Americans who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer, for whom the federal government's extended unemployment benefits program expired after 28 December 2013. Now without that financial assistance for several months, and therefore being highly motivated to find work to replace their lost income from unemployment benefits, we wondered how successful those individuals have been. Early reports indicate…
  • Real Estate Prices Begin to Contract

    16 Apr 2014 | 1:01 am
    According to preliminary data published by the U.S. Census Bureau, the trailing twelve month average of median sale prices for new homes fell in February 2014 after peaking a month earlier. The preliminary new home sale price for February 2014 was $261,800, which was up from January's revised $260,800. However, the trailing twelve month average for median new home sale prices, which smooths out seasonal variations in the data, fell to $265,100 in February 2014 from January's 265,375 - the first contraction we've observed in the data for some time. The Census Bureau's monthly data is typically…
  • Extra Withholding For Your Obamacare Taxes

    15 Apr 2014 | 12:52 am
    Suppose you're one of the millions of Americans for whom it makes much more financial sense to pay the Obamacare tax than it does to buy health insurance and do not have health insurance through your employer. To avoid getting hit with a larger tax bill than you might otherwise expect when you file your taxes for 2014, how much extra should you have withheld from each of your paychecks today? Our latest tool will help you answer this critical question, because the IRS' withholding tables for 2014 do not take the Affordable Care Act's income tax increase for 2014 into account. Just enter the…
  • Aftershocks in the S&P 500

    14 Apr 2014 | 1:48 am
    By now, most of our readers will know that we anticipated last week's stock market "correction" and that we communicated it weeks ago. Our updated alternate futures chart below confirms how closely the real world followed our forecast: That's why we were fascinated to read Barry Ritholtz's take on the event, which he later reposted on his blog: Whenever we see any sort of disruption in markets an explanation usually follows. The headlines will explain that “Markets are going up/down because of this good/bad thing.” News anchors will solemnly intone why the volatility is significant and…
  • 2014: How Many Pages in the U.S. Tax Code?

    11 Apr 2014 | 1:26 am
    In less than a week, the deadline for filing for 2013's federal income taxes will be upon us. That makes this a very good time to find out how many pages it takes to explain the U.S. federal tax code! Our source for this data is the Wolters Kluwer CCH Standard Tax Reporter, which has updated their data through the 2013 tax year: We find that for those filing their personal income taxes on 15 April 2014, they must comply with the terms of a tax code that takes 73,954 pages to explain. To tax professionals. Just for fun, we thought it would be interesting to find out how fast the U.S. tax code…
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    Calafia Beach Pundit

  • The economy continues to expand

    16 Apr 2014 | 11:09 am
    March industrial production figures exceeded expectations (+0.7% vs. +0.5%) and February was revised sharply higher (+1.2% vs. +0.6%). Over the past six months, industrial production has expanded at a solid 5% annualized pace. This is impressive. Industrial production in the Eurozone is still lagging, but nevertheless is still on the mend. Industrial commodity prices are up almost 3% in the past two months to a one-year high, suggesting that global manufacturing activity is doing just fine.The manufacturing component of industrial production was also strong, but was nevertheless outpaced by…
  • Deflation risk is low and that's good for the dollar

    15 Apr 2014 | 6:11 pm
    There seems to be an inordinate amount of concern these days about the threat of deflation. Yes, inflation is low, but there's nothing wrong with that. Inflation in the U.S. is currently running around 1.5 - 2.0%, which is as low as it's been on a sustained basis since the early 1960s, but that was a time of robust economic growth.Many commentators use a "black hole" or a "slippery slope" analogy when talking about the risk of deflation. They argue that just a little bit of deflation can lead to more; that deflation can be very difficult to escape; and that once deflation sets in it is…
  • Federal deficit collapses

    10 Apr 2014 | 1:41 pm
    If President Obama wants to distract voters' attention from the ongoing failure of Obamacare and the miserably slow recovery, he should simply direct everyone to this blog post. Under his watch, the federal budget deficit has collapsed by two-thirds, from almost $1.5 trillion in his first year as president (in which he inherited a lot of emergency spending from the Bush administration and began spending the almost $1 trillion included in his ARRA) to just under $0.5 trillion in the year ending last March. The chart above shows the federal deficit as a % of GDP. By this measure the…
  • On the margin: 1.3 million people

    10 Apr 2014 | 10:08 am
    The economy seems to be plodding along at a 2-3% real growth rate pace, pretty much the same as it has for the past several years. But amidst all the ho-hum statistics there is one that stands out: the demise of emergency unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people in early January, and the 1.3 million increase in the labor force that followed. I'm speculating a bit here, since we really don't have enough data to be sure, but I can't resist highlighting any important change on the margin, since that's where all significant changes occur. What this statistic could mean is that there are 1.3…
  • The market looks at Ukraine and shrugs

    8 Apr 2014 | 10:49 am
    If the situation in Crimea/Ukraine has the world on edge, markets don't seem all that worried. Key indicators of the market's perception of systemic risk and the economy's health have hardly budged, and point to continued, albeit relatively sluggish, growth.The Euro is up a bit so far this year, but as the chart above shows, it has been strengthening since mid-2012, when it first became clear that the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis was receding and the Eurozone economy was emerging from its recession. A stronger Euro is a good sign that the outlook for the Eurozone continues to…
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    Donald Marron

  • Seven Tax Issues Facing Small Business

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

    Donald
    12 Mar 2014 | 9:58 am
    How big is the underground sex economy in the United States and how does it work? The Urban Institute is out with a big study today that offers some answers. Here’s a brief summary of the full study (see also the accompanying feature). Our study focused on eight US cities— Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Seattle, San Diego, and Washington, DC. Across cities, the 2007 underground sex economy’s worth was estimated between $39.9 and $290 million. While almost all types of commercial sex venues—massage parlors, brothels, escort services, and street- and internet-based…
  • Spaghetti, Pies, and Clutterplots: Visualizing Data

    Donald
    5 Feb 2014 | 11:06 am
    Jonathan Schwabish has just published a wonderful guide to visualizing economic data. If you produce charts, you really ought to study it. Here’s one example, transforming a default Excel “spaghetti” chart into something more tasty:
  • Keynes Was Right. Economists Should Aspire To Be Like Dentists

    Donald
    20 Jan 2014 | 7:05 am
    In a lengthy piece on “The Future of Jobs“, the Economist cites some estimates of the risk that IT will eliminate jobs over the next 20 years: So Keynes was right: Economists should aspire to be like dentists. P.S. Actual Keynes quote: “If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid.”
  • Why Do Economists Have a Bad Reputation?

    Donald
    15 Jan 2014 | 1:23 pm
    Because macroeconomists have messed it up for every one else , says Noah Smith at The Week: To put it mildly, economists have fallen out of favor with the public since 2008. First they failed to predict the crisis, or even to acknowledge that such crises were possible. Then they failed to agree on a solution to the recession, leaving us floundering. No wonder there has been a steady flow of anti-economics articles (for example, this, this, and this). The rakes and pitchforks are out, and the mob is ready to assault the mansion of these social-science Frankensteins. But before you start…
 
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    Supply and Demand (in that order)

  • Individual mandate penalties beginning to be paid (includes IRS link)

    24 Mar 2014 | 1:44 pm
    Matt Drudge famously said he's paying his.Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not 'getting covered'... I'M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX!— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) March 21, 2014Here are the IRS instructions, where self-employed taxpayers are told to consider including their 2014 individual mandate penalty with their estimated tax payments beginning April 15, 2014.
  • Sell your copy of the Redistribution Recession!

    4 Mar 2014 | 1:31 pm
    sell your hard copy of the Redistribution Recession! There is a severe shortage and as far as I can tell used copies are going for $100.http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0199942218/ref=tmm_hrd_used_olp_sr?ie=UTF8&condition=used&sr=&qid=When the publisher starts shipping again next month (they promised me that they will never charge more than $40), I recommend buying multiple copies so that you get more revenue during the next shortage.If you don't already have a copy: what were you thinking?!
  • What's happening to the workweek in low-wage industries?

    20 Feb 2014 | 11:00 am
    http://news.investors.com/politics-obamacare/020714-689319-low-wage-workweek-hits-new-low-with-obamacare.htm
  • Gerri and Sebelius

    19 Feb 2014 | 7:29 am
    http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/3223019970001/white-house-denying-obamacares-impact-on-jobs/
  • Lou Dobbs and Me

    18 Feb 2014 | 1:28 pm
    Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.comhttp://video.foxbusiness.com/v/3218002758001/is-obamacare-a-disincentive-to-work/
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Looking for Bayesian expertise in India, for the purpose of analysis of sarcoma trials

    Andrew
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:47 am
    Prakash Nayak writes: I work as a musculoskeletal oncologist (surgeon) in Mumbai, India and am keen on sarcoma research. Sarcomas are rare disorders, and conventional frequentist analysis falls short of providing meaningful results for clinical application. I am thus keen on applying Bayesian analysis to a lot of trials performed with small numbers in this field. I need advise from you for a good starting point for someone uninitiated in Bayesian analysis. What to read, what courses to take and is there a way I could collaborate with any local/international statisticians dealing with these…
  • When you believe in things that you don’t understand

    Andrew
    15 Apr 2014 | 6:46 am
    This would make Karl Popper cry. And, at the very end: The present results indicate that under certain, theoretically predictable circumstances, female ovulation—long assumed to be hidden—is in fact associated with a distinct, objectively observable behavioral display. This statement is correct—if you interpret the word “predictable” to mean “predictable after looking at your data.” P.S. I’d like to say that April 15 is a good day for this posting because your tax dollars went toward supporting this research. But actually it was supported by the…
  • Transitioning to Stan

    Andrew
    14 Apr 2014 | 7:50 am
    Kevin Cartier writes: I’ve been happily using R for a number of years now and recently came across Stan. Looks big and powerful, so I’d like to pick an appropriate project and try it out. I wondered if you could point me to a link or document that goes into the motivation for this tool (aside from the Stan user doc)? What I’d like to understand is, at what point might you look at an emergent R project and advise, “You know, that thing you’re trying to do would be a whole lot easier/simpler/more straightforward to implement with Stan.” (or words to that…
  • On deck this week

    Andrew
    14 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Mon: Transitioning to Stan Tues: When you believe in things that you don’t understand Wed: Looking for Bayesian expertise in India, for the purpose of analysis of sarcoma trials Thurs: If you get to the point of asking, just do it. But some difficulties do arise . . . Fri: One-tailed or two-tailed? Sat: Index or indicator variables Sun: Fooled by randomness The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • “If you are primarily motivated to make money, you . . . certainly don’t want to let people know how confused you are by something, or how shallow your knowledge is in certain areas. You want to project an image of mastery and omniscience.”

    Andrew
    12 Apr 2014 | 11:17 am
    A reader writes in: This op-ed made me think of one your recent posts. Money quote: If you are primarily motivated to make money, you just need to get as much information as you need to do your job. You don’t have time for deep dives into abstract matters. You certainly don’t want to let people know how confused you are by something, or how shallow your knowledge is in certain areas. You want to project an image of mastery and omniscience. The op-ed is by New York Times columnist David Brooks, and I assume my correspondent was pointing to this recent post. But she could’ve been…
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    Capital Chronicle

  • When PIIGS and BRICS aren't enough

    2 Apr 2014 | 6:11 am
    Yes, the metaphoric jargon jungle has expanded to include EAGLES and Nests according to BBVA research. Nice graphics tho:The full Emerging And Growth Leading Economies report with its fearless 10 year forecasts can be enjoyed here.
  • Here's to 5 years of solid literary gloom starting soon...

    9 Jan 2014 | 3:45 am
    Great new leading indicator for literary mood.Abstract:For the 20th century since the Depression, we find a strong correlation between a ‘literary misery index’ derived from English language books and a moving average of the previous decade of the annual U.S. economic misery index, which is the sum of inflation and unemployment rates. We find a peak in the goodness of fit at 11 years for the moving average. The fit between the two misery indices holds when using different techniques to measure the literary misery index, and this fit is significantly better than other possible correlations…
  • Never saw this option at the school careers fair...

    12 Dec 2013 | 6:22 am
    Apparently they really are called this within the employ of pharma companies.Good news: GW Pharmaceuticals are hiring.
  • China companies: growth to the rescue?

    11 Dec 2013 | 3:06 am
    Macro vs micro is often a conundrum.Consider this report from Deutsche issued yesterday. Page 20 begins "How to position for a China rebound". Basically it is a call to long copper and maybe punt on domestic thermal coal investment.Elsewhere an examination of Chinese companies being fed (largely) by this export demand is less encouraging. Vernimmen did a nice round-up in November of 2,457 Shanghai quoted companies (91.7% of the market's capitalisation). Snap-shot by sector:These 2,457 have annual turnover equivalent to the 25 largest European companies but of course have grown much faster -…
  • Greece re-enters Top 10 riskiest sovereigns...sort of

    17 Jul 2013 | 7:52 am
    Greek Credit Default Swaps restarted trade in May since when the country's risk profile has trended down versus competitors such as Argentina, Cyprus and Venezuela! But still some ground to make up to get down to...Iraq.Visually this looks thus:Argentina got left out on this one: bps range spoilt the Y axis scaling for the 9 trailing in the wake.Full report here.
 
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    Businomics Blog

  • Corporate Executives Are Lagging, Not Leading

    Bill Conerly
    26 Mar 2014 | 8:02 pm
    In economic indicator parlance, a "leading indicator" changes BEFORE the overall economy changes. (Think of the "lead dog" rather than the "leading lady".) A lagging indicator changes AFTER the overall economy. The Business Roundtable quarterly surveys its corporate CEO members in a widely followed index. My friend Eric Fruits has dissected the data on the CEO Economic Outlook Survey and concludes that it's a lagging indicator. After a good quarter, CEOs say things are looking better. Not before, but after. Read Eric Fruits' analysis.
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    TheMoneyIllusion

  • Doing more with less

    ssumner
    15 Apr 2014 | 6:00 pm
    There’s been a lot of discussion about the impact of Abenomics.  I’ve been sort of a moderate on the issue, arguing that it helped, but isn’t going to have a transformative impact.  Recently I ran across a piece of data that made me slightly more optimistic about Japan: The number of people in the world’s third-largest economy dropped by 0.17 percent or 217,000 people, to 127,298,000 as of last Oct. 1, the data said. This figure includes long-staying foreigners. The number of people aged 65 or over rose by 1.1 million to 31.9 million, accounting for 25.1 percent of the…
  • The British jobs recovery

    ssumner
    14 Apr 2014 | 6:53 am
    Over at Econlog I have a new post discussing the German jobs miracle.  The punch line is that both NGDP and wages in Germany behaved in about the same way as in America.  This means that my “musical chairs model” predicts that job creation would also be about the same.  However Germany employment is up 6% over the past 6 years while US employment is down 0.7%.  The mystery is resolved if you look at labor income as a share of NGDP–it did far better in Germany than in the US. This graph over at Free Exchange made me want to take a look at the British data: Notice that US…
  • Cowen on Silver on Aaron

    ssumner
    12 Apr 2014 | 11:53 am
    Tyler Cowen has an interesting post on baseball, which got a lot of positive reviews in his comment section.  So naturally I will disagree. He responded to a Nate Silver post that claimed Hank Aaron would have been a great baseball player even if all of his homers had been singles. Here’s Tyler: OK, here is where Lucas comes in.  If Hank Aaron did not carry significant home run potential to the plate, he would have seen a lot more blazing fastballs, pitchers’ “best stuff,” and so on.  Why not challenge the hitter and try to blow it by him if all you are risking is a single up…
  • Paul Krugman on monetary policy options

    ssumner
    11 Apr 2014 | 11:41 am
    Saturos sent me some interesting PowerPoint slides by Paul Krugman: Krugman overlooks a third option, targeting an alternative variable that is not subject to the zero lower bound.  Or perhaps he regards that as a regime change.  I can’t be sure.  But it need not involve the Fed changing its inflation/unemployment targets, so it depends how one defines ‘regime.’  I believe he regards “regime shift” as something like an increase in the inflation target to 4%. In any case, alternative targets include foreign exchange rates, the price of actively traded…
  • 20% of Americans are in the top 2%

    ssumner
    10 Apr 2014 | 6:44 pm
    For years I’ve been arguing that income distribution data is meaningless for all sorts of reasons.  One is that it treats capital income and wage income as being equivalent.  A second problem is the life cycle issue—I’ve been in all 5 quintiles at various times in my life, but I’ve never really been anything other than “middle class” in a sociological sense.  (I started middle class and am now upper middle class.) It seems the press is catching on to this problem: Fully 20 percent of U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, wielding outsize…
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    Jesse's Café Américain

  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Hubris Incorporated

    16 Apr 2014 | 1:28 pm
    “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed.  I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.” Michael Bloomberg, Billionaire Financier and Master of the Universe, I Have Earned My Place In Heaven Ah, the rich miscalculating their fit through the eye of a needle.  Its an old, old story.  Memento mori. I
  • SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Quiet Holiday Week, Before the Storms

    16 Apr 2014 | 1:20 pm
    VIX is back down to more complacent levels. This is a holiday shortened week, with Friday trading closed for the Easter holiday. Let's see if the traders can carry this rally into a three day weekend with the Ukraine bubbling along. I suspect that some squaring up may be in the cards. Have a pleasant evening.  
  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - From Sea to Shining Sea

    15 Apr 2014 | 1:18 pm
    "Plunderers of the world, when nothing remains on the lands to which they have laid waste by wanton thievery, they search out across the seas. The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery,
  • SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Another Turnaround Tuesday

    15 Apr 2014 | 1:08 pm
    LOL. ROFLMAO. How'd you like that market action today.  A Robert Rubin special with the SP futures leading the markets higher out of a deep hole on 'Turnaround Tuesday.' A bewildered reader asks, 'Do they realize what they are doing?' To which I responded, 'Let's keep this straight.  Almost by definition, sociopaths and narcissists really don't give a fuck what happens as long as they are
  • Why Gold? 85% of Pension Funds Will Go Bust in 30 Years

    15 Apr 2014 | 9:48 am
    I have not seen the scenarios run by Bridgewater Associates, but I do have respect for their name and their work.  I would like to know their assumptions. In an inflation, stocks may do quite well, as their inflated valuations keep pace with inflation. Bonds are likely to get obliterated. In a stagflation not so much.  The Fed and the Treasury would like a modest inflation to provide a
 
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • The dark side of wage growth

    chris dillow
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:29 am
    Real wages are probably rising. The ONS estimates that nominal wages rose 1.9% in the year to February - though there's a big sampling error - whilst CPI inflation then was 1.7%. This, though, might have a downside. I say this because a plausible reason for the growth in real wages is that productivity has finally begun to rise; total hours worked rose 0.4% in the three months ending February, but the NIESR estimates that GDP grew 0.9% then, implying productivity growth of 0.5%. However, for a given rate of GDP growth, higher productivity growth means lower jobs growth. What we might be…
  • What Phillips curve?

    chris dillow
    15 Apr 2014 | 6:41 am
    Today's news that CPI inflation has fallen to its lowest rate since October 2009 poses the question: what is the relationship between unemployment and inflation? The fact that the fall comes after months of falling joblessness is awkward for conventional Phillips curve-type thinking, which says that lower unemployment should lead to higher inflation. In truth, the latest episode is not unusual in this regard. My chart plots unemployment against CPI inflation in the following 12 months since the Bank of England was given independence in May 1997. It's clear that there's no neat…
  • "Capital" and "labour"

    chris dillow
    14 Apr 2014 | 6:05 am
    Most people, says Arnold Kling, are "labor-capitalists": Looking at the 21st-century economy through the filter of the Marxist categories of “capital” and “labor” is not particularly insightful. This is not a good era for either a plain coupon-clipper or an ordinary worker to accumulate great wealth. You might imagine that, a a Marxist, I'd disagree. You'd be wrong. I agree with Arnold for a reason he doesn't mention. This is that it has long been the case that wages, even for ordinary workers, contain an element of profits. Even before explicit profit-related…
  • Biased against stagnation

    chris dillow
    12 Apr 2014 | 5:34 am
    George Osborne tried yesterday to reject the idea that we've fallen into secular stagnation. I'm not convinced. He points to some "new advances in fundamental science" and says: We cannot even imagine the advances in all areas of science – from genetics to materials – that high powered computing will make possible in the years ahead. This is plausible; to some extent, technical progress is inherently unpredictable. But it poses the question which Osborne didn't answer: are such advances monetizable? Capitalists don't invest because there's potential new…
  • In praise of brevity

    chris dillow
    11 Apr 2014 | 6:18 am
    Last night, Laurie Penny tweeted: "Like many others I know, I'm trying to find a way of making it more viable to produce more of those longform, deeply-researched pieces." Gawd help us. When will people realize that brevity and concision are virtues? I ask for several reasons: 1. Longform writing is narcissistic. It presumes that one's writing is so brilliant that it deserves to deprive readers of time they could spend doing other stuff - not least of which is reading other good things. And it is correlated with the notion that one's ideas are so complicated and nuanced…
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    David Smith's EconomicsUK.com

  • Plenty of lessons for France in Britain's recovery

    David Smith
    13 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Being British means we are easily embarrassed even by modest success. The default position, when it comes to the economy, is to grumble. There is usually...
  • Britain's balance of payments sinks in a sea of red ink

    David Smith
    6 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. One question keeps coming back to me from readers. Why, when it was such a big issue in the past, does the balance of payments no...
  • IEA's shadow MPC votes 6-3 again for half-point rate hike

    David Smith
    6 Apr 2014 | 1:59 am
    In its most recent e-mail poll, which was finalised on Tuesday 1st April, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) decided by six votes to three that Bank Rate should be raised on Thursday 10th April....
  • Falling inflation lifts the mood and helps the Bank

    David Smith
    30 Mar 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Inflation has been below the official 2% target for two months in a row, something it has not been possible to write for a long time....
  • A nasty looking current account

    David Smith
    28 Mar 2014 | 4:30 am
    Today's GDP figures - the third take on the final quarter of 2013 - showed a rise of 0.7%, as before, and confirm that business investment contributed significantly to that growth. Overall wages and salaries rose by 3% in 2013...
 
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    Project Syndicate RSS-Feed

  • Venezuela’s Unending Ordeal

    Rodrigo Pardo
    17 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    Venezuela is descending ever deeper into violence, with street protests spreading rapidly across the country and President Nicolás Maduro’s efforts to suppress them becoming increasingly brutal. Unfortunately, there are no upcoming elections that might resolve the worsening power struggle – and no outside actors willing to intervene.
  • Global Warming’s Upside-Down Narrative

    Bjørn Lomborg
    17 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    When politicians around the world tell the story of global warming, they cast it as humanity’s greatest challenge, but promise that they can meet it at low cost while improving the world in countless other ways. Nonsense – on all counts.
  • Rank Mysteries

    Howard Davies
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    The release of the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), published by the consultancy Z/Yen in London, shows stability at the top of the table and volatility below. But do such rankings really contain valuable insights into how the global financial system is evolving?
  • The Experts’ Advantage

    Amanda H. Goodall
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    American boardrooms are filled with MBAs, especially from Harvard, while firms in the rest of the developed world (with the possible exception of Germany) seem to prefer professional managers over technical or scientific talent. But organizations that put experts in charge almost always perform better.
  • The High-Tech, High-Touch Economy

    Adair Turner
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    Though we live in the hi-tech virtual world of the Internet, the most physical things – including urban land and service jobs – are rising in importance. But there is no contradiction: In an age of information and communication technology, it is inevitable that we value what an ICT-intensive economy cannot create.
 
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    Reed Construction Data:Notes from Alex Carrick

  • Thirteen Mid-April Economic Nuggets

    12 Apr 2014 | 8:50 am
    In many parts of the U.S. and Canada, the first glimmerings of spring are a welcome relief after what was a take-no-prisoners winter. Hopefully, new buds of growth in the natural world will find reflection in about-to-be-issued private sector and government statistical reports as well. Meanwhile, Russia continues to act like a bull in Ukraine’s china shop. There are strong commercial and political reasons for North America to speed up efforts to supply Europe with oil and gas. Otherwise, Moscow’s control of pipeline supplies from Siberia provides too much leverage. Against this backdrop,…
  • Thirteen Mid-March Economic Nuggets

    14 Mar 2014 | 9:20 am
    The following are Economic Nuggets “ripped” from the latest data releases and media headlines.
  • Thirteen Mid-February Economic Nuggets

    13 Feb 2014 | 9:00 pm
    The following are Economic Nuggets “ripped” from the latest data releases and media headlines.
  • Thirteen Mid-January Economic Nuggets

    15 Jan 2014 | 10:51 am
    The following are Economic Nuggets “ripped” from the latest data releases and media headlines.
  • Ten Mid-December Economic Nuggets

    14 Dec 2013 | 9:00 pm
    For a change, relatively strong numbers on the U.S. economy are not immediately being upstaged by political machinations in Washington. The bipartisan committee assigned the task of finding budget measures acceptable to majorities in both the Senate and House appears to have drafted a satisfactory set of proposals. There is one other hurdle to overcome. The Federal Reserve will soon be “tapering” its $85 billion per month bond-buying program. Soon-to-be-Chairman, Janet Yellen, would like to accomplish this with minimal impact on Treasury Bill and private-sector interest rates. Against…
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    OilPrice.com Daily News Update

  • Israel and Egypt: A Natural [Gas] Match

    16 Apr 2014 | 3:02 pm
    Israel’s newfound natural gas wealth is moving the country from energy importer to potential exporter, altering the energy balance of the region in the process. Even more interesting is that Israel’s most promising export market just slipped from energy exporter to importer—that country is Egypt. Israel has historically been a natural gas importer, but recent offshore discoveries will likely change that. Concentrated in the Tamar (estimated 10 trillion cubic feet) and Leviathan (estimated 19 trillion cubic feet) fields, Israel’s…Read more...
  • 300mpg Diesel-Electric Hybrid Unveiled by Volkswagen

    16 Apr 2014 | 2:53 pm
    The star of this week’s Qatar motor show will undoubtedly be Volkswagen’s “one-liter car,” the diesel hybrid XL1, which is able to achieve more than 300 mpg. The $60,000 XL1 is powered by an 800cc, two-cylinder turbodiesel powerplant (half a BlueMotion engine), producing 47bhp, supported by a 27bhp electric motor hat fuelled by lithium-ion batteries. The batteries can be charged from a domestic plug, allowing the car to travel 22 miles solely on electric power.  Over the past decade governments worldwide have been…Read more...
  • Private Sector Driving U.S. Wind Market Forward

    16 Apr 2014 | 2:42 pm
    The onshore wind energy sector is booming in the United States, where there's enough of the renewable resource on hand to meet the annual demands for 15 million homes.  It may take one of the biggest retailers in the world, however, to usher in the necessary change in energy consumption. The American Wind Energy Association said wind energy in the United States accounted for more than 4 percent of all the electricity generated in the country last year and the trend was on pace to continue.  America, the AWEA said, is increasingly…Read more...
  • Are Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Dead On Arrival?

    16 Apr 2014 | 2:31 pm
    The national vision by politicians, economists, industrialists and environmentalists to transition to hydrogen economy by 2030 seems deadlocked, with hydrogen fuel cells projected to represent a $3 billion market of about 5.9 GW by 2030, according to Lux Research, Figure 1.(1)The dream of fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen from zero-carbon sources such as renewable power or nuclear energy comes from estimates that the cost of avoided carbon dioxide would be more than $600 a metric ton – ten times higher than most other technologies under…Read more...
  • Oil Limits and Climate Change – How They Fit Together

    16 Apr 2014 | 1:36 pm
    We hear a lot about climate change, especially now that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently published another report. At the same time, oil is reaching limits, and this has an effect as well. How do the two issues fit together?In simplest terms, what the situation means to me is that the “low scenario,” which the IPCC calls “RCP2.6,” is closest to what we can expect in terms of man-made carbon emissions. Thus, the most reasonable scenario, based on their modeling, would seem to be the purple…Read more...
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    zentrader.ca

  • A Financial Miscalculation On A Global Scale

    karen starich
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:47 pm
    By Astrology Traders We are fast approaching the peak on April 22nd of a very rare, once in a lifetime, grand cardinal square in the heavens between Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter, and Mars.  The aspect is extremely afflicted with Uranus and Jupiter as the lesser malefic’s, holding the promise of unconventional financial engineering amidst an otherwise brutal and inexorably difficult warlike pattern between Pluto and Mars.  The grand square aspect in the heavens is a punctuation and dramatic warning to consequences of a miscalculation (political gamble), that at this point has likely already…
  • Tips for Trading Construction Stocks

    Jeff Pierce
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:43 pm
    (And How They Can Benefit Your Portfolio) Trading construction stocks can significantly diversify your portfolio. Yes, they can be risky especially at times when the interest rate goes up or when recession hits and values of homes spiral down. But there are a lot of gems among construction companies. They can deliver great and stable returns and offer an alternative way to protect your portfolio. So then, the most important issue here is how to find those gems. Here are some of the tips that can guide you in your search that I’ve put together with CBOnline. One way is to pick the ones that…
  • 2014 Will Be Flat Time For Equities

    jeff pierce
    14 Apr 2014 | 5:27 pm
    By Chris Haley This year and early next is going to be a relatively flat time for equities. My Target for the S+P is 1950 at year end, but we’ll be going up and down in between. This April correction will take us down to near 1700, but in May I guess we’ll be near 1900, then back down June, up in July, Down In Aug/Sept then Oct to year end a rally to take us to 1950. Early next year we’ll rally over 2,000, only for a fed funds increase pull back to 1850 by the summer and so we’ll have gone nowhere for 18 months, but it’s a monthly traders dream! Expect after…
  • S&P Breaks Support. Dollar Hasn’t Yet

    Jeff Pierce
    13 Apr 2014 | 10:49 pm
    By Jeff Pierce           Related Posts: Calls Of A Market Top Have Emerged 10 Days Of Strength For Crude Coming Dollar Could Break Support In Coming Weeks
  • It’s Official – First Correction Since 2012

    chris
    13 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    By Chris Ebert It is often possible to tell what the weather is, simply by looking out of a window. If folks are bundled in heavy jackets, it’s probably cold outside. If everyone’s in their shirt sleeves or short pants, then chances are good that it’s warm. The stock market environment can be determined the same way, except that instead of clothing, stock traders use stock options for protection. Some stock options are like heavy jackets, while others are like short pants. A quick look at those stock options will reveal a great deal about the stock market environment. Although it is an…
 
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    Keegan Larson

  • What is a ‘Black Swan’? Nassim Nicholas Taleb Explains

    Keegan Larson
    16 Apr 2014 | 4:10 pm
    Nassim Taleb explains what a Black Swan is in February 2008 at a talk in San Francisco. This is particularly interesting because in just a few short months, his prediction would come true. An event similar to the ones he describes occurred and we had one of the most severe financial crashes since the Great […]
  • Robert Shiller on Market Bubbles and Busts

    Keegan Larson
    4 Apr 2014 | 2:37 pm
    David Wessel from WSJ Money interviews Robert Shiller about market bubbles and busts – and even where the term “irrational exuberance” came from. I generally enjoy Wessel and this interview was an insightful look into Shiller’s thinking about bubbles. Yes, they should be preventable but the reality is we don’t have an effective way to […]
  • Getting Personal with Nassim Nicholas Taleb

    Keegan Larson
    3 Apr 2014 | 11:19 am
    This video provides a nice glimpse into some areas of Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Going behind the scenes to see his view on stress and what a book should be. I really value Taleb’s views on stress and have worked to organize my calendar in a way that is stress reducing. It can be difficult to […]
  • Robert Shiller Interview with The Guardian

    Keegan Larson
    26 Mar 2014 | 3:33 pm
    I like when some of our best academics get a chance to talk about ideas and solutions to problems they see. In this Robert Shiller interview, he gets an opportunity to do just that. His views on democratizing financial instruments and making them serve the people is at the heart of many economics theories – […]
  • Aetheists and the Stock Market by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

    Keegan Larson
    23 Mar 2014 | 4:29 pm
    This is another in the line of talks Nassim Taleb gave in 2008 in San Francisco. If you’ve ever wondered what aetheists and the stock market have in common, listen to Taleb’s explanation. Video transcript below: On of the things I discuss in my next book, I studied religion a little bit. I don’t believe […]
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    NEW ECONOMY

  • Don't Leave BitCoin to the Libertarians! (Or, why Your Movement Needs Open Source Money)

    Nathan Schneider
    14 Apr 2014 | 4:40 pm
    This article originally appeared at Wagingnonviolence.org. Photo by Antana/ Flickr. Among activists one often finds an aversion to even thinking about money. Associating it with the opponent—who has lots of it—they try to do without money themselves. Often, for as long as they can, they try to organize and resist without it, until burning out, quitting and getting into a different line of work just to keep up on rent. But, as the 19th century U.S. populist movement recognized, money is also a battleground. Today, as a new wave of sophisticated digital currencies are beginning to arise,…
  • Video: Can We Create Living-Wage Jobs for Everyone?

    Laura Flanders
    9 Apr 2014 | 4:15 pm
    What is a good job? Do tax breaks to self-proclaimed "job creators" actually create jobs and if so, what kind of jobs? How do we ensure that public money is spent for public good? "We see too much emphasis on the concept of a job," Bettina Damiani tells host Laura Flanders in an interview with GRITtv. "We have more low-income jobs, but fewer in the middle where we really need the investment." Bettina Damiani has worked as the Project Coordinator at Good Jobs First for the past 13 years, coordinating campaigns that fight for economic transparency, fairness and equality for all New Yorkers. She…
  • A New Source of Jobs for India's Rural Women? (Hint: It's in Your Shampoo)

    Shilpi Chhotray
    9 Apr 2014 | 4:10 pm
    The author is a consultant at Future 500. Women fasten young seaweed plants to rope in preparation for growing. Photo by Ganesh Vishwanath / AquAgri Processing. Among the rocky beaches, mudflats, and lagoons that line the southeastern tip of India, it’s not unusual to see a group of women working together around a bamboo raft. These women are tending to young seaweed plants that, in just a month's time, will grow to five times their current size. One raft's harvest of seaweed is worth more than a fisherman’s daily pay. For a variety of reasons, seaweed farming works well for women in…
  • After Death of Radical Mayor, Mississippi's Capital Wrestles With His Economic Vision

    Laura Flanders
    1 Apr 2014 | 5:10 pm
    Jackson residents Kali Akuno, Nia Umoja, and Brandon King (left to right) discuss economic development plans in the city. Photo by Laura Flanders. On his way into work every morning, Chokwe Lumumba, the late mayor of Jackson, Miss., used to pass a historical marker:  “Jackson City Hall: built 1846-7 by slave labor.” The building, like the city around it, came into being when African American lives didn’t count for much. Unpaid black workers created Mississippi’s plantation fortunes; as recently as the 1960s, their descendants were still earning $3 to $6 a day as sharecropper farmers.
  • Want to Fight the Corporate Takeover? Start with a Pint at the Pub

    David Bollier
    28 Mar 2014 | 4:38 pm
    Dad and toddler toast in a pub. Photo by Flickr /futurestreet. This article was written by David Bollier for Bollier.org, where it originally appeared. Why should investors always have the upper hand in "development" plans when the resource at stake is a beloved building or public space? Why should the divine right of capital necessarily prevail? The Community Pubs Minister extols "the importance of the local pub as part of our economic, social and cultural past. How refreshing to learn that England has created a special legal process for preventing market enclosures of community pubs. There…
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    Central Bank News

  • Central Bank News Link List - Apr 16, 2014 - Yellen: Full employment in forecast; still 2 years away

    centralbanknews.info
    16 Apr 2014 | 3:58 pm
    Here's today's Central Bank News' link list click through if you missed the previous link list. The list comprises news about central banks that is not covered by Central Bank News. The list is updated during the day with the latest developments so readers don't miss any important news.Yellen: Full employment in forecast; still 2 years away (MNI)Fed saw continued growth across U.S. as harsh weather abated (Bloomberg)Fed’s Fisher unworried by current low inflation (Reuters)French economy minister urges talks over euro strength (Reuters)Brazil food prices easing, rate hikes to be…
  • Mozambique holds rate, maintains "prudent" policy

    centralbanknews.info
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:02 pm
         Mozambique's central bank maintained its benchmark standing facility rate at 8.25 percent and will intervene in markets to maintain the monetary base at 46.451 billion meticais in April, continuing what it described as "a prudent monetary policy" in an environment characterized by uncertainty about global economic growth along with domestic and international risks.    The April target for Mozambique's monetary base is up 4 percent from the Bank of Mozambique's March target of 44.657 billion meticais and the February target of 44.994 billion. In 2013 the central…
  • Canada holds rate, change depends on new information

    centralbanknews.info
    16 Apr 2014 | 7:05 am
        The Bank of Canada (BOC), maintained its policy rate at 1.0 percent, as widely expected, and reiterated that "the timing and direction of the next change to the policy rate will depend on how new information influences the balance of risks."    The BOC also repeated its view from March that underlying inflation is expected to remain below its 2.0 percent target "for some time" so the downside risks to inflation remain important while at the same time the risks associated with household imbalances remain elevated.    "In sum, the Bank continues to see a…
  • Namibia keeps rate on "encouraging" 2014 prospects

    centralbanknews.info
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:10 am
        Namibia's central bank maintained its repo rate at 5.50 percent, saying the country's economy performed broadly satisfactory in the first two months of this year and "the prospects for 2014 are encouraging as economic growth is expected to continue and inflation will remain at sustainable levels."    The Bank of Namibia, which last cut its rate in August 2012, maintained its forecast for the economy to expand by 5.3 percent in 2014, supported by a a continued expansion of construction activities and mining - mainly diamond mining - along with strong growth in consumer…
  • Will US escape inflation that follows money printing?

    centralbanknews.info
    15 Apr 2014 | 12:44 pm
       (Following article is written by Michael Lombardi of Profit Confidential for Central Bank News. Central Bank News will occasionally carry articles by guest contributors if they are of interest to our readers.)  Is the Federal Reserve ignoring the very basic law of economics…the law of diminishing marginal utility? You remember that term from economics in high school. The law of diminishing marginal utility states that the more of something you have, the lesser its impact on you.    The Fed has been printing money in hopes of stimulating growth in the U.S.
 
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    Business Insider

  • PUTIN: Obama Would Save Me If I Were Drowning

    Brett LoGiurato
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:46 am
    Russian President Vladimir Putin believes his U.S. counterpart, President Barack Obama, would save him if he were drowning.  Putin received the strange question during an annual televised call-in with the nation on Thursday. To laughter, he responded that though he doesn't have much of a personal relationship with Obama, he believes Obama would save him.  "I don't want to be drowning!" Putin said, according to a translation by Russia Today. "... I don't think I have a close personal relationship with Obama. I think Obama is courageous and a good person, and for sure he would save…
  • Less Than One-Third Of Top Retailers Currently Send Their Customers Push Notifications

    Cooper Smith
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:38 am
    Welcome to our new E-Commerce Insider newsletter, a morning email with the top news and analysis on the e-commerce industry, produced by BI Intelligence.  Click here to sign up for E-Commerce Insider today, and receive it every morning in your inbox.  RETAILERS NOT SENDING PUSH NOTIFICATIONS: Although a mobile strategy is becoming a must for retailers — 77% now have a mobile app — only 31% of the top 100 online stores are currently sending push notifications. Retailers are missing a huge opportunity to engage more customers via push notifications, as 70%…
  • E-COMMERCE INSIDER: Retailer Push Notifications — Tesco Earnings — PayPal's Buyer Protection Policy

    Cooper Smith
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:35 am
    Welcome to our new E-Commerce Insider newsletter, a morning email with the top news and analysis on the e-commerce industry, produced by BI Intelligence.  RETAILERS NOT SENDING PUSH NOTIFICATIONS: Although a mobile strategy is becoming a must for retailers — 77% now have a mobile app — only 31% of the top 100 online stores are currently sending push notifications. Retailers are missing a huge opportunity to engage more customers via push notifications, as 70% of mobile users have push notifications enabled on their phone and/or tablet. Push notifications alert someone when…
  • JOBLESS CLAIMS FALL TO ITS LOWEST LEVEL SINCE OCTOBER 2007

    Sam Ro
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:23 am
    The Department of Labor just published its latest tally of initial unemployment insurance claims. Claims climbed to just 304,000, which was below the 315,000 forecasted by economists. Last week's number was revised up to 302,000 from 300,000. "There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims," said the DoL. This all brings the four-week moving average down to 312,000 from 316,750.. "This is the lowest level for this average since October 6, 2007 when it was 302,000," they noted. "The lower claims reading during the April nonfarm payroll survey week suggests that labor…
  • PAYMENTS INSIDER: Payments Funding High — AmEx Earnings — A Bitcoin Documentary

    Keith Griffith and John Heggestuen
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:15 am
    Payments Insider is delivered first thing every morning exclusively to BI Intelligence subscribers. PAYMENTS FUNDING HITS NEW HIGH: Committed capital to payments companies has hit a five-year high with 59 startups raising $492 million during the first quarter of 2014, according to TechCrunch. The influx of capital would be cause for concern in many industries in which more money equals more competition, but payments is somewhat of an exception. While there is constant, intense competition in the space, there are also tons of partnerships. For example, payments processor Heartland…
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    Business + Economy – Articles – The Conversation

  • Trains, planes and automobiles: how our cities get the mix wrong

    Chris Hale, Lecturer, Department of Infrastructure Engineering at University of Melbourne
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:16 pm
    It’s hard to get past the feeling that we are stuck in 1970s thinking when it comes to planning infrastructure such as airports. The Federal government has finally announced Badgerys Creek in Sydney’s south-west as the city’s second airport, with an intention to go to tender - but without vital details on the role of the airport or its passenger prospects. Earlier this week, the Victorian government announced in vague fashion an intent to push ahead with delivery of a Melbourne airport rail link - costs, benefits, delivery timing and network integration issues all uncertain. These two…
  • Japan-Australia deal leaves beef trade in the 20th century

    Bill Pritchard, University of Sydney
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) signed last week is a bilateral trade deal in the old-fashioned mould. In the twenty-first century, global economic negotiations tend to be preoccupied with rules about investment and intellectual property, rather than trade. It is not coincidental that a member of the Liberal Party (Andrew Robb) rather than a National, has charge of this portfolio in the Abbott Government. But the JAEPA is a twenty-first century rerun of the narrative that dominated Australian trade policy during the latter twentieth century. The Japanese wanted…
  • G20 tax reform mired in shadowy world of lobbying

    John Barrick, Associate Professor of Accountancy at Brigham Young University
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:30 pm
    Researchers estimate the US loses more than US$90 billion annually in corporate income tax revenues from tax loopholes and tax havens, also known as base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). With a growing perception that multinationals consider income taxes voluntary, international tax reform is on the agenda. However, prospects for significant reform are dim as large, well-funded groups successfully lobby the US – where corporate tax reform has stalled – to maintain the status quo. At the OECD, proposals to replace current toothless transfer pricing rules are off the table. In the most…
  • We are all sheep: what Uniqlo and H&M tell us about Australian retail

    Paul Harrison, Senior lecturer, Graduate School of Business at Deakin University
    15 Apr 2014 | 10:02 pm
    What do H&M, Uniqlo, Krispy Kreme, New Year’s Eve, and the AFL Grand Final have in common? Scarcity. Well, at least for a short time. And a little bit of hype, plus some tribal instincts and social modelling thrown in for good measure. If you’re one of those people who lined up in the rain last week so that you could get some Scandinavian bargains at H&M in Melbourne, you’ll have a sense of what I am getting at (and you may also be open to the idea that maybe the future of traditional shopfront retail is not all doom and gloom. Rain did not deter shoppers for queueing for hours…
  • O’Farrell fell short of basic standards in business and public life

    Thomas Clarke, Professor, Centre for Corporate Governance at University of Technology, Sydney
    15 Apr 2014 | 10:01 pm
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    Mindful Money » Shaun Richards

  • Why is Janet Yellen talking the US Dollar down?

    Shaun Richards
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:31 am
    There is a saying that when the US economy sneezes the world catches a cold. So it must have been a very strong sneeze back in 2007/08 as the cold has not yet gone, indeed rather like the actual viruses of 2014 it seems to keep returning and recycling itself. Last year we saw the impact of expected rather than actual changes in US monetary policy as fear of tapering (reduction in the rate of Quantitative Easing) bounced even large economies like India around like a cork in an ocean. However if we look at the main measure of economic output that is GDP (Gross Domestic Product) the US economy…
  • With the strong UK employment market is it time for Forward Guidance mark three?

    Shaun Richards
    16 Apr 2014 | 3:15 am
    The credit crunch era has had some unexpected effects on the UK labour market. If we look for positives we have seen employment outperform and unemployment underperform what many would have expected if they had been told what would happen from 2008 onwards. However the other side of this particular coin has been the performance of wages where growth has consistently been exceeded by inflation and the performance of recorded labour productivity which fell between 2010 and 2013 before picking up. Again this would have foiled forecasters as I saw prediction after prediction which assumed that…
  • The UK economy combines both house price inflation and goods price disinflationary pressure

    Shaun Richards
    15 Apr 2014 | 3:11 am
    The headline for official figures recording UK consumer inflation has improved considerably over the past twelve months. For example if we look back a year to March 2013 we see that the annual rate of consumer inflation was 2.8% as opposed to the 1.6% number just released for March 2014. Accordingly we have now had a welcome three months or if you wish to put it another way the whole of 2014 where consumer price inflation (CPI) has been below its official target of 2%. However the situation is not unlike that of a swan as whilst the situation is serene on the surface there is much going on…
  • Is this finally the Grecovery we keep being promised?

    Shaun Richards
    14 Apr 2014 | 3:28 am
    The situation regarding the economy of Greece has been one where we have been promised a turn for the better for a couple of years now. However these promises have time and time again been met by a reality which not only failed to back this up but saw further declines. If we step back for some perspective we can review what was originally promised back in the last spring of 2010 when the “shock and awe” plan was introduced by European finance ministers which included Christine Lagarde who is now Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. A sort of keeping it in the…
  • What next for for Abenomics and Japan? A return to nuclear power?

    Shaun Richards
    11 Apr 2014 | 3:34 am
    One of the themes of this blog has been that the economics experiment being carried out in Japan by the government of Shinzo Abe in Japan is likely to be unsuccessful,for the majority of Japanese anyway. Today I will open by showing developments in a measure which has been used by supporters of what has become called Abenomics to declare a sign of success. This is the value of the Japanese equity market. When the Nikkei 225 equity index rose by 52% in 2013 this was presented as a sign that the medicine was working and that Japan was on its way to economic recovery. However 2014 has told a…
 
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    SurvivalBlog.com

  • Notes from HJL:

    Jim Rawles
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:16 pm
    April 16th is the birthday of two notable novelists: Agorist-Libertarian activist J. Neil Schulman (born April 16, 1953). He is best known as author of the novel Alongside Night. and, The late Samuel Youd(born 1922, died February 3, 2012). He was the British novelist who was best known for his science fiction writings under the pseudonym John Christopher, including the survivalist novel Death of Grass(titled No Blade of Grass, in the American edition) as well as the Tripods Seriesof young adult sci-fi novel series. A fascinating man, Youd wrote prolifically, using eight pen names. He was a…
  • Amazon's Mechanical Turk– A Real, Honest, Stay-at-home Job, by LAT

    Jim Rawles
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:15 pm
    This article is not about practical survival skills; it's quite the opposite. It is a pre-collapse idea only and will disappear post-SHTF. Why this is useful information is that it's an idea that may let you make the leap to living at your retreat full-time sooner and help you make ends meet while other income sources are developed. It is a plan for your home-based business, requiring no start up capital, and it's a job for which you are already hired. You won't have to leave the house to work or to get paid. There is actually no selling either. I, like many of you, am a stay-at-home mom. My…
  • Two Letters Re: Hyperinflation is Coming: 10 Basic Steps to Surviving an Impending Currency Collapse, by S.P.

    Jim Rawles
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:13 pm
    HJL, In reference to the article "http://www.survivalblog.com/2014/04/hyperinflation-is-coming-10-basic-steps-to-surviving-an-impending-currency-collapse-by-sp-part-2.html", the author speaks about selling on eBay and using PayPal. I must advise your readers that this is indeed a good idea, however, please be informed about the rules and regulations dealing with taxes. There are limits as to how many items/listings you can sell and how much money you gain prior to them being reported to our favorite entity– the IRS. There are a few things that can be done, such as selling in lots. For…
  • Economics and Investing:

    Jim Rawles
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:12 pm
    86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers o o o Items from The Economatrix: Strong Retail Sales Data Didn't Move The Needle For GDP Growth Spotlight On The Economy: Low Inflation And Dovish Fed Speakers Paul Craig Roberts Warns U.S. Now Close To Total Collapse Inflation Is All Around Us If You Know Where To Look: Spiking Food Costs, Rising Home Prices And Rents, And More Expensive Energy. Gold Drops Nearly 2%; Silver, Copper Take Hits
  • Odds 'n Sods:

    Jim Rawles
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:11 pm
    Here's an awesome deal on storage food in the Reno, Nevada area. A personal friend of mine is moving, and has 80 buckets of grain, beans, and staples sealed with oxygen absorbers. He'll take $20 per bucket ($1600) for them all, plus will throw in some extras. He also has 45 cases (six #10 cans per case) of various freeze-dried food, selling for $65 per case (half price). The only catch is that anything remaining will be donated to charity on Friday, so act fast. You can connect through his craigslist ad. - B.L. o o o While eyes are focused on the Bundy Ranch, another rancher has been winning…
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    OpenMarkets

  • Monday Outlook: A Spring Thaw for Consumers

    OpenMarkets
    14 Apr 2014 | 3:48 pm
      U.S. retail sales for March were released today, and the news is good. Overall retail sales saw a 1.1 percent jump, which was the highest monthly increase since September 2012.  A big part of the increase can be attributed to a 3.1 percent jump in auto sales.  Call it a spring thaw for consumers. Here’s what else is happening this week: Tuesday: National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index 10:00 AM ET   Wednesday: U.S. Industrial Production 9:15 AM ET Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations 10:00 AM ET U.S. Beige Book 2:00 PM ET   Thursday: Philadelphia…
  • Market Update: A Temporary Bounce?

    OpenMarkets
    14 Apr 2014 | 3:39 pm
      After last week’s volatility, we’re off to a different start this week. After dovish comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and looking ahead to earnings we may see what Jack calls a “temporary bounce and reprieve in the market.”
  • Market Update: Extreme Volatility in Stocks

    OpenMarkets
    11 Apr 2014 | 3:59 pm
      It’s been a volatile week for equities markets, led by the Nasdaq which saw one of its worst weeks in a long time. Jack says to bring perspective to the situation: We’re looking at a market that is digesting a lot of geopolitical news and almost 18 months of large-scale growth. The 3 – 5 percent pullback this week is to be expected.
  • Marc Faber: A Stock Market Crash is Coming

    Evan Peterson
    11 Apr 2014 | 3:45 pm
      They don’t call him Dr. Doom for nothing. Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom, Boom and Doom Report, proclaimed on Thursday’s episode of CNBC’s Futures Now that he expects equity markets to drop dramatically over the next year. “I think it’s very likely that in the next 12 months we’ll see an ’87 type of crash, and I suspect it will be even worse,” he says. It should be noted that Faber has had mixed results in the past with such predictions. He correctly predicted the market’s bottom in 2009, but also predicted an ’87-type…
  • Coal Futures in a Clean Coal Future

    Joanna McMaster
    11 Apr 2014 | 1:55 pm
      In a recent cover story for Wired, Charles C. Mann writes that coal produces more than 40 percent of the world’s electricity today. Global demand comes predominantly from China and other emerging economies as their need for a consistent energy source continues to grow.  Mann indicates that this percentage is increasing: “In the past decade, coal added more to the global energy supply than any other source.” He lauds the efforts of China to lead the way to create “clean coal” by pioneering carbon capture and storage projects. The demand in China isn’t just growing, it’s…
 
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    What is Economics?

  • Economic Growth and its Indicators

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

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

    nyaga
    10 Mar 2014 | 11:20 pm
    In economics, land is one of the three factors of production according to the classical economists which involves all the natural resources that can be used in the production process. Note that the definition of land in economics is very different from the definition in other field such as literature. In literature land is basically the top layer of the earth’s crust including artificially occurring resources such as housing. In economics we consider only the naturally occurring resources irrespective of whether they are on “land”, sea, or above the earth’s surface. For example…
  • Factors of Production

    nyaga
    24 Feb 2014 | 1:33 am
    In economics our main aim is to manage the limited means of production to try and satisfy our unlimited wants. To do this we use the production curve/function to amplify, create and transfer the raw materials to consumable.  To get the end products, we have different factors of production in economics. The factors of production are the main input factors in the production process or in the production curve. The end products in the production process are the finished goods or the output. The relationship between the input and output factors in economics is what we describe as the production…
  • National Debt

    nyaga
    18 Feb 2014 | 1:12 am
    The national debt is simply the total amount owed by the central government. The national debt will include all the government liabilities including all goods and services lendered / purchased by the government but not paid for. The Other term used in place of National debt is public debt. National debt is one of the many ways used by the government to finance its expenditures. Some individual use the term government deficit to describe the national debt but it is not correct. Government deficit is simply the difference between government spending and its income within a period of one year.
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    eWallstreeter

  • Reading "Capital": Chapters 10, 11, and 12

    17 Apr 2014 | 3:21 am
    LAST year Thomas Piketty, an economist at the Paris School of Economics and a renowned expert on global inequality, published a book titled "Capital in the Twenty-first Century"—in French. It was released in English on March 10th. We reviewed the book earlier this year, but it is detailed and important enough, in our opinion, to deserve additional discussion. We will therefore be publishing a series of posts over the next few weeks—live-blogging the book, as it were—to draw out its argumen
  • Will Russian Sanctions Compromise Global Energy Security?

    17 Apr 2014 | 2:18 am
    russiaflagbleeding.jpg Home Page News Page Photo Credit: bekulnis / Shutterstock.com After a series of headline-grabbing statements about the possibility of “switching” European consumers over to American gas, the US media hastened to announce the launch of Obama’s o
  • Talk of Bloodless Coup in Donetsk; European Countries Resent US Tone; Low Hopes for Peace Talks; War, What Is It Good For?

    16 Apr 2014 | 11:13 pm
    Another bloodless coup in Ukraine is underway. This time, it's in the Donetsk region.Should it come to that ending, it would be the third Ukrainian coup in a matter of months (counting the ouster of former president Viktor Yanukovych followed by the coup in Crimea).Talk of Bloodless, Passive Coup in DonetskPlease consider Kiev’s Weak Grip on East Falters. Moscow is only an hour ahead of Donetsk but the inflammatory descriptions emanating from Russia over events in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday
  • Germany’s RWE Starts Pumping Natural Gas To Ukraine

    16 Apr 2014 | 9:44 pm
    RWE is the first European energy company to agree to supply gas to Ukraine, with the delivery likely to come via pipelines in Poland. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); A German utility company has begun supplying natural gas to Ukraine under a contract signed two years ago, reported the Wall Street Journal, bringing hopes that Ukraine can reduce its reliance on gas imported from Russia.
  • 'Secular Stagnation or Secular Boom?'

    16 Apr 2014 | 9:31 pm
    Antonio Fatás: Secular stagnation or secular boom?: The notion that some countries are caught in a long and protracted period of low growth ... has been labeled "secular stagnation". The pessimism that the idea of secular stagnation has created has...
 
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    Monetary Realism

  • Market Monetarism – Monetary Base Overdrive

    JKH
    14 Apr 2014 | 12:10 am
    Martin Wolf has written (HT Cullen Roche) an excellent article on the recent Bank of England paper. Here are his key summary points from that article: First, banks are not just financial intermediaries. The act of saving does not increase deposits in banks. If your employer pays you, the deposit merely shifts from its account to yours. This does not affect the quantity of money; additional money is instead a byproduct of lending. What makes banks special is that their liabilities are money – a universally acceptable IOU. In the UK, 97 per cent of broad money consists of bank deposits…
  • Thomas Palley on Steve Keen’s Model of Aggregate Demand

    JKH
    1 Apr 2014 | 5:03 am
    Thomas Palley’s paper is here: http://www.thomaspalley.com/docs/research/ad_and_debt.pdf (HT: Ramanan) Some time ago, a few of us were after Steve Keen in respect of his newly defined aggregate demand function, pointing to a time-inconsistency in its income and non-income flow of funds components. He has since corrected this, with a model whose principal defining equation is now compatible with stock/flow consistent accounting. Thomas Palley notes (his interpretation) this change in Keen’s definition of aggregate demand: First version (2009): “In fact, we live in a fundamentally…
  • Money Creation in the Modern Economy (Bank of England)

    JKH
    13 Mar 2014 | 3:16 am
    This is an excellent paper: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/quarterlybulletin/2014/qb14q1prereleasemoneycreation.pdf The paper is written in easy to understand language and helpful balance sheet graphics. It does a particularly good job in simplifying several technical issues. As Cullen Rochenotes, the money multiplier is dispatched to the ash can of history, where it belongs. It is reassuring to see this sort of recognition coming out of the central banks as regular production now, although that has been the case to some degree for a while now. And Ramanan  points to…
  • The Bank of England Debunks the Money Multiplier

    Cullen Roche
    12 Mar 2014 | 9:40 am
    Regular readers will be more than familiar with the debunking of the money multiplier and the concept that banks don’t lend out reserves or deposits (see here & here), but it’s nice to see it catching on in places more important than this lowly blog.  A new research report out of the Bank of England debunks the money multplier in one of the best overall presentations of the concept that I’ve seen.   And much of it sounds like stuff I could have written (in fact, I’ve stated almost all of these points at times during the last 5 years).  I won’t go into…
  • Negative Money

    JKH
    9 Feb 2014 | 3:04 pm
    This post is just for fun – or negative fun – or something. It follows from a Nick Rowe post with the same title: http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_initi/2014/02/negative-money.html I’m going to tell a story that should be similar in concept to Nick’s, but described in quite a different way. I think it should end up in about the same place as a platform for discussing the issues that Nick is interested in. Or maybe not. But anybody who is interested can compare the two. So, imagine a simple two sector model of the economy – the government and the private sector.
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    ftmdaily.com

  • Mastercard Stock Price Nearing New Buy Signal

    Jerry Robinson
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Investors who first bought Mastercard stock after it went public back in 2006 are sitting on some massive gains. (Nearly 1600%!)Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the author of Bankruptcy of Our Nation: Your Financial Survival Guide In 2010, Jerry created FTMDaily.com with a mission to wake up Americans and share with them the principles of true financial and spiritual liberty. Every Saturday he hosts the FTMWeekly Radio, a one hour podcast covering economic and geopolitical topics. Jerry has been blessed to be able to lecture around the globe on the…
  • Profiting from the U.S. Energy Revolution

    Jerry Robinson
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    America's oil and gas revolution is changing everything...Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the author of Bankruptcy of Our Nation: Your Financial Survival Guide In 2010, Jerry created FTMDaily.com with a mission to wake up Americans and share with them the principles of true financial and spiritual liberty. Every Saturday he hosts the FTMWeekly Radio, a one hour podcast covering economic and geopolitical topics. Jerry has been blessed to be able to lecture around the globe on the topic of economic and geopolitical trends. He holds a degree in…
  • The U.S. Energy Revolution: It’s For Real

    Jay Peroni
    16 Apr 2014 | 4:55 am
    Led by increased production of both shale oil and shale gas, the U.S. is finally reversing an energy production decline that spanned at least 35 years.Author informationJay PeroniJay Peroni is a Certified Financial Planner and investment advisor with 16 years of money management experience. He is a public speaker, and is the author of The Faith-Based Millionaire. He is a leading authority on the subject of Faith-Based Investing. He is a frequent contributing writer to FTMDaily.com and provides regular market commentary for the FTMWeekly Radio program. In addition, Jay manages Jerry Robinson's…
  • Palladium Soars to 32-Month High On Supply Fears

    Jerry Robinson
    15 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Palladium prices are on fire...Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the author of Bankruptcy of Our Nation: Your Financial Survival Guide In 2010, Jerry created FTMDaily.com with a mission to wake up Americans and share with them the principles of true financial and spiritual liberty. Every Saturday he hosts the FTMWeekly Radio, a one hour podcast covering economic and geopolitical topics. Jerry has been blessed to be able to lecture around the globe on the topic of economic and geopolitical trends. He holds a degree in Economics from the University of…
  • Russia Declares War on U.S. Dollar

    Jerry Robinson
    14 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Russian energy firm says Asian oil buyers ready to drop dollars and pay in euros.Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the author of Bankruptcy of Our Nation: Your Financial Survival Guide In 2010, Jerry created FTMDaily.com with a mission to wake up Americans and share with them the principles of true financial and spiritual liberty. Every Saturday he hosts the FTMWeekly Radio, a one hour podcast covering economic and geopolitical topics. Jerry has been blessed to be able to lecture around the globe on the topic of economic and geopolitical trends. He…
 
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    Exchange Rates UK - Currency News

  • Best Pound Dollar Exchange Rate in 2014 as UK Unemployment Data Sends GBP Sterling Upward

    Adam Solomon
    17 Apr 2014 | 1:00 am
    The Pound Sterling (currency:GBP) maintained a firm tone against the majors yesterday, with the Pound Dollar exchange rate rising through 1.68 GBP/USD, albeit briefly, after the latest UK unemployment release didn’t disappoint and came out stronger than initial market forecasts. There was a further decline in the claimant count of over... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Pound Euro Exchange Rate GBP EUR Rises Today as Euro Currency Weakens on EuroZone Inflation Levels

    Samuel Allen
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    Euro zone inflation has plunged to its lowest level since November 2009, the value of the Euro (currency:EUR) has fallen dramatically boosting the Pound Euro exchange rate (GBP/EUR) to new highs as a result. Euro zone inflation has reached dangerously low levels the impact on business and personal spending is likely to be... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Exchange Rates Outlook: Pound Sterling to Dollar, Euro, Australian Dollar & South African Rand 16/04/2014

    Yvic Carr
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    The Pound Dollar exchange rate (GBP/USD) strengthened on Wednesday as UK data prints showed an underlying improvement in economic conditions. The number of out of work persons in the UK fell to its lowest point in 5 year, falling by 77,000 in the 3 months to February to end at 2.24m. The unemployment rate is now at 6.9% - just below the Bank... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Pound to Euro & Pound to Dollar Exchange Rate Gain as GBP Sterling Continues Upward Trend

    Adam Solomon
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) and Pound Dollar (GBP/USD) exchange rates continued to make solid progress on Tuesday, with the Sterling to US Dollar exchange rate rising through 1.6750 GBP/USD, despite a further drop in consumer price inflation for the month of March. The headline CPI data was in line with market expectations with a further... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Exchange Rates Outlook: Pound Sterling to Euro, US Dollar & Australian Dollar Update 15/04/2014

    Yvic Carr
    15 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    Here is today's Pound Sterling exchange rates outlook for Pound to Euro (GBP/EUR), US Dollar (GBP/USD) & Australian Dollar (GBP/AUD): The Pound Euro exchange rate (GBP/EUR) remained relatively stable with +0.15% of upside seen for GBP which traded up to 1.210 by 13:00. The ZEW Economic Sentiment figure for April disappointed with the index... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
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    BusinessClimate.com Blog

  • Vancouver: Being Green in a ‘Most Livable’ City

    Bill McMeekin
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:40 am
    VANCOUVER, Canada – At the doorstep of thePacific Rim, in a city that has been named among the world’s most livable and anchors a region that is seeing a population net gain of 40,000 a each year is the intersection of planned development, multi-modal transit, walkable neighborhoods and sustainability as strategy and policy. Vancouver is committed to those principles, not just because it wants to, but because it has to. Mayor Gregor Robinson describes Vancouver as a city “that punches above its weight.” And it does. When it says it is an international city, it means…
  • Why Solving the Skills Gap Starts and Ends With Employers

    Emily McMackin
    10 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    The skills gap is one of the top issues plaguing employers in their quest to hire talent, boost productivity, innovate and compete in a global economy, but how real is it? Inc. magazine recently took an in-depth look at the so-called skills gap, calling into question the scope and severity of the problem and arguing that it’s more perception than reality. While some specialty industries like welding, engineering, and computer systems and software design in specific places do have a shortage of qualified workers, the article assets, talented, skilled and capable workers seeking…
  • How Technology Will Make or Break the U.S. Manufacturing Resurgence

    Emily McMackin
    3 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Manufacturing continues to build momentum, and technology is the wind behind its sails, according to an annual trends report released this month by SME’s Manufacturing Engineering Media, a leading news source on advanced manufacturing in North America. The industry showed a modest bump for the month of March, with orders edging up slightly, productivity rising by several points and factory activity expanding for the 10th straight month. Latest U.S. job figures confirm that growth. Of the 622,000 manufacturing jobs added to the economy since early 2012, more than 80,000 have been created…
  • Entrepreneurs: Why It Makes Sense To Cultivate Them

    Bill McMeekin
    1 Apr 2014 | 3:30 am
    Is the era of chasing the big factory project over? Some economic development professionals say changing dynamics mean that, even at a time when manufacturing investment is seeing an uptick in the U.S., there are fewer projects to chase and more reasons to focus resources on cultivating entrepreneurship in their communities. Seth Meinzen is an entrepreneur and author whose company, EvisThrive, works with communities around the country to help them create an ecosystem to support entrepreneurship and connect fledgling companies to the resources that will hep them flourish. Creating that…
  • Mega-Regions: Economic Powerhouses of the Present, Job Engines of the Future

    Emily McMackin
    27 Mar 2014 | 7:29 am
    They are the economic powerhouses of the present and are likely to become even more of an economic force in the future. Mega-regions — contiguous areas that encompass more than one major city or metropolitan region — account for more than 60 percent of all U.S. metros and more than 70 percent of the U.S. population, according to economist Richard Florida, who recently produced a study in partnership with the Martin Prosperity Institute examining the populations and economies of these massive metros. Not only are these areas population giants (their combined population includes 230…
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    Penury Street

  • Russia’s Appetite: What’s Next for Eastern Europe?

    Dennis Dotem
    26 Mar 2014 | 1:56 am
    With the recent acquisition of Crimea, Russia has set a precedent that hasn’t been set since the early days of the Cold War: What are you going to do about it? What are the consequences of such action and what the future might hold for international diplomacy and relation, let’s find out.Let’s get history and context out of the way: Both the Crimea and Ukraine were a part of the Soviet Union, and before that, a part of the Russian Empire, and before that a part of the Kievan Rus’ and other bigger, more advanced countries bordering it. Actual independence was achieved…
  • Our Economic System Has Stopped Working

    Dennis Dotem
    27 Jan 2014 | 7:28 am
    What is the purpose of humanity? Some might say the purpose is divine, some argue its ideological. But no one really knows, do they? And if they think they do, they acknowledge their own ignorance. Without much speculation, the human condition has left a few imprints on the never ending history, and by these imprints I and anyone willing, can judge what a true purpose, or rather, a narrative drives the average human.Throughout the years, thousands of years, humans have done nothing but advance in technology and societal order. The primitive hunter gathers became farmers or maybe patricians,…
  • Inflation is Inevitable

    Dennis Dotem
    1 Dec 2013 | 5:48 am
    When the US increases its debt it is to pay government expenses that is not covered by tax collection. Right now more debt is issued than the regular debt market can absorb. The debt that cannot be sold to the free market is basically monetized by the Federal Reserve. The FED create new dollars that they use to purchase the unsold/unsellable debt. At present time the FED is creating around 80-90 Billion USD every month in this manner, about 30% of the monthly government budget. Obviously all of this new money will go to pay wages and for goods and services the government needs. It is quite…
  • Rise of NSA Surveillance: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    Dennis Dotem
    7 Nov 2013 | 4:40 am
    It has become common knowledge to anyone residing in Europe, UK or US that their private communications, whether internet or cellular are being stored and most likely read through by a ginormous conglomerate of surveillance agencies. Most likely as meta-data: snippets of useful information organized by date, time and location. For example, on such a list, your phone call to your husband or wife would be registered as:11.04.2013 3:14 PM – 006 88356453 90 to 006 8867772 90 — 97 seconds — San Diego, CANo nude pictures or family history of heart disease as you can see? So how…
  • What the fuck will happen if US hits the Debt Ceiling?

    Dennis Dotem
    14 Oct 2013 | 1:24 am
    As the Gov. Shutdown progresses into it’s third week,  a bigger, scarier problem arises from the hill: the Debt Ceiling, and the possibility of us defaulting on our debt. Lots of media attention has been already exhausted on hyping it up, and to be perfectly honest with you, I don’t think it will happen, not unless someone screws up a fuck-ton up in Washington D.C, but nevertheless, you are interested in the spectacle that could ensue from a debt-default of the biggest economy in the world, and I shall provide you that pleasure.Lots of people think of Government debt as something…
 
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    Latest blog entries

  • America's New Currency: Clownbux

    6 Apr 2014 | 4:22 pm
    The US Dollar, as defined in the Coinage Act of 1792, is defined as about three-fourths of an ounce of silver. These things that we are paid with today, and use to pay bills are not dollars per se, but rather a piece of scrip printed by the official sounding "Federal Reserve", which is actually a bunch of commercial banks that bribed Congress to let them counterfeit money and loan it to themselves. No, really. Look it up. It isn't good business to change the name of a gourmet ice-cream when you sell out to Unilever, so likewise the banks  printing the new money didn't use a different…
  • 3 Secrets of Engineering Being Used to Keep You Poor

    1 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Tired of replacing crappy new stuff constantly? Does it seem like they just can't build anything right anymore? It turns out that it isn't ignorance or incompetence making your stuff break, but a deliberate effort by intelligent people who know exactly what they're doing. It really doesn't have to be this way, and manufacturers can make equipment that lasts ten or a hundred times as long without breaking a sweat. Here are three well-known secrets that manufacturers would prefer you didn't know.   1. Most Stuff Can Actually Last Forever Your ladle broke. It's time to get a new one. The…
  • How The Cryptocurrencies Will End

    23 Mar 2014 | 7:51 am
    Bitcoin was started in 2009 as open-source software for the secure, anonymous trading of purely digital "currency" called Bitcoins. By late 2013, the price of a Bitcoin in US dollars had gone from basically zero to around 1200 dollars. Many assumed that Bitcoin would become the world currency and replace all existing currencies, given the rate of growth. Unfortunately for the hopefuls, Bitcoins have somewhat stabilized at around $600. However, since the software was open-source, everyone and his brother copied, pasted, changed and renamed their own "cryptocurrencies" that were functionally…
  • 5 Reasons a Pit Bull is Better than a Gun

    17 Mar 2014 | 10:04 am
    When it comes to home defense, a gun only works when you're holding it and its pointed in the right direction. That's awfully specific. A pit bull on the other hand, can protect a home with a couple barks, and unlike a gun they're always "on". So what is a pit bull? "Pit bull" is the name applied to a large collection of fighting dog breeds that have a certain appearance. They have short hair, muscular chests and a characteristic double-hump of bulging jaw muscles on top of their heads. Pit bulls are widely misunderstood, and one must understand the dog's history to understand the dog.
  • Police sporting MRAPs in at least 35 states

    16 Mar 2014 | 7:36 am
    There's a new addition looming pointlessly over police station parking lots across America. It's the MRAP, or Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected vehicle. Approximately a zillion different variants of the MRAP were built for the US military during the Iraq/Afghanistan occupation, and, as it turns out, they aren't especially good at doing anything. So, rather than maintain them, the military has dumped them off on local police forces. The top-heavy, elephantine vehicles are now a fixture across the US: a cursory search of recent news turned up articles like this one in 35 states (links at the…
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    FT Alphaville

  • Markets Live: Thursday, 17th April, 2014

    Bryce Elder
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Live markets commentary from FT.com Continue reading: Markets Live: Thursday, 17th April, 2014
  • Leasing out mutuality

    Joseph Cotterill
    17 Apr 2014 | 2:51 am
    Sale and leaseback transactions represent an expensive addiction the cost of which does not appear, even now, to be fully appreciated by the Board. – Lord Myners, update on review into the Co-operative GroupContinue reading: Leasing out mutuality
  • The (early) Lunch Wrap

    Izabella Kaminska
    17 Apr 2014 | 2:46 am
    IBM hit by costs of restructuring || Google shares dip as earnings disappoint || Yahoo brings co-founder and Schwab on board || Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker scotch and Smirnoff vodka, on Thursday posted a sales drop of almost a fifth in Asia-Pacific in the third quarter, pushing the company to an overall 1.3 per cent decline in organic net sales || China’s Weibo raises a less than planned $285m in US IPO || Yellen warns inflation may lag recovery || American Funds warns on ‘Heartbleed’ bug || Markets Continue reading: The (early) Lunch Wrap
  • China in gold collateral financing shock

    Izabella Kaminska
    17 Apr 2014 | 2:32 am
    This Reuters story about China having up to 1,000 tonnes of gold tied up in financing deals is doing the rounds, courtesy of information out of the WGC. But it’s hardly a revelation. We’ve known that China has been using gold (and almost everything else under the sun) for financing purposes for ages. Goldman even blessed us with a more recent update about the shenanigans in March:Continue reading: China in gold collateral financing shock
  • Further reading

    David Keohane
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:01 pm
    Elsewhere on Thursday, - UK job market turning more American. - The gritty reality of politics in India. - Russian diplomats are eating America’s lunch. - Secular stagnation or secular boom?Continue reading: Further reading
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • Markets in everything, positive pregnancy tests

    Tyler Cowen
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:28 am
    The latest, uh, must-have appears to be positive pregnancy test results. Women across the country are selling — and buying — them on Craigslist. One post from Buffalo, New York, sums up the appeal for potential shoppers: “Wanna get your boyfriend to finally pop the question? Play a trick on Mom, Dad or one of your friends? I really don’t care what you use it for.” That particular test was going for the reasonable rate of $25 dollars. The tests in Texas seem to be slightly more expensive, at $30 a pop. There is more here, via Marcela Veselková.
  • Understanding the Great Recession

    Tyler Cowen
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:23 am
    That is the new paper by Christiano, Eichenbaum, and Trabandt, and it is the most thorough study of the topic I know.  They arrive at this conclusion, the last sentence being of particular interest to me (emphasis added): We argue that the vast bulk of movements in aggregate real economic activity during the Great Recession were due to financial frictions interacting with the zero lower bound. We reach this conclusion looking through the lens of a New Keynesian model in which firms face moderate degrees of price rigidities and no nominal rigidities in the wage setting process. Our model does…
  • The increasing costs of renting

    Tyler Cowen
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:52 am
    For rent and utilities to be considered affordable, they are supposed to take up no more than 30 percent of a household’s income. But that goal is increasingly unattainable for middle-income families as a tightening market pushes up rents ever faster, outrunning modest rises in pay. The strain is not limited to the usual high-cost cities like New York and San Francisco. An analysis for The New York Times by Zillow, the real estate website, found 90 cities where the median rent — not including utilities — was more than 30 percent of the median gross income. In Chicago, rent as a…
  • Vancouver’s cheapest house?

    Tyler Cowen
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:42 am
    A house listed for just under $600,000 in East Vancouver sold for $643,000 after its first weekend on the market. According to the Huffington Post B.C., Vancouver’s cheapest listed single family home attracted large numbers to open houses, with two written offers pushing the final purchase price seven per cent over asking. The price of the 100-year-old, 1,951-square-foot, three-bedroom, detached house at 2622 Clark Dr. was set low initially due to its smaller size and half lot site. “It’s very rare, and that’s why all the excitement,” said RE/MAX realtor Mary…
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:54 am
    1. Do sex ratios affect bird behavior?  And moody lizards. 2. The Brazilian gun library. 3. The (homoerotic) culture that is Finland.  Note that the link is itself…homoerotic.  And the Indian Supreme Court recognizes transgender as a third gender. 4. Excellent Jesse Shapiro slides on how to give an applied micro talk (pdf).  It starts with: “Your audience does not care about your topic.  You have one or two slides to change their minds.”  And the short list for the Clark medal, Jesse is on it. 5. NYT profile of Peter Chang. 6. The problems of Singapore. 7. Scott Sumner…
 
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    Zero Hedge

  • Snowden Calls Into Putin Telethon To Discuss Legality Of Mass Surveillance

    Tyler Durden
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:31 am
    While the western media paints Vladmir Putin as some cross between Napoleon and Hitler marauding across Europe breaking international laws willy-nilly, there is one red line he is apparently unwilling to cross. In a somewhat surprising turn of events, none other than Edward Snowden called in to a Putin live telethon and asked the Russian President: "Does Russia intercept millions of citizens’ data?" Putin's response (whether true or not) is worth paying attention to by his opponent on the world stage: "Russia uses surveillance techniques for spying on individuals only with the sanction of a…
  • A Ramble on PR

    Bruce Krasting
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:31 am
      To me, the big, big, big Macro economic factor is population growth (or the lack of it). Coupled with population growth is the rate of aging within the population. I don't care what the Fed and all the other CB's do to push back on the deflationary consequences of demographics. Those forces of will trump the CB's efforts, it's just a matter of when. Japan is the poster child for this issue. Zero immigration and a declining indigenous population will overwhelm Abenomics. Europe has the same problem, it's about 10 years behind Japan. And then there is the USA - we are…
  • Goldman Reports Worst Q1 Results Since Lehman, Average Employee Pay Drops 7% To $376,840

    Tyler Durden
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:59 am
    Moments ago Goldman reports its first quarter earnings, which beat expectations that had been drastically lowered into this quarter. Specifically, total Q1 revenue printed at $9.33 billion, beating expectations of $8.66Bn, while EPS, which declined 6% from a year ago, also beat Estimates of $3.49 at $4.02. Looking at the key operating segments, the all important FICC revenue was $2.85Bn, also above the sharply reduced estimate of $2.63Bn, while IB was $1.78Bn, more than the Wall Street estimate of $1.52Bn. That was the good news. The bad news: Goldman's first quarter results were the worst…
  • Frontrunning: April 17

    Tyler Durden
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:45 am
    Putin Doesn't Rule Out Sending Troops (WSJ) Japan Cuts Economic View on Tax Rise (WSJ) No "harsh weather" in Chipotle restaurants where comp store sales rose 13.4% (PR) No sanctions for you: EU sanctions push on Russia falters amid big business lobbying (FT) Consumer Spending on Health Care Jumps as Obamacare Takes Hold (BBG) China Seen Cracking on Property Controls (BBG) Google, IBM results raise questions about other tech-sector companies (Reuters) California city evacuation lifted after military ordnance found (Reuters) For Obama, Standoff With Moscow Jumbles Plans at Home and Abroad (WSJ)…
  • Putin Says Russia Will Respond To NATO Moves, Accuses Kiev Of Plunging Ukraine Into "Abyss"

    Tyler Durden
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:30 am
    It didn't take long for Putin to respond to the latest news from the west that NATO was about to boost its military presence in proximity to Russia. Specifically he said that Putin does not see a reason to fear NATO which was to be expected. But the even more predictable punchline: Russia must respond when NATO moves closer to country’s border, President Vladimir Putin says during annual televised call-in show. The Russian president made his views clear during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, ahead of the Geneva two-day meeting during which the…
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    nextnewdeal.net

  • Daily Digest - April 17: How Democracy Became a Luxury Good

    rgoldfarb
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:13 am
    Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email. Government by the Few (All In with Chris Hayes) Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren notes that we now have social science data that proves Occupy was right: our democracy is dominated by the wealthiest Americans. Happy Tax Day (The New Yorker) Benjamin Soskis examines America's esteem for charitable donors over taxpayers, drawing on Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal's piece on the "voluntarism fantasy." Millennial Perspective: Title X is Vital, Efficient, and Largely Unknown (National Priorities Project) Tarsi Dunlop argues that…
  • The Pay's the Thing: How America's CEOs Are Getting Rich Off Taxpayers

    tprice
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:37 am
    Income inequality will continue to rise unless we close the performance pay loophole and curb the growth of executive compensation. For more, see "Fixing a Hole: How the Tax Code for Executive Pay Distorts Economic Incentives and Burdens Taxpayers," by Susan Holmberg and Lydia Austin. It’s proxy season again, and we will soon be deluged with news profiles of CEOs living in high style as our ongoing debate on CEO pay ramps up. Last week, the floodgates opened when the New York Times released its annual survey of the 100 top-earning CEOs. Lawrence Ellison from Oracle Corporation led the list…
  • Millennials Are Shifting the Public Debate with the Power of Their Ideas

    tprice
    16 Apr 2014 | 7:53 am
    The Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network's annual 10 Ideas series collects the top student policy proposals from across the country. This year's journals are now available online; read them here. December 2014 will mark 10 years since a group of college students united behind a new model for engaging young people in the political process, a model that became the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network. Deeply grounded in the belief that young people have more to offer than just showing up on Election Day, the Campus Network has continued to evolve and grow from its visionary beginning into the…
  • Daily Digest - April 16: The Ideas Generation

    tprice
    16 Apr 2014 | 4:07 am
    Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email. That '70s Show, Starring Ted Cruz (New Republic) Despite conservatives' tendency to compare Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter, today's economic challenges are the opposite of those the U.S. faced in the 1970s, writes Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal. When Tax Refunds Aren't Just a Bonus, But a Lifeline (ThinkProgress) Twenty-eight million low-income families depend on the Earned Income Tax Credit to make ends meet, writes Bryce Covert, but not all poor parents qualify for it, and tax preparers' fees can hurt those who do. In Many Cities,…
  • Daily Digest - April 15: What Makes Taxes Worth It?

    tprice
    15 Apr 2014 | 3:33 am
    Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email. Read My Lips: More New Taxes! (New Republic) Tax Day would be a time for celebration if there were a clearer connection between paying taxes and receiving the many valuable public services and benefits they fund, writes Jonathan Cohn. TurboTax Maker Linked to 'Grassroots' Campaign Against Free, Simple Tax Filing (ProPublica) Giving taxpayers the option to use pre-filled tax returns could save them money and time, but tax software developer Intuit is lobbying hard against the proposal, reports Liz Day.  Chances of Getting Audited by IRS Lowest…
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    Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

  • Janet Yellen Speaks! Says Interesting Things! Says Them Exceptionally Clearly!

    Jared Bernstein
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:42 pm
    I enjoyed the chairwoman’s speech today, assessing the state of the economy and holding forth on the Fed’s macro policy.  Here are some bullets, along with an observation about an important way that life has gotten harder—maybe significantly harder—for the Fed in recent years. –As is her wont, Yellen focused on the slack that remains in the job market.  The number 6.5% as an unemployment benchmark was not in the speech.  Clearly, and appropriately, the Fed no longer wants to signal that number as a meaningful threshold, focusing instead on “full employment” which for them…
  • Two Things to Watch and One to Listen To

    Jared Bernstein
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:25 am
    Typically, I impose on my readers to…um…read, but here are three links to things I strongly recommend you watch or give a listen to. 1) Thomas Piketty at EPI: His book, Capital in the 21st Century, is quickly and deservedly on its way to becoming a classic, and here he is on a great panel moderated by Heather Boushey and featuring Robert Solow, Betsey Stevenson, and Josh Bivens. A few highlights: I found Bivens’ opening remarks extremely crisp and incisive.  Solow’s contributions were also very important, especially his connection of Piketty’s main thesis—wealth accumulation…
  • Tax Day Round Up

    Jared Bernstein
    15 Apr 2014 | 12:27 pm
    –Here’s my more detailed take on the tax fairness question, over at the NYT Economix Blog, including a graph I that I think quite gets to the nub of the matter. –CBPP’s Chuck Marr has put together such an elucidating collection of tax charts that I cannot help but pilfer a couple. –As I point out at the end of my NYT piece (and here too), the US is not a high-tax country.  That, according to this chart from the OECD, is an understatement.  In fact, ”when measured as a share of the economy, total government receipts (a broad measure of revenue) are lower…
  • Tax Fairness: What Do People Think About It?

    Jared Bernstein
    15 Apr 2014 | 7:16 am
    I’ve been thinking about tax fairness in recent days, and was thus interested to peruse the Gallup results of the question.  Nothing too surprising—those who pay more in federal taxes think they’re too high; almost nobody thinks their tax bill is too low.  Stop the presses! But departing from the data a bit, there are two factors that I suspect have an impact on our general perceptions of tax fairness.  For one, there’s our feelings about what we’re getting for our tax dollar.  In this regard, dysfunctional or ineffective government, from the shutdown to the health reform…
  • Random Thoughts on Tax Day Eve

    Jared Bernstein
    14 Apr 2014 | 4:41 pm
    –There’s increasing noise about tax fairness, particularly given the increase in the share of total federal taxes paid by the top 1%, as in this WSJ piece today.  I’ll have more to say tomorrow about different ways to think about fairness in the tax code, but a key factor here is that those whose liabilities and tax shares are going up are just about the only ones whose incomes have been going up in recent years.  A general sense of the evidence can be seen here and here but more to come. –So, given a progressive federal tax system with high levels of inequality in terms of…
 
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    Freakonomics

  • The Gender Wage Gap, by State

    Freakonomics
    15 Apr 2014 | 10:32 am
    We have blogged and written extensively about the gender pay gap, much of which is not attributable to discrimination, as is commonly invoked. President Obama has taken up the cause; he recently signed two executive orders aimed at closing the gap.  Business Insider recently posted a state-by-state breakdown of the gender wage gap. It is interesting to look at but keep in mind the non-discriminatory factors that contribute to the gap, and therefore consider these numbers with some skepticism: Wyoming has the biggest pay gap — the median male full-time worker made $51,932, and the median…
  • The Supply Curve of Viking Raids

    Daniel Hamermesh
    15 Apr 2014 | 7:38 am
    The new exhibition on the Vikings at the British Museum illustrates behavior along supply curves.  The local Anglo-Saxons decided that the best way to keep Viking raiders at bay was to buy them off—to pay tribute.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, this extra payoff merely induced a movement up the supply curve of Viking raids, as more raiding parties realized that there was money to be made by raiding English villages. Perhaps this is a lesson for modernity: don’t negotiate with terrorists!
  • “If Mayors Ruled the World”: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Suzie Lechtenberg
    10 Apr 2014 | 6:24 am
    Former New York City Mayor Bloomberg at a MTA ceremony. (Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York) Our latest Freakonomics Radio episode is called “’If Mayors Ruled the World.’” (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 the music you’ll hear in the episode.) The episode expands on an idea from political theorist Benjamin Barber, whose latest book is called If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities.
  • “If Mayors Ruled the World”: Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    10 Apr 2014 | 6:01 am
    [MUSIC: The Jaguars; “Jaguar Soul” (from My Generation)] Hey podcast listeners. Our new book, Think Like a Freak, will be published on May 12 — as a hardcover,  e-book, audio book, large-print, you name it. And if you pre-order it in any format, from any store, you can get the first chapter now, delivered to your e-mail inbox. Just go to Freakonomics.com/sneakpeek. There’s a lot more information at Freakonomics.com, including our book-tour schedule. It starts in New York City, where Levitt and I will speak and sign books at Symphony Space, and a Barnes & Nobles. We’ll also…
  • Street-Fighting Math MOOC Is Open

    Sanjoy Mahajan
    8 Apr 2014 | 8:42 am
    My mathematically inclined readers are cordially invited to enroll in “6.SFMx: Street-Fighting Math,” which starts today on EdX. Like most (all?) MOOC courses, it is free and open to world, as are all the course materials. So far, I have learned that teaching an entirely online course requires far more effort than teaching in person. Maybe by a factor of 10. Partly, it is the difference between talking to a friend on the phone—you just pick up the phone and start talking—compared to writing a long letter that needs to be thought out. To this difference you add…
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    interfluidity

  • VC for the people

    Steve Randy Waldman
    16 Apr 2014 | 12:58 pm
    Oddly (very oddly), I found myself last week at the INET Economics conference in Toronto. Larry Summers was the final speaker. His presentation was excellent. Whatever I might object to in Summers’ history or politics, he’s brought to the mainstream a set of views I’ve long held, and he is an engaging, cogent presenter. I had a question for Summers that I didn’t get to ask. So I’ll ask it here. Early in his talk, Summers pointed out, accurately, that economists really need to rethink the standard “labor / leisure tradeoff”. Almost no one prefers a…
  • “Incentives to produce” are incentives to rig the game

    Steve Randy Waldman
    28 Mar 2014 | 4:38 am
    That’s obvious, right? But let’s belabor the point. All too often in discussions about the vast dispersion of circumstance we call “inequality”, people concede a kind of trade-off. Yes, reducing rewards to those at the top of the wealth/income distribution might blunt their incentives to produce. But the cost of that might be offset by utilitarian benefits of transfers to the less well off, or by greater prosperity engendered by MPC effects on aggregate demand, or by whatever. That’s all well and good as far as it goes. But at current margins, I suspect (with…
  • Followup: Pro-family, pro-children, anti-”marriage promotion”

    Steve Randy Waldman
    28 Jan 2014 | 2:50 am
    Responding to the previous post, James Pethokoukis misreads the views of people like me. He writes: Folks who agree with [Waldman's] view often advocate a hugely expanded government safety net — universal pre-K, one-year paid parental leave, a universal basic income among other programs — to do the work of transmitting social and intellectual capital that intact families no longer can. Folks who are me do advocate for vastly expanded government benefits for families. I’d support universal pre-K, and I especially support a universal basic income. (Paid parental leave not so…
  • “Marriage promotion” is a destructive cargo cult

    Steve Randy Waldman
    22 Jan 2014 | 2:45 pm
    I think I’ll basically be repeating what Matt Yglesias said yesterday, but maybe I can put things more plainly. “Marriage promotion” as a means of address social problems at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder is a bad idea. It’s not a neutral idea, or a nice idea that probably won’t work. It’s inexcusably obtuse and may be outright destructive. It is quite literally a cargo cult. A cargo cult is a particularly colorful way of mistaking cause for effect. Airplanes do not actually come to remote Pacific Islands because of rituals performed by soldiers…
  • Tax price, not value

    Steve Randy Waldman
    8 Jan 2014 | 11:29 pm
    Property rights are primarily rights to exclude. If I “own” something, what that means is that it is legitimate for me to exclude others who may wish to use or consume it. Exclusion, very obviously, carries externalities. My choice to exclude alternate uses of a resource affects those who might have benefited from those uses. By convention, we don’t usually refer to the effects of the exclusion at the core of a property right as an “externality”. One could argue, as is often argued of so-called “pecuniary externalities“, that the effect of property…
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    Why Nations Fail

  • Democracy, What Is It Good For?

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    25 Mar 2014 | 10:11 am
    In an earlier post, we reported on our research joint with Suresh Naidu and Pascual Restrepo, “Democracy, Redistribution and Inequality”, which showed very limited effects of democracy on inequality. So one would be excused for paraphrasing Edwin Starr’s famous song and Ian Morris’s forthcoming book, War! What Is It Good for?, and ask “democracy, what is it good for?” Certainly not economic growth, most would reason. This conclusion is based on a consensus engulfing both academia and the popular press that democracy is at its best irrelevant for growth, and…
  • Ukraine

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    14 Mar 2014 | 3:58 pm
    Some brief comments on Ukraine.
  • The Benefits of Social Capital? Bowling for Hitler.

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    11 Mar 2014 | 4:41 am
    In our discussion of David Laitin’s explanation for why Basque nationalism became violent but Catalan did not, we pointed out that this is partially explained by the Basque country having the type of “horizontal” or “bonding” social capital that Robert Putnam and his collaborators argued in their famous work, Making Democracy Work, to have been crucial for promoting democracy and good governance. In our research on the politics of the paramount chieftaincy in Sierra Leone with Tristan Reed, which we discussed last year, we found a great deal of evidence to be…
  • Why is the Basque Country more Violent than Catalunya?

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    6 Mar 2014 | 3:01 pm
    In our last post, we examined why Catalans in Spain had developed a distinct Catalan identity, to the point of pushing for an independent state, while those in France had not. Looking at the wider Spanish scene one sees the failure to create a Spanish identity more broadly. This is true not simply in Catalunya but in Galicia and perhaps most obviously in the Basque country. But this observation raises other interesting questions because there is obviously a huge difference between the nationalism of Catalunya and that of the Basque Country: the former is not violent while the latter is. What…
  • What’s the Problem with (Spanish) Catalunya?

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    4 Mar 2014 | 12:09 pm
    Most of the research by economists on the state has focused on a quite narrow subset of things the state does. For example, Daron’s paper “Politics and Economics in Weak and Strong States” on the ability to raise taxes as the key dimension of whether a state was weak or strong. This was subsequently a key theme in the 2011 book Pillars of Prosperity by Tim Besley and Torsten Persson who focused on the development of fiscal systems to raise taxes and legal institutions to efficiently enforce contracts. In our work with Rafael Santos on Colombia, “Monopoly of Violence:…
 
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    Credit Writedowns

  • Four key reasons for capex accelerating

    Sober Look
    12 Apr 2014 | 6:45 am
    By Sober Look We’ve received a number of e-mails regarding the recent post on the possibility that rising CAPEX spending in the US is driving corporations to tap their credit facilities, thus increasing loan growth (see post). Most were highly critical of this line of thinking in their comments, using words such as “bogus”, “propaganda”, “head fake”, “delusional”, etc. Thanks for all the feedback. The argument that “things are different this time” understandably meets a great deal of skepticism, especially after a number of…
  • ECB Action: Just a Question of Time?

    Marc Chandler
    12 Apr 2014 | 6:41 am
    By Marc Chandler The Managing Director of the IMF and the chief economist are making no bones about it. More action by the ECB is inevitable. It is “just a question of timing,” says Lagarde and “sooner was better than later”, chimed Blanchard, the chief economist. The market is less sanguine. A recent Bloomberg poll found only about 2/3 of the economists surveyed expected the ECB to ease policy in June. The remainder appear roughly divided between those expecting a May move and those who do expect it to stand pat. The Bloomberg survey found more economists expect the…
  • News: 2014-04-12

    Edward Harrison
    12 Apr 2014 | 6:35 am
    Ukraine suspends gas payments to Russia until talks conclude | Reuters Fresh unrest in eastern Ukraine – FT.com India Central Bank Gov. Rajan Criticizes Fed Officials – Real Time Economics – WSJ RBI’s Raghuram Rajan Takes His Campaign to Washington – Real Time Economics – WSJ Japan Inflation Is Sluggish as Effects of Weak Yen Wear Off – Japan Real Time – WSJ ECB’s Coeure: The Stronger the Euro, the More Need for Monetary Accommodation – Real Time Economics – WSJ So What Exactly Can The ECB Do, Anyway? – Forbes Calculated…
  • On Europe’s move toward QE to prevent deflation

    Marc Chandler
    8 Apr 2014 | 4:03 am
    By Marc Chandler There is a battle within the European Central Bank.  Some want to take stronger action.  Others do not think it is necessary.  It is not just a matter of counting up who is on what side of the issue.  It is not simply about majority rules.  The ECB seeks consensus. Although the ECB was criticized by many investors for not taking action in March or April, there has been an evolution of the ECB’s position.   There has been an attempt to play up the possibility of quantitative easing. Draghi seemed to emphasize that there was unanimous support for it, within its…
  • The lower bound of central bank effectiveness

    Claus Vistesen
    8 Apr 2014 | 3:49 am
    By Claus Vistesen I have a bit of time on my hands at the moment to read stuff that I otherwise wouldn’t have time to read. For example I am currently reading Michael Lewis’ new book Flash Boys about the ins and outs of high frequency trading. I will probably have more to say about that one in a few weeks, but for now I want to point to this recent BIS speech by former BOJ governor Masaaki Shirakawa.  I recommend you to read it in its entirety, it is worth the effort. Two points in particular are worth highlighting. Firstly, Shirakawa provides a non-consensus yet apt narrative on…
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    Liberty Street Economics

  • Liquidity Policies and Systemic Risk

    Blog Author
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Tobias Adrian and Nina Boyarchenko This post is the fifth in a series of six Liberty Street Economics posts on liquidity issues. One of the most innovative and potentially far-reaching consequences of regulatory reform since the financial crisis has been the development of liquidity regulations for the banking system. While bank regulation traditionally focuses on requiring a minimum amount of capital, liquidity requirements impose a minimum amount of liquid assets. In this post, we provide a conceptual framework that allows us to evaluate the impact of liquidity requirements on economic…
  • Just Released: April Surveys Find Businesses Face Increasing Difficulty Retaining Skilled Workers

    Blog Author
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:45 am
    Jason Bram and Richard Deitz The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s monthly business surveys include special supplementary questions on topics of interest. April’s survey questions focused on how difficult it has been for firms in the region to find and retain workers with basic skills, such as math and English, as well as advanced computer skills and “soft skills,” such as punctuality and interpersonal skills. Overall, the level of difficulty finding workers has not changed much since April of last year, when these questions were previously asked. Workers with advanced computer…
  • The Liquidity Stress Ratio: Measuring Liquidity Mismatch on Banks’ Balance Sheets

    Blog Author
    16 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Dong Beom Choi and Lily Zhou This post is the fourth in a series of six Liberty Street Economics posts on liquidity issues. Liquidity transformation—funding longer-term assets with short-term liabilities—is one of the main functions that banks provide. However, this liquidity mismatch exposes banks to liquidity risk. This risk was clearly demonstrated in the 2008 financial crisis when banks’ funding liquidity dried up and their market liquidity evaporated. Since the crisis, liquidity risk management has become one of the top priorities for regulators, and new liquidity requirements,…
  • On Fire-Sale Externalities, TARP Was Close to Optimal

    Blog Author
    15 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Fernando Duarte and Thomas Eisenbach This post is the third in a series of six Liberty Street Economics posts on liquidity issues. Imagine that many large and levered banks suffer heavy losses and must quickly sell assets to reduce their leverage. We expect the market price of the assets sold to decline, at least temporarily. As a result, any other financial institutions that happen to hold the same assets will experience balance sheet losses through no fault of their own —a negative fire-sale externality. In this post, we show that the vulnerability to fire-sale externalities was high…
  • Depositor Discipline of Risk-Taking by U.S. Banks

    Blog Author
    14 Apr 2014 | 4:02 am
    Stavros Peristiani and João Santos This post is the second in a series of six Liberty Street Economics posts on liquidity issues. The recent financial crisis caused the largest rise in the number of bank failures since the unprecedented banking crisis of the 1980s and early 1990s. This post examines how depositors responded to the amplified risks of bank failure over the last three decades. We show that uninsured depositors discipline troubled banks by withdrawing their funds. Focusing on the recent financial crisis, we find that banks experienced an outflow of uninsured time deposits after…
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    The Incidental Economist

  • The crisis in medical research. And how to fix it.

    Bill Gardner
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:05 am
    Recent US government budgets have harmed the National Institutes of Health. But the problems in the medical research system are deeper than just the current budget. If you care about medical research, read this article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Bruce Alberts, Marc Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman, and Harold Varmus. Alberts and his colleagues describe a hypercompetitive culture in science that undermines the process of discovery. Competition… has always been a part of the scientific enterprise, and it can have positive effects. However, hypercompetition for…
  • Curious about the exchange litigation? Here’s a podcast!

    Nicholas Bagley
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    For those of you following the exchange litigation—and if you care about the ACA’s successful implementation, you should be—I participated yesterday in a telephone discussion/debate about Halbig v. Sebelius with Jonathan Adler, one of the lawsuit’s architects. The Federalist Society graciously hosted the phone call and has made it available as a podcast. I encourage you to listen in! You can play the audio after the jump: @nicholas_bagley Halbig
  • This is why we can’t get the public to accept changes to screening mammograms

    Aaron Carroll
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:30 am
    In 2013, the Swiss Medical Board was asked to review the use of screening mammography. Two of the participants have penned a piece in the NEJM that’s just amazing. Here’s a bit (emphasis mine): First, we noticed that the ongoing debate was based on a series of reanalyses of the same, predominantly outdated trials. The first trial started more than 50 years ago in New York City and the last trial in 1991 in the United Kingdom. None of these trials were initiated in the era of modern breast-cancer treatment, which has dramatically improved the prognosis of women with breast…
  • Stand Up! – April 16, 2014

    Aaron Carroll
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:29 pm
    I am a frequent guest on Stand Up! with Pete Dominick, which airs on Sirius/XM radio, channel 104 from 6-9AM Eastern. It immediately replays on the channel, so those on the West Coast can listen at the same times. Today we talked about the CPS and various ACA updates. You can play the audio right here, after the jump… @aaronecarroll 4/16/14
  • Who should control ACOs, primary care doctors or hospitals?

    Bill Gardner
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:42 am
    The ACA is reducing the number of uninsured. But now we have to face the deeper problem of limiting the growth in health care cost, while improving its quality. One of the principal idea for how to do this is the Accountable Care Organization (ACO). ACOs are groups of providers who contract with a payer (for example, Medicaid) to provide the care for a defined population for a capitated rate. The contract holds the providers in the ACO jointly accountable for achieving quality standards. The contract also targets a reduction in the rate of growth of health care costs, and it’s…
 
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    LewRockwell

  • You’re About To Be Lied To When They Say…

    No Author
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:01 pm
    You’re about to be lied to when they say- a hand up a new study showsa poll by the highly respected a positive step are speaking out arguably arsenal at-risk communities best practices broader implications climate change collectively commonsense solutions comprehensive reform cycle of poverty cycle of violence demand action denier  disenfranchised disparate impact disproportionately diverse backgrounds divisive economically disadvantaged embattled emerging consensus empower enhance experts agree extremist fair share fiscal stimulus fully funded give back giving voice to greater…
  • Information Overload?

    Jeff Deist
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Opening comments presented at the Mises Institute’s High School & College Seminar: “Inflation: Causes, Consequences, and Cure,” April 11, 2014. Good morning and welcome! My name is Jeff Deist; I’m president of the Mises Institute. Thank you for coming, and congratulations! Congratulations? Why congratulations, you might ask? Well, congratulations are in order because you managed to be here this morning, either in person with us or viewing online.[1] That means you managed to find out about the Mises Institute, managed to find out about this particular seminar, and managed to have…
  • 33 Uses for Essential Lemon Oil

    Gaye Levy
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:01 pm
    When someone mentions the word “Lemon”, I immediately think “fresh, clean and pure”.  There is simply something about lemons that evokes an overall feeling of wellness and goodness.  This might come from my memories of being given a lemon to hold and to smell when I suffered the occasional childhood illness. Using lemons for health and home is nothing new, since back in ancient times, lemons were used to help heal a variety of ailments.  It has been suggested that the Romans used lemons and lemon rinds to fight off disease as well as to ward off insects, uplift moods and even…
  • The Best Movie Sequels

    No Author
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:01 pm
    The Godfather is great, but The Godfather: Part II is greater. It’s that rare thing – a sequel that doesn’t just match but actually surpasses the original film. Not content with just recycling the same story, Part II illuminates and elaborates on the first part, adding a classically tragic dimension by using flashbacks to show the origins of the Corleone family, and then moving forward in time to show that same family ripping itself apart. Conventional wisdom has it that sequels are inferior to the original films, but we all know there are a few titles that buck the trend.
  • There’s Hope for the Dead

    Andrew P. Napolitano
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:01 pm
    What is the connection between freedom and rising from the dead? When America was in its infancy and struggling to find a culture and frustrated at governance from Great Britain, the word most frequently uttered in speeches and pamphlets and editorials was not safety or taxes or peace; it was freedom. Two acts of Parliament broke the bonds with the mother country irreparably. The first was the Stamp Act, which was enforced by British soldiers, who used general search warrants issued by a secret court in London to rummage through the personal possessions of any colonists they chose, ostensibly…
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    Angry Bear

  • Do you understand the VALUE of water?

    Dan Crawford
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:12 am
    David Zetland at Aguanomics mentions a very local proposition by yours truly as part of a question posed on UN world water day March 22. Purely anecdotal and personal, but I found people willing to chart water use but not to go downstairs and turn off the water as a thought experiment. It was an annoying task for me as well. Do you understand the VALUE of water? by David Zetland There are lots of footprint calculators, statistics on use and conservation devices available, but some people still fail to understand (or feel they do not understand) the value of water. I appreciate the value after…
  • Health Care Spending Spikes: Why?

    Maggie Mahar
    16 Apr 2014 | 7:00 pm
    You may have read that health care spending in the private sector picked up both in the fourth quarter of 2013, and during the first two months of this year. Recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) show that during the last three months of 2013 spending on health care rose at an annual rate of  5.3%  The trend continued this year, with spending climbing 6.2%, on a year-over-year basis in January, and 6.7% in February, This came as a surprise. Since December of 2007, after adjusting for inflation, health care outlays have been rising by only 2.6%  As former CBO director Peter…
  • SCOTUSblog’s Problem: It’s Not Incorporated

    Beverly Mann
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:56 am
    Last week, the Senate Press Gallery denied SCOTUSblog’s application for a press pass, and advised us that it would refuse to renew the credential it had previously granted Lyle when it expires next month.  We were disappointed in that decision, and we are grateful for the support that we have received through social media, emails, and phone calls. We thought it would be useful to write and explain the state of play regarding our credentialing.  SCOTUSblog is not now, and has never been, credentialed by the Supreme Court.  The Court’s longstanding policy was to look to credentials…
  • Speaking of Jimmy Carter and Energy

    Robert Waldmann
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:53 am
    Of course Carter’s approach to dealing with energy did not consist only with eliminating the insane regulation keeping US crude oil prices below world crude oil prices. Totally aside from (and opposite too) freeing the market, he also subsidized potential new sources of energy. As I recalled correctly, he focused particularly on “shale oil” and Carter signed the Energy Security Act of 1980, allotting billions of dollars for the creation of a Synthetic Fuels Corporation that would provide loans, price guarantees, and other financial incentives to stimulate synthetic fuel…
  • Reminding Konczal about Who Deregulated

    Robert Waldmann
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:37 am
    Mike Konczal explains that Ted Cruz’s claim that the current situation is similar to the 70s is utterly insane. He wrote a brilliant article do click and read. I was sent there from a fun post by Steve Benen following angry bear Mike Kimel, stealing candy from babies and correcting Rand Paul’s arithmetic. However, he concedes too much to Republican myth makers. He wrote “in the 1970s there was a bipartisan effort to deregulate markets ranging from transportation to finance to energy, an effort that began under Carter before it took off under President Ronald Reagan.”…
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    Macro and Other Market Musings

  • Financial Stability Concerns Are Overblown

    7 Apr 2014 | 3:25 pm
    Michael Darda of MKM Partners makes the case that concerns over financial stability are overblown and miss the forest for the trees. Consequently, he worries that the Fed may be pulling back too soon.  [I]t is not at all clear that 1) risk premiums are too low, 2) leverage is problematic and that 3) “easy money” leads to “bubbles”. However, unemployment, underemployment and long-term unemployment remain high while inflation, if anything, is too low (and well below the Fed’s target). Thus, there would seem to be inordinate risks to the Fed pulling back sooner than would…
  • Should We Be Worried?

    30 Mar 2014 | 7:42 pm
    A number of Fed watchers see the last FOMC meeting signalling a tightening of monetary policy.  Tim Duy, for example, sees it in the FOMC's effective lowering of its inflation target via the dropping of the Evans Rule:[A] hawkish interpretation... starts with the end of the Evans rule. Everyone seems focused on the unemployment part of the Evans rule, while my attention is on the inflation part. The Evans rule allowed for the Fed to reach their inflation target from above. It provided wiggle room on the target as long as unemployment was above 6.5%. With the end of the Evans rule, the…
  • Market Monetarism and Endogenous Money?

    28 Mar 2014 | 3:27 pm
    Yesterday, I was interviewed by  Erin Ade for the show Boom Bust. She asked me, among things, whether I believed money was endogenously created. If so, was my belief consistent with Market Monetarism? My answer was that inside money creation--money created by banks and other financial firms--is endogenous, but the Fed shapes in an important way the macroeconomic environment in which money gets created. Consequently, the Fed influences the creation of inside money. So yes, I believe endogenous money is consistent with Market Monetarist views. To further unpack this idea, I want bring up a…
  • Ad Hoc Monetary Policy

    27 Mar 2014 | 1:26 pm
    One of the defining features of U.S. monetary policy over the past five years has been its incredibly ad hoc nature. Over this time, the FOMC has conducted monetary policy with a spate of make-it-up-as-we-go-along programs (QE1, QE2, Operation Twist, QE3, and the Evans Rule) that it hoped would spur a robust recovery. These programs did get progressively better as they became more state dependent, but they were often implemented and ended in a haphazard fashion. This stop-go approach to monetary policy was politically costly and prevented the Fed from fully utilizing its ability to manage…
  • Abenomics at the Brookings Institution

    21 Mar 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Joshua K. Hausman and Johannes F. Wieland presented a paper today on Abenomics at the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity. They focus specifically on the monetary policy portion of Abenomics: the Bank of Japan's new commitment to 2% inflation, open-ended asset purchases, and a doubling of the monetary base. Abenomics is frequently covered on this blog and these authors reach similar conclusions:We show that Abenomics ended deflation in 2013 and raised long-run inflation expectations. Our estimates suggest that Abenomics also raised 2013 output growth by 0.9 to 1.7 percentage points. Monetary…
 
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    niesr.ac.uk

  • Fiscal policy, "Plan A" and the recovery: explaining the economics

    JonathanPortes
    11 Apr 2014 | 3:03 am
    Does the UK recovery prove wrong those of us who argued that the Government's fiscal consolidation plan, announced in June 2010, was poorly designed and ignored some basic economic principles?  The Chancellor, not surprisingly, says yes:
  • Independent Scottish Government Borrowing Costs: A Reply

    AngusArmstrong
    10 Apr 2014 | 8:43 am
    Our estimates of the possible borrowing costs for an independent Scottish government contained in full detail in our Discussion Paper 416, Scotland’s Currency Options, have been closely examined by all sides of the debate. In recent weeks Professor Andrew Hughes-Hallett, a member of the Scottish Government’s Fiscal Commission Working Group and Council of Economic Advisors, in evidence to the Scottish Parliament, claimed that:
  • Migrant entrepreneurship: fuzzy numbers and real impacts

    MaxNathan
    24 Mar 2014 | 8:18 am
    The Centre for Entrepreneurs think tank recently made waves with this report on migrant entrepreneurship. The headlines are striking: 450,000 migrants set up 1 in 7 UK companies, at almost twice the rate of the UK population (17% vs 10%). Here are some reactions. Overall, this is a welcome piece of work. However, I have some reservations about the numbers. And the report – understandably – doesn’t address some of the big issues where we still need answers.
  • GERS and Tax Volatility

    MoniqueEbell
    18 Mar 2014 | 7:30 am
    The latest Government Expenditure and Revenues Scotland (GERS) report shows that the fiscal deficit relative to output increased to 8.3% from 5.8% in 2012-13. This includes the favourable geographic share of tax revenues from North Sea oil and gas. The onshore deficit fell slightly but remains a staggering 14% of GDP. There is no denying that these are very large deficits. While most of the commentary has been comparing the data to the whole of the UK, the real news in these figures is the volatility of tax revenues.
  • Newsnight: "Immigration report held back by Downing Street": some background and analysis

    JonathanPortes
    4 Mar 2014 | 3:10 pm
    Two years ago, the Government’s independent Migration Advisory Committee published an econometric analysis of the impact of migration on the employment of native British workers. It concluded – contrary to a number of other analyses, by me and other labour economists – that there was, at least for some immigrants and in some circumstances, a negative impact:
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    TaxVox

  • Congress Fiddles While Bridges Crumble

    Howard Gleckman
    14 Apr 2014 | 11:24 am
    It isn’t news that congressional Democrats and Republicans have agreed to spend the time between now and the November elections messaging, rather than legislating. When it comes to domestic policy it has only two real issues on its must-do list: Deciding the fate of 50+ tax breaks that expired last December and figuring out what to do about the Highway Trust Fund which is, not to put too fine a point on it, nearly broke. The expired provisions have gotten most of the attention in recent weeks, but funding for roads, bridges and mass transit faces a more serious problem. The Congressional…
  • Taxes, Pensions and Public Schools: A Balancing Act

    Renu Zaretsky
    14 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Congress is in recess and returns in two weeks. The Daily Deduction will be back next Monday and resume its regular schedule on Monday, April 28. Until then: Don’t miss tomorrow’s TPC event on inequality; outside the Beltway, states and cities’ pension and education funding problems persist. Tomorrow: TPC Tax Day conversation with Thomas Piketty on inequality. TPC’s Len Burman moderates the discussion with the author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a new book on the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and prospects for economic growth. Piketty will…
  • Taxing Weekend Ahead

    Renu Zaretsky
    11 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    “Simple” is in the eye of the beholder: Maybe “fairness” has universal appeal. A new poll shows most people think filing tax returns is “easy” and TPC’s Howard Gleckman wonders if anybody really cares about a simple revenue code in his latest post. Few of us file by hand anymore so doing taxes feels simple, in spite of the law’s incredible complexity. Still, complexity has a price: “People who don’t understand the tax code often believe it is unfair.” Tax reformers might do well to focus not only on simplicity, but fairness. For fairness’ sake: Some states are tackling…
  • Does Anyone Care About a Simple Tax Code?

    Howard Gleckman
    10 Apr 2014 | 11:37 am
    One of the biggest  selling points for tax reform is the claim that a new and improved revenue code would be easier for taxpayers to manage. Along with economic growth and fairness, simplicity has been a watchword for reform for decades. But a striking new survey by the Associated Press-GfK  has me wondering whether anybody cares. The poll, taken in the midst of tax season, finds that 58 percent of those surveyed think filling out their tax forms is “easy.” Only 38 percent say it is “hard.” The poll provides one big clue why: The vast majority of people don’t actually fill out…
  • A New Tax Tool, Committees, Bonds and Climbs

    Renu Zaretsky
    10 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Getting to know your 1040: TPC demystifies your tax forms. We dutifully enter numbers on our tax returns every year (or pay somebody do it for us). But what do each of those lines really mean? How do they contribute to the nation’s revenues? How many people report various sources of income? To find out, check out a new tool created by the TPC. All you have to do is hover over a line on the virtual 1040, and click. We’re starting with the 1040 and Schedule A but will expand the tool over the coming months. On the Hill: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies before the Senate Finance…
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    Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

  • States Are Starting to Save for Another Rainy Day

    Elizabeth McNichol
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:19 am
    With the budget challenges of the Great Recession and its aftermath still fresh in their minds, state policymakers are considering ways to strengthen their “rainy day funds” — budget reserves they can use when recessions or other unexpected events cause revenues to fall or spending to rise.  But, it’s still premature for most states to act aggressively to refill the funds until their revenues rise well above pre-recession levels, unemployment has declined further, and they have restored programs cut during the recession, as we explain in a new paper. States used their rainy day funds…
  • Increase the EITC to Help Lift “Childless Workers” Out of Poverty

    Chuck Marr
    15 Apr 2014 | 12:21 pm
    It’s time for policymakers to fix a glaring hole in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), as I explain today in an op-ed for National Journal: While the tax credit reduces poverty among families with children by double-digit percentages, as a recent Congressional Research Service report found, it does little or nothing to help low-wage workers who aren’t raising minor children. A “childless adult” working full time at the minimum wage — an annual income of just $14,500 — earns too much to receive the credit. As a partial result of the now-limited EITC, childless workers are…
  • 3 Million Reasons to Thank Tax-Season Volunteers

    CBPP
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:35 am
    This tax season, 85,000 trained volunteers across the country have helped file more than 3 million federal tax returns free of charge for low- and moderate-income people.  Tax Day is the perfect time to reflect on the critical services that these volunteers provide. Free tax preparation programs such as the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide programs are national efforts to provide professional tax filing assistance to low-income households. Together, the VITA and AARP programs operate more than 10,000 sites…
  • The Top 10 (Well, 11) Federal Tax Charts

    Chuck Marr
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:05 am
    To usher in Tax Day, here are our top 11 charts on federal taxes, which provide context for debates on issues like tax reform and deficit reduction. Our first chart shows the sources of federal tax revenue. Individual income tax revenues have held steady for many decades at a little under half of federal revenue.  The share of federal revenue from payroll taxes (mostly Social Security and Medicare taxes) grew sharply between the 1950s and 1980s and has since remained relatively stable.  Conversely, the share of federal revenue from corporate taxes fell sharply between the 1950s and 1980s…
  • CBO: Health Reform Is Working — and Costing Less

    Paul N. Van de Water
    14 Apr 2014 | 2:23 pm
    In new estimates that it released today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that health reform’s coverage expansions will cost less than it previously estimated.  That’s good news for two reasons: First, the new cost projections come even as CBO also estimates that health reform will dramatically reduce the number of Americans without health coverage.  Second, the lower cost estimate likely means that health reform will reduce budget deficits even more than CBO previously estimated. Let’s take these one at a time. Health reform will cut the rate of uninsurance nearly in…
 
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    Eschaton

  • Like a Hurricane

    17 Apr 2014 | 4:13 am
    DigbyWhat she said.I guess it's just like Ellsberg. They're trying really hard to make this all about Snowden, instead of the actual story, the NSA violating the law and lying about their activities.  This approach sorta worked with Assange, but the Pulitzer is proof certain that it hasn't worked this time 'round.
  • Late Night

    16 Apr 2014 | 8:00 pm
    Rock on.
  • Wednesday Evening

    16 Apr 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Making meatloaf. Have a song.
  • The Tyranny Of Affirmative Action

    16 Apr 2014 | 2:54 pm
    In almost all of its manifestations "affirmative action" (distinct from legacy admissions and the good old boy network) simply ensures that there's someone in the room who makes sure that this doesn't happen.
  • Happy Hour Thread

    16 Apr 2014 | 2:01 pm
    It's 5 o'clock somewhere.
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Looking for Bayesian expertise in India, for the purpose of analysis of sarcoma trials

    Andrew
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:47 am
    Prakash Nayak writes: I work as a musculoskeletal oncologist (surgeon) in Mumbai, India and am keen on sarcoma research. Sarcomas are rare disorders, and conventional frequentist analysis falls short of providing meaningful results for clinical application. I am thus keen on applying Bayesian analysis to a lot of trials performed with small numbers in this field. I need advise from you for a good starting point for someone uninitiated in Bayesian analysis. What to read, what courses to take and is there a way I could collaborate with any local/international statisticians dealing with these…
  • When you believe in things that you don’t understand

    Andrew
    15 Apr 2014 | 6:46 am
    This would make Karl Popper cry. And, at the very end: The present results indicate that under certain, theoretically predictable circumstances, female ovulation—long assumed to be hidden—is in fact associated with a distinct, objectively observable behavioral display. This statement is correct—if you interpret the word “predictable” to mean “predictable after looking at your data.” P.S. I’d like to say that April 15 is a good day for this posting because your tax dollars went toward supporting this research. But actually it was supported by the…
  • Transitioning to Stan

    Andrew
    14 Apr 2014 | 7:50 am
    Kevin Cartier writes: I’ve been happily using R for a number of years now and recently came across Stan. Looks big and powerful, so I’d like to pick an appropriate project and try it out. I wondered if you could point me to a link or document that goes into the motivation for this tool (aside from the Stan user doc)? What I’d like to understand is, at what point might you look at an emergent R project and advise, “You know, that thing you’re trying to do would be a whole lot easier/simpler/more straightforward to implement with Stan.” (or words to that…
  • On deck this week

    Andrew
    14 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Mon: Transitioning to Stan Tues: When you believe in things that you don’t understand Wed: Looking for Bayesian expertise in India, for the purpose of analysis of sarcoma trials Thurs: If you get to the point of asking, just do it. But some difficulties do arise . . . Fri: One-tailed or two-tailed? Sat: Index or indicator variables Sun: Fooled by randomness The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • “If you are primarily motivated to make money, you . . . certainly don’t want to let people know how confused you are by something, or how shallow your knowledge is in certain areas. You want to project an image of mastery and omniscience.”

    Andrew
    12 Apr 2014 | 11:17 am
    A reader writes in: This op-ed made me think of one your recent posts. Money quote: If you are primarily motivated to make money, you just need to get as much information as you need to do your job. You don’t have time for deep dives into abstract matters. You certainly don’t want to let people know how confused you are by something, or how shallow your knowledge is in certain areas. You want to project an image of mastery and omniscience. The op-ed is by New York Times columnist David Brooks, and I assume my correspondent was pointing to this recent post. But she could’ve been…
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    macroblog

  • Reasons for the Decline in Prime-Age Labor Force Participation

    macroblog
    10 Apr 2014 | 11:50 am
    As a follow up to this post on recent trends in labor force participation, we look specifically at the prime-age group of 25- to 54-year-olds. The participation decisions of this age cohort are less affected by the aging population and...
  • A Closer Look at Post-2007 Labor Force Participation Trends

    macroblog
    8 Apr 2014 | 12:54 pm
    Introduction The rate of labor force participation (the share of the civilian noninstitutionalized population aged 16 and older in the labor force) has declined significantly since 2007. To what extent were the Great Recession and tepid recovery responsible? In this post and one that will follow, we offer a series of charts using data from the Current Population Survey to explore some of the possible reasons behind the 2007–13 drop in participation. This first post describes the impact of the changing-age composition of the population and changes in labor force participation within specific…
  • Human Capital Topics Now Searchable

    macroblog
    18 Mar 2014 | 10:15 am
    A little more than a week ago, all eyes were on the February Employment Situation report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Establishment Survey surprised on the upside: nonfarm payrolls rose 175,000 in February, and payrolls were revised upward for December and January. The Household Survey indicated that the unemployment rate edged up slightly to 6.7 percent in February from 6.6 percent the prior month, and the labor force participation rate held steady at 63.0 percent. These are some of the facts on the table as the Federal Open Market Committee meets today and tomorrow…
  • Thinking About Progress in the Labor Market

    macroblog
    7 Mar 2014 | 1:15 pm
    Today's employment report for the month of February maybe took a bit of drama out of one key question going into the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC): What will happen to the FOMC's policy language when the economy hits or passes the 6.5 percent unemployment rate threshold for considering policy-rate liftoff? With the unemployment rate for February checking it at 6.7 percent, a breach of the threshold clearly won't have happened when the Committee meets in a little less than two weeks. I say "maybe took a bit of drama out" because I'm not sure there was much drama…
 
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • The dark side of wage growth

    chris dillow
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:29 am
    Real wages are probably rising. The ONS estimates that nominal wages rose 1.9% in the year to February - though there's a big sampling error - whilst CPI inflation then was 1.7%. This, though, might have a downside. I say this because a plausible reason for the growth in real wages is that productivity has finally begun to rise; total hours worked rose 0.4% in the three months ending February, but the NIESR estimates that GDP grew 0.9% then, implying productivity growth of 0.5%. However, for a given rate of GDP growth, higher productivity growth means lower jobs growth. What we might be…
  • What Phillips curve?

    chris dillow
    15 Apr 2014 | 6:41 am
    Today's news that CPI inflation has fallen to its lowest rate since October 2009 poses the question: what is the relationship between unemployment and inflation? The fact that the fall comes after months of falling joblessness is awkward for conventional Phillips curve-type thinking, which says that lower unemployment should lead to higher inflation. In truth, the latest episode is not unusual in this regard. My chart plots unemployment against CPI inflation in the following 12 months since the Bank of England was given independence in May 1997. It's clear that there's no neat…
  • "Capital" and "labour"

    chris dillow
    14 Apr 2014 | 6:05 am
    Most people, says Arnold Kling, are "labor-capitalists": Looking at the 21st-century economy through the filter of the Marxist categories of “capital” and “labor” is not particularly insightful. This is not a good era for either a plain coupon-clipper or an ordinary worker to accumulate great wealth. You might imagine that, a a Marxist, I'd disagree. You'd be wrong. I agree with Arnold for a reason he doesn't mention. This is that it has long been the case that wages, even for ordinary workers, contain an element of profits. Even before explicit profit-related…
  • Biased against stagnation

    chris dillow
    12 Apr 2014 | 5:34 am
    George Osborne tried yesterday to reject the idea that we've fallen into secular stagnation. I'm not convinced. He points to some "new advances in fundamental science" and says: We cannot even imagine the advances in all areas of science – from genetics to materials – that high powered computing will make possible in the years ahead. This is plausible; to some extent, technical progress is inherently unpredictable. But it poses the question which Osborne didn't answer: are such advances monetizable? Capitalists don't invest because there's potential new…
  • In praise of brevity

    chris dillow
    11 Apr 2014 | 6:18 am
    Last night, Laurie Penny tweeted: "Like many others I know, I'm trying to find a way of making it more viable to produce more of those longform, deeply-researched pieces." Gawd help us. When will people realize that brevity and concision are virtues? I ask for several reasons: 1. Longform writing is narcissistic. It presumes that one's writing is so brilliant that it deserves to deprive readers of time they could spend doing other stuff - not least of which is reading other good things. And it is correlated with the notion that one's ideas are so complicated and…
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    Moneybox

  • The Scars of the Housing Bust (in One Very Telling Chart)

    Jordan Weissmann
    16 Apr 2014 | 3:43 pm
    If you’re ever starting to suspect that we’ve left the Great Recession behind for good, I sincerely recommend reading The House of Debt Blog. Launched by economists Amir Sufi and Atif Mian in advance of their upcoming book, it’s a fast-acting cure for misplaced optimism. While browsing it, I was struck by the graph below, illustrating how the housing bust is still hamstringing American spending. The blue line traces the consumer-spending trend in states where home prices fell the least, while the red line traces it in states where they fell the most. Each group contains about 20 percent…
  • Yellen Lays Out Three Main Fed Concerns in Speech

    Alison Griswold
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:55 pm
    In case you missed it, Janet Yellen spoke today at the Economic Club of New York. Most of her comments were familiar: She reiterated Fed officials' expectations for continued, moderate economic growth and for short-term interest rates to remain low for "some time." She said the central bank projects the economy could return to healthy levels of employment and inflation by the end of 2016. "If this forecast was to become reality, the economy would be approaching what my colleagues and I view as maximum employment and price stability for the first time in nearly a decade,"…
  • Google Misses on Q1 Earnings as Mobile Drags Down Ad Prices

    Alison Griswold
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:55 pm
    Shares of Google tumbled more than 5 percent just after the bell on Wednesday, following first-quarter earnings that appeared to suggest the search giant is struggling to adjust to a shift to mobile advertising. Google missed on both the top and bottom lines. It reported revenue of $15.42 billion, shy of the $15.52 billion that analysts had predicted. Earnings per share were $6.27, also below estimates for $6.42 a share. The company’s stock price, which closed at $556.54, fell to around $524 in after-hours trading on the news. The average cost-per-click for ads on Google and sites in its…
  • The Upside of Double Down

    Jordan Weissmann
    16 Apr 2014 | 12:11 pm
    KFC has found its McRib. The chicken chain, which has become a bit of an afterthought in the great race to innovate the next bizarro fast food delight (here’s looking at you, waffle taco), is planning to bring back its Double Down sandwich for a limited time starting April 21, according to USA Today. Sandwich is of course a loose term here. The Double Down, in case you’ve forgotten, consists of two pieces of fried or grilled poultry with a layer of bacon, cheese, and special sauce between them. There’s no bread, but it’s all wrapped up so it can be eaten by hand. It’s basically…
  • Another Father of Bitcoin?

    Alison Griswold
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:42 am
    More than a month has passed since Newsweek opened the conspiracy floodgates with a cover story claiming that bitcoin’s founder was an unassuming, Toyota Corolla–driving, model-train-loving man in California named Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto. One of the pieces of circumstantial evidence was that the punctuation and “other format quirks” in the original bitcoin proposal were “consistent with how Dorian S. Nakamoto writes.” After the report broke, Nakamoto issued a statement to “unconditionally deny” Newsweek’s story and his involvement in bitcoin. Now, researchers from a British…
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    Economic Development BlogEconomic Development Blog -

  • U.S. Economic Development Administration Awards $200K to Assist Job Loss Recovery in Minnesota

    Economic Development HQ.com
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:05 pm
    The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded a grant of $200,000 to the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission to assist in establishing an economic recovery strategy in the wake of job losses at a paper plant in International Falls, Minnesota. Boise paper mill job loss impact in Minnesota In May 2013, Idaho-based Boise Inc. announced that it would be closing two of its four paper-making machines at their International Falls paper mill, and would be downsizing the workforce by cutting 265 jobs. The mill still has 580 employees left. These cutbacks were initiated after the…
  • GE Selects University of Louisville for FirstBuild Micro-factory

    Economic Development HQ.com
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:09 pm
    GE (NYSE:GE) announced that their first-ever GE Appliances FirstBuild micro-factory will be located on the University of Louisville Belknap Campus in Louisville, KY. Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers speaking at GE FirstBuild micro-factory announcement (photo – louisville.edu) The project is a partnership between GE, UofL and Phoenix-based open-source hardware innovator Local Motors. The 35,000-square-foot FirstBuild micro-factory will be housed in a former storage facility at UofL, and is slated to open this summer. GE had announced last month that it as teaming up with Local Motors to…
  • Connecticut Economic Development Dept Awards $3.8M in Brownfield Grants

    Economic Development HQ.com
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:28 am
    The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development has awarded grants totaling $3,821,000 for advancing development of brownfield sites all over the state. Science Park in New Haven, CT gets brownfield grant (photo – cityofnewhaven.com) The grants, announced by Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, will enable 21 communities to assess and investigate 48 sites covering more than 310 acres. Gov. Malloy said that the communities receiving these grants will be able to prepare key sites that are in many cases vacant and blighted for a return to productive uses that will grow…
  • New York Smart Grid and Control Center Project to Save $190M Per Year

    Economic Development HQ.com
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:28 am
    Federal, state and local officials and energy sector leaders attended the grand opening of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) Control Center in Rensselaer County, NY. NYISO control center (photo – nyiso.com) NYISO is the non-profit that oversees New York’s bulk electricity grid and wholesale electricity markets, and the 64,000-square-foot control facility adjacent to their headquarters will serve as their primary operations and control center. The control center is part of a smart grid project funded partly with $38 million in Recovery Act investment provided by the U.S.
  • California JEDI Ballot Initiative Highlights Economic Development Benefits

    Economic Development HQ.com
    15 Apr 2014 | 11:33 pm
    Proponents, cities and interest groups who support the revival of California’s 425 eliminated redevelopment agencies have a legitimate shot at getting what they want, provided voters agree with them and approve a ballot initiative in November. CA JEDI Act (photo – ij.org) The initiative is named the California Jobs and Education Development Initiative (JEDI) Act, and is being pushed by an organization called Californians for Jobs and Economic Development. If voters approve the ballot measure, the 425 RDAs that were dissolved by legislation in 2011 would be reauthorized to continue…
 
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    Washington Equitable Center for Growth

  • Afternoon-Must Read: Dean Baker: Will the Wall Street Journal Give Ed Lazear Space to Correct His Piece About Falling Work Hours?

    Brad DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:05 pm
    Dean Baker: Will the Wall Street Journal Give Ed Lazear Space to Correct His Piece About Falling Work Hours?: “Last month the WSJ ran a column by Ed Lazear… …a Stanford economics professor and former chief economist to President Bush, which noted the decline in the length of the average workweek between the fall and the most recent data from February. The piece noted that if labor demand was measured in hours, we had lost the equivalent of 100,000 jobs over the prior six months. He discussed possible causes for this decline and highlighted the incentives created by the…
  • The Daily Piketty…

    Brad DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:01 pm
    The Graduate Center, CUNY: “The French economist Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics)… …will present a lecture on his new book, [Capital in the Twenty-First Century]. In this landmark work, Piketty argues that the main driver of inequality—the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth—threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values. He calls for political action and policy intervention. Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University), Paul Krugman (Princeton University and joining the LIS Center, July…
  • Things to Read on the Afternoon of April 16, 2014

    Brad DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:45 am
    Must-Reads: Ben Casselman: Losing Benefits Isn’t Prodding Unemployed Back to Work: “More than a million Americans saw their unemployment benefits expire at the start of the year, after Congress failed to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program…. Some economists had argued that the program was doing more harm than good by discouraging recipients from looking for work or taking jobs. They said that because the job market was improving, the time had come to cut off benefits. That would prod the unemployed to get back to work, perhaps leading them to accept offers…
  • Afternoon Must-Read: Tyler Cowen (2008): Keynes’s General Theory, Chapter Four, *The Choice of Units*

    Brad DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:44 am
    Tyler Cowen (2008): Keynes’s General Theory, chapter four, The Choice of Units: “This chapter may seem cryptic but… …the key is the tiny footnote to Hayek; this chapter is Keynes obsessing over capital theory and the Austrians. Hayek argued that an economic downturn should be understood as a discombobulation of the capital structure and here is Keynes arguing against that approach.  When you cut through the terminology, Keynes says that capital heterogeneity isn’t needed to generate aggregate demand analysis and that his core mechanisms will operate in any case. Keynes…
  • What Was I Thinking as 2008 Turned into 2009?: Wednesday Focus: April 16, 2014

    Brad DeLong
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:48 am
    The slides from the talks I was giving as 2008 turned into 2009. The huge hole in them is the lack on my part of any consideration of the possibility that we might not do what was necessary–that we might fail to use fiscal and banking policy on a large-enough scale to rebalance aggregate demand at full employment in a short-run of two to three years… Sigh… I simply assumed that the political and economic logic would work together: the political logic was that all incumbents of whatever party were at grave risk in the next election if unemployment was still high in 2010 and…
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    cliffeconomics

  • No interest cut, please!

    25 Mar 2014 | 5:06 pm
    The IMF's deflation "ogre" has given way to a "lowflation" lithany in a recent IMF blog, which culminates in a call for lower ECB rates. Among other arguments, the well written post points out two key problems from low inflation:The first problem is the presence of nominal rigidities, i.e. the difficulty of cutting wages and prices. The internal devaluation that countries in the euro periphery need to accomplish requires an inflation differential to Germany and the rest of the core.  Nominal rigidity in wages make this adjustment harder to achieve if inflation in the core is low.
  • Resolving Greece's debt overhang: swapping away

    14 Mar 2014 | 5:22 am
    On Vox, Peter Allen, Barry Eichengreen and Gary Evans deploy acrobatic arithmetics for reducing Greece's debt through asset sales. It seems academic circles, not markets, are most hung up with Greece's debt!The Peter-Barry-Gary proposal goes as follows:"The ECB, ESM and EU should commit a portion of their holdings of Greek government loans and bonds to a swap facility. Private investors interested in purchasing government assets could then buy loans or bonds with a face value of €1,000 for, say, €500. The Greek government, for its part, could agree to accept those bonds as…
  • Consumer price and asset price inflation: Looking the wrong way

    28 Jan 2014 | 4:55 am
    Recent readings of the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) suggest a nontrivial risk of dipping into deflation in the euro area. While ECB's Draghi sticks to his "subdued price pressures" line, the IMF's Madame Lagarde has already called central bankers to arms to fight the "ogre" of deflation.  This post argues that asset price inflation--in particular housing--is driving an overlooked wedge between the HICP and the cost of living, which ECB and commentators should take into account.As shown below, asset prices have risen markably throughout Europe and Germany, much more…
  • The $9 trillion sale: Keep dreaming!

    14 Jan 2014 | 5:30 am
    In its current edition, The Economist calls once again for privatization to help fund the high deficits of many Western governments. At first glance, this sounds reasonable given governments own indeed a lot of  assets. But that's about it. While privatization has played a significant role in the transition of Eastern Europe, in the aftermath of the Asia crisis, and in World Bank/IMF programs generally, privatization programs in the euro crisis often lagged more ambitious plans. Most notably, Greece's privatization program of EUR50 billion by 2015 has been a complete illusion. Also,…
  • Why Germans should stop mowing their own lawn

    9 Jan 2014 | 4:49 am
    Mowing the lawn appears to be a common pastime for Germans. Washing the car or ironing even makes it into a listing of ways to burn calories in a recent issue of the news magazine Focus. Does this make sense, economically?Home production, i.e. productive non-market activities, are not captured in the national accounts. Time use surveys, such as the one carried out in Germany in 2001/02, show that adult Germans spend 25 hours per week on "unpaid" work, more than paid work on average. Macroeconomic indicators may be reminiscent of the extent of home production in Germany. Labor…
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    The Indian Economist

  • Autocracy-Counterfied Psychedelic to Corruption

    TIE
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:49 am
    “CORRUPTION HATAO, DESH BACHAO”, one of the many slogan […]The post Autocracy-Counterfied Psychedelic to Corruption appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • No, thank you! We are Indians, We don’t have sex!

    TIE
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:42 am
    By Aneesha Puri We live in an absurdly funny country al […]The post No, thank you! We are Indians, We don’t have sex! appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • Speech Therapy for Politicians

    TIE
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:17 am
    By  Anuj Sabharwal ‘Speech therapy’ in medical terms me […]The post Speech Therapy for Politicians appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • Rangarajan’s Growth Formula

    TIE
    15 Apr 2014 | 1:00 pm
    By Shreya Bajaj The UPA is passing through a tough phas […]The post Rangarajan’s Growth Formula appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • The Challenge Of Policy Conundrum

    TIE
    15 Apr 2014 | 12:30 pm
    By Raghunath Nageswaran Just over a month from now, a f […]The post The Challenge Of Policy Conundrum appeared first on The Indian Economist.
 
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    FiveThirtyEightEconomics | FiveThirtyEight

  • The Biggest Predictor of How Long You’ll Be Unemployed Is When You Lose Your Job

    Ben Casselman
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    One characteristic distinguishes the long-term unemployed from the rest of America’s jobless. It isn’t how many hours they worked at their old job, or what industry they came from, or even their level of education.It’s bad timing.A FiveThirtyEight analysis shows that by far the single biggest predictor of whether someone will be out of work for a year or more is the state of the economy when he or she loses his or her job.1 Over the past 15 years, a period spanning two recessions, a one-point increase in the unemployment rate increased an individual’s odds of remaining…
  • There’s Income Inequality in Golf, Too

    Roger Pielke Jr.
    13 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Earlier this year, several analysts at the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective took a look at income inequality in the major U.S. sports leagues. Using Gini coefficients, an economic tool that distills the degree of inequality among a set of earners to a single number, the collective found the NHL to be the most equitable and MLB to be the least. The researchers found that salary caps help limit income inequality, essentially. The results are below. A Gini coefficient of 0.0 means that every player has the same income — perfect equality — and a Gini coefficient of 1.0 means that…
  • Inflation May Hit the Poor Hardest

    Ben Casselman
    7 Apr 2014 | 3:31 am
    It’s getting more expensive to be poor.Over the past two years, prices have risen more quickly for many of the things that low-income households spend a lot of their money on, such as rent and utilities. As a result, these households — families earning less than $20,000 — are experiencing a higher rate of inflation than the public at large even as their wages have stagnated, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis of government data.We tend to talk about inflation as a single number affecting the whole economy. But everyone experiences a slightly different rate of inflation for…
  • The Dollar-And-Cents Case Against Hollywood’s Exclusion of Women

    Walt Hickey
    1 Apr 2014 | 10:52 am
    Audiences and creators know that on one level or another, there’s an inherent gender bias in the movie business — whether it’s the disproportionately low number of films with female leads, the process of pigeonholing actresses into predefined roles (action chick, romantic interest, middle-aged mother, etc.), or the lack of serious character development for women on screen compared to their male counterparts. What’s challenging is quantifying this dysfunction, putting numbers to a trend that is — at least anecdotally — a pretty clear reality.One of the most enduring…
  • MIT Climate Scientist Responds on Disaster Costs And Climate Change

    Kerry Emanuel
    31 Mar 2014 | 9:13 am
    As someone who has spent some time looking at changes in the incidence of hurricanes around the planet, I have been asked to provide a response to Roger Pielke Jr.’s article “Disasters Cost More Than Ever — But Not Because of Climate Change,” published at FiveThirtyEight earlier this month.Let me begin by saying that I am sympathetic to Pielke’s emphasis on the role of changing demographics in increasing damages from natural disasters. This is a serious problem that could be addressed by wiser policies. For example, in the United States, policies regulating insurance and…
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