Economics

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Walter Dean Burnham and Thomas Ferguson: Americans Are Sick to Death of Both Parties: Why Our Politics Is in Worse Shape Than We Thought

    naked capitalism
    Lambert Strether
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:55 pm
    The 2014 results were as bad for Democrats as the Democrats are pretending they aren't
  • Ruble’s Historic Freefall, Russian Economic Collapse Not Fazing Vladimir Putin

    Dealbreaker
    Jon Shazar
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:52 am
    The Russian president neither knows nor cares about what you’d call his country’s current self-inflicted economic malaise. You want to use the word “crisis”? Go ahead—especially if you’re outside of the jurisdiction of his secret police. Just know that he’s not a big fan of that word. He’d call it something more like a temporary… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: non-crises, Vladimir Putin
  • Adair Turner understands better than Paul Krugman

    Angry Bear
    Edward Lambert
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:26 am
    After watching the new video with Adair Turner from a talk he gave at the Bristol Festival of Economics in November 2014, it is clear he understands the economic situation better than Paul Krugman. While Krugman tries to understand if inequality even leads to more financial instability (link), Turner knows that it does and the […]
  • Investment and Interest Rates

    Angry Bear
    Robert Waldmann
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:08 am
    In a recent post, I noted that actual non-residential fixed capital investment doesn’t show the pattern one would expect based on optimizing models at all. Ugh that sentence was convoluted and so is the post it describes. In fact, the puzzling pattern is really very simple. Non residential fixed capital investment (nrfinv) is high when […]
  • Why Cuba Turned

    Project Syndicate RSS-Feed
    Jorge G. Castañeda
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:30 am
    The agreement between the US and Cuba to resume diplomatic relations looks like a victory for the communist island. But that conclusion leaves out a crucial variable: the collapse in the price of oil, which leaves Cuba economically vulnerable and increases the likelihood of political change.
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    Real Time Economics

  • Fed’s Plosser Explains Dissent Vote, Says Policy Language Still Calendar-based

    Michael S. Derby
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:55 pm
    Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia leader Charles Plosser said in a statement Friday the U.S. central bank is failing to make its monetary policy stance truly dependent on how the economy performs. Mr. Plosser’s comments came from a statement that explained why he cast a dissenting vote against the Fed monetary policy statement released Wednesday. That document said the Fed could be patient when considering the timing of rate increases. Charles Plosser Bloomberg Mr. Plosser joined with Dallas Fed leader Richard Fisher in voting “no” to the statement given that both men believe the…
  • 5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar

    Kathleen Madigan
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:46 pm
    The reports are front-loaded in the coming week to allow for financial markets and the U.S. government to close for Christmas. Before Santa comes down the chimney, reports on home sales, sentiment and other data will be released. Will they bring holiday cheer to economy-watchers?
  • Fed’s Lacker: Rate Rises Will Depend On Economy’s Path

    Michael S. Derby and Ken Otterbourg
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:58 am
    Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker said Friday he isn’t ready to say when the U.S. central bank should raise rates. Mr. Lacker was speaking in Charlotte, N.C., as part of a panel discussion followed by questions from reporters. The official will gain a vote on the monetary-policy setting Federal Open Market Committeenext year. Most central bankers reckon the Fed will raise rates in 2015, with key officials favoring an increase around the middle of the year, assuming the economy performs as they expect. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker…
  • U.S. Home Values Continue to Rebound But at Slower Pace

    Michael Calia
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:26 am
    U.S. homes will be worth $27.5 trillion at the end of 2014, an increase of 6.1%, or $1.7 trillion, according to the real estate website Zillow. Associated Press U.S. home values are on pace to conclude another year of strong growth, although the pace is easing up a bit, online real estate marketplace Zillow says. The website operator estimates that U.S. homes will be worth $27.5 trillion at the end of 2014, an increase of 6.1%–or $1.7 trillion. Last year’s growth was pegged at 8%, although it’s worth noting that U.S. homes lost $6.1 trillion in value between the end of 2006 and the end…
  • Fed’s Williams: No Rate Increase Likely For a Couple of Meetings

    Michael S. Derby
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:25 am
    Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams in October. Reuters Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said in a radio interview Friday interest rate increases are unlikely to arrive until the middle of 2015, adding the central bank can begin to end its easy-money policy stance even if inflation is short of its official target. Mr. Williams told Bloomberg Radio the U.S. economy is in “a very good place right now.” The official, who will have a voting role on the monetary-policy setting Federal Open Market Committee next year, sided with central…
 
 
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    Alpha.Sources

  • Getting Late, but Still Time for a Drink ...

    CV
    7 Dec 2014 | 11:04 am
    One of the most widely discussed themes in the plethora of "2015 outlooks" that have passed my desk is where we are in the cycle. In itself, the question yields a number of important limitations on the level of insight [1], but it is a logical narrative to impose on the current market environment. The financial crisis is a distant, but still-potent memory, and the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone has been put on hold, but still has the potential to wreck the "timeline" for most investors if it were to rear its ugly head next year.  Without getting into too much detail, the vast…
  • Keep Rotating

    CV
    28 Nov 2014 | 2:52 pm
    Either weak energy prices, a break down in copper, low iron ore prices etc are a sign of a deflation crunch in the making that will lead to a flush in all things risk related (Albert Edwards style). Or we are in a extermely powerful Goldilocks situation where low headline inflation finally lets the real economy release higher, and the market goes on towards a final mid-to-late cycle tantrum. I think that this is now the key choice that everyone must make before proceeding to call their broker on Monday morning.  In the Eurozone, margins are getting squeezed and companies are being forced…
  • Another Eurozone Crisis Ahead?

    CV
    19 Oct 2014 | 5:52 am
    Calamities happen in financial markets, and usually when investors least expect and are least prepared for it. In the euro area, weak growth in the past six months and the inability of the ECB's measures to turn asset markets arounds have led investors to, once again, revisit their sovereign debt crisis playbooks.  This is understandable, but also now raises a fundamental question. If we are about to tumble into round 2 (or 3?) of the sovereign debt crisis, Eurozone bears may still prevail holding on to the recent trend in equities. But if we are not, the only trade that currently makes…
  • Where Are My Foreign Assets When I Need Them?

    CV
    17 Sep 2014 | 8:15 am
    How do you show the challenge of the eurozone periphery in one chart? Well, it is difficult but the representation below is a good pick in my view. A structurally negative net foreign asset position is a very tough hurdle to overcome when in a currency union, saddled with poor demographics and need net external demand to boost national income. Think of the periphery as Japan and Germany without(!) the strong net foreign asset position.  These countries seem to have grown old before getting rich and without the ability to devalue in nominal terms, the outlook is not good.   …
  • The Italian Economy Remains Stuck ...

    CV
    15 Sep 2014 | 10:38 am
    Italy has the dubious honor of the being the first eurozone economy to re-enter recession after the decidedly tepid recovery since 2012. This is bad news for an economy struggling with steadily increasing government debt and no real solution on how to pay off its mounting liabilities. What is even worse is that it looks as if the economy is not about to exit its malaise anytime soon. Picture is courtesey of Pantheon Macroeconomics and has also been posted on Twitter.   
 
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    re: The Auditors

  • “Tax Avoidance On An Industrial Scale” Says British MP About PwC’s Luxembourg Work For AIG And Others

    Francine
    10 Dec 2014 | 7:25 am
    On Monday of this week, British MP Margaret Hodge grilled Kevin Nicholson, lead partner of PwC’s UK tax practice, in a Parliament Public Accounts Committee hearing about the firm’s Luxembourg tax arrangements. This follows the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ (ICIJ) LuxLeaks investigation announced November 5. Hodge accused Nicholson of lying to the committee. You know that you’re on your “back foot” when the first words out of your mouth are a denial that you lied to a legislative committee under oath. (PwC better hurry up and get on…
  • Deadline December 15: Support This University of Notre Dame Accounting Grad Salary Survey!

    Francine
    10 Dec 2014 | 6:13 am
    Professor Jennifer Sustersic Stevens, PhD, CPA at Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame has asked me to post her request for your participation in a survey that will support important accounting research. Please complete the survey and I promise to report on the results when a working paper is published in the spring. My first job was at Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust in Chicago as a Financial Information Systems Training (FIST) Program trainee. After a fifteen week training program I went to internal audit, reviewing Personal Trusts that held alternative…
  • Speaking Engagements/Conferences

    Francine
    2 Dec 2014 | 3:40 am
    I’m on the road visiting universities, attending select conferences and forums and speaking to groups of all kinds. If you would like me to visit your university and your accounting/audit program, please write soon to lock in fall and winter dates. Contact me at fmckenna@mckennapartners.com to schedule a presentation at your university, conference, firm or for a private briefing. Coming Up: February 18, 2014, Tentative, Stanford University and the Graduate School of Business. Visiting lecturer for undergraduate and graduate classes taught by Professor Anat Admati, author of the new book…
  • Piling Up For PwC

    Francine
    18 Nov 2014 | 3:48 pm
      Update for breaking news: The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Rapoport reports tonight that the PCAOB is looking into PwC’s tax advice to Caterpillar for auditor independence violations. The schemes were the subject of a hearing held last April by Senator Carl Levin where PwC partners made some embarrassing admissions. The regulator’s review dates back several months and hasn’t previously been reported. The review follows an April request from Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) for the PCAOB to look at the matter after he alleged earlier this year that Caterpillar had deferred…
  • Luxembourg Tax Leaks Put PwC On The Defensive

    Francine
    13 Nov 2014 | 10:01 am
    The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its media partners released 28,000 Luxembourg tax ruling documents on November 5. These documents were all prepared by global audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for 340 corporate clients – 548 comfort letters issued from 2002 to 2010.  The ICIJ and several other newspapers and magazines all over the world reported on the stories embedded in these documents. (The hashtag for Twitter for the ICIJ series is #LuxLeaks.) I was quoted in one of the stories that was translated to several languages for media outlets in…
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    The American Prospect

  • Today's Cyborg News

    Paul Waldman
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:57 am
    One of the things that bugged me about the movie "Avatar" (I know, I know) was the idea that 150 years in the future, someone who had suffered a spinal injury would be rolling around in a wheelchair, and getting him new legs would be so expensive that only some people would be able to afford it. I realize the protagonist's inability to walk on his own was central to the plot, but none of the other technology in the film required that it take place that far in the future; they could just as easily have said it was 2054 instead of 2154 and it would have been much more plausible. Why do I bring…
  • More Disturbing Revelations About the CIA Torture Program

    Paul Waldman
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:10 am
    The most important thing to read today is this extraordinary report from Matthew Cole of NBC News about one CIA officer, the agency's top expert on al-Qaeda, and her trail of screw-ups and lies with regard to the torture program. Among other things, she was one of the models for the composite lead character in "Zero Dark Thirty," but this is much more disturbing than what was in that film. She is referred to as "the expert": At one point, she misread intelligence provided by another suspected terrorist, and the faulty information was then used to extract an erroneous admission from Mohammed,…
  • Caring for Caregivers

    Sarita Gupta
    19 Dec 2014 | 5:34 am
    (Flickr/Emily Michelle) For three years, I’ve watched my father succumb to Alzheimer’s. Once a doctor and an active community leader, today he has become quiet, less engaging, and prefers to stay home. He lacks a curiosity to explore new things, and often seems to be lost in his own thoughts. He can no longer go out on his own, even to run small errands, because he gets easily confused about where he is and what he is supposed to be doing. The changes in my father’s abilities have placed a lot of pressure on my mother to manage the household by herself—keeping the house clean, cooking…
  • Why the Cuba Issue Will Not Help Marco Rubio Become President

    Paul Waldman
    18 Dec 2014 | 10:10 am
    At least publicly, Republicans have been nearly unanimous in their condemnation of the Obama administration's decision to normalize relations with Cuba. In and of itself this isn't surprising, given their party's long history of vigorous anti-communism and the fact that this move was taken by Barack Obama, which makes it wrong by definition. As I wrote over at the Post this morning, the presidential contenders in particular are trapped by their older voters, for whom the Cold War is a living thing, not something they read about in history class. For decades, opposition to communism was one of…
  • Meet the Congressional Mouthpieces of the Anti-Cuba Lobby

    Zaid Jilani
    18 Dec 2014 | 8:33 am
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) Like his Republican counterparts who oppose the president's opening to Cuba, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, has ties to the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC. On Wednesday, December 17, he accused President Barack Obama of "vindicat[ing] the brutal behavior of the Cuban government.” This March 27, 2014, file photo shows him in his role as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, listening as the committee's ranking member, Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. This…
 
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Guy Vidra's Open Letter to "New Republic" Readers

    J. Bradford DeLong
    20 Dec 2014 | 10:08 am
    Guy Vidra: Open Letter to New Republic Readers: "I started my career in journalism... ...My first job out of college was as a junior editor for a small publication in Dublin, Ireland. When I moved back to the United States, I worked as a copy editor for a company many do not remember today called Bridge News. At the time, Bridge was one of the largest financial news providers in the world but was quickly displaced by a faster moving competitor, Bloomberg. It was the first of many times in my career when I witnessed a traditional media outlet upended by a new competitor on the landscape. My…
  • Weekend Reading: Karl Whelan: Thoughts on “Teaching Economics After the Crash”

    J. Bradford DeLong
    20 Dec 2014 | 6:03 am
    Karl Whelan: Thoughts on “Teaching Economics After the Crash”: "This is a long post on the state of economics... ...and how it is taught to undergraduates. The world is not crying out for another such discussion, so blame Tony Yates, via whom I ended up listening to Aditya Chakrabortty’s documentary ‘Teaching Economics After the Crash’ for BBC Radio 4. Like Tony, I viewed the programme as a hopelessly one-sided critique of the economics profession. Still, it was useful in the sense that it packed all the regular criticisms about economics into one short piece. I agree with most of…
  • Liveblogging World War II: December 20, 1944: The Radio News

    J. Bradford DeLong
    20 Dec 2014 | 3:20 am
  • For the Weekend...

    J. Bradford DeLong
    19 Dec 2014 | 4:19 pm
  • Noted for Your Nighttime Procrastination for December 19, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    19 Dec 2014 | 4:19 pm
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Over at Grasping Reality: Hoisted from 2010: David Blanchflower: Welcome Back to 1930s Britain Ed Luce: Too Big to Resist: Wall Street’s Comeback Alan Blinder: ‘What’s the Matter with Economics?’ David Jolly: Swiss National Bank to Adopt a Negative Interest Rate Paul Krugman: Switzerland and the Inflation Hawks Nick Bunker: Wealth inequality and the marginal propensity to consume Nick Bunker: Qualitative editing Nick Bunker: Weekend reading Plus: Things to Read at Night on December 19, 2014 Must- and Shall-Reads: Rick Mishkin and Eugene White:…
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    Calculated Risk

  • Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 401 Institutions

    Bill McBride
    20 Dec 2014 | 5:07 am
    This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.Here is the unofficial problem bank list for Dec 19, 2014. Changes and comments from surferdude808: The OCC released an update on its latest enforcement action activity that contributed to many changes to the Unofficial Problem Bank List this week. Also, the FDIC closed a bank this Friday in what will likely will be the last closure of the year. In all, there were nine removals and four additions that leave the list with 401 institutions with assets of $125.1 billion. A year ago, the list held 633 institutions with…
  • ATA Trucking Index increased 3.5% in November

    Bill McBride
    19 Dec 2014 | 4:01 pm
    Here is an indicator that I follow on trucking, from the ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Surged 3.5% in NovemberAmerican Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index jumped 3.5% in November, following an increase of 0.5% during the previous month. In November, the index equaled 136.8 (2000=100), which was the highest level on record.Compared with November 2013, the SA index increased 4.4%, down slightly from October’s 4.5% increase but still was the second highest year-over-year gain in 2014. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage…
  • Lawler Update: Read on November Existing Home Sales, Distressed Sales and Cash buyers for Selected Cities

    Bill McBride
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:54 am
    CR Note: The consensus is that on Monday, the NAR will report 5.20 million existing home sales for November, on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR). Housing economist Tom Lawler isn't always correct, but usually he is much closer than the consensus - so I expect a consensus miss on Monday.From Tom Lawler: "Based on local realtor/MLS reports released through this morning, I estimate that existing home sales as measured by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.90 million in November, down 6.8% from October’s pace and up 1.4% from last…
  • DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased 2.6% year-over-year in October

    Bill McBride
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:12 am
    With lower gasoline prices, vehicle miles driven might reach a new peak in 2015.The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported:Travel on all roads and streets changed by 2.6% (6.6 billion vehicle miles) for October 2014 as compared with October 2013.Travel for the month is estimated to be 264.2 billion vehicle miles. Cumulative Travel for 2014 changed by 0.9% (23.2 billion vehicle miles).The following graph shows the rolling 12 month total vehicle miles driven. The rolling 12 month total is slowly moving up, after moving sideways for a few years. Click on graph for larger image.In the early…
  • Kansas City Fed: Regional Manufacturing "Activity Expanded at a Moderate Pace" in December

    Bill McBride
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:05 am
    From the Kansas City Fed: Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Expanded at a Moderate Pace The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the December Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that Tenth District manufacturing activity continued to expand at a moderate pace in December, and producers’ expectations for future activity remained at solid levels.“This month’s results are similar to what we’ve seen most of the year, said Wilkerson. The main change in December,…
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    Crooked Timber

  • Concluding Serial; or, Koenig v. Ranke

    Eric
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:29 pm
    The hott podcast Serial concluded this week with its twelfth episode, an episode that crystallized for me why I like it. For all the complaints – that it is white privilege in distilled radio form; that it is really about its host, Sarah Koenig – it is a pretty good dramatization of the historical process. And it’s not only because this week one of the intrepid reporter/producers descended into an actual archive to retrieve a critical document and, despite some gratuitous mockery of the archivists, gave a sense of what it’s actually like to do that and why you would…
  • My God! It’s Full of Arse!

    Henry
    18 Dec 2014 | 4:17 pm
    I think that anyone who sits down to read the Wieseltier decades of critical reviews in The New Republic will notice that at some mysterious philosophical level a great many of those hundreds of essays seem to cohere. It is not because they display a particular ideological bent or follow a political line. Something deeper is at work, which I do not know how to describe. (It is a task for a philosopher-historian.) I note a nearly uniform predisposition against the doctrines of determinism, whether they be scientific or economic or identity-political. There has always been, in any case, an…
  • Research Excellence Framework… the denouement

    Chris Bertram
    18 Dec 2014 | 2:35 am
    In the UK, we’ve just got the results of the Research Excellence Framework, successor to the Research Assessment Excercise, and the method that the state uses to disburse a very large amount of public money. Nobody is sure why the name was changed from “exercise” to “framework”, but since you can strap a person to a frame and then compel them to submit to sundry indignities, the change seems apt. The point of the REF is to measure the quality of research done at a particular institution and to give more of it, indeed most of it, to the departments that have…
  • Cars in Cuba

    Eszter Hargittai
    17 Dec 2014 | 10:37 pm
    In light of changing relations between Cuba and the U.S., I thought I’d post photos of cars I took in Cuba when I was there just over two years ago. The scene was even more amazing than one might expect. Some of the US cars from the ‘50s were in fabulous condition, the result of lots of hard work, no doubt. Others were less glossy, but no less impressive (and certainly functional). Also, having grown up in Budapest in the ‘70s and ‘80s, I got a kick out of seeing Ladas on the street, and even the occasional Polski Fiat. If cars are not your thing, I also have a…
  • Three words that make me stop reading your article, blogpost, comment, etc

    Henry
    17 Dec 2014 | 4:12 pm
    (1) “By” (2) “David” (3) “Bernstein” That is all.
 
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    Dealbreaker

  • Write-Offs: 12.19.14

    Dealbreaker
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:25 pm
    $$$ Citigroup Says Instagram Is Worth $35 Billion [Dealbook] $$$ Elizabeth Warren Gets Her Own Folksong on Park Avenue [Bloomberg] $$$ Russia’s parliament rushes through bill boosting banking capital [Reuters] $$$ BlackBerry is gaining momentum: CEO [CNBC] $$$ TSA returns lost luggage to woman 20 years later [UPI] $$$ Bumble Bee to Merge With Chicken… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
  • Arizona State Now Has Multiple Business Schools To Choose From

    Jon Shazar
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:10 pm
    Arizona State isn’t just the top party/baseball school in the land anymore. It’s also now probably number one in the “Most Business Schools” ranking. Thunderbird will keep its name and campus but become a quasi-independent part of the Arizona State enterprise, with the majority of faculty and staff staying on…. Arizona State and Thunderbird entered… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: Arizona State University, business schools, MBA v CFA, ridiculously-named institutions of higher education
  • Bonus Watch ’14: Countrywide Whistleblowers

    Bess Levin
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:53 pm
    The total payouts to whistle-blowers in the federal government’s $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America over its mortgage business may approach $170 million. Edward O’Donnell, a former executive at Countrywide Financial, and Robert Madsen, a former property appraiser for the bank already have been identified as two of the whistle-blowers that federal prosecutors gave… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: Bank of America, bonuses, Countrywide, how can Angelo Mozilo get in on this sweet deal?, whistleblowers
  • Ex-Jefferies Exec Convicted Of Fraud Has Bone To Pick With The Guy Who Turned Him In

    Bess Levin
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:28 pm
    And here’s what he’s doing about it! A former Jefferies & Co. managing director convicted of fraud for lying to customers about the price of mortgage-backed securities sued the AllianceBernstein Holding LP (AB) executive who reported him. Jesse C. Litvak sued Michael Canter, head of the securitized assets group at New York-based AllianceBernstein, in New… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: cojones, fraud, Jefferies, Jesse Litvak, Lawsuits, The Year of Jefferies
  • Ruble’s Historic Freefall, Russian Economic Collapse Not Fazing Vladimir Putin

    Jon Shazar
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:52 am
    The Russian president neither knows nor cares about what you’d call his country’s current self-inflicted economic malaise. You want to use the word “crisis”? Go ahead—especially if you’re outside of the jurisdiction of his secret police. Just know that he’s not a big fan of that word. He’d call it something more like a temporary… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: non-crises, Vladimir Putin
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    Econbrowser

  • Guest Contribution: “Why Are So Many Commodity Prices Down in the US… Yet Up in Europe?”

    Menzie Chinn
    18 Dec 2014 | 7:37 am
    Today we are fortunate to have a guest contribution written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at Harvard University, and former Member of the Council of Economic Advisers, 1997-99. Oil prices plummeted 43% during the course of 2014 – good news for oil-importing countries, but bad news for Russia, Nigeria, Venezuela, and other oil exporters. Some attribute the price drop to the US shale-energy boom. Others cite OPEC’s failure to agree on supply restrictions. But that is not the whole story. The price of iron ore is down, too. So are gold, silver, and…
  • Russia: Seems Like Old Times

    Menzie Chinn
    16 Dec 2014 | 4:06 pm
    As I watch the financial meltdown in Russia (and work on a chapter on financial crises), I am pervaded by a sense of déjà vu. As Paul Krugman notes, the unfolding of the crisis is not mysterious, although the timing — and ferocity — is somewhat unexpected. Figure 1 depicts the collapse in the ruble even as the policy rate is hiked up, an astounding 6.5% yesterday. Figure 1: USD/RUB exchange rate (blue, left scale), seven day repo rate, % (red, right scale). Vertical dashed line at 17 July 2014. A rise in the exchange rate is a rouble appreciation. Source: Pacific…
  • Guest Contribution: “Transparency and the Global Transmission of Financial Shocks”

    Menzie Chinn
    15 Dec 2014 | 10:42 pm
    Today we are fortunate to have a guest contribution written by Luis Brandão-Marques, Senior Economist, Gaston Gelos, Chief of the Global Financial Stability Analysis Division, and Natalia Melgar, Economist, all at the IMF. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management. Country transparency and capital flows The ongoing debate on the normalization of U.S. monetary policy has renewed interest in understanding how financial shocks get transmitted from the financial centers to the rest of the world, in…
  • Oil prices as an indicator of global economic conditions

    James_Hamilton
    14 Dec 2014 | 4:00 pm
    West Texas Intermediate sold for $105 a barrel at the start of July, but ended last week at $58. The most important factor has been surging U.S. production. But another reason oil prices have slid so much is weakness in demand for the product, which may be related to a slowdown of overall world economic growth. Here I comment on the importance of that second factor. Price of crude oil (West Texas Intermediate, dollars per barrel). Source: FRED. For example, the price of copper fell from $3.27/pound to $2.93, a 10% drop over those same six months. This of course has nothing to do with the…
  • Symmetric Application of Dynamic Scoring

    Menzie Chinn
    11 Dec 2014 | 7:06 pm
    Republicans are keen to sacrifice CBO’s role as impartial arbiter of fiscal measures on the altar of “dynamic scoring” of tax measures.[0] But there is no economic reason for restricting this approach to only tax measures. First, on tax measures, from Jane Gravelle in a Congressional Research Service review of the policy literature: Economists were attracted to intertemporal models because they were dissatisfied with the ad hoc treatment of savings in Solow models. However, intertemporal models are far less transparent, and modelers appear in some cases to make little…
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    EconLog: Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Markets describe reality; models should explain market reactions

    Scott Sumner
    20 Dec 2014 | 10:25 am
    (December 20, 2014 10:25 AM, by Scott Sumner) Paul Krugman has a new post that explains why he is pessimistic about monetary stimulus at the zero bound. He briefly describes his 1998 paper on the zero bound problem. This paper shows that if base money and bonds are... (0 COMMENTS)
  • Good for Michael Vick--or Incentives

    David Henderson
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:49 pm
    (December 19, 2014 02:49 PM, by David Henderson) "What Michael did was the exception, not the rule," Luzinski said. "He didn't have to do this. The law allows you to skate by and pay your creditors 10 or 20 cents on the dollar, but he thought this was... (5 COMMENTS)
  • Los Angeles Unions' Two-fer on Minimum Wage

    David Henderson
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:16 pm
    (December 18, 2014 03:16 PM, by David Henderson) When the U.S. minimum wage law was put into effect in 1938, northeastern labor unions gained from it by pricing out their competition. Unions in the textile industry were seeing textile firms move from New England states to southern lower-wage... (12 COMMENTS)
  • France seeks liberalizations, but bans Uber

    Alberto Mingardi
    17 Dec 2014 | 7:31 pm
    (December 17, 2014 07:31 PM, by Alberto Mingardi) Mixed signals from France. The Financial Times, among others, has stressed the potential of the liberalisation plan pursued by the new Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron. The bill aims at lowering barriers to entry in liberal professions--notaries, pharmacists, et cetera. The... (3 COMMENTS)
  • Two Cheers for Obama on Cuba

    David Henderson
    17 Dec 2014 | 6:57 pm
    (December 17, 2014 06:57 PM, by David Henderson) As is probably known to virtually all readers of this blog, President Obama announced today his steps to normalize relations with Cuba. It is long overdue and finally we have a President willing to do something about it. I have... (20 COMMENTS)
 
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    Economist's View

  • Links for 12-20-14

    Mark Thoma
    20 Dec 2014 | 12:06 am
    The Simple Analytics of Monetary Impotence (Wonkish) - Paul Krugman Karl Whelan: Teaching Economics After the Crash - Brad DeLong How a 2% Inflation Target Became Global Economic Gospel - NYTimes 5 Reasons for the Slow Recovery in Long-Term Unemployment - WSJ The Widespread Decline in Involuntary Part-Time Work - macroblog Coordination, Efficiency, and the Coase Theorem - Rajiv Sethi Piketty Sticks to Wealth Tax Proposal, Sees Positive Signs - WSJ Helicopter money is normal, or else we're doomed! - Nick Rowe Fed’s Kocherlakota: Fed Policy Creating Downside Risks For Inflation - WSJ 30%…
  • Regulation of the Financial Industry

    Mark Thoma
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:08 pm
    Is the financial industry is winning the war over regulation?: Volcker lambasts Wall Street lobbying, FT: Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman, has lambasted the "eternal lobbying" of Wall Street after regulators granted the industry more time to comply with a rule designed to prevent them from owning hedge funds. In a withering statement ... Mr Volcker said: “It is striking, that the world's leading investment bankers, noted for their cleverness and agility in advising clients on how to restructure companies and even industries however complicated, apparently…
  • Digitized Products: How about just giving up?

    Mark Thoma
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:20 am
    Joshua Gans: Digitized Products: How about just giving up?: In a very interesting talk, music producer, Steve Albini, reviewed the impact of the internet on the music industry’s woes. ... From my part, I believe the very concept of exclusive intellectual property with respect to recorded music has come to a natural end, or something like an end. Technology has brought to a head a need to embrace the meaning of the word “release”, as in bird or fart. It is no longer possible to maintain control over digitized material and I don’t believe the public good is served by trying to.
  • Paul Krugman: Putin’s Bubble Bursts

    Mark Thoma
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:24 am
    The Russian economy is in trouble: Putin’s Bubble Bursts, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: If you’re the type who finds macho posturing impressive, Vladimir Putin is your kind of guy. Sure enough, many American conservatives seem to have an embarrassing crush on the swaggering strongman. “That is what you call a leader,” enthused Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor, after Mr. Putin invaded Ukraine without debate or deliberation. But Mr. Putin never had the resources to back his swagger. Russia has an economy roughly the same size as Brazil’s. And, as we’re now seeing,…
  • Links for 12-19-14

    Mark Thoma
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:06 am
    Mean-Reversion in Growth Rates and Convergence - Growth Economics Understanding Piketty: Merit and rent in a growing economy - Vox EU Swiss National Bank to Adopt a Negative Interest Rate - NYTimes.com Considerable Time and Patience a Decade Ago - MacroMania How does my country grow? Lessons for the EZ - Vox EU Krugman-Evans-Pritchard revisited. - longandvariable Why these updated fiscal rules are a backward step - mainly macro The Effect of Unemployment on Social Participation - Kunze and Suppa Macroprudentialism (An E-book) - Tim Taylor Sustaining African growth - Vox EU Notes on Russian…
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    EconTalk

  • Continuing Conversation... Gary Marcus on the Future of Artificial Intelligence and the Brain

    Amy Willis
    17 Dec 2014 | 7:30 am
    In this week's EconTalk episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts talks with NYU's Gary Marcus on how artificial intelligence may influence human flourishing and when such effects might become a real concern. As always, we want to hear what you think. Check Your Knowledge: 1. How does Marcus define artificial intelligence? Why is Google Translate, for example, not an example of artificial intelligence? What are the problems with Big Data?Tweet Going Deeper: 2. Of the eight (no, nine) problems with "Big Data," according to Marcus and Ernest Davis, which do you find the most troubling, and why? 3.
  • Gary Marcus on the Future of Artificial Intelligence and the Brain

    Russell Roberts
    15 Dec 2014 | 3:30 am
    Gary Marcus of New York University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the future of artificial intelligence (AI). While Marcus is concerned about how advances in AI might hurt human flourishing, he argues that truly transformative smart machines are still a long way away and that to date, the exponential improvements in technology have been in hardware, not software. Marcus proposes ways to raise standards in programming to reduce mistakes that would have catastrophic effects if advanced AI does come to fruition. The two also discuss "big data's" emphasis on correlations, and how…
  • Continuing Conversation... James Otteson on the End of Socialism

    Amy Willis
    10 Dec 2014 | 8:58 am
    In this week's episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts talks with James Otteson about socialism and capitalism, touching on camping, G.A. Cohen, Adam Smith, and education along the way. Use the questions below to check your knowledge or respond. As always, we love to hear from you. What should be the criteria for state intervention in the economy?Tweet Check Your Knowledge: 1. How does G.A. Cohen's notion of "communal reciprocity" differ from Adam Smith's notion of market exchange, according to Otteson? 2. What does Otteson note as Adam Smith's two criteria for government intervention in the…
  • James Otteson on the End of Socialism

    Russell Roberts
    8 Dec 2014 | 3:30 am
    James Otteson of Wake Forest University talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, The End of Socialism. Otteson argues that socialism (including what he calls the "socialist inclination") is morally and practically inferior to capitalism. Otteson contrasts socialism and capitalism through the views of G. A. Cohen and Adam Smith. Otteson emphasizes the importance of moral agency and respect for the individual in his defense of capitalism. The conversation also includes a discussion of the deep appeal of the tenets of socialism such as equality and the impulse for top-down…
  • Bostrom follow-up

    Russ Roberts
    5 Dec 2014 | 11:19 am
    Bostrom Follow-up For me, the interview with Nick Bostrom was mind-blowing. I've been thinking about it quite a bit since we did the interview and the thoughtful comments from listeners have continued the process. I made a strong claim early on that surprised Bostrom so I want to try to give a little bit of background for why I made the claim. I made the observation that Bostrom's view of superintelligence reminded me of the way medieval theologians talk about God. Bostrom responded by pointing out that unlike God, his concept of superintelligence was limited by the laws of physics. That is…
 
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    Environmental Economics

  • CALL for PAPERS: Thresholds, Tipping Points and Random Events in Dynamic Economic Systems

    John Whitehead
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:13 am
    CALL FOR PAPERS:  Thresholds, Tipping Points and Random Events in Dynamic Economic Systems The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy (http://bakercenter.utk.edu/) and the Department of Economics (http://econ.bus.utk.edu/) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will host a workshop on Thresholds, Tipping Points, and Random Events in Dynamic Economic Systems on Monday and Tuesday, July 27-28, 2015. The purpose of the workshop is to promote research that uses state of the art techniques and applications whereby discrete events (e.g., thresholds, tipping points, catastrophes) are…
  • My top 10 albums of 2014

    John Whitehead
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    Based on revealed preference (no cheap talk treatment necessary) as submitted to the WNCW and No Depression top polls: Lydia Loveless - Somewhere Else Hard Working Americans - Hard Working Americans Drive-by Truckers - English Oceans Old 97s - Most Messed Up Lucinda Williams - Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone Rosanne Cash - The River and the Thread Justin Townes Earle - Single Mothers Sarah Borges - Radio Sweetheart Karen and the Sorrows - The Names of Things [Just a Little Hearbreak] Caroline Rose - I Will Not be Afraid Notes: It was difficult to rank the bottom 6 or 7 since most of…
  • And just where do all these Macroeconomists think they're going to work?

    Tim Haab
    19 Dec 2014 | 5:17 am
    Here is a summary of the fields of the PhD job market candidates at the 'top' econ programs this year. Since most environmental economists are really public economists trained in applied and theoretical micro and econometrics, I'm going to go ahead and group Micro Theory (26), Econometrics (14), Public (12), Applied Micro (11) and Environmental (8) under the Env-Econ umbrella and claim Env-Econ is really the top field (71).
  • My view on Sony and North Korea

    Tim Haab
    19 Dec 2014 | 5:02 am
    Now that Sony has set a precedent of pulling movies after the parent company is hacked, I worry that the Empire will be using the Force on Disney now that the Force is awakening. Yes, I'm a dork.
  • Daily Demand and Supply: Evidence that Expectations Matter

    Tim Haab
    18 Dec 2014 | 7:46 am
    Russian consumers flocked to the stores Wednesday, frantically buying a range of big-ticket items to pre-empt the price rises kicked off by the staggering fall in the value of the ruble in recent days.As the Russian authorities announced a series of measures to ease the pressure on the ruble, which slid 15 percent in the previous two days and raised fears of a bank run, many Russians were buying cars and home appliances — in some cases in record numbers — before prices for these imported goods shoot higher.The Swedish furniture giant IKEA already warned Russian consumers that its prices…
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    footnoted*

  • A big sendoff for Abercrombie’s CEO

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

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

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

    Michelle Leder
    24 Oct 2014 | 6:10 am
    For most of us, $8 million is a lot of money. But for a company the size of Google, it’s probably safe to say that it’s the equivalent of sofa change. Still, even we were surprised by this exhibit attached to the 10-Q that Google filed yesterday. In the letter, which was dated July 18, 2014, Google agreed to forgive an $8m cash award that former Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora was supposed to pay back within 30 days if he left the company prior to April 25, 2015. The condition was spelled out pretty clearly in this letter dated April 27, 2012. In that letter, the company said…
  • GT Technologies warned in August

    Michelle Leder
    10 Oct 2014 | 11:54 am
    There’s been a lot of hand-wringing over the past few days about GT Technologies, which as most people know, filed for bankruptcy earlier this week. In the press release, CEO Tom Guttierez said that “today’s filing does not mean we are going out of business; rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on a stronger footing, maintain operations of our diversified business, and improve our balance sheet.” Investors didn’t quite see things that way. The stock declined over 90% on Monday and has spent the past few days…
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    Free exchange

  • The dark clouds around the silver lining

    R.A. | LONDON
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:48 am
    IT MUST seem churlish of me to maintain my grim pessimism about the Fed's current course of action, given the steady flow of encouraging data from the American economy. But try as I might, I cannot muster the same Panglossian enthusiasm as my colleague about the way policy is unfolding. This is not the best of all worlds.My colleague reckons that the American economy is "converging rapidly on full employment". I think the Fed shares his view. Ironically, this is actually an exceptionally negative statement about the strength of the American labour market. Despite recent rapid job growth,…
  • The best of all worlds

    G.I. | WASHINGTON, D.C.
    17 Dec 2014 | 2:33 pm
    WHAT could be better than an economy converging rapidly on full employment? A central bank in no mood to get in the way. That is the happy combination America now enjoys, and it explains the stock market's euphoric reaction to today's meeting of the Federal Reserve.In the statement releaed after its meeting, the Fed hailed "solid job gains" and diminishing slack in the labour market. Projections of its officials put unemployment at or below its long-run “natural” rate a year from now. This is not an economy in need of zero interest rates. And, as officials had broadly hinted beforehand,…
  • Turning Davids into Goliaths

    Economist.com
    15 Dec 2014 | 2:31 pm
    THIS week: Russia's deepening economic crisis, consolidation in European telecoms and the business climate in Israel
  • What's really there?

    G.S. and C.W. | LONDON
    12 Dec 2014 | 9:29 am
    RUSSIA’S currency has dived this year: since January it has lost about 40% of its value against the dollar. To slow the rouble's fall, the central bank has been raising interest rates: yesterday it did it for the fifth time (the rate now stands at 10.5%). High interest rates are dragging on economic growth: Russia is on the verge of recession.The central bank has also been buying roubles with its foreign-exchange reserves. They have fallen sharply this year (nearly 20%) but still seem gargantuan. According to the central-bank website, in November Russia had $419 billion-worth of reserves.
  • Two lost decades?

    MATTHEW WHITTAKER | RESOLUTION FOUNDATION
    11 Dec 2014 | 7:43 am
    On December 3rd George Osborne, Britain's chancellor, delivered the autumn statement, the country's annual mini-budget. We are hosting a round-table discussion of the statement and the direction of British economic policy. Our final contributor is Matthew Whittaker, chief economist at the Resolution Foundation.RARELY have questions of household living standards and the shape of the public finances been so interwoven. The autumn statement—or, more specifically, the Office for Budget Responsibility’s economic and fiscal outlook—identified a £25 billion shortfall in tax revenues by…
 
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    Greg Mankiw's Blog

  • The Affair

    Greg Mankiw
    16 Dec 2014 | 1:58 pm
    The best new TV show this year, at least among those I have seen, is Showtime's The Affair. It is a compellingly written and acted drama and crime story told, alternately, from two perspectives. If you want to check out the first episode, you can do so here. (One of the lead actors is Dominic West, who played McNulty in The Wire, another of the all-time great TV shows.)
  • From the Harvard Holiday/Skit Party

    Greg Mankiw
    16 Dec 2014 | 7:07 am
  • After Obamacare

    Greg Mankiw
    13 Dec 2014 | 11:34 am
    Republicans in Congress talk regularly about repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.  They have not, however, said much about what they will replace it with. One possibility is the plan described here.
  • Who pays for government?

    Greg Mankiw
    1 Dec 2014 | 11:54 am
    Source. Click on graphic to enlarge.
  • Trash Talking at the Harvard-Yale Game

    Greg Mankiw
    23 Nov 2014 | 4:18 am
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    Hedge fund

  • Hedge fund test

    Veryan Allen
    8 Dec 2014 | 7:14 am
    Alpha is rare so only the most dedicated and talented can find it. Top portfolio managers take a minimum 50,000 hours full time investing to BECOME skilled and work 100 hour weeks to maintain competence. Such people do NOT manage funds dependent mostly on a high risk index. They score 10/10 on Hedge Fund Test. How will you do?1) Human resources: You wish to hire a performance rainmaker/new strategy developer. Your shortlist comprises the following candidates. You can only choose one. Who?i) MBA, CFA with many years experience at prominent bulge bracket white shoe firmsii) PhD in…
  • Best hedge fund

    Veryan Allen
    3 Dec 2014 | 10:08 am
    World's best ever hedge fund? Performance needs mean I must do due diligence at all top SKILL BASED managers. I define "top" by risk adjusted returns not AUM or fame. Steep losses and high volatility are what market "averages" deliver every few years. TIME in drawdowns is NEVER recovered by investors. 50% drawdowns by the long only crowd are a disgrace.YOUR money is too important to be risked on an average. I prefer talent that delivers INDEPENDENTLY of market direction. Though rare, skill can be detected with thorough analysis. For asset classes, history is rarely forward looking. Bet on…
  • Skill strategy or asset class?

    Veryan Allen
    28 Nov 2014 | 3:08 pm
    Skill strategy or asset class?  A single counterexample suffices to DESTROY efficient market dogma and thus passive funds. Invest in skilled people. Market averages are too risky. Past returns DO predict the future if the manager is talented.  Hedge fund managers Warren Buffett and George Soros only invest in skill strategies. Why risk YOUR MONEY on "averages"? Why avoid the best?If Berkshire Hathaway isn't a hedge fund then there are no hedge funds. Warren Buffett focuses on absolute return investing and leverage, arbitrage, derivatives, event-driven,…
  • Active v passive

    Veryan Allen
    18 Nov 2014 | 3:58 pm
    Active v passive is better phrased as smart active v dumb active. Index funds are just unskilled low frequency trading strategies with horrific drawdowns and abysmal risk adjusted returns. Active is the ONLY option in the REAL world; "passive" funds track ACTIVE decisions of index construction firms. Should you risk your life savings on dumb lists of stocks or hard working talent that actually earns its fees? Name ANY business sector where passive works in the long term.Choosing WHICH index is an active decision requiring skill. Prudent men invest in skill. If you think the best stock pickers…
  • Hedge fund black swan

    Veryan Allen
    14 Nov 2014 | 4:07 am
    Hedge fund blog, a long only manager and an index fund are flying to New Zealand. As the plane lands they see ONE purple sheep in a field.Professor Passive says "All kiwi sheep are purple! I must buy them all now. At any price the farmers ask, no matter how expensive or overvalued. 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 professor says they all…
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    Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

  • Shazam! From the Boss to the King to John & Paul (But Not George or Ringo), Not to Mention Jessica & Nick, and Taylor Swift

    Jeff Matthews
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:45 pm
    2014 Editor’s Note: Well, Michael Bublé’s computer is still releasing holiday songs, which is the worst we can say about this year’s holiday music survey.  The best we can say—and it is truly good news—is that The Boss’s hard-driving, live version of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” done entirely without computer-aidedBublé-style vocals, seems to be gaining much deserved traction.    As for our usual review of the latest rock memoirs, which tend to flood the bookshelves right about now—only to turn up in the mark-down bins come spring, which is…
  • Activist Targets IBM: “Bring Out the Belgian Waffle!”

    Jeff Matthews
    25 Nov 2014 | 10:06 am
    IBM trades to highs on activist related speculation  (161.85 +0.95)—Briefing.com, November 23, 2014  IBM Chief Counsel: “Ginni?  Fred here.”   IBM CEO Ginni Rometty:  “What’s wrong?”  Chief Counsel: “Activists are circling.”  Rometty: “Oh geez.”  Chief Counsel: “Yeah.  I’ve got the biggest shark of all on hold.  He wants to talk.”  Rometty: “Carl Icahn??”  Chief Counsel:  “No.   Icahn watches Netflix and uses an iPhone.  He thinks we’re ‘old economy.’  Worse…
  • Now That's An Idea That Would Never Fly

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

    Jeff Matthews
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:31 am
     Well the biggest stock-market levitation act since HP under Mark Hurd is going the way of all levitation acts: IBM is throwing in the towel on its $20 EPS "roadmap" (reportedly mocked as "roadkill" in some internal IBM quarters) and admitting what anybody with a calculator and the IBM 10Ks before them has understood for some time--it is exceedingly difficult to grow earnings regularly, not to mention with to-the-penny precision, when your sales are falling, hard, nearly everywhere, quarter after quarter...no matter how many people you lay off, how many "one-time" charges you take,…
  • Berkshire Hathaway: Wholesaler of Death?

    Jeff Matthews
    5 Sep 2014 | 1:41 pm
     Now that we have your attention with that admittedly provocative title, we are going to kill two birds with one stone here. Bird One is the fact that we haven’t posted anything in two months, mainly because whatever odd silliness visible in the darker corners of Wall Street seems irrelevant in a world where Vladimir Putin can invade his neighbors, take territory and shoot passenger planes from the sky while the civilized world sputters about such things not being fit for 21stCentury-type behavior before moving onto actual 21st Century-type behavior like Tweeting about…
 
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    Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

  • Russia Not Selling Gold, It's Buying; Reflections on Extremely Sloppy Reporting

    19 Dec 2014 | 7:24 pm
    On December 17, ZeroHedge asked Will Putin's Next Step Be To Sell Gold?On December 18, ZeroHedge answered his own question wrongly with Russia Has Begun Selling Its Gold, According To SocGen.I did not believe that when I saw it yesterday, and I sure don't today after viewing a few charts from Nick at Gold Charts "R" Us.Russia Gold Reserves Up 600,000 Ounces for NovemberIn US dollar terms, Russia's gold reserves are worth about $0.4 billion less.Russia Gold Reserves in US Dollars Of course, Russia may have started selling in December, but that's not precisely what happened either.Gold Chat…
  • Spain to Abolish Rent Controls; 20,000 Small Businesses May Close; Good Thing or Not?

    19 Dec 2014 | 12:54 pm
    Abolition of rent controls in Spain this month has prompted some landlords to increase fees by tens of thousands of euros. The Guardian claims Spanish rent changes ‘could close 20,000 small businesses’.Is this a good thing? Ponder that question for a moment, but also consider a few snips from the article. Up to 20,000 small Spanish businesses could be forced to close when rent controls are abolished at the end of this month, according to the self-employed workers union. Many of the closures will be emblematic shops that shape the urban landscape in cities such as Madrid, Granada and…
  • Competitive Theories: "Deflation Warning" vs. "Inflation is Nearly Everywhere"

    18 Dec 2014 | 5:22 pm
    Theory #1: Break-Even Rates Provide "Deflation Warning"Bloomberg is sounding a Deflation Warning as 2-Year Break-Even Rates Go Negative.Break-even rates are the difference between treasuries and the same-duration Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS). The break-even rate turned negative yesterday for the first time since 2009.In theory, break-even rates reflect investors’ expectations for inflation over the life of the securities.When break-even rates are negative, it's an indication investors expect price deflation for the duration, in this case for two years.From Bloomberg ...
  • Students Support Deporting US Citizens to Allow Illegal Immigrants to Stay

    18 Dec 2014 | 11:23 am
    Here's an amusing but totally unscientific informal poll on how to tackle the illegal immigrant problem.Students were asked if they would sign a petition to deport US citizens on a one-for-one basis in exchange for allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the US.Link if video does not play: Deport US Citizens to Keep Illegal Immigrants? The people who conducted this experiment said about 2/3 of the college students signed the petition.What does this suggest, if anything, about the quality of our education system? Or is it simply proof that people in general do not listen?Support for the…
  • Napoleon vs. Cheney: "Interrogation That Actually Works"; Icing on the "Hate-Cake"

    17 Dec 2014 | 6:11 pm
    Not only is torture against international law, it also produces no useful intelligence. Common sense is enough to prove that statement.If someone threatened to rape your sister, kill your mom,  or shackled you until you were half-dead while feeding you up your anus, you would say nearly anything to ease the pain. So would I, and so would everyone else. Anyone who disagrees is either a liar or a fool. Even Napoleon recognized that fact.Warning: This is a very long post. Please allow adequate time to read and digest what follows. I sincerely appreciate your effort to reading this post in…
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    Overcoming Bias

  • Pondering Plasticity

    Robin Hanson
    19 Dec 2014 | 5:05 pm
    Tyler recently praised (cultural) anthropologists, and with good reason. I’ve learned a great deal from reading them. Yes, economists often look down on other social scientists (who often complain loudly back), and yes anthropologists are one of the most liberal academic disciplines (e.g. high Democrat to Republican ratio), while economists (including Tyler and I) are less so. But maybe Tyler and I are more broad minded than you think. Just as supply and demand is the crown jewel of econ insight, the crown jewel of anthropology insight is cultural plasticity. This is the idea that humans…
  • “Slow” Growth Is Cosmo-Fast

    Robin Hanson
    12 Dec 2014 | 7:40 am
    In my first response to Brin at Cato Unbound (and in one followup),  I agreed with him that we shouldn’t let each group decide if to yell to aliens. In my second response, I criticize Brin’s theory that the universe is silent because most alien civilizations fall into slowly-innovating “feudal” societies like those during the farmer era: We have so far had three eras of growth: forager, farmer, and industry. … In all three eras, growth was primarily caused by innovation. … A thousand doublings of the economy seems plenty to create a very advanced…
  • Me At NIPS Workshop

    Robin Hanson
    11 Dec 2014 | 6:45 am
    Tomorrow I’ll present on prediction markets and disagreement, in Montreal at the NIPS Workshop on Transactional Machine Learning and E-Commerce. A video will be available later.
  • Guess Alien Value, Chance Ratios

    Robin Hanson
    10 Dec 2014 | 12:50 pm
    Continuing the discussion about yelling to aliens at Cato Unbound, I ask: Regarding a choice to yell on purpose, there are two key relevant parameters: a value ratio, and a chance ratio. The value ratio divides the loss we would suffer if exterminated by aliens by the gain we would achieve if friendly aliens were to send us helpful info. I’d guess this ratio is at least one thousand. The probability ratio divides the chance that yelling induces an alien to send helpful info by the chance that yelling induces an alien to destroy us. I’d guess this ratio is less than one hundred. If we can…
  • Thank You GMU Econ!

    Robin Hanson
    8 Dec 2014 | 5:20 am
    Ten years ago today the GMU economics department voted to award me tenure. With that vote, I won my academic gamble. I can’t be sure what my odds reasonably were, so I can’t be sure it was a gamble worth taking. And I’m not sure tenure is overall good for the world. But I am sure that I’m very glad that I achieved tenure. Many spend part of their tenure dividend on leisure. Many spend part on continuing to gain academic prestige as they did before. Many switch to more senior roles in the academic prestige game. And some spend tenure on riskier research agendas,…
 
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Sokal: “science is not merely a bag of clever tricks . . . Rather, the natural sciences are nothing more or less than one particular application — albeit an unusually successful one — of a more general rationalist worldview”

    Andrew
    20 Dec 2014 | 6:53 am
    Alan Sokal writes: We know perfectly well that our politicians (or at least some of them) lie to us; we take it for granted; we are inured to it. And that may be precisely the problem. Perhaps we have become so inured to political lies — so hard-headedly cynical — that we have lost our ability to become appropriately outraged. We have lost our ability to call a spade a spade, a lie a lie, a fraud a fraud. Instead we call it “spin”. We have now travelled a long way from “science,” understood narrowly as physics, chemistry, biology and the like. But the whole point is that any such…
  • The Use of Sampling Weights in Bayesian Hierarchical Models for Small Area Estimation

    Andrew
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:47 am
    All this discussion of plagiarism is leaving a bad taste in my mouth (or, I guess I should say, a bad feeling in my fingers, given that I’m expressing all this on the keyboard) so I wanted to close off the workweek with something more interesting. I happened to come across the above-titled paper by Cici Chen, Thomas Lumley, and Jon Wakefield. I haven’t had a chance to read it in detail but these people know what they’re doing and so it seems like it could be worth a look. And here’s some related work: - On the applied side, this paper with Yair in the American Journal…
  • Defense by escalation

    Andrew
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:40 am
    Basbøll has another post regarding some copying-without-attribution by the somewhat-famous academic entertainer Slavoj Zizek. In his post, Basbøll links to theologian and professor Adam Kotsko (cool: who knew there were still theologians out and about in academia?) who defends Zizek, in part on the grounds that Zizek’s critics were being too harsh. Kotsko writes of “another set of trumped-up complaints about [Zizek’s] supposed ‘self-plagiarism.’ Apparently he needs to write things fresh every single time he publishes, or else he’s doing something akin to the…
  • Message to Booleans: It’s an additive world, we just live in it

    Andrew
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:06 am
    Boolean models (“it’s either A or (B and C)”) seem to be the natural way that we think, but additive models (“10 points if you have A, 3 points if you have B, 2 points if you have C”) seem to describe reality better—at least, the aspects of reality that I study in my research. Additive models come naturally to political scientists and economists, including myself. We think of your political attitudes, for example, as a sum of various influences (as for example in this paper with Yair). Similarly for economists’ models of decisions in terms of latent…
  • Hey, I just wrote my April Fool’s post!

    Andrew
    17 Dec 2014 | 3:20 pm
    (scheduled to appear in a few months, of course). I think you’ll like it. Or hate it. Depending on who you are. The post Hey, I just wrote my April Fool’s post! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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    Streetsblog New York City

  • NYC: Eyes on the Street: Super-Sized Ped Space at Deadly Sixth and Houston

    Stephen Miller
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:16 pm
    Most of the intersection of Houston Street and Sixth Avenue used to be wide-open asphalt. DOT is now putting the finishing touches on expanded pedestrian space at this deadly crossing. Photo: Stephen Miller Jessica Dworkin, 58, was on a push scooter at Sixth Avenue at Houston Street when a tractor-trailer truck driver turned into her path and crushed her in August 2012. After Dworkin’s death, local residents clamored for safety fixes. Now more than two years later, and 18 months after proposing the changes to Manhattan Community Board 2, DOT is putting finishing touches on expansions to…
  • NYC: Justice for Allie Liao

    Steve Vaccaro
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:01 am
    The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles faces a critical test on January 6 at 9 a.m.:  Can the agency provide meaningful oversight and consequences for reckless drivers? That morning, Ahmad Abu-Zayedeh, the driver who struck and killed 3-year-old Allie Liao and traumatized her grandmother, is scheduled to appear for a DMV safety hearing. [Disclosure: My firm, the Law Office of Vaccaro and White, represents the Liao family in civil litigation.] At the hearing, Abu-Zayedeh will be questioned under oath by a DMV administrative law judge, and confronted with evidence establishing his…
  • NYC: DA Robert Johnson: No Charges for Driver Who Killed Child on Bronx Sidewalk

    Brad Aaron
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:26 am
    Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson filed no charges against the driver who hit 10 people, including at least three children, on a sidewalk outside a Kingsbridge Heights school, killing 8-year-old Rylee Ramos. Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson filed no charges against a motorist who drove on a sidewalk outside a Bronx school in October, striking 10 people and killing 8-year-old Rylee Ramos. New York City motorists have killed at least eight children age 14 and under in 2014 — one in the Bronx, two in Manhattan, and five in Brooklyn — according to crash data compiled by…
  • NYC: Today’s Headlines

    Ben Fried
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:25 am
    Driver Kills Denise Lippin, 56, at Bruckner Boulevard and E 138th Street (DNA) Fed Up With Dangerous Walks to School, Parents to Bombard 311 With Street Safety Requests (DNA) De Blasio Changes Course, Will Move Ahead With Taxi of Tomorrow (NYT, CapNY) More Coverage of TLC’s New Rules for Livery Drivers (Post) Ras Baraka’s Protected Bike Lane Reversal Doesn’t Speak for Everyone in Newark (MTR) Labor and Enviros Press City Hall to Move Faster on Climate Change and Green Transpo (CapNY) Behold the 86th Street Station Cavern for the 2nd Avenue Subway (2nd Ave Sagas, AMNY) Coming…
  • NYC: TLC Still Has No Plan to Require NYC Road Tests for Taxi and Livery Drivers

    Stephen Miller
    18 Dec 2014 | 1:50 pm
    The Taxi and Limousine Commission will close a loophole that allows livery drivers to operate with less training than yellow cab drivers, but the agency still has no plans to require road tests on actual New York City streets for any of the drivers it licenses. The TLC has the power to license and train tens of thousands of professional drivers who set the tone on city streets: There are more than 40,000 licensed yellow taxi drivers and more than 70,000 people licensed to drive livery cabs, black cars, and limousines in New York City. But only yellow cab drivers have to pass the TLC exam…
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    The Big Picture

  • 10 Weekend Reads

    Barry Ritholtz
    20 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    Good Saturday morning. Pour yourself a strong cup of joe, and settle in for our longer form, weekend reads: • What Happened When Marissa Mayer Tried to Be Steve Jobs (NYT Magazine) • China is Planning to Purge Foreign Technology and Replace With Homegrown Suppliers  (Bloomberg) • The most powerful financial regulators in the world — and they never asked for the job (Medium) • Why the Oil Rout Has Spread Economists See Benefits of Cheaper Oil. But Before the Gain, Markets Feel the Pain (WSJ) • Can the stock market save millennials? ‘Depression babies’ must not run away…
  • Stephen Colbert Signs Off

    Barry Ritholtz
    19 Dec 2014 | 4:30 pm
    On his late night show on Comedy Central, Stephen Colbert made fun of news, and he made news. New York Times journalists bid farewell to the blow-hard character he created. Goodbye, Stephen Colbert Here’s Every Time Stephen Colbert Broke Character The Colbert ReportGet More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,The Colbert Report on Facebook,Video Archive
  • Succinct Summations of Week’s Event’s 12/19/14

    Barry Ritholtz
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Succinct Summations week ending December 19th Positives: 1. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had the biggest daily back-to-back gains since March 2009. 2. Despite last week’s selloff — the biggest in over two years — the S&P 500 is up for the month of December. 3. Industrial production rose 1.3% vs expectations for a 0.7% increase. This was the biggest monthly increase since May 2010 4. Initial jobless claims came in at 289k vs the 295k expected. 5. Capacity Utilization came in above 80% for the first time since 2008. 6. U.S. manufacturing output rose 1.1% last month…
  • Climate Change in Perspective

    Barry Ritholtz
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:30 am
    Amazing interactive Climate Change infographic is jaw droppingly beautiful:   click for awesome interactive graphic via Bloomberg      
  • The Lessons of Mr. Market, Philosopher in Chief

    Barry Ritholtz
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:30 am
    Once again, the markets prove that nobody knows nuthin’. Following a bit of oil-driven turmoil the past few weeks, financial markets took off on Wednesday and Thursday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had the biggest daily back-to-back gains since March 2009. Underinvested fund managers, short-sellers and even long-only, fully invested money managers worried that they didn’t have enough global equities. Once again, Mr. Market has confounded so many of the world’s smartest investors. Capital markets are thought of as a mechanism for buying and selling long-term debt…
 
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    The Epicurean Dealmaker

  • Show Me the Money

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

    26 Nov 2014 | 9:40 pm
    Joseph Wright, Arkwright’s Cotton Mills by Night, c. 1782The best one can hope for as a human is to have a relationship with that emptiness where God would be if God were available, but God isn’t. … He’s not available because he’s not a being of a kind that would fit into our availability. … If God were knowable, why would we believe in him?— Anne CarsonAll religions [have] at least one common commandment: “Thou shalt not disfigure the soul.”— Frank Herbert, DuneSeems to me the place you fight cruelty is where you find it, and the place you give help is where you see it…
  • Regrets, I’ve Had a Few

    23 Nov 2014 | 3:56 pm
    Auguste Rodin, Orpheus and Eurydice, 1893Martin Blank: “I’m sorry if I fucked up your life.”Debi Newberry: “It’s not over yet.”— Grosse Pointe BlankWhy do we regret life choices? In retrospect, some are decisions with serious and long lasting consequences we make carelessly, hastily, or without due consideration to relevant factors clearly available to our decision making process at the time. They are important choices poorly made. These are good candidates for regret, because we think to ourselves, “If only I had thought more clearly, or taken more time, or investigated my…
  • What Is It Like to Be a Banker?

    18 Nov 2014 | 6:35 pm
    Conscious experience is a widespread phenomenon.— Thomas Nagel, inveterate optimistWhilst conducting primary research into the ontological foundations of metaphysical epistemology recently, O Dearly Beloved, Your Dilatory and Shockingly Remiss Correspondent happened upon a previously unpublished draft of Thomas Nagel’s seminal paper, “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” I found upon examination of the disintegrating foolscap moldering in dank archives that this eminent philosopher had initially attempted to frame his gedankenexperiment with an empathic exercise even more challenging than…
  • Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

    2 Nov 2014 | 3:55 pm
    Auguste Rodin, The Age of Bronze, 1876“If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtueof your office, to be no true man; and, for suchkind of men, the less you meddle or make with them,why the more is for your honesty.”— William Shakespeare, Much Ado About NothingFrancine McKenna of re: The Auditors recently expressed her dismay that the Big Four accounting firms have continued to be noticeably remiss about engaging reputable accounting firms to audit their own in-house broker dealer arms. The litany Ms McKenna recites of well-known and less-than-well-known failures and deficiencies…
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    OUPblog

  • Annie and girl culture

    VictoriaD
    20 Dec 2014 | 5:30 am
    The musical version of little orphan Annie – as distinct from her original, cartoon incarnation – was born a fully formed ten-year-old in 1977, and she quickly became an icon of girlhood. Since then, thousands of girls have performed songs like “Maybe” and “Tomorrow,” sometimes in service to a production of the musical, but more often in talent shows, music festivals, or pedagogical settings. The plucky orphan girl seems to combine just the right amount of softness and sass, and her musical language is beautifully suited to the female prepubescent voice. So what can Annie teach us…
  • Catching up with Charlotte Green, Psychology Editor

    Ella Sharp
    20 Dec 2014 | 3:30 am
    How exactly does one become a book editor? I sat down with Charlotte Green, the Senior Assistant Commissioning Editor for Psychology and Social Work titles in the Oxford office, to discuss some common questions about her role, her interest in publishing, and her time at Oxford University Press. When did you start working at the Press? In May 2007. I was lucky enough to get onto the OUP internship scheme, starting immediately after my final exams at university. I’ve worked here ever since. Initially I worked as an Assistant Production Editor, staying with the production team for 18 months. A…
  • Constitutional shock and awe

    Alice
    20 Dec 2014 | 1:30 am
    Scotland has of course dominated the television and newsprint headlines over the last year, and has now emerged as the Oxford Atlas Place of the Year for 2014. This accolade is a fair reflection of the immense volume of recent discussion about Scotland’s constitutional future, and that of the United Kingdom. This in turn is surely linked to the fact that the recent rapid consolidation of support for Scots independence has shocked some sections of British (and wider, international) opinion. Constitutional shock and awe are linked, in turn, to deep-rooted complacency about…
  • Climate shocks, dynastic cycles, and nomadic conquests

    Catherine Fehre
    20 Dec 2014 | 12:30 am
    Nomadic conquests have helped shape world history. We may indulge ourselves for a moment to imagine the following counterfactuals: What if Western Europe did not fall to seminomadic Germanic tribes, or Western Europe was conquered by the Huns, Arabs, or Mongols, or Kievan Rus did not succumb to Mongolian invaders, or Ming China did not give way to the Manchu Qing? For centuries, the mere mention of the names of Attila, Genghis Khan, or Tamerlane could strike terror into men and women throughout Eurasia. But why did nomadic conquests happen? How could nomadic people, often considered barbaric…
  • Calling oral history bloggers – again!

    Alice
    19 Dec 2014 | 5:30 am
    Last April, we asked you to help us out with ideas for the Oral History Review’s blog. We got some great responses, and now we’re back to beg for more! We want to use our social media platforms to encourage discussion within the broad community oral historians, from professional historians to hobbyists. Part of encouraging that discussion is asking you all to contribute your thoughts and experiences. Whether you have a follow up to your presentation at the Oral History Association Annual Meeting, a new project you want to share, an essay on your experiences doing oral history, or…
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    Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

  • Slave to a Myth

    Don Boudreaux
    20 Dec 2014 | 7:39 am
    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education: Sven Beckert struggles to portray slavery as essential to the origins of capitalism (“Slavery and Capitalism,” Dec. 12).  His core argument, it seems, boils down to this: slavery existed at the time of the industrial revolution; textile production was the leading activity of that revolution; textile mills used lots of “cheap, slave-grown cotton” from the U.S.; therefore, slavery was necessary for the creation of capitalism. Problems aplenty infect Prof. Beckert’s narrative, but none more fatally than his…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    20 Dec 2014 | 4:16 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 120 of the third edition (2015) of my colleagues Tyler Cowen’s and Alex Tabarrok’s microeconomics textbook, Modern Principles: Microeconomics: How is order produced from freedom of choice?  That is a scientific mystery, and prices are the biggest clue to the solution.  Prices do much more than tell people how much they must shell out for a burger and fries.  Prices are incentives, prices are signals, prices are predictions….  A price is a signal wrapped up in an incentive. People who advocate government controls on prices (such as…
  • Reality-Based?

    Don Boudreaux
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:17 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) At the same time that I was writing this blog post earlier today, one of the quack healers mentioned in that post held a press conference, it would seem, for the purpose of supplying evidence in support of the point of that post.  Here’s a slice from the Wall Street Journal‘s analysis of a choice part of that press conference: Mr. Obama’s market analysis is more remarkable and worth quoting at length: “So there’s no—I won’t say ‘no’—there is very little impact, nominal impact, on U.S. gas prices—what the average American consumer cares…
  • No Wizard is Oz … or Obama

    Don Boudreaux
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:35 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to the Washington Post: So Dr. Mehmet Oz isn’t really a wizard: he and other media medics often peddle, not sound advice, but entertaining quackery (“Half of Dr. Oz’s medical advice is baseless or wrong, study says,” Dec. 19).  No surprise.  People are gullible, especially when credentialed ‘experts’ promise easy ‘solutions’ to problems that skeptical minds understand to be inherently complex and either unsolvable or solvable only at significant costs. My own field of economics is crowded with such ‘experts.’ …
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:07 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from pages 214-215 of David Landes’s often brilliant but uneven 1998 volume, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: At the same time, the British were making major gains in land and water transport.  New turnpike roads and canals, intended primarily to serve industry and mining, opened the way to valuable resources, linked production to markets, facilitated the division of labor.  Other European countries were trying to do the same, but nowhere were these improvements so widespread and effective as in Britain.  For a simple reason: nowhere else were roads and…
 
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    Dollars & Sense Blog

  • Friday Links

    Chris Sturr
    12 Dec 2014 | 12:08 pm
    Quick links–some new, some long overdue: (1) On the so-called “CRomnibus” and the provision that would “add numerous additional exemptions to the section’s ban on Federal government bailouts of large derivatives dealers”: Simon Johnson, The Baseline Scenario, Don’t Repeal Swaps Push-Out Requirements (Section 716 of Dodd-Frank) Mike Konczal, Rortybomb, The Bipartisan Policy Center Gets It Wrong: The Lincoln Amendment is Critical to Financial Reform Americans for Financial Reform, Questions and Answers on HR 992 (pdf) New York Times editorial, Hiding Bad…
  • New Issue! Plus: Links

    Chris Sturr
    25 Nov 2014 | 1:29 pm
    (1) New Issue! We have finally finished layout for our November/December issue, which is our 40th-anniversary issue (see retrospective cover above). Two articles are posted: Arthur MacEwan’s “Ask Dr. Dollar” column on global inequality, and John Miller’s “Up Against the Wall Street Journal” column on climate change. Table of contents here. Look for more great articles from this issue online soon, including D&S collective member and economist Zoe Sherman’s piece, “Are We Better Off Than 40 Years Ago?” But why not subscribe? (2) LA…
  • That Film About Money

    Chris Sturr
    26 Oct 2014 | 10:04 am
    The film director James Schamus, who is a D&S subscriber and supporter, wrote us saying he “thought you’d like to see some work inspired by what you do”–two short films about money that are part of the New York Times‘s “We the Economy” series (I haven’t seen the other short films in the series, but I’m guessing the others are not as good as James’s!). Here they are:   Great to see D&S pals Rick Wolff, Barbara Garson, and Suresh Naidu interviewed here! Here is James’s director’s statement from the “We the…
  • Tuesday Links: London Whale, S.A.C. Capital, Jeff Madrick

    Chris Sturr
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:23 pm
    Apologies about the break from posts for the past week plus.  I just moved apartments, and that kept me from blogging. (Though around the same time I was moving we had some troubles with our sister blog, Triple Crisis, which also took up a lot of time. I have found some temporary fixes for our troubles, but if there are any WordPress developers out there who could give us some pro bono help with our two blogs (which both run on WordPress) and our website (which we intend to shift over to WordPress), please drop us a line.) Here are my latest links: (1) Jeff Madrick’s Seven Bad Ideas:…
  • Friday Links: Market Basket, War and Climate Change, etc.

    Chris Sturr
    3 Oct 2014 | 8:43 am
    (1) Alejandro Reuss on Market Basket:  I noticed that a Twitter account related to the low-wage worker organizing that is going on now, @LowPayIsNotOk, tweeted about a ridiculous article from Forbes arguing that the take-away from the return of Arthur T. Demoulas as CEO to the Market Basket supermarket chain is that good leaders know how to engage their employees’ volunteerism (Market Basket: The Power of Volunteerism And Employee Engagement).  That inspired me to post the piece on Market Basket by my co-editor, Alejandro Reuss, in our current issue (our Annual Labor Issue): The…
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    Credit Slips

  • Catching up

    Stephen Lubben
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:36 am
    I've been remiss in cross-posting my Dealb%k columns. Both of the most recent ones have commented on the ABI's chapter 11 reform proposal. You can find them here.
  • Waiting for RUFO

    Mark Weidemaier
    11 Dec 2014 | 6:29 am
    It looks like much of December will be spent sitting around the RUFO sickbed, waiting for the clause to expire of natural causes on December 31. The clause, recall, prevents Argentina from "voluntarily" giving holdout creditors a better deal than the one given to restructuring participants. When the RUFO clause expires, we will see whether country officials viewed it as a serious barrier to negotiation or, rather, as a convenient excuse to justify their refusal to negotiate. In the interim, however, there are some potentially interesting developments on the horizon: The…
  • For the Soul of the Party: the Budget Showdown and Financial Reform

    Adam Levitin
    10 Dec 2014 | 7:37 pm
    Will we have an appropriations bill before a government shutdown? The fight over the 2015 Appropriations Bill is now focused on one of the non-appropriations measures stuck onto the bill by the House GOP. That provision would repeal section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which prohibits bailouts of swap entities and pushes certain types of particularly risky swaps out of insured depositories. Section 716 might be thought of as the "Banks Aren't Casinos" provision of Dodd-Frank. On the surface, the fight about section 716 looks like a partisan squabble. But the real issue is the…
  • What the ...?

    Stephen Lubben
    10 Dec 2014 | 8:39 am
    Just received this month's ABI Journal. I surely can't be the only one who finds the ad for the BMC Group – inside the front cover – obnoxious, even offensive (I'm not going to dignify it by reproducing it). I get that sex sells ... but in a bankruptcy journal, advertising a claims agent?
  • Why the World Hates Lawyers

    Adam Levitin
    9 Dec 2014 | 7:06 pm
    Why does the world hate lawyers?  Because of stuff like this.  You can't make this up:  the on-line menu prices for a Chinese restaurant weren't up-to-date, and a customer was overcharged $4. I get being pissed about that.  But what would most people do?  Just lump it, stop patronizing the restaurant, ask the restaurant for a refund, or complain to the credit card issuer. But in this case, the customer has a JD (and to make it more delicious, happens be a Harvard Business School professor). The professor decides to go all legal on the restaurant, demanding $12, as treble…
 
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    The Aleph Blog » The Aleph Blog

  • Redacted Version of the December 2014 FOMC Statement

    David Merkel
    17 Dec 2014 | 11:45 am
    Photo Credit: International Monetary FundOctober 2014December 2014CommentsInformation received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September suggests that economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace.Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in October suggests that economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace.No change. This is another overestimate by the FOMC.Labor market conditions improved somewhat further, with solid job gains and a lower unemployment rate. On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor…
  • On Financial Risk Statements, Part 1

    David Merkel
    13 Dec 2014 | 4:37 am
    Photo Credit: Chris PiascikMost formal statements on financial risk are useless to their users. Why?They are written in a language that average people and many regulators don’t speak.They often don’t define what they are trying to avoid in any significant way.They don’t give the time horizon(s) associated with their assessments.They don’t consider the second-order behavior of parties that are managing assets in areas related to their areas.They don’t consider whether history might be a poor guide for their estimates.They don’t consider the conflicting…
  • Have Your Cake, Eat It Too, And End Up With Only Crumbs

    David Merkel
    11 Dec 2014 | 2:05 am
    Photo Credit: brett jordanBeware when the geniuses show up in finance. “I can make your money work harder!” some may say, and the simple-minded say, “Make the money sweat, man!  We have retirements to fund, and precious little time to do it!”Those that have read me for a while will know that I am an advocate for simplicity, and against debt.  Why?  The two are related because some of us tend toward overconfidence.  We often overestimate the good the complexity will bring, while underestimating the illiquidity that it will impose on finances.  We overestimate the…
  • Should Jim Cramer Sell TheStreet or Quit CNBC?

    David Merkel
    4 Dec 2014 | 2:41 am
    Photo Credit: Penn StateLike my friend Josh Brown does, I often don’t know where I will end when I start writing… I know I have something to say, given my own time writing for RealMoney.com, and now having publicly written on financial matters for over eleven years, with thanks to Jim Cramer, who gave me my start.Recently, a 9% holder of TheStreet sent a letter to Jim, asking him to either sell off TheStreet in an auction or leave CNBC and rebuild the value of TheStreet.  The Stock rose roughly 7% on the news.  Personally, I don’t think it should have budged.
  • Two Notes: Crude Oil & Bonds

    David Merkel
    2 Dec 2014 | 2:36 am
    Photo Credit: S@ZI’ve been busier than ever of late — not much time to blog. Thus, a few notes:1) Often the rate of change in a price can tell you something, particularly if the good in question is widely traded/held by a wide number of parties with different interests.  In this case, I am talking about crude oil prices, and the related set of prices that are cousins.Overall demand for crude hasn’t shifted, and neither has supply.  Yes, there has been some buildup of inventories, and some key global players refuse to cut production in response to lower prices.  But the…
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    Quoting the Crisis

  • More Americans Are Putting Off Medical Treatments Because They...

    4 Dec 2014 | 1:55 pm
    More Americans Are Putting Off Medical Treatments Because They Can’t Afford Them Brianna Ehley, businessinsider.com As the cost of health care rises, more and more Americans in nearly every economic class are choosing to delay medical treatment because they can’t afford it.A new Gallup poll released Friday found that about one in three Americans say they hav…
  • Chicago schools lost $100M by letting Wall Street engineer their...

    30 Nov 2014 | 3:31 pm
    Chicago schools lost $100M by letting Wall Street engineer their finances Cory Doctorow, boingboing.net In 2007, the school raised $1B, and instead of issuing bonds, it let the bankers who’d been courting it talk it into issuing a floating-rate bond that it swapped into a fixed-rate issue.It was the largest auction-rate security issued by any…
  • Infographic Visualizes Which Countries are the World’s...

    23 Nov 2014 | 1:06 am
    Infographic Visualizes Which Countries are the World’s Happiest Sara Barnes, mymodernmet.com Which country is the happiest in the world? To find the answer, you simply need to look at this infographic published by MoveHub.com, a resource for people who want to live abroad. They visualized the data of Happy Planet Index (HPI), which shows …
  • A Major Long-Term Change In The Labor Market Is Bad News For The...

    23 Nov 2014 | 12:56 am
    A Major Long-Term Change In The Labor Market Is Bad News For The US Economy Shane Ferro, businessinsider.com The US just isn’t as dynamic as it used to be, and we need to start thinking hard about how that affects the economy.That’s the conclusion from Steven Davis and John Haltiwanger, two National Bureau of Economic Research economists (Davis is at …
  • Maurice Greenberg puts U.S. handling of AIG bailout on trial By...

    9 Nov 2014 | 8:03 am
    Maurice Greenberg puts U.S. handling of AIG bailout on trial By Dean Starkman, latimes.com Maurice R. Greenberg, the ousted chief executive of American International Group Inc., was practically laughed out of New York for claiming that he and other shareholders were shortchanged by the U.S. government’s $182-billion bailout of AIG.No…
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    IMF Survey Magazine

  • Strong Reforms Offer Countries Path to High-income Status

    17 Dec 2014 | 6:16 am
    Sub-Saharan Africa’s small middle-income countries should implement strong reforms to boost growth and avoid the “middle-income trap,” seminar participants conclude in Mauritius, after reviewing the track records of seven countries and how the IMF can help.
  • Latin American Conference Discusses Ideas to Promote Growth

    12 Dec 2014 | 8:04 am
    Countries from Latin America should build on progress made over the past two decades and implement policies to boost growth, job creation, and move faster toward shared prosperity, participants at a two-day conference in Chile said.
  • Rwanda’s Inclusive Policies Are Benefiting Nation’s Poorest

    12 Dec 2014 | 7:35 am
    Rwanda’s economic performance since the turn of the century has been remarkable, as strong policies played a key role in maintaining annual GDP growth at around 8 percent since 2000, IMF staff say in a regular review of the East African nation’s economy.
  • IMF Work Agenda Seeks to Jump-Start Growth

    11 Dec 2014 | 7:30 am
    The IMF, seeking to prevent the global economy from settling into a “new mediocre,” has published a new work program that lays out its strategic priorities for the period ahead.
  • South Africa Strives to Revive Growth, Cut Exposure to Risks

    11 Dec 2014 | 5:31 am
    South Africa can celebrate significant progress in its first 20 years of democracy, but faces the challenge of reviving a weak economy and addressing elevated vulnerabilities, the IMF says in its regular review of the country’s economy.
 
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    The Baseline Scenario

  • Elizabeth Warren And The Independent Community Bankers of America Are Right: Antonio Weiss Should Not Become Undersecretary for Domestic Finance

    Simon Johnson
    17 Dec 2014 | 11:22 am
    By Simon Johnson Antonio Weiss has been nominated to become Undersecretary for Domestic Finance at the Treasury Department. A growing number of people and organizations have expressed reservations about this potential appointment, which requires Senate confirmation – including Senator Dick Durbin (D., IL), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D.,NH), Senator Joe Manchin (D., WV), the American Federation of Teachers (in a press release on December 17th), and other groups. And, from another part of the political spectrum, the Independent Community Bankers of America has also come out strongly against Mr.
  • Citigroup Will Be Broken Up

    Simon Johnson
    12 Dec 2014 | 7:24 pm
    By Simon Johnson Citigroup is a very large bank that has amassed a huge amount of political power. Its current and former executives consistently push laws and regulations in the direction of allowing Citi and other megabanks to take on more risk, particularly in the form of complex highly leveraged bets. Taking these risks allows the executives and traders to get a lot of upside compensation in the form of bonuses when things go well – while the downside losses, when they materialize, become the taxpayer’s problem. Citigroup is also, collectively, stupid on a grand scale. The supposedly…
  • Don’t Repeal Swaps Push-Out Requirements (Section 716 of Dodd-Frank)

    Simon Johnson
    10 Dec 2014 | 7:52 pm
    By Simon Johnson Section 716 of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act requires that some derivative transactions be “pushed-out” from those part of banks that have deposit insurance (run by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) and other forms of backstop (provided by the Federal Reserve). This is a sensible provision that, if properly implemented, would help keep our financial system safer, protect taxpayers and reduce the likely need for bailouts. Now, at the behest of the biggest Too Big To Fail banks and as part of the House’s spending bill (to be voted on tomorrow or in coming…
  • Antonio Weiss Is Not Qualified To Be Under Secretary For Domestic Finance

    Simon Johnson
    6 Dec 2014 | 4:46 pm
    By Simon Johnson Antonio Weiss has been nominated by President Obama to become the next Under Secretary for Domestic Finance at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Mr. Weiss’s supporters argue that he is highly qualified for this senior fiscal policy job. They are wrong. Mr. Weiss has no known relevant qualification or experience for this position. In the organizational structure of the Treasury Department, the Under Secretary for Domestic Finance is “primarily responsible for policy formulation and overall management” at the Office of Domestic Finance – a very important role. This…
  • Law School and Radio

    James Kwak
    5 Dec 2014 | 8:46 am
    By James Kwak This week I posted two things on Medium. The first was a commentary on changes in the markets for law students and lawyers. In short, if you are thinking of going to law school, the case is significantly stronger than it was four years ago. Whether it’s strong enough to pull the trigger depends on too many factors for me to say anything about your particular situation. The second was about Serial, the new podcast from the This American Life people. Longtime blog readers know that I love love love TAL. I was really looking forward to Serial, and it had its moments. But…
 
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    Trends... Find them, ride them and get off.

  • RealVision TV and Stocktwits…Financial Market Videos on Demand

    Howard Lindzon
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:56 am
    A few months ago a good friend introduced me to Raoul Pal who started RealVision TV. Raoul also runs The Global Macro Investor (sadly I will NEVER be able to afford the $40,000/year). Raoul wants to change things in the financial industry for not just big hedge funds. He is willing to laugh at himself and his former employer Goldman Sachs of whom he says his best day was …’the day he left’. Watch our short interview (CLICK HERE for it) and you will see what I mean. RealVision TV is less than six months old and already has subscribers in 127 countries around the world. Those…
  • Predictions for 2015…Sleep (Resmed), Tasers and Vaporizers, Cat Juggling (Buzzfeed over CNN), Uber IPO (Yawn), and The VIX hits 1 (Blame China)

    Howard Lindzon
    5 Dec 2014 | 7:27 am
    Before I get to more predictions for 2015…Here were my predictions for 2014 (they have a link to my 2013 predictions as well and so on…) . Not too shabby. As for the future… People remain underinvested and overdiversfied. Old people are scared because they watch FOX and CNN while young people have too many choices. The only other ‘under’ we suffer is sleep. Otherwise we are overscreened, overcaffienated, overweight, overnewsed and overmedicated. I don’t care about the blame because of the opportunity. I have already blogged about my two favorite trends this…
  • Predictions for 2015 …Continued…Web Video and Financial Web

    Howard Lindzon
    2 Dec 2014 | 7:05 am
    Yesterday I wrote about what I saw happening in Fintech and Web Video. Late in the day, Bill Gurley chimed in on Twitter with this post: There is way more to do in video. Queues, curation, competition. If you have an idea, I am all ears. — Bill Gurley (@bgurley) December 2, 2014 He’s not an average Venture Capitalist. He’s a legend. AOL continued it’s video acquisition spree buying Vidible yesterday for $50 million. Yahoo bought Brightroll for $640 million a few weeks ago. All the media/content platforms are arming up. Today, I watch more HBO and Showtime than any…
  • Predictions for 2015 …FinTastic, Videolicious, Be Eclectic, Tend To Your Networks and Cold Calls Still Matter

    Howard Lindzon
    1 Dec 2014 | 8:00 am
    I am sticking with a few of my 2013 ad 2014 predictions that continue to do well, but also continue to be early in their trends still…the opportunities in web video and the financial web (‘FinTech’). BUT, let’s start with being eclectic and making cold calls. The best investors read like crazy, read the right stuff and follow the right people. They also have an open mind. They get out of the office. They travel. They meet face to face. They go off the grid. I am constantly on the lookout for fresh voices to mix with the people that make me money. But I also have a…
  • Nasdaq 10,000 by 2016

    Howard Lindzon
    19 Nov 2014 | 12:14 am
    I have had a fantastic week of work in London. All of it off the telco grid. I have survived on wifi, paper maps and friends. Last night I got to hang with my good friend Yoni Assia (world travelere based in Israel), founder of Etoro (an amazing and almost global brokerage which I am investor in) who was wildly bullish on Bitcoin in 2009 at 20 cents. He begged me to own some while I was visiting Israel. I did not. Last night he used my Robinhood account to buy 1 share of Apple on my Robinhood iPhone app with the flick of a finger. He shared it into my stream to embarrass me. This classic…
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    Information Arbitrage

  • Crowdfunding for start-ups: A durable trend or a bull market phenomenon?

    23 Nov 2014 | 2:44 pm
    Angel investing is red hot as is the concept of crowdfunding start up investment. Part of this phenomenon has been driven by the emergence of AngelList, the brainchild of Naval Ravikant. What started out as a way for a curated set of angels to invest in startups posting on the AngelList site has expanded to include the notion of Syndicates, investor groups headed by prominent angels who deploy capital pledged by themselves and others in a manner akin to a GP/LP construct. Syndicates have been thought by some to be directly competitive with venture capitalists, initially Micro VCs but then…
  • Financial interaction: the next generation

    25 Feb 2014 | 2:43 pm
    I have spent over 25 years creating, processing and analyzing financial transactions. I like studying them - a lot - whether an outgrowth of my time on Wall Street helping sophisticated entities manage risks, or through IA Ventures’ investments in Simple, TransferWise, and BillGuard. Transactions are fundamentally about people interacting with other people, and are initiated at the speed of real life. But at one time or another they have to touch our byzantine, outmoded, friction-filled financial architecture, and get completed at the speed of banks. Charting the path of a transaction…
  • IA Ventures: Reflections on 2013

    3 Jan 2014 | 12:28 pm
    2013 was a very different kind of year for IA Ventures. While the years 2010-12 were characterized by 8-10 new investments per year, in 2013 we invested in only three new companies: Data Robot; Digital Ocean (DO) and Sight Machine (SM). Digital Ocean and Sight Machine were lead-managed investments (though we partnered with OATV and Mark Jacobsen on SM), while Data Robot was done alongside the leadership of Chris Lynch and our friends at Atlas Venture. We are extremely happy with our three new partnerships, and Digital Ocean and Sight Machine represented two of the largest initial investments…
  • "If you can’t do something willingly and joyfully, then don’t do it. If you give up...

    16 Dec 2013 | 5:05 am
    "If you can’t do something willingly and joyfully, then don’t do it. If you give up drinking, don’t go moaning about it; go back on the bottle. Do. As. Thou. Wilt."  - The late Peter O’Toole
  • Venture Capital and "Innovation"

    15 Dec 2013 | 6:41 pm
    Many have recently been critical of the role of the venture industry in financing “true innovation.” The narrative goes something like this: “VCs are like lemmings, flocking to the latest consumer wave (mobile chat, ride-sharing, etc.) in search of explosive short-term hits. This is not how the venture industry is supposed to operate.” This story line is further reinforced by the extreme pain felt by high-profile clean-tech investors, causing the burned to rotate away from an area of hard-science believed to be essential for the future of our planet. I mean, if VCs…
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    Economic Principals

  • The News-World Federalists

    dw
    14 Dec 2014 | 1:00 pm
    The news last week that John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of The Economist, would be moving to New York from London to take charge of the far-flung editorial operations at Bloomberg News reminded me of s politically incorrect joke from my Midwestern childhood – the one about the Norwegian who moved from Minnesota to Wisconsin, thereby raising the average IQ in both states. To understand why that might have been funny, you only needed to believe that Minnesota thought of itself as having been populated by Swedes and Wisconsin by those of German and Irish descent. The geography of the news…
  • A Parallax View

    dw
    7 Dec 2014 | 12:04 pm
    Boston is slated to regain a battered badge of its identity next month, when arts coverage is expected to return to the daily broadsheet editions of The Boston Globe. To be sure, the return of the section formerly known as “Living/Arts” is apparently a consequence of an expanding business section. It is a heartening development nevertheless. Distinctive criticism has been a hallmark of Boston’s newspapers since 1830, when the Boston Evening Transcript opened for business. (It closed in 1941.) Ten years ago, in order to save some money in production costs, the Globe consigned its…
  • On Doing the Right Thing

    dw
    30 Nov 2014 | 1:11 pm
    Irony – the tendency to underscore a point by stating the opposite of what is meant – has been the downfall of many an advocate.  It’s an often powerful technique. In political speech, though, it is prone to backfire, because it can easily be taken out of context. It’s more dangerous than ever in the age of YouTube and opposition research. Accept that “oppo” has greatly damaged the effectiveness of Jonathan Gruber, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the economist who in 2004 framed the financial strategy that, over a twisted course, led to the adoption of the…
  • An Especially Good Chronicler of Ukraine’s “Costly European Dream”

    dw
    23 Nov 2014 | 1:30 pm
    No one was surprised when the broadcast television networks decided not to carry President Obama’s speech Thursday evening. The networks aren’t The Networks any longer.  Everyone remembers a moment when they first decided they needed cable television, too. By offering superior content, cable reduced commercial television’s revenue stream, its ambitions, and its status.  The networks remain a profitable and potent opinion-making business, but Thursday evening it was easy for them to prefer their peak advertising revenues and leave the television broadcast to PBS and the cable news…
  • The Fourth Generation in Chicago

    dw
    16 Nov 2014 | 12:35 pm
    CHICAGO — A remarkable conjunction occurred here last spring, somewhere between a concatenation and coincidence. Gary Becker, of the University of Chicago, died unexpectedly, in May, at 83, from complications following ulcer surgery. In June, Glen Weyl, 29, anointed Becker’s successor as expositor of Chicago’s most distinctive tradition, published a prospectus for “A Short Summary of Price Theory.” That same month, the Department of Economics moved from hand-me-down quarters to a newly refurbished building of its own, complete with cloud-capped tower, nevertheless dwarfed by the…
 
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • Chocolate vacation markets in everything

    Tyler Cowen
    20 Dec 2014 | 5:51 am
    Lucy Kellaway of the FT reports that “food, activities and even spa treatments are chocolate-themed,” here is one description from another source: A dessert island fantasy, Boucan by Hotel Chocolat in St Lucia seems made for chocolate lovers. The jungle-surrounded hilltop lodges – with views of the Caribbean Sea and Petit Piton peak – perch beside a cacao plantation that hosts classes and tours, with plenty of samples. The ultra-local restaurant serves some of the island’s best food, including chocolate in both sweet and savoury preparations. Though the hotel natural setting…
  • What I’ve been reading

    Tyler Cowen
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:15 pm
    1. Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden, Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology.  How quantum effects can matter for biological phenomena.  No, it doesn’t mean Roger Penrose was right (and this book usefully tells you why not), but still this is a stimulating book for tying together two apparently disparate areas of inquiry and two apparently disparate areas for popular science books. 2. Michael Oakeshott, Notebooks, 1922-86.  Lots about Aristotle, lots about love, good for browsing.  He wrote “‘The cowboy costume remains mysteriously sexy’.  Yes,…
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:46 am
    1. The troubles of Russia.  And Krugman’s notes on Russian debt. 2. Searching for (Canadian) Elizabeth Gallagher. 3. Qatar soccer markets in everything. 4. Prosecutors and defense lawyers on Serial. 5. “It’s the people that are carrying stuff like chainsaws that make me wonder.” 6. The 109-year-old tuatara virgin. 7. George Clooney on Sony and North Korea. 8. “Everything in her working life is organized around the illness…”
  • Predatory Fining and Mass Surveillance

    Alex Tabarrok
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:40 am
    In Ferguson and the Modern Debtor’s Prison I noted that Ferguson raises an unusually high rate of revenues from fines. You don’t get $321 in fines and fees and 3 warrants per household from an about-average crime rate. You get numbers like this from bullshit arrests for jaywalking and constant “low level harassment involving traffic stops, court appearances, high fines, and the threat of jail for failure to pay.” It doesn’t inspire confidence, therefore, when we learn that Ferguson plans to increase its reliance on police fines as a source of revenue. Ferguson, Missouri,…
  • Printing Cancer Killing Viruses

    Alex Tabarrok
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:50 am
    Cell biologist Andrew Hessel of Autodesk is designing viruses in software to attack a specific individual’s cancer and then using DNA Printers to create the viruses as a drug. Here from an interview with New Scientist (gated). It’s really about making a specific medicine tailored to one person–”N-of-1″ medicine–rather than try to make it a best fit for a whole population. My vision is to create a personalized treatment that can be made in a day by printing bespoke cancer-fighting viruses. I’m not fully convinced by his economic model but it may be…
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Guy Vidra's Open Letter to "New Republic" Readers

    J. Bradford DeLong
    20 Dec 2014 | 10:08 am
    Guy Vidra: Open Letter to New Republic Readers: "I started my career in journalism... ...My first job out of college was as a junior editor for a small publication in Dublin, Ireland. When I moved back to the United States, I worked as a copy editor for a company many do not remember today called Bridge News. At the time, Bridge was one of the largest financial news providers in the world but was quickly displaced by a faster moving competitor, Bloomberg. It was the first of many times in my career when I witnessed a traditional media outlet upended by a new competitor on the landscape. My…
  • Weekend Reading: Karl Whelan: Thoughts on “Teaching Economics After the Crash”

    J. Bradford DeLong
    20 Dec 2014 | 6:03 am
    Karl Whelan: Thoughts on “Teaching Economics After the Crash”: "This is a long post on the state of economics... ...and how it is taught to undergraduates. The world is not crying out for another such discussion, so blame Tony Yates, via whom I ended up listening to Aditya Chakrabortty’s documentary ‘Teaching Economics After the Crash’ for BBC Radio 4. Like Tony, I viewed the programme as a hopelessly one-sided critique of the economics profession. Still, it was useful in the sense that it packed all the regular criticisms about economics into one short piece. I agree with most of…
  • Liveblogging World War II: December 20, 1944: The Radio News

    J. Bradford DeLong
    20 Dec 2014 | 3:20 am
  • For the Weekend...

    J. Bradford DeLong
    19 Dec 2014 | 4:19 pm
  • Noted for Your Nighttime Procrastination for December 19, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    19 Dec 2014 | 4:19 pm
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Over at Grasping Reality: Hoisted from 2010: David Blanchflower: Welcome Back to 1930s Britain Ed Luce: Too Big to Resist: Wall Street’s Comeback Alan Blinder: ‘What’s the Matter with Economics?’ David Jolly: Swiss National Bank to Adopt a Negative Interest Rate Paul Krugman: Switzerland and the Inflation Hawks Nick Bunker: Wealth inequality and the marginal propensity to consume Nick Bunker: Qualitative editing Nick Bunker: Weekend reading Plus: Things to Read at Night on December 19, 2014 Must- and Shall-Reads: Rick Mishkin and Eugene White:…
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    99% Invisible

  • 145- Octothorpe

    Roman Mars
    16 Dec 2014 | 7:18 pm
    If you want to follow conversation threads relating to this show on social media—whether Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, Tumblr—you know to look for the hashtag: #99pi. In our current digital age, the hashtag identifies movements, events, happenings, brands—topics of all kinds. The “#” didn’t always have this meaning, though. It’s had a few different lives and a few different names. Octothorpe
  • 144- There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

    Roman Mars
    9 Dec 2014 | 8:39 pm
    Hanging in the garage of Fire Station #6 in Livermore, California, there’s a small, pear-shaped light bulb. It is glowing right now. This lightbulb has been glowing, with just a couple of momentary interruptions, for 113 years. You can see it glow in real time. The bulb is a genuine heirloom from the dawn of electric illumination, built by one of its pioneers: Adolphe Chaillet. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
  • 143- Inflatable Men

    Roman Mars
    2 Dec 2014 | 10:44 pm
    You see them on street corners, at gas stations, at shopping malls. You see them at blowout sales and grand openings of all kinds. Their wacky faces hover over us, and then fall down to meet us, and then rise up again. Their bodies flop. They flail. They are men. Men made of tubes. Tubes full of air.
  • 142- And The Winner Is

    Roman Mars
    25 Nov 2014 | 8:21 pm
    There’s a little trophy shop called Aardvark Laser Engraving  down the street from our office in Oakland. Its small but bustling, and its windows are stuffed to the brim with awards made of all kinds of materials and in any shape you can imagine. There are chalices, orbs, golfers, gavels, apples, and plaques. Plenty of plaques. They’re engraved to award the Club DJ of the Year, the newest member of a local Freemason branch, one mysterious trophy just says “Rifle Expert,” and there are plenty of heartfelt engravings to spouses, family members, and retiring co-workers. For this…
  • 141- Three Records from Sundown

    Roman Mars
    18 Nov 2014 | 10:59 pm
    This week on the show we’re presenting one of our favorite radio features, “Three Records from Sundown,” about singer Nick Drake. The documentary, by producer Charles Maynes, retraces the roots of Drake’s legend through interviews with Drake’s producer, Joe Boyd. Boyd signed Nick Drake to Island records when Drake was just 20 years old. The first album they recorded together was Five Leaves Left, released in 1968. Three Records from Sundown
 
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    Eat the Bankers.com

  • Proportional Response

    Sinclair Noe
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:24 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 421 = 17,778 SPX + 48 = 2061 NAS + 104 = 4748 10 YR YLD + .05 = 2.20% OIL – 1.88 = 54.59 GOLD + 9.00 = 1198.90 SILV + .13 = 15.98 If you were waiting for confirmation, you got it. The major indices went through about 7 days of doom and gloom. Maybe this has something to do with the Federal Reserve’s FOMC statement yesterday. The central bank said in its official statement Wednesday it would “be patient” in deciding when to start raising interest rates from near zero. But then it added that it sees “this guidance as consistent with its previous…
  • Have a Cigar

    Sinclair Noe
    17 Dec 2014 | 3:16 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 288 = 17,356 SPX + 40 = 2012 NAS + 96 = 4644 10 YR YLD + .08 = 2.15% OIL + .06 = 55.94 GOLD – 6.10 = 1189.90 SILV + .03 = 15.85 I have been telling you for a few years now that the Fed is a vital force in the stock market. I have talked about how the stock market has advanced along with the Fed’s balance sheet. Today absolutely confirms what I’ve been telling you. Most major indices started the day a little higher, and then jumped following the Fed’s FOMC statement and again during Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s press conference. At one point the…
  • Some Perspective on the Markets

    Sinclair Noe
    16 Dec 2014 | 3:28 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 111 = 17,068 SPX – 16 = 1972 NAS – 57 = 4547 10 YR YLD – .04 = 2.07% OIL – .58 = 55.33 GOLD + 1.50 = 1196.00 SILV – .47 = 15.82 Allow me to provide some perspective. On December 5th the S&P 500 index hit an intraday high of 2079 and a closing high of 2075. That was 7 trading session in the past, which may be a long time if you are trading on the minute bars, but in the grander scheme of things it was just a few days ago. The downturn has been fast and sharp, as downturns are want to be. This downturn has lopped about 90…
  • At Least it Wasn’t a 100 Point Drop

    Sinclair Noe
    15 Dec 2014 | 3:24 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW -99.99 = 17,180 SPX – 12 = 1989 NAS – 48 = 4605 10 YR YLD + .01 = 2.11% OIL – 2.53 = 55.28 GOLD – 28.30 = 1194.50 SILV – .85 = 16.29 The S&P 500 index traded below its 50 day moving average for the first time since the end of October. At its session low, the S&P 500 was down about 5 percent from its record intraday high hit earlier this month but up more than 8 percent from a low hit in October. Oil continues to be a drag on the stock market, and West Texas Intermediate hit a 5 ½ year low; now down right at 50% from the highs of…
  • William Gladstone

    Sinclair Noe
    14 Dec 2014 | 8:43 am
    Listen to Sinclair Noe interview author William Gladstone The Complete Master Key System: Using the Classic Work to Discover Prosperity, Joy, and Fulfillment by Willima Gladstone The Complete Master Key System builds on the classic work of Charles Haanel to teach contemporary audiences how to tap into their personal potential and manifest harmony, abundance, and fulfillment. Published in 1912, The Master Key System went on to influence Ernest Holmes, Napoleon Hill, and many others who sought to use mental power as a means of attaining success. In The Complete Master Key System, William…
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    iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

  • Moving On Up: The Growth Story of Frontier Economies

    iMFdirect
    16 Dec 2014 | 8:28 am
    By Min Zhu (version in Español) The growth story for frontier economies isn’t the same as China’s in the last two decades, or the United States a hundred years ago.  These fast growing, low-income countries have their own story, and it’s not what you might think. In May of this year, I wrote about who they are and how they are different, and now I want to go into a bit more detail about how their economies have been on the rise and how they have moved themselves to the frontier. Not your grandfather’s growth story Although the countries’ economic paths vary like snowflakes— no…
  • Turkey’s Recipe to Escape the Middle-Income Trap

    iMFdirect
    15 Dec 2014 | 8:00 am
    By Gregorio Impavido and Uffe Mikkelsen (Version in Türk) Turkey is going through a time of economic transition, with slowing growth that risks the country being caught in a “middle-income trap,” unable to join the ranks of high income economies. The country grew at 6 percent per year on average in the period 2010-13, with policies supportive of domestic consumption. This has generated a large current account deficit, mostly financed by short-term capital flows. The reliance on consumption at the expense of investment, slow export growth, and sizable investment needs have hurt potential…
  • Managing House Price Booms in Emerging Markets

    iMFdirect
    10 Dec 2014 | 1:00 pm
    By Min Zhu (Versions in 中文) For the past decade, house prices have steadily increased in the vast majority of the 30 countries that make up the IMF’s House Price Index for Emerging Markets released today at a conference organized by the IMF and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India (Figure 1). The index shows a lull in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, followed by an increase for nine consecutive quarters since 2012. This run-up—four times as fast as that in advanced economies—would be even more pronounced if the larger countries in the group such as…
  • Emerging Markets & Volatility: Lessons from the Taper Tantrum

    iMFdirect
    9 Dec 2014 | 8:51 am
    By Ratna Sahay and Preya Sharma You may hear a sigh of relief from emerging market watchers as we approach the end of the year. Yet, against the backdrop of a prolonged period of low interest rates in advanced economies, huge capital flows, and a slowdown in emerging market growth, 2015 promises to keep us all on our toes.  Differences in the timing of exit from unconventional monetary policy in advanced economies will have a global impact. The IMF has been keeping a close eye on developments in emerging markets, providing analysis on issues such as how investors’ differentiate between…
  • The First Wealth

    iMFdirect
    8 Dec 2014 | 7:00 am
    By Jeff Hayden “The first wealth is health,” American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in 1860.­ Emerson’s quote, cited by Harvard economist and health expert David E. Bloom in Finance and Development’s lead article, reminds us that good health is the foundation on which to build—a life, a community, an economy.­ Humanity has made great strides, developing vaccines and medical techniques that allow us to live longer, healthier lives. Other developments—such as increased access to clean water and sanitation—have helped beat back long-standing ills and pave the way for…
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    WordPress.com News

  • New Theme: Radcliffe

    Daniel W. Robert
    18 Dec 2014 | 1:57 pm
    We’re excited to introduce Radcliffe, a crisp new free theme. Radcliffe is a contemporary responsive theme with beautiful typography. It puts your content in the forefront, featuring gorgeous full-width header images. Learn more about Radcliffe at the Theme Showcase, or preview it by going to Appearance → Themes.Filed under: Themes
  • Editors’ Picks of the Year: Notable Reads on WordPress.com

    Cheri Lucas Rowlands
    17 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    Our editors dove into the archives to resurface top posts published on WordPress.com this year, from personal essays to comics, and photography to fiction. Here’s a glimpse of what you published — and what the community especially loved — in 2014. “Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did,” Stephan Pastis, Pearls Before Swine “Bill Watterson is the Bigfoot of cartooning,” writes comic artist Stephan Pastis of the legendary Calvin and Hobbes creator. This summer, Pastis collaborated…
  • Field Notes: BlogHer PRO 2014

    Cheri Lucas Rowlands
    17 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    Automatticians, the people who build WordPress.com, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, they report back on the exciting things they do when not in front of a computer — from talking about making great products to using design to tackle social challenges. Recently, Story Wrangler Cheri Lucas Rowlands and Happiness Engineers Carolyn Sonnek, Deborah Beckett, and Jen Hooks attended the third annual BlogHer PRO ’14 conference, an event for professionally minded bloggers looking to take their blogs, brands, and businesses to the next level.
  • One Central Hub for All Your Content

    Andy Peatling
    15 Dec 2014 | 4:04 pm
    Last week, we announced a few updates to the WordPress.com interface, including faster stats and enhanced site management on both desktop and mobile devices. Our push to make all WordPress.com sites faster and easier to access and manage continues. This week, we’re thrilled to unveil a few brand-new features that allow bloggers, publishers, and business owners to run their sites and manage their content from one central hub, no matter what device they’re using. From new blog post and page management tools to Jetpack site integrations, we hope you enjoy the latest additions as much as we…
  • Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 9

    Mark Armstrong
    12 Dec 2014 | 9:42 am
    Here’s more great reading for you: five stories we love from across all of WordPress. 1. Spaces of Freedom in Iran Jake Threadgould An account of one traveler’s stay in Iran: On my second night in Iran I was invited to a party in a middle-class area of Tehran. Since we were a mixed gendered group with a foreigner (yours truly) in their midst, we had to be reasonably inconspicuous when we stepped out of the car and onto the street. As soon as we stepped over the threshold of the house, however, we were no longer in the Islamic Republic. 2. Livin’ Thing: An Oral History of Boogie…
 
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    EconomicPolicyJournal.com

  • The Federal Reserve Manipulated Rebound in One Chart

    20 Dec 2014 | 7:32 am
  • EPJ Week In Review - Week Ending 12/19/14

    20 Dec 2014 | 6:36 am
    Below you'll find everything that has been published on EPJ for the week ended Friday December 19, 2014. The hottest posts for each day are highlighted in red. Friday 12/19/14 Gold-Hater Ron Insana is Concerned the Fed is Too Focused on Inflation The Central Bank Delirium Phase Texas Could Be Headed for an Oil-Fueled Recession The Social Function of Economic Inequality Harvard
  • Thomas Sowell: Culture Matters

    19 Dec 2014 | 11:38 pm
  • If You Don't Pick Up Pennies You See on the Street...

    19 Dec 2014 | 5:28 pm
    ...Extending the logic, you shouldn't pick up pennies that you, yourself, drop on the sidewalk, or wait for a penny in change. Even inside of most stores, I generally don't pick up a penny, or even a dime, that I have accidentally dropped. At present, if change is 10 cents or less, I don't wait around for the change. I have blog posts to put up.
  • Why is Tipping for Service Assistance Spreading?

    19 Dec 2014 | 4:04 pm
    Observations from Tyler Cowen: I now regularly find that when I buy something from a cashier — especially small ticket items — that I have the option of tipping the salesperson.  There will be a cup for tips, or the space to write a tip into the credit card transaction.  If I buy a gelato, or a newspaper in the airport, these tipping chances present themselves. I take it there are a few classes
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    Carl Futia

  • Guesstimates on December 19, 2014

    19 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    March S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2051-71. The made a new bull market high overnight. I think it is headed for 2180-2220. QQQ: Support is at 99.50 and the next step up should carry to 107.00 TNX (ten year note yield): I think that a move to and above the 3.00% level is underway.  Euro-US Dollar: The ECB quantitative easing program coupled with the Fed’s termination of its own program is likely to drop to Euro to 118-120. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen has reached 122. Support is now at 116. The bull market has much further to go over the coming months. 140-45 is my…
  • Guesstimates on December 18, 2014

    18 Dec 2014 | 6:12 am
    March S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2020-2042. The drop from the December top ended on Tuesday and I expect to see the ES trade well above 2100 during the coming weeks.QQQ: Support is at 99.50 and the next step up should carry to 107.00 TNX (ten year note yield): I think that a move to and above the 3.00% level is underway.  Euro-US Dollar: The ECB quantitative easing program coupled with the Fed’s termination of its own program is likely to drop to Euro to 118-120. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen has reached 122. Support is now at 116. The bull market has much further…
  • Attention Traders

    17 Dec 2014 | 10:18 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 in October 2013 they have generated  a 43% return trading a single contract per $10,000 of account equity (a very conservative approach since day trade margin on a single contract is only about $2,700). Since the start of the seminar 42 months ago the trades made in…
  • update

    17 Dec 2014 | 10:15 am
    At the top of this post are three daily charts of my main trend indicators. You can see that all three have dropped into the region between the 50 day moving average (green line) and the 200 day moving average (red line). This region is generally where you will find lows of corrections within an ongoing bull market.Since I still don't see any sign that the bull market in US stocks which began nearly 6 years ago is over I think that the drop from the December 5 top is much closer to its end than to its beginning. The bottom three charts suggest that the low of the correction has either been…
  • Guesstimates on December 17, 2014

    17 Dec 2014 | 6:02 am
    March S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1963-93. I see no sign that the bull market has ended and in any case expect the ES to hold above its 200 day moving average, currently at 1939.QQQ: Support is at 99.50 and the next step up should carry to 107.00 TNX (ten year note yield): I think that a move to and above the 3.00% level is underway.  Euro-US Dollar: The ECB quantitative easing program coupled with the Fed’s termination of its own program is likely to drop to Euro to 118-120. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen has reached 122. Support is now at 116. The bull market has…
 
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    True Economics

  • 20/12/2014: Russian Crisis: Longer-Term Issues and Short-Term Risks

    20 Dec 2014 | 2:04 am
    Earlier this week I was asked by Portuguese Expresso (http://expresso.sapo.pt/rublo-valoriza-12-e-bolsa-de-moscovo-ganha-14=f903111) to comment on Russian crisis developments. Here is the full transcript of my comments in English:1) Why this recent crisis in the FX market? What are the main drivers?The main drivers of the Russian Ruble crisis are, in order of declining importance:1) Rapid decline in oil prices since August 2014,2) Accelerating capital outflows in Q4 2014, relative to Q2 and Q3,3) Sanctions restricting Russian banks and companies access to the international funding markets,…
  • 20/12/2014: ECB, Inflation Expectations and Oil

    20 Dec 2014 | 1:06 am
    There is much hype about the ECB not actively gunning for re-inflating the economy around. Which is understandable... as the fears of deflation are real. But it is also partially misplaced, as deflationary causes are a bit more complex and changing over time.The main cause of the longer-term deflation is stagnant demand. This provides support for low level inflation base off which any negative shock to prices risks triggering a deflation. Here, in my opinion, ECB can do some helping, but not much.The second cause, the shock to the downside, is oil price. And here ECB should do absolutely…
  • 19/12/2014: Lots of Talk, More Plans, Little Action: ECB Balancesheet Expansion

    19 Dec 2014 | 10:52 am
    Couple of interesting charts, courtesy of @Schuldensuehner on the ECB balancesheet expansion:First the target to be reached over 2015-2016:Do notice the flat-lining of the balancesheet from the start of H2 2014 on, despite the deflationary pressures building up and ECB rhetoric pushing forward balancesheet expansion as being the 'silver bullet' rising proportionally.Next, Nomura's estimates on how the target of leveraging up ECB balancesheet can be reached: (click on image to enlarge)
  • 19/12/2014: Some links on Russian Crisis

    19 Dec 2014 | 10:30 am
    Several interesting news this week on Russian corporate front.One of the longer-running deal, the swap of assets between German BASF and Russian Gazprom was finally killed off on foot of sanctions. The deal collapse is one of the first spillovers to Europe from the Ruble crisis and the overall deterioration in Russian markets. Details here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-12-18/gazprom-deal-to-swap-assets-with-basf-ends-as-relations-sour.html. Key quote from the point of macro analysis: "BASF attributed the breakdown in the agreement to “the currently difficult political…
  • 19/12/2014: Russian Banks: Contagion exposures for Europe

    19 Dec 2014 | 4:02 am
    From a different Deutsche Bank note, a handy chart plotting exposures of various Western banking systems to Russia.Do keep in mind, same banks' exposure to Ireland was probably of a magnitude of 1/5th of their exposures to Russia, yet Irish banking system was deemed to be systemically important when it came to assessing the potential contagion from Anglo failure back in 2008.
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    Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

  • Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – December 17 2014

    17 Dec 2014 | 6:52 am
    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications. The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases. The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate…
  • New Residential Construction Report: November 2014

    16 Dec 2014 | 8:01 am
    Today’s New Residential Construction Report showed notable declines to both permits and starts with total permit activity declining a notable 5.2% since October while total starts declined 1.6% over the same period.Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, declined 1.2% from October to 639K single family units (SAAR), and declined 0.9% below the level seen in November 2013 and still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005.
  • Homebuilder Blues: NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Ratings December 2014

    16 Dec 2014 | 7:53 am
    Yesterday, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that assessments of housing activity went flat in December with the composite HMI index falling slightly to 57 from 58 the prior month while the "buyer traffic" index remained at a level of 45.
  • Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: November 2014

    16 Dec 2014 | 7:48 am
    Yesterday, the Federal Reserve released their monthly read of industrial production and capacity utilization showing an increase in November with total industrial production rising 1.26% since October and climbing 5.21% above the level seen in November 2013. Capacity utilization also rose increasing 0.9% from October and 1.13% above the level seen in November 2013 to stand at 79.34%
  • Retail Sales: November 2014

    11 Dec 2014 | 8:46 pm
    Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest nominal read of retail sales showing improving activity in November with sales increasing 0.7% from October and rising 5.1% on a year-over-year basis on an aggregate of all items including food, fuel and healthcare services. Nominal "discretionary" retail sales including home furnishings, home garden and building materials, consumer electronics and department store sales improved, rising 1.03% from October and 4.29% above the level seen in November 2013 while, adjusting for inflation, “real” discretionary retail sales increased 0.8%…
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    The Economic Populist

  • The Great White Hoax: E-cigarettes are delicious, but they don't deliver nicotine

    sylvia kronstadt
    20 Dec 2014 | 5:55 am
    Puff the "Magic" Draggin' The power of blissful, wishful thinking. Share
  • Hey Jude: You made it bad

    sylvia kronstadt
    20 Dec 2014 | 2:50 am
                                                            A revered nonprofit is an insatiable corporation in disguise Share
  • The GOP’s “Jobs Bill Joke” (and other 2015 LOLs)

    Bud Meyers
    18 Dec 2014 | 8:09 am
    Nine million unemployed Americans and six million others who are "not in the labor force" but also want a job will soon see what the new Congress will propose next year as their first "jobs bill" (Hint: It won't be for government jobs or public infrastructure investment — and it will be the GOP's very first bill). Share
  • THE REINDEER SING, a holiday song econoparody

    versusplus
    17 Dec 2014 | 6:07 pm
    Holiday song parody on economic risk, terrorism, climate change, giving back. To "Hark The Herald Angels Sing." Share
  • November Industrial Production Jumps By 1.3%

    Robert Oak
    15 Dec 2014 | 4:17 pm
    Industrial production is on fire with a 1.3% November gain.  Even better, the Federal Reserve Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization report shows upward revisions all the way back to June 2014.   October was revised from a -1.0% decline to 0.1% growth.  This month gains were across the board,, another good sign for the economy.  Manufacturing alone grew by 1.1% and utilities jumped up 5.1% from October.  Mining, which includes oil, decreased by just -0.1%. Share
 
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    Stock Trading To Go

  • STTG Market Recap Dec 19, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    19 Dec 2014 | 4:30 pm
    Today's video recap can be found here.Indexes followed up 2 very strong days with the type of action bulls will enjoy - a very constructive 3rd day. What we did not want to see today is a big drop and even a flat or small drop would have been more than fine as we try to "digest" the previous 48 hours. So a move to the upside was a big positive. Stocks gapped up a bit at the open and... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • Join Three Pro Traders for a Live Education Session Monday Night!

    Blain Reinkensmeyer
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:04 am
    I am extremely excited to announce that next Monday night, 8:00 PM EST, Kunal, Mari Beth, and Sayed from Bulls On Wall Street are going to be debuting their brand new Ticker.tv channel and giving a full education session on the markets.These three traders are some of the most respected on Twitter, garnering a following of over 50,000 investors.If you haven't had the chance to watch these guys... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Dec 18, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    18 Dec 2014 | 4:50 pm
    Hi everyone, Mark here. Today is my first video recap which you can find on my Ticker.tv channel here. I'll probably start doing a few of these each week and try to do live sessions for 20-25 minutes in the evenings in the 6 PM to 7 PM EST time zone. You can click "follow" on my channel and you will get a notification when I start a new session.Today was day 2 of a massive rally and it... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Dec 17, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    17 Dec 2014 | 5:50 pm
    Indexes had their best rally in just over a year as the rubber band had been pulled back enough and we got the major oversold bounce that looked like it was happening yesterday morning. The S&P 500 gained 2.04% and NASDAQ 2.12%. Markets were up through mid day and then after the Federal Reserve announcement logged in another strong leg upward. The Fed's statement was less hawkish... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Dec 16, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    16 Dec 2014 | 4:58 pm
    Tuesday was one of the most interesting days in a long while. We entered the day severely oversold on some secondary measures so for short term traders there was an opportunity for a trade IF the market opened down. That happened as some massive interest rate hikes in Russia overnight caused consternation. The trade to buy the weak market was there but you truly had to be quick today. ... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
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    Political Calculations

  • The Moon in the Sky in 2015

    19 Dec 2014 | 5:24 am
    Suppose, for a moment, that you could look up and see the Moon from anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere on every night of 2015. Thanks to images collected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the talented staff at NASA's Scientific Visualizations Studio, here's what you would see as the lunar terminator sweeps across the Moon's surface as the Moon passes through all of its phases in 2015. Identifying the major features on the lunar surface at their sunrises and sunsets is a nice touch, as is capturing the Moon's apparent libration motion in the sky.
  • Carrying On

    18 Dec 2014 | 10:21 am
    Barry Ritholtz has a fine rant: Those of you who continue to insist you can even remotely forecast what might happen next continue to reveal incredibly foolish, thoroughly disproved beliefs, despite an overwhelming avalanche of evidence that you haven’t the slightest idea what the fuck is going on now, much less what is going to happen next. Once again, the markets prove that nobody knows ‘nuthin. Carry on. Okay. Here is the chart we posted before the market opened on Tuesday, 16 December 2014: Here is what the updated version of that chart looks like as of the market close on 17 December…
  • Teen Jobs and the Dog that Didn't Bark

    17 Dec 2014 | 5:17 pm
    It has often been remarked that falling oil prices are unambiguously good for Americans. But as we'll show you today, who they might be good for depends greatly upon where you live and the kind of government policies that are enforced there. Let's start by reviewing how the price of crude oil has changed since the beginning of 2014. Our first chart below tracks the price per barrel of Brent crude oil since its price has the greatest impact upon gasoline prices at U.S. fuel pumps. We see that the price per barrel of Brent crude hovered around $110 per barrel up until 4 July 2014, after which,…
  • The S&P 500 Torn Between Two Futures

    16 Dec 2014 | 5:15 am
    In discussing the rise of volatility in the U.S. stock market at this time yesterday, we omitted our chart showing each of the trajectories that stock prices are likely to follow depending upon which particular quarter in the future they might be focusing their attention. If you haven't read that post yet, that is the explanation for why stock prices ran the gamut from one extreme to the other yesterday. Here's the text from the chart: Over the last week, the rapid decline in oil prices to critical levels has led investors to consider the situation where oil industry-related companies, which…
  • Falling Oil Prices and Breaking Order in the S&P 500?

    14 Dec 2014 | 11:16 pm
    For all the noise related to falling oil prices and their impact upon stock prices during the past week, there is something that we have not yet seen that would fully confirm the fears of U.S. investors: large numbers of companies in the oil sector acting to cut their dividends. That is not to say that action will not be eventually be forthcoming, but as yet, we have only seen a very limited number of oil industry related companies take that action since we noticed an uptick in their number in November 2014, so we would describe the current action with stock prices in the market as being…
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    Calafia Beach Pundit

  • Too much poverty, or too much aid?

    19 Dec 2014 | 1:49 pm
    In a report released earlier this month, the Census Bureau finds that "Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of children [in 2011] lived in households that participated in at least one or more of the following government aid programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); Medicaid; and the National School Lunch Program.Question: does this mean we have too much poverty in the U.S., or does it mean we have too much government aid?The following charts…
  • Commercial real estate boom continues

    18 Dec 2014 | 10:18 am
    U.S. housing starts have almost doubled in the past 5 years, and according to Case Shiller, housing prices have recovered a bit more than half of their recession-era losses. But the recovery of the residential real estate market pales in comparison to the boom in commercial real estate, where prices have recovered substantially all of their recession-era losses and are rising at double-digit rates.The chart above shows two measures of commercial real estate values as calculated by the folks at Co-Star Group. Their value-weighted measure of commercial property price indices has risen at a…
  • Ex-energy inflation still 2%

    17 Dec 2014 | 9:05 am
    The unexpectedly large decline in the November CPI (-0.3% vs. -0.1%) was almost entirely driven by falling oil prices. The CPI ex-energy rose 0.1% for the month and is up 1.9% over the past year.The chart above shows the year over year change in the CPI and the "core" CPI (ex-food and energy). By these measures inflation has been bouncing around between 1% and 4% over the past decade, and currently looks to be declining a bit on the margin.Most of the bouncing "noise" in the year over year measure disappears if we remove energy prices from the CPI. The chart above shows the CPI index…
  • The Laffer Curve at 40 years

    16 Dec 2014 | 7:52 pm
    This is my version of the Laffer Curve. What it shows is how basic economics and incentives work. If tax rates are zero, the government obviously collects no tax revenues. And if tax rates are 100%, the government also collects no revenues, because no one has an incentive to work. There is a tax rate "C" which maximizes the economy's strength and tax revenues. Higher rates produce a disincentive to work and invest, and thus reduce revenues, while lower rates also result in reduced revenues. If tax rates are too high (which is what Laffer originally asserted), then reducing tax rates can…
  • Walls of worry update

    16 Dec 2014 | 2:53 pm
    The equity market is now in the midst of what looks like another wall of worry. The last wall of worry was all about Ebola, while this time around the market is worried about the collapse in the price of oil—down almost 50% since last June—and how that is affecting major oil producers, notably Russia, whose currency has lost about 50% of its value over the same period. This all amounts to a tremendous amount of change in a relatively short period, and that's enough to make anyone nervous. As the chart above shows, the ratio of the Vix index to the 10-yr Treasury yield (a proxy for…
 
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    Supply and Demand (in that order)

  • Program participants sometimes OVERestimate disincentives; good new book

    12 Dec 2014 | 11:53 am
    I commonly hear it claimed that health insurance assistance does not discourage work because the rules are too complicated for people to understand that work does not pay. This claim is full of errors of logic and fact (see here and scroll to Q8). But let's look at one: why should we assume that people underestimate work disincentives rather than overestimate them?Here's one story in which one man, Dave Campbell, decided to reduce his work hours in order to reduce his income in order to qualify for Medicaid, when it now appears that he probably would have qualified without reducing income....
  • Prof. Gruber "No one has ever questioned the quality" of GMSIM

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

    26 Nov 2014 | 12:24 pm
    Real PCE per person was less in October than in August.  Year-over-year, it has grown 1.4 percent.Real GDP per capita has grown 1.7 percent year-over-year.
  • Reasons to continue the Elmendorf era

    23 Nov 2014 | 10:15 am
    Very briefly,We are fortunate to have their shoulders to stand on.  I find vast amounts of Elmendorf-era CBO research results to be interesting and rock-solid reliable.  The plain fact is that my books and my University of Chicago lectures highlight such CBO material.  I would be handicapped without it.Elmendorf-era CBO updates as research progresses, without being gullible.  Is there any other DC institution in that category?Later when I have more time I will elaborate and document these points, and explain why the detractors are confusing the forest with the trees.
  • Professor Krugman continues to misinform readers about Romneycare

    18 Nov 2014 | 5:32 pm
    "Obamacare is, in all important respects, identical to Romneycare." Get the economics of Obamacare and Romneycare from Side Effects: The Economic Consequences of the Health Reform.  Especially Chapter 10, entitled "Romneycare times Eleven":Overall, the ACA erodes nationwide average work incentives about eleven times more than Romneycare did in the state of Massachusetts . Table 10.1 is a good summary of why the differences are so dramatic: the amounts involved and the fraction of the potential workforce presented with a new income or employment tax as a consequence of health reform.The…
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Sokal: “science is not merely a bag of clever tricks . . . Rather, the natural sciences are nothing more or less than one particular application — albeit an unusually successful one — of a more general rationalist worldview”

    Andrew
    20 Dec 2014 | 6:53 am
    Alan Sokal writes: We know perfectly well that our politicians (or at least some of them) lie to us; we take it for granted; we are inured to it. And that may be precisely the problem. Perhaps we have become so inured to political lies — so hard-headedly cynical — that we have lost our ability to become appropriately outraged. We have lost our ability to call a spade a spade, a lie a lie, a fraud a fraud. Instead we call it “spin”. We have now travelled a long way from “science,” understood narrowly as physics, chemistry, biology and the like. But the whole point is that any such…
  • The Use of Sampling Weights in Bayesian Hierarchical Models for Small Area Estimation

    Andrew
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:47 am
    All this discussion of plagiarism is leaving a bad taste in my mouth (or, I guess I should say, a bad feeling in my fingers, given that I’m expressing all this on the keyboard) so I wanted to close off the workweek with something more interesting. I happened to come across the above-titled paper by Cici Chen, Thomas Lumley, and Jon Wakefield. I haven’t had a chance to read it in detail but these people know what they’re doing and so it seems like it could be worth a look. And here’s some related work: - On the applied side, this paper with Yair in the American Journal…
  • Defense by escalation

    Andrew
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:40 am
    Basbøll has another post regarding some copying-without-attribution by the somewhat-famous academic entertainer Slavoj Zizek. In his post, Basbøll links to theologian and professor Adam Kotsko (cool: who knew there were still theologians out and about in academia?) who defends Zizek, in part on the grounds that Zizek’s critics were being too harsh. Kotsko writes of “another set of trumped-up complaints about [Zizek’s] supposed ‘self-plagiarism.’ Apparently he needs to write things fresh every single time he publishes, or else he’s doing something akin to the…
  • Message to Booleans: It’s an additive world, we just live in it

    Andrew
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:06 am
    Boolean models (“it’s either A or (B and C)”) seem to be the natural way that we think, but additive models (“10 points if you have A, 3 points if you have B, 2 points if you have C”) seem to describe reality better—at least, the aspects of reality that I study in my research. Additive models come naturally to political scientists and economists, including myself. We think of your political attitudes, for example, as a sum of various influences (as for example in this paper with Yair). Similarly for economists’ models of decisions in terms of latent…
  • Hey, I just wrote my April Fool’s post!

    Andrew
    17 Dec 2014 | 3:20 pm
    (scheduled to appear in a few months, of course). I think you’ll like it. Or hate it. Depending on who you are. The post Hey, I just wrote my April Fool’s post! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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    TheMoneyIllusion

  • Don’t underestimate monetarism

    ssumner
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:33 am
    A commenter sent me the following: This slim volume describes a weighty and wonderful event. In 1920, the American economy entered what would presently be diagnosed as a depression. The successive administrations of Woodrow Wilson and Warren G. Harding met the downturn by seeming to ignore it—or by implementing policies that an average 21st century economist would judge disastrous. Confronted with plunging prices, incomes and employment, the government balanced the budget and, through the newly instituted Federal Reserve, raised interest rates. By the lights of Keynesian and monetarist…
  • They Must Be Stopped

    ssumner
    17 Dec 2014 | 7:01 am
    Next to mankind and his livestock, is there any animal more dangerous to the global ecosystem than this one: Eager beavers are rampaging across the Canadian wilderness, chomping down trees and creating enormous methane emitting manmade, er, beavermade ponds. The ponds currently emit 800 million tons of methane per year, out of a total global emissions of 6.875 billion tons. [Update:  Randy pointed out that it was 800 million kg, and the total figure is CO2 equivalent. Two mistakes. Apologies to the beaver population.] Modest, but not insignificant. But what’s scary is that this total…
  • Krugman on the limits of monetary policy

    ssumner
    16 Dec 2014 | 3:17 pm
    Here’s Paul Krugman, in his pessimistic mood: You might think that it’s a fundamental insight that doubling the money supply will eventually double the price level, but what the models actually say is that doubling the current money supply and all future money supplies will double prices. If the short-term interest rate is currently zero, changing the current money supply without changing future supplies — and hence raising expected inflation — matters not at all. And as a result, monetary traction is far from obvious. Central banks can change the monetary base now, but can they…
  • The Gabe Newell funded Hypermind NGDP market is up and running

    ssumner
    16 Dec 2014 | 7:28 am
    Before discussing the new Hypermind NGDP futures market, let me mention that the donations to iPredict are now coming in.  As I mentioned in earlier, there was a glitch in the process for a few weeks due to the fact that (for tax reasons) donations in the US must go through several layers of bureaucracy.  If you planned to donate and were frustrated a few weeks back, please try again.  All the information including the correct contact address are included in this post.  I plan to complete the donation process in mid-January, and start the program with whatever funding we have received by…
  • America’s industrial boom (what is it telling us?)

    ssumner
    15 Dec 2014 | 8:30 am
    Over the past few years I’ve done a few posts on an underreported story, the fact that industrial production (IP) has been rising much faster than RGDP during the recovery.  Early on I argued that this was evidence that a cyclical recovery was actually occurring, and that this refuted those who argued otherwise by pointing to the low LFPR.  (It also suggests that tight money, not re-allocation out of housing, caused the recession.) Recently the industrial recovery has gained momentum, so much so that it can no longer be brushed aside.  Before discussing what it means, consider that…
 
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    Jesse's Café Américain

  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts

    19 Dec 2014 | 1:33 pm
    Gold and silver marked time today. Next week will be short and quiet, unless *something happens.*   The economic calendar has a few things on it.  It is included below.  
  • SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Ho Ho Ho

    19 Dec 2014 | 1:31 pm
    As expected. Have a pleasant weekend.    
  • Reprise: Kyle Bass On Holding Gold In a Bullion Bank Comex Warehouse

    18 Dec 2014 | 4:41 pm
    'It's actually an easy decision if you are a fiduciary.' Especially if you take the duties of a fiduciary for other people's assets seriously. What about the fiduciary responsibilities of central banks?  Hard to say, right? We'll get right on that-- in about seven years.  Jawohl!   And no need for an audit.  We believe.
  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Dona Nobis Pacem

    18 Dec 2014 | 1:46 pm
    "Any investor or analyst of any world commodity must be able to account for and rationalize a 9% price move in less than two trading days; otherwise he or she couldn’t possibly understand the dynamics of that commodity. Yet I received virtually no requests to explain the price drop.
  • SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Voilà Tout

    18 Dec 2014 | 1:22 pm
    There was intraday commentary about this stock market rally here.   With a little follow through that might be it for now.  The market will most likely get quiet after tomorrow with an upward drifting bias.   It probably has more upside into year end and maybe even the first week in January *unless something happens.*   Reading this market as some indication of economic
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • The fiscal-monetary mix

    chris
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:26 am
    In my previous post, I pointed out that, given the inflation target, a less tight fiscal policy implies higher official interest rates. This means that the choice between the two main parties isn't just about fiscal policy, but about the fiscal-monetary mix: Labour offers looser fiscal and tighter* money than the Tories. Which poses the question: what should be the right mix? Simon is, of course, right: It is stupid to commit to further significant fiscal contraction (‘austerity’) when interest rates are still at or close to their lower bound. It means we become more vulnerable to…
  • Deficits & interest rates

    chris
    16 Dec 2014 | 6:16 am
    I fear that the argument between Robert Peston on the one hand and Simon, Paul and Alex on the other about the relationship between government borrowing and interest rates is understating something important. I agree with Robert's critics that interest rates are not determined by bond vigilantes or confidence fairies - at least for the UK at current debt levels. But there is a different reason to think that a looser fiscal policy would lead to higher rates. Quite simply, looser fiscal policy would lead to higher aggregate demand and hence to a smaller output gap. If you believe - as the…
  • Political illiteracy

    chris
    12 Dec 2014 | 6:33 am
    Alex is right: The debate over the economy occurring within the Westminster bubble may now have become completely detached from anything that is happening in what the rest of us would recognise as the economy...The everyday “reality” as it is experienced by the rest of us has ceased to be relevant to the debate. But I wonder: is the problem here merely one of economic illiteracy, or is it also one of political illiteracy too? Here's what I mean. The reason why many of us fear that deficit reduction is infeasible lies in the paradox of thrift; if enough people try to reduce their…
  • Miliband's illusion of control

    chris
    11 Dec 2014 | 5:15 am
    One of the oldest and best-attested cognitive biases is the illusion of control - our tendency to over-estimate our ability to control events.Ed Miliband's speech on the deficit was an example of this bias. He omitted to state what should be obvious, that the government is not in control of the public finances; if it were, the errors in borrowing forecasts, even in times of economic stability, would not have been as huge as they have been. Instead, the government can only reduce its net borrowing if the rest of the economy - households, companies and foreigners - want to reduce their net…
  • For worker control

    chris
    10 Dec 2014 | 5:57 am
    Neal Lawson is absolutely right. Social democracy is "hopelessly prepared for the 21st century." This is because it is yet another example of an idea that has outlived its usefulness. Social democrats used to think that they did not need to challenge the fundamental power structures of capitalism because, with a few good top-down economic and social policies, capitalism could be made to deliver increased benefits for workers and the poor in terms both of rising real wages and better public services. But Neal is right. The "golden era" in which this was true has vanished.
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    David Smith's EconomicsUK.com

  • Relax: lower oil prices will be good for growth

    David Smith
    14 Dec 2014 | 1:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Rejoice. That is my normal response to lower oil prices. Filling up the car ranks second only to paying gas and electricity bills as the kind...
  • Eliminating the deficit: hard work but not impossible

    David Smith
    7 Dec 2014 | 1:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Has the world changed? We knew before Wednesday’s autumn statement that George Osborne would be forced to concede that the budget deficit remains uncomfortably close to...
  • Back to the 1930s?

    David Smith
    5 Dec 2014 | 12:45 am
    In the light of the Office for Budget Responsibility's observation, endorsed by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, that the ratio of government spending to GDP is set to fall to its lowest level for 80 years - since the 1930s...
  • Osborne confronts his failure on the deficit

    David Smith
    30 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. The autumn statement, George Osborne’s fifth and possibly final one, is on Wednesday and it is hard not to feel a sense of déjà vu. I...
  • IEA's shadow MPC votes 6-3 for rate hike

    David Smith
    30 Nov 2014 | 12:59 am
    In its email poll closing Thursday 27th November, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) recommended by six votes to three that Bank Rate should be raised on December 4th, including two votes for a rise...
 
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    Project Syndicate RSS-Feed

  • Why Cuba Turned

    Jorge G. Castañeda
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:30 am
    The agreement between the US and Cuba to resume diplomatic relations looks like a victory for the communist island. But that conclusion leaves out a crucial variable: the collapse in the price of oil, which leaves Cuba economically vulnerable and increases the likelihood of political change.
  • A Petition for Peshawar

    Gordon Brown
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:33 am
    The murder of 132 schoolchildren in Pakistan is the latest example of what is becoming a horrific pattern: armed men using students as pawns in their conflicts, turning access to education into a weapon of war. The world cannot afford to stand by as schools are shut down and children become afraid to pursue an education.
  • Unlocking ASEAN’s Potential

    Kishore Mahbubani, et al.
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:30 am
    For decades, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has been asking whether ten countries with different cultures, political systems, and levels of economic development can act in concert to expand their collective potential. Judging by their leaders' ambitious vision for cooperation, the answer may be yes.
  • Where Has Global Warming Gone?

    Ka-Kit Tung
    19 Dec 2014 | 5:50 am
    For the last 15 years, according to the conventional way of measuring global warming, the planet does not seem to have become any hotter. But the reason is not that our greenhouse-gas emissions are no longer changing the earth’s climate, it is that surface temperature is a poor measure of human-induced warming.
  • Is the ECB Doing Enough?

    Peter Praet
    19 Dec 2014 | 4:50 am
    The ECB has implemented a series of measures in response to economic sluggishness and financial trepidations in the euro area. Tentative evidence suggests that the measures are delivering tangible benefits to the European economy, and the ECB still has plenty of weapons in its arsenal should they prove necessary.
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    Benzinga Feeds

  • Everything About The Markets Is Fixed Now, Right?

    Dave Moenning
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:22 am
    C'est la vie. Another dip in the stock market has been followed by another violent "V" bottom. One minute the S&P 500 is down 5 percent on fears of, well, just about anything and everything, and the next, the market is back to flirting with all-time highs.
  • Are The Markets In A State Of Economic Cognitive Dissonance?

    Garrett Cook
    18 Dec 2014 | 1:06 pm
    This piece contains the opinions of the author that do not reflect the opinions of Benzinga.com. The US Fed will be remaining “patient” for the time being as the US economy builds steam on the foundation of low rates and unattractive savings rates.
  • An Early Holiday Gift? 'Extended' Tax Breaks Head To Obama's Desk

    Rebecca Sheppard
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:12 am
    The bill H.R. 5771 has yet to receive President Obama's signature, but the news of extended tax breaks for 2014 is cause for a sigh of celebration and lots of preparation.
  • Goldman Sachs Comments On FOMC Decision: 'Touch More Dovish Than Expected'

    Garrett Cook
    17 Dec 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Following the FOMC announcement on Wednesday, Goldman Sachs Jan Hatzius put out a note on how he views the statement. Hatzius views the FOMC decision to include the phrase "continues to monitor inflation developments closely," which wasn't used in the October statement, as dovish.
  • WalletHub's 11 (Mostly) Upbeat Economic Predictions For 2015

    Jim Probasco
    17 Dec 2014 | 11:45 am
    For many investors, the most coveted super power – assuming super powers were possible -- would likely be the ability to foretell the future accurately.
 
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    OilPrice.com Daily News Update

  • Basic Arithmetic Letting Oil Companies Down

    19 Dec 2014 | 12:18 pm
    Sesame Street is better at math than the oil companies are right now. Virtually every midsized oil exploration and production company has recently claimed not only to maintain production levels for 2015, but to increase production in the next year, all while slashing capital expenditure budgets to the bone. That math doesn’t compute at all: Where is the Sesame Street “Count” when you need him? It really is as simple as 1, 2, 3…. This week after capex slashes were reported from several US oil companies, including a stunning…Read more...
  • Strike While The Majors Are Cheap

    19 Dec 2014 | 12:14 pm
    This big collapse in the price of oil that has occurred in the second half of this year is the result of a combination of factors. Dollar strength as other major economies, such as Japan and Europe, face problems has played a part, as has some worry about a slowing of global growth. If the numbers are to be believed, though, the single biggest factor has been the increase in supply as unconventional wells, most notably in the U.S., have come on stream. Understanding that this is principally a supply shock is important for investors as it determines…Read more...
  • The Latest Hot Spot For Offshore Oil

    19 Dec 2014 | 12:00 pm
      Oil prices may be lower than they have been in over a half decade, but that hasn’t slowed the interest in Canada’s oil reserves off of its east coast. A consortium of companies just submitted a bid for the parcels off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada’s largest ever bid for offshore blocks. Led by ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), the group bid $559 million for the rights to 266,000 hectares in the Flemish Pass, a stretch of water east of St. John’s. ExxonMobil has a 40 percent working interest, with Suncor Energy (NYSE: SU)…Read more...
  • Global Energy Advisory - 19th December 2014

    19 Dec 2014 | 11:47 am
    Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict The Sudans: Where Oil Fits in A year ago this week, South Sudan became embroiled in a civil war that has so far killed tens of thousands of people and put paid to its embryonic independence from Khartoum. It started when rebel forces targeted South Sudan’s oil fields shortly after fighting broke out in the capital, Juba. At stake is control of some 75% of all of Sudan’s oil production. The situation in South Sudan was already unsustainable due to the civil war (production had already dropped from…Read more...
  • Subtle Signs Emerging That A Bottom Is Near

    19 Dec 2014 | 11:45 am
    Crude Oil OutlookOversupply continued to make it hard for crude oil to find a bottom last week although technical analysis factors did manage to help halt the slide at $53.94 at least temporarily. The bottoming action was strong enough to take out the previous day’s high for the first time since November 21. This doesn’t mean much to the big picture, but prolonged short-covering rallies have started from this simple chart formation. Other than bouncing off a five-year low, the crude oil market was very tame this week. Volatility was…Read more...
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    zentrader.ca

  • An Epic Blowout In Crude

    jeff pierce
    16 Dec 2014 | 12:32 am
    By Poly This is an excerpt from this week’s premium update from the The Financial Tap, which is dedicated to helping people learn to grow into successful investors by providing cycle research on multiple markets delivered twice weekly. Now offering monthly & quarterly subscriptions with 30 day refund. Promo code ZEN saves 10%. The FED’s easy money has encouraged rampant energy speculation and over-investment, resulting in more than $500 billion in new loans and investments in just the past 4 years. And so long as Crude prices stayed comfortably above $90, investments made money and…
  • Stock Traders Herded Like Cattle

    chris
    14 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    By Chris Ebert The Future is Not Predictable The job of a stock market trader may seem simple; learn how to predict when stock prices will go up or down, and then buy at low prices and sell at high prices. Alternatively, since stock prices have tended to rise in the long run, despite temporary declines, buying stocks and holding them for several years – investing – may seem like an almost-guaranteed method of ensuring that the selling will occur at a higher price, without the need to make the predictions involved in short-term trading. In reality, neither trading nor investing is as…
  • No Clear Cycle Low In Oil To Base A Position On

    jeff pierce
    11 Dec 2014 | 11:10 pm
    By Poly This is an excerpt from this week’s premium update from the The Financial Tap, which is dedicated to helping people learn to grow into successful investors by providing cycle research on multiple markets delivered twice weekly. Now offering monthly & quarterly subscriptions with 30 day refund. Promo code ZEN saves 10%. The train wreck that is crude oil continues, now having become a fully-fledged crash with seemingly no end in sight. Not exactly an original idea at this point in the decline, but I was right this past weekend to sense continued weakness within Crude. That…
  • Market Update and Webinar Invitation

    karen starich
    11 Dec 2014 | 9:36 am
    We have finally locked in our webinar for December 17th at 6:00 pm.  Please follow this link and signup early as space is limited. We will be discussing the potential for more volatility and setting a strategy that is easy for traders to follow and profit from. The Markets Jeff’s timing signal is now suggestion we are on the brink of a correction that could wipe out much of the gains that we’ve seen from October’s low. I have illustrated the potential for new legislation near December 24th that in essence is massive money printing.  Disguised as a finance bill what it…
  • Volatility Has Risen Very Fast

    jeff pierce
    10 Dec 2014 | 11:52 pm
    By Jeff PIerce Below you have the daily and weekly charts of the VIX to garner some perspective about where we are and where we could be heading. The Vix has really spiked these past 2 days and it looks as though momentum has shifted back to the bears where just a few weeks ago it looked as if it was blue skies ahead for the markets. I never was convinced as I personally feel that the markets were broken during the October selloff and what we’ve been seeing for the last 6 weeks is one big long con trying to suck the little guys back into the markets. While I still could be proven wrong…
 
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    NEW ECONOMY

  • Neighbors Helped This Immigrant-Owned Dry Cleaner in Boston Go Nontoxic—and Stay in Business

    Chuck Collins
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:40 am
    Chuck Collins is a co-founder of JPNET and Polly Hoppin is co-leader of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production. Photo courtesy of the authors. In 1996, Guatemalan immigrant Myra Vargas and her Venezuelan husband Ernesto bought J&P Cleaners, a neighborhood dry cleaner in Boston. But something always smelled funny. “The chemicals we used—we knew they were not healthy,” Myra said. She stayed away from the shop when she was pregnant with her second child. The evolving local economy doesn’t have to use materials that make everyone sick. Like most conventional dry cleaners in the…
  • The New Economy Comes of Age: 7 Steps Toward Shared Prosperity

    Fran Korten
    10 Dec 2014 | 4:45 pm
    Photo by Shutterstock. In June, I attended an event in Boston that signaled to me that the concept of the New Economy—and the grassroots movement behind it—had come of age. Click here to subscribe to YES! The event was the conference of the New Economy Coalition. The halls were full of students, cooperative leaders from the deep south, climate justice activists from Native reservations, labor leaders, and others identifying with the New Economy. Folks who had been at conferences such as this for years were also there—farmers, Main Street business owners, sustainability entrepreneurs,…
  • Graphic: Convince Your Relatives to Ditch Amazon and Go Local This Holiday Season

    Mary Hansen
    9 Dec 2014 | 2:50 pm
    Every Christmas, my grandmother, a retired journalist and voracious reader of murder-mystery novels, used to send my parents money to buy each of my eight siblings and me a gift. The stipulation was: It had to be a book. It’s worth the extra time and effort to shop at local and independent stores. Our “grandma book” gift tradition continues and, now, includes my three in-laws, and five nieces and nephews. The task of fulfilling seventeen book requests often falls to my dad. Normally the great, Grinch-y grumbler this time of year, he brags that, thanks to Amazon, this is one Christmas…
  • The Battle in Seattle, 15 Years On: How an Unsung Hero Kept the Movements United

    Jonathan Rosenblum
    1 Dec 2014 | 4:07 pm
    Tyree Scott stands on a picket line. Photo courtesy of the Northwest Labor and Employment Law Office. This month marks the 15th anniversary of the “Battle in Seattle,” the historic protest against the World Trade Organization in 1999. The author, a labor and community organizer for 31 years, was at the time director of Seattle Union Now, a joint project of the King County Labor Council and the National AFL-CIO. “There can be no separate peace.” If you spent any time with Tyree Scott, you probably heard him say that. It was a lesson seared into his experience through years of…
  • New Film Shows How Florida Farmworkers Won Fairer Pay From America's Biggest Food Companies

    Nur Lalji
    21 Nov 2014 | 4:45 pm
    Lucas Benitez of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Photo by Jeffery Salter. The small city of Immokalee, Florida, provides produce to millions of people. It’s one of the country’s agricultural hubs, but with an average per capita income of $9,518, the majority of residents—many of whom are farmworkers—live well below the national poverty level. “The wealth doesn’t stay here with us.” That’s Lucas Benitez, founder of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and a former farmworker, in the new film Food Chains.  The documentary, by director Sanjay Rawal and executive producers Eva…
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    Central Bank News

  • Colombia holds rate, no new dollar buying program

    centralbanknews.info
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:21 pm
        Colombia's central bank maintained its benchmark intervention rate at 4.5 percent, as expected, and did not renew its program of buying U.S. dollars in light of adequate international reserves and "recent changes in the exchange market conditions."    The Central Bank of Colombia, which raised its rate by 125 basis points from April thorough August, added that the drop in oil and rising international prices of some relevant foods had led to a deterioration in the country's terms of trade with a negative impact on the growth of national income.    Oil accounts…
  • Albania maintains rate, may cut further if risks worsen

    centralbanknews.info
    19 Dec 2014 | 5:55 am
        Albania's central bank maintained its key interest rate at 2.25 percent and expects to maintain an expansionary monetary policy as the balance of risks remain to the downside and said any worsening of risk scenarios "may require further revisions of the monetary policy stance."    The Bank of Albania, which has cut its rate by 75 basis points this year, most recently in November, said the rise in November inflation was in line with expectations and inflation should rise gradually in coming months despite weak inflationary pressures.   Albania's headline…
  • Central Bank News Link List - Dec 19, 2014 - Coeure says ECB weighing how best to act, France wants policy shift

    centralbanknews.info
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:55 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.Coeure says ECB weighing how best to act, France wants policy shift (Reuters)China likely to cut interest rates by March to spur economy - Reuters pollAustralia Reserve Bank keeps interest rates on a steady course (ABC)European Central Bank to publish minutes of policy meetings (WSJ)Nigeria central…
  • BOJ maintains stance but strikes optimistic tone

    centralbanknews.info
    18 Dec 2014 | 8:43 pm
        Japan's central bank maintained its aggressive easing stance with the aim of boosting the monetary base by an annual 80 trillion yen but sounded optimistic about the recovery of demand following the recent slump in reaction to a tax increase in April.    The Bank of Japan (BOJ), which in October raised its target for the monetary base by 10-20 trillion yen to prevent deflationary expectations from taking root, said the decline in demand following front-loaded increases prior to the tax rise had been "waning on the whole" - a more optimistic view in comparison to…
  • Swiss impose negative deposit rate, cut Libor target

    centralbanknews.info
    18 Dec 2014 | 7:23 am
        The Swiss central bank imposed a negative interest rate of minus 0.25 percent on large bank deposits with the aim of pushing its benchmark three-month Libor interest rate on Swiss francs into a negative range of -0.75 to 0.25 percent.    The Swiss National Bank (SNB) said the introduction of negative rates, which makes it less attractive for banks and major investors to hold Swiss franc investments, should help it support its exchange rate target of a maximum 1.20 francs to the euro.     The negative interest rate would be imposed on banks' sight deposit…
 
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    Business Insider

  • David Silva steps up as Man City reel Chelsea in

    Tom Williams
    20 Dec 2014 | 7:30 am
    London (AFP) - David Silva filled in for Manchester City's absent strikers as the champions beat Crystal Palace 3-0 on Saturday to move level on points with Premier League leaders Chelsea.City were missing Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic due to injury, but they secured an eighth consecutive victory in all competitions thanks to Silva's second-half brace and a late Yaya Toure strike.Victory left City level on 39 points with Chelsea, who remain top by virtue of a superior goal difference (+23 to +22) ahead of their trip to Stoke City on Monday."It was a very good win. A very good…
  • This Simple Equation Explains How To Achieve Wealth

    Business Insider
    20 Dec 2014 | 7:30 am
    According to author Roger James Hamilton, acquiring wealth is as simple as a single equation. In his book "The Millionaire Master Plan," Hamilton, who also founded the Entrepreneurs Institute, provides this equation to describe the accumulation of wealth: Wealth = Value x Leverage Value and leverage are the keys to controlling and growing the flow of money, Hamilton says. He uses the analogy of driving a car to differentiate between the two. Creating value is like putting your foot on the gas and accelerating. Leveraging that value is like shifting up a gear. To explain how value and…
  • Four Afghan Guantanamo detainees repatriated, says Pentagon

    20 Dec 2014 | 7:27 am
    Washington (AFP) - Four detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay US military prison have been repatriated to Afghanistan, the Pentagon said Saturday.The Department of Defense said that the Afghan men -- Shawali Khan, Khi Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani, and Mohammed Zahir -- had been moved from the prison after a comprehensive review of their case."As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these men were unanimously approved for transfer by the six departments and agencies comprising the task force," a Pentagon statement said.The releases come hard on the…
  • This Animation Of 32 Years' Worth Of Treasury Yield Curves Is Mesmerizing

    Shane Ferro
    20 Dec 2014 | 7:25 am
    Business Insider reader Jim Laird created this animated chart tracking Treasury yield curves compared to the actual yield on a three-month Treasury. The yield curve is a line that plots a set of forward-looking interest rates at a given point in time. A US Treasury yield curve would connect today's yields for three-month, six-month, 12-month, two-year, five-year, one-year, and 30-year Treasury securities. "I wrote a script that figured out the yield curve at every date from 1982 to present and compared the results to the actual yield on a three-month Treasury," Laird said. "Then I turned it…
  • Four Afghan Guantanamo detainees repatriated, says Pentagon

    20 Dec 2014 | 7:17 am
    Washington (AFP) - Four detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay US military prison have been repatriated to Afghanistan, the Pentagon said Saturday.The Department of Defense said that the Afghan men -- Shawali Khan, Khi Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani, and Mohammed Zahir -- had been moved from the prison after a comprehensive review of their case."As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these men were unanimously approved for transfer by the six departments and agencies comprising the task force," a Pentagon statement said.Join the conversation about this…
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    Business + Economy – Articles – The Conversation

  • ATNIX: Australian Twitter News Index, November 2014

    Axel Bruns, Professor, Creative Industries at Queensland University of Technology
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:32 pm
    With the drama and excitements of the Melbourne Cup and G20 summit receding into memory, and the current trials and tribulations of the federal government taking centre-stage once again, it’s time to update our Australian Twitter News Index (ATNIX) for the month of November. Sadly, scheduled server maintenance has meant that we’ve missed out on news sharing data for the final week of November, so this update will cover only the period until the 24th – but it provides some useful insights and a handful of surprises nonetheless (as always, click to enlarge the graphs below). First,…
  • Australia needs more than dense housing arguments

    Bill Randolph, Director, City Futures - Faculty Leadership, City Futures Research Centre, Urban Analytics and City Data, Infrastructure in the Built Environment at UNSW Australia
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:04 pm
    Higher density housing is being presented as the latest solution for affordable housing, but a more robust policy is required. trevor.patt/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SAEx-NSW Premier Nick Greiner has proposed that land value embedded in public housing estates be recycled to generate new social housing - by redeveloping the estates into higher density living. Greiner claims by using uplift in land values it won’t cost the government a cent. A similar argument was made recently at the UrbanGrowth NSW Summit on Sydney’s Bays Precinct renewal project. Have we finally found the Holy Grail for affordable…
  • Without revenue, Australia can only have half a budget debate

    Max Corden, Professorial Fellow in the Department of Economics at University of Melbourne
    18 Dec 2014 | 11:48 am
    In the dark? Ignoring revenue has stymied Australia's budget debate. ShutterstockThe missing element in this week’s mid-year economic and fiscal outlook, and more broadly, in current government policy, stares Australians in the face. Revenue needs to be increased. Increasing taxes, reducing tax concessions and eliminating loopholes are all options, which I and other commentators have argued for. For example, journalist Peter Martin has shown that if compulsory superannuation contributions were taxed as income, i.e. like wages (rather than being taxed at a concessional rate) there would…
  • Great Southern class action calls for debate on lawyers fees

    Michael Legg, Associate Professor of Law at UNSW Australia
    18 Dec 2014 | 11:48 am
    The Great Southern case was Victoria's largest ever class action and involved 22,000 group members and individual plaintiffs. David Crosling/AAPThe failed Great Southern class action, which saw lawyers receive substantially more compensation than victims, could be seen as making the case for contingency fees. The Productivity Commission recently recommended the removal of the ban on contingency fees that exists in all Australian states. However, contingency fees also have dangers for consumers. Contingency fees can be advantageous to clients because the lawyer only gets paid if the client…
  • When 'selfies' extend to plane cockpits, pilots could land themselves in trouble

    David Hodgkinson, Associate Professor, Law School at University of Western Australia
    17 Dec 2014 | 4:45 pm
    Pilots have the privilege of a birds-eye view, but should they resist the temptation to snap from the cockpit? Frans Zwart/Flickr, CC BY-NC-NDLast week, Quartz published an article showcasing photographs pilots have taken from the cockpit of aircraft to post on Instagram. As explained in the story, by taking these photos – many of which appear to have been snapped during flight, take-off, or landing – pilots are violating the rules of the air. This is certainly the case in the United States and the European Union, for example, but what about elsewhere? United States regulations The…
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    SurvivalBlog.com

  • Notes for Saturday – December 20, 2014

    Hugh James Latimer
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:00 pm
    I just heard that Jerry Pournelle suffered a minor stroke on Monday, December 16th. Please keep him in your prayers. – JWR o o o Safecastle has just announced their last sale of the year. This week Mountain House is on sale with discounts of 25-40%. o o o Today, we present another entry for Round 56 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,000+ worth of prizes for this round include: First Prize: A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value), A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for…
  • Surviving with Type 2 Diabetes, by B.H.

    Hugh James Latimer
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:59 pm
    There have been numerous discussions in the survivalist and SHTF communities about diabetes, and while Type 1 has been discussed at length, Type 2, which is much more prevalent and equally life-threatening, usually gets little more than a mention and possibly a conclusionary statement that it can be handled/managed with diet and exercise. But what exactly does that mean? There’s no discussion on what such a diet-based treatment would entail in a SHTF situation. It’s not a simple disease to handle. Type 2 diabetes, if untreated or improperly treated, can lead to loss of life and/or limb,…
  • Letter: Wells and Pumps

    Hugh James Latimer
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:59 pm
    I’m curious as to if any other readers have had difficulty getting good information on hand pumps? I am not technical by any definition of the word, but here is my situation: I just purchased a homestead in the country with well water. The pump runs by electricity. I have spoken with several well drillers in the area, explaining that I want a hand pump for grid down. The stock answer is “get a generator”. I live in southeastern NC. I understand there can be problems with trying to connect a hand pump to an already existing electrically-powered well. I can afford to have a second well…
  • Economics and Investing:

    Hugh James Latimer
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:58 pm
    Northern Star Bank, Mankato, MN, Becomes 18th Bank Failure of 2014. – G.G. o o o Fewer US-Born Americans Have Jobs Now Than In 2007. – G.G. o o o Items from Mr. Econocobas: David Stockman: The Fracturing Energy Bubble Is the New Housing Crash There Is Hope In Understanding That A Great Economic Collapse Is Coming WH Hails Economic Gains But Poll Finds Few Concur
  • Odds ‘n Sods:

    Hugh James Latimer
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:57 pm
    Snaring Varmints. – J.M. o o o Making 9 Million Jobless “Vanish”: How The Government Manipulates Unemployment Statistics. – P.M. o o o Muzzleloader Explodes Like Grenade, Takes Off Shooter’s Fingers . – RBS o o o Sixth Circuit: Mental Health Gun Ban Is Unconstitutional. – H.L. o o o SurvivalBlog reader P.M. sent in this link for old Singer sewing machine manuals. o o o SurvivalBlog reader M.D. requested prayer from our readers as they are dealing with spiritual warfare. Please keep them in mind in your intercessory prayer.
 
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    Trading Heroes

  • How To Get Free MT4 VPS Hosting With Amazon EC2

    Hugh Kimura
    11 Dec 2014 | 10:23 pm
    If you have Forex Expert Advisors or signal indicators, you need to have a reliable virtual private server (VPS). Running them on your home computer can be a good initial solution, but when you are ready to step up to a professional solution, a hosted solution is the only way to go. This post will show you how to set it up and get the first year for free. The post How To Get Free MT4 VPS Hosting With Amazon EC2 appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • Using Machine Learning In Forex Backtesting With Traide

    Hugh Kimura
    4 Dec 2014 | 1:23 am
    I have been beta testing a new machine learning platform that can help traders uncover profitable trading strategies. In this post, I get into how it works, its current limitations and why I think it is a promising new tool for independent traders. The post Using Machine Learning In Forex Backtesting With Traide appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • How A South Central Public School Teacher Became A Successful Forex Trader With Greg McLeod

    Hugh Kimura
    2 Dec 2014 | 1:13 pm
    This is a great interview from our friend Shaun Overton at One Step Removed. He talks to Greg McLeod, a former co-worker of his at FXCM. Greg used to be a public school teacher in South Central Los Angeles, where he actually taught trading to his students. There are a lot of great tips and fun stories, so take a lot of notes and enjoy! The post How A South Central Public School Teacher Became A Successful Forex Trader With Greg McLeod appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • TTL 0017 – Bank Dealer Turned Independent Trader Walter Vannelli Shares His Experience

    Hugh Kimura
    27 Nov 2014 | 8:18 am
    This episode of the Trading Lifestyle Podcast features Walter Vannelli. He is an independent Forex from Italy. One interesting thing about Walter's trading background is that he used to be a dealer at a bank. This gives him unique insight into how banks operate and how to trade accordingly. The post TTL 0017 – Bank Dealer Turned Independent Trader Walter Vannelli Shares His Experience appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • Currency Related Markets Update – US Dollar On Fire Edition

    Hugh Kimura
    24 Nov 2014 | 1:30 am
    This week, I focus on the hot stock and US Dollar markets. There isn't too much going on in other markets, but as stocks hit record highs, I review the correlation between stocks, the US Dollar and the carry trade. The post Currency Related Markets Update – US Dollar On Fire Edition appeared first on Trading Heroes.
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    OpenMarkets

  • Ruble Futures Continue to Trade

    Nigel Manthorp
    18 Dec 2014 | 10:25 pm
      The Russian Ruble has been under pressure for most of the year due to Western sanctions over Ukraine and the falling oil price. The Central Bank of Russia  historically used a policy of intervention to smooth out FX volatility , but this costs them foreign currency reserves. Russia has spent more than $70bn supporting their currency since the beginning of 2014. They have also used a series of interest rate hikes to try to defend the Ruble, culminating with the latest dramatic rise from 10.5 percent to 17 percent on Dec. 16. However there were fears that Russia may introduce capital…
  • MARKET UPDATE: RUSSIA, OIL & INTEREST RATES

    OpenMarkets
    17 Dec 2014 | 3:12 pm
    The Russian Central Bank has stepped in to intervene in the ruble crisis Russia has been battling due, in part, to the large drop we’ve seen in oil prices.   Jack hypothesizes that, in the short term at least, oil has seemed to stabilize which will bring bids back into equities.  On the interest rate side, the phrase “considerable length of time” has been replaced by “patience” increasing ambiguity of the Fed and what their plans will be over the next 12-18 months.  All of that, plus quadruple expiration on Friday continues to add volatility to the market.
  • MONDAY OUTLOOK: CONSIDERABLE TIME FOR FED FUNDS RATE

    OpenMarkets
    15 Dec 2014 | 1:05 pm
      The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee meets this week for the final time this year, beginning Tuesday. Once again, the Federal Funds rate will be closely watched by participants in nearly every market from equities to oil. There aren’t many forecasters who see the Fed raising rates before the middle of 2015. The real question is whether they will drop the “considerable time”  language they have used to indicate when a rate hike will come.  A rate increase becomes the most probable outcome beginning in September 2015, according to current data in CME Group’s…
  • MARKET UPDATE: VOLATILITY CONTINUES

    OpenMarkets
    15 Dec 2014 | 11:52 am
    Market conditions have been extremely volatile recently with triple digit moves back and forth.  This week there is a convergence of events, including the break in the price of crude oil, that will likely continue to drive that volatility.    Jack urges viewers to pay attention to the two-day Fed meeting starting tomorrow and the upcoming quadruple expiration.
  • These Are the Risks Bringing FX Volatility to Europe

    William Knottenbelt
    12 Dec 2014 | 12:10 am
    The drop in market volatility we saw in the first half of 2014 – referred to ironically by FT Alphaville as “the Great Moderation 2.0” – now seems an age away. Certainly volatility levels have fallen back for now from the dramatic October spike, but we as head into 2015, the consensus mood is that volatility has found a higher baseline taking it back in the direction of historical norms. As we know, a range of factors contributed to that rise in volatility, from the end of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program, to the sharp depreciation of the yen, to the fall in…
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    eWallstreeter

  • The Great White Hoax: E-cigarettes are delicious, but they don't deliver nicotine

    20 Dec 2014 | 5:55 am
    Puff the "Magic" Draggin' The power of blissful, wishful thinking. Share //>
  • Hey Jude: You made it bad

    20 Dec 2014 | 2:50 am
                                                            A revered nonprofit is an insatiable corporation in disguise Share //>
  • Warming Up a Cold Snap

    20 Dec 2014 | 12:11 am
    Once a frosty first quarter was over, the economy made gains in 2014.
  • Russia Not Selling Gold, It's Buying; Reflections on Extremely Sloppy Reporting

    19 Dec 2014 | 7:24 pm
    On December 17, ZeroHedge asked Will Putin's Next Step Be To Sell Gold?On December 18, ZeroHedge answered his own question wrongly with Russia Has Begun Selling Its Gold, According To SocGen.I did not believe that when I saw it yesterday, and I sure don't today after viewing a few charts from Nick at Gold Charts "R" Us.Russia Gold Reserves Up 600,000 Ounces for NovemberIn US dollar terms, Russia's gold reserves are worth about $0.4 billion less.Russia Gold Reserves in US Dollars Of course, Russi
  • Reality-Based?

    19 Dec 2014 | 6:17 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) At the same time that I was writing this blog post earlier today, one of the quack healers mentioned in that post held a press conference, it would seem, for the purpose of supplying evidence in support of the point of that post.  Here’s a slice from the Wall Street Journal‘s analysis of a choice part of that [...]
 
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    Monetary Realism

  • Monetarism

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

    JKH
    9 Dec 2014 | 1:22 pm
    John Cochrane has written a very interesting paper on monetary policy under conditions of “abundant liquidity”, including substantial excess bank reserves and interest paid on those reserves (IOR). The central idea behind the paper is the fiscal theory of the price level (FTPL), which is a valuation equivalence relationship between the real values of government debt and expected primary budget surpluses. This theory seems like a remote contrast to the perspective of debt sustainability in a growing economy, but it is a coherent model, and Cochrane emphasizes the point that FTPL itself…
  • Why so down, Oil?

    Michael Sankowski
    2 Dec 2014 | 5:01 am
    You’ve seen the charts on oil, and they are grim. Oil fell over 10% after OPEC announced they were not cutting production, and this is after an already dramatic drop since July. Some people are saying it’s all supply related – that we have a glut of oil now (or maybe a glut of high priced oil). Others insist its all demand reltated – that the recession in Europe coupled with “only” 7% growth in China is enough to push oil lower. But there has to be some speculative unwind here. The fall is too large, too fast. There is no new information in the market we…
  • The Full Monty on Naked Short Selling

    JKH
    21 Sep 2014 | 3:17 pm
    JP Koning has written an interesting post that depicts banks as engaging in “naked short selling” when they simultaneously create new loan assets and new deposit liabilities. For example, he compares the idea of systemic deposit creation with the case of selling Microsoft stock without owning the stock (shorting the stock) and also without borrowing the stock (naked shorting the stock). http://jpkoning.blogspot.ca/2014/09/getting-naked-in-praise-of-naked-short.html “Just as an equity short seller will borrow and then sell Microsoft with the intention of repurchasing it at a better…
  • Inflation Fears and a Coin Flip

    Michael Sankowski
    3 Sep 2014 | 6:25 am
    Steve Waldman has a new post up on why rich people, and not so rich people, might prefer hard money over greater wealth. This post was a response to Paul Krugman, and Cullen adds some good thoughts too. Here’s Steve: ““Full employment” means ungrateful job receivers have the capacity to make demands that could blunt equity returns. And even if that doesn’t happen, even if the rich do get richer in aggregate, there will be winners and losers among them, each wealthy individual will face risks they otherwise need not have faced. Regression to the mean is a bitch. You have…
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    FTMDaily.com

  • Why the Stock Market is Up and You’re Not

    Jay Peroni
    20 Dec 2014 | 5:50 am
    Jay answers the common question: The stock market is up and I'm not. What am I doing wrong? [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • VIDEO: Lies, Propaganda, and the 2012 Election

    Jerry Robinson
    17 Dec 2014 | 1:59 pm
    An FTMDaily video flashback from 2012 -- as relevant as ever [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • The One Gold Indicator to Watch For the Rest of 2014

    Tom Cloud
    17 Dec 2014 | 11:44 am
    If you are going to watch one indicator for the price of gold for the rest of the year, make it the U.S. Dollar Index. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Options Trading 101: Why Trade Options? (Subscriber-Only Video)

    Jerry Robinson
    17 Dec 2014 | 8:31 am
    Get a crash course in options 101. Plus, Jerry Robinson shares two new ETF investing ideas for subscribers. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Congress Just “Legalized” Warrantless Spying Against U.S. Citizens

    Jerry Robinson
    16 Dec 2014 | 10:14 am
    On this week's program, Jerry Robinson exposes H.R. 4681, a devastating bill just passed by Congress that legalizes mass surveillance against American citizens -- without a court order. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
 
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    Exchange Rates UK - Currency News

  • Pound to Dollar Exchange Rate Outlook: Volatile Week for GBP/USD, 2015 Forecasts More Sterling Pressure

    Tony Redondo
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:00 am
    Today's Pound Sterling to Dollar Report With GBP and USD Exchange Rate Conversions The Pound had a more stable day in lighter trading in the foreign exchange market yesterday against the US Dollar, even managing to make a small gain against the US Dollar as the rise of the US Dollar ground to a halt following the latest policy announcement... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • New Zealand Dollar Forecasts: NZD Falls vs GBP, USD & Euro but Steady vs Aus Dollar

    Colin Lawrence
    19 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    Weekly NZ Dollar Forecasts Versus the British Pound, Australian Dollar and the US Dollar Conversions The New Zealand Dollar had been trending higher versus the Pound and Euro while falling against the Australian Dollar after the Federal Reserve disappointed hawkish investors after announcing that interest rates would remain the same until... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Pound to Euro Exchange Rate: GBP/EUR Pushes Lower on Consumer Confidence

    Adam Solomon
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:00 am
    Today's Pound Sterling to Euro FX Update With GBP and EUR Exchange Rate Conversions The GBP/EUR exchange rate fell on Friday's trading as GfK data showed UK consumer confidence to fresh lows. The eight-month low saw the Sterling to Euro pairing lose gains achieved in Thursday's session, when strong UK retail sales data boosted the... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Pound to Dollar, Lira and Euro Rate Today: GBP/USD Slips on UK Confidence, GBP/EUR Climbs

    Colin Lawrence
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:00 pm
    Weekly Pound Sterling to US Dollar, Turkish Lira and Euro Exchange Rates Today The Pound had been trending higher against the Euro and the US Dollar towards the end of the week while falling against the Turkish Lira after the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) kept interest rates low for another meeting. A quick forex market summary... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Today's Exchange Rates Forecasts: Pound, Dollar, Swiss Franc and the Euro

    Colin Lawrence
    18 Dec 2014 | 8:00 am
    Latest Forecasts and News for the Pound Sterling (GBP), Swiss Franc (CHF), US Dollar (USD) and the Euro (EUR) A quick foreign exchange market summary before we bring you the rest of the report: Pound to Dollar Exchange Rate Forecast The US Dollar declined against other currencies after the US Federal Reserve announced interest... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
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    BusinessClimate.com Blog

  • Manufacturing in 2015: Economists Predict Landmark Growth, Innovation

    Emily McMackin
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    The holidays are looking bright for manufacturers. As 2014 rapidly comes to a close, the majority of manufacturing firms are going into the new year with more revenue and optimism than they did this time last year, according to an annual manufacturing outlook survey conducted by ASQ. At least 75 percent of manufacturers surveyed said they experienced revenue growth in 2014 – up 11 percent over last year – and 83 percent predicted more revenue growth for 2015 – up nearly 20 percent from before. In 2014, manufacturers cited the sluggish economy as their greatest challenge. While the…
  • The Shale Effect: Energy Boom a Major Driver in Manufacturing Resurgence

    Emily McMackin
    12 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    Next to reshoring, what’s the single biggest driver of the manufacturing resurgence taking root across the nation? According to a new report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers, it’s the development of shale plays nationwide and the boom they are fueling in oil and gas production. With the United States projected surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the global leader of oil production by 2015, the supply of domestically produced gas is surging, and so are the opportunities the fast-growing energy industry is bringing for economic growth. In 2013, domestically produced energy met 84…
  • STEM Jobs: Fixing the Pipeline

    Bill McMeekin
    10 Dec 2014 | 3:30 am
    STEM jobs – jobs geared around science, engineering, technology and math skills – are often referred to as “the jobs of tomorrow,” but that is a misnomer. As technology advances come ever more rapidly and reshape entire industries, STEM jobs are the jobs of today. STEM workers are highly coveted and communities across the nation are focusing more attention on attracting STEM talent and addressing the skills gap through investing in STEM programs in all levels of education. The stakes are considerable. The Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown…
  • A Starring Role: Arts Hubs And Their Economic Development Impact

    Emily McMackin
    5 Dec 2014 | 6:26 am
    A thriving arts scene is good for quality of life, but it is also important for economic development. The role of the arts, which encompasses key industries that produce artistic content in art, music, theater and design, has more than just a loose connection to economic development, says Richard Florida in post for CityLab. In fact, it’s often highly underestimated, he says. Florida references a new study published by Urban Studies that examines the economic and demographic factors most closely associated with arts clusters and the kinds of metros where they are found, from the…
  • College Graduates: (City) Size Doesn’t Matter

    Bill McMeekin
    25 Nov 2014 | 3:30 am
    On the heels of a new study by the urban policy think tank City Observatory that shows college graduates favoring medium-sized cities over large urban centers like New York and San Francisco comes a new study by demographer Joel Kotkin and the folks at the Praxis Group. And that analysis of 380 MSAs finds that the places adding college graduates the fastest are in even smaller places than mid-size metros. Yes, St. George UT, Bloomington IN, Hattiesburg MS and Wilmington NC have increased their percentage of college graduates at a faster clip between 2000 and 2013 than New York, Los Angeles…
 
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    Latest blog entries

  • 7 Stock Photos with Totally Made-Up Back Stories that Will Change Everything

    2 Dec 2014 | 4:33 pm
    This single cherry. That's what it would have cost Tanzanian refugee Ahmadou Elsassian to purchase his crippled sister's freedom from Berber slave-traders. Ahmadou walked for seventeen days to Addis-Ababa through scorching desert to purchase his sister's ransom. His body was found by the side of the road, only 400 yards from the Berber camp, starved to death, clutching the above-pictured cherry in his emaciated palm. Tu'u Uma was separated from her pod in 2002, and has returned to this spot in the Bering Sea every year to search for her family. Researchers say the 17 year-old orca will refuse…
  • 7 Red Letter Dates in the Ebola Pandemic

    1 Nov 2014 | 3:05 pm
    By all indications, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa continues to spread exponentially, that is to say that the rate of infection is increasing at an ever-increasing rate. According to the WHO, possibly 40,000 cases are present in West Africa, while projecting from past data says the number is around 25,000. Using the latter model, these seven signposts for the epidemic were established.   The purpose of this article is to provide a benchmark to evaluate the progress of the disease as it progresses. As these dates pass, readers will be able to evaluate whether conditions are continuing…
  • Don't Fear the Robots: Automation is a Good Thing

    19 Oct 2014 | 2:57 pm
    Uncreative minds are at it again, riding that ancient saw telling us innovation will put us all permanently out of a job. Admittedly, automation and innovation will eliminate certain jobs, and at times it can appear hopeless, but the computer revolution is but the fart of a gnat when compared to the industrial revolution. We've weathered far more drastic revolutions of labor and capital in the past, for the better, and this time isn't different. In the 1700's, a group of people called Luddites, decided that the power loom was the very end of their livelihood, and that the best course of…
  • Ebola Coming to Europe Next

    23 Sep 2014 | 7:00 pm
    Even as I write, a ship is steaming directly to Amsterdam from the hot zone of the worst Ebola epidemic of all time. It's an ordinary cargo ship, and in a week or two, its crew will be downing beers and visiting the local talent of one of Europe's biggest port cities. The worst part is, it's not the only one. A flotilla of cargo ships leave from Europe each month to visit a variety of West African ports. The last of these ports, terrifyingly, are in each of the Ebola-stricken countries. As if it were perfectly intentional, these ships return straight away to Hamburg or Amsterdam for more…
  • Vladmir Putin: King of the Trashtalkers

    20 Sep 2014 | 2:35 pm
    I'm pretty down on government officials, elected or otherwise, I make no secret of it. But, I do love to watch a good game, and I can appreciate a master when I see one. While Vladimir Putin is a despot extraordinaire, he is awfully good at what he does. Truth be told, Michael Jordan wasn't paid millions in sponsorships and salary because he could put a ball through a net. He was paid his megamillions because he was fun to watch. If he put people to sleep while playing, no one would know his name. It was his miraculous dunks, his whirling fakeouts and electrifying play that made him a star.
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    FT Alphaville

  • The FT Alphaville Christmas Podcast

    FT Alphaville
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:30 am
    It’s that time of year when FT Alphaville invites you, our dear readers, to take the plunge into podcast “review of the year” territory. This year we asked our contributors to bring along sound-effects to acoustically enhance their stories so as to, you know, better imprint them on your neural network.Continue reading: The FT Alphaville Christmas Podcast
  • “Alphaville Person of Interest 2014″ — you decide!

    FT Alphaville
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:16 am
    With Tim Cook out of the way, we can get on with the main award this holiday season. Introducing the inaugural… Continue reading: “Alphaville Person of Interest 2014″ — you decide!
  • FirstFT (the new Lunch Wrap)

    Chris Nuttall
    19 Dec 2014 | 4:56 am
    The traditional Santa rally seems finally to be here , bringing pre-Christmas cheer to markets. Global bourses are buoyant and US index futures show the S&P 500 will gain another 12 points to 2,073 at the open on Friday, nearly matching its record high and taking its surge in just three sessions to 5.1 per cent. (FT)  Continue reading: FirstFT (the new Lunch Wrap)
  • Markets Live: Friday, 19th December, 2014

    Paul Murphy
    19 Dec 2014 | 3:01 am
    Live markets commentary from FT.com Continue reading: Markets Live: Friday, 19th December, 2014
  • Further reading

    Izabella Kaminska
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:02 am
    Elsewhere on Friday, - The rise of micro tipping. - How the over valued rouble disguised Russia’s debt problem. - A history of unprecedented Federal Reserve actions. - The commoditisation of sandwiches and the rise of Sandwich Inc. - A complete history of Reddit. Continue reading: Further reading
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • Chocolate vacation markets in everything

    Tyler Cowen
    20 Dec 2014 | 5:51 am
    Lucy Kellaway of the FT reports that “food, activities and even spa treatments are chocolate-themed,” here is one description from another source: A dessert island fantasy, Boucan by Hotel Chocolat in St Lucia seems made for chocolate lovers. The jungle-surrounded hilltop lodges – with views of the Caribbean Sea and Petit Piton peak – perch beside a cacao plantation that hosts classes and tours, with plenty of samples. The ultra-local restaurant serves some of the island’s best food, including chocolate in both sweet and savoury preparations. Though the hotel natural setting…
  • What I’ve been reading

    Tyler Cowen
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:15 pm
    1. Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden, Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology.  How quantum effects can matter for biological phenomena.  No, it doesn’t mean Roger Penrose was right (and this book usefully tells you why not), but still this is a stimulating book for tying together two apparently disparate areas of inquiry and two apparently disparate areas for popular science books. 2. Michael Oakeshott, Notebooks, 1922-86.  Lots about Aristotle, lots about love, good for browsing.  He wrote “‘The cowboy costume remains mysteriously sexy’.  Yes,…
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:46 am
    1. The troubles of Russia.  And Krugman’s notes on Russian debt. 2. Searching for (Canadian) Elizabeth Gallagher. 3. Qatar soccer markets in everything. 4. Prosecutors and defense lawyers on Serial. 5. “It’s the people that are carrying stuff like chainsaws that make me wonder.” 6. The 109-year-old tuatara virgin. 7. George Clooney on Sony and North Korea. 8. “Everything in her working life is organized around the illness…”
  • Predatory Fining and Mass Surveillance

    Alex Tabarrok
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:40 am
    In Ferguson and the Modern Debtor’s Prison I noted that Ferguson raises an unusually high rate of revenues from fines. You don’t get $321 in fines and fees and 3 warrants per household from an about-average crime rate. You get numbers like this from bullshit arrests for jaywalking and constant “low level harassment involving traffic stops, court appearances, high fines, and the threat of jail for failure to pay.” It doesn’t inspire confidence, therefore, when we learn that Ferguson plans to increase its reliance on police fines as a source of revenue. Ferguson, Missouri,…
  • Printing Cancer Killing Viruses

    Alex Tabarrok
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:50 am
    Cell biologist Andrew Hessel of Autodesk is designing viruses in software to attack a specific individual’s cancer and then using DNA Printers to create the viruses as a drug. Here from an interview with New Scientist (gated). It’s really about making a specific medicine tailored to one person–”N-of-1″ medicine–rather than try to make it a best fit for a whole population. My vision is to create a personalized treatment that can be made in a day by printing bespoke cancer-fighting viruses. I’m not fully convinced by his economic model but it may be…
 
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    Zero Hedge

  • The Burning Questions For 2015

    Tyler Durden
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:00 pm
    The Burning Questions For 2015 By Louis-Vincent Gave, Gavekal Dragonomics With two reports a day, and often more, readers sometimes complain that keeping tabs on the thoughts of the various Gavekal analysts can be a challenge. So as the year draws to a close, it may be helpful if we recap the main questions confronting investors and the themes we strongly believe in, region by region. 1. A Chinese Marshall Plan? When we have conversations with clients about China – which typically we do between two and four times a day – the talk invariably revolves around how much Chinese growth…
  • Gun Violence In America (In 6 Uncomfortable Charts)

    Tyler Durden
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:25 pm
    A recent report, The Annual Review of Public Health, summarizes the basic facts of firearm violence, a large and costly public health problem in the United States for which the mortality rate has remained unchanged for more than a decade. It presents findings for the present in light of recent trends. Risk for firearm violence varies substantially across demographic subsets of the population and between states in patterns that are quite different for suicide and homicide. Suicide is far more common than homicide and its rate is increasing; the homicide rate is decreasing. As with other…
  • Archaea Capital's 5 Bad Trades To Avoid Next Year

    Tyler Durden
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:50 pm
    Excerpted from Achaea Capital's Latter to Investors, Blind faith in policymakers remains a bad trade that’s still widely held. Pressure builds everywhere we look. Not as a consequence of the Fed’s ineptitude (which is a constant in the equation, not a variable), but through the blind faith markets continuing to place bets on the very low probability outcome – that everything will turn out well this time around. And so the pressure keeps rising. Managers are under pressure to perform and missing more targets, levering up on hope. As we wrote last year, bad companies were…
  • The Annotated History Of Russian Crises Since 1860

    Tyler Durden
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:15 pm
    While the current episode of Russian geopolitical and economic turmoil may seem significant, the following chart from Goldman Sachs shows the tempestuous time the nation has had over the past 150 years...   click image for large legible version   And here are Goldman's thoughts on Russia and The West now and into 2015... Where we stand now: Currency distress has taken center stage in Russia, with the ruble down 40%+ against the US dollar since early August. Already under fundamental pressure from sanctions and lower oil prices, the currency experienced a sharp sell-off this week in…
  • I'm Not Buying It - Not The Wall Street Rip, Nor The Keynesian Rap

    Tyler Durden
    19 Dec 2014 | 5:52 pm
    Submitted by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog, First comes production. Then comes income. Spending and savings follow. All the rest is debt…….unless you believe in a magic Keynesian ether called “aggregate demand” and a blatant stab-in-the-dark called “potential GDP”. I don’t.  So let’s start with a pretty startling contrast between two bellwether data trends since the pre-crisis peak in late 2007—debt versus production. Not surprisingly, we have racked up a lot more debt—notwithstanding all the phony palaver…
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    nextnewdeal.net

  • Ten Years: Students Moving the Country Forward

    rgoldfarb
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    After ten years of engaging young people in the political process, the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network continues to push for a system that works for all of us. In an email to peers at Stanford University students on November 4, 2004, a student attempted to turn the tide on the malaise setting in after a disappointing election night for progressives. He captured the sentiment of the moment: Elections are a great time to shape the future of our country, but democracy is not something that happens every four years. We have a lot of work to do … we need to figure out how to explain what we…
  • The Budget Fight Was the First Skirmish in the War for the Soul of the Democratic Party

    tprice
    12 Dec 2014 | 3:30 am
    Democrats had the leverage to nix a deal that opens the door to more Wall Street bailouts, but they caved in to Republican blackmail. Progressives lost the battle over the budget last night because President Obama and a minority of Democrats took the side of Wall Street. It is the first of many losses we will see in the next two years as Republicans relentlessly pursue their corporate agenda. The bigger question is whether progressives will lose the war in the Democratic Party. Blowing up this budget deal should have been easy for Democrats. They were handed a perfect message: the Republicans…
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 66: How Do We Make the Promise a Reality?

    tprice
    10 Dec 2014 | 4:26 am
    Full implementation of the UDHR isn't a pipe dream, but it will require us to look beyond governments and international institutions. Sixty-six years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, who is responsible for upholding our most basic rights as humans? And are rights truly universal, or are they relative? These questions are indelibly inked into the fabric of our economy, society, and political system. Following World War II and the creation of the United Nations, the UDHR represented “the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently…
  • Let the Fed Lend Directly to Cities and States to Save Taxpayers Billions

    rgoldfarb
    9 Dec 2014 | 4:59 am
    Using our central bank's resources to save cash-strapped local governments from bankruptcy would prevent economic devastation and bring other benefits. The Federal Reserve should be allowed to make long-term loans directly to cities, states, school districts, and other public agencies so taxpayers can get low interest rates and avoid predatory Wall Street fees. Currently, banks borrow money at near-zero interest rates from the Fed while public entities are forced to pay billions in fees and interest each year. Cities and states should have access to the same low interest rates that banks…
  • Universities Can Prevent the Race to the Bottom for Labor Standards

    rgoldfarb
    1 Dec 2014 | 5:07 am
    Some of the negative changes in the workplace brought on by new technologies can be countered by institutions like universities setting higher standards. The past 30 years have seen a revolution in communication and analytic technology, one that has begun to shape the nature of firms and the types of work that exist in the labor market. Internet communication technology (ICT) allows firms to share information across the world at speeds that are nearly instantaneous and practically for free. With this explosion of information has been a concerted effort on the parts of firms, governments, and…
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    Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

  • Quote of the day: Paul Volcker on the new two year delay in implementing his eponymous rule.

    Jared Bernstein
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:05 pm
    As Bloomberg puts it, what with the diminished oversight on derivatives in the budget bill and this new announcement by the Federal Reserve re a two-year delay in the Volcker rule, this holiday season is shaping up to be the best one yet for the financial sector. Recall that the Volcker rule is the part of Dodd-Frank that prevents federally insured banks from trading their own books in securities that put taxpayers and the broader financial system at risk. Bloomberg: Banks added to their wins in Washington this month by getting a reprieve from the Volcker Rule that will let them hold onto…
  • Musical interlude: OK, let the holiday season begin…

    Jared Bernstein
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:12 am
    …with Lou Rawls, of course, just like last year.
  • Keep the government out of my Obamacare!

    Jared Bernstein
    17 Dec 2014 | 9:44 am
    Over at PostEverything.
  • A quick note on the Fed meeting and the need for “patience” for a “considerable time.”

    Jared Bernstein
    17 Dec 2014 | 6:10 am
    As the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meets today to decide their path for monetary policy, there’s great focus on whether they’ll change a few key words of their guidance language. Specifically, will they drop “considerable time” from the sentence wherein the telegraph their thinking about how long they’ll hold interest rates at around zero? EG, from their last FOMC statement (my bold): The Committee anticipates, based on its current assessment, that it likely will be appropriate to maintain the 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable…
  • An idea whose time has come: raise the federal gas tax. Also, an important, new-ish trend.

    Jared Bernstein
    16 Dec 2014 | 6:20 am
    Here’s an argument–raising the federal gas tax that’s been stuck at $0.18/gallon since 1993–that IMHO should be highly resonant right now with progressives, environmentalists, fiscally responsible types, those with common sense, and anyone else I’ve left out. Anyway, it’s over at PostEverything. There’s even some bipartisan support for the idea. Let me add two pictures I left out of the piece. First, FWIW (and who knows, really?), here’s EIA’s forecast for gas prices over the next year. If they’re right, that’s another reason…
 
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    Freakonomics

  • Unintended Consequences of Anti-Police Protests in New York

    Stephen J. Dubner
    18 Dec 2014 | 10:35 am
    1. According to the New York Post: “The NYPD is pulling detectives from homicides and other investigations to help deal with the endless barrage of anti-cop protests in the city, law-enforcement sources told The Post Monday.” 2. The anti-police protests are, in one way at least, rewarding the very police officers whom the protestors wish to punish, with nearly $23 million in overtime going to cover “the equivalent of 38,700 tours of duty since Dec. 3,” according to commissioner Bill Bratton. 3. The protests have also led most New York precincts to cancel their Christmas…
  • Time to Take Back the Toilet Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    18 Dec 2014 | 7:00 am
    This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Time to Take Back the Toilet” [MUSIC: Johnny Sangster, “Fastbook”] DUBNER: Hey podcast listeners, before today’s show begins, I want to ask you to think back on all the stories we’ve brought you in the past year. Like when we talked about how failure can be your friend. KLEIN: I failed for the first five or seven years. Now I look back and I say why did I keep going that long? Because of the shame, I didn’t want to admit failure. DUBNER:We also talked about how great it is to admit what you don’t know. KID: I…
  • Time to Take Back the Toilet: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Stephen J. Dubner
    18 Dec 2014 | 7:00 am
    (Photo: Kevin Zamani) We’re not asking that using a public restroom be a pleasant experience, but are there ways to make it less miserable? That’s one of the questions we ask in our latest Freakonomics Radio episode, “Time to Take Back the Toilet.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) Public bathrooms are noisy, poorly designed, and often nonexistent. In this episode, we explore the…
  • Please Lend Your Voice to an Upcoming Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Stephen J. Dubner
    16 Dec 2014 | 7:00 am
    Would you like to hear your voice on a future Freakonomics Radio episode? Hope so! Here are the details: We recently put out a two-part episode on education reform, the first on teacher skill and the second on a community-based project called Pathways to Education. The response from listeners was huge — and, often, very opinionated. It seems as though everyone had a concrete idea for the one thing that would really improve our education system. So we’ve decided to make an episode about … what you think is the one thing that would really improve our education system. If all…
  • The Troubled Cremation of Stevie the Cat: A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

    Stephen J. Dubner
    11 Dec 2014 | 7:00 am
    If there’s a death in your family and you choose to have your loved one cremated, wouldn’t you expect that the remains that are returned to you belong specifically to your beloved? Of course you would! Would you expect the same if the dearly departed happens to be the family pet? I suspect the answer is still yes. But in the fast-growing pet-cremation business, how do you know that the remains you’re getting back are indeed from your pet? This week’s podcast is a rebroadcast of our episode called “The Troubled Cremation of Stevie the Cat.” (You can subscribe to the…
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    Credit Writedowns

  • A Brave New World

    Niels Jensen
    17 Dec 2014 | 4:37 am
    By Niels Jensen The Absolute Return Letter, December 2014 The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence.” Aldous HuxleyIn the the last two Absolute Return Letters I have argued why one should expect global GDP growth to be below average over the next decade or so, why interest rates should, as a consequence, remain low and why equity returns should also disappoint. Not as in negative returns but below the levels we have grown accustomed to over the past 30 years. If you have read those two letters, none of this should come as a surprise. This letter will make…
  • My reading of the FT on China’s “turning away from the dollar”

    Michael Pettis
    17 Dec 2014 | 4:34 am
    By Michael Pettis The Financial Times ran a very interesting article last week called “China: Turning away from the dollar”. It got a lot of attention, at least among China analysts, and I was asked several times by friends and clients for my response. The authors, James Kynge and Josh Noble, begin their article by noting that we are going through significant changes in the institutional structure of global finance: An “age of Chinese capital”, as Deutsche Bank calls it, is dawning, raising the prospect of fundamental changes in the way the world of finance is wired. Not only is…
  • How might a China slowdown affect the world?

    Michael Pettis
    2 Dec 2014 | 8:02 am
    By Michael Pettis Two years ago it was hard to find analysts who expected average GDP growth over the rest of this decade to be less than 8%. The current consensus seems to have dropped to between 6% and 7% on average. I don’t think Beijing disagrees. After assuring us Tuesday that China’s economy – which is growing a little slower than the 7.5% target and, is expected to slow further over the rest of the year – was nonetheless “operating within a reasonable range”, in his Tianjin speech on Wednesday Premier Li suggested again that the China’s 7.5% growth target is not a hard…
  • Consumption taxes, inflation and low wage growth in Japan lead to recession

    Edward Harrison
    17 Nov 2014 | 5:13 am
    The following is an abbreviated version of a post from Credit Writedowns Pro from 7 Nov 2014 I caught a chart from a Martin Wolf missive that I thought was quite astonishing. This chart shows central bank assets relative to economic output making an absolutely hockey stick-style increase in Japan in the wake of Abenomics. I don’t know yet what exactly to make of this chart but I want to use this column to work out some of my thinking associated with it. My hope is to use this as fodder for a segment I want to do on the TV show I produce. The Martin Wolf message was as follows: So what…
  • Central banks, inflation, currency wars and the Japanese experiment

    Edward Harrison
    17 Nov 2014 | 5:02 am
    The following is an abbreviated version of a post from 31 Oct 2014 at Credit Writedowns Pro Coming on the heels of the US Federal Reserve’s announcement that it would stop expanding its balance sheet with large scale asset purchases, the Bank of Japan’s announcement was music to the ears of Japanese equities investors. And shares in Japan promptly rose 4.8% on the news. The larger question, however, is whether QE is effective either at shaping future inflation or inflation expectations or at increasing nominal and real GDP. The evidence is equivocal. And so Japan presents a unique…
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    Liberty Street Economics

  • Just Released: New Source for Perspective on Regional Household Debt and Credit

    Blog Author
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:15 am
    Michael Gedal, Stephanie Rosoff, and Joelle Scally The New York Fed has released a new product—the Household Debt and Credit Report for the Second District—which tracks consumer credit conditions in the tri-state area. Our readers are already familiar with our Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, which primarily tracks credit measures—including balances, delinquencies, and new originations—aggregated to the national level. This report will provide a detailed examination of borrowing and repayment behavior on an ongoing basis for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and…
  • Historical Echoes: Santa Claus as Legal Tender

    Blog Author
    19 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    Megan Cohen From 1793 until 1861, when the U. S. Treasury Department was given exclusive rights to produce legal tender, thousands of different styles of bank notes were created by U.S. banks. The banks all based their currencies on standardized units, but in most every other way the notes differed wildly—colorful versus monochromatic, and graphics ranging from stock images to almost any concept one could imagine.      During the unregulated 19th century, a variety of banks issued their own holiday-themed currency. One popular figure featured on many bills was Santa…
  • Global Asset Prices and the Taper Tantrum Revisited

    Blog Author
    8 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    Jan GroenGlobal asset market developments during the summer of 2013 have been attributed to changes in the outlook for U.S. monetary policy, starting with former Chairman Bernanke’s May 22 comments concerning future curtailing of the Federal Reserve’s asset purchase programs. A previous post found that the signal of a possible change in U.S. monetary policy coincided with an increase in global risk aversion which put downward pressure on global asset prices. This post revisits this episode by measuring the impact of changes in Fed’s expected policy rate path and in the economic outlook…
  • Survey Measures of Expectations for the Policy Rate

    Blog Author
    5 Dec 2014 | 9:05 am
    Richard Crump, Emanuel Moench, William O'Boyle, Matthew Raskin, Carlo Rosa, and Lisa Stowe Second in a two-part series Market prices provide timely information on policy expectations. But as we emphasized in our previous post, they can deviate from investors’ expectations of the most likely path because they embed risk premiums and represent probability-weighted averages over different possible paths. In contrast, surveys explicitly ask respondents for their views on the likely path of economic variables. In this post, we highlight two surveys conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New…
  • Interest Rate Derivatives and Monetary Policy Expectations

    Blog Author
    5 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    Richard Crump, Emanuel Moench, William O'Boyle, Matthew Raskin, Carlo Rosa, and Lisa Stowe First in a two-part series Market expectations of the path of future policy rates can have important implications for financial markets and the economy. Because interest rate derivatives enable market participants to hedge against or speculate on potential changes in various short-term U.S. interest rates, they are a rich and timely source of information on market expectations. In this post, we describe how information about market expectations can be derived from interest rate futures and…
 
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    The Incidental Economist

  • Cough medicine ain’t what it used to be

    Austin Frakt
    20 Dec 2014 | 7:00 am
    Via djinn and juice: @afrakt
  • Healthcare Triage News: Bike Safety is Legit, Y’all!

    Aaron Carroll
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:19 pm
    It’s all bike safety today! New studies and old on Healthcare Triage News: Here’s some further reading: Effects of bicycle helmet laws on children’s injuries Safety effects of permanent running lights for bicycles: A controlled experiment Bicycle Injury Interventions: Bicycle Helmet Effectiveness @aaronecarroll
  • How to help get Medicare and Medicaid research data back

    Austin Frakt
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:21 am
    As we’ve highlighted the suppression of substance use related Medicare and Medicaid research data, people have asked how they can help rectify the situation. The answer, from AcademyHealth: Please share stories of research findings and evidence-based, improvements in care that would not have been possible, or will not be possible in the future, without these identifiable data at advocacy@academyhealth.org! We will use these examples as we make a compelling case to the administration and other policymakers for these data’s release. We must gather compelling evidence that the suppressed…
  • Want to get depressed about infectious disease preparedness?

    Aaron Carroll
    19 Dec 2014 | 5:51 am
    I was perusing this RWJF sponsored report, “Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases”: The Ebola outbreak has been a major wake-up call to the United States — highlighting serious gaps in the country’s ability to manage severe disease outbreaks and contain their spread. It is alarming that many of the most basic infection disease controls failed when tested. After more than a decade of focus on preparing for public health emergencies in the wake of the September 11 and anthrax tragedies, there have been troubling errors, lapses and scrambles to…
  • What to do about the opioid epidemic

    Austin Frakt
    19 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    The following was originally posted on the AcademyHealth blog earlier this year. Long understood by some clinicians and policymakers, there is growing awareness of America’s opiate use crisis, and renewed efforts to do something about it. A few statistics serve to make the case that use of opioids is a serious problem in the U.S.: Opioid use is now the leading cause of substance use-related ambulatory visits. The number of fatal drug overdoses doubled between 1999 and 2010; deaths from opioid pain relievers account for most of that increase, quadrupling between 1999 and 2010. Overdose…
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    LewRockwell

  • Putin Is Right

    Gerald Celente
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Global forecaster Gerald Celente said Russian President Vladimir Putin was right when he stated today that the West targeted Russia long before the current crisis with Ukraine. In fact, Celente reported almost a year ago that the U.S. had waged a propaganda and misinformation war against Russia. Putin insisted today: “It’s not payback for Crimea. It’s the cost of our natural desire to preserve Russia as a nation, a civilization and a state.” Celente agrees. He points to an extensive analysis in the Spring 2014 edition of his Trends Journal,”Stoking a war that…
  • What’s the Big Deal?

    Scott Lazarowitz
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Recent polls show that, despite the Senate’s torture report, most Americans still support the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of torture on suspects. Obviously the mainstream media misinform the public, neglecting to tell them that such torture techniques do not even produce reliable information and are mainly used to extract false confessions from innocent detainees. And on the National Security Agency’s spying on innocent Americans, people love it, and then they hate it, and now they’re back to loving it again. Alas, Most people are ignorant of the actual…
  • The Menace of Egalitarianism

    Murray N. Rothbard
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:01 pm
    [This article is excerpted from the title essay and the introduction to the first edition of Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays.] This essay was delivered at a conference on human differentiation held by the Institute for Humane Studies at Gstaad, Switzerland, in the summer of 1972. A fundamental reason and grounding for liberty are the ineluctable facts of human biology; in particular, the fact that each individual is a unique person, in many ways different from all others. If individual diversity were not the universal rule, then the argument for liberty would be…
  • Report Police Abuse Without Fear

    No Author
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:01 pm
    This article by Steve Silverman originally appeared April 5, 2012 in Reason.com. It’s been updated to include new information regarding recent rulings in favor of citizens’ right to record. Last week the City of Boston agreed to pay Simon Glik $170,000 in damages and legal fees to settle a civil rights lawsuit stemming from his 2007 felony arrest for videotaping police roughing up a suspect. Prior to the settlement, the First Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that Glik had a “constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public.” The…
  • Alcohol as Medicine?

    No Author
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Those who eat a balanced and wholesome diet should seldomly become ill. Healthy people are usually able to combat minor infections without showing any symptoms. However, even healthy people become sick when their exposure to pathogens is persistent or they become too lax in their diets. Emotional stress can weaken the immune system too. Our usual recommendations about the avoidance of most sugars, and a diet featuring vegetables should be disregarded during sickness. While these healthy habits may be ideal for preventing illness, they can actually slow a body’s recovery when an…
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    Angry Bear

  • Investment and Interest Rates

    Robert Waldmann
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:08 am
    In a recent post, I noted that actual non-residential fixed capital investment doesn’t show the pattern one would expect based on optimizing models at all. Ugh that sentence was convoluted and so is the post it describes. In fact, the puzzling pattern is really very simple. Non residential fixed capital investment (nrfinv) is high when […]
  • Adair Turner understands better than Paul Krugman

    Edward Lambert
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:26 am
    After watching the new video with Adair Turner from a talk he gave at the Bristol Festival of Economics in November 2014, it is clear he understands the economic situation better than Paul Krugman. While Krugman tries to understand if inequality even leads to more financial instability (link), Turner knows that it does and the […]
  • Real price of oil.

    Spencer England
    18 Dec 2014 | 7:46 am
    Thought people would find this of interest.     This is not updated from September being the last observation. In 1999 when this bottomed West Texas Intermediate was under $12/bbl and gasoline was under $1/ gal.
  • Eleven richest Americans have all received government subsidies

    Kenneth Thomas
    17 Dec 2014 | 10:27 pm
    A new report by Good Jobs First shows how the very wealthy in America have benefited from government subsidies as one element in building their fortunes. According to the study, the 11 richest Americans, and 23 of the 25 richest, all have significant ownership in companies that have received at least $1 million in investment […]
  • Current Edge of Adair Turner’s Thinking

    Edward Lambert
    17 Dec 2014 | 3:40 pm
    This video was published on Youtube a week ago and has only had 27 views. The video is of a talk Adair Turner gave in November at the Bristol Festival of Economics. It reflects his current insights. He gives explanations for 4 big patterns developing in the global economy. Increased Inequality Rising ratio of wealth […]
 
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    Macro and Other Market Musings

  • Inflation Targeting's Big Wrinkle

    12 Dec 2014 | 12:52 pm
    Inflation-targeting central banks are in an awkward position. Their objective is to stabilize the rate of inflation, but they now face a development that could jeopardize it: the surge in oil production that is driving down oil prices. The decline in oil prices is a much-needed boon to the global economy, but it may also mean inflation temporarily drops beneath its targeted value.  What to do? David Wessel calls this development a wrinkle for central bankers:On balance, falling oil prices are welcomed by the world’s major central banks, but there is a wrinkle. Lower oil prices are good…
  • Institutional Money Asset Growth Remains Weak and It Matters

    10 Dec 2014 | 5:31 am
    Lawrence Goodman, head of the Center for Financial Stability, reminds us that institutional (or 'shadow banking' ) money growth remains weak. A large portion of these money assets disappeared during the crisis so this weak growth means there is still a sizable shortfall relative to its pre-crisis trend. Institutional money assets are an important part of the global financial system and there is a limit to how much of the shortfall can be offset by the growth in U.S. treasuries. So this is a big deal. One way to see its importance is to note that these assets function as an important…
  • Monday Morning 'Money Still Matters' Round Up

    8 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    As part of my effort to start blogging more regularly again, I plan to post every Monday morning a round-up of articles that remind us money and monetary policy still matter. This is is the first installment. The Jekyll and Hyde Monetary Views of the BIS. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard directs us to a recent BIS report that is concerned about what a Fed tightening cycle will do to the global economy. This is the same BIS that only a few months ago argued that the Fed's monetary policy was too loose and should be tightened. Yes, this is puzzling. Here is Evans-Pritchard summarizing the recent…
  • Are We Mismeasuring Productivity Growth?

    3 Dec 2014 | 3:22 pm
    I am in Washington, D.C. for the Future of U.S. Economic Growth conference at the CATO Institute. Brink Lindsey, the conference organizer, has put together a great group of speakers who will cover everything from secular stagnation to the singularity to the decline in economy dynamism. What makes this conference really interesting is that it has thoughtful participants on both sides of key issues. For example, there is an panel that  has both Erik Brynjolfsson and Robert Gordon on it. That should be fun to watch! I confess to coming in with strong priors on some of these issues--see my…
  • What Do John Cochrane, Paul Krugman, and Scott Sumner Have in Common?

    2 Dec 2014 | 10:03 pm
    What do John Cochrane, Paul Krugman, and Scott Sumner have in common? A lot more than you think. It would be easy to conclude otherwise based on the macroeconomic debates these three individuals have engaged in since the onset of the Great Recession. Each has certainly pushed a distinct policy objective, but underlying their macroeconomic prescriptions is an edifice of understanding that is complementary and points to a  fundamental agreement among them on the key determinants of aggregate demand. This commonality among them became clear to me over the past few months as I was reading…
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    niesr.ac.uk

  • Going straight - to the Work Programme - suits some prison leavers more than others

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

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

    MaxNathan
    27 Oct 2014 | 3:59 am
    Rory Cellan-Jones has a nice article on the BBC website on the prospects for the Government’s ‘Tech North’ initiative, building extensively from my work with Emma Vandore on Tech City in London. Here’s some further thoughts.
  • The real policy challenge - under-utilisation of migrants' skills

    HeatherRolfe
    30 Sep 2014 | 2:46 am
    Much has been made of Ed Miliband’s failure to deliver sections of his conference speech on the economy and on immigration. But he didn’t forget to repeat the policy first announced just before the party’s 2013 conference to require employers to recruit an apprentice for every non-EU migrant they employ:  ‘If you want to bring in a worker from outside the European Union, that’s OK, but you must provide apprenticeships to the next generation’
  • Real Devolution: The Power to Borrow - Reply

    MoniqueEbell
    23 Sep 2014 | 7:30 am
    In our recent paper on devolution we argue that real power requires granting UK regions the ability to borrow in addition to tax and spending powers. In a blog post, Tony Yates suggested that this would in fact create the same mess as the Euro zone.
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    Bruegel - Latest Updates

  • European banking union and financial integration

    19 Dec 2014 | 7:13 am
    At a famous summit in June 2012, the European leaders announced that they intend to “break the vicious circle” between banks and sovereigns. This decision started a new step in European integration. Arguably, the creation of the so-called banking union constitutes the most significant deepening of policy integration since the start of the euro. The aim of the banking union was to make the financial system more resilient and decrease the link between banks and states. To achieve this, three major steps needed to be undertaken: first, bank supervision had to be moved from the national to…
  • High Growth Firms and Job Creation in Europe

    18 Dec 2014 | 6:12 am
    While all forms of entrepreneurship play a critical role in the economy, a growing body of evidence has shown that it is the high-growth firms that are the key drivers of innovation and job creation. As shown in this report by the Kauffman Foundation, by and large, job creation has come from young firms (about two thirds, focusing in the US). With a broader sample of countries, this report by the OECD also confirms that young firms are the main contributors to net job creation in an economy. As it is presented, despite the fact that majority of the employment is in older…
  • 30% of the Euro Area HICP basket is now in outright deflation

    18 Dec 2014 | 6:02 am
    It’s the week before Christmas, and it has certainly not been a reassuring week for the ECB. The staff projections for HICP inflation for the Euro area were lowered to only 0.7% in 2015 and 1.3% in 2016, and HICP inflation for Germany was confirmed at +0.5% for November 2014 and at +0.4% for France. Most importantly, French core inflation turned into the negative territory for the first time since the French statistical office started measuring it (i.e. since 1990). Also, the massive plunge in Brent oil prices (-25% since September 2014) is still not reflected in the…
  • The fall of real wages in Japan

    17 Dec 2014 | 5:54 am
    A big question for the success or failure of the new economic policy strategy being implemented by Japanese Prime Minister Abe is the development in wages. A sustained drop in real wages would undermine the purchasing power of households and make sustainably higher inflation, consumption and growth difficult. In this blogpost we document that nominal wages have not kept up with the increase in inflation. In fact, the gap widened substantially prior to the consumption tax hike and the tax hike itself has further aggravated the picture (see graph).  Note: Seasonally-adjusted data. Nominal…
  • Licht- und Schattenseiten einer Gemeinsamen Arbeitslosenversicherung

    17 Dec 2014 | 1:51 am
    Das Problem: Die Arbeitslosigkeit in Europa ist in große Höhen angestiegen. Gleichzeitig bleibt das Wirtschaftswachstum gedämpft. Deshalb ist es an der Zeit, eine Debatte über mögliche zusätzliche wirtschaftspolitische Instrumente anzustoßen, um diese Probleme anzugehen. Die so genannten automatischen fiskalischen Stabilisatoren - also höhere Staatsausgaben in Zeiten der Krise - haben nicht für eine ausreichende Stabilisierung gesorgt, und zwar weder in den Krisenländern noch in der Eurozone insgesamt. Verschiedene Präferenzen und historische Entwicklungen haben zudem dazu…
 
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    TaxVox

  • Magical Thinking on Tax Reform

    William G. Gale
    18 Dec 2014 | 11:34 am
    Everybody loves the idea of tax reform. And tax reform can be very good policy. But advocates often turn to magical thinking about how good tax reform can be, and a recent column by George Will offers two examples of this problem. First, Will writes that “if America’s long-term economic growth [rate] were 3.5 percent, the result would be the restoration of cheerfulness. If long-term growth is closer to 2 percent, the result will be continuing social disappointment and political crankiness.” He then implies that the sweeping tax reform plan proposed by Rep. Dave Camp, (R-MI), the…
  • Clip ‘N Save: Orrin Hatch’s Tax Reform Principles

    Howard Gleckman
    18 Dec 2014 | 10:18 am
    In a few weeks, veteran Utah Republican Orrin Hatch will become chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Soon after, the panel may begin tackling tax reform. While there is good reason to be skeptical about how far a tax code rewrite will get in the next Congress, it is worth keeping track of Hatch’s views on the subject. In a Senate speech on Tuesday, he laid out his seven principles for reform. None are a surprise, all are generic, and several are contradictory. But that’s the nature of rewriting the revenue code—balancing many meritorious goals that cannot all be achieved. For the…
  • They Saved the Must-Pass for Last

    Renu Zaretsky
    17 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    Congress has adjourned. The Daily Deduction will post on Mondays until the 114th Congress convenes.    Expired tax breaks: Renewed for 2014. Last night the Senate passed a $42 billion package of expired tax breaks by a vote of 76-16. In two weeks’ time, the tax breaks will expire. Again. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden wanted to extend the tax breaks through 2015 and open the door for a broader tax overhaul. He voted against the bill, saying “Congress is turning in its tax homework eleven and a half months late and expects to earn full credit. The next chair of the…
  • The War on the IRS

    Howard Gleckman
    16 Dec 2014 | 11:58 am
    The massive 2015 spending bill that President Obama is likely to sign this week continues an ongoing effort to trash the Internal Revenue Service.  It is a cynical recipe for a self-fulfilling disaster: Give the agency more and more work. Cut its budget. Blame it for failing to do its job. Repeat. House GOP Appropriators bragged that this year’s IRS budget is the lowest since 2008. But it is actually worse than that. In inflation adjusted dollars, the agency’s funding is lower than it has been since 1998, when Buffy was still slaying vampires and people were listening to Aerosmith before…
  • The Senate Keeps Working…

    Renu Zaretsky
    16 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    Still on deck in the Senate: It is expected this week to renew dozens of expired tax breaks, including tax cuts for business research, wind power, and foreign profits. It’s worth remembering that if a $42 billion package like this gets passed every year, the federal deficit could grow by $800 billion over ten years. Some tax specifics on that spending bill that the President will soon sign: The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 would give the IRS a budget of $10.95 billion—that’s $346 million less than last year. It would extend the Internet Tax Freedom Act,…
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    Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

  • In Case You Missed It . . .

    CBPP
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:05 am
    Off the Charts will slow down for the next couple of weeks, but we’ll be back on our regular schedule when we return after New Year’s.  We wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season. This week on Off the Charts, we focused on health care, the safety net, and federal taxes. On health care, Paul Van de Water explained that the emerging Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement needs changes to protect access to affordable drugs. Matt Broaddus reported continued gains in health coverage this year, especially among states that have adopted health reform’s Medicaid expansion.
  • Let Ineffective “Bonus Depreciation” Die Next Year

    Chuck Marr
    18 Dec 2014 | 12:06 pm
    We strongly agree with today’s Washington Post editorial that calls on policymakers to let the “bonus depreciation” tax break, which they extended for a year in the recent “tax extenders” package, expire next year. Bonus depreciation lets businesses take bigger upfront deductions for certain purchases such as machinery and equipment.  As our report explains, Congress enacted it on a temporary basis in 2008 to bolster the economy during the Great Recession, not to make it a permanent part of the tax code or extend it year after year. The House, however, voted earlier this year to…
  • Trade Agreement Needs to Protect Access to Affordable Drugs

    Paul N. Van de Water
    18 Dec 2014 | 7:02 am
    AARP, the AFL-CIO, Doctors Without Borders, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, and Oxfam have written President Obama expressing several concerns — which we share — about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement that the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries are negotiating.  The proposed agreement requires changes to avoid reducing access to affordable drugs both in the United States and abroad, they explain.  Here are three excerpts: “[T]he intellectual property (IP) provisions that the U.S. Trade Representative has proposed fail to strike a proper…
  • Further Health Coverage Gains, Especially in Medicaid Expansion States

    Matt Broaddus
    17 Dec 2014 | 11:08 am
    The number of uninsured Americans fell by 6.8 million over the first two quarters of 2014, preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Health Interview Survey show.  These are the most up-to-date government survey data on the early impacts of health reform’s major coverage expansions, which took effect in January.  And they show a widening coverage gap between states that have adopted health reform’s Medicaid expansion and other states. Superseding earlier CDC estimates, the new figures that the CDC released yesterday include the second…
  • Tennessee Proposal Shows Growing Momentum for Medicaid Expansion

    Jesse Cross-Call
    16 Dec 2014 | 9:44 am
    Contrary to some predictions, November’s election results haven’t stalled momentum among states to adopt health reform’s Medicaid expansion.  Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam yesterday became the sixth governor — and third Republican — in the past two months to announce an expansion plan.  Twenty-seven states and Washington, D.C. have already expanded (see map). If the federal government and Tennessee’s legislature approve it, Governor Haslam’s “Insure Tennessee” plan would extend coverage to more than 200,000 uninsured Tennesseans through a demonstration project, or…
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    Eschaton

  • So Many Sixth Boroughs

    20 Dec 2014 | 7:30 am
    Never change, New York Times.
  • Saturday Lizard Blogging

    20 Dec 2014 | 6:36 am
    Why not.
  • Morning Thread

    20 Dec 2014 | 3:07 am
    Our friend, Digby is holding her annual fundraiser.  If anyone has been good and should get a Christmas present, it is she.
  • Cat Thread

    19 Dec 2014 | 7:10 pm
    How many humans respond to climate change:Please change the program:  Colbert is done
  • Friday Night

    19 Dec 2014 | 3:15 pm
    This has been a pretty stupid year.
 
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Sokal: “science is not merely a bag of clever tricks . . . Rather, the natural sciences are nothing more or less than one particular application — albeit an unusually successful one — of a more general rationalist worldview”

    Andrew
    20 Dec 2014 | 6:53 am
    Alan Sokal writes: We know perfectly well that our politicians (or at least some of them) lie to us; we take it for granted; we are inured to it. And that may be precisely the problem. Perhaps we have become so inured to political lies — so hard-headedly cynical — that we have lost our ability to become appropriately outraged. We have lost our ability to call a spade a spade, a lie a lie, a fraud a fraud. Instead we call it “spin”. We have now travelled a long way from “science,” understood narrowly as physics, chemistry, biology and the like. But the whole point is that any such…
  • The Use of Sampling Weights in Bayesian Hierarchical Models for Small Area Estimation

    Andrew
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:47 am
    All this discussion of plagiarism is leaving a bad taste in my mouth (or, I guess I should say, a bad feeling in my fingers, given that I’m expressing all this on the keyboard) so I wanted to close off the workweek with something more interesting. I happened to come across the above-titled paper by Cici Chen, Thomas Lumley, and Jon Wakefield. I haven’t had a chance to read it in detail but these people know what they’re doing and so it seems like it could be worth a look. And here’s some related work: - On the applied side, this paper with Yair in the American Journal…
  • Defense by escalation

    Andrew
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:40 am
    Basbøll has another post regarding some copying-without-attribution by the somewhat-famous academic entertainer Slavoj Zizek. In his post, Basbøll links to theologian and professor Adam Kotsko (cool: who knew there were still theologians out and about in academia?) who defends Zizek, in part on the grounds that Zizek’s critics were being too harsh. Kotsko writes of “another set of trumped-up complaints about [Zizek’s] supposed ‘self-plagiarism.’ Apparently he needs to write things fresh every single time he publishes, or else he’s doing something akin to the…
  • Message to Booleans: It’s an additive world, we just live in it

    Andrew
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:06 am
    Boolean models (“it’s either A or (B and C)”) seem to be the natural way that we think, but additive models (“10 points if you have A, 3 points if you have B, 2 points if you have C”) seem to describe reality better—at least, the aspects of reality that I study in my research. Additive models come naturally to political scientists and economists, including myself. We think of your political attitudes, for example, as a sum of various influences (as for example in this paper with Yair). Similarly for economists’ models of decisions in terms of latent…
  • Hey, I just wrote my April Fool’s post!

    Andrew
    17 Dec 2014 | 3:20 pm
    (scheduled to appear in a few months, of course). I think you’ll like it. Or hate it. Depending on who you are. The post Hey, I just wrote my April Fool’s post! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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    macroblog

  • Exploring the Increasingly Widespread Decline in Involuntary Part-Time Work

    macroblog
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:21 pm
    We at the Atlanta Fed have been arguing for some time that the unusually large number and share of workers employed part-time but wanting full-time work (counted in the Current Population Survey as part-time for economic reasons, or PTER) partly reflects slack in the labor market that is not reflected in the official unemployment statistics. We are in good company. Chair Yellen reiterated this view in her prepared remarks during Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee press conference. The good news is that the stock of PTER workers has declined by around 900,000 during the last year…
  • The Long and Short of Falling Energy Prices

    macroblog
    4 Dec 2014 | 1:29 pm
    Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal asked the $1.36 trillion question: Lower Gas Prices: How Big A Boost for the Economy? We will take that as a stand-in for the more general question of how much the U.S. economy stands to gain from a drop in energy prices more generally. (The "$1.36 trillion" refers to an estimate of energy spending by the U.S. population in 2012.) It's nice to be contemplating a question that amounts to pondering just how good a good situation can get. But, as the Journal blog item suggests, the rising profile of the United States as an energy producer is making the…
  • And the Winner Is...Full-Time Jobs!

    macroblog
    24 Nov 2014 | 11:29 am
    Each month, the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) surveys about 60,000 households and asks people 15 years and older whether they are employed and, if so, if they are working full-time or part-time. The...
  • For Middle-Skill Occupations, Where Have All the Workers Gone?

    macroblog
    20 Nov 2014 | 5:56 am
    Considerable discussion in recent years has concerned the “hollowing out of the middle class.” Part of that story revolves around the loss of the types of jobs that traditionally have been the core of the U.S. economy: so-called middle-skill jobs. These jobs, based on the methodology of David Autor, consist of office and administrative occupations; sales jobs; operators, fabricators, and laborers; and production, craft, and repair personnel (many of whom work in the manufacturing industry). In this post, we don't examine why the decline in middle-skill jobs has occurred, just how…
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • The fiscal-monetary mix

    chris
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:26 am
    In my previous post, I pointed out that, given the inflation target, a less tight fiscal policy implies higher official interest rates. This means that the choice between the two main parties isn't just about fiscal policy, but about the fiscal-monetary mix: Labour offers looser fiscal and tighter* money than the Tories. Which poses the question: what should be the right mix? Simon is, of course, right: It is stupid to commit to further significant fiscal contraction (‘austerity’) when interest rates are still at or close to their lower bound. It means we become more vulnerable to…
  • Deficits & interest rates

    chris
    16 Dec 2014 | 6:16 am
    I fear that the argument between Robert Peston on the one hand and Simon, Paul and Alex on the other about the relationship between government borrowing and interest rates is understating something important. I agree with Robert's critics that interest rates are not determined by bond vigilantes or confidence fairies - at least for the UK at current debt levels. But there is a different reason to think that a looser fiscal policy would lead to higher rates. Quite simply, looser fiscal policy would lead to higher aggregate demand and hence to a smaller output gap. If you believe - as the…
  • Political illiteracy

    chris
    12 Dec 2014 | 6:33 am
    Alex is right: The debate over the economy occurring within the Westminster bubble may now have become completely detached from anything that is happening in what the rest of us would recognise as the economy...The everyday “reality” as it is experienced by the rest of us has ceased to be relevant to the debate. But I wonder: is the problem here merely one of economic illiteracy, or is it also one of political illiteracy too? Here's what I mean. The reason why many of us fear that deficit reduction is infeasible lies in the paradox of thrift; if enough people try to reduce their…
  • Miliband's illusion of control

    chris
    11 Dec 2014 | 5:15 am
    One of the oldest and best-attested cognitive biases is the illusion of control - our tendency to over-estimate our ability to control events.Ed Miliband's speech on the deficit was an example of this bias. He omitted to state what should be obvious, that the government is not in control of the public finances; if it were, the errors in borrowing forecasts, even in times of economic stability, would not have been as huge as they have been. Instead, the government can only reduce its net borrowing if the rest of the economy - households, companies and foreigners - want to reduce their net…
  • For worker control

    chris
    10 Dec 2014 | 5:57 am
    Neal Lawson is absolutely right. Social democracy is "hopelessly prepared for the 21st century." This is because it is yet another example of an idea that has outlived its usefulness. Social democrats used to think that they did not need to challenge the fundamental power structures of capitalism because, with a few good top-down economic and social policies, capitalism could be made to deliver increased benefits for workers and the poor in terms both of rising real wages and better public services. But Neal is right. The "golden era" in which this was true has vanished.
 
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    Moneybox

  • The Maker of Hellmann’s Just Dropped an Absurd Lawsuit Over the Definition of Mayonnaise

    Alison Griswold
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:02 pm
    Lest you think making mayo isn’t a science—it is. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines mayonnaise as an “emulsified semisolid food” made with vegetable oil, at least one of several specific “acidifying ingredients,” and one or more “egg-yolk containing ingredients.” Which is why Unilever, the multinational food corporation behind Hellmann's, in November decided to sue vegan (read: egg-free) mayo company and competitor Hampton Creek. Well, on Thursday the mayo wars ended almost as abruptly as they began when Unilever said that it had withdrawn its lawsuit. Unilever VP…
  • Here’s the Problem With That $35 Billion Instagram Valuation

    Alison Griswold
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:56 am
    Instagram is the hot startup of the day after landing a whopping $35 billion valuation from analysts at Citigroup this morning. “Using what we believe to be conservative assumptions around user growth and monetization,” Citi writes in a new report, “we believe Instagram is worth $35bn—up from the $19bn we had previously estimated.” The analysts cite “faster growth in its audience” and “continued monetization gains by social media properties” as two key reasons for the upgrade. The faster audience growth that Citi’s report is talking about refers to a recent announcement…
  • Office Parties Suck, but They’re Not Going Anywhere

    Rebecca Borison
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:22 am
    This article originally appeared in Inc. The heart of the office holiday party season is upon us. The event is a staple in today's work environment—which isn't necessarily a good thing. In the Harvard Business Review, Julia Kirby looks at the inherent flaws of the office party and questions why this tradition exists at all. "Perhaps it's time to rethink the point of the holiday party, and whether it's still having anything like its desired effect," she writes. Company managers and executives often think of the office party as being a good outlet for employees to…
  • Every Single Stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average Went Up Today

    Alison Griswold
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:03 pm
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average just had its best day since November 2011. It gained 421.28 points or 2.4 percent, and all 30 of its components rose. This was the second consecutive huge day for the stock market this week. On Wednesday, the Dow added nearly 300 points and it is up 497.32 points, or 2.9 percent, for the week. The S&P 500 index, a better benchmark of the overall market, also added 2.4 percent on Thursday and is up 2.9 percent for the week. The numbers are sort of hard to read, but you can see the nice upward curve in the Dow and the S&P in the charts from Yahoo!
  • America’s Wealth Gap Is Becoming a Wealth Chasm

    Alison Griswold
    18 Dec 2014 | 2:02 pm
    This week in the great wealth meltdown: Pew reports that the wealth gap between America's middle-income and upper-income families has never been greater in recorded history. In 2013, the median wealth of what Pew defines as a middle-income family was $96,500. The median wealth, or "nest egg," as Pew terms it, of an upper-income family was nearly seven times that: $639,400. The Federal Reserve began collecting the Survey of Consumer Finances data that Pew uses in its report in 1983, when the wealth gap between the median upper- and middle-income family was a factor of 3.4. Wealth,…
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    Economic Development Blog » Economic Development Blog -

  • Re‐envisioned Iowa Economic Development Roadmap in Battelle Report

    Economic Development HQ.com
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:00 am
    Governor Terry Branstad, joined by members of the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress (IPEP), released the findings of the Battelle Report that lays out Iowa’s re‐envisioned economic development roadmap. Battelle Report (photo – iowaeconomicdevelopment.com) The IPEP is a CEO-level advisory board co-chaired by Gov. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. In a statement announcing the release of the report, the Governor said they now have a roadmap for the future, thanks to the IPEP board and the Iowa Business Council. “These business leaders – in addition to their day…
  • Michigan Creates New Department of Talent and Economic Development

    Economic Development HQ.com
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:54 pm
    Governor Rick Snyder announced an executive order creating a Department of Talent and Economic Development and also the new Michigan Talent Investment Agency. The executive order also restructures several state departments. Photo – michigan.gov The aim of the reorganization is to put Michigan’s job creation and economic development efforts under one new department in order to leverage the state’s ability to build talent with in-demand skills while helping businesses in Michigan grow and thrive. The executive order authorizes the director of the Department of Talent and Economic…
  • BuzzFeed Expanding Manhattan HQ and Minneapolis Engineering Team

    Economic Development HQ.com
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:02 pm
    Social news and entertainment company BuzzFeed is moving into a new headquarters space in Manhattan and will create hundreds of new jobs in New York as part of the headquarters expansion project. BuzzFeed (photo – buzzfeed.com) BuzzFeed is taking up 200,000 square feet of space in the tower at 225 Park Avenue South formerly occupied by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is in turn relocating to 4WTC in Lower Manhattan. According to New York economic development agency Empire State Development, BuzzFeed considered several other locations around the country before…
  • Massachusetts Economic Development Incentives to Create and Retain 6187 Jobs

    Economic Development HQ.com
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:58 am
    At its latest quarterly meeting, the Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council approved economic development incentives for 18 projects that are expected to create 1,696 new jobs and retain 4,491 existing jobs. MA Statehouse Dome (photo – City of Boston Archives/Flickr) The incentives, provided through the Massachusetts Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) investment tax credit program, will help the projects leverage a combined total of $362 million in private investment and supporting construction projects. Out of the 18 projects, four are manufacturing retention…
  • Montana Tribal Nations Awarded Indian Country Economic Development Grants

    Economic Development HQ.com
    17 Dec 2014 | 10:08 pm
    Several tribes in Montana have been awarded funding under the Indian Country Economic Development (ICED) grant program. Flathead Nation Montana border (photo – jitze/flickr) Tribes in Montana including the Confederated Salish and Kootenai, Blackfeet, Little Shell, and Fort Belknap Indian Community received $65,000 each for their economic development projects. Governor Steve Bullock said in a release announcing the funding that the Indian Country Economic Development program honors their government-to-government relationship with every tribal nation in Montana, and also allows for…
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    Washington Center for Equitable Growth

  • Morning Must-Read: Heather Boushey: You Can’t Help Today’s Middle Class with 1930s-Era Policies

    Brad DeLong
    20 Dec 2014 | 5:04 am
    Heather Boushey: You can’t help today’s middle class with 1930s-era policies: “America’s families look very different today… …than a generation or two ago. Too many families fear they are falling out of the middle class or will never get there due to a combination of stagnating wages, rising and high levels of income and wealth inequality, and an increase in jobs with unpredictable schedules and too few benefits. Yet, our workplaces are matched to a very different time. The foundation for labor standards in the United States are grounded in a set of policies…
  • Morning Must-Read: Nick Bunker: Weekend Reading

    Brad DeLong
    20 Dec 2014 | 4:57 am
    Nick Bunker: Weekend reading: “Cardiff Garcia asks whether household formation… …will pick up…. Matt O’Brien argues that the bad news [for the Russian economy] won’t end any time soon…. Paul Krugman points to the large private-sector debts that Russia ran up…. Neil Irwin… countries with large social insurance states have the highest employment rates. Danielle Kurtzleben… the stark gender divide in low-wage work…. Dietz Vollrath… [on] the difficulty of calculating productivity growth in the service sector…
  • Things to Read at Night on December 19, 2014

    19 Dec 2014 | 4:12 pm
    Must- and Shall-Reads: Rick Mishkin and Eugene White: “We find that there were precedents for all of the unusual actions taken by the Fed. When these were successful… they followed contingent and target rules that permitted pre-emptive actions… but were combined with measures to mitigate moral hazard…” Barry Eichengreen: “The best thing the ECB could do to encourage fiscal consolidation and structural reform is to banish the specter of deflation… [by] full-bore quantitative easing can do that. Those who object that such audacity would discourage…
  • Weekend reading

    Nick Bunker
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:53 pm
    This is a weekly post we publish every Friday with links to articles we think anyone interested in equitable growth should read. We won’t be the first to share these articles, but we hope by taking a look back at the whole week we can put them in context. Household formation Cardiff Garcia asks whether household formation growth, and therefore the prospects for strong growth, will pick up in 2015. [ft alphaville] From Russia, with falling rubles The last week hasn’t been kind to the Russian economy. Matt O’Brien argues that the bad news won’t end any time soon. [wonkblog] How did this…
  • Qualitative editing

    Nick Bunker
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:22 am
    When you learn about the Federal Reserve in an introductory economics course, you’re told the central bank conducts monetary policy by buying and selling bonds. So a new student of economics could be forgiven for being confused by the reaction to this week’s meeting of the Federal Open Markets Committee, the Fed’s policymaking committee. No new purchases or sales of government bonds were announced. Rather the big news was the shuffling around of words. And at a deeper level, this proverbial new student should be confused because what this editing signaled is that it’s okay to raise…
 
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    Bankrate.com » Economics

  • What’s in the Fed’s gift bag?

    Mark Hamrick
    15 Dec 2014 | 6:26 am
    For anyone keenly interested in the nation's economy and financial markets, a full-fledged Federal Reserve meeting is a little like a present at holiday time. You're not exactly certain what you'll get, but you'll have more than you had before. Whether the information is actually useful a year from now is uncertain. This week's Fed
  • Podcast: Can you afford 2015?

    Holden Lewis
    15 Dec 2014 | 3:05 am
    In this podcast, Bankrate's Washington bureau chief, Mark Hamrick, talks with his guests about where the economy is headed and how we should prepare.
  • Retail sales gains spread cheer

    Mark Hamrick
    11 Dec 2014 | 8:35 am
    The retail report is the proverbial hot mess of numbers because of sales by auto dealers and gas stations, both moving in opposite directions.
  • Podcast: Shop smart, shop safe

    Doug Whiteman
    8 Dec 2014 | 3:05 am
    Learn how shoppers are taking full advantage of the Internet, and get tips on toy safety.
  • Ignoring the ruckus about retail

    Mark Hamrick
    8 Dec 2014 | 3:05 am
    Is retail really slumping, as post-Black Friday headlines suggested? This week could bring some clarity.
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    FiveThirtyEight » Economics | FiveThirtyEight

  • The Conventional Wisdom On Oil Is Always Wrong

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

    Oliver Roeder
    17 Dec 2014 | 12:20 pm
    The new economists are heading east this winter.Every January, soon-to-be economics doctorates invade a city, in search of employment; this year it’s Boston. The American Economics Association’s Annual Meeting is the discipline’s cattle call.Hundreds of wide-eyed, besuited, name-tagged graduate students will spend the first weekend of the new year racing from hotel room to hotel room, giving half-hour job interviews about their research papers, what they’re interested in teaching about and future projects. If they’re lucky, they’ll get a callback — typically a…
  • Should States Spend Billions To Reduce Class Sizes?

    Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux
    11 Dec 2014 | 4:38 am
    Last month, voters in Washington decided that the state’s classes were filled with too many kids. A ballot initiative seeking to limit class sizes to 17 students for kindergarten through third grade and to 25 students for all others squeaked by, garnering only 51 percent of the vote. But a majority is a majority, and now the state must cut class sizes at every grade level — meaning it needs to hire thousands of new teachers, counselors, teaching assistants and librarians.The initiative will cost nearly $5 billion through 2019, a hefty sum considering that the state’s current…
  • Before Detroit Can Move On, It Needs To Upgrade From Windows XP

    Ryan Felton
    9 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    One week into her new job as Detroit’s chief information officer, Beth Niblock had to deal with a pressing issue she probably hadn’t anticipated.A hacker froze a city database containing the personal information of 1,700 current and former employees of Detroit’s fire and EMS department, and demanded a ransom for its return. The hacker, Detroit’s mayor would later disclose, wanted 2,000 bitcoins for the effort — roughly $800,000.10Lucky for city officials, there was a backup database, so no data was lost. “While we do not believe any personal data has been compromised, the City…
  • Economists Aren’t As Nonpartisan As We Think

    Zubin Jelveh
    8 Dec 2014 | 4:53 am
    According to purists, the field of economics is supposed to be free of political ideology. Economics views itself as a science14 and the prevailing consensus, best articulated by Nobel-winner and Chicago-school doyen George Stigler, is that “the dominant influence” in economics “is the set of internal values and pressures of the discipline” which help keep it nonpartisan.And yet most well-known economists achieve their star status in the political sphere. The econowonks reading this could name the politics of economists Paul Krugman and Greg Mankiw without much hesitation. And a…
 
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    Economics and everyday life at EconLife.com

  • Weekly Roundup: From Old Age to Old Signatures

    Elaine Schwartz
    20 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    Our Posts Roundup   Sunday 12.14.14 The mystery of the missing magazines…more   Monday 12.15.14 Where Italian needs a connection…more   Tuesday 12.16.14 Which movie stars live longer…more   Wednesday 12.17.14 The Christmas music list that keeps repeating…more   Thursday 12.18.14 How a signature became very expensive…more   Friday 12.19.14 When a Porsche becomes a necessity…more Ideas Roundup economic …
  • Why Russians Are Rushin’ to Buy Porsches

    Elaine Schwartz
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:30 am
    Rather than saving during tough economic times, the Russians are spending because the ruble is displaying fewer characteristics of money.
  • The Story of a Very Expensive Signature

    Elaine Schwartz
    18 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    Since Button Gwinnett left behind few letters and documents, supply and demand made them valuable to collectors of Declaration of Independence Signers sets.
  • The Dow of Christmas Music

    Elaine Schwartz
    17 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    Like the Dow Industrial Average, the list of top Christmas music from Spotify, iHeartMedia and Billboard compose a large market that is big business.
  • Why Academy Award Winners Might Live Longer

    Elaine Schwartz
    16 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    Relating income inequality to the stress felt by low status Bolivian Tsimane men and academy award losers, researchers said that stress that harms health.
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    Vox - All

  • For the first time ever, the EPA is regulating coal ash waste from power plants

    Brad Plumer
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:38 pm
    For the first time ever, the EPA is regulating the ash waste that's left over after power plants burn coal. But many environmental groups are upset, arguing that the new rule is too weak to prevent future ash spills. Each year, US coal plants produce 110 million tons of coal ash, which can contain toxic elements and is stored in landfills and ponds nationwide. Those ash ponds have spilled before: In 2008, a storage unit in Tennessee ruptured, releasing 1.1 billion gallons of coal ash slurry into the surrounding area. North Carolina had its own big ash spill earlier this year. The…
  • This fish was just discovered at a record-breaking 26,000 feet under the sea

    Susannah Locke
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:10 pm
    Meet the deepest fish ever spotted. What is it? Well, the team thinks that it might be a snailfish, but isn't completely sure, Rebecca Morelle reports at the BBC. Life under miles and miles of water can be challenging. Anything beyond 200 meters is too dark for any photosynthesis. (This fish lives in pitch black.) And the pressures get extreme. An international research team discovered the fish during an unmanned-vehicle exploration of the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot in the seas. The trench is 6.8 miles deep, and only two manned missions have ever gone all the way to the bottom: one in…
  • Obamacare has not kill health insurance at work, survey finds

    Sarah Kliff
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Employers did not drop health insurance during the first year of Obamacare, a new survey shows. The new survey data could allay fears that companies will dump workers onto the new insurance exchanges to dodge paying premiums Employer coverage stays steady in 2014 One persistent Obamacare fear, for years now, has been that the new law would decimate the employer-sponsored insurance system. Why would companies waste money on buying coverage for their workers, the argument goes, when they could hand these people off to Obamacare's new exchanges? And some high profile companies like Walmart went…
  • Will artificial intelligence destroy humanity? Here are 5 reasons not to worry.

    Timothy B. Lee
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:50 pm
    Is the AI apocalypse near? Movies like the Terminator franchise and the Matrix have long portrayed dystopian futures where computers develop superhuman intelligence and destroy the human race — and there are also thinkers who think this kind of scenario is a real danger. We interviewed one of them, Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom, this summer. Others include singularity theorist Ray Kurzweil and Robin Hanson, an economist at George Mason University. But these thinkers overestimate the likelihood that we'll have computers as smart as human beings and exaggerate the…
  • The government may redefine what it means to be an employee — and it's a huge deal

    Danielle Kurtzleben
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:40 pm
    On Friday, the National Labor Relations Board issued complaints containing 78 charges against McDonald's. Among those are charges that McDonald's illegally threatened, fired, and cut the hours of employees who protested its wages. That's not just significant because it concerns a huge corporation involved in a high-profile fight over wages; it's a big deal because the NLRB's general counsel recognized McDonald's as a "joint employer" of its fry cooks and cashiers, meaning the company is considered the employer alongside the smaller franchises where those people work. This is just a…
 
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    Commentary - Money, Banking and Financial Markets

  • Higher capital requirements didn't slow the economy

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    15 Dec 2014 | 5:37 am
    During the debate over the 2010 Basel III regulatory reform, one of the biggest concerns was that higher capital requirements would damage economic growth. Pessimists argued that forcing banks to increase their capitalization would lower long-run growth permanently and that the transitional adjustment would impose an extra drag on the recovery from the Great Recession. Unsurprisingly, the private sector saw catastrophe, while the official sector was more positive.The Institute of International Finance’s (IIF) 2010 report is the most sensational example of the former and the Macroeconomic…
  • Should we really worry about currency wars?

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    8 Dec 2014 | 5:42 am
    In September 2010, Brazil’s former finance minister, Guido Mantega, made headlines when he accused the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England of engaging in a currency war.  The complaint was that easy monetary policy was driving down the value of the dollar, the euro and the pound, at the expense of his country and those like it. More recently, similar charges have been levied against Japan: namely, that the Bank of Japan’s extraordinary balance sheet expansion is aimed at driving down the value of the yen, damaging the country’s trading partners and…
  • Your Friend FRED

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    1 Dec 2014 | 6:24 am
    “Captain, we’re here. Why not avail ourselves of this opportunity for study? … No other vessel has been out this far.” Lt. Commander Data, Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Where No One Has Gone Before” (1987)If you are a student of economics – or an inquisitive android like Lt. Commander Data of Star Trek: TNG fame – then you have a great friend to help you understand the world: FRED.  The Federal Reserve Economic Database (FRED for short) is provided free of charge to the public by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. FRED currently includes more than 238,000 time…
  • The right direction

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    24 Nov 2014 | 5:36 am
    “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”Chinese proverb from Tao Te Ching.The recent international agreement to improve the loss-absorbing capacity of globally active banks is an important move in the right direction. But financial regulators should go significantly further to make these banks and the global financial system resilient.On November 10, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) proposed standards for global systemically important banks’ Total Loss Absorbing Capacity (TLAC). The idea behind TLAC is that, in addition to capital, large banks will be required to…
  • It's the leverage, stupid!

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    17 Nov 2014 | 5:53 am
    In the 30 months following the 2000 stock market peak, the S&P 500 fell by about 45%. Yet the U.S. recession that followed was brief and shallow. In the 21 months following the 2007 stock market peak, the equity market fell by a comparable 52%. This time was different: the recession that began in December 2007 was the deepest and longest since the 1930s.The contrast between these two episodes of bursting asset price bubbles ought to make you wonder. When should we really worry about asset price bubbles? In fact, the biggest concern is not bubbles per se; it is leverage. And, surprisingly,…
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    Credence Independent Advisors

  • Dow jumps 400 points and FTSE rises on Federal Reserve’s rates hint

    Yusuf Zaidan
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:59 am
    Comments from the chair of the Federal Reserve have propelled global stocks, buoyed by hopes that US monetary policy will remain unchanged. Signs that US interest rates will stay low for longer have offered a wave of relief for investors, buoying global stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 421.28 points, or 2.4pc, to close at 17,778.15 – its biggest one-day percentage gain since December 2011 – after Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve, indicated that rates would not rise as quickly as expected. The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 48.20 points, or 2.4pc, to…
  • Asia relieved by Wall St. bounce, upbeat Fed

    Paul Marwaha
    17 Dec 2014 | 11:33 pm
    (Reuters) – Asian share markets rallied on Thursday after U.S. stocks enjoyed their strongest session this year when the Federal Reserve sounded upbeat on the economy and promised to be patient in removing policy stimulus. The jitters of recent days also calmed a touch as Russia managed to stabilise its rouble, if only for now, and oil prices stopped plunging. As risk aversion ebbed, U.S. bond yields rose and the dollar regained some lost ground. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei .N225 jumped 2.3 percent, while stocks in Australia .AXJO climbed 1.0 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of…
  • India less vulnerable to rupee falls – policymaker

    Glenn Scott-Ellis
    16 Dec 2014 | 10:53 pm
    MUMBAI (Reuters) – India is less vulnerable than other emerging markets despite recent falls in the rupee because of improved fundamentals, including lower inflation, said a senior policymaker aware of the RBI’s thinking on exchange rates.. The Reserve Bank of India will also not target a level for the rupee and will allow the exchange rate to be market determined, the official added, reiterating the central bank’s policy. “We are less worried as overall market conditions are better, like fiscal condition is within control, current account deficit is low, inflation is…
  • Pensions ‘safety net’? Mine was cut by £145,000

    Dermot Crawford
    15 Dec 2014 | 11:55 pm
    The official pensions guarantee scheme won’t always protect every penny, while some industries are more exposed than others Thousands of workers with “gold-plated” final salary pensions see their retirement incomes cut when their former employer goes bust and the lifeboat scheme fails to pay the amount they expected. Envied by millions of people with less generous retirement arrangements, members of final salary schemes are an increasingly rare breed. These pensions are simply the best that Britain has to offer. But every year, thousands of workers who have built up these generous…
  • Accountants to devise standards to increase confidence in banks’ capital assessments

    Jamil Al Maani
    14 Dec 2014 | 10:59 pm
    ICAEW plans come as banking industry awaits first annual Bank of England health check. Plans are to be drawn up to give more confidence about the way banks measure their financial strength in the wake of the 2008 crisis. Accountants are to devise standards to measure a key element of the way banks assess how much capital they need to hold, in an attempt to address the concerns of investors and regulators about methods currently being used. The move by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, comes as the banking industry awaits the results of the first annual health check…
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    Republic 3.0

  • The right 2016 message on inequality

    Anne Kim
    18 Dec 2014 | 11:40 am
    Inequality in America is worsening. But can Democrats articulate a compelling economic message? The post The right 2016 message on inequality appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • Economic growth, inequality and the middle class

    Stephen Rose
    15 Dec 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Inequality will no doubt take center stage through 2016. But it's important to have the right debate. The post Economic growth, inequality and the middle class appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • Does trade policy cause income inequality?

    Edward Gerwin, Jr.
    11 Dec 2014 | 3:36 pm
    An important new report takes a hard look at the evidence on trade and income inequality. The conclusion: growing trade does not contribute to inequality and in fact, lowering trade barriers could substantially benefit lower-income Americans. The post Does trade policy cause income inequality? appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • The 1996 Telecommunications Act Rewrite: Progressive Perspectives

    Republic 3.0
    11 Dec 2014 | 3:15 pm
    Leading progressives weigh in on net neutrality, broadband access and how to modernize the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The post The 1996 Telecommunications Act Rewrite: Progressive Perspectives appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • You need a license to do what?

    Anne Kim
    3 Dec 2014 | 4:47 pm
    South Carolina requires a state license to braid hair. But the state is not alone in demanding licenses for many kinds of jobs. The Kauffman Foundation finds that nearly 1 in 3 jobs now requires a government-issued license. The post You need a license to do what? appeared first on Republic 3.0.
 
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    procurementdefinition.com

  • Procurement Process

    Proc Def
    6 Dec 2014 | 7:48 pm
    Procurement Process Establishing a procurement process will not only involve planning the initial process framework but will also involve finessing the process with experience. When planning the procurement process, it is important that high level requirements be incorporated and that the process is not so detailed as to render it difficult to use on every procurement activity. For example, commodity types of transactions lend themselves more to a standardized procurement process than procuring to satisfy custom requirements. The procurement process must allow for the input of procurement…
  • Procurement Definition in Construction Industry

    Proc Def
    4 Dec 2014 | 2:32 am
    Procurement Definition in Construction Industry Delivery of projects on time in the construction industry involves methodical coordination of resources and materials. It is reasonable then that procurement definition in the construction industry needs to be focused on delivery of resources and materials as part of the evaluation criteria when sourcing from the market. For example, the least cost upfront option could delay the project and the flow on consequences may be costs involved from delays. This could be that construction resources could be idle waiting for materials to arrive which…
  • Procurement Definition Supply Chain Management

    Proc Def
    28 Nov 2014 | 8:40 pm
    Procurement Definition Supply Chain Management It is universally accepted that a supply chain is not just a seamless function on its own. Rather, a supply chain is constituted of discrete functions and procurement is one of these functions. Procurement has a responsibility to maintain interfaces with supply chain management and suppliers to the organisation. Procurement needs to be particularly sensitive to providing benefits across the whole supply chain and not just the procurement department. It can be attractive to focus on personal recognition or one’s “own backyard”.
  • Procurement Management

    Proc Def
    26 Nov 2014 | 2:59 am
    Procurement Management Excellent procurement departments implement procurement management practice through the careful establishment of a procurement process framework. To optimise the functionality of the procurement process, integrated systems and people are critical. This is related to procurement definition. Procurement Management – Procurement Process Establishing a well defined procurement process can serve to: increase efficiency, provide direction for the procurement activity, provide all procurement activity stakeholders with an understanding of the deliverables required and…
  • Define Procurement Plan

    Proc Def
    25 Nov 2014 | 2:25 am
    Define Procurement Plan Taking steps to define procurement plan will provide a framework for procurement activity to be organised, efficient and agreed upon by stakeholders. By way of example, procurement plans have been structured as follows. Objectives This section is where procurement department looks to align organisational strategic objectives with the procurement activity. For example cost containment and organisational social responsibility objectives may be outlined here. Background A review of the history of the procurement of the product or service is outlined. Previous learnings…
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    Principles of Economics and Business

  • Macroeconomics - Deflation

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

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

    17 Nov 2014 | 6:25 am
    Firm behavior in competitive markets is probably one of the most fundamental subjects in economics. That is mainly due to the fact that most markets we encounter in reality are competitive, at least to a certain degree.Competition is characterized by a multitude of firms offering the same (or a similar) good or service or a close substitute. In general it can be said that the more similar the goods or services are, the more competitive the markets will be. However, the competitiveness of a market is still highly dependent on firm behavior. For example, companies engaging in collusive behavior…
  • Microeconomics - Profit Maximization

    8 Nov 2014 | 2:22 am
    In economics it is often assumed that companies try to maximize profit. That is, they try to maximize revenue while at the same time minimizing costs. In order to do that, firms need to look "at the margin". That means, they have to keep an eye on changes in revenue (i.e. marginal revenue) and changes in costs (i.e. marginal costs) for every additional unit sold.To introduce the principle of profit maximization, it seems reasonable to focus on firms in a competitive market first. However, as we will see later on, this principle can be applied to most firms in various market…
  • Microeconomics - Monopoly

    29 Oct 2014 | 5:39 am
    A Monopoly is a market situation where a single firm (or individual) is the sole producer and seller of a product or service in an entire market. It is characterized through a lack of competition. As a result the monopolist has the ability to affect market prices, which often results in an inefficient outcome for society. Monopolies typically emerge because entry into a particular market is restricted. Those restrictions may be effects of high entrance costs, government regulations, or other impediments. Due to the lack of competition, monopolies often cause higher prices, lower…
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