Economics

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  • 10 Monday PM Reads

    The Big Picture
    Barry Ritholtz
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:00 pm
    My afternoon train reads: • The Rise of Ultracheap Financial Advisers (WSJ) • Why Warren Buffett hates gold (USA Today) • Eric Holder’s Shameful Legacy on Wall Street Fraud (Fiscal Times) • Buy? Sell? Or Hold? (WSJ) see also I Really Want to Crush the Efficient Market Hypothesis (Pragmatic Capitalism) • Census data on poverty show results of economic policy gone wrong (LA Times) • When it comes to making decisions, bees and ants can act against stereotype (WSJ) • The New Conservative Love Affair With Canada (The Upshot) • This map shows which disease is most likely to kill…
  • Attempt The Bathroom Remodeling Project

    Blockindicator of Solar Green Energy Growth
    block
    17 Sep 2014 | 2:45 am
    Bathrooms are one area of the home that offer solace and convenience, which implies they should have a lot of attention when it comes to restroom renovation. Looking at graphics of other people’s restroom remodeling jobs will certainly give you concepts of how you can renovate your restroom to make it more welcoming and mirror your character. In order to achieve the restroom remodeling effect you prefer, you have to plan appropriately. You should select the theme or design that you want for the restroom. Once you have picked the standard design you can actually tailor the results by…
  • Back to sanity on economic convergence

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

    naked capitalism
    Yves Smith
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:03 am
    Your humble blogger is a beached whale as a result of the steady march of police state practices on the Internet. And to calibrate how heinous the underlying situation is, Lambert, who has 20 years of experience as a computer professional, calls my current mess the technology equivalent of being shoved into a minefield without any signs. And as you'll see below, I've already stepped on one mine.
  • Links 9/22/14

    naked capitalism
    Lambert Strether
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:55 am
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    Real Time Economics

  • Fed Must Be Cautious About Rate Increases With Inflation Low, Kocherlakota Says

    Pedro Nicolaci da Costa and Cheryl L. Reed
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:30 pm
    The Federal Reserve must not be overly confident that inflation will return to its 2% target and be extra careful about raising interest rates given the economy’s disappointing performance, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota said Monday. “We want to make sure inflation is on the path back to 2%,” he told the Economic Club of Marquette County. “We don’t want to create more risk. You have to be very cautious about removing stimulus.” Mr. Kocherlakota, a voter this year on the Federal Open Market Committee and arguably the committee’s strongest advocate for continued…
  • Hispanics Were the Only Major Group to See Poverty Drop Last Year

    Neil Shah
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Last week’s news that the official U.S. poverty rate fell for the first time in seven years to 14.5% from 15% was greeted lukewarmly—and for good reason. The poverty rate remains well above its prerecession level of 12.5% in 2007. Also, most economists quibble with how the rate is calculated. (To address this, Census also releases a more comprehensive “supplemental” poverty measure, one that accounts for things such as antipoverty programs and regional differences in housing costs. This supplemental measure was stuck at 16% in 2012, and a new reading comes in mid-October.) But one…
  • Why Wall Street Cares About Inequality

    Pedro Nicolaci da Costa
    22 Sep 2014 | 11:43 am
    First, it was Standard & Poor’s.  Now, Morgan Stanley weighs in on income inequality in a new report. Why are these Wall Street institutions, normally focused on macroeconomic issues directly related to gross domestic product forecasts, suddenly chiming in on the issue? Because both firms find U.S. inequality is holding back economic growth. Morgan Stanley’s research suggests weaker-than-usual consumption at the lower end of the income ladder helps explain why this economic recovery has been particularly anemic. “It has taken more than five years for U.S. households to ‘feel’ like…
  • Five Takeaways: Mortgage Lending Hit Six-Year High in 2013, But …

    Nick Timiraos
    22 Sep 2014 | 10:02 am
    The number of mortgages made to purchase homes for owner occupants hit a six-year high last year. But don’t celebrate. Purchase loans for owner occupants were still below their 1993 level. The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act requires mortgage lenders to disclose a range of data around every mortgage application that they take in a given year. The Federal Reserve on Monday released its summary of the previous year’s data. Here are five broad findings: 1. Even though purchase lending was up 13% last year for the second straight year, loans for owner-occupied homes were still below every year…
  • NY Fed’s Dudley Says Would Be ‘Very Happy’ To Raise Rates Some Time In 2015

    Michael S. Derby
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:11 am
    Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said Monday that he strongly hopes the central bank can begin to increase interest rates next year. “I would love to be able to raise interest rates during in my tenure,” Mr. Dudley said. “I’m not going to do something to interest rates just for the sake of doing something to interest rates, but it would be nice to see some sufficient progress in terms of the economy , the labor market and inflation to be able to raise interest rates in 2015. That would make me very happy,” he said. Mr. Dudley made his comments at an event…
 
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    naked capitalism

  • 2:00PM Water Cooler 9/22/14

    Lambert Strether
    22 Sep 2014 | 10:58 am
    Today's Water Cooler: The climate march, ISIS skepticism, the Census and poverty, and the album Bernie Sanders cut in 1987.
  • Links 9/22/14

    Lambert Strether
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:55 am
  • Evil Feedly and Digg: “Social Logins” as Symptoms of Creeping Surveillance State

    Yves Smith
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:03 am
    Your humble blogger is a beached whale as a result of the steady march of police state practices on the Internet. And to calibrate how heinous the underlying situation is, Lambert, who has 20 years of experience as a computer professional, calls my current mess the technology equivalent of being shoved into a minefield without any signs. And as you'll see below, I've already stepped on one mine.
  • And Then Gerard’s Car Caught on Fire

    Lambert Strether
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:55 am
    "I'm ready to get back to work. I just doesn't have much to work with."
  • For-Profit Colleges as Factories of Debt

    Yves Smith
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:54 am
    Yves here. The American higher education system has been sucking more and more of the economic life out of the children that supposedly represent our best and brightest, the ones with intelligence and self-disipline to do well enough to be accepted at college. But even though the press has given some attention to how young adults, and sometimes their hapless parent/grandparent co-signers, can wind up carrying huge millstones of debt, there's been comparatively less focus on the for-profit segment of the market. While their students constitute only 13% of the total college population, they…
 
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    Alpha.Sources

  • 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.   
  • Weak economic data would test bonds in the periphery

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

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

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

  • Are We Getting Enough Religion With Our Politics?

    Paul Waldman
    22 Sep 2014 | 10:36 am
    The Pew Research Center's Religion and Public Life Project has a new survey out about the role of religion in politics (among other things), and the headline is that there has been something of an increase in the desire for religion to take a more active political role. So what would that look like? The survey only asks a few questions about that topic in particular, but here are the results: Not surprisingly, it's the religious group that already has the most political power as at least something of a bloc—white evangelical Christians—that is the most eager for more religious involvement…
  • The Politics of Pre-K: How A Program Known to Help Poor Mothers Could Doom Your Candidacy

    Rachel M. Cohen
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:24 pm
    (AP Photo/The Monitor, Gabe Hernandez) In Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race, education has emerged as one of the most heated issues. A Quinnipiac University poll released this month found education ranked as the most important issue for voters, after jobs and the economy. Despite contentious politics surrounding reform of public education from kindergarten through twelfth grade, Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf have discovered that plugging expansion of pre-kindergarten programs wins them political points without treading into treacherous waters. That is,…
  • Does America Have the Greediest Doctors?

    Paul Waldman
    21 Sep 2014 | 6:08 pm
    Yesterday, The New York Times published a mind-boggling investigation into a way some physicians have found to hit patients with absolutely mind-boggling bills for not just routine procedures, but the involvement of doctors in their care that they neither asked for nor knew about until they got the bill. However widespread a practice this is, I'm going to argue that what we have here is not a few bad apples but a problem of culture. But first, here's an excerpt: In operating rooms and on hospital wards across the country, physicians and other health providers typically help one another in…
  • Reclaiming Our Rights: Going Proactive the Only Way to End Discriminatory Abortion Restriction

    Kierra Johnson
    19 Sep 2014 | 1:41 pm
    All* Above All I turned thirty-eight this year. This month the Hyde Amendment will also be thirty-eight, and since its passage, we have seen a growing number of abortion restrictions proposed and enacted across the country. The Hyde Amendment, passed by Congress in 1976, restricts abortion coverage for the young people, women and families most in need. It prevents federal dollars from being used to cover abortion. And while there is an exception in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the pregnant woman, it is enforced irregularly. There is no health exception to this policy for…
  • Plagiarism Charges and the Vapidity of Campaign Website 'Plans'

    Paul Waldman
    19 Sep 2014 | 9:52 am
    Not one but two major candidates got in trouble this week for having "plans" on their websites that turned out to be cut and pasted from other sources. So how much of a sin is this? Should it affect anyone's vote? The answers are: not a very serious one, and no. To catch you up: the first candidate to get caught was Monica Wehby, the Republican nominee for Senate in Oregon, whose health care "plan" turned out to come from a survey by Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, and whose economic "plan" was copied from the websites of other candidates. Then last night we learned that Mary Burke, the Democrat…
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Liveblogging the American Revolution: September 22, 1776: Execution of Nathan Hale

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 11:50 am
    Execution of Nathan Hale: Diary Entry, September 22, 1776: After the Battle of Harlem Heights, a Connecticut officer, a former schoolmaster named Nathan Hale, volunteered to conduct espionage behind the British lines to secure intelligence concerning troop movements. He was captured on Long Island, identified as a spy (some sources say that he was fingered by his own cousin, Samuel Hale—but it is also true that he carried incriminating documents on his person), and summarily hanged on September 22, 1776. There is considerable difference of opinion as to the site of his execution, which may…
  • This Is Not the First Time We Have Seen Alessandra Stanley, Is It?

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 10:36 am
    Perhaps Margaret Sullivan could read her predecessor? Margaret Sullivan: An Article on Shonda Rhimes Rightly Causes a Furor: "Alessandra Stanley['s]... first paragraph--with a reference to Ms. Rhimes as an 'Angry Black Woman'... ...struck many readers as completely off-base. Many called it offensive. Some went further, saying it was racist. Another reference to the actress Viola Davis as 'less classically beautiful' than lighter-skinned African American actresses immediately inspired a mocking hashtag.... I have asked Ms. Stanley for further comment (she has said…
  • Over at Equitable Growth: Potential Output and Total Factor Productivity since 2000: Marking My Beliefs to Market: The Honest Broker for the Week of September 26, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:42 am
    Over at Equitable Growth: I am still thinking about the best assessment of potential output and productivity growth that we have--that of the extremely-sharp John Fernald's "Productivity and Potential Output Before, During, and After the Great Recession". And I am--slowly, hesitantly, and unwillingly--coming to the conclusion that I have to mark my beliefs about the process of economic technological change to market, and revise them significantly. Let's start with what I wrote last July: READ MOAR Brad DeLong: I Draw a Different Message from John Fernald's…
  • Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for September 22, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:52 am
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Morning Must-Read: Rob Stavins: Climate Realities - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Morning Must-Read: Jeffrey Frankel: Piketty’s Fence - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Morning Must-Read: Max Sawicky: Economic Security and “The Great Disturbing Factors of Life” - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Lunchtime Must-Read: Heidi Moore et al.: Why is Thomas Piketty's 700-Page Book a Bestseller? - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Plus: Things to Read on the Morning of September 22, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth…
  • Across the Wide Mediterranean: Zalmay Khalilzad, Ex-Top US Diplomat, in Laundering Probe

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:40 am
    I really hope that there is nothing here. Zalmay Khalilzad was the only member of the Bush Administration who struck me as likable, competent, realistic, and not-evil... Associated Press: Khalilzad, ex-top US diplomat, in laundering probe: "Zalmay Khalilzad, who served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations... ...under President George W. Bush, is being investigated by American authorities for suspected money laundering, Austrian officials said Monday. State prosecutor Thomas Vecsey confirmed a report in the Austrian weekly Profil about the investigation of…
 
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    Calculated Risk

  • Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates at 4.22%, Down from 4.45% Last September

    Bill McBride
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:41 pm
    I use the weekly Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) to track mortgage rates. The PMMS series started in 1971, so there is a fairly long historical series. For daily rates, the Mortgage News Daily has a series that tracks the PMMS very well, and is usually updated daily around 3 PM ET. The MND data is based on actual lender rate sheets, and is mostly "the average no-point, no-origination rate for top-tier borrowers with flawless scenarios". (this tracks the Freddie Mac series).MND reports that average 30 Year fixed mortgage rates decreased today to 4.22% from 4.24% on…
  • Lawler: Existing Home Sales Eased in August; NAR Bogusly Blames Monthly Dip on “Retreat” by “All Cash” Investors

    Bill McBride
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:07 pm
    From housing economist Tom Lawler:In today’s existing home sales report, the National Association of Realtors estimated that US existing home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million, down 1.8% from July’s downwardly-revised (to 5.14 million from 5.15 million), and down 5.3% from last August’s pace. The NAR’s estimate was slightly lower than my below-consensus projection based on regional tracking. The NAR also estimated that the number of existing homes for sale at the end of August was 2.31 million, down 1.7% from July’s downwardly-revised (to 2.35 million…
  • DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased 1.5% year-over-year in July

    Bill McBride
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:01 pm
    The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported:Travel on all roads and streets changed by 1.5% (4.0 billion vehicle miles) for July 2014 as compared with July 2013.Travel for the month is estimated to be 266.8 billion vehicle miles.Cumulative Travel for 2014 changed by 0.6% (10.1 billion vehicle miles).The following graph shows the rolling 12 month total vehicle miles driven. The rolling 12 month total is still mostly moving sideways ... Click on graph for larger image.In the early '80s, miles driven (rolling 12 months) stayed below the previous peak for 39 months. Currently miles driven has…
  • A Few Comments on August Existing Home Sales

    Bill McBride
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:55 am
    The most important number in the NAR report each month is inventory.   This morning the NAR reported that inventory was up 4.5% year-over-year in August.   It is important to note that the NAR inventory data is "noisy" and difficult to forecast based on other data.  The headline NAR inventory number is not seasonally adjusted, even though there is a clear seasonal pattern. Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko has sent me the seasonally adjusted inventory. NOTE: The NAR does provide a seasonally adjusted months-of-supply, although that is in the supplemental data.Click on graph…
  • Existing Home Sales in August: 5.05 million SAAR, Inventory up 4.5% Year-over-year

    Bill McBride
    22 Sep 2014 | 7:00 am
    The NAR reports: Existing-Home Sales Slightly Lose Momentum in August as Investor Activity DeclinesTotal existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million in August from a slight downwardly-revised 5.14 million in July. Sales are at the second-highest pace of 2014, but remain 5.3 percent below the 5.33 million-unit level from last August, which was also the second-highest sales level of 2013. ...Total housing inventory at the end of August…
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    Crooked Timber

  • Thomas Piketty has power that heterodox economists never had

    Ingrid Robeyns
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:54 pm
    Long-time readers of this blog know that I am an apostate of the economics discipline. When I was 17, I wanted to study something that would be useful to help make the world a better place. I thought that economics would meet that requirement, and it also seemed natural since I always had a strong interest in politics, in particular the question how to organize society. For reasons explained here, I eventually gave up the hope that economics (as I studied it in the 1990s) could give me that knowledge, and diverted to political theory/philosophy and later also ethics, where I’ve been…
  • Workplace Freedom: A Primer for Alan Dershowitz

    Henry
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:19 am
    Alan Dershowitz expresses his opinion on academic freedom, the Salaita case, and why UIUC natural scientists appear to have been less likely than social scientists and humanities people to support him. Some, including Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor who backed Summers and opposed the tenure bid of Norman Finkelstein, the controversial former political scientist at DePaul University, have a more cynical take. Dershowitz said that in his experience, academics working in STEM tend, “in general, to be more objective and principled, and those in the humanities tend to be ideologues…
  • Jim Henley needs your help

    Henry
    21 Sep 2014 | 3:20 pm
    People who’ve been reading this blog for a long time won’t need to be told who Jim Henley is. He’s been blogging longer than we have (if we’re a product of the mid-Cretaceous, he’s been doing it since the early Jurassic). He’s also a wonderful guy. And he’s been dealing with a recurrence of his cancer, the loss of his job when his employer went under, the need to pay medical and transport bills and keep his equally wonderful family going. In short, he could use your help. If you would like to provide it, please go here.
  • Expand your perspective

    Eszter Hargittai
    21 Sep 2014 | 7:21 am
    The very insightful Ethan Zuckerman recently gave a convocation speech at his alma mater, Williams College. While his specific angle was not about this, I read it as a nice call for the importance of international students on campus, and of studying abroad (among other things). One of the things I’ve learned in my research is that it’s much easier to pay attention to people than to places. If there’s someone you care about who’s from Haiti, if you’ve had the chance to travel there and meet people from Haiti, you’ll watch the news differently. You’ll…
  • Sunday Photoblogging: On The Water

    Belle Waring
    21 Sep 2014 | 5:21 am
    Motorboat! Sailboat and biplane!
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    Dealbreaker

  • Write-Offs: 09.22.14

    Dealbreaker
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:28 pm
    $$$ According to the new Billionaire Census from Wealth-X and UBS, the world’s billionaires are holding an average of $600 million in cash each—greater than the gross domestic product of Dominica. [CNBC] $$$ SEC Finds ‘Deficiencies’ at Hedge Funds [WSJ] $$$ Argentina’s Fernandez to meet billionaire investor Soros in New York [Reuters] $$$ Meet the… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
  • Fitch, Moody’s Still More Patriotic Than S&P

    Jon Shazar
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:55 pm
    Neither are going to make that double-A-plus mistake that a certain ratings agency made, and while they’re at it, they have some kisses to blow in Washington’s direction. Fitch Ratings Inc. affirmed its Triple-A rating for the U.S., citing the nation’s “unparalleled financing flexibility as the issuer of the world’s pre-eminent reserve currency and benchmark… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: AAA! AAA!, Fitch, Moody's, oh say can you see?, S&P
  • Blackstone Is Taking A Break From Russia

    Jon Shazar
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:31 pm
    Well, not so much a break as a permanent hiatus from repeatedly banging its head against an increasingly hard wall. Blackstone, which does not have an office in Russia, has chosen not to renew the contracts of the consultants it employs in the country. According to a person with knowledge of the matter, the move… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: Blackstone Group, closing non-existent businesses, Russia
  • Destin, FL Can’t Compete With One Man’s Alibaba Excitement

    Jon Shazar
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:28 pm
    Cory Frugé is a pilot and an Alibaba enthusiast—an enthusiasm that stems from his being a pilot and his love of the cheap lighting solutions the Chinese company provided him for his backyard runway. Unfortunately for Capt. Frugé, he had planned a vacation to the Florida Panhandle the very day of Alibaba’s IPO. This was… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: Alibaba, Cory Frugé, guys you might not want flying your plane, IPOs
  • Bonus Watch ’14: Whistleblower From Who All Would-Be Whistleblowers Could Learn A Thing Or Two

    Bess Levin
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:03 pm
    The Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday that it expects to pay more than $30 million in an award under its whistleblower program, more than double the agency’s previous high for a payout under the plan. The SEC didn’t name the whistleblower in question, but the regulator did say that it will be the fourth… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: awards, finder's fees, so that's nice for him/her, whistleblowers
 
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    Econbrowser

  • Regimes in macroeconomics

    James_Hamilton
    21 Sep 2014 | 7:19 am
    For academic researchers who are readers of this blog (and I know you’re lurking out there), I wanted to call attention to my new paper on Macroeconomic Regimes and Regime Shifts: Many economic time series exhibit dramatic breaks associated with events such as economic recessions, financial panics, and currency crises. Such changes in regime may arise from tipping points or other nonlinear dynamics and are core to some of the most important questions in macroeconomics. This chapter surveys the literature on regime changes. Section 1 begins with an interpretation of the move of an…
  • Assume a Can Opener – Wisconsin Variant

    Menzie Chinn
    19 Sep 2014 | 3:46 pm
    The MacIver Institute, an organization of endlessly imaginative analysis, has highlighted this LFB memo that reports that under the right conditions, the structural budget balance will be +$535 for the 2015-17 biennium. Those assumptions include a $116 million cut to this FY’s appropriations, revenues in the 2015-17 biennium would rise (annually) at the rate it has during the previous five fiscal years, 2.9%, and net appropriations in each of the years during the biennium would stay at FY2014-15 levels, “adjusted for one time commitments and 2015-17 commitments.” I am not an…
  • Wisconsin Private Nonfarm Payroll Employment Declines in August

    Menzie Chinn
    18 Sep 2014 | 9:40 am
    DWD released August employment figures today. Attainment of Governor Walker’s 250,000 net new private sector jobs continues to be unlikely. Figure 1: Private nonfarm payroll employment, s.a., in ‘000s (red), forecast from March 2014 Wisconsin Economic Outlook, interpolated from quarterly, using quadratic match (green), and linear trend consistent with Governor Walker’s pledge to create 250,000 net new private sector jobs by end of first term (gray). Source: Department of Workforce Development, Wisconsin Economic Outlook (March 2014), and author’s calculations. Total…
  • Further Deterioration in Wisconsin Structural Budget Surplus

    Menzie Chinn
    17 Sep 2014 | 9:35 pm
    Wisconsin Department of Health Services indicates additional $760 million Medicaid expenditures for FY15-17. [1] This implies a further worsening of the 2015-17 biennium structural budget balance from -$1.8 billion (discussed here) to something like -$2.56 billion. Figure 1: (Negative of) General Fund Amounts Necessary to Balance Budget, by Fiscal Year, in millions of dollars (blue bars); and estimate taking into account shortfall of $281 million for FY2013-14 (red square), and adding $380 million to each of the fiscal years in the 2015-17 biennium (green squares). “Structural”…
  • From October 2013: “The Obamacare implosion is worse than you think”

    Menzie Chinn
    16 Sep 2014 | 11:56 am
    That’s a title from an oped by former GW Bush speechwriter and current AEI scholar Marc Thiessen nearly a year ago. We can now evaluate whether in fact the implementation of individual insurance mandate component of the ACA did implode. From “New Data Show Early Progress in Expanding Coverage, with More Gains to Come,” White House blog today: Source: “New Data Show Early Progress in Expanding Coverage, with More Gains to Come,” White House blog (9/16/2014). From the post: …today’s results from the NCHS’ National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) show that…
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    EconLog: Library of Economics and Liberty

  • The Puzzling Ubiquity of Disability

    Bryan Caplan
    23 Sep 2014 | 12:08 am
    (September 23, 2014 12:08 AM, by Bryan Caplan) In 1976, 8.3% of students in U.S. public schools were officially disabled.  By 2010, the disabled share was up to 13%.  What on earth happened?  This piece by Jay Greene and Greg Forster considers and critiques three main stories.  Prepare... (3 COMMENTS)
  • The Key to victory: Run against Piketty-nomics

    Scott Sumner
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:38 pm
    (September 22, 2014 08:38 PM, by Scott Sumner) This is good news: New Zealand's NZX 50 Index increased 1.1 percent, driven higher by power-company stocks, after John Key won a third term as prime minister. Key, a former head of foreign exchange at Merrill Lynch & Co., led... (0 COMMENTS)
  • Unintended Consequences of De-Insuring Insurance

    David Henderson
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:30 pm
    (September 22, 2014 12:30 PM, by David Henderson) Kevin Drum alerts us to some unintended consequences of a law that he advocates. Over at Mother Jones, Kevin Drum has noticed that some health insurers are charging a huge co-insurance rate for HIV drugs. He writes: If all your... (24 COMMENTS)
  • Uber Wars Update

    Alberto Mingardi
    22 Sep 2014 | 7:02 am
    (September 22, 2014 07:02 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) The district court of Frankfurt lifted the nationwide ban on UberPOP in Germany. UberPOP is the most controversial and most promising service Uber offers: it doesn't just connect professional drivers of black cars (as Uber indeed does) in a bigger... (2 COMMENTS)
  • Response to Krugman on My Canada Study

    David Henderson
    21 Sep 2014 | 4:12 pm
    (September 21, 2014 04:12 PM, by David Henderson) UPDATE BELOW I think this qualifies as a cockroach idea (zombies just keep shambling along, whereas sometimes you think you've gotten rid of cockroaches, but they keep coming back.) I thought we had disposed of all this four years ago.... (13 COMMENTS)
 
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    Economist's View

  • 'Forecasting with the FRBNY DSGE Model'

    Mark Thoma
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:58 am
    The NY Fed hopes that someday the FRBNY DSGE model will be useful for forecasting. Presently, the model has "huge margins for improvement. The list of flaws is long..." (first in a five-part series): Forecasting with the FRBNY DSGE Model, by Marco Del Negro, Bianca De Paoli, Stefano Eusepi, Marc Giannoni, Argia Sbordone, and Andrea Tambalotti, Liberty Economics, FRBNY: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) has built a DSGE model as part of its efforts to forecast the U.S. economy. On Liberty Street Economics, we are publishing a weeklong series to provide some…
  • Paul Krugman: Those Lazy Jobless

    Mark Thoma
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:24 am
    Why are conservatives are blaming the victims of the recession despite "evidence and logic" to the contrary?: Those Lazy Jobless, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Last week John Boehner, the speaker of the House, explained to an audience at the American Enterprise Institute what’s holding back employment in America: laziness. People, he said, have “this idea” that “I really don’t have to work. I don’t really want to do this. I think I’d rather just sit around.” Holy 47 percent, Batman! It’s hardly the first time a prominent conservative has said something…
  • Fed Watch: Hawkish Undertone

    Mark Thoma
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:15 am
    Tim Duy: Hawkish Undertone, by Tim Duy: The Fed co«ntinuous to moves toward policy normalization. Slowly. Very slowly. They believe they are making every effort to avoid a premature withdrawal of accommodation. Every step is sequenced. And that sequencing did not allow for the removal of the considerable period language just yet. That said, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen noted in the associated press conference that, considerable period or not, the statement does not represent a promise to maintain a particular policy path. Moreover, the ambiguous definition of "considerable…
  • Links for 9-22-14

    Mark Thoma
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:06 am
    Ordinary People Bear Economic Risks, Donald Trump Doesn't - Robert Reich Economic security and “the great disturbing factors of life” - MaxSpeak Meanwhile, in the Annals of Citizenship - Economic Principals China risks ‘balance-sheet recession’ as stimulus impact wanes - FT.com Why is Thomas Piketty's 700-Page Book a Bestseller? - Brad DeLong Krugman on Minsky, IS-LM and Temporary Equilibrium - Uneasy Money That referendum was fun. Shall we do it again? - mainly macro Conservative Canadian Cockroach - Paul Krugman Financial Policy - Roger Farmer Piketty’s Fence - Jeffrey…
  • 'Climate Realities'

    Mark Thoma
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:17 am
    Robert Stavins: Climate Realities: ...It is true that, in theory, we can avoid the worst consequences of climate change with an intensive global effort over the next several decades. But given real-world economic and, in particular, political realities, that seems unlikely..., let’s look at the sobering reality. The world is now on track to more than double current greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere by the end of the century. This would push up average global temperatures by three to eight degrees Celsius and could mean the disappearance of glaciers, droughts in the mid-to-low…
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    EconTalk

  • Thomas Piketty on Inequality and Capital in the 21st Century

    Russell Roberts
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:30 am
    Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics and author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century talks to Econtalk host Russ Roberts about the book. The conversation covers some of the key empirical findings of the book along with a discussion of their significance. Play Time: 1:08:43 How do I listen to a podcast? Download Size:31.5 MB Right-click or Option-click, and select "Save Link/Target As MP3. Readings and Links related to this podcast episode Related Readings HIDE READINGS About this week's guest: Thomas Piketty's C.V. About ideas and people mentioned in this podcast episode:…
  • Continuing Conversation... Elizabeth Green on Education and Building a Better Teacher

    Amy Willis
    17 Sep 2014 | 6:43 am
    In this week's episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts spoke with education journalist Elizabeth Green about her new book, Building a Better Teacher. Their conversation covers teaching as a craft, the role and history of schools of education, and the efficacy of various education reforms. Now we'd like to hear your reaction to this week's conversation. Reply to the prompts below in the comments, or use them to spark your own conversation offline. And let us know how it goes...As always, we love to hear from you. Check Your Knowledge: 1. Describe what Green means when she speaks of teaching as a…
  • Elizabeth Green on Education and Building a Better Teacher

    Russell Roberts
    15 Sep 2014 | 3:30 am
    Elizabeth Green, author of the new book Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach it to Anyone), talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the art of teaching and the history of various reforms, mostly failed, trying to improve teaching in America. Specific topics include the theoretical focus of undergraduate education programs and various techniques being used in charter schools and elsewhere to improve teaching performance. Play Time: 1:04:26 How do I listen to a podcast? Download Size:29.6 MB Right-click or Option-click, and select "Save Link/Target As MP3.
  • Paul Pfleiderer on the Misuse of Economic Models

    Russell Roberts
    8 Sep 2014 | 3:30 am
    Paul Pfleiderer, C.O.G. Miller Distinguished Professor of Finance at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his recent paper critiquing what Pfleiderer calls "Chameleon Models," economic models that are thought to explain the real world with little analysis of the accuracy of their assumptions. Also discussed are Akerlof's market for lemons model, Friedman's idea that assumptions do not have to be reasonable as long as the model predicts what happens in the real world, and the dangers of leaping from a model's results to making…
  • Nathan Blecharczyk on Airbnb and the Sharing Economy

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

  • "High Seas Closure Public Comments"

    John Whitehead
    19 Sep 2014 | 11:42 am
    From the UCSB Bren School of ES & M:In March we told you about a paper written by Bren professor Chris Costello and former Bren School post-doc and now assistant professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Crow White. In it, the authors suggested that closing the high seas to fishing might be the best way to allow stocks of migratory fish in international waters to recover. The paper has generated a great deal of interest, and the U.S. Dept of Commerce is now seeking public comment after being petitioned to make a rules change that would require NOAA to adopt the proposal. Follow the links…
  • Friday beer post: "Economics paper retracted for plagiarism after citing its twin"

    John Whitehead
    19 Sep 2014 | 11:40 am
    Ooops! wrong title (sigh) ... As we’ve pointed out before, economics and business journals have few retractions compared with the other academic literature. Opinions vary on why this is, but the fact that only a few journals have plagiarism policies can’t help. Research Papers in Economics, or RePEc, an organization that maintains a database of economics papers, however, thoroughly investigates accusations of misconduct. A RePEc report, which indicated that the plagiarists were polite enough to cite the original paper, was used in the notice as evidence for a retraction in Economic…
  • MR: A Guide and Advice for Economists on the U.S. Junior Academic Job Market

    John Whitehead
    19 Sep 2014 | 11:37 am
    Tyler Cowen: That is a new paper (pdf) by John Cawley, here is the abstract: This guide, updated for the 2014-15 job market season, describes the academic market for new Ph.D. economists and offers advice on conducting an academic job search. It reports findings from published papers, describes practical details, and provides links to internet resources. Topics addressed include: preparing to go on the market, applying for academic jobs, the AEA’s new electronic clearinghouse for the job market, signaling, interviewing at the ASSA meetings, campus visits, the secondary market scramble,…
  • "What Is the Most Efficient Source of Electricity?"

    John Whitehead
    16 Sep 2014 | 5:24 am
    The WSJ's Numbers "guy": The true cost of electricity is difficult to pin down. That’s because a number of inputs comprise it: the cost of fuel itself, the cost of production, as well as the cost of dealing with the damage that fuel does to the environment. Energy Points, a company that does energy analysis for business, factors in the these myriad values in terms of what percentage of the energy input—fossil fuel energy, plus energy for production and energy for environmental mitigation—will become usable electricity. ... In any given area, electricity might come from…
  • This guy (yes, I've been watching MNF) thinks I'm willing to pay about $16 per year to restore the environment of the southern Appalachians to a healthy state

    John Whitehead
    16 Sep 2014 | 5:22 am
    Spencer Banzhaf: In a new RFF discussion paper, “Valuation of Ecosystem Services in the Southern Appalachian Mountains,” RFF colleagues Dallas Burtraw, Alan Krupnick, and Juha Siikamäki and I, along with  Susie Chung Criscimagna of Eden Housing, Bernard Cosby of the University of Virginia, and David Evans of EPA,  estimate the monetary value of reducing acidity in the southern Appalachian region. Our estimates were based on the stated preference method, which allowed us to survey households about their willingness to pay (WTP) for the restoration of ecosystem services in the region.
 
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    footnoted*

  • Evertec execs line up to enjoy Puerto Rican tax holiday

    Michelle Leder
    18 Sep 2014 | 5:59 am
    You’ve probably heard (or at least read) about the new law in Puerto Rico. Just two weeks ago, the New York Times noted that former “hedge fund honcho” — their words, not ours — Alex Lemond had decamped there to take advantage of a change in the tax code that benefits wealthy newcomers to the island. A more recent development — known by its formal name of Act 77, which was signed into law at the beginning of July — provides additional benefits to income generated from options. (This memo from Deloitte provides a good overview of what’s otherwise…
  • EZCorp’s Doozy $25K/Mo Housing Perk For Chairman

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

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

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

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    7 Aug 2014 | 5:21 am
    Walgreen Co., which has been engaged in a very-public soul-searching over whether it should or shouldn’t  leave the country in search of lower taxes saw its stock plunge nearly 15% plunge yesterday after it finally decided to stay put in Illinois. The news generated countless headlines (see here and here and here, for example). The 8-K providing more details was filed less than 3 minutes before the SEC closed up shop for the day on a day when around 500 8-Ks were filed. But with all of this intense interest over to invert-or-not-to-invert, another 8-K filed late Monday afternoon, seems…
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    Free exchange

  • Waving goodbye?

    Economist.com
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:44 pm
    THIS week: The latest grim economic news from the eurozone, the future of Oracle after Larry Elison (sort of) leaves and an accounting irregularity at Tesco
  • An author's response

    C.W. | LONDON
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:04 am
    ON FRIDAY we published a short piece on the evidence for and against poverty traps. We discussed a paper that was recently published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. One of the authors, Aart Kraay, submitted a response to the article, which we publish below. Mr Kraay is an economist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank.Thanks for your post about my paper with David McKenzie, and for the additional interesting stylised facts you describe. We should certainly be concerned with low growth rates, wherever they occur in the distribution of per-capita…
  • Do poor countries really get richer?

    C.W. | LONDON
    19 Sep 2014 | 5:14 am
    DO POVERTY traps exist? Academics seem to think so. According to Google Scholar, so far this year academics have used the phrase “poverty trap” 1,210 times. (Paul Samuelson, possibly the greatest economist of the 20th century, was mentioned a mere 766 times). Some of the most innovative work in development economics focuses on how individuals' lowly economic position may be perpetuated (geographical and psychological factors may be important). But, says a new paper by two World Bank economists, the idea of poverty traps may be overblown. They focus on national economies and present…
  • What technology will bring

    C.W. | LONDON
    18 Sep 2014 | 10:55 am
    SAVINGS RATES in many developing countries are too low. As we argue in this week’s print edition, many poor people in developing countries struggle to save because of demands on their cash—say, from greedy family members or neighbours. Myopia—where people prefer immediate over future consumption—also acts against saving. Commitment-savings accounts (CSAs) can force people to stick to a savings plan, tying their hands and preventing myopic spending.Technological advances may make it even more difficult to save. Mobile-banking systems, such as M-PESA, let people transfer cash using…
  • Still patient, but for how long?

    G.I. | WASHINGTON, D.C.
    17 Sep 2014 | 3:06 pm
    For those watching the Federal Reserve's meeting which ended today, no news was good news. The Fed, as expected, said it would end its bond buying programme (also known as quantitative easing) next month. Many in the market wondered if it would then signal a relatively brisk move to raise interest rates from near zero, where they have been since 2008. It did not: it said rates would stay there for a "considerable time" after bond-buying ended, provided the economy behaves as expected. It also reiterated that "there remains significant underutilization of labor resources," suggesting it is not…
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    Greg Mankiw's Blog

  • Correlation is not causation

    Greg Mankiw
    21 Sep 2014 | 5:14 am
    Fun examples.
  • Follow or Break the Rule?

    Greg Mankiw
    17 Sep 2014 | 6:55 am
    Lars Christensen plots with recent data a version of the Taylor rule I proposed some years ago (published here).  I suggested this rule as an approximate description of Alan Greenspan's monetary policy in the 1990s. Here is Lars's plot:Click on graphic to enlarge  I based this rule (the green line) on data only from the 1990s, but notice that it does reasonably well until 2009.  The red line is the rule with parameters estimated from the later period.Taken at face value, the rule suggests that it is time for the Fed to start raising the…
  • The Case for Civility

    Greg Mankiw
    13 Sep 2014 | 6:10 am
    Noah Smith puts it well:most of our arguments are over things like Obamacare, or antipoverty programs, or financial regulation-- issues on which reasonable people can and do disagree. If you’re uncivil in this sort of situation -- if you call your opponent an idiot, or a liar, or a nastier name simply because you think his or her argument is bad -- you’re basically being overconfident. You’re assuming that there’s essentially no chance that you’re in the wrong, so it’s in the public interest for you to rail against your opponent and score points with the crowd. If you do this,…
  • Just for Fun

    Greg Mankiw
    12 Sep 2014 | 1:28 pm
    A friend sends the following puzzle.  Find the X that fits in this sequence:16  06  68  88  X  98For those who don't get it, I will post a hint in a few days.Hint: Try looking at the problem upside down.
  • Grading Textbooks on Climate Change

    Greg Mankiw
    8 Sep 2014 | 11:43 am
    Source
 
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    Hedge fund

  • Warren Buffett portfolio

    Veryan Allen
    18 Sep 2014 | 4:08 pm
    Warren Buffett focuses on absolute return investing and leverage, arbitrage, derivatives, event-driven, activist, distressed, opportunistic and global macro strategies have driven most of his returns since inception. Too many investors avoid the best managers. If Berkshire Hathaway isn't a hedge fund then there are no hedge funds. Why risk YOUR MONEY in any "average"?Where do you find great managers? It is possible to identify FUTURE winners in advance. George Soros and Warren Buffett's skills were clear more than 40 years ago so there was plenty of time to invest. Their successful…
  • Hedge fund alpha

    Veryan Allen
    16 Sep 2014 | 8:14 am
    Alpha is so rare that only the most dedicated and talented can find it. Top portfolio managers need a minimum 50,000 hours to BECOME skilled and work 100 hour weeks to maintain their competence. Such people do NOT run traditional funds dependent on some dumb index. They also score 10/10 on The Hedge Fund Test. How will you do?1) Risk management:A) A googol of fund managers are asked to choose a whole number between zero and a googol. They are each told they will get to manage USD 1 googol at full fees for googol year lockup if the number they choose is half the arithmetic mean of the…
  • Best hedge fund

    Veryan Allen
    15 Sep 2014 | 11:08 am
    YOUR money is too important to be risked on any "market". I prefer talent that delivers returns INDEPENDENTLY of asset class direction. Though rare, skill can be detected with thorough analysis. For asset classes, history isn't forward looking. Ignore salesmen claiming some inherent "return" certain to be gained from stocks. Asset allocators bet on horses and lose years of gains in bear markets. I bet on jockeys, not horses, as I wish to avoid major drawdowns. How about you?Recently visited the offices of the world's best hedge fund. Client performance needs mean I must do due diligence at…
  • CTA

    Veryan Allen
    3 Sep 2014 | 4:08 pm
    Black box? Here's a proprietary equation that has served clients well over many years of outperformance investing in skill strategies. Good manager + bad period = buying opportunity. Sadly most investors do the opposite so their dollar weighted returns are poor compared to funds' time weighted returns. I've increased allocations to QUALITY managers in EXPECTED drawdowns many times. A great alpha driver is getting in when dumb money is redeeming. Some models actually do work and good managers are rare.The world goes pear-shaped very quickly. Trends end quickly. Do the opposite of the dumb…
  • 2 and 20

    Veryan Allen
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:06 am
    2 and 20? A friend just ate at a top restaurant. Was she was ripped off? Nearby was a more famous eatery crowded with clients. Food there cost a few dollars compared to hundreds where she ate. I asked about her irrational decision avoiding "cheaper" products but she said while aware of "lower" fees, differences in SKILL, EXPERIENCE and VALUE were clear between 3 star Michelin chefs and McDonalds.Obey the passive zealots. Bogle is right. Please DON'T invest in hedge funds. Bet your wealth on long only lists and enjoy the vicious volatility and 50% drawdowns. Hard work, thorough analysis…
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    Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

  • 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…
  • Okay FINRA, Who Had The Call From The FHFA?

    Jeff Matthews
    11 Jul 2014 | 6:38 am
     Last night at 4:05 PM E.S.T. the news hit Bloomberg that the Federal Housing Financing Agency was proposing an astoundingly, stupidly strict set of standards for private mortgage insurers who do business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the net effect of which would be to reduce the availability of credit for home buyers at the very time that credit is needed to keep our economic recovery going. We are not here to explain the issue, only to point out to FINRA, the self-policing body in charge of sniffing out strange behavior in the public markets, the enormous--nay,…
  • Life in Wartime, or, One More Reason Why Companies Leave America

    Jeff Matthews
    17 Jun 2014 | 11:47 am
     These are the headlines on my Bloomberg for Annie's, the organic mac and cheese maker whose shares have fallen from unsustainable heights as the difficulties of running a public company while trying to meet the impatient quarterly targets of impatient quarterly-minded investors finally overcame the euphoria of a company that seemed to be in the right place at the right time. And this is one more reason why companies are leaving America. For the record, I like the new CFO (who helped flag the filing deficiencies) and would not bet against the company mending its ways. Nor…
  • Berkshire Hathaway: Beyond Buffett

    Jeff Matthews
    24 May 2014 | 11:00 am
    If this is failure, I want more of it.”—Charlie Munger “The only succession for Ajit Jain is reincarnation.”—Warren BuffettOmaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2014.It’s one year later, and I’m driving in pre-dawn darkness through downtown Omaha to the 2014 Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting, which, up until about a week ago, was looking like another cakewalk for Warren Buffett. After all, Berkshire’s net worth increased 18% in 2013, representing a staggering $34 billion jump in value.  And while, as some wet-blanket observers have pointed out, Berkshire’s 18% gain paled in…
  • The Score This Quarter: Citigroup 64, JP Morgan 56...IBM 19.

    Jeff Matthews
    27 Apr 2014 | 11:55 am
     Well IBM’s first quarter results are in, and they’re—well, they’re about what we’ve come to expect from a high-cost, brand name, big-iron tech company in a world moving to a low-cost, generic, small-iron model: revenues down, margins down, earnings down, cash flow down, service bookings way down, share buybacks up and layoffs soaring. Remarkably, though, one number—IBM’s earnings-per-share—came in exactly in line with what the company had predicted some 90 days ago, and that’s what Wall Street’s Finest really cared about, because it meant their spreadsheets were…
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    Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

  • Bidding Wars Stop; Millennials Leave Their Parents' Basements, But Not For Homes; Pent Up Demand?

    22 Sep 2014 | 2:25 pm
    Bidding Wars StopWith cash-paying investors on full retreat, existing home sales dropped 1.8% in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist says that's a good thing because "first-time buyers have a better chance of purchasing a home now that bidding wars are receding and supply constraints have significantly eased in many parts of the country.”While I agree it's a good thing that bidding wars stopped, the fact of the matter is home prices are once again in la-la land, especially for cash-strapped millennials loaded up with student debt, in…
  • Spain Mandates Public Companies "Stop the Bleeding" No More Layoffs

    22 Sep 2014 | 11:28 am
    In a concern over votes, regional government spending is on the rise. In addition, Spain Mandates "Stop the Bleeding" No More Layoffs in Public Companies."Stop the Bleeding" via translation ... Nine months after the local elections, the government has begun to show signs of needing a push to overcome the electoral polls. The unemployment remains, along with public debt, macroeconomic data that further tarnishes their results. For this reason, some sources claim that the Government has called on companies possessing some control to hire staff or fail to fire. Although the discourse of…
  • Strange Bedfellows: To Fight ISIS, US Now Supports Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Other Terror Groups

    22 Sep 2014 | 12:04 am
    Strange BedfellowsUS Mideast relationships get stranger every day. The US has come to the defense or has given aid to three rather unlikely groups in the past few weeks.Iranian Revolutionary GuardKurdish Workers Party (PKK), which directly supports the YPG, on Washington's list of proscribed terror groups"Moderates" fighting to overthrow Syrian president Assad. Those moderates just signed a non-agression pact with ISIS70,000 Kurds Seek Refuge in TurkeyThe Guardian reports Kurds Flee into Turkey to Escape Isis OffensiveMore than 70,000 Kurds fled from northern Syria into Turkey at the weekend…
  • Sarkozy the Self-Appointed Savior Has "No Choice", Must "Reconquer" Voters to Save France

    21 Sep 2014 | 7:15 pm
    Arrogance cost former French president Nicolas Sarkozy the election in 2012.Judging from statements he made today, he's just as arrogant, if not more so today. He even brags of a bigger Facebook audience than Francois Hollande and his UMP party opponents, ignoring the fact that 60% of the electorate does not want him to run again.Self-Appointed Savior Has "No Choice" The Financial Times reports Sarkozy Pledges to Win Voters Back from French Far-Right. In a television interview, the former centre-right president who failed to get re-elected in 2012, said: “I am going to reconquer those…
  • ECB Executive Board Urges Germany to Borrow and Spend

    21 Sep 2014 | 7:36 am
    In a foolish as well as never-ending attempt to prevent price deflation and revive growth, the ECB Urges Berlin to Cut Taxes and Spend. Berlin has hit back at calls from a top European Central Bank official urging Germany to spend more to help the eurozone escape from its economic malaise.In one of the most politically charged statements to come from the central bank, Benoît Cœuré, a member of the ECB’s executive board, urged Berlin to increase borrowing in order to support investment and cut taxes.The article follows calls by ECB president Mario Draghi last month for governments to…
 
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    Overcoming Bias

  • Hope For A Lumpy Filter

    Robin Hanson
    20 Sep 2014 | 11:30 pm
    The great filter is the sum total of all of the obstacles that stand in the way of a simple dead planet (or similar sized material) proceeding to give rise to a cosmologically visible civilization. As there are 280 stars in the observable universe, and 260 within a billion light years, a simple dead planet faces at least roughly 60 to 80 factors of two obstacles to birthing a visible civilization within about ten billion years. If there is panspermia, i.e., a spreading of life at some earlier stage, the other obstacles must be even larger by the panspermia life-spreading factor. We know of a…
  • Great Filter TEDx

    Robin Hanson
    16 Sep 2014 | 4:35 pm
    This Saturday I’ll speak on the great filter at TEDx Limassol in Cyprus. Though I first wrote about the subject in 1996, this is actually the first time I’ve been invited to speak on it. It only took 19 years. I’ll post links here to slides and video when available. Added 22Sep: A preliminary version of the video can be found here starting at minute 34.
  • Did Industry Cause Nations?

    Robin Hanson
    14 Sep 2014 | 4:45 pm
    An interesting claim: the nation-state didn’t exist before, and was caused by, the industrial revolution. Oh there were empires before, but most people didn’t identify much with empires, or see empires as much influencing their lives. In contrast people identify with nation-states, which they see as greatly influencing their lives. More: Before the late 18th century there were no real nation states. … If you travelled across Europe, no one asked for your passport at borders; neither passports nor borders as we know them existed. People had ethnic and cultural identities, but these…
  • Tarot Counselors

    Robin Hanson
    13 Sep 2014 | 1:55 am
    [Tarot card] readers claim to be able to describe a person’s life, his problems, hopes and fears, his personality and even his future. (more) I recently watched a demonstration of Tarot card reading. The reader threw out various interpretations of the cards she placed, in terms of the subjects personality and life, and watched the subject carefully for reactions, moving the interpretation closer to options where the subject seemed more engaged. Though the subject was a skeptic, she admitted to finding the experience quite compelling. Contrast such life readings to school career…
  • Do Economists Care?

    Robin Hanson
    2 Sep 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Art Carden: Heavy traffic is a problem every economist in the world knows how to solve: price road access, and charge high prices during rush hour. With technologies like E-ZPass and mobile apps, it’s easier than ever. That we don’t pick this low-hanging fruit is a pretty serious indictment of public policy. If we can’t address what is literally a principles-level textbook example of a negative spillover with a fairly easy fix, what hope do we have for effective public policy on other margins? (more) Yes! If economists actually cared about influencing real policy, they…
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    All Articles on Seeking Alpha

  • Duke Is A Slow-Moving Stock, But Offers A High Dividend Yield

    22 Sep 2014 | 7:49 pm
    By Abba's Aces:The last time I analyzed Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) on August 15, 2014, I stated, "I won't be buying any shares right now but will keep it on the radar in case it comes down again." Since the article was published, the stock has increased 3.19% versus the 2.83% gain the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) posted. Unfortunately I didn't purchase any shares to realize that gain. Duke Energy Corp. is an energy company, operating through its direct and indirect wholly owned subsidiaries.On August 7, 2014, the company reported second quarter earnings of $1.11 per share, which beat the consensus…
  • The Best Dividend Growers, Part 30: Aetna And UnitedHealth Group

    22 Sep 2014 | 7:36 pm
    By Stan Stafford: Overview In this series of articles, I will be identifying which S&P 500 stocks for various S&P industries are best suitable for income investors, based on dividend growth and yield. For Part 30, I will be taking a look at Managed Health Care stocks. These stocks include: Aetna (NYSE:AET) Cigna (NYSE:CI) Humana (NYSE:HUM) UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) WellPoint (NYSE:WLP) When ranking the dividend paying stocks by yield, the order is as follows: UnitedHealth Group - 1.71% WellPoint - 1.44% Aetna - 1.07% Humana - 0.85% Cigna - 0.04% When ranking them by dividend…
  • 3 Dividend Paying Stocks With Decent Yields And Room To Grow

    22 Sep 2014 | 7:32 pm
    By Investing Doc:Just out of curiosity, I ran a value screen recently, looking for dividend-paying stocks with strong earnings growth, reasonable financial strength, low payout ratios, and decent dividend yields trading at reasonable valuations. My criteria: Dividend Yield > 1.5% Dividend growth over the past 5 years > 7.5% per annum Payout Ratio < 60% Forward P/E ratio < 20 Debt / Equity - Latest Quarter < 45% Earnings per share growth over past 3 years > 13% As an additional filter, to give at least the veneer of earnings reliability, I excluded: Financial companies…
  • Dividends Vs. Capital Appreciation: Wrong Question

    22 Sep 2014 | 7:14 pm
    By Mike Serebrennik: Investing is a process "If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing." - W. Edwards Deming In my opinion, investors could do better by not setting either dividends or capital appreciation as a goal. Investors can shape their mindset by describing themselves as "income" or "growth" investors, thus limiting their options. Dividends and capital appreciation are merely the means through which stock ownership rewards its owners. Instead of focusing on the rewards, investors could follow a sensible investing process.Investing is a…
  • Ride The Tech Boom Higher With A Solid Dividend-Paying Giant

    22 Sep 2014 | 6:59 pm
    By The Brand Value Investor: The Situation Tech stocks are officially back in favor again on Main Street. High flyers and start-ups are becoming the cool thing to talk about at coffee shops. As the market reaches all-time highs on continued strength, people are starting to get excited like it's 1999. However, for those investors seeking safety and income, the highly volatile technology sector sounds about as appealing as a root canal followed by a stop at the DMV.Luckily, not all tech stocks are fly-by-night dreamers hoping their next round of seed funding goes through so they can move out of…
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • “How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry”

    Andrew
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:14 pm
    David Rothschild (coauthor of the Xbox study, the Mythical Swing Voter paper, and of course the notorious Aapor note) will be speaking Friday 10 Oct in the Economics and Big Data meetup in NYC. His title: “How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry: information aggregation using non-representative polling data.” Should be fun! P.P.S. Slightly relevant to this discussion: Satvinder Dhingra wrote to me: An AAPOR probability-based survey methodologist is a man who, when he finds non-probability Internet opt-in samples constructed to be representative of the…
  • Some will spam you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen

    Andrew
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:33 am
    A few weeks ago the following came in the email: Dear Professor Gelman, I am writing you because I am a prospective doctoral student with considerable interest in your research. My name is Xian Zhao, but you can call me by my English name Alex, a student from China. My plan is to apply to doctoral programs this coming fall, and I am eager to learn as much as I can about research opportunities in the meantime. I will be on campus next Monday, September 15th, and although I know it is short notice, I was wondering if you might have 10 minutes when you would be willing to meet with me to briefly…
  • On deck this week

    Andrew
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Mon: Some will spam you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen Tues: Why I’m still not persuaded by the claim that subliminal smiley-faces can have big effects on political attitudes Wed: Study published in 2011, followed by successful replication in 2003 [sic] Thurs: Waic for time series Fri: MA206 Program Director’s Memorandum Sat: “An exact fishy test” Sun: People used to send me ugly graphs, now I get these things The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • I can’t think of a good title for this one.

    Andrew
    21 Sep 2014 | 6:31 am
    Andrew Lee writes: I recently read in the MIT Technology Review about some researchers claiming to remove “bias” from the wisdom of crowds by focusing on those more “confident” in their views. I [Lee] was puzzled by this result/claim because I always thought that people who (1) are more willing to reassess their priors and (2) “hedgehogs” were more accurate forecasters. I clicked through to the article and noticed this line: “tasks such as to estimate the length of the border between Switzerland and Italy, the correct answer being 734 kilometers.”…
  • Estimating discontinuity in slope of a response function

    Andrew
    20 Sep 2014 | 6:04 am
    Peter Ganong sends me a new paper (coauthored with Simon Jager) on the “regression kink design.” Ganong writes: The method is a close cousin of regression discontinuity and has gotten a lot of traction recently among economists, with over 20 papers in the past few years, though less among statisticians. We propose a simple placebo test based on constructing RK estimates at placebo policy kinks. Our placebo test substantially changes the findings from two RK papers (one which is revise and resubmit at Econometrica by David Card, David Lee, Zhuan Pei and Andrea Weber and another…
 
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    Streetsblog New York City

  • NYC: Today’s Headlines

    Brad Aaron
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:57 am
    Over 300K Participate in March (NYT, WSJ), But Can NYC Withstand Climate Change Summit? (PIX) De Blasio Announces Climate Plan, With Focus on Energy-Efficient Buildings (NYT) NYPD Van Crash Kills Officer, Injures 8 More (NYT); News: There Are 4,000 NYPD Wrecks Annually NYPD Confiscates Jason Marshall’s Bike as Evidence, Source Says Felony Charges Possible (Post) Post: With 316 Pedestrian Injuries in 2013, Cyclists Are Clearly Out of Control (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Trottenberg Treats ABC 7‘s Meaningless Bike Lane Stats Awfully Seriously Witnesses Detain Hit-and-Run Driver After Edenwald…
  • NYC: NYC Celebrates Park(ing) Day 2014

    Stephen Miller
    19 Sep 2014 | 2:05 pm
    Kristy Raffensberger of the New York Public Library reads to children in Tribeca. Photo: HR&A Advisors Today’s the day when people across the world replace parking with parks to prompt their neighbors to think a bit differently about how we use street space. While participation in Park(ing) Day seems to have ebbed in New York recently, the city still made a decent showing this year. Here’s a sampler of the pop-up parklets across the city today. Consulting firm HR&A Advisors set up a temporary parklet on Harrison Street, between Hudson and Greenwich Streets in Tribeca. It…
  • NYC: NYC Cab Drivers Don’t Have to Take an NYC Road Test [Updated]

    Brad Aaron
    19 Sep 2014 | 10:31 am
    You can watch the entirety of Thursday’s hearing on Taxi and Limousine Commission Vision Zero rule changes here. Cue to the 41:15 mark in the second video, embedded above, to see TLC board members wonder aloud whether reckless driving is protected by the Constitution, and if it’s really that bad to run over and kill someone while taking a phone call. But first, other news from yesterday: The TLC previewed two stickers meant to improve cab driver safety. As prescribed by Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero Action Plan, one will be placed on every taxi windshield to remind drivers…
  • NYC: Why You Can’t Trust TV News to Report on Bike Lanes

    Stephen Miller
    19 Sep 2014 | 8:30 am
    Earlier this week, in an “investigation” seeking to link bike lanes to traffic congestion, ABC 7 reporter Jim Hoffer drove around Manhattan avenues timing his trips. The station ostensibly wanted to test DOT’s numbers showing that average travel times on two streets with protected bike lanes decreased after the lanes were installed. It’s a terrible way to measure the performance of city streets, but when Hoffer disclosed his times on Eighth Avenue – an average of 7 minutes, 9 seconds to make the 11-block drive from 23rd Street to 34th Street during seven tests…
  • NYC: Cyclist Strikes Woman in Central Park — Victim on Life Support

    Ben Fried
    19 Sep 2014 | 6:50 am
    A cyclist in Central Park struck a woman yesterday afternoon, inflicting life-threatening injuries. The victim, 59-year-old Jill Tarlov of Fairfield, is on life support, according to the Daily News. The Post reports that she has been declared brain-dead. The collision happened on the West Drive of the park at around 4:30 p.m. Tarlov was in a crosswalk near 63rd Street, which has a traffic light, when Jason Marshall struck her on a racing bike. Accounts in the Post and the Daily News don’t specify who had the right of way or what speed Marshall was traveling. Police told Gothamist that…
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    The Big Picture

  • Billionaire Census 2014

    Barry Ritholtz
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:00 pm
    Wealth-X And UBS Billionaire Census 2014 from Wealth-X on Vimeo.
  • 10 Monday PM Reads

    Barry Ritholtz
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:00 pm
    My afternoon train reads: • The Rise of Ultracheap Financial Advisers (WSJ) • Why Warren Buffett hates gold (USA Today) • Eric Holder’s Shameful Legacy on Wall Street Fraud (Fiscal Times) • Buy? Sell? Or Hold? (WSJ) see also I Really Want to Crush the Efficient Market Hypothesis (Pragmatic Capitalism) • Census data on poverty show results of economic policy gone wrong (LA Times) • When it comes to making decisions, bees and ants can act against stereotype (WSJ) • The New Conservative Love Affair With Canada (The Upshot) • This map shows which disease is most likely to kill…
  • Risks to Family Wealth

    Barry Ritholtz
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:15 pm
    Source: U.S. Trust
  • FOMC dissents from 1936 until 2013

    Barry Ritholtz
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:30 am
    Source: St. Louis Fed
  • Why Hedge?

    Barry Ritholtz
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    The news last Monday was a shock — the Calpers California earthquake. For a variety of reasons, the California Public Employee’s Retirement System, the nation’s largest public-pension fund, said it was dropping hedge funds from its roster of investment allocations. This tremor will be felt far and wide. We are unlikely to know the full impact of Calpers’s decision for some time, as other pension-fund managers digest the thinking that goes into managing $300 billion in assets. It will, however, be influential. Calpers is not only the largest pension fund, but is often…
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    The Epicurean Dealmaker

  • Oop. Time, She’s Up

    20 Sep 2014 | 3:52 pm
    “I am old, Gandalf. I don’t look it, but I am beginning to feel it in my heart of hearts. Well-preserved indeed! Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right. I need a change, or something.”― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the RingsWhen I launched this blog seven and three-quarters years ago, O Dearly Beloved, my first post incorporated the following mission statement:I have started this blog to comment on what I consider to be a fascinating part of the global economy: the global market for…
  • Some Work of Noble Note May Yet Be Done

    14 Sep 2014 | 9:56 am
    We are not now that strength which in old daysMoved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,One equal temper of heroic hearts,Made weak by time and fate, but strong in willTo strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.— Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses”Ever since the release of Dr. No in 1962, the James Bond 007 films have acted as a touchstone and running commentary on popular culture and society. For over half a century, a parade of different Bonds, Bond Girls, and increasingly over the top villains have offered escapist fantasies of varying implausibility and ridiculousness which…
  • Amakudari Revisited

    3 Sep 2014 | 10:43 am
    Thomas Nast, Mr. Moneybags“If you were sensible of your own good, you would not wish to quit the sphere in which you have been brought up.”“In marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman’s daughter; so far we are equal.”“True. You are a gentleman’s daughter. But who was your mother? Who are your uncles and aunts? Do not imagine me ignorant of their condition.”“Whatever my connections may be,” said Elizabeth, “if your nephew does not object to them, they can be nothing to you.”— Jane Austen, Pride and…
  • Labor Day

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

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

  • Caught in Satan’s Storm

    Daniella Frangione
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    On 22 September 1692 eight more victims of the Salem witch trials were executed on Gallows Hill. After watching the executions of Martha Cory, Margaret Scott, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Willmott Redd, Samuel Wardwell, and Mary Parker, Salem’s junior minister Nicholas Noyes exclaimed “What a sad thing to see eight firebrands of hell hanging there.” These would be the last of the executions, for the trials were facing increasing opposition amid a growing dissatisfaction with the political and spiritual leadership of the colony. Symbolic of that displeasure, less than…
  • The impact of law on families

    Alice
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:30 am
    Strong, stable relationships are essential for both individuals and societies to flourish, but, from transportation policy to the criminal justice system, and from divorce rules to the child welfare system, the legal system makes it harder for parents to provide children with these kinds of relationships. In her book Failure to Flourish: How Law Undermines Family Relationships, Clare Huntington argues that the legal regulation of families stands fundamentally at odds with the needs of families. We interviewed Professor Huntington about the connection between families and inequality. In the…
  • The Responsibility to Protect in the Ebola outbreak

    Alice
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:30 am
    When the UN General Assembly endorsed the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in 2005, the members of the United Nations recognized the responsibility of states to protect the basic human and humanitarian rights of the world’s citizens. In fact, R2P articulates concentric circles of responsibility, starting with the individual state’s obligation to ensure the well-being of its own people; nested within the collective responsibility of the community of nations to assist individual states in meeting those obligations; in turn encircled by the responsibility of the United Nations to respond if…
  • Learning with body participation through motion-sensing technologies

    DanP
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:30 am
    Have you ever thought that your body movements can be transformed into learning stimuli and help to deal with abstract concepts? Subjects in natural science contain plenty of abstract concepts which are difficult to understand through reading-based materials, in particular for younger learners who are at the stage of developing their cognitive ability. For example, elementary school students would find it hard to distinguish the differences in similar concepts of fundamental optics such as concave lens imaging versus convex lens imaging. By performing a simulated exercise in person, learners…
  • Why you should never trust a pro

    Alice
    21 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    A few years ago a friend of mine and I were intent on learning German. We were both taking an adult beginning German class together and were trying to make sense of what the teacher was telling us. As time progressed I began to use CDs in my car to practice the language everyday. I could repeat a lot of the phrases and slowly built up my ability to speak. From 2007-2009, I had the good fortune of spending three summers in Berlin doing research thanks to a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Over time I was able to speak more and more German and my approach of spending lots…
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    Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

  • More on Competition and Monopoly

    Don Boudreaux
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:38 am
    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s an essay that I was asked to write for the blog at Library of Law & Liberty.  Specifically, this essay – motivated by Peter Thiel’s recent piece in the Wall Street Journal - explains that what we economists still formally call “competition” is not a very competitive situation, and what we call “monopoly” often is a situation of intense competition. Here’s a slice: The fact that almost no actual competition takes place in perfectly competitive markets doesn’t stop people, most of whom are unfamiliar with the…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:24 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from a speech given by James Madison to the constitutional convention in Philadelphia on June 29, 1787: In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate.  Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body.  A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.  The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.  Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever…
  • Minimum Logic

    Don Boudreaux
    21 Sep 2014 | 1:40 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to the Financial Times: Joseph Stiglitz concludes that raising the minimum wage in the U.S. will increase American workers’ bargaining power (“Pay pressure,” Sept. 19).  Mr Stiglitz reaches this conclusion by arguing that American workers’ pay is now kept low in part by “asymmetric globalization” - a phenomenon mentioned but not defined in your pages, but which Mr Stiglitz suggested last year in the New York Times involves the ability of “mobile capital” to demand “that workers make wage…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    21 Sep 2014 | 4:23 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from pages 387-388 of the 2014 collection, The Market and Other Orders (Bruce Caldwell, ed.), of some of F.A. Hayek’s essays on spontaneous-ordering forces; specifically, it’s from Hayek’s previously unpublished 1961 lecture at the University of Virginia “The Object of Economic Theory” (which is the first of four lectures that Hayek delivered in UVA’s Newcomb Hall during the Spring 1961 semester; the title of this lecture series by Hayek is “A New Look at Economic Theory”) (editor’s footnote excluded): It seemed to me that…
  • Some Links

    Don Boudreaux
    21 Sep 2014 | 3:32 am
    (Don Boudreaux) Steve Moore finds that Obama’s policies hurt most the people they are supposedly intended to help the most.  (This finding is unsurprising given that, for example, Pres. Obama frequently calls for a policy – raising the minimum wage – that artificially raises employers’ costs of hiring low-skilled workers.  Arbitrarily binding golden-egg-laying geese is not the way to get more golden eggs, even if the those who impose the binds both assure us of their excellent intentions and offer fine rococo theories to explain how their bully binds will make geese…
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    Dollars & Sense Blog

  • Climate March Links: Industrial Policy!

    Chris Sturr
    19 Sep 2014 | 3:49 pm
    A few items in advance of this weekend’s Climate March in NYC: (1) Ron Baiman of the Chicago Political Economy Group sent us this: I’m sometimes asked: What is industrial policy? This article (“Sun and Wind Alter Global Landscape, Leaving Utilities Behind”) by Justin Gillis of the New York Times shows what industrial policy is. If Germany, a country with little sun, and little wind-swept land mass can do it, we all can! In fact as the article notes, German (and Chinese) industrial policies are bringing prices down and making these planetary saving technologies…
  • Tuesday Links: CEO Pay, Crisis Costs, Climate March, etc.

    Chris Sturr
    16 Sep 2014 | 10:47 am
    (1) Dr. Dollar on the Ex-Im Bank.  Our latest piece from the (still in production) Sept/Oct issue: Arthur “Dr. Dollar” MacEwan answers this question from D&S reader Arne Alpert: “Congressional Republicans and the Heritage Foundation are making a big deal about the Export-Import Bank, calling it “crony capitalism.” Are they right? Does the Ex-Im Bank serve a useful purpose, or is it just propping up the profits of trans-national corporations?” (2) Susan Holmberg and Mark Schmitt, The Overpaid CEO. Interesting piece that focuses on the costs of high CEO pay.
  • “Labor Day” Links: Rand Wilson, Steve Early, Jeannette Wicks-Lim

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

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

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

  • Does Abenomics Work? - The Doubts Grow

    Edward Hugh
    18 Sep 2014 | 12:35 pm
    Is something in the air? Do I detect a change in consensus on the way things are going in Japan? Certainly a slew of articles have been published in the financial press over the last month questioning where the Abenomics experiment is headed for. The general conclusion seems to be that wherever it is it is certainly not the originally designated endpoint. Thus the Economist. "It is crisis mode
  • Abenomics - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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

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

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

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

  • Attempt The Bathroom Remodeling Project

    block
    17 Sep 2014 | 2:45 am
    Bathrooms are one area of the home that offer solace and convenience, which implies they should have a lot of attention when it comes to restroom renovation. Looking at graphics of other people’s restroom remodeling jobs will certainly give you concepts of how you can renovate your restroom to make it more welcoming and mirror your character. In order to achieve the restroom remodeling effect you prefer, you have to plan appropriately. You should select the theme or design that you want for the restroom. Once you have picked the standard design you can actually tailor the results by…
  • The Audience And The Search Engine Indexing

    block
    3 Jul 2014 | 7:13 am
    At present, social media sites is considered a part of everyone’s lives. In fact, two-thirds of people make use of social websites to obtain in touch with loved ones while the rest say they get in touch with pals they haven’t seen for several years. Social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are utilized as methods by big companies. According to study, 95 percent of respondents select Facebook as top social media platform. Using social media as part of the advertising method of companies, Search Engine Optimization or SEO is likewise a fantastic platform to achieve…
  • Analyze Web Methods And Techniques

    block
    3 Jul 2014 | 5:11 am
    The bottom line about “free web site marketing offers” is that ‘nothing is really ever complimentary’. Any individual or entity or company that does not imagine spending income to promote their website will have to remember that substantial time will certainly have to be invested, if cash is to be conserved. Find the very best and standard Search Engine Optimization policies and methods that can drive online interest and queries to your web site and increase page rankings on the Web. The easy suggestion to keep in mind right here is that text consisted of in the ALT…
  • What To Do When Charged With A Criminal Offense?

    block
    9 Jun 2014 | 4:14 am
    Being charged with a major crime is a frightening and demanding situation. It can threaten your liberty and every aspect of your life. If you have actually been charged with a crime you will need an excellent criminal attorney to safeguard you and guarantee your rights are shielded under the law. Looking for counsel from a good lawyer who specialises in criminal matters is the very first step you should take as quickly as you have been charged. There are a variety of means you can discover the ideal lawyer for you. This article gives you suggestions on what to do. When you are charged,…
  • Locked Out From Home Prevention Tips

    block
    5 Jun 2014 | 4:26 am
    Getting locked out is never fun. We have all been there a minimum of once in our lives. The locksmiths I’m talking for this post are for houses, and even particular types of companies. It’s easy to run out of your house or company rapidly, and close a locked door. All of us survive a schedule and get behind from time to time. We cut corners occasionally to save time one way or another. Getting locked out occurs. Lots of people park in their garages so the entryway to our home is normally limited to the door into our home from the garage. Being a locksmith, I’ve even seen…
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    Credit Slips

  • Yoga for Stressed Out Lawyers ... and Their Debtor-Clients

    Jason Kilborn
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:43 am
    And now time for something entirely different. I noticed a great new book in our list of library acquisitions recently that might be of particular interest to two groups that suffer from lots of stress: lawyers and debtors! Credit Slips' own Nathalie Martin has teamed up with a lawyer-turned-yogi and the ABA to produce a really wonderful new book, Yoga for Laywers: Mind-Body Techniques to Feel Better All the Time. The book contains a very nice discussion of stress, its causes and effects, and its relief through yoga poses, mindfulness and meditation.  I've read a lot of these kinds…
  • "Oh Dear Me No, I Couldn't Possibly Hear Another Appeal..."

    Mark Weidemaier
    19 Sep 2014 | 5:49 pm
    The Second Circuit has refused to hear Citibank's appeal of Judge Griesa's order enjoining Citi from making payment on USD-denominated, Argentine-law bonds. The Second Circuit's order is a bit... Delphic. Weighing in at all of 56 words, not counting citations, the court simply "decline[d] to find jurisdiction" because the district judge's order "is a clarification, not a modification" of the injunction. The distinction seems a bit fine, given the stakes. Recall that some USD-denominated, Argentine law bonds are Exchange Bonds (and thus subject to…
  • New ADP Garnishment Report

    Jason Kilborn
    17 Sep 2014 | 9:42 am
    A valuable and groundbreaking source of data on wage garnishment has just been released by ADP, the nation's largest payroll services provider. I immediately recalled a great paper by Rich Hynes about the paucity of wage garnishments in Virginia and Illinois in the mid-2000s. According to ADP, things have changed since the recession, especially for blue-collar (manufacturing and transportation/utilities) workers in the Midwest making between $25,000 and $40,000 a year, of whom more than 10% suffered a garnishment in 2011-2013. About half of these garnishments were for child support, but…
  • Digital Wallets

    Adam Levitin
    15 Sep 2014 | 9:13 am
    Interesting op-ed on digital wallets by Edward Castronova and Joshua Fairfield in the NYT. I'm a little more skeptical. Thoughts follow the break. (1) We already live in a world of digital currency. Thanks to fractional reserve banking and electronic records, most currency and transactions are electronic now, not cash. Most money is already digital; there is a right of paper convertibility, but we're in a digital currency world without involving Satoshis and Ripples (¿or is that ripplakh?).  (2) Government Acceptance of a Currency Matters...A LOT.  I would take issue with…
  • Settling Detroit: Remembering General Unsecured Creditors

    Melissa Jacoby
    12 Sep 2014 | 10:34 am
    The trial on the City of Detroit's restructuring takes a hiatus while insurer Syncora and others try to finalize a settlement. The deal seems to be a hybrid of enhanced treatment for Syncora's class of claims in Detroit's plan (class 9) and other value for Syncora alone, such as rights in Detroit property, and possibly a release from insurance obligations on interest rate swaps. The deal does not resolve class 9 objections as a whole. Indeed, it may give others in the class, e.g., insurer FGIC, more to grumble about. Signals are flashing that the judges (intentionally plural)…
 
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    The Aleph Blog

  • Two Questions on Fixed Income from the Mailbag

    David Merkel
    20 Sep 2014 | 9:15 pm
    Photo Credit: Ana Flávia CadorFrom my readers:What are your thoughts on Pimco’s new strategy for its flagship fund?This concerns me because its one of the few “safe” funds in my company’s 401k plan.I haven’t heard anyone critique this and thought you’d be the best that I know of.It seems to me that its a disproportional risk. And that due to its size could potentially cause problems.http://blogs.barrons.com/focusonfunds/2014/09/17/deriving-returns-at-pimco-total-return/This is not a new problem with Pimco.  You can review these two articles here:PIMCO in…
  • On LinkedIn Endorsements and Registered Investment Advisors

    David Merkel
    20 Sep 2014 | 9:03 pm
    I’m going to be away for a few days.  Maybe I will have time to post; most likely I won’t.  Before I go, I want to thank my readers who have endorsed me at LinkedIn.  You are most generous in your assessments of my abilities.But as for now, until there is better clarification of whether it is legitimate for advisors to accept endorsements at their LinkedIn profiles, I am disabling endorsements on my profile.  For those that want to do the same thing, you can find out how to do it here.I would just rather be safe than sorry.  Aside from that, how many people use LinkedIn to…
  • Volatility Can Be Risk, At Rare Times

    David Merkel
    19 Sep 2014 | 12:49 am
    Photo Credit: Matt CavanaghThere is a saying in the markets that volatility is not risk. In general this is true, and helps to explain why measures like beta and standard deviation of returns do not measure risk, and are not priced by the market. After all, risk is the probability of losing money, and the severity thereof.It’s not all that different from the way that insurance underwriters think of risk, or any rational businessman for that matter. But just to keep things interesting, I’d like to give you one place where volatility is risk.When overall economic conditions are…
  • Retirement – A Luxury Good

    David Merkel
    18 Sep 2014 | 7:24 am
    Photo Credit: 401kcalculator.orgRecently I was approached by Moneytips to ask my opinions about retirement. They sent me a long survey of which I picked a number of questions to answer. You can get the benefits of the efforts of those writing on this topic today in a free e-book, which is located here: http://www.moneytips.com/retiree-next-door-ebook.  The eBook will be available free of charge through September 30th.  I have a few quotes in the eBook.Before I move onto the answers, I would like to share with you an overview regarding retirement, and why current and future generations are…
  • Redacted Version of the September 2014 FOMC Statement

    David Merkel
    17 Sep 2014 | 11:34 am
    Photo Credit: DonkeyHoteyJuly 2014September 2014CommentsInformation received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that growth in economic activity rebounded in the second quarter.Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in July suggests that economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace.This is another overestimate by the FOMC.Labor market conditions improved, with the unemployment rate declining further. However, a range of labor market indicators suggests that there remains significant underutilization of labor resources.On balance, labor…
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    Quoting the Crisis

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Labor, Judiciary, Tax Reforms Can Help Boost Italy’s Economy

    18 Sep 2014 | 8:53 am
    Italy is struggling to emerge from recession, as tight credit conditions shackle investment, high public debt weighs on future growth prospects and long-standing rigidities hamper productivity, IMF staff said in a regular review of the country’s economy.
  • Lagarde Calls for Reforms to Unleash Economic Power of Women

    15 Sep 2014 | 12:02 pm
    The global economy could be greatly boosted by unleashing the economic power of women, who remain the world’s largest excluded group, the head of the IMF told a high level gathering in Japan.
  • Angola’s Growth Set to Rally after Dip in Oil Output

    8 Sep 2014 | 6:27 am
    Lower oil production is set to cut Angola’s economic growth in 2014, before a rebound in the oil industry boosts growth next year, the IMF says in its regular review of the economy of sub-Saharan Africa’s second largest oil producer.
  • Stabilizing Ukraine’s Economy

    2 Sep 2014 | 9:04 am
    Ukraine needs to address short-term challenges while not losing sight of deep-seated structural problems and vulnerabilities, says the IMF’s Poul Thomsen in an interview.
  • F&D Magazine’s 50th Birthday Issue Looks at Global Economics

    27 Aug 2014 | 12:29 pm
    The IMF’s Finance & Development (F&D) magazine marks its golden anniversary with a number of special features in its recently released September issue on the future of the global economy and a look back at how things have changed over the past 50 years.
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    24/7 Wall St.

  • The 52-Week Low Club for Monday

    Paul Ausick
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:07 pm
    September 22, 2014: The following stocks are among the 230 equities making new 52-week lows today: BHP Billiton plc (NYSE: BHP) dropped about 3.8% on Monday to post a new 52-week low of $60.90. Share...
  • Gen Xers Tally More Income Than Their Parents, But Less Wealth

    Paul Ausick
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:05 pm
    The good news for Generation X, those Americans born between 1965 and 1980, is that they have higher incomes now than their parents had at the same age. The bad news is they Gen Xers have accumulated...
  • The 4 Stocks That Sank the Market

    Paul Ausick
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:03 pm
    September 22, 2014: Markets opened lower on Monday following an announcement from China’s Finance Minister that the country would would not add more stimulus to the economy. In Japan, an imminent...
  • ChinaNet Gains Momentum Following Alibaba

    247chrislange
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:01 pm
    ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNET) hit a multiyear high on Monday after announcing news of its most recent growth strategy in digital advertising and that it won the “Best Company in...
  • Should Auditors Use A Formal ‘Going Concern’ Qualification More Frequently?

    Jon C. Ogg
    22 Sep 2014 | 11:44 am
    If one phrase in an auditor report will spook an investor that they haven’t seen before, it is the so-called “going concern” opinion. Many auditors do not like to issue these going...
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    The Baseline Scenario

  • Changes

    James Kwak
    19 Sep 2014 | 1:40 pm
    By James Kwak You may have noticed that my blogging has tailed way off over the past few months—to, well, just about nothing. You probably noticed that it was pretty spotty for a long time before that. The main reason is that I’ve been busy with a new teaching job, which requires some effort on academic publications, and raising two small children. The other major factor is that I often just find I don’t have much that’s original to say. Financial regulation is a pretty heavily covered field, and I don’t have the time to be a real expert on, say, derivatives…
  • An Elizabeth Warren for New York

    Simon Johnson
    7 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    By Simon Johnson These days, almost everyone likes to complain about institutional corruption – and various forms of intellectual capture of government orchestrated by big corporate interests. But very few people are willing to do anything meaningful about it. Zephyr Teachout is an exception. Not only has she written about the history of political corruption in the United States, both in long form (her recent book) and in many shorter versions (e.g., see this paper), she is competing for the Democratic nomination to become governor of New York. In many countries, Ms. Teachout would sweep to…
  • How to Get Thrown Out of a Luxury Hotel

    James Kwak
    7 Jul 2014 | 12:41 pm
    By James Kwak That’s one of the subplots of Big Money, by Politico reporter Kenneth Vogel, a book that I reviewed for yesterday’s issue of the New York Times Book Review. You can read that review, so I won’t re-review it here, except to say that if you were wondering how political operatives get rich people to part with their money, you’ll find out here.
  • Corporate Political Contributions and Bad Faith, Whatever That Is

    James Kwak
    23 Jun 2014 | 9:08 pm
    By James Kwak In an earlier paper (blog post here), I argued that corporate political contributions can in many cases be challenged by shareholders as conflicted transactions that further insiders’ personal interests (e.g., lower individual income taxes) rather than the best interests of the corporation. The argument (to simplify) was that if a political contribution is in the CEO’s individual interests, the resulting conflict of interest should make the business judgment rule inapplicable, placing on the CEO the burden of proving that the contribution was actually in the best interests…
  • Larry Summers and Finance

    James Kwak
    10 Jun 2014 | 2:38 pm
    By James Kwak I think some people didn’t understand the point I was making about the question of whether the government made money on TARP in my earlier post. Summers said, “The government got back substantially more money than it invested.” This is true, at least if you give him some slack on the word “substantially.” The money repaid, including interest on preferred stock and sales of common stock, exceeded the money invested. My point begins with the observation that, as of late last year, the government had earned an annual return of less than 0.5%. My point…
 
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    Trends... Find them, ride them and get off.

  • Permanent Capital…a Money Manager’s Dream

    Howard Lindzon
    21 Sep 2014 | 7:25 am
    In last weeks’ podcast I talked with Michael Parekh about the cautionary flags being waved by Bill Gurley, a top venture Capitalist at Benchmark. Michael Parekh has seen a few cycles as a Goldman Sachs partner who created their internet franchise. We ended the show talking about the Bill Ackman IPO (his permanent capital) and what it meant for markets. Put simply, permanent capital is: capital that does not require replacement but is in continuous existence You can’t blame Ackman for wanting it. I am sure over the years he has faced redemptions at exactly the wrong time (at least…
  • The Alibaba IPO…The Climactic Top or a Continuation of the Boom?

    Howard Lindzon
    19 Sep 2014 | 12:05 pm
    First of all, what was #Scotland thinking: If #scotland had been smart they would have filed for IPO as a server farm not separation — howardlindzon (@howardlindzon) September 19, 2014 But enough about Scotland… I have long underestimated and underappreciated China. I like the good ‘ol’ USA. My thesis has always been if you can’t find investments in America you are not working hard enough. Furthermore, you can own China by owning great American companies. Today’s Alibaba IPO does not change my thinking, but does put an exclamation point on how profitable…
  • Stocktwits Growth/Changes and What Does Google Know…

    Howard Lindzon
    18 Sep 2014 | 9:11 am
    Over the last month I have reassumed the role of CEO at Stocktwits. As an active Chairman, I was working closely with our former CEO, John Melloy, but not so much the team. It has been fun and exciting getting back into the mix. We have so many veterans on the product, community, content and curation side with Justin, Sean, Daniel and Stefan that we have not missed a beat. I love this Harvard Business piece on community and networks. The title is ‘You Need a Community, Not a Network’: The internet is great for spreading information and rallying crowds, but you can’t mobilize…
  • The ‘War on Leisure’… USA, USA, USA!

    Howard Lindzon
    14 Sep 2014 | 7:14 am
    I was golfing with a few friends at Liberty National on Friday. It was a beautiful Manhattan day and as our boat pulled back to the harbor at Tribecca, we passed the spectacular ‘Freedom Tower’. Next to the Tower is the Goldman Sachs building. It too was a beautiful building and I could easily see the money Goldman is putting to work in downtown Manhattan to make it a great place to live (even if only for wealthy Goldman employees). They are winning. Goldman hit 52-week highs Friday and while I love to hate them, they are the US Bank best positioned for the disruption coming to…
  • Internet Slowdown Day…

    Howard Lindzon
    10 Sep 2014 | 6:33 am
    I live by ‘too small to fail’ since the crash of 2008. The internet has quickly become all about ‘Too Big to Fail’. Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner… Unlike the banks, this new generation of ‘Too Big To Fail (TBTF)’ will not risk failing because they live by a different level of greed. It’s a lazier, less ambitious, cash flow gynormous big. This group of ‘TBT’F controls how we access content on the internet for the most part. Today, Stocktwits is joining other great web businesses like Etsy and Netflix who started an…
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    Economic Principals

  • Meanwhile, in the Annals of Citizenship

    dw
    21 Sep 2014 | 1:34 pm
    US capitalism seems to be taking another turn.  The Old Normal (Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different) was the expectation that, even after a serious banking crisis, growth would resume its long-term annual trend of 2.0 percent in five years or so. The New Normal says, “Forget the trend.” Robert Gordon, of Northwestern University, and Lawrence Summers, of Harvard University, expect slow growth for decades, thanks to various “headwinds,” or constraints on potential output  (Gordon); or insufficient demand, stemming from a savings glut (Summers). A lively…
  • Opposite Ends

    dw
    14 Sep 2014 | 1:31 pm
    Interested in some civic virtue? Some Got fourteen hours to spare?  A new series by master storyteller Ken Burns about Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor airs this week on the public broadcasting network – two hours tonight, and each succeeding evening through Saturday. That’s one way to acquire a little social currency. If you are pressed for time, but still want something new to think and talk about, have a look at the Streamies, the self-professed Oscars of the YouTube serial comedy world. It is, of course, possible to learn more here than you want to know about what the young are…
  • Two Views of Russia

    dw
    7 Sep 2014 | 12:02 pm
    Perhaps the single most intriguing mystery of the Ukrainian crisis has to do with how the Foreign Service officer who served as deputy national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney for two years, starting on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, became the Obama administration’s point person on Russia in 2014. Victoria Nuland took office as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs a year ago this week. She became the “driving force” within the administration to take a tough line against Russia, according to Geoff Dyer of the Financial Times. It was Nuland who…
  • Summer Ends Now

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

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

  • Partyism in America is getting worse

    Tyler Cowen
    22 Sep 2014 | 10:49 am
    In 1960, 5 percent of Republicans and 4 percent of Democrats said that they would feel “displeased” if their son or daughter married outside their political party. By 2010, those numbers had reached 49 percent and 33 percent. Republicans have been found to like Democrats less than they like people on welfare or gays and lesbians. Democrats dislike Republicans more than they dislike big business. And this: To test for political prejudice, Shanto Iyengar and Sean Westwood, political scientists at Stanford University, conducted a large-scale implicit association test with 2,000 adults. They…
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:19 am
    1. Just how bad things are for the economy of Ukraine. 2. You can stay above subsistence in a Malthusian model with more than one factor of production (pdf). 3. What form of devo max for the UK? 4. Does Starbucks have a new latte that tastes just like stout beer? 5. Can graffiti be copyrighted? 6. Thomas Sargent writes an open letter to Heckman and Prescott (pdf). 7. 75 pp. of Arthur M. Melzer, the evidence for esotericism throughout intellectual history (pdf).
  • Are stock buybacks too high?

    Tyler Cowen
    21 Sep 2014 | 11:08 pm
    Edward Luce writes in The Financial Times: According to William Lazonick, a scholar at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, seven of the top 10 largest share repurchasers spent more on buybacks and dividends than their entire net income between 2003 and 2012. In the case of Hewlett-Packard, which spent $73bn, it was almost double its profits. For ExxonMobil, which came top with $287bn in buybacks and dividends, it amounted to 83 per cent of net income. Others, such as Microsoft (125 per cent), Cisco (121 per cent) and Intel (109 per cent) were even more extravagant. In total, the top 449…
  • You earn more in the financial sector because of rent-sharing

    Tyler Cowen
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:02 pm
    We again looked at those individuals moving into and out of the finance sector, but this time restricted the sample only to those doing a job with the same title in both the finance and non-finance sectors, focusing on generic job titles such as ‘function manager’, ‘ICT professional’, ‘secretarial’, ‘customer service’ etc. The results reveal that the same people doing the same job earn around 20% more when doing that job in the finance sector rather than the non-finance sector. This premium is observed to be remarkably similar whatever job title is considered – whether it is…
  • Scott Sumner is perhaps a Japan pessimist

    Tyler Cowen
    21 Sep 2014 | 9:20 pm
    If you want to know what Japan is up against consider that Japanese RGDP has grown by 0.00% per year over the past 6 1/2 years.  In contrast, Germany, the shining star of the European economy, has grown at 0.5% per year over the past 6 1/2 years.  Then consider the fact that the Japanese workforce is falling at an accelerating rate, and unemployment is already at the lowest level in decades.  How fast do you expect Japan to grow?  Negative growth will be the norm; zero growth is the new “economic miracle.” The post is here.
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Liveblogging the American Revolution: September 22, 1776: Execution of Nathan Hale

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 11:50 am
    Execution of Nathan Hale: Diary Entry, September 22, 1776: After the Battle of Harlem Heights, a Connecticut officer, a former schoolmaster named Nathan Hale, volunteered to conduct espionage behind the British lines to secure intelligence concerning troop movements. He was captured on Long Island, identified as a spy (some sources say that he was fingered by his own cousin, Samuel Hale—but it is also true that he carried incriminating documents on his person), and summarily hanged on September 22, 1776. There is considerable difference of opinion as to the site of his execution, which may…
  • This Is Not the First Time We Have Seen Alessandra Stanley, Is It?

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 10:36 am
    Perhaps Margaret Sullivan could read her predecessor? Margaret Sullivan: An Article on Shonda Rhimes Rightly Causes a Furor: "Alessandra Stanley['s]... first paragraph--with a reference to Ms. Rhimes as an 'Angry Black Woman'... ...struck many readers as completely off-base. Many called it offensive. Some went further, saying it was racist. Another reference to the actress Viola Davis as 'less classically beautiful' than lighter-skinned African American actresses immediately inspired a mocking hashtag.... I have asked Ms. Stanley for further comment (she has said that her intentions were…
  • Over at Equitable Growth: Potential Output and Total Factor Productivity since 2000: Marking My Beliefs to Market: The Honest Broker for the Week of September 26, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:42 am
    Over at Equitable Growth: I am still thinking about the best assessment of potential output and productivity growth that we have--that of the extremely-sharp John Fernald's "Productivity and Potential Output Before, During, and After the Great Recession". And I am--slowly, hesitantly, and unwillingly--coming to the conclusion that I have to mark my beliefs about the process of economic technological change to market, and revise them significantly. Let's start with what I wrote last July: READ MOAR Brad DeLong: I Draw a Different Message from John Fernald's Calculations than He Does...: John…
  • Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for September 22, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:52 am
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Morning Must-Read: Rob Stavins: Climate Realities - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Morning Must-Read: Jeffrey Frankel: Piketty’s Fence - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Morning Must-Read: Max Sawicky: Economic Security and “The Great Disturbing Factors of Life” - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Lunchtime Must-Read: Heidi Moore et al.: Why is Thomas Piketty's 700-Page Book a Bestseller? - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Plus: Things to Read on the Morning of September 22, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth…
  • Across the Wide Mediterranean: Zalmay Khalilzad, Ex-Top US Diplomat, in Laundering Probe

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:40 am
    I really hope that there is nothing here. Zalmay Khalilzad was the only member of the Bush Administration who struck me as likable, competent, realistic, and not-evil... Associated Press: Khalilzad, ex-top US diplomat, in laundering probe: "Zalmay Khalilzad, who served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations... ...under President George W. Bush, is being investigated by American authorities for suspected money laundering, Austrian officials said Monday. State prosecutor Thomas Vecsey confirmed a report in the Austrian weekly Profil about the investigation of Khalilzad,…
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    Dani Rodrik's weblog

  • Back to sanity on economic convergence

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

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

    Dani Rodrik
    31 May 2014 | 3:37 pm
    David Held is one of the most thoughtful researchers and commentators on global issues, so I am thrilled and honored to be joining forces with him as joint general editor of Global Policy. The journal publishes a range of exciting academic and policy oriented pieces. Check it out here.
  • Erdogan’s Coup

    Dani Rodrik
    27 May 2014 | 5:57 am
    Daron Acemoglu wrote what seemed like a surprising upbeat piece on Turkish democracy a few days ago. His argument seems to be that democracy required power to be wrested away from the secularists who had erected authoritarian structures, and Erdogan had achieved that. Even though, Erdogan’s recent turn to authoritarianism is “lamentable,” it was, Acemoglu claims, a predictable stage in Turkey’s democratic transition. Once Erdogan is gone, the article implies, democracy would be on a stronger footing than ever. There were in fact many other paths that could have proved less costly. The…
  • Today’s structural transformation is a more mixed story than in the past

    Dani Rodrik
    6 May 2014 | 7:00 am
    Guest post by Uma Lele[1] How quickly and how well are developing countries transforming their economies and with what effects on inter-sectorial growth and distribution? A group of us studied structural transformation looking at evidence from 109 countries over 30 years covering a 1980 to 2009 period with a particular focus on China, India, Indonesia and Brazil. We later followed up on the five members of the East African community. Economists following Kuznets, Chennery and Syrquin, Johnston, Mellor and Timmer have described structural transformation (ST) as consisting of: (1) declining…
 
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    99% Invisible

  • 132- Castle on the Park

    Roman Mars
    16 Sep 2014 | 6:54 am
    On the southwest corner of Central Park West and 106th Street in New York City, there’s an enormous castle. It takes up the whole east end of the block, with its red brick cylindrical turrets topped with gleaming silver cones. All the stained glass windows and intricate stonework make the building looks like something out of a fairytale. This building’s past, however, is not very fairytale-like at all. When it was built in 1887, this castle was the country’s first hospital devoted solely to the treatment of cancer. In the late 1800s, cancer was known to start as a tumor, but they…
  • 131- Genesis Object

    Roman Mars
    10 Sep 2014 | 11:13 am
    In the beginning, there was design. Before any other human discipline, even before the dawn of mankind its self, design was a practice passed down from generation to generation of early humans. Today, everything that has been designed–space ships, buildings, pyramids, weapons, clothing , artwork, everything–can be traced back to a single designed object. The first designed object: the Acheulean hand axe. This episode features designer William Lidwell and UC-Berkeley anthropologist Terrence Deacon.
  • 130- Holdout

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

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

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

  • Keep Your Eye On The Ball

    Sinclair Noe
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:48 pm
    Financial Review DOW – 107 = 17,172 SPX – 16 = 1994 NAS – 52 = 4527 10 YR YLD – .02 = 2.57% OIL – .91 = 91.50 GOLD – 1.40 = 1215.80 SILV – .06 = 17.83 It’s not a huge week for reports, but we do get a couple worth keeping an eye out for. On Thursday, we’ll get the durable goods report for August; and on Friday, we’ll get the third and final revision to second-quarter Gross Domestic Product. This morning we saw the report on existing home sales. The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales dropped 1.8 percent to an annual rate of 5.05 million…
  • Hot, Hot, Hot

    Sinclair Noe
    19 Sep 2014 | 3:57 pm
    09192014 Financial Review DOW + 13 = 17,279 (record) SPX – 0.96 = 2010 NAS – 13 = 4579 10 YR YLD – .04 = 2.58% OIL – .61 = 92.46 GOLD – 8.60 = 1217.20 SILV – .73 = 17.89 The Dow Industrials posted the 18th record high close of the year. The big story on Wall Street today was the Alibaba IPO. You’ve probably never heard of Alibaba, so here is a quick update. Alibaba is China’s biggest online marketplace, and it combines online shopping with online banking, and a search engine. It is the world’s most popular online shopping site; it’s even bigger than eBay and…
  • Christian Rudder – Dataclysm

    Sinclair Noe
    19 Sep 2014 | 3:52 pm
    Listen to the author. Click the banner to buy the book. Christian Rudder – Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) Our personal data has been used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us stuff we don’t need. In Dataclysm, Christian Rudder uses it to show us who we truly are. For centuries, we’ve relied on polling or small-scale lab experiments to study human behavior. Today, a new approach is possible. As we live more of our lives online, researchers can finally observe us directly, in vast numbers, and without filters. Data scientists have become the new…
  • Nathan Furr – The Innovator’s Method

    Sinclair Noe
    19 Sep 2014 | 3:45 pm
    Click the banner to buy the book. Nathan Furr, The Innovator’s Method: Bringing the Lean Start-up into Your Organization Have you ever come up with an idea for a new product or service but didn’t take any action because you thought it would be too risky? Or at work, have you had what you thought could be a big idea for your company—perhaps changing the way you develop or distribute a product, provide customer service, or hire and train your employees? If you have, but you haven’t known how to take the next step, you need to understand what the authors call the innovator’s…
  • Brian Burke – Gamify

    Sinclair Noe
    19 Sep 2014 | 3:38 pm
    Click on the banner to buy the book. Brian Burke – Gamify: How Gamification Motivates People to Do Extraordinary Things In Gamify: How Gamification Motivates People to Do Extraordinary Things, Burke draws on Gartner’s proven research methodology and unique access to a broad swath of enterprise managers, thought leaders, top analysts, and vendors to provide an objective view of what is happening in gamification. Burke cuts through the hype surrounding this important nascent technology to provide unbiased and practical analysis and advice to businesses and public sector organizations.
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    iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

  • Where Danger Lurks

    iMFdirect
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:33 am
    By iMFDirect Lurking conjures up images of spies, flashers and other dodgy types.  The IMF’s chief economist Olivier Blanchard takes readers into the dark corners of the financial crisis in his latest article ‘Where Danger Lurks’  in our recent issue of Finance & Development Magazine, and looks at small shocks, sudden stops and liquidity. “We all knew that there were ‘dark corners’ — situations in which the economy could badly malfunction,” Blanchard said. “The main lesson of the crisis is that we were much closer to those dark corners than we thought — and the…
  • Three Key Questions About the Slowdown in Emerging Markets

    iMFdirect
    18 Sep 2014 | 7:40 am
    By Sweta Saxena 1. Are emerging markets slowing down? Yes. They have been slowing down for some time now. GDP growth has declined from 7 percent during the pre-crisis period (2003-8) to 6 percent over the post-crisis period (2010-13) to 5 percent, in our projections, over the next 5 years (2014-18).  This path is illustrated below in Chart 1. This last point stands out. Despite an uneven recovery, growth in advanced economies is projected to eventually recover. Not so for emerging markets. Chart 1 More worrisome is the medium—term outlook, where projections have been revised down serially…
  • Carbon Pricing: Good for You, Good for the Planet

    iMFdirect
    17 Sep 2014 | 8:50 am
    By Ian Parry The time has come to end hand wringing on climate strategy, particularly controlling carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.  We need an approach that builds on national self-interest and spurs a race to the top in low-carbon energy solutions. Our findings here at the IMF—that carbon pricing is practical, raises revenue that permits tax reductions in other areas, and is often in countries’ own interests—should strike a chord at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York next week. Let me explain how. Ever since the 1992 Earth Summit, policymakers have struggled to agree on an…
  • What’s Lurking in the Shadows of China’s Banks

    iMFdirect
    15 Sep 2014 | 8:54 am
    By Steven Barnett and Shaun Roache (Versions in 中文) “Shadow” banking: a surprisingly colorful term for our staid economics profession. Intended or not, it conjures images of dark, sinister, and even shady transactions. With a name like “shadow banking” it must be bad. This is unfair. While the profession lacks a uniform definition, the idea is financial intermediation that takes place outside of banks—and this can be good, bad, or otherwise. Our goal here is to shine a light on shadow banking in China. We at the IMF have used many terms. Last year, we had a descriptive one,…
  • U.S. Monetary Policy: 3-2-1, Interest Rate Liftoff!

    iMFdirect
    9 Sep 2014 | 10:40 pm
    By Francesco Columba and Jarkko Turunen (Versión en español) photo: Patrick H. Corkery/DoD/Sipa USA/Newscom After more than five years of exceptionally low interest rates, the U.S. Fed is getting closer to the point of managing a liftoff of policy interest rates from close to zero. As of today, liftoff is expected to take place by around mid-2015. But this is not set in stone. The Fed has repeatedly emphasized that the timing will depend on the state of the U.S. economy. If things look better, policy rates may increase earlier. Conversely, weaker than expected data may well mean that…
 
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    WordPress.com News

  • WordPressers Making a Splash

    Ben Huberman
    16 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    We might think of the end of summer as a slow news season. Not so for the authors and bloggers we feature today, who’ve been hard at work on some exciting projects recently. Rebecca Hains Writer, professor, and media scholar Rebecca Hains often shares thoughtful posts on her blog, especially on topics revolving around gender and discrimination. Earlier this month, she celebrated the release of The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls through the Princess-Obsessed Years (Sourcebooks), her most recent book. A critique of popular culture and the messages it sends to young girls, the…
  • Gmail Password Leak Update

    Daryl L. L. Houston
    12 Sep 2014 | 4:53 pm
    This week, a group of hackers released a list of about 5 million Gmail addresses and passwords. This list was not generated as a result of an exploit of WordPress.com, but since a number of emails on the list matched email addresses associated with WordPress.com accounts, we took steps to protect our users. We downloaded the list, compared it to our user database, and proactively reset over 100,000 accounts for which the password given in the list matched the WordPress.com password. We also sent email notification of the password reset containing instructions for regaining access to the…
  • Basis, Edin, and Forefront: A Look at Business Themes

    Cheri Lucas Rowlands
    12 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    We add new themes to the Theme Showcase each week, including free and premium themes for businesses, organizations, and your professional projects. Here’s a trio of business themes transformed by three very different types of users: a professional travel and food writer, a Buddhist podcast host, and a fly fishing outfitter in Australia. roam & home Chicago-based travel and food curator Karen Valentine, the founder of roam & home, presents a beautifully designed site with Basis, a premium theme. Wide featured images add splashes of color to the homepage, while the Brandon…
  • Blogging 101 and Writing 101 Are Back!

    Krista
    10 Sep 2014 | 2:00 pm
    You’ve just started your shiny new blog and you’d like some help as you get up to speed on WordPress.com. Or, maybe you’d like some inspiration to write every day. On September 15th, we kick off two free Blogging U. courses: Blogging 101 and Writing 101. They might be just what you need to whip your blog into shape and/or establish your writing habit. Blogging 101 Each day for 30 days, Blogging 101 offers a bite-sized blogging “assignment*,” geared to helping you customize the look of your blog, start a blogging habit, and find some new blogging friends. Here’s…
  • Join Us in the Fight For Net Neutrality

    Paul Sieminski
    9 Sep 2014 | 1:37 pm
    “Net Neutrality” is the simple but powerful principle that cable and broadband providers must treat all internet traffic equally. Whether you’re loading a blog post on WordPress.com, streaming House of Cards on Netflix, or browsing handcrafted tea cozies on Etsy, your internet provider can’t degrade your connection speed, block sites, or charge a toll based on the content that you’re viewing. Net neutrality has defined the internet since its inception, and it’s hard to argue with the results: the internet is the most powerful engine of economic growth and free expression in…
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    EconomicPolicyJournal.com

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Slammed for Being a Climatology Hypocrite

    22 Sep 2014 | 8:22 pm
    Actually, I think he is clueless, rather than a knowing hypocrite. In other words, he is one of the sheeple. DiCaprio joined 400,000 other clueless protesters in Central Park in New York City on Sunday. The march took place two days before a United Nations summit brings together more than 125 world leaders to discuss ways to increase Soros profits deal with climate change. Most of the 400,000
  • Feminist Activists Are Really Active In Spreading Untruths

    22 Sep 2014 | 5:55 pm
  • Mossad is Recruiting Via Youtube Video That Features Hot Blond

    22 Sep 2014 | 4:55 pm
    Bloomberg reports: Israel’s legendary Mossad agency is courting a new generation of spies through social media, a Homeland-derived video and an 18-page application to be filled out by hand. The 83-second clip presents a blond agent resembling actress Claire Danes who leaves her son on the beach with a radio-controlled drone toy while she penetrates the computer network room in a nearby Tel Aviv
  • If You're On a Phone in DC, Someone Could Be Listening

    22 Sep 2014 | 3:58 pm
    A Nevada-based security technology company says it has discovered proof of as many as 15 cellphone interception devices secretly operating in Washington D.C. The interceptors are capable of identifying the movements of people, recording audio from mobile phones, listening to calls and reading email. The company, ESD America  markets a Cryptophone designed to block attempts to hack the phone and
  • Democracy is Not the Same as Freedom

    22 Sep 2014 | 2:56 pm
    Richard Ebeling emails: Dear Bob, I have a new article on the news and commentary website, "EpicTimes," on, "Democracy is Not the Same as Freedom." I point out the too frequent confusion that democratic political participation and election of government office holders means the establishment or preservation of freedom. Democracy is merely a mechanism for selecting those in political power
 
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    Carl Futia

  • Guesstimates on September 22, 2014

    22 Sep 2014 | 6:13 am
    December S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1993-2003. I think this market is headed for 2080. QQQ: Upside target is 103.00.  TNX (ten year note yield): It looks like an extended up trend in yields has begun. The initial target is 3.00% but I think the 10 year yield will go significantly higher than that over the coming months. 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 120. Dollar-Yen: Next stop is 112.  November Crude:   Resistance above the market is at 95. I…
  • Guesstimates on September 19, 2014

    19 Sep 2014 | 5:57 am
    December S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2003-2014. I think this market is headed for 2080. QQQ: Upside target is 103.00.  TNX (ten year note yield): It looks like an extended up trend in yields has begun. The initial target is 3.00% but I think the 10 year yield will go significantly higher than that over the coming months. 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 120. Dollar-Yen: Next stop is 112.  November Crude:   Resistance above the market is at 95. I…
  • Attention Traders

    18 Sep 2014 | 11:03 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

    18 Sep 2014 | 11:02 am
    Here are charts of the five stocks I have been commenting on for the past year or two. My last post about them is here. Tomorrow I plan to add a sixth, Alibaba (BABA) to this group.The first thing worth noticing is that all five of these stocks are trading above their 200 day moving averages (red lines). The worst performer in this regard is Visa. I have abandoned my 250 target for Visa and expect it to stay below its January top for the rest of the bull market.The top chart shows Apple in a strong uptrend. My near term target for AAPL is 108 or so but I am thinking in terms of 120-25 before…
  • Guesstimates on September 18, 2014

    18 Sep 2014 | 5:58 am
    December S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1994-2008. I think this market is headed for 2080. QQQ: Upside target is 103.00.  TNX (ten year note yield): It looks like an extended up trend in yields has begun. The initial target is 3.00% but I think the 10 year yield will go significantly higher than that over the coming months. 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 120. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen has reached my 107.00 target and has started to trade above what I thought…
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    True Economics

  • 22/9/2014: Where TLTROs dare to go?..

    22 Sep 2014 | 3:09 am
    Last week I wrote about the disappointing nature of the first round of TLTROs by the ECB (http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2014/09/1892014-quite-disappointing-tltro-round.html). Now, some more evidence that TLTROs are at best replacing / swapping liquidity in LTROs maturities without materially changing the nature of the banks assets holdings. Remember, the objective of TLTROs is to inject funds into corporate lending, not sustain or increase flows of funds into sovereign debt markets... which means sovereign yields should not be falling in connection to TLTROs.So guess what's…
  • 21/9/2014: Irish Corporate Tax Policy: Some Leadership Needed

    21 Sep 2014 | 11:44 am
    Earlier this week I gave a comment to TheCorner.eu on the issue of Irish corporate tax reforms and challenges: http://www.thecorner.eu/news-europe/corporation-tax-irish-soften-stance-amidst-growing-international-pressure/40478/
  • 21/9/2014: Ireland's Performance: Some Gains, Some Pains

    21 Sep 2014 | 11:39 am
    Last week I gave a quick interview to Swiss Dukascopy TV. The link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9Qi9r-7PSEHere are some of my notes for the programme.Q: Ireland’s unemployment rate fell to five-year low of 11.5 per cent. Fitch restored its A grade to the Irish economy. Noonan believes the upgrade reflects significant progress made in repairing the economy. Ireland has shown some significant improvements in unemployment and jobs creation areas and the economy is now growing, at least in official accounts terms, in part driven by changes to GDP and GNP accounting standards.
  • 18/9/2014: Irish GDP & GNP Q2 2014: Headline Numbers

    18 Sep 2014 | 4:28 am
    In the previous post (http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2014/09/1892014-irish-gdp-q2-2014-sectoral.html) I covered sectoral decomposition of Irish GDP. Note, referenced activity in the above post and GDP are 'at factor cost', omitting taxes and subsidies.Here, let's take a look at full valuations of real GDP and GNP, both seasonally-adjusted (allowing q/q comparatives) and seasonally un-adjusted (allowing y/y comparatives).Starting with seasonally un-adjusted series.Total real GDP (in constant prices) in Q2 2014 stood at EUR45.763 billion which is 7.72% above the levels recorded in Q2 2013 and…
  • 18/9/2014: Irish GDP Q2 2014: Sectoral Decomposition

    18 Sep 2014 | 3:37 am
    Quarterly National Accounts for Q2 2014 for Ireland have been published by the CSO and the numbers are so-far encouraging. I will be blogging on these through out the day, so stay tuned.In this first post on QNA results for Q2 2014, let's take a look at the seasonally un-adjusted data (allowing for year-on-year comparatives) for real GDP by sector:All sectors output rose 7.4% y/y in real terms in Q2 2014 marking second consecutive quarter of growth and significantly outperforming 3.3% growth y/y recorded in Q1 2014. Q2 all sectors output is now at EUR42.157 billion which is the highest…
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    Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

  • Industrial Production: August 2014

    16 Sep 2014 | 6:31 am
    Yesterday, the Federal Reserve released their monthly read of industrial production and capacity utilization showing a decrease in August with total industrial production falling 0.10% since July but still rising 4.12% above the level seen in August 2013. Capacity utilization also declined falling 0.37% from July but rising 1.23% above the level seen in August 2013 to stand at 78.81%
  • Employment Situation: Nonfarm Payrolls and Civilian Unemployment August 2014

    5 Sep 2014 | 11:07 am
    Today's Employment Situation Report indicated that in August, net non-farm payrolls increased by 142,000 jobs overall with the private non-farm payrolls sub-component adding 134,000 jobs while the civilian unemployment rate declined to 6.1% over the same period.Net private sector jobs increased 0.11% since last month climbing 2.12% above the level seen a year ago and climbing 1.34% above the peak level of employment seen in December 2007 prior to the Great Recession.
  • Employment Situation: Total Unemployment August 2014

    5 Sep 2014 | 10:56 am
    Today's Employment Situation report showed that in August “total unemployment” including all marginally attached workers declined to 12.0% while the traditionally reported unemployment rate also fell to 6.1%.The traditional unemployment rate is calculated from the monthly household survey results using a fairly explicit definition of “unemployed” (essentially unemployed and currently looking for full time employment) leaving many workers to be considered effectively “on the margin” either employed in part time work when full time is preferred or simply unemployed and no…
  • Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – August 20 2014

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

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

  • The Boys' Club: How Men Ruin Everything

    sylvia kronstadt
    10 Sep 2014 | 1:46 am
    Back in those golden days of yesteryear, universities had this very quaint and charming notion that their purpose was to fill the minds of young people with knowledge. They provided a brief refuge from the tumult of the everyday world, so students could acquire an intellectual foundation that would enlighten the rest of their lives. Somebody has really, REALLY messed things up, and I think you know who you are, gentlemen. Share
  • Foreclosure Starts and 90 Day Defaults Rise Again in July, Average Time in Foreclosure Now at 1001 Days

    rjs
    8 Sep 2014 | 8:55 am
    According to the Mortgage Monitor for July pdf) from Black Knight Financial Services (BKFS, formerly the LPS Data & Analytics division), 935,460 home mortgages, or 1.85% of all mortgages outstanding, remained in the foreclosure process at the end of July, which was down from 951,384, or 1.91% of all active loans that were in foreclosure at the end of June, and down from 2.82% of all mortgages in July of last year.  These are homeowners who had a foreclosure not Share
  • How the University HealthSystems Consortium uses Big Data and subtle blackmail to add a hidden, secretive layer of complexity to an already bloated industry

    sylvia kronstadt
    2 Sep 2014 | 11:35 pm
    Consorting with the Consortium and its Big Data devilry INTRO: The jargon used to sell the Consortium’s products sounds like a satire of “The Office,” which itself is a satire. The Consortium promises to provide “interoperable workflow solutions“ in its “robust array of resources and tools.” Everything, it seems, is part of a “suite” that is comprehensive, exclusive, benchmarked, trademarked, high-impact and integrated. It promises a sheen of order, ease and rationality to institutions that are “at the crest of the wave,” facing “The Threat of Incrementalism.” Share
  • HEARTLESS: medical device patients have no recourse

    sylvia kronstadt
    24 Aug 2014 | 2:51 am
    If your FDA-approved medical device injures, disables or kills you, that's too bad. The "doctrine of pre-emption" protects manufacturers from all liability. You're on your own. You have no recourse. The multibillion-dollar global conglomerates that design and produce these (often laughably flawed) devices, admit they assumed President Obama would revoke the handy pre-emption escape hatch, which is unfair and irrational -- not to mention cruel -- but it has remained intact. Well-funded lobbyists: priceless. Share
  • The Beggar Wears Prada -- or Why I Stopped Giving to Public Radio

    sylvia kronstadt
    16 Aug 2014 | 1:15 pm
    Get ready to change the channel -- it's almost time for NPR's Autumn Pledge Drive! (Be sure to get the "officially sanctioned" Carl Kasell doll as a thank-you gift!) The twice yearly public radio pledge drive is imminent. If you listen to those fools pleading, cajoling, making "rational" appeals and glorifying their role in your life long enough, it can make you physically ill. Switch to a rock station and listen to Eminem's "Berzerk." It'll drive you less crazy. Share
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    Stock Trading To Go

  • STTG Market Recap September 22, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:27 pm
    Indexes sold off relatively strongly Monday; the opened down at the open as some comments out of China indicated no new easing would becoming from the government and never really mounted any serious rally intraday. If you recall in one of our recaps last week we had noted some thought the Chinese would be doing some new stimulus. The S&P 500 fell 0.80% and the NASDAQ 1.14%. In... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap September 19, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    19 Sep 2014 | 3:19 pm
    A generally quiet day in the markets was dominated by the crazy debut of Alibaba. The S&P 500 fell 0.05% and the NASDAQ 0.30%. Meanwhile, Alibaba surged 38% from its IPO price giving it a first day valuation of $200 billion! Oracle fell after its long time CEO Larry Ellison retired his spot to be Chairman, which hurt the NASDAQ. Original post: STTG Market Recap September 19, 2014 Read... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap September 18, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    18 Sep 2014 | 3:27 pm
    Thursday was day 3 of the bounce from extreme oversold levels as investors continued to celebrate the Federal Reserve's dovish policy statement. The S&P 500 gained 0.49% and the NASDAQ 0.68%. Not too much in the way of economic data other than weekly jobless claims and the Philly Fed index which decelerated in September; however its employment component rose to its highest level since... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap September 17, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    17 Sep 2014 | 4:29 pm
    The indexes were in a new coma today until the Fed announcement at which point they jumped a bit to the upside. The S&P 500 gained 0.13% and the NASDAQ 0.21%. Since all the discussion was about the Fed today, we'll focus on what happened there. Unlike what some had assumed, there was no language changed in terms of an interest rate hike coming sooner than anticipated. Many... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap September 16, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    16 Sep 2014 | 4:41 pm
    We saw a nice bounce in the indexes today which the NYSE McClellan Indicator told us had a quite good chance of happening. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ had twin gains of 0.75%. We should have either a continuation of a quick reversal tomorrow afternoon based on the parlor games people read into whatever the Federal Reserve announces. As we've said the past few recaps some are looking for... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
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    WILLisms.com

  • On Socialism. And Wendy Davis.

    Will Franklin
    8 Sep 2014 | 1:55 pm
    Socialism, as defined (above) by Google. Note the synonyms. It's a loaded word in political discourse, evoking emotional reactions in many, but socialism seems to have lately (and quite suddenly) lost all meaning to post-Cold War kids. Indeed, in a recent CBS/New York Times poll, only 16% of millennials could even say what socialism is, while only a still-embarrassing 30% of those aged 30 and up could define it (57% of Tea Partiers knew about socialism, by contrast). Meanwhile, socialism itself has been mainstreamed as perfectly acceptable within the Democratic Party, while those who warn…
  • Texas Political Enthusiasm Gap Continues.

    Will Franklin
    30 May 2014 | 11:04 am
    After the March primary elections in Texas, it was clear that Democrats, particularly Wendy Davis, had a serious problem. An enthusiasm gap. Well, the runoff election this week exposed further weakness in the Democrats' plan to turn Texas blue-- or even a bit purplish-- in 2014. Here's why: (click for larger version) Approximately 200,000 more people voted in the Republican runoff (~750K) in May than voted in the Democrat primary (~550K) in March. Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton each received more votes in the Republican runoff than Wendy Davis earned in the Democrat primary. More people voted for…
  • Not All Bonds Pass: An Analysis Of Eanes I.S.D.'s Failed Bond Proposal.

    Will Franklin
    12 May 2014 | 5:57 pm
    Total new debt for fast growth Texas school districts passed over the weekend: $3,880,386,500 #TxLege— Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) May 12, 2014 Actually, statewide, the total was more than $6 billion. And, as the Texas Public Policy Foundation noted, prior to this weekend’s bond elections, Texas’ local governments had already amassed almost $325 billion in total debt, enough red ink to soak every man, woman, and child in the Lone Star State with more than $12,000 of local debt obligation. Across Texas over the weekend, small numbers of voters approved billions of dollars in new…
  • Forgotten Time Capsule From 1966 Discovered During Home Renovation. What Happened Next Will Make You Cry.

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

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

  • No Surprises for the S&P 500

    22 Sep 2014 | 1:13 am
    Although the Federal Reserve met, issued a statement, and Fed Chair Janet Yellen held a press conference last week, none of it meaningfully affected the trajectory of stock prices, which continued to behave consistently with investors focused on the future quarter of 2014-Q4 in setting their expectations for making investment decisions. As expected, our rebaselined model pretty much nailed where stock prices ended the week. Next week should prove interesting because we'll start getting our first glimpse into the expectations for the future quarter of 2015-Q3! Analyst NotesWhat was the…
  • Inventions in Everything: Geothermal Beer Coolers

    19 Sep 2014 | 1:16 am
    Are you an environmentally-minded person who enjoys cold beer, but feels guilty about using all that electricity to keep beer cool in your refrigerator? Wouldn't you be better off if you could keep your beer cold without drawing any power from the grid at all? The obvious answer to the question is yes, and believe it or not, there's an invention that doesn't use any electric power but which can keep your beer at cool temperatures all year round, even outside. The secret is to use a geothermal storage system, which takes advantage of the stable and cool temperatures below ground, which in many…
  • What Broke the Job Market in America?

    18 Sep 2014 | 1:40 am
    After looking at the overall history of the net change in the number of full time and part time jobs in the U.S. since 1968, we had a question that relates to the job market today: What broke the job market in the United States? To see what we mean, let's focus in on the period since the official beginning of the so-called "Great Recession" in December 2007, when the previous period of economic expansion in the U.S. last peaked according to the National Bureau of Economic Research before falling into recession. The chart below measures the net change in the number of full time, part time and…
  • Visualizing the Net Change in Full and Part Time Employment Since 1968

    17 Sep 2014 | 1:57 am
    We have a project underway where we're looking at the net change in the number of Americans who work as full time or part time employees over different periods of time. The chart below shows all the data the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau have reported since they began regularly tracking each type of employment since January 1968. One of the things that stands out in looking at the chart is that part time employment actually grows during periods of recession, while full time employment would appear to take the hit, where a good part of what we're seeing is the result of…
  • What Is Your Income Percentile Ranking?

    16 Sep 2014 | 9:43 am
    Where do you stack up in the distribution of income within the United States? We can help you answer this question using the data that the U.S. Census Bureau has collected on the total money income earned by individual Americans, as well as for the families and households into which Americans gather themselves! If you're a visual person, we'll first present the information graphically in animated chart form and then we'll present a tool where you can get a more precise estimate of what your percentile ranking is within each of these groups. In the charts below, first find the income that…
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    Calafia Beach Pundit

  • Obama's attempt to block tax inversion is a mistake

    22 Sep 2014 | 4:57 pm
    It was disheartening, to say the least, that just after finishing the previous post on the new-found strength in the dollar, I should read that "The Obama Administration Issues New Rules to Combat Tax Inversions." As I noted in a post two months ago, the way to address the "problem" of tax inversions is to reform the tax code, not make inversions more difficult or impossible.As the WSJ article notes, it's still questionable whether the administration has the authority to block inversions via executive order. But in the meantime, this is likely to add up to a disincentive to invest in the U.S.
  • The return of King Dollar

    22 Sep 2014 | 4:23 pm
    The U.S. dollar has made some impressive gains of late, brightening the outlook in general with the hope that economic and political fundamentals continue to improve in the years to come. I've borrowed the title of this post from my good friends Larry Kudlow and Steve Moore, and I think this post makes a nice complement to their recent column in National Review Online.Against a trade-weighted basket of major currencies, the U.S. dollar has risen over 15% from its all-time low of three years ago, and over one-third of that increase has come in the past three months (see chart above).It's been…
  • Solid gains in net worth

    18 Sep 2014 | 10:25 am
    U.S. households continued to enjoy strong gains in net worth in the second quarter of this year, according to just-released data by the Federal Reserve. Thanks mainly to gains in financial assets, net worth rose to a new high in nominal and real terms; on a real per capita basis, net worth is within inches of an all-time high. In the 12 months ending June, 2014, household net worth increased by 10%, or almost $8 trillion. (For purposes of comparison, consider that the market cap of global equities rose by over $11 trillion in the same period.)Household debt totaled just under $14 trillion in…
  • No need to fear Fed tightening

    17 Sep 2014 | 1:56 pm
    The August CPI report showed inflation to be a bit lower than expected (-0.2% vs. 0.0%), thanks mainly to falling energy prices. As the chart above shows, both total and core consumer price inflation are running a little under 2% per year, which is largely unremarkable. The bond market, however, is making some interesting adjustments these days: TIPS prices have fallen significantly, as inflation fears subside and the market adjusts to a somewhat improved outlook for economic growth.The above graph shows what I think are the two most important variables to watch these days: the real yield on…
  • Some interesting charts

    16 Sep 2014 | 12:15 pm
    One unique characteristic of the past two decades is the more than 30% decline in the prices of durable goods. Outside of durables, prices of just about everything else have been rising. The decline in durable goods prices began in 1995, which not coincidentally was about the time when China pegged its currency to the dollar (after devaluing it by one third the year before) and launched its export boom. We have China to thank for deflating the prices of most of the durable goods we enjoy these days. That's "good" deflation, since it's not monetary in origin, but rather the result of…
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    Donald Marron

  • Four Myths about Entrepreneurship

    Donald
    17 Sep 2014 | 1:40 pm
    Dane Stangler at the Kauffman Foundation debunks four myths about entrepreneurship: Spoiler: 20-somethings make headlines, but founders in their 30s and 40s are more important. (Disclosure: The Kauffman Foundation funds some of my research at the Urban Institute.)
  • Does the Export-Import Bank Make or Lose Money?

    Donald
    10 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    Suppose your aunt decides to start a business making pizza ovens. She will design and build the ovens, and her daughter will manage operations. A bank is ready to lend her $100,000 to get started, but it wants someone to co-sign and be on the hook if she misses any payments. She offers to pay you $6,000 to do so. A business-savvy friend tells you that missed payments on such a loan average $2,000, usually less, occasionally much more. He also reports that $7,000 is the going rate for co-signing. Those insights spark lively family debate. Your aunt believes her proposal is a no-brainer. She…
  • How Economic Insights Shaped the Web Economy

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

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

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

  • Some fallacies never die

    5 Sep 2014 | 6:08 pm
    Posted over a year ago as Modern Wage Economics: Too Subtle for the Blogosphere?, but some fallacies never die:Our economy uses a lot less labor than it did 10 years ago, and for good reason people are interested in the relative importance of supply and demand factors for explaining what happened to the quantity of labor.Naturally, a supply-demand decomposition exercise is enhanced by looking at both the quantity and price of labor, also known as the wage rate. That's why my book on the recession starts off with various indicators of wage rates and their dynamics (see chapter 2 beginning on…
  • Don't forget agricultural employment

    5 Sep 2014 | 6:45 am
    The payroll report shows +142k (change from July to Aug), which seems low, but note that it excludes self-employed and agricultural workers. If you add those, it's +299k primarily because (seasonally adjusted) agricultural employment increased so much.
  • Real consumption

    4 Sep 2014 | 7:20 pm
    per person, it was less in July than each of the prior 4 months.
  • My one cent

    3 Sep 2014 | 7:19 pm
    Apple refused to list my book for $3.00 -- they listed it at $2.99.Amazon went with the $3.00 price for about a week, and then cut it to $2.99.BN is still charging $3.00.
  • The best way to read illustrated ebooks?

    29 Aug 2014 | 2:50 pm
    For multi-device users, amazon's free kindle app is nice. You can buy a book once and view the same book (including your personal bookmarks and notes) on PC, Mac, ios, android, and more. My only complaint here is that, unlike kindle for tablets and phones, kindle on PC or Mac does not let you double click one of the book's illustrations in order to enlarge it.Apple's free ibooks app solves this problem with consistent image viewing in IOS and Mac: double tap or double click. In addition, the ibook store delivers to ipads an ipad-optimized version. For purchased books, ibooks synchronizes…
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • “How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry”

    Andrew
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:14 pm
    David Rothschild (coauthor of the Xbox study, the Mythical Swing Voter paper, and of course the notorious Aapor note) will be speaking Friday 10 Oct in the Economics and Big Data meetup in NYC. His title: “How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry: information aggregation using non-representative polling data.” Should be fun! P.P.S. Slightly relevant to this discussion: Satvinder Dhingra wrote to me: An AAPOR probability-based survey methodologist is a man who, when he finds non-probability Internet opt-in samples constructed to be representative of the…
  • Some will spam you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen

    Andrew
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:33 am
    A few weeks ago the following came in the email: Dear Professor Gelman, I am writing you because I am a prospective doctoral student with considerable interest in your research. My name is Xian Zhao, but you can call me by my English name Alex, a student from China. My plan is to apply to doctoral programs this coming fall, and I am eager to learn as much as I can about research opportunities in the meantime. I will be on campus next Monday, September 15th, and although I know it is short notice, I was wondering if you might have 10 minutes when you would be willing to meet with me to briefly…
  • On deck this week

    Andrew
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Mon: Some will spam you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen Tues: Why I’m still not persuaded by the claim that subliminal smiley-faces can have big effects on political attitudes Wed: Study published in 2011, followed by successful replication in 2003 [sic] Thurs: Waic for time series Fri: MA206 Program Director’s Memorandum Sat: “An exact fishy test” Sun: People used to send me ugly graphs, now I get these things The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • I can’t think of a good title for this one.

    Andrew
    21 Sep 2014 | 6:31 am
    Andrew Lee writes: I recently read in the MIT Technology Review about some researchers claiming to remove “bias” from the wisdom of crowds by focusing on those more “confident” in their views. I [Lee] was puzzled by this result/claim because I always thought that people who (1) are more willing to reassess their priors and (2) “hedgehogs” were more accurate forecasters. I clicked through to the article and noticed this line: “tasks such as to estimate the length of the border between Switzerland and Italy, the correct answer being 734 kilometers.”…
  • Estimating discontinuity in slope of a response function

    Andrew
    20 Sep 2014 | 6:04 am
    Peter Ganong sends me a new paper (coauthored with Simon Jager) on the “regression kink design.” Ganong writes: The method is a close cousin of regression discontinuity and has gotten a lot of traction recently among economists, with over 20 papers in the past few years, though less among statisticians. We propose a simple placebo test based on constructing RK estimates at placebo policy kinks. Our placebo test substantially changes the findings from two RK papers (one which is revise and resubmit at Econometrica by David Card, David Lee, Zhuan Pei and Andrea Weber and another…
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    Beyond Economics

  • Still Waiting for the Growth that May Never Come

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

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

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

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

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

  • Correlation and Causation: A Great Reminder

    Bill Conerly
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:32 pm
    We've heard it (and I've said it) thousands of times: correlation does not mean causation. Yet we still make the mistake (and I do mean "we"). Tyler Vigen has developed a correlation machine. He has scraped lots and lots of data series, then gone searching for correlation. Take a look at the Spurious Correlations website, and watch Tyler's video down at the bottom. (Hat tip: Greg Mankiw)
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    TheMoneyIllusion

  • Twice is enough (and don’t expect miracles)

    ssumner
    21 Sep 2014 | 5:44 pm
    Six weeks ago I read this post by Edward Hugh: The question I would ask is this: given all the doubt which exists about the real roots of Japan’s problem, and the fact that it may well be a permanent structural problem and not a temporary liquidity trap one, is it really justified to run such a high risk, all-or-nothing experiment? Even Paul Krugman seems to have changed his assessment various times since the  problem started and while he still fully supports the general approach being taken he now thinks the natural rate of interest may remain permanently negative and that fiscal…
  • Infrastructure or entitlements?

    ssumner
    20 Sep 2014 | 9:32 am
    Over at Econlog I have a new post praising Hong Kong, which I recently visited. (BTW, I’d love to discuss the Mont Pelerin Society meeting I spoke at (which was excellent) but am not allowed to–it’s off the record.)  At Econlog I positively gushed about the Hong Kong infrastructure, which was recently ranked number one in the world. On the other hand the Bible teaches us “everything in moderation.”  And so does economics (corner solutions are rarely optimal.)  So maybe Hong Kong is spending too much money on infrastructure.  (This discusses a proposed third…
  • Gallup needs to learn about sunk costs

    ssumner
    19 Sep 2014 | 5:03 pm
    I’m a sucker for the global “well-being” rankings, so naturally I took a look at the headline that said Panama came in number one.  That didn’t really shock me—Latin America generally does well in these rankings, and Panama is fairly prosperous by Central American standards.  But I was surprised top see the entire top 10 of the Gallup-Healthways Global Wellbeing Index: Notice that Sweden is bracketed by Guatemala and El Salvador.  Just to be clear, I’m NOT saying that the people in those two countries are not just as happy as the Swedes; for all I know…
  • No!

    ssumner
    18 Sep 2014 | 5:33 pm
    I presume everyone knows by now, but I haven’t seen other bloggers discuss the election.  The Scottish independence campaign lost badly. That’s probably why the Spanish stock exchange was up sharply earlier today. Markets are the first to know.
  • Yglesias on Obama’s missed opportunity

    ssumner
    18 Sep 2014 | 7:55 am
    Here’s a great post by Matt Yglesias: But as the country waits to hear the latest announcement from the Fed about how rapidly it will end its Quantitative Easing programs, we are witnessing the biggest mistake of Obama’s presidency: the systematic neglect of the Federal Reserve and of his ability to influence its course of action. The FOMC that makes these decisions is mostly composed of presidential appointees — the seven members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. But Obama has failed to make a point of tapping proponents of monetary stimulus for these positions. Even…
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    Jesse's Café Américain

  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Unchanged

    22 Sep 2014 | 1:44 pm
    "For all that has been, thank you.  For all that will be, yes." Dag Hammarskjöld Gold and silver finished the day largely unchanged. There were the usual overnight and early morning antics. The mining sector was taken out behind the woodshed and beaten up a bit. The Shanghai Gold Exchange is now open for business. Some are concerned
  • SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - First Day of Fall - Nature's Doxology

    22 Sep 2014 | 1:25 pm
    Today is the first day of Autumn.   This is the season to give thanks for all, our blessings and sorrows. There was another down day on Wall Street as the post-Alibaba retrenchment set in. Late in the trading day UK retailer Tesco's stock was knocked down on news that they have overstated their profits significantly. "Tesco has suspended four executives, including its
  • Two Estimations of Chinese Gold Demand

    21 Sep 2014 | 1:33 pm
    I found it interesting that these two estimations of Chinese gold demand arrive at similar answers from two different methods and assuming two different start dates.   Before anyone asks, Koos Jansen has addressed the notion of 'round trips' of gold on the Shanghai Exchange in some detail.   It is not the same sort of bullion game that is the hall mark
  • Michael Parenti on Globalisation, Terrorism, and Conspiracy

    21 Sep 2014 | 12:40 pm
    “In societies that worship money and success, the losers become objects of scorn. Those who work the hardest for the least are called lazy. Those forced to live in substandard housing are thought to be the authors of substandard lives. Those who do not finish high school or cannot afford to go to college are considered deficient or inept. No system in history has been
  • Upton Sinclair: The Brass Check

    20 Sep 2014 | 4:23 pm
      These quotes are from The Brass Check which was written by Upton Sinclair in 1919. A brass check was a token purchased by a customer in a brothel and given to the woman of his choice. Sinclair saw the moneyed interests of his day holding brass checks with which to purchase politicians, journalists and their editors, and other thought leaders of the day. For twenty years I have been
 
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • "Credibility"

    chris dillow
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:07 am
    At the end of an interview with Ed Balls this morning, Sarah Monague (02h 22m in) gave us a wonderful example of the ideological presumptions of supposedly neutral BBC reporting. She asked Nick Robinson: "It's about economic credibility here, isn't it?" What's going on here is a double ideological trick. First, "credibility" is defined in terms of whether Labour's plans are sufficiently fiscally tight*. This imparts an austerity bias to political discourse. There's no necessary reason for this. We might instead define credibility in terms of whether the…
  • Capitalism & the low-paid

    chris dillow
    21 Sep 2014 | 5:14 am
    Is capitalism compatible with decent living standards for the worst off*? This old Marxian question is outside the Overton window, but it's the one raised by Ed Miliband's promise to raise the minimum wage to £8 by 2020. First, the maths. This implies a rise of 4.2% per year; the NMW will be £6.50 from next month. However, as the NMW rises, workers' incomes don't rise one-for-one, because tax credits get withdrawn. Assuming an average deduction rate of 50% (it varies depending on whether workers have children - see chart 5.8 in this pdf), this implies a rise of 2.1% per…
  • Economists as food experts

    chris dillow
    20 Sep 2014 | 5:35 am
    Simon Wren Lewis reminds me of Moe Szyslak. No, I'm not trying for an improbable libel action. I'm referring to his call for a fiscal council. He says: Politicians will believe anything that suits them. But what the independence referendum showed us is that voters have similar problems. As the campaign progressed the stronger the Yes vote became, and there is some evidence that this reflected additional information they received. As I suggested here, the problem is that this information was superficially credible sounding stuff from either side, but often with no indication from those…
  • Defending markets

    chris dillow
    19 Sep 2014 | 6:20 am
    I have often accused rightists of making a "small truths, big error" rhetorical trick - of using a small truth to disguise a big mistake. I fear, though, that this post by Richard Murphy shows that the left can do the same thing. He points outthat the conditions required for markets to work optimally are extremely unlikely to exist in the real world. This is true. It is also irrelevant. Optimality is a massively demanding standard. if we were to scrap all institutions because they were sub-optimal, we'd have nothing left.   Nobody would seriously defend a market economy…
  • Distrusting politicians

    chris dillow
    18 Sep 2014 | 6:33 am
    One curiosity of the Scottish referendum campaign has been that polls show that Alex Salmond is less distrusted than other politicians. For example, when Yougov asked "how much do you trust the statements and claims made by the following people?" they found that 40% of Scots trust him whilst 55% don't. For Darling, the figures are 34-60; for Cameron 26-70; and for Miliband 25-67. I say this is curious because good judges have plausibly accused Salmond of sophistry and deceit, whereas the charges of outright dishonesty against No campaigners seem less grievous to me. (Of course,…
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    David Smith's EconomicsUK.com

  • Weak pay and low inflation mean no rate hikes just yet

    David Smith
    21 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. After all the excitement - and for me the right result - time to return to some normal but rather interesting fare. While we have been...
  • A different kind of politics - and not in a good way

    David Smith
    16 Sep 2014 | 8:45 am
    The Scottish referendum campaign has engaged people in politics as never before, it is said, and this is a welcome and different kind of politics. It is, of course, welcome that voters in Scotland are engaged and mainly intend to...
  • Don't go, but Scotland needs the UK a lot more than the UK needs Scotland

    David Smith
    14 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. With days to go, it it is still not clear whether Scotland will avoid the economic car-crash that would follow independence. It could still, as Deutsche...
  • An independent Scotland would be poorer, more unstable and fiscally weak

    David Smith
    7 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. In 11 days, voters in Scotland will decide on whether their country should go it alone. The latest Sunday-Times YouGov poll shows a two-point lead for...
  • A big day for data revisions

    David Smith
    3 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    Today's revised GDP and balance of payments data, taking us up to 2012, confirm what some of us have long suspected, that the recovery in recent years has been stronger than was initially reported. The new numbers show that the...
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    Top Gun Financial Planning

  • Riding The Bull

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

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

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

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

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

  • The Limits to Fighting the Islamic State

    Gareth Evans
    22 Sep 2014 | 10:50 am
    It is to be hoped that US President Barack Obama’s decision to wage war against the Islamic State will not prove to be another misconceived and over-reaching foreign military intervention in the Middle East. But as the US-led mission is currently conceived, it is not clear whether its objectives are achievable at acceptable costs.
  • America’s Never-Ending War

    Brahma Chellaney
    22 Sep 2014 | 7:10 am
    US President Barack Obama has effectively declared war on the Islamic State, using the very rhetoric that his predecessor George W. Bush used when launching America's "war on terror." The US now risks becoming enmeshed in a permanent war against an expanding list of enemies – often created by its own policies.
  • China’s Measured Embrace of India

    Minghao Zhao
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:50 am
    Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to India strongly suggests that China is determined to inhibit the bilateral rivalry from intensifying. But, despite Xi’s investment pledges, it is far from certain that Asia’s two giants can bridge the differences that continue to burden the bilateral relationship.
  • Burning Down the House

    Donald Kaberuka
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    World leaders must act on all global challenges when they recognize them. Preventing bank failures and stopping terrorist attacks are important goals; unless we get serious about addressing climate change, we are likely to have more of both.
  • Reuniting the United Kingdom

    Chris Patten
    19 Sep 2014 | 10:20 am
    In the end, democracy came to the rescue, and the people of Scotland voted by a comfortable margin to remain part of the UK. Still, the country's identity has been fractured, perhaps beyond repair, and things will never be quite the same again.
 
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    OilPrice.com Daily News Update

  • Dropping Prices and Supply Glut Sends Oil Into Floating Storage At Sea

    22 Sep 2014 | 3:59 pm
    There is so much surplus oil sloshing around right now, some of it is being stored on tankers at sea. It's well known that there is a glut of oil in the United States because of a lack of infrastructure and the ban on exports. A surge in production, coupled with tepid demand, has caused prices to decline by about 13 percent since June: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is trading at a price discount.And those declining prices have led some commodity traders to decide that excess oil is better left at sea. There are now 25 to 50 million barrels of oil…Read more...
  • How will Libya’s ongoing crisis affect MENA region?

    22 Sep 2014 | 3:44 pm
    As international attention shifts to the Islamic State, many observers have all but forgotten the link between the toppling of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi, and his one-party state, and the emergence of increasingly dangerous competition between tribal and Islamist factions in Libya.In July, Tripoli’s airport was briefly shut down after a bomb blast, and Libya’s neighbours, Egypt and Tunisia, cancelled flights to airports in the country in August. The international response has been swift. Almost all the international organizations,…Read more...
  • Standard Oil Heirs Join Movement To Divest In Fossil Fuels

    22 Sep 2014 | 3:29 pm
    The movement against investing in fossil fuels has reached a critical mass, with more than 800 individuals and institutions promising to rid their portfolios of $50 billion worth of investments in non-renewable fuels.On Sept. 22, the Rockefeller family -- whose scion, John D. Rockefeller, built an immense fortune as co-founder of Standard Oil – announced that its $860 million philanthropic foundation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, would be the latest to join the movement.Fund president and Rockefeller heir Stephen Heintz said in a statement…Read more...
  • Could Low Oil Prices Point To A Debt Bubble Collapse?

    22 Sep 2014 | 2:38 pm
    Oil and other commodity prices have recently been dropping. Is this good news, or bad? Figure 1. Trend in Commodity Prices since January 2011. Brent spot oil price from EIA; Australian Coal from World Bank Prink Sheet; Food from UN’s FAO.I would argue that falling commodity prices are bad news. It likely means that the debt bubble which has been holding up the world economy for a very long–since World War II, at least–is failing to expand sufficiently. If the debt bubble collapses, we will be in huge difficulty.Many people…Read more...
  • New Polymer Improves Solar Generating Efficiency by 15%

    22 Sep 2014 | 2:01 pm
    Scientists at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory have identified a new kind of polymer that provides an inexpensive way to improve the efficiency of solar cells.The new compound, called PID2, is a type of polymer that forms familiar materials such as plastics. It allows electrical charges to move more easily through the cell, increasing the production of electrical power -- something that has not been observed previously.Wei Chen of the Materials Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory said, “This knowledge…Read more...
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    zentrader.ca

  • Minimum Requirement For A Bear Market

    chris
    21 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    By Chris Ebert The best time to prepare for a Bear market, as with any foreseeable disaster, is long before it strikes. If one waits for word of a Bear market to be broadcast on the evening news, chances are good that it is already too late to prepare. It’s too late to build a storm cellar when the tornado sirens are blaring, too late to get off the volcano when the pyroclastic flows have begun, and too late to buy bread and milk when the blizzard winds are howling. The best one can normally hope for, when a disaster is already underway, is to mitigate the damage; and that includes stock…
  • Financial Astrology – Market Manipulation

    Jeff Pierce
    17 Sep 2014 | 7:42 pm
    By Astrology Traders My prediction In the July 27th update for trouble at the CME September 1st has come to fruition as reported in an article posted from Zerohedge on September 1st.   To sum up the article, Nanex’s Eric Hunsader confirmed the participation of central banks involvement in market manipulation of the S&P futures, known as the E-mini, in both the futures and option form, in addition to the well-known central bank trading in Interest Rates, TSY and FX products.  In order to incentivize the banks the CME is paying them tiny rebates on every trade. The exposure seems…
  • The Bear Has Begun To Stir In Gold

    Jeff Pierce
    15 Sep 2014 | 8:50 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%.  When considering whether an asset is ready to turn higher, I generally look for an extreme negative sentiment level during an extreme price decline while the asset is in the timing band for a Cycle Low. At present, both Gold and Silver sentiment are…
  • Part-Timers

    Jeff Pierce
    15 Sep 2014 | 8:50 pm
    The reason why most people “thank goodness it’s friday” is because full-time jobs are often highly stressful and demanding environments. The pay may not adequately reflect the amount of emotional, mental and physical energy invested. In these situations, the disgruntled employee is not hard to find. Whether the full-time work is taxing or a person is looking for a stimulating and rewarding activity, part-time work is an incredible place to start. This extra income can be useful for saving for a future trip or maybe for a down payment on a home. Either way, making sure you…
  • Growth Strategies For Portfolio Management

    Jeff Pierce
    15 Sep 2014 | 11:42 am
    By Aimee West This guide is written to provide some simple strategies that can be implemented to help your investment portfolio grow in addition to making good returns. You must actively manage your investment portfolio if you want to get the maximum financial gains from it. Strategic growth is possible in any investment portfolio if the correct steps are taken. If you are thinking about investing your savings then you really should seek some specialist assistance. A professional investment portfolio management company will soon pay for itself when you start to see larger growth in your…
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    NEW ECONOMY

  • Stanford's Coal Divestment: Meet 2 Students—And 1 President—Who Made It Happen

    Dana Drugmand
    18 Sep 2014 | 12:20 pm
    Erica Knox: Leveraging privilege Stanford University student Erica Knox went to see Bill McKibben’s “Do the Math” tour in November 2012. That’s when McKibben and 350.org launched a divestment movement to address climate change and challenge the power of the fossil fuel industry. Knox has been involved with divestment group Fossil Free Stanford ever since. “It’s definitely the group on campus where I feel like I’m actually creating change,” she said. Modeled after the anti-apartheid movement of the 1970s and ’80s, the divestment campaign pressures universities and other…
  • Occupy Offshoot Cancels $4 Million in Predatory Student Loans—and Starts a Debtors Union

    Liz Pleasant
    17 Sep 2014 | 7:20 am
    Photo by Shutterstock. Nathan Hornes was sitting on the couch watching Maury when he saw the ad for Everest College. Owned by the for-profit education company Corinthian Colleges, Inc., Everest commercials are known to target low-income people, promising a flexible education and, through it, jobs that earn more than minimum wage. They're often aggressive, the actors calling viewers out for being lazy and then daring them to live up to their full potential. Hornes was an easy target. “The first commercial I saw was the girl and she’s like ‘Oh, you’ve got to get off the couch,’” he…
  • NY Unions Will Bring Fresh Ideas about Jobs, Energy to Historic Climate March

    Abby Scher
    14 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    A member of New York's transit workers union attends Occupy Wall Street in September 2011. Photo by Timothy Krause / Flickr. This story is part of the Climate in Our Hands collaboration between Truthout and YES! Magazine. New York's unions are digging deep to support the march that calls on world leaders to take action to avert catastrophic climate change. There is a grinding nature to labor solidarity. Having never been active in a union before, I never experienced it until becoming the National Writers Union rep to organizing meetings for the Sept 21 Climate March happening in New York City…
  • Kentucky Town Beats High Gas Prices—By Opening a Public Gas Station

    Thomas Hanna
    12 Sep 2014 | 2:06 pm
    This article originally appeared at Community-Wealth.org. Photo by Kzenon / Shutterstock. Earlier this month, the small city of Somerset, Kentucky, drew national attention when it opened a municipally owned and operated fuel center in an effort to drive down gas prices for local residents. As a result of its proximity to Lake Cumberland, a popular tourist destination, the city of 11,000 residents has long struggled with high fuel prices—especially during the summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Under the leadership of Republican Mayor Eddie Girdler, the conservative-leaning…
  • Migrant Farmworkers Find Paths Out of Poverty Through Incubator Farms

    Lisa Gale Garrigues
    10 Sep 2014 | 11:55 am
    Octavio Garcia and his brothers now manage their own 6.5 acres leased from ALBA. Photo by Nancy Porto / ALBA. Nine years ago Octavio Garcia was a seasonal laborer, spending long days bent over another man’s field in California’s Central Valley, picking strawberries for $6.25 an hour. Today the 24-year-old is manager of his own 6.5 acres, growing strawberries, tomatoes, garlic, and other produce on land leased to him by ALBA, the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association in Salinas, Calif. Click here to subscribe to YES! ALBA is one of a growing number of “incubator farms” across…
 
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    Central Bank News

  • Israel holds rate, 2014 growth seen at 2.3% vs 2.9%

    centralbanknews.info
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:19 pm
        Israel's central bank maintained its benchmark interest rate at 0.25 percent, as expected, citing the support to economic activity from the cumulative reduction of 50 basis points in July and August.    The Bank of Israel (BOI), which has cut its rate by a total of 75 basis points this year, also updated its forecast, with inflation in the next four quarters seen at 1.0 percent, the interest rates remaining at 0.25 percent, the economy growing by 2.3 percent this year (down from a previous forecast of 2.9 percent) and inflation still seen at 3.0 percent in 2015. …
  • Monetary Policy Week in Review – Sep 15-19, 2014: 10 central banks maintain rates amidst global uncertainty

    centralbanknews.info
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:05 pm
        Last week all 10 central banks that considered their monetary policy stance left rates unchanged, something that has only occurred once before this year.    Apart from last week, only week 15 – from April 7 to April 11 – saw all central banks maintain their rates, illustrating just how active monetary policy has become since the global financial crises.    Between two and 15 monetary policy committees at central banks have deliberated their policy stance each and every week this year, with one to five central banks changing their rates.    But…
  • Pakistan holds rate, subsidy cut may hit inflation outlook

    centralbanknews.info
    20 Sep 2014 | 8:45 am
        Pakistan's central bank held its policy rate steady at 10 percent, as expected, saying the current outlook for inflation of around average 8 percent inflation in the 2015 financial year might change adversely if the subsidy to to electricity is cut and a gas infrastructure development cess is levied    The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), which has maintained its policy rate since raising it by 100 basis points in 2013, added that today's decision required a balancing of the tradeoffs between ensuring the continuation of macroeconomic stability and assuaging the fallout…
  • Central Bank News Link List - Sep 20, 2014 - Pakistan stocks down ahead of Saturday central bank meeting

    centralbanknews.info
    20 Sep 2014 | 2:13 am
    Here's today's Central Bank News' link list click through if you missed the previous link list. The list comprises news about central banks that is not covered by Central Bank News. The list is updated during the day with the latest developments so readers don't miss any important news.Pakistan stocks down ahead of Saturday central bank meeting (The News)Currencies back on agenda as G-20 monetary policies split (Bloomberg)As G20 chases growth goal, members differ on how to get there (Reuters)Analysts: BOC may have to come off its neutral guidance (MNI)Fed’s Fisher: Would like to…
  • Nigeria holds rate but worried over inflation, FX rate

    centralbanknews.info
    20 Sep 2014 | 12:24 am
        Nigeria's central bank maintained its policy rate at 12.0 percent but said it was concerned about the potential impact on inflation and the exchange rate from banks' high level of liquidity that was not being used for productive and profitable lending to the real sector of the economy.    The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which has kept its rate steady since October 2011, encouraged banks to lend excess reserves to the real economy but noted their "apathy to lending" and their inclination to place an additional 866 billion naira in the banking system from maturing…
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    Business Insider

  • World leaders urged to change course at UN climate summit

    Carole Landry
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:25 pm
    United Nations (United States) (AFP) - The largest gathering of world leaders on climate change opens at the United Nations on Tuesday amid calls for action to put the planet on course toward reversing global warming.UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is hosting the summit of 120 leaders, the first high-level gathering since the Copenhagen conference on climate change ended in disarray in 2009.Diplomats and climate activists see the event as crucial to building momentum ahead of the Paris conference in late 2015 that is to yield a deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions after 2020.But…
  • China manufacturing gauge picks up in September: HSBC

    22 Sep 2014 | 8:03 pm
    Beijing (AFP) - China's manufacturing sector saw a surprise pick-up in September, a closely watched survey showed Tuesday, providing some respite after a string of weak data pointing to a slowdown in world's second-largest economy.HSBC said its preliminary purchasing managers index (PMI), which tracks activity in China's factories and workshops, advanced to a two-month high of 50.5, higher than a final reading of 50.2 in August.A reading above 50 indicates the sector is expanding.Concerns over China's economy -- a key driver of global growth -- have intensified following a string of…
  • China swim star Sun set to avenge Asian Games upset in 400m

    22 Sep 2014 | 7:47 pm
    Incheon (South Korea) (AFP) - China's world and Olympic champion Sun Yang showed no signs of the thumb injury he claimed ruined his bid to win Asian Games gold in the 200m freestyle by qualifying quickest for the 400m final on Tuesday.The towering Chinese clocked three minutes, 51.17 seconds to beat South Korea's Park Tae-Hwan in their heat, while Japan's Kosuke Hagino, who shocked Sun and local hero Park in Sunday's 200m, split the two rivals with the second quickest time.Hagino, who has already won three gold medals in Incheon, clocked 3:52.24 with Park, the 2008 Olympic champion, touching…
  • Batman prequel 'Gotham' premieres on US TV

    22 Sep 2014 | 7:38 pm
    Washington (AFP) - The backstory of Batman's many villains came to life in a new US television drama series that Fox hopes will help lift its prime-time ratings out of the doldrums."Gotham" stars David Mazouz as a 12-year-old Bruce Wayne who witnesses the cold-blooded murder of his parents on the grim nocturnal backstreets of contemporary New York.But the plot centers on the rookie detective James Gordon, played by Ben McKenzie, the character who would become the Commissioner when Wayne grows up to become the Caped Crusader."I promise you, I will find the man who did this," Gordon promises a…
  • US bombs IS jihadists in Syria: Pentagon

    22 Sep 2014 | 6:47 pm
    Washington (AFP) - The United States and "partners" have launched bombing raids against Islamic State extremists in Syria, the Pentagon said."I can confirm that US military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL (Islamic State group) terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles," spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement. Join the conversation about this story »
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    Business + Economy – Articles – The Conversation

  • Style over substance: sustainability reporting falling short

    Renard Siew, Postdoctoral fellow at UNSW Australia
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:46 pm
    Sustainability reporting still lacks consistency and comparability Image sourced from www.shutterstock.comOnce on the fringe of institutional investors’ considerations, reporting on environmental, social and governance related issues is now common practice among major listed companies. But the quality and consistency of sustainability reporting remains a problem, with some companies distorting their reporting to highlight positive news. Despite the sector being driven by the needs of socially responsible investors, sustainability reporting practices are diverse, reflecting the differing…
  • Priming for Indonesia's fuel subsidy cut

    Fithra Faisal, Research and Community Engagement Manager at Faculty of Economics at University of Indonesia
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:22 pm
    In Indonesia, motorists quickly line up in the petrol station before subsidised fuel price go up. EPA/BIMO SATRIODiscounts for fuel in Indonesia have been hurting Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Set to inherit an account deficit when he takes office in late October, newly elected president Joko Widodo has pushed his predecessor to start rising petrol prices now. But outgoing president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who raised fuel prices last year by 33%, has refused Widodo’s request - with good reason. Now is not the time to cut subsidies. Sudden fuel price hikes that come from improperly…
  • Big business, market power and why we need more test cases

    Alexandra Merrett, Competition Lawyer; Senior Fellow at University of Melbourne
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:28 pm
    When big business misuses its market power, proving it can prove a challenge. Riccardo Cuppini/Flickr, CC BY-NC-NDIn advocating greater competition, less regulation and reduced red tape, the Harper Committee’s 300 page draft review of competition policy largely colours between the lines of its extremely broad terms of reference. But in the area of market power, the Committee, led by Australian economist Ian Harper, has delivered some surprising - and somewhat inconsistent - recommendations, some of which will not be welcomed by big business. For the most part, the Committee seems relaxed…
  • Why it's time to scrap price signalling laws

    Julie Clarke, Associate Professor, School of Law at Deakin University
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:28 pm
    Some price signalling can help consumers. Aaron Amat/Shutterstock, CC BY-SAAmong the 52 recommendations contained in the draft report on Competition Policy from economist Ian Harper, is a suggestion price signalling laws established in 2011 be repealed. These laws currently make it unlawful for banks to disclose price-related information in a broad range of circumstances. Price signalling laws in Australia have an almost comical, and highly political, history. Their genesis was the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s defeat in a number of high profile petrol price fixing cases.
  • Little appetite for painful reform needed to hit G20 growth target

    Mark Crosby, Associate Professor of Economics at Melbourne Business School
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:42 pm
    Australia is striving to lead the G20 growth target - but the truth is the reform needed is hard and painful. Dave Hunt/AAP In 2000 in Lisbon the European Union countries met and agreed on the “Lisbon Agenda”. Europe was already lagging in terms of growth and jobs, and it was hoped that the Agenda would “deliver stronger, lasting growth and create more and better jobs in order to unlock the resources needed to meet Europe’s wider economic, social and environmental ambitions, thus making Europe a more attractive place to invest and work and improving knowledge and innovation for growth…
 
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    Mindful Money » Shaun Richards

  • Is an Irish economic miracle in progress?

    Shaun Richards
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:32 am
    Last week when the world was concentrating mostly on the Scottish independence vote another Celtic nation released some strong economic news. On Thursday Ireland -which is always a relative laggard in timing- released its economic growth numbers for the second quarter of 2014. Preliminary estimates for the second quarter of 2014 indicate that GDP increased by 1.5 per cent in volume terms on a seasonally adjusted basis compared with the first quarter of 2014 while GNP increased by 0.6 per cent over the same period. If we compare this situation to Ireland’s Euro area colleagues the…
  • What to do about the problem that is Japan and its economy?

    Shaun Richards
    19 Sep 2014 | 3:33 am
    Today is certainly the morning after the night before, although the loud thunderstorms which passed over London in the middle of the night turned out not to be a forerunner of a Yes vote for Scottish independence. The UK remains and reasonably convincingly so too, but as suggested in the comments section issues like the West Lothian question and indeed whether Westminster politicians will keep their promises to the Scots will continue on. If we move to the financial markets then the UK Pound has surged this week singeing the fingers of those who sold it as it has touched US $1.65 overnight…
  • More signs of Currency Wars emerge and some songs for #Indyref day in Scotland

    Shaun Richards
    18 Sep 2014 | 3:30 am
    Today is of course the day that Scotland decides whether it wants independence and the opportunity to have (one day) its own currency. Although for the moment its government seems set on an unchanged currency at least initially as it intends to continue to use the UK Pound. However as it does so we have seen signs of what have been called the “currency wars” flaring up again overnight. The US Federal Reserve The US central bank triggered much of the moves with its policy announcement last night which continued its policy of “tapering” or reducing its Quantitative…
  • Why are real wages in the UK continuing to fall in an economic boom?

    Shaun Richards
    17 Sep 2014 | 3:06 am
    Today a coincidence of timing sees the release of both the latest labour market figures for the UK and also the latest minutes from the Bank of England which will tell us what it was thinking at its policy meeting of a fortnight ago. The reason why these two events are now tied together is that the policy of Forward Guidance which the majority of the Monetary Policy Committee still ascribe to is defined in terms of the labour market. In its original incarnation we were told this.  in August 2013, the MPC committed not even to consider raising Bank Rate from historic lows at least until…
  • Is UK inflation below target (CPI)? On it (RPIX)? Or pushing higher with house prices?

    Shaun Richards
    16 Sep 2014 | 3:01 am
    The recent rend for inflation in the UK has been for it to fall back too and then below its inflation target of an annual rate of 2% for Consumer Price Inflation. A major factor in this improved situation has been the rise of the value of the UK Pound which according to Martin Weale of the Bank of England has been responsible for a 0.5% fall in the inflation rate on its own. Actually they may be understating its impact but we can agree that it has been a major factor in the fall in the officially recorded rate of inflation. Along this road we can continue the theme that so far Bank of…
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    SurvivalBlog.com

  • Notes for Monday – September 22, 2014

    Hugh James Latimer
    21 Sep 2014 | 8:52 pm
    September 22nd in the birthday of the late Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Reid-Daly, who founded and commanded the Rhodesian Selous Scouts. He was born 1928, and he died August 9, 2010. His history of the Selous Scouts, titled Pamwe Chete, is fascinating to read, but it is a very hard-to-find book. I should also mention that I jumped the gun last month. September 22nd, 1290 is the birthday of one of my favorite fictional characters, Bilbo Baggins (in shire reckoning). o o o Today, we present another entry for Round 54 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,100+ worth of prizes…
  • Home Power Systems: Photovoltaics by L.K.O.

    Hugh James Latimer
    21 Sep 2014 | 8:52 pm
    [Editor's Note: This article is part of a series of feature articles by our Central Rockies Regional Editor about alternative/sustainable/renewable energy (RE) solutions for self-sufficiency. Previous related articles in SurvivalBlog that complement this one are: “Home Power Systems: Batteries,” “Home Inverter Comparison: Off Grid and Grid Tied,” “Home Power Systems: Micro Hydro”, and “Energy Efficiency and Conservation.” Upcoming article topics in this Home Power Systems series include: Wind Generators, Solar Water Distillers, Solar Ovens, and Solar Water…
  • Scot’s Product Review: Mosin-Nagant M91/30

    Hugh James Latimer
    21 Sep 2014 | 8:51 pm
    A reader suggested that I take a look at lower cost firearms, particularly military surplus ones, and I thought it was a great idea. The one he told me that would make a good start is the Russian Mosin-Nagant, which is currently the easiest to find and cheapest surplus rifle on the market. It is chambered in a .30 caliber round, 7.62x54R, and there are a lot of them available at the moment coming from old war reserves in Russia and Ukraine. They were refurbished and put in storage when replaced by more modern arms. Russia and Ukraine are both apparently making some money by selling them off,…
  • Recipe of the Week: Cornbread Salad, by L.H.

    Hugh James Latimer
    21 Sep 2014 | 8:49 pm
    This somewhat weird-sounding salad is fabulous. It makes too much for any but a very large family to finish; you may want to reserve it for covered-dish dinners and potlucks. Also, when you take it to your occasion, tuck a couple of copies of the recipe in your pocket or purse, because you WILL be asked for the recipe. Ingredients: 2 boxes (8.5 oz.) Jiffy brand corn muffin mix (or any cornbread recipe that makes an 9×13 cake-pan full) 2 cans (14.5 oz. ea.) pinto beans, rinsed and drained 2 cans (14.5 oz. ea.) whole kernel corn, drained 1 large green bell pepper, diced 2 large tomatoes,…
  • Two Letters Re: Septic Tanks

    Hugh James Latimer
    21 Sep 2014 | 8:48 pm
    Dear Editor, Recently there have been comments regarding septic tanks, how long they should last et cetera. As of today, if you want to spend money to pump them out every few years, more power to you. However, if there is a true TEOTWAWKI situation, you might want to take steps to add decades to the life of your septic tank. Actually, in such a case, you may want an outhouse that is way way away from your home and a septic tank right at your home. Here is why. In many countries, like Mexico for instance, it is common for a septic tank to go decades without being pumped out. The biggest…
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    Trading Heroes

  • Trade Interceptor For Mac Review (September 2014 Update)

    Hugh Kimura
    16 Sep 2014 | 3:05 am
    Trade Interceptor just became a brokerage and launched new versions of their mobile app. They also launched a new version of their desktop software for the Mac. I'm particularly excited because this is the first legit charting platform for Macs. And the new TI also checks your grammar...kinda. The post Trade Interceptor For Mac Review (September 2014 Update) appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • The Globe-Trotting Forex Trader’s Gear Guide

    Hugh Kimura
    9 Sep 2014 | 12:48 am
    Most aspiring traders dream of traveling the world while trading. But you don't have to be a professional trader to travel. But if you want to take your trading on the road and practice trading while you are away from home, you will need the right equipment. Find out what I recommend in this post. The post The Globe-Trotting Forex Trader’s Gear Guide appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • How To Individually Track Multiple Trading Systems In The Same Account

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

    Hugh Kimura
    21 Aug 2014 | 5:56 pm
    Forex programming services are a weird thing. Even the most thorough Google search doesn't turn up very many results. So we compiled a list of services that can help you turn your next trading idea into reality. There are dozens of programmers on this list and we add new ones as we find them. The post Forex Programming Services Directory appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • FXChartist Lite – Forex iPhone Charting App First Look

    Hugh Kimura
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:45 pm
    Ever wonder how mobile Forex charting could be simpler? This just might be the answer you are looking for. This post will review the new FXChartist charting app and show you what you could be missing (in a good way). The post FXChartist Lite – Forex iPhone Charting App First Look appeared first on Trading Heroes.
 
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    OpenMarkets

  • Post-Scottish Vote, Pound Activity Continues

    Sean Hayden
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:37 pm
      On the day voters went to the polls in Scotland, volume in the front month Pound futures was a brisk 36 percent higher than the prior month’s average daily volume. Now that the results are in, the futures and options volume continue to soar.  The morning after votes were tallied, nine of the top ten option strikes by volume were British Pound contracts. Futures prices rallied in the days prior to the vote indicating the market had discounted a vote to secede. Opponents of independence won 55 percent of the vote while separatists won 45 percent and a record 85 percent turnout.
  • MARKET UPDATE: LAST WEEK OF THE QUARTER

    OpenMarkets
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:40 pm
    It’s the last full week of the quarter and Jack talks about the actions and seasonalities we should pay attention to.
  • How The Scottish Independence Vote Is Impacting the Pound

    Sean Hayden
    17 Sep 2014 | 4:10 pm
      With the Scottish referendum vote this week, interest in the British Pound increased with the release of any information coming out of the opinion polls. Polls were placing the pro-independence and pro-union camps neck-and-neck going in to the final hours. On Septmeber 8, British Pound options volume reached 47,266 on a bearish news release that showed 51 percent support in favor of Scottish independence. The Pound broke after the poll showed Scottish indendence in the lead for the first time and options volume on the currency set a new one day volume record. The pound took a beating…
  • Rusal’s Hodgson on Aluminum Hedging

    Evan Peterson
    15 Sep 2014 | 10:41 pm
      In part three of our series on the challenges and opportunities in the aluminum market, we visit with Steve Hodgson, Director of Sales and Marketing for UC Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer. Rusal has the capacity to produce 4.5 million tonnes of aluminum per year, and in 2013 produced 8 percent of the world’s total aluminum output. But like some of the largest aluminum consumers, Rusal has experienced challenges in managing their aluminum price risk over the last several months due to sustained record high levels for the Midwest Premium for the metal. The…
  • Monday Outlook: Fed Week Is Here

    OpenMarkets
    15 Sep 2014 | 3:50 pm
      It’s a pivotal week for all kinds of markets, namely interest rates and equities, as the U.S. Federal Reserve will at least move closer to a decision on when and how much to raise the Federal Funds rate. Tuesday: U.S. FOMC Meeting 8:00 AM ET U.S. Treasury International Capital 9:00 AM ET   Wednesday: FOMC Forecasts 2:00 PM ET  FOMC Meeting announcement 2:00 PM ET Fed Chair Press Conference 2:30 PM ET   Thursday: U.S. Housing Starts 8:30 AM ET Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher speech 5:00 PM ET   Friday: U.S. Milk Production 7:30 AM CT U.S. Cattle on…
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    eWallstreeter

  • Healthcare Triage: Fluoride

    22 Sep 2014 | 3:43 pm
    Another myth that refuses to die: Every once in a while chain emails or Facebook posts make their way back into prominence. It happened last year with HPV killing girls. Recently, it seems to be Fluoride. A number of you have been forwarding  me a post from last year which features a meta-analysis published a few years […]
  • Wherein Both Delong and Fernald Confuse Me

    22 Sep 2014 | 3:20 pm
    Not hard to do–and nothing against either of those big brains–but I’m confuzzled by this post from Brad. The question–or at least one of the questions–is a) whether there’s hysteresis in play and b) whether reverse hysteresis can be invoked to repair some of the damage. I’m too rushed to go into explanations of terms... Read more
  • Money talks: September 22nd 2014: Waving goodbye?

    22 Sep 2014 | 2:44 pm
    THIS week: The latest grim economic news from the eurozone, the future of Oracle after Larry Elison (sort of) leaves and an accounting irregularity at Tesco Comment Expiry Date: Tue, 2014-10-07
  • Bidding Wars Stop; Millennials Leave Their Parents' Basements, But Not For Homes; Pent Up Demand?

    22 Sep 2014 | 2:25 pm
    Bidding Wars StopWith cash-paying investors on full retreat, existing home sales dropped 1.8\% in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist says that's a good thing because "first-time buyers have a better chance of purchasing a home now that bidding wars are receding and supply constraints have significantly eased in many parts of the country.”While I agree it's a good thing that bidding wars stopped, the fact of the matter is home prices are
  • Should States Still Expect a Big Payday From Legalizing Marijuana?

    22 Sep 2014 | 12:57 pm
    A new economic forecast suggests Washington will rake in hundreds of millions in tax revenue. Will this get other states on board?
 
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    Monetary Realism

  • 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…
  • Why Did the Natural Rate of Interest Plummet? Take 2

    Michael Sankowski
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:40 pm
    One of the more remarkable claims since the financial crisis of 2008 is that the natural rate of interest is now below zero, and it has been below zero since the financial crisis. If you look at the very best estimates of the natural rate of interest over the last 50 years, one broad fact is pretty clear–it’s been around 2 1/2% for nearly the entire time leading up to the financial crisis of 2008.  Here is a good estimate we have for the natural rate of interest, which is shown in the graph below, shows a slow moving, consistent natural rate of interest of around 2 1/2%. Here is…
  • Cullen’s New Book

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

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

  • What to Do With Your Old 401k

    Jay Peroni
    20 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    What should you do with a 401k from a previous job? Jay Peroni, CFP, answers this question, plus he shares his top five "healthy living" stocks.Author informationJay PeroniJay Peroni, CFP® is the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Market Barometer Alert – 9/17/14

    Jerry Robinson
    17 Sep 2014 | 2:13 pm
    Our Market Barometer is flashing an important alert. Investors, here’s what to do now…Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the author of Bankruptcy of Our... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Precious Metals Market Update – 9/17/14

    Tom Cloud
    17 Sep 2014 | 12:29 pm
    In this week's Precious Metals Market Update, Tom Cloud says big money is on the sidelines waiting for FOMC announcement this Wednesday. Get the entire update here.Author informationTom CloudTom... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Global Currency Monitor

    Jerry Robinson
    17 Sep 2014 | 8:14 am
    Foreign currency investing simplified! A currency rating system for those seeking to diversify away from the U.S. dollar.Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Welcome to World War III

    Jerry Robinson
    16 Sep 2014 | 12:30 pm
    On today's broadcast, Jerry Robinson rips the warfare state in Washington and alerts listeners to the real facts behind the latest U.S. military actions in Iraq.Author informationJerry... [[ 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

  • Exchange Rate Forecasts Today - Euro to Pound Drops 0.3%, Euro Gains vs US, Aus & NZ Dollar

    Colin Lawrence
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:00 pm
    The Euro exchange rate (EUR) extended recent losses against the Pound Sterling (GBP) on Monday, however the single currency managed to strengthen against the US Dollar (USD), NZ and Aus Dollars. The Euro to Pound exchange rate fell as economic reports for the Eurozone failed to impress and ECB President Mario Draghi intimated that the... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Exchange Rates Today - Pound Sterling, Euro, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Rupee, New Zealand Dollar, and Canadian Dollar

    Yvic Carr
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Sterling’s (GBP) continued to push upwards today versus all of its actively traded currency peers as the results of the Scottish independence ‘No’ vote continued to reverberate around the currency markets. Sterling (GBP) values were 1.84338 (+1.03%) for the pound to australian dollar exchange rate (GBP/AUD), 1.80537 (+1.11%) for the... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Pound to Canadian Dollar (GBP/CAD) Exchange Rate Firming Following Referendum

    Colin Lawrence
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:00 pm
    The Pound (GBP) has been climbing against the Canadian Dollar exchange rate (GBP/CAD) on Monday as Sterling normalises following the Scottish referendum. Whilst the UK will see a quiet day by way of data publications, the Canadian Dollar (CAD) may experience some movement from Bank of Canada (BoC) Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins speaking... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Euro to US Dollar Outlook - EUR USD Exchange Rate Higher Following ECB Speech + Latest Conversion

    Colin Lawrence
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:00 pm
    The Euro is trending higher on exchange rate markets versus the US Dollar (USD) on Monday following European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi’s speech. The EUR USD exchange rate today is 1.28469. Monday saw the ECB President state that the central bank is prepared to introduce further stimulus measures in an attempt to revive... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • FX Rates Today - British Pound Higher vs Euro and US Dollar Exchange Rates Despite Sense Of Relief Fades

    Adam Solomon
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    Exchange Rates Today: The British Pound (GBP) was unable to sustain its momentum against the Euro (EUR) and US Dollar (USD) on Friday, after Scotland voted No to Independence, retreating sharply for the day as a whole. The Pound to Dollar exchange rate traded from highs above 1.65 to lows under 1.63, while the Euro recovered from two year... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
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    BusinessClimate.com Blog

  • In Demand: Aerospace, Energy Firms Working to Fill Engineering Talent Gap

    Emily McMackin
    18 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Calling all engineers. Industry leaders in two of the nation’s fastest growing sectors – aviation and aerospace and oil and gas production – have recently expressed concern over the lack of qualified workers to fill the growing number of engineering jobs in these industries. “We do not have a robust pipeline of young people with the right skills and training coming into the workforce,” said Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) president Marion Blakey during the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit Sept. 11. With a slew of older employees approaching retirement, the…
  • Affordability, Local Support Attract Aspiring Entrepreneurs

    Emily McMackin
    12 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Forget Silicon Valley and New York City. The fastest growing tech hubs are rising up in mid-sized cities between these typical hotbeds of entrepreneurship. Cities like Kansas City, Austin and Nashville are making a name for themselves as magnets for young, ambitious and tech-savvy entrepreneurs. What is drawing more startups to these cities? Affordability is one of the biggest selling points. As a post on The Atlantic’s CityLab site illustrates, cities are touting their lower cost of living and lower cost of doing business as key competitive advantages for entrepreneurs, especially…
  • Exports: Global Markets Bolster MSA Economies

    Bill McMeekin
    10 Sep 2014 | 3:30 am
    Exports as a driver of economic growth at the state level is well documented, and as newly released figures from the U.S. International Trade Administration show, overseas markets are playing a more prominent role in the economies of the nation’s metropolitan areas. MSAs continue to be “critical drivers of the nation’s export economy,” the ITA  notes in its U.S. Metropolitan Area Exports report, with goodsexports from 134 metropolitan areas achieving record highs in 2013. Of the 387 MSAs, 208 recorded increases in exports in 2013. Overall, the ITA says exports support…
  • The Robotics Revolution: How Automation Is Transforming Workforce Roles

    Emily McMackin
    4 Sep 2014 | 7:07 am
    Robots are taking over the factory floor and transforming the skills workers need to compete for jobs in manufacturing and production. A new report released by the Boston Consulting Group tracks the rising robotics trend in factories around the world — a movement that is gaining traction faster than most executives realize and already shaping the competitiveness of companies for the future. As robots become more intuitive, flexible, efficient and affordable, many are beginning to replace labor in a range of industries. Spending on robots worldwide is charting upward and expected to rise by…
  • No Yarn: U.S. Textile Industry Spins Modest Comeback

    Bill McMeekin
    3 Sep 2014 | 3:29 am
    Aided in part by the reshoring movement, the U.S. manufacturing sector has improved its vital signs. And now, the twin forces of increased exports and foreign direct investment are giving a spark to the U.S. textile industry, one of the nation’s legacy manufacturing components. To be sure, the U.S. textile industry had suffered a long period of decline as production shifted to cheaper labor countries in Latin America and Asia. The U.S. lost some 565 textile plants between 2000 and 2012 alone, according to a November 2013 report from the Congressional Research Office, and  from a peak…
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    The Conscience Blog

  • Scottish Independence: Be Careful What You Wish For

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

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

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

    Iyobosa
    27 Jan 2014 | 10:59 am
    Hello world. This is a post from the fantastic Systemic Disorder blog. It relates to my previous feature, where I detail the changing London landscape. The piece featured highlights some of the synonymous traits parts of New York City have undergone as a result of gentrification. http://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/the-corporate-steamroller-of-gentrification-is-a-deliberate-process/
  • HAPPY NEW YEAR

    Iyobosa
    1 Jan 2014 | 4:58 am
    A HUGE thank you to all readers, followers and browsers. There is plenty more planned for 2014. Stay connected. Thank you.
 
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    Latest blog entries

  • 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.
  • Just Wars are Easy to Explain

    7 Sep 2014 | 6:58 pm
    A just war, or a morally justifiable war, should look like a morally (and legally) justifiable killing. The reasoning behind a just war should be quick to explain, with an obvious motive like self defense. It should be nearly impossible to find fault with a just war. By comparison, the longwinded articles that I'm reading on the Wall Street Journal reference Neville Chamberlain, Henry Kissinger, soft power, appeasement and isolationism while trying, and trying hard, to get people to sign the dotted line for another war. It got me to wondering: because the pro-war articles are long, is that…
  • The Ebola Outbreak is Airborne

    4 Sep 2014 | 5:02 pm
    The official party line, offered by the World Health Organization, is that the Ebola virus spreading across Africa (and likely other parts of the world), is that it is spread by "direct contact" with infected body fluids. "Infection occurs from direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people. Infection can also occur if broken skin or mucous membranes of a healthy person come into contact with environments that have become contaminated with an Ebola patient’s infectious fluids such…
  • Ready for (Another) War with Russia?

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

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

  • The Closer

    FT Alphaville
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:03 pm
    FURTHER FURTHER READING - There’s more than one kind of credibilityContinue reading: The Closer
  • Tesco sees you coming

    Izabella Kaminska
    22 Sep 2014 | 11:34 am
    For those who thought Tesco was just an ordinary grocer…. In reality, thanks to the data-gathering power of the clubcard, big data analytics, and an expanding global footprint that provides major leverage with suppliers, Tesco has become a financial trading/commodities behemoth with an edge over any banking commodity trading division thanks to the data it gleans from its customers. Let’s just say, if the average commodity trading desk had the consumption info and warehouses of Tesco at its disposal it too would be keen to give away points to even out mismatches in supply and…
  • Tesco’s off-balance sheet wheeze, courtesy of Goldman Sachs

    Paul Murphy
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:27 am
    This is not new, but bears revisiting, given recent events. Between 2009 and 2013, as part of its sale and leaseback plan, Tesco used a series of six special purpose vehicles to issue close to £4bn worth of property bonds. Structured with the help of Goldman Sachs, the programme even won Tesco an award — Risk Magazine’s 2012 Corporate risk manager of the year. But Nigel Stevenson, a former M&A banker at Kleinworts who now runs his own research shop, reckons the effect of this off-balance sheet financing has been to artificially reduce Tesco’s net debt by around…
  • How to (further) spook a grocer, HSBC edition

    Paul Murphy
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:17 am
    With one, throwaway line… right at the end of a four-paragraph research note… Many issues remain unanswered and the possibility of a rescue rights issue should not be ignored. That’s from HSBC’s David McCarthy. While we rather doubt that a cash call could be anywhere near to top of Tesco’s to-do list right now, just a whisper of those two words around the London market was enough to send shares in Tesco sharply lower once more (low of 200 at pixel time): Continue reading: How to (further) spook a grocer, HSBC edition
  • Seeking customers for Plus500

    Dan McCrum
    22 Sep 2014 | 7:16 am
    The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has taken an interest in the way Plus500 recruits customers, according to a story in The Times on Monday. Peers of the Haifa, Israel, based contract for difference company don’t like the way Plus500 does business, you see. We pointed to some oddities in third party traffic stats for Plus500 in August, as well as some of the more aggressive aspects of the way in which customers are recruited, and now this: The financial regulator launched its review after rival CFD and spread-betting companies raised concerns about how Plus500 acquired its…
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • Partyism in America is getting worse

    Tyler Cowen
    22 Sep 2014 | 10:49 am
    In 1960, 5 percent of Republicans and 4 percent of Democrats said that they would feel “displeased” if their son or daughter married outside their political party. By 2010, those numbers had reached 49 percent and 33 percent. Republicans have been found to like Democrats less than they like people on welfare or gays and lesbians. Democrats dislike Republicans more than they dislike big business. And this: To test for political prejudice, Shanto Iyengar and Sean Westwood, political scientists at Stanford University, conducted a large-scale implicit association test with 2,000 adults. They…
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:19 am
    1. Just how bad things are for the economy of Ukraine. 2. You can stay above subsistence in a Malthusian model with more than one factor of production (pdf). 3. What form of devo max for the UK? 4. Does Starbucks have a new latte that tastes just like stout beer? 5. Can graffiti be copyrighted? 6. Thomas Sargent writes an open letter to Heckman and Prescott (pdf). 7. 75 pp. of Arthur M. Melzer, the evidence for esotericism throughout intellectual history (pdf).
  • Are stock buybacks too high?

    Tyler Cowen
    21 Sep 2014 | 11:08 pm
    Edward Luce writes in The Financial Times: According to William Lazonick, a scholar at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, seven of the top 10 largest share repurchasers spent more on buybacks and dividends than their entire net income between 2003 and 2012. In the case of Hewlett-Packard, which spent $73bn, it was almost double its profits. For ExxonMobil, which came top with $287bn in buybacks and dividends, it amounted to 83 per cent of net income. Others, such as Microsoft (125 per cent), Cisco (121 per cent) and Intel (109 per cent) were even more extravagant. In total, the top 449…
  • You earn more in the financial sector because of rent-sharing

    Tyler Cowen
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:02 pm
    We again looked at those individuals moving into and out of the finance sector, but this time restricted the sample only to those doing a job with the same title in both the finance and non-finance sectors, focusing on generic job titles such as ‘function manager’, ‘ICT professional’, ‘secretarial’, ‘customer service’ etc. The results reveal that the same people doing the same job earn around 20% more when doing that job in the finance sector rather than the non-finance sector. This premium is observed to be remarkably similar whatever job title is considered – whether it is…
  • Scott Sumner is perhaps a Japan pessimist

    Tyler Cowen
    21 Sep 2014 | 9:20 pm
    If you want to know what Japan is up against consider that Japanese RGDP has grown by 0.00% per year over the past 6 1/2 years.  In contrast, Germany, the shining star of the European economy, has grown at 0.5% per year over the past 6 1/2 years.  Then consider the fact that the Japanese workforce is falling at an accelerating rate, and unemployment is already at the lowest level in decades.  How fast do you expect Japan to grow?  Negative growth will be the norm; zero growth is the new “economic miracle.” The post is here.
 
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    Zero Hedge

  • Facebook Fraud 2.0: Academic Study Exposes "Like Farms"

    Tyler Durden
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:05 pm
    Six months ago the topic of click fraud at Facebook hit the headlines but was rapidly dismissed as the company's share price rose implying that the world is great and we should not worry. With Facebook increasingly becoming the advertising outlet of choice for many of the world's companies, MIT Technology Review reports on a study to dig deeper into just where the "likes" come from. As the authors note, recently, the number of likes of a Facebook page has become a measure of its popularity and profitability, and an underground market of services boosting page likes, aka "like farms," has…
  • Gateway Policies: ISIS, Obama And US Financial Boots-On-The-Ground

    Tyler Durden
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:37 pm
    Submitted by Nomi Prins, author of All The Presidents' Bankers, via NomiPrins.com, President Obama’s neo-Cold War is not about ideology or respect for borders. It is about money and global power. The current battle over control of gateway nations - strategic locations in which private firms can establish the equivalent of financial boots-on-the-ground - is being waged in the Middle East and Ukraine under the auspices of freedom and western capitalism (er, “democracy”). In these global gateways, private banks can infiltrate resource-rich locales fortified by political…
  • Let This Be A Warning To All Bears

    Tyler Durden
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:10 pm
    Tonight's Kodiak Moment is brought to you courtesy of the NYPD and one protesting polar bear, which apparently did not get the memo that bears are, how should one say, not welcome on Wall Street... h/t @jordanmammo
  • US Treasury Cracks Down On Tax Inversions

    Tyler Durden
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:44 pm
    One of the key drivers of the recent spike in M&A deals (and sellside advisory fees) has been the surge in tax inversion transactions, deals in which a U.S. company reincorporates for tax purposes in a tax-friendlier country such as the U.K. or Ireland, while maintaining its real headquarters in the U.S. Traditionally such deals have involved a merger between a U.S. firm and a smaller foreign firm. The reason for such deals is simple: to lower the corporate tax payments by avoiding the venue of the one country with the highest corporate tax rate in the world: USA, and leave more cash…
  • Five Important Lessons Learned From The Scottish Referendum

    Tyler Durden
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:30 pm
    Submitted by Ryan McMaken via the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Government authorities in the UK have declared that the “Yes” campaign for secession has failed by a margin of approximately 55 percent to 45 percent. Yet, even without a majority vote for secession, the campaign for separation from the United Kingdom has already provided numerous insights into the future of secession movements and those who defend the status quo. Lesson 1: Global Elites Greatly Fear Secession and Decentralization Global elite institutions and individuals including Goldman Sachs, Alan Greenspan, David…
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    nextnewdeal.net

  • Ken Burns’s New Documentary Reveals the Human Side of the Roosevelts – And Our Deep Connection To Their Legacy

    tprice
    19 Sep 2014 | 9:06 am
    The success of The Roosevelts: An Intimate History highlights the people behind the policies that reshaped America. As the CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, I am reminded almost daily about the very personal connection people feel to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. The extraordinary critical acclaim for the new Ken Burns documentary The Roosevelts: An Intimate History makes it clear just how widespread that feeling is. But it also prompts me to consider why, in an age when politicians are vilified and Congress’s approval rating hovers around 14 percent, political figures from almost a century…
  • Wall Street Swindled Local Governments, Too. Here’s How They Can Get Their Money Back.

    tprice
    17 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Predatory lenders drove municipal governments and taxpayers into debt with risky interest rate swap deals that may have violated federal regulations. The story of how Wall Street banks steered unsuspecting homebuyers towards complex mortgages with hidden risks and hidden costs has been well-documented. In fact, the typical sales pitch for adjustable-rate mortgages was premised on the false notion that home values never fall and that borrowers could refinance their loans before interest rates jumped. Less widely understood is the fact that a very similar story played out with cities, states,…
  • Taxes Are Never Just a Class Issue

    rgoldfarb
    4 Sep 2014 | 10:43 am
    Tax reforms can't solve all economic inequality, because they won't change the reality of race in the U.S. economy. The threat of corporate inversions to the American tax base sprung an interesting political dialogue around tax reform in the United States. We’ve seen debates on how to stop the spread of inversions and arguments that they aren’t a problem at all. Some call for the abolition of the corporate tax rate as a whole and others completely reject such suggestions. I find these discussions of tax reform and its effects on the economy informative yet simultaneously slightly…
  • Campus Network Looks Ahead for Policy Engagement

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

    rgoldfarb
    21 Aug 2014 | 3:50 am
    The Next American Economy project brought together 30 experts from various disciplines to envision tomorrow's economic and political challenges and develop today's solutions. Their assignment: be bold, and leave the conventional wisdom -- and their own opinions -- behind. In today's video, Stefaan Verhulst of GovLab speculates on future municipal policy that allows cities to do more with less. Stefaan Verhulst, Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of GovLab, speculates on future municipal policy that allows cities to do more with less. Combining open-source data…
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    Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

  • Wherein Both Delong and Fernald Confuse Me

    Jared Bernstein
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:20 pm
    Not hard to do–and nothing against either of those big brains–but I’m confuzzled by this post from Brad. The question–or at least one of the questions–is a) whether there’s hysteresis in play and b) whether reverse hysteresis can be invoked to repair some of the damage. I’m too rushed to go into explanations of terms etc. right now, but John Fernald–my go-to guy on growth theory and evidence–seems to be arguing that hysteresis cannot legitimately be invoked because the slowdown in potential growth occurred prior to the great recession and…
  • If the lagging labor force rate doesn’t still embody considerable slack, then why does it increasingly predict wage growth?

    Jared Bernstein
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:16 am
    Here’s another salvo in the great labor force slack debate. Summarizing what is now a large and growing canon, a lot of digital ink has been spilled over three measly percentage points. That’s the amount the labor force participation rate (LFPR) is down from its pre-recession peak of about 66%, and the big question is how much of it is cyclical and how much structural. The intuition is that the cyclical part—a function of continued job market slack—can be restored while the structural part is gone. Most work suggests the cyclical part of the gap is falling over time and is now quite…
  • The bias against full employment and what could be done about it.

    Jared Bernstein
    19 Sep 2014 | 10:16 am
    Over at PostEverything.
  • Federal Reserve resists hawkish signal, continues to view economy as needing their monetary support…and that’s as it should be.

    Jared Bernstein
    17 Sep 2014 | 11:55 am
    The Fed is out with their statement and the words “considerable time” live to see another day! That makes sense both substantively—the remaining slack in the economy requires continued support from monetary policy—and rhetorically: the Fed’s forward guidance has correctly emphasized that their decisions will be data driven, and the data continue to point toward risk asymmetry: the risk of tightening too soon remains potentially more costly than the risk of wage or price pressures. Moreover, the Fed’s statement announces, as expected, that barring anything quite unforeseen,…
  • Hey, What’d I Miss? OTE 9/11—9/16

    Jared Bernstein
    17 Sep 2014 | 8:49 am
    On poverty, thinking about the relationship between poverty and growth, calling on all nerds to pay attention to the reduced sample size in the Census Bureau’s poverty data, and analyzing the actual results from the Census. Teaming up with Harry Holzer to describe a win-win approach to increase the future labor force. Exploring some ideas to reduce American’s excessive stock buyback problem. Some thoughts as to why bond yields have come up a bit in recent weeks. Revisiting the self-fulfilling function of political dysfunction. Looking at two phenomena that have driven median income…
 
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    Freakonomics

  • Outsiders by Design: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Gretta Cohn
    18 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    (Photo: Nishanth Jois) What does it mean to pursue something that everyone else think is nuts? And what does it take to succeed? That’s what this week’s episode is about. It’s called “Outsiders By Design.”  (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) You’ll hear about three radical thinkers whose lives didn’t proceed in a perfectly straight line. In each case, their work was ridiculed or ignored — but…
  • Outsiders by Design Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    18 Sep 2014 | 7:00 am
    This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Outsiders by Design” [MUSIC: The Civil Tones, “One Day, Again and Again” (from City Stoopin’ Stephen J. DUBNER: Hey podcast listeners. Our mission at Freakonomics has always been to tell you things you always thought you knew but didn’t … and things you never thought you wanted to know, but do. Now it is your turn to tell us something that we don’t know. On Monday, October 6, in New York City, we’re launching a live radio game show called “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” — and the audience, that’s…
  • One Reason to Not Use Generic Medicines

    Stephen J. Dubner
    12 Sep 2014 | 10:59 am
    Our latest podcast episode — “How to Save $1 Billion Without Even Trying” — discusses research which finds that health-care experts generally buy generic medicines for their own use rather than the more expensive name brands. The episode discusses the various reasons that brand names might be more appealing despite the higher cost. A listener named Mike Dimore has written in with an interesting, and serious, reason that didn’t come up: This won’t apply to many people but for the few that it does apply to (myself included), it can end up costing them…
  • How to Save $1 Billion Without Even Trying Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    11 Sep 2014 | 7:00 am
    This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “How to Save $1 Billion Without Even Trying [MUSIC: Glenn Crytzer and his Syncopators, “Fumblin’ Around” (from Harlem Mad Stephen J. DUBNER: We recently held a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich taste test here at WNYC, where we record our show. DUBNER: So guys, this is for an episode about premium brands versus store brands, okay? And so what you see here are two rows of sandwiches, one on a plain white plate there, and one or a bordered plate there. Okay? And the sandwiches were made with either the premium Skippy Creamy and the…
  • How to Save $1 Billion Without Even Trying: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Suzie Lechtenberg
    11 Sep 2014 | 6:56 am
    (Photo: Chris Potter) When a pharmacist gets a headache, what do you think she’ll buy: Bayer aspirin or the much cheaper store brand? You’ll find out on this week’s episode. Hint: the episode is called “How to Save $1 Billion Without Even Trying.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript; it includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) It features Stephen Dubner interviewing Matthew Gentzkow and Jesse Shapiro, a pair of economics professors at the University of…
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    interfluidity

  • The political economy of a universal basic income.

    Steve Randy Waldman
    19 Sep 2014 | 6:35 am
    So you should read these two posts by Max Sawicky on proposals for a universal basic income, because you should read everything Max Sawicky writes. (Oh wait. Two more!) Sawicky is a guy I often agree with, but he is my mirror Spock on this issue. I think he is 180° wrong on almost every point. To Sawicky, the push for a universal basic income is a “utopian” diversion that both deflects and undermines political support for more achievable, tried and true, forms of social insurance. My argument against UBI is pragmatic and technical. In the context of genuine threats to the…
  • Hard money is not a mistake

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

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

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

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

  • A Model of the Alternative Perspective

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    18 Sep 2014 | 3:56 pm
    In the last two posts, here and here, we have argued that neither the classic Hobbesian line of the benefits of a Leviathan nor James Scott’s perspective of disadvantaged groups always fleeing the authority of the state are fully satisfactory. Instead, it appears that though the state is often an instrument of repression and extraction in the hands of economic or political elites, there are at times important benefits from state centralization (as we have also argued in Why Nations Fail), and the state can even be a useful instrument for the disadvantaged in their struggles against the…
  • The Nature of Stateless Societies

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    16 Sep 2014 | 11:21 am
    We would also disagree on Scott’s other argument. Though it is true that one can find harmonious stateless societies, the comparative ethnographic evidence also suggests two robust facts. First, historical human societies, including stateless ones and those which lacked a modern state, were far more, not less, violent than modern societies. Hobbes was actually right when he said that the state of nature was nasty, brutish and short. This is evident from contemporary nations, such as those in Somalia or South Sudan, which were built on-top of historically stateless societies. The modern…
  • Towards an Alternative Perspective: Against Hobbes

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    10 Sep 2014 | 9:13 am
    In our last few blog posts on the state, we have argued that Scott’s whole vision of state centralization is deficient. Scott is right that in some cases the state is a great threat to welfare and he has been a vigorous and effective critic of the Hobbesian perspective on the state, so central to much thinking in social science. Hobbes, the great 17th-century English philosopher, argued that without a state one would have in society a “war of all against all”. The only solution was to create an institution for which Hobbes used the metaphor of a “Leviathan”…
  • The Benefits of Collective Titles

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    4 Sep 2014 | 7:17 am
    Hoy estos campesinos están reclamando que las vendieron muy baratas, sí, pero las vendieron, y los empresarios, compraron, barato, sí, pero las compraron — El Alemán This is a quote from Colombian paramilitary leader “The German,” remarking that “today the peasants are reclaiming the lands which they sold very cheaply, yes, but they sold them, and the businessmen, bought them, cheap, yes, but they bought them” often of course at gun point. In our last post, we discussed how Afro-Colombian communities managed to get collective title to…
  • The Lands of the Afro-Colombians

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

  • Country by country macro update, part 2, September 2014

    Edward Harrison
    16 Sep 2014 | 12:47 pm
    Yesterday, I did a broad overview of four markets of interest to global investors. And I wanted to continue my thoughts on this here with a few more markets and with a deeper dive into some of my thinking about the UK. Britain, Part 2: I want to take the UK on first, because I am doing a headline story on the UK today on Boom Bust, where I am filling in as host. Here’s what I said/will say on TV: In the United Kingdom, all eyes are on the Scottish referendum to secede from the UK. But today, a significant piece of news snuck under the radar. Britain’s Office for National Statistics…
  • Country by country macro update, September 2014

    Edward Harrison
    15 Sep 2014 | 5:52 pm
    This is the first time I am doing this, so let’s see how much value it adds. I thought I would quickly run through a number of countries in the news and give my perspective on the macro picture in each. I am just going to give a summary here of the key points of interest and will do a deep dive on some at a later date. Let’s start with the US. United States. The numbers coming out of the US have been good. US retail sales, driven by cars, was up 0.6% in August. Jobless claims are still hovering around 300,000 though the last week was 315,000. The jobs number for August was disappointing…
  • Is the ECB doing QE?

    Guest Author
    12 Sep 2014 | 11:56 am
    By Charles Wyplosz This post first appeared on Vox. The 4 September announcement by Chairman Mario Draghi has been greeted with enthusiasm by the markets and the media. It has been long awaited, and many believe that the ECB has finally delivered. This is not sure. The ECB intends to buy large amounts of securities backed by bank lending to households (mortgages) and to firms. Traditional quantitative easing (QE) is demand-driven since the central bank buys assets in predetermined amounts. The ECB’s version is supply-driven. This means that it is not certain that the liquidity injections of…
  • The Catalan Vote: Why It’s Time To Start Getting Worried About Complacency In Madrid

    Edward Hugh
    11 Sep 2014 | 4:26 am
    By Edward Hugh When Barack Obama told a CNBC interviewer last autumn that Wall Street ought to be “genuinely worried about what is going on in Washington” in reference to the US government shutdown he raised more than a few eyebrows. Normally political leaders try to calm and reassure markets, so this attempt to stir them up on the part of the US President was, in its way, something of a first. Last May the Financial Times issued a similar warning in an editorial with a clear message: right now you should be more worried than you are about what is happening in Madrid. According to the…
  • What does a “good” Chinese adjustment look like?

    Michael Pettis
    10 Sep 2014 | 5:33 am
    By Michael Pettis I have always thought that the soft landing/hard landing debate wholly misses the point when it comes to China’s economic prospects. It confuses the kinds of market-based adjustments we are likely to see in the US or Europe with the much more controlled process we see in China. Instead of a hard landing or a soft landing, the Chinese economy faces two very different options, and these will be largely determined by the policies Beijing chooses over the next two years. Beijing can manage a rapidly declining pace of credit creation, which must inevitably result in much slower…
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    Liberty Street Economics

  • Forecasting with the FRBNY DSGE Model

    Blog Author
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    Marco Del Negro, Bianca De Paoli, Stefano Eusepi, Marc Giannoni, Argia Sbordone, and Andrea Tambalotti First in a five-part series This series examines the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (FRBNY DSGE) model—a structural model used by Bank researchers to understand the workings of the U.S. economy and provide economic forecasts. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) has built a DSGE model as part of its efforts to forecast the U.S. economy. On Liberty Street Economics, we are publishing a weeklong series to provide some background…
  • What Explains the June Spike in Treasury Settlement Fails?

    Blog Author
    19 Sep 2014 | 4:05 am
    Michael Fleming, Frank Keane, Antoine Martin, and Michael McMorrowIn June of this year—as we noted in the preceding post—settlement fails in U.S. Treasury securities spiked to their highest level since the implementation of the fails charge in May 2009. Our first post reviewed what fails are, why they arise, and how they can be measured. In this post, we dig into the fails data to identify possible explanations for the high level of fails in June. We observe that sequential fails of several benchmark securities accounted for the lion’s share of fails in June, but that fails in seasoned…
  • Measuring Settlement Fails

    Blog Author
    19 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    Michael Fleming, Frank Keane, Antoine Martin, and Michael McMorrow In June 2014, settlement fails of U.S. Treasury securities reached their highest level since the implementation of the Treasury fails charge in May 2009, attracting significant attention from market participants. In this post, we review what fails are, why they are of interest, and how they can be measured. In a companion post following this one, we evaluate the particular circumstances of the June 2014 fails. What Is a Settlement Fail?A settlement fail occurs when a market participant is unable to make delivery of a security…
  • At the N.Y. Fed: Workshop on the Risks of Wholesale Funding

    Blog Author
    18 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    Dong Beom Choi, Patrick de Fontnouvelle, Thomas Eisenbach,and Michael Fleming The Federal Reserve Banks of Boston and New York recently cosponsored a workshop on the risks of wholesale funding. Wholesale funding refers to firm financing via deposits and other liabilities from pension funds, money market mutual funds, and other financial intermediaries. Compared with stable retail funding, the supply of wholesale funding is volatile, especially during financial crises. For instance, when a firm relies on short-term wholesale funds to support long-term illiquid assets, it becomes…
  • Why Aren’t More Renters Becoming Homeowners?

    Blog Author
    8 Sep 2014 | 11:00 am
    Andreas Fuster, Basit Zafar, and Matthew Cocci Recent activity in the U.S. housing market has been widely perceived as disappointing. For instance, sales of both new and existing homes were about 5 percent lower over the first half of 2014 than over the first half of 2013. From a longer-term perspective, a striking statistic is that the homeownership rate in the United States has fallen from 69 percent in 2005 to 65 percent in the first quarter of 2014. This decrease in homeownership is particularly pronounced for younger households, implying that many of them are remaining…
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    The Incidental Economist

  • Healthcare Triage: Fluoride

    Aaron Carroll
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:43 pm
    Another myth that refuses to die: Every once in a while chain emails or Facebook posts make their way back into prominence. It happened last year with HPV killing girls. Recently, it seems to be Fluoride. A number of you have been forwarding  me a post from last year which features a meta-analysis published a few years ago on Fluoride and IQ. So let’s talk about Fluoride! For those of you who came here for more information or for references, here you go: Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis New York City 2011 Drinking Water Supply and Quality…
  • Zeke Emanuel starts a discussion about aging and the end of life

    Bill Gardner
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:08 am
    My father was lucky. At 79, he placed his first shot almost at the pin of a par 3 hole on his hometown golf course. He walked up to make his putt and died suddenly of a heart attack. For many of us, though, death will come from a disease process that lasts months or years. Our bodies and minds will deteriorate from age and sickness and will change profoundly when death is near. We will have decisions to make. We should have information about what may happen and about our choices. But these are difficult conversations. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist and bioethicist, has an essay in The…
  • Too many people are hypocrites about respiratory viruses

    Aaron Carroll
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:12 am
    I’ve already said my piece about enterovirus D68 in an Healthcare Triage News segment, but since the media can’t seem to stop with the scare tactics, I’m wading back in. This from Time: A rare respiratory illness has afflicted more than 150 people in over a dozen states, with more cases expected to be announced in the coming weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All true. In fact, it’s worse than this. From the CDC itself: From mid-August to September 19, 2014, a total of 160 people from 22 states were confirmed to have respiratory…
  • Sloppy drafting and statutory interpretation

    Nicholas Bagley
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    There’s no getting around it. The ACA contains some sloppy drafting, most conspicuously in the section governing the calculation of tax credits. For the most part, that sloppiness reflects the intrinsic difficulty of writing a bill to reform a massive, complex health-care system. Yet the ACA also bears the scars of a brutal political debate. The bill that became the ACA was never supposed to become law. Instead, it was a working draft that, after the Senate and House passed competing versions, was to provide a template for the conference committee, which would amend it and clean it up. But…
  • A study of health care technology in Ontario, Canada

    Austin Frakt
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    The study is by Mehrdad Roham and colleagues: We find that both the overall volume of services provided per capita and the average cost of these services decreased over our data period, once account is taken of changes in the age distribution of the population (the calculations relate to an age-standardized population) and in prices (all fees are expressed in constant dollar terms, using the consumer price index). However, these decreases are concentrated in services that have low HTI [Health Technology Intensity] and, to a lesser extent, medium HTI; over the same period, the average…
 
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    LewRockwell

  • Closing the Tloxyproctyl Gap

    Fred Reed
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:01 pm
    By 2018 America’s War on Injustice had entered the doldrums. There seemed to be no inequities left to conquer. The major aquifers of discrimination had been pumped dry. Hate-crime protection had been extended to blacks, Hispanics, mulattos, women, bisexuals, homosexuals, Lesbians, Native Americans, transsexuals, asexuals, transvestites, the transgendered, sadomasochists, pedophiles, and the bestiality lobby (NAMFLA, the North American Man-Fido Love Association). Affirmative action had been so successfully extended that whoe governmental departments were uniformly diverse. The Washington…
  • Why War?

    Bionic Mosquito
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:01 pm
    I am reading “Advance to Barbarism,” by FJP Veale.  I will, as has come to be my practice, offer more than one post based on this book. I will begin with a topic upon which Veale spends only a few words, but one which sheds light on perhaps the main purpose of war – at least war in the era of life in a time of something more than primitive living. The various wars are often explained by the critics as wars for resources – usually oil, but also natural gas, transit pipelines, etc.  I have come to believe (and first came across this notion at The Daily Bell) that wars are for…
  • Clamor of the Empty-Hearted

    Theodore Dalrymple
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Efes beer, the Turkish lager, was the nearest until recently that I had come to Ephesus, unless you count St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, which I read more in a spirit of enquiry than of faith. Recently I had the opportunity to visit those magnificent ruins, and very grateful I was for it. The Virgin Mary’s last home was near Ephesus, and I visited that too. There were constant reminders posted that this was a place of prayer and asking the visitors therefore to dress appropriately. All I can say is that if the visitors thought they were appropriately dressed, I dread to think what…
  • Get Your Vehicle Prepared Now

    Daisy Luther
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:01 pm
    “Still … in this world only winter is certain.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire) If you happen to be a Game of Thrones fan, you know the Stark Family motto: “Winter is coming.”  It’s inevitable and sometimes dangerous. According to all predictions, this winter will be a repeat of last year, or perhaps even worse.  Most of the country can expect extreme cold, an abundance of snow, and a longer-than-normal winter. It may be only September, but that first storm of the year can sneak up on you. Now is the time to double check your preparations…
  • More Corpses in the Middle East

    Ron Paul
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Last week, the House and Senate voted to rubber stamp President Obama’s war plans for the Middle East. Both bodies, on a bipartisan basis, authorized the US to begin openly training and arming the rebels who have been fighting for three years to overthrow the Assad government in Syria. Although the Syrian government has also been fighting ISIS and related extremist groups for three years, the US refuses to speak to the Syrians and has warned Assad not to interfere with the coming US attack on sovereign Syrian territory. President Obama promised that airstrikes alone would “degrade and…
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    Angry Bear

  • Sense on Stilts: Eight Graphs Showing a Quarter-Century of Wealth Inequality and Age Inequality

    Steve Roth
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:46 pm
    Scott Sumner made a very important point a while back (and repeatedly since) in a post wherein he makes a bunch of other (IMO) not very good points: Income and wealth inequality data: Nonsense on stilts His crucial (and I think true) point, in my words: you can’t think coherently about inequality — especially wealth inequality — if […]
  • Dear Greg Sargent: “Re your Morning Plum reference to Krugman’s column today”

    Beverly Mann
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:34 pm
    Update appended below. —- After a two-and-a-half-month hiatus from regular blogging here—most of my few posts this summer related to my passion about animal rescue and animal welfare—I’m once again feeling like posting about politics, at least more regularly than I posted this summer. (And maybe soon I’ll once again feel like posting about legal […]
  • What are people — and the Post Office — for?

    run75441
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    Guest Post by Mark Jamison retired Postmaster Webster, N.C. It’s likely that I will be the last postmaster to serve the town of Webster, North Carolina. The first postmaster, Allen Fisher, began his term in 1857, shortly after Jackson County was founded and Webster became the county seat. The names of the postmasters that follow […]
  • Guest post: “It’ll be okay: Trust me”, redux

    Dan Crawford
    21 Sep 2014 | 2:01 pm
    Dan here….The Largest climate march in history is happening today.  Jan Galkowski responds to a Wall Street Journal editorial.   He requested that comments be written at his website in order to consolidate questions and answers. by Jan Galkowski “It’ll be okay: Trust me”, redux Professor Steven Koonin offers up another dollop of vague, specious criticism of […]
  • Irish austerity exodus lingers on

    Kenneth Thomas
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:48 am
    August brings us the annual Irish immigration data, so it’s time to look at what has happened in their statistical reporting “year” that ended in April 2014. While better than last year, it’s still not pretty. According to the Central Statistics Office, net emigration continued in 2013-14, with net emigration of 21,400. a decline of […]
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    Macro and Other Market Musings

  • The Love Affair Conservatives Should Be Having

    22 Sep 2014 | 9:26 am
    Paul Krugman and Josh Barro are going after conservatives for their "new love affair with Canada". They claim conservatives are incorrect to view Canada's successful fiscal consolidation in the 1990s as evidence of  "expansionary austerity." Here is Krugman:Canadian austerity in the 1990s was offset by a huge positive movement in the trade balance, due to a falling Canadian dollar and raw material exports...Since we can’t all devalue and move into trade surplus, this meant that the Canadian story in the 1990s had no relevance at all to the austerity debate of 2010.Actually, the…
  • Another Bond Market Conundrum?

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

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

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

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

  • Stubborn facts?

    JonathanPortes
    9 Sep 2014 | 1:57 pm
    Toby Young (Fulbright Lecture, 2014, reported by Laura McInery): Kids can't analyse or think critically without first learning facts
  • The crisis at Calais: no, the UK is not "El Dorado":

    JonathanPortes
    5 Sep 2014 | 2:32 am
    The scenes at Calais over the past few days raise the question of why Britain is the "favoured destination" for illegal/irregular entrants to the European Union.
  • The public sees international students as an asset and source of talent

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

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

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

  • So far apart and yet so close: Should the ECB care about inflation differentials?

    22 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    Inflation rates can differ across regions of monetary unions. We show that in the euro area, the US, Canada, Japan and Australia, inflation rates have been substantially and persistently different in different regions. Differences were particularly substantial in the euro area. Inflation differences can reflect normal adjustment processes such as price convergence or the Balassa-Samuelson effect, or can reflect the different cyclical position of regions. But they can also be the result of economic distortions resulting from segmented markets or unsustainable demand and credit developments…
  • European energy and climate strategy beyond 2020(20)

    22 Sep 2014 | 2:14 am
    The EU is updating its energy strategy with new targets for 2030 and the intention to create an Energy Union. At this event we want to discuss the quantitative headline targets for 2030* but also the instruments to reach such targets and at the same time create an Energy Union. *(Commission proposal: 27% renewables, 30% energy efficiency and 40% greenhouse-gas reduction) Agenda12:00: Registration12:15: Presentation Georg Zachmann: Elements of Europe's Energy Union12:45: Comments by Jesse Scott, Eurelectric13:00: Comments by Comments by Daniel Fuerstenwerth, Agora-Energiewende13:15:…
  • Europe’s Single Supervisory Mechanism: Most small banks are German (and Austrian and Italian)

    21 Sep 2014 | 10:46 pm
    A well-known limitation of Europe’s banking union is the fact that most banks in the euro area will escape direct supervision by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Single Resolution Board that will address insolvent banks from next year. Indeed, the ECB’s recently published mapping identifies 3,652 banks in the euro area, of which only 120 groups are subject to its direct supervisory authority, though these 120 larger banking groups represent at least 80 percent of total euro-area banking assets.Germany, Austria and Italy together are home to almost four-fifths of all smaller banks,…
  • Economic Patriotism and National Champions

    19 Sep 2014 | 3:45 am
    Foreign takeovers are often a source of concern for national governments. There is a public perception that when a company owned by domestic shareholders loses control to the benefit of a foreign investor, the risk of losses for the national economy is increased. It is believed that foreign investors may, for example, be less concerned with productivity drops, job losses or cuts in research expenditure. Last spring Alstom/GE and Pfizer/Astrazeneca prompted new waves of debates in the public domain. Should Europe or Member States change their approach to merger control in order to favor the…
  • Fact: T.L.T.R.O. is Too Low To Resuscitate Optimism

    19 Sep 2014 | 12:07 am
    Yesterday the ECB held the first auction of liquidity under its new TLTRO programme. The take up was well below expectations, raising questions about the actual ability of the ECB to regain control of its balance sheet. It’s the third week of September and the sky is already getting quite grey, over Frankfurt. The ECB held yesterday the first allotment of liquidity under its new TLTRO programme. It was introduced in June and it foresees two initial auctions (September and December 2014) in which banks will be able to borrow up to an initial allowance of roughly 400bn plus a number…
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    TaxVox

  • Does Treasury Have the Legal Authority To Curb Tax Inversions?

    Howard Gleckman
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:24 am
    While we wait to see how and when the Obama Administration will use its executive authority to curb the use of corporate tax inversions, the debate continues over whether Treasury even has the power to limit the practice. In a new article in Tax Notes, Tax Policy Center senior fellow Steve Rosenthal minces no words:  “Treasury has the legal authority to curb inversions.” Its main tool:  A provision of a 1969 law that allows the agency to define debt and equity. Citing decades of case law, Steve argues that Section 385 of that statute lets Treasury limit the ability of an inverted firm…
  • Tax Policy, Tax Outcomes: That’s Entertainment!

    Renu Zaretsky
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    Congress is in recess through the mid-term elections. Read the Daily Deduction each Monday until then.  “California, here I comeIt’s official: Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a $330 million annual incentive program for film and television production. Feature films with budgets of $75 million or more and network pilots are also eligible for tax credits. The program relies on a merit assessment with renewed focus on job creation. Has Governor Brown talked with Governor Patrick? Massachusetts has a film credit, that cost $78.9 million in 2012. More than $60 million went to…
  • Income Tax Changes and Economic Growth

    William G. Gale
    19 Sep 2014 | 7:58 am
    Policy makers and researchers have long been interested in how potential changes to the personal income tax system affect the size of the overall economy. Earlier this year, for example, Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) proposed a sweeping reform to the income tax system that would reduce rates, greatly pare back subsidies in the tax code, and maintain revenue- and distributional-neutrality. In a recently released paper, Andrew Samwick and I examine how tax changes can affect economic growth. We analyze two types of tax changes — reductions in individual income tax rates without any…
  • Will Tax Reform See Light at the End of the Next Tunnel?

    Renu Zaretsky
    19 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    Jack Lew on corporate inversions: “Action is going to be taken.” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says that ”any company considering an inversion is now on notice that there is action that is going to be taken.” Administrative curbs would limit the economic benefits of inversions but only congressional action could solve the inversion problem entirely, he noted. GOP lawmakers have argued that limits on inversions should only be part of comprehensive corporate tax reform. Representative Ryan on tax reform: “We’ll see what we can get” and how we’ll score it. At the Financial Services…
  • Does Income Inequality Really Hurt State Tax Revenues?

    Kim Rueben
    18 Sep 2014 | 11:58 pm
    This week the rating agency Standard and Poor’s got a lot of attention for a study that concluded that rising income inequality is damaging state tax revenues. Well, state tax revenue growth has slowed in recent decades and income inequality has grown. But the story is far more complicated than S&P suggests. Worse, I fear S&P may have flunked Econ 101 and confused correlation with causation. Two things may be true, but it does not mean one caused the other. Margarine does not break up marriages and the number of computer science doctorates doesn’t lead to higher arcade revenues.
 
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    Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

  • Last Year’s Drop in Poverty Only the Second Since 2000

    Arloc Sherman
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:43 pm
    The decline in the official poverty rate last year from 15.0 percent to 14.5 percent is especially welcome because it follows a decade and a half of mostly rising or stagnant poverty rates, our detailed look at the new Census figures explains.  Before 2013, the official poverty rate fell only once since 2000 (see chart).  Still, at the current rate of progress — which was hampered in 2013 by slow job growth and austerity policies — poverty won’t return to its pre-recession level of 12.5 percent until about 2017. Some 45.3 million Americans were poor in 2013, the Census figures show.
  • Census Data Show Improved Health Coverage in 2013

    Matt Broaddus
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:36 pm
    We’ve posted our full analysis of the Census Bureau’s new data on health coverage, which show that the share and number of Americans with health insurance improved slightly last year.  (Because the results are for 2013, they don’t reflect the coverage gains in 2014 resulting from health reform’s major coverage provisions, which took effect on January 1 — namely, the Medicaid expansion and subsidized marketplace coverage.) Census published data from both its Current Population Survey (CPS) and American Community Survey (ACS).  Although the CPS is the most widely used source of…
  • In Case You Missed It…

    CBPP
    19 Sep 2014 | 1:23 pm
    This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the new Census Bureau data on poverty, income, and health coverage; the federal budget and taxes, housing, food assistance, and state budgets and taxes. On Census Bureau data, we excerpted Robert Greenstein’s statement.  Danilo Trisi explained why the Census Bureau’s official poverty rate provides a real but incomplete picture of poverty and anti-poverty policies in the United States and noted that income inequality remained near a record high in 2013.  Matt Broaddus highlighted improvements in uninsured rates but found wide disparities in…
  • Debating Corporate “Inversions”

    CBPP
    19 Sep 2014 | 12:32 pm
    At a Heritage Foundation panel discussion this week, CBPP Senior Tax Policy Analyst Chye-Ching Huang debunked myths surrounding the recent wave of corporate “inversions,” in which U.S.-based firms move their headquarters overseas for tax purposes, and explained why policymakers should take strong action against them, explaining: People think that there is a simple story that is driving inversions . . . that there are companies that are changing their tax headquarters to escape the highest statutory rate in the OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development].  But that…
  • Child Poverty Remains High, But States Can Make a Difference

    Erica Williams
    19 Sep 2014 | 9:55 am
    Update, September 22:  We’ve corrected the map in this post.  More than half of the states plus the District of Columbia had child poverty rates of 20 percent or higher last year (see map), new data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey show, and in some states — like New Mexico and Mississippi — poverty affected as many as one in three kids.  Such extensive child poverty unnecessarily damages the prospects of millions of children. Relative to their better-off peers, poor children have poorer health, do less well in school, and complete fewer years of education.  Over…
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • “How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry”

    Andrew
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:14 pm
    David Rothschild (coauthor of the Xbox study, the Mythical Swing Voter paper, and of course the notorious Aapor note) will be speaking Friday 10 Oct in the Economics and Big Data meetup in NYC. His title: “How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry: information aggregation using non-representative polling data.” Should be fun! P.P.S. Slightly relevant to this discussion: Satvinder Dhingra wrote to me: An AAPOR probability-based survey methodologist is a man who, when he finds non-probability Internet opt-in samples constructed to be representative of the…
  • Some will spam you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen

    Andrew
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:33 am
    A few weeks ago the following came in the email: Dear Professor Gelman, I am writing you because I am a prospective doctoral student with considerable interest in your research. My name is Xian Zhao, but you can call me by my English name Alex, a student from China. My plan is to apply to doctoral programs this coming fall, and I am eager to learn as much as I can about research opportunities in the meantime. I will be on campus next Monday, September 15th, and although I know it is short notice, I was wondering if you might have 10 minutes when you would be willing to meet with me to briefly…
  • On deck this week

    Andrew
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Mon: Some will spam you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen Tues: Why I’m still not persuaded by the claim that subliminal smiley-faces can have big effects on political attitudes Wed: Study published in 2011, followed by successful replication in 2003 [sic] Thurs: Waic for time series Fri: MA206 Program Director’s Memorandum Sat: “An exact fishy test” Sun: People used to send me ugly graphs, now I get these things The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
  • I can’t think of a good title for this one.

    Andrew
    21 Sep 2014 | 6:31 am
    Andrew Lee writes: I recently read in the MIT Technology Review about some researchers claiming to remove “bias” from the wisdom of crowds by focusing on those more “confident” in their views. I [Lee] was puzzled by this result/claim because I always thought that people who (1) are more willing to reassess their priors and (2) “hedgehogs” were more accurate forecasters. I clicked through to the article and noticed this line: “tasks such as to estimate the length of the border between Switzerland and Italy, the correct answer being 734 kilometers.”…
  • Estimating discontinuity in slope of a response function

    Andrew
    20 Sep 2014 | 6:04 am
    Peter Ganong sends me a new paper (coauthored with Simon Jager) on the “regression kink design.” Ganong writes: The method is a close cousin of regression discontinuity and has gotten a lot of traction recently among economists, with over 20 papers in the past few years, though less among statisticians. We propose a simple placebo test based on constructing RK estimates at placebo policy kinks. Our placebo test substantially changes the findings from two RK papers (one which is revise and resubmit at Econometrica by David Card, David Lee, Zhuan Pei and Andrea Weber and another…
 
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    macroblog

  • The Changing State of States' Economies

    macroblog
    15 Sep 2014 | 2:05 pm
    Timely data on the economic health of individual states recently came from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The new quarterly state-level gross domestic product (GDP) series begins in 2005 and runs through the fourth quarter of 2013. The map below offers a look at how states have fared since 2005 relative to the economic performance of the nation as a whole. Learn About Tableau It’s interesting to see the map depict an uneven expansion between the second quarter of 2005 and the peak of the cycle in the fourth quarter of 2007. By the fourth quarter of 2008, most parts of the…
  • What Kind of Job for Part-Time Pat?

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

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

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

  • "Credibility"

    chris dillow
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:07 am
    At the end of an interview with Ed Balls this morning, Sarah Monague (02h 22m in) gave us a wonderful example of the ideological presumptions of supposedly neutral BBC reporting. She asked Nick Robinson: "It's about economic credibility here, isn't it?" What's going on here is a double ideological trick. First, "credibility" is defined in terms of whether Labour's plans are sufficiently fiscally tight*. This imparts an austerity bias to political discourse. There's no necessary reason for this. We might instead define credibility in terms of…
  • Capitalism & the low-paid

    chris dillow
    21 Sep 2014 | 5:14 am
    Is capitalism compatible with decent living standards for the worst off*? This old Marxian question is outside the Overton window, but it's the one raised by Ed Miliband's promise to raise the minimum wage to £8 by 2020. First, the maths. This implies a rise of 4.2% per year; the NMW will be £6.50 from next month. However, as the NMW rises, workers' incomes don't rise one-for-one, because tax credits get withdrawn. Assuming an average deduction rate of 50% (it varies depending on whether workers have children - see chart 5.8 in this pdf), this implies a rise of 2.1% per…
  • Economists as food experts

    chris dillow
    20 Sep 2014 | 5:35 am
    Simon Wren Lewis reminds me of Moe Szyslak. No, I'm not trying for an improbable libel action. I'm referring to his call for a fiscal council. He says: Politicians will believe anything that suits them. But what the independence referendum showed us is that voters have similar problems. As the campaign progressed the stronger the Yes vote became, and there is some evidence that this reflected additional information they received. As I suggested here, the problem is that this information was superficially credible sounding stuff from either side, but often with no indication from…
  • Defending markets

    chris dillow
    19 Sep 2014 | 6:20 am
    I have often accused rightists of making a "small truths, big error" rhetorical trick - of using a small truth to disguise a big mistake. I fear, though, that this post by Richard Murphy shows that the left can do the same thing. He points outthat the conditions required for markets to work optimally are extremely unlikely to exist in the real world. This is true. It is also irrelevant. Optimality is a massively demanding standard. if we were to scrap all institutions because they were sub-optimal, we'd have nothing left.   Nobody would seriously defend a market economy…
  • Distrusting politicians

    chris dillow
    18 Sep 2014 | 6:33 am
    One curiosity of the Scottish referendum campaign has been that polls show that Alex Salmond is less distrusted than other politicians. For example, when Yougov asked "how much do you trust the statements and claims made by the following people?" they found that 40% of Scots trust him whilst 55% don't. For Darling, the figures are 34-60; for Cameron 26-70; and for Miliband 25-67. I say this is curious because good judges have plausibly accused Salmond of sophistry and deceit, whereas the charges of outright dishonesty against No campaigners seem less grievous to me. (Of course,…
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    Moneybox

  • Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)

    Jordan Weissmann
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:38 pm
    This afternoon, TechCrunch reported that Apple was planning to shut down Beats Music, the streaming service founded by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine that the company acquired, along with their headphone brand, for $3 billion. This seemed a bit strange, since Tim Cook has rhapsodized about just how much he loves the subscription service, and the fact that Apple desperately needed to find foothold in streaming. But the story cited five sources, "including several prominent employees at Apple and Beats." “It’s not clear when exactly Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre’s music service will be shut…
  • The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

    Jordan Weissmann
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:44 am
    With the United Nations Climate Summit near at hand, the Energy Information Administration has published a short, chartified reminder of just how far the United States is behind Europe when it comes to generating no-carbon electricity. Behold—we're the stumpy bar at the bottom. And for a sense of progress, here's what the chart looked like in 2002. While most of the countries that produce at least half of their power from zero-carbon sources rely heavily on nuclear and hydroelectric power, the U.S. has been slow to convert its power sources to renewables like wind, solar, or biomass. The…
  • Pabst Blue Ribbon Is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway

    Jordan Weissmann
    19 Sep 2014 | 3:35 pm
    Pabst Blue Ribbon, the cheap-but-tolerable beer that will forever be identified with early 2000s American hipsterdom, is being bought by Russian investors. According to the New York Times, Oasis Beverages will pay more than $700 million to acquire the Pabst Brewing Co., which also makes Colt 45 and Old Milwaukee. The sale will net a tidy profit for Dean Metropoulos, the businessman who bought Pabst for a mere $250 million in 2010.   After a quarter century of declining sales, Pabst came back from the dead during the early aughts because it was a dirt-cheap beer with a kitschy,…
  • Why Innovators Hate MBAs

    Nathan Furr
    19 Sep 2014 | 12:24 pm
    This article originally appeared in Inc. If you want to be an innovator or an entrepreneur, should you go to business school? At first glance, maybe not: Peter Thiel once said "never ever hire an MBA; they will ruin your company." Meanwhile, Scott Cook, founder and leader of Intuit, recently told me, "When MBAs come to us we have to fundamentally retrain them—nothing they learned will help them succeed at innovation." Perhaps a stronger indictment comes from Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SpaceX, Solar City and PayPal, who said, "As much as possible, avoid hiring…
  • How Accelerators Have Changed Startup Funding

    Jeremy Quittner
    19 Sep 2014 | 9:09 am
    This article originally appeared in Inc. A little more than a decade ago, it used to be a much costlier undertaking to start a new technology business, particularly in software. The cloud and distributed computing has changed all that. So has the growth of accelerators, like Y Combinator and TechStars and others that provide small amounts of seed funding to startups in exchange for some equity in your business. But in contrast to a decade ago, that small amount of money goes further. That, plus the connections and mentoring that accelerators typically offer, has gone a long way toward…
 
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    Economic Development BlogEconomic Development Blog -

  • NYC Green Buildings Plan to Save $8.5B, Create 3500 Jobs

    Economic Development HQ.com
    22 Sep 2014 | 7:44 am
    NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a sweeping Green Buildings Plan as part of an overall commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. NYCBuiltToLast The NYC Green Buildings Plan will lead to another 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions caused by buildings, in the process saving $8.5 billion in energy costs over ten years, and creating 3,500 new jobs in energy services and construction. The “One City, Built to Last: Transforming New York City’s Buildings for a Low-Carbon Future” plan calls for a massive retrofit of both public and private…
  • Colorado Gets $6.6M DOD Grant to Grow Advanced Manufacturing

    Economic Development HQ.com
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:03 pm
    The U.S. Department of Defense has approved a $6.6 million grant application from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade seeking “Economic Adjustment Assistance.” Colorado advanced manufacturing The announcement was made by Governor John Hickenlooper during his address to attendees at Denver Startup Week. The DoD program was created to offset the impact of lower federal spending on local economies. The $6.6 million in the form of a two-year grant, issued through a competitive grant process by the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment, will be used to promote…
  • Iowa Announces Economic Development Incentives for Two Projects and Funding for Six Startups

    Economic Development HQ.com
    21 Sep 2014 | 8:55 pm
    The Iowa Economic Development Authority board announced approval of tax incentives for two companies creating jobs, in addition to financial and technical support for six startups. Jobs for Iowa (photo – iowa.gov) One of the two Iowa companies getting economic development incentives for job creation is Merchants Bonding Company. MBC, a Des Moines-based insurance carrier, is planning to relocate to a new corporate headquarters building in West Des Moines that will be able to accommodate the company’s growth plans. They are investing $14.6 million into the relocation project, and plan to…
  • New Jersey Economic Development Authority Brings Together Startup Founders and Funders

    Economic Development HQ.com
    19 Sep 2014 | 8:24 am
    In an effort to spur the growth of early stage technology and life sciences companies, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority held an event at which 30 startups were introduced to 15 prospective funders. NJ Founders & Funders event (photo – njeda.com) The Founders & Funders event at the Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT) in North Brunswick, NJ was the second in a series of such events which the NJEDA plans to continue holding every quarter to support TLS startups. The events offer participating startup founders a chance to connect with angel…
  • V-Soft Consulting Expansion in Louisville Gets Kentucky Economic Development Incentives

    Economic Development HQ.com
    18 Sep 2014 | 10:08 pm
    V-Soft Consulting Group Inc., a minority and woman-owned business solutions group, is planning an expansion of its company headquarters in Louisville, KY. V-Soft Consulting (photo – vsoftconsulting.com) The company plans to invest $206,250 for equipment, and create 25 new jobs with wages of $47 per hour with benefits. V-Soft already employs 55 professionals in Kentucky. Governor Steve Beshear said in a release that he is pleased that V-Soft chose Kentucky to serve its clients around the world. The Governor noted that even more than the impact of the 25 jobs, V-Soft is a company that…
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    Washington Center for Equitable Growth

  • Lunchtime Must-Read: Paul Krugman: The Temporary-Equilibrium Method

    Brad DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 10:08 am
    Paul Krugman: The Temporary-Equilibrium Method: “David Glasner has some thoughts… that I mostly agree with, but not entirely. So, a bit more… Glasner is right to say that the Hicksian IS-LM analysis comes most directly not out of Keynes but out of Hicks’s own Value and Capital, which introduced the concept of ‘temporary equilibrium’… using quasi-static methods to analyze a dynamic economy… simply as a tool…. So is IS-LM really Keynesian? I think yes–there is a lot of temporary equilibrium in The General Theory, even if there’s other…
  • Lunchtime Must-Read: David M. Byrne, Stephen D. Oliner, and Daniel E. Sichel: Is the Information Technology Revolution Over?

    Brad DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:48 am
    David M. Byrne, Stephen D. Oliner, and Daniel E. Sichel: Is the Information Technology Revolution Over?: “Given the slowdown in labor productivity growth in the mid-2000s… some have argued that the boost to labor productivity from IT may have run its course. This paper contributes three types of evidence to this debate. First, we show that since 2004, IT has continued to make a significant contribution to labor productivity growth in the United States, though it is no longer providing the boost it did during the productivity resurgence from 1995 to 2004. Second, we present…
  • Financing the rise in income inequality

    Nick Bunker
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:46 am
    High salaries and other forms of compensation in the finance sector aren’t a surprise to anyone. Even before the 2008 financial crisis, the high pay of bankers on Wall Street and in “the City” were a source of contention. But the causes behind the large wage premium aren’t as apparent. A new paper documenting trends in pay in finance sheds light onto why pay is so high. The paper, by Joaane Lindley of King’s College London and Steven McIntosh, of the University of Sheffield, is summarized by the authors in a column for VoxEU. The two economists look at the data for the finance…
  • Potential Output and Total Factor Productivity since 2000: Marking My Beliefs to Market: The Honest Broker for the Week of September 26, 2014

    Brad DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:40 am
    I am still thinking about the best assessment of potential output and productivity growth that we have–that of the extremely-sharp John Fernald’s “Productivity and Potential Output Before, During, and After the Great Recession”. And I am–slowly, hesitantly, and unwillingly–coming to the conclusion that I have to mark my beliefs about the process of economic technological change to market, and revise them significantly. Let’s start with what I wrote last July: Brad DeLong: I Draw a Different Message from John Fernald’s Calculations than He…
  • Morning Must-Read: Andy Jalil: A New History of Banking Panics in the United States, 1825–1929: Construction and Implications

    Brad DeLong
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:53 am
    Andy Jalil: A New History of Banking Panics in the United States, 1825–1929: Construction and Implications: “There are two major problems in identifying the output effects… …of banking panics of the pre-Great Depression era. First, it is not clear when panics occurred because prior panic series differ in their identification of panic episodes. Second, establishing the direction of causality is tricky. This paper addresses these two problems (1) by deriving a new panic series for the 1825-1929 period and (2) by studying the output effects of major banking panics via vector…
 
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    Bankrate.com » Economics

  • Podcast: Job market’s looking up?

    Doug Whiteman
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:05 am
    The U.S. unemployment rate has fallen back to pre-recession levels, but hiring hasn't been great. The number of new jobs in August was the lowest for any month this year and was far below analysts' expectations. So, if you need a job, it is going to be tough? Maybe not. In this week's podcast, Mark
  • Housing’s fits and ‘starts’

    Mark Hamrick
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:05 am
    This week brings more news about housing and an anniversary for Honda.
  • Coach Yellen’s game plan

    Mark Hamrick
    15 Sep 2014 | 3:05 am
    This week's Fed meeting might provide a clearer look at the central bank's playbook.
  • Podcast: Apple’s new temptations

    Doug Whiteman
    15 Sep 2014 | 3:05 am
    Consumers have a new crop of shiny Apples to put on their wish lists, including new iPhone models, an Apple Watch and a payment system called Apple Pay. You might be wondering if it's time to upgrade what you already have and if a trip to the Apple store should be in your future. Don't
  • Consumers not yet doing their part?

    Mark Hamrick
    8 Sep 2014 | 3:05 am
    We'll learn this week if consumers are doing more to help drive the economy forward.
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    FiveThirtyEight » Economics | FiveThirtyEight

  • The American Middle Class Hasn’t Gotten A Raise In 15 Years

    Ben Casselman
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:01 am
    In 1988, the typical American adult was 40 years old, white and married, with a high school diploma. If he was a man, he probably worked full time. If she was a woman, she probably didn’t.Twenty-five years later, Americans are older, more diverse and more educated. We are less likely to be married and more likely to live alone. Work is divided more evenly between the sexes. One thing that hasn’t changed? The income of the median U.S. household is still just under $52,000.The government’s release last week of income and poverty data for 2013 brought renewed attention to the apparent…
  • We Still Don’t Know What $1.6 Trillion Bought Us

    Andrew Flowers
    17 Sep 2014 | 9:47 am
    One of the biggest efforts the Federal Reserve has ever embarked on — a $1.6 trillion bond-buying program to stimulate the U.S. economy known as the third round of quantitative easing — is coming to an end next month. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will likely discuss it Wednesday, when she presents the Fed’s latest economic forecast. Economists will be discussing it for decades.That’s because the program, dubbed QE3, was unprecedented. It wasn’t about spending money to get the U.S. out of a financial crisis or to prevent a double-dip recession. (Those were the…
  • The Economic Guide To Picking A College Major

    Ben Casselman
    12 Sep 2014 | 4:37 am
    The millions of American college students heading back to campus this month face a grim reality: A college degree is no guarantee of economic success. But through their choice of major, they can take at least some steps toward boosting their odds.The link between education and earnings is notoriously fraught, with cause and effect often difficult to disentangle. But a look at detailed data on college graduates by major reveals some clear messages: Don’t be pre-med if you aren’t planning to go to medical school; don’t assume that all “STEM” — science, technology, engineering…
  • The Poorest Corner Of Town

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

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

  • Why Baby Boomers Will Pull Productivity Down

    Elaine Schwartz
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    1999 might have been Derek Jeter’s best season. Twenty-five years old, he had 219 hits, 24 home runs and 102 RBIs. His batting average was .349. You can see below that .349 was Derek Jeter’s career high with the Yankees. The most valuable baseball players (although Jeter was never an MVP) are typically younger than 30 and …
  • The Facts Behind the Gender Pay Gap

    Elaine Schwartz
    21 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    Although the gender pay gap can be women earning 78 cents for every dollar a male earns, the data, depending on so many variables, is more complicated.
  • Weekly Roundup: From Milkmen to Menus

    Elaine Schwartz
    20 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    This week's stories on everyday economics include competitive market structures, business cycles, saving, conspicuous consumption and economic indicators.
  • The Economic Impact of the Ebola Epidemic

    Elaine Schwartz
    19 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    The ebola epidemic will affect Liberia's GDP growth rate through the illness itself and the ripple of fear that hits households, businesses and government.
  • An Unusual Economic Indicator: the Chief Expletive Offerer

    Elaine Schwartz
    18 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    In conference calls with investors and analysts during the great recession, CEOs expressing curse words more frequently could be an economic indicator.
 
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    Vox - All

  • 17 things about ISIS you need to know

    Zack Beauchamp
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:59 pm
  • The US is bombing Syria to destroy ISIS. Here's why that won't work.

    Zack Beauchamp
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:31 pm
    Late Monday night, American warplanes began bombing about 20 Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets. It's a key part of President Obama's strategy for destroying ISIS: weaken ISIS in Syria before more moderate Syrian rebels try to retake the territory it holds on the ground. There's just one little problem with this strategy: it's not likely to work. The above video explains why, in about two minutes. There are two main points. 1. America has no reliable allies in Syria ISIS, as you can see from that map, has a lot of strongholds in cities and towns. Airpower alone can't dislodge the…
  • The US just started bombing Syria. This Syrian man is live-tweeting the strikes as they hit.

    Max Fisher
    22 Sep 2014 | 7:17 pm
    The US is now launching its first-ever air strikes in Syria against the terrorist group ISIS, the Pentagon announced at about 9:30 pm EST, revealing that the US military is "using a mix of fighter, bomber, and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles" along with the air forces of Middle Eastern allies. But the news was actually broken 30 minutes earlier by a Syrian Twitter user in the city of Raqqa, where ISIS has its headquarters, who heard the strikes and speculated — correctly, it turned out — that this was the beginning of the American air campaign. The Twitter user, named Abdulkader Hariri,…
  • Here's Obama's plan to curb corporate tax inversions

    Danielle Kurtzleben
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:18 pm
    The Obama Administration announced late Monday that it is taking the first steps toward eliminating corporate tax inversions, a procedure in which a US-based business merges with a company located elsewhere, then restructures with that foreign company as a parent in order to take advantage of a foreign country's tax rates. The new policies will make it more difficult for companies to undertake inversions and will also will make it tougher to enjoy the benefits of those arrangements. One measure will toughen a requirement already on the books that says the US company that was formerly the…
  • 9 questions about tax inversions you were embarrassed to ask

    Matthew Yglesias
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:07 pm
    On September 22nd, the Treasury Department announced some new measures to crack down on corporate tax inversions. Inversions have languished for years as an arcane sub-element of the already arcane world of corporate income taxation, but over the past couple of months, they've surged toward the top of the public agenda in the United States.Burger King is buying Canadian coffee and doughnuts chain Tim Horton's, in large part in order to perform an inversion so it can start paying corporate income tax at the lower Canadian rate. President Obama dedicated his July 26 radio address to the need to…
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    Commentary - Money, Banking and Financial Markets

  • ECB and Fed: Separated at Birth?

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:24 am
    Nearly 30 years ago, the satirical Spy magazine began posing the now-familiar question – “separated at birth?” – above lookalike images of two unconnected public figures. Donald Trump was paired with Elvis Presley, Marie Osmond with Monica Lewinsky, and the list goes on (and on). Had Spy found humor in juxtaposing institutions rather than personalities, it still wouldn’t have landed on the Fed and the ECB (which didn’t yet exist): their buildings look nothing alike.Yet, in terms of governance and communications, the Fed and the ECB have evolved over the past 15 years into virtual…
  • In Search of Better Credit Assessments

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    18 Sep 2014 | 5:28 am
    July 21, 2014 was the fourth birthday of the Dodd–Frank Act (DFA). It is maturing faster than a human, but slower than a dog. Of the nearly 400 rules that DFA requires regulators to write, just over half have been completed. At the end of August, the SEC finished another one – regarding credit rating agencies (CRAs). The result makes us wonder what took so long. (A scoreboard tracking DFA rule-making progress is here.)The Commission issued two specific rules, one on conflicts of interest and the other on transparency. The text itself runs more than 700 pages We read the 4,000-plus word…
  • Liquidity Regulation

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    15 Sep 2014 | 5:22 am
    Ever since Bagehot, central banks acting as lenders of last resort have tried to distinguish banks that are illiquid, who should be eligible for a loan, from banks that are insolvent, who should not. The challenge persists. As one analyst put it recently: “Liquidity and solvency are the heavenly twins of banking, frequently indistinguishable. An illiquid bank can rapidly become insolvent, and an insolvent bank illiquid.” The lesson is that the appropriate level of a bank’s capital and the liquidity of its assets are necessarily related.Forged in the crucible of the financial crisis,…
  • The Yin and the Yang of Shadow Banking in China

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    8 Sep 2014 | 5:38 am
    By almost any measure, China saves more than virtually any country in the world. Over the past decade, gross national savings has amounted to about one-half of GDP.  And that phenomenal rate continues: only Qatar and Macau save more  (see chart). There are many good reasons to save. At the top of the list in China has been the high marginal return on capital that naturally accompanies rapid economic growth.Gross Savings Ratio (Percent of GDP) in 2012 Source: World Bank. Savings are calculated as gross national income less total consumption, plus net transfers. Despite this,…
  • Who does macropru for nonbanks?

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

  • He’s Dubai’s leading hotelier, and he has his eye on Britain’s North

    Thomas Crowe
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:50 pm
    Jumeirah Group’s chief executive says ties between Dubai and the UK are strong, but we still lack enough world class infrastructure. One of the Middle East’s most successful hoteliers, Gerald Lawless, group chief executive of Jumeirah Group, has witnessed first hand how the philosophy of “build and they will come” has transformed Dubai into a global tourism powerhouse. An example of this theory in practice is the Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai, which is currently celebrating its 15th year since first opening in the emirates. Initially critics complained that the towering structure,…
  • New Scottish powers come with fiscal responsibilities

    Glenn Scott-Ellis
    21 Sep 2014 | 12:27 am
    The pledges made to devolve powers to the Scottish parliament set up a wholly new dynamic for bond and currency markets. In the end the bond and currency market reaction to the Scottish referendum result barely registered a flicker on a market screen: UK gilt yields rose by just 0.07pc in the days leading up to the result while sterling rose by about 2 cents against the US dollar. It’s the kind of thing that can happen on a particularly volatile day when markets are surprised by new economic data. You could say that the markets were “Priced for No”. The shock result would have been a…
  • Seven ways in which the Scotland No vote will affect the UK economy and markets

    Dermot Crawford
    20 Sep 2014 | 5:07 am
    Seven ways in which the Scotland No vote will affect the UK economy and markets. Hurrah – Scotland has voted No. The United Kingdom will remain intact, backed by a wide margin of around 55-45pc against independence. Here are seven ways in which the Scotland vote will impact investors, business and the economy. 1. Sterling has already bounced back, recouping all of the losses since the one poll a few weeks ago that showed a slim lead for the Yes vote. The wobble has already been forgotten. The stock market – the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 — has bounced this morning. It is even…
  • Federal Reserve to keep rates low for ‘a considerable time’

    Jamil Al Maani
    18 Sep 2014 | 1:08 am
    US central bank cuts monthly bond purchases by a further $10bn, leaving the programme on course to end next month. The US Federal Reserve renewed a pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time” but it issued projections that suggested it may raise borrowing costs quicker than it had been thinking a few months ago. Many economists and traders had expected the central bank to alter the rate guidance it has provided since March, given generally improving data on the economy’s performance. But the Fed repeated its assurance that rates would stay ultra-low for…
  • Yes vote would be ‘nightmare’ for engineering and defence businesses

    Mark Boyes
    16 Sep 2014 | 12:34 am
    EEF boss Terry Scuoler leads warnings of economic damage Scotland voting for independence would have on industry. A Yes vote in Scotland would be a “disaster” and “nightmare” for the newly independent country that would result in it losing highly skilled defence sector jobs and jeopardise investment in its manufacturing industry for decades, according to experts. The warnings over the likely impact on the aerospace, defence and engineering sectors of Scots voting to break away from the Union came just days before Thursday’s vote. One of the most bleak assessments yet of the likely…
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