Economics

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Is chocolate better than exercise for the brain?

    OUPblog
    Elizabeth Gorney
    29 Mar 2015 | 1:30 am
    Everyone knows that aerobic exercise is good for the body, but is it always as good for brain? Furthermore, is exercise better than eating lots of chocolate for the aging brain? A recent study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience by a group of scientists from Columbia University and NYU gave a large daily dose of flavanols extracted from cocoa powder to a small number of 50 to 69 year old subjects; they reported improved memory and enhanced blood flow in a part of the brain, the hippocampus, that is responsible for memory formation. If this sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • 10 Sunday Reads

    The Big Picture
    Barry Ritholtz
    29 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Good Sunday morning. Round out your weekend with some interesting reads you may have missed: • Need Financial Advice? Ask the Future You (NY Times) • Vanguard snubs outsiders in digital advice: As firms like Schwab and Vanguard build more online portfolios, money managers face an ‘open architecture’ question (Investment News) • Activist Investor Bill Ackman Sets a $1 Million Debate Bet (Vanity Fair) • Does bankruptcy trump privacy? (Digitopoly) • Piketty’s Three Big Mistakes (Bloomberg View) • The War Over Who Steve Jobs Was (Medium) see also Becoming…
  • Penicillin ad, circa 1944

    The Incidental Economist
    Austin Frakt
    28 Mar 2015 | 7:00 am
    Via HistoricaPics: @afrakt
  • Links 3/29/15

    naked capitalism
    Yves Smith
    29 Mar 2015 | 3:55 am
  • Links 3/28/15

    naked capitalism
    Yves Smith
    28 Mar 2015 | 3:55 am
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    Real Time Economics

  • What’s $3 Billion Between Enemies? Ukraine and Russia Battle Over Debt Terminology

    Ian Talley
    28 Mar 2015 | 2:01 am
    Of the many battles Ukraine and Russia are fighting, an argument about whether to call the $3 billion Kiev owes Moscow at the end of this year “official” or “private” debt may seem insignificant. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (R) talks with with Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images In fact, says Anders Åslund, a Russia expert and senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the verbal skirmish highlights a fundamental problem: Ukraine needs far more cash than Western countries have currently promised to…
  • Yellen Upbeat on Foreign Central Bank Stimulus for U.S., Despite Dollar Impact

    Michael S. Derby
    27 Mar 2015 | 2:18 pm
    NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Friday that overseas central bank stimulus is mixed but ultimately positive for the U.S. economy. Mr. Yellen, speaking to a conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said in response to an audience question that it’s true that stimulus in the European Union and Japan were helping lead to a stronger dollar that will weigh on total U.S. growth by lowering American exports. But she cautioned more was at play. With the foreign central bank actions, “there are a number of channels of influence.” They might push the dollar…
  • 5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar

    Josh Mitchell and Jeffrey Sparshott
    27 Mar 2015 | 2:16 pm
    The March payroll report dominates next week’s economic data. Here's what to watch.
  • 5 Quotes From Janet Yellen’s Speech to the San Francisco Fed

    Pedro Nicolaci da Costa
    27 Mar 2015 | 1:24 pm
    Here are five key quotes from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's remarks to a conference at the San Francisco Fed.
  • North Dakota’s Jobless Rate Is the Lowest No Longer

    Pedro Nicolaci da Costa
    27 Mar 2015 | 11:03 am
    North Dakota’s jobless rate rose to 2.9% in February from 2.8% in what the Bureau of Labor Statistics called “the only significant over-the-month rate increase” for any state.  KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES For the first time since the depths of the U.S. financial crisis, North Dakota no longer boasts the nation’s lowest jobless rate, a potential hint of trouble for energy-rich states bolstered by an oil boom that has since gone bust. The shale-rich state was replaced by Nebraska, whose unemployment rate fell to 2.7%. North Dakota’s rate rose to 2.9% from 2.8% in what the Bureau of…
 
 
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    Alpha.Sources

  • QE and population ageing as macroeconomic externalities

    CV
    23 Mar 2015 | 12:30 am
    This discussion of market failures and externalities is mostly a microeconomic discussion. Students will tend to encounter it, in the context of the classic case of the polluting industrial company whose marginal private cost, or supply, curve is not the same as the marginal social cost curve. A firm which dumps toxic waste in a river does not bear the full cost of such actions; society also faces a costs even if this is not taken into account in the firm's profit maximization problem. The solution according to the welfare theorems is for the social planner, the government, to tax the company…
  • Regulative Mission Creep?

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

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

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

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

  • Speaking Engagements/Conferences

    Francine
    23 Mar 2015 | 5:40 am
    I’m on the road visiting universities, attending select conferences and forums and speaking to groups of all kinds. If you would like me to visit your university and your accounting/audit program, please write soon to lock in fall and winter dates. Contact me at fmckenna@mckennapartners.com to schedule a presentation at your university, conference, firm or for a private briefing. Coming Up: March 23-24, 2014, I’ve been asked again, my 5th year, to be a preliminary judge for the Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. ( I am a two-time award…
  • Deloitte US First Female CEO; There’s More We Don’t Know

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

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

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

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

  • The Feds Are Finally Moving to Regulate Payday Lending

    Sean McElwee
    27 Mar 2015 | 7:41 am
    AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin Payday loan businesses, some of them open 24-hours a day, advertise their services in Phoenix, Arizona.  This article originally appeared at Demos.org.   Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a blueprint for new regulations pertaining to payday loans and car title loans. The regulations will not include an interest rate cap, the holy grail for advocates, because industry allies watered-down the provisions (I discuss the fight over payday lending in my recent Atlantic article). These regulations are still important. The proposed regulations…
  • Legions of Women Workers in U.S. Still Lack Minimum Wage and Labor Protections

    Caroline Fredrickson
    27 Mar 2015 | 6:26 am
    AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Billy Smith II In this Dec. 2014 photo, Eileen Merize, left, helps 93-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran Harold Utsler look through some of his paper work at her home in Katy, Texas near Houston. The Houston Chronicle reports Utsler is one of three veterans who live in Merize's home through the Medical Foster Program, which helps disabled elderly veterans live with "foster families" rather than in large nursing homes.  It’s Women’s History Month—what a nice idea to recognize that women actually make history and aren’t just along to make dinner for the…
  • Trey Gowdy's Bad Benghazi Hand

    Ari Rabin-Havt
    25 Mar 2015 | 5:49 pm
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Why won't the chairman of the Benghazi Select Committee show his cards? Every poker player has experienced this moment. The hand is over. You show a winning hand and your opponent sits still. They grimace, while looking down at their cards hoping somehow they will change. Maybe they let out an annoyed sigh. All this whiny display accomplishes is wasting the time of every other player at the table. The dealer is frozen, unable deliver the pot to the winner until your opponent shows his cards or folds. As chairman of the Benghazi Select Committee, Trey Gowdy has…
  • Chart: The Way We Pay Tipped Workers Disproportionately Harms Women

    David Cooper
    25 Mar 2015 | 8:29 am
    This article was originally published on the website of the Economic Policy Institute. Under federal law, employers of tipped workers are only required to pay their tipped staff a base wage of $2.13 per hour—an amount that has not been raised since 1991—provided that the sum of an employee’s weekly tips plus their base wage equates to an hourly rate of at least the minimum wage. Consequently, tipped work is overwhelmingly low-paying, even after accounting for tips. In 2013, the median hourly wage for tipped workers, including their income from tips, was $10.22 per hour, compared with a…
  • Students Declare Nationwide Boycott of Wendy's Over Farmworker Concerns

    Sue Sturgis
    25 Mar 2015 | 6:45 am
    © Coalition of Immokalee Workers On March 22, students and activists from across the U.S. came together in St. Petersburg, Florida, for the Concert for Fair Food. There the group, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), announced a nationwide student boycott of the Wendy's fast-food chain for its refusal to join in an agreement designed to protect the farmworkers who harvest the produce used by the chain. This article originally appeared at Facing South, the website published by the Institute for Southern Studies. Students from colleges and high schools across the U.S. declared a…
 
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Weekend Reading: Janet Yellen: Normalizing Monetary Policy: Prospects and Perspectives

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Mar 2015 | 7:58 am
    Janet Yellen: FRB: Speech--Yellen, Normalizing Monetary Policy: Prospects and Perspectives--March 27, 2015: I would like to thank President Williams for his kind introduction and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco for inviting me to what promises to be a very stimulating and important conference. As you know, last week the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) changed its forward guidance pertaining to the federal funds rate. With continued improvement in economic conditions, an increase in the target range for that rate may well be warranted later this year. Of course, the timing of…
  • April Fools' Festival, Day XVIII: Andrew Golis Finds Ashley Parker and Alexander Burns of the New York Times Clowing Around

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Mar 2015 | 7:34 am
    Andrew Golis: Twitter: @agolis: What an insidious and stupid formulation http://nyti.ms/1M9xO8v: @agolis: Notice the way it subtly precludes the possibility that anything 'divisive' or 'ideological' could be in the state or local interest. And the way that it broadly grants the idea that Schumer's advocacy on behalf of business interests is in the state and local interest. @michaelbd: @agolis Spoken like a really divisive ideologue who hates New York, Andrew. @michaelbd: @agolis What’s good For Wall Street is good. Finis. Anyone who disagrees is probably some nobody from upstate. @agolis;…
  • Liveblogging the American Revolution: March 29, 1777: General Charles Less

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:56 am
    Captured Continental Army Second-in-Command Charles Lee Does Strategic Planning for the British Reconquest of America:
  • Links and Tweets...

    J. Bradford DeLong
    28 Mar 2015 | 8:52 pm
    Joe Nye: The American Century Will Survive the Rise of China http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/48c84460-d250-11e4-ae91-00144feab7de.html Evening Must-Read: Michael Strain: How to Cut Taxes and Help the Poor http://equitablegrowth.org/?p=10116 Kenneth Thomas: Wikileaks Releases Trans-Pacific Partnership Investment Chapter http://www.middleclasspoliticaleconomist.com/2015/03/wikileaks-releases-trans-pacific.html Nick Bunker: Risk-Sharing and Student Loans http://equitablegrowth.org/news/effects-risk-sharing-student-loans Today's Must-Must-Read: Ilyana Kuziemko et al.: What Do Americans Think…
  • Weekend Reading: Jen Ebberler: Inventing Trajan: The Evidence, or How Do We Know What We Think We Know?

    J. Bradford DeLong
    28 Mar 2015 | 8:51 am
    Jen Ebberler: Inventing Trajan: The Evidence, or How Do We Know What We Think We Know?: "For a period of time that is chock full of historiographers and biographers, the reign of Trajan is badly documented... ...It's weird, almost as if writers purposely avoided the topic. There is a rich record of coins, civic and private monuments, and inscriptions.... Most of the scholarship on Trajan is done by archaeologists and others with a strong, non-textual orientation.... Neither Suetonius nor Tacitus treated Trajan's rule explicitly. Book 10 of Pliny's Letters has a complicated textual history,…
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    Calculated Risk

  • Merrill and Nomura Forecasts for March Employment Report

    Bill McBride
    29 Mar 2015 | 8:38 am
    Here are some excepts from two research reports ... first from Merrill Lynch: The recent employment reports have been exceptionally strong with job growth averaging 293,000 a month for the past six months. Although we expect a slight moderation in March with job growth of 270,000, this would still be a healthy number. Within the components, we should continue to see a shedding of jobs in the mining sector, which lost a cumulative 14,000 over the past two months. The plunge in oil prices has resulted in layoffs in oil and gas production. Elsewhere, we expect decent growth in construction jobs…
  • Schedule for Week of March 29, 2015

    Bill McBride
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:41 am
    The key report this week is the March employment report on Friday.Other key indicators include the February Personal Income and Outlays report on Monday, March ISM manufacturing index also on Wednesday, March vehicle sales on Wednesday, and the February Trade Deficit on Thursday.Also, Reis will release their quarterly surveys of rents and vacancy rates for offices, apartments and malls.----- Monday, March 30th -----8:30 AM ET: Personal Income and Outlays for February. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in personal income, and for a 0.2% increase in personal spending. And for the…
  • Unofficial Problem Bank list decline to 349 Institutions in March, Q1 2015 Transition Matrix

    Bill McBride
    28 Mar 2015 | 6:03 am
    This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.Here is the unofficial problem bank list for March 2015. Changes and comments from surferdude808: Update on the Unofficial Problem Bank List for March 2015. During the month, the list fell from 357 institutions to 349 after nine removals and one addition. Assets dropped by $2.9 billion to an aggregate $106.2 billion. A year ago, the list held 538 institutions with assets of $174.3 billion.Actions were terminated against First National Community Bank Dunmore, PA, ($969 million Ticker: FNCB); Colorado East Bank &…
  • Hotels: On Pace for Best Year on Record

    Bill McBride
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:13 pm
    From HotelNewsNow.com: STR: US hotel results for week ending 21 MarchThe U.S. hotel industry recorded positive results in the three key performance measurements during the week of 15-21 March 2015, according to data from STR, Inc.In year-over-year measurements, the industry’s occupancy rose 3.2 percent to 69.3 percent. Average daily rate increased 6.6 percent to finish the week at US$122.46. Revenue per available room for the week was up 10.0 percent to finish at US$84.89.emphasis addedNote: ADR: Average Daily Rate, RevPAR: Revenue per Available Room.The following graph shows the seasonal…
  • Yellen: Normalizing Monetary Policy: Prospects and Perspectives

    Bill McBride
    27 Mar 2015 | 12:45 pm
    From Fed Chair Janet Yellen: Normalizing Monetary Policy: Prospects and Perspectives. Excerpts: Why Might an Increase in the Federal Funds Rate Be Warranted Later This Year?The Committee's decision about when to begin reducing accommodation will depend importantly on how economic conditions actually evolve over time. Like most of my FOMC colleagues, I believe that the appropriate time has not yet arrived, but I expect that conditions may warrant an increase in the federal funds rate target sometime this year. So let me spell out the reasoning that underpins this view. I would first note that…
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    Crooked Timber

  • Do the Jews Really Not Belong in the United States?

    Corey Robin
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:34 am
    Last September, Joe Biden spoke to a group of invited guests, including leading American Jews, about Israel as a haven for American Jews: Folks, there is no place else to go, and you understand that in your bones. You understand in your bones that no matter how hospitable, no matter how consequential, no matter how engaged, no matter how deeply involved you are in the United States … there’s only one guarantee. There is really only one absolute guarantee, and that’s the state of Israel. I found that a rather stunning comment from a sitting vice president. So I…
  • Sunday photoblogging: Bristol, the bendy bridge

    Chris Bertram
    29 Mar 2015 | 3:03 am
  • It would explain a lot

    John Holbo
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:19 am
    The daughter: So, was J.R.R. Tolkien saved by eagles in W.W. I?
  • John Renbourn is dead

    Harry
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:48 am
    I was at a conference with CB when Bert Jansch died, and neither of us recorded the death here. Now Renbourn is gone too. Both gone too early. Guardian obit for Renbourn here. Jansch here. I have a lovely memory of seeing them both, with Jaqui McShee, at the late lamented Palms, in Davis CA, just after I married; and being simply in awe of them. Just listen. Pentangle: Renbourn alone: Jansch alone:
  • I shall abhor you

    John Holbo
    26 Mar 2015 | 7:41 am
    Do you ever wonder what a Wes Anderson horror film would be like? I have a good idea for one. It’s set in 1963, in a junior high school in Auburn, California, birthplace of “the bard of Auburn”, Clark Ashton Smith. An over-ambitious junior high drama director (Jason Schwartzman), in a misguided attempt to make the English teacher (Gwyneth Paltrow), fall in love with him, is staging an 8th grade production of Smith’s The Dead Will Cuckold You. This is a truly unique play, in the Zothique cycle. I’m saving this Zothique zinger for some special occasion in comments,…
 
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    Econbrowser

  • Oil sands outlook

    James_Hamilton
    29 Mar 2015 | 7:23 am
    On Friday I visited the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where falling oil prices have brought a record provincial budget deficit despite aggressive tax increases and spending cuts. Here I pass along some of what I learned about how the plunge in oil prices is affecting Alberta’s oil sands operations. A couple of factors have cushioned Canadian oil producers slightly from the collapse in oil prices in the U.S. First, while the dollar price of West Texas Intermediate has fallen 45% since June, the Canadian dollar depreciated against the U.S. dollar by 18% over the same period, and now…
  • Estimates of the Elasticity of Employment with Respect to the Minimum Wage

    Menzie Chinn
    28 Mar 2015 | 2:06 pm
    Some people would have you believe the impact of a minimum wage hike on employment is known to be large and negative. A cursory acquaintance with the literature helps in immunizing one (if one believes in vaccines and the like) against falling for such assertions. The meta-analysis of Doucouliagos, Hristos, and Tom D. Stanley. “Publication Selection Bias in Minimum-Wage Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis.” British Journal of Industrial Relations 47.2 (2009): 406-428. [ungated working paper version] is useful in this regard. Figure 2 from Doucouliagos, Hristos, and Tom D.
  • Pompeii on SF Bay?

    Menzie Chinn
    26 Mar 2015 | 2:17 pm
    Will a minimum wage increase induce an apocalyptic conflagration of small businesses and low wage employment? Here’s one prediction: This is not the time to force businesses to raise prices by laying-off employees in order to stay in business. What good is raising the minimum wage if prices go up? What good is raising the minimum wage if there are no jobs available? Businesses will be forced to raise prices in order to absorb a 26% pay increase. Restaurants will be especially hard hit. That is not a quote addressing the impending increase in the SF minimum wage. Rather, it’s the…
  • Guest Contribution: “Currency politics: Understanding the euro”

    Menzie Chinn
    24 Mar 2015 | 1:23 pm
    Today, we’re fortunate to have a guest contribution by Jeffry Frieden, Stanfield Professor of International Peace at Harvard University, and author of the newly published Currency Politics: The Political Economy of Exchange Rate Policy (Princeton University Press, 2015). This post is based upon a portion of that book. As the Eurozone struggles through its eighth year of stagnation and limping recovery, many Euro-skeptics are rubbing their hands with “I told you so” glee. The ongoing crisis in the Eurozone demonstrates the weaknesses of a currency union among countries with substantial…
  • Fed moves the markets

    James_Hamilton
    22 Mar 2015 | 2:55 pm
    As widely expected, at Wednesday’s FOMC meeting the Federal Reserve dropped its statement that “the Committee judges that it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy”, the magic formula that many observers had thought would open the way for a hike in interest rates at the Fed’s June meeting. But the yield on a 10-year U.S. Treasury bond dropped 10 basis points immediately following the FOMC release. Interest rate on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds as captured by CBOE TNX quote. Source: Yahoo Finance. More important than leaving the word…
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    EconLog: Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Russ Roberts on Adam Smith's Rules for Living

    David Henderson
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:08 pm
    (March 28, 2015 10:08 PM, by David Henderson) The prudent man, claims Roberts, does not smoke, is "physically active and keeps his weight under control," and "works hard and avoids debt." On debt, I must part company. It was by taking on what seemed like a massive debt... (4 COMMENTS)
  • What's new since 1982?

    Scott Sumner
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:22 am
    (March 28, 2015 09:22 AM, by Scott Sumner) When I moved to Boston in 1982, no one talked about the declining share of national income going to labor. Or increasing income inequality. Now these are the hottest topics in economics. Much of the discussion seems to implicitly suggest... (10 COMMENTS)
  • He Had Me at Page One

    David Henderson
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:26 pm
    (March 27, 2015 09:26 PM, by David Henderson) "I've always had trouble succeeding along traditional Bush family lines." So writes Jonathan Bush on p. 1 of his book, Where Does It Hurt? With that one sentence, he had me. Bush is a nephew of George H. W. Bush... (1 COMMENTS)
  • Richer than Rockefeller?

    David Henderson
    27 Mar 2015 | 11:49 am
    (March 27, 2015 11:49 AM, by David Henderson) This is the longest time I've gone without posting, other than when I'm on vacation at my cottage in Canada in August. I was traveling and my computer was being repaired after I got back. I gave a talk at... (25 COMMENTS)
  • Truly Notable and Quotable

    Alberto Mingardi
    27 Mar 2015 | 7:08 am
    (March 27, 2015 07:08 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) The Wall Street Journal often provides its readers with eye-opening arguments in the "Notable and Quotable" column hosted in its editorial page. On March 13, the WSJ quoted William Baumol, Robert Litan, and Carl Schramm, "Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and... (0 COMMENTS)
 
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    Economist's View

  • Links for 03-29-15

    Mark Thoma
    29 Mar 2015 | 12:06 am
    The myth of Europe’s Little Ice Age - Vox EU When Your Occupation Is Poverty - Mike Cassidy Employment and the Minimum Wage - Econbrowser Politicians or Technocrats: Who Splits the Cake? - Carola Binder Unreal Keynesians - Paul Krugman Privatization Memories - Paul Krugman Mild Winters and Crank Economics - Paul Krugman The bond-stock conundrum - Moneyness More choice can be confusing - Cass Sunstein The introduction of air conditioning and interstate mobility? - Tyler Cowen Do Air Conditioners Explain the Rise of the South? - Marginal Revolution
  • 'Unreal Keynesians'

    Mark Thoma
    28 Mar 2015 | 3:31 pm
    Paul Krugman: Unreal Keynesians: Brad DeLong points me to Lars Syll declaring that I am not a “real Keynesian”, because I use equilibrium models and don’t emphasize the instability of expectations. ... I don’t care whether Hicksian IS-LM is Keynesian in the sense that Keynes himself would have approved of it, and neither should you. What you should ask is whether that approach has proved useful — and whether the critics have something better to offer. And as I have often argued, these past 6 or 7 years have in fact been a triumph for IS-LM. Those of us using IS-LM made predictions…
  • Links for 03-28-15

    Mark Thoma
    28 Mar 2015 | 12:06 am
    Hidden Healthcare Horrors - Paul Krugman John Maynard Keynes on the Trade Cycle - Brad DeLong How long commutes worsen inequality - Mark Thoma Deflation: the modern policy bogeyman - Gillian Tett Normalizing Monetary Policy: Prospects and Perspectives - Janet Yellen Neither Grexit, nor Grexident. Euro and 'drachma' in parallel? - Reuters The myth of Europe’s Little Ice Age - Vox EU Invest in Vice or Virtue? - Tim Taylor Piketty's Three Big Mistakes - Noah Smith The Estate Tax Isn’t Destroying Family Farms - David Cay Johnston Protecting the public from policy entrepreneurs -…
  • How Idealism Can Fight Climate Change

    Mark Thoma
    27 Mar 2015 | 12:06 pm
    Robert Shiller: How Idealism, Expressed in Concrete Steps, Can Fight Climate Change: Idealism combined with an intriguing application of economic theory may accomplish what international conferences have not: solve the seemingly intractable problem of global warming. Despite periodic flurries of optimism, diplomacy has been largely disappointing. ... From an economic standpoint, international efforts until now have foundered on a fundamental “free rider problem.” ... Why not just take a “free ride” and let others do the hard work? ... But there are other ways to look at this... In a…
  • 'Microeconomic Origins of Macroeconomic Tail Risks'

    Mark Thoma
    27 Mar 2015 | 12:06 pm
    Microfoundations from Acemogl, Oxdaglar, and Tahbaz-salehi: Microeconomic origins of macroeconomic tail risks, by Daron Acemoglu, Asuman Ozdaglar, and Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi: Understanding large economic downturns is one of macroeconomics’ central goals. This column argues that imbalances in input-output linkages can interact with firm-level shocks to produce output fluctuations that are much larger than the underlying shocks. The result can be large cycles arising from small, firm-level shocks. It is thus important to study the determinants of large economic downturns separately.
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    EconTalk

  • Continuing Conversation... Campbell Harvey on Randomness, Skill, and Investment Strategies

    Amy Willis
    26 Mar 2015 | 9:07 am
    In this week's episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts sat down with Duke University's Campbell Harvey to discuss his research on various investment strategies. Here are some follow-up questions--please share your response in the Comments. We love to hear from you, and as always, please help us continue the conversation. 1. At approximately the twenty-eight minute mark, Roberts asks Harvey whether he thinks "black swans" can inform investment decisions. (Brush up on what is meant by "black swans" in this episode with Nassim Taleb.) How does Harvey respond, and to what extent are you convinced by…
  • Campbell Harvey on Randomness, Skill, and Investment Strategies

    Russell Roberts
    23 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    Campbell Harvey of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research evaluating various investment and trading strategies and the challenge of measuring their effectiveness. Topics discussed include skill vs. luck, self-deception, the measures of statistical significance, skewness in investment returns, and the potential of big data. Play Time: 1:05:05 How do I listen to a podcast? Download Size:29.9 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…
  • Continuing Education... Paul Romer on Urban Growth

    Amy Willis
    18 Mar 2015 | 9:01 am
    We hope you enjoyed this week's conversation with Paul Romer of New York University and director of NYU's Marron Institute of Urban Management. And now we'd like to hear what you got out of it, and for you to help us continue our conversation. Have a look at the prompts below and share your response in the comments. We look forward to the interaction. What's the difference between private and charter cities?Tweet 1. When asked about Gurgaon, the subject of much of Roberts's recent episode with Alex Tabarrok, Romer, referring to the interaction between public space and private space, asserts…
  • Paul Romer on Urban Growth

    Russell Roberts
    16 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    Paul Romer of New York University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about reforming cities to allow growth and human flourishing. Topics discussed include charter cities, the role of population density in city life, driverless cars, and various ways to help the poorest people in the world. Play Time: 1:03:01 How do I listen to a podcast? Download Size:28.9 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: Paul Romer's Home page About ideas and people mentioned in…
  • Continuing Education... Lawrence H. White on Monetary Constitutions

    Amy Willis
    13 Mar 2015 | 8:22 am
    This week's episode was recorded before a live audience at the Cato Institute and featured GMU economist Lawrence White. The focus of the conversation was a new book edited by White offering suggestions for reform of the U.S. monetary system. As always, we'd like to hear your responses. Please help us continue our conversation in the comments. 1. Approximately twenty minutes into the conversation, Roberts asks White about the ability of individuals to write (legally binding) contracts in alternative currencies, such as Bitcoin or gold. White replies such ability is "a little bit up in the…
 
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    Environmental Economics

  • One of the worst sentences I've ever written

    John Whitehead
    27 Mar 2015 | 7:07 am
    Circa 2000: The most striking result from table 7 is that choice set definition has very little effect on the trip cost coefficients which range from –0.053 to –0.057 even though the choice set definitions in table 2 eliminate an average minimum of 13% and maximum of 82% of the available sites. Something like this would be better: The most striking result from table 7 is that choice set definition has very little effect on the trip cost coefficients even though the choice set definitions in table 2 eliminate an average minimum of 13% and maximum of 82% of the available sites.
  • Explaining why economics majors rank near the top in salaries earned

    Tim Haab
    27 Mar 2015 | 6:20 am
  • Beginning of Spring Beer Post (for Tim)

    willwheels
    26 Mar 2015 | 9:00 pm
    My wife is a Marylander and she is obsessed with blue crabs and Old Bay, so we have tried many food items with Old Bay. The typical approach is just to pour a ton of the spice in or on everything, so I was a little skeptical when I heard that Flying Dog was putting out an Old Bay-seasoned beer (Dead Rise Summmer Ale). However, it's really good. It's a nice refreshing ale with just the right hint of Old Bay. Look for it on taps and in the store. This work is not a product of the United States Government or the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the author is not doing…
  • Graphic of the Day: You sir, are no Galileo

    Tim Haab
    26 Mar 2015 | 11:01 am
    In the demented political mind of Ted Cruz, denying that climate change is caused by humans is equivalent to Galileo denying that the earth is flat (yep, that's the logic).  Or perhaps there is a political motive behind this pronouncement (shocking, I know). The astute will notice that one of these results is not like the others. As the WaPo opinion concludes: The Galileos on climate change are, like Galileo, the scientists. The people pushing back on the science are, like Cruz, those who favor the status quo. Cruz's comments, from start to finish, are simply not correct.
  • Job-killing regulations

    John Whitehead
    26 Mar 2015 | 5:32 am
    On Mars: Fearing that any further delay might prevent their movement from having any meaningful impact, a consortium of leading conservationists confirmed Wednesday it is attempting to get a head start on preserving the planet Mars. The newly formed group, known as the Redder Tomorrow Foundation, has reportedly begun fundraising, developing awareness campaigns, and crafting policy proposals, all with the aim of establishing safeguards to protect the natural beauty and delicate balance of the fourth planet from the sun. ... According to sources, the Redder Tomorrow Foundation recently began…
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    footnoted*

  • An inverse relationship at J.C. Penney

    Michelle Leder
    27 Mar 2015 | 8:05 am
    Earlier this week, beleaguered retailer JC Penney Co, filed its proxy statement. Given some of the high-profile comings and goings at the company over the past few years, we’ve paid pretty close attention to their proxy and this year’s version didn’t disappoint. For the past few years, the company has at least one — and sometimes two — executives who have received hefty severance packages for relatively short stints when whatever magic potion they were pedaling failed to turn the company around. This year’s proxy didn’t disappoint: the company…
  • Hunting for Perks in Proxy Season

    Sonya Hubbard
    18 Mar 2015 | 7:16 am
    Proxy season is heating up, and every year we come across perks that don’t quite fit the mold. Once upon a time, we used to write about these sorts of perks more regularly. But lately, to borrow a line from the hit movie, Frozen, we tend to “Let it Go.” Still, one of those unusual perks remains close to our heart: the company-owned sports lodge. That’s because back in 2008, we discovered  A. Schulman’s fish camp, which won Footnoted’s “Worst Footnote of 2008.” There was also the  executive dude ranch that we wrote about in 2012. We suppose that…
  • Goldman Sachs says “People are People”

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

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

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

  • Predicting the next crisis

    C.W. | WILMINGTON, DE
    27 Mar 2015 | 12:34 pm
    HOW resilient are emerging-market economies? Many are struggling, thanks to the economic impact of a strong dollar. But what would happen if things suddenly got a lot tougher? A new paper, from Liliana Rojas-Suarez of the Centre for Global Development, a think-tank, offers some interesting data.Let’s imagine that something really bad happens. The Federal Reserve tightens its monetary policy too soon; some new global debt crisis begins; Russia launches a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Ms Rojas-Suarez wants to understand which emerging-market economies are most vulnerable.To do so she…
  • South Korea's economy, a riposte to Piketty and skyscrapers

    C.R. | LONDON
    26 Mar 2015 | 11:24 pm
    THIS week's print edition has an array of economics articles that may be of interest. The following have particularly caught our eye:South Korea's economy: A tiger in winter (Finance)Milk and economic development: No use crying (Finance)Inequality and housing: Through the roof (Finance)And don't forget to take a look at this week's Free Exchange column, which looks at whether skyscraper booms augur well for the global economy. 
  • Worrying signs

    C.W. | WASHINGTON, DC
    25 Mar 2015 | 12:02 pm
    IN RECENT years there has been much talk of a “renaissance” in American manufacturing. A few things seemed to be on the side of the makers. For instance, until recently the dollar was weak. American wages were stagnant, but those in China were booming. Cheap shale oil and gas gave factories a boost. But as we argued recently, talk of a renaissance is overblown. And new figures, released today, add to the mounting pile of evidence saying that manufacturing growth is starting to slow.We argued before that although there has been a recovery in American manufacturing in recent years, it is…
  • NIMBYs in the twenty-first century

    C.R. | LONDON
    25 Mar 2015 | 5:08 am
    SINCE the publication of "Capital in the Twenty-First Century", Thomas Piketty has won many plaudits for his work on inequality. The book has so far sold more than 1.5m copies. Its arguments have been praised by Nobel-prize winners and politicians alike. Last year it won the Financial Times's business book of the year award, despite the newspaper's attempts to poke holes in the book's data and arguments. On March 25th Prospect magazine put Mr Piketty atop its World Thinkers list for 2015 (alongside Yanis Varoufakis, Greece's leather-jacket wearing finance minister, Naomi Klein and…
  • The Spanish acquisition

    Economist.com
    24 Mar 2015 | 2:14 pm
    INFLATION picks up in America, Google poaches Morgan Stanley's finance chief and Spanish banks go on the takeover trail
 
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    Greg Mankiw's Blog

  • The Economics of Skyscrapers

    Greg Mankiw
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:22 am
    A friend points me to this article in The Economist about the economics of skyscrapers.  Lots of good food for thought for micro and macro classes.
  • Getting Promoted

    Greg Mankiw
    28 Mar 2015 | 5:20 am
  • What do Larry Summers, Doug Elmendorf, and Greg Mankiw have in common?

    Greg Mankiw
    26 Mar 2015 | 2:09 pm
    Only one of us won a John Bates Clark Medal. Only one of us became Director of the Congressional Budget Office. Only one of us wrote a best-selling textbook. But all three of us were ec 10 section leaders early in our careers. Being an ec 10 section leader is one of the best teaching jobs at Harvard. You can revisit the principles of economics, mentor some of the world’s best undergraduates, and hone your speaking skills. In your section, you might even have the next Andrei Shleifer or Ben Bernanke (two well-known ec 10 alums). And believe it or not, we even pay you for this! If you…
  • My Spring Break Reading

    Greg Mankiw
    18 Mar 2015 | 2:44 am
    This week is spring break at Harvard, so I have time to catch up on some pleasure reading. First up is a recent recommendation by a blog reader: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt. The book is a few years old, but I had not heard of it. It gives readers a lens into the field of moral psychology, together with dashes of philosophy, anthropology, behavioral genetics, political science,  and even some behavioral economics.It is a great read.  Highly recommended.
  • 3-14-15

    Greg Mankiw
    14 Mar 2015 | 4:13 am
    Happy Pi Day!
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    Hedge fund

  • World's best investor

    Hedge Fund
    23 Mar 2015 | 11:08 am
    Top investor? Unlike the asset allocation crowd, I must aim to make money for clients no matter what indices do. Performance needs require onsite due diligence at all top SKILL BASED managers. I define "best" by risk adjusted returns. Not AUM or fame which are often negatively correlated with future performance. Steep losses and high volatility are what markets deliver every few years. Time in drawdowns is NEVER recovered by investors.50% drawdowns by the relative return crowd are a disgrace. YOUR money is too important to be risked on "averages". I prefer talent that delivers…
  • Warren Buffett alpha

    Hedge Fund
    19 Mar 2015 | 4:08 pm
    Asset classes or skill strategies? One counterexample, yes just ONE, is enough to destroy efficient market dogma and end the dangerous passive indexing fad. Past returns DO predict the future if the manager is talented. Hedge fund managers Warren Buffett and George Soros only invest in skill. I do too. Why risk any of your money on "averages"? Why avoid the best? Invest in smart people not dumb lists of stocks and bonds.Too many investors avoid top managers. Market benchmarks are too risky. Some claim that Berkshire Hathaway isn't a hedge fund.
  • Active or passive

    Hedge Fund
    16 Mar 2015 | 4:58 pm
    Active v passive debate is better phrased as smart active v dumb active. Index funds are just unskilled low frequency trading strategies with horrific volatility, unacceptable drawdowns and abysmal risk adjusted returns. Why invest YOUR WEALTH in "cheap" dumb active products that lost trillions in 2008 and endured 50% drawdowns twice last decade?True buy and hold? The original components of the S&P in 1957 have outperformed the actively managed S&P. That's because the unskilled S&P committee keeps on buying highs and selling lows. Dumb trading. A portfolio of good hedge funds…
  • Accredited investor

    Hedge Fund
    12 Mar 2015 | 5:28 pm
    Rich enough to reduce risk? Why are the mass affluent not permitted to invest with quality money managers? Ancient 1930s laws make managers not good enough to run hedge funds available to anyone but prevent Mom and Pop from accessing top talent. Why should non-millionaires have to make do with managers that don't have the brains, talent and experience to run hedge funds? Why "protect" retirees from the best investment products?Who is REALLY being protected? Long only is too risky and  unsuitable for retirees.1. Freedom. How wealthy should one be to allowed to invest with elite…
  • Asset allocation fails

    Hedge Fund
    8 Mar 2015 | 4:08 pm
    Asset allocation fails so many. It's easy to rigorously prove that for all long term goals and risk tolerances, investors should NEVER asset allocate. I have read all the academic papers. They are wrong and dangerously empirically flawed. Asset allocation does NOT drive portfolio returns or variances. Static percentages also fail to consider changing regimes, values and opportunities.Portfolio returns are entirely decided by manager talent, security selection and competent (or not!) factor hedging. Was nothing learnt from 2008? Asset allocation dominated conventional "wisdom" and wrecked…
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    Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

  • Messi Announces Retirement, Reporter Asks About Half-Time Score

    Jeff Matthews
    27 Mar 2015 | 4:33 am
     Tom Prescott announced his retirement last night.   You may not have heard of him, but as CEO of Align Technologies (the inventors of Invisalign “invisible braces”) Prescott helped turn a $70 million revenue company with 35% gross margins, negative operating margins and a $127 million market value into a near-$800 million revenue company with near-80% gross margins and 25% operating margins. Oh, yeah, and a $4.5 billion market value, last we checked. More than that, Tom Prescott helped Invisalign develop from a niche product not much liked by the orthodontists…
  • Charlie Named Name

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

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

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

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

  • Can the Eurozone Survive? Not in Its Current Form Says PIMCO; Mish Response

    28 Mar 2015 | 6:20 pm
    Echoing statements I have made many times, PIMCO says the single currency area must become a "United States of Europe" in order to secure its future.Please consider Eurozone can't survive in current form, says PIMCO. The eurozone is "untenable" in its current form and cannot survive unless countries are prepared to cede sovereignty and become a "United States of Europe", the manager of the world's biggest bond fund has warned.The Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) said that while the bloc was likely to stay together in the medium term, with Greece remaining in the eurozone, the…
  • Wally Becomes Chief Economist for Dilbert, Predicts "Bubble in Monetary Policy"

    28 Mar 2015 | 10:29 am
    On the lighter side, in the March 28, 2015 Dilbert, Wally becomes the new chief economist.Wally: "The exchange rate on derivatives will trigger a bubble in monetary policy and deflate the Yen."I like the phrase "bubble in monetary policy". It aptly expresses precisely what has been happening globally.Mike "Mish" Shedlockhttp://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.comMike "Mish" Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.
  • Patriot Act Vote Coming Up: Google joins Apple, Others Requesting Spying Controls

    27 Mar 2015 | 6:40 pm
    The Patriot act expires in June, and anyone in their right mind would wish the entire concept to go away entirely. NSA Spying has a 100% perfect track record of failure.Sadly, the answer to the question Would NSA Data Surveillance End With Patriot Act? is a resounding "No". The National Security Agency would lose its legal justification for collecting data on Americans' phone and email activity if Congress does not reauthorize the Patriot Act by June 1, but privacy advocates are skeptical about whether that would mean the end of the controversial surveillance program.President Barack Obama…
  • Earnings "Beat the Street" Manipulation Underway as Profit Warnings Mount

    27 Mar 2015 | 1:17 pm
    Of S&P 500 companies providing first-quarter outlooks, MarketWatch reports 84% have been negative as Profit Warnings Pile Up.Ahead of the start of earnings reporting season, which unofficially kicks off when Alcoa Inc., reports results on April 8, about 84% of the companies that have provided first-quarter outlooks gave negative outlooks. That’s above the 81% that warned Q1 2014, and the five-year average of 68%.I believe that yellow highlight I added should say Q3. More importantly, it would have been nice for MarketWatch to actually link to FactSet because it contains some interesting…
  • Misunderstanding "Peak Gold"; Gold About to Run Out?

    27 Mar 2015 | 12:12 pm
    Is gold about to "run out"? The correct answer to that question is the likelihood of that happening is precisely 0%. However, that is not the conclusion one would come to from the Zerohedge headline Peak Gold? Goldman Calculates There Is Only 20 Years Of Gold Supply Left.Zerohedge supplied a couple of charts.Peak GoldDiamonds Aren't ForeverGold About to Run Out?Zerohedge comments ... If the "known reserves" of gold plunge in the coming decade, no matter how many gold futures and GLD short sales are conducted by the BIS, the price will have to go up, and it will go up high enough to where a…
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    Overcoming Bias

  • Bowing To Elites

    Robin Hanson
    23 Mar 2015 | 10:55 am
    Imagine that that you are a politically savvy forager in a band of size thirty, or a politically savvy farmer near a village of size thousand. You have some big decisions to make, including who to put in various roles, such as son-in-law, co-hunter, employer, renter, cobbler, or healer. Many people may see your choices. How should you decide? Well first you meet potential candidates in person and see how much you intuitively respect them, get along with them, and can agree on relative status. It isn’t enough for you to have seen their handiwork, you want to make an ally out of these…
  • Dissing Track Records

    Robin Hanson
    20 Mar 2015 | 6:25 am
    Years ago I was being surprised to learn that patients usually can’t pick docs based on track records of previous patient outcomes. Because, people say, that would invade privacy and make bad incentives for docs picking patients. They suggest instead relying on personal impressions, wait times, “bedside” manner, and prestige of doc med school or hospital. (Yeah, those couldn’t possibly make bad incentives.) Few ever study if such cues correlate with patient outcomes, and we actively prevent the collection of patient satisfaction track records. For lawyers, most trials are in the…
  • Ford’s Rise of Robots

    Robin Hanson
    15 Mar 2015 | 2:25 pm
    In the April issue of Reason magazine I review Martin Ford’s new book Rise of the Robots: Basically, Ford sees a robotic catastrophe coming soon because he sees disturbing signs of the times: inequality, job loss, and so many impressive demos. It’s as if he can feel it in his bones: Dark things are coming! We know robots will eventually take most jobs, so this must be now. … [But] In the end, it seems that Martin Ford’s main issue really is that he dislikes the increase in inequality and wants more taxes to fund a basic income guarantee. All that stuff about robots is…
  • The Data We Need

    Robin Hanson
    15 Mar 2015 | 7:45 am
    Almost all research into human behavior focuses on particular behaviors. (Yes, not extremely particular, but also not extremely general.) For example, an academic journal article might focus on professional licensing of dentists, incentive contracts for teachers, how Walmart changes small towns, whether diabetes patients take their medicine, how much we spend on xmas presents, or if there are fewer modern wars between democracies. Academics become experts in such particular areas. After people have read many articles on many particular kinds of human behavior, they often express opinions…
  • Life Before Earth

    Robin Hanson
    13 Mar 2015 | 8:45 am
    This paper is two years old now, but still seems big news to me: Genetic complexity, roughly measured by the number of non-redundant functional nucleotides … Linear regression of genetic complexity (on a log scale) extrapolated back to just one base pair suggests the time of the origin of life = 9.7 ± 2.5 billion years ago. … There was no intelligent life in our universe at the time of the origin of Earth, because the universe was 8 billion years old at that time, whereas the development of intelligent life requires ca. 10 billion years of evolution. (source; discussion; HT Stuart…
 
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Regression: What’s it all about? [Bayesian and otherwise]

    Andrew
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:25 am
    Regression: What’s it all about? Regression plays three different roles in applied statistics: 1. A specification of the conditional expectation of y given x; 2. A generative model of the world; 3. A method for adjusting data to generalize from sample to population, or to perform causal inferences. We could also include prediction, but I prefer to see that as a statistical operation that is implied for all three of the goals above: conditional prediction as a generalization of conditional expectation, prediction as the application of a linear model to new cases, and prediction for…
  • Stewart Lee vs. Jane Austen; Dick advances

    Andrew
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    Yesterday‘s deciding arguments came from Horselover himself. As quoted by Dalton: Any given man sees only a tiny portion of the total truth, and very often, in fact almost . . . perpetually, he deliberately deceives himself about that precious little fragment as well. And: We ourselves are information-rich; information enters us, is processed and is then projected outwards once more, now in an altered form. We are not aware that we are doing this, that in fact this is all we are doing. Wow—Turing-esque (but I can’t picture Dick running around the house). And, as quoted by X:…
  • The publication of one of my pet ideas: Simulation-efficient shortest probability intervals

    Andrew
    28 Mar 2015 | 6:11 am
    In a paper to appear in Statistics and Computing, Ying Liu, Tian Zheng, and I write: Bayesian highest posterior density (HPD) intervals can be estimated directly from simulations via empirical shortest intervals. Unfortunately, these can be noisy (that is, have a high Monte Carlo error). We derive an optimal weighting strategy using bootstrap and quadratic programming to obtain a more computation- ally stable HPD, or in general, shortest probability interval (Spin). We prove the consistency of our method. Simulation studies on a range of theoretical and real-data examples, some with symmetric…
  • Mohandas Gandhi (1) vs. Philip K. Dick (2); Hobbes advances

    Andrew
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    All of yesterday‘s best comments were in favor of the political philosopher. Adam writes: With Hobbes, the seminar would be “nasty, brutish, and short.” And it would degenerate into a “war of all against all.” In other words, the perfect academic seminar. And Jonathan writes: Chris Rock would definitely be more entertaining. But the chance to see a speaker who knew Galileo, basing his scientific worldview on him, and could actually find weak points in the proofs of the best mathematicians of the day (even if he couldn’t do any competent math himself) should not be squandered.
  • Imagining p

    Andrew
    27 Mar 2015 | 6:07 am
    We’ve all had that experience of going purposefully from one hypothesis to another, only to get there and forget why we made the journey. Four years ago, researcher Daryl Bem and his colleagues stripped this effect down, showing that the simple act of obtaining a statistically significant comparison induces publication in a top journal. Now statisticians at Columbia University, USA, have taken things further, demonstrating that merely imagining a statistically significant p-value is enough to trigger increased publication. . . . The new study shows that this event division effect can…
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    Streetsblog New York City

  • NYC: Woodhaven Select Bus Service May Get Physical Separation in Some Locations

    Stephen Miller
    27 Mar 2015 | 1:49 pm
    Cross Bay Boulevard could get a wide planted median, bus bulbs, and a road diet. Image: DOT/MTA [PDF]After unveiling the preferred design for six miles of the Woodhaven Boulevard Select Bus Service project earlier this week, DOT and MTA met yesterday with advocates, elected officials, and community board members to go into greater detail. The agencies are considering physical separation for bus lanes at key locations on Woodhaven, and they showed potential designs for the southern stretch of the project on Cross Bay Boulevard. Sources who attended the meeting said DOT is looking…
  • NYC: DOT Hires Sustainable Transpo Maven Michael Replogle to Guide Policy

    Stephen Miller
    27 Mar 2015 | 11:59 am
    Big hiring news from DOT today: Michael Replogle, who founded the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy and went on to tackle transportation issues at the Environmental Defense Fund, has been hired as deputy commissioner for policy at the agency. DOT’s incoming policy director, Michael Replogle. Photo via Transforming Access “NYC DOT is very excited to have Michael Replogle return to New York to bring his three decades of expertise to New York’s streets in leading our Policy group,” Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said in a statement. “There are…
  • NYC: Bus Driver Hits Woman at Intersection Where CB 9 Opposes Safety Fixes

    Brad Aaron
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:01 am
    A DOT proposal opposed by Manhattan CB 9 would slow turns at Riverside Drive and W. 135th Street, where a bus driver hit a pedestrian Thursday. Image: DOT Yesterday, a bus driver hit a woman walking across W. 135th Street at Riverside Drive, an intersection in a crash-prone area where DOT has proposed a slate of safety improvements that are opposed by Manhattan Community Board 9. The West Side Rag reports that the woman was in the crosswalk when the driver of a double-decker tourist bus hit her while turning right from Riverside onto W. 135th. The victim was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital,…
  • NYC: Today’s Headlines

    Stephen Miller
    27 Mar 2015 | 5:57 am
    Bus Driver Strikes and Kills Man, 67, in Port Authority Bus Terminal Garage (NYT, Post, WCBS) Arthur Sporn, 87, Dies of Injuries After Turning Driver Struck Him on UES in January (Gothamist) State Senator Joe Addabbo Jr. Really Annoyed About Woodhaven Select Bus Service (Q Chron) Jimmy Vacca Tells City & State Why He’s an Early, Enthusiastic Backer of Move NY Amsterdam News: Cuomo More Concerned About Drivers and Airport Travelers Than Straphangers Post Doubles Down on “Unruly Passengers” as Cause of Delays (1, 2); Gothamist Looks at the Numbers Willets Point Autobody…
  • NYC: Joan McDonald: New York State DOT’s Top Safety Priority Is Fixing Bridges

    Brad Aaron
    26 Mar 2015 | 1:54 pm
    Pedestrians and cyclists account for a higher share of traffic deaths in New York than in any other state, according to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, making up 29 percent of all traffic fatalities. NYS DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald. Photo: CT.gov Every year, TSTC releases a report on the most dangerous roads for walking in the New York City metro region, and suggests steps the New York State Department of Transportation could take to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists state-wide. Among other recommendations, this year TSTC called on NYS DOT to establish a dedicated fund…
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    The Big Picture

  • 10 Sunday Reads

    Barry Ritholtz
    29 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Good Sunday morning. Round out your weekend with some interesting reads you may have missed: • Need Financial Advice? Ask the Future You (NY Times) • Vanguard snubs outsiders in digital advice: As firms like Schwab and Vanguard build more online portfolios, money managers face an ‘open architecture’ question (Investment News) • Activist Investor Bill Ackman Sets a $1 Million Debate Bet (Vanity Fair) • Does bankruptcy trump privacy? (Digitopoly) • Piketty’s Three Big Mistakes (Bloomberg View) • The War Over Who Steve Jobs Was (Medium) see also Becoming…
  • The Future of the U.S. Housing Finance System: Bringing the U.S. Residential Mortgage Finance System into the 21st Century

    Josh Rosner
    29 Mar 2015 | 2:00 am
  • Every Tom Hanks Film: 30 Movies in 6 Minutes

    Barry Ritholtz
    28 Mar 2015 | 5:00 pm
    James Corden, new host of The Late Late Show, has Tom Hanks as his “perfect” first guest:   James Corden and Tom Hanks Act Out Tom’s Filmography   James Corden and Tom Hanks Act Out Tom’s Filmography Air Date: 03/23/15 James Corden and Tom Hanks act out snippets from Tom’s illustrious film career, from Big to the Toy Story movies.
  • Mesa Culpa: My 2014 Mistakes

    Barry Ritholtz
    28 Mar 2015 | 8:00 am
    Ritholtz: Admitting my 2014 mistakes Barry Ritholtz Washington Post, March 22, 2015     “Pain + Reflection  = Progress.” — Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates 2014 is behind us, and before the first quarter sneaks by, I am obligated to offer my annual admissions of error. One of my biggest peeves about finance is that there is little or no accountability on Wall Street, and even less in the media. My response has been to call out people who make terrible, money-losing market predictions and other financially dangerous mistakes. You might remember my column earlier…
  • MiB: Charley Ellis of Yale

    Barry Ritholtz
    28 Mar 2015 | 7:00 am
    This week, our Masters in Business radio podcast features Charley Ellis, Chair of the Yale Endowment, and author of Winning the Loser’s Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing Ellis explains how he began his career in the Rockefeller family office; from there, he ended up at Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette (DLJ), then went on to launch his own firm Greenwich Associates. He chaired the CFA Institute, served on the faculty of Harvard Business School and the Yale School of Management, and was Chairman of the Yale Endowment, the investment committee working with CIO David Swensen.
 
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    The Epicurean Dealmaker

  • Uncle Warren Explains It All to You

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

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

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

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

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

  • The Battle of Bayside, Queens: a Q&A

    AlyssaB
    29 Mar 2015 | 5:30 am
    From 1970 to 1975, Bayside Hills—a pleasant and prosperous neighborhood in Northeastern Queens, a borough of New York City—was embroiled in controversy when a local woman named Veronica Lueken announced that the Virgin Mary was appearing to her at St. Robert Bellarmine’s Church. At first Lueken was regarded as a “local kook.”  Then, in 1973, a traditionalist Catholic group from Canada called The Pilgrims of St. Michael declared her “the seer of the age” and pilgrims started to flock to Bayside Hills. They came to see Lueken go into ecstasy and deliver “messages from heaven”…
  • The causes and consequences of the 2011 London riots

    Julia Callaway
    29 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    During the London riots in August 2011, the police lost control of parts of the city for four days, and thousands of people took part in destruction and looting that resulted in property damage estimated at least $50 million. A recent article in Social Forces examines the residential address of 1,620 rioters — who were arrested and charged in the London riots, to investigate potential explanations for rioting. I spoke with one of the authors, Michael Biggs, to further understand his findings, and whether they confirm or alter previous understandings of rioter motivation. 1. Can you…
  • Is chocolate better than exercise for the brain?

    Elizabeth Gorney
    29 Mar 2015 | 1:30 am
    Everyone knows that aerobic exercise is good for the body, but is it always as good for brain? Furthermore, is exercise better than eating lots of chocolate for the aging brain? A recent study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience by a group of scientists from Columbia University and NYU gave a large daily dose of flavanols extracted from cocoa powder to a small number of 50 to 69 year old subjects; they reported improved memory and enhanced blood flow in a part of the brain, the hippocampus, that is responsible for memory formation. If this sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Women in Philosophy: A reading list

    Mohamed Sesay
    29 Mar 2015 | 12:30 am
    To celebrate Women in Philosophy as part of Women’s History Month, we have created a reading list of books, journals, and online resources that explore significant female philosophers and feminist philosophy in general. Recommendations range from general interest books to biographies to advanced reader books and more. You can visit our Women in Philosophy page for more book recommendations and access to online resources and articles. Autonomy, Oppression, and Gender, edited by Andrea Veltman and Mark Piper This is an extraordinary book for any student interested in feminist philosophy and…
  • Where does the word cyber come from?

    SoniaT
    28 Mar 2015 | 5:30 am
    Does the word cyber sound dated to you? Like the phrases Information Superhighway and surfing the Web, something about the word calls one back to the early era of the Internet, not unlike when you ask a person for a URL and they start to read off, ‘H-t-t-p, colon, forward slash…’ But for every quaint use of the term (think of cybermall or cyberbabe), there are plenty of uses that come across as perfectly acceptable, such as cybersecurity or cybercrime. If you have any doubts about the continuing cultural relevance of cyber, consider that this week sees the debut of the fourth…
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    Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

  • Voice, Voting, and Choice

    Don Boudreaux
    29 Mar 2015 | 7:42 am
    (Don Boudreaux) This Wall Street Journal report on elections in Nigeria features this photo of voters holding their “new electoral cards.”  This photo reminds me of the many photos of Iraqis who have voted displaying their purple fingers as a proud sign of their participation in political elections. The reaction that we western readers are expected to have such photos (and to the accompanying reports of more or less successful elections that such photos are meant to signify) is one of satisfaction and applause and happiness for the citizens of those places.  ”See, people…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    29 Mar 2015 | 4:30 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 5 of Burt and Anita Folsom’s 2014 volume, Uncle Sam Can’t Count; here they are discussing Uncle Sam’s early-19th-century infrastructure project popularly known as “the National Road - a 620-mile- (1,000km-) long road extending westward from Cumberland, Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois (footnotes excluded): Because the road was a government project, no one had an incentive to keep costs down.  The National Road was built with stone (crushed and solid), and it became one of the most expensive roads, if not the most expensive, in the…
  • Applause for Fossil Fuels

    Don Boudreaux
    28 Mar 2015 | 6:15 am
    (Don Boudreaux) One of the best books that I’ve read lately is Alex Epstein’s 2014 volume, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.  (My colleague Bryan Caplan shares my enthusiastic assessment.) This short piece of mine in today’s Wall Street Journal is in the same spirit as Alex’s scholarship.  A slice: Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and several other business icons recently called on world leaders to commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Such a commitment, they vow, would “drive innovation, grow jobs, build prosperity and secure a better world.” This…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    28 Mar 2015 | 5:26 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from pages 206 of the 1993 Fox & Wilkes re-issue of Rose Wilder Lane’s inspiring 1943 volume, The Discovery of Freedom (original emphasis): Stupid men believe that force can improve other men’s morals; they want force to stop men’s drinking, or smoking, or gambling.  Superstition clouds their minds; they imagine that force can produce economic results; they demand that police clubs control the growth of crops, and the making of goods, and wages and prices and trade.  They dream that because a law can make any action a crime, it can stop that…
  • More on Natural Disasters, Pricing, and Speculation

    Don Boudreaux
    27 Mar 2015 | 12:45 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) In my Principles of Microeconomics class, when we’re discussing the role of prices and of speculation, I share with my students the following story (as recounted in this September 2008 letter to the station manager of WAMU radio in DC): This morning your reporter interviewed a resident of Galveston, Texas, about the effects of hurricane Ike.  The person interviewed said that she went to the gasoline station before Ike hit to “top off” her tank.  But she was angry to find that gasoline prices had jumped 50 cents per gallon from the day before.  “It’s…
 
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    Dollars & Sense Blog

  • Siding with Wall Street’s “Winners”

    Chris Sturr
    27 Mar 2015 | 12:35 pm
    A piece by William D. Cohan in the current issue of Vanity Fair, Wall Street Executives from the Financial Crisis of 2008: Where Are They Now?, is pretty harsh on the bankers who lost their top positions in the 2008 meltdown (Jimmy Cayne of Bear Stearns, Stan O’Neil and John Thain of Merrill Lynch, Ken Lewis of BoA, Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide, Dick Fuld of Lehman), chronicling their downfalls, their enormous severance packages, much smaller amounts in fines and penalties they had to pay, the ginormous mansions or penthouses they now live in, and their refusal to speak with Cohan…
  • Macroeconomics in the Age of Climate Change

    Chris Sturr
    23 Mar 2015 | 2:00 pm
      The lectures and award ceremony for the 2015 Leontief Prize are happening tonight at 5:30pm. Here is information about this year’s prize winners.  Click here or on the image above for streaming video. The post Macroeconomics in the Age of Climate Change appeared first on Dollars & Sense Blog.
  • New Issue! Farms Today–a collaboration with Farm Aid

    Chris Sturr
    13 Mar 2015 | 12:39 pm
    Our March/April issue, a collaboration with Farm Aid on the theme of Farms Today, is finished–we’re sending it to the printers today and to e-subscribers tomorrow. Here is the p. 2 editorial note: Farms Today In his comment for this special issue, a collaboration between Dollars & Sense and Farm Aid, Willie Nelson argues that we need a new and broader definition of wealth—from what can be extracted from producers and nature to what sustains producers, their families, their communities, and the natural world. “As caretakers of our soil and water,” he writes, “this has…
  • Links on SYRIZA-Eurogroup Agreement

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

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

  • Foreclosure Crisis Update

    Alan White
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:42 am
    Is the foreclosure crisis over? Yes and no. Since 2007, about six million homes have been sold at foreclosure sales (Foreclosures Public Data Summary Jan 2015). Today, about one million homes are still somewhere in the foreclosure process. Homeowners behind in their payments have declined from 15% at the 2010 peak of the crisis to less than 8% now (MBAA delinquent plus in foreclosure at 12/31/14).  Most of the still-troubled loans were originated before 2007. The best news is that new foreclosure starts are now down to pre-crisis levels, at less than one-half of one percent of all mortgages,…
  • Clickwrap Contracts and the Federal Government

    Adam Levitin
    27 Mar 2015 | 2:43 pm
    The government is a major player in the marketplace as a buyer of goods and services, but legal scholars seldom pay attention to the law governing federal acquisitions. As it turns out this nearly completely ignored branch of contract law is actually way ahead of the curve, at least on the question of shrinkwrap and clickwrap contracts.  Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains the Federal Acquisition Regulations promulgated by the General Services Administration. Among them is a true gem that was promulgated in 2013 that addresses contracts that purport to bind the government to…
  • Auto Title Loans: Like Payday Loans, But Larger and Riskier

    Pamela Foohey
    25 Mar 2015 | 2:31 pm
    The Pew Charitable Trusts today released a report focusing on the market for auto title loans. The report brings together data from a wide variety of sources (including Slips contributor Nathalie Martin's work) to provide a clear, succinct, and thorough overview of the mechanics of this under-studied industry. It also, and most interestingly, includes the results of Pew's nationwide survey of borrowers and discussions with focus groups. The empirical data underscore how similar auto title loans are to payday loans, and how regulation of this part of the alternative finance industry…
  • Consumer Bankruptcy with Chinese Characteristics?

    Jason Kilborn
    24 Mar 2015 | 10:24 am
    Deng Xiaoping's famous description of the "new" Chinese development-oriented economy begs the question of what that system intends to do with the inevitable casualties of consumerism and economic development. What of the increasing number of people in danger of falling out (or who have already fallen out) of the new middle class? In contrast to 20 years of concentrated efforts to establish and reform a business insolvency regime, it looks at though China is still very far from introducing a relief mechanism for consumer insolvency. The simple basis for debtor-creditor law in…
  • The Costs of Chapter 11

    Stephen Lubben
    20 Mar 2015 | 2:27 am
    Although I keep swearing off the topic, I've written something about chapter 11 professional fees.  Again.  Over at Dealb%k.
 
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    The Aleph Blog

  • The Bond Market Tells The Fed What To Do, Not Vice-Versa

    David Merkel
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:12 pm
    Photo Credit: Tulane Public Relations || James Carville wants to be “reincarnated” as the bond market, to scare everyone — boo!I was reading this article at Reuters, and musing at how ludicrous it is for the Fed to think that it can control the reaction of the bond market to tightening Fed policy, should it ever happen.  The Fed has never been able to control the bond market, except on the short end, and only with the highest quality paper.The long end is controlled by the economy as a whole, and its rate of growth, while lower quality bonds and loans also respond more to…
  • Opinions on the Market

    David Merkel
    24 Mar 2015 | 3:10 am
    I was on RT Boom/Bust yesterday with Erin Ade, and got to talk about:AppleThe “Tech Bubble”The “Bond Bubble”Different sectors of the stock market, and their prospects.This was the first half of the interview.  If they run the second half, I will post it.  Note my modest confusion on the tech bubble as I forget the second thing and try to recall it, while vamping for time.  I don’t often glitch under pressure, but this was a bad time to have a foggy memory (on something that I wrote myself).  Sigh. Full disclosure: positions in sectors mentioned, but no…
  • Two Warning Signs

    David Merkel
    21 Mar 2015 | 9:25 pm
    Photo Credit: Kevin TrotmanBefore I write this evening, I have updated the blog’s theme so that it is more readable on mobile devices.  I’ve tried to preserve most of the best of the former design.  Let me know what you think.  Also, I have tried to get commenting to work using Jetpack.  For those that want to comment, if you can’t, drop me an email, and I will try to work it out.  I prefer more interaction than less, even if I can’t always get around to responding.On to the two warning signs: the first article is The Fuzzy, Insane Math That’s Creating So…
  • Deeds, not Words? Or, Say Less and Mean More

    David Merkel
    19 Mar 2015 | 4:17 am
    Crawling to the first tightening moveThere was a lot of hoopla yesterday over the FOMC removing the word “patient” from its statement.  But when you read the sentence that replaced the sentence containing the word patient, you shouldn’t think that much has changed:Consistent with its previous statement, the Committee judges that an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate remains unlikely at the April FOMC meeting. The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in…
  • Redacted Version of the March 2015 FOMC Statement

    David Merkel
    18 Mar 2015 | 3:35 pm
    Photo Credit: Day DonaldsonJanuary 2015March 2015CommentsInformation received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in December suggests that economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace.Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that economic growth has moderated somewhat.Shades GDP down.Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate.  On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources continues to diminish.Labor market conditions have…
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    Quoting the Crisis

  • Tax Court Rules That Being Accommodation Party In Tax Shelter Is...

    22 Mar 2015 | 11:51 am
    Tax Court Rules That Being Accommodation Party In Tax Shelter Is Hard Work Peter J Reilly, forbes.com I’ve heard it said that one of the advantages of going to a name brand college is the people you end up meeting there. That is how it seems to have worked out for Jason Chai. Jason Chai was in Tax Court arguing about whether he owed self-employmen…
  • Sorry, but it’s not a ‘law of capitalism’ that...

    22 Mar 2015 | 11:31 am
    Sorry, but it’s not a ‘law of capitalism’ that you pay people as little as possible — it’s an excuse Henry Blodget, businessinsider.com One reason U.S. economic growth is still weak is that average American consumers are still strapped.Consumers account for ~70% of the spending in our economy, so when they’re hurting, we’re all hurting.The reason average consumers are strapp…
  • We’re witnessing the biggest threat to US corporate...

    22 Mar 2015 | 11:29 am
    We’re witnessing the biggest threat to US corporate earnings since the 2008 financial crisis Sinead Carew, Reuters, businessinsider.com NEW YORK (Reuters) - The surging value of the U.S. dollar may be posing the biggest threat to U.S. corporate earnings since the 2008 financial crisis, hurting results at most U.S.-based multinationals. Some on Wall Street are even talking about an…
  • Things just got worse for HSBC: Here’s what you need to...

    13 Mar 2015 | 3:30 pm
    Things just got worse for HSBC: Here’s what you need to know Stefano Pozzebon, businessinsider.com Things just got worse for HSBC.Its private banking arm faces new criminal charges after a French magistrate officially requested that the Swiss bank be brought to trial over a suspected tax-dodging scheme for wealthy customers, the Guardian…
  • Euro sinks close to 12-year low versus dollar AFP,...

    10 Mar 2015 | 12:34 pm
    Euro sinks close to 12-year low versus dollar AFP, businessinsider.com London (AFP) - The euro tumbled Tuesday towards a 12-year dollar low, hit by eurozone stimulus, growing US rate hike speculation and Greek debt concerns, dealers said.In morning London deals, the European single currency sank to $1.0735 — the…
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    IMF Survey Magazine

  • Sierra Leone Gets $102 Million in Extra IMF Financing, Debt Relief

    24 Mar 2015 | 9:40 am
    The IMF Executive Board approves a loan and grant package for Sierra Leone to help the West African country counter an economic slump, engendered by the Ebola outbreak and a sharp drop in iron ore prices, that is stretching the country’s social protection system.
  • IMF Review Weighs How to Harness Trade for Growth

    23 Mar 2015 | 10:07 am
    Amid concerns over a “new mediocre” in the global economy, trade should be seen as an integral part of the plan for increasing global growth over the medium term, the IMF says in its regular five-year review of trade, that also discusses key issues for the IMF’s work agenda.
  • Regional Conference: Redistribution Has More Upsides than Downsides

    23 Mar 2015 | 6:19 am
    Redistribution may have downsides, but they are probably offset by the positive benefits of greater equality on growth, an audience of policymakers from Asia has heard.
  • Study Examines Banking Vulnerabilities’ Impact On Public Debt

    19 Mar 2015 | 8:57 am
    Several features of countries’ banking systems can amplify effects of banking sector vulnerabilities on governments, and ultimately the fiscal costs of banking crises. When large banking expansions unravel in systemic banking crises, public finances tend to take a significant hit.
  • Indonesia—Moving in a New Direction

    19 Mar 2015 | 6:05 am
    Sound macroeconomic management and exchange rate flexibility over the past 18 months have bolstered Indonesia’s policy credibility and its resiliency to shocks, say IMF economists.
 
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    24/7 Wall St.

  • 7 Oil and Gas Stocks, or MLPs, Analysts Want You To Buy Now

    Jon C. Ogg
    29 Mar 2015 | 8:21 am
    Oil may have given back much of the gains made last week in a late-Friday selloff. Still, many investors and analysts alike are looking for upside in the oil patch now that so many of these stocks...
  • The Best Performing Stocks of 2015 in the S&P 500

    Jon C. Ogg
    29 Mar 2015 | 7:32 am
    The last full week of March was choppy enough that it ticked the Dow ever so slightly into the red for 2015. The close of 17,712.66 put the index down 0.6% year to date. The S&P 500 Index may...
  • Will UAW Slow Auto Output?

    Paul Ausick
    29 Mar 2015 | 7:12 am
    The United Auto Workers (UAW) union agreed to adopt a two-tier pay system even before the financial crisis of 2008 as a concession to the so-called Detroit Three U.S. automakers. Now that those...
  • Gas Price Above $3 in California

    Paul Ausick
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:20 am
    The national average price for a gallon of gasoline on Sunday morning is $2.429. The highest price among all 50 states is California’s $3.205 per gallon, more than a nickel higher than the gas price...
  • 3 Key Earnings Reports to Watch in the Week Ahead

    247chrislange
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    24/7 Wall St. has put together a preview of three of the larger companies reporting their quarterly results at the end of March and beginning of April.
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    Trends... Find them, ride them and get off.

  • Live Streaming Video…Twitter, Periscope and Meerkat

    Howard Lindzon
    22 Mar 2015 | 6:32 pm
    Over the last few weeks a small Israeli company called ‘Meerkat’ has stormed the mobile video scene. I can’t fully explain the phenomenon, but the APP is at the top of Apple’s best curated stream and sure to break into the top 150 ‘free’ apps in the app store. I have been using the product and it is awesome. It is intimate, fun, simple and powerful. Last month Twitter (TWTR) bought a startup called Periscope (for a reported $100 million) and the product has not even launched. I have used the beta product and it is awesome. The good news is that Wall Street…
  • The Bubble Predictions Continue…and Ted Knight

    Howard Lindzon
    21 Mar 2015 | 11:19 am
    It’s easy to grin when your ships comes in and you have the stock market beat…but a man worthwhile is a man that can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat.. Ted Knight, Caddy shack I miss Ted Knight. I know this quote by heart and I learned it before I cared about stocks and markets. I just loved Caddyshack. The past few weeks have seen a new wave of ‘bubble’ talk. Mark Cuban got it started. I did not read it. A NYC finance professor just posted a Mark Cuban takedown. I did not read it, but here it is. It’s probably loaded with data. The professor is…
  • Laughs and Giggles …Better than Any Vitamins.

    Howard Lindzon
    12 Mar 2015 | 8:39 am
    I love to laugh.I need to giggle more. Kids laugh 300 times a day. I grimace and pee 300 times a day and eat too loudly. The Atlantic says my tastes have changed. Whatever. Life is just as funny, but the grind to make a living puts you with too many people and corporations that really do suck. My daughter Rachel is 17 and she will LOL at the drop of a hat. I hear her giggle all the time watching ‘The Office’ on Netflix or her new favorite shows ‘Parks and Recreation’ and ‘Friends’. After 17 years of parenting I would say my favorite thing is hearing Rachel…
  • Apple – the first $2 Trillion Company

    Howard Lindzon
    11 Mar 2015 | 9:25 am
    One trillion is not cool. Now two trillion… We will hear all the hype this year that Apple will get to $1 trillion. It’s nonsense. They will blow through the barrier and head to $2 trillion. Apple has been about real estate since 2004. I bought the stock after visiting the Biltmore store in Phoenix in 2004 and buying an iPod. In 2008/2009 I did not own the stock in my fund for a short period , but have otherwise owned it through today (long). Last week I heard that Uber is growing faster than it ever has. I believe it must be the same for Apple. I don’t care what metrics the…
  • Charles Schwab versus The Robo’s and Wealthfront…

    Howard Lindzon
    10 Mar 2015 | 8:22 am
    Competition is awesome. The keyboards are off between Schwab and Wealthfront. Wealthfront went on the attack yesterday, and Schwab has quickly responded. Values are being questioned and of course confusion over fees and coulda, shoulda, would have portfolios stretched 40 plus years into the future are the weapons of choice. It would be a good time for me to comment since I have so much skin in the game and use both Schwab and Wealthfront. I like Schwab for the backend. I am not too bothered by $8 trades but I still want them at zero and am now willing to move all my accounts away. The mobile…
 
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    Information Arbitrage

  • Welcoming John to IA

    12 Mar 2015 | 1:29 pm
    Brad, Jesse and I are happy to announce that our friend and colleague, John Hadl, is joining IA Ventures as Venture Partner, effective immediately. We have personally gotten to know John over the past four years due to our shared investment in PlaceIQ: IA Ventures led the Seed round and John, on behalf of USVP, led the Series A. John impressed us from the outset with his deep domain experience, tireless work on behalf of the founders and insightful perspectives in Board discussions. Further, his open and transparent style strongly resonated with us as candor and collaboration are two…
  • Crowdfunding for start-ups: A durable trend or a bull market phenomenon?

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

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

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

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

  • Spring Hopes

    dw
    22 Mar 2015 | 1:57 pm
    The news seems uniformly awful.  US relations with Israel are at a historic low ebb after the elections there. Another ugly election is coming up in May, in the United Kingdom.  NATO is planning maneuvers in the Baltic nations and Romania and Bulgaria. The ceasefire in southeastern Ukraine depends on Vladimir Putin’s whim. The launch of China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has left the US looking like a diminished giant deserted by the allies whom it had sought to bully. Meanwhile, the House and Senate Republicans have made a nonsensical proposal to balance the budget in ten…
  • Samuelson’s Tavern, Solow Speaking: How MIT Transformed Economics

    dw
    15 Mar 2015 | 2:00 pm
    As something of beat reporter, I have half a dozen good stories about economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in various stages of preparation. So what to make of a recent book, MIT and the Transformation of American Economics (Duke, 2014). I love it, naturally. Not only does it contribute fundamentally to our knowledge of how Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow at MIT more or less invented the field we call macroeconomics and came to dominate the field for a time, but it illuminates the difference between history and journalism. Transformation is the hardbound annual supplement to…
  • Keeping Posted

    dw
    8 Mar 2015 | 2:00 pm
    I spent some hours last week browsing the newly-released transcripts of Federal Open Market Committee meetings in 2009.  Mostly I relied on the extraordinary “live tour” and subsequent coverage by The Wall Street Journal team. Five years is not too long to wait to see what Fed policymakers were saying to one another then. I was struck by how greatly the action had shifted to the incoming administration of President Barack Obama.   The acute-panic phase of the crisis was past, and relatively little of the drama of that troubled year is captured in the talk of monetary policy. On January…
  • Understanding Scott Walker

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

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

  • The reckoning hour is near…

    Tyler Cowen
    29 Mar 2015 | 4:32 am
    The problem is that Mr. Tsipras has not convinced his creditors that he is serious about reform or that his team is remotely on top of the detail. He needs a game-changer. This should, indeed, be a rupture — but with his left faction, not his creditors. That is from Hugo Dixon, file it under “Scream it From the Rooftops.”  You will note, by the way, that the far-left faction accounts for 30 to 40 of the 149 coalition seats in the Greek parliament, so such an action would not be easy.  It is still not too late, however, if only…
  • How much has the introduction of air conditioning driven interstate mobility?

    Tyler Cowen
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:19 pm
    Paul Krugman has had a few posts on this question, most recently this one, the first one here.  Krugman is right in asserting a major role for air conditioning, but there is a subtle framing point which is sometimes neglected.  The most on-point study is this piece from Jordan Rappaport (pdf): U.S. residents have been moving en masse to places with nice weather. Well known is the migration towards places with warm winters, which is often attributed to the introduction of air conditioning. But people have also been moving to places with cooler, less-humid summers, which is the opposite of…
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:14 am
    1. Michael Spence on whether equities are overvalued. 2. Does a year of NYU now cost $71,000? 3. 422 free art books from the Met. 4. Richard E. Wagner on Gordon Tullock, and more here.  And are most occupational licensing boards now illegal? 5. What is the Chinese view of TPP? 6. Switzerland and the history of liberty. 7. Leavened bread repurchase agreements.
  • Every TV News Report on the Economy Ever

    Alex Tabarrok
    28 Mar 2015 | 4:37 am
    Hat tip: Daniel Altman.
  • Education in Mao’s China

    Tyler Cowen
    28 Mar 2015 | 12:02 am
    Advancement in China’s school system was highly competitive, and the odds of reaching the top of the educational ladder were very steep.  Of the 32.9 million children who entered primary school in 1965, only 9 percent could expect to enter junior high school.  Only 15 percent of junior high school entrants, in turn, could expect to graduate and enter high school.  Among the highly selected groups that graduated from academic high schools, only 36 percent could expect to enroll in a university.  Of those who entered primary school in 1965, only 1.3 percent could expect to attend an…
 
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Weekend Reading: Janet Yellen: Normalizing Monetary Policy: Prospects and Perspectives

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Mar 2015 | 7:58 am
    Janet Yellen: FRB: Speech--Yellen, Normalizing Monetary Policy: Prospects and Perspectives--March 27, 2015: I would like to thank President Williams for his kind introduction and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco for inviting me to what promises to be a very stimulating and important conference. As you know, last week the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) changed its forward guidance pertaining to the federal funds rate. With continued improvement in economic conditions, an increase in the target range for that rate may well be warranted later this year. Of course, the timing of…
  • April Fools' Festival, Day XVIII: Andrew Golis Finds Ashley Parker and Alexander Burns of the New York Times Clowing Around

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Mar 2015 | 7:34 am
    Andrew Golis: Twitter: @agolis: What an insidious and stupid formulation http://nyti.ms/1M9xO8v: @agolis: Notice the way it subtly precludes the possibility that anything 'divisive' or 'ideological' could be in the state or local interest. And the way that it broadly grants the idea that Schumer's advocacy on behalf of business interests is in the state and local interest. @michaelbd: @agolis Spoken like a really divisive ideologue who hates New York, Andrew. @michaelbd: @agolis What’s good For Wall Street is good. Finis. Anyone who disagrees is probably some nobody from upstate. @agolis;…
  • Liveblogging the American Revolution: March 29, 1777: General Charles Less

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:56 am
    Captured Continental Army Second-in-Command Charles Lee Does Strategic Planning for the British Reconquest of America:
  • Links and Tweets...

    J. Bradford DeLong
    28 Mar 2015 | 8:52 pm
    Joe Nye: The American Century Will Survive the Rise of China http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/48c84460-d250-11e4-ae91-00144feab7de.html Evening Must-Read: Michael Strain: How to Cut Taxes and Help the Poor http://equitablegrowth.org/?p=10116 Kenneth Thomas: Wikileaks Releases Trans-Pacific Partnership Investment Chapter http://www.middleclasspoliticaleconomist.com/2015/03/wikileaks-releases-trans-pacific.html Nick Bunker: Risk-Sharing and Student Loans http://equitablegrowth.org/news/effects-risk-sharing-student-loans Today's Must-Must-Read: Ilyana Kuziemko et al.: What Do Americans Think…
  • Weekend Reading: Jen Ebberler: Inventing Trajan: The Evidence, or How Do We Know What We Think We Know?

    J. Bradford DeLong
    28 Mar 2015 | 8:51 am
    Jen Ebberler: Inventing Trajan: The Evidence, or How Do We Know What We Think We Know?: "For a period of time that is chock full of historiographers and biographers, the reign of Trajan is badly documented... ...It's weird, almost as if writers purposely avoided the topic. There is a rich record of coins, civic and private monuments, and inscriptions.... Most of the scholarship on Trajan is done by archaeologists and others with a strong, non-textual orientation.... Neither Suetonius nor Tacitus treated Trajan's rule explicitly. Book 10 of Pliny's Letters has a complicated textual history,…
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    99% Invisible

  • 54- The Colour of Money (R)

    Roman Mars
    25 Mar 2015 | 12:37 am
    United States paper currency is so ubiquitous that to really look at its graphic design with fresh eyes requires some deliberate and focused attention. Pull a greenback out from your wallet (or look at a picture online) and really take it in. All the fonts, the busy filigree, the micro patterns… It’s just dreadful. The Colour of Money
  • 157- Devil’s Rope

    Roman Mars
    17 Mar 2015 | 11:23 pm
    In the mid 1800s, not many (non-native) Americans had ever been west of the Mississippi. When Frederick Law Olmstead visited the west in the 1850s, he remarked that the plains looked like a sea of grasses that moved  “in swells after a great storm.” Massive herds of buffalo wandered the plains. Cowboys shepherded cattle across long stretches of no man’s land. It was truly the wild and unmanaged west, but it was all about to change, due, in large part, to one very simple invention that would come to be known as “the devil’s rope.”
  • 156- Coin Check

    Roman Mars
    10 Mar 2015 | 5:13 pm
    The United States Military is not known for being touchy-feely. There’s not much hugging or head-patting, and superiors don’t always have the authority to offer a serviceman a raise or promotion. When a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard wants to show appreciation, love, sympathy, or professional connection, they can use challenge coins. Challenge coins are not currency. Different branches of the military have different uses and customs for them, but when they’re being given or exchanged, the coins serve as literal tokens of gratitude. They can…
  • 155- Palm Reading

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

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

  • The New Norml

    Sinclair Noe
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:32 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 34 = 17,712 SPX + 4 = 2061 NAS + 27 = 4891 10 YR YLD – .06 = 1.95% OIL – 3.01 = 48.42 GOLD – 5.70 = 1199.40 SILV – .13 = 17.07   Modest gains on Wall Street today, but not nearly enough to make up for the four previous days of losses. It wound up being the second-worst week for the market so far this year. The Dow Jones industrial average remains down slightly for 2015, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index is essentially flat. For the week, the S&P 500 fell 2.2 percent, the Dow lost 2.3 percent and…
  • While the Sun Shines

    Sinclair Noe
    26 Mar 2015 | 4:06 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 40 = 17,678 SPX – 4 = 2056 NAS – 13 = 4863 10 YR YLD + .09 = 2.01% OIL + 2.22 = 51.43 GOLD + 9.00 = 1205.10 SILV = .15 = 17.20 Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies started bombing targets in Yemen as the country slides closer toward civil war. A Saudi military spokesman said there were no immediate plans to launch ground operations in Yemen. Importers say the Saudi attack is not expected to disrupt oil supplies, but the threat of spreading war in the region could likely impact oil flows. Yemeni President Hadi reportedly fled the country yesterday. The…
  • A Bit Ironic

    Sinclair Noe
    25 Mar 2015 | 3:56 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 292 = 17,718 SPX – 30 = 2061 NAS – 118 = 4876 10 YR YLD + .04 = 1.92% OIL + 1.70 = 49.21 GOLD + 1.90 = 1196.10 SILV + .01 = 17.06 Not much in the way of economic data today. Orders for durable goods dropped in February, a possible sign the slowdown in global growth may be weighing on American manufacturers. Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years declined 1.4 percent after a 2 percent gain in January that was smaller than previously estimated. Demand for American-made products may be softening as economies abroad struggle to…
  • Thirst for Innovation

    Sinclair Noe
    24 Mar 2015 | 3:50 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 104 = 18,011 SPX – 12 = 2091 NAS – 16 = 4994 10 YR YLD – .03 = 1.88% OIL + .06 = 47.51 GOLD + 3.90 = 1194.20 SILV – .04 = 17.04   The Labor Department reports the consumer price index climbed by a seasonally adjusted 0.2% last month. Gasoline prices rebounded in February. Higher costs for food, housing and new cars also contributed to the increase. Still, there’s been zero overall inflation in the last 12 months, mainly because of the big drop in gas prices. If food and energy are excluded, so-called core consumer inflation has…
  • Transitory, Not Terminal

    Sinclair Noe
    23 Mar 2015 | 4:26 pm
    Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 11 = 18,116 SPX – 3 = 2104 NAS – 15 = 5010 10 YR YLD – .01 = 1.91% OIL + .88 = 47.45 GOLD + 6.90 = 1190.30 SILV + .25 = 17.08   The Dow Jones Industrial Average is still above 18,000. The Nasdaq Composite is above 5,000. The Russell 2000 is near record highs. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Composite, which dipped below 17,000 early in the year, took about a month to surge from 18,000 to 19,000 and is now rapidly approaching the 20,000 level; heights that haven’t been seen since 2000. Germany’s DAX recently traded above 12,000 for…
 
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    iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

  • Fiscal Policy And Structural Reform

    iMFdirect
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:37 am
    By Vitor Gaspar  One of the big questions to emerge from the global financial crisis, especially in the euro area, is how to raise a country’s potential growth while restoring healthy public finances. For example, the euro area— despite some favorable news recently — faces marked-down growth prospects alongside high levels of public debt. The combination of high debt and tepid potential growth underscores the importance of improving prospects for sustained growth and safe and resilient public finances. A fundamental question then arises: what is the relation between fiscal…
  • The Elusive Quest for International Policy Cooperation

    iMFdirect
    26 Mar 2015 | 11:22 am
    By Olivier Blanchard, Atish R. Ghosh, Mahvash S. Qureshi As with previous crises, the global financial crisis has prompted greater calls for international policy cooperation, but it still remains very much like Nessie, the lovable Loch Ness monster: oft-discussed, seldom seen. To reflect on the obstacles to international policy cooperation, and how to make progress, the IMF recently hosted a panel discussion, Toward a More Cooperative International Monetary System: Perspectives from the Past, Prospects for the Future, with Maurice Obstfeld (CEA; University of Berkley), José Antonio Ocampo…
  • Dams And Dikes For Public Finances

    iMFdirect
    18 Mar 2015 | 1:00 am
    By Vitor Gaspar, Richard Hughes, and Laura Jaramillo Fortune, wrote Machiavelli five hundred years ago in The Prince, is like a violent river. She “shows her power where virtue has not been put in order to resist her and therefore turns her impetus where she knows that dams and dikes have not been made to contain her.” Managing the ebb and flow of government’s fiscal fortunes poses similar challenges today. We need a risk-based approach to fiscal policymaking that applies a systematic analysis of potential sources of fiscal vulnerabilities. This method would help countries detect…
  • Seizing India’s Moment

    iMFdirect
    16 Mar 2015 | 9:15 am
    By iMFdirect As many countries around the world are grappling with low growth, India has been marching in the opposite direction.  The IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde gave a speech at Lady Sri Ram College in New Delhi to talk about the global economy, India’s economy, and how quality of growthcan benefit women, the poor, and the youth of India.
  • Resolving Residential Mortgage Distress: Time to Modify

    iMFdirect
    11 Mar 2015 | 7:15 am
    By Jochen Andritzky (Versions in Español) In housing crises, high mortgage debt can feed a vicious circle of falling housing prices and economic slowdown. As a result, more households default on their mortgages and the crisis deepens.  A new IMF Working Paper studies the differences in the housing crises and policy responses in Iceland, Ireland, Spain, and the United States, and argues that crisis policies geared to provide temporary debt service relief for struggling households, followed by durable loan modifications, can help break this vicious circle. Why policymakers worry about…
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    WordPress.com News

  • The Business of Freelancing, Blogging, and Books, According to Author Jennifer Armstrong

    Mark Armstrong
    27 Mar 2015 | 8:16 am
    First, I should note: I am not related to Jennifer Armstrong. But! I have followed her writing closely over the years — first during her years at Entertainment Weekly, and more recently as the author of books like Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted (Simon & Schuster), which offered a definitive history of the classic TV series. Her blog also happens to be a must-follow on WordPress.com: She gives glimpses into her current work (she’s doing a Seinfeld book next) and she’s refreshingly transparent about the business (and hard truths) of being a freelance writer in 2015. I spoke with…
  • New Themes: Saga and Satellite

    Caroline Moore
    26 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    Happy Theme Thursday, ladies and gentlemen! Let’s take a look at our two newest free themes, Saga and Satellite: Saga Saga, designed by the talented Justin Tadlock, is a theme tailor-made for writers, by a writer. The theme’s impeccable typography and attention to detail make for an enjoyable reading experience, and with support for large featured images and multiple post formats, Saga is flexible enough to be used as a photoblog, a personal journal, or a tumblelog. Read more about Saga on the Theme Showcase, or activate it on your site from Appearance → Themes! Satellite…
  • Press Publish Livestream

    Andrea Middleton
    25 Mar 2015 | 12:40 pm
    Kathy Cano-Murillo will present on how she became A DIY Success. Press Publish, the very first blogging conference organized by WordPress.com, will be held in Portland, Oregon, this Saturday. (Psst! We’ll be in Phoenix hosting Press Publish on April 18th, 2015.) Erick Prince-Heaggans will present Around the World in 80 Posts. Because this is the first event of its kind, we’re eager to get as much feedback from attendees as possible. And since it’s not always easy for people to travel to attend conferences, we’ve decided to bring Press Publish Portland to you (or at least to your…
  • This April in Blogging U.: The Return of Writing 101!

    Michelle W.
    23 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    This April, we’ll be offering Writing 101: Building a Blogging Habit. Writing 101 is a write-every-day challenge designed to help you create a writing habit and push you as a writer, while publishing posts that mesh with your blog’s focus. What is Writing 101? Writing 101 is a four-week course that runs from Monday, April 6, to Friday, May 1, 2015. Each weekday, you’ll get an assignment that includes a writing prompt and an optional “twist”; prompts are your topic inspiration for the day, while twists push you to experiment with writing techniques and tools. Who else is…
  • New Themes: Resonar and Scrawl

    Takashi Irie
    19 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    Happy Theme Thursday, all! Today I’m pleased to present two new free themes designed especially for longform writing. Resonar Designed by yours truly, Resonar is an elegant blog theme with full-screen Featured Images. It’s perfect for blogs about fashion, food, or design, and the layout works especially well for longform features with large images. The combination of gorgeous images and beautiful typography creates posts that make an immediate visual impact. Read more about Resonar on the Theme Showcase, or activate it on your site from Appearance → Themes. Scrawl Scrawl,…
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    EconomicPolicyJournal.com

  • How to Put Together a Standard But Useless Television Report on the Economy

    29 Mar 2015 | 7:38 am
  • Minimum Wage Increase Causes Cuts in Hours, Jobs, and Services in South Dakota?

    29 Mar 2015 | 6:33 am
    Even the South Dakota government university sector, which doesn't necessarily react to free market price signals, is adjusting with cuts, cuts and cuts, as a result of a minimum wage hike. (ht Mark Perry)
  • The AirWheel X8: An EPJ Scoop

    29 Mar 2015 | 4:38 am
    Kevin Killinger emails: Hi Robert, Scoop everyone on this, because almost nobody in North America has ever heard of this. It is a good example of the division of labor.  An American invented it.  The Chinese produce it.  Japan makes the battery for it. It is called a Self-Balancing Unicycle.  The brand I ride is AirWheel, but there are many other brands now competing. It is unheard-of in
  • "Unusual amount of cheating suspected at Stanford University"

    28 Mar 2015 | 5:27 pm
    "An unusually high number of students at Stanford University are suspected of cheating during the most recent term, putting faculty members and administrators of the prestigious institution on alert," says AP University Provost John Etchemendy sent a letter to faculty members highlighting what he called "troubling allegations" that stem from "a smattering of concerns from a number of winter
  • Coming Soon Near You: Willie Nelson Weed

    28 Mar 2015 | 3:47 pm
    Here is a perfect example of how free and open markets function with less violence and overall danger, and better quality, compared to black markets that must deal with the threat of government punishment. Market Watch reports: Willie Nelson, the country singer-songwriter (and well-known consumer of cannabis), has revealed plans to launch a branded chain of marijuana dispensaries and
 
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    Carl Futia

  • Guesstimates on March 27, 2015

    27 Mar 2015 | 5:56 am
    June S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is again 2030-2052. I think a drop to 2000 is underway. If the ES breaks the 2000 level decisively a bigger drop of at least 200-300 points will lie ahead.QQQ:  Downside target is 100. TNX (ten year note yield): I think that the market is headed up to 3.00%. Euro-US Dollar: The ECB’s quantitative easing program will drop the euro below 1.00 over the coming months. Near term downside target is 1.03. Resistance above the market is at 1.12.Dollar-Yen: Support is at 116. The bull market has much further to go over the coming months.
  • Guesstimates on March 26, 2015

    26 Mar 2015 | 6:11 am
    June S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2030-2052. I think a drop to 2000 is underway. If the ES breaks the 2000 level decisively a drop of at least 200-300 points will be underway.QQQ:  Downside target is 100. TNX (ten year note yield): I think that the market is headed up to 3.00%. Euro-US Dollar: The ECB’s quantitative easing program will drop the euro below 1.00 over the coming months. Near term downside target is 1.03. Resistance above the market is at 1.12.Dollar-Yen: Support is at 116. The bull market has much further to go over the coming months. 140-45 is my…
  • Guesstimates on March 25, 2015

    25 Mar 2015 | 6:04 am
    June S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2077-2091. I expect the drop from 2107 to end near 2077 and I think the ES will trade near 2170 within a month.QQQ:  The current rally should carry to 112.00. TNX (ten year note yield): I think that the market is headed up to 3.00%. Euro-US Dollar: The ECB’s quantitative easing program will drop the euro below 1.00 over the coming months. Near term downside target is 1.03. Resistance above the market is at 1.12.Dollar-Yen: Support is at 116. The bull market has much further to go over the coming months. 140-45 is my longer term…
  • Guesstimates on March 24, 2015

    24 Mar 2015 | 5:54 am
    June S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2088-2102. A rally to new bull market highs is underway and I think the ES will trade near 2170 within a month.QQQ:  The current rally should carry to 112.00. TNX (ten year note yield): I think that the market is headed up to 3.00%. Euro-US Dollar: The ECB’s quantitative easing program will drop the euro below 1.00 over the coming months. Near term downside target is 1.03. Resistance above the market is at 1.12.Dollar-Yen: Support is at 116. The bull market has much further to go over the coming months. 140-45 is my longer term…
  • Guesstimates on March 23, 2015

    23 Mar 2015 | 5:48 am
    June S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 2095-2110. A rally to new bull market highs is underway and I think the ES will trade near 2170 within a month.QQQ:  The current rally should carry to 112.00. TNX (ten year note yield): I think that the market is headed up to 3.00%. Euro-US Dollar: The ECB’s quantitative easing program will drop the euro below 1.00 over the coming months. Near term downside target is 1.03. Resistance above the market is at 1.12.Dollar-Yen: Support is at 116. The bull market has much further to go over the coming months. 140-45 is my longer term…
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    True Economics

  • 27/3/15: Russia Goes for Fiscal Cuts: Amended Budget 2015

    27 Mar 2015 | 11:59 am
    Russian Duma passed (in first reading) amendments to the Budget 2015.The new Budget is based on average oil price of USD50 pb, with expected GDP growth of -3% against inflation of 12.2% and USD/RUB exchange rate of RUB61.5. These are major revisions to the base assumptions.Forecast government deficit for 2015 has now widened from RUB431 billion (0.6% of GDP) estimated back in October 2014 to RUB2,700 billion or 3.7% of GDP.Budget forecast that the economy will contract 3% (to RUB73.5 trillion or USD1.27 trillion) in 2015 is a sharp deterioration on October 2014 estimates for GDP growth of…
  • 27/3/15: That Russian Liberal Opposition: Facts Piling Up...

    27 Mar 2015 | 10:36 am
    Recently, I wrote about the sorry state of the Russian liberal democratic opposition (http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2015/03/21315-two-pesky-facts-and-russian.html) and Putin's strong showing in public ratings. Here is another data set, this time reflecting this week's data:Q: Imagine that next Sunday there will be presidential election in Russia. Which politicians would you give your vote to? President Putin's share of the vote:Source: http://fom.ru/Politika/Here's the link to longer-dated series: http://bd.fom.ru/pdf/d12ind15.pdf and a snapshot from the same (I omit spoiled…
  • 27/3/15: Euro Area Growth Indicator up in March, but...

    27 Mar 2015 | 9:04 am
    Latest Eurocoin (Banca d'Italia and CEPR) leading growth indicator for euro area economy came in at a slight improvement in March to 0.26 from 0.23 in February, posting the highest reading since July 2014. The average quarterly growth forecast now implied by Eurocoin is at around 0.25-0.3% q/q with the risk to the upside.This is the first monthly reading since July 2014 that puts Eurocoin into statistically significant growth territory and also the first monthly reading for positive growth momentum based on 6mo moving average.However, as the chart below indicates, y/y we are still in weak…
  • 27/315: Irish Retail Sales: February 2015

    27 Mar 2015 | 5:48 am
    Core retail sales for February 2015 (excluding motors):Value of core retail sales in Ireland rose 0.22% y/y in February, having posted 0.67% growth in January - a significant slowdown in growth. 3mo average index for retails sales in value has rise 1.1% y/y in December 2014-February 2015 period compared to the same period a year ago. 6mo average through February 2015 is up 1.23% y/y. This is weak growth at best, given the levels of activity in the sector: 3mo average through February 2015 is down 33.93% on peak and down 3.64% on pre-crisis average.Volume of core retail sales fared, as usual,…
  • 27/3/15: Debt, Glorious Debt, Deluge of Debt... and Negative Yields

    27 Mar 2015 | 3:23 am
    In the article on global debt woes forthcoming in one of the financial letters I contribute to in April, I will be looking more in depth at the problems brewing in the global asset markets. But for now, couple of interesting (additional) points.According to Pictet, the share of global debt that is trading at negative yields has now risen to 8% of the total debt outstanding. For the Euro markets, 19% of all debt traded is now negative yielding, for debt denominated in Swedish SEK - 33% and for for Swiss CHF denominated debt - 44%.If this is not enough to raise your hair, here is what investors…
 
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    Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

  • New Residential Construction Report: February 2015

    17 Mar 2015 | 9:14 am
    Today’s New Residential Construction Report showed mixed results with total permit activity increasing 3% since January while total starts dropped a whopping 17.0% over the same period.Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, declined 6.2% from January to 620K single family units (SAAR), and rose 2.8% above the level seen a year earlier but still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005.
  • NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Sentiment: March 2015

    16 Mar 2015 | 7:33 am
    Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that overall assessments of housing activity declined in March with the composite HMI index falling to 53 while the "buyer traffic" index declined to a level of 37 from 39 in the prior month.Overall, conditions for new home construction appear to have softened some recently and still remain below the peak assessments see prior to the Great Recession.
  • Weekly Unemployment Claims: Initial and Continued March 05 2015

    5 Mar 2015 | 9:17 am
    Today’s jobless claims report showed a an increase to both initial and insured unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims remained above the 300K level. Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims increased 7,000 to 320,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “insured” claims increased by 17,000 to 2.421 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 1.8%.
  • ADP National Employment Report: February 2015

    5 Mar 2015 | 9:10 am
    Yesterday, private staffing and business services firm ADP released the latest installment of their National Employment Report indicating that the situation for private employment in the U.S. improved in February as private employers added 212,000 jobs in the month bringing the total employment level 2.62% above the level seen in February 2014. Look for Friday’s BLS Employment Situation Report to likely show somewhat similar trends.
  • Weekly Unemployment Claims: Initial and Continued February 26 2015

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

  • Job Polarization and Wages (A Visualization)

    Bud Meyers
    28 Mar 2015 | 4:06 pm
    Economists refer to "job polarization" in the labor force when middle-class jobs (requiring a moderate level of skills) appear to disappear relative to those at the bottom (requiring fewer skills) and to those at the top — requiring greater skills; or those who are better networked and know people in a position of influence. (Below is a simple animation to show how job polarization might look). Share
  • Attention Populist Conservatives: Beware Ted Cruz

    Dan Phillips
    28 Mar 2015 | 3:20 pm
    Attention populist conservatives who really want to stick it to the Establishment: perhaps, just perhaps, the best way to do that is not by supporting a candidate who GRADUATED FROM HARVARD LAW SCHOOL! It is possible that Ted Cruz’s anti-Establishment conservative rhetoric is entirely sincere. It is possible that Ted Cruz is not sincere and that his feisty populist conservative persona is a role he is playing, but one that he is playing primarily for his own benefit. Share
  • Medicare Doc Fix is Fixed — Sort of — for Now

    Bud Meyers
    26 Mar 2015 | 8:31 pm
    The House overwhelmingly approved sweeping changes to the Medicare program (voting 392 to 37) which would establish a new formula for paying doctors and increasing premiums for Medicare beneficiaries. Share
  • CPI Increases on Higher Gas Prices for February 2015

    Robert Oak
    24 Mar 2015 | 5:45 pm
    The Consumer Price Index increased 0.2% for February as gasoline prices rose.  It looks like the party is over for cheap gas and once again inflation is back on the rise.  Gasoline prices increased 2.4%.  Inflation without food or energy prices considered increased 0.2% for the month.  From a year ago overall inflation is unchanged and this is due to the incredible drop in gasoline prices in comparison to last year.   CPI measures inflation, or price increases. Share
  • Bloody Budget Cuts

    Bud Meyers
    24 Mar 2015 | 12:06 am
    Unlike politically incorrect journalists in the mainstream media (including Fox News), one can't accurately report on bloody budget cuts — and then, just to appear non-partisan, say it's "Congress" who's proposing the cuts — not when it's the Republicans within Congress who are the ones proposing all these bloody budget cuts. Share
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    Stock Trading To Go

  • STTG Market Recap Mar 27, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:59 pm
    Friday was a bit of a nothing day for the U.S. indexes as stocks bounced back a tiny bit from a string of losses; most of the gains came late in the session as Fed head Janet Yellen spoke and takeover news hit the semiconductor group. The S&P 500 gained 0.24% and the NASDAQ 0.57%. Yellen said a rate increase may be warranted later this year, adding that an increase in core inflation is... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Mar 26, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    26 Mar 2015 | 4:05 pm
    Indexes stayed in the red much of the session and finished with light losses; the S&P 500 fell 0.24% and NASDAQ 0.27%. Fun fact: The S&P 500 has gone 27 days without posting back-to-back gains, the longest stretch since 1994. Keep in mind earnings season starts in 2 weeks so make sure you know when your companies report if you are not a person who holds stocks for multiple years -... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Mar 25, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    25 Mar 2015 | 2:36 pm
    A very interesting day in the markets as the S&P 500 fell 1.46% and the NASDAQ 2.37%. Biotechs were crushed today - we've been saying the higher they go the more risk they get as they have been on a mostly interrupted run for 4+ years. That said you just never know when they will correct and even if it's a bubble you ride a bubble until it clearly ends. We are not saying it is ending -... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Mar 24, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    24 Mar 2015 | 4:47 pm
    Inflation data caused a bit of a selloff Tuesday as the S&P 500 fell 0.61% and the NASDAQ 0.32%. Inflation has been very benign in the U.S. during this Fed easing cycle and appears to be the only thing aside from a booming economy that will move the Fed to tighten. While today's numbers were really quite benign, some pointed to the core CPI figure as a thing to worry about - but reality... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap Mar 23, 2015

    Mark Hanna
    23 Mar 2015 | 2:49 pm
    U.S. indexes were generally positive until the closing minutes when some sort of selling program pushed indexes into the red. The S&P 500 fell 0.17% and the NASDAQ 0.32%. News flow was quiet as existing home sales in February were up 1.2%, to an annual rate of 4.88 million units, slightly below expectations.Fun fact: The S&P 500 has gone 24 consecutive sessions without back-to-back... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
 
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    WILLisms.com

  • America Envies Texas' High School Graduation Rates

    Will Franklin
    19 Mar 2015 | 2:32 pm
    Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 980 -- Texas Graduation Rates- Over the past several years, it has become what feels like a tautological exercise to note that Texas leads the nation in economic growth, job growth, population growth, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Everyone knows those things now. One thing that hasn't really sunk in really at all, though, is Texas' relative dominance on educational measures. National test scores and high school graduation/dropout rates, both. The left-wing rebuttal to Texas' economic dominance usually has something to do with poor people being left out of the…
  • Wendy Davis Burned Through Her Out-Of-State Money, Can't Compete Down The Stretch

    Will Franklin
    6 Oct 2014 | 7:56 pm
    Texas Democrat Wendy Davis reported a miserable $3.2 million cash on hand today in her gubernatorial campaign's coffers, along with $2.5 million more combined from three other committees. Republican Greg Abbott, meanwhile, reported more than thirty million bucks cash on hand, without aid from any other committees (click image for a larger version): Political Science professor Mark P. Jones of Rice University noted over the summer that for Wendy Davis to be even remotely competitive, she would need to spend at bare minimum $10 million in the final month. Here's the quote from the article:…
  • 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…
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    Political Calculations

  • The Four Dimensional Cube

    27 Mar 2015 | 4:24 am
    Last week, we explored the history of the right triangle. This week, we're going to add an extra side and two extra dimensions as we consider the four dimensional cube! Or, as Phys.org would describe it: "A rotating two-dimensional projection of the four-dimensional tesseract. The projection appears to change as it rotates even though the four-dimensional polytope is symmetrical because it is warped by the loss of two dimension[s]. [Image] Credit: Wikimedia Commons." Here's hoping we all don't lose two dimensions and become asymmetrically warped this weekend!
  • In Which We Take On the World's Best Economic Forecasters, and Win

    26 Mar 2015 | 1:04 am
    Some time ago, we recognized that the number of companies acting to cut their dividends each month seemed to be a very good and simple predictor of the near real time state of the U.S. economy. Today, we're going to compare our performance against the supposed best economic forecasters of the world: the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Blue Chip Economic Indicators! How we'll do that is pretty novel. We'll compare what our simple indicator was signaling once a month about the state of the U.S. economy throughout the first quarter of 2015 against the evolution of the actual range of forecasts…
  • The Evolving Expenditures of U.S. Households

    25 Mar 2015 | 1:37 am
    We've been exploring data found in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau's Consumer Expenditure Survey, which has provided a window into the annual consumer expenditures of American households (or rather, "consumer units") since 1984. Today, we thought it was time to take a look at how the major categories of that spending has evolved over the thirty years for which we have data. Our first chart shows the average annual amounts that American households spend on things like housing, transportation, food and alcoholic beverages, life insurance and pension savings (IRAs,…
  • Confirmed: Americans Can Actually Do the Math!

    24 Mar 2015 | 1:56 am
    Unlike a lot of analysts, we've always approached the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is perhaps better known as "Obamacare", from the perspective of personal finance. We care about what President Obama's "signature" achievement in office means to the bottom lines of ordinary Americans, which is to say that we care more than President Obama does about such things. Because of that approach, we've recognized from the very beginning that for a lot of Americans, it would make significantly more sense to take a pass on buying the kind of "affordable" health insurance coverage…
  • An Almost Perfect Correlation

    23 Mar 2015 | 1:56 am
    Now that we've established both how to calculate Irving Fisher's consumption-based measure of the size of the nation's economy as it matters to ordinary Americans (the national dividend) and compared that result with the alternative production-based measure of the national income of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) developed by other economists, the next question we'll address is how well does the national dividend line up with the incomes earned by the ultimate end consumers? We'll do that as simply as possible, in nominal terms, by determining the correlation of the average annual total…
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    Calafia Beach Pundit

  • Corporate profits are still very impressive

    27 Mar 2015 | 2:32 pm
    With today's release of the latest Q4/14 GDP estimate, we learn that corporate profits—despite the damage suffered by energy-related companies from the plunge in oil prices in the second half of last year—were still quite impressive: $1.84 trillion after tax on an quarterly annualized basis, and about $1.83 trillion the year as a whole. That puts profits very close to all-time record highs, both in nominal terms and relative to GDP. Yet standard PE ratios are only modestly above their 55-yr historical average. This anomaly—record-setting profits vs. only slightly above average…
  • When $100 gets you a sandwich and a Coke

    25 Mar 2015 | 9:54 pm
    The amount of currency in circulation in Argentina is just over $300 billion pesos, and it is comprised almost entirely of six different denominations of bills, as show above (coins are essentially worthless and hardly ever seen). According to the Argentine Central Bank, about two-thirds of all the currency in circulation is of the $100 peso variety, with the other third spread between the five smaller denominations. If my experience here is any guide, it is rare to see a $2 bill, and the occasional $5 bill is, in practice, the smallest denomination that most people are able or likely to use.
  • The Reluctant Recovery continues

    25 Mar 2015 | 8:13 am
    Back in October, 2012, I gave a presentation to the Economic Club of Sheboygan titled "The Reluctant Recovery." Almost 2 ½ years later I can reread my comments and conclusions about the presentation and not find much to fault or change. This says it all, and it is a mantra I have repeated continously ever since: "although this is the weakest recovery in generations, with a few exceptions the economy has undergone some significant adjustments and is continuing to expand, although growth is likely to continue to be rather slow and disappointing until and unless we get significant…
  • Off to Argentina

    19 Mar 2015 | 8:34 am
    We're leaving shortly for Argentina to attend the wedding next week of our best friends' daughter. It should be a blast, as most weddings are in Tucuman. Blogging will be light for the next several days, but I should have some time later to get back in touch with the markets. With an important presidential election looming later this year, I'll be interested to see what's happening on the political scene.
  • How to know if Fed policy is a threat to growth

    18 Mar 2015 | 1:15 pm
    There's a way to judge whether monetary policy is likely to pose a threat to economic growth, and I lay it out in this post. It involves looking at the real Federal funds rate (using the Interest on Reserves that the Fed pays as a proxy), the real yield on 5-yr TIPS, and the slope of the nominal and real yield curves. If overnight real yields are high (>3%), if they exceed the real yield on 5-yr TIPs, and if the nominal and real yield curves are flat or negatively sloped, then monetary policy poses a clear and present danger to the economy. By these standards, monetary policy currently…
 
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    Supply and Demand (in that order)

  • Accurate quotation

    25 Mar 2015 | 8:49 pm
    Today's House session. 11:11 through 12:35 from here
  • Fewer jobs in February?!

    6 Mar 2015 | 12:16 pm
    The headline payroll employment was (seasonally adjusted) higher in February than in January. However, the headline does not include the self employed or agricultural workers. If we add those in (from the household survey), the number of jobs fell from Jan to Feb. If we also look at it per capita terms, jobs per capita fell two months in a row after being essentially constant Nov-Dec.Jobs in Thousands through Feb 2015Jobs per Adult through Feb 2015To be clear, I am measuring the vast majority of jobs from the same establishment survey that makes headlines. All I'm doing is adding an estimate…
  • The War on Poverty

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

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

    12 Jan 2015 | 5:52 pm
    I just answered a Robocall from Covered Illinois touting Obamacare policies.  Will the time I spent answering the call be counted in any cost-benefit analysis?
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Regression: What’s it all about? [Bayesian and otherwise]

    Andrew
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:25 am
    Regression: What’s it all about? Regression plays three different roles in applied statistics: 1. A specification of the conditional expectation of y given x; 2. A generative model of the world; 3. A method for adjusting data to generalize from sample to population, or to perform causal inferences. We could also include prediction, but I prefer to see that as a statistical operation that is implied for all three of the goals above: conditional prediction as a generalization of conditional expectation, prediction as the application of a linear model to new cases, and prediction for…
  • Stewart Lee vs. Jane Austen; Dick advances

    Andrew
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    Yesterday‘s deciding arguments came from Horselover himself. As quoted by Dalton: Any given man sees only a tiny portion of the total truth, and very often, in fact almost . . . perpetually, he deliberately deceives himself about that precious little fragment as well. And: We ourselves are information-rich; information enters us, is processed and is then projected outwards once more, now in an altered form. We are not aware that we are doing this, that in fact this is all we are doing. Wow—Turing-esque (but I can’t picture Dick running around the house). And, as quoted by X:…
  • The publication of one of my pet ideas: Simulation-efficient shortest probability intervals

    Andrew
    28 Mar 2015 | 6:11 am
    In a paper to appear in Statistics and Computing, Ying Liu, Tian Zheng, and I write: Bayesian highest posterior density (HPD) intervals can be estimated directly from simulations via empirical shortest intervals. Unfortunately, these can be noisy (that is, have a high Monte Carlo error). We derive an optimal weighting strategy using bootstrap and quadratic programming to obtain a more computation- ally stable HPD, or in general, shortest probability interval (Spin). We prove the consistency of our method. Simulation studies on a range of theoretical and real-data examples, some with symmetric…
  • Mohandas Gandhi (1) vs. Philip K. Dick (2); Hobbes advances

    Andrew
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    All of yesterday‘s best comments were in favor of the political philosopher. Adam writes: With Hobbes, the seminar would be “nasty, brutish, and short.” And it would degenerate into a “war of all against all.” In other words, the perfect academic seminar. And Jonathan writes: Chris Rock would definitely be more entertaining. But the chance to see a speaker who knew Galileo, basing his scientific worldview on him, and could actually find weak points in the proofs of the best mathematicians of the day (even if he couldn’t do any competent math himself) should not be squandered.
  • Imagining p

    Andrew
    27 Mar 2015 | 6:07 am
    We’ve all had that experience of going purposefully from one hypothesis to another, only to get there and forget why we made the journey. Four years ago, researcher Daryl Bem and his colleagues stripped this effect down, showing that the simple act of obtaining a statistically significant comparison induces publication in a top journal. Now statisticians at Columbia University, USA, have taken things further, demonstrating that merely imagining a statistically significant p-value is enough to trigger increased publication. . . . The new study shows that this event division effect can…
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    Capital Chronicle

  • Largest national economies (plus forecast), 2002 - 2019

    7 Mar 2015 | 7:31 am
    Where did Canada, Spain and Mexico go... (Source: CNN via dadaviz)
  • Eurobonds vs da world: relative trumps intrinsic value

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

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

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

    23 Dec 2014 | 6:54 am
    Someone took the trouble to quantify what most owners of small French business structures (ie under 250 employees) have known for a long time: they are getting a seriously bad deal compared to, erm, just about every peer one can think of. The following table comes from the Vernimmen site (Letter 128, December 2014) and compares a business reporting the same numbers (ie turnover of €20m) in France as compared to Germany:  One of the key underlying points is that the French system has much higher fixed social charges (line 13 and 3 times those of the Germany peer expressed as a…
 
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    TheMoneyIllusion

  • The right variable for the right argument

    ssumner
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:23 am
    Tyler Cowen links to an Edward Hugh post: So, what do you do about the problem of secular stagnation? Again here there is divergence of opinion. Some still seek to treat the phenomenon as if it were a variant of the liquidity trap issue. Most notable here is Paul Krugman, who continues to hope that massive quantitative easing backed by strong fiscal stimulus will push the economy back onto a healthy path. But if the issue is secular stagnation, and the root is population ageing and shrinking, it is hard to see how this can be. The fact that Japan is just about to fall back into deflation 2…
  • Money illusion on steroids

    ssumner
    25 Mar 2015 | 7:42 am
    Stephen Kirchner sent me the following from the Financial Times: As economic growth returns again to Europe and Japan, the prospect of a synchronous global expansion is taking hold. Or, then again, maybe not. In a recent research piece published by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, global economic growth, as measured in nominal US dollars, is projected to decline in 2015 for the first time since 2009, the height of the financial crisis. In fact, the prospect of improvement in economic growth is largely a monetary illusion. I actually had to read this several times to make sure that my eyes were…
  • The WSJ wants to raise interest rates; now they just need to find a reason

    ssumner
    24 Mar 2015 | 8:08 am
    I don’t comment on the Wall Street Journal very often, as they are behind a paywall. But I did read an editorial in a paper copy a few days ago, and as I recall the piece went on and on about how the Fed needed to be raising interest rates, without once discussing the Fed’s actual 2% inflation target.  But they did have lots to say about unemployment. Things sure have changed.  When I used to subscribe to the paper version of the WSJ, they constantly lectured us on the fallacy of “Phillips Curve” thinking.  They told us that the Fed should control inflation, and not…
  • Recent activity

    ssumner
    23 Mar 2015 | 8:49 am
    I’ll try to keep blogging, but things may slow down a bit as tax season approaches. Meanwhile I have a new post at Econlog comparing Asia, Europe and immigrant societies.  I’ve also had some recent luck getting into major news outlets. A few weeks ago it was the WSJ, today I have a piece in the New York Times (on the strong dollar.)  AFAIK, that’s my first, and hopefully not my last.  Which reminds me, after the sad experience of Razib Khan (recently hired and fired by the NYT on the same day), don’t anyone dare send the Times any of my earlier posts criticizing…
  • Global growth

    ssumner
    22 Mar 2015 | 7:47 am
    McKinsey sends me their global economic reports, which are also available online. This caught my eye: How is that even possible?  Here’s how: You can see that the horizontal box representing China is about the size of the beige triangle, representing global GDP when I was 9 years old.  America’s per capita GDP has more than doubled.  The biggest gains went to blacks, Hispanics and Asians (in the case of the latter two groups, partly because many were living in other countries in 1964.) But whites are also modestly better off. Of course that’s not where the action is.  In…
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    Jesse's Café Américain

  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Non-Farm Payrolls Next Week

    27 Mar 2015 | 1:40 pm
    "We sometimes forget that central banking as we know it today is, in fact, largely an invention of the past hundred years or so, even though a few central banks can trace their ancestry back to the early nineteenth century or before. It is a sobering fact that the prominence of central banks in this century has coincided with a general tendency towards more
  • SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Begin the Beguiled

    27 Mar 2015 | 1:19 pm
    Stocks largely moved sideways on the weak economic data this morning. After the bell it was revealed that Intel would like to purchase chipmaker Altera. The consolidation of industry continues. After a largely directionless day, there was a little bit of a lift into the close as Chairman Yellen talked about the bias to raise interest rates for the purpose of 'normalization,' but slowly and
  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Ship of Fools

    26 Mar 2015 | 1:42 pm
    Gold and silver caught an overnight flight to safety on the war breaking out between Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Yemen on the overnight.   Gold hit a high around 1218 or so on the spot price, but was pushed back down towards 1203 during the New York trading hours.   The miners were hit
  • SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts

    26 Mar 2015 | 1:21 pm
    "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who murder your prophets, and persecute those whom God has sent as messengers to you. How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings. But you would not let me. As you have willed, your house is now yours— but will be made desolate.”   The 'Yellen put' kicked in about where it might
  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - The Tyranny of Round Numbers, Functionaries, and Factotums

    25 Mar 2015 | 2:02 pm
      “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Gold is being stalled here at 1200 and silver at 17.  These have no real significance except that they are 'headline numbers.'  
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • Competition & working conditions

    chris
    29 Mar 2015 | 5:25 am
    Tyler Cowen argues against (pdf) Elizabeth Anderson's view (pdf) that capitalist bosses exert oppressive power over workers and, implicitly, against my view that capitalist work is alienating. This, I suspect , is one of the many issues in the social sciences where both sides are right to some extent. Tyler is right that competition for workers can drive up working conditions, and it is surely true that those conditions are vastly better in the west now than they were in the early days of the industrial revolution. Nevertheless, I fear that Tyler might be claiming too much. First, though,…
  • The Clarkson problem

    chris
    26 Mar 2015 | 8:30 am
    Imagine if Ant and Dec had racially abused a colleague before lamping him. Would there be a big political campaign and a million-strong petition to save them? I'm not sure. This tells us that Clarkson's popularity isn't based solely on the fact that he's a talented TV presenter. Equally, though, I'm not sure that its due simply to the fact that he is (or plays at being) an obnoxious racist bully; whilst he has the support of many prominent arseholes, his popularity isn't confined to bigots. Instead, I suspect James is right: Clarkson is popular because he's a…
  • Alienation: the non-issue

    chris
    25 Mar 2015 | 6:19 am
    Matthew Syed in the Times gives us a wonderful example of Marxist thinking. He asks why marathon running is so popular, and says it's because it satisfies a desire for self-improvement which we cannot get from paid labour: We live in a world where the connection between effort and reward is fragmenting. In our past, we hunted, gathered and built...We could observe, track and consume the fruits of our labour. We could see the connection between our sweat and toil, and the value we derived from them. In today's globally dispersed capitalist machine, this sense is disappearing. This is…
  • Banning cash

    chris
    24 Mar 2015 | 8:15 am
    Ed Conway in the Times endorses Ken Rogoff's suggestion (pdf) that we should abolish cash. This seems to me completely infeasible, in at least three different ways:  - It is a grossly illiberal measure - the banning of capitalist acts between consenting adults, to use Robert Nozick's expression. I can't see voters tolerating this, especially as the move would be a means (pdf) of imposing a tax upon bank deposits: negative interest rates are analogous to a tax.  - Some 700,000 people don't have bank accounts. Many more use cash as a means of controlling how much…
  • Insincere apologies

    chris
    23 Mar 2015 | 7:30 am
    Should politicians make false apologies? I ask because of Janan Ganesh's claim that Labour has been "monstrously incompetent" in failing to apologize for its fiscal policy before the crisis: Had the Labour party owned up to its profligacy in office during the previous decade, it would now have the moral licence to mock [Osborne's] failed deficit target...Instead, Labour will not even concede that it was wrong to run a structural deficit in the years leading up to the crash, by which time Britain was a decade and a half into an economic expansion. A party that is still…
 
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    David Smith's EconomicsUK.com

  • Don't forget asset prices. Cutting rates is not the right response to zero inflation

    David Smith
    29 Mar 2015 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. A big fat zero. No inflation at all. Though it is not guaranteed, a run of deflation – prices lower than a year earlier – seems...
  • No roller coaster - but the tail wagged the dog in a curious budget

    David Smith
    22 Mar 2015 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. This is a strange world, and we have just had a rather strange budget. There was some jam today, though it was spread pretty thinly. There...
  • No giveaways - but one or two gimmicks

    David Smith
    18 Mar 2015 | 9:30 am
    George Osborne stuck to his "no giveaways" pledge in the final Budget before the election - there is actually a modest fiscal tightening of £745m for 2015-16. That did not stop him sprinkling a few crowd pleasers through his Budget,...
  • Osborne: some jam today, will there be less austerity tomorrow?

    David Smith
    15 Mar 2015 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. George Osborne’s sixth budget may not go down as his most memorable – the expectation is that it will be a political rather than an economic...
  • The feelgood factor's back - will it work for the Tories?

    David Smith
    8 Mar 2015 | 1:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. The feelgood factor is often elusive. But it is back. Consumer confidence is riding high, wages are once more outstripping inflation and unemployment continues to fall....
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    Project Syndicate RSS-Feed

  • Why Sanctions on Russia Don’t Work

    Andrei Kolesnikov
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:20 am
    The Western approach to Russia assumes that continued pressure on the country will cause President Vladimir Putin’™s regime to make concessions or even crumble. But, as recent opinion polls suggest, such an approach is less likely to undermine the regime than to cause Russians to close ranks in Putin’s defense.
  • What’s an Industry?

    Lucy P. Marcus
    28 Mar 2015 | 6:30 am
    Once upon a time, analysts could easily categorize companies and tell the markets what they were worth, boards could oversee firms with a view to shareholders’ happiness, and all was right in the world. But that world is disappearing before our eyes.
  • China’s Credit Overdose

    Zhang Jun
    28 Mar 2015 | 3:50 am
    Despite rapid credit expansion in the last two years, China's GDP growth has decelerated sharply. This disparity reflects the accumulation of massive debts, which require an ever-increasing amount of liquidity to service.
  • Britain by Itself

    Chris Patten
    28 Mar 2015 | 2:50 am
    It is unfortunate that some of the most important issues facing the UK are being ignored in the country'€™s current election campaign. British politicians may not be speaking much about international affairs, but the next government will have to deal with Russian aggression, European security, and a possible vote on EU membership.
  • Death and Hope on the High Seas

    Derek Tittensor
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:30 am
    Given the many ways human activity threatens marine life, it is easy – perhaps even rational – to be pessimistic. Yet this year could mark the beginning of a more robust approach to safeguarding ocean ecosystems.
 
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    Benzinga Feeds

  • Exclusive: Moneyball Economist On Smoking Pot 'Keurig Green Mountain' Style

    Jim Probasco
    27 Mar 2015 | 11:26 am
    "I had a chance to sit down with Tommy Chong of 'Cheech & Chong.'" With these words, Andrew Zatlin, founder and CEO of "Moneyball Economics" was off and running.
  • Oil Prices Rise And Fall, Again

    Laura Brodbeck
    27 Mar 2015 | 7:51 am
    On Thursday, oil prices saw a sharp increase after news that renewed tension in the Middle East could threaten some Gulf producers' supplies.
  • Goldman Sachs: Brazilian Inflation Expected To Remain Above Target Until 2017

    Javier Hasse
    26 Mar 2015 | 1:55 pm
    The Brazilian Central Bank recently released its Quarterly Inflation Report (QIR), a comprehensive analysis of global and domestic economic trends. The paper indicates that inflation is likely to remain rooted at –- or even above -- the 5 percent level until the end of 2016, even assuming a constant BRL/USD at a very favorable 3.15.
  • New Sentiment Survey Shows Investors Are 'Very Mixed' On Fed Language Tweak

    Jake Mann
    26 Mar 2015 | 10:05 am
    Last week, the Federal Reserve removed "patient" from its latest meeting statement. But how are individual investors responding?
  • U.S. Investors Look Abroad For Better Deals

    Laura Brodbeck
    25 Mar 2015 | 9:47 am
    Data from the eurozone this week suggests that the region's political problems haven't slowed the pace of economic recovery spurred on by ECB bond buying. With the European Central Bank promising to continue with its large-scale bond buying program until inflation stabilizes, U.S. investors are beginning to look across the pond for cheap investment opportunities.
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    OilPrice.com Daily News Update

  • Crude Oil Chokepoints And Why Yemen Matters

    ZeroHedge
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:51 pm
    About half the world's oil production is moved by tankers on fixed maritime routes, according to Reuters. The blockage of a chokepoint, even temporarily, can lead to substantial increases in total energy costs and thus, these chokepoints are crucial to global energy security. While Hormuz remains the largest chokepoint (and along with Bab el-Mandeb explains why Yemen matters so much).And while Yemen is key for The Strait of Hormuz...With Bab el-Mandeb even more specifically problematic if Yemen tensions get too extreme...Related: Who Benefits…
  • Tax Cuts Insufficient To Halt North Sea Job Losses

    Andy Tully
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:33 pm
    The British government’s offer of “bold and immediate measures” for the North Sea energy industry evidently wasn’t enough for some companies groping for ways to cut costs because of the plunge in oil prices and reduced oil and gas reserves in the region. George Osborne, Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, says the country’s 2015 budget will cut tax revenue from North Sea oil from 50 percent to 30 percent to help stave off job cuts. Yet Royal Dutch Shell, the UK’s largest oil company, announced March…
  • Another Major Getting Out Of The Oil Sands Business

    MINING.com
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:25 pm
    Dover West Leduc. (Image courtesy of Athabasca Oil) PetroChina (NYSE:PTR), the Asian country’s largest oil major by market value, no longer wants a stake in Canada’s oil sands as the ongoing collapse in crude prices has made the sector less attractive and more costly. In a Thursday filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the company announced it was “actively engaged” in talks to swap North American assets with international oil companies, acknowledging the negotiations were mostly focused on Canada’s oil sands,…
  • Impending Iran Deal Could Crush Current Rally

    James Stafford
    27 Mar 2015 | 11:51 am
    The headline for the week was Saudi Arabia’s attack on rebels in Yemen, which threatens to ignite tensions between regional rivalries in the Middle East. The proximate cause was the advance by Houthi rebels on Aden where the Yemeni President is located. Saudi Arabia spent several weeks secretly reaching out to its regional allies to build support for an attack on the Houthis, signing up support from Turkey, Egypt, and an array of Gulf States. The advanced knowledge of the United States government appears to be a matter of dispute, with some…
  • Can Argentina Capitalize On Its Vast Shale Reserves?

    Alexis Arthur
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:05 am
    Argentina, once a regional energy leader, is now better known for financial busts and bombastic politicians than hydrocarbons prospects. Still, with a resource potential both vast and untapped, the nation has never been far from energy investors’ minds. The question today is just how much Argentina is willing to change and how this plays into a low oil price environment that is already negatively impacting investment elsewhere. Argentina’s deliberate efforts to appease some of its international creditors, combined with an overhaul of…
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    zentrader.ca

  • SPX Offers Risks In Either Direction

    jeff pierce
    19 Mar 2015 | 10:13 am
    By Poly This is an excerpt from this week’s premium update from the The Financial Tap, which is dedicated to helping people learn to grow into successful investors by providing cycle research on multiple markets delivered twice weekly. Now offering monthly & quarterly subscriptions with 30 day refund. Promo code ZEN saves 10%. The easy part of my call has been fulfilled. A rally out of that deep, oversold Bollinger Band crash was somewhat predictable, because both the bullish and bearish cases pointed to a temporary move higher before diverging. This is also why the right call to…
  • Gold Is Following A Predictable & Understandable Path

    jeff pierce
    15 Mar 2015 | 6:39 pm
    By Poly This is an excerpt from this weekends’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%. In all my years of studying and mapping out Cycles, I have found that gold is the most consistent of assets. I find it to be the truest of assets when it comes to respecting traditional technical analysis, including during long, bear market periods. And…
  • When Bad News Is Good For Stocks… Look Out

    chris
    15 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    By Chris Ebert Note to readers: the following weekly analysis is based upon findings in the Thursday Evening Options Brief Who among us wakes up in the morning, sees horrible news or terrible economic data, and immediately says “I want to buy stocks today”? Likely, very few traders see fundamental economic weakness as the sole reason to buy stocks. In fact, most rational people would prefer to sell stocks given poor news regarding corporate earnings, employment, sales, prices, or any other factor which would tend to lower the chances of future corporate profits. Nevertheless, sometimes…
  • Thursday Evening Options Brief 12-Mar 2015

    chris
    12 Mar 2015 | 3:00 pm
    By Chris Ebert In the February 26 Thursday Evening Options Brief it was noted that: If Big-Money truly intends to drive the S&P to new all-time highs this March, it should not surprise individuals that the first step might be to take out as many of the individual traders’ stops as possible.” This week’s analysis: The S&P 500 has declined well off the all-time high recently achieved near the 2120 level. While the recent pullback off the high has not yet reached the 10% threshold (or 212 points off the high) to meet the traditional definition of a correction, it did indeed meet…
  • S&P 500 Now Entering Violent Neighborhood

    chris
    8 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    By Chris Ebert Note to readers: the following weekly analysis is based upon findings in the Thursday Evening Options Brief Last week’s Thursday Evening Options Brief stated: “Probably the most important factor an individual retail stock market trader needs to be concerned with at the moment is whether or not big-money interests are putting their support behind the most recent rally in stock prices – the rally that saw the 2100 level surpassed for the S&P 500 index.” Now this week’s analysis: Big money, a hypothetical yet very real entity comprised of large institutions and…
 
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    Economy Watch

  • Russia Seeks Trade Opportunities in America's "Back Yard"

    EW News Desk Team
    27 Mar 2015 | 11:38 am
    Smarting from sanctions leveled by the US and other western nations after its actions in Crimea and the Ukraine, Russia has begun trying to woo Latin and South American nations into more favorable trade arrangements. But, what will the Russians be trying to buy and sell in these nations, and what impact might this have on US economic and security interests? Smarting from sanctions leveled by the US and other western nations after its actions in Crimea and the Ukraine, Russia has begun trying to woo Latin and South American nations into more favorable trade arrangements. But, what will the…
  • Can U.S. Labor Unions Stage a Comeback and Does it Matter?

    The Conversation
    27 Mar 2015 | 11:26 am
    labor_union.jpg Home Page News Page The US labor movement was once the core institution fighting for average workers. Over the last half century, its ranks decimated. The share of the private sector workforce that is organized has fallen from 35% to approximately 6.5% today. <p>The US labor movement was once the core institution fighting for average workers. Over the last half century, its ranks decimated. The share of the private sector workforce that is organized has fallen from 35% to approximately 6.5% today.</p> The US labor movement was once the core institution fighting for…
  • Surprise! Bad News is Bad for Us

    The Conversation
    27 Mar 2015 | 11:06 am
    bad_news.jpg Home Page News Page There are hidden, and serious, ethical issues in the news media. It has become an industry in which editors and journalists routinely select the most disturbing and shocking news for our daily, or even hourly, consumption. <p>There are hidden, and serious, ethical issues in the news media. It has become an industry in which editors and journalists routinely select the most disturbing and shocking news for our daily, or even hourly, consumption.</p> There are hidden, and serious, ethical issues in the news media. It has become an industry in which…
  • Fiji's Latest Voting Generation has Survived Four Coups Since 1987

    East Asia Forum
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:05 am
    fiji_votes.jpg Home Page News Page The ‘coup babies’ are the generation that were born around the years before and shortly after Fiji’s first coup of 1987. The majority of this generation voted for the first time in Fiji’s 2014 elections, after living through two coups in 1987, one in 2000 and a fourth in 2006. <p>The &lsquo;coup babies&rsquo; are the generation that were born around the years before and shortly after Fiji&rsquo;s first coup of 1987. The majority of this generation voted for the first time in Fiji&rsquo;s 2014 elections, after…
  • Could a Slowing Chinese Economy Lead to Regional Divergences?

    East Asia Forum
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:45 am
    chinese_market.jpg Home Page News Page Despite China’s history of experimenting with new policies and the economic liberalisation since the late 1980s, China is still only a partially integrated economy. This has caused regional divergence and inequality. Now, as the Chinese economy begins to slow down, prospects of further regional divergence are troubling and have a greater chance of exacerbating political tensions. <p>Despite China&rsquo;s history of experimenting with new policies and the economic liberalisation since the late 1980s, China is still only a partially…
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    Central Bank News

  • 2015 Global Central Bank Calendar - updated with Romania and Ghana

    centralbanknews.info
    28 Mar 2015 | 12:23 pm
        Following is the 2015 calendar for meetings by central bank committees that decide monetary policy.    The table includes scheduled meetings for around 40 of the world's central banks. In the event that meetings by monetary policy committees take place over several days, the date listed below is for the final day when decisions are normally announced.    The calendar is updated regularly to reflect the latest information as some central banks have yet to release their meeting schedule for 2015. Other central banks only release tentative schedules and…
  • Central Bank News Link List - Mar 28, 2015: Fed’s Yellen sees gradual rate hikes starting this year

    centralbanknews.info
    28 Mar 2015 | 11:40 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.Fed’s Yellen sees gradual rate hikes starting this year (Reuters)U.K. bonds post weekly drop as Carney reiterates stance (Bloomberg)Broadbent: No ECB competitive devaluation; no BOE FX strategy (MNI)Bank of England policymakers see scant need for rate cut (Reuters)Fed official says economy can…
  • Rwanda holds rate to aid economy as inflation subdued

    centralbanknews.info
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:24 am
        Rwanda's central bank maintained its key repurchase rate at 6.5 percent, saying it would maintain its current accommodative monetary policy stance "with the objective of continuing to support the financing of the economy by the banking sector, as long as inflationary pressures remain subdued."    The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR), which cut its rate by 50 basis points last year, said following the quarterly meeting of its Financial Stability and Monetary Policy Committees that the financial sector remains "sound and resilient" with the banking sector's return on assets…
  • Trinidad & Tobago raises rate 25 bps fourth time in a row

    centralbanknews.info
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:52 pm
        Trinidad and Tobago's central bank raised its benchmark repurchase rate for the fourth consecutive time by 25 basis points to 3.75 percent, citing recent forward guidance by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the potential for higher inflation in the medium term and a relatively positive outlook for economic growth in 2015.    The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, which has now raised its rate by 100 basis points since September 2014, added that it would continue to absorb excess liquidity to strengthen the impact of higher interests throughout the financial system. …
  • Moldova holds rate, still sees inflation above range

    centralbanknews.info
    26 Mar 2015 | 2:26 pm
        Moldova's central bank maintained its base rate at 13.5 percent, confirming that it still expects the depreciation of the leu currency to increase inflationary pressures, causing inflation to temporarily breach its upper target range of 5.0 percent, plus/minus 1.5 percentage points.   The National Bank of Moldova, which raised its rate by 500 basis points at an extraordinary board meeting on Feb. 17, added that its policy stance was still affected by weak economic activity in the euro area along with the recession in its main trading partner of Russia, which leads to…
 
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    Business Insider

  • Beautiful drone video of epic trip across South America

    Devan Joseph
    29 Mar 2015 | 8:41 am
    22-year-olds Adam Humphrey and Tom Montefiore shot this incredible video over 5 weeks while backpacking through South America. Using a drone, DSLR, slider, tripod, and GoPro, they were able to capture fascinating footage of Torres del Paine National Park, the Galapagos islands and more. Video courtesy of Adam Humphrey & Tom Montefiore Follow BI Video: On FacebookJoin the conversation about this story »
  • Why Steve Jobs said meeting the founder of Polaroid was 'like visiting a shrine'

    The Economist
    29 Mar 2015 | 8:29 am
    "Like visiting a shrine," is how Steve Jobs described a meeting with Edwin Land. The founder of Apple adored Land, the co-founder of Polaroid, a pioneer of instant photography that with its mix of innovation, aesthetics and focus on consumer utility was in many ways the Apple of its day. Land was not only "one of the great inventors of our time", according to Jobs. "More importantly, he saw the intersection of art and science and business and built an organisation to reflect that." Like Jobs, the adopted boy to whom he became a sort of father figure, Land was driven, sometimes to the point of…
  • 6 shampoos to use if you're worried about hair loss

    Insider Picks
    29 Mar 2015 | 8:20 am
    Shampoos for dudes.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 14 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do
  • How Tom Cruise filmed the crazy plane-hanging stunt in the new 'Mission: Impossible'

    Jason Guerrasio
    29 Mar 2015 | 8:17 am
    Tom Cruise has always boasted that he does his own stunts. Whether it’s driving a race car in “Days of Thunder,” battling enemies with a samurai sword in “The Last Samurai”...  ... Or climbing the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, in “Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol,” the megastar has prided himself on giving audiences an authentic experience. But with the release of the trailer for the new “Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation,” Cruise proved himself as one of the toughest guys in Hollywood. In the much-hyped trailer, Cruise,…
  • The working class is all but dead on Wall Street

    Portia Crowe
    29 Mar 2015 | 8:12 am
    When the Chicago Mercantile Exchange closes most of its futures trading pits in July, people will doubtless lose their jobs. But it's not the number of jobs that will be lost that's most significant — trading floors have been shrinking for years. It's the kind of jobs.Join the conversation about this story »
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    Business + Economy – Articles – The Conversation

  • The good and bad of social video broadcasting. Social media enters a new phase

    David Glance, Director of UWA Centre for Software Practice at University of Western Australia
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:17 am
    Periscope vs Meerkat Social media has entered what is likely to be a wildly popular new phase with the advent of live video streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat. Both apps allow people to broadcast live video and sound from their phones to other people on Twitter. Periscope allows viewers to interact with the broadcaster in the form of text messages and sending “hearts”, the equivalent of Facebook likes, by tapping on the video. On the surface, making everyone a “broadcaster” is a grand idea. As the announcement for Periscope proclaimed What if you could see through the eyes of a…
  • Playing the China card may win votes, but it's bad for Australia

    James Laurenceson, Deputy Director and Professor, Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) at University of Technology, Sydney
    26 Mar 2015 | 5:17 pm
    A still from a NSW election ad, run on television and online, which says "selling the electricity network is wrong; selling it to another country is just not on". CFMEU Mining/YouTubeIn the final days of the New South Wales election campaign, Labor and the unions have decided to play the China card. Kudos to Fairfax journalist Joe Aston: he predicted this more than a month ago, noting that with two potential Chinese bidders for NSW power assets, there were “two juicy avenues for a foreign investment scare campaign”. The issue of whether foreign investors – and particularly…
  • Rising jobless rate means young workers lose in penalty rates deal

    Dan Woodman, TR Ashworth Senior Lecturer in Sociology at University of Melbourne
    26 Mar 2015 | 12:29 pm
    There are still many reasons workers and shop owners avoid Sunday trading. Jeremy Kunz/Flickr, CC BY-NC-NDA new agreement in South Australia has opened the door for the reduction and even removal of penalty rates in the retail sector. Heralded on the front page of The Australian newspaper as “historic”, the deal is being viewed as a potential game changer in what industry groups like Restaurant & Catering Australia (RCA) see as employers’ “historic fight” against penalty rates. The new template enterprise agreement struck between Business SA and the Shop, Distributive and Allied…
  • A caring, sharing economy?

    Stephen King, Professor, Department of Economics at Monash University
    26 Mar 2015 | 4:54 am
    The Federal Opposition has released a discussion paper on the sharing economy. It covers a range of issues: protection of workers, consumer protection, equity and accessibility, taxation and state/federal coordination. So, to help out my former academic colleague, Dr Andrew Leigh, who released the paper, here are some answers! Platforms such as Uber and Lyft for ride-sharing, Airbnb for accommodation, or DriveMyCar for car rentals are peer-to-peer platforms. They bring buyers and sellers together. They differ from sites like Bookings.com that are essentially reselling third party services.
  • Explainer: bond yields and what they tell us about the economy

    Sarantis Tsiaplias, Senior Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at University of Melbourne
    25 Mar 2015 | 9:54 pm
    In times of market jitters, investors flock to "safe-haven" investments like government bonds. Image sourced from Shutterstock.comWhen the Australian Office of Financial Management borrowed A$4.25 billion for 20 years at an interest rate of just 2.865% this week, economic commentator Peter Martin called it “the deal of the century”. Governments issue bonds to raise funds to pay for general expenses and projects such as the development of infrastructure. Investors buy government bonds from the governments that issue them. In return, as bondholders, they typically receive periodic…
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    SurvivalBlog.com

  • Notes for Sunday – March 29, 2015

    Hugh James Latimer
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:33 pm
    On March 29, 1973, the last United States troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.
  • March In Precious Metals, by Everett Millman of Gainesville Coins

    Hugh James Latimer
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:33 pm
    Welcome to SurvivalBlog’s Precious Metals Month in Review, where we take a look at “the month that was” in precious metals. Each month, we cover the price action of gold and silver and examine the “what” and “why” behind those numbers. Gold trickled down to yearly lows during the first half of the month before reversing direction and rallying back above $1,200/oz. The same was true for spot silver, which was stuck around $15.50/oz by mid-month before climbing back above $17/oz. The Platinum Group Metals (platinum and palladium) fared worse, as each fell through support early in…
  • Letter: Handy Well Pump

    Hugh James Latimer
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:32 pm
    HJL, I have seen some of the recent discussions pertaining to manual hand pumps for wells. I have wanted to add one to our preps for a while but have held back because it seemed as though they all cost around $1500. Our well is around 50′-60′ deep. I recently came across another pump option called a Handy Well Pump (model HWP-L) for considerably less. I am interested whether any other readers have experience and can offer insight on this pump option? Thanks in advance – Tired-n-Dusty HJL responds: Just looking at the build of the unit, it appears that the unit is not as…
  • Economics and Investing:

    Hugh James Latimer
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:32 pm
    Santelli Stunned As Janet Yellen Admits “Cash Is Not A Store Of Value”. – B.B. o o o The Next Currency Set to Fail o o o Gold Effect on Mining & Shale Wasteland o o o CENTRAL BANKS LOSING CONTROL: Are The Seeds Of A Global Depression Sprouting? o o o Fears of a new global crash as debts and dollar’s value rise . – G.P. o o o Andorra on the brink of Europe’s next banking crisis. – G.G.
  • Odds ‘n Sods:

    Hugh James Latimer
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:31 pm
    America may need to get their waders on; they may be in for some deep Schumer. Chuck Schumer Formally Enters Race To Succeed Harry Reid As Senate Dem Leader.. . – RBS o o o Shop Class as Soulcraft: A Review by Bill Buppert. – RBS o o o New York State Assembly Passes Bill Which Would Allow 3rd Trimester Babies to Be Killed With Shot of Poison to Heart. – D.S. HJL adds: It is unlikely to become law, but it’s an indicator of the degradation of the morality of our country. o o o GERMAN NEWS REPORT: Co-Pilot of Germanwings Airbus Was MUSLIM CONVERT …’Hero of Islamic…
 
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    OpenMarkets

  • MARKET UPDATE: QUARTER END BRINGS VOLATILITY

    OpenMarkets
    27 Mar 2015 | 1:46 pm
    There has been a lot of action with the end of the month, end of the quarter and the end of the Japanese fiscal year and its created some volatility.  What’s going to be important for investors to pay attention to for the next few weeks is whether or not cash flows make their way back into the marketplace.
  • USDA Meteorologist Talks Weather Data and 2015’s Biggest Ag Story

    OpenMarkets
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:02 am
    Ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Plantings report March 31, farmers, ranchers and agribusiness are looking at a number of factors that impact the upcoming planting season.  One of the most unpredictable factors is weather, and we turned to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Meteorologist Brad Rippey for a weather outlook for the balance of the growing year. We talk about extreme weather a lot more often than we did years ago – what climate trends are you tracking in 2015? Since late 2013, we’ve been watching a pool of anomalously warm water over the…
  • MARKET UPDATE: QUARTER END

    OpenMarkets
    25 Mar 2015 | 3:08 pm
    The last full trading week of the quarter brings us to the end of March, which typically sets the tone for the rest of year.  This quarter end though is different than the last 4-5 years because it’s not settling at an all-time high.    Equities saw another triple digit move today but the first two weeks in April are notoriously tough for equities so keep an eye on that.
  • College Students from Around the World are Trading Futures

    Evan Peterson
    21 Mar 2015 | 5:13 pm
    The annual CME Group Trading Challenge has hosted collegiate teams of traders for 12 years now. Over that time, the event has evolved from a few dozen teams trading two commodity futures contracts to hundreds of teams trading every asset class offered on CME Group’s markets. As significant as the growth has been, nothing has shown the competition’s reach, or influenced the future of trading, quite as much as the increased participation from teams outside the United States. The 2015 Trading Challenge began in February with 503 teams from every continent but Antarctica — a…
  • Market Update: Patience

    OpenMarkets
    17 Mar 2015 | 2:20 pm
      Will the Federal Reserve remove “patience” language from its rates forecast after meeting this week? And what impact will the U.K. elections have on markets this week?  Jack looks at how both events may impact equity and bond markets.
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    eWallstreeter

  • The Economics of Skyscrapers

    29 Mar 2015 | 6:22 am
    A friend points me to this article in The Economist about the economics of skyscrapers. Lots of good food for thought for micro and macro classes.
  • The US is experiencing one of its best job gain streaks in 20 years

    29 Mar 2015 | 4:18 am
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The state of the U.S. labour market in March will consume economists and investors in the week leading up to Easter, adding to the seesaw debate over when the Federal Reserve will spring its first interest rate hike. Fed Chair Janet Yellen made it clear on Friday that the U.S. central bank is likely to start raising borrowing costs later this year, adding that continued improvement of the labour market would be an important factor in deciding when to move. Labour market data
  • Links for 03-29-15

    29 Mar 2015 | 12:06 am
    The myth of Europe’s Little Ice Age - Vox EU When Your Occupation Is Poverty - Mike Cassidy Employment and the Minimum Wage - Econbrowser Politicians or Technocrats: Who Splits the Cake? - Carola Binder Unreal Keynesians - Paul Krugman...
  • Can the Eurozone Survive? Not in Its Current Form Says PIMCO; Mish Response

    28 Mar 2015 | 6:20 pm
    Echoing statements I have made many times, PIMCO says the single currency area must become a "United States of Europe" in order to secure its future.Please consider Eurozone can't survive in current form, says PIMCO. The eurozone is "untenable" in its current form and cannot survive unless countries are prepared to cede sovereignty and become a "United States of Europe", the manager of the world's biggest bond fund has warned.The Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) said that while the
  • Job Polarization and Wages (A Visualization)

    28 Mar 2015 | 4:06 pm
    Economists refer to "job polarization" in the labor force when middle-class jobs (requiring a moderate level of skills) appear to disappear relative to those at the bottom (requiring fewer skills) and to those at the top — requiring greater skills; or those who are better networked and know people in a position of influence. (Below is a simple animation to show how job polarization might look). Share //>
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    The Monetary Future

  • Bitcoin and iGaming: Disruption Comes From Your Blind Spot

    19 Mar 2015 | 2:44 am
    By Jon MatonisCoinDeskSaturday, March 14, 2015http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-and-igaming-disruption-comes-from-your-blind-spot/It has often been said that bitcoin is the ideal digital casino chip. But what does that really mean?For starters, it means that online gaming, more than anything else, is all about the customer experience.Whether it's a land-based casino or an online casino, gamblers want a seamless experience with immediacy and privacy, and operators want an irreversible payment method. Bitcoin provides all three.I recently made the prediction that within five years, half of…
  • The Finanser Interviews Jon Matonis

    18 Mar 2015 | 2:52 am
    By Chris SkinnerThe FinanserWednesday, March 18, 2015http://thefinanser.co.uk/fsclub/2015/03/the-finanser-interviews-jon-matonis-crypocurrency-economist.html Bitcoin still stirs up a huge debate about where it will go in the future; will it become institutionalised; what is the blockchain going to do to banking; and more.  In order to clarify the debate, we interviewed Jon Matonis, a renowned expert on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, to find out what is the truth.Tell me about yourself and your background Jon.  I was involved with the Bitcoin Foundation since its inception,…
  • Volatility, Deflation and Manipulation: A Response to Bitcoin's Critics

    1 Feb 2015 | 11:54 pm
    By Jon MatonisCoinDeskMonday, January 26, 2015http://www.coindesk.com/volatility-deflation-manipulation-response-bitcoins-critics/Bitcoin has its share of critics and skeptics, and opposition to the emerging technology – especially among the intelligentsia – shows no sign of abating.Notable commentators on the topic range from author Jeffrey Robinson to finance blogger Karl Denninger, Boston University professor Mark Williams, rabid Keynesian Paul Krugman, Austrian economist Gary North and FT Alphaville's Izabella Kaminska.Generously, I'm assuming that the pundits…
  • Bitcoin Needs an Aggressive Legal Defense

    29 Nov 2014 | 11:19 am
    By Jon MatonisCoinDeskMonday, November 24, 2014 http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-needs-aggressive-legal-defense/Across the board, bitcoin requires forceful and aggressive legal defense, not complicity with governments in crafting policy and regulations. It's going to get a lot rougher for bitcoin in the months and years ahead. We have to be prepared. As Rick Falkvinge, author of Swarmwise, states, "The copyright monopoly war wasn't the war, it was the tutorial mission. The Internet generation is using technology to assert its values and its place in society, the old industrial generation is…
  • Why Bitcoin Needs an ISO-Certified Currency Code

    26 Oct 2014 | 12:09 pm
    By Jon MatonisCoinDeskTuesday, October 21, 2014http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-needs-iso-certified-currency-code/A formal ISO currency code will spur global mainstream adoption of bitcoin more than any other single action.When a new currency code becomes adopted by the independent and nonpolitical International Organization for Standardization (ISO), it immediately enters the database tables upon which Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, SWIFT and other clearing networks rely.ISO 4217 is a standard published by the ISO, which delineates currency designators, country codes (alpha and numeric) and…
 
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    The Last Embassy

  • Another ACA/Obamacare Supreme Court Case?

    W.E. Heasley
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:15 am
    In 2009, the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) offered states stimulus funds if they agreed to a maintenance-of-effort (“MOE”) provision that required them to maintain Medicaid-eligibility standards at July 2008 levels through December 2010. MaineCare, Maine’s Medicaid program, accepted those funds and the accompanying MOE provision. In relevant part, MaineCare covered low-income
  • An Enrollment Too Far: ACA Special Enrollment Period of 03/15/2015 - 04/30/2015

    W.E. Heasley
    16 Mar 2015 | 6:55 am
    “Several million people hit with new federal fines for going without health insurance will get a second chance to sign up starting Sunday, and that could ease the sting of rising penalties. But, as the enrollment window reopens, it’s unclear how many know about the time-limited opportunity, let alone will take advantage of it. Fines payable to the IRS are the stick behind the offer of
  • State Run Obamacare Exchanges: Red Ink

    W.E. Heasley
    12 Mar 2015 | 7:22 am
    “The Washington Health Benefit Exchange call center in Spokane is so busy that staffing has been quadrupled, with the center receiving up to 10,000 calls a day. The problem is not enough of those callers are actually signing up for insurance. The state has enrolled 160,000 paying customers in ObamaCare exchange health plans but that's more than 50,000 short of goal, which has led to an
  • King v. Burwell: Which Coercion Within the ACA Suits Your Fancy?

    W.E. Heasley
    7 Mar 2015 | 5:31 pm
    "If ObamaCare subsidies on federal exchanges survive their brush with the Supreme Court, it may be because the law is even more coercive without them. Chief Justice John Roberts, who saved the individual mandate by calling it a tax in 2012, has been seen as the swing vote who will determine whether ObamaCare remains viable in states without their own exchanges. But a second potential swing
  • The Health-care Supply Side: Certificate-of-Need and Restrictions Upon Supply

    W.E. Heasley
    5 Mar 2015 | 2:05 am
    “Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia currently limit entry or expansion of health care facilities through certificate-of-need (CON) programs.1 These programs prohibit health care providers from entering new markets or making changes to their existing capacity without first gaining the approval of state regulators. Since 1973, Florida has been among the states that restrict the supply
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    Monetary Realism

  • Negative Interest Rates and the Business Cycle

    Michael Sankowski
    17 Mar 2015 | 6:13 am
    Negative Interest Rates and the Business Cycle The major way interest rates impact the business cycle is through stimulating or suppressing real estate. This is pretty clearly what happens if you look at the data in Ed Leamers paper Housing is the Business Cycle. Mr. Leamer says as much: “For long-run growth, residential investment is pretty inconsequential, but for the wiggles we call recessions and recoveries, residential investment is very very important.“ He shows this chart which is the Cumulative Abnormal Contribution to GDP Growth from Residential Investment” It’s stunning how…
  • China dead serious about the shift to consumer driven demand

    Michael Sankowski
    14 Mar 2015 | 4:35 am
    A few years ago MR pointed out China was shifting to consumer driven demand, and that U.S. manufacturing was close to beating or outright beating China on price in manufacturing. These have now become more widely spread ideas, possibly even the dominant views on two of the trends in China. From Bloomberg: “The campaign to shift China to slower, consumption-driven growth and away from a dependence on exports and investment means the squeeze on U.S. workers from foreign competition will moderate at the same time that Chinese demand increases for U.S. products. The result: more and…
  • Theory of Constraints and Economic Growth

    Michael Sankowski
    13 Mar 2015 | 6:08 am
    More and more it seems to me the economy operates under a group of economic constraints, and performs to the level of the “worst” of these constraints. Credit, housing volume, business investment, commercial real estate, Collateral worthiness, consumer demand, business confidence, foreign demand, relative energy prices – the list of possible constraints on current economic growth is long and varied. Of course, some of the constraints are more important than others, and have a larger impact. However, the important impact is they act as a constraint, and not as some additive…
  • The Unpleasant Fiscal Arithmetic of Eurozone QE with Risk of Sovereign Defaults

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

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

  • Yemen Exploding: Is the Stage Set for the Big War?

    Jerry Robinson
    28 Mar 2015 | 6:16 pm
    Dr. Ron Paul on the struggle for Yemen: "The neoconservatives... will blame everything on Iran." [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • WEBINAR REPLAY: Trading Amid Market Chaos

    Jerry Robinson
    27 Mar 2015 | 6:28 pm
    Economist and veteran trader, Jerry Robinson, dissects the financial markets and shares his current favorite trading ideas in this new one-hour video training. (Subscribers-Only) [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • CHART: Oil Poised to Rise Against All Odds as Mideast Goes Up in Flames

    Jerry Robinson
    27 Mar 2015 | 1:49 pm
    If oil prices pop in the coming days, it won't be based on economic fundamentals. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • CHART: 47% of Americans Save Nothing

    Jerry Robinson
    26 Mar 2015 | 9:40 am
    Today's chart highlights one of the most devastating economic trends facing America. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • WEBINAR REPLAY: 7 Economic Forecasts That Will Shake America

    Jerry Robinson
    25 Mar 2015 | 10:28 pm
    Grab a pen, take notes, and prepare yourself for the hard realities that face America in the months and years ahead in this one-hour subscriber-only webinar. [[ 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

  • Rand Outlook: ZAR to GBP, EUR and USD Exchange Rates and Events to Watch

    Colin Lawrence
    29 Mar 2015 | 8:30 am
    Rand (ZAR) Exchange Rate Forecasts vs the British Pound, the Euro and the US Dollar Conversion Rates With the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Yemen causing a decline in risk appetite and a high-profile Fed official advocating the case for higher US interest rates, the Rand closed out the week trending in a weaker position against several... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • 5-Day Pound to Euro Forecast: GBP/EUR Exchange Rate, Grexit and 8th April Deadline

    Colin Lawrence
    29 Mar 2015 | 8:00 am
    Today's Pound Sterling to Euro Exchange Rate Forecast With Latest GBP/EUR Predictions and Live FX Rates Towards the close of the week, the Pound to Euro exchange rate experienced a reversal of recent fortunes, after hawkish tones from the BoE boosted the British currency. The GBP/EUR pairing had previously declined in response to... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Australian Dollar Forecasts: GBP/AUD, EUR/AUD, NZD/AUD to Fluctuate on Central Bank Speculation and Greek Talks in Heavy Data Week

    Colin Lawrence
    29 Mar 2015 | 8:00 am
    Australian Dollar (AUD) Exchange Rate Forecasts vs the Pound Sterling (GBP), Euro (EUR) and New Zealand Dollar (NZD) Rates Today The Oceanic region experienced an extremely quiet time for data this week, leaving the Australian Dollar and New Zealand Dollar exchange rates susceptible to global developments, risk aversion and central bank... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Pound to Euro Rate Today: BoE Sends Exchange Rate Higher as Carney Says Rate Hikes Coming

    Tom Trevorrow
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    Today's Pound Sterling to Euro Exchange Rate News and GBP-EUR Forex Rates Report After a week of ups and downs, the British Pound to Euro exchange rate was (almost) able to return to Monday’s opening levels as Bank of England officials gave Sterling a shot in the arm. The GBP/EUR forex pairing rallied by more than 0.6% over the... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Exchange Rates Today: Pound to Dollar Softens, Euro Resumes Decline to Parity?

    Adam Solomon
    27 Mar 2015 | 8:00 am
    Today's Pound Sterling to Euro (GBP/EUR) and US Dollar (GBP/USD) Foreign Currency Rate Report The British Pound slumped almost 2 cents against the U.S Dollar on Thursday, largely driven by the correction lower on the EUR/USD exchange rate with a move from 1.1050 to 1.0850 this morning. The correlation is emphatic and with expectations... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
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    BusinessClimate.com Blog

  • Heart for Art: Top Cities for Arts Vibrancy in Large and Small Markets

    Emily McMackin
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    Quick quiz: Which U.S. city is the capital for arts and culture? If you guessed New York City, you would be close, but not exactly right – at least not according to an arts vibrancy index recently released by SMU’s National Center for Arts Research (NCAR). Topping the index for large markets of 1 million or more is the Washington D.C., metro, which includes Alexandria and Arlington, Va., and parts of Maryland and West Virginia. Home to some of the best museums in the world, a prolific performing arts scene and numerous arts organizations, the D.C. area draws the most funding for the…
  • Five Hot States for ‘Eds and Meds’

    Bill McMeekin
    25 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    Health care and education, otherwise known as eds and meds, go together like Rogers and Astaire in many communities, where large research universities often have a major teaching hospital component and are breeding grounds for all manner of biotech and life science spinoff enterprise. From life sciences clusters associated with medical schools and hospitals to technology commercialization programs designed to launch startups born a college research lab, health care and education play key roles in many economic development strategies. In many places, the eds and meds sector has become an…
  • Here Comes the Sun: Solar Industry Hits Its Stride With Record Growth

    Emily McMackin
    20 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    Solar investment is soaring. With the price of solar panels, installation and financing dropping, the solar segment of the clean energy industry is growing at a faster pace than ever. 2014 was the biggest year yet for solar, with a 30 percent rise in photovoltaic installations completed, according to market analysis from GTM Research charted in CityLab. That growth is radiating into the economy. Statistics from The Solar Foundation put the nation’s solar energy workforce at nearly 174,000 people – a 20 percent increase over previous employment totals. Solar workers are employed at…
  • International Visitors: Global Markets Boost Tourism

    Bill McMeekin
    18 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    The world may indeed be getting smaller, and more of its citizens are finding their way to the U.S. for a visit. New figures released last week showed a record 75 million international visitors to the U.S. in 2014, up 7 percent from 2013. According to the U.S. International Trade Administration, international visitors from overseas markets (excluding Canada and Mexico) accounted for 46 percent of all international arrivals in 2014, 34 million people in total, and all inbound overseas regional markets surpassed their 2013 levels. Here are the top 12 countries for international visitors to the…
  • Top 5 States Where Most People Work

    Bill McMeekin
    11 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    If you have a job in North Dakota, you certainly are not alone. North Dakota in 2014 topped the list of states where most people are working. Figures released this week from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on state employment to population ratios, which measures the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional workforce ages 16 and older who are employed against a state’s overall population, found that 70.8 percent of North Dakota’s population had a job. The top 10 states where most people are working: North Dakota: 70.8% Nebraska: 68.9% Iowa: 67.3% Minnesota: 67% South…
 
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    The Conscience Blog

  • Great Read

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

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

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

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

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

  • Podemos Keeps The Lead But Lost Support in March Poll

    admin
    8 Mar 2015 | 3:33 am
    March’s Metroscopia poll for El País, published on Sunday, showed that leftist upstart Podemos keeps the lead to win Spain’s next general election for the fourth time in five months, and the third month in a row. However, it fell from 27.7% of the estimated vote in February to 22.5% this month.   Separately, the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) rebounded slightly from February’s low of 18.3%, to 20.2% in March while Mariano Rajoy’s governing Popular Party returned to the third place with 18.6% of support, down from 20.9% in February.   Finally, Ciudadanos polled fourth but…
  • February Metroscopia Poll Confirms Podemos Lead

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

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

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

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

  • HeinzKraft and the lack of leaks

    Dan McCrum
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:12 am
    The Wednesday morning announcement that Heinz would buy Kraft was that rare thing, a big deal which didn’t leak. The circle of advisors was small. Heinz, controlled by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Jorge Lemann’s 3G Capital, were advised by Lazard, while Kraft were advised by Centerview. The public relations team at Brunswick only got the call on Sunday night, we hear. Still, there were some lucky buyers of Kraft stock in the market before the deal was announced, with a number of block trades going through at $62 per share. Continue reading: HeinzKraft and the lack…
  • Buiter on soggy global growth in 2015

    Izabella Kaminska
    27 Mar 2015 | 5:21 am
    Willem Buiter, Citi’s global chief economist, believes global growth will come in at somewhere between “moderate and modest” in 2015, with his team shaving their growth target from 3 per cent last month (and 3.3 per cent six months ago) to 2.9 per cent. As Buiter noted in a meeting in London on Friday, it’s also unlikely that in the long run currency wars, which wash each other out, will help to drive demand: Continue reading: Buiter on soggy global growth in 2015
  • Markets Live: Friday, 27th March, 2015

    Paul Murphy
    27 Mar 2015 | 4:02 am
    Live markets commentary from FT.com Continue reading: Markets Live: Friday, 27th March, 2015
  • Dette er nødder. Hvornår er styrtet?

    Dan McCrum
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:28 am
    From the Wall Street Journal’s picture of the Danish housing market: “People will often put in an offer even before they see the apartment,” said Christopher Christiansen, a property broker at Danish real estate agency Home A/S. “Sometimes they will even sign before they see it.” A cost of debt close to zero for house buyers seems to be having some sort of effect. Continue reading: Dette er nødder. Hvornår er styrtet?
  • Yield of dreams

    Dan McCrum
    27 Mar 2015 | 2:48 am
    Your latest instalment in the perilous search for interest bearing investments: dividend Exchange Traded Funds. Markit draws our attention to a section of the ETF world which has pulled in $125bn in assets since launching in 2003. In the last three years Europeans started to pay attention to easily tradedable funds up of high dividend stocks as well, with assets tripling to $13bn. However they do so only to issue a warning. Past performance is definitely no guide when it consists of trailing dividend payouts. Continue reading: Yield of dreams
 
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • The reckoning hour is near…

    Tyler Cowen
    29 Mar 2015 | 4:32 am
    The problem is that Mr. Tsipras has not convinced his creditors that he is serious about reform or that his team is remotely on top of the detail. He needs a game-changer. This should, indeed, be a rupture — but with his left faction, not his creditors. That is from Hugo Dixon, file it under “Scream it From the Rooftops.”  You will note, by the way, that the far-left faction accounts for 30 to 40 of the 149 coalition seats in the Greek parliament, so such an action would not be easy.  It is still not too late, however, if only…
  • How much has the introduction of air conditioning driven interstate mobility?

    Tyler Cowen
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:19 pm
    Paul Krugman has had a few posts on this question, most recently this one, the first one here.  Krugman is right in asserting a major role for air conditioning, but there is a subtle framing point which is sometimes neglected.  The most on-point study is this piece from Jordan Rappaport (pdf): U.S. residents have been moving en masse to places with nice weather. Well known is the migration towards places with warm winters, which is often attributed to the introduction of air conditioning. But people have also been moving to places with cooler, less-humid summers, which is the opposite of…
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    28 Mar 2015 | 10:14 am
    1. Michael Spence on whether equities are overvalued. 2. Does a year of NYU now cost $71,000? 3. 422 free art books from the Met. 4. Richard E. Wagner on Gordon Tullock, and more here.  And are most occupational licensing boards now illegal? 5. What is the Chinese view of TPP? 6. Switzerland and the history of liberty. 7. Leavened bread repurchase agreements.
  • Every TV News Report on the Economy Ever

    Alex Tabarrok
    28 Mar 2015 | 4:37 am
    Hat tip: Daniel Altman.
  • Education in Mao’s China

    Tyler Cowen
    28 Mar 2015 | 12:02 am
    Advancement in China’s school system was highly competitive, and the odds of reaching the top of the educational ladder were very steep.  Of the 32.9 million children who entered primary school in 1965, only 9 percent could expect to enter junior high school.  Only 15 percent of junior high school entrants, in turn, could expect to graduate and enter high school.  Among the highly selected groups that graduated from academic high schools, only 36 percent could expect to enroll in a university.  Of those who entered primary school in 1965, only 1.3 percent could expect to attend an…
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    Zero Hedge

  • Week Ahead is Short but Eventful

    Marc To Market
    29 Mar 2015 | 7:53 am
    The calendar impacts the investment climate.  March 31 ends the month, quarter, and for several countries and companies, the fiscal year.  The Easter holiday is typically among the quietest in the capital markets, with many financial centers closed.  After April 1, full liquidity will not return until April 7.   At the same time, the dollar, bonds, stocks, oil, and commodity prices more broadly, appear to have morphed from trending to consolildative/corrective markets.  There also has been an increase in uncertainty. The consensus for the timing of the Fed's lift-off…
  • Complacency Reigns Supreme - "Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong", Right

    Tyler Durden
    29 Mar 2015 | 7:31 am
    Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds Complacency Reigns Supreme--Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, Right? One of the more remarkable features of the Bull market in stocks is the ascendancy of complacency and the banishing of fear. Take a look at this chart of the "fear index," the VIX--more properly, a measure of volatility: The VIX popping up to 17 from 12 now qualifies as an extreme of fear which gives the Bulls the go-ahead to buy the dip once again. Even more striking is the daily chart of VXX, a short-term VIX-based etn: A tiny blip up from 24 to 26 now qualifies as an extreme…
  • BiG DouCHe SPoTTeD...

    williambanzai7
    29 Mar 2015 | 7:26 am
  • The Death of Hope and Belief

    Cognitive Dissonance
    29 Mar 2015 | 7:03 am
    The Death of Hope and Belief By Cognitive Dissonance     You will always find original articles by Cognitive Dissonance and other authors first on www.TwoIceFloes.com before they are posted here on ZH. To become a Premium or Basic member click here. If you wish to subscribe to ‘Dispatches’, a periodic newsletter from Cognitive Dissonance and TwoIceFloes Creations, please click here.   As much as we would like to ‘believe’ we are all clear headed, logical individuals who only deal with verified ‘facts’ while shunning hearsay, rumor,…
  • 3 Charts To Prove That 'Shadow Banking' Could Collapse The Entire Financial System

    Sprout Money
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:03 am
    Despite seeing the world economy and global financial system experiencing a total meltdown and despite multiple pledges from policy makers all over the world to ban shadow banking procedures, no steps have been taken at all. In fact, the world of shadow banking continues to expand and the total size of the shadow banking sector is expected to reach 100 trillion USD before the end of this decade (and very likely even sooner). According to the number one of Hong Kong’s securities and futures commission in a Reuters article, more and larger players have entered the shadow banking market as in…
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    nextnewdeal.net

  • Mental Health Care Is an Overlooked Need in North Carolina Medicaid Expansion Debates

    tprice
    27 Mar 2015 | 7:32 am
    Medicaid expansion could bring relief to 190,000 uninsured North Carolinians with mental health conditions. Advocates for Medicaid expansion in North Carolina have the opportunity to add a new and urgent argument to their already robust arsenal – that Medicaid expansion will create a newly affordable option for thousands of individuals with mental health needs who currently cannot afford treatment. The North Carolina Medicaid Expansion Coalition – a collection of progressive groups including Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, and the NAACP,…
  • While Congress Plays Politics, New York State Must Invest in Young People

    tprice
    26 Mar 2015 | 10:32 am
    Last week, the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate released budget proposals that include a slew of policy changes that would negatively impact young people’s ability to fully participate in the economy.   The proposals would, among many other bad ideas, freeze funding on Pell Grants for 10 years and eliminate mandatory funding for the program, leaving it vulnerable to the unstable political culture of Washington, D.C. Both budget proposals would charge students interest on all their loans while they’re still in school, costing the average borrower thousands of dollars more.
  • What Would You Do Today to Ensure a Good Economy 25 Years From Now?

    tprice
    24 Mar 2015 | 1:17 pm
    In January, the Roosevelt Institute gathered 30 experts and practitioners in technology, education, finance, and economics to discuss the next American economy. We asked them what they would do today to ensure a good economy 25 years from now. Over the next few weeks, Roosevelt will be highlighting some key suggestions. Check out the experts in attendance and then explore their revolutionary ideas: First up we have Michelle Miller, co-founder of Coworker.org, a digital platform that provides workers with campaigning tools and other digital organizing support. Michelle recommends reimagining…
  • Seven Ways Chicago Can Put Working Families Before Wall Street

    tprice
    24 Mar 2015 | 9:12 am
    The ReFund America Project released a new report this morning, “Our Kind of Town: A Financial Plan that Puts Chicago’s Communities First.” The report lays out a plan for getting Chicago’s finances back on track without painful austerity measures, which exacerbate economic inequality by forcing working families to shoulder the cost. Over the last month, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the credit ratings of the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to near junk level. Last week, Fitch Ratings followed by cutting CPS’s rating to just one notch above junk. Even though…
  • The Republican Budget Plan Looks to the Past, Not the Future

    tprice
    19 Mar 2015 | 1:39 pm
    The Republican budget plans are causing quite a stir in the D.C. press and in Congress. However, the content of their proposals, if enacted, will ripple beyond the beltway and into states, cities, communities, and college campuses across the country – and the consequences should be of particular concern to young Americans. Rather than using their new platform in Congress to make investments in the future of this nation, Republicans have chosen to pack in a laundry list of complaints and repeals based in our past. Young organizers have already begun to push back against proposed slash in…
 
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    Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

  • The strong dollar, its impact on growth, and the TPP

    Jared Bernstein
    27 Mar 2015 | 6:45 am
    When it comes to the debate over whether the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement should include rules against managing currency, the recent, sharp rise in the value of the dollar offers a little something for everyone. For TPP supporters who oppose a currency chapter—i.e., explicit actions to be taken against signatories who push down the value of their currency to subsidize their exports and tax their imports—it shows that the value of the dollar against other currencies, up 20% over the past year, can rise for reasons that have little to do with interventions by currency-managing…
  • Ideas to boost wage growth from the Resolution Foundation

    Jared Bernstein
    26 Mar 2015 | 12:38 pm
    I’ve often touted the UK think tank, the Resolution Foundation, for their timely, accessible, and smart policy work on all the key issues–macro, micro, budgets. But their work has been particularly important in raising the issue of wage stagnation in the UK–basically, the Brits caught our wage disease–median and low-wage stagnation, growing dispersion–later than us, but catch it they did. Now RF’s out with an edited volume called Securing a pay rise: The path back to shared wage growth with chapters by some of the top UK economists (and a couple of Yanks…
  • Book chapter summary: politics and the reconnection agenda

    Jared Bernstein
    26 Mar 2015 | 4:58 am
    Over at PostEverything. As I say in the piece, I can’t get through a presentation of this material without someone asking the completely reasonable question: what makes you think any of this stuff has a snowball’s chance of Congressional support? One could argue: well, the pendulum will swing back and we need to have a robust agenda loaded when it does. One could argue: what are progressive economists supposed to do in these dark ages–just sit on our hands until facts are once again de rigueur? And there’s something to both of those. But in the final chapter of my…
  • Fiscal needs monetary and monetary needs fiscal…increasingly so

    Jared Bernstein
    23 Mar 2015 | 8:04 am
    In weak economies, these two policy behemoths are complements, not substitutes. Over at PostEverything–it’s a summary from a chapter from my book, out in a few weeks! Special tabular bonus for OTE’ers: Source: Bernstein, The Reconnection Agenda: Reuniting Growth and Prosperity (forthcoming) Very important to be in box 1 in downturns. We started out there but too quickly moved to box 7, which is pretty much the austerity box these days, as central banks push toward more growth while governments push the other way through fiscal consolidation (e.g., Europe, though…
  • Some (lonely) facts about Obamacare and part-time work

    Jared Bernstein
    19 Mar 2015 | 1:42 pm
    In a debate on the (great) Diane Rehm show yesterday (around minute 43 of the broadcast), the argument was made that Obamacare was leading employers to move full-time workers onto part-time schedules to avoid the employer mandate. I pointed out that this is inconsistent with the evidence shown below, i.e., the fall in the number of involuntary part-time workers since the Affordable Care Act has been in place. If Obamacare were pushing people into part-time work, we would expect an increase in involuntary part-time work (part-timers who want to work full time) and a decline in voluntary…
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    Freakonomics

  • The Perfect Crime Rebroadcast Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    26 Mar 2015 | 7:00 am
    This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “The Perfect Crime (Rebroadcast)“. [MUSIC:  Johnny Sangster, “Slowbook”] Stephen J. DUBNER:  Hey podcast listeners. This week we’re replaying an episode from last year called “The Perfect Crime.” Here are a few things that have happened since we ran the episode. In 2014, 132 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in New York City, the fewest in a century; this was after 180 pedestrian deaths a year earlier, which was the highest number in a decade. The 2014 decline coincided with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s embrace of…
  • The Perfect Crime: A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

    Freakonomics
    26 Mar 2015 | 7:00 am
    (Photo: Martin Fisch) This week’s Freakonomics Radio episode is a rebroadcast of the episode “The Perfect Crime” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) But let’s be clear: Dubner isn’t suggesting that anyone actually try this. In fact, the problem is that too many people are doing it already. So what’s “the perfect crime”? It turns out that if you are driving your…
  • What You Don’t Know About Online Dating: A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

    Freakonomics
    19 Mar 2015 | 7:00 am
    (Photo: Sara Alfred) This week’s Freakonomics Radio episode is a rebroadcast of the episode “What You Don’t Know About Online Dating” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) The episode is, for the most part, an economist’s guide to dating online. (Yes, we know: sexy!) You’ll hear tips on building the perfect dating profile, and choosing the right site (a “thick market,” like…
  • What You Don’t Know About Online Dating Rebroadcast Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    19 Mar 2015 | 7:00 am
    This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “What You Don’t Know about Online Dating (Rebroadcast)“. [MUSIC: The Civil Tones, “City Stoopin’” (from City Stoopin’ Stephen J. DUBNER: Hey podcast listeners. You’re about to hear an episode from our archives: No. 154, which we originally put out in February, 2014. Before we get to that: Freakonomics Radio, as you may or may not know, is produced by the public-radio station WNYC – which means it is produced in part by you, our listeners. That’s right: you send us money and we turn your money into…
  • When Willpower Isn’t Enough: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Stephen J. Dubner
    13 Mar 2015 | 9:02 am
    (Photo: d26b73) One of the most compelling talks I saw at this year’s American Economics Association conference was by Katherine Milkman, an assistant professor at the Wharton School at Penn. She holds a joint Ph.D. in computer science and business, but her passion is behavioral economics — and, specifically, how its findings can be applied to help people in their daily lives. Milkman and her research are the focus of our latest Freakonomics Radio episode, “When Willpower Isn’t Enough.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS…
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    Credit Writedowns

  • AIIB Prelude to SDR Decision

    Marc Chandler
    24 Mar 2015 | 5:20 am
    In what can only be seen an unexpected Chinese success, several US allies have agreed to participate in China and India's Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The frustration with the US on this issue is palpable. There is another issue at stake that head of China's central bank Zhou Xiaochuan made clear at a forum yesterday. On a panel with the IMF's Lagarde, Zhou pushed for the yuan to be included as a reserve asset and in the SDR basket. The most in-depth research and analysis is on Credit Writedowns Pro. AIIB Prelude to SDR Decision originally appeared on Credit Writedowns Links: RSS -…
  • Repeat after me: sectoral balances must sum to zero

    Frances Coppola
    22 Mar 2015 | 11:25 am
    By Frances Coppola I do like sectoral net lending charts. This one is from the OBR’s latest Economic Forecast: The thing to remember about sectoral balances is they must sum to zero. It is not possible to have a negative external balance, as the UK does, with concurrent surpluses in the public, household and corporate sectors. If the UK is […] The most in-depth research and analysis is on Credit Writedowns Pro. Repeat after me: sectoral balances must sum to zero originally appeared on Credit Writedowns Links: RSS - Daily - Weekly - Twitter - Facebook - Contact Related posts:…
  • Greek default

    Edward Harrison
    19 Mar 2015 | 8:50 am
    This post was originally written for Credit Writedowns Pro on 11 Mar. Two things I have written recently stand out as I contemplate what will happen in Greece. The first is that the institutions formerly known as the Troika had accepted Greece’s reform list sooner than I expected and that was positive. The second is that Greece could default before […] The most in-depth research and analysis is on Credit Writedowns Pro. Greek default originally appeared on Credit Writedowns Links: RSS - Daily - Weekly - Twitter - Facebook - Contact No related posts.
  • Front-running the Fed on interest rate hikes

    Edward Harrison
    19 Mar 2015 | 8:44 am
    Written this morning for Credit Writedowns Pro The biggest takeaway from the latest Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting was the reduction in the ‘normal’ rate of unemployment from the 5.2-5.5% range to a 5.0-5.2% range. While the Fed did remove its ‘patient’ language regarding rate hikes, the lower unemployment levels give the Fed more room to stay accommodative. Some […] The most in-depth research and analysis is on Credit Writedowns Pro. Front-running the Fed on interest rate hikes originally appeared on Credit Writedowns Links: RSS - Daily - Weekly - Twitter -…
  • Currency wars, the Swiss franc, policy divergence and Fed rate hikes

    Edward Harrison
    17 Mar 2015 | 12:43 pm
    Edward here. I wrote the following post with the anodyne title, “The Swiss National Bank turns to negative rates” for Credit Writedowns Pro on 18 Dec 2014, almost three months ago.. But I am now putting it on the blog site because the Fed is poised to reveal tomorrow whether or not they actually will move to a full-on tightening […] The most in-depth research and analysis is on Credit Writedowns Pro. Currency wars, the Swiss franc, policy divergence and Fed rate hikes originally appeared on Credit Writedowns Links: RSS - Daily - Weekly - Twitter - Facebook - Contact Related…
 
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    Liberty Street Economics

  • Just Released: SCE Credit Access Survey Shows Higher Likelihood of Consumers Applying for Credit

    Blog Author
    27 Mar 2015 | 7:15 am
    Luis Armona, Wilbert van der Klaauw, and Basit Zafar The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today released results from its February 2015 Survey of Consumer Expectations Credit Access Survey, which provides information on consumers' experiences with and expectations about credit demand and credit access. The survey shows little change in application rates for credit over the last twelve months, but a decline in rejection rates, in particular for credit card limit increases. The expectations component of the survey shows an increase in the average likelihood of consumers applying for credit over…
  • Choosing the Right Policy in Real Time (Why That’s Not Easy)

    Blog Author
    25 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Marco Del Negro, Raiden Hasegawa, and Frank Schorfheide Second in a two-part series As an economist, you make policy recommendations at any point in time that depend on what model of the economy you have in mind and on your assessment of the state of the economy. One can see these points play out in the current discussion about the timing of interest rate liftoff and the speed of the subsequent renormalization. If you think nominal rigidities are not all that important, you are likely to conclude that accommodative policies won’t do much for growth but will generate inflation. Similarly, if…
  • Combining Models for Forecasting and Policy Analysis

    Blog Author
    23 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Marco Del Negro, Raiden Hasegawa, and Frank Schorfheide First in a two-part series Model uncertainty is pervasive. Economists, bloggers, policymakers all have different views of how the world works and what economic policies would make it better. These views are, like it or not, models. Some people spell them out in their entirety, equations and all. Others refuse to use the word altogether, possibly out of fear of being falsified. No model is “right,” of course, but some models are worse than others, and we can have an idea of which is which by comparing their predictions with what…
  • Just Released: Benchmark Revisions Paint a Brighter Picture of (Most of) the Regional Economy

    Blog Author
    20 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Jason Bram and James Orr Every March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases benchmark revisions of state and local payroll employment for the preceding two years. While employment data are released monthly for all 50 states and many metropolitan areas, the monthly figures are estimated based on a sample of firms. The annual revisions are based on an almost complete count of workers (now available up through mid-2014) from the records of the unemployment insurance system and re-estimated data for the remainder of the year. In this post, we briefly summarize the mixed but mostly stronger…
  • From the Vault: It’s CCAR Season

    Blog Author
    11 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Anna Snider Ahead of the Federal Reserve’s release on Wednesday of 2015 bank stress tests results, we’ve seen a spike in traffic to a piece in our archive that offers a primer on the annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) process and background on its role as a tool in the Fed’s bank supervisory arsenal. In “CCAR: More than a Stress Test,” economist Beverly Hirtle underscored the broad nature of the assessment, in which supervisors evaluate the quality of large banks’ capital planning alongside a quantitative measure of their overall capital position. The…
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    The Incidental Economist

  • Penicillin ad, circa 1944

    Austin Frakt
    28 Mar 2015 | 7:00 am
    Via HistoricaPics: @afrakt
  • Healthcare Triage News: It’s Hard to Change Physician Behavior

    Aaron Carroll
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:44 am
    It’s hard to get physicians to change their behavior to do stuff. It’s even harder to get them to change their behavior to stop doing stuff. This is Healthcare Triage News. For those of you who want to read more: Effect of Published Scientific Evidence on Glycemic Control in Adult Intensive Care Units There’s more to the problem than a lack of evidence Choosing Wisely identifies more unnecessary care My favorite post @aaronecarroll
  • The insurance value of medical innovation

    Austin Frakt
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    From a recent NBER paper by Darius Lakdawalla, Anup Malani, and Julian Reif: [C]onsider a healthy consumer facing the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease in the years before the discovery of treatments that reduced the disease’s impacts on quality of life. Suppose we measure the quality of one year of life as some percentage of a year spent in perfect health. In the absence of a treatment, contracting Parkinson’s might reduce quality of life from, say, 80% of perfect health to 40%. Consider the introduction of a new medical treatment that costs roughly $5,000 per year and increases…
  • The National Action Plan on Combating Antibiotic Resistance

    Kevin Outterson
    27 Mar 2015 | 6:30 am
    Antibiotic resistance is a complex social problem, with alarming global implications. That’s why it is exceedingly good news that the White House released the full National Action Plan today.  We’ve known that antibiotic resistance is a problem for more than 70 years, but today is the first time any Administration has taken the threat this seriously.  It’s the boldest move by any President on this issue. Ever. Do I wish it had gone further? Sure, but I’m an academic researcher. I always have new questions to explore. The report needs more heft on what happens to…
  • Vlogbrothers: Is Obamacare Succeeding

    Aaron Carroll
    26 Mar 2015 | 11:44 am
    Almost two years ago, John Green did a Vlogbrothers video on why health care costs so much in the United States. It relied heavily on TIE’s series on the same topic, and if you haven’t seen it, then you’re odd, because it’s had almost 6.5 million views: Needless to say, this video – more than any other thing – led to Healthcare Triage being possible. Anyway, this week, John did a video on “whether Obamacare is working” 5 years later, and it also relies on some Upshot and other TIE-related material. It’s worth a watch as well:…
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    LewRockwell

  • Prepare for Martial Law

    No Author
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:01 pm
    Seven Southwestern states will soon be infiltrated by 1,200 military special ops personnel as part of a controversial domestic military training in which some of the elite soldiers will operate undetected among civilians. Operation Jade Helm begins in July and will last for eight weeks. Soldiers will operate in and around towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado where some of them wil drop from planes while carrying weapons loaded with blanks in what military officials have dubbed Realistic Military Training. But with residents of the entire states of Texas…
  • Why Do Walmart Haters Hate Customers?

    Bionic Mosquito
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:01 pm
    Why do they Hate Customers? One-hundred percent of the people on earth are customers.  Well, except for those who live totally and completely off the grid and grow or kill everything they eat and make everything they wear from materials they find in nature, etc.  In other words I doubt there are more than three exceptions on the entire planet.  So, just say 100% for rounding. I recently had some feedback, bashing Wal-Mart – the typical stuff: they aren’t fair to suppliers, they aren’t fair to employees, they are cut-throat with competitors. I will caveat my comment: Wal-Mart, like…
  • Organized War Criminality

    Paul Craig Roberts
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:01 pm
    Professor Michel Chossudovsky is the author of many important books. His latest is The Globalization of War: America’s Long War Against Humanity. Chossudovsky shows that Washington has globalized war while the US president is presented as a global peace-maker, complete with the Nobel Peace Prize. Washington has military deployed in 150 countries, has the world divided up into six US military commands and has a global strike plan that includes space operations. Nuclear weapons are part of the global strike plan and have been elevated for use in a pre-emptive first strike, a dangerous…
  • How To Survive a House Fire

    No Author
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:01 pm
    As I write this, a four-story building in New York City is reported to have collapsed during an explosion and subsequent fire. Although details are sketchy at present, it made me think about what you should do in a circumstance like this to protect your family. Every year, thousands of people are killed or injured in fires in the U.S. Many of these deaths and injuries can be prevented with knowledge of the nature of fire. You must understand the following: 1) Most people who die in fires don’t die because of burns as much as from asphyxiation (suffocation). Fire consumes available oxygen…
  • Lose 1/3 of Your Waistline in 1 Month

    Joseph Mercola
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:01 pm
    By Dr. Mercola When it comes to shedding stubborn belly fat, exercise alone is not the answer. The master key really lies with what you eat, and perhaps more importantly when you eat, followed closely by the type of exercise you engage in. Scheduling your eating to a narrow window of time each day is the version of intermittent fasting I recommend for those struggling with insulin resistance and excess body weight. Other healthy lifestyle habits such as sleep and stress reduction are also helpful, as they help keep your cortisol levels low. Cortisol is a stress hormone that, when elevated,…
 
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    Angry Bear

  • Awaiting the 2015 Social Security Report (not holding breath)

    Bruce Webb
    28 Mar 2015 | 11:17 pm
    FEDERAL OLD-AGE AND SURVIVORS INSURANCE TRUST FUND AND FEDERAL DISABILITY INSURANCE TRUST FUND (c) With respect to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund (hereinafter in this title called the “Trust Funds”) there is hereby created a body to be known as the Board of Trustees of […]
  • “Run Elizabeth Run” : for Majority Leader

    Bruce Webb
    27 Mar 2015 | 8:44 am
    Well quite the interesting news twist this morning as Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid announces he will not be running for re-election. Which of course launched the standard narrative of which current lieutenant would move up, giving us the rather stultifying debate of “Schumer vs Durbin”. Or Clinton’s former senior colleague vs Obama’s former […]
  • Open thread March 27, 2015

    Dan Crawford
    27 Mar 2015 | 7:46 am
  • Wikileaks releases Trans-Pacific Partnerhip investment chapter

    Kenneth Thomas
    27 Mar 2015 | 2:24 am
    Via Daily Kos, we learn that Wikileaks has released the investment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This is a critical chapter, as it was in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), because it establishes investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms. Despite its neutral-sounding name, ISDS is actually a radical concept. Instead of using the […]
  • Facebook Face-Off ACA v Cathy McMorris Rogers

    Robert Waldmann
    26 Mar 2015 | 7:08 pm
    Doktor Zoom at Wonkette reports on the delightful and important consequences of the foolish decision by Rep Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) to ask the public to report Obamacare horror stories on her facebook page. Matthew Yglesias found it too. Facebook isn’t reality (warning to the kids who might be ready) but it can be cruel […]
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    Macro and Other Market Musings

  • Do Air Conditioners Explain the Rise of the South?

    28 Mar 2015 | 9:44 pm
    Paul Krugman says yes and yes:The rise of the US sunbelt can be understood largely as a response to the emergence of widespread air conditioning, which made places that are warm in the winter attractive despite humid, muggy summers. It’s a gradual, long-drawn-out response, because location decisions have a lot of inertia[.]And this:[T]here’s a real demographic turning point for the South circa 1960, as a steadily falling share of the total US population shifts to a sustained rise...this turning point coincides with the coming of widespread home air conditioning. So when you ask why…
  • Are Wages Primed for Take Off?

    27 Mar 2015 | 1:54 pm
    Just a quick note on whether the Fed should raise interest rates later this year. One concern that many observers have with the Fed tightening is that nominal wage growth has yet to show any signs of accelerating. They often point to the employment cost index which only shows modest nominal income growth.An alternative way to think about this issue is to look at the University of Michigan/Thompson Reuters Survey of Consumers where households are asked how much their dollar (i.e. nominal) family incomes are expected to change over the next 12 months. I have used this series in the past to…
  • Ramesh Ponnuru on the 'test' of Market Monetarism

    19 Mar 2015 | 7:37 am
    Ramesh Ponnuru has an article in the National Review where he revisits the 'test' of Market Monetarism put forth by Paul Krugman and Mike Konczal in 2013. Here is Ramesh:The story begins in late 2012. The Federal Reserve had begun its third round of monetary expansion following the economic crisis of 2008. Keynesian economists were sounding an alarm about the deficit-cutting measures — a combination of tax increases and spending cuts — that were scheduled to take effect at the start of 2013. Rapid deficit reduction, they warned, would harm the economy. A letter from 350 economists…
  • Fool Me Once, Shame on You; Fool Me Twice Shame on Me.

    8 Mar 2015 | 9:23 pm
    Update: Here is the second half of my interview which aired on Tuesday.On Friday I was interviewed by Erin Ade on Boom Bust. We discussed why the Eurozone is not an optimal currency area--low labor mobility, limited fiscal transfers, differing regional business cycles--and why this means a one-size-fits all monetary policy is bound to make problems for this monetary union. This discussion was a follow-up to a recent post where I illustrated the challenges of a one-size-fits-all monetary policy by plotting Taylor rules for the Eurozone's core and periphery economies. These Taylor rules…
  • Negative Interest Rates, the ZLB, and True Capitalists

    5 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Source: Greg Ip After six years of low interest rates many yields are now crossing the zero percent boundary. Interest rates in Europe and Australia have turned negative on some government and corporate bonds. The decline of these interest rates into negative territory has caused much consternation among two groups of observers. The first group astonished by this development are those who believed interest rates were pegged by the 'zero lower bound' (ZLB). Interest rates were not supposed to go below zero percent because one could always hold physical cash and earn zero percent rather than…
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    niesr.ac.uk

  • A troubling attitude to statistics

    JonathanPortes
    15 Mar 2015 | 2:34 am
    Last week, a government press release  trumpeting the success of the “Troubled Families Programme” (TFP) claimed: More than 105,000 troubled families turned around saving taxpayers an estimated £1.2 billion
  • Welfare reform: a plea for better journalism

    JonathanPortes
    9 Mar 2015 | 3:23 am
    I was at an excellent event last week organised by the Alliance for Useful Evidence entitled "Stats, Facts and Evidence: what role for evidence in the General Election and beyond."    In discussion, I made the point that it was inevitable, whether we like it or not, that politicians would seek to present the evidence in the best possible light, occasionally to the point of misrepresenting it; but that journalists didn't have to go along with thi
  • The Coalition Government’s record on immigration

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

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

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

  • The financial stability risks of ultra-loose monetary policy

    26 Mar 2015 | 2:48 am
    • Ultra-loose monetary policies, such as very low or even negative interest rates, large-scale asset purchases, long-maturity lending to banks and forward guidance in central bank communication, aim to increase inflation and output, to the benefit of financial stability. But at the same time, these measures pose various risks and might create challenges for financial institutions. • By assessing the theoretical literature and developments in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan, where very expansionary monetary policies were adopted during the past six years, and by examining the…
  • Living (dangerously) without a fiscal union

    24 Mar 2015 | 8:58 am
    The euro area’s political contract requires member nations to rely principally on their own resources when confronted with severe economic distress. Since monetary policy is the same for all, national fiscal austerity is the default response to counter national fiscal stress. Moreover, the monetary policy was itself stodgy in countering the crisis, and banking-sector problems were allowed to fester. And it was considered inappropriate to impose losses on private sector creditors. Thus, the nature of the incomplete monetary union and the self-imposed taboos led deep and persistent fiscal…
  • Potential output and private investment in a late-crisis world

    24 Mar 2015 | 4:21 am
    Falls in potential output growth and private fixed investment were among the unsurprising consequences of the global economic crisis. Despite signs of a return to growth, the economic recovery remains fragile in a number of advanced and emerging market economies. Weak private investment is both a driver and a result of low medium-term growth prospects. The analytical chapters of the IMF’s April 2015 World Economic Outlook focus on these two topics. What emerges is a tale of diverging narratives for advanced and emerging economies. The fall in potential output growth in advanced countries…
  • The dollar surge

    23 Mar 2015 | 1:48 am
    What’s at stake: The US dollar has gone through a very rapid appreciation over the past 6 months. While reduced form estimates are often presented to argue that this will create a drag on the US economy, it is difficult to reason from a price change and the net effect could be positive if the price change is mostly driven by expansionary monetary policy abroad. In emerging economies, currency mismatches remain despite the recent increase in local currency sovereign debt and may create significant risks. The dollar rally: then and now Matt O’Brien writes that the dollar is in the middle of…
  • The implications of decarbonisation for business and the financial sector

    20 Mar 2015 | 3:32 am
    In preparation for the Paris climate conference in December 2015, Bruegel hosts a closed-door event on the implications of decarbonisation for business and the financial sector. Both decarbonisation and the effects of climate change will have a material impact on business and the financial sector. To give one example, the current value of the oil and natural gas reserves which would have to stay in the ground to meet the climate targets is more than USD 100 trillion. These reserves are a core fundamental in the valuation of oil and gas companies - and the financial companies that invested…
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    TaxVox

  • Do Senators Lee and Rubio Have a Secret Plan to Help Poor Families?

    Len Burman
    27 Mar 2015 | 5:50 am
    In its analysis of the tax reform plan proposed recently by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT), the Tax Foundation assumed the proposal would make the new personal credit ($2,000 for singles and $4,000 for married couples) fully refundable. This assumption helps explain why the group concluded the Lee-Rubio plan would be highly progressive. Full refundability would be a significant departure from an earlier plan put forward by Senator Lee that the Tax Policy Center found would raise taxes on poor families. It would be equivalent to a cash transfer payment that every adult…
  • A Little March Madness on the Hill

    Renu Zaretsky
    27 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    The “doc fix” passes the House. The House overwhelmingly approved the Medicare “doc fix” to replace automatic payment cuts (that Congress has delayed every year since 2003) with a temporary 0.5 percent annual hike in physician reimbursements. But the bipartisan deal, which CBO figures would add $141 billion to the deficit over 10 years, is likely to be far more costly in the long run and may do little to improve health care quality for seniors, says TPC’s Howard Gleckman. But will it get a quick OK from the Senate Both the doc fix and a proposed repeal of the estate tax are likely…
  • The Medicare “Doc Fix” That Isn’t

    Howard Gleckman
    26 Mar 2015 | 11:16 am
    As you listen to House Democrats and Republicans sing kumbaya  over their bipartisan agreement to fix the Medicare physician payment system, keep one thing in mind: The doc fix doesn’t fix much, and what it does repair likely will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the debt in coming years. The bill would accomplish one big thing: It would repeal a Medicare payment formula that was supposed to cut physician compensation, but which Congress has blocked every year since 2003. This fantastical payment method would result in an impossible 21 percent cut for Medicare docs this year,…
  • Sense and Sensibilities

    Renu Zaretsky
    26 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    The GOP House passes its budget. It promises to balance the books within 10 years by cutting spending by  $5.4 trillion. Cuts include $2 trillion from repeal of the Affordable Care Act, $1 trillion from  Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and $1 trillion  from other unspecified benefit programs. Another $500 billion would come from unspecified domestic  programs. The Dems say the math doesn’t make sense. In case you missed it, they’re not alone. But the “Doc Fix” would add billions more to the deficit. CBO figures the measure to boost Medicare payments to…
  • Tax Struggles and Tax Sneaks

    Renu Zaretsky
    25 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    Senate Finance Committee Chair Hatch wants a tax reform bill in 2015. Tax Analysts reports that the Utah Republican aims to mark up a bill later this year. Speaking at Arent Fox, LLP, yesterday, Hatch chided the Obama administration for “lacking engagement” in tax reform. While he wants to overhaul the entire tax system, Hatch conceded that a corporate-only tax reform plan “may be what we have to do” if the President doesn’t meet GOP hopes for the tax treatment of “pass-through” businesses, which pay taxes through the individual code. The IRS: Still doing more with less. The…
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    Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

  • In Case You Missed It . . .

    CBPP
    27 Mar 2015 | 1:03 pm
    This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the congressional budget plans, federal and state taxes, health, and housing. On the congressional budget plans, Robert Greenstein pointed out that despite Republicans’ anti-fraud rhetoric, the House and Senate budget plans leave out funding for “program integrity” activities that are proven to save money. David Reich noted that the plans have no plans to fix sequestration’s tight constraints on non-entitlement programs and described how both plans will dramatically cut transportation infrastructure funding.  Richard Kogan revealed that the…
  • House, Senate Budgets Have Big Cuts in Transportation Infrastructure

    David Reich
    27 Mar 2015 | 7:49 am
    Now that the House and Senate have both passed their budget plans, here’s one more problem with them: they’d cut highway construction and other transportation infrastructure funding over the next decade by 28 percent and 22 percent, respectively, below the cost of maintaining current funding levels.  Although the plans cite the Highway Trust Fund shortfall to justify these cuts, cutting investments in highways and mass transit isn’t the right solution. The House budget calls for cutting mandatory funding in the transportation section of the budget by almost 90 percent in 2016, from $54…
  • A Congressional Budget Dictionary

    Shannon Spillane
    27 Mar 2015 | 7:03 am
    Congressional Republicans are using complicated — and likely poll-tested — language to make their budget plans’ deep spending cuts and dramatic structural changes in key programs for low- and moderate-income people sound benign and even positive. As Budget Committee member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) noted before the plans’ release, “From the standpoint of a budget, the less words of the English language you use, the better off you are.” While it’s common practice for lawmakers to use language that puts their plans in the best possible light, it’s important to understand…
  • Senate Should Follow House and Streamline Rental Assistance for People With Fixed Incomes

    Will Fischer
    26 Mar 2015 | 7:50 am
    The Senate should move quickly to approve a measure that the House passed this week to reduce administrative costs for the state and local housing agencies and private owners that administer federal rental assistance, while easing compliance burdens for many low-income tenants. The bipartisan Tenant Income Verification Relief Act (TIVRA), co-sponsored by House Financial Services Committee members Earl Perlmutter (D-CO) and Steve Stivers (R-OH), allows agencies and owners to review tenants’ incomes every three years — instead of annually — for households with fixed incomes helped by…
  • Estate Tax Repeal: A Misguided and Costly Policy

    Chuck Marr
    25 Mar 2015 | 2:29 pm
    Eliminating the federal estate tax on inherited wealth, which the House Ways and Means Committee approved today and which we’ve explained would increase deficits and inequality, is a misguided — and expensive — policy, new data show.  New cost and distributional estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) confirm that repeal would reduce revenues by $269 billion from 2016 through 2025 (adding $320 billion to deficits once the additional interest cost on the national debt is included), with the entire benefit going to the nation’s roughly 5,400 wealthiest estates. The JCT…
 
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    Eschaton

  • America's Worst Humans

    29 Mar 2015 | 8:11 am
    Mike Pence.
  • And Pay Off My Student Loan And Save For A Downpayment

    29 Mar 2015 | 7:07 am
    Such helpful advice.People who start early can get away with saving a tiny portion of their pay and still have a decent chance at having enough money in retirement (in other words, their money won’t run out before they die). But those who put it off need to save dramatically more to catch up.
  • Nap Time

    29 Mar 2015 | 5:26 am
    Seems like several young children need a time out.
  • Morning Thread

    29 Mar 2015 | 2:34 am
    Here's a link to Echidne's post on IS and Women: Part 3: The Western Female IS Militants. I highly recommend you bookmark it and read it when you have some time to think it over. As usual, important stuff that needs to be examined.
  • Saturday Night

    28 Mar 2015 | 8:53 pm
    Rock on.
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Regression: What’s it all about? [Bayesian and otherwise]

    Andrew
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:25 am
    Regression: What’s it all about? Regression plays three different roles in applied statistics: 1. A specification of the conditional expectation of y given x; 2. A generative model of the world; 3. A method for adjusting data to generalize from sample to population, or to perform causal inferences. We could also include prediction, but I prefer to see that as a statistical operation that is implied for all three of the goals above: conditional prediction as a generalization of conditional expectation, prediction as the application of a linear model to new cases, and prediction for…
  • Stewart Lee vs. Jane Austen; Dick advances

    Andrew
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    Yesterday‘s deciding arguments came from Horselover himself. As quoted by Dalton: Any given man sees only a tiny portion of the total truth, and very often, in fact almost . . . perpetually, he deliberately deceives himself about that precious little fragment as well. And: We ourselves are information-rich; information enters us, is processed and is then projected outwards once more, now in an altered form. We are not aware that we are doing this, that in fact this is all we are doing. Wow—Turing-esque (but I can’t picture Dick running around the house). And, as quoted by X:…
  • The publication of one of my pet ideas: Simulation-efficient shortest probability intervals

    Andrew
    28 Mar 2015 | 6:11 am
    In a paper to appear in Statistics and Computing, Ying Liu, Tian Zheng, and I write: Bayesian highest posterior density (HPD) intervals can be estimated directly from simulations via empirical shortest intervals. Unfortunately, these can be noisy (that is, have a high Monte Carlo error). We derive an optimal weighting strategy using bootstrap and quadratic programming to obtain a more computation- ally stable HPD, or in general, shortest probability interval (Spin). We prove the consistency of our method. Simulation studies on a range of theoretical and real-data examples, some with symmetric…
  • Mohandas Gandhi (1) vs. Philip K. Dick (2); Hobbes advances

    Andrew
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    All of yesterday‘s best comments were in favor of the political philosopher. Adam writes: With Hobbes, the seminar would be “nasty, brutish, and short.” And it would degenerate into a “war of all against all.” In other words, the perfect academic seminar. And Jonathan writes: Chris Rock would definitely be more entertaining. But the chance to see a speaker who knew Galileo, basing his scientific worldview on him, and could actually find weak points in the proofs of the best mathematicians of the day (even if he couldn’t do any competent math himself) should not be squandered.
  • Imagining p

    Andrew
    27 Mar 2015 | 6:07 am
    We’ve all had that experience of going purposefully from one hypothesis to another, only to get there and forget why we made the journey. Four years ago, researcher Daryl Bem and his colleagues stripped this effect down, showing that the simple act of obtaining a statistically significant comparison induces publication in a top journal. Now statisticians at Columbia University, USA, have taken things further, demonstrating that merely imagining a statistically significant p-value is enough to trigger increased publication. . . . The new study shows that this event division effect can…
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    macroblog

  • Signs of Improvement in Prime-Age Labor Force Participation

    macroblog
    6 Mar 2015 | 8:18 am
    This morning's job report provided further evidence of a stabilizing labor force participation (LFP) rate. After falling over 3 percentage points since 2008, LFP has been close to 62.9 percent of the population for the past seven months. Although demographics and behavioral trends explain much of the overall decline (our web page on LFP dynamics gives a full account), there is a cyclical component at work as well. In particular, the labor force attachment of "prime-age" (25 to 54 year olds) individuals to the labor force is something we're watching closely. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta…
  • Could Reduced Drilling Also Reduce GDP Growth?

    macroblog
    5 Mar 2015 | 12:07 pm
    Five or six times each month, the Atlanta Fed posts a "nowcast" of real gross domestic product (GDP) growth from the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model. The most recent model nowcast for first-quarter real GDP growth is provided in table 1 below alongside alternative forecasts from the Philadelphia Fed's quarterly Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) and the CNBC/Moody's Analytics Rapid Update survey. The Atlanta Fed's nowcast of 1.2 percent growth is considerably lower than both the SPF forecast (2.7 percent) and the Rapid Update forecast (2.6 percent). (enlarge) Why the discrepancy? The less…
  • Are Shifts in Industry Composition Holding Back Wage Growth?

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

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

  • Competition & working conditions

    chris
    29 Mar 2015 | 5:25 am
    Tyler Cowen argues against (pdf) Elizabeth Anderson's view (pdf) that capitalist bosses exert oppressive power over workers and, implicitly, against my view that capitalist work is alienating. This, I suspect , is one of the many issues in the social sciences where both sides are right to some extent. Tyler is right that competition for workers can drive up working conditions, and it is surely true that those conditions are vastly better in the west now than they were in the early days of the industrial revolution. Nevertheless, I fear that Tyler might be claiming too much. First,…
  • The Clarkson problem

    chris
    26 Mar 2015 | 8:30 am
    Imagine if Ant and Dec had racially abused a colleague before lamping him. Would there be a big political campaign and a million-strong petition to save them? I'm not sure. This tells us that Clarkson's popularity isn't based solely on the fact that he's a talented TV presenter. Equally, though, I'm not sure that its due simply to the fact that he is (or plays at being) an obnoxious racist bully; whilst he has the support of many prominent arseholes, his popularity isn't confined to bigots. Instead, I suspect James is right: Clarkson is popular because he's…
  • Alienation: the non-issue

    chris
    25 Mar 2015 | 6:19 am
    Matthew Syed in the Times gives us a wonderful example of Marxist thinking. He asks why marathon running is so popular, and says it's because it satisfies a desire for self-improvement which we cannot get from paid labour: We live in a world where the connection between effort and reward is fragmenting. In our past, we hunted, gathered and built...We could observe, track and consume the fruits of our labour. We could see the connection between our sweat and toil, and the value we derived from them. In today's globally dispersed capitalist machine, this sense is disappearing. This is…
  • Banning cash

    chris
    24 Mar 2015 | 8:15 am
    Ed Conway in the Times endorses Ken Rogoff's suggestion (pdf) that we should abolish cash. This seems to me completely infeasible, in at least three different ways:  - It is a grossly illiberal measure - the banning of capitalist acts between consenting adults, to use Robert Nozick's expression. I can't see voters tolerating this, especially as the move would be a means (pdf) of imposing a tax upon bank deposits: negative interest rates are analogous to a tax.  - Some 700,000 people don't have bank accounts. Many more use cash as a means of controlling how much they…
  • Insincere apologies

    chris
    23 Mar 2015 | 7:30 am
    Should politicians make false apologies? I ask because of Janan Ganesh's claim that Labour has been "monstrously incompetent" in failing to apologize for its fiscal policy before the crisis: Had the Labour party owned up to its profligacy in office during the previous decade, it would now have the moral licence to mock [Osborne's] failed deficit target...Instead, Labour will not even concede that it was wrong to run a structural deficit in the years leading up to the crash, by which time Britain was a decade and a half into an economic expansion. A party that is still…
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    Moneybox

  • Why Would Companies Ever Think a Campaign Like #AskSeaWorld Is a Good Idea?

    Alison Griswold
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:48 pm
    In an effort to improve its tanking image, SeaWorld launched a new advertising campaign this week to educate the public about its “leadership in the care of killer whales” and other work to protect whales in captivity and in the wild. “There’s been a lot of misinformation and even lies spread about SeaWorld, and we recognize that it has caused some people to have questions about the welfare of killer whales in human care,” David D’Alessandro, SeaWorld’s interim CEO, said in a release. “This long-term campaign will address those questions head on.” As part of that…
  • Marijuana Is Changing the Workplace. Here’s How Employers Should Deal With It.

    Will Yakowicz
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:35 am
    This post was originally published in Inc. With medical marijuana legal in 23 states and Washington, D.C., there are now millions of card-carrying cannabis users working at companies across the U.S. While four states and the District have legalized recreational marijuana use, pot is still illegal under federal law, and many business owners still subscribe to the plant's Reefer Madness stigma and don't want to allow people to smoke on the job. For some of those owners, that can mean getting sued for failing…
  • How to Make Americans Love the “Death Tax”

    Jordan Weissmann
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:20 am
    By all rights, the federal estate tax should be an extremely popular piece of policy. Most Americans believe that the wealthy should pay more of their money to the IRS. And while not everybody agrees on what constitutes affluence these days, the government only taxes estates worth at least $5.43 million dollars. In 2013, 2.6 million people died in this country, and only 4,700 of them had to pay any taxes as a goodbye gift to the government. We're talking about a levy on the 0.2 percent. And yet the estate tax is not popular. Polls frequently show that most Americans would like to reduce or…
  • Atlanta Might Be Getting Dumber

    Jordan Weissmann
    25 Mar 2015 | 4:15 pm
    On the whole, educational attainment is rising among America's young adults. That trend holds true in the vast majority of large cities. But there could be one big exception lurking in the heart of the New South. Earlier today, I was looking at a 2014 report by City Observatory on trends in college-degree completion among 25-to-34-year-olds in metro areas with at least 1 million residents. Out of the 51 cities analyzed, Atlanta was the only one where a smaller percentage of that demographic had earned at least a bachelor's than in 2000, according to Census Bureau data. The city's…
  • Republicans Are Still Obsessed With Cutting Taxes for Rich Heirs

    Jordan Weissmann
    25 Mar 2015 | 8:38 am
    Wednesday afternoon, the Paul Ryan–led House Ways and Means Committee plans to make a statement of solidarity with America's wealthy young socialites by voting on a bill to eliminate the estate tax. While mostly symbolic at this point, it's another small and useful reminder that the Republican Party is nothing if not dedicated to making sure millionaires pay the absolute minimum amount of money to the IRS. And truly, we're just talking about millionaires at this point. Currently, the government only taxes estates worth $5.43 million in the case of a deceased individual, or $10.86 million…
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    Economic Development Blog » Economic Development Blog -

  • St. Petersburg, Florida Economic Development Incentives Secure GeniusCentral HQ Relocation

    Economic Development HQ.com
    27 Mar 2015 | 8:15 am
    Enterprise software solutions and actionable intelligence provider GeniusCentral Systems, Inc. announced plans to relocate its headquarters and add to it with an expansion in St. Petersburg, FL. Pinellas County, FL (photo – pced.org) Supported by State of Florida, Pinellas County and St. Petersburg economic development incentives, the company plans to create 40 new jobs and relocate 60 existing jobs in the state to the new headquarters location in St. Petersburg. The new jobs being created will have annual pay scales at or above 115 percent of the average wage of $42,446 in the State of…
  • Enterprise Florida’s Mike Preston Named Arkansas Economic Development Commission Director

    Economic Development HQ.com
    26 Mar 2015 | 11:25 pm
    Governor Asa Hutchinson has named Mike Preston as the new Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Mike Preston named director of AEDC (photo – arkansasedc.com) Preston will be taking over the position of AEDC Director from Deputy Director Danny Games, who has been filling in as interim director over the last few months. Gov. Hutchinson issued a statement in which he says that “Mike Preston is a perfect fit to lead the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. As vice president for government affairs at Enterprise Florida, Michael has years of statewide economic…
  • Keystone NAP Data Center Gets $2M Bucks County, Pennsylvania Economic Development Funding

    Economic Development HQ.com
    26 Mar 2015 | 10:35 pm
    The County Board of Commissioners of Bucks County, PA announced $2 million in direct financing and loan guarantees for the Keystone NAP data center project. Keystone NAP (photo – keystonenap.com) The Bucks County economic development financing leverages nearly $20 million in private funding for Keystone NAP, touted as the first advanced data center in the Northeast capable of meeting the needs of web-scale enterprises. Keystone NAP is located in the Keystone Industrial Port Complex in Fairless Hills, PA. The eco-industrial park, developed on the US Steel Fairless Works site, is one of…
  • Wichita State University Lands Airbus Engineering Center

    Economic Development HQ.com
    26 Mar 2015 | 8:50 am
    Airbus Americas has signed a letter of intent with the Wichita State Innovation Alliance Inc. to locate an Airbus engineering center in a new building at Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus. Airbus (photo – airbus.com) The project, known as Partnership 1, includes the construction of a 90,000-square-foot building and adjacent parking into which Airbus will relocate some 400 employees from its current location in downtown Wichita. John O’Leary, vice president of Airbus Americas Engineering, said in a release announcing the project that they intend to take full…
  • New Orleans Considering Economic Development District To Fund Public Safety in French Quarter

    Economic Development HQ.com
    25 Mar 2015 | 10:20 pm
    New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced a series of steps the City plans to take to improve public safety and the quality of life for residents, workers and tourists in the French Quarter. Over the short term, the costs of the enhanced security will be paid for by a hotel self-assessment and by individual businesses. Over the long term, the plan is to create a New Orleans Economic Development District for collecting a quarter cent sales tax that would be primarily paid by tourists in the 8th District. The additional tax revenue generated would pay for state troopers dedicated to the French…
 
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    Washington Center for Equitable Growth

  • Things to Read at Night on March 27, 2015

    Brad DeLong
    27 Mar 2015 | 8:40 pm
    Must- and Should-Reads: Evening Must-Read: Michael Strain: How to Cut Taxes and Help the Poor Kenneth Thomas: Wikileaks Releases Trans-Pacific Partnership Investment Chapter Today’s Must-Must-Read: Ilyana Kuziemko et al.: What Do Americans Think Should Be Done About Inequality? Nick Bunker: Risk-Sharing and Student Loans Might Like to Be Aware of: Jan Ebbeler: Felicior Augusto, Melior Traiano Joe Nye**: The American Century Will Survive the Rise of China
  • Today’s Economic History: John Maynard Keynes on the Trade Cycle

    Brad DeLong
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:32 pm
    Over at Grasping Reality: John Maynard Keynes: The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money: 22. Notes on the Trade Cycle: “The essential character of the Trade Cycle, and, especially, the regularity of time-sequence and of duration which justifies us in calling it a cycle… …is mainly due to the way in which the marginal efficiency of capital fluctuates…. By a cyclical movement we mean that as the system progresses in, e.g., the upward direction, the forces propelling it upwards at first gather force and have a cumulative effect on one another but gradually…
  • With a First-Quarter-of-2015 Projected Real GDP Growth Rate of 1.3%/Year…

    Brad DeLong
    27 Mar 2015 | 8:27 am
    …the U.S. economy will have grown at a rate of: 2.8%/year over the past four quarters. 2.5%/year over the past eight quarters. 2.2%/year over the past twelve quarters. If you think that the growth rate of potential output post-2009 is 2.2%/year, we are in exactly the same position relative to potential output that we were in March of 2012. And thus monetary and fiscal policy looking forward should be the same now as they should have been in March of 2012. And if you think that the growth rate of potential output post-2009 has been less than 2.2%/year, you need to explain why–and…
  • Weekend reading

    Nick Bunker
    27 Mar 2015 | 8:25 am
    This is a weekly post we publish on Fridays with links to articles we think anyone interested in equitable growth should be reading. We won’t be the first to share these articles, but we hope by taking a look back at the whole week we can put them in context. Links Noah Smith argues that globalization is primarily responsible for the stagnation in middle-income wages. [bloomberg view] Lydia DePillis has the “definitive guide to whether or not a robot will take your job.” [wa post] Dan Davies explains the concept of secular stagnation using the Smurf village. [the long + short] 47…
  • Latest U.S. economic growth numbers highlight corporate investment

    Carter C. Price
    27 Mar 2015 | 8:21 am
    The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis today released the latest figures on economic growth that showed economic growth in the last quarter of 2014 was 2.2 percent, matching the previous estimate. In addition to having updated numbers on the Gross Domestic Product, today’s release also contains information on corporate profits. Corporate profits were essentially flat (they fell by 0.2 percent compared to the final quarter of 2013). Declining profits in financial firms, utilities, and foreign operations were offset by profit growth in retail and the rest of the economy—possibly due to lower…
 
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    FiveThirtyEight » Economics | FiveThirtyEight

  • Big Government Is Getting In The Way Of Big Data

    Ben Casselman
    9 Mar 2015 | 3:03 am
    When the government wants to know how many people are unemployed, it calls people and asks them whether they’re working. When it wants to know how quickly prices are rising, it sends researchersto stores to check price tags. And when it wants to know how much consumers are spending, it mails forms to thousands of retailers asking about their sales.“Big data” may have revolutionized industries from advertising to transportation, but many of our most vital economic statistics are still based on methods that are decidedly, well, small.Now economists both inside and outside government are…
  • Bad News For The Class Of 2008

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

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

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

    Saul Austerlitz
    5 Feb 2015 | 6:55 am
    Abbi and Ilana sit in their separate apartments in front of matching MacBooks, video-chatting as Ilana vapes her morning hit of marijuana and Abbi attempts to acquire a contact high through the computer screen. Ilana offers to come on over and get her high in the flesh, and Abbi suggests a post-smoke trip to her favorite store: “BBB!” She waves a coupon for the Bed Bath & Beyond chain in front of the computer screen, offering her best friend the promise of untold housewares riches. Abbi and Ilana sign off, and Abbi searches fruitlessly above her fridge, clawing at the empty air where…
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    Economics and everyday life at EconLife.com

  • Why It’s Tough to Evaluate Job Performance

    Elaine Schwartz
    29 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    If a performance metric is known, the people being evaluated have an incentive to shift their behavior so that their scores improve but not the job they do.
  • Weekly Roundup: From Fake Stats to Slippery Glue

    Elaine Schwartz
    28 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    Our Posts Roundup Sunday 3.22.15 The bundles that make life pleasant…more Monday 3.23.15 Where American cars are made…more Tuesday 3.24.15 What March Madness really represents…more Wednesday 3.25.15 Why Sunday shopping matters…more Thursday 3.26.15 Making ketchup that glides…more   Friday 3.27.15 How statistics can land you in jail…more   Ideas Roundup behavioral economics utility cost and benefit …
  • The Dangerous Side of Economics

    Elaine Schwartz
    27 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    Because he revised his country's inaccurate deficit and received Eurostat approval, Greece's chief statistician might be prosecuted for "breach of faith."
  • To shop, or not to shop…

    Econlife Editor
    26 Mar 2015 | 2:19 pm
    View the story “Seasonal Shopping & Supply and Demand” on Storify
  • The Connection Between a Killer Plant and Elmer’s Glue

    Elaine Schwartz
    26 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    An innovation being sold to manufacturers, jars with slippery interior surfaces will create positive externalities by lessening waste and saving time.
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    Vox - All

  • Life in orbit: 16 surprising things NASA astronauts have revealed in Reddit AMAs

    Joseph Stromberg
    29 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    Very few people know what it's like to live in space. Only 538 people — out of a population of more than 7 billion — have had the chance to orbit Earth, and an even smaller number have spent an extended period of time there. So what have they learned? In recent years, five astronauts have done AMA interviews on Reddit, answering questions about subjects both profound (the life-changing experience of looking down at the Earth from above) and utterly mundane (what it's like to sweat, fart, and sneeze in space). Together, their answers provide one of the most candid accounts of what it's…
  • Under pressure from businesses, Indiana could clarify controversial religious freedom law

    German Lopez
    29 Mar 2015 | 5:30 am
    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) told the Indianapolis Star's Tim Swarens that he's in discussions with legislators to potentially clarify a controversial religious freedom law so that it won't promote discrimination against LGBT people. The law, which Pence signed on Thursday, could legally protect employers, landlords, and business owners who discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds. "[T]his law is not about discrimination," Pence told Swarens. "It's about protecting religious liberty and giving people full access to the judicial system." Businesses and public figures…
  • The 7 best songs of March

    Kelsey McKinney
    28 Mar 2015 | 11:00 am
    March sent the music world into high gear with the release of great rap albums by Kendrick Lamar and Earl Sweatshirt and heavy, emotional hits by Sufjan Stevens and Courtney Barnett. Here are the seven best songs of the month: Kendrick Lamar, "King Kunta" "I got a bone to pick." That intro line to "King Kunta" could be the thesis statement for Kendrick Lamar's sophomore album, To Pimp a Butterfly, an incredible collection of songs about the black experience and Lamar finding his way in the world. Based on Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century slave in Virginia whose life forms the basis of the book…
  • The Bay Area economy is booming. So why aren't more people moving there?

    Timothy B. Lee
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:30 am
    The Census Department published new population figures for 2014 this week. KQED says that "The Bay Area Is Getting Way More Crowded," and they made this map to show the trend; the reddest areas are the places where population is growing fastest. KQED isn't wrong. The population of the Bay Area grew 1.3 percent last year, which is a lot better than the 0.7 percent average annual growth rate the Bay Area has seen since 2000. But it's also important to keep a sense of perspective. 1.3 percent is not a very impressive growth rate. The population of the Houston metropolitan area grew by 2.4…
  • Is Jeb Bush actually a moderate, or does the media just think he is?

    Andrew Prokop
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    In an excellent profile in the Weekly Standard, Andrew Ferguson reviews Jeb Bush's record in Florida and concludes that, overall, he's much more conservative than both the national press corps and right-leaning activists think. He posits at the end that Jeb could be "a self-conscious, deep-dyed conservative who for the moment feels the need to look like a moderate, especially before an admiring press and in the company of the wealthy Republicans who these days are his constant companions and marks." I've been exploring similar territory for a forthcoming piece on Bush's political history, and…
 
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    Commentary - Money, Banking and Financial Markets

  • Interview with Masaaki Shirakawa

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    25 Mar 2015 | 5:33 am
    Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University; former Governor, Bank of Japan; former Vice Chairman, Bank for International Settlements.Has the experience of the crisis changed your view of the central bank policy tool kit?Governor Shirakawa: My view has not changed that much. I guess that this assessment is different from the frequently-heard view of U.S. and European policy makers.This difference is because: (1) Japan experienced its own severe financial crisis well ahead of the global crisis that began in 2007; and (2) the Bank of Japan (BoJ) developed and deployed a range of policy tools to address…
  • A Simple Guide to "Secular Stagnation"

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    23 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    Since its cyclical peak in 2007 – just prior to the financial crisis – the U.S. economy has grown by only 1.2% at an annual rate. This is down sharply from the 3.0% pace that had prevailed since 1990. The resulting cumulative shortfall now exceeds $2 trillion, or more than $6,500 per capita. Naturally, we all want to know why. And what, if anything, to do about it.The conventional textbook explanation is that the trend of potential output has slowed sharply. Potential output is a supply concept: In the long run, when all prices (including wages and interest rates) have adjusted, aggregate…
  • Interview with Guillermo Ortiz

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    19 Mar 2015 | 4:37 am
    Member of the Group of Thirty; former Governor of the Bank of Mexico; former Chairman of the Board of the Bank for International Settlements; former Secretary of Finance and Public Credit of the Mexican Federal Government.  Has the experience of the crisis changed your view of the central bank policy tool kit?Governor Ortiz: I think that we have to make a distinction between the central bankers in the developed world whose banking systems were affected and those in the emerging market world where banking systems were not affected.It is quite remarkable that no country in the emerging…
  • The cloudy future of peer-to-peer lending

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    16 Mar 2015 | 5:40 am
    Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is all the rage. The idea is that individuals can bypass traditional financial intermediaries and borrow directly from investors at lower cost (or obtain credit that banks would not provide). Improving the lot of borrowers would be great if it works. But the key question is whether lenders can efficiently screen and monitor borrowers to get an attractive risk-adjusted return on their investment. In effect, individuals would be beating the technology that traditional lenders use. It’s far too early to tell, but there is plenty of scope for skepticism.Browsing…
  • Finance is great, but it can be a real drag, too

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    9 Mar 2015 | 5:04 am
    When we were college students in the mid-1970s, some of our friends wanted to change the world and our understanding of it. They worked on things like galactic structures, superconductors, computer algorithms, subcellular mechanisms, and genetic coding. Their work aimed at providing cheap energy, improving information technology, curing cancer, and generally making our lives and our appreciation of the world around us better.By the 1990s, attitudes had changed. Many top students, including newly-minted Ph.D.s, moved from natural science and engineering to finance. Their goal was to get…
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    Republic 3.0

  • FAQS on U.S. exports and economic growth

    Matt Carew
    25 Mar 2015 | 2:00 am
    America remains one of the world's top exporters. Who says we "don't make things any more"? The post FAQS on U.S. exports and economic growth appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • Online learning goes the distance

    Anne Kim
    23 Mar 2015 | 1:00 am
    Why the future of college will be online. The post Online learning goes the distance appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • The rising electorate’s rising moderates

    Stefan Hankin
    18 Mar 2015 | 1:31 pm
    Fully half of the rising electorate - millennials, Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians - describe themselves as moderates. The post The rising electorate’s rising moderates appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • Colleges need to put students first

    Kenneth Megan
    17 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    It's time for a new college compact that puts teaching and learning first. Here are three ways to make that happen. The post Colleges need to put students first appeared first on Republic 3.0.
  • Why “Made in America” is making a comeback

    Liam Barrett
    12 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    "Made in America" is a resurgent global brand. The post Why “Made in America” is making a comeback appeared first on Republic 3.0.
 
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    Principles of Economics and Business

  • The Price Elasticity of Demand

    27 Mar 2015 | 9:55 am
    According to the law of supply and demand the quantity demanded of a good or service will generally increase if its price falls. To see how strong this effect actually is we use the concept of elasticity. More specifically, the price elasticity of demand.Depending on what we are analyzing there are different demand elasticities that can be considered (e.g. price elasticity, cross-prize elasticity, income elasticity). The most relevant of them is the price elasticity of demand which describes to what extent the quantity demanded of a good is affected by a change in its price. There are many…
  • Comparative Advantage and Trade

    12 Mar 2015 | 2:53 pm
    We live in a globalized world where virtually all countries interact and engage in trade. Most of them have various trade connections with a multitude of different countries. As a consequence, there is a significant amount of competition. This raises the question how smaller countries with relatively weak economies can still participate and benefit from global trade.To explain this we will look at the principle of comparative advantage, one of the most basic microeconomic concepts. Even though it is a rather simple concept, it will allow us to analyze some of the most fundamental processes…
  • 10 Principles of Economics You Should Know [Infographic]

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

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

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

  • Inflation Monitor – March 2015

    Kirk Chisholm
    23 Mar 2015 | 9:40 am
    Inflation Monitor – March 2015 Inflation Deflation Composite Ranking   * The Inflation Equilibrium is a quick summary for the whole data series of the inflation monitor. If you don't like statistics, this is the chart for you.   Inflation Monitor - March 2015 - Introduction It is March and as of today spring is finally here. It doesn't feel like spring. I only hope that the weather warms up so I don;t have to wear a winter parka in April. Boston finally broke the record for snowfall this year with 108.6 Inches. The prior record was 107.9 inches in 1872. This broken record…
  • Are Negative Interest Rates in America’s Future?

    Kirk Chisholm
    15 Mar 2015 | 5:47 am
    Are Negative Interest Rates in America’s Future? “ “Risk-free return” is the standard tag attached to the government’s solemn obligations. An investor I know, repulsed by prevailing government yields, has a timelier description – “return-free risk”."    - Jim Grant How absurd are negative interest rates? Two weeks ago in Denmark, news spread about the first person to get a business loan and get paid by the bank to do so. Eva Christiansen, and entrepreneur, earns about 1$ a month from a business loan she took out to grow her business. Let that sink in for a few minutes.
  • A Visual History of Income Inequality in the US

    Kirk Chisholm
    5 Mar 2015 | 4:46 am
    A Visual History of Income Inequality in the US   Income Inequality in America NPR put out some great images on income inequality recently. They describe the history of income inequality in the US in a way you might not have considered. Many statistics are hard to interpret, but these aren't. At first glance you might immediately jump to the conclusion that the bottom 90% of income earners have gotten squeezed since 1970. However if you look at the entire chart, it might put things into a different perspective. Read More... For more great content visit Innovative Advisory Group -…
  • Proof That Share Buybacks are a Powerful Strategy for Building Wealth

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

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

  • 2015 Easter Retail Sales

    Hoosier Econ
    28 Mar 2015 | 7:41 pm
    Easter retail season is upon the United States and sales should spike this week. Here is what the National Retail Federation has projected for Easter sales: 80% of Americans said they plan to celebrate the Easter holiday this year by doling out an average $140.62 per person, up 2.3% from a year ago. Spending this […]
  • Did Indiana Just Become a Medical Tourism Destination?

    Hoosier Econ
    27 Mar 2015 | 8:23 am
    On March 24th, Governor Mike Pence signed into law the ‘Right To Try’ Legislation. Here is snapshot of what the law entails from WFYI: Terminally ill patients in Indiana can now use experimental drugs that have not received final FDA approval. Gov. Mike Pence signed so called “Right to Try” legislation into law Tuesday. The […]
  • Is Marc Benioff Breaking the Law With His Indiana Ban?

    Hoosier Econ
    26 Mar 2015 | 4:19 pm
    SalesForce.com CEO Marc Benioff announced Thursday he is reducing the companies investment in Indiana due to Governor Mike Pence signing RFRA legislation. We are forced to dramatically reduce our investment in IN based on our employee's & customer's outrage over the Religious Freedom Bill. — Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 26, 2015 There is nothing illegal […]
  • Medical Bills Pile Up on GoFundMe

    Hoosier Econ
    25 Mar 2015 | 3:02 pm
    Lately on social media I’ve seen a plethora of people touting “GoFundMe” accounts to raise money for one specific area, medical issues. I decided to look up numbers to see how often it’s used by people for this issue and the numbers are staggering: According to data from GoFundMe, in 2011 there were about 8,000 […]
  • Inflation Alert: Beef Prices Hit Record High

    Hoosier Econ
    24 Mar 2015 | 9:04 am
    Via CNSNEWS.COM – The average price of a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high in February, hitting $4.238 per pound, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In August 2014, the average price for a pound of all types of ground beef topped $4 for the first […]
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