Economics

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  • Friday Night Music: Rodrigo y Gabriela

    Paul Krugman
    By PAUL KRUGMAN
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:12 pm
    A real guitar hero -- and heroine.
  • No Inflation Friday: 422% Increase in Price to Leave 'The Land of the Free'

    EconomicPolicyJournal.com
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:53 pm
    By Simon Black Pop quiz: What do actor Jet Li, opera singer Maria Callas, writer T.S. Eliot, financier John Templeton, actress Elizabeth Taylor, and Queen Noor of Jordan all have in common? They are all former US citizens who went through the formal process of relinquishing or renouncing their citizenships. (Liz Taylor actually restored her US citizenship in the late 1970s) Until a couple of
  • The Greater Depression

    Project Syndicate RSS-Feed
    J. Bradford DeLong
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:20 am
    Seven years after the global financial crisis began, the US and eurozone economies are still performing well below potential – and are facing additional downward shocks. When will their leaders admit that the Greater Depression has begun?
  • History Quiz

    Angry Bear
    Robert Waldmann
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:45 am
    I wonder what happens when a Democratic canidate for President campaigns on a proposal to increase taxes on high incomes and cut taxes on middle and lower class incomes (that is on the class warfare platform) ? IIRC what happens is that he gets elected. This is what Clinton did in 1992 and Obama did in 2008 (and Obama also kept the promise). So Quiz question — who was the last Democratic candidate to defeat a Republican who 1) was not an incumbent 2) didn’t propose raising taxes on high incomes and cutting them on middle class incomes when the top marginal income tax rate was…
  • Thursday Links: Boots, Salaita, Kalamazoo, etc.

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

  • 5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar

    Kathleen Madigan
    29 Aug 2014 | 12:18 pm
    Next week it is the jobs data’s world, we just live in it. At the Jackson Hole conference, Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen highlighted central bank research on labor-market conditions that depends on up to 24 different labor-related series. Many of them will be updated in various releases due next week and there will be other job-market information on tap. Here are five labor-related points to ponder:
  • Small U.S. Cities Prove To Be A Big Draw For Foreign Students

    Jon Hilsenrath
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:30 am
    Small cities are among the biggest beneficiaries of a wave of foreign students studying at U.S. universities, according to a Brookings Institution study. Ithaca, N.Y.; Corvallis, Ore.; and Jonesboro, Ark., have among the highest concentrations of foreign students in the country, Neil G. Ruiz, senior policy analyst with the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, finds in a new story of the nation’s F-1 visa program. Ithaca, home to Cornell University, includes 71.2 foreign students for every 1,000 enrolled in higher-education programs, istock Ithaca, home to Cornell University and Ithaca…
  • Inflation Stays Below the Fed’s Target for 27th Straight Month

    Josh Mitchell and Eric Morath
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:43 am
    Consumer prices rose modestly in July, a sign inflation remains in check as the Federal Reserve winds down its bond-buying program. The price index for personal consumption expenditures–the Fed’s preferred inflation measure–increased 1.6% in July from a year earlier, the Commerce Department said Friday. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core prices climbed 1.5% year over year. Both overall and core prices rose at the same annual pace in July as they did in June, suggesting inflation pressures remained at bay. Compared to a month earlier, each measure was up just 0.1%.
  • Grand Central: Fed Job Index a Year Away From Normalcy

    WSJ Staff
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:45 am
    Highlights Hilsenrath’s Take: Fed Job Index a Year Away From Normalcy Fed Chair Yellen Still a Multimillionaire, Records Show Fed to Consider Including Municipal Bonds in New Bank Safeguards Euro-zone Inflation Cools Further in August, Putting Pressure on ECB Japan’s Tax Increase is Putting Abenomics at Risk HILSENRATH’S TAKE An index of labor market conditions watched by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is on track to return to long-term norms in the second half of 2015 – about when many Fed officials say they expect to start raising short-term interest rates. The index,…
  • Economists React: Japan’s Economy Stagnates in July

    Mitsuru Obe
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:46 pm
    An employee operates a crane to move a roll of sheet aluminum on the production line at the Akao Aluminum Co. plant in Tokyo. Bloomberg News With the start of the third quarter, hopes were high that the economy would stage a quick recovery from a 6.8% annualized plunge in the April-June period that came after Japan raised its sales tax.  But a raft of data released Friday raise uncomfortable questions for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the state of the economy. Weak figures for retail sales and household spending in July show consumers remain tentative in their outlays without higher wage…
 
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    naked capitalism

  • Trade, The Current/Capital Account, and the Value of the Currency

    Lambert Strether
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:55 pm
    To understand trade dynamics in the modern world we must appreciate the financial dimension, which modern economists do not.
  • Europe Is Not “Coming Together” in Response to the Euro Crisis. Why?

    Lambert Strether
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:25 pm
    Why is Europe re-nationalizing the link between banks and governments? Why has the crisis failed to produce a Hamilton or an FDR?
  • Links 8/29/14

    David Dayen
    29 Aug 2014 | 12:30 am
  • Mirable Dictu! Florida Activists Help Depose Terrible Foreclosure Judge

    David Dayen
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    It's rare that we get to celebrate a victory here, especially in the mortgage and foreclosure arena, but we saw one this week. Down in Florida, where the anti-foreclosure activist movement really took root, one of the worst judges in the state lost her job, and many of the same players had a role in the defeat.
  • Pump and Dump: How to Rig the Entire IPO Market with just $20 Million

    David Dayen
    28 Aug 2014 | 10:30 pm
    How much does it cost to manipulate an entire market? Not much. And it’s getting cheaper! It was leaked on Tuesday by “people with knowledge of that matter,” according to the Wall Street Journal, that VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers had decided in May to plow up to $20 million into message-app maker Snapchat, for a tiny portion of ownership. An undisclosed investor also committed some funds. The deal, which apparently hasn’t closed yet, would give Snapchat a valuation of $10 billion.
 
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    Alpha.Sources

  • Weak economic data would test bonds in the periphery

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

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

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

    CV
    21 Apr 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Two investment themes in particular, since 2008, have been predominant in my view and the continuation or unravelling of both hold the key to successful asset allocation in the next 3-5 years. The first is the suppression of volatility on the back of aggressive and ongoing central bank intervention. The second is the hunt for yield characterised by two key currents. Firstly, investors have been pushed far out the risk spectrum (often reluctantly). Secondly, we have seen bonds and stocks appreciate and depreciate together which has put into question core tenets of traditional portfolio…
  • Changing correlations

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

  • Why the Legacy of Katrina on New Orleans Is Different From Disasters That Befell Other Cities

    Courtney Young
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:40 am
    Rescue personnel search from victims as they traverse the New Orleans 8th Ward in the flooded city of New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Water continued to rise after the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina, which pounded the coast on August 29. How to remember Hurricane Katrina? I consider this each year as the anniversary approaches. I assume it’s something that most people do when the anniversary of a traumatic event draws near. New Orleans is not my hometown; I grew up two hours northwest from it in Louisiana’s fourth largest city, Lafayette. The day before Katrina reached land, my…
  • Is Elizabeth Warren Just an Ordinary Politician?

    Paul Waldman
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:09 am
    Hero-worship is always risky in politics, because if you put all your hopes on one politician, eventually you're sure to be disappointed. And so it has come that Elizabeth Warren, who inspires more dewy-eyed infatuation than any other current Democratic officeholder, may have given her liberal admirers a reason to feel dismayed. This article from the Cape Cod Times is a week old, but it's just now making the rounds, and it shows that on one subject, Warren isn't quite the same strong progressive some might hope her to be. Here's what happened when a constituent criticized her vote to send an…
  • Still Nader After All These Years

    Robert Kuttner
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:48 am
    (AP Photo/George Ruhe, File) In this April 27, 2008, file photo, Ralph Nader speaks to supporters as he campaigns for his 2008 independent presidential bid in Waterbury, Connecticut. For many Democrats who came of age after 2000, Ralph Nader is a crank who cost Al Gore the presidency. But Nader deserves a more honored place in the progressive pantheon. Over the years, Nader has understood the stranglehold of corporate power on democracy as well as anyone, and throughout his career he has creatively organized counterweights. In the heyday of postwar reform, the 1960s and 1970s, Nader-inspired…
  • The Snake in the Market Basket: Can the Company Recover From Employee Revolt Without Loading Up With Debt?

    Robert Kuttner
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:48 am
    (AP Photo) Market Basket assistant managers Mike Forsyth, left, and John Surprenant, second from left, hold signs while posing with employees in Haverhill, Mass., Thursday, July 24, 2014, in a show of support for "Artie T." Arthur T. Demoulas, the chief executive of the Market Basket supermarket chain whose ouster has led to employee protests, customer boycotts and empty shelves. Aurthur T. Demoulas has since been restored as the CEO. Wednesday night, the long-running Market Basket drama ended and the good guys ostensibly won. Or did they? When we last tuned in, the employees of the $4…
  • Why Republicans Can't Solve Their Problem With Women Voters

    Paul Waldman
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:21 am
    I'll give Republicans credit for this: they keep trying to figure out why their party remains unappealing to large and important groups of voters. They've been mulling over their problem with Latino voters for some time, and now Politico has gotten a hold of a study commissioned by some GOP bigwigs to figure out why women keep giving more of their votes to Democrats: But in Washington, Republican policies have failed to sway women — in fact, they appear to have turned women off. For example, the focus groups and polls found that women "believe that 'enforcing equal pay for equal work' is…
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • For the Weekend: The Safety Dance

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:51 pm
    Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance:
  • Noted for Your Afternoon Procrastination for August 29, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:49 pm
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog A Note on the Core PCE Inflation Phillips Curve: Thursday Focus/The Honest Broker for the Week of August 30, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth When Do We Start Calling This "The Greater Depression"?: (Early) Friday Focus for August 29, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Morning Must-Read: Lawrence Mishel: Broadening Agreement That Job Polarization Wasn’t Present in the United States In 2000s - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Morning Must-Read: Olivier Blanchard: Where Danger Lurks - Washington Center for Equitable Growth…
  • Liveblogging World War II: August 29, 1944: Antwerp

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:48 am
    From Richard Atkinson: The Guns at Last Light: No liberated city in Europe was more important to the Allied cause than Antwerp. By the mid-sixteenth century it had become the richest town on the Continent, surpassing even Venice and Genoa, with a hundred or more ships at anchor every day, carrying spices from Portugal, grain from the Baltic, silk embroideries from Italy. The Inquisition, a Spanish pillage, and the rise of Holland cost the city its prosperity; not until the nineteenth century did Antwerp ascend again to become a bustling hive of diamond-cutting, cigar-rolling, sugar-refining,…
  • Mitch McConnell at the Koch Brothers Donor Summit: Live from La Farine CCCXIX: August 29, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:39 am
    Cleaned-up transcript: Mitch McConnell: At the Koch Brothers Donor Summit: "Is this working?... ...I know it’s been a long day, but also a very inspiring day. And I want to start by thanking you, Charles and David, for the important work you’re doing. I don’t know where we’d be without you, and I want to thank you all for rallying to the cause. What I’m going to do--we’re at the end of the day, I hope this won’t be just a monologue, and if you’re interested in interjecting, please feel free. What I’m talking about with you today is the one freedom without which we…
  • Over at Equitable Growth: A Note on the Core PCE Inflation Phillips Curve: The Honest Broker for the Week of August 30, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:34 am
    A Note on the Core PCE Inflation Phillips Curve The Honest Broker for the Week of August 30, 2014 Over at Equitable Growth: David Beckworth notes that in the Bernanke-Yellen era the FOMC gets uncomfortable and decides that it has to loosen policy and steps up its interventions when PCE inflation falls below 1.5%/year and gets uneasy and decides that it has to tighten policy when PCE inflation rises above 2%/year: [This] reduced-form relationship... is highly suggestive and consistent with my claim... that... there is a 2% ceiling to an inflation target corridor... READ MOAR Now the…
 
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    Calculated Risk

  • Merrill and Goldman Forecasts for August Non-Farm Payrolls

    Bill McBride
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:22 pm
    The August employment report will be released next Friday, September 5th and the consensus is that 210 thousand payroll jobs were added in August. Here are two forecasts:From economist Kris Dawsey at Goldman Sachs: Employment indicators have strengthened a bit in August vs. July, including the employment components of the available service sector surveys, the Conference Board labor differential, and initial jobless claims. Our preliminary forecast for August payroll job growth is 240k, with the important caveat that we have yet to receive a few key pieces of data for the month, most notably…
  • Fannie Mae: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined to 2.0% in July, Lowest since October 2008

    Bill McBride
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:10 pm
    Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in July to 2.00% from 2.05% in June. The serious delinquency rate is down from 2.70% in July 2013, and this is the lowest level since October 2008. The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 5.59%.Earlier this week, Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in July to 2.02% from 2.07% in June. Freddie's rate is down from 2.70% in July 2013, and is at the lowest level since January 2009. Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at…
  • Hotels: Occupancy up 5%, RevPAR up 11.0% Year-over-Year

    Bill McBride
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:06 am
    From HotelNewsNow.com: STR: US results for week ending 23 AugustThe U.S. hotel industry recorded positive results in the three key performance measurements during the week of 17-23 August 2014, according to data from STR.In year-over-year measurements, the industry’s occupancy rate rose 5.0 percent to 70.6 percent. Average daily rate increased 5.4 percent to finish the week at US$116.13. Revenue per available room for the week was up 10.7 percent to finish at US$82.04.emphasis addedNote: ADR: Average Daily Rate, RevPAR: Revenue per Available Room.The occupancy rate has peaked for the…
  • August Consumer Sentiment increases to 82.5

    Bill McBride
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:59 am
    Click on graph for larger image.The final Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for August was at 82.5, up from the preliminary reading of 79.2, and up from 81.8 in July.This was above the consensus forecast of 80.3. Sentiment has generally been improving following the recession - with plenty of ups and downs - and a big spike down when Congress threatened to "not pay the bills" in 2011.
  • Personal Income increased 0.2% in July, Spending decreased 0.1%

    Bill McBride
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:41 am
    The BEA released the Personal Income and Outlays report for July: Personal income increased $28.6 billion, or 0.2 percent ... in July, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $13.6 billion, or 0.1 percent....Real PCE -- PCE adjusted to remove price changes -- decreased 0.2 percent in July, in contrast to an increase of 0.2 percent in June. ... The price index for PCE increased 0.1 percent in July, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent in June. The PCE price index, excluding food and energy, increased 0.1 percent in July, the same…
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    Crooked Timber

  • American Exceptionalism – A Double-Edged Word

    John Holbo
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:19 pm
    I’m not surprised some conservatives are upset about the AP American History test. But I am bemused by the strength of the axiom Stanley Kurtz would oblige us to adopt, to keep things from getting politicized: “America is freer and more democratic than any other nation.” (Although, grant the axiom, and postulates about military strength, and theorem 1 – “[the US is] a model, vindicator, and at times the chief defender of ordered liberty and self-government in the world” – enjoys high probability.) This is a comparative thesis about the international…
  • Rescuing the miners and the babies

    Ingrid Robeyns
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:09 pm
    On Monday I was having dinner with Robin Celikates and a bunch of PhD students who were this week attending a Summerschool on Dirty Hands and Moral Dilemma’s. Someone came up with the following case (none of us was quite sure about the author, but Derek Parfit seems like a likely candidate): Case A: Rescuing the miners: Imagine 100 miners who are stuck in a mine. They are divided in two groups. You can either rescue 50 (with certainty), but then the other 50 will be lost (this is strategy 1). Or you can try a different rescue strategy, which may potentially save all of them, but only at…
  • The “Other Operation” (crossposted at my blog)

    John Quiggin
    26 Aug 2014 | 5:37 pm
    Like others, I’m mystified by the “ice bucket challenge” in which, as I understand it, people agree to have a bucket of ice water dumped over their heads, rather than giving money to charity. This is reminiscent of the famous Piranha Brothers’ “Other Operation”, in which they threatened not to beat their victims up if they did not pay them the so-called “protection money”. Still, it seems as if there is some interest in variants on the standard fundraising challenge in which you pay money to charity to encourage friends, bloggers, C-list…
  • The World Is Squared: Episode 1 – “Switzerland, Country of Joyce”

    Daniel
    26 Aug 2014 | 2:43 pm
    Thanks to P O’Neill in comments to my last post, for suggesting both the idea for this poor-man’s Friedman travelogue and its title. The first installment comes to you from the youth hostel in Grindelwald. 1. Telemachus I don’t really have much need of apocryphal taxi drivers to serve as sources of information and/or mouthpieces for my own views for this one. I got to know the Swiss (or at least, a fair number of a particular and possibly unrepresentative class of them) when I was working for Credit Suisse, for five years which were roughly coincident with the first phase of…
  • Follow the Money at the University of Illinois

    Corey Robin
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:30 am
    Inside Higher Ed has gotten some of the preliminary documents on the back and forth between Chancellor Wise, officials at the University of Illinois (including a top person in charge of fundraising), and a high-level donor, before Wise made her initial decision to dehire Steven Salaita. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the external and internal pressure that went into this decision (though from my own experience with this issue I can only assume that that fear of external financial pressure was very very high on the part of the university’s administrators), and as the…
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    Dealbreaker

  • Write-Offs: 08.29.14

    Dealbreaker
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:30 am
    $$$ JPMorgan Hack Said to Span Months Via Multiple Flaws [Bloomberg] $$$ Ukraine Invasion Claims Wipe Out Russia Bondholder Gains [Bloomberg] $$$ Brazil Falls Into Recession with Second Quarter GDP [Reuters] $$$ A Midtown landlord is taking cramped city living to new heights — by renting a 2 bedroom apartment with 22 beds, according to… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
  • Get Ready To Hear “I’ll Have My Assistant Make A Reservation At Denny’s” A Lot More Often

    Bess Levin
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:39 am
    The Denny’s that opens Friday in the Financial District will offer a $300 version of its popular Grand Slam wake-up — complete with a bottle of 2004 Dom Perignon Premier Cru Champagne. The breakfast fit for a king is called the “Grand Cru Slam” — but besides the vino, it’s the standard morning eye-opener of… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: breakfast, Denny's, Dom Perignon, Grand Cru Slam, lunch, move over Loews Regency, watch your back Four Seasons, you take someone here and they'll know you mean business
  • You Now Have Two Ways To Evaluate Mortgage-Backed Securities

    Jon Shazar
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:13 am
    You can do the work yourself, what with all of the new information banks will have to disclose about all of the garbage they’re hiding in them. Or you can trust that the ratings agencies will live up to the spirit of the new rule directing them to do what they say they do, rather… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: ratings agencies, SEC, we did it!
  • Swiss Bankers Suddenly Bashful About Listing “Sparkling Water,” “Hooker For Client” On Expense Reports

    Bess Levin
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:12 am
    To that end, Hans in accounting is also getting a little too pushy with the “Was this prostitute really necessary? Is this threesome going to help Q4 revenue?” line of questioning. Zurich’s red-light district is dimming. Bankers who have been core patrons of the city’s sex industry and cabarets are curbing spending. The venues of… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: expense reports, prostitutes, rules, Switzerland, Zurich
  • Opening Bell: 08.29.14

    Dealbreaker
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:30 am
    Bank of America seeks to void verdict in $1.27 billion ‘Hustle’ case (Reuters) Bank of America Corp on Thursday asked a federal judge to throw out a jury verdict finding it liable for fraud over defective mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit that resulted in a $1.27 billion penalty. The bank urged U.S. District Judge… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
 
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    Econbrowser

  • Wisconsin Forecasted to Lag Further Behind Minnesota

    Menzie Chinn
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:55 pm
    And Kansas travels its own path Bruce Bartlett brings my attention to this article noting Minnesota’s economic performance. This reminded me to check on the Philadelphia Fed’s forecast for the next six months, released earlier today. What’s interesting to me is the fact the cumulative growth gap between Minnesota and Wisconsin (relative to 2011M01) is forecasted to grow — rather than shrink — over the next six months. Figure 1: Log coincident indices for Minnesota (blue bold), Wisconsin (red bold), Kansas (green), California (teal), and United States (black), all…
  • “U.K. Wants EU to Block Russia From SWIFT Banking Network”

    Menzie Chinn
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:11 am
    From Bloomberg:: The U.K. will press European Union leaders to consider blocking Russian access to the SWIFT banking transaction system under an expansion of sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, a British government official said. … “There’s no doubt that in the short term restricting Russian usage of SWIFT would be extremely disruptive to Russian financial and commercial activities,” said Richard Reid, a research fellow for finance and regulation at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Russian economic authorities themselves accede to the increasing likelihood of recession…
  • Russian Forces in Ukraine

    Menzie Chinn
    28 Aug 2014 | 1:16 pm
    From NYT: NATO released photographs on Thursday that it said shows Russian artillery units operating in Ukraine, and asserted that more than 1,000 Russian soldiers had now joined the separatists fighting there against the Ukrainian armed forces. Source: NYT. The MICEX is down 1.84% today; the Russian Trading System Cash Index is down 3.43%. Source: Bloomberg. Thus far, risk indicators such as VIX are not evidencing upward spikes, but that could change very quickly. Given the downturn in Western Europe — partly attributable in Germany to the slowdown in exports to Russia [1] — this…
  • Guest Contribution: “The Cause of Secular Stagnation? Relative Prices, Trade, and the People’s Republic of China”

    Menzie Chinn
    27 Aug 2014 | 9:27 pm
    Today we are fortunate to have a guest contribution written by Doug Campbell, assistant professor at the New Economic School (Moscow). The 2000s began with the Federal Reserve narrowly missing the zero lower bound on short-term interest rates. Then the US needed a housing bubble to attain full-ish employment in the mid-2000s, a decade that ended with the US and other major economies falling into liquidity traps, where they have been ever since. The causes of this sustained shortfall in demand, termed secular stagnation, was the topic of a recent VoxEU.org ebook. In this post, based in part on…
  • I Killed Some Brain Cells Today: Episode 2

    Menzie Chinn
    25 Aug 2014 | 8:50 pm
    “Energy regulation efficiency” and economic growth. Last time, we turned to the Phoenix Institute for some mind-numbing, soul-killing “research”. Today we look to the Pacific Research Institute for some dumbfounding “analysis”. This particular piece of research was brought to my attention by Patrick R. Sullivan, who is fond of quoting talking points from the MacIver Institute, the National Center for Policy Analysis, Cato, in addition to the Pacific Research Institute. The study in question purports to show: The most interesting relationship is between a…
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    EconLog: Library of Economics and Liberty

  • The Wisdom of Chairman Dwight

    David Henderson
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:59 pm
    (August 29, 2014 04:59 PM, by David Henderson) I had lunch yesterday with Richard McKenzie, one of the co-authors of the Econlib Feature Article that will appear Monday. He gave me a copy of a special little paperback he produced of what he calls "Dwightisms." They're actual sayings... (3 COMMENTS)
  • Should You Take Notes By Hand and Read Paper Books?

    Art Carden
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:45 am
    (August 29, 2014 11:45 AM, by Art Carden) This started as a comment on my post about mandating the teaching of cursive in Tennessee, which got some great comments (as usual; thanks, EconLog readers), but it got long enough that I decided to make it its own post.... (6 COMMENTS)
  • Anthony de Jasay on "rights"

    Alberto Mingardi
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:01 am
    (August 29, 2014 07:01 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) One of the many treats of Econlib are the articles of Anthony de Jasay. Mostly renowned for his remarkable book The State, De Jasay is among the most brilliant libertarian political thinkers. This month he has a profound article on... (4 COMMENTS)
  • Markets and Prices Allow Us To Use Knowledge We Don't Have

    Art Carden
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:38 am
    (August 29, 2014 06:38 AM, by Art Carden) Another semester is upon us, and in my principles of macroeconomics class at Samford we spent the first week reading Frederic Bastiat's What is Seen and What is Not Seen and Leonard Read's I, Pencil. In class yesterday we considered... (2 COMMENTS)
  • Why Do Government Enterprises Work So Well?

    Bryan Caplan
    29 Aug 2014 | 12:00 am
    (August 29, 2014 12:00 AM, by Bryan Caplan) When I was in high school, Murray Rothbard's analysis of government ownership was a revelation.  Why was my high school a den of waste, incompetence, and stagnation?  Because it was a government enterprise!On the free market, in short, the consumer... (32 COMMENTS)
 
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    Economist's View

  • Paul Krugman: The Fall of France

    Mark Thoma
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:26 am
    Why didn't François Hollande reverse austerity policies in France?: The Fall of France, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: François Hollande, the president of France since 2012, coulda been a contender. He was elected on a promise to turn away from the austerity policies that killed Europe’s brief, inadequate economic recovery... But it was not to be. Once in office, Mr. Hollande promptly folded, giving in completely to demands for even more austerity. Let it not be said, however, that he is entirely spineless. Earlier this week, he took decisive action, but not, alas, on economic…
  • Links for 8-29-14

    Mark Thoma
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:04 am
    Eurozone delusions - mainly macro Baking the Data Layer - Digitopoly The Cause of Secular Stagnation? - Econbrowser US economy: ‘pent up wage deflation’ blues - Gavyn Davies Lessons of the Great Depression for the Eurozone - mainly macro China's Capital Controls and Exchange Rate Regime - Cecchetti & Schoenholtz Fed to Consider Including Municipal Bonds in New Bank Safeguards - WSJ A short comment on money and independence - Magic, maths and money Generation X Remains “Generation Debt” - St. Louis Fed The Real Reason Companies Are Spending Less on Tech - Justin Fox Outsource…
  • Repugnant Markets and Prohibited Transactions

    Mark Thoma
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:21 am
    There seems to be a problem with embedding this video -- it's here: Repugnant Markets and Prohibited Transactions
  • When Do We Start Calling This 'The Greater Depression'?

    Mark Thoma
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:18 am
    Brad DeLong: When Do We Start Calling This “The Greater Depression”?: We started by calling it the financial crisis of 2007. Then it became the financial crisis of 2008. Next it was the downturn of 2009-2009. By the middle of 2009 it was clearly the biggest thing since the 1930s, and acquired the name of “The Great Recession”. By the end of 2009 the business cycle trough had been passed, and people breathed a sigh of relief: “The Great Recession” would be its stable name–we would not have to change its name again, and move on to labels containing the D-word. But we breathed our…
  • Links for 8-28-14

    Mark Thoma
    28 Aug 2014 | 12:06 am
    Does Economics Education Teach Students to Trust? - Tim Taylor Quantitative Easing, and Intellectual Coordination Failures - Brad DeLong Economics Isn't Science or Literature - Bloomberg View What's The Matter With France? - Paul Krugman Dethrone ‘King Dollar’ - NYTimes.com
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    EconTalk

  • Continuing Conversation... Daphne Koller on Education, Coursera, and MOOCs

    Amy Willis
    26 Aug 2014 | 11:15 am
    This week, Russ Roberts chatted with former Stanford professor and Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller about the present and future of online education. We'd like to hear your thoughts about blended learning and/or online education. Use the prompts below and post your response in the comments, or start your own conversation offline and let us know how it goes. We love to hear from you. Check Your Knowledge: 1. What are the commonalities among all of Coursera's offerings? What makes Coursera unique in the online education community today? Going Deeper: 2. Koller insists that Coursera and other…
  • Daphne Koller on Education, Coursera, and MOOCs

    Russell Roberts
    25 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    Daphne Koller of Coursera talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about online educational website Coursera and the future of education both online and via bricks-and-mortar. Koller, co-founder of Coursera with Andrew Ng, explains how Coursera partners with universities, how they try to create community and interaction, and the likely impact of widespread digital education on universities and those who want to learn. The conversation includes a discussion of why Koller left a chaired position in computer science at Stanford University to run a for-profit start-up in a crowded field. Play Time:…
  • Continuing Conversation... Terry Anderson on the Environment and Property Rights

    Amy Willis
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:27 am
    This week Roberts discussed free-market environmentalism with Terry Anderson, of the Property and Environment Research Center and the Hoover Institution. FME's unique combination of free-market principles and environmental stewardship may not be as radical as when it was introduced, yet still is not mainstream. Let us know your thoughts on its potential. We hope you find the prompts below useful. As always, we love to hear from you! Check Your Knowledge: 1. Why does Anderson assert that we should expunge the term "externality" from our vocabulary? To what extent do you agree with him? Going…
  • Terry Anderson on the Environment and Property Rights

    Russell Roberts
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    Terry Anderson, Distinguished Fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about free-market environmentalism, the dynamics of the Yellowstone ecosystem, and how property rights can protect natural resources. Play Time: 1:03:36 How do I listen to a podcast? Download Size:29.2 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: Terry Anderson's Home page at PERC. Terry…
  • Continuing Conversation...Barry Weingast on Law

    Amy Willis
    14 Aug 2014 | 1:22 pm
    This week, Roberts returned to a political-economy topic, law, with guest Barry Weingast of Stanford. As always, we'd like to hear what you thought. So use the prompts below to share your thoughts and spark some conversation. Check Your Knowledge: 1. What are the various components of law Weingast enumerates, and which are the most significant in providing stability? 2. How do Weingast and Roberts distinguish between social norms and law? How does Weingast describe "decentralized collective punishment?" What is the role of the "steward" in the creation and maintenance of law? Where do you…
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    Environmental Economics

  • Friday beer post

    John Whitehead
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:00 pm
    From the western NC best kept secret list: Laughing Seed Cafe, Asheville Not so long ago, eating at a vegetarian restaurant could be an ascetic experience even for vegetarians. But all those meat eaters have no idea what they’re missing when they walk past the Laughing Seed Cafe. It distills much that is distinctive about modern Asheville’s charms and quirks to a single place. After the restaurant opened in 1991, it helped lead Asheville’s downtown revival and now highlights a list of eateries that likely give the city the heaviest concentration of vegetarian restaurants per capita on…
  • And I hear there will be a crab feast afterwards

    John Whitehead
    27 Aug 2014 | 10:38 am
    Just a little something to make Tim jealous, from the ASSA program (searching on Q5):
  • Brainwashing them where they live

    Tim Haab
    26 Aug 2014 | 8:56 am
    With the start of the autumn 2014 semester, the university adds a new housing learning community focused on sustainability to its diverse living options for new and returning students. The university offers its students more than a dozen learning communities, which are comprised of groups of students who live together on a residence hall floor who have common majors, career aspirations or personal interests. SUSTAINS (Students Understanding Sustainability and Taking Action to Improve Nature and Society) is targeted at undergraduates studying or interested in the environment and focuses on…
  • "2014 Update: Grading Economics Textbooks on Climate Change"

    John Whitehead
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:54 pm
    Yoram Bauman: With a new school year approaching, this is a good time to update our review of the treatment of climate change in economics textbooks. As in our 2010 and 2012 reviews, some books hit the mark while others are wildly misleading. But we’re happy to say that there’s plenty of good news, especially at the top and the bottom of the grade distribution: the good books have gotten better (including the first-ever A+ grade!) and even the worst ones have made improvements (the lowest grade is now a D-, not a F!). Some books, of course, suffered some backsliding. Out of 18 books…
  • My benefit-cost analysis reading list

    John Whitehead
    25 Aug 2014 | 1:29 pm
    The course is for senior economics majors, MBAs and graduate students from other programs. My reading list includes BCA examples, overviews, technical stuff (in mostly non-technical language) and other stuff.  Am I missing anything? Allen, Bryon P., and John B. Loomis. "The Decision to use Benefit Transfer or Conduct Original Valuation Research for Benefit-Cost and Policy Analysis," Contemporary Economic Policy 26, no. 1 (2008): 1-12. Atkinson, Giles, and Susana Mourato. "Environmental cost-benefit analysis."Annual Review of Environment and Resources 33 (2008):…
 
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    footnoted*

  • EZCorp’s Doozy $25K/Mo Housing Perk For Chairman

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

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

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

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    7 Aug 2014 | 5:21 am
    Walgreen Co., which has been engaged in a very-public soul-searching over whether it should or shouldn’t  leave the country in search of lower taxes saw its stock plunge nearly 15% plunge yesterday after it finally decided to stay put in Illinois. The news generated countless headlines (see here and here and here, for example). The 8-K providing more details was filed less than 3 minutes before the SEC closed up shop for the day on a day when around 500 8-Ks were filed. But with all of this intense interest over to invert-or-not-to-invert, another 8-K filed late Monday afternoon, seems…
  • No penny-pinching at Family Dollar

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:08 am
    Family Dollar Stores Inc. may have been looking to prevent its flock of penny-pinching consumers from migrating to big discount retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with its move to merge with Dollar Tree Inc., but the deep-discount firm didn’t penny-pinch when it came to making payouts for CEO Howard Levine, who is set retain his post once the merger is complete. In one of its nine filings yesterday related to the proposed merger, Family Dollar Stores disclosed that Levine is in line to get a potential $5 million in payout, including salary, bonus and restricted stock units.
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    Free exchange

  • The dollar's sterling work

    C.W. | LONDON
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:53 am
    A FORTHCOMING paper in the Journal of Development Economics looks at the dollar’s ascendancy to global reserve currency. Barry Eichengreen, of the University of California, Berkeley, and two economists from the ECB up-end the conventional history of when the dollar became top dog.Economic historians have typically believed that until the second world war the British pound sterling remained the leading international currency. The system was geared in favour of sterling, the argument goes: bankers instinctively used the pound because everyone else did. Economists refer to this as inertia. An…
  • Learn, and be less unequal

    C.W. | LINDAU, GERMANY
    23 Aug 2014 | 8:43 am
    IN THIS week’s Free exchange column, we look at why globalisation may not reduce inequality in developing countries. Lots of theories have been proposed. We discuss one, outlined by Eric Maskin of Harvard University. Mr Maskin has been working for over a decade on this theory, which he is developing alongside Michael Kremer, a Harvard colleague. In a nutshell, Mr Maskin argues that skilled workers in developing countries are coveted by multinational companies and see wage rises. Unskilled workers are ignored, so their wages fall. (The thesis is tricky to grasp at first, so please read the…
  • A less dovish Yellen, a more dovish Draghi

    G.I. | JACKSON HOLE, WY.
    22 Aug 2014 | 9:14 pm
    The contradictory signals generated by American labour market data in the last year have provided grist for both hawks and doves at the Federal Reserve. For hawks, the rapid decline in the unemployment rate shows slack in the economy is disappearing so the Fed should tighten soon. For doves, the low rate of wage growth suggests there’s plenty of slack and tightening should wait.Since becoming chair, Janet Yellen has usually been in the second camp, on balance interpreting the data as suggesting there wasn’t any urgency about raising rates. Her speech to the Kansas City Fed’s Economic…
  • New numbers, same conclusion

    J.P.
    22 Aug 2014 | 10:59 am
    THE ECONOMIST recently published an article about the costs and benefits of various kinds of zero- and low-carbon energy, “Sun, wind and drain”. The article was based on research by Charles Frank of the Brookings Institution (whose paper is here). Dr Frank, citing the work of Paul Joskow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argued that the usual way of calculating energy costs—so-called “levelised costs”, or the total capital and operating cost of a generating unit over its lifetime—was flawed when applied to renewable-energy sources and therefore not a useful way of…
  • Kidneys and housing bubbles

    C.W. | LINDAU, GERMANY
    20 Aug 2014 | 10:23 am
    WE ARE covering the 5th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences, held in a small, pretty Bavarian town. It is a unique event, with about half the living Nobel laureates in attendance. Each gives a talk about their research and then leads a small class to a select group of young economists. (Graduate students: apply for next time!). Notable events thus far include Angela Merkel stopping by to say hi, and one laureate (who will remain unnamed) being dreadfully stroppy with a hapless bellboy.   Alvin Roth, of Stanford University, gave the most accessible presentation of the day. Mr Roth,…
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    Greg Mankiw's Blog

  • A Nice Application of the Coase Theorem

    Greg Mankiw
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:21 am
    From Josh Barro.
  • 25 Brightest Young Economists

    Greg Mankiw
    27 Aug 2014 | 2:11 pm
    Here is a list.  By the way, six are at Harvard, more than any other school.
  • News from Amazon

    Greg Mankiw
    26 Aug 2014 | 3:33 am
    In the Business & Money category:Source And in all books:SourceTo users of my favorite textbooks: Thank you!  Have a great semester.
  • What To Make of Corporate Tax Inversions

    Greg Mankiw
    23 Aug 2014 | 9:41 am
    Click here to read my column in Sunday's NY Times.
  • Teaching Conference

    Greg Mankiw
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:57 am
    I will be speaking at the annual conference of the National Economics Teaching Association, which this year is being held on Thursday, November 6th and Friday, November 7th, 2014 in San Diego, CA.  If you want to consider attending, click here for more information. You can potentially win a free trip to the conference, as well as some cash, by entering this contest.
 
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    Hedge fund

  • Emerging markets

    Veryan Allen
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:08 pm
    The highest returns will come from NOT WHERE YOU LIVE. National bias in this borderless world? Emerging markets are for long/short as long only is too risky. Markets offer alpha capture from short and long security selection not buy and hold. The best past performers, THEN frontiers South Africa and Australia, proved since 1900 that demographics and GDP growth have little effect on stocks. Emerging market beta? NO. Emerging market alpha? YES.Buy the unpopular and short sell the trendy. When the crowd loves somewhere, get short. I've made the most alpha shorting emerging markets but…
  • Active or passive

    Veryan Allen
    25 Aug 2014 | 4:58 pm
    Active or passive? Name ANY business where passive succeeded in the long term. Index funds are just low frequency trading strategies with horrific drawdowns and abysmal risk adjusted returns. Active is the only option in the REAL world because "passive" funds track trading decisions of index construction firms. Should you risk your life savings on lists of stocks or hard working top talent that actually earns its fees?Choosing WHICH passive index is an active decision requiring skill. Prudent men invest in skill. If you think the best stock pickers work at Standard and Poor's, MSCI…
  • Hedge Fund Test

    Veryan Allen
    22 Aug 2014 | 8:14 am
    Alpha is so rare that only the most dedicated, hard working and talented can find it. All top portfolio managers require 50,000 hours to get skilled and work 100 hour weeks, minimum, to maintain such competence. Such people do NOT run traditional funds highly dependent on an underlying index. They also score 10/10 on The Hedge Fund Test. How will you do?1) Asset allocation: If global thermonuclear war, a Richter scale 11 earthquake, a new ice age, an alien invasion and a Texas-sized asteroid striking earth all occur later today, how much money will you make and how much will "cheap"…
  • Accredited investor?

    Veryan Allen
    20 Aug 2014 | 5:28 pm
    Rich enough to reduce risk? Why are the mass affluent not permitted to invest with quality money managers or access sound financial advice? Ancient laws make managers not good enough to run hedge funds available to everyone but prevent Mom and Pop from accessing top talent. Why should non-millionaires have to make do with managers that aren't skilled enough to run hedge funds? Why "protect" retirees from best investment products. Who is REALLY being protected?1. Freedom. How wealthy should one be to allowed to invest with elite fund managers? The "accredited investor" amount must be REDUCED…
  • Low cost or low risk

    Veryan Allen
    18 Aug 2014 | 6:47 am
    Jack Bogle steals clients' precious time waiting years for volatile indices to rise. Bizarrely he risks the most money on the biggest names and outsources security selection to ACTIVE stock pickers at index construction firms! Bogle charges outrageous fees for zero work, tracking silly lists of securities without any due diligence. Vanguard's OWN active mutual funds have destroyed their OWN index funds for 30 years. And GOOD hedge funds have outperformed ALL traditional managers for over 50 years.Low cost? Nonsense. Even NEGATIVE expense ratios would still render his HIGH RISK speculative…
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    Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

  • Moral Dilemma: Should a Libertarian Who Does Not Need Food Stamps, but Qualifies for Them, Take Them?

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:53 pm
    Here's the moral dilemma of the day:Suppose you are a staunch Libertarian, doing reasonably well and you don't need food stamps. Yet, under perverse rules, you qualify for them. Should you take them? Reader Steven faces that exact question. Steven writes ... Hi MishIn response to your article 40% of U.S. on Welfare; Obamacare Expands Welfare by 23 Million; More on Welfare Than Full-Time-Employed I confess my own moral dilemma.I am the beneficiary of trusts left to me by my parents. They are not huge, but they sustain me and my children. I prefer to spend time with my kids rather than pursue…
  • "Economic Pilot in Reverse": US Consumer Spending Unexpectedly Dips; Zero for 79

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:46 am
    Mainstream media headlines in the last two days offer an amusing look at GDP forecasts. GDP Stronger Than Expected Yesterday, the Financial Times reported US Rebound Stronger than First Thought. The US economy’s second quarter bounce was stronger than previously thought, with the official annualised growth estimate increased from 4 per cent to 4.2 per cent.The revision is more evidence of robust underlying growth in the world’s biggest economy as it swung back from a weather affected 2.1 per cent fall in the first quarter."Economic Pilot in Reverse"Today, the Wall Street Journal reported…
  • Japanese Household Spending Slumps 5.9%; Cries for More Monetary Stimulus

    28 Aug 2014 | 10:36 pm
    Consumer spending in Japan slumped in June because of a tax hike pushed through by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Economists claimed it would be temporary and spending would quickly recover thanks to inflation.Let's take a look at what actually happened.Japanese Household Spending Slumps 5.9% Yahoo!Finance reports Japan Household Spending Slumps, Output Flat as Tax Pain Persists Japanese household spending fell much more than expected and factory output remained weak in July after plunging in June, government data showed, suggesting that soft exports and a sales tax hike in April may drag on the…
  • Venezuelan Bolivar Plunges to Record Low on Black Market; Bond Default Coming Up in October?

    28 Aug 2014 | 10:57 am
    Please consider the "official" exchange rate of the Bolivar to the USD.Bolivar vs. US DollarFrom 2005 to 2009 the official exchange rate was 2 bolivars to one US dollar.In 2009 the official exchange rate soared to 4.3 to the dollar.In 2013 the official exchange rate soared to 6.3 to the dollar.Venezuela allows "very limited" trading at 50 to the US dollar in a parallel exchange called Sicad II.On the black market today, it takes 89 bolivars to buy 1 US dollar. That is a 95% loss in value vs. the official exchange rate since 2013.Black Market Record Low Bloomberg reports Venezuela’s Black…
  • Jane's Defense Caught With Pants Down: Ukraine Admits Rebel Counteroffensive, Including March to the Sea

    28 Aug 2014 | 12:27 am
    Jane's Defense vs. Colonel Cassad Take IIIn response to Jane's Defense vs. Colonel Cassad: Someone Seriously Wrong, a close friend wrote ... Jane’s has been in business giving good advice for a century and could only do so by giving good advice.  Everything I have read suggests that the rebels (who include a lot of Russian paramilitary) would have been about finished this past week, but for supplies coming in through Russian interference. The captured Russian soldiers two days ago day only make the interference look more like direct assault.  Colonel Cassad, on the other hand,…
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    Overcoming Bias

  • Fundamentalists Are Not Traditionalists

    Robin Hanson
    26 Aug 2014 | 4:35 pm
    In my last two years of college I rebelled against the system. I stopped doing homework and instead studied physics by playing with equations (and acing exams). In this I was a “school fundamentalist.” I wanted to cut out what I saw as irrelevant and insincere ritual, so that school could better serve what I saw as its fundamental purpose, which was to help curious people learn. I contrasted myself with “traditionalists” who just unthinkingly continued with previous habits and customs. One of the big social trends over the last few centuries has been a move toward reforming previous…
  • Security Has Costs

    Robin Hanson
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:50 am
    Technical systems are often insecure, in that they allow unauthorized access and control. While strong security is usually feasible if designed in carefully from the start, such systems are usually made fast on the cheap. So they usually ignore security at first, and then later address it as an afterthought, which as a result becomes a crude ongoing struggle to patch holes as fast as holes are made or discovered. The more complex a system is, the more different other systems it is adapted to, the more different organizations that share a system, and the more that such systems are pushed…
  • Liked For Being You

    Robin Hanson
    24 Aug 2014 | 9:20 am
    What do people want to be liked for? You are advised to tell a pretty woman she is smart and a smart woman she is pretty. But people don’t seem that happy with being liked for features like wealth, fame, beauty, strength, talent, smarts, or charisma. People do seem to prefer being liked for more stable features that they are less likely lose with time. But they still often aren’t that happy with being liked for easily visible and hence “shallow” features, relative to “deep” features that take time and attention to discover. And they sometimes say “I want to be liked just…
  • Regulating Infinity

    Robin Hanson
    17 Aug 2014 | 11:20 am
    As a professor of economics in the GMU Center for the Study of Public Choice, I and my colleagues are well aware of the many long detailed disputes on the proper scope of regulation. One the one hand, the last few centuries has seen increasing demands for and expectations of government regulation. A wider range of things that might happen without regulation are seen as intolerable, and our increasing ability to manage large organizations and systems of surveillance is seen as making us increasingly capable of discerning relevant problems and managing regulatory solutions. On the other hand,…
  • Neglecting Win-Win Help

    Robin Hanson
    15 Aug 2014 | 4:35 pm
    Consider three kinds of acts: S. Selfish – helps you, and no one else. A. Altruistic – helps others, at a cost to you. M. Mixed – helps others, and helps you. To someone who is honestly and simply selfish, acts of type A would be by far the least attractive. All else equal such people would do fewer acts of type A, relatives to other types. Because they don’t care about helping others. To someone who is honestly and simply altruistic, in contrast, acts of type M should be the most attractive. All else equal, such a person should more often do acts of type M, relative to…
 
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    All Articles on Seeking Alpha

  • Krispy Kreme: A 6 Point Inspection

    30 Aug 2014 | 1:05 am
    By William Bias:Long-term investors should develop a guide or a list of questions to help them in their stock market research. The six questions below can help you get started to guide your research of any company. Let's research Krispy Kreme (NYSE: KKD) based on these criteria. 1) What does the company do? When you buy shares of a company you effectively become part owner of the business, and business owners should know what they sell. With that said, Krispy Kreme and its franchisees sell donuts through retail stores and to other retailers via its wholesale channel. Franchisees operate…
  • Visa - I Share The Cautiousness Of Raymond James, But For Different Reasons

    30 Aug 2014 | 12:47 am
    By The Value Investor:Shares of Visa (NYSE:V) have been facing some pressure amidst a downgrade from analysts at Raymond James citing a bunch of reasons to be cautious on the shares in the periods ahead.I share the cautious stance on the shares, but not necessarily for the same reasons. While the premium valuation might seem justified given the incredible pace of growth in recent years, I have my doubts about the medium to long term viability and future of the current business model. Reasons To Turn Cautious Analysts at Raymond James have downgraded their rating for Visa from Outperform to…
  • Watch Out, Starbucks; Dunkin' Donuts Joins The Dark Side

    30 Aug 2014 | 12:30 am
    By The Specialist:Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) lately has been eating Dunkin' Donuts (NASDAQ:DNKN) lunch then washing it down with their own dark and rich coffee. While Starbucks continues to defy gravity, punching in its 18th consecutive quarter of global same-store sales growth greater than 5%, Dunkin' Donuts seems stuck in the mud, crying foul about the weather and the economy. Last quarter its same-store sales in the United States rose by a disappointing 1.8%, while internationally they tumbled down by 3.1%.Few unimportant things can be more polarizing than who has the best coffee. Some pledge…
  • The Debate About Whether To Hire An Active Fund Manager To Beat The Market Or Use A Passive Index Fund Is Over

    30 Aug 2014 | 12:22 am
    By Mark J. Perry:Writing in Saturday's WSJ column "The Intelligent Investor," Jason Zweig reviews a recent article by the "dean of the investment-management industry" Charles Ellis, who claims in the July/August issue of the Financial Analysts Journal that the "active vs. passive investment debate" is largely over. After their high trading fees and expenses, "active managers are no longer able to earn their keep," and therefore most investors will get higher returns and pay lower fees with index funds. Ellis expects that the triumph of index investing over active fund management is generating…
  • Abercrombie & Fitch Q2 2014: Cool Kids No Longer Wear Logos

    30 Aug 2014 | 12:17 am
    By WestEnd511:Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) reported adjusted EPS of $0.19 that beat consensus of $0.11 mainly on well executed cost control. The revenue miss ($890m vs. consensus $909m) was a function of the ongoing weakness in comp sales (-7%) as ANF faces the challenges of its diminishing brand value. But signs of better than expected margins and inventory management are paving the way for earnings rebound. The decision to remove the ANF logo on most of its products is prudent and could improve comp sales in the future. (click to enlarge) Less logo to drive future comps US comps were…
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Avoiding model selection in Bayesian social research

    Andrew
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:57 am
    One of my favorites, from 1995. Don Rubin and I argue with Adrian Raftery. Here’s how we begin: Raftery’s paper addresses two important problems in the statistical analysis of social science data: (1) choosing an appropriate model when so much data are available that standard P-values reject all parsimonious models; and (2) making estimates and predictions when there are not enough data available to fit the desired model using standard techniques. For both problems, we agree with Raftery that classical frequentist methods fail and that Raftery’s suggested methods based on…
  • When we talk about the “file drawer,” let’s not assume that an experiment can easily be characterized as producing strong, mixed, or weak results

    Andrew
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:52 pm
    Neil Malhotra: I thought you might be interested in our paper [the paper is by Annie Franco, Neil Malhotra, and Gabor Simonovits, and the link is to a news article by Jeffrey Mervis], forthcoming in Science, about publication bias in the social sciences given your interest and work on research transparency. Basic summary: We examined studies conducted as part of the Time-sharing Experiments in the Social Science (TESS) program, where: (1) we have a known population of conducted studies (some published, some unpublished); and (2) all studies exceed a quality threshold as they go through peer…
  • Pre-election survey methodology: details from nine polling organizations, 1988 and 1992

    Andrew
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:37 am
    This one from 1995 (with D. Stephen Voss and Gary King) was fun. For our “Why are American Presidential election campaign polls so variable when votes are so predictable?” project a few years earlier, Gary and I had analyzed individual-level survey responses from 60 pre-election polls that had been conducted by several different polling organizations. We wanted do know exactly what went on in these surveys but it was hard to learn anything much at all from the codebooks or the official descriptions of the polls. So Voss, a student of Gary’s who had experience as a…
  • One of the worst infographics ever, but people don’t care?

    Phil
    27 Aug 2014 | 8:15 pm
    This post is by Phil Price. Perhaps prompted by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, this infographic has been making the rounds: I think this is one of the worst I have ever seen. I don’t know where it came from, so I can’t give credit/blame where it’s due. Let’s put aside the numbers themselves – I haven’t checked them, for one thing, and I’d also say that for this comparison one would be most interested in (government money plus donations) rather than just donations — and just look at this as an information display. What are some things I…
  • Discussion of “A probabilistic model for the spatial distribution of party support in multiparty elections”

    Andrew
    27 Aug 2014 | 6:36 am
    From 1994. I don’t have much to say about this one. The paper I was discussing (by Samuel Merrill) had already been accepted by the journal—I might even have been a referee, in which case the associate editor had decided to accept the paper over my objections—and the editor gave me the opportunity to publish this dissent which appeared in the same issue with Merrill’s article. I like the discussion, and it includes some themes that keep showing up: the idea that modeling is important and you need to understand what your model is doing to the data. It’s not enough…
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    Streetsblog New York City

  • NYC: One City, By Bike: Huge Opportunities for NYC Cycling in the de Blasio Era

    Jon Orcutt
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:28 am
    Jon Orcutt was NYC DOT’s policy director from 2007 to 2014. He developed DOT’s post-PlaNYC strategic plan, Sustainable Streets, oversaw creation of the Citi Bike program, and produced the de Blasio administration’s Vision Zero Action Plan. In this five-part series, he looks at today’s opportunities to build on the breakthroughs in NYC cycling made during the Bloomberg administration. Part 1 – What’s Next for New York City Cycling Policy? Bike transportation in New York City unquestionably saw historic progress during the second half of the Bloomberg…
  • NYC: Chin Calls for Safety Fixes After Driver Injures Three Women on South Street

    Stephen Miller
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:05 am
    South Street at Rutgers Slip, before a traffic signal and crosswalks were installed last year. Photo: Google Maps A driver seriously injured three women in the crosswalk at South Street at Rutgers Slip in Manhattan yesterday, and one of the victims is facing life-threatening injuries. In response, Council Member Margaret Chin called on DOT to study pedestrian safety along this stretch of South Street, where many residents of Chinatown and the Lower East Side cross beneath the FDR Drive to access the East River Esplanade. DOT says it is conducting a safety review of the intersection, where it…
  • NYC: The Weekly Carnage

    Summer Greenstein
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:51 am
    The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage. The intersection of Park Avenue and 108th Street, where unlicensed driver Nojeem Odunfa killed cyclist Jerrison Garcia. Image: Google Maps Fatal Crashes (5 Killed Since Aug. 15; 127 This Year*) Midtown: 62-Year-Old Man Struck by SUV Driver While Crossing Avenue P (DNA) East Harlem: Jerrison Garcia, 25, Struck on Bicycle at Park Avenue and E. 108th Street (Streetsblog) Maspeth: Karoll Grzegorczyk, 32, Struck by…
  • NYC: Eyes on the Street: Our Long PPW Bike Lane Nightmare Is Almost Over

    Stephen Miller
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    Repaved sections of Prospect Park West are being striped, with orange barrels marking the bike lane in the meantime. Until now, the lane had been erased, pushing northbound cyclists onto the sidewalk or into head-on traffic. Photo: Heather Boyer/Twitter Lesson learned? Last week, DOT wiped away the Prospect Park West bike lane for street repaving without installing any temporary cones to preserve the bike route during construction. Drivers parked at the curb, pushing northbound cyclists into oncoming traffic or onto the sidewalk. Now, DOT has demarcated the bike lane with orange cones as it…
  • NYC: Today’s Headlines

    Stephen Miller
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:57 am
    Man Who Used Car As Weapon in Bronx Hit-and-Run Faces Attempted Murder Charges (DNA) Driver Injures Three Women, One Critically, Beneath FDR Downtown (Gothamist, DNA) Driver Smashes Jeep Into Ozone Park Pizzeria (Forum) State, Brookfield Point Fingers Over Downtown Greenway Closure Begun in 2007 (Downtown Express) Without Work Rule Reform, LIRR Union Deal Is Nothing to Celebrate (PlaNYourCity) Ticketed for Driving in the Bus Lane Multiple Times? It’s OK: City Will Cancel All But One (Bklyn Paper) Citi Bike Working With Cornell Data Scientist to Improve Rebalancing (CityLab) Precinct…
 
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    The Big Picture

  • Succinct Summations of Week’s Events 8.29.14

    Barry Ritholtz
    29 Aug 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Succinct Summations week ending August 29th Positives: 1. S&P 500 crossed 2,000 for the first time ever and took just 94 days to climb from 1,900 to 2k. 2. Pending home sales rose 3% m/o/m vs expectations of a 0.5% rise. 3. 2Q GDP rose 4.2% annualized vs expectations of a 4% rise. 4. Durable goods surged 22.6% the biggest increase and highest level since 1992 (due to an expected big increase in aircraft orders 5. Consumer confidence rose to 92.4, the highest level since October 2007. 6. Richmond manufacturing index came in at 12, the highest level since March 2011. 7. June durable goods…
  • Conservatives Discover America’s Infrastructure Problems

    Barry Ritholtz
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:30 am
    Last night, I made a rare airport run. Our niece from Chicago is visiting for the long weekend, and rather than send a car, we fought through both U.S. Open and Mets traffic to pick her up at LaGuardia Airport. Regular readers know my views of U.S. airports in general and LaGuardia in particular. Despite the occasional spectacular views, it is on my list of worst U.S. airports, second only to John F. Kennedy International Airport. It’s as if we forgot what routine government spending was supposed to accomplish. In general, American air travel is terribly annoying. Anytime someone we…
  • 10 Friday AM Reads

    Barry Ritholtz
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:30 am
    Your three (or is it four?) day weekend is almost here! Don’t get bored on the beach, some expertly selected reads will keep your mind active while you tan: • In Pursuit of Past Performance (A Wealth of Common Sense) • Calling Gordon Gekko: This Is Japan (Bloomberg View) • Alaska Is a Petrol State, but it doesn’t act like one.(Slate) • Daniel McFadden: Understanding better how people really make choices (Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings) see also Does It Help to Know History? (The New Yorker) Continues here    
  • About David Tice’s 60% Crash Call . . .

    Barry Ritholtz
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Earlier this week, Prudent Bear fund founder David Tice warned of an imminent crash — as bad as 30-60% down on the S&P500. One small thing: This is pretty much the same call that Tice made in 2010 and 2012. Apparently, if you make the same crash call every 2 years, most of the media and viewers will have forgotten the prior crash forecast. Only Google never forgets. In 2010, Tice warned that the Secular Bear Market will not end until we get back to book value or below (Federated’s David Tice Is Not A Fan Of Fed-Manufactured, Free Money Driven, Bear Market Bounces, Sees…
  • Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

    Barry Ritholtz
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    From the Wall Street Journal: Base price: $99,000 Price, as tested: $104,975 Powertrain: Front-mounted supercharged 5.0-liter, DOHC 32-valve, direct-injection V8 with variable cam phasing and active exhaust; eight-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive with electronic limited-slip differential. Horsepower/torque: 550 hp at 6,500 rpm/502 pound-feet at 2,500-5,500 rpm Length/weight: 176.0 inches/3,638 pounds Wheelbase: 103.2 inches 0-60 mph: <4 seconds EPA fuel economy: 16/23/18 mpg, city/highway/combined Cargo capacity: 11 cubic feet Source: WSJ
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    The Epicurean Dealmaker

  • All Hail and Farewell, the Trophy Kids

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

    10 Aug 2014 | 10:11 am
    Messenger: “I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.”Beatrice: “No; an he were, I would burn my study. But, I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no young squarer now that will make a voyage with him to the devil?”Messenger: “He is most in the company of the right noble Claudio.”Beatrice: “O Lord, he will hang upon him like a disease: he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio! if he have caught the Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound ere a’ be cured.”— William Shakespeare, Much Ado About…
  • Where Did He Learn to Negotiate Like That?

    2 Aug 2014 | 3:39 pm
    Korbin Dallas: “We need to find the leader. Mangalores won’t fight without the leader.”Mangalore Leader: “One more shot, we start killing hostages.”Korbin Dallas: “That’s the leader.”Mangalore Leader: “Send someone to negotiate.”Security Chief: [to Dallas] “I I I I I’ve never negotiated I…”Korbin Dallas: “Mind if I… try?”Security Chief: “No, no, sure, sure. Sure. [to Mangalores] We’re sending somebody in to negotiate!”Korbin Dallas: [walks into room, shoots Mangalore leader between the eyes] “Anybody else want to negotiate?”Security Chief:…
  • Improve Yourself

    27 Jul 2014 | 1:08 pm
    Liberal Education makes not the Christian, not the Catholic, but the gentleman. It is well to be a gentleman, it is well to have a cultivated intellect, a delicate taste, a candid, equitable, dispassionate mind, a noble and courteous bearing in the conduct of life.— John Henry Cardinal Newman, The Idea of a UniversityLast week, former Yale professor and current essayist and writer William Deriesiewicz penned a jeremiad against elite higher education in this country which not only excoriated his former employer but also all such cognate institutions of higher learning which aspire to the top…
  • Shine On, You Crazy Diamond

    13 Jul 2014 | 9:21 am
    Claudio: “Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signior Leonato?”Benedick: “I noted her not; but I looked on her.”Claudio: “Is she not a modest young lady?”Benedick: “Do you question me, as an honest man should do, for my simple true judgment; or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?”Claudio: “No; I pray thee speak in sober judgment.”Benedick: “Why, i’ faith, methinks she’s too low for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too little for a great praise; only this commendation I can afford her, that were she…
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    OUPblog

  • War poetry across the centuries

    Hannah Paget
    30 Aug 2014 | 12:30 am
    ‘Poetry’, Wordsworth reminds us, ‘is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’, and there can be no area of human experience that has generated a wider range of powerful feelings than war: hope and fear; exhilaration and humiliation; hatred—not only for the enemy, but also for generals, politicians, and war-profiteers; love—for fellow soldiers, for women and children left behind, for country (often) and cause (occasionally). So begins Jon Stallworthy’s introduction to his recently edited volume The New Oxford Book of War Poetry.  The new selection provides improved…
  • A preview of the 2014 OHA Annual Meeting

    Alice
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:30 am
    In a few months, Troy and I hope to welcome you all to the 2014 Oral History Association (OHA) Annual Meeting, “Oral History in Motion: Movements, Transformations, and the Power of Story.” This year’s meeting will take place in our lovely, often frozen hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, from 8-12 October 2014. I am sure most of you have already registered and booked your hotel room. For those of you still dragging your feet, hopefully these letters from OHA Vice President/President Elect Paul Ortiz and Program Committee co-chairs Natalie Fousekis and Kathy Newfont will kick you into gear.
  • The unfinished fable of the sparrows

    PennyF
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    Owls and robots. Nature and computers. It might seem like these two things don’t belong in the same place, but The Unfinished Fable of the Sparrows (in an extract from Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence) sheds light on a particular problem: what if we used our highly capable brains to build machines that surpassed our general intelligence? It was the nest-building season, but after days of long hard work, the sparrows sat in the evening glow, relaxing and chirping away. “We are all so small and weak. Imagine how easy life would be if we had an owl who could help us build our nests!”…
  • A back-to-school reading list of classic literature

    PennyF
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    With carefree summer winding to a close, we’ve pulled together some reading recommendations to put you in a studious mood. Check out these Oxford World’s Classics suggestions to get ready for another season of books and papers. Even if you’re no longer a student, there’s something on this list for every literary enthusiast. If you liked Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, you should read Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare. Like Miller’s Willy Loman, Timon does not enjoy an especially happy life, although from the outside it seems as though he should. Timon once had…
  • Viking reinventions

    ChloeF
    29 Aug 2014 | 12:30 am
    The Vikings are having a good year. In March a blockbuster exhibition opened in the new BP Gallery at the British Museum and tens of thousands have flocked to see the largest collection of Viking treasure ever to be displayed in the British Isles. The centrepiece of the exhibition is the Viking longship known as Roskilde 6. This was excavated from the edge of the Roskilde fjord in Denmark in 1997, during construction of an extension of the Ship Museum, being built to house the previous ships to be found. The curators must have felt they were in a Catch22 dilemma, with each attempt to enlarge…
 
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    Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

  • Government Is Poor At Picking Winners – Anywhere

    Don Boudreaux
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:02 am
    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: Properly decrying the CIA’s arming of anti-Assad Syrian rebels who turned out also to be anti-American ISIS jihadists, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wisely warns of the unintended ill consequences of Uncle Sam’s meddling in foreign affairs (“How U.S. Interventionists Abetted the Rise of ISIS,” August 28).  This episode, of course, is not the first in which U.S. government subsidies to a foreign belligerent succeeded only in making the world more dangerous for peaceable people. The lesson is clear: government…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:31 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 269 of Matt Ridley’s 2010 book, The Rational Optimist; (the quotation is from Terence Kealey’s 2006 book, Sex, Science and Profits; the OECD study is here): A large study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development concluded that government spending on R&D had no observable effect on economic growth, despite what governments believe.  Indeed it ‘crowds out resources that could be alternatively used by the private sector, including private R&D’.
  • Rand Paul on Foreign Interventionism

    Don Boudreaux
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:20 am
    (Don Boudreaux) In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal – in an essay entitled “How U.S. Interventionists Abetted the Rise of ISIS” - Rand Paul wisely warned interventionists of both parties to beware of unintended consequences of intervening in the affairs of other societies and states. One can understand, if not excuse, “Progressives” who ignore such unintended consequences: they also ignore unintended consequences of domestic economic interventionism.  Much more difficult to understand – and, hence, even more difficult to excuse – is the large…
  • Who’d a-Thunk It? Employers Respond Predictably to a Hike In the Minimum Wage

    Don Boudreaux
    28 Aug 2014 | 10:47 am
    (Don Boudreaux) San Jose, CA, recently raised a tax that it imposes on the use of low-skilled workers its minimum wage.  One result is that an employer reduced the size of the annual bonuses that she pays to her employees.  (NPR has the story; this particular part starts at around the 3 minute, 25 second mark in the audio version of the report.  [What is called at this NPR link the "Transcript" is not a complete transcript of what you'll hear if you click "Listen to the Story".]) Note that these particular workers are among the lucky ones.  While the higher minimum wage didn’t help…
  • Yet More Deficient Trade Analysis

    Don Boudreaux
    28 Aug 2014 | 8:13 am
    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to the New York Times: While Jared Bernstein is correct that the dollar’s role as the international reserve currency increases the U.S trade deficit, his analysis of the consequences of a high global demand for U.S. dollars is a jumble of confusions (“Dethrone ‘King Dollar,’“ Aug. 28). Most notably, Mr. Bernstein argues that countries, such as the U.S., that run trade deficits simultaneously suffer excess aggregate demand (“trade-deficit countries must absorb those excess [global] savings to finance their excess…
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    Dollars & Sense Blog

  • Thursday Links: Boots, Salaita, Kalamazoo, etc.

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

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

    Chris Sturr
    13 Aug 2014 | 11:24 am
    (1) Claudia Roth Pierpont, A Raised Voice: How Nina Simone turned the movement into music.  Great piece in the current New Yorker. Read while listening to “Mississippi Goddam” (above). (2) Frederick Reese, In Greece Privatization Schemes, Who Benefits?  From Mint Press. (3) Gerald Friedman, What Happened to the Recovery? Pts. I and II.  Our latest offering, Jerry Friedman’s “Economy in Numbers” column from our last two issues. Great information about the so-called recovery, all in one place. Cross-posted at our sister blog, Triple Crisis, here and here.
  • Martin Khor: The Gaza Carnage Must Stop

    Martin Khor
    5 Aug 2014 | 9:06 am
    This is an op-ed piece in the China Post by Martin Khor, who is a contributor to our sister blog, Triple Crisis, and is executive director of the South Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. Here are links to our four most recent pieces on Palestine and Israel: Sam Bahour, Palestine’s Golden Oil (March/April 2012). Jennifer C. Olmsted, The Physical and Economic Devastation of Gaza (June, 2009). Lucy Mair and Robyn Long, Backs to the Wall (November/December 2003). Alex Hogan, A Palestinian Labor Leader Speaks Out: Interview with Mohammed Saleh Aruri (May/June 2003). The 2009 piece by Jennifer…
  • Monday Links

    Chris Sturr
    4 Aug 2014 | 2:10 pm
    Here’s what I’ve got for this week: (1) Jason Stanley, Detroit’s Drought of Democracy. Last week’s links included a piece about water privatization in Detroit; this piece is from the New York Times‘ philosophy blog, The Stone, by one of my oldest friends. Jason gets a huge audience in The Stone, and this time a blogger from the Detroit Metro Times took note (positively), and a columnist from the Detroit News took note (negatively). Here’s a compilation of our recent coverage of Detroit: The Pension-Busters’ Playbook, by frequent…
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    Japan Economy Watch

  • Abenomics - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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

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

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

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

    Edward Hugh
    13 May 2013 | 9:06 am
    The future never resembles the past - as we well know. But, generally speaking, our imagination and our knowledge are too weak to tell us what particular changes to expect. We do not know what the future holds. Nevertheless, as living and moving beings, we are forced to act. - John Maynard Keynes Discussions of the population problem have always had the capacity to stir up public sentiment much
 
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    Credit Slips

  • With a whole lot more

    Stephen Lubben
    28 Aug 2014 | 1:22 pm
    Thoughts on cramdown and "make whole" call provisions, over at Dealb%k.
  • Duties to Serve in Housing Finance

    Adam Levitin
    26 Aug 2014 | 1:18 pm
    Mark Fogarty has a nice write-up in National Mortgage News of a book chapter about duties to serve in housing finance that I wrote with Jannecke Ratcliffe for a volume entitled Homeownership Built to Last (Brookings/Joint Center on Housing Studies 2014).  It's a real pleasure to realize that someone has actually read our chapter! 
  • MBS Settlements--Following the Money

    Adam Levitin
    25 Aug 2014 | 7:48 pm
    Financial crisis litigation has been going on for several years now and has been resulting in lots of piecemeal settlements. As a result, it's easy to miss the big picture.  There's actually been quite a lot of settlements covering a fair amount of money.  (Not all of it is real money, of course, but the notionals add up).   By my counting, there have been some $94.6 billion in settlements announced or proposed to date dealing with mortgages and MBS.  This count excludes things like CDO litigation and Lehman Brothers litigation. I've also likely missed some settlements…
  • Toward a Universal Ability to Repay Requirement

    Adam Levitin
    23 Aug 2014 | 3:01 pm
    The latest consumer financial product to come under the regulatory microscope is subprime auto lending, which has seen a boom in the last few years.  The subprime auto market's boom underscores a real problem in consumer financial regulation: different consumer financial products have developed different substantive regulatory regimes that are not justified by differences in the products. Most fundamentally, we have an ability-to-repay requirement for mortgages, a different ability-to-pay requirement for credit cards, and nothing else for other products. In light of the changes in all…
  • Sovereign Chicken

    Mark Weidemaier
    22 Aug 2014 | 12:47 pm
    So Argentina plans to ditch Bank of New York Mellon, deposit funds with a local payment agent, invite bondholders to swap into local law and local payment bonds, etc. Not an optimistic sign for those hoping for a quick resolution. And such a transparent violation of the injunction that there really isn't much to say about it. Here's Judge Griesa anyway, from yesterday's hearing: "I want to be very clear, and I want to state it right now. This proposal is a violation of the current orders of this Court and of the Second Circuit. It is illegal, and the Court directs that it…
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    The Aleph Blog

  • Two Portfolios. Pick One.

    David Merkel
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:16 pm
    Photo Credit: James WheelerI’m going to show you two portfolios — I’m not initially going to tell you much about either one, but then you can consider which one you might like better.  Here’s portfolio A:And here is portfolio B:There is one obvious difference in the two portfolios: portfolio B has gone up more than portfolio A in the past year.  But the hidden story is that portfolio A’s stocks have had price returns of -85% or worse over the past four years, whereas portfolio B’s stocks have has price returns of 1000% or better.  They are the only…
  • The Art of Extracting Large Commissions From Investors

    David Merkel
    27 Aug 2014 | 10:04 pm
    Photo Credit: dolphinsdockThe dirty truth is that some investments in this life are sold, and not bought.  The prime reason for this is that many people are not willing to learn enough to save and invest on their own.  Instead, they rely on others to corral them and say, “You ought to be saving and investing.  Hey, I’ve got just the thing for you!”That thing could be:Life InsuranceAnnuitiesFront-end loaded mutual fundsIlliquid securities like Private REITs, LPs, some Structured NotesEtc.Perhaps the minimal effort necessary to avoid this is to seek out a fee-only financial…
  • Return to Behemoth Stocks

    David Merkel
    27 Aug 2014 | 12:17 am
    Photo Credit: Benh LIEU SONGSomewhat less than three years ago, I wrote two articles on Behemoth stocks [one, two], which I define as stocks with over $100 Billion of market cap.  Today I want to revisit those stocks, and those that have joined them.  The last time I wrote, there were 39 of them actively trading on US Exchanges.  Now there are 61, for a difference of 22.  24 stocks are new, and two have dropped out.  Let start with those two:Vodapone plc [VOD] sold off its interest in Verizon Wireless to Verizon, creating a lot of value, and returned a lot of capital to shareholders.
  • Peddling the Credit Cycle

    David Merkel
    25 Aug 2014 | 8:48 pm
    Starting again with another letter from a reader, but I will just post his questions in response to this article:1) How much emphasis do you put on the credit cycle? I guess given your background rather a great deal, although as a fundamentals guy, I imagine you don’t try and make macro calls.2)  What sources do you look at to make estimates of the credit cycle? Do you look at individual issues, personal models, or are there people like Grant’s you follow?3) Do you expect the next credit meltdown to come from within the US (as your article suggests is possible) or externally?4) How do…
  • Should I Invest in Private Equity?

    David Merkel
    23 Aug 2014 | 9:27 pm
    One of the best things for me regarding blogging are the readers who ask me questions.  When I get a set of them that are general enough, I answer them for all my readers, after stripping out identifying data.  Here is the most recent:Thank you for your work on your blog which I read with great interest! I would have a question for you regarding private equity vs. public traded stocks: – Does a private investor who is investing/saving for retirement need private equity investments? - Does such an investor make a big mistake if only investing in publicly traded stocks?- Do you also…
 
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    Quoting the Crisis

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • F&D Magazine’s 50th Birthday Issue Looks at Global Economics

    27 Aug 2014 | 12:29 pm
    The IMF’s Finance & Development (F&D) magazine marks its golden anniversary with a number of special features in its recently released September issue on the future of the global economy and a look back at how things have changed over the past 50 years.
  • New Fiscal Transparency Code to Improve Policies and Accountability

    7 Aug 2014 | 12:18 pm
    Transparency is critical for effective fiscal management, and helps ensure that governments have an accurate picture of their finances when making economic decisions, including of the costs and benefits of policy changes and potential fiscal risks.
  • Good Administration of Oil and Mining Revenues is Vital

    6 Aug 2014 | 2:03 pm
    Effective administration of public revenues derived from the petroleum and mining industries gets a boost with the release of a new IMF handbook. Policymakers and government officials in charge of administering oil, gas and mining revenues now have practical guidelines at their disposal.
  • Fiscal Policy to Address Energy’s Environmental Impacts

    31 Jul 2014 | 8:49 am
    Fiscal policies should be center stage in getting energy prices to reflect the harmful and environmental side effects associated with energy use, according to a new report released by the IMF.
  • Japan’s Bumpy Growth Path Puts Premium on Structural Reforms

    31 Jul 2014 | 7:49 am
    In its latest assessment of the Japanese economy, the IMF said the recent economic reforms are taking hold, but they need to be more comprehensive and sustained for an extended period. This would help achieve the new inflation target and guard against headwinds from a shrinking labor force and a large fiscal adjustment need.
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    24/7 Wall St.

  • The 52-Week Low Club for Friday

    Paul Ausick
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:06 pm
    August 29, 2014: Among the 24 stocks making new 52-week lows today were the following four firms: Bob Evans Farms Inc. (NASDAQ: BOBE) dropped about 2.2% on Friday as downgrades on the stock from...
  • The 4 Stocks That Kept Gains Small

    Paul Ausick
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:01 pm
    August 29, 2014: Markets opened higher on Friday and dipped into the red briefly following this morning’s report on consumer spending. Volume was threatening to break below the year-to-date low...
  • Defense Department Awards Contracts to FedEx, UPS, Alaska Air

    Paul Ausick
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:55 am
    The U.S. Department of Defense announced on Thursday the award of more than a dozen contracts. We highlight a few here.
  • Keurig’s New Technology Can’t Keep Pirates at Bay

    Paul Ausick
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:20 am
    When Keurig Green Mountain lost patent protection on its single-serving coffee pods a couple of years ago, the company’s stock took a beating.
  • Apple Hits 52-Week High

    Paul Ausick
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:35 am
    Following Thursday’s announcement of a mysterious event on September 9, Apple shares posted a new all-time high.
 
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    Trends... Find them, ride them and get off.

  • Kill All The Data Scientists! …and The Timeline is Everything.

    Howard Lindzon
    25 Aug 2014 | 9:10 pm
    Who isn’t a ‘data scientist’ in 2014? Here is Wikipedia’s definition…color me confused. I deem anyone a ‘data scientist’ in 2014 , as a confusionist. The timeline what really matters most. Search and UI are what matter after that. Finally, its how you read this infinite tape that separates the big winners from the losers in the investing business. Of course Facebook would argue otherwise. They should. It’s never been about the timeline for them. But, they have gotten so big and the multiple so high, that the timeline and real-time now matters to…
  • Google…When expensive is Cheap and Cheap is Expensive…and How I Hunt

    Howard Lindzon
    23 Aug 2014 | 6:27 am
    Google has been public for 10 years. They have NOT been a conventional company. My partner in Social Leverage 50 @ivanhoff has a great post up on Google entitled ‘When Expensive is Cheap and Cheap is Expensive‘: 10 years ago, Google was trading near $100 with a P/E of 130. Today, it is trading near $600 with a P/E of around 30. What is the lesson? At the time of Google’s IPO, investors didn’t know about gmail, Youtube, Android and countless other cloud services, innovations and venture investments that Google was going to make. Most likely, Google’s management also had no…
  • Stocktwits Appoints Ross Levinsohn, Rob Peck to Board

    Howard Lindzon
    8 Aug 2014 | 6:18 am
    Stocktwits has been growing fast this year. Our users are more engaged than ever — or “addicted,” as they often say on the stream. Behind the scenes we have been working on a great redesign (coming very soon) and some improvements to our 5-star iPhone app. Our biggest new launch will be Search. We have over 5 years of data, and millions of messages on tickers and indexes that we want to give our members access to so they can locate specific messages from the past. Soon Stocktwits search will allow you to find a stream on any topic, person, stock or combination of the three.
  • Can Bloomberg be killed?

    Howard Lindzon
    5 Aug 2014 | 9:55 am
    It’s podcast time again. Yesterday, I grabbed StockTwits CEO John Melloy, formerly of CNBC and Bloomberg. I wanted his perspective on whether or not Bloomberg can be killed. It’s a topic that resurfaces every time a new technology enters the market that makes terminals seem useless — or terminally ill if you will. First it was the Internet, then it was the 2008 financial crisis, and now it’s a startup called Perzo that, according to those sensational folks over at Business Insider, is a “Bloomberg killer.” But there may be a ring of truth to that line of…
  • Congrats Tubemogul ….Citibank Blows (Bank of America Too) …and Why Do We Need Banks for IPO’s in 2014

    Howard Lindzon
    28 Jul 2014 | 11:32 am
    Update – It was actually Bank of America that led the syndicate so I made changes below. As usual, making no friends with this personal inside baseball account of things…the banks are quick to point out that Tubemogul is in ad tech and ad tech is a hated industry…blah blah blah. I guess we will know more in time. Of course Tubemogul could have walked away from the IPO, but let’s be honest, the momentum of the deal was too far underway…I assume the bankers used this ploy against Tubemogul but have NO proof of it. I had the priviledge of attending the opening bell…
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    Economic Principals

  • Nobel Süd: the Afterglow

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

    dw
    17 Aug 2014 | 2:06 pm
    (Please see the correction appended below) The Econometric Society was founded in 1932 with the idea of combining economic theory, measurement, and statistical technique to create a powerful new means of analysis. Econometrics has grown to be an important field of study, but it remains a topic within economics instead of one subtending it. Eighty-two years later, does economics need another sub-discipline concerned with data? It would seem so. The recently-formed Society for Economic Measurement is holding its inaugural meetings at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business this…
  • The Startling Story behind a Famous Footnote

    dw
    11 Aug 2014 | 4:05 pm
    Progress is a slippery word; but none can doubt that price theory, the preoccupation with markets that historically has at the heart of economics, has seen a great deal of elaboration in the least 75 years.  Jerry Green, of Harvard University, gave a graphic illustration when he travelled to Middlebury Colllege last fall to give a lecture on the history of the discipline. He carried with him a series of graduate micro texts. He held up Microeconomic Theory: A Mathematical Approach, by James Henderson and Richard Quandt, the slim book (291 pp.) with which he began his graduate education in…
  • Reinterpreting the Revolution

    dw
    3 Aug 2014 | 10:12 am
    When he was eighteen, before entering college, John Micklethwait toured the US for a year with a friend, traveling on Greyhound buses. When they arrived in San Francisco, they spent a memorable evening with expat British businessman Antony Fisher, founder of London’s Institute of Economic Affairs, and his downstairs neighbor, Milton Friedman. They talked about the possibilities now that Margaret Thatcher had been elected prime minister and Ronald Reagan president of the United States. The conversation made a deep impression on Mickelthwait. Then it was back to Magdalen College, Oxford, and…
  • Swallow Hard, Start Over

    dw
    27 Jul 2014 | 2:18 pm
    It is a busy summer.  Economic Principals has many pots upon the stove and relatively little time to read the papers. That seems just as well most days. The news from Gaza, Ukraine, and the southern border of the US is uniformly heartbreaking. I do, however, find time to look at Johnson’s Russia List whenever a new edition arrives. David Johnson, EP readers may remember, is a longtime student of the former Soviet Union who since 1996 has tracked, more or less daily, what is written about Russia in the Western and the English-language Russian press. Johnson faithfully reproduces…
 
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • Love in the old East Germany

    Tyler Cowen
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:14 pm
    The East German woman had a job, was economically independent, self-confident, and divorce-happy; at a time when only 50 percent of West German women made their own money, 90 percent of women in East Germany were employed. …the East German woman didn’t consider her male partner an enemy but rather a partner who, economically speaking, had little or nothig on her.  Indeed, the average East German man, unless he had managed to gin a foothold in the regime’s upper echelons — but what woman would want a man like that? — wasn’t in a position to boast any…
  • Further evidence that the housing crisis was about screwy beliefs, not moral hazard

    Tyler Cowen
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:39 am
    Ing-Haw Cheng, Sahil Raina and Wei Xiong have a new paper in the AER, here is the abstract: We analyze whether mid-level managers in securitized finance were aware of a large-scale housing bubble and a looming crisis in 2004-2006 using their personal home transaction data. We find that the average person in our sample neither timed the market nor were cautious in their home transactions, and did not exhibit awareness of problems in overall housing markets. Certain groups of securitization agents were particularly aggressive in increasing their exposure to housing during this period,…
  • Friday assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:34 am
    1. I refuse to visit this road. 2. Daniel Davies on Switzerland (very good post). 3. Photos of a Chinese Bitcoin mine. 4. Bonuses are the new raises. 5. Supercomputers make discoveries that scientists can’t. 6. Martin Wolf has a forthcoming book on the financial crisis.
  • Cochabamba notes

    Tyler Cowen
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:09 am
    It is very charming here, but no one can tell me exactly what they export.  Grain is a thing of the past.  There are many universities in town.  Trees, birds, and flowers are all first-rate. I feel like I had never tasted a green pepper before.  For silpancho, go to Palacio del Silpancho.  The only item on the menu is…silpancho.  I also recommend the street tamales with corn and cheese and the street food more generally, most of all at the comedores at the market 25 de Mayo.  The “nice” restaurants are good and cheap, but not materially better than the Bolivian food…
  • Do remittances lower crime in Mexico?

    Tyler Cowen
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:36 am
    Here is a new paper by Steve Brito, Ana Corbacho, and Rene Osorio Rivas, it seems the answer is yes: This working paper studies the effect of remittances from the United States on crime rates in Mexico. The topic is examined using municipal-level data on the percent of household receiving remittances and homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Remittances are found to be associated with a decrease in homicide rates. Every 1 percent increase in the number of households receiving remittances reduces the homicide rate by 0.05 percent. Other types of crimes are analyzed, revealing a reduction in…
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • For the Weekend: The Safety Dance

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:51 pm
    Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance:
  • Noted for Your Afternoon Procrastination for August 29, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:49 pm
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog A Note on the Core PCE Inflation Phillips Curve: Thursday Focus/The Honest Broker for the Week of August 30, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth When Do We Start Calling This "The Greater Depression"?: (Early) Friday Focus for August 29, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Morning Must-Read: Lawrence Mishel: Broadening Agreement That Job Polarization Wasn’t Present in the United States In 2000s - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Morning Must-Read: Olivier Blanchard: Where Danger Lurks - Washington Center for Equitable Growth…
  • Liveblogging World War II: August 29, 1944: Antwerp

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:48 am
    From Richard Atkinson: The Guns at Last Light: No liberated city in Europe was more important to the Allied cause than Antwerp. By the mid-sixteenth century it had become the richest town on the Continent, surpassing even Venice and Genoa, with a hundred or more ships at anchor every day, carrying spices from Portugal, grain from the Baltic, silk embroideries from Italy. The Inquisition, a Spanish pillage, and the rise of Holland cost the city its prosperity; not until the nineteenth century did Antwerp ascend again to become a bustling hive of diamond-cutting, cigar-rolling, sugar-refining,…
  • Mitch McConnell at the Koch Brothers Donor Summit: Live from La Farine CCCXIX: August 29, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:39 am
    Cleaned-up transcript: Mitch McConnell: At the Koch Brothers Donor Summit: "Is this working?... ...I know it’s been a long day, but also a very inspiring day. And I want to start by thanking you, Charles and David, for the important work you’re doing. I don’t know where we’d be without you, and I want to thank you all for rallying to the cause. What I’m going to do--we’re at the end of the day, I hope this won’t be just a monologue, and if you’re interested in interjecting, please feel free. What I’m talking about with you today is the one freedom without which we can’t do…
  • Over at Equitable Growth: A Note on the Core PCE Inflation Phillips Curve: The Honest Broker for the Week of August 30, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:34 am
    A Note on the Core PCE Inflation Phillips Curve The Honest Broker for the Week of August 30, 2014 Over at Equitable Growth: David Beckworth notes that in the Bernanke-Yellen era the FOMC gets uncomfortable and decides that it has to loosen policy and steps up its interventions when PCE inflation falls below 1.5%/year and gets uneasy and decides that it has to tighten policy when PCE inflation rises above 2%/year: [This] reduced-form relationship... is highly suggestive and consistent with my claim... that... there is a 2% ceiling to an inflation target corridor... READ MOAR Now the FOMC's…
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    99% Invisible

  • 129- Thomassons

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

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

    Roman Mars
    11 Aug 2014 | 7:05 pm
    Way back in October 2011 (see episode #38, true believers!), we broadcast a short excerpt of a radio documentary produced by Peregrine Andrews about faking the sounds of sports on TV broadcasts. It was one of our most popular and provocative programs ever, primarily because people were shocked that any aspect of a sporting event might be faked. Since then, I’ve received several requests from the audience asking where they can hear the full-length documentary. Well today, my friends, you are in luck. When we think of the sound of sports on TV or radio, it’s generally commentary.
  • 126- Walk This Way

    Roman Mars
    4 Aug 2014 | 7:22 pm
    As humans have developed cities and built environments, we have also needed to develop ways to find our way through them. Sam Greenspan went on a wayfinding tour with Jim Harding in the Atlanta airport. Harding is one of the expert “invisibles” that do critical, but generally unrecognized work profiled in a new book by David Zweig.
  • 125- Duplitecture

    Roman Mars
    29 Jul 2014 | 11:57 am
    The best knock-offs in the world are in China. There are plenty of fake designer handbags and Rolexes, but China’s knock-offs go way beyond fashion. There are knock-off Apple stores that look so much like the real thing, some employees believe they are working in real Apple stores. And then there are entire knock-off cities.
 
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    Eat the Bankers.com

  • The Terror Threat Level is Flashing Magenta

    Sinclair Noe
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:34 pm
    08292014 FINANCIAL REVIEW LISTEN HERE DOW + 18 = 17,089 SPX + 6 = 2003 (record) NAS + 22 = 4580 10 YR YLD + .01 = 2.34% OIL + 1.30 = 95.85 GOLD – 2.00 = 1288.20 SILV – .02 = 19.56 The S&P 500 set another record high ... The post The Terror Threat Level is Flashing Magenta appeared first on Eat the Bankers.com.
  • Let Slip the Cats of War

    Sinclair Noe
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:10 pm
    08282014 Financial Review for Thursday LISTEN HERE DOW – 42 = 17,079 SPX – 3 = 1996 NAS – 11 = 4557 10 YR YLD – .03 = 2.33% OIL + .57 = 94.45 GOLD + 6.50 = 1290.20 SILV + .05 = 19.58 Since falling to a near three-month ... The post Let Slip the Cats of War appeared first on Eat the Bankers.com.
  • Wednesday, August 27, 2014 – The Greater Depression

    Sinclair Noe
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:11 pm
    08272014 Financial Review DOW + 15 = 17,122 SPX + 0.10 = 2000.12 (record) NAS – 1 = 4569 10 YR YLD – .03 = 2.36% OIL – .16 = 93.70 GOLD + 2.10 = 1283.70 SILV + .08 = 19.54 Any positive day for the S&P 500 means a ... The post Wednesday, August 27, 2014 – The Greater Depression appeared first on Eat the Bankers.com.
  • A Few Old Sayings

    Sinclair Noe
    26 Aug 2014 | 3:52 pm
    08262014 DOW + 29 = 17,106 SPX + 2 = 2000.02 (record) NAS + 13 = 4570 10 YR YLD + .01 = 2.40% OIL + .55 = 93.90 GOLD – .70 = 1280.90 SILV – .08 = 19.38 The S&P 500 notched its 30th record of the year and ... The post A Few Old Sayings appeared first on Eat the Bankers.com.
  • Tax Weasels

    Sinclair Noe
    25 Aug 2014 | 4:12 pm
    08252014 Tax Weasels by Sinclair Noe LISTEN HERE DOW + 75 = 17,076 SPX + 9 = 1997.92 (record) NAS + 18 = 4557 10 YR YLD – .02 = 2.38% OIL – .27 = 93.38 GOLD – 4.60 = 1277.20 SILV – .05 = 19.45 The S&P 500 crossed ... The post Tax Weasels appeared first on Eat the Bankers.com.
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    iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

  • More Jobs That Pay Decent Wages: How To Fight Poverty In The United States

    iMFdirect
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    By Deniz Igan  (Version in Español) Something unusual happened this year. For the first time in almost ten years, a book by an economist made it to Amazon’s Top 10 list. Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century captured the attention of people from all walks of life because it echoed what an increasing number of Americans have been feeling: the rich keep getting richer and poverty in America is a mainstream problem. The numbers illustrate the troubling reality. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 6 Americans—almost 50 million people—are living in poverty. Recent…
  • Structural Reforms Can Help Japan’s Post-Consumption Tax Blues

    iMFdirect
    14 Aug 2014 | 12:00 pm
    By Stephan Danninger  (Versions in 日本語) Japan’s GDP declined by almost 7 percent in the second quarter, more than many had forecast including us here at the IMF.  Many cite the increase in the sales tax this April for this decline.  But that is not the full story. Yes, it is true that consumer responses to major tax increases are difficult to predict, and large spending swings are not unusual. We see this pattern in many countries (see chart) including Germany’s 2007 VAT increase, which had a short-lived impact. But Japan needs to tackle other constraints on growth, such as…
  • U.S. Labor Force: Where Have All the Workers Gone?

    iMFdirect
    7 Aug 2014 | 8:20 am
    By Ravi Balakrishnan (Version in Español) It’s not supposed to be this way. As the U.S. economy recovers, hirings increase and people are encouraged to look for jobs again. Instead, the ratio of the adult population with jobs, or looking for one—what’s called the labor force participation rate—has been falling, standing at 62.9 percent in July 2014 (Figure 1). This represents a 3 percentage point decline since the Great Recession and the lowest rate since 1978. What is more remarkable is that fully one-half of the gains in participation rates between 1960 and 2000—those driven by…
  • Can Japan Afford to Cut Its Corporate Tax?

    iMFdirect
    5 Aug 2014 | 8:55 am
    By Ruud de Mooij and Ikuo Saito (Versions in 日本語) It is no surprise that, as part of its revised growth strategy presented in June, the Japanese government has announced it will reduce the corporate income tax rate. At more than 35 percent for most businesses, the Japanese rate is one of the highest among the industrialized countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (see Chart 1). Moreover, at a time when Japan needs to boost economic growth, the corporate income tax rate is generally seen as the country’s most growth-distortive tax. But can Japan afford a…
  • Europe’s Russian Connections

    iMFdirect
    1 Aug 2014 | 7:45 am
    By Aasim M. Husain, Anna Ilyina and Li Zeng (Version in Русский) The conflict in Ukraine and the related imposition of sanctions against Russia signal an escalation of geopolitical tensions that is already being felt in the Russian financial markets (Chart 1). A deterioration in the conflict, with or even without a further escalation of sanctions and counter-sanctions, could have a substantial adverse impact on the Russian economy through direct and indirect (confidence) channels. Chart 1 What would be the repercussions for the rest of Europe if there were to be disruptions in trade or…
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    EconomicPolicyJournal.com

  • BREAKING: Jesse Benton Has Resigned

    29 Aug 2014 | 10:49 pm
    Jesse Benton has resigned as camapign manager of the Mitch McConnell Re-election campaign. Developing.... Return to this post for updates. UPDATE Benton’s full statement is below: There is no more important cause for both Kentucky, my new home I have come to love, and our country than electing Mitch McConnell Majority Leader of the United States Senate. I believe this deep in my bones, and
  • Late Night Self-Help Advice: What You Should Do If You Ever Encounter a Bear

    29 Aug 2014 | 8:59 pm
    A man reported this month that he survived a bear attack because Justin Beiber’s “Baby” began sounding on his phone. It turns out he was on to something., says Slate.
  • Did Certain Foreign Governments Facilitate the 9/11 Attacks?

    29 Aug 2014 | 6:10 pm
    By Justin Raimondo Some thirteen years after the event, the shadow of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in Manhattan and the Pentagon still darkens our world. The legacy of that terrible day has impacted not only our foreign policy, bequeathing to a new generation an apparently endless "war on terrorism," it also has led directly to what is arguably the most massive assault 
  • How Good Are You at Properly Ranking Salaries of Other American Workers Against Your Own

    29 Aug 2014 | 5:02 pm
    The quiz is here.
  • No Inflation Friday: 422% Increase in Price to Leave 'The Land of the Free'

    29 Aug 2014 | 3:53 pm
    By Simon Black Pop quiz: What do actor Jet Li, opera singer Maria Callas, writer T.S. Eliot, financier John Templeton, actress Elizabeth Taylor, and Queen Noor of Jordan all have in common? They are all former US citizens who went through the formal process of relinquishing or renouncing their citizenships. (Liz Taylor actually restored her US citizenship in the late 1970s) Until a couple of
 
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    Carl Futia

  • Guesstimates on August 29, 2014

    29 Aug 2014 | 5:52 am
    September S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1998-2005. I think this market is headed for 2080. QQQ: Upside target is 103.00.  TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: Support is at 131.25. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. October Crude:  Crude is headed for 90.December Gold:  Gold is hovering at 1285 support but I think this support will fail and then then gold will head below 1100. December Silver: Silver is headed down once more. My bear market target remains 13.00. Google:…
  • Guesstimates on August 28, 2014

    28 Aug 2014 | 6:06 am
    September S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1985-1994. I think this market is headed for 2080. QQQ: Upside target is 103.00.  TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: Support is at 131.25. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. October Crude:  Crude is headed for 90.December Gold:  Gold is hovering at 1285 support but I think this support will fail and then then gold will head below 1100. December Silver: Silver is headed down once more. My bear market target remains 13.00. Google:…
  • green light

    27 Aug 2014 | 10:46 am
    Last week I pointed out that my three favorite US stock market trend indicators were all bullish as they were trading above their 50 day moving averages (green lines in top three charts). But I did express concern that European stock market was flirting with a potential bear market and that this was dangerous for US stocks if it materialized.The second chart from the bottom shows the European Stoxx Index. You cans see that during the past week it has recovered smartly and is now trading above its own 50 day moving average. I think this means that the danger of a bear market in Europe has…
  • Attention Traders

    27 Aug 2014 | 10:46 am
    As you know I have started to post the S&P E-mini trades I make in my trading seminar CarlFutiaRealTime  on this blog's Twitter feed (at the top of the right hand column). You can follow me here on Twitter for free but keep in mind that the trade postings are delayed 5-10 minutes. Since I started posting these trades on October 14 they have generated  72 points profit on a one contract basis. This is a return of 36% on a 10k trading account to margin a single contract (a very conservative approach since day trade margin on a single contract is only about $2,500). Since the start…
  • Guesstimates on August 27, 2014

    27 Aug 2014 | 5:58 am
    September S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1995-2002. I think this market is headed for 2080. QQQ: Upside target is 103.00.  TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: Support is at 131.25. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. October Crude:  Crude is headed for 90.December Gold:  Gold is hovering at 1285 support but I think this support will fail and then then gold will head below 1100. December Silver: Silver is headed down once more. My bear market target remains 13.00. Google:…
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    True Economics

  • 29/8/2014: Stability... of Negative Growth: Euro Area in Historical Perspective

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:18 pm
    Washington Post has a nifty chart plotting the demise of Europe... http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/08/20/worse-than-the-1930s-europes-recession-is-really-a-depression/Here it is:That's not just 'periphery' up there in black. It's the entire euro area, with the stellar performer Germany, solid Austria and exports-rich Belgium and the Netherlands, competitiveness-leading world superstar Finland, the best-educated country in the solar system Ireland, and on... and on...It has been 6.5 years since euro GDP been below pre-crisis levels. And things are getting worse, not better…
  • 29/8/2014: While New Financial Sanctions Loom

    29 Aug 2014 | 11:25 am
    When America sneezes, Europe catches a cold… These days, America is more pointing than sneezing, and Europe is heading for the bite rather than a cold. The bite of sanctions against Russia.Yesterday, at an advisory call I highlighted the details of potential impact that deeper financial sector sanctions against Russia can have on Russian banks and investment. You can read more on the topic here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2014/08/2882014-state-of-russian-economy.htmlIn my view, the damage can be heavy. And this was based on the US proposals being aired around to ban Russian banks'…
  • 29/8/2014: Some Unpleasant Forecast Revisions for Russian Economy

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:53 am
    Russian Economy Ministry updated its 2014-2015 economic forecasts. 2014 forecast for real GDP growth remains at 0.5%, a notch below 0.6% forecast by the Central Bank. The ministry lowered forecast for 2015 to 1%, from 2% previously.Notably, the Ministry did not raise its GDP growth forecast for 2014, despite numerous recent comments by Ministry officials that they expect 2014 GDP to come in at closer to 1% growth.Updated inflation forecast is for 7-7.5% y/y in 2014. This reflects an uplift of 1-1.5% on previous forecast (6%) and is 1.5-2% above the official CBR target. CBR own forecast is for…
  • 29/8/2014: Tea-leafing at ECB: Someone Takes Them Seriously...

    29 Aug 2014 | 3:11 am
    This chart, courtesy of Credit Swiss, via @FGoria shows y/y Euro area HICP inflation against ECB projections for the same:This has to put sorcery and fortunetelling to shame...
  • 29/8/2014: Eurocoin Signals Further Slowdown in Growth in August

    29 Aug 2014 | 2:09 am
    August the €-coin - a lead growth indicator for euro area GDP - fell to 0.19 from 0.27 in July, continuing the trend that began last spring.Last month Eurocoin coverage is here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2014/08/1482014-yugo-area-economy.htmlPer CEPR and Banca d'Italia release, "The decline of the indicator reflects the weakening of economic activity in the second quarter and the recent worsening of consumer and business confidence, although the flattening of the interest rate curve made a slightly positive contribution."This comes as further bad news for the euro area that has been…
 
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    Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

  • Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – August 20 2014

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

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

    13 Aug 2014 | 11:10 am
    Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest nominal read of retail sales  showing modest activity in July with sales going flat from June and rising 3.7% on a year-over-year basis on an aggregate of all items including food, fuel and healthcare services. Nominal "discretionary" retail sales including home furnishings, home garden and building materials, consumer electronics and department store sales declined slightly, falling 0.1% from June but rising 1.68% above the level seen in July 2013 while, adjusting for inflation, “real” discretionary retail sales declined 0.23% on the…
  • Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – August 13 2014

    13 Aug 2014 | 10:54 am
    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications. The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases. The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate…
  • Construction Spending: June 2014

    1 Aug 2014 | 8:20 am
    Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released their latest read of construction spending showing slumping results for June with total private construction spending, single family construction spending and non-residential construction spending all declining over the month. On a month-to-month basis, total residential spending declined -0.3% from May climbing 7.4% above the level seen in June 2013 and remaining well below the peak level seen in 2006.Single family construction spending declined 1.40% from May rising 8.5% since June 2013 remaining well below it's peak level reached in…
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    Stock Trading To Go

  • STTG Market Recap August 29, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:10 pm
    A spike in the closing moments of the day helped cap off a strong August as the S&P 500 finished up 0.33% and the NASDAQ 0.50%. Volume was very light ahead of the holiday weekend. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final take on consumer sentiment rose to 82.5 in August from 81.8 the month before. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S.... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap August 28, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:38 pm
    Indexes opened down to begin Thursday's action but dip buyers came in slowly during the day to minimize losses. At the end of the day the S&P 500 fell 0.17% and the NASDAQ 0.26%. All systems remain on go. Figures from the Commerce Department showed the economy expanded more than previously projected, with gross domestic product rising at a 4.2 percent annualized pace, versus an... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap August 27, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:22 pm
    A quiet day of rest and consolidation, consistent with a serious rally. The S&P 500 finished flat while the NASDAQ fell 0.02%. News flow was very light as we come to the end of summer and many are enjoying vacation; volume out there reflects this. Original post: STTG Market Recap August 27, 2014 Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap August 26, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    26 Aug 2014 | 5:00 pm
    A day after crossing over 2000 but then falling back the S&P 500 finished above that big round number. The S&P 500 gained 0.11% and the NASDAQ 0.29%. The day's economic reports came in well above expectations; orders for durable goods rose 22.6 percent last month versus a 7.5 percent estimate. The bookings for longer-lasting goods came on increased demand for commercial aircraft. ... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap August 25, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    25 Aug 2014 | 3:52 pm
    The S&P 500 hit the much commented 2000 level mid day Monday but fell back a tiny bit in the afternoon. This is only a psychological number but humans are attracted to those big round numbers. As we mentioned Friday a tiny pullback in the indexes worked off a very extreme short term oversold condition and that led to an immediate round of buying today. So the bull market has... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
 
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    Political Calculations

  • How to Boost Your IQ With Science

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:25 am
    What if you could hack your brain to boost your IQ? Would you do it? How can you do it? Garth Sundem, author of Geek Logik, one of our all time favorites, is back in print with Beyond IQ, which taps the expertise of today's top researchers in psychology for how to expand your mental abilities. And all you need to get started is this book, a 9-volt battery, a couple of wires, a 2 milli-Amp resistor and two moist sponges to attach to your head and your left arm.... Seriously! At least if you're as serious as the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which has used a device…
  • How to Achieve Purchasing Power Equality with the Minimum Wage

    28 Aug 2014 | 1:13 am
    Now that we've established what the relative purchasing power of a dollar is in each of the United States, we're going to apply that information today to solve one of the great problems of our time: how to set the minimum wage in each state in order to achieve purchasing power equality. After all, it goes against the ultimate liberal ideals of fairness and equality of outcomes if, thanks to nothing other than the relative cost of living in each state, that a minimum wage earner in Mississippi is able to buy more things with their earnings than can a person earning the identical wage in a high…
  • Temporal Trends in U.S. Housing

    27 Aug 2014 | 1:17 am
    It's a mistake to treat housing prices as if they're a function of time. They're not. But we're going to treat them that way today to illustrate how differently the trend in median new home sale prices has behaved since institutional investors dialed down their year-long buying frenzy after July 2013. The chart below reveals what we find: The initial inflation phase of the second U.S. housing bubble ran from July 2012 through July 2013. During that time, the trailing twelve month average of the median sale price of new homes sold in the United States increased at an average rate of…
  • The Relative Cost of Living by State

    26 Aug 2014 | 1:12 am
    The Tax Foundation has provided a wonderful illustration of the relative cost of living in each of the United States: In the map, the Tax Foundation has adjusted the value of $100 according to its spending power in each state, or rather, for each state's relative purchasing power parity, and in doing so, has shown that 100 U.S. dollars is not worth the same in each state in terms of how much of a defined basket of goods and services that it can buy. It occurs to us that there's another way can illustrate the data, which might provide the basis for some other interesting analysis. So, to that…
  • Tracking Along with the S&P 500

    25 Aug 2014 | 1:49 am
    We're trying something new with how we present our forecast alternative trajectories and the actual trajectory of the S&P 500, in that we've trimmed out the seemingly irrelevant alternative futures for 2014-Q3 and 2015-Q1 and overlaid our rebaselined trajectory for 2015-Q2 (which compensates for "echoes" in the historic data we use for our projections): Overall, what we observe for the actual trajectory of stock prices (solid blue line) over the past week is consistent with investors continuing to primarily focus on 2015-Q2 in setting today's stock prices, as that trajectory falls within the…
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    Calafia Beach Pundit

  • What happened to all the profits?

    28 Aug 2014 | 3:10 pm
    In the six years ending June, 2014 (a period which encompasses the worst of the 2008 financial crisis and the entirety of the recovery to date), the after-tax profits of U.S. corporations totaled about $8.9 trillion. This marked an all-time record for corporate profits, both nominally and relative to GDP: profits averaged about 9.4% of GDP per year. By comparison, over the past 55 years, after-tax corporate profits have averaged only about 6.4% of GDP per year.Over the same six-year period, the federal government borrowed about $7.4 trillion from the U.S. and global capital markets to fund…
  • Durable goods orders blowout

    26 Aug 2014 | 9:02 am
    Janet Yellen just took a roundhouse blow to the chin: July durable goods orders rose by an astounding 22.6%, and are up over 33% in the past year, thanks mainly to a surge in Boeing's aircraft orders. This virtually demolishes her meme that the economy is sickly and in need of ongoing, extraordinary monetary ministrations. We know that aircraft orders are quite volatile on a month-to-month basis, but as the graph above shows, the July jump in orders is unprecedented. Orders of this magnitude don't come from an economy that is struggling. This news reflects a global increase in confidence in…
  • The dollar is up but it's still weak

    25 Aug 2014 | 1:47 pm
    In the past three years, the dollar has risen over 10% against a basket of major currencies (see graph below). That's good on the margin, but the fact remains that the dollar is still quite weak from a long-term historical perspective. To put it another way, rather than saying that the dollar is strong on the margin, it's more accurate to say it's "less weak." However you put it, though, the dollar is confirming that the Fed is on the right track and the U.S. economy is doing better on the margin than most other countries, even though this remains the weakest recovery ever.This chart compares…
  • Stocks still shy of a real high

    25 Aug 2014 | 10:51 am
    In the span of just over 5 years and 5 months, the S&P 500 index of U.S. stocks has tripled from its March 9, 2009 closing low. Today it breached the 2000 mark for the first time ever. Its long upward march over the decades remains intact, with yet more room on the upside.In real terms, however, the S&P 500 is still about 5% shy of its all-time set in August 2000, as the graph above shows.Relative to nominal GDP, stocks today are around the same level as they were in the early 1960s. Back then inflation was low and stable, and 10-yr bond yields were 4% and relatively stable. However,…
  • Great news: the Fed is likely to raise rates sooner rather than later

    20 Aug 2014 | 7:22 pm
    Since all the evidence to date suggests that the economy continues to improve on the margin, the FOMC (in their statement released today) is right to think that they may have to raise short-term interest rates sooner than expected. The market agrees, and that makes higher-interest-rates-sooner-than-expected virtually certain. At this point, I'm guessing that the FOMC will begin to raise rates no later than March of next year. However, at the rate things are improving, there is no reason they couldn't begin to "lift off" sooner than the end of this year.This amounts to a triple dose of good…
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    Donald Marron

  • Who Owns the Right to Recline? Property Rights in the Sky

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

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

    Donald
    28 Jun 2014 | 1:47 pm
    Blogging’s been very light of late, but I couldn’t let June 28th slip by without commemorating Tau Day. Math aficionados often celebrate March 14 as Pi day, since Pi starts 3.14. All good fun. But as Michael Hartl argues over at the Tau Manifesto, Pi was likely a mistake. If we could rewrite math history, we’d do better to venerate tau, which equals 2 times pi, or about 6.28. So Happy Tau Day! Hartl marshals multiple arguments in his manifesto. But the best reason is likely the simplest. The two most interesting things about a circle are its radius and its perimeter (aka…
  • Seven Tax Issues Facing Small Business

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

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

  • The best way to read ebooks?

    29 Aug 2014 | 2:50 pm
    For multi-device users, amazon's kindle is nice. You can buy a book once and view the same book (including your personal bookmarks and notes) on PC, Mac, ios, android, and more. My only complaint here is that on PC or Mac you cannot double click one of the book's illustrations in order to enlarge it.My work around for PC- or Mac-based illustration views is to switch to (or stay in) full-screen single-column reading when I want a close look at an illustration. On a PC, the two buttons are next to each other on the kindle app bar (see the upper left in this screen shot):On a Mac, the…
  • Side Effects: The Economic Consequences of the Health Reform

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:03 am
    Spending on health care has grown faster than the economy itself, even while the share of the population without health insurance was increasing. The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., Obamacare) intends to reverse these trends, but in doing so has economic side effects. Businesses are complaining about the ACA's new tax and regulatory burdens, whereas supporters say that it is a long-overdue "shot in the arm" that will promote entrepreneurship and a "more rapid economic recovery."Positive and negative tax effects of the ACA are carefully documented. The book offers a comprehensive market analysis…
  • Available now!

    28 Aug 2014 | 1:39 pm
    Spending on health care has grown faster than the economy itself, even while the share of the population without health insurance was increasing. The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., Obamacare) intends to reverse these trends, but in doing so has economic side effects. Businesses are complaining about the ACA's new tax and regulatory burdens, whereas supporters say that it is a long-overdue "shot in the arm" that will promote entrepreneurship and a "more rapid economic recovery."Positive and negative tax effects of the ACA are carefully documented. The book offers a comprehensive market analysis…
  • Recent economic growth

    30 Jul 2014 | 10:23 am
    Average annualized growth of real GDP per capita (FRED series A939RX0Q048SBEA)3.2% last quarter0.2% last two quarters (i.e., 2013-Q4 through 2014-Q2)1.1% last three quarters1.7% last four quartersNote that the 0.2% does not use any data from the "bad winter" (2014-Q1): it is just the annualized percentage difference between 2013-Q4 and 2014-Q2.
  • Employment just went down

    6 Jun 2014 | 6:35 am
    Please don't forget that the establishment survey excludes agricultural workers and many of the self-employed. The establishment survey has a lot going for it, but only for the part of the economy it covers. For anyone interested in the national economy, I recommend using the establishment survey plus unincorporated self-employed (from the household survey, seasonally adjusted) plus agricultural workers (also from the household survey, seasonally adjusted). See also the BLS on this matter.One of the critiques of the household survey is that it is noisy month-to-month -- I agree. But my…
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Avoiding model selection in Bayesian social research

    Andrew
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:57 am
    One of my favorites, from 1995. Don Rubin and I argue with Adrian Raftery. Here’s how we begin: Raftery’s paper addresses two important problems in the statistical analysis of social science data: (1) choosing an appropriate model when so much data are available that standard P-values reject all parsimonious models; and (2) making estimates and predictions when there are not enough data available to fit the desired model using standard techniques. For both problems, we agree with Raftery that classical frequentist methods fail and that Raftery’s suggested methods based on…
  • When we talk about the “file drawer,” let’s not assume that an experiment can easily be characterized as producing strong, mixed, or weak results

    Andrew
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:52 pm
    Neil Malhotra: I thought you might be interested in our paper [the paper is by Annie Franco, Neil Malhotra, and Gabor Simonovits, and the link is to a news article by Jeffrey Mervis], forthcoming in Science, about publication bias in the social sciences given your interest and work on research transparency. Basic summary: We examined studies conducted as part of the Time-sharing Experiments in the Social Science (TESS) program, where: (1) we have a known population of conducted studies (some published, some unpublished); and (2) all studies exceed a quality threshold as they go through peer…
  • Pre-election survey methodology: details from nine polling organizations, 1988 and 1992

    Andrew
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:37 am
    This one from 1995 (with D. Stephen Voss and Gary King) was fun. For our “Why are American Presidential election campaign polls so variable when votes are so predictable?” project a few years earlier, Gary and I had analyzed individual-level survey responses from 60 pre-election polls that had been conducted by several different polling organizations. We wanted do know exactly what went on in these surveys but it was hard to learn anything much at all from the codebooks or the official descriptions of the polls. So Voss, a student of Gary’s who had experience as a…
  • One of the worst infographics ever, but people don’t care?

    Phil
    27 Aug 2014 | 8:15 pm
    This post is by Phil Price. Perhaps prompted by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, this infographic has been making the rounds: I think this is one of the worst I have ever seen. I don’t know where it came from, so I can’t give credit/blame where it’s due. Let’s put aside the numbers themselves – I haven’t checked them, for one thing, and I’d also say that for this comparison one would be most interested in (government money plus donations) rather than just donations — and just look at this as an information display. What are some things I…
  • Discussion of “A probabilistic model for the spatial distribution of party support in multiparty elections”

    Andrew
    27 Aug 2014 | 6:36 am
    From 1994. I don’t have much to say about this one. The paper I was discussing (by Samuel Merrill) had already been accepted by the journal—I might even have been a referee, in which case the associate editor had decided to accept the paper over my objections—and the editor gave me the opportunity to publish this dissent which appeared in the same issue with Merrill’s article. I like the discussion, and it includes some themes that keep showing up: the idea that modeling is important and you need to understand what your model is doing to the data. It’s not enough…
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    Businomics Blog

  • I Don't Know What It Means: Hitchhiking Robot

    Bill Conerly
    18 Aug 2014 | 10:07 pm
    The AP has a story about a robot hitchhiking across Canada. This seems very important, though I don't quite know what it all means.
  • Poor Countries, Rich Countries

    Bill Conerly
    13 Aug 2014 | 1:40 pm
    My fellow Forbes.com contributor Ana Swanson asks the question, "Would You Rather Be Rich in a Poor Country, or Poor in a Rich Country?" Her article has some startling statistics. For example, the poorest five percent of Americans have incomes higher than 60 percent of the world's population. In my speeches I often hear from people who are focused on rankings (are we number one?) rather than levels. I ask them, which would be better for America? If Canada were as poor as Mexico, or If Mexico were as rich as Canada? I know which I think would be better. How about you?
  • Housing Vacancy Improving

    Bill Conerly
    29 Jul 2014 | 8:40 am
    The housing market is improving, according to vacancy figures released today by the government. Forget "bank-owned" and what Realtors call "inventory." The best way to look at the housing market is to see how many housing units are empty. The "owned" category (most single family homes and condos) has been close to normal for some time, though there's certainly room for a couple more tenths of a percent decline. The rental category took a big drop, which is positive for the housing industry, even if negative for home-hunters. Both categories are important, as…
 
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    TheMoneyIllusion

  • Either Lars or I am really, really wrong

    ssumner
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:22 am
    I’ve argued that China is currently overtaking the US in the race to have the world’s largest economy, and will have an economy twice the size of the US within a few decades.  I’ve picked on Lester Thurow for claiming it wouldn’t happen until the 22nd century.  And now Lars Christensen has suggested it might never happen.  Those are fighting words to a Sinophile like me.  Here’s Lars: However, the [World Bank] argument was completely bogus as it was based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) rather than on actual exchange rates (To be fair we should blame the…
  • About those struggling middle class Americans

    ssumner
    27 Aug 2014 | 7:18 am
    I’m a bit of an extremist on saving.  That partly reflects my supply side views—government policy discourages savings in 100s of ways.  It partly reflects the fact that successful economies like Singapore and Switzerland tend to save a lot.  And it partly reflects my (patient) personality.  I’ve been in all 5 quintiles at various stages of my life, and can always save money at any income. I often get into debates with commenters, and eventually it reaches the point where I’m told Americans are too poor to save.  I don’t get it. Isn’t America the…
  • French Socialists purge far-left wing Krugmanites from government

    ssumner
    26 Aug 2014 | 5:32 am
    Update:  I’ve been told that Mr. Montebourg is a strong foe of the ECB’s tight money policy.  So don’t take this post as a blanket criticism of his views.  He’s right about the ECB. The French government spends 56.1% of GDP, one of the highest ratios in the world.  Even the relatively left-wing Hollande thinks that’s enough.  But believe it or not there is (or was) a faction in the government that thinks France’s problems are caused by not spending even more.  Here is the FT François Hollande has purged his embattled Socialist government of…
  • 2001: A Market Odyssey (Shiller out of sample)

    ssumner
    25 Aug 2014 | 9:35 am
    Any fool can data mine and find spurious correlations.  The real test is how they do out of sample. Robert Shiller became famous in 1996 with his “irrational exuberance” claim (or at least one degree of separation from famous, as it was when Greenspan repeated this claim that the public took notice.) Shiller’s model looks at the ratio of stock prices to an average of inflation-adjusted earnings over the previous 10 years. When he made the call this ratio was near the mid-20s, well about the historical average of 16.  So how’s this model done since? Not well at all.
  • Draghi doesn’t understand what caused the eurozone double-dip

    ssumner
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:33 am
    The ECB tightened monetary policy sharply in 2011.  This caused NGDP growth to plunge, and the eurozone fell into a double-dip recession. Whenever you have a demand-side recession, some people will look at specific industries, and/or specific regions, to see what caused it.  This is mistake.  The US housing industry was hit hard in the recent recession, but didn’t cause it.  The PIIGs were hit especially hard after 2011, but did not cause the eurozone recession.  In any recession, there will be regional and industry variation in intensity, due to supply-side factors.  But those…
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    Scott Lincicome

  • Video: Heritage Event on Energy Exports

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

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

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

    12 Feb 2014 | 4:00 pm
    If you weren't lucky enough to hear me, Mark Perry and Jim Bacchus opine on the "shale revolution" and the myriad problems with current US policy on oil and gas exports, you're in luck: Cato just posted the video, which is also imbedded below.If you'd like a closer look at Mark's or my presentation, you can download them here and here, respectively.  They remain up to date, except for two big developments that warrant mention:First, a few minutes after the Cato event ended, Senator Ted Cruz announced a comprehensive energy plan, one of the core planks of which is the…
  • Upcoming Cato Event on Oil & Gas Exports

    23 Jan 2014 | 11:44 am
    The Cato Institute will be hosting a great event on February 10, 2014 on oil and gas exports.  Details are below, and registration information is available at Cato's website. Hope you can make it.Boom to Bust? How Export Restrictions Imperil America’s Oil and Gas BonanzaFebruary 10, 2014 11:30AM Hayek Auditorium Featuring James Bacchus, Former WTO Appellate Body Jurist and Former U.S. Congressman; Scott Lincicome, Cato Institute Adjunct Scholar and International Trade Attorney; and Mark Perry, Professor of Economics, University of Michigan–Flint, and American Enterprise…
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    Jesse's Café Américain

  • Friday Evening with Lady Day

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:17 pm
  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Cap 'n Coil

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:14 pm
    Nothing really happened of note in the Comex warehouses for gold. Silver is seeing the usual movements, in and out, with CNT providing quite a bit of the action. We are now trading the metals for September, which is an active month for silver and not gold. US markets will be closed on Monday for Labor Day. There was commentary overnight about the Coppock indicator which is signaling an
  • SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Hubris R' Us

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:14 pm
    The SP 500 futures managed to close at exactly 2000.00.  Cute. There was a remarkable amount of complacency in the US trade today as the summer help took the markets into a three day weekend with plenty simmering on the geopolitical stove.   Acampora:  There Is NO WAY the Market Will Crash As you know, today was the end of the month. Next week the pros come back from vacation and
  • Coppock Indicator: An Intermediate Term Bottom For Gold Is In

    28 Aug 2014 | 9:17 pm
    The data wrangler, Nick Laird from Sharelynx, sent these long term technical charts of gold in US dollars with a note saying, "I like the look of it Jess. It's a deep cyclical indicator and you can see from its past performance how it works for gold."   I have to admit that this is one indicator I am not given to using,
  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - A Tale of Two Metals Markets - Shout and Feel It

    28 Aug 2014 | 1:25 pm
    Nothing of particular interest was shown in the Comex reports from yesterday. Tomorrow we bid adieu to the August contract. Time to move our eyes to the September month which is active for silver but not gold. The precious metals are unfortunately very politicized in this currency war. That is both a risk, and an opportunity. There was intraday commentary on the metals here. There are
 
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • Emergence

    chris dillow
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:57 am
    The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission this week reminded us of an old fact - that privately educated people are disproportionately represented among top jobs. Why is this? It's not solely because prviate schools give people a better chance of going on to get good degrees. This paper shows that, even controlling for university, the privately educated have a slight advantage in their chances of getting top jobs. And this one shows that, controlling for degree, there's an earnings premium for the privately-schooled. This is consistent with anecdotal evidence. Sajid Javid's…
  • UK vs US living standards

    chris dillow
    27 Aug 2014 | 6:44 am
    Fraser Nelson's claim that the UK is poorer than any US state other than Mississippi has met with some scepticism on Twitter. However, I reckon he might be right. Put it this way. Last year, UK GDP was £1612bn in current prices. With a population of 64.1m this gives us GDP per head of £25161. With the exchange rate averaging $1.57 last year, we have GDP per head in dollars of $39503. US GDP (pdf) was $16768.1bn spread over 316.3m, giving GDP per head of $53013. These are close to Fraser's numbers. One reason for this difference is simply that Americans work more; the OECD estimates…
  • Constraints, real & imagined

    chris dillow
    26 Aug 2014 | 6:14 am
    Simon's post reminds me of Sidney Webb's reaction to Britain leaving the gold standard in 1931: "nobody told us we could do that." The 1929-31 Labour government tore itself apart because it thought the gold standard was a binding constraint which demanded fiscal austerity. But in fact, the constraint was imaginary. Abandoning the gold standard had no great ill-effects. European social democrats are in the same position Webb was. They are seeing binding constraints when in fact there are only illusory ones. In the euro area, a relaxation of the stability and growth pact to…
  • Public vs private racism

    chris dillow
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:05 am
    Which is better - to be a racist in words but not actions, or in actions but not words?* This is one question posed by the Malky Mackay affair. To see my point, let's juxtapose him (and football generally) with the film and TV business. Many black actors have felt the need to leave the UK to pursue their careers for want of good jobs here. But this is not the case for black footballers. I suspect that 20-something black men get a better deal relative to their white peers in football than they do in other walks of life** (though this might be a low bar), and - so far - there is no…
  • Olivier Giroud & social change

    chris dillow
    24 Aug 2014 | 5:44 am
    Watching The Arsenal last night reminded me of a saying by Niels Bohr and Jon Elster - that the opposite of a great truth is sometimes another great truth. What I mean is that some Gooners have long been critical of Olivier Giroud and have called for the signing of a big-name striker. But what sort of things could a top-class striker do? Pull back a two-goal deficit against a top team away from home, that's what...which is exactly what Giroud did. Had a new £50m signing turned the game as he did, everyone would be saying today what a fantastic signing he was. To some degree, Giroud is a…
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    David Smith's EconomicsUK.com

  • Baby-boomers take some of the rap for falling pay

    David Smith
    17 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Strange things are happening. Pay should not be falling at a time when employment is booming – up by 820,000 over the past year – and...
  • It can get sticky when you're a honeypot for migrants

    David Smith
    3 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Immigration is an issue it would be easy to file away in the “too difficult” drawer. Is it one of those where good economics – most...
  • Shadow MPC votes for half-point rate hike

    David Smith
    3 Aug 2014 | 1:59 am
    At its meeting of Tuesday 15th July, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) recommended that Bank Rate should be raised on Thursday 7th August, including five votes for a rise of ½%. Those urging a...
  • The black hole's still huge - but Osborne's slowly filling it

    David Smith
    27 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. The latest figures for Britain’s public finance a few days ago produced an interesting reaction. Either Britain’s budget deficit is soaring, and George Osborne’s strategy for...
  • Back to the peak

    David Smith
    25 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    For all the caveats about per capita GDP - not something that usually gets much emphasis in the policy debate - this was another good GDP number, following on from the symbolic uprating of UK growth forecasts by the International...
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    Top Gun Financial Planning

  • Interview With Mint.com

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

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

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

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

    Greg Feirman
    28 Dec 2013 | 1:27 pm
    NOTE: Every week or two I wrote a Client Note for my clients. I post the notes to my blog but with a time delay usually between 1 day and 1 week. To receive the Client Notes at the same time as my clients, sign up in the box in the right hand corner of the website. ***** I have finally come around to the view that the path of least resistance for stocks is higher. The first and most important reason is that the Fed and global central banks remain highly accommodative.  The much feared Fed taper finally occurred two weeks ago – and stocks rocketed higher!  One reason could be that…
 
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    Project Syndicate RSS-Feed

  • Building NATO’s “Weimar Triangle”

    Tobias Bunde, et al.
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:50 am
    Europeans and Americans have slowly but steadily tightened the economic screws on Russia. But, in contrast to the overall cohesion displayed on the sanctions front, the West’s military response to Russia’s new assertiveness in its so-called “near abroad” has been uncoordinated and reluctant.
  • Ending East Asia’s History Wars

    Yuriko Koike
    28 Aug 2014 | 8:20 am
    Georges Clemenceau, who, as France’s prime minister, led his country to victory in World War I, famously said that “war is too important to be left to the generals.” Japan is now discovering that history is too important to be left to newspaper editors.
  • The Greater Depression

    J. Bradford DeLong
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:20 am
    Seven years after the global financial crisis began, the US and eurozone economies are still performing well below potential – and are facing additional downward shocks. When will their leaders admit that the Greater Depression has begun?
  • Washington Recaptured

    Simon Johnson
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:20 am
    Two hundred years ago, Washington, DC, was captured by the British – who then set fire to official buildings, including the White House, Treasury Department, and Congress. Today, it is a domestic interest group – very large banks – that has captured Washington, and the costs are likely to be far higher than they were in 1814.
  • The Silence of the BRICS

    Jaswant Singh
    27 Aug 2014 | 7:30 am
    The world, it seems, is in the grip of geopolitical anomie, with no leader, group of leaders, or institution commanding sufficient authority to restore order. For many, this global rudderlessness recalls Europe’s sleepwalk into catastrophe 100 years ago.
 
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    zentrader.ca

  • Could QTMM Be The Next PLUG?

    jeff pierce
    25 Aug 2014 | 12:30 pm
    By Jeff Pierce Below is one of the most bullish charts I’ve seen in awhile. Let’s start with the weekly and note the massively overbought RSI condition in June/July. This is often a warm up to what’s to come. Yes it’s a penny stock and that’s why it doesn’t make my tradewithZEN watchlist, but these are exactly the sort of momentum stocks I look for that can provide excellent returns. Check out the weekly chart of PLUG and I think you’ll see what I’m seeing. RSI bullish trends oscillate between 80-40. We’ve corrected back to the 40 level…
  • Stock Owners More Important Than Stock Prices

    chris
    24 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    By Chris Ebert Last week’s market analysis concluded with a simple observation “… a move to 1988 or 1935, at any time in the next week or so, would be quite natural.” Well, it’s now evident that the market chose 1988, not because that level is somehow magical, but because it represents a boundary between two different types of trading environments, just as 1935 represented a boundary. Above 1988 is a zone known here as lottery fever for its feverish buying of stocks that drives prices higher without regard for fundamentals, economic news, or anything else that otherwise might cause…
  • What Every Trader Should Know About Entropy

    chris
    17 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    By Chris Ebert Ever notice how the stock market seems to have a mind of its own, as if it is determined to separate you from your stock positions? If so, you are not imagining things. The stock market is indeed hunting you down; but don’t take it personally. It is simply the nature of the stock market to break the bonds between stocks and stockholders; and it’s called entropy. Entropy is, quite simply, a tendency toward disorder. It isn’t confined to the stock market. Entropy favors an organized, predictable stock market as much as it favors a sand castle on the beach or a hot cup of…
  • Questioning The Retracement

    facesincabs
    16 Aug 2014 | 12:06 pm
    By Faces In Cabs What an odd (and wonderful) price shock for bears on Friday. The news from Ukraine and Russia appeared to darken the recent clouds over the exuberant equity markets. The added drama that this event arrived on OpEx day created a significant reversal and scalping opportunities in the options markets. Furthermore, Friday was a re-balancing day for the $SPX. Clearly, there was a lot going on (mostly underneath the surface) in the equity markets. Here are some charts. Dow Update (Dow retracement remains questionable) S&P 500 ($SPX rejecting its 50 MA so far) Nikkei and Dow…
  • Options Market Stages 10 Year History

    chris
    12 Aug 2014 | 11:46 am
    Ask the Option Scientist Do you have a question for the Option Scientist? Email it to OptionScientist@zentrader.ca or enter it in the comment section below. Today’s question: OptionScientist, do you have a chart of option performance going back several years? I would like to compare the current action to past stock-market corrections. Answer: Long term charts can be difficult to read due to the high resolution required. But, the information they contain can be very valuable. Here is the chart of the Options Market Stages going back 10 years. A high-resolution version is available by…
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    NEW ECONOMY

  • Let’s End Poverty: We Have the Money, Do We Have the Will?

    Dean Paton
    28 Aug 2014 | 3:55 pm
    Photo by Tomasz Wagner. I am driving my old red Jeep near my house. I stop for a traffic light and see a disheveled man, trying to smile, wanting to look me in the eye, and holding a cardboard sign on which he has printed in thick, black letters: “No job. Anything helps. God bless.” Do I roll down my window and hold out some coins? Or pretend I don’t see him? Do I avoid eye contact because, deep down, seeing him forces me to confront a scary reality—that I, too, could wind up begging on the streets? Do I let his presence reinforce the common belief that poverty is inevitable, a…
  • The Faces Behind the Fight for $15 an Hour

    Betty Udesen
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:15 am
    It was an outrageously ambitious goal—a 64 percent pay hike to more than twice the federal $7.25 an hour minimum wage. But in a short time the Seattle City Council met the demands of workers and organizers, unanimously approving the first $15 minimum wage in the nation. Read more about how it happened here, and meet some of the workers on the frontlines below. For low-wage workers, Seattle's minimum wage increase means a chance to go to school, pay the rent, and visit the dentist. Portraits and interviews by Betty Udesen. Imeleta Noa, 51 Noa works 36 hours a week and is paid $10.53 per hour…
  • If Unions Are Breaking Automakers, Why Are BMW and Mercedes So Rich?

    Thom Hartmann
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:43 am
    Photo by Ben / Flickr. When the financial crisis of 2008 sent U.S. automakers to the precipice of failure, conservatives, notably Mitt Romney, urged the Obama administration to let the car companies go bankrupt. Neoconservatives blamed “high wages” paid to unionized autoworkers for the inability of GM, Ford, and Chrysler to compete. In his book The Crash of 2016, author Thom Hartmann points out a flaw in the argument that high wages to American workers are the problem. He says: Click here to subscribe to YES! Actually, Germany paid their autoworkers about $67 an hour (including wages and…
  • America Keeps People Poor On Purpose: A Timeline of Choices We've Made to Increase Inequality

    Liz Pleasant
    21 Aug 2014 | 4:35 pm
    This infographic was featured in The End Of Poverty, the Fall 2014 issue of YES! Magazine. It was adapted from Who Stole the American Dream? by Hedrick Smith. Random House Publishing Group, 2012, 592 pages. Read more: Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around Infographic: Why Social Security's Not Going Broke Why Germany Is Backing Away From a Trade Deal that Lets Corporations Sue the Government Seattle Wins $15 Minimum Wage—Will Your Town Be Next?
  • Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around

    Dean Paton
    21 Aug 2014 | 4:32 pm
    Pearl Street, New York City. "This little girl and this man (I assume homeless) were talking, and they were laughing, smiling, and loving every minute of it," writes photographer Eric Magnuson. "The little girl couldn't care less what the man looked like or what situation he was in. She just saw him as another person." Photo by Eric Magnuson. Inequality and poverty are suddenly hot topics, not only in the United States but also across the globe. Since the early 1980s, there has been a growing underclass in America. At the same time a much smaller class, now called the superrich, built its…
 
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    Central Bank News

  • Colombia raises rate for 5th time, may now pause

    centralbanknews.info
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:53 pm
        Colombia's central bank raised its benchmark intervention rate by 25 basis points for the fifth time in a row but signaled that it may now pause in its tightening cycle by saying it hopes today's rate rise will keep inflation expectations close to the 3.0 percent target and economic activity at its potential level.    The Central Bank of Colombia has now raised its policy rate by a total of 125 basis points since April to curb inflationary pressures and said the economy was adjusting to the change in its monetary policy stance.    Colombia's headline…
  • Central Bank News Link List - Aug 29, 2014 - Euro inflation slows as Draghi hints at more ECB stimulus

    centralbanknews.info
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:02 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.Euro inflation slows as Draghi hints at more ECB stimulus (Bloomberg)Colombia central bank expected to raise rate to 4.5 pct (Reuters)Brazil’s Mantega: room for 2015 monetary easing on higher fiscal goal (Bloomberg)Schaeuble sees Draghi’s instruments for growth exhausted (Bloomberg)China cuts…
  • Angola maintains rates on stable inflation

    centralbanknews.info
    28 Aug 2014 | 2:33 pm
        Angola's central bank maintained its benchmark BNA rate at 8.75 percent after inflation rose by 0.09 percent in July for an annual rate of 6.98 percent, up from 6.89 percent in June.    The Bank of Angola (BNA), which raised its rate by 50 basis points last month, said credit to the economy in July was up by an annual 19.5 percent to 3.295 billion kwanza. The BNA raised its rate last month to stimulate growth in credit as inflation is expected to continue to trend downward.    The BNA also said total sales of foreign currency in the first seven months…
  • Central Bank News Link List - Aug 28, 2014 - Swiss franc hits 21-month high vs euro, triggers SNB intervention talk

    centralbanknews.info
    28 Aug 2014 | 8:57 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.Swiss franc hits 21-month high vs euro, triggers SNB intervention talk (Reuters)Reserve Bank of India Gov. Rajan: Inflation on target (WSJ)PBOC resolve tested as shadow banking industry sours (Bloomberg)Egypt central bank seen keeping rate on hold – poll (Reuters)Pena Nieto growth malaise ending…
  • Egypt pushes back policy meeting to Monday, Sept. 1

    centralbanknews.info
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:06 am
        The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has changed the date for the meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee to Monday, Sept. 1 from Thursday, Aug. 28.    The central bank did not provide any reason for the adjustment in a brief statement.    At its previous meeting on July 17, the CBE surprised financial markets by raising its key interest rates by 100 basis points in a preemptive move to anchor inflation expectations and limit a general increase in prices following the government's price increase on several regulated items, including fuel,…
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    Business Insider

  • Panasonic, Tata join hands in water treatment: report

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:34 pm
    Tokyo (AFP) - Japan's Panasonic will develop a water purification system together with India's Tata Group, tapping into a fast-growing market in Asia, a media report said Saturday.The electronics giant has developed a prototype of a device that will detoxify harmful substances in groundwater, making it potentially safe to drink, the Japanese economic daily Nikkei said.The system, which is compact enough be carried in a small truck, has been designed to serve small rural communities in India where water-supply infrastructure is underdeveloped, the report said.  The prototype produces three…
  • A Kickstarter That Failed On Its First Try Just Became The Most-Funded Campaign Of All Time

    Maya Kosoff
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:32 pm
    "The Coolest Cooler," which offered a 21st century facelift to a picnic staple, has dethroned the Pebble smartwatch as the most funded Kickstarter campaign of all time. We previously reported Kicktraq's forecast that Ryan Grepper's project would raise $21.6 million by the Coolest Cooler's Aug. 29 deadline. However, with the financial support of 48,971 backers, Coolest Cooler has raised a whopping $10,362,461 — making it 20,721% funded. And the campaign doesn't end until Friday. Grepper's Kickstarter campaign to build a better cooler destroyed its $50,000…
  • Palmer leads at Deutsche Bank golf championship

    29 Aug 2014 | 6:49 pm
    Norton (United States) (AFP) - Ryan Palmer rolled in nine birdies en route to a 63 to grab a one-shot lead after the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.The 37-year-old American is aiming for his fourth career US PGA Tour win. He finished runner-up earlier this year at the Honda Classic and the Humana Challenge."It's been great the past couple of months," Palmer said. "My short putting has been phenomenal."I'm making a lot more putts inside six feet. When you get the putts going from 15 (feet) and in, especially for birdie, it makes for good…
  • Porn king still fighting, on Hustler's 40th birthday

    Veronique Dupont
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:46 pm
    Los Angeles (AFP) - Porn veteran Larry Flynt is celebrating the 40th birthday of his X-rated magazine Hustler -- and from his gold-plated wheelchair he is as combative as ever in fighting for free speech. "I'm the largest content provider in the world for adult material, (operating in) 60-70 countries and still growing," he told AFP in his vast rococo-decorated and deep-pile green carpeted Beverly Hills office.Dressed in a beige suit with gold and diamond rings, Flynt surveys photos ranged on his enormous, Napoleon-style desk including his wife and himself with Bill Clinton, as well as…
  • A Massive Search Is Underway For A Schizophrenic Man Who Allegedly Stole A Police Cruiser And A Shotgun

    Paul Szoldra
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:05 pm
    Police officers from multiple jurisdictions around Kansas City, Missouri are taking part in a manhunt for 30-year-old Joshua W. Boyd, a mentally disturbed man who authorities say stole a police cruiser and is armed with a shotgun, KCTV reports. Boyd was approached by two officers on Wednesday after they received a report of a disturbance at a local gas station, but the encounter soon went south. WDAF-TV has more: According to court documents officers made contact with Boyd once they arrived at the scene. They said he told them he was schizophrenic, off his medication and was afraid people…
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    Business + Economy – Articles – The Conversation

  • NBN cost-benefit suits Abbott's 'video entertainment system'

    Barry Burgan, Professor of Management at Bond University
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:52 pm
    The NBN cost-benefit analysis plays down many potential benefits.Alan Porritt/AAPWhen the Rudd government announced the construction of the National Broadband Network in 2009 with an estimated cost of A$36 billion (and public sector contribution of $28 billion), it did so based on a political position, with a business case rather than cost-benefit analysis. The now completed CBA, released this week, considers three possible scenarios for the future from here, against a base of the work that has happened to date (which of course cannot be rewound). The first is to complete an unsubsidised roll…
  • Going bananas over affordable housing

    Nicole Gurran, Associate Professor at University of Sydney
    28 Aug 2014 | 1:48 pm
    Is assuming houses are like bananas making us look like apes?Michael Lokner/Flicker, CC BY-NC-NDA poster in the head office of a state planning agency claims: “Highest Housing Approvals in a decade: Keeping homes more affordable”. Indeed, the latest figures show national housing approvals rose 16% between June 2013 and 2014. Given ongoing concern about housing affordability and supply in Australia, this sounds like good news. But that assumes increasing supply will fix affordability. Some people liken houses to bananas. When the supply of bananas drops, prices rise. The Property Council…
  • In defence of fiscally conservative treasurers

    Peter Swan, Professor of Finance at UNSW Australia Business School
    27 Aug 2014 | 7:51 pm
    Every treasurer should be aware of the ultimate cost of government spending to taxpayers.Alan Porritt/AAPMany highly distinguished economists such as my friend Geoff Harcourt come from what is commonly known as the Post-Keynesian school. This means they believe the theory of economics and fiscal policy applied to the nation bears little if any resemblance to the brand of economics that you and I as individuals are subject to. Writing for The Conversation’s recent series on the language of economics, Geoff finds that when treasurers use phrases such as “you are using taxpayers’ money”…
  • Bitcoin ruling still doesn't answer which country has the right to tax

    Miranda Stewart, Professor and Director of Australian Tax Transfer Policy Institute, Crawford School of Public Policy at Australian National University
    27 Aug 2014 | 1:54 pm
    The ATO considers Bitcoin property, but rulings in other countries leave room for debate.Pierre Sibileau/Flickr, CC BY-NC-NDIt’s been about five years since bitcoin emerged online, claiming to be the world’s first digital cryptocurrency. Bitcoin functions as a form of digital cash; really, it is a technology, using cryptography to ensure the validity of transactions and periodically generate new bitcoins. Bitcoin has grown into an industry now worth more than US$6 billion. Last week, the ATO published long-awaited guidance on the Australian tax treatment of bitcoin, in the form of draft…
  • Let's have a proper debate about the NBN to the bush

    Stephen King, Professor, Department of Economics at Monash University
    27 Aug 2014 | 9:23 am
    The cost-benefit analysis on the NBN has been released. While it “supports” the government’s multi-technology-mix (MTM) scenario over Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP), the best case is the ‘unsubsidised rollout’ scenario. So the real message of the report is that the NBN needs a complete rethink. And, as noted in today’s Australian, this means we need an urgent debate about the future of the NBN. The unsubsidised rollout scenario considers a single broadband provider that can charge a price up to 70 per cent of consumer value. It rolls out the network where it is profitable. Up to 93…
 
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    Mindful Money » Shaun Richards

  • If UK house prices are peaking then what happens next?

    Shaun Richards
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:16 am
    One of the features of the latest UK economic recovery has been the surge in house prices particularly in London. Of course it it is also true to say that this rise in house prices has been one of the drivers of the recovery itself. This is a very familiar pattern for the UK although this time around the methodology has been different. Usually the official Bank of England Base Rate is cut to influence mortgage rates lower and thus there is more interest in and affordability for house purchases. This phase however started with a Base Rate which had been at 0.5% for some time which…
  • After a two-year holiday it looks as though the Swiss Franc might be back

    Shaun Richards
    28 Aug 2014 | 3:20 am
    The economic situation at the moment has several features which are inter-twined. We have the flaring up of several flash points of which the most dangerous at the moment appears to be in the Ukraine. Also we have a struggling Euro area economy an example of which has appeared this morning where even one of the current outperformers Spain has declared consumer inflation running in August at an annual rate of -0.5%. In response to this the European Central Bank will unveil its Targeted Long-Term Refinancing Operations (TLTRO) next month and of course it has already dipped one of its toes into…
  • Rather than economic recovery 2014 is more likely to see France return to recession

    Shaun Richards
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:26 am
    This is a week that should have been set relatively fair for La Republique France. The consequences of the speech made by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and his hints at possible Quantitative Easing have been very favourable for French government bond prices. Ordinarily governments like to bask in such developments and claim that it is a result of confidence in their policies, however France has instead had a government reshuffle including its minister for the economy. Accordingly, the situation looks uncertain and unsure in a country which is considered to be one of the major…
  • Abenomics cannot succeed whilst real wages continue to fall in Japan

    Shaun Richards
    26 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    Today I wish to travel east to the land of the rising sun. Japan has been a topic of this blog since the early days but the advent of Abenomics saw it become an economic and in particular monetary policy test case. Indeed I have regularly expressed doubts about how the problems of Japan in terms of shrinking demographics and the high level of public-sector debt can be solved by what comes down to monetary expansion and devaluation of the Japanese Yen. By contrast much of the media has been supportive and welcoming of it with some parts becoming cheerleaders for the apparent new revolution. So…
  • What will central bankers be discussing at Jackson Hole?

    Shaun Richards
    22 Aug 2014 | 3:28 am
    Today begins the main events at the annual symposium of the US Federal Reserve at Jackson Hole in Wyoming where the western world’s main central bankers meet up and discuss policy. As the credit crunch has developed so has this meeting’s importance. This is partly because the previous Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced policy moves there and partly because of the increased involvement of central bank policies in all our lives. One clear example of of a Jackson Hole symposium affecting later policy was the paper presented by Michael Woodford in 2012 with its…
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    SurvivalBlog.com

  • Notes for Saturday – August 30, 2014

    Hugh James Latimer
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:37 pm
    August 30, 2014 is the 95th birthday of Joachim Rønneberg, a hero of the Norwegian resistance during World War II. His exploits earned him the War Cross With Sword, Norway’s highest military honor. In April 2013, Rønneberg was presented with a Union Jack during a ceremony at the Special Operations Executive (SOE) monument in London to mark 70 years since the successful Gunnerside heavy water plant sabotage mission. o o o Today, we present another entry for Round 54 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,100+ worth of prizes for this round include: First Prize: A…
  • Fishing For Survival, by M.K.

    Hugh James Latimer
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:37 pm
    I have spent a decent amount of time fishing with my two sons (ages 7 and 9) recently. Watching them learn to go after a stringer of fish has been a real joy. You have all heard the saying, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” That thought came to my mind as I was talking my boys through our plan of attack on the little lake near our house. As they continued to cast and reel without bringing anything in, I began to wonder what would happen if we really were dependent on these fish for our survival. Would we really be able to be fed…
  • Four Letters Re: How to Survive Without Glasses

    Hugh James Latimer
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:36 pm
    Hugh, In response to Wednesday’s response: There are much better options out there for new or backup glasses than waiting for a “two pairs for $99″ coupon or local deal. Online providers like Coastal.com and WarbyParker.com have good quality frames (many name brand) and their standard polycarbonate lenses are light years ahead of the basic plastic lenses in terms of durability. Both offer the option to “try before you buy”. Recently I was able to get a new pair of glasses from Coastal for less than $45, shipped (no tax in my state) by using an online code. Their…
  • Economics and Investing:

    Hugh James Latimer
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:34 pm
    A day of reckoning has arrived to retiring Americans: 63 percent of Americans that start working by the age of 25 will be dependent on Social Security, relatives, or charity by the time they hit 65. o o o Real stock correction going to blindside us: Pro. M.V. o o o Are We Heading For Another Stock Bubble?. – CDV o o o A Fraud By Any Other Name Is Still A Fraud o o o Butter Prices Reach All-Time High Amid Smaller Stockpiles. – G.G.
  • Odds ‘n Sods:

    Hugh James Latimer
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:33 pm
    Ammunition now plentiful one year after mass shortages . – H.L. o o o The movie Atlas Shrugged Part 3: Who Is John Galt? will be released on September 12, 2014. There are 223 confirmed theater locations that can be be found here. o o o Swatting continues to be a real issue as more and more people engage in the practice, while police are over anxious to use their SWAT teams. Vice news has an interesting video on the swatting issue. You can also see an example where one online gamer, who was streaming video of himself (a common practice with video gamers), caught a swatting live. The…
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    Trading Heroes

  • How To Individually Track Multiple Trading Systems In The Same Account

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

    Hugh Kimura
    21 Aug 2014 | 5:56 pm
    It can be difficult to find custom Forex programming services. This directory will help you find the best service for your needs. The post Forex Programming Services Directory appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • FXChartist Lite – Forex iPhone Charting App First Look

    Hugh Kimura
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:45 pm
    Ever wonder how mobile Forex charting could be simpler? This just might be the answer you are looking for. This post will review the new FXChartist charting app and show you what you could be missing (in a good way). The post FXChartist Lite – Forex iPhone Charting App First Look appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • Big Metatrader 4 Update: Virtual Hosting, “Depth of Market,” Tile Windows And More

    Hugh Kimura
    5 Aug 2014 | 7:34 pm
    The Metatrader 4 Build 670 update is the most exciting one in a long time. Here's why... The post Big Metatrader 4 Update: Virtual Hosting, “Depth of Market,” Tile Windows And More appeared first on Trading Heroes.
  • How to Get Started With Incremental Automation In Forex Trading

    Hugh Kimura
    29 Jul 2014 | 8:18 am
    Trading automation isn't all or nothing. This post will show you how you can use Incremental Automation to assist your trading The post How to Get Started With Incremental Automation In Forex Trading appeared first on Trading Heroes.
 
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    OpenMarkets

  • Market Update: Labor Day Week Ahead

    OpenMarkets
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:17 pm
      As August comes to end, Jack provides an overview of the market’s performance and what we have to look forward to in the coming shortened week.
  • What China’s Appetite for Food Companies Means for Futures

    Nelson Low
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:01 am
    China’s huge appetite means it is almost always a factor in setting the price on a range of commodities. Now we see a new trend, as China is not just buying pork and soybeans on international markets, but gobbling up a range of international food and agricultural companies as well. This is significant because we can now expect Chinese buying to ripple not just across agricultural commodity markets, but also international derivative markets, as companies seek to manage the risks that come with these cross-border acquisitions. As Chinese companies find themselves with newly-acquired foreign…
  • Why There’s High Interest in the New Zealand Dollar

    Sean Hayden
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:39 pm
      During the early part of 2013 New Zealand suffered a severe drought, and due to its large agricultural sector this affected economic growth. The declining economic conditions led to the visible drop in large open interest holders (LOIH) in New Zealand Dollar (NZD) futures, visible on the graph.     After the drought, the NZD rallied over the last year due to strong domestic growth.  Inflation accelerated during the end of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, half of which was due to house price rises and household utilities rises. This coupled with rising business confidence…
  • MONDAY OUTLOOK: FARMERS PREPARE FOR HARVEST

    OpenMarkets
    25 Aug 2014 | 2:44 pm
      We featured an infographic recently on the growth in mobile device use to access CME Group ag market data. As farmers prepare for harvest in a year that has seen mostly favorable weather, that growth may be increasing again. Last week, Pro Farmer completed its annual crop tour, which features scouts manually surveying crops in seven states. Their results closely resemble estimates by the USDA for corn and soybean yields this year that show a near record crop.     Tuesday:   U.S. State Street Investor Confidence Index 10:00 AM ET     Wednesday:   U.S. Dairy…
  • Blu Putnam: Abenomics Likely to Disappoint

    Blu Putnam
    22 Aug 2014 | 12:12 pm
      A spotlight shines very brightly on Japan at the moment – and especially on Prime Minister Abe – not unexpected of course when an economic policy bears your name.  Abenomics was sold to the electorate in December 2012 partly on hope and partly on a willingness to give change a chance based on the frustrations of the past two decades. There is a burning desire in Japan to regain some of the past economic glory and to attain annual real GDP growth rates above 2 percent and possibly higher.  Unfortunately, it may happen and here is why. Over the long-run, the arithmetic of real GDP…
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    What is Economics?

  • Positive economics

    nyaga
    10 Aug 2014 | 12:22 am
    This is an economic analysis that involves deducing the way the population is reacting from their facts. This is also termed as value free economics. This branch of economics deals with the exact thing that is happening in the real life situation that is, it takes the exact character portrayed by the population at hand and trying to figure out why this is happening. In other terms positive economics, is a branch of economics which bears in mind the causes and the effects of a behavior that a population portrays in a particular condition that is held at per. The summary of this branch can be…
  • Normative economics

    nyaga
    10 Aug 2014 | 12:19 am
    This is a branch of economics, which is involved in analytical review that deals with the opinion of economics. This is also termed as judgmental economics. The reason that makes it normative economics is, it takes the from the word norms, norms means basically the view with which people and their culture revolves in a particular way. Normative economics is always based on deducing from the way a person behaves and tends to be so much into it in such a way it states that the whole population with which he comes he from behaves the same way of which it is not always true. Normative economics…
  • Monetary theory and practice:

    nyaga
    10 Aug 2014 | 12:17 am
    This is an economics discipline which is involved in analyzing the way money came into place, how it is being used by the economies in the world and more so discusses on how the same money has facilitated economic transactions in the economy under consideration and the whole world at large. The discipline has various grounds which make it up which in crude they are: Barter trade, monetary trade, financial institutions handling, controlling and distributing the same in an economy. To have a deep understanding of this economics discipline one needs to understand some of the monetary economics…
  • Economic Growth and its Indicators

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

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

  • Moral Dilemma: Should a Libertarian Who Does Not Need Food Stamps, but Qualifies for Them, Take Them?

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:53 pm
    Here's the moral dilemma of the day:Suppose you are a staunch Libertarian, doing reasonably well and you don't need food stamps. Yet, under perverse rules, you qualify for them. Should you take them? Reader Steven faces that exact question. Steven writes ... Hi MishIn response to your article 40\% of U.S. on Welfare; Obamacare Expands Welfare by 23 Million; More on Welfare Than Full-Time-Employed I confess my own moral dilemma.I am the beneficiary of trusts left to me by my parents. They are no
  • Why Bad Politics is Killing the Economy Over Immigration Reform

    29 Aug 2014 | 2:16 pm
    As the White House so neatly summed it up, "America’s immigration system is broken," but there's no agreement on how to fix it.
  • The U.S. Is Bleeding Money, and Bad Tax Breaks Are Salt in the Wound

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:28 pm
    The U.S. government has an outrageous spending problem, and apparently, it can't stop giving money away.
  • Government Is Poor At Picking Winners – Anywhere

    29 Aug 2014 | 11:02 am
    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: Properly decrying the CIA’s arming of anti-Assad Syrian rebels who turned out also to be anti-American ISIS jihadists, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wisely warns of the unintended ill consequences of Uncle Sam’s meddling in foreign affairs (“How U.S. Interventionists Abetted the Rise of ISIS,” August 28).  This episode, of [...]
  • Stan’s Plan: Show Me the Money!

    29 Aug 2014 | 10:51 am
    Stan Collender is one of my favorite budget wonks, and I don’t say that lightly. His work has a long history of clarity and common sense and I believe we share the same concerns that the direction of fiscal policy in recent years threatens to leave our government without the resources it needs to meet... Read more
 
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    Columbia Business School: Ideas At Work RSS

  • Fragile by Design

    21 Aug 2014 | 8:07 am
    In his new book, Professor Charles Calomiris shows how unlikely political coalitions have contributed to banking crises in some countries, and helped create stability in others.
  • Selling Sense

    20 Aug 2014 | 8:40 am
    Marketers know that consumers’ sensory experiences while making purchasing decisions affect which products they choose. For example, while Unilever sells both Axe and Dove deodorant, the sound made by Axe spray is engineered to sound different than Dove spray. Marketers also often use sampling to steer consumers toward a certain product — perfume companies, for instance, may offer fragrance samples on different colored test strips, ensure sampled fragrances are different colors, or that they are sampled in a particular order.
  • Leading Opinion Online

    5 Aug 2014 | 12:55 pm
    The Idea Design online networks to foster high-quality content from opinion leaders. 
  • Pro-borrower or Pro-lender?

    5 Aug 2014 | 12:33 pm
    Commercial contract laws that govern lending can generate big business for states — but borrower beware.
  • Dealing in Data

    23 Jul 2014 | 1:29 pm
    When it comes to negotiating the most profitable prices, humans help — but data delivers.
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    FTMDaily.com

  • JERRY ROBINSON: Stocks Soar as Bankrupt U.S. Economy Stagnates

    Jerry Robinson
    26 Aug 2014 | 7:52 am
    On today's podcast, economist Jerry Robinson shares his unique insights on the U.S. stock market and America's ongoing economic issues.Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Top 10 Stock Picks for the Coming Year

    admin
    22 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Jay Peroni, CFP, gives his top 10 stocks for the next 12-18 months using his "Proud To Own" process. Plus, Jay provides seven oil and gas pipeline companies worth a second look.Author informationadmin [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Is This a Triple Top?

    Jerry Robinson
    20 Aug 2014 | 7:09 pm
    This is a subscribers-only market commentary from Jerry Robinson. Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the author of Bankruptcy of Our Nation: Your Financial... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • The Rise of the American Police State

    FTMDaily.com
    19 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    On this week's podcast, Jerry Robinson weighs in on the national debate raging over the events unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri. Plus, an update for precious metals investors.Author... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • 5 Ways to Profit From Baby Boomer Trends

    Jay Peroni
    16 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Whatever sectors the Baby Boomers touch are likely to outperform the rest of the economy. Jay Peroni, CFP, shares 5 ways to capitalize on this trend.Author informationJay PeroniJay Peroni, CFP® is... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
 
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    BusinessClimate.com Blog

  • Young Professionals Flock to Affordable, Vibrant Cities

    Emily McMackin
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Cities across the U.S. are vying hard to attract talented, college-educated workers to make their communities more enticing to investors and entrepreneurs. The ones doing the best job of this are those that provide economic opportunity — not just in the jobs they create, but also in the salaries they pay, the affordability they offer, the diversity of businesses they provide and the communities they cultivate. With the economy still on the mend and more than 2 million graduates age 25 or older unemployed, cities with low unemployment and a high supply of jobs are the obvious magnets for…
  • Best States for Entrepreneurs: Surprises, Fast Movers

    Bill McMeekin
    26 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    And the best state for entrepreneurs is…not California. At least not according to a new ranking from a tam of economists at the University of Nebraska. The 2014 edition of the State Entrepreneurship Index has, wait for it, North Dakota topping the list of the best states for entrepreneurs. The ranking uses 2013 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau, Patent and Trademark Office and Bureau of Economic Analysis to analyze each state’s net growth in business establishments, per capita growth in business establishments, business formation rates, numbers of…
  • The New Entry-Level Job: Today’s Jobs Demand More Experience, Responsibility

    Emily McMackin
    21 Aug 2014 | 7:03 am
    Mid-level jobs are the new entry-level jobs — without the pay bump. That’s the new job trend highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article that examines how technology and the post-Recession economy have reshaped the way companies run their businesses and what they expect of employees. With the economy still shaky, firms are determined to stay lean by automating and outsourcing core functions, along with slashing training budgets and payrolls. And many are going a step further and eliminating entry-level jobs altogether, making it more difficult than ever for graduates to gain a…
  • Numbers Game: State Business Tax Burdens

    Bill McMeekin
    19 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    U.S. Businesses ponied up $613 billion in local and state taxes in 2012, nearly 60 percent of the total in the form  property taxes and general sales taxes.  As a recently released study by Anderson Economic Group notes, business tax burdens vary widely by state. But what is universal is that every state, small and large, considers its tax structure to be in some way advantageous to business. Wyoming, for example, touts its favorable tax environment – no corporate or individual state income tax, no inventory tax, and comparatively low sales and property taxes – and its fiscal…
  • Best for Business: Western Cities Among Best Climates for Business, Tech Investment

    Emily McMackin
    14 Aug 2014 | 11:33 am
    Economic opportunity is moving westward. Eight of the top 10 cities on Forbes’ newly released Best Places for Business and Careers list include metros in the West or Midwest, with the exception of No. 1 ranked Raleigh and No. 10 ranked Nashville. The list rated the 200 largest metros in the U.S. based on jobs, costs, income growth, quality of life and the level of workforce education. Cities that topped the ranks had more in common than just geography. They also shared low costs, a highly educated workforce and an influx of investment from top finance, health care and technology…
 
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    Shaun Da Costa

  • Fulfilling the ‘Indonesian Dream’

    shaundacosta89
    17 Aug 2014 | 7:44 am
    Photo: State Dept./Erik A. Kurniawan Last month, Joko Widodo, commonly known as “Jokowi”, helped mark a move towards the consolidation of the world’s third largest democracy by winning the 2014 Indonesian presidential election.  A former furniture maker turned politician, Jokowi’s win represents a shift away from the country’s political and military elite, which has traditionally dominated the post.  Jokowi himself has compared the victory to fulfillig the ‘Indonesian dream’ by stating “now, it’s quite similar to America, yeah?  There…
  • Surprising statistics that may change your perception of London

    shaundacosta89
    6 Aug 2014 | 2:57 pm
    So on the day that the super cars of the super rich descended on London, it was also announced that ‘world’s greatest city‘ has more millionaires than any other city worldwide.  In addition, London now accounts for 72 billionaires – almost 10 per cent of all the billionaires in the world. Some would see this as great news, a true testament of London’s economic might and status as a global powerhouse and  – you don’t have to go far to hear this kind of rhetoric from the media and politicians nowadays. While it is true that London alone, is…
  • Is the circular economy a utopian concept?

    shaundacosta89
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:06 pm
    Recently at work I have been asked to look at the concept of the circular economy (CE) for an upcoming project.  You may have heard of the concept via the media, in fact you have probably been bombarded with advertisements with one of the most successful CE business models each day.  Studies even predict that the adoption of CE business models within the EU could lead to net materials cost savings worth up to $630 billion per year by 2025.  However, the more I read into the CE, the more I question whether it is a quasi-utopian concept. So what is the circular economy? Well, for the past…
  • Norwich North, the land that time forgot?

    shaundacosta89
    8 May 2014 | 11:57 am
      Whilst walking home from the city a few months ago I saw the above sticker posted in the subway by Anglia Square.  At the time it made me laugh as I have always heard comments from people regarding the north of the city and how it is fares unfavourably to the south.  Furthermore, escaping the north of the city has always been a long running joke between me and my friends. After initially forgetting the sticker, my interest was sparked again whilst looking through the ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings for a recent work assignment.  Out of interest, I scrolled down to view the…
  • The world’s largest free trade area is being negotiated and it’s taking place behind closed doors

    shaundacosta89
    1 May 2014 | 2:43 pm
    Chances are, you probably haven’t heard about the TTIP.  Last month the fourth round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations took place between the US and EU.  These so-called ‘secretive talks‘ have been hailed as an ‘assault on democracy’ by some commentators.  Indeed, the negotiating mandate for the EU remains a restricted document, but what is the TTIP and why is it causing such a stir? The Goals of the TTIP The main aim of the TTIP is to remove a number of trade barriers between the EU and US ‘to make it easier…
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    Latest blog entries

  • The 12 Days of Police Militarization: What did they Really Get?

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

    10 Aug 2014 | 12:43 pm
    The US Military has been blowing up Iraq since I was 5 years old. In spite of all the politicians promises that this blowing up of Iraqi stuff would lead to a new tomorrow, where peace and prosperity flood into the region, this brave new world has failed to arrive.   The previous 24 years of blowing up Iraq haven't achieved their stated aims, so we listen again to blather from elected officials that certainly, this time, the bombs will bring peace. Perhaps the previous explosions weren't powerful enough, or were too powerful. Certainly, they tell us, finding the right target, or blowing…
  • Bitcoin Fading Away

    25 Jul 2014 | 3:32 pm
    Ask yourself, how is TacoCoin better than AppleByte? The market says one AppleByte is nearly ten times as valuable as a TacoCoin. Why? What makes it better? How are they different? An AppleCoin is one hundred times as valuable as an AppleByte, on the other hand. How about NewYorkCoin, which has increased in value 2500% in the past 24 hours, or FlappyCoin, down 93%? Then there is ByteCoin (BCN) and, yes, ByteCoin (BTE). One is the #16 cryptocurrency by market cap. The other's value isn't calculable since no one knows how many there are. How can you know the difference? With 103 currencies with…
  • The Future of the Internet is Unfolding in Africa

    10 May 2014 | 9:00 am
    With "net neutrality" laws looming in our near future, internet killswitch legislation brewing in California, and the ever-present monthly bills for Internet Service Providers, it may seem that the best days of the internet are behind us. Like the Wild West giving way to the Bureau of Land Management, it might appear that the exciting freshness of the Internet wearing off. However, hope for a faster, tougher, freer internet is cropping up in places that most people don't immediately associate with the cutting edge of technology: Africa. But it's for a good reason. While most people in the…
  • 3 Terms Liberty Lovers Need to Stop Using

    14 Apr 2014 | 5:49 am
     George Orwell had a fine concept of political speech and it's purpose. He's no less right today than he was 60 years ago when he said it, and today's phrases carefully crafted for maximum political effect are no different. Here are three such phrases used to advance the interests of the state at the expense of the people.   1. National Security National security can occasionally refer to classified military information that could actually threaten the citizenry of the United States. For instance, the codes that activate the US nuclear arsenal should be kept secret for national…
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    FT Alphaville

  • More on the US-China bilateral trade balance

    Matthew C Klein
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:40 am
    As a brief follow-up to yesterday’s post on the impact of US trade with China on US employment and incomes, we thought it would be useful to visualize a few interesting facts about the evolution of the bilateral trade balance over time. First, look at how the deficit in the trade of goods swamps the modest surplus in the trade of services. Whilst the data on services are annual and stop in 2012, the general picture would probably not look much different even if it were more up to date:Continue reading: More on the US-China bilateral trade balance
  • Electric cars as a medium for electricity storage and discharge

    Izabella Kaminska
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:33 am
    We promised some more insights from the UBS report on solar, batteries and electric vehicles. So here goes. First, a chart showing just how quickly solar costs have been falling since 2007: Continue reading: Electric cars as a medium for electricity storage and discharge
  • Shale is not a ponzi, Part 2

    Izabella Kaminska
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:39 am
    In our last post, we referred to John Kemp’s argument that cash-flows in the shale drilling sector are not a good indicator of shale’s long-term commercial sustainability. This, he argued, was due to the regular conflation of gas and oil in the metrics, justified by the fact that most companies produce some variety of both. In the last few years, however, producers have shifted their efforts increasingly towards oil production — due to the better margins — improving cash-flows as a result. And that, in some way, is the great thing about the technology. Switching…
  • Collateralising your FDI

    David Keohane
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:05 am
    We might just strip out one more thing from Deutsche’s recent report on Bretton Woods 2.o, namely the bit about how the growth of Chinese “reserve holdings associated with export-led growth provided de facto protection for foreign private investors in emerging markets and thereby caused the gross flows” needed for China’s growth strategy. The point being that private capital flows generate political risk — “haha, all your FDI are belong to us” — and, without some sort of collateral, flows from rich countries to poor countries will be held back.
  • Shale is not a ponzi

    Izabella Kaminska
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:17 am
    The FT’s Ed Crooks reported this week that fears over the long-term health of America’s shale industry could be put to rest thanks to news that independent oil and gas companies have now substantially improved their financial positions. From the story: Cash earned from operations by 25 leading North American exploration and production companies is expected in aggregate to exceed their capital spending next year for the first time since 2008, according to an analysis by Factset for the Financial Times. As Crooks recounts, the longstanding fear was that the industry was shaping up…
 
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • Love in the old East Germany

    Tyler Cowen
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:14 pm
    The East German woman had a job, was economically independent, self-confident, and divorce-happy; at a time when only 50 percent of West German women made their own money, 90 percent of women in East Germany were employed. …the East German woman didn’t consider her male partner an enemy but rather a partner who, economically speaking, had little or nothig on her.  Indeed, the average East German man, unless he had managed to gin a foothold in the regime’s upper echelons — but what woman would want a man like that? — wasn’t in a position to boast any…
  • Further evidence that the housing crisis was about screwy beliefs, not moral hazard

    Tyler Cowen
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:39 am
    Ing-Haw Cheng, Sahil Raina and Wei Xiong have a new paper in the AER, here is the abstract: We analyze whether mid-level managers in securitized finance were aware of a large-scale housing bubble and a looming crisis in 2004-2006 using their personal home transaction data. We find that the average person in our sample neither timed the market nor were cautious in their home transactions, and did not exhibit awareness of problems in overall housing markets. Certain groups of securitization agents were particularly aggressive in increasing their exposure to housing during this period,…
  • Friday assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:34 am
    1. I refuse to visit this road. 2. Daniel Davies on Switzerland (very good post). 3. Photos of a Chinese Bitcoin mine. 4. Bonuses are the new raises. 5. Supercomputers make discoveries that scientists can’t. 6. Martin Wolf has a forthcoming book on the financial crisis.
  • Cochabamba notes

    Tyler Cowen
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:09 am
    It is very charming here, but no one can tell me exactly what they export.  Grain is a thing of the past.  There are many universities in town.  Trees, birds, and flowers are all first-rate. I feel like I had never tasted a green pepper before.  For silpancho, go to Palacio del Silpancho.  The only item on the menu is…silpancho.  I also recommend the street tamales with corn and cheese and the street food more generally, most of all at the comedores at the market 25 de Mayo.  The “nice” restaurants are good and cheap, but not materially better than the Bolivian food…
  • Do remittances lower crime in Mexico?

    Tyler Cowen
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:36 am
    Here is a new paper by Steve Brito, Ana Corbacho, and Rene Osorio Rivas, it seems the answer is yes: This working paper studies the effect of remittances from the United States on crime rates in Mexico. The topic is examined using municipal-level data on the percent of household receiving remittances and homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Remittances are found to be associated with a decrease in homicide rates. Every 1 percent increase in the number of households receiving remittances reduces the homicide rate by 0.05 percent. Other types of crimes are analyzed, revealing a reduction in…
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    Zero Hedge

  • The Consequences Of America’s Invasion Of Afghanistan: NYC Heroin Deaths Highest In A Decade

    Tyler Durden
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:07 pm
    While back in May Obama promised America's mission in Afghanistan was over, and all US troops would leave the country by the end of 2016, the "unintended" consequences of the US presence in this favored by al-Qaeda country will haunt America for a long time. And especially New York, where according to a new report by the Department of Mental Hygiene, the number of people who died from unintentional heroin overdoses in New York City last year was the highest in over a decade. As WaPo reports, in New York, "where the overall rate of drug overdose deaths has dramatically risen since 2010, there…
  • Krugman And The Keynesian Chorus Are Lying: Japan's "Lost Decade" Is A Myth

    Tyler Durden
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:33 pm
    Submitted by Peter St.Ongs (of Mises.org) via Contra Corner blog, One of the great economic myths of our time is Japan’s “lost decades.” As Japan doubles-down on inflationary stimulus, it’s worth reviewing the facts. The truth is that the Japanese and US economies have performed in lock-step since 2000, and their performances have matched each other going as far back as 1980. Either Japan’s not in crisis, or the US has been in crisis for a good thirty-five years. You can’t have it both ways. Here’s a chart of per capita real GDP for both Japan…
  • Marc Faber Slams US Intervention In Middle East, Warns "Whole Region Will Blow Up"

    Tyler Durden
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:51 pm
    Excerpted from Global Gold interview with Marc Faber, Let’s talk about the ongoing power shift from the West to the East. Well, basically, everything is connected and interrelated. We had a colonial system until the end of the Second World War, followed by the rise of individual countries. And over the last twenty-five to thirty years what we had was the rise of China with 1.3 billion people. Because of China’s rapid growth and resource dependence (iron ore, copper from Australia, Brazil and Africa, and oil principally from the Middle East), the Chinese have obviously become a very…
  • The Stupendous Failure Of Big City Education: How The Philly Teachers Union Loots The Schools

    Tyler Durden
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:19 pm
    Submitted by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog, It’s that time of year again – when the little juvenile delinquents, future prison inmates, and functionally illiterate junior members of the free shit army pick up their “free” backpacks and “free" school supplies they will never use and shuffle off to the decaying prison like schools in the City of Philadelphia to eat “free” breakfasts and “free” lunches, while being taught government sanctioned pablum by overpaid mediocre union teachers. It’s a repeat of every year for the…
  • Government To Regulate Groundwater For 1st Time As California Drought Becomes "Race To The Bottom"

    Tyler Durden
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:45 pm
    The ongoing disaster that is the drought in the West is leaving wells dry across California - which account for up to 60% of water usage. As WSJ reports, as groundwater levels plunge (100 feet or more lower than norm), wells are being driven further and further into the earth (500 feet in some cases) forcing the state legislature is considering regulating underground water for the first time. "We can't continue to pump groundwater at the rates we are and expect it to continue in the future," warns one engineer, adding "What's scary is we're not fixing anything... It's a race to the bottom."…
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    nextnewdeal.net

  • Campus Network Looks Ahead for Policy Engagement

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

    rgoldfarb
    21 Aug 2014 | 3:50 am
    The Next American Economy project brought together 30 experts from various disciplines to envision tomorrow's economic and political challenges and develop today's solutions. Their assignment: be bold, and leave the conventional wisdom -- and their own opinions -- behind. In today's video, Stefaan Verhulst of GovLab speculates on future municipal policy that allows cities to do more with less. Stefaan Verhulst, Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of GovLab, speculates on future municipal policy that allows cities to do more with less. Combining open-source data…
  • Curbing Campus Sexual Assault is Not About the Money

    rgoldfarb
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    The cost of sexual assault on college campuses far outweighs that of implementing bipartisan, comprehensive reform.   On August 13, I stood with Senator Gillibrand, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and survivors, among others, at the Senator’s New York press conference on the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA). Currently co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of Senators, eight Democratic and seven Republican, this bill represents a tough but common sense reform. It requires universities to designate Confidential Advisors as a resource for survivors, provide a minimum standard…
  • Suspensions are Keeping Students of Color from their Diplomas

    rgoldfarb
    18 Aug 2014 | 4:07 am
    Policies that strictly limit the use of suspension and expulsion in schools will help to close the racial education gap. Despite being ranked as one of the best states to live in, Minnesota still suffers from racial inequality. Even if laws and politics treat everyone equally, the educational experience is different for people of different races. In 2013, only 62 percent of students of color graduated from high school, as opposed to 85 percent of white students. Similarly, a smaller proportion of students of color will finished college compared to their white counterparts: 33 percent of white…
  • Lenny Mendonca: The Inconvenient Truth About Inequality

    tprice
    13 Aug 2014 | 3:54 am
    The Next American Economy project brought together 30 experts from various disciplines to envision tomorrow's economic and political challenges and develop today's solutions. Their assignment: be bold, and leave the conventional wisdom -- and their own opinions -- behind. In today's video, Lenny Mendonca of McKinsey & Company discusses the groundwork that's been laid for a serious national debate about inequality -- and the forces working to silence it. "Thomas Piketty and Capital will be to this decade what Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth were to the last decade," speculated McKinsey…
 
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    Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

  • Stan’s Plan: Show Me the Money!

    Jared Bernstein
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:51 am
    Stan Collender is one of my favorite budget wonks, and I don’t say that lightly. His work has a long history of clarity and common sense and I believe we share the same concerns that the direction of fiscal policy in recent years threatens to leave our government without the resources it needs to meet the challenges we face. So it was with nervous curiosity that I read this post of his advocating the abolition of the corporate tax, as this is something I’ve been worrying about a lot lately. What with the recent inversion dust-up, this idea to kill the corporate tax and replace it with…
  • Musical Interlude: Sonny and Brownie

    Jared Bernstein
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:17 am
    I avoid superlatives, so trust me when I tell you that Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee are the greatest blues duo ever. I mean, these guys are just pure music, and if their blues don’t thoroughly soothe your soul then get yourself down to the ER posthaste as your soul needs medical attention. I recently rediscovered their album of spirituals, Just a Closer Walk With Thee. Problem is, I can’t find links to hardly any of the tunes. Now, unlike the current budget deficit (2.9% of GDP this year as per new CBO report), this is a deficit that greatly concerns me. Come on,…
  • An Awfully Bleak Poll

    Jared Bernstein
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:27 pm
    Clearly, there are a lot of people who feel that the economic recovery–over five years old by now, at least by the official count–isn’t reaching them. That’s a central result from a pretty gloomy poll out today from Rutgers University. I put some thoughts and data together over at PostEverything, showing the gaps between real GDP growth, corporate profitability, the stock market, and middle-class household incomes. As you see, the disconnect kinda jumps out attcha. Sources: BEA, Standard and Poors, Sentier Research. As noted in the WaPo piece, I was struck by this…
  • Dethrone the Dollar, Bring Back the Jobs

    Jared Bernstein
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:07 am
    Over at the NYT. Since one can only jam so much into an oped, allow me to elaborate and embellish a bit. First, a few relevant links. Along with the Austin piece (behind a paywall), which built what I found to be a pretty airtight model of what’s going on, the China-based economist Michael Pettis has been plumbing these waters at great depth. I found his book on international imbalances to be an awfully strong argument. Joe Gagnon is also a very important thinker in this field; his work, sometimes with Fred Bergsten, is essential for understanding the scope of the problem. Then, as…
  • Seasonality of Federal Receipts, Outlays, and Deficits

    Jared Bernstein
    27 Aug 2014 | 9:07 am
    [OK, this one is deeply wonky and you should feel free to skip it. But after writing intensely about policy for months on end, I declare that I’ve earned a pure wonkfest on a statistical topic I’ve always enjoyed: extracting seasonality from time series. And no, I don’t have a lot of friends. And I’m OK with that…] Each month Treasury records receipts and outlays, the difference being the US budget deficit or surplus for that month. Budget analysts like to compare these values across time, e.g., as an input for tracking the impact of fiscal policy on the economy or to simply to…
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    Freakonomics

  • Is Microsoft Word Biased Against Microeconomists?

    Stephen J. Dubner
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    Considering its own company name, you wouldn’t think so. But here’s what I ran into during a recent spell-check:
  • Who Runs the Internet? A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

    Freakonomics
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:58 am
    (Photo: James Cridland) This week’s podcast is a rebroadcast of our episode called “Who Runs the Internet?” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript; it includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) Does virtual mayhem — from online ranting to videogame violence — help reduce mayhem in the real world? Though Steve Levitt says there is no solid data on this, in the episode he and Stephen Dubner hypothesize: LEVITT: Maybe the biggest effect of all of having…
  • Parking Is Hell: A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

    Freakonomics
    21 Aug 2014 | 6:41 am
    (Photo: @gueamu) This week’s podcast is a rebroadcast of our episode  “Parking Is Hell.” (You can subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript; it includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) The episode begins with Stephen Dubner talking to parking guru Donald Shoup, a professor of urban planning at UCLA and author of the landmark book The High Cost of Free Parking. In a famous Times op-ed, Shoup argued that as much as one-third of urban congestion is caused by people cruising for curb…
  • Parking is Hell: Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    20 Aug 2014 | 2:58 pm
    This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Parking is Hell [MUSIC: Artist Name; “Song Title” (from Album Title)] [MUSIC: The Diplomats of Solid Sound; “Don’t Touch My Popcorn” (from Let’s Cool One Donald SHOUP: I think, you know, 50 years from now, when people look back on New York, and of course other cities, that they’ll say, ‘What did these people think they were doing?’ Stephen J. DUBNER: That’s Donald Shoup. He is a college professor, at UCLA, who is obsessed—well it’s not really fair to call him obsessed—who is…Yeah, actually he is obsessed.
  • What Do Medieval Nuns and Bo Jackson Have in Common? A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

    Freakonomics
    14 Aug 2014 | 6:31 am
    This week’s podcast is a rebroadcast of our episode called “What Do Medieval Nuns and Bo Jackson Have in Common?” (You can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript; it includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) (Photo: Kevin Dooley) The episode is about spite. As in “cutting off your nose to spite your face” spite. Lisi Oliver, a linguist at Louisiana State University, tells us about the probable origin of this phrase. You’ll also hear Bo Jackson talk about a costly…
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    Why Nations Fail

  • The Rise and Decline of General Laws of Capitalism

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    25 Aug 2014 | 11:21 am
    It is hard not to be impressed by the meteoric success of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a success that has spawned dozens, and perhaps hundreds, of reviews and reactions from social scientists and journalists. Yet we felt that few, if any, of these reviews touched on what we thought was the biggest shortcoming of the book. Sure, one can — and should, and we do — quibble with the theory (and especially the way it is presented and the way it follows the put-down that economic theory gets from Piketty) and the strong predictions about the future…
  • The Coatsworth Thesis

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    19 Aug 2014 | 1:52 pm
    The reactions of the campesinos in Chachapoyas to the state might not have been completely surprising to people who had read the work of the historian John Coatsworth. In Chapter 1 of Why Nations Fail we present a comparative economic and political history of the Americas showing how the very different institutions that got set up in colonial Latin America led to its long-run development. In characterizing these institutions as extractive on the one hand we focused on economic institutions, such as systems of labor coercion, designed to exploit indigenous peoples to the benefit of colonists.
  • Do People Really Dislike the State So Much? (with thanks to Joshua Walker)

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    15 Aug 2014 | 7:55 pm
    Scott’s work emphasizes the fact that people don’t really like living in states and they get away from them if they can. This argument certainly mirrors a great deal of anthropological evidence from small scale and stateless societies and it is certainly true in some cases as our last several blogs (here and here) suggested. But our argument has a logical corollary which ends up looking like the opposite of Scott’s thesis: if people think they can control the state and use it in their interests, then they will demand that it takes action and expands. This argument has been…
  • Shakespeare in the Bush

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    12 Aug 2014 | 12:32 pm
    Though it is a bit of a distraction from the theme of state formation, we can’t mention the Tiv and the work of Paul and Laura Bohannon without mentioning Laura Bohannon’s wonderful story published in 1966 “Shakespeare in the Bush”. Here she relates the problems of telling the story of Hamlet in a completely different cultural context. You can read the story here: http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/picks-from-the-past/12476/shakespeare-in-the-bush
  • Why Didn’t the Tiv have a State?

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    7 Aug 2014 | 5:30 pm
    The lesson we learned from the Lebanese case is a general one. Here is a seemingly unlikely case, which we would argue is very similar. The Tiv are a pre-colonial society of Southeastern Nigeria. You can see Tivland on the next map. The Tiv were a stateless society but lived in villages of extended kin. The next photograph illustrates how these villages looked like from the mid-1940s onwards when the anthropologists Paul and Laura Bohannan studied them. There are many interesting things to say about the Tiv but here we make only one point building on Paul Bohannan’s 1958 paper…
 
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    Credit Writedowns

  • The Italian Runaway Train

    Edward Hugh
    18 Aug 2014 | 7:07 am
    By Edward Hugh There has been lot’s of debate in the press and in academic circles over the last week or so about whether Italy’s latest contraction constitutes a triple dip recession or simply a continuation of what’s been going on over many many years. This is an interesting theoretical nicety, but in fact what is happening in Italy at the moment goes a lot further than problems faced by a recession dating committee. The real issue that arises in the context of the Euro Area at the moment is a far more specific one. Will the ECB do QE? And if it does when will it push the button? And…
  • Abenomics – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    Edward Hugh
    16 Aug 2014 | 5:53 pm
    By Edward Hugh In an article entitled “Why Japan’s GDP Plunge Isn’t As Bad As It Seems”, Bloomberg writer Bruce Einhorn put it like this: The last time Japan raised the consumption tax, in 1997, the economy went into a tailspin. The impact doesn’t seem to be as bad this time, though. The economy contracted at an annualized 6.8 percent in the second quarter of the year. Bad, to be sure, but not dismal. For all its severity, the plunge was actually smaller than many economists had expected, with a survey of 37 economists by Bloomberg showing a median estimate of a 7 percent decline.
  • “I am determined that the American dollar must never again be a hostage in the hands of international speculators”

    Edward Harrison
    15 Aug 2014 | 10:07 am
    Below is the video of Richard Nixon closing the gold window exactly 43 years ago to day. Hat tip to Raja Korman More About: currency, gold, gold standard, history, Political Economy, Richard Nixon, United States, Weekly The most in-depth research and analysis is on Credit Writedowns Pro. “I am determined that the American dollar must never again be a hostage in the hands of international speculators” originally appeared on Credit Writedowns Links: RSS - Daily - Weekly - Twitter - Facebook - Contact Credit Writedowns Feed # abf0d081857b85fe6be494728740a4f1 Related posts: Credit…
  • Some brief thoughts on private debt, financial fragility and economic growth

    Edward Harrison
    4 Aug 2014 | 10:07 am
    I am very interested in the intersection of private debt, financial fragility and economic growth because I believe this intersection is pivotal in understanding whether the secular forces which led to the Great Financial Crisis have been arrested. I want to use Ireland as a jumping off point here for a wider questioning. [Content protected for Gold members only] In short, both in the U.S. and in Europe, this business cycle needs to be longer and incomes need to be higher to prevent the same secular issues which caused the Great Financial Crisis from precipitating another crisis when this…
  • Economic and market themes: 2014-08-01 US, China, Argentina, France

    Edward Harrison
    1 Aug 2014 | 9:16 am
    This week’s economic and market themes piece is going to be a little shorter than usual because I have covered a lot of the major topics earlier in the week. [Content protected for Gold members only] My take here is that France and Italy are the countries to watch in Europe. Watch Italy because it is in a precarious position, perhaps the worst outside of Greece. And because it is so large, it matters for the Eurozone. Europe cannot allow Italy to fail. And a sovereign restructuring is as unthinkable now as it was when I was running through Italian default scenarios three years ago. Europe…
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    Liberty Street Economics

  • Turnover in Fedwire Funds Has Dropped Considerably since the Crisis, but It’s Okay

    Blog Author
    25 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Rodney Garratt, Antoine Martin, and James McAndrewsThe Fedwire Funds Service is a large-value payment system, operated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, that facilitates more than $3 trillion a day in payments. Turnover in Fedwire Funds, the value of payments made for every dollar of liquidity provided, has dropped nearly 75 percent since the crisis. Should we be concerned? In this post, we explain why turnover has dropped so much and argue that it is, in fact, a good thing.     For several years leading up to the crisis, the key factors affecting the…
  • Historical Echoes: Federal Reserve Clams

    Blog Author
    22 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Marja Vitti We’ve already talked about clams being used as money as late as 1933, but some genuine clam shells found during the construction of the New York Fed’s building at 33 Liberty Street sparked both geological interest and many witty remarks about “clams” being fossilized under a bank.      It was 1921 when the New York Fed finally broke ground on their construction project. The excavation began that summer, and with it, foundation work that was deemed the largest undertaking in New York City at that time because the basement floors extended five stories underground to…
  • The Declining U.S. Reliance on Foreign Investors

    Blog Author
    20 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Thomas Klitgaard and Preston MuiThe United States has been borrowing from the rest of the world since the mid-1980s. From 2000 to 2008, this borrowing averaged over $600 billion per year, which translates into U.S. spending exceeding income by almost 5.0 percent of GDP. Borrowing fell during the recent recession, as would be expected, and then rebounded with the recovery. Since 2011, however, borrowing has trended down and fell to 2.4 percent of GDP in 2013, the smallest amount as a share of GDP since 1997. A reduced dependency on foreign funds can be viewed as a favorable…
  • Just Released: Firms Weigh in on Affordable Care Act in August Business Surveys

    Blog Author
    18 Aug 2014 | 5:45 am
    Jason Bram and Michael Kubiske The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s monthly surveys of manufacturers and service-sector firms include special supplementary questions on topics of interest. The August survey questions focused on the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on businesses in the District, and how, if at all, firms are making changes in response to it.      One clear finding of this survey (and of a somewhat similar survey we did last July) was that the ACA was widely seen as raising health coverage costs for businesses. We asked firms how much their…
  • Gates, Fees, and Preemptive Runs

    Blog Author
    18 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Marco Cipriani, Antoine Martin, Patrick McCabe, and Bruno M. ParigiIn the academic literature on banks, “suspension of convertibility”—that is, preventing the exchange of deposits at par for cash—has traditionally been seen as a potential means of preventing economically damaging bank runs. In this post, however, we show that giving a financial intermediary (FI) the option to suspend convertibility may ultimately increase the risk of runs by causing preemptive runs. That is, investors who face potential restrictions on their future access to cash may run when they anticipate that such…
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    The Incidental Economist

  • Healthcare Triage News: Pot, Foul Language, and Pain

    Aaron Carroll
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:11 am
    This week’s HCT news: What are people talking about this week? Better yet, what should they be talking about? We’re talking about marijuana and obscene language. Enjoy! Tell your friends to watch! @aaronecarroll
  • Best in the world my a$$!

    Aaron Carroll
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:53 am
    Readers of the blog know of my many, many, many problems in trying to get my prescriptions filled. And I’m an expert in the health care system! Today, Charles Ornstein (also an expert) relates his difficulties in trying to fill a prescription for his son. The story is maddening. He has some advice at the end: If you find yourself in such a predicament, what should you do? First, be prepared. Sign up for an account online with your health insurance company, review your benefits and review your claims. You’ll be amazed by how much — and sometimes how little — your health insurer…
  • System pressure

    Austin Frakt
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    It was this Freakonomics podcast episode that persuaded me to read Allan McDonald’s book Truth, Lies and O-Rings, which I finished on my flight home from DC yesterday. I’m sure you can already guess what it’s about: the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. McDonald was in a unusual position and did a difficult thing. He knew more about the solid rocket booster’s O-rings than just about any other engineer on the planet. Because low temperatures degraded their ability to keep hot gas from escaping the booster’s joints, he did not approve of launching the Challenger…
  • A little bit of money means a lot to many, many people

    Aaron Carroll
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:15 am
    A couple of years ago, the tires on my wife’s car needed to be replaced immediately. She called me, concerned, because they were going to cost a couple hundred bucks, and we really didn’t have the time to shop around. I told her not to worry, and to buy them. I distinctly remember feeling immensely grateful after I got off the phone. This, really, was “wealth”. Not fancy vacations or expensive meals, but the comfort of knowing that it was nearly impossible for “small”, incidental charges like this to really affect our lives. I thought of that when I saw…
  • Why can’t I look up my service history?

    Bill Gardner
    27 Aug 2014 | 5:45 am
    I am in the waiting room at a Toyota dealership, getting service on my Prius. There is a loose panel underneath the car that’s making a noise. And while I am in, I thought I would catch up on the car’s routine maintenance. The problem, however, is determining what has and hasn’t been done. I haven’t had this car serviced at this dealership before. I’m in a commuter marriage, I’ve been living in two cities, and I seem to travel all the time. So the car has been worked on at several dealerships in several cities. And of course, I have no clear memory of…
 
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    LewRockwell

  • The Mother of All Blowbacks

    Eric Margolis
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:01 pm
    President Barack Obama is being lambasted by US Republicans for admitting that “we don’t have a strategy yet” for dealing with the rise of the militant group, ISIS, or Islamic State, as it’s now known. Given that the US had made an unbelievable mess of its Mideast policies, the president is right to pause and think, something his shoot –from- the- lip Republican critics rarely do. They are demanding the US attack both Iraq and Syria without asking “what then oh brave Washington warriors?” These are the Republicans who ardently supported George Bush’s catastrophic invasion and…
  • Will Germans Resist the Empire?

    No Author
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Merkel is under serious pressure from two fronts. The sanctions against Russia are having a major impact upon the European economy as a whole. This has caused Merkel to bluntly state that the US cannot solve all the problems of the world. Indeed, what she is not saying is that these US policies may be causing more problems than she can handle. Europe is caught between two warring powers, US and Russia, who are still stuck in the old empire way of thinking. Putin sees the power of a nation as its size and I cannot say that the US is that much different. OK, the US does not want to own the…
  • Neocon Powerlust

    Patrick J. Buchanan
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Sen. Rand Paul raises an interesting question: When has Hillary Clinton ever been right on foreign policy? The valkyrie of the Democratic Party says she urged President Obama to do more to aid Syrian rebels years ago. And last summer, she supported air strikes on Bashar Assad’s regime. Had we followed her advice and crippled Assad’s army, ISIS might be in Damascus today, butchering Christians and Alawites and aiding the Islamic State in Iraq in overrunning Baghdad. But if the folly of attacking Assad’s army and weakening its resistance to ISIS terrorists is apparent to…
  • You Are Smart and Eclectic

    No Author
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Nixon’s Secrets: The Rise, Fall, and Untold Truth about the President, Watergate, and the Pardon - Roger Stone The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 - Christopher Clark Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. The Daughter of Time - Josephine Tey Flashman: A Novel - George MacDonald Fraser A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State - John Whitehead To Harass Our People: The IRS and Government Abuse of Power - George Hansen The Mystery of Banking - Murray N. Rothbard From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western…
  • Heaping Lie Upon Lie

    Paul Craig Roberts
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:01 pm
    The latest Washington lie, this one coming from NATO, is that Russia has invaded Ukraine with 1,000 troops and self-propelled artillery. How do we know that this is a lie? Is it because we have heard nothing but lies about Russia from NATO, from US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, from assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland, from Obama and his entire regime of pathological liars, and from the British, German, and French governments along with the BBC and the entirety of the Western media? This, of course, is a good reason for knowing that the latest Western propaganda is a lie.
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    Angry Bear

  • History Quiz

    Robert Waldmann
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:45 am
    I wonder what happens when a Democratic canidate for President campaigns on a proposal to increase taxes on high incomes and cut taxes on middle and lower class incomes (that is on the class warfare platform) ? IIRC what happens is that he gets elected. This is what Clinton did in 1992 and Obama did in 2008 (and Obama also kept the promise). So Quiz question — who was the last Democratic candidate to defeat a Republican who 1) was not an incumbent 2) didn’t propose raising taxes on high incomes and cutting them on middle class incomes when the top marginal income tax rate was…
  • Open thread Aug. 29, 2014

    Dan Crawford
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:45 am
  • Understanding Piketty, part 4

    Kenneth Thomas
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:41 pm
    We now come to the exciting conclusion of Thomas Piketty’s monumental work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. This is not an exaggeration: the final part of the book contains findings that I consider to be simply bombshells in their significance. In Part 4, “Regulating Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” Piketty calls for a new “social state” for the new century, as well as a new way of taxing, a progressive tax on capital. Highlighting the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and Sweden as representative, he shows that all followed similar trends in…
  • Browncare. Go for it, New Hampshirites! It’s BETTER!

    Beverly Mann
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:21 am
    In a new radio interview, [Massachusetts senator-cum-New Hampshire senate candidate Scott] Brown professes support for protecting people with preexisting conditions and other general goals of the law. But he reiterates his support for repealing Obamacare, claiming its goals should only be accomplished by states: “I believe states can do it better. They can certainly cover preexisting conditions, cover kids to X age, whatever you want — catastrophic care, covering those who need additional coverages…other states have addressed these issues.” But when asked whether, under Brown’s…
  • Obamacare Enrollment (part 2) Who Will Remain Opposed to Obamacare in 2015? “Zero-Sum Thinking”

    Maggie Mahar
    27 Aug 2014 | 7:13 pm
    In 2015, I predict that Obamacare enrollment will soar, matching 2014’s success This may seem counter-intuitive. After all, inrecent months, the public’s perception of Obamacare seems to have soured. The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation’s health care tracking poll for July reveals that 53% of those surveyed last month said they view the Affordable Care Act unfavorably—a jump of 8 percentage points since June.  July’s results mark the first time since January, that more than half of all Americans opposed the health reform law Is this because people who have enrolled in the Exchanges…
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    Macro and Other Market Musings

  • About the Fed Not Trying Hard Enough To Hit Its Inflation Target

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

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

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

    15 Aug 2014 | 12:41 pm
    There is a new VoxEU ebook on secular stagnation. The book is a collection of essays by many prominent economists, most of whom are proponents of secular stagnation. As readers know, I am not convinced that this problem lingers over the U.S. economy and have explained why at the Washington Post and on this blog. This latest book does nothing to ease my skepticism. Many of the authors continue to mismeasure the real interest rate and ignore what I see as important technology and demographic developments that undermine the case for secular stagnation. Let's review these key issues.First, real…
  • Revisiting the Great Experiment of 2013

    30 Jul 2014 | 6:49 pm
    Now that the revised 2013 GDP numbers are out it is worth revisiting the debate surrounding the 'Great Experiment' of 2013. It started with Mike Konczal firing this opening salvo at Market Monetarists in early 2013:In late 2011, the economist David Beckworth and the writer Ramesh Ponnuru wrote an editorial in the New Republic on how “both liberals and conservatives are wrong about how to fix the economy.” How were they wrong? Conservatives were wrong because, contrary to common belief on the right, the Federal Reserve wasn’t in fact doing enough to boost the economy. Liberals, however,…
 
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    niesr.ac.uk

  • The public sees international students as an asset and source of talent

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

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

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

    JonathanPortes
    23 Jun 2014 | 1:16 am
    On the subjects I write about most – immigration, labour markets, welfare – the British press frequently gets things wrong, sometimes very wrong.  Since I think my position as Director of NIESR gives me both an opportunity and a responsibility to try to improve the quality of public debate on these issues, I do my best to redress the balance. Mostly that’s by blogging, twitter or media commentary. But sometimes, when it’s simply a question of fact, what is really required is not a counterargument, but a correction.
  • All in this together? The impact of tax and spending decisions by gender, disability, ethnicity and age

    JonathanPortes
    18 Jun 2014 | 6:06 am
    [Note: the views set out in this post are that of the author, not those of the Equality and Human Rights Commission]
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    Bruegel - Latest Updates

  • EU at a Crossroads

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:45 am
    We are pleased to announce that Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan is coming to Bruegel to talk about the economic choices ahead for Europe. More information about this event will be available shortly SpeakersIntroduction by Guntram Wolff, Director of BruegelKeynote by Pier Carlo Padoan, Italian Minister of FinanceModerated by Tom Nuttall, The EconomistThe keynote will be followed by a commentary by the moderator and a lively discussion with the audience.Practical detailsVenue: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 BrusselsTime: Monday 13 October, 12.45-14:30. Lunch will be served at…
  • Improving the role of equity crowdfunding in Europe's capital markets

    28 Aug 2014 | 11:44 pm
    Summary Crowdfunding is a growing phenomenon that encompasses several different models of financing for business or other ventures. Despite the hype, equity crowdfunding is still the smallest part of the crowdfunding market. Because of its legal framework, Europe has been at the forefront of equity crowdfunding market development. Equity crowdfunding is more complex than other forms of crowdfunding and requires proper checks and balances if it is to provide a viable channel for financial intermediation in the seed and early-stage market in Europe. It is important to explore this new channel…
  • Healthcare Systems and Ageing Populations

    28 Aug 2014 | 6:47 am
    The ageing of populations is the most influential factor of healthcare system design. In Japan, 25% of the total population in 2013 was aged 65 years or older and the government population agency predicts that the proportion of this age cohort will rise to 30% and 39% in 2025 and 2050, respectively. A key concept of healthcare reform in Japan is “integration” in terms of both healthcare delivery system and healthcare finance system. There are, however, high political barriers. Europe is facing similar issues in terms of an ageing population and the implications for healthcare systems.
  • Fact: Dim Sum bonds are not coming to rescue Russia's banks

    28 Aug 2014 | 12:12 am
    The imposition of joint US-EU sanctions meant a significant number of investment opportunities for both Russian companies and banks disappeared. Despite Russian efforts, it seems Asian markets will not provide a quick fix, as yields on yuan-denominated bonds issued by Russian entities have been increasing after the sanctions. China and Russia are getting increasingly closer economically and financially. China matters more and more in Russia’s export and Russia reached a $400 billion agreement in May 2014 to supply natural gas to China through a new pipeline over 30 years. Bloomberg reports…
  • Chart: Sharp decline in intra-EU trade over the past 4 years

    27 Aug 2014 | 5:18 am
    Source: Bruegel based on IMF data (Direction of Trade Statistics database). Note: The above figure shows intra-EU and intra-Eurozone shares of export on total export of the two groups respectively. Each of the two lines were constructed taking into account the changing composition of the European Union and the Euro Area over time, meaning that a given country is included in the series only by the time it joined the EU or the Euro. However, further calculations shows results do not change dramatically if considering a fixed group of countries in either series. The share of the intra-EU export…
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    TaxVox

  • CBO’s Spending Projections Map the Coming Fiscal Battle

    Howard Gleckman
    28 Aug 2014 | 12:49 pm
    Without changes in the law, health care, Social Security, and interest on the debt will eat up 85 percent of all new federal government spending over the next 10 years, according to the latest estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. By contrast, CBO expects most of the rest of government, including income security for low-income households, national defense, transportation, health and safety, education, and the like to shrink to its lowest levels—as a share of the economy—since before World War II. Combined, all of government—except for health care, Social Security, and net…
  • Could The U.S. Fix Taxation of Multinational Corporations With A Sales-Based Formula?

    Howard Gleckman
    26 Aug 2014 | 1:54 pm
    Corporate inversions have been the topic of the summer for tax wonks (beats jellyfish and beach traffic, I suppose), but the issue is a classic bit of Washington misdirection. Instead of focusing on the real disease—an increasingly dysfunctional corporate income tax—we are obsessing over a symptom—firms such as Burger King engaging in self-help reform by relocating their legal residences overseas. The good news is the tax inversion flap has generated some interesting ideas for broader changes in the way we tax multinational firms. One, raised in a July paper published in Tax Notes by…
  • Tax Rates: Growth, Competition, and Debt

    Renu Zaretsky
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    Congress is in recess until September 8. The Daily Deduction will next appear on Tuesday, September 2. It will resume its regular schedule on Monday, September 8. Individual tax rates: If you cut them, what will grow? Representative Paul Ryan, who is likely to become the next chair of  the House Ways and Means Committee, wants to cut the top individual tax rate because he’s a “classic growth conservative.” But what might such a cut do to the deficit? TPC’s Howard Gleckman describes TPC’s latest estimates. “A one percentage point cut in the top rate would add $108 billion to the…
  • How Much Would An Individual Tax Rate Cut Add to the Deficit, and Who Would Benefit?

    Howard Gleckman
    21 Aug 2014 | 1:01 pm
    Reducing tax rates is a guiding principal of most tax reform plans. Even Democrats who see reform partly as a tool to boost revenues agree that some money generated by eliminating tax preferences ought to go to rate reduction. But how much does Treasury lose when Congress reduces individual tax rates, and which taxpayers benefit the most from the cuts? My Tax Policy Center colleague Elena Ramirez has just updated TPC’s estimates and the results are illuminating. A one percentage point across-the-board reduction in tax rates would add $662 billion to the budget deficit over 10 years—about…
  • One Downside Of Inversions: Higher Tax Bills For Stockholders

    Roberton Williams
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:29 am
    Corporate inversions are all the rage these days as U.S. businesses merge with foreign firms and then restructure the combined businesses as foreign-based corporations. That yields tax benefits and may boost their after-tax profits, but it can also leave their stockholders with unwanted capital gains and big tax bills. As Howard Gleckman explained in TaxVox back in June, a corporate inversion leaves the U.S. business in place with a foreign firm as the new owner. That restructuring, combined with income shifts it makes possible, can cut or even eliminate the taxes the U.S. business owes the…
 
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    Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

  • In Case You Missed It…

    CBPP
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:25 am
    This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, state budgets and taxes, health care, food assistance, and the economy. On the federal budget and taxes, Chuck Marr pointed to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen’s comments about the potential “catastrophic” effects of House-passed IRS funding cuts to taxpayer services. Will Fischer argued that while House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s endorsement of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s plan to limit the mortgage interest deduction is moving in the right direction, greater changes are…
  • The Basics of the Minimum Wage

    CBPP
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    As Labor Day approaches, it’s worth taking a closer look at the important role that the minimum wage plays for millions of workers nationwide, its contribution to the economy, and how it could be strengthened.  Our new Policy Basic explains these key facts. The federal minimum wage — the lowest hourly rate an employer can legally pay workers under the law — is now $7.25.  Where states and municipalities have enacted their own higher minimum wage laws, employers must pay at least the state or local minimum.  As of August 1, 2014, 23 states and the District of Columbia have minimum…
  • Counting Down to August 31 Deadline to Adopt Community Eligibility

    Becca Segal
    28 Aug 2014 | 10:20 am
    Schools have a few more days before the August 31 deadline to opt in to the Community Eligibility Provision.  Community eligibility — which allows high-poverty schools to offer breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge without having to process meal applications —is a proven success and an important tool to help children achieve their academic goals.  More than 28,000 schools nationwide are eligible to adopt the provision and become hunger-free. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has encouraged states to continue to accept applications after the deadline and even after the…
  • Wisconsin and Wyoming Tally Fiscal Cost of Rejecting Health Reform’s Medicaid Expansion

    Jesse Cross-Call
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    Recent budget reports from Wisconsin and Wyoming show that their failure to adopt health reform’s Medicaid expansion is costing them millions of dollars in forgone budget savings. In Wisconsin, the legislature’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates that the expansion, which covers non-elderly adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty line, would have saved the state $206 million in the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years combined. Governor Scott Walker chose instead to extend Medicaid coverage to adults only up to 100 percent of the poverty line through a separate waiver. …
  • Ryan Backs Reform to Mortgage Interest Deduction — But Bigger Changes Needed

    Will Fischer
    27 Aug 2014 | 10:34 am
    Endorsing House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp’s proposal to limit the mortgage interest deduction recently, Budget Chairman Paul Ryan explained that it “ought to be a middle class tax break, not something for higher-income earners.”  He’s right to criticize the deduction for favoring those at the top but, while Camp’s proposal moves in the right direction, policymakers should go further. The deduction, which Camp would limit to mortgages up to $500,000 (cutting the current $1 million limit in half), is ripe for reform (see graph).  Some 42 percent of its benefits go to…
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    Eschaton

  • Overnight Thread

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:34 pm
  • Somebody Listened To Me

    29 Aug 2014 | 3:12 pm
    Long said a Greatest American Hero remake could be a good show (could suck, too, but the premise is fine). Chuck was sort of a remake, but one with actually flying and less Adam Baldwin would be better.
  • Happy Hour Thread

    29 Aug 2014 | 2:11 pm
    Holiday weekend has arrived. Summer as observed is almost over.
  • Maybe We Take In Some Refugees?

    29 Aug 2014 | 11:28 am
    The day the bomb everybody crowd gets on the teevee and suggests we could help people in ways that don't involve bombing them,I might listen.GENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighbouring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance of Islamist militants or are having difficulty in reaching open border crossings, the United Nations said.If only we'd armed those militants when we had the chance...oh, wait.
  • Quality Lawn Care

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:15 am
    I guess it took people nearer to my age getting older to understand how much conservative resentment and anger is just olds hating on young people.Not all olds, blahblahblah.
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Avoiding model selection in Bayesian social research

    Andrew
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:57 am
    One of my favorites, from 1995. Don Rubin and I argue with Adrian Raftery. Here’s how we begin: Raftery’s paper addresses two important problems in the statistical analysis of social science data: (1) choosing an appropriate model when so much data are available that standard P-values reject all parsimonious models; and (2) making estimates and predictions when there are not enough data available to fit the desired model using standard techniques. For both problems, we agree with Raftery that classical frequentist methods fail and that Raftery’s suggested methods based on…
  • When we talk about the “file drawer,” let’s not assume that an experiment can easily be characterized as producing strong, mixed, or weak results

    Andrew
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:52 pm
    Neil Malhotra: I thought you might be interested in our paper [the paper is by Annie Franco, Neil Malhotra, and Gabor Simonovits, and the link is to a news article by Jeffrey Mervis], forthcoming in Science, about publication bias in the social sciences given your interest and work on research transparency. Basic summary: We examined studies conducted as part of the Time-sharing Experiments in the Social Science (TESS) program, where: (1) we have a known population of conducted studies (some published, some unpublished); and (2) all studies exceed a quality threshold as they go through peer…
  • Pre-election survey methodology: details from nine polling organizations, 1988 and 1992

    Andrew
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:37 am
    This one from 1995 (with D. Stephen Voss and Gary King) was fun. For our “Why are American Presidential election campaign polls so variable when votes are so predictable?” project a few years earlier, Gary and I had analyzed individual-level survey responses from 60 pre-election polls that had been conducted by several different polling organizations. We wanted do know exactly what went on in these surveys but it was hard to learn anything much at all from the codebooks or the official descriptions of the polls. So Voss, a student of Gary’s who had experience as a…
  • One of the worst infographics ever, but people don’t care?

    Phil
    27 Aug 2014 | 8:15 pm
    This post is by Phil Price. Perhaps prompted by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, this infographic has been making the rounds: I think this is one of the worst I have ever seen. I don’t know where it came from, so I can’t give credit/blame where it’s due. Let’s put aside the numbers themselves – I haven’t checked them, for one thing, and I’d also say that for this comparison one would be most interested in (government money plus donations) rather than just donations — and just look at this as an information display. What are some things I…
  • Discussion of “A probabilistic model for the spatial distribution of party support in multiparty elections”

    Andrew
    27 Aug 2014 | 6:36 am
    From 1994. I don’t have much to say about this one. The paper I was discussing (by Samuel Merrill) had already been accepted by the journal—I might even have been a referee, in which case the associate editor had decided to accept the paper over my objections—and the editor gave me the opportunity to publish this dissent which appeared in the same issue with Merrill’s article. I like the discussion, and it includes some themes that keep showing up: the idea that modeling is important and you need to understand what your model is doing to the data. It’s not enough…
 
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    macroblog

  • What Kind of Job for Part-Time Pat?

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

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

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

    macroblog
    12 Aug 2014 | 6:03 am
    Editor’s note: This macroblog post was published yesterday with some content inadvertently omitted. Below is the complete post. We apologize for the error. Anyone who has undertaken a long road trip with children will be familiar with the frequent “are we there yet?” chorus from the back seat. So, too, it might seem on the long post-2007 monetary policy road trip. When will the economy finally look like it is satisfying the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) dual mandate of price stability and full employment? The answer varies somewhat across the FOMC…
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • Emergence

    chris dillow
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:57 am
    The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission this week reminded us of an old fact - that privately educated people are disproportionately represented among top jobs. Why is this? It's not solely because prviate schools give people a better chance of going on to get good degrees. This paper shows that, even controlling for university, the privately educated have a slight advantage in their chances of getting top jobs. And this one shows that, controlling for degree, there's an earnings premium for the privately-schooled. This is consistent with anecdotal evidence. Sajid…
  • UK vs US living standards

    chris dillow
    27 Aug 2014 | 6:44 am
    Fraser Nelson's claim that the UK is poorer than any US state other than Mississippi has met with some scepticism on Twitter. However, I reckon he might be right. Put it this way. Last year, UK GDP was £1612bn in current prices. With a population of 64.1m this gives us GDP per head of £25161. With the exchange rate averaging $1.57 last year, we have GDP per head in dollars of $39503. US GDP (pdf) was $16768.1bn spread over 316.3m, giving GDP per head of $53013. These are close to Fraser's numbers. One reason for this difference is simply that Americans work more; the OECD…
  • Constraints, real & imagined

    chris dillow
    26 Aug 2014 | 6:14 am
    Simon's post reminds me of Sidney Webb's reaction to Britain leaving the gold standard in 1931: "nobody told us we could do that." The 1929-31 Labour government tore itself apart because it thought the gold standard was a binding constraint which demanded fiscal austerity. But in fact, the constraint was imaginary. Abandoning the gold standard had no great ill-effects. European social democrats are in the same position Webb was. They are seeing binding constraints when in fact there are only illusory ones. In the euro area, a relaxation of the stability and growth pact to…
  • Public vs private racism

    chris dillow
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:05 am
    Which is better - to be a racist in words but not actions, or in actions but not words?* This is one question posed by the Malky Mackay affair. To see my point, let's juxtapose him (and football generally) with the film and TV business. Many black actors have felt the need to leave the UK to pursue their careers for want of good jobs here. But this is not the case for black footballers. I suspect that 20-something black men get a better deal relative to their white peers in football than they do in other walks of life** (though this might be a low bar), and - so far - there is no…
  • Olivier Giroud & social change

    chris dillow
    24 Aug 2014 | 5:44 am
    Watching The Arsenal last night reminded me of a saying by Niels Bohr and Jon Elster - that the opposite of a great truth is sometimes another great truth. What I mean is that some Gooners have long been critical of Olivier Giroud and have called for the signing of a big-name striker. But what sort of things could a top-class striker do? Pull back a two-goal deficit against a top team away from home, that's what...which is exactly what Giroud did. Had a new £50m signing turned the game as he did, everyone would be saying today what a fantastic signing he was. To some degree, Giroud is a…
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    Moneybox

  • At Work, Every Friday Should Be a Summer Friday

    Melissa Dahl
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:26 pm
    This article originally appeared in Science of Us. Summer doesn’t officially end until late next month, but who are we kidding: This is our last real week of summer, which makes August 29 our last summer Friday of 2014. If you’re lucky enough to work at a company with “summer Fridays,” that wonderful seasonal tradition of closing the office early on the Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you’re about to head back into the cold reality of the five-day, 40-hour workweek.  But you shouldn’t have to. The concept behind summer Fridays should be a year-round perk, several…
  • So You’re Rich for an American. Does that Make You Rich for New York?

    Jordan Weissmann
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:11 pm
    New Yorkers have a notoriously skewed sense of wealth—at least when they work in industries like finance or media and live in Manhattan or Brooklyn. It’s hard not to, seeing how we’re surrounded by expensive restaurants, expensive apartments, and expensively dressed people who seem able to afford it all. So, as an econ writer, it’s usually a somewhat strange experience when I get into conversations here about class. If I mention that a six-figure salary counts as rich in much of the country—that just $250,000 gets you into the top 2 percent—the response is usually, “Sure, but…
  • 76 Ways to Make Money in Digital Media

    David Plotz
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:15 am
    In much the same way I used to quiz my grandmother about how she survived the Great Depression, a younger colleague recently asked me what online journalism was like in the 1990s (we started Slate in 1996). As I started to talk about it, I realized that the journalism itself hasn’t changed that much—blah blah social media, blah blah interactives, blah blah longform—but what has changed is the money. There didn’t used to be any. Now there’s a lot. As an exercise, I made myself two lists: all the sources of revenue I can remember for 1998 digital journalism and all the sources of…
  • Forget the Rent: Why New York and San Francisco Are Actually Amazing Bargains

    Jordan Weissmann
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:17 am
    New York and San Francisco are synonymous with out-of-control rents. But they're more of a bargain than most of us realize. The New York Citizens Budget Commission, a nonprofit devoted to state and city government issues, recently ranked 21 large U.S. cities and found that New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., (also thought of as an expensive place to live) were actually among the most affordable. How is that possible? First, families in these cities tend to earn more. Second, they spend less money commuting. The typical New York household, for instance, pays a ludicrous amount of…
  • Why You Should Look for Strategic Investors in Unlikely Places

    Ian Jackson
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:46 am
    This article originally appeared in Inc. Since my time in the United Kingdom watching Dragon's Den, and now in the U.S. watching Shark Tank, I have loved seeing entrepreneurs battle with a complex question: Whose money should I take now that I have multiple suitors? And why? Is it better to own a large stake in a smaller company, or a smaller stake in a much larger one? With so much money flowing into venture capital and private equity funds, it seems like a greater proportion of investors these days are purely financial. They offer no real operating or distribution know-how; they simply ask…
 
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    Economic Development BlogEconomic Development Blog -

  • Advocacy Groups Seek Multi-State Cooperation for Tesla Gigafactory Site Selection

    Economic Development HQ.com
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:17 am
    A collection of advocacy groups has published an open letter in which they call for states competing for the Tesla Gigafactory project to start working with each other instead of competing. Tesla Gigafactory site selection finalists (photo – teslamotors.com) The Tesla Gigafactory site selection process pits the states of California, Nevada, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico in a contest to win the prize of a $4-5 billion factory and 6,500 jobs. Tesla has taken the unusual step of declaring that they will be breaking ground on sites in two to three states in order to ensure there will be no…
  • North Carolina Starts Losing Productions After Defunding Film Tax Credit Program

    Economic Development HQ.com
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:43 pm
    When the North Carolina State Legislature adjourned without approving a raft of economic development measures, Gov. Pat McCrory was forced to sign a budget which puts a $10 million cap for film incentives. Film=Jobs (photo – Rep. Susi Hamilton) The current refundable film tax credit program, which allows film and television productions in the state to claim a credit against 25 percent of eligible expenses, expires on Jan 1, 2015. Lawmakers including State Representatives Ted Davis Jr. and Susi Hamilton wrote to the Governor to request that the Legislature be reconvened for a special…
  • California Hikes Film Tax Credit Program From $100M to $330M

    Economic Development HQ.com
    28 Aug 2014 | 10:07 pm
    California Governor Jerry Brown, accompanied by legislative leaders, announced an agreement to expand, improve and extend the state’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program. California Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders reach agreement on film tax credit expansion (photo – gov.ca.gov) The agreement hikes the annual limit for film and television tax credits from $100 million to $330 million starting from fiscal year 2015-16, and extends the program with the increased funding level for another five years. The bill (AB 1839 – California Film and Television Job Retention and…
  • New Mexico Local Economic Development Act Funding Helps Create 250 Accurate Jobs

    Economic Development HQ.com
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:19 am
    Accurate, an Albuquerque-based manufacturing company, is going to build a new facility at the Los Morros Business Park in the Village of Los Lunas, NM. Village of Los Lunas, NM (photo – acommunitythatworks.com) The company will break ground on the new 107,500-square-foot facility in Sept, and plans to create 250 new jobs with wages between $18 to $30 per hour. Actually, the family-owned business is made of two companies – Accurate Machine and Tool (AMT) and Accurate Custom Injection Mold (ACIM). Together, they currently employ 50 workers, so the expansion will increase their…
  • Austin Economic Development Secures State TEZ Incentives for Flextronics and Spansion

    Economic Development HQ.com
    28 Aug 2014 | 2:01 am
    Two key tech expansion projects in the City of Austin that were nominated by the Austin Economic Development Department for state incentives have secured the required designations. Texas Enterprise Zone Program chart The expansion projects by electronics manufacturer and Apple supplier Flextronics America LLC and flash memory manufacturer Spansion LLC have both been awarded Texas Enterprise Zone designations for five-year periods. The TEZ designation allows both companies to claim state sales and use tax refunds of up to $1,250,000 each on qualified expenditures. The exact amount of refund…
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    Washington Center for Equitable Growth

  • Things to Read on the Afternoon of August 29, 2014

    Brad DeLong
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Must- and Shall-Reads: **David H. Autor Structural Demand Shifts and Potential Labor Supply Responses in the New Century | Polanyi’s Paradox and the Shape of Employment Growth Greg Sargent: Scott Brown calls for replacing Obamacare with Romneycare Rakesh Vohra: Rethinking Intermediate (day 1) Matt O’Brien: Why are Venezuela’s supermarkets so empty?   Lawrence Mishel: Broadening Agreement That Job Polarization Wasn’t Present in the United States In 2000s: “The ‘job polarization hypotheses’… claim[s] that computerization leads to the ‘simultaneous…
  • Afternoon Must-Read: Menzie Chinn: Wisconsin Forecasted to Lag Further Behind Minnesota

    Brad DeLong
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:36 pm
    Menzie Chinn: Wisconsin Forecasted to Lag Further Behind Minnesota, and Kansas travels its own path… …Bruce Bartlett brings my attention to this article noting Minnesota’s economic performance. This reminded me to check on the Philadelphia Fed’s forecast…. The cumulative growth gap between Minnesota and Wisconsin (relative to 2011M01) is forecasted to grow–rather than shrink–over the past six months…. The cumulative growth gap between Kansas and the Nation is also forecasted to rise, from the current gap of 2.7%, to 3.2%, in just the next six…
  • Afternoon Must-Read: Alicia Munnell: Dueling Data Muddies Social Security Debate

    Brad DeLong
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:07 pm
    Alicia Munnell: Dueling Data Muddies Social Security Debate: “The most recent missile is Andrew Biggs’ Wall Street Journal op-ed… …’Liberals for Social Security Insolvency’. Biggs notes that 75-year Social Security deficit projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) have nearly quadrupled between 2008 and 2014… to argue that it is foolish to put forth proposals to expand the program. The angle that I find the most disturbing is the suggestion that Social Security costs bounce around, that we don’t really know what’s going on, and that six…
  • Afternoon Must-Read: Rob Weiner: Overruled: A (Third) Response To Professor Adler on Halbig

    Brad DeLong
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:27 am
    Rob Weiner: Overruled: A (Third) Response To Professor Adler: “In the hopes of capping the increasingly tedious (not to mention snarky) contretemps with Professor Jonathan Adler… …I think it worth reviewing a few of the instances where his responses to my blog posts on Halbig have ignored, elided, or misconstrued my points…. I observed that a threat… must be communicated and understood…. Among the evidence I cited that Section 36B was not perceived as a threat were the initial characterizations of the disputed language by Adler and others as a…
  • Morning Must-Read: Olivier Blanchard: Where Danger Lurks

    Brad DeLong
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:31 am
    Olivier Blanchard: Where Danger Lurks: “Until the 2008 global financial crisis… …mainstream U.S. macroeconomics had taken an increasingly benign view of economic fluctuations in output and employment. The crisis has made it clear that this view was wrong…. The techniques we use affect our thinking in deep and not always conscious ways…. The techniques were best suited to a worldview in which economic fluctuations occurred but were regular, and essentially self-correcting. The problem is that we came to believe that this was indeed the way the world worked…
 
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    FiveThirtyEight » Economics | FiveThirtyEight

  • The Poorest Corner Of Town

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

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

    Nate Silver
    18 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    When traveling in Tokyo a couple of years ago, I was struck by how few tourists there were. Sure, taking advice from an English-language website or guidebook could still lead you to a place with plenty of gaijin. But I didn’t have the sense of being surrounded by fellow tourists that one sometimes gets in Rome or Paris or Barcelona.The statistics bear this out. Barcelona gets about twice as many international tourists each year as Tokyo. But that’s only part of the story. Barcelona’s metro-area population is about 4.7 million — compared to 39.4 million for Tokyo. Relative to the…
  • Summer Jobs Are Slowly Disappearing

    Ben Casselman
    13 Aug 2014 | 11:40 am
    Maurice Brown has spent the summer doing something that’s increasingly unusual for American teenagers: going to work.Brown, 17, works 25 hours a week as a fry cook at a McDonald’s down the street from where he lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts. While classmates were at the beach or the mall, Brown was learning life skills — how to behave in a professional workplace, how to multitask when the lunch rush started, how not to talk back when his managers criticized him. He said he hopes the experience will help him get a job after college. And though the pay was low, he was able to buy his…
  • Corporate America Hasn’t Been Disrupted

    Ben Casselman
    8 Aug 2014 | 4:25 am
    Talk to anyone in Silicon Valley these days, and it’s hard to go more than two minutes without hearing about “disruption.” Uber is disrupting the taxi business. Airbnb is disrupting the hotel business. Apple’s iTunes disrupted the music industry, but now risks being disrupted by Spotify. Listen long enough, and it’s hard not to conclude that existing companies, no matter how big and powerful, are all but doomed, marking time until their inevitable overthrow by hoodie-wearing innovators.In fact, the opposite is true. By a wide range of measures, the advantages of incumbency in…
 
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    Vox - All

  • Just to keep things interesting, Russian planes keep flying into Finnish airspace

    Matthew Yglesias
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:40 pm
    This is a photograph of an AN-27 Russian military transport aircraft. Which wouldn't be so extraordinary, except that the air force of Finland says they took the photo while the Russian plane was in Finnish airspace. Even that wouldn't necessarily be so extraordinary, except the Finns say it was "the third event of its kind within a one-week period." And even that you might write off as just one of these things, except that Russia also invaded Ukraine this week so it's kind of hard to see it all as a big coincidence. With the USSR distracted in 1941, Finland made a strategic blunder and…
  • New horror film As Above, So Below: see it or skip it?

    Todd VanDerWerff
    29 Aug 2014 | 12:50 pm
    It's a quiet Labor Day weekend at the multiplex, with releases led by the new horror film As Above, So Below, which involves a bunch of young people who head into the catacombs of Paris and find evil lurking (not monsters, just evil in general). We've seen it. Should you go? Why you should go: For all of its flaws — and there are many of them — As Above, So Below creates an incredibly pernicious and overwhelming sense of dread. Much of this is thanks to the sound design, which slowly becomes more and more omnipresent, until it's all but blasting the audience by the film's climax. It's a…
  • How the science of memory might help us all remember things better

    Susannah Locke
    29 Aug 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Wouldn't it be great to have a better memory? This week, a new study in the journal Science showed that people who received a certain type of electromagnetic stimulation to their brains ended up better able to remember things — and the effects lasted for at least a day after treatment. This is hardly the first experiment about boosting memory. Scientists haven't yet discovered a magic pill that will help you remember things more easily. But there's a lot of research into how memory works and how it could work better. Here's an overview: How memory works A neuron imaged under a microscope.
  • Binge-watch some of 2014’s best TV so far

    Todd VanDerWerff
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:00 am
    It's a long weekend, and that means you have time to binge. You probably already know about the Game of Thrones and Mad Mens of the world, but if you're looking for something slightly more obscure, here are 25 great shows that are already in contention for best of 2014 lists. You can watch all of them in a weekend — and some of them in a single afternoon. What else do you have to do? Comedies Adventure Time Adventure Time The show: A wide-ranging journey through... Continue reading…
  • Beyoncé can do many things. Poetry is not one of them.

    Alex Abad-Santos
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:10 am
    Beyoncé has revealed that she may be human, rather than divine. For an upcoming spread for CR Fashion Book, a couture tome overseen by Carine Roitfeld, the former French Vogue editor and rival to Anna Wintour, Beyoncé decided to tell readers of her greatness through poetry. Unfortunately, the written word did not fully cooperate. A verse: Children I've met across the years —they uplift me like pieces of moon,and guide me, whispering in my ear Moon, time, children, and distance all seem like concepts more apt for the likes of Shailene Woodley. Apparently, children and the orbit of the…
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    Commentary - Money, Banking and Financial Markets

  • China's Capital Controls and the Exchange Rate Regime

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:12 am
    When the Chinese government wanted to damn the great Yangtze River, it moved more than a million people. When it wanted ring roads running through the 20 million people of Beijing, China built 270 miles in less than 30 years. So, when Chinese leaders say that they want Shanghai to be a global financial center and their currency the renminbi (RMB) to be an international leader, it’s natural to ask how, when, and at what cost.In a recent post, we concluded that vast, politically sensitive reforms would be needed to make the RMB a key currency for global finance and central bank reserves. We…
  • Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:24 am
    On the occasion of the Fed’s Jackson Hole Symposium, the New York Sun published an editorial attacking central banking and fiat money. Let’s get this out of the way at the start: we are big fans of both. In our view, the world is a more stable and prosperous place with central banks than it was without them. And fiat money allows a central bank to stabilize the price of goods and services that would be quite volatile if, instead, we chose to steady the price of gold (the Sun’s apparent favorite). The result is higher growth from which we all benefit.We also like tabloids. They’re…
  • Measuring inflation: Signal extraction redux

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    21 Aug 2014 | 5:16 am
    Not long ago, we posted a commentary discussing the difficulty of interpreting GDP data. The problem is one of extracting the true signal of economic growth from the noisy way that we measure output.This signal extraction problem is generic in economics (and other sciences that use statistics). Indeed, one of us began his professional career trying to discern the trend of U.S. inflation. It was 1980 and the inflation numbers were hitting a peak of nearly 20%. The standard operating procedure at the time was to take things like food, energy and some housing-related items out of the index and…
  • To RMB or not to RMB? Lessons from Currency History

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:42 am
    China is the world’s largest trader and (on a purchasing power parity basis) is about to surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy (see chart). China already accounts for about 10% of global trade in goods and services, and over 15% of global economic activity.China and the United States: PPP-adjusted Real GDP (2011 International U.S. Dollars in Trillions) Source: World Bank. Data through 2013. Authors' simulation from 2014 assumes annual growth rate of 6.5% for China and 2.3% for the United States. So, as China takes its place as the biggest economy on the globe, will its…
  • Do U.S. Households Benefit from the Great Moderation?

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    13 Aug 2014 | 12:17 pm
    Something odd has happened to the U.S. economy over the past 30 years. Aggregate income (measured by real GDP) has become more stable (even including the 2007-2009 Great Recession). But, at the household level, the volatility of income has gone up. Put differently, families face greater income risk than in the past despite generally fewer or smaller economy-wide wobbles. What should we make of this?Let’s start with the facts. In the picture below, you can immediately see the primary evidence for the Great Moderation. The standard deviation of quarterly GDP growth fell by nearly a half…
 
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    Credence Independent Advisors

  • France continues to struggle as German confidence erased in ‘one fell swoop’

    Thomas Crowe
    27 Aug 2014 | 11:59 pm
    Outlook for French business remains bleak, while a key consumer gauge in Germany suggests Europe’s biggest economy will “shift down a gear or two at least” France’s new government was dealt an early blow on Wednesday after a key gauge showed business optimism deteriorated in August. French factory confidence fell to its lowest level in more than a year in August, adding to signs that the economy may struggle to grow after a stagnant first half. A slump in retail trade also dragged down overall business optimism.     The French government announced its second…
  • S&P 500 closes above 2,000 for first time

    Dermot Crawford
    26 Aug 2014 | 10:44 pm
    Index boosted by economic data pointing to renewed confidence in the world’s largest economy. The S&P 500, America’s blue-chip index, closed above the 2,000 mark for the first time on Tuesday, as new data bolstered confidence that the world’s largest economy is recovering. The index, which tracks 500 top-tier companies, rose 1pc to end at 2000.2, after a report showed the biggest ever jump in orders of durable goods and fresh figures pointed to an increase in consumer confidence. The S&P 500′s jump burnished a winning streak that has already seen the index set…
  • Markets prepare for money taps to be turned on in the eurozone

    Jamil Al Maani
    26 Aug 2014 | 2:53 am
    Financial markets yesterday placed bets on the European Central Bank (ECB) launching its own emergency bond-purchase programme before the end of the year in order to boost prices and growth in the weakening euro area. The single currency slumped to $1.3198 yesterday, its lowest level against the dollar in almost a year, amid further poor economic data from the eurozone and signs that political dissent over the setting of macro-economic policy is bubbling over. Speaking at the Jackson Hole central bankers’ summit in Wyoming last Friday, the ECB president Mario Draghi sent his strongest…
  • Eurozone needs an unconventional approach to its economic crisis

    Mark Boyes
    25 Aug 2014 | 4:37 am
    Mario Draghi, the head of ECB calls for more unconventional and growth friendly policies to end eurozone crisis. Within the Eurozone, it has been a long-time since the living standards were at peak. For instance, the living standards were last at their peak in 1997 in Italy, 2000 in Cyprus and Portugal, 2001 in Greece, 2003 in Spain and Ireland and 2006 in France. Out of all the eurozone countries bailed out since eurozone debt crisis, Italy has been the only country to witness the worst performance and is now in the final stages of its two lost decades. Last Friday, at his speech at the…
  • Bank of England’s deputy governor: Low pay growth here to stay

    Kareem Sattar
    23 Aug 2014 | 11:04 pm
    Earnings growth has failed to beat inflation over the past five years. Now Ben Broadbent, of the Bank of England, suggests that wage growth has permanently “shifted downwards” Workers could face consistently lower pay rises than those they grew accustomed to before the crisis, a senior Bank of England policymaker has warned. After decades of stable increases in wages, it is possible that growth has “shifted downwards”, said Ben Broadbent, deputy governor for monetary policy at the Bank. Addressing an audience of economists at the annual Jackson Hole conference in Wyoming, US,…
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