Economics

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  • Does Marijuana Change Young Brains?

    Freakonomics
    Freakonomics
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:59 am
    (Photo: Brett Levin) Our latest podcast compared the costs of marijuana use to the costs of alcohol use.  A new study in the current issue of The Journal of Neuroscience argues that casual use of marijuana affects the developing brain.  Jason Koebler, writing for Vice, summarizes the findings: High-resolution MRI scans of the brains of adults between the ages of 18-25 who reported smoking weed at least once a week were structurally different than a control group: They showed greater grey matter density in the left amygdala, an area of the brain associated with addiction and showed…
  • The amazing energy efficiency of the US economy

    Calafia Beach Pundit
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:57 am
    Mark Perry today has a nice post celebrating Earth Day from an economist's perspective, including a chart showing how the U.S. economy today uses far less energy per unit of output than it did in 1950. To complement his post, I offer the following charts which focus on oil consumption.These charts offer powerful proof that people and economies respond to price incentives. Since 1970 the inflation-adjusted price of crude oil has increased by a factor of 10. Faced with the problem of increasingly expensive oil and oil by-products, the U.S. economy responded by reducing its reliance on oil and…
  • The Upshot Is…

    Jared Bernstein | On the Economy
    Jared Bernstein
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:32 am
    …a new feature over at the NYT—the brainchild of long-time economics writer David Leonhardt—covering all kinds of interesting stuff in the intersection of econ, politics, and life.  I’ll be writing for it, as it absorbs the Economix blog. In the first issue (not the right word in digital world, I guess), Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy team up for a fascinating look at the progress of real income growth across countries and across the income scale, adjusted to be in comparable dollars. The US problem relative to others is clearly seen in the table below: our real median income has been…
  • In Rural Kansas, an Experiment Makes Hitchhiking Safe Again

    NEW ECONOMY
    Molly Rusk
    22 Apr 2014 | 12:30 pm
    This article originally appeared at Shareable.net. Photo by Shutterstock. “We’re not stuck in a traffic jam. We are the traffic jam.” What I love best about the sharing economy is how it squeezes good value out of the unused bits of our society that would otherwise go to waste. And nowhere do you have so much waste as in our transportation system. A personal car uses less than 1 percent of its energy to move a passenger, and 80 percent of our passenger capacity is driving around empty. That’s hundreds of millions of empty seats in this country! Meanwhile, 45 percent of the country has…
  • Future of Television at Stake at Supreme Court Today

    The American Prospect
    Paul Waldman
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:10 am
    Today, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments in ABC vs Aereo, a case that will (cue drumroll) decide the future of television. Or maybe it won't, but it's a fascinating case, involving the intersection of technology with political and market power. There's a comprehensive explanation here, but the short version is that Aereo is a service that allows you to get broadcast TV, i.e. the major networks and a few others that send signals over the air, through an internet connection instead of a set of rabbit ears on top of your TV. The broadcast networks and the big cable companies want to shut it…
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    Real Time Economics

  • Math and Science Pay, But High Schoolers Care Less

    Brenda Cronin
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:55 am
    Bloomberg Math and science are the peas and carrots of the jobs market: great for a career future, but resolutely unpopular with the young. Even amid a relatively weak jobs picture, fewer U.S. high school students are taking up fields of study with proven earnings potential than was the case a decade ago. That has translated into a chronic shortage of workers schooled in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, according to research released Wednesday. The STEM Index, developed by U.S. News & World Report and Raytheon Co., found the number of American jobs requiring math or science…
  • Grand Central: Housing Recovery, We Hardly Knew You

    WSJ Staff
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:09 am
    The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, April 23, 2014 Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup Highlights Hilsenrath’s Take: Housing Recovery, We Hardly Knew You Fed Looks Likely to Stick to Policy Path China Manufacturing Activity Remains Weak Euro Zone Growth Accelerates, But Prices Cut BOE Grapples With Self-Employment Puzzle HILSENRATH’S TAKE. The Commerce Department Wednesday releases data on March new home sales. If the report looks anything like recent reports on existing home sales, home construction, mortgage…
  • Former BOE Governor Receives Order of the Garter

    Jason Douglas
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:26 am
    Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England and now Lord King of Lothbury, has received another honor to add to his lengthening list of gongs since swapping central banking for academia. He has been named a Knight Companion of the Noble Order of the Garter. The Order of the Garter is the oldest British order of chivalry, founded  by Edward III in 1348, according to the official website of the British monarchy. Appointments to the Order of the Garter are made by Queen Elizabeth and reward those who have distinguished themselves in public office or national life, or have served the…
  • BOE Grapples With Self-Employment Puzzle

    Jason Douglas
    23 Apr 2014 | 2:53 am
    Bank of England officials are struggling to make sense of a big rise in self-employment in the U.K., a development that may affect when officials choose to lift interest rates. At its April 9 meeting, Monetary Policy Committee officials agreed that the U.K.’s economic recovery appears to be gaining momentum, and BOE staff estimate the economy grew by about 1% in the first quarter of 2014, according to minutes published Wednesday. All nine members of the rate-setting panel voted to keep the BOE’s benchmark interest rate at a low of 0.5%. But the minutes record that officials spent some…
  • Australia’s Central Bank Breathes Easier After Inflation Report

    James Glynn
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:32 pm
    Australia’s economy is slowly recovering from the end of a decade-long boom in mining investment. Bloomberg A benign reading on first-quarter inflation gives Australia’s central bank more time to ponder its next policy move. Consumer inflation rose 0.6% on-quarter in the first three months of the year and was up 2.9% from a year earlier, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.  Economists had forecast a 3.2% increase from a year earlier — which would have been a two-year high – and a 0.8% sequential rise. Core inflation rose by just 0.6% in the quarter – down from a…
 
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    naked capitalism

  • Links 4/23/14

    Yves Smith
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:50 am
    Apologies for the absence of my own posts. I even had to turn down BBC Radio (one of their biggest shows). This is a dreadful week for me because we have to get a filing in on the CalPERS litigation. Even though I have a very able team getting a handle on what they have and haven’t provided, the data is in lousy shape. For instance, numerous variant renderings of the same fund name means that even simple exercises like trying to tally the number of fund names are not simple. As a result, I’m having to do a lot of coordination and supervision to make sure the process and results…
  • Ilargi: What is the Earth Worth (6 Years Later)?

    Yves Smith
    23 Apr 2014 | 2:40 am
    Yves here. This is a day-late Earth Day post, but the proper stewardship of this planet is a 365-day-a-year duty. Ilargi focuses on one of my pet issues, that too many of the remedies for climate change (and environmental protection generally) rely on the illusion of new technology eliminating or blunting lifestyle changes. But in most cases, this way out is illusory. It takes decades for major new technologies to be adopted widely, and we don’t have that kind of runway as far as greenhouse gases are concerned. Second, many green technology fixes merely squeeze the balloon in one place…
  • Pettis: 11 Reasons China Can’t Escape from Its Debt Overhang

    Yves Smith
    23 Apr 2014 | 1:55 am
    Yves here. A certain amount of complacency has set in about China’s unsustainable economic model, simply because the Middle Kingdom has managed to stay a day of reckoning. I remember similar doubt fatigue setting in during the blowoff phase of the dot-com bubble. Even with more worrying sightings, such as distress in wealth management products (the riskiest part of China’s shadow banking system), many of the bearish sorts believe that China has enough control over its economy that it will engineer a soft landing. Yet it’s hard to ignore stories like these: My last trip to…
  • More Effective Remedies for Inequality

    Yves Smith
    23 Apr 2014 | 12:05 am
    Yves here. The subject of inequality in income and wealth has, in the last year or so, become an oft-mentioned topic in economic and political commentary. It’s now even acceptable to use the word “oligarchy” to describe the US. Yet too often lost in the debate is that this type of inequality is the result of what right society allows various members to have. For instance, in the last 30 years, intellectual property laws have gotten stronger while the rights of workers to organize have been cut back. We had a more equitable society when unions were stronger, taxes were more…
  • Philip Pilkington: Unemployment and Wages in the US – A Tale of Institutional Change

    Yves Smith
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:17 pm
    By Philip Pilkington, a writer and research assistant at Kingston University in London. You can follow him on Twitter @pilkingtonphil. Originally published at Fixing the Economists Just a short post this morning to highlight an interesting chart that I put together. Below I have mapped out year-on-year changes in wages against the unemployment rate. As we can see, in the period 1965-1981 (green circle) when unemployment went up wage-growth continued climbing regardless. However, in the period 1981-2013 (orange circle) whenever unemployment went up wage-growth slowed substantially. Indeed, in…
 
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    26th Largest Economy

  • Consolidate your Payday Loans today and Help the economy!

    admin
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:07 am
    Stock trading is one of the possible careers that you can venture into when looking for a high return of investment on a regular basis. However, you need to consider a tried and tested trading system if you want to succeed in stock market. Trading systems consists of certain rules and parameters that determine entry and exit points for a given equity. Among these parameters include oscillators, moving averages, relative strength, Bollinger bands, and stochastic. In some instances, a combination of more than two parameters determines the rules. In other cases, a single indicator is enough to…
  • Boyd Shropshire

    admin
    28 Jan 2014 | 9:48 am
    Boyd Shropshire is a talented graphic designer, musician and artist. He’s also one of my old friends from the UF design program, my roommate when I moved to NYC, and frequent collaborator since 2005. Our first collabs happened accidentally. While drawing on the same piece of paper, he crossed out what I had done and wrote some words on top of it. I think that unlocked something in my mind, that the drawings weren’t precious. They could be fast, loose, weird and free. These pieces of paper lead to large-scale ink drawings, a two-person art show called Vernacular Shlamacular,…
  • Can people afford hot tubs these days?

    admin
    23 Nov 2013 | 10:19 am
    South East Spas is delivering customers Master Spa’s complete line of hot tubs west palm beach and Michael Phelps Signature Series Swim Spas direct to your backyard for blowout prices.  We have models in current overstock at massive discounts as well as all inclusive access to our Scratch/Dent spas and Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas.  These spas are ready to be delivered to your backyard!  If you are looking for the best price, just give me a call and find out, you won’t be disappointed, we guarantee it. South East Spas will beat or match any south florida spas price out…
 
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    Alpha.Sources

  • 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…
  • The lower bound of central bank effectiveness

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

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

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

  • Justice Sotomayor's Powerful Defense of Equality

    Scott Lemieux
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:33 am
    Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld a provision of Michigan's constitution that bans the state or any of its subdivisions from "grant[ing] preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting." The Court was fractured; the six justices who voted to uphold the amendment did so for three independent reasons. Written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the majority decision—to which Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito signed on—was…
  • Today In American Exceptionalism

    Paul Waldman
    22 Apr 2014 | 2:59 pm
    We're going to talk about rich people and government spending, but first, some context. At some point you may have wondered about parliamentary systems like they have in Great Britain, in which the party that gets the most seats in the legislature also installs its leader as chief executive. With complete control over government, why don't they go hog-wild and completely remake the entire country after every election? The simple answer is that they know they'll have to stand for another election before long. But the other key factor is that a transition from, say, Labour to the Conservatives…
  • Future of Television at Stake at Supreme Court Today

    Paul Waldman
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:10 am
    Today, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments in ABC vs Aereo, a case that will (cue drumroll) decide the future of television. Or maybe it won't, but it's a fascinating case, involving the intersection of technology with political and market power. There's a comprehensive explanation here, but the short version is that Aereo is a service that allows you to get broadcast TV, i.e. the major networks and a few others that send signals over the air, through an internet connection instead of a set of rabbit ears on top of your TV. The broadcast networks and the big cable companies want to shut it…
  • Too Big to Fail. Not Too Strong

    David Cay Johnston
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:25 am
    From Andrew Mellon’s nearly 11 years as Treasury secretary under Presidents Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover to our time, when Timothy Geithner went from financial regulator at the New York Federal Reserve to Treasury secretary to investment executive, journalists have often employed the image of a revolving door to describe the flow of bankers between Wall Street and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. But few know that the White House and the Treasury are, arguably, a single building. A tunnel connects 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue with 1600. Presidents use this…
  • How Big Data Could Undo Our Civil-Rights Laws

    Virginia Eubanks
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:59 am
    iStockPhoto Big Data will eradicate extreme world poverty by 2028, according to Bono, front man for the band U2. But it also allows unscrupulous marketers and financial institutions to prey on the poor. Big Data, collected from the neonatal monitors of premature babies, can detect subtle warning signs of infection, allowing doctors to intervene earlier and save lives. But it can also help a big-box store identify a pregnant teenager—and carelessly inform her parents by sending coupons for baby items to her home. News-mining algorithms might have been able to predict the Arab Spring. But Big…
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    Robert Reich

  • Raising Taxes on Corporations that Pay Their CEOs Royally and Treat Their Workers Like Serfs

    21 Apr 2014 | 4:08 pm
    Until the 1980s, corporate CEOs were paid, on average, 30 times what their typical worker was paid....
  • Antitrust in the New Gilded Age

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

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

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

    4 Apr 2014 | 8:49 am
    What does the Supreme Court’s “McCutcheon” decision this week have to do with...
 
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    This Is Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for April 22, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:22 am
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Morning Must-Read: Neil Irwin: How Underpaid German Workers Helped Cause Europe’s Debt Crisis Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Understanding Economic Growth: Light: Wednesday Focus: April 22, 2014 Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Morning Must-Read: Ryan Avent Is Very Unhappy with Clive Crook's Review of Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Morning Must-Read: Evan Soltas: Wage Discrimination Washington Equitable Center for…
  • Liveblogging World War II: April 22, 1944

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:07 am
    From history.com: Americans launch Operation Persecution in the Pacific: Allied forces land in the Hollandia area of New Guinea. The Japanese occupiers, only 15,000 in number, many of whom were on administrative duty, fight for more than three months against ludicrous odds at great cost: When the battle for the northern coast of New Guinea was finally won by the Allies, 12,811 Japanese were dead, compared with 527 Americans.
  • A Somewhat Strange Piece from Timothy Egan: Live From the Roasterie CXLVI: April 22, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:04 am
    Timothy Egan: How to Heal the Heartland: "There are two big stories shaping the Great Plains... ...one of steroidal growth and disruption in the energy boom, the other of the slow death of small-town life.... The oil and natural gas bonanza has made housing in places like Minot, N.D., as competitive as rent-controlled apartments in Manhattan.... But... right down the midsection... lonely bars and empty diners, of crowded cemeteries and Main Streets where a dogs sleep away the afternoon. In Phelps, Frontier, Gosper or Gage counties, all in Nebraska, there are fewer people now than there…
  • Mark Thoma on Academic Macroeconomics's Streetlight Problems: Tuesday One Year Ago on the Internet Weblogging

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:40 am
    Mark Thoma: Economist's View: Empirical Methods and Progress in Macroeconomics: Empirical Methods and Progress in Macroeconomics The blow-up over the Reinhart-Rogoff results reminds me of a point I’ve been meaning to make about our ability to use empirical methods to make progress in macroeconomics. This isn't about the computational mistakes that Reinhart and Rogoff made, though those are certainly important, especially in small samples, it's about the quantity and quality of the data we use to draw important conclusions in macroeconomics. Everybody has been highly critical…
  • Econ 2: Spring 2014: UC Berkeley: Administrivia for April 21, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    21 Apr 2014 | 3:59 pm
    Not Doing International M Apr. 21: Government Budget/Long-Run Economic Growth…: Budget | Growth W Apr 23: Long-Run Economic Growth M Apr 28: Long-Run Economic Growth/Micro Review W Apr 30: Macro Review/ Final Preview W Apr 30: Problem Set 6 due Omit E: Inequality (Piketty) F May 9: Reading Period paper due Final Exam: Friday May 16, 8-11 AM, Hearst Gymnasium .pdf | .ppt
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    Calculated Risk

  • MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

    Bill McBride
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:01 am
    From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly SurveyMortgage applications decreased 3.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 18, 2014. ...The Refinance Index decreased 4 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier. ...The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 4.49 percent from 4.47 percent, with…
  • Wednesday: New Home Sales

    Bill McBride
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:35 pm
    From Catherine Rampell at the WaPo: Americans think owning a home is better for them than it isOver the past century, housing prices have grown at a compound annual rate of just 0.3 percent once one adjusts for inflation, according to my calculations using Shiller’s historical housing data. Over the same period, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has had comparable annual returns of about 6.5 percent.Yet Americans still think it’s financially savvy to dump all their savings into a single, large, highly illiquid asset.First, as I've pointed out several times, Shiller used…
  • Lawler: Updated Table of Distressed Sales and Cash buyers for Selected Cities in March

    Bill McBride
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:40 am
    Economist Tom Lawler sent me the updated table below of short sales, foreclosures and cash buyers for several selected cities in March. Lawler writes: "Note the increase in the foreclosure sales share in Florida."From CR:   The decline in "distressed" share was one of the positives I mentioned in the previous post.  Total "distressed" share is down in all of these markets, mostly because of a sharp decline in short sales.Foreclosures are down in most of these areas too, although foreclosures are up in the mid-Atlantic area and Florida (judicial foreclosure) - and a little in…
  • Comments on Housing and Existing Home Sales

    Bill McBride
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:35 am
    A decline in existing home sales doesn't mean the housing recovery is over.  Far from it!  For existing home sales we need to look at the composition of sales (distressed vs. conventional), and the percent of conventional sales are increasing (even as investor buying has slowed too). That is a positive sign.For the "housing recovery", we need to look more at housing starts and new home sales (housing starts and new home sales have a larger impact on GDP and employment than existing home sales). Both starts and new home sales are off to a slow start in 2014 compared to 2013, but I…
  • Existing Home Sales in March: 4.59 million SAAR, Inventory up 3.1% Year-over-year

    Bill McBride
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    The NAR reports: Existing-Home Sales Remain Soft in MarchTotal existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million in March from 4.60 million in February, and are 7.5 percent below the 4.96 million-unit pace in March 2013. Last month’s sales volume remained the slowest since July 2012, when it was 4.59 million.Total housing inventory at the end of March rose 4.7 percent to 1.99 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.2-month…
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    Crooked Timber

  • Happy Krauthammer Day

    Henry
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:58 am
    The day has rolled around again when we celebrate Charles Krauthammer’s linking of his, and his administration friends’ credibility to a confident prediction about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Hans Blix had five months to find weapons. He found nothing. We’ve had five weeks. Come back to me in five months. If we haven’t found any, we will have a credibility problem. We’ve had over twenty five five month periods since then. There have been lots, and lots of words from Charles Krauthammer in the interim (most recently – pushing against disclosure of…
  • Tu Quoque

    John Quiggin
    21 Apr 2014 | 12:53 pm
    I’ve written many posts and articles making the point that the political right, in most English speaking countries1 has been taken over by a tribalist post-truth politics in which all propositions, including the conclusions of scientific research, are assessed in terms of their consistency or otherwise with tribal prejudices and shibboleths. Very occasionally, intellectuals affiliated with the political right (conservatives and libertarians) will seek to deny this, arguing that isolated instances are being blown out of proportion, and that the right as a whole is committed to reasoned,…
  • Max Weber’s Birthday

    Henry
    21 Apr 2014 | 8:52 am
    Max Weber was born 150 years ago today. People should read his two seminal essays, Science as a Vocation, and Politics as a Vocation (PDFs), if they haven’t already. Both are rambling, but with nuggets of genuine genius. To mark the occasion, the famous closing paragraphs of Science as a Vocation (these words carry a very different resonance after Nazism and the Holocaust than before) The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the ‘disenchantment of the world.’ Precisely the ultimate and most sublime values have…
  • Why Does the Winger Whine? What Does the Winger Want?

    Corey Robin
    20 Apr 2014 | 8:31 pm
    At National Review Online, Jonathan Adler writes: Over at the progressive blog, Crooked Timber, Corey Robin lists “Eleven Things You Did Not Know About Clarence Thomas.”  The items Robin lists shouldn’t surprise avid court watchers, or others who have paid much attention to the conservative justice.  Judging from the comments, however, several of the items were quite a revelation to CT’s readership.  I can only imagine the surprise if Robin had blogged on Justice Thomas’s jurisprudence, further challenging the caricature of Clarence Thomas…
  • Monday photoblogging: Lakes

    John Quiggin
    20 Apr 2014 | 8:03 pm
    Lakes Eacham and Barrine in the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland
 
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    Dealbreaker

  • Opening Bell: 04.03.14

    Dealbreaker
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Judges Consider What Defines Insider Trading (WSJ) Federal prosecutors were peppered with tough questions Tuesday on the legal underpinnings of their near-perfect record in insider-trading cases, raising the prospect that some convictions could be overturned. In an hourlong hearing in Manhattan, judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit signaled that federal… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
  • Write-Offs: 04.22.14

    Dealbreaker
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:26 pm
    $$$ Ex-Barclays Executive Sees ‘Golden Decade’ for Banking [Bloomberg] $$$ Citigroup’s leaders say company is still too complex [Reuters] $$$ What’s in a Name: The Ongoing Saga of Medbox [SIRF / Roddy Boyd] $$$ Weebly Valued at $455 Million Amid Website-Building Boom [Digits] $$$ Paulson, [Warren] says in the book released today, sold the $700… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
  • Daivd Einhorn: Maybe It’s Time To Asking Questions Like, “Why The F*ck Did A Startup Texting Service Sell For $19 Billion?”

    Bess Levin
    22 Apr 2014 | 2:19 pm
    Or something along those lines. …there is a clear consensus that we are witnessing our second tech bubble in 15 years. What is uncertain is how much further the bubble can expand, and what might pop it. In our view the current bubble is an echo of the previous tech bubble, but with fewer large… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: bubble stocks, David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital, Hedge Funds, letters to investors, tech bubbles, valuations, warnings, Whatsapp
  • Appelate Court Judge Wonders If Government Can Win An Insider Trading Case In Front Of A Judge Who Doesn’t Stop The Trial Every 5 Minutes To High Five The Prosecution

    Bess Levin
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:58 pm
    Just seconds after the prosecutor arguing the appeal introduced herself, the judges grilled her about the case and implied that Mr. Bharara’s office steered insider trading trials to Judge Richard J. Sullivan, who oversaw Mr. Chiasson’s and Mr. Newman’s trial and a subsequent case against another trader. The questioning appeared to send a cautionary message… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: Anthony Chiasson, appeals, insider-trading, Richard Sullivan, Todd Newman
  • Is Lululemon CEO’s Lack of Muscle Tone Good Or Bad For Shareholder Value: Investors Debate

    Bess Levin
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:43 pm
    In Camp A you have investors who are horrified by new chief executive officer Laurent Potdevin’s appearance. They want him to go into hiding and not come out until he’s gotten his body fat down to 5%. Currently, the thought of him in a pair of Wunder Unders literally makes them shudder. …some investors who… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: debates, kind of … dumpy, Laurent Potdevin, Lululemon, spandex
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    Econbrowser

  • “Financial Adjustment in the Aftermath of the Global Crisis 2008-09: A New Global Order?”

    Menzie Chinn
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:26 am
    That’s the title of a conference that took place at USC this weekend, co-organized by Joshua Aizenman, Menzie Chinn and Robert Dekle, and cosponsored by the USC Center for International Studies, USC School of International Relations, Journal of International Money and Finance, and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The papers focused on new international trends and developments in the wake of the global financial crisis, including the role of corporate saving/investment/net lending (figure 7), and official flows, in the global saving glut, the behavior of cross-border banking,…
  • State Employment Trends: Does a Low Tax/Right-to-Work/Low Minimum Wage Regime Correlate to Growth?

    Menzie Chinn
    21 Apr 2014 | 8:12 pm
    It’s interesting how “pro-business” policies do not appear to be conducive to rapid employment growth. Employment in Governor Walker’s Wisconsin, as in Governor Brownback’s Kansas, has lagged behind that of the United States (and behind that of Governor Dayton’s Minnesota and Governor Brown’s California). Figure 1: Log nonfarm payroll employment in Minnesota (blue), Wisconsin (red), Kansas (green), California (teal),and the United States (black), seasonally adjusted, 2011M01=0. Source: BLS, and author’s calculations. Notice that Kansas and…
  • Impressions of Russia

    James_Hamilton
    20 Apr 2014 | 11:18 am
    My wife and I spent last week in Russia, giving some lectures at the New Economic School and the International College of Economics and Finance and touring Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Here are some of the things I saw that surprised me. Moscow may have the world’s best subway system. You can get anywhere in the sprawling city very quickly, and if you miss the train, another will be along in just a few minutes. I don’t recommend it during rush hour, but it provides the average resident with cheaper and more effective transportation than can be found in other cities I have visited.
  • “The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of the Pacific Rim”

    Menzie Chinn
    17 Apr 2014 | 9:42 pm
    That’s a new volume out from Oxford University Press, co-edited by Inderjit Kaur and Nirvikar Singh. The contributors are all prominent scholars in the field of Pacific Rim economics. Several are familiar Econbrowser guest contributors, or highlighted in posts (noted below). The book is described at further length here. The table of contents: PART I. THE NATURAL WORLD: HISTORY, CLIMATE, AND RISKS 1. The History of Biological Exploitation on the Pacific Rim, Eric Jones 2. Climate Risk and Response in the Pacific Rim, David Roland-Holst 3. Natural Disasters and Economic Policy for the…
  • ACA Insurance Coverage Cost Update from CBO

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

  • America Should Open Its Borders: My Opening Statement for the Reason Immigration Debate

    Bryan Caplan
    23 Apr 2014 | 9:07 am
    (April 23, 2014 09:07 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Last night's immigration debate with Mark Krikorian and Alex Nowrasteh was... interesting.  Reflections forthcoming.  For now, here's my opening statement. Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 America Should Open its Borders Under current U.S. law, it is illegal for... (0 COMMENTS)
  • We aren't very Victorian, are we?

    Alberto Mingardi
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:13 am
    (April 23, 2014 07:13 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) I was reading recently John Vincent's "The Formation of the British Liberal Party 1857-68", a classic on the subject and a most interesting book. I was struck by the following passage: Very striking rewards, then, did not act at all... (1 COMMENTS)
  • Crazy Immigration

    Bryan Caplan
    23 Apr 2014 | 12:09 am
    (April 23, 2014 12:09 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Under open borders, over six billion people would be free to move to the United States.  The population could increase by more than a factor of twenty.  And under real open borders, there's no mandatory waiting period.  If everyone wants... (7 COMMENTS)
  • German success is surprisingly recent

    Scott Sumner
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:26 am
    (April 22, 2014 11:26 AM, by Scott Sumner) Many people assume that Germany has long been an economic success story. It was certainly successful back in the 1950s and 1960s. But as recently as 2004 it was widely viewed as the "sick man of Europe" despite all those... (11 COMMENTS)
  • Krugman's Strange Post on Solar Power

    David Henderson
    22 Apr 2014 | 2:01 am
    (April 22, 2014 02:01 AM, by David Henderson) Paul Krugman has a strange post on solar power that contradicts basic microeconomics. He writes: Like just about everyone who has looked at the numbers on renewable energy, solar power in particular, I was wowed by the progress. Something really... (29 COMMENTS)
 
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    Economist's View

  • 'Thomas Piketty Is Right'

    Mark Thoma
    23 Apr 2014 | 12:33 am
    Solow on Piketty: Thomas Piketty Is Right: Everything you need to know about 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century', by Robert Solow: Income inequality in the United States and elsewhere has been worsening since the 1970s. The most striking aspect has been the widening gap between the rich and the rest. This ominous anti-democratic trend has finally found its way into public consciousness and political rhetoric. A rational and effective policy for dealing with it—if there is to be one—will have to rest on an understanding of the causes of increasing inequality. The discussion so…
  • Links for 4-23-14

    Mark Thoma
    23 Apr 2014 | 12:03 am
    Class-Ridden America - Paul Krugman Bernanke Says Fed Could Have Communicated Better - WSJ Acceleration Is Forecast for Spending on Health - NYTimes.com A post-crash manifesto to rebuild economics - Money Supply Too Big to Fail. Not Too Strong - David Cay Johnston Adam Smith is not the antidote to Thomas Piketty - Monkey Cage Tom Sargent: What's Between the Lines - Stephen Williamson The Banks and Austerity: a simple story of the last ten years - mainly macro Where Do You Want to Be Born? - The Baseline Scenario Inequality 1992 - Paul Krugman Human capital and income inequality - vox Have…
  • Assessing Fed Policy During the Great Recession

    Mark Thoma
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:33 am
    On the road again, will blog as I can; For now, I have a new column: Report Card on Fed Policy During the Great Recession, by Mark Thoma: If the economy evolves according to the Federal Reserve’s forecast, quantitative easing is on track to come to a close by the end of this year. Increases in the federal funds rate are likely to follow. Thus, as the Fed’s policies to combat the Great Recession are coming to an end, it’s time to ask: Did these policies work? ...
  • Links for 4-22-14

    Mark Thoma
    22 Apr 2014 | 12:03 am
    No Time For Sargent - Paul Krugman Sargent’s Graduation Speech - Leisure of the Theory Class Interpreting Deviations from Okun’s Law - FRBSF The contradiction in economics - Antonio Fatas Inflation and NK Models - Del Negro, Giannoni, Schorfheide Sol Invictus - Noahpinion More On the Limitations of the Jarque-Bera Test - Dave Giles ‘Our Mathematical Universe’: A Case for Alternate Realities - NYT There Goes the Sun - Paul Krugman A Reply to "Does Inflation Make You Poorer?" - Carola Binder The Economy is Not Like a Household - Paul Krugman U.S., world leader in class…
  • 'House Prices and Secular Stagnation'

    Mark Thoma
    21 Apr 2014 | 10:02 am
    Simon Wren-Lewis: House prices and secular stagnation: This post starts off talking about the UK, but then goes global  ...Housing is becoming more and more unaffordable for first time buyers. Yet prices are currently booming (at least in London), and demand is so high estate agents are apparently now holding mass viewings to cope. In the UK the media now routinely call this a bubble, and the term ‘super bubble’ is now being used. ... Bubbles are where prices move further and further away from their fundamental value, simply because everyone expects prices to continue to rise. ...
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    EconTalk

  • Continuing Conversation... McArdle on Failure, Success, and the Up Side of Down

    Amy Willis
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:01 am
    Megan McArdle spoke to Roberts this week about her new book, The Up Side of Down. Let's keep the conversation flowing; we love to hear from you, your students, your kids, your friends... Questions below the fold. Check Your Knowledge: 1. What does McArdle mean by "self-handicapping," and why does she suggest people use it so frequently? Do you self-handicap? Why? 2. Roberts says, "Sunk costs are sunk, and it's best to move on" in the context of personal relationship failures. In what other circumstances would this be good advice, and why? 3. Roberts pushes back on the value of failure by…
  • McArdle on Failure, Success, and the Up Side of Down

    Russell Roberts
    21 Apr 2014 | 3:30 am
    Megan McArdle of Bloomberg View and author of The Up Side of Down talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her book. McArdle argues that failure is a crucial part of success in personal life and in the large economy. Topics covered include the psychology of failure, unemployment, and bankruptcy and parole. Play Time: 1:09:44 How do I listen to a podcast? Download Size:32.0 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: Megan McArdle's Home page Megan McArdle's…
  • Continuing Conversation... Steven Teles on Kludgeocracy

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

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

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

  • How much self-promotion can a guy cram into an 82 word post

    John Whitehead
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:47 am
    From the comments: I was wondering if there is a table of contents available somewhere. Here is a PDF that contains all of the front and back matter (except for the introduction) of the Encyclopedia of Environmental and Resource Economics: Download Contents etc.  Here is a PDF of sample entry (CVM, by Haab and Whitehead), complete with a reference to other, ahem, other book:  Download CVM.  This should be enough information to make you want to buy the Encyclopedia of Environmental and Resource Economics. 
  • Yes, the federal government does close stuff down

    John Whitehead
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:26 am
    Unfortunately, in this case it is a research lab: For more than a century, federal scientists have worked on Pivers Island near the historic town of Beaufort and the beaches of Emerald Isle studying the ocean and the fish, turtles and dolphins of its seagrass estuaries and rocky reefs. Surrounded by three university labs, it’s one of a handful of oceanography hubs in the nation and the only government research center between New Jersey and Miami studying Atlantic fish populations. So it came as a surprise when the federal government proposed doing away with the ocean science laboratory,…
  • "Response to Typepad Downtime this week"

    John Whitehead
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:15 am
    From Typepad: What happened? Beginning Thursday evening, Typepad was hit with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) off and on through today. A DDoS attack is an attempt to make services unavailable, but in no way was your Typepad account compromised. All information in your Typepad account is secure, including billing information. The attack on Typepad was similar to an attack on Basecamp which you can read about here. via everything.typepad.com Funny, being in a haze of chocolate bunnies, I didn't even notice the blog was down until I got an email Tuesday morning.
  • Daily Demand and Supply: Florida Orange Supply Decrease

    Tim Haab
    18 Apr 2014 | 10:13 am
    A citrus disease spread by a tiny insect has devastated Florida's orange crop, which is expected to be the worst in nearly 30 years, and sent juice prices soaring on New York markets.   The culprit? The gnat-sized Asian citrus psyllid, which is infecting citrus trees across the Sunshine State with huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, which causes fruit to taste bitter and fall from trees too soon. "It feels we are losing the fight," said Ellis Hunt, the head of a family-run citrus farm spread over about 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) in the central Florida town of Lake…
  • I'm not as smug as Mark Trail touring the Lost Forest but, still, it is a good day

    John Whitehead
    17 Apr 2014 | 9:43 am
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    footnoted*

  • Hertz CFO being paid twice for one job

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

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

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

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

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

  • Premature accession

    R.A. | LONDON
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    REMEMBER this chart?A few weeks ago we examined research assessing the benefits of European Union membership. For most entrants joining the EU gave real output per person a big boost relative to what might have been expected. But not for Greece. Almost immediately upon its accession the Greek economy began to underperform the trend it might reasonably have expected to follow outside the EU. But why?Our piece speculated that the divergence was down to a simple failure to integrate effectively. In a companion post to their paper, the authors of the research elaborate:From 1981 to 1995, growth…
  • "Capital" and its discontents

    R.A. | LONDON
    21 Apr 2014 | 6:24 am
    IF THERE were not a large class of influential people convinced that distributional issues in an economy are not especially important, there would have been no reason for Thomas Piketty to write his book. Its reception across a wide range of thinkers suggests that Mr Piketty's work has enjoyed some success in changing minds. But not everyone is convinced. For those on the fence, it is worth paying attention to the criticism the book has received. Mr Piketty's magnum opus is certainly not without its weaknesses, but the quality of the criticism it has attracted provides a sense of the strength…
  • Reading "Capital": Chapters 10, 11, and 12

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

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

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

  • Solow on Piketty

    Greg Mankiw
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:07 am
    A review in the New Republic.
  • Transitory Income and the One Percent

    Greg Mankiw
    20 Apr 2014 | 4:03 pm
    From today's NY Times:Thomas A. Hirschl of Cornell and I [Mark Rank of Wash U] looked at 44 years of longitudinal data regarding individuals from ages 25 to 60 to see what percentage of the American population would experience these different levels of affluence during their lives. The results were striking. It turns out that 12 percent of the population will find themselves in the top 1 percent of the income distribution for at least one year. What’s more, 39 percent of Americans will spend a year in the top 5 percent of the income distribution, 56 percent will find…
  • Sometimes it's better to split the baby

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

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

    Greg Mankiw
    15 Apr 2014 | 7:33 am
    Advice from Jesse Shapiro.
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    Hedge fund

  • Active or passive strategy

    Veryan Allen
    20 Apr 2014 | 4:58 pm
    Active versus passive is a debate? Index funds are just low frequency trading strategies with horrific drawdowns and abysmal risk adjusted returns. NO-ONE has investment skill? Should you risk your life savings on cheap lists or hard working talent that earns its fees many times over? Active is the only choice in the REAL world because "passive" funds track ACTIVE decisions by index construction firms.True buy and hold? The original components of the S&P in 1957 have outperformed the actively managed S&P. That's because the unskilled S&P committee keeps on buying highs and selling…
  • Asset allocation is nonsense

    Veryan Allen
    18 Apr 2014 | 4:08 pm
    Asset allocation does NOT drive portfolio returns. Despite "academic" papers and "advice", it's easy to rigorously prove that for ALL forward looking scenarios, investors should never asset allocate. Performance and volatility are 100% controlled by manager mix, security selection and competent (or not!) factor hedging. Was nothing learnt from 2008? Asset allocation dominated conventional "wisdom" and wrecked portfolios. Trillions are mis-invested due to asset class silos. Don't be a victim. Again.Ignore assets and focus on talent. My clients don't have the time or risk appetite to gamble on…
  • Luck or skill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • China Manufacturing Output and New Orders Contract Once Again

    22 Apr 2014 | 9:59 pm
    Chinese manufacturing remains in contraction for 2014. Output and new orders were down for the 4th consecutive month, but at a slightly reduced pace according to the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI. Commenting on the Flash China Manufacturing PMI survey, Hongbin Qu, Chief Economist, China & Co - Head of Asian Economic Research at HSBC said:“The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI stabilised at 48.3 in April, up from 48.0 in March. Domestic demand showed mild improvement and deflationary pressures eased, but downside risks to growth are still evident as both new export orders and…
  • Amazing Surge in Middle-Aged Folks Moving in With Parents

    22 Apr 2014 | 3:49 pm
    Moving back home with parents is not just for millennials. A large number of those aged 50 to 64 are moving back home, for economic reasons, not for providing care to aged parents.The LA Times reports Moving in with Parents Becomes More Common for the Middle-AgedAt a time when the still sluggish economy has sent a flood of jobless young adults back home, older people are quietly moving in with their parents at twice the rate of their younger counterparts.For seven years through 2012, the number of Californians aged 50 to 64 who live in their parents' homes swelled 67.6% to about 194,000,…
  • ECB Threatens Negative Interest Rates; Bank of NY Mellon Threatens Charging for Euro Deposits

    22 Apr 2014 | 10:37 am
    ECB president Mario Draghi has been making lots of noise recently about cutting interest rates because the euro is too strong and banks aren't lending enough.Realistically, there's not much room to cut with rates already at a rock-bottom .25 percent.Some suggest negative interest rates are just the ticket to spur lending. Should that happen, the Bank of New York Mellon Eyes Charging Clients for Euro Deposits. Bank of New York Mellon said it was considering charging clients for depositing euros if the European Central Bank decides to cut key interest rates below zero.The potential move by the…
  • Inane Step in Wrong Direction: Germany Plans to Lower Retirement Age for Some Workers From 65 to 63

    21 Apr 2014 | 6:10 pm
    With people living longer and longer, and with Germany forcing higher retirement ages on Greece and Spain, lowering the retirement age in Germany for any set of workers makes no sense whatsoever. Yet, that is exactly what's slated to happen.Wrong SignalThe Financial Times reports Germany Attacked Over Plan to Cut Retirement Age. Speaking to national paper Die Welt, Günther Oettinger, German EU commissioner, said that Germany’s plans to allow longer-serving employees to retire at the age of 63 sent the “wrong signal” at a time when countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal are…
  • Chinese Court Seizes Japanese Ship to Settle WWII Dispute

    21 Apr 2014 | 10:37 am
    Tensions between China and Japan escalated once again, this time over a grudge dating back to WWII.The Financial Times reports Japanese Ship Seized in WWII Claims Dispute. A Chinese court has seized a Japanese cargo ship over legal claims related to the second world war as escalating tensions between the two countries spill into the realm of commerce.Japan was quick to denounce the confiscation of the vessel, warning it could have a “chilling effect on all Japanese companies doing business in China”. It is the first time a Chinese court has ordered the seizure of Japanese assets in…
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    Oddhead Blog

  • Bernie Pennock’s personal credo

    David Pennock
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:38 pm
    My dad died this morning, smiling up until the end. He was an amazing man and an incredible dad — a modern, sensitive, involved dad who was way ahead of his time — a model for me. I wrote more about my Dad in 2010. At the end of his (beautiful) memoir, my dad wrote his “personal credo”. It not only is eloquent and profound (and references calculus), it really does reflect the way he lived his life every single day. Here it is: Be honest (always be truthful) Be kind (care about others) Be fair (judge others with care) Focus and act on what is important only Pay…
  • Last call: Postdoc positions at Microsoft Research NYC

    David Pennock
    11 Jan 2013 | 8:57 am
    Microsoft Research New York City seeks outstanding applicants for 2-year postdoctoral researcher positions. We welcome applicants with a strong academic record in one of the following areas: Computational social science Online experimental social science Algorithmic economics and market design Machine learning We will also consider applicants in other focus areas of the lab, including information retrieval, and behavioral & empirical economics. Additional information about these areas is included below. Please submit all application materials by January 11, 2013 for full consideration.
  • A toast to the number 303: A redemptive election night for science, and The Signal

    David Pennock
    10 Nov 2012 | 1:19 pm
    The night of February 15, 2012, was an uncomfortable one for me. Not a natural talker, I was out of my element at a press dinner organized by Yahoo! with journalists from the New York Times, Fast Company, MIT Tech Review, Forbes, SF Chronicle, WIRED, Reuters, and several more [1]. Even worse, the reporters kept leading with, “wow, this must a big night for you, huh? You just called the election.” We were there to promote The Signal, a partnership between Yahoo! Research and Yahoo! News to put a quantitative lens on the election and beyond. The Signal was our data-driven antidote…
  • Raise your WiseQ to the 57th power

    David Pennock
    6 Oct 2012 | 5:46 am
    One of the few aspects of my job I enjoy more than designing a new market is actually building it. Turning some wild concept that sprung from the minds of a bunch of scientists into a working artifact is a huge rush, and I can only smile as people from around the world commence tinkering with the thing, often in ways I never expected. The “build it” phase of a research project, besides being a ton of fun, inevitably sheds important light back on the original design in a virtuous cycle. In that vein, I am thrilled to announce the beta launch of PredictWiseQ, a fully operational example of…
  • Oddhead Blog hacked… for the third time

    David Pennock
    6 May 2012 | 7:27 am
    My blog has been hacked yet again. For those keeping track, that’s infection number three. This latest exploit is very similar to the previous one. To humans arriving via browser (e.g., me), the site appears perfectly normal and healthy. Even upon clicking ‘view source’, nothing untoward is revealed. The <title> of my blog is, as always, Oddhead Blog. However, when Google’s or Bing’s crawlers arrive to index my corner of the web, they see a different <title> altogether — Buy Cheap Cialis Online  — and immediately roll their eyes.
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    Overcoming Bias

  • Help Me Imagine

    Robin Hanson
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:00 pm
    For my book on em econ, I want to figure out something unusual about human psychology. It has to do with how creatures with a human psychology would react to a situation that humans have not yet encountered. So I ask for your help, dear readers. I’m going to describe a hypothetical situation, and I want you to imagine that you are in this situation, and then tell me how you’d feel about it. OK, here goes. Imagine that you live and work in a tight-knit community. Imagine a commune, or a charity or firm where most everyone who works there also mostly socializes with others there. That is,…
  • When Will Schools Space, Interleave, and Vary Practice?

    Robin Hanson
    21 Apr 2014 | 6:55 am
    If school’s purpose were to develop skills, we’d teach differently: Almost everywhere you look, you find examples of massed practice: colleges that offer concentration in a single subject with the promise of fast learning, continuing education seminars for professionals where training is condensed into a single weekend. Cramming for exams is a form of massed practice. It feels like a productive strategy, and it may get you through the next day’s midterm, but most of the material will be long forgotten by the time you sit down for the final. Spacing out your practice feels less…
  • The Up Side Of Down

    Robin Hanson
    19 Apr 2014 | 6:50 am
    In her new book, The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success, Megan McArdle takes some time to discuss forager vs. farmer attitudes toward risk. Forager food sources tended to be more risky and variable, while farmer food sources are more reliable. So foragers emphasized food sharing more, and a tolerate attitude toward failure to find food. In contrast, farmers shared food less and held individuals responsible more for getting their food. We’ve even seen the same people switch from one attitude to the other as they switched from foraging to farming. Today some people…
  • The Future Of Intellectuals

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

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

  • Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Springtime Bring Some Optimism?

    oldprof
    19 Apr 2014 | 9:28 pm
    Some weeks feature a contrast between past and future -- a possible inflection point. Here are the current elements: Important economic data with a forward look; Earnings news from major companies reporting on Q114; Corporate conference calls explaining the outlook for future earnings; and finally Economic implications for improved economic growth and business conditions worldwide. It is a big week for news and data. Prior Theme Recap Last week I expected the theme to emphasize volatility. The market was at interesting technical levels and there was plenty of news to push it one way or the…
  • Weighing the Week Ahead: A Volatility Cocktail!

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

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

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

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

  • Canadian Energy Services: Strong Player In The Oil Sands And Growing In The U.S.

    23 Apr 2014 | 6:35 am
    By David Zanoni:Canadian Energy Services and Technology (OTCQX:CESDF) has operations in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, which includes the oil sands and in several basins in the United States. The company derives about 63% of revenue from the U.S. with about 37% of revenue generated from Canada. Canadian Energy Services provides consumable chemical solutions at the drillbit, at the point of completion/stimulation at the wellhead & pump jack, and through the pipeline and midstream market. The company is the market leader in the Canadian oil sands. It is likely to remain the market…
  • American Apparel: Our Long Investment Thesis

    23 Apr 2014 | 6:33 am
    By BiggerCapital: History Throughout its brief history, American Apparel (APP) has been spewing negative catalysts. First, it started with the hiring of thousands of illegal immigrants which had to be fired after the company got caught by the INS. The company paid a dear price for this value destroying action.The company's balance sheet got decimated as it tried to recover from this situation by firing thousands of employees and having to interview 12,000 candidates to replenish the lost stock. In addition, the financial crisis created a great recession for retailers and APP sales collapsed…
  • Stability At AZZ Should Shine In Volatile Markets

    23 Apr 2014 | 6:32 am
    By Darspal S Mann:AZZ Inc. (AZZ) stock has not done much since last year, but that may be about to change with fundamentals taking center stage after a year of disappointments. Last year, the revenues suffered due to delays in scheduled plant maintenance at nuclear plants, severe weather conditions in North America, management changes and order push outs among others.This year, things have already started to look better with book to bill ratio above one and company's reiteration of its revenue and earnings estimates, after a string of disappointments. Besides the strong bookings, there is a…
  • Ukraine Crisis, Part 2: Mis-Priced Risks

    23 Apr 2014 | 6:21 am
    By Zoltan Ban:One of the most important lessons we never seem to learn in life is the possibility of the occasionally severe downside we can experience when we decide not only to lie, but start believing our own lies. In Part 1 of this two part series on the Ukraine crisis I examined some of the opportunities which should not be overlooked, such as the upside for Steel producers such as US Steel (X), or companies involved in manganese production such as BHP Billiton (BHP). Ukraine is a major exporter of both products, therefore there is a strong likelihood of increasing prices due to…
  • Uranium Energy Corp. Sell-Off Provides Opportunity

    23 Apr 2014 | 6:17 am
    By Stone Fox Capital:After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan roughly three years ago, the uranium market has been crushed. The spot uranium price is off by more than 50% and now sits at multi-year lows. The stock prices of junior uranium miners such as Ur-Energy Inc. (URG) and Uranerz Energy Corporation (URZ) are only now starting to recover while Uranium Energy Corp (UEC) continues plunging towards financial crisis lows.Surprisingly, the long-term market dynamics for uranium remains very bullish despite the current negative market climate. News that Japan approved nuclear power in the…
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Thinking of doing a list experiment? Here’s a list of reasons why you should think again

    Andrew
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:17 am
    Someone wrote in: We are about to conduct a voting list experiment. We came across your comment recommending that each item be removed from the list. Would greatly appreciate it if you take a few minutes to spell out your recommendation in a little more detail. In particular: (a) Why are you “uneasy” about list experiments? What would strengthen your confidence in list experiments? (b) What do you mean by “each item be removed”? As you know, there are several non-sensitive items and one sensitive item in a list experiment. Do you mean that the non-sensitive items…
  • A short questionnaire regarding the subjective assessment of evidence

    Andrew
    23 Apr 2014 | 1:08 am
    E. J. Wagenmakers writes: Remember I briefly talked to you about the subjective assessment of evidence? Together with Richard Morey and myself, Annelies Bartlema created a short questionnaire that can be done online. There are five scenarios and it does not take more than 5 minutes to complete. So far we have collected responses from psychology faculty and psychology students, but we were also keen to get responses from a more statistically savvy crowd: the people who read your blog! Try it out! The post A short questionnaire regarding the subjective assessment of evidence appeared first on…
  • Ticket to Baaaaarf

    Andrew
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:01 am
    A link from the comments here took me to the wonderfully named Barfblog and a report by Don Schaffner on some reporting. First, the background: A university in England issued a press release saying that “Food picked up just a few seconds after being dropped is less likely to contain bacteria than if it is left for longer periods of time . . . The findings suggest there may be some scientific basis to the ‘5 second rule’ – the urban myth about it being fine to eat food that has only had contact with the floor for five seconds or less. Although people have long followed the 5…
  • Stan Model of the Week: Hierarchical Modeling of Supernovas

    Mike Betancourt
    21 Apr 2014 | 11:02 am
    The Stan Model of the Week showcases research using Stan to push the limits of applied statistics.  If you have a model that you would like to submit for a future post then send us an email. Our inaugural post comes from Nathan Sanders, a graduate student finishing up his thesis on astrophysics at Harvard. Nathan writes, “Core-collapse supernovae, the luminous explosions of massive stars, exhibit an expansive and meaningful diversity of behavior in their brightness evolution over time (their “light curves”). Our group discovers and monitors these events using the Pan-STARRS1…
  • Ticket to Baaaath

    Andrew
    21 Apr 2014 | 7:54 am
    Ooooooh, I never ever thought I’d have a legitimate excuse to tell this story, and now I do! The story took place many years ago, but first I have to tell you what made me think of it: Rasmus Bååth posted the following comment last month: On airplane tickets a Swedish “å” is written as “aa” resulting in Rasmus Baaaath. Once I bought a ticket online and five minutes later a guy from Lufthansa calls me and asks if I misspelled my name… OK, now here’s my story (which is not nearly as good). A long time ago (but when I was already an adult), I was in England for some…
 
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    Streetsblog New York City

  • NYC: Today’s Headlines

    Ben Fried
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:49 am
    City Council Wants to Hire 1,000 Cops to Reduce Traffic Violence and Improve Police Tactics (Post) The First Public Meeting for Queens’ First Select Bus Service Route Is Tonight (NY1) More on the McGuinness Blvd 25 MPH Zone in the Brooklyn Paper NYPD Seeking Suspect in Hit-and-Run Killing of Cyclist Angel Torres (Gothamist) Driver Who Raced Around Manhattan Jailed for Driving Again (Post) Potential MTA-LIRR Union Contract Modeled on TWU Deal (WNYC) News: No More Port Authority Subsidies for Larry Silverstein What’s Taking So Long to Fix the India Street Ferry Pier? (News) Good…
  • NYC: Tonight: Big Changes Proposed for Intersection Where Ella Bandes Was Killed

    Stephen Miller
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:50 pm
    Curb extensions, new crosswalks and turn bans could be coming to this deadly intersection on the Brooklyn-Queens border. Image: DOT Last year, 23-year-old Ella Bandes was killed by a turning MTA bus driver at a complex intersection on the Queens-Brooklyn border. On the anniversary of her death in January, her parents called on DOT to implement more aggressive street safety measures. Tonight, DOT is scheduled to present a plan to Queens Community Board 5′s transportation committee, including new crosswalks, curb extensions and turn bans [PDF]. DOT already installed brighter street…
  • NYC: McGuinness Boulevard Is NYC’s Third 25 MPH Arterial Slow Zone

    Stephen Miller
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:31 am
    Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg speaks at today’s arterial slow zone announcement on McGuinness Boulevard. Photo: Jon Orcutt/Twitter Ask a Greenpoint resident to name the neighborhood’s most dangerous street, and they’ll likely point to McGuinness Boulevard, an infamous speedway that splits the neighborhood in half. Today, it became the city’s third “arterial slow zone” to receive a 25 mph speed limit, retimed traffic signals to discourage speeding, and focused enforcement. The arterial slow zone will be installed by the end of next month…
  • NYC: Letter Grades for Taxi and Livery Companies: TLC Commish Receptive to It

    Ben Fried
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:29 am
    Mohammed Himon, the taxi driver who plowed onto a Midtown sidewalk and severed the leg of Sian Green, can still drive a cab in NYC. Photo: @BradJaffy What if taxi and livery drivers in NYC received letter grades to reflect their safety records, the same way restaurants get grades from the health department? Eric McClure of Park Slope Neighbors raised the possibility at last night’s Vision Zero town hall in Park Slope, and found a receptive audience in new TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi. Joshi was appointed earlier this month, and last night was her first appearance at a Vision Zero…
  • NYC: Today’s Headlines

    Stephen Miller
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:58 am
    Port’s Oversight Committee Hears Testimony Urging Big Structural Reforms (NYT, CapNY, News, NY1) TWU Deal Includes $6 Million Transfer From MTA to Union Fund (WSJ) Bklyn Paper Maps Moving Violations by Precinct, But TA Notes “It’s About Quality, Not Quantity” Post Covers NYPD Refusal to Release Crash Victims’ Seized Bicycles From Sandy-Damaged Building Two Seriously Injured After Sanitation Truck Rear-Ends Delivery Truck on 9th Avenue (DNA) Ruben Diaz, Jr. Presses DOT for a More Low-Slung City Island Bridge Design (CapNY) Bronx CB 11 Wants DOT to Replace Worn…
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    The Big Picture

  • Buy This Dip?

    Guest Author
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Buy This Dip? By Peter T. Treadway April 21, 2014       The Innovation Economy begins with discovery and culminates in speculation… And so at each stage the Innovation Economy depends on sources of funding that are decoupled from concern for economic return. Throughout the history of capitalism, financial bubbles have emerged and exploded wherever liquid markets in assets exist… The central dynamic is that the price of the financial asset is separated from any concern with the underlying cash flows – past, present or possible future – generated by the economic assets it…
  • On Fire-Sale Externalities, TARP Was Close to Optimal

    Guest Author
    23 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    On Fire-Sale Externalities, TARP Was Close to Optimal Fernando Duarte and Thomas Eisenbach Liberty Street Economics April 15, 2014     This post is the third in a series of six Liberty Street Economics posts on liquidity issues. Imagine that many large and levered banks suffer heavy losses and must quickly sell assets to reduce their leverage. We expect the market price of the assets sold to decline, at least temporarily. As a result, any other financial institutions that happen to hold the same assets will experience balance sheet losses through no fault of their own —a negative…
  • 10 Tuesday PM Reads

    Barry Ritholtz
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:30 pm
    My afternoon train reading • If Capital Grows This Fast, How Come Fortunes Disappear? (Bloomberg) • Beware Of The Walking Dead In Your Portfolio (Forbes) • Mortgage lenders ease rules for home buyers in hunt for business (WSJ) • Average credit card interest up to shocking 21% (NY Post) • Your Environment Matters If You Want To Make Better Decisions (Farnam Street) • Will Sales Taxes Doom Amazon? (Bloomberg View) • We actually get nicer as we get older—and it’s possible to speed change along (WSJ) see also Why do some politicians cross party lines more? They’re…
  • Start-ups Offer Financial Advice to People Who Aren’t Rich

    Barry Ritholtz
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:30 am
    Source: NY Times
  • 10 Tuesday AM Reads

    Barry Ritholtz
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    You have to read something.  You should read these things: • Bull vs. Bear debate: Is pullback over? (USA Today) • Busting The Stock Picker’s Market Myth (Rick Ferri) see also Longer term, the case for small caps. (WSJ) • 9.1 Million U.S. Homes Still ‘Underwater’, Down 26 Percent (World Property Channel) • The Potential Bubble the Federal Reserve Cares Most About (FiveThirtyEight) Continues here
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    The Epicurean Dealmaker

  • Assume a Can Opener

    19 Apr 2014 | 9:15 am
    Once upon a time, O Dearly Beloved, a cruise ship carrying a convention of scientists and social scientists collided somewhere in the South Pacific with a floating shipping container full of remaindered Greg Mankiw textbooks. The textbooks had been bound for the newly founded Jack Welch School of Neverending Business in Shenzhou before the container fell off a freighter during a storm. Sadly, the cruise ship foundered and sank to the bottom with almost all hands and passengers on board, with the exception of one physicist, one chemist, and four economists.Being practical, quick-acting folk,…
  • We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us

    17 Apr 2014 | 5:26 pm
    Creditocracy and the Case for Debt Refusal by Andrew Ross1OR Books, 280 pp, $17, February 2014, ISBN 978-1-939293-38-1“Creditocracy (n.)1. governance or the holding of power in the interests of a creditor class2. a society where access to vital needs is financed through debt”— Andrew RossIf the book currently under review is any indication, Andrew Ross, a professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University, has never (or very, very rarely) met a creditor he really liked. This reader, no stranger to debt or creditors himself, is quite certain that similar attitudes are held…
  • In Loco Parentis

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

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

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

  • Human capital and income inequality

    22 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Amparo Castelló-Climent, Rafael Doménech, 23 April 2014Most developing countries have made a great effort to eradicate illiteracy. As a result, the inequality in the distribution of education has been reduced by more than half from 1950 to 2010. However, inequality in the distribution of income has hardly changed. This column presents evidence from a new dataset on human capital inequality. The authors find that increasing returns to education, globalisation, and skill-biased technological change can explain why the fall in human capital inequality has not been sufficient to reduce income…
  • Persistent noise trading and market meltdowns

    21 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Giovanni Cespa, Xavier Vives, 22 April 2014Since capital flows to and from hedge funds are strongly related to past performance, an exogenous liquidity shock can trigger a vicious cycle of outflows and declining performance. Therefore, ‘noise’ trades – usually thought of as erratic – may in fact be persistent. Based on recent research, this column argues that there can be multiple equilibria with different levels of liquidity and informational efficiency, and that the high-information equilibrium is unstable. The model provides a lens through which to interpret the ‘Quant…
  • A European mobility assistance scheme

    21 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Tito Boeri, Herbert Brücker, 22 April 2014Migration from new member states to richer countries within the EU has raised concerns that immigrants tend to abuse the welfare state. This column argues that this is not the case, and suggests the construction of a mobility assistance scheme. This scheme should be financed by the EU itself, and it would allow immigrants to receive welfare benefits in the country they have paid taxes. Such a program would not hamper mobility or distort the incentives of immigrants. It would also have important political side effects.Full Article: A European mobility…
  • Microentrepreneurial reinvestments: Evidence from Tanzania

    20 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Thorsten Beck, Haki Pamuk, Burak Uras, 21 April 2014A recent literature shows that access to formal savings devices improves entrepreneurial outcomes in developing economies. This column presents research comparing the effect of saving in formal accounts with alternative, less formal measures. Findings suggest that entrepreneurs use formal saving to insulate themselves from household consumption commitments.Full Article: Microentrepreneurial reinvestments: Evidence from Tanzania
  • Towards measuring research supervision quality

    19 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Richard S J Tol, 20 April 2014Research supervision, unlike the quality of academic research, is rarely assessed. This column proposes an index that quantifies the quality of research supervision. It shows that, on average, good researchers make good supervisors. However, many excellent researchers do not excel at supervision, and many not well-published researchers make good supervisors. Such an index could be an additional motivational factor for academics.Full Article: Towards measuring research supervision quality
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    OUPblog

  • Walter W. Skeat (1835-1912) and spelling reform

    Alice
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    By Anatoly Liberman Henry Bradley, while writing his paper (see the previous post), must have looked upon Skeat as his main opponent. This becomes immediately clear from the details. For instance, Skeat lamented the use of the letter c in scissors and Bradley defended it. He even noted, in the supplement to the paper devoted to Spelling Reform, that, all Skeat’s ardor and arguments notwithstanding, in his publications and personal letters he stuck to traditional spelling. This mild taunt was beside the point. Why should Skeat have adopted reformed or simplified spelling before it became the…
  • Developing a module for Oxford Scholarship Online

    Julia Callaway
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:30 am
    Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO) launched in 2003 with 700 titles. Now, on its tenth birthday, it’s the online home of over 9,000 titles from Oxford University Press’s distinguished academic list, and part of University Press Scholarship Online. To celebrate OSO turning ten, we’ve invited a host of people to reflect on the past ten years of online academic publishing, and what the next ten might bring. By Nicola Wilson When I was invited to develop two lists for Oxford Scholarship Online, I jumped at the chance. From the perspective of a commissioning editor, digital publishing has…
  • Searching for more legal certainty in bitcoins and mobile payments

    Alice
    23 Apr 2014 | 1:30 am
    By Niels Vandezande In the last few months, international media have reported extensively on the latest developments in the online economy. These reports have focused mostly on the rise of so-called cryptocurrencies, with bitcoin being the most well-known example. Such cryptocurrencies are characterized by their decentralized nature, meaning that they aren’t controlled by a central government. As such, their emission is controlled by an algorithm rather than by economic imperatives. While originally used by only a small group of enthusiasts, bitcoin has now captured the attention of the…
  • Why are money market funds safer than the Bitcoin?

    Kirsty
    23 Apr 2014 | 12:30 am
    Few realise that Brazil was the birthplace of the money market fund. Since their inception money market funds have grown and spread globally. However, they have often eluded a firm definition. In this series of podcasts Viktoria Baklanova, Chief Credit Officer of Acacia Capital (New York), describes the genesis of money market funds, explains what they are, and gives insight to the size of the industry and the major players within it. As well as providing an overview to money market funds Baklanova discusses their possible regulation. In response to the recent popularity of the Bitcoin,…
  • New sodium intake research and the response of health organizations

    Alice
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    The American Journal of Hypertension (AJH) recently published the findings of a comprehensive meta-analysis monitoring health outcomes for individuals based on their daily sodium intake. The results were controversial, seemingly confirming what many notable hypertension experts have begun to suspect in recent years: that levels of daily sodium intake recommended by governmental agencies like the CDC are far too low, perhaps dangerously so. Media outlets were quick to broadcast the findings, and the response from the CDC and organizations like the American Heart Association were much the same…
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    Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

  • What’s Infrastructure?

    Don Boudreaux
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:20 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) In my latest column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review I discuss the (ir)relevance of Pres. Obama’s (in)famous “you didn’t build that” blurt.  While I agree that Mr. Obama was referring, with this blurt, to the building of infrastructure – so that his statement is largely factually correct – I argue that the reality to which his 2012 blurt refers does not support the “Progressive” political conclusions that he draws from that reality.  Here’s a chunk from my column: Fact is, a great deal of infrastructure is built…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:09 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is specially selected for this Earth Day; it’s from pages 104-105 of Pierre Desrochers’s and Hiroko Shimizu’s splendid 2012 book, The Locovore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet (original emphasis; footnotes excluded; links added): [T]hriving cities are not an environmental problem, but rather the best means to lighten humanity’s impact on nature.  To quote the applied scientists and policy analysts Peter W. Huber and Mark P. Mills, the skyscraper is “America’s great green gift to the planet” for it “packs more people…
  • The Sour Fruits of Cronyism

    Don Boudreaux
    21 Apr 2014 | 12:51 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to Food Business News: You report that the U.S. Department of Commerce is launching an “antidumping investigation” into U.S. sugar imports from Mexico (“D.O.C. initiates sugar dumping case against Mexico,” April 21).  The admitted purpose of this investigation is to protect American sugar producers from low-priced foreign sugar.  The deeper goal, of course, is to artificially bloat these producers’ revenues. So, because Uncle Sam’s sugar-trade policy is really just corporate welfare, why go through the costly and…
  • Tom Donlan on “‘Socially Wasteful’ Competition”

    Don Boudreaux
    21 Apr 2014 | 12:16 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) Below is the complete text of an e-mail that Barron’s Weekly’s Tom Donlan sent to me this morning.  Tom’s e-mail is inspired by the discussion going on here at the Cafe, and over at Steve Landsburg’s The Big Questions, on the social benefits (or not) of competition among high-frequency traders for market advantages.  (Tom’s e-mail appears here with his kind permission.) Dear Don, Here’s my contribution to the debate on “socially wasteful” competition: It’s socially wasteful to spend much time debating whether a…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    21 Apr 2014 | 4:05 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 335 of the 1996 Johns Hopkins University Press edition of H.L. Mencken’s 1956 collection, On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe; specifically, it’s from Mencken’s November 2, 1936, article – published on the eve of the national election pitting incumbent president F.D.R. against challenger Alf Landon – “The Choice Tomorrow”: For people in the mass soon grow used to anything, including even being swindled.  There comes a time when the patter of the quack becomes as natural and as indubitable to their ears as the texts…
 
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    Dollars & Sense Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • General Mills: About-Face

    Dalié Jiménez
    20 Apr 2014 | 2:55 pm
    General Mills decided to reverse direction on its recent change to its terms of service purporting to mandate arbitration and ban class actions for anyone who 'liked' them (among other things). Perhaps they were threatened by Adam Levitin's counter-proposal, or maybe it was the widespread outraged reaction on Twitter and all manner of social media.  Hurray for consumer advocates! They not only got a complete pivot, but they also got an apology (of sorts: "We're sorry we even started down this path"). The way the company characterizes what happens though, is…
  • Just Punch My Bankruptcy Ticket

    Pamela Foohey
    18 Apr 2014 | 7:32 pm
    That's the title of Denver Law Professor Michael Sousa's new article exploring debtors' evaluations of the pre-filing credit counseling course and the post-filing financial management course mandated by BAPCPA. The data for the article came from in-depth interviews that Sousa conducted with 58 individuals from Colorado who filed under Chapter 7 between 2006 and 2010. Bob Lawless previously posted about another article Sousa wrote based on the interviews that discusses debtors' perceptions of bankruptcy stigma. Like Sousa's previous article, this paper carefully…
  • In Memory of Leonard M. Rosen

    Melissa Jacoby
    17 Apr 2014 | 11:15 am
    As family, friends, and colleagues mourn the passing of the Leonard Rosen, the fitting tribute by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz allows a glimpse into his exceptional contributions: But above all, Leonard was a good man. A generous man. A kind man. A man you could trust with your most difficult problems and deepest concerns, a superb partner who represented, and will always represent, all we strive to be as lawyers, citizens, and human beings. He was much sought after for his judgment, as well as for his marvelous ability to resolve disputes and reconcile disparate views. He shaped the…
  • Legal Notice. Read Carefully: Your Rights May Be Affected

    Adam Levitin
    17 Apr 2014 | 9:39 am
    In light of General Mills policy of claiming that its binding mandatory arbitration requirement (with class action waiver) applies to anyone who purchases its products, including via third-party vendors, I have decided, to post the following legal notice, applicable to all persons, everywhere:      By permitting, allowing, or suffering me to purchase any of your products or services, whether directly from you or indirectly through dealers, vendors, agents, or other third-parties, you agree to irrevocably surrender all rights to compel me to arbitration or to waive my rights to proceed…
  • Suffolk/NCLC Student Loans Symposium

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

  • Amazon to Stream Original HBO Content

    By RAVI SOMAIYA
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:21 am
    A selection of original series and movies older than three years will be available to Amazon’s Prime subscribers under the terms of a multiyear deal.
  • DealBook: Numericable Set to Price Huge Junk Bond Offering

    By CHAD BRAY
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:13 am
    Numericable, the French cable unit of Altice, is preparing what could be the largest junk bond offering ever to help finance the acquisition of Vivendi’s mobile unit, SFR.
  • Australia to Bolster Air Force With More Lockheed Jets

    By MICHELLE INNIS
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:36 am
    The country will buy 58 more F-35 fighter jets for $11.6 billion, in a deal the prime minister called one of Australia’s largest military purchases.
  • Dow Chemical Profit Tops Estimates on Strong Margins

    By REUTERS
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:15 am
    Dow Chemical Co, the No. 1 U.S. chemical maker by sales, reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit as cost controls helped to boost margins in businesses that make coatings, plastics and crop-protection products.
  • Procter & Gamble 3Q Net Income Up on Cost Cuts

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Procter & Gamble Co.'s fiscal third-quarter net income rose 2 percent as it cut costs to offset sluggish sales in categories like beauty and family products.
 
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    The Aleph Blog

  • An Idea for When the Market is High

    David Merkel
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:56 pm
    Last night I was at the Towson University International Markets Summit.  I’m grateful to the students for inviting me, as it is an honor.  During the presentation, I mentioned the book “Accounting for Value” by Stephen Penman.  I reviewed the book two years ago.  A great book, and one that should lead readers to modify their views on value investing.But one aspect of the book was easy to implement, he cited his paper that you can read here, Returns to Buying Earnings and Book Value: Accounting for Growth and Risk.  Buy the stocks that are the cheapest as measured by…
  • Why Indexes are Capitalization-Weighted

    David Merkel
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:19 pm
    Are index funds that are capitalization-weighted the best funds to invest in?  No.  So why do we talk about index funds so much?  Because they represent the average dollar in the market.  In principle, everyone could invest in a comprehensive index fund, and there would be no effects on the market.But indexes can be enhanced.  Tilt your investments to:Avoid the biggest firms, their growth opportunities are limited.Buy cheap stocks, they out-earn growthier stocks, and have fewer disappointmentsBuy quality stocks, again, fewer disappointments.Buy stocks that have been running, they tend to…
  • Book Review: The Death of Money

    David Merkel
    19 Apr 2014 | 10:30 pm
    This is a hard book to review. I have respect for the author, and most of his opinions.  But extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.  There is evidence here, but not extraordinary proof.  I agree that we are in a bad spot, and that there is reason to be cautious.  To claim that the current international monetary system will disappear by 2020 or so requires more than the book delivers.Let me begin by saying the book is worth buying.  It will make you think.  Thinking is a valuable exercise in which few engage.  Most of us imitate, which is far easier to do than thinking, and…
  • Sorted Weekly Tweets

    David Merkel
    18 Apr 2014 | 8:28 pm
    Stocks & IndustriesInvest In Stubs, Spin-Offs And Liquidations For Alternative Returns http://t.co/ccezep0K9Y Cites a Gabelli article http://t.co/xTrqEfmQeq $$ Apr 19, 2014Real Estate Management Better Than Owning Real Estate? http://t.co/IFaDLiwTRa Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Definitely adds more leverage $$ Apr 19, 2014Wells Fargo Securities Lending Lawsuit Ends in Settlement http://t.co/w3lSY4Cw8D Low margin business that can go badly wrong in a crisis $$ Apr 19, 2014Makani, a $GOOG subsidiary makes an airborne wind turbine that dramaticlly increases power generation…
  • The Good ETF, Part 2 (sort of)

    David Merkel
    17 Apr 2014 | 10:18 pm
    About 4.5 years ago, I wrote a short piece called The Good ETF.  I’ll quote the summary:Good ETFs are:Small compared to the pool that they fish inFollow broad themesDo not rely on irreplicable assetsStorable, they do not require a “roll” or some replication strategy.Not affected by unexpected credit events.Liquid in terms of what they repesent, and liquid it what they hold.The last one is a good summary.  There are many ETFs that are Closed-end funds in disguise.  An ETF with liquid assets, following a theme that many will want to follow will never disappear, and will have a…
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    Quoting the Crisis

  • More From Ex-SEC Lawyer James Kidney on the Agency’s Failing

    21 Apr 2014 | 7:56 pm
    More From Ex-SEC Lawyer James Kidney on the Agency’s Failing: Yves Smith, nakedcapitalism.com Susan Beck at American Lawyer got a trove of documents as a result of a FOIA on an SEC inspector general report on whether the agency’s suit against Goldman over an Abacus CDO was politically motivated. Beck identified one attorney who was critica…
  • Did Derivatives Worsen the Eurozone Sovereign Debt Crisis?

    21 Apr 2014 | 7:52 pm
    Did Derivatives Worsen the Eurozone Sovereign Debt Crisis?: Yves Smith, nakedcapitalism.com Yves here. This post summarizes a paper that argues that derivatives, specifically credit default swaps, exacerbated the severity of the European sovereign debt tsuris. This sort of analysis deserves a wider audience, precisely because the…
  • Class War with a Smiley Face

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

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

    30 Mar 2014 | 3:37 pm
    “The wealthy 0.01% minority who rule over the 90% majority understands that the future of their system depends on convincing or paying off 9.99% of the population who become the opinion leaders, the managers, the foremen, the supervisors, the small businessmen and the other shock troops of the system. The rich are like the pathetic men who frequent red-light districts — they must pay for it — and the right wing columnists/celebrities/media hacks/researchers do it for money, often working in the political equivalent of brothels, called think tanks. The choices offered young writers,…
 
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    24/7 Wall St.

  • Rising Coffee Prices Threaten Profits

    Paul Ausick
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:20 am
    Since the end of January, coffee futures have jumped from around $1.20 a pound to trade near $2.16 a pound on Wednesday for July futures. Coffee prices have not been this high in more than two years....
  • Cost Cuts Drive P&G’s Earnings Story

    Jon C. Ogg
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:15 am
    Procter & Gamble managed to turn in a profit gain of less than 2%, due to lower expenses -- a theme that is very common yet again this earnings season. Unfortunately, its revenue was basically...
  • Cowen Says Go With the Big Oil Names for Dividends and Best Returns

    Trey Thoelcke
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    In a new research report, the energy team at Cowen says that negative earnings revisions in big oil stocks are starting to level off. The major integrated names could be in for a solid second half of...
  • UBS Top Stocks to Buy Working for Cancer Cures

    Jon C. Ogg
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:50 am
    In a new research report, the Healthcare team at UBS took an in-depth look at the top companies that are making major advances in cancer therapeutics. Here is the UBS list of stocks that are rated...
  • Boeing Earnings Look Good, but Don’t Be Fooled

    Paul Ausick
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:45 am
    Boeing reported better-than-expected first-quarter 2014 results before markets opened Wednesday morning. However, Boeing's profits are still getting squeezed.
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    The Baseline Scenario

  • Where Do You Want to Be Born?

    James Kwak
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:11 am
    By James Kwak That seems like a nonsensical question. Of course, each of us born where he or she was born, and we didn’t have much choice in the matter. But, philosopher John Rawls asked, if you lived behind a veil of ignorance, not knowing what position you would occupy in the socio-economic hierarchy, what rules would you choose to govern society? Rawls was reasoning from a situation in which people could decide on any set of rules.* In the real world, the set of existing countries gives us a limited set of options to choose from; among those, if you didn’t know if you were…
  • Rumsfeldian Journalism

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

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

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

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

  • 10 Questions for Marc Andreessen and of Course His Answers!

    Howard Lindzon
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:08 am
    Last night I was inspired by Lynda to pester Marc Andreessen with 10 questions. I asked Zach, founder of NewHive (we are investors) to pull them together because reading threads and pulling them together on and from Twitter is only for the patient and brave. Some of the banter after his answers is the best part. The cool thing about NewHive is that you can ‘REMIX’ the post now that it is live…go sign up and try it out. Here is the POST. The post 10 Questions for Marc Andreessen and of Course His Answers! appeared first on Trends... Find them, ride them and get off..
  • Life after Tech in 2014…Follow the Money

    Howard Lindzon
    20 Apr 2014 | 7:16 am
    It has been a tough 60 days for many tech stocks and many of the trend stocks I have owned. While everyone focuses on when it will end and why it started, the smart thing to do is follow the money. Kara Swisher says that ‘Nobody knows‘. She is right…NOBODY in her line of reading or work knows. Angels will continue to invest through this correction, Y Combinator classes will continue to overflow, private late stage financings of hot companies like AirBnB will continue and Salesforce mega campus will get built. In the meantime, huge amounts of money are flowing everyday in the…
  • Sports and Markets…DraftKings and Stocktwits

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

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

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

  • Paris Takes Its Place

    admin
    20 Apr 2014 | 12:23 pm
    “Economist Receives Rock Star Treatment”: That was the headline yesterday on Jennifer Schuessler’s story in The New York Times. The facts bear her out. Thomas Piketty, 42, of the Paris School of Economics, seemed to be everywhere last week. Publication of his 685-page Capital in the Twenty-First Century had been moved up by two months, sales were soaring (46,000 copies so far), a triumphant tour of Washington (meeting with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew) and New York (appearing at the United Nations) has been completed. Encomiums were pouring in. “Pikettty has transformed our…
  • A Hundred Years from Now

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

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

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

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

  • Steven Pinker has a new book due out in September

    Tyler Cowen
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:41 am
    The title is The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. For the pointer I thank Michelle Dawson.
  • *Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert*

    Tyler Cowen
    23 Apr 2014 | 2:57 am
    By the Very Revd John Drury.  I mentioned the book favorably in passing once before, but I don’t think I drove home how much I liked and learned from it.  For me it is a clear choice for best book of the year so far. Here is a pithy bit from Amazon: Though he never published any of his English poems during his lifetime, George Herbert (1593–1633) is recognized as possibly the greatest religious poet in the language. Few English poets of his age still inspire such intense devotion today. I was not interested in Herbert per se, so that is further testament to the quality of…
  • Nick Beckstead’s conversation with Tyler Cowen

    Tyler Cowen
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:44 pm
    Nick is a philosopher at Oxford and he has worked with Larry Temkin and Nick Bostrom.  He typed up his version of our conversation (pdf), it starts with this: Purpose of the conversation: I contacted Tyler to learn about his perspectives on existential risk and other long-run issues for humanity, the long-run consequences of economic growth, and the effective altruism movement. Here are a few excerpts: Tyler is optimistic about growth in the coming decades, but he doesn’t think we’ll become uploads or survive for a million years. Some considerations in favor of his views were: 1. The…
  • *Microeconomics: a very short introduction*

    Tyler Cowen
    22 Apr 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Do you know the Oxford University Press “very short paperback books” series?  This is the latest entry, by Avinash Dixit, self-recommending.
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:58 am
    1. The Ultimate Warrior was a Randian. 2. Why Tiger Mothers motivate Asian Americans but not European Americans. 3. A 2004 MR post on g > r and the dangers of crude extrapolation, “What happens if we extrapolate current trends to 2050? What will debt to gdp ratios look like around the world?…Among the current Eurozone countries, Germany would fare the worst with a ratio of 307 percent.”  Ireland appeared to be in good shape. 4. This guy has changed his mind about a bunch of things. 5.  Against book chapters. 6. Has the capital-output ratio been rising over time? (in…
 
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    This Is Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for April 22, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:22 am
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Morning Must-Read: Neil Irwin: How Underpaid German Workers Helped Cause Europe’s Debt Crisis Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Understanding Economic Growth: Light: Wednesday Focus: April 22, 2014 Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Morning Must-Read: Ryan Avent Is Very Unhappy with Clive Crook's Review of Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Morning Must-Read: Evan Soltas: Wage Discrimination Washington Equitable Center for Growth | Morning…
  • Liveblogging World War II: April 22, 1944

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:07 am
    From history.com: Americans launch Operation Persecution in the Pacific: Allied forces land in the Hollandia area of New Guinea. The Japanese occupiers, only 15,000 in number, many of whom were on administrative duty, fight for more than three months against ludicrous odds at great cost: When the battle for the northern coast of New Guinea was finally won by the Allies, 12,811 Japanese were dead, compared with 527 Americans.
  • A Somewhat Strange Piece from Timothy Egan: Live From the Roasterie CXLVI: April 22, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:04 am
    Timothy Egan: How to Heal the Heartland: "There are two big stories shaping the Great Plains... ...one of steroidal growth and disruption in the energy boom, the other of the slow death of small-town life.... The oil and natural gas bonanza has made housing in places like Minot, N.D., as competitive as rent-controlled apartments in Manhattan.... But... right down the midsection... lonely bars and empty diners, of crowded cemeteries and Main Streets where a dogs sleep away the afternoon. In Phelps, Frontier, Gosper or Gage counties, all in Nebraska, there are fewer people now than there were…
  • Mark Thoma on Academic Macroeconomics's Streetlight Problems: Tuesday One Year Ago on the Internet Weblogging

    J. Bradford DeLong
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:40 am
    Mark Thoma: Economist's View: Empirical Methods and Progress in Macroeconomics: Empirical Methods and Progress in Macroeconomics The blow-up over the Reinhart-Rogoff results reminds me of a point I’ve been meaning to make about our ability to use empirical methods to make progress in macroeconomics. This isn't about the computational mistakes that Reinhart and Rogoff made, though those are certainly important, especially in small samples, it's about the quantity and quality of the data we use to draw important conclusions in macroeconomics. Everybody has been highly critical of theoretical…
  • Econ 2: Spring 2014: UC Berkeley: Administrivia for April 21, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    21 Apr 2014 | 3:59 pm
    Not Doing International M Apr. 21: Government Budget/Long-Run Economic Growth…: Budget | Growth W Apr 23: Long-Run Economic Growth M Apr 28: Long-Run Economic Growth/Micro Review W Apr 30: Macro Review/ Final Preview W Apr 30: Problem Set 6 due Omit E: Inequality (Piketty) F May 9: Reading Period paper due Final Exam: Friday May 16, 8-11 AM, Hearst Gymnasium .pdf | .ppt
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    Dani Rodrik's weblog

  • Globalization and premature deindustrialization

    Dani Rodrik
    22 Apr 2014 | 2:04 pm
    Arvind Subramanian has a nice post, which provides additional evidence on the phenomenon of premature industrialization that I have talked about and documented previously.  Arvind works with data on industry rather than manufacturing per se, which I prefer. But the result is similar. The inverse U-shaped relationship between income levels and industrialization has shifted down and to the left in recent decades, so that countries are maxing out on industrialization at lower levels of income and, moreover, the peaks themselves are lower than before. Here I propose a simple explanation for…
  • Higher food prices are good for the poor ... in the long run

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

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

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

    Dani Rodrik
    11 Oct 2013 | 5:40 am
    Traditional economies grow and develop first by industrializing, and then by moving into services.  This has been the classic path to economic and political modernity. A few non-Western countries have been able to replicate this path: Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea are examples that come immediately to mind. I have been concerned for some time that for most latecomers this path has become increasingly difficult to traverse.  It is not that industrialization has gotten entirely out of reach. Most poor countries do experience some industrialization, and China has become the…
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    99% Invisible

  • 111- Masters of the Uni-verse

    Roman Mars
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:28 pm
    Uniforms matter. When it comes to sports, they might be the only thing to which we’re actually loyal. Sports uniforms are packaging. But unlike any other packaging, if the product inside changes or degrades, we remain loyal. Players come and go, but change the uniform, and you’ll hear about it. There are very few ways for players to put their own personal style into their uniforms. In baseball, in the face of huge opposition from curved-brim loyalists, some players take the bold stance of wearing a straight brim, like George Sherrill who is nick-named “The Brim Reaper”…
  • 110- Structural Integrity

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

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

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

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

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - Helicopter Drops Were Successful, and Other Revisions

    Sinclair Noe
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:05 pm
    Helicopter Drops Were Successful, and Other Revisionsby Sinclair NoeDOW + 65 = 16,514SPX + 7 = 1879NAS + 39 = 416110 YR YLD + .01 = 2.73%OIL – 1.77 = 101.88GOLD – 6.60 = 1284.70SILV - .05 = 19.49Sales of previously owned homes fell in March for a third consecutive month as rising prices and a lack of inventory discouraged would-be buyers. The National Association of Realtors reports closings, which usually take place a month or two after a contract is signed, fell 0.2% to a 4.59 million annual rate, the lowest level since July 2012. It was the seventh drop in the last 8 months pushing…
  • Monday, April 21, 2014 - Why Stocks Continue Going Higher

    Sinclair Noe
    21 Apr 2014 | 4:07 pm
    Why Stocks Continue Going Higherby Sinclair NoeDOW + 40 = 16,449SPX + 7 = 1871NAS + 26 = 412110 YR YLD un 2.72%OIL - .01 = 103.64GOLD – 4.30 = 1291.30 SILV - .21 = 19.54The S&P 500 has gained for five straight sessions, marking the longest winning streak since October. This has not been a pretty rally. Volume was light today; that has been part of the trend; light volume on up days and heavy volume on down days. We are smack dab in earnings reporting season, and 87 companies have posted results through this morning with 62% beating earnings expectations; that’s down from 66% beating…
  • Friday, April 18, 2014 - Yes, We Have No Avocados

    Sinclair Noe
    18 Apr 2014 | 3:21 pm
    Yes, We Have No Avocadosby Sinclair NoeThe markets are closed today in observance of Good Friday. No economic reports today.Let’s take a look at next week’s economic calendar. On Wednesday, we’ll get reports on new and existing home sales. New home sales are expected to be up slightly, while existing home sales are expected to post a decline for the third consecutive month. Higher mortgage rates and rising prices have pushed some potential buyers out of the market. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is up almost a full percentage point from its recent low one year ago. The…
  • Thursday, April 17, 2014 - The Growth Industry for the Next 20 Years

    Sinclair Noe
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:04 pm
    The Growth Industry for the Next 20 Yearsby Sinclair NoeDOW – 16 = 16,408SPX + 2 = 1864NAS + 9 = 409510 YR YLD + .08 = 2.72%OIL + .83 = 104.59GOLD – 7.60 = 1295.60SILV + .02 = 19.75Stocks ended a holiday-shortened week with mixed results. Stock markets will be closed tomorrow in observance of Good Friday. The S&P 500 had its best week since last July. For the week, the Dow rose 2.4%, the S&P 500 added 2.7% and the Nasdaq advanced 2.4%. With less than one-fifth of S&P 500 companies having reported results so far, about 63% have topped earnings expectations and 52% have topped…
  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - What is Really Plausible

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

  • Is a Dollar Collapse Imminent?

    22 Apr 2014 | 7:24 am
    A reader asks: I would like to know your current opinion and statistical insight as to what's happening to or "going to happen"  to the U. S. Dollar and its world reserve status. Several "Experts" are predicting the collapse of the U.S. Dollar at home and as the global monetary currency before the end of 2014. I would certainly like to know the opinions of as many experts as possible. It is obvious to me that several "alarmists" are simply wanting to sell me gold....Read Full Post
  • March .2% Price Increase Hides Surprising Weaknesses

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

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

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

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

  • Economix Meets the Gales of Change

    By THE EDITORS
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Economix is coming to an end, but it will be succeeded by The Upshot, a new politics, policy and economics site.
  • Mortgage Reform Is Worth the Small Extra Cost to Borrowers

    By PHILLIP SWAGEL
    18 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    The higher cost for borrowers in a Senate bill reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac corresponds to the protection for taxpayers that was missing in the old system, writes an economist.
  • In Europe, Auto Sales Are Still Low, But They Are Rising

    By FLOYD NORRIS
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:19 pm
    New car sales are up by more than 10 percent in Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal, which signals stronger economic growth there, even if sales are still far below 2007 levels.
  • The End of Our Financial Illusions

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

    By CASEY B. MULLIGAN
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:44 am
    The Affordable Care Act imposes economic burdens that are the equivalent of taxes, an economist writes.
 
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    iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

  • The Future of the State Revisited: Reforming Public Expenditure

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

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

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

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

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

  • The 10 Most Affordable Housing Markets of 2014

    23 Apr 2014 | 5:59 am
     ZipRealty has released a list of the 10 most affordable housing markets of 2014. ZipRealty analyzed median home sales price data gathered from 30 metro areas and estimated family income data from the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to create this year's list. Among the areas surveyed by ZipRealty, locations east of the Rocky Mountains are the best places to find real estate
  • What is Bitcoin? New Yorkers Say ‘Currency’ and ‘Shady’

    23 Apr 2014 | 5:03 am
    Saumya Vaishampayan of MarketWatch writes: What exactly does a random person on the street know about bitcoin? To find out, I wandered around Rockefeller Center on a few sunny days in April and asked people if they could tell me anything about bitcoin. On one day, seven of the 12 people I approached said they didn’t know anything about bitcoin. Of the nine people who consented to be on video
  • Note to Those Who Want to Work for the Koch Brothers

    22 Apr 2014 | 8:27 pm
    You don't always have to sell out your libertarian principles to work for them. Koch Industries Inc is hiring a GENERAL HELPER http://t.co/eUdlYqalkz #job pic.twitter.com/DkBLBxD5fo — Koch Careers (@Koch_Careers) April 17, 2014 GENERAL LABORER #job (#Albany) http://t.co/16hOQ67qqh pic.twitter.com/Tp0OWtufpw — Koch Careers (@Koch_Careers) April 15, 2014 Koch Industries Inc is hiring a
  • Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto Thanks Bitcoin Community: 'I want to hug you'

    22 Apr 2014 | 8:26 pm
    On Tuesday, the California man, who last month was called the creator of Bitcoin by Newsweek and by senior Newsweek writer Leah McGrath Goodman, appeared in a YouTube video to thank his supporters, reports LaTi.. The 64-year-old appeared in the video with Andreas M. Antonopoulos, an entrepreneur and coder who last month started a fund online for people to donate money to Nakamoto. As of today,
  • SFL Student Calls for "Body Positivity" Freedom and Freedom to Make Sexually Graphic Sounds

    22 Apr 2014 | 7:29 pm
    This young girl appears to actually think she is practicing libertarianism, when she is advancing some pretty fruitcake, politically correct, nonsense, while on government property. Thefire.org reports: Kelly Barber stands out as a leader at the University of Florida (UF) and has been actively involved with FIRE, most recently attending FIRE’s Leaders in Student Rights Conference in New Orleans,
 
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    Visualizing Economics

  • How much do federal taxes redistribute income?

    Catherine Mulbrandon
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:33 pm
    We've Moved! Update your RSS reader. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.visualizingeconomics.com/visualizingeconomicsUpdate your RSS reader with this new subscription address to get your latest updates from Visualizing Economics. Or switch to an email subscription
  • Real Price of Gold since 1791–2013

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

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

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

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

  • Guesstimates on April 23, 2014

    23 Apr 2014 | 6:05 am
    June S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1868-1881. I believe the ES is headed above 1892. QQQ:  Upside target is 95.00. TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: The reaction is over and the euro is headed for 1.42.Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. June Crude:  Crude has spent several days trading mostly above 103 resistance but so far has not spent much time trading above its last high at 104.48. A close above that high would mean the market is headed for 111. June Gold:  Resistance…
  • Guesstimates on April 22, 2014

    22 Apr 2014 | 5:50 am
    June S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1860-1871. I believe the ES is headed above 1892. QQQ:  Upside target is 95.00. TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: The reaction is over and the euro is headed for 1.42.Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. June Crude:  Crude has spent several days trading mostly above 103 resistance but so far has not spent much time trading above its last high at 104.48. A close above that high would mean the market is headed for 111. June Gold:  Resistance…
  • Guesstimates on April 21, 2014

    21 Apr 2014 | 5:53 am
    June S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1850-62. I now believe the ES is headed above 1892. QQQ:  Upside target is 95.00. TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: The reaction is over and the euro is headed for 1.42.Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. June Crude:  Crude has spent several days trading mostly above 103 resistance but so far has not spent much time trading above its last high at 104.48. A close above that high would mean the market is headed for 111. June Gold:…
  • update

    17 Apr 2014 | 8:18 am
    Here are daily charts of my three favorite trend indicators.Earlier this week both the Dow and the S&P closed below their 50 day moving averages. This turned my intermediate term trend indicator downward via the 2 out of 3 rule. But as you can see both averages quickly recovered and are now all three indicators are once again above their 50 day moving averages.The drop to the April 11 low in the S&P was not as long as the drop into the February 5, 2014 low but it was just about the same size as the drops into the October 9 and August 28 lows in 2013. Since both averages have recovered…
  • Guesstimates on April 17, 2014

    17 Apr 2014 | 5:55 am
    June S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1848-1863. The midpoint of the drop from 1892.50 to 1803.25 was 1848 and the market held that level as support overnight. I now believe the ES is headed above 1892. QQQ:  Upside target is 95.00. TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: The reaction is over and the euro is headed for 1.42.Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. June Crude:  If crude has spent several days trading mostly above 103 resistance but so far has not spent much time trading above…
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    True Economics

  • 22/4/2014: On Irish Taxes, Quangos, Trade and other recent links

    22 Apr 2014 | 1:34 am
    Some interesting links from recent media reports:Apparently, completely unpredictably, unexpectedly, shockingly abruptly etc etc etc... but Ireland-based MNCs are allegedly concerned with the OECD (aka G7-G20 prompted, EU-supported) efforts to reforms international tax systems to close off the more egregious loopholes in corporate taxation: http://www.independent.ie/business/world/major-companies-concerned-over-oecds-plans-for-global-tax-reform-30202748.html Now, with the IBEC, DofF, and everyone else in irish Officialdom repeatedly declaring that our tax regime is above the water and…
  • 19/4/2014: FT coverage of Anglo verdicts

    19 Apr 2014 | 1:32 pm
    Here's FT article covering Anglo Irish Bank trial verdicts with comments from myself, Stephen Kinsella and Michael Clifford:http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a778bc98-c6de-11e3-aa73-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2zKR9OVxY
  • 19/4/2014: Everything is Awesome When You Part of the (Fed) Team

    19 Apr 2014 | 4:50 am
    Fed's Balancesheet then and now:via http://www.floatingpath.com/2014/04/18/tracking-fed-april-18-2014/And "Everything is Awesome!"
  • 19/4/2014: If Only Forecasts Were Falling Ripe from Trees...

    19 Apr 2014 | 3:21 am
    Here we go, folks… ESRI's latest thoughts on Irish economy... and they are earth-shattering.Let's take a few pointers from the wise:1) "Ireland could face a debilitating period of stagnation – characterised by high unemployment, falling prices and low growth – if recovery in Europe falters"."Could"?! 2013 marked a year of contracting GDP and total demand. We now have six consecutive years of falling total demand (sum of domestic investment and spending by consumers and government). Unemployment is already sky-high, long term unemployment is a hinge problem. Prices are not quite falling,…
  • 18/4/2014: Ukraine's Trade Flows in One Inforgraphic

    18 Apr 2014 | 7:38 am
    Via Bloomberg - a neat summary of Ukraine's external bilateral trade flows:Which, of course, shows just how feeble are all the claims about the 'replaceability' of Russian markets for Ukrainian economy. When you take out the Customs Union's total flows of USD 15.71 billion, the entire EU trade flows (for top 20 countries) amount to USD 10.99 billion and these include revenues earned from transit of Russian gas and resales of Russian gas, oil and petrochemical products too. So yes, yes, y.e.s... folks - Russia is obviously a problem for Ukraine's economy and Brussels is obviously a solution...
 
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    Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

  • Existing Home Sales Report: March 2014

    22 Apr 2014 | 2:05 pm
    Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Home Sales Report for March showing weak sales with total home sales falling 0.2% since February dropping 7.5% below the level seen in March 2013. Single family home sales also remained weak with sales staying flat from February and falling a notable 7.3% below the level seen in March 2013 while the median selling price increased 7.4% above the level seen a year earlier. Inventory of single family homes increased from February to 1.74 million units and climbed 5.5% above the level seen in March 2013 which, along…
  • FHFA Monthly Home Prices: February 2014

    22 Apr 2014 | 1:45 pm
    Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released the latest results of their monthly house price index (HPI) showing that in February, nationally, home prices increased 0.63% from January rising 6.88% above the level seen in February 2013.The FHFA monthly HPI are formulated from home purchase information collected from mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • The Chicago Fed National Activity Index: March 2014

    22 Apr 2014 | 1:34 pm
    The latest release of the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (CFNAI) indicated that the national economic activity weakened in March with the index falling to a very weak level of 0.20 from a level of 0.53 in February while the three month moving average improved to a weak level of 0.0. The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity collected into four overall categories of “production and income”, “employment, unemployment and income”, “personal consumption and housing” and “sales, orders and inventories”. The Chicago Fed regards a…
  • Hong Kong Bubble?: Hong Kong Residential Property Prices January 2014

    17 Apr 2014 | 10:27 am
    The latest release of the University of Hong Kong's Hong Kong Residential Real Estate Series (HKU-REIS) indicating that, in January, the price of residential properties declined 2.45% since December falling 1.30% below the level seen in January 2013. Clearly, the latest data is indicating a notable pullback in prices coming with the first year-on-year declines seen since 2009.  It will take some more data in order to see the extent of this pullback but with recent headlines indicating that China officials are loosening property and lending standards in order to control the downside risk,…
  • Homebuilder Blues: NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Ratings April 2014

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

  • STTG Market Recap April 22, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:20 pm
    We continue in this "V shaped" move off last week's touch of the 200 day moving average on the NASDAQ.  The S&P 500 gained 0.41% and the NASDAQ 0.97%.  The indexes are nearing overbought near term so a day or two of rest would serve the bulls well to try to attempt a new leg higher.  In economic news existing home sales hit 4.59 million in March, versus a 4.55 million estimate.In terms of the indexes the S&P 500 stalled at the trend line that connected the lows of summer 2013; some congestion lies ahead at year highs.The NASDAQ has come back from deeply oversold conditions as this…
  • STTG Market Recap April 21, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    21 Apr 2014 | 4:14 pm
    Since the mid day reversal last Tuesday we've seen a V shaped rally, so we'll see if "that" was the correction pretty soon here.  The NASDAQ still has a ways to go before hitting key resistance while the S&P 500 should be back to the top of the range it has been in all year soon if this continues.  As stated last Wednesday those intraday reversals where you probe down, make a new low and then reverse sharply and close at or near the highs sometimes mark a bottom, and usually at least provide a short term bounce.  Of course we have no idea which one it is yet!  Today was a quiet…
  • STTG Q1 2014 Survey Results

    Blain Reinkensmeyer
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:40 am
    Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill our quarterly reader survey. We had 320 responses which is what we usually see.Jumping right to the results, it is clear you readers are on the whole, happy with the market recaps Mark is putting out each evening.The 2nd question asked about which online brokers you use (see my broker guide to choosing). The clear favorites are TD Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, ETRADE, and Scottrade. You can compare all six of these brokers using the StockBrokers.com comparison tool.As for the open responses, first off thank you to…
  • STTG Market Recap April 17, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:53 pm
    Blain here: Final reminder to take our quarterly reader satisfaction survey. Results will be posted next week. Thanks!With markets closed for Good Friday, stocks finished off a very good week, retracting a decent portion of the losses we had seen in the previous few weeks.  The coast is still not clear thought for major risk taking - but we are seeing some rebounds in the hardest hit areas, specifically internet, biotech, and momentum stocks.  Today the S&P 500 gained 0.14% and NASDAQ 0.23% after both opened in the red with Google and IBM pressured.  Stocks came off their lows after a…
  • STTG Market Recap April 16, 2014

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

  • The physical science of climate change

    pwg
    18 Apr 2014 | 7:23 pm
    I’m late finding this Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) report. I include the summary of their findings on the physical science here because they accord with my present assessment. I would have added only one thing to the recitation below. I do not know why the NIPCC omitted it. That is: the IPCC’s […]
  • If you need a word …

    pwg
    11 Nov 2013 | 10:54 pm
    A combined Keyboard Maestro and OSX Automator action to access Princeton’s “WordNet” database. WordNet is a remarkable semantic network of words: not exactly a thesaurus but nonetheless great for hunting down the word you need. Select a word in any Mac application, hit the keyboard trigger you select and the macros pop-up a window with […]
  • The multilateral trade mess — 5 years later

    pwg
    26 Oct 2013 | 11:09 pm
    In August 2008, shortly after the collapse of the WTO Doha Round’s agricultural negotiations in Geneva — which I recognized, then, as the ‘death-rattle’ of the Round — I wrote the attached paper; part of a project sponsored by the Rural Industry Research & Development Corporation to find a better way to negotiate in WTO. […]
  • They never talk about trade

    pwg
    26 Aug 2013 | 4:21 pm
    The trade and investment policies of the two main political parties in Australia have flip-flopped in chorus over the years so they hardly ever figure in election debates. As if they didn’t matter enough to fight about. Yet there’s little that matters more to the future prosperity of a small, open, still-somewhat-remote economy than building […]
  • Statistics for (non-mathematical) trade analysts

    pwg
    2 Feb 2013 | 2:45 pm
    I teach a ‘summer intensive’ graduate course in Trade Research Methods at the University of Adelaide. In five days we cover everything from the role of evidence in public policy to how to write a report that your boss will read (and even understand). Most of my students have no formal training in statistics (or […]
 
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    WILLisms.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The Further Withering of Wind Power

    23 Apr 2014 | 1:43 am
    Why won't wind energy power the future? In our original analysis, we considered why wind energy producers are unlikely to ever become independent of government subsidies that currently sustain them and stand on their own as a reliable source of power for ordinary consumers. But today, we're going beyond that, because we're going to directly address the single most important issue that will physically prevent wind energy producers from ever being more than a niche producer of energy consumed across the globe. That single issue is the relative energy return on investment for wind energy with…
  • U.S. Real Estate's State of Malaise

    22 Apr 2014 | 1:32 am
    Following our analysis that median new home sale prices in the U.S. have begun to contract, we decided to dig deeper to find out more. We'll begin with the Wall Street Journal's description of the general climate in the U.S. real estate industry throughout the first quarter of 2014: Reports from local real-estate agent groups in some of the markets that were the first to rebound, including Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Diego, show year-over-year declines in March home sales. February data for pending home sales nationally—a barometer of early-spring activity—show a decline of 11% from a year…
  • An Uneventful Week for the S&P 500

    21 Apr 2014 | 1:23 am
    Perhaps because it was so uneventful, the trading week ending 17 April 2014 was a positive one for stock prices. The relative lack of fireworks allowed investors to focus on the earnings news being reported during the week, much of which was positive. That, in turn, positively affected stock prices - so much so that it's somewhat of a tossup at this point whether what we observe is the result of simple noise or if the positive earnings reports led investors to shift their forward-looking attention to the more positive-looking quarter of 2014-Q4 in setting today's stock prices. That latter…
  • Superman's Day in L.A.

    18 Apr 2014 | 1:59 am
    Maybe not as good as the alternate ending for Gravity, but not bad either.... Have a great weekend!
  • Unemployment Benefits, Job Prospects and the Long-Term Unemployed

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

  • The amazing energy efficiency of the US economy

    22 Apr 2014 | 10:57 am
    Mark Perry today has a nice post celebrating Earth Day from an economist's perspective, including a chart showing how the U.S. economy today uses far less energy per unit of output than it did in 1950. To complement his post, I offer the following charts which focus on oil consumption.These charts offer powerful proof that people and economies respond to price incentives. Since 1970 the inflation-adjusted price of crude oil has increased by a factor of 10. Faced with the problem of increasingly expensive oil and oil by-products, the U.S. economy responded by reducing its reliance on oil and…
  • Enduring strength in leading indicators

    21 Apr 2014 | 3:20 pm
    The Index of Leading Economic Indicators doesn't get much respect these days (it's often maligned as the Index of Mis-Leading Indicators), but its track record is nothing to scoff at, as the chart above shows. The growth of the index typically picks up in the early stages of a recovery, and slows dramatically in advance of and during a recession. In addition, the growth of the index typically slows during the latter half of each business cycle. But not this time. At the very least, the LEI is telling us that there is no recession on the horizon and at best, that the economy may in fact be…
  • Tracking the perfect storm

    21 Apr 2014 | 2:53 pm
    One month ago, in what proved to be one of the most-read posts in the history of this blog (Saving, lending and tapering combine in a perfect storm), I commented on the confluence of three seemingly unrelated developments: a slowdown in the rate of savings deposit growth, a pickup in the pace of bank lending to businesses, and the beginning of the tapering of the Fed's bond purchases. I thought that these developments were symptomatic of a decline in the demand for money and the Fed's reaction to that decline in money demand (tapering). I worried that if the decline in money demand were to…
  • The economy continues to expand

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

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

  • Seven Tax Issues Facing Small Business

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

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

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

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

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

  • Thinking of doing a list experiment? Here’s a list of reasons why you should think again

    Andrew
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:17 am
    Someone wrote in: We are about to conduct a voting list experiment. We came across your comment recommending that each item be removed from the list. Would greatly appreciate it if you take a few minutes to spell out your recommendation in a little more detail. In particular: (a) Why are you “uneasy” about list experiments? What would strengthen your confidence in list experiments? (b) What do you mean by “each item be removed”? As you know, there are several non-sensitive items and one sensitive item in a list experiment. Do you mean that the non-sensitive items…
  • A short questionnaire regarding the subjective assessment of evidence

    Andrew
    23 Apr 2014 | 1:08 am
    E. J. Wagenmakers writes: Remember I briefly talked to you about the subjective assessment of evidence? Together with Richard Morey and myself, Annelies Bartlema created a short questionnaire that can be done online. There are five scenarios and it does not take more than 5 minutes to complete. So far we have collected responses from psychology faculty and psychology students, but we were also keen to get responses from a more statistically savvy crowd: the people who read your blog! Try it out! The post A short questionnaire regarding the subjective assessment of evidence appeared first on…
  • Ticket to Baaaaarf

    Andrew
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:01 am
    A link from the comments here took me to the wonderfully named Barfblog and a report by Don Schaffner on some reporting. First, the background: A university in England issued a press release saying that “Food picked up just a few seconds after being dropped is less likely to contain bacteria than if it is left for longer periods of time . . . The findings suggest there may be some scientific basis to the ‘5 second rule’ – the urban myth about it being fine to eat food that has only had contact with the floor for five seconds or less. Although people have long followed the 5…
  • Stan Model of the Week: Hierarchical Modeling of Supernovas

    Mike Betancourt
    21 Apr 2014 | 11:02 am
    The Stan Model of the Week showcases research using Stan to push the limits of applied statistics.  If you have a model that you would like to submit for a future post then send us an email. Our inaugural post comes from Nathan Sanders, a graduate student finishing up his thesis on astrophysics at Harvard. Nathan writes, “Core-collapse supernovae, the luminous explosions of massive stars, exhibit an expansive and meaningful diversity of behavior in their brightness evolution over time (their “light curves”). Our group discovers and monitors these events using the Pan-STARRS1…
  • Ticket to Baaaath

    Andrew
    21 Apr 2014 | 7:54 am
    Ooooooh, I never ever thought I’d have a legitimate excuse to tell this story, and now I do! The story took place many years ago, but first I have to tell you what made me think of it: Rasmus Bååth posted the following comment last month: On airplane tickets a Swedish “å” is written as “aa” resulting in Rasmus Baaaath. Once I bought a ticket online and five minutes later a guy from Lufthansa calls me and asks if I misspelled my name… OK, now here’s my story (which is not nearly as good). A long time ago (but when I was already an adult), I was in England for some…
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    Capital Chronicle

  • When PIIGS and BRICS aren't enough

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

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

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

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

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

  • Corporate Executives Are Lagging, Not Leading

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

  • Let’s all be Germans

    ssumner
    22 Apr 2014 | 8:42 am
    Over at Econlog I have a post discussing the German jobs miracle.  One counterargument is that all countries can’t be like Germany, because their success comes from a large current account surplus. And if there is one thing that all economists agree on, it’s that all countries cannot simultaneously run CA surpluses. Those who have not studied economics might be surprised to discover that standard economic theory suggests CA surpluses have no impact on job creation.  Many people draw the wrong implication from an accounting identity: GDP = C + I + G + (X – M),     Where…
  • Reply to DeLong smackdown

    ssumner
    21 Apr 2014 | 8:19 am
    In a recent post I claimed that monetary policy failure associated with the zero bound, not financial turmoil was the cause of the Great Recession.  Brad DeLong had correctly noted that the S&L fiasco of the late 1980s involved losses similar to the subprime crisis as a share of GDP.  Where I disagreed with DeLong is that he focused on differences between the resolution of the 1980s and 2008 crises, whereas I focused on differences in monetary policy.  In particular, I argued that rapid NGDP growth in the late 1980s put us so far above the zero bound that it was never an issue in the…
  • Swedish central bankers and Korean ferryboat captains

    ssumner
    19 Apr 2014 | 2:48 pm
    For years I’ve been fighting against the (new) conventional wisdom in economics—that the 2008 crisis shows that monetary policy must move beyond macro stability, and focus on asset price bubbles. Unfortunately, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports that we seem to have achieved our first important success.  I say unfortunately, because it came at the expense of Sweden: The Riksbank has been trying to “lean against the wind” to curb house price rises and consumer credit, pioneering a new policy that gives weight to the dangers of asset bubbles. But this is proving easier said than…
  • Aggregate demand and regional demand shocks

    ssumner
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:23 pm
    Here’s Jordan Weissmann: The blue line traces the consumer-spending trend in states where home prices fell the least, while the red line traces it in states where they fell the most. Each group contains about 20 percent of the U.S. population. And as you can see, the crash states are still well behind.  .  .  . Sufi and Mian have made the academic case that spending before the recession really was driven by the “wealth effect” of rising home prices. People saw their housing values rocket up, and felt richer. Often, they took out second mortgages to spend. When the market crashed,…
  • Doing more with less

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

  • 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…
  • Are Liberalized US Crude Oil Exports Finally on the Horizon?

    7 Jan 2014 | 4:19 pm
    As I mentioned a few weeks ago, a large segment of the energy policy world has suddenly realized that America's archaic crude oil export restrictions are really, really bad policy.  But things have just been kicked into an even higher gear with two new developments:In a much-publicized speech today, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee, advocated modernizing US policies for energy exports, particularly natural gas and crude oil.  Accompanying her speech was a new white paper on the same topic, which (among other…
  • My International Trade Policy Course: Description & Syllabus

    2 Jan 2014 | 4:28 pm
    As eagerly mentioned a while ago, I'll be teaching an undergraduate course at Duke University this semester on international trade policy and politics.  For those of you who aren't lucky enough to be Duke students (or live in the area and have the ample time/energy needed to audit the course), I've posted the syllabus below after the jump with the basic course descrption and materials.  As you'll see, almost all of the materials that we'll be covering in class are available for free online, so you can poke around the links and…
 
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    Jesse's Café Américain

  • Bernanke Talks Up the Bankers' Balance Sheet Boogie Woogie - The Truman Sparks Award

    22 Apr 2014 | 4:03 pm
    Sometimes when I just don't have the words someone more articulate than me on the subject says it all. Confounded Interest Bernanke: QE Was For “The Man On The Street” (Wall Street, That Is!) and Their Electrical Parade By Anthony B. Sanders Zero Hedge has an amusing story today based on former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech to the Economic Club of Canada (for a cool $
  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Hotel California

    22 Apr 2014 | 1:56 pm
    Its funny the way that 476,000 ounces of gold have been 'delivered' so far this month, but the warehouse inventories never seem to go down. Like the Hotel California, you can check out, but you can never leave. When I was seconded to the ITU in Genève for many weeks at a time, I used to stay in a smaller hotel on the Rue Gevray that was called the Hotel California. It was very convenient 
  • SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Wash Cycle

    22 Apr 2014 | 1:49 pm
    "People feel like the system is rigged against them, and here is the painful part, they’re right. The system is rigged. Look around. Oil companies guzzle down the billions in profits. Billionaires pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries, and Wall Street CEOs, the same ones the direct our economy and destroyed millions of jobs still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and
  • NAV Premiums of Certain Precious Metal Trusts and Funds - Crash In a Matter of Months?

    22 Apr 2014 | 8:37 am
    In case you were wondering there is a Comex precious metal options expiration on Thursday the 24th. Since the expiration is for the inactive month of May, I am wondering if they are not going to do an early hit with a head fake on this one as the day comes.  Hard to forecast.  Typically a noted player will show their hand at some point and the pit crawlers will follow their lead.  They
  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Lies, Damn Lies, and an Option Expiration

    21 Apr 2014 | 1:11 pm
    “A true opium of the people is a belief in nothingness after death - the huge solace of thinking that for our betrayals, greed, cowardice, and murders that we are not going to be judged.” Czesław Miłosz The action for the precious metals did not bode well, when late last night as gold drifted higher and crept over 1300 it was smacked down by some heavy dumping of contracts in quiet trade in
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • Moyes' message

    chris dillow
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:09 am
    Some (female) tweeters have expressed exasperation at the amount of coverage given to David Moyes' sacking. I'm not sure they're right. Football is about more than 22 men chasing a ball. It also lets in light upon what is normally a shadowy but key feature of capitalist inequality - the role of management. So, in the spirit that every news item demonstrates what I've known all along, here are five lessons of Moyes' tenure at Manyoo. 1. "Nobody knows anything." There's a parallel between David Moyes and Gordon Brown. Both were widely seen at the time of their…
  • "British workers hit hard"

    chris dillow
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:28 am
    There's one curious thing about Ukip's notorious posters that hasn't been mentioned - that they represent a flat rejection of orthodox neoclassical economics. "British workers are hit hard by unlimited cheap labour" says one poster. However, in theory this would be true even if our borders were completely shut to foreign workers. The idea here is simple. If there were unlimited cheap labour overseas, foreign companies would be able to produce very cheap goods which would undercut UK firms. Those firms would then either close down - which would raise unemployment and cut…
  • 12 alternative principles

    chris dillow
    20 Apr 2014 | 4:54 am
    An old speech by Tom Sargent has had some praise  and some criticism. But what would a more heterodox list of 12 economic principles look like? Here's my effort, observing Sargent's constraints of concision and relevance for young people starting out in life: 1. People have different motivations: wealth, power, pride, job satisfaction and so on. Incentive structures which suit one set of motives might not work for another. 2. Many things are true but not very significantly so. 3. Power matters: conventional economics under-states this. 4. Luck matters. The R-squareds in Mincer…
  • Axelrod & matches

    chris dillow
    19 Apr 2014 | 5:56 am
    Whilst I was gardening this morning, I wondered whether Labour is right to spend big money hiring David Axelrod as a campaign advisor. The question arises because in gardening, context matters. The point isn't simply to find good plants, but to put the right plant in the right place: Japanese laurels at the back of a shady border, lupins in sheltered sunny spots and so on. Exactly the same is true for people. Very often, successful hires depend not just upon the qualities of the hireling, but the match between him and context: what matters is putting square pegs into square holes.When the…
  • Income & gender equality

    chris dillow
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:05 am
    Sometimes, it's the little words that reveal so much. I was struck by Phil's response to Rashida Manjoo's claim that sexism is worse in the UK than elsewhere. He writes: I didn't for one moment think that the UK's sexism problem was worse than other developed nations. Hold on. What's that word "developed" doing here? Why judge the UK only by comparably rich nations? Is Phil presuming that sexism is worse in poorer nations? If he is, he's right - up to a point. My chart plots gender inequality, as measured by the WEF's gender gap, against GDP per head.
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    David Smith's EconomicsUK.com

  • Union blues: Would an independent Scotland honour her debts?

    David Smith
    20 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. There are still nearly five months to go until the referendum on Scottish independence but the debate is definitely hotting up. The polls are getting more...
  • Plenty of lessons for France in Britain's recovery

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

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

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

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

  • The Great Global Bazaar

    Esther Dyson
    23 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    Traveling to new places – near or far – can help cultivate the ability to form meaningful connections with people of different backgrounds. The most interesting lessons often lie in the mundane – the aspects of everyday life that locals take for granted and tourists tend to overlook.
  • The Gain in Spain

    Michael Spence
    23 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    The Spanish economy is beginning to attract investors’ attention – and not only because asset prices are depressed in the current climate. While there are huge problems that must still be overcome, there is also a clear sense on the ground that the economy has passed a turning point, roughly at the start of this year.
  • Stopping Russia Starts in Syria

    Anne-Marie Slaughter
    23 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    The solution to the crisis in Ukraine lies in part in Syria. If US President Barack Obama demonstrates that he can order the use of force in circumstances other that secret drone attacks or covert operations, the result will change the strategic calculus not only in Damascus, but also in Moscow, not to mention Beijing and Tokyo.
  • Kennan’s Revenge

    Robert Skidelsky
    22 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    American diplomat George Kennan traced the Cold War partly to neurotic insecurity and Oriental secretiveness on the Russian side, and legalism and moralism on the Western side. If Cold War II erupts in Ukraine, it will be because the middle ground of cool calculation of interests, possibilities, and risks remains elusive to this day.
  • The Democratic Disruption of Finance

    Mohamed A. El-Erian
    22 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    There seems to be no limit to the exciting possibilities that come from combining technical innovations, the Internet, and social media. What is less appreciated is the extent to which the same phenomenon is starting to play out in finance, via a democratization process that could transform the institutional landscape.
 
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    Reed Construction Data:Notes from Alex Carrick

  • Thirteen Mid-April Economic Nuggets

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

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

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

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

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

  • Instability In Oil And Gas Producing Countries Brings Risk To Some, Rewards To O

    22 Apr 2014 | 3:18 pm
    Along with causing considerable hand wringing among Western leaders, Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea has raised concern in the oil and gas world -- an already volatile sector of the economy that regularly contends with political upheaval in the energy-producing countries it relies on.The oil business in particular does not react well to sudden disturbances in the economy or drastic political changes like what happened in Kiev last month. So many things can go wrong between when oil is extracted from a field in, say, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia,…Read more...
  • White House Delays Keystone XL Decision Until Nebraska Legal Challenge Settled

    22 Apr 2014 | 3:15 pm
    The Keystone XL pipeline, already one of the most politicized and delayed pipelines in history, has hit another roadblock.On April 18, the Obama administration announced that it would delay its decision on whether to approve the US-Canada pipeline indefinitely until ongoing litigation in Nebraska that could affect the route of the pipeline is settled. TransCanada, the company behind Keystone XL, saw its share price sink 3.7 percent after news of the decision broke.Three landowners along the proposed Keystone XL route are challenging a Nebraska…Read more...
  • U.S. Oil Export Ban Unlikely To Be Scrapped Soon

    22 Apr 2014 | 3:08 pm
    Whether or not the U.S. Congress decides to lift the ban on crude exports will largely depend on the trajectory of crude oil prices. Oil prices have been elevated for several years, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fluctuating a bit above and below the $100 per barrel mark, and Brent prices going for a few dollars more. These prices give Congress pause, with many members worried that allowing oil exports to move forward would lead to even higher prices, pressing the limits of what the American consumer would be willing to tolerate.  Source:…Read more...
  • U.S. Gaining Energy Independence, But Still Reliant On Imports

    22 Apr 2014 | 3:02 pm
    Though exports of petroleum products from the United States have increased by more than 10 percent since 2012, regional infrastructure issues mean the country still relies on imports for a significant amount of its energy needs. A net gain in oil and natural gas production from U.S. shale deposits is seen by some policymakers as a reason to increase overall energy exports. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said exports of petroleum products like gasoline and other derivatives are already on the rise. The average 3.5 million…Read more...
  • Threat Of Tough Western Sanctions On Russia Unnerves U.S., EU Energy Firms

    22 Apr 2014 | 2:56 pm
    Three days after Russia annexed the Crimea on March 17, U.S. President Barack Obama announced U.S. sanctions against 20 individuals, including Russian President Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff and close associate Sergei Ivanov, and other influential members of Putin’s inner circle. Also sanctioned was Bank Rossiia, which has close ties to Russian leadership. Obama told reporters, "Based on the executive order that I signed in response to Russia's initial intervention in Ukraine, we are imposing sanctions on more senior officials of…Read more...
 
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    zentrader.ca

  • Markets Have Bearish Bias In My View

    Jeff Pierce
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:54 pm
    By Jeff Pierce I know the bulls will say that we’re a stones throw away from new highs on the SPX and DJIA, but I remain of the opinion (or bias if you will) that the markets are in risk off mode as shown by the 2 charts below. As long as we are on this side of the shaded area the markets are going to struggle moving higher. The move higher over the last 6 sessions is simply a technical bounce off the 200 moving average.   I thought we would keep selling off to the December support but the bulls stepped in and rallied us nearly all the way back to resistance. Now we should be close…
  • Happy Easter From Astrology Traders

    karen starich
    20 Apr 2014 | 9:25 pm
    By Astrology Traders We want to wish all our subscribers, regardless of your faith, a very Happy Easter.  There is an inner significance to the meaning of the Easter-egg hunt that I want to share.  We, as traders and investors, are living examples of the quest made, and ritual of the Easter-egg hunt. The Easter-egg hunt is a ritual meant to teach children to look for the secret rays, the divine aura of the soul. It is the ritual of seeking and finding in all things, and to have the joy in the discovery of a higher consciousness.  When prizes are awarded for the one who finds the most eggs,…
  • Caution For Long Stocks When Long Calls Fail

    chris
    20 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    By Chris Ebert With the U.S. markets currently in a long holiday weekend, many traders are likely enjoying a break from market analysis. So here is something to consider that will only take a few moments, but may prove to be an immense help during the week ahead. A type of option trading, known as Long Call* trading, is usually profitable whenever a strong Bull market is underway. Conversely, whenever a strong Bull market is underway, Long Call trading is profitable. Although the S&P soared 2.5% higher this past week, a holiday-shortened week no less, Long Call trading remained…
  • A Financial Miscalculation On A Global Scale

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

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

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

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

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

    Keegan Larson
    3 Apr 2014 | 11:19 am
    This video provides a nice glimpse into some areas of Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Going behind the scenes to see his view on stress and what a book should be. I really value Taleb’s views on stress and have worked to organize my calendar in a way that is stress reducing. It can be difficult to […]
  • Nate Silver’s Predictions for the 2016 Election

    Keegan Larson
    30 Mar 2014 | 10:45 am
    Nate Silver is interviewed by the Aspen Institute in January 2013 on questions about the 2016 Presidential election. This is a good three years away and he’s already saying that it seems to him that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. Will he be right? Video transcript below: Interviewer: Do you see any democrats […]
  • Robert Shiller Interview with The Guardian

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

  • In Rural Kansas, an Experiment Makes Hitchhiking Safe Again

    Molly Rusk
    22 Apr 2014 | 12:30 pm
    This article originally appeared at Shareable.net. Photo by Shutterstock. “We’re not stuck in a traffic jam. We are the traffic jam.” What I love best about the sharing economy is how it squeezes good value out of the unused bits of our society that would otherwise go to waste. And nowhere do you have so much waste as in our transportation system. A personal car uses less than 1 percent of its energy to move a passenger, and 80 percent of our passenger capacity is driving around empty. That’s hundreds of millions of empty seats in this country! Meanwhile, 45 percent of the country has…
  • The Underground Railroad Was One of America’s First Co-ops: A Black History Tour of Cooperative Economics

    Laura Flanders
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:30 pm
    Cooperative economics and civil rights don't often appear together in history books, but they should. From the mutual aid societies that bought enslaved people's freedom to the underground railroad network that brought endangered blacks to the north, cooperative structures were key to evading white supremacy. And there was vicious backlash when black co-ops threatened the status quo. "The white economic structure depended on all of these blacks having to buy from the white store, rent from the white landowner. They were going to lose out if you did something alternatively," Jessica Gordon…
  • Think You Know What a Farmer Looks Like? Think Again.

    Sena Christian
    17 Apr 2014 | 1:05 pm
    Lindsey Carpenter keeps records at Grassroots Farm. Photo by Annalise Canfield. When Lindsey Morris Carpenter was a college student studying art in Philadelphia, she never expected that, just a decade later, she would spend most of her days fixing up tractors, turning piles of manure, and corralling chickens. Carpenter doesn’t want to be the Whole Foods of farm-to-table produce. But that’s precisely what she’s doing. Carpenter, 29, dropped out of school in 2004 and returned to her home state of Wisconsin, where she found a job on a vegetable farm. She went on to apprentice at a larger…
  • Don't Leave BitCoin to the Libertarians! (Or, Why Your Movement Needs Open Source Money)

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

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

  • Central Bank News Link List - Apr 23, 2014 - Australia's slowing inflation restrains rate-rise bets

    centralbanknews.info
    23 Apr 2014 | 1:38 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.Australia's slowing inflation restrains rate-rise bets (Bloomberg)Brazil analysts: Cen bank won’t react to worsening infl forecast(MNI)Chile central bank signals more rate cuts possible (WSJ)Former head of U.S. Fed says economy on path to recovery(Canadian Press)Peru central bank cuts 2014 GDP…
  • Thailand holds rate, to ensure stance supports growth

    centralbanknews.info
    23 Apr 2014 | 1:26 am
        Thailand's central bank maintained its policy rate at 2.0 percent but said economic growth in the first quarter is expected to contract by more than previously expected and it would "closely monitor economic and financial developments, and ensure that the monetary policy stance continues to lend sufficient support to the economy."    The easing bias by the Bank of Thailand (BOT) follows a 25 basis point cut in March and one of the members of the bank's monetary policy committee voted to lower the policy rate by another 25 points. But six members of the committee voted…
  • Botswana holds rate, inflation seen in 3-6% target range

    centralbanknews.info
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:03 pm
        Botswana's central bank maintained its bank rate at 7.5 percent, saying the economic outlook and inflation forecast is consistent with keeping inflation in the bank's 3-6 percent medium-term objective.    The Bank of Botswana, which cut its rate by 200 basis points in 2013 as inflation declined, said moderate domestic demand and expected benign external prices contribute to the positive inflation outlook though this could be affected by unanticipated large increases in administered prices and government levies as well as international food and oil prices beyond the…
  • Central Bank News Link List - Apr 22, 2014 - ECB Coeure: Still room to lower key rates: press

    centralbanknews.info
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:39 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.ECB Coeure: Still room to lower key rates: press (MNI)Turkish central bank may keep rates on hold, ease reserves rules (Reuters)Dollar and dairy prices due to alter Reserve Bank’s OCR track (Reuters)China details cut in rural banks’ reserve requirements (WSJ)Draghi gauges Ukraine effect as ECB…
  • Sri Lanka maintains rates, poised for strong performance

    centralbanknews.info
    21 Apr 2014 | 7:27 pm
        Sri Lanka's central bank maintained its monetary policy stance, as expected, and said the country's economy was poised for a stronger performance on the back of a recovery in the external sector, sustained momentum in construction and manufacturing, and low and stable inflation.    The Central Bank of Sri Lanka kept its Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) at 6.50 percent and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) at 8.0 percent. The central bank rejigged its policy framework in January with the SDRF rate replacing the previous benchmark repo rate.    Sri…
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    Business Insider

  • Xiaomi — 'The Apple Of China' — Spent Nearly $600,000 On A Two-Letter URL

    Steve Kovach
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:56 am
    Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi spent the equivalent of $577,000 to obtain the "mi.com" URL as part of an international rebranding, one of its executives said on the Chinese social network Weibo, according to The Next Web. Xiaomi is immensely popular in China. It makes high-quality Android smartphones, but sells them for cheap. They're usually only available online and new models sell out within minutes. The company is often called "the Apple of China" because it evokes the same kind of fervor Apple does in the U.S. Xiaomi is now trying to expand outside China. It announced today that it'll…
  • 4 GIFs Of Nene Destroying Joakim Noah In The Wizards-Bulls Series

    Tony Manfred
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:45 am
    The Washington Wizards have been the the surprise team of the first week of the NBA playoffs. They won both games in Chicago to take a 2-0 series lead. It's the first time since January that the league-best Bulls defense has given up 100 points in back-to-back games. The biggest surprise: Nene is outplaying Joakim Noah. In the same week that Noah won defensive player of the year, Nene — a notoriously inconsistent, injury-prone center — is averaging 20.5 points per game on 63% shooting against him. Nene missed 29 games this year due to injury. His absence was a big reason why the…
  • US Manufacturing Output And Orders Accelerate

    Sam Ro
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:45 am
    Markit's preliminary U.S. manufacturing PMI survey is out. The headline index slipped to 55.4 in April from 55.5 in March. Economists had estimated the number would climb to 56.0. Any reading above 50 signals growth, which means the numbers are still strong. Here are the key points via Markit: Stronger increases in output and new orders Staffing levels rise for tenth month running Input cost inflation slowest since May 2013 "Manufacturers reported a solid start to the second quarter, with output growing at its fastest pace for over three years," noted Markit's Chris Williamson. "With…
  • Here Comes New Home Sales...

    Mamta Badkar
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:39 am
    New home sales for March are out at 10 a.m. ET. Economists polled by Bloomberg are looking for new home sales to rise 2.3% month-over-month to an annualized pace of 450,000 units. This compares to a 3.3% fall to 440,000 the previous month. Housing starts disappointed in March, but as the weather warms up, some economists expect housing starts to rebound in the spring. SEE ALSO: UBS: Housing Is Set For A Sharp Spring Rebound » Join the conversation about this story »
  • This Japanese Recipe For Cold Brew Coffee Will Save You Hours

    Alana Kakoyiannis
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:31 am
      Please enable Javascript to watch this video   Cold brew has become the summertime go-to drink for caffeine addicts. Making it yourself isn't complicated, but it does involve letting the brew steap overnight. However if you're looking for a more immediate fix, try this simple and quick recipe for Japanese-style cold brew.NOW WATCH: Here's The Ancient Coffee Recipe That Could Help You Live Longer Follow BI Video: On Facebook Join the conversation about this story »
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    Business + Economy – Articles – The Conversation

  • No-frills alternatives are helping our favourite brands survive

    Andrew Hughes, Lecturer, Research School of Management at Australian National University
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:35 pm
    Only a few years ago jokes about home brand products were quite common. Having a blue and white or red and white dinner meant enjoying generic brand fare that night around the table. But the recent intensification of the supermarket wars has seen the introduction of more sophisticated and aggressive branding strategies by Coles and Woolworths. Most recently the retail war went to another level with Woolworths signing a 3 year private label bread deal with current private label supplier George Weston Foods, which gives both supplier and retailer more certainty in their marketing and operations…
  • Rural Australia has innovation lessons to teach us all

    Elizabeth Webster, Professorial Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research and Director, Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia at University of Melbourne
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:17 pm
    The word innovation is often associated with banks of computers, not the back paddock. But Australia’s agricultural sector is actually a world leader when it comes to research and development. Calls are growing for Australia to reverse a productivity malaise by investing more in knowledge infrastructure – it would be wise to take heed of agriculture’s century-long experiment with collaborative research. Agricultural research and development corporations (RDCs) began in the early 1900s with the wool industry. By the 1930s, in recognition of the importance of the agricultural sector…
  • Free to fail: why corporates are learning to love venture capital

    Marco Navone, Senior Lecturer in Finance at University of Technology, Sydney
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:05 pm
    Opening a venture capital branch seems to be the new “thing” in the corporate world. While Telstra and Westpac are the new big national players, Google is clearly ahead of the curve, with two distinct venture capital firms: the newly launched Google Capital and the five-year-old Google Ventures. But why are so many companies, across a range of sectors, now running to open their own venture capital funds? And why does a company like Google, which has already delivered tremendous innovations in the past, now need to innovate “on the outside” with not one, but two, venture capital…
  • Looking behind the screens of the ABC's China deal

    Wanning Sun, Professor of Chinese Media and Cultural Studies at University of Technology, Sydney
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:30 pm
    ABC International has reasons to be proud of its recent “landmark” deal to provide ABC content in China. The deal, which will see the establishment of an online portal, also seems to make it harder for the government to justify scrapping the Australia Network, funded by DFAT and functioning as an official instrument of Australia’s public diplomacy initiatives. The benefit of exposing potentially 1.3 billion people to Australian media content is obvious: Australia is competing with many other countries to attract business, resources investment, education and tourism from China; and…
  • Will Malaysia Airlines be liable for compensation for MH370?

    David Hodgkinson, Associate Professor, Law School at University of Western Australia
    21 Apr 2014 | 7:23 pm
    While Malaysia Airlines continues to provide welfare and support to the families of the passengers of MH370, compensation will soon become a priority. However, just what Malaysia Airlines' legal liability might be is not clear cut, depending largely on determining the circumstances of the disappearance of the plane and whether this was an accident, as well as a raft of complex legal treaties that could see some families treated more favourably than others. Acts of terrorism, including bombings and hijackings, have been held to constitute accidents on the basis that terrorism is a risk…
 
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    Mindful Money » Shaun Richards

  • Both the Bank of England and the UK Public Finances are having a Mad Hatters Tea Party

    Shaun Richards
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:24 am
    Today brings the opportunity for us to find out not only the thinking of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England but also the state of play in UK public finances for the fiscal year 2013/14. Both of these should be reviewed in the light of the economic growth that the UK has achieved. If we look back to 2013 we see that economic growth averaged 1.7% or if you prefer the economy was 2.7% larger at the end of the year than it was at the beginning. To that we can now add this according to the NIESR (National Institute for Economic and Social Research). Our monthly estimates…
  • What has happened to food and energy prices and inflation in 2014?

    Shaun Richards
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:28 am
    So far in 2014 the disinflation drums have been beating loudly over all parts of the media, albeit that they often call it deflation. This has been most pronounced in the Euro area where the latest official consumer inflation reading is shown below. Euro area  annual inflation was 0.5% in March 2014 , down from 0.7% in February. A year earlier the rate was 1.7%. Not only is inflation in this area low but the annual rate has fallen by 1.2% over the past year. This is what has attracted the attention of the media although it forgets that the fall is in the past and that what really concerns…
  • The Bank of England finds that its own Quantitative Easing worked superbly!

    Shaun Richards
    18 Apr 2014 | 6:22 am
    One of the features of the post credit crunch era is that central banks have become entwined with our monetary and economic system. This is a result of the expansionary monetary policy which most of them have pursued and in particular the expansion of their balance sheets. This especially poses a problem when they post research because implicitly and often explicitly they are involved in events rather than being impartial observers as they were much more often in the past. The latest central bank to leap into this elephant trap has been the Bank of England which yesterday published research…
  • Why is Janet Yellen talking the US Dollar down?

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

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

  • Notes from HJL:

    Hugh Latimer
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:37 pm
    pdfprintI have to confess that my personal remarks on today’s posts are somewhat limited. JWR and I are frustrated at the unreliability of our web hosts servers over the last two weeks, and I have spent much of the day importing 20,000+ posts to a new server and converting the format to a new blog format, while maintaining continuity with the original site. You will see some minor changes as we try to bring the styling of the new software inline with the old. If you notice that something is broken, feel free to let me know. I may not be able to respond to every notice, but know that I…
  • Why We Make Certain Decisions, by J

    Hugh Latimer
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:37 pm
    pdfprintSo, I wanted to chat about something a bit different. It’s been really helpful for me, and I hope it will be for you, too. It’s about why we do certain things, about why we make certain decisions. I’m starting to get a little older now, and for many of you, you are as well. You can look back at your life and see certain things about yourself and, maybe like me, can see choices made by you or others that had big implications. I’d like to talk about something that I learned about how people work, and I hope that you’ll stay with me here. I’d like to share some stories. My…
  • Letter Re: Eye for Eyes

    Hugh Latimer
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:36 pm
    pdfprintB.A. makes some very valid points. I have worn glasses all of my life for distance and now need them for small print as well. During my most recent annual exam, the doctor told me I was developing cataracts. In all my years of going for eye exams, I had never been told, until that visit, that to slow the progression of cataracts sunglasses should become my best friend. I was advised those with lenses rated at UV 400 were the best. I have found one type by a company called Cocoon, and there are others that make sunglasses to fit over glasses (not the clip-on shades). These have side…
  • Letter: I See the Light

    Hugh Latimer
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:36 pm
    pdfprintHugh, FYI. Sam’s Club has a 3-pack of TASCO XR5 “Tactical” Cree LED flashlights for $19.98. They are 250 lumen on high power with a low power setting and a strobe setting. Three AAA batteries are included per flashlight (nine total). It is brighter than my Fenix TK 10 (~$70.00 for one) and about the same size. They’re also shock proof and water resistant. The Fenix uses a CR 123 battery, which is much more expensive but will also last much longer than the one hour @ 250 lumens from the three AAA batteries. Still, it is 1/10th the cost of the Fenix. It’s a great deal…
  • Economics and Investing:

    Hugh Latimer
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:35 pm
    pdfprintRising food prices pinching consumers. – G.G. o o o A Perfect Storm for Higher Beef Prices o o o Items from The Economatrix: The Risks Are Massive: “Will Likely Lead to Famine and Civil Unrest” Is The US Military Preparing For The Collapse Of The Dollar?
 
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    OpenMarkets

  • Market Update: Big Earnings Week

    OpenMarkets
    21 Apr 2014 | 3:23 pm
      About a third of the S&P 500 companies are reporting earnings this week. Portfolio managers are likely waiting for those numbers before there’s a recommitting or pulling back of capital. Jack also discusses why interest rate markets are looking for direction.
  • Is India Ready For Interest Rate Futures?

    Dawn Kissi
    21 Apr 2014 | 2:35 pm
    Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan has sought to make inflation targeting front and center in India’s monetary policy. He stated recently that the measuring stick for inflation is the country’s consumer price index (CPI).  In order to control inflation, he’s kept interest rates relatively high – the benchmark rate is currently 8 percent – since taking office last year.  Many watchers say this policy is at odds with the policy of the country’s BJP party whose candidate Narendra Modi is poised to become the country’s next prime minister. Modi and the BJP have a…
  • Monday Outlook: Housing and Equities

    OpenMarkets
    21 Apr 2014 | 2:27 pm
      This week, the focus is on housing markets as the FHFA Index is announced Tuesday followed by new home sales on Wednesday. Equities will be closely watched too with almost one third of companies in the S&P 500 announce earnings.   Economic Calendar Tuesday: FHFA House Price Index 09:00 AM ET   Wednesday: New Home Sales 10:00 AM ET   Thursday: London Economic Outlook with Blu Putnam 10:00 AM CDT Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index 11:00 AM ET   Friday: Japan All Industry Index 1:30 A.M. ET     Links: Ethanol’s future may be bright (Farm Gate Blog)…
  • Market Update: Earnings and Revenues

    OpenMarkets
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:02 pm
      We’re very close to seeing some sort of asset allocation as corporate earnings are announced, and revenues increase. Jack breaks down what that means for equity and treasury markets.    
  • Monday Outlook: A Spring Thaw for Consumers

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

  • General Mills backed down from its controversial lawsuit policy. But the problem isn’t over.

    Aziz
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:42 am
    Class action lawsuits are an efficient way for wronged individuals — who may lack funds and legal expertise — to fight back against the powerful legal muscle of big business. One very famous example is the case of Erin Brockovich, who built a class action lawsuit that successfully sued Pacific Gas and Electric over contamination of drinking water. A lone consumer wronged by a large corporation might struggle to foot the bill to hire the legal firepower necessary to win their case in court. But hundreds or thousands of consumers claiming similar injuries or damages from the same company…
  • The world’s dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy

    Aziz
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:34 pm
    In a setback for the renewable energy movement, the state House in Oklahoma this week passed a bill that would levy a new fee on those who generate their own energy through solar equipment or wind turbines on their property. The measure, which sailed to passage on a near unanimous vote after no debate, is likely to be signed into law by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin. The bill, known as S.B. 1456, will specifically target those who install power generation systems on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. However, those who already have such renewable systems installed…
  • To build the Death Star, we’ll need this space elevator

    Aziz
    10 Mar 2014 | 8:47 am
    Last year, I wrote about why we should make massive-scale space projects like Star Wars’ Death Star a serious long-term goal for humanity. I wasn’t joking. OK, I was kind of joking — I chose the Death Star as my example because it was the biggest and most absurd-sounding space technology project that I thought readers would generally be aware of. But I could just as easily have chosen a Dyson sphere, or a ringworld, or a topopolis, or a faster-than-light spacecraft. Whether the project resulted in an energy source in space or a planet-destroying battle station…
  • What does the Big Mac Index really measure?

    Aziz
    30 Jan 2014 | 3:16 pm
    The Economist is out with the latest Big Mac Index measurement. The Big Mac Index — which compares the price of the famous McDonald’s hamburger in various countries around the world — was started as a joke in 1986, and purports to act as a light-hearted proxy for measuring the purchasing power of currencies around the world. The Big Mac is a homogeneous good that is sold worldwide, which makes it a plausible candidate for such a comparison. Read More At TheWeek.com
  • Obama is right to be worried about income inequality — it’s gotten a lot worse under his watch

    Aziz
    23 Jan 2014 | 11:32 am
    Americans today are very worried about income inequality. A Gallup poll this month found that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the distribution of income and wealth in the U.S. The disappointment goes across party lines — 54 percent of Republicans are dissatisfied, as well as 70 percent of Independents and 75 percent of Democrats: And a growing number of people are worried that they can no longer get ahead simply by working hard, suggesting that inequality is becoming more entrenched. Read More At TheWeek.com
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    What is Economics?

  • Economic Growth and its Indicators

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

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

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

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

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

  • Only 1\% of hepatitis C patients have received a life-saving, new and expensive drug

    23 Apr 2014 | 3:57 am
    Andrew Pollack reports: Record sales of a new hepatitis C drug pushed the first-quarter earnings of Gilead Sciences far beyond expectations, the company reported on Tuesday, but could also heighten concerns about the high cost of the drug, known as Sovaldi, and the ability of the health care system to pay for it. The $2.3 […]
  • Greece: Premature accession

    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    REMEMBER this chart? A few weeks ago we examined research assessing the benefits of European Union membership. For most entrants joining the EU gave real output per person a big boost relative to what might have been expected. But not for Greece. Almost immediately upon its accession the Greek economy began to underperform the trend it might reasonably have expected to follow outside the EU. But why?Our piece speculated that the divergence was down to a simple failure to integrate effectively
  • A new study confirms that Obamacare will facilitate earlier retirements

    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Nicholas Bagley and I previously covered job lock fairly extensively. (“Job lock” is the catch-all, labor market economist’s term for any situation that gives rise to workers working more or facing constraints in job mobility due to provision of work-related health insurance.) John Shoven and Sita Slavov have published the most recent work on the subject. We study […]
  • Europe Is On The Rise

    23 Apr 2014 | 1:28 am
    Some decent news out of Europe this morning. The Flash PMI for the region just hit a new 35-month high. The Flash PMI report is a preliminary survey of service and manufacturing companies done once per month, asking them questions about the state of business. Any reading over 50 means the majority are seeing expansion. Here's a summary: Within Europe, Germany was stronger than France (though both showed expansion for the month). Meanwhile, peripheral Europe saw its fastest pace of growth since
  • 'Thomas Piketty Is Right'

    23 Apr 2014 | 12:33 am
    Solow on Piketty: Thomas Piketty Is Right: Everything you need to know about 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century', by Robert Solow: Income inequality in the United States and elsewhere has been worsening since the 1970s. The most striking aspect has...
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    The Last Embassy

  • ACA/Obamacare: New Zeniths In Suspect Data

    W.E. Heasley
    19 Apr 2014 | 2:31 am
    Math Quest!   ‘President Barack Obama said Thursday that eight million people had picked health-insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act, a number that significantly outstripped initial projections and emboldened him to step up criticism of Republicans seeking to repeal the law. The president, in a surprise Thursday afternoon appearance in the White House briefing room, employed
  • The Tax Song!

    W.E. Heasley
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:18 pm
  • ACA/Obamacare: More Fall Out From “If you like your plan keep your plan”

    W.E. Heasley
    16 Apr 2014 | 7:59 am
    “While the federal government was trumpeting the benefits of Obamacare to boost enrollment earlier this year, about 1,800 families in New Jersey were receiving letters telling them their children would be losing their health coverage last week. The Affordable Care Act — the federal law that mandates everyone have insurance — effectively killed FamilyCare Advantage, a low-cost option for
  • Obamacare/Medicaid Enrollment Numbers, the Price and “Backed by the Full Faith and Credit of the U.S. Government.”

    W.E. Heasley
    13 Apr 2014 | 8:01 am
    Obamacare is based upon insuring an estimated thirty million uninsured through ACA Exchanges and Medicaid. The CBO now projects the price of Obamacare to reach in excess of two trillion dollars. (1) (2) (3) One has to fully appreciate that the few have decided to introduce a new entitlement and expand an existing entitlement through an entity that is seventeen plus trillion dollars in debt.
  • ACA/Obamacare: A Closer Inspection of the Much Anticipated RAND Study

    W.E. Heasley
    13 Apr 2014 | 3:23 am
    “Last week, I wrote about an article in the Los Angeles Times, on a then-as-yet unpublished report from the RAND Corporation. The report indicated that only one-third of Obamacare’s purported 7.1 million exchange sign-ups were from the previously uninsured. But Noam Levey, the author of the Times article, didn’t disclose RAND’s actual findings as to the actual number of previously uninsured
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    Monetary Realism

  • Did Market Monetarists Accurately Predict Low Inflation?

    Cullen Roche
    19 Apr 2014 | 4:30 pm
    David Beckworth stated on Twitter that Market Monetarists “knew all along inflation would not be a problem”.  It’s true.  The Market Monetarists have long been predicting low inflation and even deflation.   See this 2009 piece by Scott Sumner titled “Deflation is our Biggest Worry – Not Inflation”.  So yes, the Market Monetarists nailed this one, right?  Not so fast. If you read the actual 2009 article you see the reasoning behind the thinking: “Banks kept the Fed’s cash Other economists point to the Fed’s large injections of cash…
  • Market Monetarism – Monetary Base Overdrive

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

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

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

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

  • There’s Only One Way Out for America’s Sinking Middle Class

    Jerry Robinson
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Investing alone won’t protect you... And neither will finding a “good job.”Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the author of Bankruptcy of Our Nation: Your Financial Survival Guide In 2010, Jerry created FTMDaily.com with a mission to wake up Americans and share with them the principles of true financial and spiritual liberty. Every Saturday he hosts the FTMWeekly Radio, a one hour podcast covering economic and geopolitical topics. Jerry has been blessed to be able to lecture around the globe on the topic of economic and geopolitical trends. He…
  • Trigger Trading 101: Three Steps to Stock Trading Profits

    Jerry Robinson
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    This simple infographic explains our powerful Trigger Trading system in just three simple steps.Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the author of Bankruptcy of Our Nation: Your Financial Survival Guide In 2010, Jerry created FTMDaily.com with a mission to wake up Americans and share with them the principles of true financial and spiritual liberty. Every Saturday he hosts the FTMWeekly Radio, a one hour podcast covering economic and geopolitical topics. Jerry has been blessed to be able to lecture around the globe on the topic of economic and geopolitical…
  • Market Conditions Alert – 4/21/14

    Jerry Robinson
    21 Apr 2014 | 1:08 pm
    Our Market Barometer is flashing an important alert. Investors, here’s what to do now…Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the author of Bankruptcy of Our Nation: Your Financial Survival Guide In 2010, Jerry created FTMDaily.com with a mission to wake up Americans and share with them the principles of true financial and spiritual liberty. Every Saturday he hosts the FTMWeekly Radio, a one hour podcast covering economic and geopolitical topics. Jerry has been blessed to be able to lecture around the globe on the topic of economic and geopolitical…
  • Is It Better To Rent Or Buy A House?

    Jerry Robinson
    21 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    New report reveals best areas of the country to buy vs. rent.Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the author of Bankruptcy of Our Nation: Your Financial Survival Guide In 2010, Jerry created FTMDaily.com with a mission to wake up Americans and share with them the principles of true financial and spiritual liberty. Every Saturday he hosts the FTMWeekly Radio, a one hour podcast covering economic and geopolitical topics. Jerry has been blessed to be able to lecture around the globe on the topic of economic and geopolitical trends. He holds a degree in…
  • Mastercard Stock Price Nearing New Buy Signal

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

  • Best Pound Euro Exchange Rate in 6 Weeks & Best Pound Dollar Rate in 4 Years as Sterling Strong

    Adam Solomon
    23 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    The Pound Sterling (currency:GBP) maintained a robust tone against the majors on Tuesday and pushed to a four year high on a trade weighted basis. The best Pound Euro exchange rate was seen in six weeks as the Pound to Euro surged to a fresh high at 1.22 GBP/EUR; the Pound Dollar exchange rate also made an attempt to break above near-term... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Exchange Rates Outlook: Pound Sterling to US Dollar, Euro, Australian Dollar & Indian Rupee

    Yvic Carr
    22 Apr 2014 | 12:00 pm
    The Pound Dollar exchange rate (GBP/USD) saw upside of +0.21% on Tuesday to trade up at 1.6824 by 15:00pm. Speculation is mounting that the Bank of England (BOE) is edging closer towards increasing the benchmark rate of interest. The BOE will tomorrow release the minutes of its most recent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, those... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Pound to Euro Exchange Rate Forecast to Continue Rally as Interest Rates Talk Hits Euro Currency

    Samuel Allen
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:00 am
    The Pound Sterling to Euro exchange rate (GBP/EUR) has continued to rally this week hitting its highest level since February 2014, helped by international inflows to fund the latest round of UK mergers and acquisitions, these flows have buoyed the Pound so far this year. The Pound Sterling to Euro exchange rate is trading up +0.12% at... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Sterling Today: Pound to Euro Exchange Rate Folds Firm; Pound to Dollar Consolidates; Forecast Steady

    Adam Solomon
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    The Pound Dollar exchange rate consolidated just below the 1.68 GBP/USD level on Monday, while the Pound Euro exchange rate (GBP/EUR) also held firm, amid solid buying support and an increase in speculative buying. Underlying confidence in the UK economic outlook remained steady, although there were some doubts surrounding the consumer... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Exchange Rates Update: Euro to Pound, Sterling to US Dollar, Rand, Australian Dollar & New Zealand Dollar

    Samuel Allen
    20 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    Here's our end-of-week exchange rate outlook/forecast for the Pound Sterling (GBP), Euro (EUR), US Dollar (USD), Australian Dollar (AUD), New Zealand Dollar (NZD) and the South African Rand (ZAR): The Euro Pound exchange rate (EUR/GBP) suffered its biggest decline in six weeks as the Pound Sterling (currency:GBP) was boosted by UK... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
 
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    BusinessClimate.com Blog

  • The New Talent Meccas: Surprising Cities Where College Graduates Are Gravitating

    Emily McMackin
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Boston, Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco may hold the distinction of being brainpower hubs for their high per capita education levels and concentration of universities, but when it comes to attracting college graduates, they aren’t the cities ruling the roost. Instead graduates are flocking to cities like New Orleans, San Antonio, Austin, Nashville and Louisville, where many are choosing to settle down and establish roots. Since 2007, these Southern cities have shown a jump of more than 15 percent in their levels of educational attainment compared to the national average of…
  • Vancouver: Being Green in a ‘Most Livable’ City

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

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

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

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

  • America's New Currency: Clownbux

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

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

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

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

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

  • Here’s a curious thing …

    Dan McCrum
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:34 am
    The presentation on Quindell by Gotham Research, which the company has rejected as defamatory, is a long piece of work with plenty of screenshots of the source material quoted. One such screenshot, on page 36 of the document, is curious for what it might indicate about the construction of that presentation. The purpose is to highlight the author of Quindell’s 2012 annual report, but note the file location. C:\Users\Baupost\Dropbox\HouseofCards\Continue reading: Here’s a curious thing …
  • Stock picking works! (sort of, maybe)

    Dan McCrum
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:52 am
    A white paper lands from Commonfund, a type of investment consultant and asset manager for US endownments. It asks the question: does active management benefit endowment returns? Concerned people really would like to know. And the answer is a qualified maybe, in that Commonfund finds correlation between the amount of US stock holdings that an endowment chooses to actively manage, and the likelihood that the stock portfolio will outperform the market. However to get there involves some fun with statistics. Continue reading: Stock picking works! (sort of, maybe)
  • ECB FX intervention, de facto or otherwise

    David Keohane
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:09 am
    RBI governor Rajan, when not being taken to task by a tie-less Bernanke, recently railed against QE spillovers. Most pertinently he said (with our emphasis): By downplaying the adverse effects of cross-border monetary transmission of unconventional policies, we are overlooking the elephant in the post-crisis room. I see two dangers here. One is that any remaining rules of the game are breaking down. Our collective endorsement of unconventional monetary policies essentially says it is ok to distort asset prices if there are other domestic constraints to reviving growth, such as the zero-lower…
  • Markets Live: Wednesday, 23rd April, 2014

    Bryce Elder
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:02 am
    Live markets commentary from FT.com Continue reading: Markets Live: Wednesday, 23rd April, 2014
  • The (early) Lunch Wrap

    Dan McCrum
    23 Apr 2014 | 2:45 am
    Good morning New York, FT ALPHAVILLEContinue reading: The (early) Lunch Wrap
 
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • Steven Pinker has a new book due out in September

    Tyler Cowen
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:41 am
    The title is The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. For the pointer I thank Michelle Dawson.
  • *Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert*

    Tyler Cowen
    23 Apr 2014 | 2:57 am
    By the Very Revd John Drury.  I mentioned the book favorably in passing once before, but I don’t think I drove home how much I liked and learned from it.  For me it is a clear choice for best book of the year so far. Here is a pithy bit from Amazon: Though he never published any of his English poems during his lifetime, George Herbert (1593–1633) is recognized as possibly the greatest religious poet in the language. Few English poets of his age still inspire such intense devotion today. I was not interested in Herbert per se, so that is further testament to the quality of…
  • Nick Beckstead’s conversation with Tyler Cowen

    Tyler Cowen
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:44 pm
    Nick is a philosopher at Oxford and he has worked with Larry Temkin and Nick Bostrom.  He typed up his version of our conversation (pdf), it starts with this: Purpose of the conversation: I contacted Tyler to learn about his perspectives on existential risk and other long-run issues for humanity, the long-run consequences of economic growth, and the effective altruism movement. Here are a few excerpts: Tyler is optimistic about growth in the coming decades, but he doesn’t think we’ll become uploads or survive for a million years. Some considerations in favor of his views were: 1. The…
  • *Microeconomics: a very short introduction*

    Tyler Cowen
    22 Apr 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Do you know the Oxford University Press “very short paperback books” series?  This is the latest entry, by Avinash Dixit, self-recommending.
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:58 am
    1. The Ultimate Warrior was a Randian. 2. Why Tiger Mothers motivate Asian Americans but not European Americans. 3. A 2004 MR post on g > r and the dangers of crude extrapolation, “What happens if we extrapolate current trends to 2050? What will debt to gdp ratios look like around the world?…Among the current Eurozone countries, Germany would fare the worst with a ratio of 307 percent.”  Ireland appeared to be in good shape. 4. This guy has changed his mind about a bunch of things. 5.  Against book chapters. 6. Has the capital-output ratio been rising over time? (in…
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    Zero Hedge

  • Not So Fast: Allergan Adopts Poison Pill, Valeant CEO "Disappointed" - What Happens Next

    Tyler Durden
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:25 am
    As we reported yesterday, Bill Ackman bought up only $76 million in Allergan stock knowing well in advance Valeant would submit a bid for the company, guaranteeing (as in absolutely no risk at all) that the stock would soar, with the rest of the purchase comprising of AGN calls. It is unclear just how much actual capital at risk he put up but indicatively May $150 call options that cost $1.55 per contract on Monday were trading at $15.53 in midmorning trading on Tuesday, a roughly ten-fold increase in one day. In other words, Ackman not only used material public information to frame his trade…
  • Ackman Promised Former Herbalife Employer $3.6 Million To Become Whistleblower

    Tyler Durden
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:46 am
    "I will pursue Herbalife to the end of the earth," is the threat Bill Ackman made and the hedge fund manager acknowledges spending more than $20 million in a lobbying and media campaign against the health product company. But on the heels of his non-front-running non-insider-trading transactions in the Allergan deal, details about the Herbalife whistleblower's "deal" raise more questions about ethics. Giovanni Bohorquez has now been named as Ackman's inside-man and the $3.6 million secret deal he will receive for spilling inside information about Herbalife's actions is raising significant…
  • The Fed's Farcical Forecast Fiasco

    Tyler Durden
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:16 am
    The chart below, which summarizes 5 years of Fed "forward guidance" on that most critical of variables - the Fed Funds rate - proves two things: i) there is nothing worse in this world than being a Fed Funds, or Eurodollar, trader, considering 5 years of forecasts have been systematically destroyed by a Fed which has failed time and time and time again to stimulate the economy enough to push it away from ZIRP (and why any hope for the first rate hike in mid-2015 are idiotic), and ii) when it comes to central planning, the economists that now openly control the bond and stock market and…
  • Frontrunning: April 23

    Tyler Durden
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:53 am
    Ukraine's leaders say have U.S. backing to take on 'aggressors' (Reuters) Goldman Sachs Stands Firm as Banks Exit Commodity Trading (BBG) Obama reassures Japan, other allies on China as Asia trip begins (Reuters) China Challenges Obama’s Asia Pivot With Rapid Military Buildup (BBG) Google’s Stake in $2 Billion Apple-Samsung Trial Revealed (BBG) No bubble here: Numericable Set to Issue Record Junk Bond (WSJ) 'Bridgegate' scandal threatens next World Trade Center tower (Reuters) Supreme Court Conflicted on Legality of Aereo Online Video Service (WSJ) Barclays May Cut 7,500 at Investment…
  • Algos Getting Concerned Low Volume Levitation May Not Work Today

    Tyler Durden
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:45 am
    It has been exactly six days in which algos, reversing the most recent drop in the S&P with buying sparked by a casual Nikkei leak that the BOJ may, wink wink, boost its QE (subsequently denied until such time as that rumor has to be used again), have pushed the market higher in the longest buying streak since September, ignoring virtually every adverse macroeconomic news, and certainly ignoring an earnings season that is set to be the worst since 2012. Today, the buying streak may finally end on rumors even the vacuum tubes are scratching their glassy heads if more buying on bad or no…
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    nextnewdeal.net

  • Daily Digest - April 23: Repealing Health Care Reform Gets Harder Every Day

    rgoldfarb
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:07 am
    Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email. Ted Cruz's Worst Nightmare Is Coming True (Politico) As Americans get used to having access to affordable health care, repeal will become less and less likely, writes Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch. That's just as Senator Cruz predicted last summer. AT&T Tries to Bully the Government (Bloomberg View) Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford says the Federal Communications Commission should stand strong and limit how many spectrum licenses any one wireless carrier can buy at its upcoming auction. Elizabeth Warren is the…
  • Daily Digest - April 22: Tax Reform Can Close the Gulf Between CEOs and Workers

    rgoldfarb
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:01 am
    Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email. Raising Taxes on Corporations that Pay Their CEOs Royally and Treat Their Workers Like Serfs (Robert Reich) Robert Reich explains a proposed bill in California that would incentivize lower executive pay by tying corporate tax rates to the ratio of CEO pay to typical workers' pay. Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Fellow and Director of Research Susan Holmberg has another, complementary idea: close the performance pay loophole. Justice Stevens Suggests Solution for ‘Giant Step in the Wrong Direction’ (NYT) Adam Liptak speaks with retired…
  • Daily Digest - April 21: In Minimum Wage Fight, Localities May Have Maximum Impact

    rgoldfarb
    21 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email. Minimum Wage Debate Goes Local (San Francisco Chronicle) Roosevelt Institute Fellow Annette Bernhardt and Ken Jacobs consider why the minimum wage debate has such momentum at a local level. They see this as a return to states and cities being laboratories of policy innovation. The Link Between One Website and Hate Crimes (Melissa Harris Perry) In a discussion on domestic terror and hate, Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren suggests that the way we live, segregated by race and class, makes it even harder for Americans to embrace…
  • Daily Digest - April 18: Inequality Was Not an Accident

    rgoldfarb
    18 Apr 2014 | 4:59 am
    Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email. We Built This Country on Inequality (The Nation) Mychal Denzel Smith writes that the U.S. economy was built on a foundation of inequality for women and racial minorities, and that we must fight racism and sexism if we hope to close the wealth gap. Oklahoma Governor Signs Law Barring Cities From Raising Minimum Wage (AJAM) The Oklahoma law also bars cities from requiring paid sick leave or vacation time, reports Amel Ahmed. This seems intended to preempt a push for a state-level minimum wage increase, as in California and Maryland. Treat Wage…
  • Daily Digest - April 17: How Democracy Became a Luxury Good

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

  • The Upshot Is…

    Jared Bernstein
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:32 am
    …a new feature over at the NYT—the brainchild of long-time economics writer David Leonhardt—covering all kinds of interesting stuff in the intersection of econ, politics, and life.  I’ll be writing for it, as it absorbs the Economix blog. In the first issue (not the right word in digital world, I guess), Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy team up for a fascinating look at the progress of real income growth across countries and across the income scale, adjusted to be in comparable dollars. The US problem relative to others is clearly seen in the table below: our real median income has been…
  • Wage Theft Must Not Be Ignored

    Jared Bernstein
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:36 am
    Here’s an important editorial on something I haven’t written enough about: wage theft, i.e., situations wherein “employees are forced to work off the clock, paid subminimum wages, cheated out of overtime pay or denied their tips.”  Sometimes this meshes with misclassification, another violation of labor law, wherein regular employers are classified as self-employed.  According to one study, misclassification of port truckers resulted in over $800 million in wage theft in CA alone. The editorial interestingly points out that this doesn’t just hit low-income workers, citing the…
  • Slack is Whack

    Jared Bernstein
    21 Apr 2014 | 1:01 pm
    Just how much slack remains in the labor market? It’s a key question for the Fed, of course, which is explicitly gauging many indicators—not just unemployment—for signs of inflationary pressures.  Thus far, such pressures have been noticeably absent from their favored measure: the core PCE, which if anything, has decelerated of late.  Chair Janet Yellen has been particularly explicit on these points, stressing these dynamics as her rationale for continuing to up-weight the full employment side of their mandate. Which indicators do Yellen&Co. watch?  Ylan Mui goes through some of…
  • Hey, What’d I Miss? OTE Summary 4/11 – 4/21

    Jared Bernstein
    21 Apr 2014 | 8:21 am
    Over at NYT Economix blog: sifting through the various meanings of tax fairness (and presenting one pretty intuitive measure from the Citizens for Tax Justice). On Tax Day: Jotting down some random thoughts on Tax Day Eve regarding tax fairness, examining our general perceptions of the question, and rounding up a few articles to wrap up this year’s Tax Day. A brief comment, with more to come, on Thomas Pikkety’s great new book, “Capital in the 21st Century”. Pointing out that it’s hard to tell a story about top earnings that doesn’t involve a hefty…
  • Dude, Where’s Your Piketty Review??!!

    Jared Bernstein
    19 Apr 2014 | 7:01 am
    I’m way late in weighing in on Thomas Piketty’s great book “Capital in the 21st Century,” (note the lack of subtitle–I like that–gives the title that much more weight!).  That’s because I’m reading it really slowly but I’m almost done. Why so slow?  In part, because I’m savoring it–it’s a wonderful read, with trenchant insights every few pages, and there are lots of pages.  Also, the damn thing is dense, and often after reading a few pages I realize I haven’t absorbed the last few paragraphs, so I need to take a…
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    Freakonomics

  • The Great Gefilte Fish Shortage

    Daniel Hamermesh
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:32 am
    (Photo: Edsel Little) Fresh-made gefilte fish is hard to find this Passover season, because the harsh winter restricted fishing on the Great Lakes, sharply decreasing the supply of an essential input—whitefish. While this delicacy is not required by ritual, it is traditional—and with fresh-ground horseradish it is a mouth- (and eye-) watering treat.  One would think that a rising price would equilibrate the market, but it hasn’t—apparently merchants did not want to antagonize customers by raising prices.  Indeed, the nature-induced shortage in the market for…
  • Print, Persuade and Post

    Ian Ayres
    22 Apr 2014 | 8:32 am
    (Photo: Chelsea Gomez) My coauthor (and 16-year-old daughter) Antonia Ayres-Brown just published a piece in Slateabout a project that started 5 years ago when we bleg’d Freakonomics readers to tell us about how McDonald’s refers to Happy Meal toys. Antonia was disturbed by the kinds of questions we encountered when we ordered Happy Meals at the drive-thru. We’d be asked things like “Is it for a boy or girl?” or “Do you want a girl’s toy or a boy’s toy?” I asked readers whether they encountered similar questions.  According to seventy nine reader responses,…
  • Does Marijuana Change Young Brains?

    Freakonomics
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:59 am
    (Photo: Brett Levin) Our latest podcast compared the costs of marijuana use to the costs of alcohol use.  A new study in the current issue of The Journal of Neuroscience argues that casual use of marijuana affects the developing brain.  Jason Koebler, writing for Vice, summarizes the findings: High-resolution MRI scans of the brains of adults between the ages of 18-25 who reported smoking weed at least once a week were structurally different than a control group: They showed greater grey matter density in the left amygdala, an area of the brain associated with addiction and showed…
  • What’s More Dangerous: Marijuana or Alcohol? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Stephen J. Dubner
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:11 am
    (Photo: Samantha Cohen) Imagine a fantasy world that’s exactly as the world is today except that two things are missing: alcohol and marijuana. And then imagine that tomorrow, both of them are discovered. What happens now? How are each of them used – and, perhaps more importantly, regulated? How would we weigh the relative benefits and costs of alcohol versus marijuana? That’s the topic of our latest podcast, “What’s More Dangerous: Marijuana or Alcohol?” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You…
  • What’s More Dangerous: Marijuana or Alcohol? Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:07 am
    [MUSIC: Brilliantes del Vuelo, “Drunken Heroics”] Stephen J. DUBNER: Hey podcast listeners, don’t forget our new book Think Like a Freak will be published on May 12th. So if you think you need to set aside a little bit of time on that day for some light reading, maybe you want to go ahead and call in sick right now just to get it out of the way. Stephen J. DUBNER: Let’s begin with a thought experiment. Imagine a fantasy world that’s exactly as the world is today – smartphones, cars, podcasts, Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm. But two things are missing: alcohol and marijuana. They don’t…
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    interfluidity

  • VC for the people

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

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

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

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

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

  • Four key reasons for capex accelerating

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

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

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

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

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

  • Introduction to the Floating-Rate Note Treasury Security

    Blog Author
    21 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Ezechiel Copic, Luis Gonzalez, Caitlin Gorback, Blake Gwinn, and Ernst Schaumburg Introduction The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) auctioned its first floating-rate note (FRN) on January 29, 2014. With this auction, Treasury introduced the first new marketable debt instrument since Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) in 1997. The new two-year FRN is a fixed-principal security with quarterly interest payments and interest rates indexed to the thirteen-week Treasury bill. In this post, we will discuss Treasury’s reasons for adopting an FRN as well as the existing…
  • How Liquidity Standards Can Improve Lending of Last Resort Policies

    Blog Author
    18 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    João Santos and Javier Suarez This post is the sixth in a series of six Liberty Street Economics posts on liquidity issues. Prior to the Great Recession, the focus of bank regulation was on bank capital with little consensus about the need for liquidity regulation. This view was in contrast with an existing body of academic research that pointed to inefficiencies in environments with strictly private provision of liquidity, via either interbank markets or credit line agreements. In spite of theoretical results pointing to the possible benefits of liquidity regulation for reducing fire sales…
  • Just Released: The 2013 SOMA Annual Report in a Historical Context

    Blog Author
    17 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    Alyssa Cambron, Michael Fleming, Deborah Leonard, Grant Long, and Julie Remache In August 2013, we wrote a series of blog posts on the use of the Federal Reserve’s System Open Market Account (SOMA) portfolio in monetary policy operations. Since the onset of the financial crisis, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has increased the size and adjusted the composition of the SOMA portfolio in efforts to promote the Committee’s mandate to foster maximum employment and price stability. Over time, these actions have also generated high levels of portfolio income, contributing in turn to…
  • Liquidity Policies and Systemic Risk

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

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

  • It’s getting even harder to justify not expanding Medicaid

    Aaron Carroll
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    One of the reasons that many states have argued that they should refuse the Medicaid expansion is because they fear the “woodwork” effect. People who were previously eligible for Medicaid, and now want it, aren’t covered 100% by the federal government like those who are newly eligible. States have to pay for 25% – 50% of their Medicaid costs, which could get expensive. Of course, they could be on the hook for these payments even if they didn’t expand Medicaid, but most have ignored that point. Regardless, the CBO, in its latest revision, argued that fewer people…
  • Empowering the states to select essential health benefits.

    Nicholas Bagley
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:39 am
    In the heat of the controversy surrounding the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov and the various ACA delays, it’s easy to forget one of the Obama administration’s most significant and controversial implementation decisions: the choice, back in 2011, to delegate to the states the power to pick what would count as “essential health benefits.” Helen Levy and I have a new article (blissfully ungated) in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law that explores that decision. The source of the controversy is the vagueness of the ACA’s requirement that health plans sold in the…
  • Only 1% of hepatitis C patients have received a life-saving, new and expensive drug

    Austin Frakt
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:57 am
    Andrew Pollack reports: Record sales of a new hepatitis C drug pushed the first-quarter earnings of Gilead Sciences far beyond expectations, the company reported on Tuesday, but could also heighten concerns about the high cost of the drug, known as Sovaldi, and the ability of the health care system to pay for it. The $2.3 billion in sales of Sovaldi appears to have shattered the previous record for sales of a drug in its first full quarter on the market. It even appears to have already eclipsed the record for first-year sales, at least in the United States. [...] The drug, a pill taken once a…
  • A new study confirms that Obamacare will facilitate earlier retirements

    Austin Frakt
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Nicholas Bagley and I previously covered job lock fairly extensively. (“Job lock” is the catch-all, labor market economist’s term for any situation that gives rise to workers working more or facing constraints in job mobility due to provision of work-related health insurance.) John Shoven and Sita Slavov have published the most recent work on the subject. We study the impact of retiree health coverage on the labor supply of public sector workers between the ages of 55 and 64. We find that retiree health coverage raises the probability of stopping full time work by 4.3…
  • Did WordPress remove the “keep linebreaks” paste option? (A bleg)

    Austin Frakt
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:40 pm
    WordPress just updated to version 3.9 and the only substantial change I noticed was how it handles pasting as text (no formatting) or from a Word document. I haven’t experimented with the latter, but the former seems broken. I’m annoyed, as best I can tell I’m the first person on the internet to flag this, and I want help. Before the update, when one clicked on the text paste button, one got a popup like the one shown below. In the upper right corner was a “keep linebreaks” checkbox. Toggle it off and click “insert” and your text drops into your draft…
 
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    LewRockwell

  • Do You Pass the Rothbard Test?

    Murray N. Rothbard
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Originally published in The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 10, No. 7, July 1977. I have been ruminating recently on what are the crucial questions that divide libertarians. Some that have received a lot of attention in the last few years are: anarcho-capitalism vs. limited government, abolitionism vs. gradualism, natural rights vs. utilitarianism, and war vs. peace. But I have concluded that as important as these questions are, they don’t really cut to the nub of the issue, of the crucial dividing line between us. Let us take, for example, two of the leading anarcho-capitalist works of the last…
  • 10 Ancient Origins

    Michael Van Duisen
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:01 pm
    When people think of ancient civilizations, a lack of technological advancement and a primitive lifestyle are usually the first things that come to mind. However, many of the everyday things that we take for granted were actually invented long ago. Here are 10 things which were first thought of hundreds or thousands of years in the past. 10 Our System For Measuring Time Sometime in the early second millennium B.C., the Babylonians invented their number system, and its influence still affects us to this day. Because of a limited amount of symbols (they only had two, along with their…
  • Lesson From the Nevada Stand-Off

    Ron Paul
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:01 pm
    The nation’s attention has for the past few weeks been riveted by a standoff in Nevada between armed federal agents and the Bundys, a ranching family who believe the federal government is exceeding its authority by accessing “fees” against ranchers who graze cattle on government lands. Outrage over the government’s use of armed agents to forcibly remove the Bundys’ cattle led many Americans to travel to Nevada to engage in non-violent civil disobedience in support of the family. The protests seem to have worked, at least for now, as the government appears to have backed off from…
  • The 10 Most Overrated Movies of All Time


    No Author
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:01 pm
    10. The Departed (Martin Scorsese, 2006) What They Said “The screenplay, by William Monahan, is simply sensational. Scenes play brilliantly. Feelings flow like molten lava. The dialogue overflows with edgy wit and acidulous arias of imprecation.” – Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal Awards Nominated for five Oscars and won four (Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing), and won Golden Globe for Best Director. What We Say The Departed is fun Scorsese, but is it great Scorsese? It feels like the film arrived buoyed up by the hope Marty might finally win some Oscars, and…
  • Fed Follies

    David Stockman
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:01 pm
    So far we have experienced 7 million foreclosures. Beyond that there are still 9 million homeowners seriously underwater on their mortgages and there are millions more who are stranded in place because they don’t have enough positive equity to cover transactions costs and more stringent down payment requirements. And that’s before the next downturn in housing prices—a development which will show up any day. In fact, another downward plunge is a positive certainty now that the buy-to-rent LBO speculators are rapidly pulling out of those “flash” bull markets in Arizona,…
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    Angry Bear

  • Always Click the Link

    Robert Waldmann
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:55 pm
    Kevin Drum tells readers to always click the link. His latest post is well worth reading. I don’t have much to add (I wrote a comment over there).
  • Are Markets Better Described as Robust than Efficient?

    Dan Crawford
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:25 am
    by J Tzimeskes   Are Markets Better Described as Robust than Efficient? Something that I think all of us with private sector jobs experience in our day to day lives is just how incompetent a large number of private businesses are. These may be our customers, suppliers, or another division. Yet, somehow, these businesses thrive despite not really having a good grasp of basic administrative procedures, financing, or sometimes even customer service. Despite this, we often write and speak of private sector actors as if they are brilliant and efficient individually, despite the experiences of…
  • Open thread April 22, 2014

    Dan Crawford
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:15 am
  • Bifurcated Monetary expansion and low inflation…

    Edward Lambert
    21 Apr 2014 | 1:32 pm
    Low inflation continues to be a concern in Europe and the US, especially in Europe. Central bankers project that inflation will rise as the economy gets closer and closer to full employment. Yet, what is behind low inflation? I refer to the work of Michael Pettis who is a professor of finance at Guanghua School of Management at Peking University in Beijing. He puts low inflation in China within the context of financial repression. “…why is it that what seemed by most measures to be an extraordinary surge in money creation did not also result in significant wage and consumer price…
  • Reader comments on monetary policy and inequality

    Edward Lambert
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:58 am
    I posted a question to our readers… How should monetary policy change if reducing inequality was seen as the most important priority? An assessment of the comments… The real issue of monetary policy’s effect on inequality its purpose to generate a “wealth effect” which will increase spending. A few things were said about the wealth effect. Dannyb2b: “The central bank needs to be reformed. No reforms, no solution IMO. The fed just needs to be tweaked so that it interacts with different counterparties… Buying assets through OMO’s or QE is very uneven…
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    Macro and Other Market Musings

  • Bernanke vs. Friedman: Financial Intermediation Shock or Medium of Exchange Shock?

    21 Apr 2014 | 7:21 pm
    In preparing for a talk, I reread Jeffrey Rodgers Hummel's article comparing Ben Bernanke to Milton Friedman. It was good to look over it again. Hummel makes the case that Bernanke saw the crisis as a financial intermediation crisis where Friedman would have viewed it as a medium of exchange crisis. These two different perspectives imply different policy prescriptions. The Bernanke Fed focused on saving the financial system at any expense, including creating distortions in the credit market. The first phase of the Bernanke Fed response, for example, was to manipulate (but not expand) the…
  • This One Figure Shows Why Fed Policy Failed

    18 Apr 2014 | 5:20 pm
    What do you see in this figure from a recent New York Fed study?   Technically, it shows that the Fed's balance sheet is expected to shrink and return to the path it would have been on had there been no large scale asset purchases (LSAPs) over the past five years. This projection is a reflection of FOMC's plan to eventually normalize the size of the Fed's balance sheet. Bonds markets have understood this plan from the beginning as is evidenced in their inflation forecasts. The FOMC formally announced its plan to normalize and shrink its balance in its June, 2011 meeting. Subsequent…
  • Financial Stability Concerns Are Overblown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Should Congress Curb Donor Advised Funds?

    Howard Gleckman
    22 Apr 2014 | 2:30 pm
    Buried deep in House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp’s tax reform plan is a proposal to require donor-advised funds to distribute contributions within five years. The proposal would be a major change for these charitable vehicles, where funds currently can sit indefinitely. Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are an easy, low-cost way for people (who tend to be upper middle-class but not super-rich) to both shelter income and give to their favorite charities. And they have been booming. In 2012, according to the National Philanthropic Trust, these funds held more than $45 billion—nearly…
  • Sales Tax Revenues, State Economies, Lotteries and Fairness

    Renu Zaretsky
    21 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Congress is in recess and returns next week. The Daily Deduction comes to you today, and will resume its regular schedule on Monday, April 28. A penny for your roads in the Show Me State. Missourimay increase its sales tax by one cent to fund transportation projects. A constitutional amendment passed the Missouri House and a key Senate committee. Full Senate approval would put the measure on the November ballot. The tax could raise $800 million annually over ten years; after that the tax would need to be renewed by voters. Every bit helps, especially given Congressional inaction on the…
  • A Flash Tax for the Flash Boys

    Steven Rosenthal
    18 Apr 2014 | 10:00 am
    Michael Lewis spotlights high-frequency traders with his new book, Flash Boys.  These traders use high-speed computers and fast connections to outrace investors, and other traders, to the market.  They now account for more than half of all U.S. stock trades.  And the flash boys spend billions to save milliseconds (by, for example, laying expensive fiber-optic cables directly between exchanges in Chicago and New York). A race that is faster than the blink of an eye is hard to conceive.  But many of the strategies are easy to understand—the front-running of trades and the manipulation of…
  • If Congress Lets Firms Expense Investments, It Should Take Away Their Interest Deduction

    Howard Gleckman
    17 Apr 2014 | 11:50 am
    Egged on by business lobbyists, congressional tax writers seem increasingly interested in allowing firms to rapidly write off the cost of their capital investments. Especially in the House, lawmakers would allow small businesses to expense the full cost of their investments in the year they are acquired, and let larger firms heavily front-load tax depreciation for their capital purchases. There is some logic to this idea. Expensing is a key element of a business consumption tax, for instance. But in a well-designed consumption levy, expensing comes with an important trade-off:  Firms lose…
  • Congress Fiddles While Bridges Crumble

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

  • States’ Very Good Deal on Expanding Medicaid Gets Even Better

    Edwin Park
    22 Apr 2014 | 12:51 pm
    In a little-noticed finding in last week’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on health reform, CBO sharply lowered its estimates of how much the Medicaid expansion will cost states.  We’ve noted repeatedly that the federal government will cover the large bulk of the expansion’s cost.  As our new report explains, these new figures make it even clearer that the expansion is a great deal for states. CBO now estimates that the federal government will, on average, pick up more than 95 percent of the total cost of the Medicaid expansion and other health reform-related costs in…
  • Improving the Odds for America’s Children

    Arloc Sherman
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:18 am
    The safety net has been more effective than critics suggest, the Center’s Robert Greenstein, Sharon Parrott, and I explain in a chapter for Improving the Odds for America’s Childrenwhich Harvard Education Press has just published. For our chapter, we reviewed the last 40 years of anti-poverty policies for children and offered ideas for future decades. Here’s some of what we found, and some of what we proposed: Household incomes have risen since 1973 for the poorest fifth of children if you include the value of non-cash benefits, as most experts favor (the official poverty figures omit…
  • 3 Steps States Can Take to Improve Their Rainy Day Funds Now

    Elizabeth McNichol
    21 Apr 2014 | 7:02 am
    States can take concrete steps now to improve the structure of their rainy day funds, helping them to more effectively weather the impact of inevitable future downturns, as we explain in our new paper. States used their rainy day funds to avert over $20 billion in cuts to services, tax increases, or both, in each of the last two recessions, highlighting the funds’ importance.  Yet these reserves filled only a modest share of states’ record-setting budget gaps; states would have weathered the storms better with bigger rainy day funds. States shouldn’t make rapid replenishment of rainy…
  • In Case You Missed It…

    CBPP
    18 Apr 2014 | 10:40 am
    This week on Off the Charts, we focused on Tax Day (April 15), the federal budget and taxes, health reform, state budgets and taxes, and the safety net. On Tax Day, Chris Mai compiled CBPP’s top charts on state tax issues and Chuck Marr compiled our top federal tax charts.  We recognized the efforts of volunteers who helped file more than 3 million federal tax returns free of charge for low- and moderate-income people.  We also listed our most recent analyses on tax issues. On the federal budget and taxes, Chuck Marr excerpted his National Journal op-ed on why policymakers should…
  • New York Times Is Right: “No Spring Break for the Unemployed”

    Chad Stone
    18 Apr 2014 | 9:30 am
    “As members of Congress enjoy their extended spring break, 2.3 million unemployed Americans have been left to worry about whether lawmakers will ever get around to renewing federal unemployment benefits, which expired at the end of 2013,” today’s New York Times editorial points out.  And the total number of jobless workers affected grows each week. As we’ve explained, the Labor Department estimates that 4.9 million people will miss out on emergency benefits by the end of the year if policymakers don’t restart the federal program, known as Emergency Unemployment Compensation (see…
 
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    Eschaton

  • Controversy Unleashed

    23 Apr 2014 | 3:52 am
    Lead story in the hometown paper.Followed by a moose controversy.There has been good Obamacare coverage. Tailor-made subject for local newspapers--anecdotal stories about people helped by the program.  Early on, of course, stories about people having trouble signing up. And, lately, coverage of Medicaid expansion, up to the governor's veto.
  • Late Night

    22 Apr 2014 | 8:00 pm
    Rock on.
  • Evening Thread

    22 Apr 2014 | 5:10 pm
    enjoy
  • Younger Than Reagan '80

    22 Apr 2014 | 12:29 pm
    Not sure I'll ever get over Paul Begala (who I think is actually a good guy) playing nice with Erick son of Erick.
  • The Final Days Of Colbert Nation

    22 Apr 2014 | 11:17 am
    I might be over-interpreting, but since the Letterman gig announcement I think he's been sticking the knife in just a little bit deeper and having fun doing it.The Colbert ReportGet More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,The Colbert Report on Facebook,Video Archive
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Thinking of doing a list experiment? Here’s a list of reasons why you should think again

    Andrew
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:17 am
    Someone wrote in: We are about to conduct a voting list experiment. We came across your comment recommending that each item be removed from the list. Would greatly appreciate it if you take a few minutes to spell out your recommendation in a little more detail. In particular: (a) Why are you “uneasy” about list experiments? What would strengthen your confidence in list experiments? (b) What do you mean by “each item be removed”? As you know, there are several non-sensitive items and one sensitive item in a list experiment. Do you mean that the non-sensitive items…
  • A short questionnaire regarding the subjective assessment of evidence

    Andrew
    23 Apr 2014 | 1:08 am
    E. J. Wagenmakers writes: Remember I briefly talked to you about the subjective assessment of evidence? Together with Richard Morey and myself, Annelies Bartlema created a short questionnaire that can be done online. There are five scenarios and it does not take more than 5 minutes to complete. So far we have collected responses from psychology faculty and psychology students, but we were also keen to get responses from a more statistically savvy crowd: the people who read your blog! Try it out! The post A short questionnaire regarding the subjective assessment of evidence appeared first on…
  • Ticket to Baaaaarf

    Andrew
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:01 am
    A link from the comments here took me to the wonderfully named Barfblog and a report by Don Schaffner on some reporting. First, the background: A university in England issued a press release saying that “Food picked up just a few seconds after being dropped is less likely to contain bacteria than if it is left for longer periods of time . . . The findings suggest there may be some scientific basis to the ‘5 second rule’ – the urban myth about it being fine to eat food that has only had contact with the floor for five seconds or less. Although people have long followed the 5…
  • Stan Model of the Week: Hierarchical Modeling of Supernovas

    Mike Betancourt
    21 Apr 2014 | 11:02 am
    The Stan Model of the Week showcases research using Stan to push the limits of applied statistics.  If you have a model that you would like to submit for a future post then send us an email. Our inaugural post comes from Nathan Sanders, a graduate student finishing up his thesis on astrophysics at Harvard. Nathan writes, “Core-collapse supernovae, the luminous explosions of massive stars, exhibit an expansive and meaningful diversity of behavior in their brightness evolution over time (their “light curves”). Our group discovers and monitors these events using the Pan-STARRS1…
  • Ticket to Baaaath

    Andrew
    21 Apr 2014 | 7:54 am
    Ooooooh, I never ever thought I’d have a legitimate excuse to tell this story, and now I do! The story took place many years ago, but first I have to tell you what made me think of it: Rasmus Bååth posted the following comment last month: On airplane tickets a Swedish “å” is written as “aa” resulting in Rasmus Baaaath. Once I bought a ticket online and five minutes later a guy from Lufthansa calls me and asks if I misspelled my name… OK, now here’s my story (which is not nearly as good). A long time ago (but when I was already an adult), I was in England for some…
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    macroblog

  • Using State-Level Data to Estimate How Labor Market Slack Affects Wages

    macroblog
    17 Apr 2014 | 1:37 pm
    At a recent speech in Miami, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart had this to say: Wage growth by most measures has been very low. I take this as a signal of labor market weakness, and in turn a signal of a lack of significant upward unit cost pressure on inflation. This macroblog post examines whether the data support this assertion (answer: yes) and whether wage inflation is more sensitive to some measures of labor underutilization than other measures (answer: apparently, yes). San Francisco Fed President John Williams touched on the latter topic in a recent speech (emphasis mine): We…
  • Reasons for the Decline in Prime-Age Labor Force Participation

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

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

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

  • Moyes' message

    chris dillow
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:09 am
    Some (female) tweeters have expressed exasperation at the amount of coverage given to David Moyes' sacking. I'm not sure they're right. Football is about more than 22 men chasing a ball. It also lets in light upon what is normally a shadowy but key feature of capitalist inequality - the role of management. So, in the spirit that every news item demonstrates what I've known all along, here are five lessons of Moyes' tenure at Manyoo. 1. "Nobody knows anything." There's a parallel between David Moyes and Gordon Brown. Both were widely seen at the time of…
  • "British workers hit hard"

    chris dillow
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:28 am
    There's one curious thing about Ukip's notorious posters that hasn't been mentioned - that they represent a flat rejection of orthodox neoclassical economics. "British workers are hit hard by unlimited cheap labour" says one poster. However, in theory this would be true even if our borders were completely shut to foreign workers. The idea here is simple. If there were unlimited cheap labour overseas, foreign companies would be able to produce very cheap goods which would undercut UK firms. Those firms would then either close down - which would raise unemployment and…
  • 12 alternative principles

    chris dillow
    20 Apr 2014 | 4:54 am
    An old speech by Tom Sargent has had some praise  and some criticism. But what would a more heterodox list of 12 economic principles look like? Here's my effort, observing Sargent's constraints of concision and relevance for young people starting out in life: 1. People have different motivations: wealth, power, pride, job satisfaction and so on. Incentive structures which suit one set of motives might not work for another. 2. Many things are true but not very significantly so. 3. Power matters: conventional economics under-states this. 4. Luck matters. The R-squareds in Mincer…
  • Axelrod & matches

    chris dillow
    19 Apr 2014 | 5:56 am
    Whilst I was gardening this morning, I wondered whether Labour is right to spend big money hiring David Axelrod as a campaign advisor. The question arises because in gardening, context matters. The point isn't simply to find good plants, but to put the right plant in the right place: Japanese laurels at the back of a shady border, lupins in sheltered sunny spots and so on. Exactly the same is true for people. Very often, successful hires depend not just upon the qualities of the hireling, but the match between him and context: what matters is putting square pegs into square holes.When…
  • Income & gender equality

    chris dillow
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:05 am
    Sometimes, it's the little words that reveal so much. I was struck by Phil's response to Rashida Manjoo's claim that sexism is worse in the UK than elsewhere. He writes: I didn't for one moment think that the UK's sexism problem was worse than other developed nations. Hold on. What's that word "developed" doing here? Why judge the UK only by comparably rich nations? Is Phil presuming that sexism is worse in poorer nations? If he is, he's right - up to a point. My chart plots gender inequality, as measured by the WEF's gender gap, against GDP…
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    Moneybox

  • McDonald’s vs. Taco Bell: Q1 Earnings Edition

    Alison Griswold
    22 Apr 2014 | 2:54 pm
    Don Thompson wants customers to know that at McDonald’s, “we actually crack eggs.” It was a point the CEO kept coming back to in his first-quarter earnings call on Tuesday as he attempted to reassure investors that new competition in the fast-food breakfast wars isn’t a serious threat to the Golden Arches and its flagship Egg McMuffin. “It seems every year, there's someone new that is making a run and none of them have really stopped their focus on breakfast, whether that be the closer in competitors or if that's sandwich shops or if that's taco shops or anything else,” Thompson…
  • HBO’s New Reason You Need #HBOGoplease

    Alison Griswold
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:58 am
    A teenage girl is watching a graphic sex scene in Girls when in walks her middle-aged father. He pauses to munch a chip and then offers some fatherly wisdom: “See, honey? You have the right to speak up. You know, it’s your body.” The kicker text appears on the screen: “Might be a good time for HBO Go.” HBO is cashing in on every teen and twentysomething TV-viewer’s worst nightmare in a new set of seven ads, which play on the cringe-worthy awkwardness of watching shows like Girls, Game of Thrones, and True Blood in a family setting. (An adultery scene in True Detective, for…
  • Can an App Help Save the Planet? This Startup Hopes So. 

    Christine Lagorio-Chafkin
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:03 am
    This story first appeared in Inc. More than half of Americans say they worry about global warming. But what are they doing about it? Probably not as much as they think. As any behavioral psychologist could tell you, there’s a significant rift between an individual’s priorities and one’s actual behaviors. A new company called Oroeco seeks to address this rift as it applies to carbon footprints. This Earth Day, Oroeco is bringing its website out of beta. The site, roughly two years in the works, allows individuals to sync their purchases on spending-analysis tool Mint.com (which is…
  • The Privatization of Our Public Colleges (in Two Charts)

    Jordan Weissmann
    22 Apr 2014 | 8:47 am
    State cuts to higher education spending aren’t the only reason public colleges are getting more expensive. But they are, without a doubt, one of the most important reasons. In some parts of the country, undergraduate education has been all but privatized, with taxpayers covering less than 15 percent of the expenses necessary to educate students. Here’s what the privatization trend looks like nationally, as captured in the State Higher Education Executive Officers' newest annual report on public college finances. In the 1980s, student tuition covered less than a quarter of so-called…
  • Get Rich or Die Younger: The Shrinking Lifes Spans of Poor U.S. Women

    Jordan Weissmann
    21 Apr 2014 | 2:58 pm
    Always remember kids: There’s more to life than making money, but making lots of money might buy you a longer life. Brookings economist Barry Bosworth has produced the grimmest analysis yet of the growing “longevity gap” between America’s rich and poor. Generally, it confirms that the more affluent you are, the longer you should live. But then there are these two big take-aways, captured in the Wall Street Journal graph below: Among men older than 55, life expectancies are growing fastest for the rich. Among women older than 55, life expectancies are growing for the rich and shrinking…
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    Economic Development BlogEconomic Development Blog -

  • San Francisco Economic Development Office Announces LinkedIn Expansion

    Economic Development HQ.com
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:54 pm
    The San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development announced that LinkedIn, the largest professional network on the Internet, has signed a lease with developer Tishman Speyer for an entire 26-story building that is under construction. Tishman Speyer tower at 222 Second St. in San Francisco to be leased by LinkedIn (photo – tishmanspeyer.com) “As a national leader in job creation, San Francisco is the perfect home for a company that is connecting people to jobs, and I am pleased that LinkedIn is significantly expanding their presence here,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin…
  • U.S. Economic Development Administration Awards $3M in Grants For Massachusetts Projects

    Economic Development HQ.com
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:15 pm
    The U.S. Economic Development Administration announced $3 million in grants to support projects in Massachusetts that are expected to generate more than $300 million in private investment and help create 560 jobs. DAS Matt Erskine and Congressman Jim McGovern announce grant awards in Worcester, MA (photo – U.S. EDA) U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine was in Massachusetts for the announcements, and joined Congressman Jim McGovern at the former Worcester Telegram & Gazette (T&G) building in Worcester, MA. EDA has awarded a $1 million…
  • Oklahoma City Mulls Economic Development Incentives for TapStone Energy HQ

    Economic Development HQ.com
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:20 am
    The Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust is being asked to consider approving incentives for Tapstone Energy to ensure their headquarters is located in Oklahoma City, and the company creates new jobs. OCEDT Tapstone, which is an oil and gas company, is currently headquartered in Oklahoma City and plans to add 150 new high-paying jobs over the next five years. The average annual wage of the new jobs will be $146,133. The estimated new payroll for the first year alone is $8,176,000, and it will rise up to $18,524,400 in three years. Tapstone plans to invest $10 million for redeveloping the…
  • Frankfort Economic Development Plan Helps Attract Indiana Packers Pork Project

    Economic Development HQ.com
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:10 am
    The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced that pork products producer Indiana Packers Corp. has decided to locate its second facility in the state in Frankfort, IN. Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann and Indiana Packers executives at expansion announcement (photo – IEDC) Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann joined Indiana Packers executives for the announcement. Indiana Packers will be creating 98 new jobs associated with this facility by 2016. The company already has another existing facility in Delphi, IN and a workforce of more than 2,000 employees. Indiana…
  • Michigan Economic Development Corp Lays Out the MAT for Tech Training

    Economic Development HQ.com
    21 Apr 2014 | 10:17 pm
    The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with participating companies and community colleges, is inviting students interested in pursuing education in a technical field while earning a paycheck at the same time. MAT² tech training program (photo – Michigan Economic Development Corp.) The Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT²) program helps students earn an associate degree while getting on-the-job training and experience with a salary in high tech fields such as Product Design, Information technology and Mechatronics. MAT² is benchmarked on the German Dual…
 
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    Washington Equitable Center for Growth

  • Evening Must-Read: Yet Another Good Piketty Review from Suresh Naidu

    Brad DeLong
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:21 pm
    Suresh Naidu: Notes from Capital in the 21st Century Panel: “There is a ‘domesticated’ version of [Piketty's] argument… …a story about technology and the world market making capital and labor more and more substitutable over time, and this is why r does not fall very much as wealth accumulates…. This is story that is told to academic economists, and it is plausible, at least on the surface.  There is another story… that the rate of return on capital is set much more by institutions, norms and expectations than by supply and demand of the capital…
  • Evening Must-Read: Mary Daly et al.: Interpreting Deviations from Okun’s Law

    Brad DeLong
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:09 pm
    Mary Daly et al.: Interpreting Deviations from Okun’s Law: “The traditional relationship between unemployment and output growth… …known as Okun’s law appeared to break down during the Great Recession. This raised the question of whether this rule of thumb was still meaningful as a forecasting tool. However, recent revisions to GDP data show that its relation with unemployment followed a fairly typical cyclical pattern compared with past deep recessions and slow recoveries. The comparatively common patterns suggest that rumors of the death of Okun’s law during the Great…
  • Evening Must-Read: Martin Wolf: A more equal society will not hinder growth – FT.com

    Brad DeLong
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:04 pm
    Martin Wolf: A more equal society will not hinder growth: “Over the past half century, notes the IMF… inequality has been rising in high-income countries and falling in developing countries… the difference between market and post-intervention inequality in high-income economies is smaller than elsewhere…. Inequality reduces growth. The direct impact of redistribution is negligibly negative. But the indirect effect, via reduced inequality, is beneficial to growth…. Increasing already very high levels of redistribution will harm growth. Yet, below the policy…
  • Why I Do Not Credit Claims That America’s Poor Have in Truth Been Getting Much Richer Over the Past Generation…

    Brad DeLong
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Joseph Zumbrun: The Richer You Are the Older You’ll Get: Economist Barry Bosworth at the Brookings Institution… …crunched the numbers and found that the richer you are, the longer you’ll live. And it’s a gap that is widening, particularly among women…
  • Evening Must-Read: Paul Krugman (1992): The Rich, the Right, and the Facts

    Brad DeLong
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:53 pm
    Paul Krugman: Inequality 1992: “I happened to notice Greg Mankiw… …citing some bogus claims that the one percent is an ever-changing group, not a persistent elite, and I thought ‘Wait–didn’t we deal with that one long ago?’ And that brought to mind the piece I wrote for the American Prospect 22 years ago, ‘The rich, the right, and the facts.’ (It doesn’t say this on the Prospect site, but it was indeed published in 1992). See the section on income mobility. The truth is that inequality denial is largely a crusade of cockroaches–the…
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    The Indian Economist

  • The Third Sex or No Sex?

    TIE
    21 Apr 2014 | 1:13 pm
    By Susan Harris The Supreme Court of India has accorded […]The post The Third Sex or No Sex? appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • Humility of Futurism

    TIE
    21 Apr 2014 | 1:08 pm
    By Adam Alonzi Civilization operates as if its troubles […]The post Humility of Futurism appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • The Electoral Extrapolation

    TIE
    21 Apr 2014 | 12:54 pm
    By Ayesha Borker As we head towards forming a brand new […]The post The Electoral Extrapolation appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • Applying Psychology to Business & Finance

    TIE
    18 Apr 2014 | 11:50 am
    By Prateek Ghoshal In my opinion, the behavioral side o […]The post Applying Psychology to Business & Finance appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • The truth about Cash-Back

    TIE
    18 Apr 2014 | 11:33 am
    By Tanya Kumbhat It seems like the festival discounts, […]The post The truth about Cash-Back appeared first on The Indian Economist.
 
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    FiveThirtyEightEconomics | FiveThirtyEight

  • More High School Grads Decide College Isn’t Worth It

    Ben Casselman
    22 Apr 2014 | 2:32 pm
    As the U.S. economy improves, more high school graduates are choosing work over college.Just under 66 percent of the class of 2013 was enrolled in college last fall, the lowest share of new graduates since 2006 and the third decline in the past four years, according to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among all 16- to 24-year-olds, school enrollment experienced its biggest decline in at least two decades. The report echoes other recent evidence that college enrollment has begun to ebb after surging during the recession.Many analysts have attributed the slowdown in…
  • The Potential Bubble the Federal Reserve Cares Most About

    Andrew Flowers
    21 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, economists debated whether the Federal Reserve should be involved — at all — in pricking bubbles. The housing bubble, and subsequent financial crisis, had led to a disastrous result: Hundreds of banks had failed and millions of Americans had lost their jobs. At the time, many still believed the emergence of future bubbles could only be prevented through financial regulation, and not through interest rate hikes.Today, however, as interest rates remain at historically low levels and are expected to stay low at least into next year,…
  • The Biggest Predictor of How Long You’ll Be Unemployed Is When You Lose Your Job

    Ben Casselman
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    One characteristic distinguishes the long-term unemployed from the rest of America’s jobless. It isn’t how many hours they worked at their old job, or what industry they came from, or even their level of education.It’s bad timing.A FiveThirtyEight analysis shows that by far the single biggest predictor of whether someone will be out of work for a year or more is the state of the economy when he or she loses his or her job.11 Over the past 15 years, a period spanning two recessions, a one-point increase in the unemployment rate increased an individual’s odds of remaining…
  • There’s Income Inequality in Golf, Too

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

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