Economics

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Job search, 40 times a month

    Crooked Timber
    John Quiggin
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:25 pm
    I got lots of very helpful responses to my recent post on the search theory of unemployment, here and at Crooked Timber. But it has occurred to me that I haven’t seen any answer to one crucial question: How many offers do unemployed workers receive and decline before taking a new job, or leaving the labour market? This is crucial, both in simple versions of search theory and in more sophisticated directed search and matching models. If workers don’t get any offers, it doesn’t matter what their reservation wage is, or what their judgement of the state of the market. Casual…
  • Stealth Single Payer

    Paul Krugman
    By PAUL KRUGMAN
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:56 am
    Obamacare: not just the exchanges.
  • BOJ Beat: Hollowing-Out of Car Manufacturing Weighs on Exports

    Real Time Economics
    Takashi Nakamichi
    1 Aug 2014 | 3:14 am
    Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles sit parked ahead of shipment outside a plant in Ohira, Miyagi prefecture March 7, 2014. Bloomberg News With Japanese exports showing little sign of life despite a weaker yen and a rebounding U.S. economy, Bank of Japan officials are growing concerned they have underestimated the impact of the country’s industrial hollowing-out–particularly in the auto industry. Auto exports are barely rising more than a year after the central bank caused the yen’s value to fall 20% against the dollar through monetary easing. That was supposed to reduce the prices of…
  • Links 8/1/14

    naked capitalism
    David Dayen
    1 Aug 2014 | 12:30 am
  • DealBook: Société Générale Profit Rises as Loan Problems Recede

    NYT > International Business
    By MARK SCOTT
    1 Aug 2014 | 3:11 am
    France’s second-largest bank said its second-quarter net income was up 7.8 percent to about $1.37 billion, but it still faces potential risks, including exposure to Russia.
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    Real Time Economics

  • BOJ Beat: Hollowing-Out of Car Manufacturing Weighs on Exports

    Takashi Nakamichi
    1 Aug 2014 | 3:14 am
    Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles sit parked ahead of shipment outside a plant in Ohira, Miyagi prefecture March 7, 2014. Bloomberg News With Japanese exports showing little sign of life despite a weaker yen and a rebounding U.S. economy, Bank of Japan officials are growing concerned they have underestimated the impact of the country’s industrial hollowing-out–particularly in the auto industry. Auto exports are barely rising more than a year after the central bank caused the yen’s value to fall 20% against the dollar through monetary easing. That was supposed to reduce the prices of…
  • Economists React: China’s Manufacturers On A Roll

    Richard Silk
    1 Aug 2014 | 12:32 am
    Agence France-Presse/Getty Images China’s manufacturing sector hasn’t had an easy time recently, battered by worries about a slowing economy at home and declining competitiveness on international markets. But the latest purchasing managers’ indexes — surveys of businesses around the country — point to a rebound. China’s two PMIs both rose to 51.7 in July – the first time since December 2008 they have yielded the same number. That marks an 18-month high for HSBC’s index and a 27-month high for the official equivalent. Analysts credit the improvement to a combination of…
  • Five Things We Learned About the South Korean Economy

    Kwanwoo Jun
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:36 pm
    A woman walks past an advertisement promoting Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S5 smartphone in Seoul July 29, 2014. Reuters South Korea’s exports grew at a faster pace than expected in July following a weak rebound the previous month. Exports in July rose 5.7% from a year earlier following a 2.5% gain in June and a 1% drop in May. The July reading beat the median 4.6% increase forecast by a Wall Street Journal survey of economists. Here are the key takeaways from July’s trade data: Robust exports to advanced economies: A pick-up in demand from advanced economies was a main driver of strong…
  • Mongolia Raises Rates Amid Debt Pressure

    Tom Wright
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:42 pm
    A Louis Vuitton store, operated by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Bloomberg News Mongolia’s central bank raised interest rates this week by 1.5 percentage points to 12% to help stabilize an economy that’s been buffeted by high inflation and falling foreign investment in its mining sector. Foreign investment in Mongolia’s mines has fallen rapidly, in part due to frequent changes in local regulations governing the sector. To compensate, the government has pushed expansionary fiscal and monetary policies, funded by a rise in external debt to more than 150% of…
  • World Income Inequality Even Worse Than Within U.S.: St. Louis Fed

    Pedro Nicolaci da Costa
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:27 pm
    The income gap between rich and poor nations is more severe than the more highly publicized disparities between the top and bottom of the U.S. income ladder, according to a new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “While not to diminish the ample income inequality in the U.S., a focus on absolute inequality would suggest income disparity among the world’s population is a far greater concern,” write Lowell Ricketts and Christopher Waller, economic researchers at the St. Louis Fed. Income inequality has been a hot topic of political debate in the U.S. following the worst…
 
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    naked capitalism

  • Links 8/1/14

    David Dayen
    1 Aug 2014 | 12:30 am
  • Humanity May Face Choice By 2040: Conventional Energy or Drinking Water

    Yves Smith
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:01 pm
    Yves here. It is surprising that it is only now that the idea of water as a scarce resource is getting the attention it deserves in advanced economies. It was when I was in Australia, between 2002 and 2004, that I first heard forecasts of resource constraints that depicted potable water as the one at most risk, with global supplies in serious trouble by 2050. A related issue, which this post addresses to a degree, is that dealing with water, energy, and food supply limits are an integrated problem, yet are typically handled as isolated issues.
  • GAO Report on Too Big to Fail Strives to Be All Things to All Observers

    David Dayen
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:00 pm
    At one level, the Government Accountability Office's long-awaited report on whether banks receive subsidies on their borrowing costs by virtue of being Too Big to Fail is somewhat anticlimactic. In the interim, small-c conservative institutions like the Federal Reserve and the International Monetary Fund came down squarely on the side of a subsidy, quantifying it as high as $70 billion a year. Similarly, GAO's first report on this subject matter found that government support during the crisis was much cheaper than alternatives, was secured by junk collateral, tended to be used more by bigger…
  • Matt Stoller: A Grand Unified Theory of Terribleness: Money Laundering by Banks, Terrorism, Genocide, and Tax Cuts

    David Dayen
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Major multi-national bank BNP Paribas just pleaded guilty to money-laundering a little less than $200 billion over the course of the last ten years. According to New York Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky, “BNPP employees – with the knowledge of multiple senior executives – engaged in a long-standing scheme that illegally funneled money to countries involved in terrorism and genocide.”
  • Ilargi: Say Bye to the Bubble

    Yves Smith
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Yves here. Only with the fullness of time will we know whether Ilargi's "the end is nigh" headline will have coincided with the crack that signaled the sell-by date of the officialdom-induced post crisis rally. But Ilargi makes more interesting points than simply, as many done, point out that the bubble party has to end and the unwind is not likely to be pretty.
 
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    Alpha.Sources

  • Is the Euro Overvalued?

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

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

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

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

  • How Republicans Are Heightening the Contradictions

    Paul Waldman
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:58 am
    Congress is going on recess at the end of this week, and they'll be doing it without a bill to address the large number of Central American children showing up at the southern border—John Boehner couldn't even come up with a bill that would pass his house after Ted Cruz convinced House conservatives to oppose it. On that issue, on the Affordable Care Act, and on other issues as well, we may be seeing the rise of a particular strategy on the right—sometimes gripping part of the GOP, and sometimes all of it—that can be traced back to that noted conservative Vladimir Lenin. I speak of…
  • Republicans Take Careful Aim At Foot, Blast Away

    Paul Waldman
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    Last week, I asked how the GOP, whom Democrats used to admire for their strategic acumen, turned into such a bunch of clowns, constantly making political blunders and undermining their long-term goals with temper tantrums. It's a question we might continue to ponder as the House went ahead and voted to sue President Obama last night for his many acts of tyranny and lawlessness. Every Democrat voted in opposition, as did a grand total of five Republicans—but they were opposed only because they wanted to stop pussyfooting around and go right to impeachment. This, truly, is a party that's…
  • College Sticker Price Still Matters. Here's Why.

    Mark Huelsman
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:55 am
    AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin In this Oct. 6, 2011 photo, a student dressed as the superhero "Master of Degrees," holds a ball and chain representing his college loan debt, during Occupy D.C. protests in Washington ahead of President Obama's announcement of new measures to ease the burden of student debt. This article originally appeared at Demos' Policy Shop. Over on The Upshot at the New York Times, David Leonhardt throws a little cold (or maybe just “slightly cool”) water on the hysteria over rising tuition, noting (correctly) that the primary tuition inflation measure that the federal…
  • Why Organizing for Action Has Struggled So Much

    Paul Waldman
    30 Jul 2014 | 11:37 am
    Organizing for Action (OfA), the group that evolved out of the 2012 Obama campaign to continue organizing on issues of importance to liberals and has been struggling of late with layoffs and fundraising difficulty, has been having an extended disagreement with Philip Bump of the Washington Post over the organization's fundamental effectiveness, the latest installment of which is this article analyzing the group's activities and results on a range of issues. While I haven't followed every back-and-forth and I'm sure the OfA people would say Bump's article is unfair, what it comes down to is…
  • The Problem With Both "Pro-Israel" and "Anti-Israel"

    Paul Waldman
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:24 pm
    In a typically thoughtful piece today, Jonathan Chait explains why he has "grown less pro-Israel over the last decade." I want to push back on this a bit, not because I disagree with any of the particular points Chait makes, but because of the broad framing. The idea of "pro-Israel," like its mirror "anti-Israel," is the enemy of rational thought and debate on this topic. Unless you're talking about whom you're rooting for in the Olympics, talking about who's pro-Israel and who isn't, and to what degree, almost never helps illuminate anything. This is something I brought up a few months ago,…
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • What THEY Cover Up: Live from La Farine CCXXXI: August 1, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Aug 2014 | 5:45 am
    Moe Lane: HA! My Secret Map made the Tor.com blog!:
  • Liveblogging World War I: August 1, 1914: Failing to Shy at the Jump

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Aug 2014 | 12:42 am
    Christopher Clark: The Sleepwalkers: On 31 July, after further wavering over military measures, news arrived from Ambassador Pourtalès in Moscow that the Russians had ordered total mobilization from midnight on the previous evening. The Kaiser now ordered by telephone that the SIDW be declared, and the order was issued to the armed forces by Falkenhayn at 1.00 p.m. on 31 July. The responsibility for mobilizing first now lay squarely with the Russians, a matter of some importance to the Berlin leadership, who were concerned, in the light of pacifist demonstrations in some of the German…
  • Thursday Watching Numbers Weblogging: Over at Equitable Growth

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:56 am
    A Note on the Shape of Yesterday's GDP Growth Number | Washington Center for Equitable Growth Nick Bunker: Durable Consumption and Economic Growth Nick Bunker: A History of Postwar U.S. Economic Growth
  • Neel Kashkari Finds Out: Low Employment Not Due to Skill Mismatch or "Structural" Factors: Live from La Farine CCXXX: July 31, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:22 am
    Neel Kashkari--who has proven himself an extremely reliable and conscientious employee in the past--spends a week in Fresno. He tries and fails to find work. Someone whose market wage is in the seven figures--he is not a "zero marginal product" middle-aged male worker. And yet... We need more stimulus: fiscal, monetary, banking, housing. We need it now! Neel Kashkari: Brother, Can You Spare a Job?: "I wanted to see firsthand.... ...So, on the morning of July 21 I took a Greyhound bus from Los Angeles to Fresno. With only $40 in my pocket (and no credit cards), a backpack, a…
  • Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for July 31, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:07 am
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Nick Bunker: The durability of consumption and economic growth | Washington Center for Equitable Growth Nick Bunker: A post-war history of U.S. economic growth | Washington Center for Equitable Growth Was NAFTA a Disasta?: Wednesday Focus for July 30, 2014 | Washington Center for Equitable Growth Afternoon Must-Read: Gary Burtless: Unemployment and the “Skills Mismatch” Story: Overblown and Unpersuasive | Washington Center for Equitable Growth Afternoon Must-Read: Rick Perlstein: Ronald Reagan's Brand of Leadership | Washington Center for Equitable…
 
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    Calculated Risk

  • Friday: Jobs, Autos, ISM Manufacturing and More

    Bill McBride
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:06 pm
    From Goldman Sachs economist Sven Jari Stehn: July Payroll Preview We expect a 235,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls and a one tenth drop in the unemployment rate to 6.0%. As far as payrolls are concerned, our forecast would be a solid gain but at a pace slightly below that seen over the past few months. While a number of labor market indicators improved slightly in July (including jobless claims, the business survey employment components and household job market perceptions), other considerations point to a deceleration in the pace of employment creation (including a slowdown in ADP…
  • Fannie Mae: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined in June, Lowest since October 2008

    Bill McBride
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:59 pm
    Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in June to 2.05% from 2.08% in May. The serious delinquency rate is down from 2.77% in June 2013, and this is the lowest level since October 2008. The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 5.59%.Last week, Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in June to 2.07% from 2.10% in May. Freddie's rate is down from 2.79% in June 2013, and is at the lowest level since January 2009. Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%.
  • Preview: Employment Report for July

    Bill McBride
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:31 am
    Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for July. The consensus, according to Bloomberg, is for an increase of 233,000 non-farm payroll jobs in July (range of estimates between 200,000 and 280,000), and for the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 6.1%.Note: The BLS reported 288,000 payroll jobs added in June with the unemployment rate at 6.1%. Here is a summary of recent data:• The ADP employment report showed an increase of 218,000 private sector payroll jobs in July. This was below expectations of 235,000 private sector payroll jobs added. The ADP report hasn't…
  • Restaurant Performance Index declined in June

    Bill McBride
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:36 am
    From the National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Performance Index Declined in June Amid Softer Customer TrafficDue in large part to softer customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a moderate decline in June. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.3 in June, down from a level of 102.1 in May and the first decline in four months. Despite the drop, the RPI remained above 100 for the 16th consecutive month, which signifies expansion in…
  • Chicago PMI declines to 52.6

    Bill McBride
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:52 am
    From the Chicago ISM: Chicago Business Barometer Down 10.0 points to 52.6 in July The Chicago Business Barometer dropped 10.0 points to 52.6 in July, significantly down from May’s seven month high of 65.5, led by a collapse in Production and the ordering components, all of which have been strong since last fall.A monthly fall of this magnitude has not been seen since October 2008 and left the Barometer at its lowest level since June 2013.In spite of the sharp decline this month, feedback from purchasing managers was that they saw the downturn as a lull rather than the start of a new…
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    Crooked Timber

  • Job search, 40 times a month

    John Quiggin
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:25 pm
    I got lots of very helpful responses to my recent post on the search theory of unemployment, here and at Crooked Timber. But it has occurred to me that I haven’t seen any answer to one crucial question: How many offers do unemployed workers receive and decline before taking a new job, or leaving the labour market? This is crucial, both in simple versions of search theory and in more sophisticated directed search and matching models. If workers don’t get any offers, it doesn’t matter what their reservation wage is, or what their judgement of the state of the market. Casual…
  • Jean Jaurès, 1859-1914

    Harry
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:40 pm
    Chris Brooke reminds us that today is the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Jean Jaurès.
  • Give It Your All – Then Give Some More

    John Holbo
    30 Jul 2014 | 5:17 pm
    Everyone’s complaining about the dumbness of the use-100%-of-your-brain premise for Lucy. (Which I expect is a bad movie.) I have an idea for a superhero that I think fixes this problem. Coaches are always yelling at players that they need to ‘give 110 percent!’ out on the field. So: what if someone actually figured out a way for you to do that? (Makes you think, eh!) You could have these amazing scenes where, after the super-sciencey treatment, the hero is being tested. Running on the treadmill, solving math problems, stacking raisins. In each case the guys in labcoats,…
  • Corey arrested

    Chris Bertram
    29 Jul 2014 | 2:22 pm
    Our co-blogger and comrade Corey Robin has been arrested at the Israeli mission to the UN, 800 Second Avenue (at 42nd Street), for committing civil disobedience in protest at the Israeli actions in Gaza. Respect to Corey for his courage and we hope he is released and home before too long.
  • Wouldn’t want to face a machine gun without this.

    Harry
    29 Jul 2014 | 10:28 am
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    Dealbreaker

  • Write-Offs: 07.31.14

    Dealbreaker
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:34 pm
    $$$ Asset Managers May Avoid Fed Oversight [WSJ] $$$ Yesterday Was Not Argentina’s Day [Bloombergview/Matt] $$$ LinkedIn revenue rises 47 percent [Reuters] $$$ How are enforced Saturdays off working out for young bankers? [Slate] $$$ Flying Ax Smashes Windshield On Car Ride From Hell [AP] $$$ Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Take Aim at Tax… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
  • Investment Bank League Tables: Bangability Edition

    Bess Levin
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:24 pm
    According to dating/mating app Hinge, Goldman Sachs comes in at number one compared to employees at other banks, while Citigroup brings up the rear. Meanwhile, employees at UBS are apparently the most picky of the group, while Barclays will do just about anyone. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest financier of them all?… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: attractiveness, Hinge, it's science, modern love, pickiness
  • Two-Letter App Will Not Have Four-Letter App Making A Mockery Of Its Business Model!

    Bess Levin
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:22 am
    YoTM sees what YOLO is doing and is coming in guns blazing. Yo, the simplified messaging app backed by an optimistic $1.5 million in funding, has apparently had it with the clones. The company is now trying to get the parody app YOLO removed from the App Store by filing a complaint with Apple, claiming… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: apps, bubbles, tech bubbles, tiffs, yo, YOLO
  • Things Are Itchy At Deutsche Bank

    Bess Levin
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:44 am
    From the front lines: “Bed bug outbreak on the trading floor at 60 Wall. There were bed bug sniffing dogs in this past weekend and some cleaning was done in a few areas. Affected areas are being fumigated this weekend, but not the entire floor, just where they initially found the bugs. Everyone is still… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: bed bugs, Deutsche Bank, things that itch
  • Clawback Watch ’22: Britain’s Banks

    Bess Levin
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:36 am
    If you’re a banker working across the pond, get your underhanded schemes out of the way now, because come 2015, they’re going to start counting against you (and will continue counting against you vis-a-vis bonuses through 2022). The new bonus rules will allow banks with headquarters or subsidiaries in England to reclaim, for up to… Continue reading »Follow Dealbreaker on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: Bank of England, bonuses, bonuses or lack thereof, Brits, clawbacks, new rules
 
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    Econbrowser

  • Anti-Intellectualism in American Blogging

    Menzie Chinn
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:32 pm
    With apologies to Richard Hofstadter. On reading “New Classical Kansas”, James Sexton comments: What? Log? Why Log? Why not just “economic activity”, whatever that is? Why all the babbling bs? ARIMA(1,1,1)? You believe that holds any meaning in relation to Kansas’ “economic activity”? Why? … Was there an expectation of huge growth in Kansas in response to the tax cuts? No. But, our unemployment is decidedly below the national average. You know, that’s like more people working and earning, and stuff. But, better, … well, worse in your point-of-view, people…
  • Guest Contribution: How Janet Yellen Might Have Responded to the Policy Rules Legislation

    Menzie Chinn
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:11 am
    Today, we’re fortunate to have Alex Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy, Assistant Professor of Economics at Lehigh University, David Papell and Ruxandra Prodan, respectively Professor and Clinical Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Houston, as Guest Contributors In a contentious hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reacted extremely negatively to the proposed “Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014”, introduced into Congress on July 7, which would require the Fed to adopt a policy rule. As reported in The New…
  • Finally, some economic growth!

    James_Hamilton
    30 Jul 2014 | 9:55 am
    The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that U.S. real GDP grew at a 4.0% annual rate in the second quarter. Hopefully that’s the start of something good; but so far, it’s only a start. U.S. real GDP growth at an annual rate, 1947:Q2-2014:Q2. Blue horizontal line is drawn at the historical average (3.1%). In part, the growth from Q1 to Q2 looked good because the level for Q1 was so bad. True, the BEA’s new estimate of Q1 growth (a 2.1% drop at an annual rate) was a little improvement over the -2.9% figure the BEA announced last month. But the revised estimates still…
  • New Classical Kansas?

    Menzie Chinn
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:38 pm
    Two years ago, Governor Brownback asserted: Our new pro-growth tax policy will be like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy. The Facts Newly released coincident indicators from the Philadelphia Fed (calibrated to match trends in real Gross State Product) indicate Kansas continues to lag the Nation. Leading indicators released by the Philadelphia Fed indicate continued lagging. Figure 1: Log coincident indicators for US (blue), level implied by leading index (blue square), and for Kansas (red), level implied by leading index (red triangle), all normalized to 2011M01=0.
  • “The Costs of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change”

    Menzie Chinn
    29 Jul 2014 | 8:29 am
    From a CEA report written under the leadership of James Stock, released today: …any short run gains from delay tend to be outweighed by the additional costs arising from the need to adopt a more abrupt and stringent policy later.7 An analysis of the collective results from that research, described in more detail in Section II, suggests that the cost of hitting a specific climate target increases, on average, by approximately 40 percent for each decade of delay. These costs are higher for more aggressive climate goals: the longer the delay, the more difficult it becomes to hit a climate…
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    EconLog: Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Immigrants Are Good for Cosmopolitan Tolerance

    Bryan Caplan
    1 Aug 2014 | 12:09 am
    (August 1, 2014 12:09 AM, by Bryan Caplan) When I debated Mark Krikorian, he bemoaned immigrants' effect on Americans' patriotic solidarity.  I think he's making a mountain out of a molehill, but Mark's concerns were much on my mind during my recent visit to New York City.  I... (2 COMMENTS)
  • What Do Constitutions Do? Star Trek Edition

    Bryan Caplan
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:02 pm
    (July 31, 2014 02:02 PM, by Bryan Caplan) Political scientist and game designer Chris McGlothlin has a neat Facebook post on Star Trek and the Constitution, building off the classic episode "The Omega Glory."  Here's Chris, reprinted with his permission:As both a political science professor and a Trekkie,... (7 COMMENTS)
  • Scenes from the Rent-Seeking Society: A Final Post on Ride Sharing and the Importance of Constitutions

    Art Carden
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:15 pm
    (July 30, 2014 04:15 PM, by Art Carden) As I tweeted yesterday, a quick review of the battle over ride-sharing regulation in cities around the world convinces me we're building a bridge to the eighteenth century. Mercantilism is alive and well, and cities (like Birmingham) are missing a... (10 COMMENTS)
  • Immigrants as Defenders of Freedom

    David Henderson
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:39 pm
    (July 30, 2014 01:39 PM, by David Henderson) One issue that has come up a lot in the discussion of expanding immigration is many people's worry (at times, I have been one of the worriers) about immigrants coming in and voting, more than existing Americans do, for statist... (34 COMMENTS)
  • Wolfers on the fiscal consensus

    Scott Sumner
    30 Jul 2014 | 10:30 am
    (July 30, 2014 10:30 AM, by Scott Sumner) Justin Wolfers points to a survey showing overwhelming support for the notion of a positive fiscal multiplier in early 2009: The Initiative on Global Markets at the University of Chicago -- hardly a hotbed of liberal or Keynesian thought... (12 COMMENTS)
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    NYT > Money & Policy

  • Well: The Joy of Becoming a Veterinarian

    By JANE KARR
    1 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Veterinary schools are using poetry and literature to inspire student and help vets remember why they went into the profession.
  • New Rules Say Poultry Plants Can Conduct Own Checks

    By RON NIXON
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:39 pm
    Critics are saying the updated regulations would keep chicken-processing lines running too fast, creating conditions for worker injuries and food-safety failures.
  • Work to Bolster Health Website Is Raising Cost, Officials Say

    By ROBERT PEAR
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:18 pm
    Obama administration officials said they were assigning new work to contractors in an effort to prevent a repetition of the problems that crippled HealthCare.gov last fall.
  • Well: A Toxic Menagerie

    By DEBORAH BLUM
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:00 pm
    A conversation with Mark Siddall, the author of a new book about the ways in which animals use poisons — sometimes against humans.
  • Well: Feeling as if I Failed the Patient

    By MIKKAEL A. SEKERES, M.D.
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:33 am
    I thought about the patient I had been treating for three years for leukemia. I would be seeing her in clinic in a few hours, and I had a bad feeling about her disease.
 
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    Economist's View

  • Paul Krugman: Knowledge Isn’t Power

    Mark Thoma
    1 Aug 2014 | 12:24 am
    "Are we as societies even capable of taking good policy advice?": Knowledge Isn’t Power, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: ...I’ve been looking at surveys from the Initiative on Global Markets, based at the University of Chicago. For two years, the initiative has been regularly polling a panel of leading economists... It usually turns out that there is much less professional controversy about an issue than the cacophony in the news media might have led you to expect. This was certainly true of the most recent poll, which asked whether the American Recovery and Reinvestment…
  • Links for 8-01-14

    Mark Thoma
    1 Aug 2014 | 12:06 am
    Why one editor won't run any more op-eds by Moore - CJR The Increasing Dominance of Older Firms - Brookings Institution The Too-Big-to-Fail Subsidy Distraction - Rortybomb Is Living on the Dole Bad for You? - Brad DeLong Summer 2014 Journal of Economic Perspectives - Tim Taylor Economic Dynamism and Productivity Growth - Growth Economics The Tale Of Two Middle Classes - Branko Milanovic Surprisingly high non-success? - Bill Sundstrom Too Much At Stake: Moving Ahead with Energy Price Reforms - IMF Blog Truths and myths about the rise of part-time jobs - David Cay Johnston How Yellen Might…
  • Fed Watch: On That ECI Number

    Mark Thoma
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:29 pm
    Tim Duy (see Dean Baker too): On That ECI Number: The employment cost index is bearing the blame for today's market sell-off. Sam Ro at Business Insider reports: ...traders agree that today's sell-off is probably due to one stat: the 0.7% jump in the employment cost index (ECI) in the second quarter. This number, which crossed at 8:30 a.m. ET, was a bit higher than the 0.5% expected by economists. And it represents a year-over-year growth rate of over 2%. It's a big deal, because it's both a sign of inflation and labor market tightness, two forces that put pressure on the…
  • 'What Are Academics Good For?'

    Mark Thoma
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:09 am
    Simon Wren-Lewis What are academics good for?: A survey of US academic economists, which found that 36 thought the Obama fiscal stimulus reduced unemployment and only one thought otherwise, led to this cri de coeur from Paul Krugman. What is the point in having academic research if it is ignored, he asked? At the same time I was involved in a conversation on twitter, where the person I was tweeting with asked ... why should we take any more notice of what academic economists say about economics than, well, City economists or economic journalists? Here is a very good example of why. ...
  • 'One Percent GDP Growth Is Nothing to Get Excited Over'

    Mark Thoma
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:09 am
    Dean Baker: Curb Your Enthusiasm: One Percent GDP Growth Is Nothing to Get Excited Over: The Washington Post went a bit overboard with its lead article reporting on the second quarter GDP data. ... Actually the 4.0 growth figure reported for the second quarter implies the economy is on a very slow growth path when averaged in with the -2.1 growth in the first quarter. Taken together, the economy grew at less than a 1.0 percent annual rate in the first half of 2014. That is hardly cause for celebration.  And it is important to understand that the strong growth in the second quarter was…
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    EconTalk

  • Continuing Conversation...Sam Altman on Start-ups, Venture Capital, and the Y Combinator

    Amy Willis
    30 Jul 2014 | 3:59 pm
    This week, Russ Roberts spoke with Y Combinator president Sam Altman about tech, innovation, Y Combinator's impact, and more. Share your thoughts on this week's episode, exploring the prompts below. Or pose your own question(s) for conversation. Either way, we love to hear from you. Check Your Knowledge: 1. What does Altman look for in a potential entrepreneur? How does what he looks for differ from you might expect? Do you think his ordering of skills is a good way to judge employees? 2. How can a software platform increase the supply of a tangible good or service? What sort of limits are…
  • Sam Altman on Start-ups, Venture Capital, and the Y Combinator

    Russell Roberts
    28 Jul 2014 | 3:30 am
    Sam Altman, president of startup accelerating firm Y Combinator, talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Y Combinator's innovative strategy for discovering, funding, and coaching groundbreaking startups, what the company looks for in a potential startup, and Silicon Valley's attitude toward entrenched firms. The two also discuss Altman's thoughts on sectors of the economy that are ripe for innovation and how new firms are revolutionizing operations in these industries. Play Time: 1:05:41 How do I listen to a podcast? Download Size:30.1 MB Right-click or Option-click, and select "Save…
  • Continuing Conversation... Chris Blattman on Cash, Poverty, and Development

    Amy Willis
    23 Jul 2014 | 6:52 am
    Roberts returns to the topic of development this week in his conversation with Columbia's Chris Blattman, advocate of a radical approach to fighting poverty. Share YOUR thoughts on this week's episode...Join the conversation in the comments, or start your own offline. We love to hear from you! Check Your Knowledge: 1. Blattman emphasizes the importance of regular cash transfers, as opposed to one-time grants. What particular obstacle does he believe this will overcome, and to what extent do you agree with him? 2. Blattman asserts that despite their promise, cash transfers are still only a…
  • Chris Blattman on Cash, Poverty, and Development

    Russell Roberts
    21 Jul 2014 | 3:30 am
    Chris Blattman of Columbia University talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a radical approach to fighting poverty in desperately poor countries: giving cash to aid recipients and allowing them to spend it as they please. Blattman shares his research and cautious optimism about giving cash and discusses how infusions of cash affect growth, educational outcomes, and political behavior (including violence). The conversation concludes with a discussion of the limits of aid and the some of the moral issues facing aid activists and researchers. Play Time: 1:11:04 How do I listen to a podcast?
  • D. G. Myers on Cancer, Dying, and Living

    Russell Roberts
    14 Jul 2014 | 3:30 am
    D.G. Myers, literary critic and cancer patient, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the lessons he has learned from receiving a cancer diagnosis six years ago. Myers emphasizes the importance of dealing with cancer honestly and using it as a way to focus attention on what matters in life. The conversation illuminates the essence of opportunity cost and the importance of allocating our time, perhaps our scarcest resource, wisely. The last part of the conversation discusses a number of literary issues including the role of English literature and creative writing in American…
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    Environmental Economics

  • Apparently common sense water use isn't common in California

    Tim Haab
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:01 am
    Tough new statewide regulations restricting outdoor water use took effect Tuesday, the same day millions of gallons of water gushed from a ruptured water main near the UCLA campus.  Under the emergency conservation restrictions, which were approved July 15 and were prompted by the statewide drought, hosing down driveways and sidewalks is prohibited, as is watering outdoor landscapes if it causes excess runoff. In addition, water can't be added to a decorative water feature unless it uses a recirculating system. Californians can use a hose to wash their cars only if the hose has a…
  • Required reading for anyone thinking about going to graduate school

    John Whitehead
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:15 am
    From the conclusions of a new paper in the Journal of Economic Perspectives*: If the objective of graduate training in top-ranked departments is to produce successful research economists, then these graduate programs are largely failing. Only a small percentage of economics PhDs manage to produce a creditable number of publications by their sixth year after graduation. Even at the top five departments, it would be hard to argue that the bottom half of their students are successful in terms of academic research. The number of AER - equivalent papers of the median at year six is below 0.1 in…
  • A blog post on the European Economic Association survey of research misconduct

    John Whitehead
    30 Jul 2014 | 12:53 pm
    Retraction Watch: The author of a paper on how often economists commit misconduct that we covered last month writes about it for a London School of Economics’ blog. This is a much better summary than my post from July 8.
  • “The Costs of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change”

    John Whitehead
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:10 am
    Menzie Chen: From a CEA report written under the leadership of James Stock, released today: …any short run gains from delay tend to be outweighed by the additional costs arising from the need to adopt a more abrupt and stringent policy later.7 An analysis of the collective results from that research, described in more detail in Section II, suggests that the cost of hitting a specific climate target increases, on average, by approximately 40 percent for each decade of delay. These costs are higher for more aggressive climate goals: the longer the delay, the more difficult it becomes to hit a…
  • Picture of the day: city prices

    John Whitehead
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:48 am
    Grass-fed ground beef is $1/lb more at a Louisville, KY farmer's market, relative to the Boone, NC farmer's market.
 
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    footnoted*

  • No penny-pinching at Family Dollar

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

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    17 Jul 2014 | 8:03 am
    The irony that we often see in SEC filings may go largely unnoticed by most. But here at footnoted, we try to keep a close eye on that. Much of this we point out via our twitter feed (see here and here and here for a few recent examples). But this  8-K filed by Scansource a few days ago with news of renewed employment agreement for its top executives, set our irony-alert a-flutter. Take a close look at the disclosure related to CEO Michael Baur’s new employment agreement, especially the last sentence: “Mr. Baur’s Amended and Restated Employment Agreement provides for, among…
  • A downgrade to first class for ex-Ford CEO

    Michelle Leder
    16 Jul 2014 | 5:27 am
    Yesterday, Google announced that former Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally was joining its board and was appointed to the company’s audit committee. That news was widely covered, with much of the coverage focusing on Google’s quest for a driver-less car. Not included in much of the coverage, but part of the 8-K that Google filed yesterday was the additional disclosure that director K. Ram Shriram would be stepping down from the audit committee to make room for Mulally. But the thing that really caught our eye was the letter agreement attached to the 8-K spelling out the terms upon…
  • Actavis’ pre-holiday dump

    Murti Bhattiprolu
    7 Jul 2014 | 10:57 am
    It’s pretty rare for a holiday to fall on a Friday. But when it does, it makes the usually juicy “Friday Night Dump” seem like an over-cooked hot-dog. Once the markets closed on Thursday at 1 p.m., the filing floodgates opened wide: we counted 174 8-Ks filed after the markets closed on Thursday.  We’ve flagged a dozen of those for our footnotedPro subscribers. Still, one of the most surprising filings on Thursday was filed before the markets closed. This 8-K, which was filed by Actavis late Wednesday, became available first-thing Thursday morning and it nearly took…
  • Ralph Lauren serves up some beef

    Michelle Leder
    27 Jun 2014 | 11:27 am
    It’s no secret that Ralph Lauren (the man) has a fabulous ranch near Telluride, CO. The Double RL ranch has been mentioned in Ralph Lauren (the company’s) 10-Ks since 2010 and has been celebrated by the likes of Oprah, who in this 4+ minute video of her visit to the ranch, is positively bubbly. We mention this because in the proxy that Ralph Lauren Corp. filed yesterday, there was a new and interesting disclosure about that ranch near the bottom of pg. 88, that we doubt most people caught. Here’s the disclosure: In connection with our adoption of the “RRL” trademarks,…
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    Free exchange

  • Width, not depth

    S.H. | LONDON
    28 Jul 2014 | 12:10 pm
    “THIS dollar-a-day measure,” says Amartya Sen, a Nobel laureate in economics, “doesn’t take into account many variations that influence the conversion of income into good living.” Mr Sen argues that if we simply focus on eradicating extreme poverty (living on less than $1.25 a day), we will miss important social ills that are unrelated to income. He has therefore been one of the main proponents of developing alternative indicators such as the Human Development Index—whose latest edition was published last week. But how useful are these indices?The purpose of alternative…
  • Springtime for lenders

    Z.G. | LONDON
    25 Jul 2014 | 5:45 am
    AS ANY fruit enthusiast knows keeping track of the seasons is important. Looking for strawberries in winter or apples come the summer is bound to result in high prices, poor quality or both. Curiously, new research by Justin Murfin of Yale University and Mitchell Petersen from the Kellogg School of Management, suggests that the same is true of finance.They examined 30 years of corporate loans and found that the spread (or excess interest rate) that firms pay varied depending on when the debt was issued, with borrowing costs peaking in February and August. Credit is cheapest to…
  • Im-patent to innovate

    Z.G. | LONDON
    25 Jul 2014 | 4:26 am
    “IF I have seen further”, Isaac Newton once demurred, “it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants”. The process of invention has long been a cumulative one, in which incremental advances are made on previous innovations. However, a new NBER working paper* by Alberto Galasso of the Rotman School of Management and Mark Schankerman from the London School of Economics has found that the patent system is curtailing this tradition of progressive innovation.The authors quantify the impact of the patent system by measuring what happens when a patent is invalidated by the US…
  • Bigger, not better

    S.H. | LONDON
    25 Jul 2014 | 2:45 am
    WHO would have thought a couple of years ago that the British economy would be among the fastest-growing in the developed world? The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just released its latest GDP estimates, which confirm its surprising revival: the UK has expanded for the sixth consecutive quarter. Overall, GDP is up by 0.8% compared to the first quarter of the year, or 3.2% on an annualised basis. Britain has now surpassed its previous peak in output, reached in the first quarter of 2008. But even though the economy is back to pre-crisis levels, many Britons still feel as if it…
  • Alibaba's maturity mismatch

    S.R. | HONG KONG
    24 Jul 2014 | 4:11 am
    WHEN Alibaba launched Yu’E Bao, an online investment fund, there was a flood of optimism that the e-commerce company would shake up the sclerotic Chinese banking sector. For a while it did just that. But its performance over the last quarter paints a more worrying picture: Yu’E Bao has ventured into far riskier territory. And despite courting more danger with its investments, its returns have suffered and its appeal has waned.Yu’E Bao, or “leftover treasure”, is barely a year old. Its growth has been stunning. Alibaba, which is set for a huge IPO in New York later this year, opened…
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    Greg Mankiw's Blog

  • Interview with Larry Summers

    Greg Mankiw
    29 Jul 2014 | 3:25 am
    In The New Republic.
  • What makes a good economist?

    Greg Mankiw
    21 Jul 2014 | 10:35 am
  • Commodity Money

    Greg Mankiw
    14 Jul 2014 | 6:59 am
  • Some ACA Readings

    Greg Mankiw
    6 Jul 2014 | 5:49 am
    Kate Ho and Ariel PakesChuck BlahousJames Capretta 
  • NFF

    Greg Mankiw
    30 Jun 2014 | 3:37 am
    Sorry that I have been out of touch with regular blog readers.  I have moved to Nantucket for the summer, and the weather here has been too great to spend much time in front of a keyboard.  (The three best reasons to be a professor: June, July, and August.)The past few days I have been attending the Nantucket Film Festival.  I have had a chance to see some great movies before they are in general release.  Two are worth mentioning: Arlo and Julie, a small quirky comedy/mystery that is a bit Woody Allen-esque. Also, Happiness, a documentary about a boy and his family in…
 
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    Hedge fund

  • Top hedge fund

    Veryan Allen
    25 Jul 2014 | 11:08 am
    I just visited the offices of the world's best hedge fund. Client performance needs mean I must do due diligence at all the top SKILL BASED managers. I avoid expensive market dependent funds. Too risky and unsuitable for institutions and individuals with long term goals. 50% losses and high volatility are a disgrace but that's what the "average" delivers every few years.YOUR money is too important to be risked on the "market". I prefer talent that delivers returns INDEPENDENTLY of asset class direction. Though rare, skill can be detected with thorough analysis. For asset classes, history…
  • Asset allocation

    Veryan Allen
    18 Jul 2014 | 4:08 pm
    Asset allocation does NOT drive portfolio returns. Valuation decides whether to be in stocks or not. Static percentages also fail to consider changing regimes and opportunities. Equity markets are usually either too cheap or euphorically overvalued. Does putting x% in "fixed income" make sense regardless of inflation or whether a bond's real yield is -2% or +3%. Asset class silos have no place in this dynamic, volatile, high frequency world. SKILL applied to security selection is what you need.Optimal asset allocation? It's easy to rigorously prove that for all forward looking…
  • High net worth

    Veryan Allen
    12 Jul 2014 | 5:05 am
    Mainly I work with institutional clients and very wealthy families. However good hedge funds are ideal for ALL investors. Proper hedge funds are LOWER risk than long only. Sadly the financial viruses of myopic herding, yield hunting and bull market amnesia are alive and well. Some people never learn. Get HEDGED before it's too late. Invest with the best. Why risk capital in passive funds that do NO analysis or due diligence? Skills are reliable, asset classes are not.1. Most hedge funds now focus on institutions. It is less total work to get one big client to give you $100 million than…
  • Low cost or low risk

    Veryan Allen
    11 Jul 2014 | 6:47 am
    Do you prefer low cost or low risk? Which matters - fees OR net returns and severity of losses? Which is cheaper - paying a few basis points for 50% drawdowns, vicious volatility and years below high water marks or 2 and 20 for consistent long term performance? I wouldn't invest in passive funds if Bogle PAID investors 3% a year. Too risky.Should we invest with dedicated, hard working managers that reduce volatility OR in a no work, unskilled speculative list of 500 stocks S&P likes, with no attention to valuation or risk? Which would a prudent man REALLY chose? 2 and 20 for smart…
  • Sports hedge fund

    Veryan Allen
    9 Jul 2014 | 4:39 am
    Skill doesn't exist? No such thing as talent and dedication? There are no above average people just lucky ones? Maybe Pelé, Jack Nicklaus, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Babe Ruth and Donald Bradman were just lucky flukes like hedge fund managers Jim Simons, George Soros, Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham and Munehisa Honma?Sports hedge fund? Unlike stocks, bonds, real estate and commodities, sports results don't depend on the economy. Sports bets offer reliable arbitrages and mispricings like "efficient" financial markets. Most people bet on stocks or sports…
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    Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up

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

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

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

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

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

  • "Nancy's VoiceBox", Lou Gehrig's Disease, Google Glass

    31 Jul 2014 | 8:44 pm
    Occasionally I receive a touching email that also offers a practical solution to extreme challenges. This is one of those times. Please consider this email from reader "Zentangle". Hi Mish,I have been following your blog for years now. Time is precious and not many writers "stick" . . . but you have. Thank you for your insights and passion throughout the years.Your stories of your wife's and your struggle with ALS had a powerful impact because during that time a dear friend and employee, Nancy, was in the same struggle.My wife and I worked out a novel way for Nancy to communicate. We just…
  • Driverless Cars on UK Public Streets Starting January; Transforming Personal Mobility; Taxi and Truck-Drivers Targeted

    31 Jul 2014 | 1:04 pm
    The march for fully autonomous driverless cars marches on. In May, Google announced the Next Phase in Driverless Cars: No Steering Wheel or Brake Pedals. Google’s prototype for its new cars will limit them to a top speed of 25 miles per hour. The cars are intended for driving in urban and suburban settings, not on highways. The low speed will probably keep the cars out of more restrictive regulatory categories for vehicles, giving them more design flexibility.Google is having 100 cars built by a manufacturer in the Detroit area, which it declined to name. Nor would it say how much the…
  • Sanctions Starting to Bite the Hands That Promoted Them

    31 Jul 2014 | 11:27 am
    As I have said on numerous occasions, sanctions are a lose-lose game. So it is not surprising in the least to discover Russian Crisis Already Taking Toll on Western Businesses.Shares in Adidas, the world’s second-largest sportswear group, dropped 15 per cent after the company issued a profit warning and said it would accelerate the closure of stores in Russia because of increasing risks to consumer spending in the region. Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker by sales, reported an 8 per cent decline in sales in Russia in the first half of the year, compared to the same period a year…
  • When All Else Fails Blame "Free Markets"

    30 Jul 2014 | 7:55 pm
    It's rather amazing how people blame "free markets" for things that are 180 degrees removed from "free markets".For example, and in response to Political Greenwashing: US Exports Coal Pollution to Europe; What About China? reader Over Exposed writes "Excellent example of a complete and utter failure of the free market to deal with pollution".I see and hear this every day. I would have hoped that people would have learned by now what a "free market" is and isn't.Chinese State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are not "free markets"Chinese growth targets at any cost are not "free markets"Interest rate…
  • Political Greenwashing: US Exports Coal Pollution to Europe; What About China?

    30 Jul 2014 | 11:58 am
    While president Obama brags about clean energy advances in the US (mostly hot air and subsidies to uneconomic businesses), the US quietly exports pollution to Europe. Coal is a particular good example. Please consider US Exports Help Germany Increase Coal, PollutionLUENEN, Germany - One of Germany’s newest coal-fired power plants rises here from the banks of a 100-year-old canal that once shipped coal mined from the Ruhr Valley to the world. Now the coal comes the other way.The 750-megawatt Trianel Kohlekraftwerk Luenen GmbH & Co. power plant relies completely on coal imports, about…
 
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    Oddhead Blog

  • Microsoft Researchers co-authored 21% of papers at the ACM Conference on Economics and Computation

    David Pennock
    6 Jul 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Twenty-six researchers from Microsoft Research labs in Boston, China, India, Israel, New York City, Redmond, Silicon Valley, and the United Kingdom co-authored a remarkable seventeen of the eighty papers published in the 2014 ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (EC’14). Moshe Babaioff served as General Chair for the conference and many other Microsoft Researchers served roles including (senior) PC members, workshop organizers, and tutorial speakers. For research at the intersection of economics and computation, IMHO there’s no stronger “department” in the world…
  • Bernie’s 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 about my Dad in 2010. At the end of his beautiful memoir (composed using Blurb) — a document I cherish — 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)…
  • 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…
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    Overcoming Bias

  • Irreducible Detail

    Robin Hanson
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:10 am
    Our best theories vary in generality. Some theories are very general, but most are more context specific. Putting all of our best theories together usually doesn’t let us make exact predictions on most variables of interest. We often express this fact formally in our models via “noise,” which represents other factors that we can’t yet predict. For each of our theories there was a point in time when we didn’t have it yet. Thus we expect to continue to learn more theories, which will let us make more precise predictions. And so it might seem like we can’t constrain our…
  • Adam Ford & I on Great Filter

    Robin Hanson
    29 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    Adam Ford interviewed me again, this time on the Great Filter: We have three main sources of info on existential risks (xrisks): Inside View Analysis – where we try to use our best theories to reason about particular causal processes. Earth Track Records – the empirical distribution of related events observed so far on Earth. The Great Filter – inferences from the fact that the universe looks dead everywhere but here. These sources are roughly equally informative. #2 suggests xrisks are low, even if high enough to deserve much effort to prevent them. I’d say that…
  • Lost For Words, On Purpose

    Robin Hanson
    28 Jul 2014 | 6:45 am
    When we use words to say how we feel, the more relevant concepts and distinctions that we know, the more precisely we can express our feelings. So you might think that the number of relevant distinctions we can express on a topic rises with a topic’s importance. That is, the more we care about something, the more distinctions we can make about it. But consider the two cases of food and love/sex (which I’m lumping together here). It seems to me that while these topics are of comparable importance, we have a lot more ways to clearly express distinctions on foods than on love/sex. So…
  • Conflicting Abstractions

    Robin Hanson
    25 Jul 2014 | 3:45 am
    My last post seems an example of an interesting general situation: when abstractions from different fields conflict on certain topics. In the case of my last post, the topic was the relative growth rate feasible for a small project hoping to create superintelligence, and the abstractions that seem to conflict are the ones I use, mostly from economics, and abstractions drawn from computer practice and elsewhere used by Bostrom, Yudkowsky, and many other futurists. What typically happens when it seems that abstractions from field A suggests X, while abstraction from field B suggests not X?
  • I Still Don’t Get Foom

    Robin Hanson
    24 Jul 2014 | 1:45 pm
    Back in 2008 my ex-co-blogger Eliezer Yudkowsky and I discussed his “AI foom” concept, a discussion that we recently spun off into a book. I’ve heard for a while that Nick Bostrom was working on a book elaborating related ideas, and this week his Superintelligence was finally available to me to read, via Kindle. I’ve read it now, along with a few dozen reviews I’ve found online. Alas, only the two reviews on GoodReads even mention the big problem I have with one of his main premises, the same problem I’ve had with Yudkowsky’s views. Bostrom hardly mentions the issue in his 300…
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    SeekingAlpha.com: Home Page

  • Notes On Yahoo's Strategy

    1 Aug 2014 | 3:42 am
    Yahoo just missed earnings estimates and guided below consensus.Particularly worrying for Yahoo shareholders: Yahoo's ad sales slumped. "After growing 2% Y/Y in Q1 (its first quarter of positive growth in some time), Yahoo's display ad revenue (ex-TAC) fell 7% in Q2 to $394M. A 24% drop in ad prices (hurt by mobile?) more than offset a 24% increase in ads sold. The display weakness comes as eMarketer forecasts Yahoo's share of global digital ad spend will fall to 2.52% in 2014 from 2.86% in 2013 and 3.36% in 2012."Eli Hoffmann recently announced that Yahoo severed its relationship with…
  • Cramer's Lightning Round - I Feel Terrific About Waste Management (7/31/14)

    1 Aug 2014 | 3:34 am
    By SA Editor Miriam Metzinger: Stocks discussed on the Lightning Round segment of Jim Cramer's Mad Money Program, Thursday July 31. Bullish Calls: Waste Management (NYSE:WM): "I feel terrific about that stock." Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE:ETP): "I like the yield here at 6.85% with some growth. It is working. I used to be negative on it, but management got it together." Precision Castparts (NYSE:PCP): "Earnings are good. Many people feel aerospace has slowed down, I feel it is pausing, but it is good." Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMP): "I loved the quarter. People have been doubting CEO Rich…
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Iliad Secures Financing For $15B T-Mobile Bid

    1 Aug 2014 | 3:34 am
    Wall Street Breakfast Editors submit:EconomySome of Russia's largest companies are starting to move their cash reserves to Asian banks as worries surface that Russia could eventually be completely shut out of U.S. dollar funding markets. Yesterday, the EU adopted its toughest Russian sanctions to date, including heavy restrictions on the country's financial markets, energy industry and a complete embargo of the arms trade between the two.Fed policy jitters, sanctions on Russia, Argentina's default, deflation worries in Europe and a batch of weak earnings sent the Dow and S&P 500 plunging…
  • Cramer's Mad Money - What Keeps The CEO Of BP Up At Night (7/31/14)

    1 Aug 2014 | 3:27 am
    By SA Editor Miriam Metzinger: Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Thursday July 31. CEO Interview: Bob Dudley, BP (NYSE:BP) BP (BP) reported a great quarter, but it has major exposure to Russia and will be affected by potential sanctions. CEO Bob Dudley acknowledged the problems, said the company reduced its Russian exposure last year, but there are reasons for concern. "What keeps me up at night is not our position in Russia," said Dudley. When asked what does keep him up at night, he replied that safety is a major concern and the…
  • Affymetrix's (AFFX) CEO Franklin Witney on Q2 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

    1 Aug 2014 | 2:28 am
    Start Time: 17:00 End Time: 17:32 Affymetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFFX) Q2 2014 Earnings Conference Call July 31, 2014 05:00 PM ET Executives Franklin R. Witney - CEO, President and Director Gavin H. J. Wood - CFO, PAO and EVP Andrew J. Last - COO and EVP Doug Farrell - VP of IR and Treasury Analysts Bryan Brokmeier - Maxim Group LLC Tejas Savant - JP Morgan Chase & Co. Ryan Weikert - Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Rafael Tejada - Bank of America Merrill Lynch Presentation Operator Greetings, and welcome to the Affymetrix Second Quarter Conference Call. At this time all participants are in…
 
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Stanny Stanny Stannitude

    Andrew
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:11 pm
    On the stan-users list, Richard McElreath reports: With 2.4 out, I ran a quick test of how much speedup I could get by changing my old non-vectorized multi_normal sampling to the new vectorized form. I get a 40% time savings, without even trying hard. This is much better than I expected. Timings with vectorized multi_normal: # Elapsed Time: 96.8564 seconds (Warm-up) # 87.8308 seconds (Sampling) # 184.687 seconds (Total) Timings without vectorized multi_normal: # Elapsed Time: 168.544 seconds (Warm-up) # 147.83 seconds (Sampling) # 316.375 seconds (Total) These timings are for a Gaussian mixed…
  • The health policy innovation center: how best to move from pilot studies to large-scale practice?

    Andrew
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:34 am
    A colleague pointed me to this news article regarding evaluation of new health plans: The Affordable Care Act would fund a new research outfit evocatively named the Innovation Center to discover how to most effectively deliver health care, with $10 billion to spend over a decade. But now that the center has gotten started, many researchers and economists are disturbed that it is not using randomized clinical trials, the rigorous method that is widely considered the gold standard in medical and social science research. Such trials have long been required to prove the efficacy of medicines, and…
  • Statistics and data science, again

    Andrew
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:47 am
    Phillip Middleton writes in with two questions: (1) Is html markdown or some other formatting script usable in comments? If so, what are the tags I may use? (2) What are your views on the role of statistics in the evolution of the various folds of convergent science? For example, upon us there is this rather nebulously defined thing called data science which roughly equates to an amalgam of comp sci and stats. I tend to interpret it as somewhat computational stats, somewhat AI – or maybe it’s just an evolution of data mining, I don’t know yet. The comp sci camp is marketing…
  • The Ben Geen case: Did a naive interpretation of a cluster of cases send an innocent nurse to prison until 2035?

    Andrew
    29 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    In a paper called “Rarity of Respiratory Arrest,” Richard Gill writes: Statistical analysis of monthly rates of events in around 20 hospitals and over a period of about 10 years shows that respiratory arrest, though about five times less frequent than cardio-respiratory arrest, is a common occurrence in the Emergency Department of a typical smaller UK hospital. He has lots of detailed and commonsensical (but hardly routine) data analysis. Those of you who read my recent posts (here and here) on the World Cup might be interested in this, because it has lots of practical details of…
  • SciLua 2 includes NUTS

    Bob Carpenter
    28 Jul 2014 | 3:00 pm
    The most recent release of SciLua includes an implementation of Matt’s sampler, NUTS (link is to the final JMLR paper, which is a revision of the earlier arXiv version). According to the author of SciLua, Stefano Peluchetti: Should be quite similar to your [Stan's] implementation with some differences in the adaptation strategy. If you have time to have a look and give it a try I would appreciate your feedback. My website includes the LuaJIT binaries for 3 arches [Windows, Mac OS X, Linux], and the Xsys and Sci libraries needed to run NUTS. I’ve also been working on a higher-level…
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    Streetsblog New York City

  • NYC: Local Speeding Tickets (Barely) Outnumber Sidewalk Biking Summonses

    Stephen Miller
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:14 pm
    We’ve got a new installment in Streetsblog’s hotly-anticipated Sidewalk Biking Ticket Index, which compares the number of sidewalk biking summonses issued by NYPD to the number of speeding tickets issued by local precincts. In a reversal from 2012, NYPD last year issued more tickets for speeding on local streets than criminal charges for riding a bicycle on the sidewalk — but just barely. The ratio is still far out of proportion to the damage caused by each offense. Last year, NYPD issued 18,700 summonses for biking on the sidewalk and about 24,200 tickets for speeding on…
  • NYC: Map Out Which Streets Need Safety Fixes — It’s Now or Never

    Stephen Miller
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:25 am
    The city has received more than 7,500 comments on its Vision Zero map. Today’s the last chance to offer your input. This is it — the last day to mark dangerous street conditions on the city’s official Vision Zero map. After today, agencies will start using the information from the map to make plans for safety improvements, so spend a few minutes this afternoon and tell the city where you want safer streets for walking and biking. The map highlights arterial streets as well as the top pedestrian crash corridors in each borough and the sites of recent pedestrian fatalities.
  • NYC: TA Vision Zero Report: NYPD Traffic Enforcement Up, But Wildly Uneven

    Brad Aaron
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:32 am
    NYPD precincts that had the largest year-to-year increase in speeding enforcement are shaded green, with those that had the biggest decreases in red. Graphic: Transportation Alternatives NYPD increased enforcement of dangerous traffic violations during the first six months of the city’s Vision Zero initiative, but enforcement varied drastically from precinct to precinct, with some issuing fewer summonses than last year. In “Report Card: Six Months of Vision Zero Traffic Enforcement” [PDF], Transportation Alternatives analyzed NYPD summons data from January through June. TA found…
  • NYC: Today’s Headlines

    Stephen Miller
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:59 am
    TA: Six Months Into Vision Zero, Enforcement Is Up But Uneven Across NYPD Precincts (News) WNYC Profiles 10 New Yorkers Killed in Traffic So Far This Year Straphangers: 7 Train Ranks the Best, 2 Train the Worst in NYC (CapNY, DNA, WSJ, WCBS, AMNY) Teen Driver Who Killed Ariel Russo Facing Up to 15 Years — And Is a Placard Abuser (News) Disability Advocates Sue City, Saying Sidewalks Below 14th Street “Too Difficult to Use” (NYT, Post) NYT Looks at the Rail vs. Trail Divisions Over the QueensWay With Suicides Rising, Port Authority to Install 9-Foot Fence on GW Bridge…
  • NYC: NYPD: No Reason to Investigate Greenway Crash That Hospitalized Cyclist

    Brad Aaron
    30 Jul 2014 | 2:03 pm
    A witness to the aftermath of a Hudson River Greenway crash that sent a cyclist to the hospital says NYPD officers, including personnel from the Collision Investigation Squad, said they did not intend to investigate the cause of the collision, explaining to bystanders that it was an “accident” while blaming the cyclist. By declining to determine what caused a collision between a bus driver and a greenway cyclist, NYPD failed to take steps that could prevent future injuries. Photo: Hilda Cohen Just after 9:30 a.m. last Thursday, July 24, a NY Waterways bus driver and a cyclist…
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    The Big Picture

  • Gentleman Jet Ski: Strand Craft V8 Wet Rod

    Barry Ritholtz
    1 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Since I am away this week at a conference in Maine, combining fishing with economics and investing, I thought this week we would go for something water rather than land based. Hence, I present the Strand Craft V8 Wet Rod:     Source: Classic Driver
  • The Ins and Arounds in the U.S. Housing Market

    Guest Author
    1 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
  • Blowing the Whistle on NSA Spying on Americans

    Barry Ritholtz
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:30 pm
    Before Snowden: The Whistleblowers Who Tried To Lift The Veil Source: NPR
  • Comparative Advantage: The Tragedy of Tasmania

    Barry Ritholtz
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:30 pm
    From Don Boudreaux’s Everyday Economics: Hat tip Marginal Revolution What can a small, isolated island economy teach the rest of the world about the nature and causes of the wealth of nations? When Tasmania was cut off from mainland Australia, it experienced the miracle of growth in reverse, as the reduction in trade and human cooperation forced its inhabitants back to the most basic ways of living. In an economy with a greater number of participants trading goods and services, however, there are more ways to find a comparative advantage and earn more by creating the most value for others.
  • Each dot on this map represents an act of terrorism since 1970

    Barry Ritholtz
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:30 am
    Source: Know More
 
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    The Epicurean Dealmaker

  • Improve Yourself

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

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

    7 Jul 2014 | 7:48 am
    Don’t shit where you eat.— AnonymousWay back in the Dark Ages of Investment Banking, O Dearly Beloved—say in the 1970s or 1980s, before Your Humble Correspondent embedded himself in the front lines of global financial conflict—somebody or other decided in their infinite wisdom that new recruits to my industry out of college should, as a matter of policy, be hired for two-year stints only. After this period expired, they were thanked for their troubles, given a celebratory fruit basket or somesuch, and politely shown the door. A tiny minority of very strong promise were sometimes…
  • Touring Test

    29 Jun 2014 | 2:24 pm
    BBC Interviewer: “HAL, you have an enormous responsibility on this mission, in many ways perhaps the greatest responsibility of any single mission element. You’re the brain and central nervous system of the ship, and your responsibilities include watching over the men in hibernation. Does this ever cause you any lack of confidence?”HAL: “Let me put it this way, Mr. Amor. The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.”BBC…
  • In Memoriam: June 6, 1944

    7 Jun 2014 | 5:39 pm
    Claude Monet, Haystacks at Chailly at Sunrise, 1865What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?— Only the monstrous anger of the guns.Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattleCan patter out their hasty orisons.No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;And bugles calling for them from sad shires.What candles may be held to speed them all?Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyesShall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;Their flowers the…
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    VoxEU.org: Recent Articles

  • Why developing host countries sign increasingly strict investment agreements

    31 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Eric Neumayer, Peter Nunnenkamp, Martin Roy, 1 August 2014Hoping to attract more FDI, developing countries are increasingly entering stricter investment agreements. But there is no conclusive evidence that such agreements serve them well. This column argues that contagion may help explain this trend. Competition between developing countries for FDI from developed ones could drive the diffusion of international investment agreements.Full Article: Why developing host countries sign increasingly strict investment agreements
  • Dealing with the threat of climate catastrophe

    30 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Aart de Zeeuw, Rick van der Ploeg, 31 July 2014Many ecological systems feature ‘tipping points’ at which small changes can have sudden, dramatic, and irreversible effects, and scientists worry that greenhouse gas emissions could trigger climate catastrophes. This column argues that this renders the marginal cost-benefit analysis usually employed in integrated assessment models inadequate. When potential tipping points are taken into account, the social cost of carbon more than triples – largely because carbon emissions increase the risk of catastrophe.Full Article: Dealing with the…
  • Can large primary surpluses solve Europe’s debt problem?

    29 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Barry Eichengreen, Ugo Panizza, 30 July 2014For the debts of European countries to be sustainable, their governments will have to run large primary budget surpluses. But there are both political and economic reasons to question whether this is possible. The evidence presented in this column is not optimistic about Europe’s crisis countries. Whereas large primary surpluses for extended periods of time did occur in the past, they were always associated with exceptional circumstances. Full Article: Can large primary surpluses solve Europe’s debt problem?
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and rulemaking to regulate state-owned enterprises

    28 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Tsuyoshi Kawase, 29 July 2014The regulation of state-owned enterprises in international trade dealings has been cited as a major stumbling block to progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. This column explains the issues of contention, and argues that state-owned enterprises require an explicit and deliberate regulatory treatment. Given their unique properties, a coherent approach to state-owned enterprise regulation would promote progress in negotiations better than the piecemeal of overlapping rules currently considered.Full Article: Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and…
  • Research quality assessment tools: Lessons from Italy

    27 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Graziella Bertocchi, Alfonso Gambardella, Tullio Jappelli, Carmela A. Nappi, Franco Peracchi, 28 July 2014Assessing the quality of academic research is important – particularly in countries where universities receive most of their funding from the government. This column presents evidence from an Italian research assessment exercise. Bibliometric analysis – based on the journal in which a paper was published and its number of citations – produced very similar evaluations of research quality to informed peer review. Since bibliometric analysis is less costly, it can be used to monitor…
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    OUPblog

  • How Georg Ludwig became George I

    Julia Callaway
    1 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    By Andrew C. Thompson On 1 August 1714, Queen Anne died. Her last days were marked by political turmoil that saw Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, and Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, struggle to assert their authority. However, on her deathbed Anne appointed the moderate Charles Talbot, duke of Shrewsbury, as the last ever lord treasurer. The queen’s death prompted a transition from the Stuart dynasty to the Hanoverian, and the succession of Georg Ludwig, elector of Hanover, as King George I of Great Britain and Ireland. King George I by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1714. Public domain via…
  • The Queen whose Soul was Harmony

    Alice
    1 Aug 2014 | 2:30 am
    By James Anderson Winn In 1701, one year before Princess Anne succeeded to the throne, musicians from London traveled to Windsor to perform a special ode composed for her birthday by the gifted young composer Jeremiah Clarke. The anonymous poet addressed part of his poem to the performers, taking note of Anne’s keen interest in music: Portrait of Anne of Great Britain by Charles Jervas, 1702-1714, Royal Collection, public domain via Wikimedia Commons. With song your tribute to her bring, Who best inspires you how to sing; None better claims your lays than she Whose very soul is Harmony. O…
  • Independence, supervision, and patient safety in residency training

    Julie Fergus
    1 Aug 2014 | 1:30 am
    By Kenneth M. Ludmerer Since the late nineteenth century, medical educators have believed that there is one best way to produce outstanding physicians: put interns, residents, and specialty fellows to work in learning their fields. After appropriate scientific preparation during medical school, house officers (the generic term for interns, residents, and specialty fellows) need to jump into the clinical setting and begin caring for patients themselves. This means delegating to house officers the authority to write orders, make important management decisions, and perform major procedures. It…
  • Colostrum, performance, and sports doping

    ChloeF
    1 Aug 2014 | 12:30 am
    By Martin Luck A recent edition of BBC Radio 4′s On Your Farm programme spoke to a dairy farmer who supplies colostrum to athletes as a food supplement. Colostrum is the first milk secreted by a mother. Cow colostrum is quite different from normal cow’s milk: it has about four times as much protein, twice as much fat, and half as much lactose (sugar). It is especially rich in the mother’s antibodies (IgG and IgM), providing the newborn calf with passive immunity before its own immune system gets going. People who take colostrum believe it has health and performance benefits. It’s…
  • The month that changed the world: Friday, 31 July 1914

    Kirsty
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:30 am
    July 1914 was the month that changed the world. On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, and just five weeks later the Great Powers of Europe were at war. But how did it all happen? Historian Gordon Martel, author of The Month That Changed The World: July 1914, is blogging regularly for us over the next few weeks, giving us a week-by-week and day-by-day account of the events that led up to the First World War. By Gordon Martel Although Austria had declared war, begun the bombardment of Belgrade, and announced the mobilization of its army in the south, negotiations to reach…
 
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    Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

  • Some Links

    Don Boudreaux
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:50 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) This post by Cato’s Dan Ikenson on the U.S. Export-Import Bank is a bit wonky, but well worth your time to read if you’ve any serious interest in the argument over the reauthorization of that great geyser of cronyism.  Here’s Dan’s conclusion – compelling one, especially in light of the fact that politicians, unlike the market, care only about what is easily seen: There are hundreds and probably thousands of U.S. companies scattered over 189 industries that produce in the United States, employ American workers, pay federal, state, and local…
  • Quotation of the Day…

    Don Boudreaux
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:47 am
    (Don Boudreaux) … is from Milton Friedman’s first Newsweek column – “Minimum-Wage Rates” – which appeared on September 26, 1966: I am convinced that the minimum-wage law is the most anti-Negro law on our statute books – in its effect not its intent. (The first part of Friedman’s quotation is unquestionably true.  The latter part might have been true by 1966, when Friedman wrote these words.  But the original intent of minimum-wage legislation was, if not explicitly anti-black, certainly unsavory.) If you mandate that Smith, if he chooses…
  • According to Its Text, It Benefits the Poor

    Don Boudreaux
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:37 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) Congratulations are due to Zac Gochenour, who successfully defended his excellent dissertation on Monday afternoon in Carow Hall on George Mason University’s Fairfax campus.  Dr. Gochenour (who will soon start his career as an assistant professor at Western Carolina University) began his academic study of economics as an undergraduate at George Mason.  Bryan Caplan served as chairman of Zac’s dissertation committee; Pete Leeson and I had the honor of serving as the other two members of Zac’s committee. Zac’s dissertation is on the economics and…
  • Minimum Wage Hikes and Employment Growth

    Don Boudreaux
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:25 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) Politicians and pundits - at least those who are most credulous regarding claims about government’s powers to alter reality – are unscientifically using skimpy data to argue that raising the minimum wage promotes, or at least doesn’t prevent, employment growth.  The always-excellent Kevin Erdmann responds.  (Liya Palagashvili and I earlier offered a few words of our own about this matter.)
  • End Civil Forfeiture

    Don Boudreaux
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:24 pm
    (Don Boudreaux) The Institute for Justice has launched one of the most important pro-freedom, anti-tyranny efforts that it is possible to launch in modern-day America: ending the deeply evil government practice of civil asset forfeiture.  I urge you all to support this effort in any ways that you possibly can. Here’s an earlier Cafe post on the atrocity of civil asset forfeiture.
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    Dollars & Sense Blog

  • Monday Links

    Chris Sturr
    28 Jul 2014 | 1:15 pm
    Just three links this week: (1) Mark Karlin, The End Game of Shutting Off Residential Water in Detroit Is a Likely Privatization Attempt.  Buzzflash at Truthout. Mystery solved (not that this is surprising). (2) Gretchen Morgenson, Private Equity’s Free Pass.  The New York Times; hat-tip TM. Morgenson’s focus here is on how PE firms avoid SEC scrutiny by not being designated as “broker-dealers.” (3) David Atkins, The Four Basic Reactions to Record Inequality. Washington Monthly‘s Political Animal blog.  This is a nice piece.  It starts with Anna…
  • Piketty’s Model of Inequality and Growth in Historical Context, Pt 2

    Polly Cleveland
    23 Jul 2014 | 11:15 am
    Part II: The Neoclassical Response to the Classical Theories of Inequality and Growth Mason Gaffney has shown how many individuals helped construct neoclassical economics, often with financial support from the robber barons and their successors. I will focus on two: in the United States, John Bates Clark (1847-1938), and in Europe, Vilfredo Pareto (1848 to 1923). Recall from Part I that the classical economists divided society into three classes: Owners of land and other natural resources received unearned income or “rent” from their holdings—often derived from conquest or inheritance.
  • The Supreme Court’s Supremely Inconsistent Same-Day Decisions

    Ron Baiman
    17 Jul 2014 | 1:02 pm
    Originally posted at the website of the Chicago Political Economy Group (CPEG). Let me get this right. An association of people with an elected leadership with no direct authority over its members whose primary purpose (which its members get to vote on) is to benefit its members, is so potentially oppressive to its members that they have the right to not pay the association for any its benefits (like more than doubling their wages in the last 12 years even as the association is required by law to provide these benefits to them. However, an association of people with unelected…
  • Piketty’s Model of Inequality and Growth in Historical Context, Pt 1

    Polly Cleveland
    15 Jul 2014 | 12:27 pm
    The first economic model: François Quesnay’s Tableau Économique In Thomas Piketty’s doomsday model, slowing of growth in the twenty-first century will cause an inexorable increase in inequality. Piketty is not the first to propose a grand model of inequality and growth. To get some perspective on his model, let’s see what the “classical” economists had to say (Part I), and how the “neoclassical” economists responded (Part II). Part 1. The Classical Economists on Inequality and Growth The first generation of “classical” economists, notably Francois Quesnay (1694-1774)…
  • Monday Links

    Chris Sturr
    14 Jul 2014 | 2:01 pm
    (1) Esther Kaplan, Losing Sparta: the Bitter Truth Behind the Gospel of Productivity.  This is a must-read piece that came out last week in the Virginia Quarterly Review.  Yves Smith wrote about it at Naked Capitalism last week, and Doug Henwood did an (as-usual) terrific interview with the author on his radio show, Behind the News. It is the story of a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Sparta, Tenn., and how the Dutch multinational corporation Philips shut the plant down and moved production to Monterrey, Mexico, even though (as Kaplan documents) the company probably lost market…
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    Credit Slips

  • Injunction Math: Acceleration and the Incredible Shrinking Payment Percentage

    Anna Gelpern
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:58 am
    If some or all of Argentina's Exchange Bond holders accelerate their bonds after last night's default, the amount Argentina owes NML et al. under the terms of Judge Griesa's injunction could plummet. Here is the relevant language: Such "Ratable Payment" that the Republic is ORDERED to make to NML shall be an amount equal to the "Payment Percentage" (as defined below) multiplied by the total amount currently due to NML in respect of the bonds at issue in these cases (08 Civ. 6978, 09 Civ. 1707, and 09 Civ. 1708), including pre-judgment interest (the…
  • It Depends, Argentina Edition

    Anna Gelpern
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:10 pm
    The phrase "it depends" was invented 130 year ago by a small group of drunk lawyers from London and New York for the sole purpose of annoying first-year law students, nonlawyers, and people from civil law jurisdictions. Like all things annoying, "it depends" is enjoying a surge in popularity as tensions spike in the Argentine debt saga."It depends" is a magically useful phrase because it can cover up ignorance, describe uncertainty, or assign probabilities in a risky situation. If you are camping out in front of the Special Master's office in New York…
  • Small-Dollar Loans to Servicemembers, the Electronics Version (or an Easy Way to Get Around the Military Lending Act)

    Pamela Foohey
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:36 am
    Yesterday the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with 13 state attorneys general (including from my new home state of Indiana), announced a $92 million settlement and issued an enforcement action against Colfax Capital Corporation and Culver Capital, LLC, known as Rome Finance, for targeting military families (and other consumers) with predatory loans to buy electronics, such as computers and televisions. Rome Finance would offer credit to consumers for the purchase of such electronics primarily at mall kiosks near military bases, promising instant financing and no money down. Rome…
  • Forget Argentina: How Do You Collect from Russia?

    John Pottow
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:49 pm
    Never let it be said that the wheels of international justice spin quickly, but, with the pace of a Siberian jail sentence, the Permanent Court of Arbitration finally handed down its merits award in the Yukos litigation.  (For those of you not in the know, Yukos was dismantled by the Russian government, nominally as seizure for back taxes -- some levied ex post -- purportedly as an attempt to stymie the political aspirations of its principal, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.)  The decision is a doozy: a unanimous and stinging denunciation of the Russian government in this series of transactions, with…
  • A Stay Would Not Affect the Plaintiffs... Except by Eviscerating the Injunction

    Mark Weidemaier
    29 Jul 2014 | 2:07 pm
    Unless the plaintiffs request a stay (and quick!), this will probably be the last request for Judge Griesa to stay the injunction before Argentina defaults officially fails to put money into the bank accounts of exchange bondholders. It is an emergency motion to stay filed by Knighthead Capital Management and other holders of euro-denominated bonds. They want the judge to stay the injunction for at least 90 days, so that they can try to round up votes to waive the RUFO clause, or through the end of the year, when the RUFO clause expires. They add that "a stay would not affect the…
 
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    The Aleph Blog

  • A Different Look at Neglect

    David Merkel
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:12 pm
    It’s good to look at stocks that not everyone else is looking at.  A little neglect can be a good thing.Companies that are a little illiquid.Companies with a dedicated shareholder base; they don’t sell at the drop of a hat.Companies with control investors that don’t give outside passive minority investors the short end of the stick.Companies that have odd business models that have most investors ignore themCompanies in boring businesses.Let’s look at this top down, looking at neglect by market sector.  Days to turn over indicates how rapidly stocks are traded.  A…
  • Social Security Troubles

    David Merkel
    30 Jul 2014 | 11:33 pm
    We have known for many years that Social Security’s Disability Trust Fund was in far worse  shape than the Retirement Trust Fund, which is also not in good shape.  The rolls for Social Security Disability have risen dramatically since 2009, with many applying for disability amid a time where jobs are hard to find.  Personally, I think that people should plan for their own possible disability, and it not be something that the government covers.That said, the disability trust fund will run out of money in 2016.  The most likely result in my opinion, is that  the disability trust…
  • Redacted Version of the July 2014 FOMC Statement

    David Merkel
    30 Jul 2014 | 11:47 am
    June 2014July 2014CommentsInformation received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April indicates that growth in economic activity has rebounded in recent months.Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that growth in economic activity rebounded in the second quarter.This is another overestimate by the FOMC.Labor market indicators generally showed further improvement. The unemployment rate, though lower, remains elevated.Labor market conditions improved, with the unemployment rate declining further. However, a range of labor market…
  • Book Review: Surveillance Nation

    David Merkel
    30 Jul 2014 | 12:28 am
    After I married my wife, I met her cousin and his wife, who was a Marxist.  Oddly, I found we had a lot of areas of agreement, because we both distrusted the powers that be.  In the same manner, what does a libertarian like me have to do with liberals like those who write for “The Nation?”The answer is a lot.  There is a tendency for the political middle of the US to simply trust the politicians, assuming they are doing good. It is more accurate to assume that they are pursuing the goals of the ek=lite in the US.   The Wealthy will do well; the rest of us, meh.We  need to be…
  • The Best of the Aleph Blog, Part 25

    David Merkel
    28 Jul 2014 | 10:41 pm
    In my view, these were my best posts written between February and April 2013:Wall Street Hates YouI have a saying, “Don’t buy what someone wants to sell you. Buy what you have researched.”And so I would tell everyone: don’t give brokers discretion over you accounts, and don’t let them convince you to buy unusual bonds, or obscure securities of any sort.  By unusual bonds, I mean structured notes, and eminent men like Joshua Brown and Larry Swedroe encourage the same thing: Don’t buy them.The Education of a Mortgage Bond Manager, Part IIIWhy being careful with credit ratings is…
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    Quoting the Crisis

  • The Founding Fathers backed Thomas Piketty – and feared a...

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

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

    6 Jul 2014 | 12:20 am
    The next great financial crash: How our corporate overlords are setting us up to fail (again) Thom Hartmann, AlterNet, salon.com While profits soar, wages continue to stagnate and anti-tax zealots gut the safety net — a recipe for disasterThe denial of fun­da­men­tal eco­nom­ic prin­ci­ples is set­ting the world up for anoth­er Great Crash.Although wages have been fla…
  • Ronald Reagan stuck it to millennials: A college debt history...

    6 Jul 2014 | 12:02 am
    Ronald Reagan stuck it to millennials: A college debt history lesson no one tells Peter Lunenfeld, salon.com Dramatic, awful changes occurred on my generation’s watch — and it amounts to a fiendishly successful conspiracyThat nos­tal­gic time of year for newly mint­ed col­lege grads and their pro­fes­sors has now con­clud­ed. I admit to being affect­…
  • Best-paid CEOs perform the worst Cory Doctorow,...

    19 Jun 2014 | 1:32 pm
    Best-paid CEOs perform the worst Cory Doctorow, boingboing.net In Per­for­mance for Pay? The Rela­tion Between CEO Incen­tive Com­pen­sa­tion and Future Stock Price Per­for­mance , a paper from U of Utah business-school pro­fes­sors, the rela­tion­ship between exec­u­tive per­for­mance and exec­u­tive pay is…
 
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    IMF Survey Magazine

  • Fiscal Policy to Address Energy’s Environmental Impacts

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

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

    30 Jul 2014 | 6:53 pm
    After three decades of remarkable growth, China’s economy has been slowing. The country needs to implement the announced reform agenda and address vulnerabilities to secure a safer development path, said the IMF.
  • Changing Growth Trends Carry New Global Spillovers

    29 Jul 2014 | 11:42 am
    As the global economy shifts from crisis to recovery mode, the changing growth patterns—with advanced economies generally recovering and emerging markets slowing on a broad basis—carry new spillover risks, says the IMF staff.
  • New External Assessments Reveal a Mixed Picture

    29 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    The job of reducing external imbalances is not complete, says an updated analysis by IMF staff. The 2014 Pilot External Sector Report recognizes substantial progress relative to the pre-crisis peak imbalances, but sees much smaller progress more recently, and some cases of widening imbalances.
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    24/7 Wall St.

  • 11 Countries Near Bankruptcy

    247alex
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:33 pm
    After years of bitter court battles with creditors, Argentina has defaulted on its debt, according to rating agency Standard & Poor’s. After failing to come to an agreement with creditors from...
  • GoPro Earnings and Sales Better Than Stock Reaction

    Jon C. Ogg
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:51 pm
    GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) shares closed up over 3% going into earnings, but that goodwill from Wall Street was handily removed after the wearable sports camera maker reported its second quarter...
  • Telsa Keeps Growing Deliveries and Revenues

    Jon C. Ogg
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:26 pm
    Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) has reported is set to report earnings after the close of trading on Thursday. Net income was $16 million, or $0.11 in earnings per share on an adjusted operating...
  • Today’s 52-Week Low Club

    Paul Ausick
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:06 pm
    July 31, 2014: Stocks making new 52-week lows today included the following four firms. Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE: BZH) shares fell to a new 52-week low of $15.54 after reporting earnings Thursday...
  • The 4 Stocks That Tanked the Markets

    Paul Ausick
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:01 pm
    July 31, 2014: Markets opened lower on Thursday following a nearly flat close on Wednesday. Markets opened lower and slipped even more throughout the day, but it’s difficult to blame Argentina for...
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    The Baseline Scenario

  • How to Get Thrown Out of a Luxury Hotel

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

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

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

    James Kwak
    9 Jun 2014 | 9:04 am
    By James Kwak Larry Summers is well on his way to rehabilitating his public image as a brilliant intellectual, moving on from his checkered record as president of Harvard University and as President Obama’s chief economic adviser during the first years of the administration. Unfortunately, he can’t resist taking on his critics—and he can’t do it without letting his debating instincts take over. I was reading his review of House of Debt by Mian and Sufi. Everything seemed reasonable until I got to this passage justifying the steps taken to bail out the financial system:…
  • Worse Than We Even Imagined

    James Kwak
    6 Jun 2014 | 12:03 pm
    By James Kwak I’m giving a talk at the UConn Law School reunions tomorrow, and one of my closing points is about the plethora of banking crimes/scandals/whoopsies that we’ve seen in the past few years—even those having nothing to do with the financial crisis. This is the slide I created to illustrate the point:   I know I’m forgetting a few, but I figured that was enough. It does really take your breath away.
 
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    Trends... Find them, ride them and get off.

  • Congrats Tubemogul ….Citibank Blows (Bank of America Too) …and Why Do We Need Banks for IPO’s in 2014

    Howard Lindzon
    28 Jul 2014 | 11:32 am
    Update – It was actually Bank of America that led the syndicate so I made changes below. As usual, making no friends with this personal inside baseball account of things…the banks are quick to point out that Tubemogul is in ad tech and ad tech is a hated industry…blah blah blah. I guess we will know more in time. Of course Tubemogul could have walked away from the IPO, but let’s be honest, the momentum of the deal was too far underway…I assume the bankers used this ploy against Tubemogul but have NO proof of it. I had the priviledge of attending the opening bell…
  • Zillow is Hungry and Just Ate Trulia… & The Future of Financial Tech : Podcast 3

    Howard Lindzon
    27 Jul 2014 | 8:57 am
    Confident as ever that a next huge wave of the boom is FinTech. Great energy as young people leave banks and hedge funds and build product — howardlindzon (@howardlindzon) July 23, 2014 I had yet another mobile moment last week that made me realize how UNDER appreciated this ‘mobile’ boom has been. I walked into the Coffee Bean in Midtown Manhattan and saw Tim Armstrong. Tim is the CEO of AOL. I had met him briefly once. I decided to walk right up and say hello and re-introduce myself. Of course, I brought up Stocktwits and he asked how things were going …so I told…
  • Podcast: “Yellen from the Rooftops”

    Howard Lindzon
    17 Jul 2014 | 8:59 am
    Image courtesy of The Fly An extreme sugar high and a delayed fight means you get an extra, high-energy podcast from me this week. Grandma Yellen, who probably couldn’t even define social media, really got me going on Tuesday with her silly statements about social media and biotech companies having “substantially stretched” valuations. Specifically, in her latest Monetary Policy Report she wrote this: Valuation metrics in some sectors do appear substantially stretched—particularly those for smaller firms in the social media and biotechnology industries, despite a notable…
  • Momentum Monday: Chips and Dip

    Howard Lindzon
    15 Jul 2014 | 10:43 am
    So I’m podcasting. Officially and, hopefully, regularly. Specifically, I’m reviving “Momentum Monday,” the show where I talk about making money. You can expect stock talk, tech talk, and, let’s be honest, any other talk I want. In this episode, I’m joined by JC Parets, Mr. All Star Charts, and tech reporter Jennifer Van Grove. We get into long volatility, “chips and dip” stocks, the Yahoo and AOL merger rumors, and LinkedIn’s purchase of Newsle. I’m not a big LinkedIn guy but I love Newsle. I’ve been using it for years. Love…
  • StockTwits and DraftKings team for British Open challenge

    Howard Lindzon
    14 Jul 2014 | 3:10 pm
    DraftKings and StockTwits are teaming up. You thought stock picking was hard, but picking winners in golf has been even more difficult lately. Martin Kaymer? He’s the CYNK of the golf world. Well StockTwits is never one to back down from a challenge so join the crowd in picking a British Open winner. You can join right now. The contest is open to 50 people and it officially starts on Thursday. We are hoping to fill it with StockTwits members, traders, and investors. It costs $20 to join and there are prizes to win. Here is the official breakdown: 1st place wins $500 2nd place wins $250…
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    Economic Principals

  • Swallow Hard, Start Over

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

    admin
    20 Jul 2014 | 2:01 pm
    We wouldn’t be talking this summer about a body of work known as “disruption theory” if its principal author, Clayton Christensen, of Harvard Business School, hadn’t turned up as the featured expert on coping with change at The New York Times and Harvard University, two  institutions much concerned with maintaining the continuity in American life – and if Christensen hadn’t been attacked, in The New Yorker, by Jill Lepore, a Harvard historian and public intellectual, as a purveyor of flawed and panicky views. The Times’ infatuation with Christensen’s ideas is easy enough to…
  • EP Is Not Writing This Week

    admin
    13 Jul 2014 | 12:06 pm
    Economic Principals spent the week reporting and is not writing this week. Share/Bookmark
  • The Contest between Macro and Growth

    admin
    6 Jul 2014 | 11:53 am
    It was about a year ago that Paul Krugman asked, “[W]hatever happened to New Growth Theory?”  The headline of the item on the blog with which the Nobel laureate supplements his twice-weekly columns for The New York Times telegraphed his answer: The New Growth Fizzle.  He wrote: For a while, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, theories of growth with endogenous technological change were widely heralded as the Next Big Thing in economics. Textbooks were restructured to put long-run growth up front, with business cycles (who cared about those anymore?) crammed into a chapter or two at the…
  • The Evening Papers?

    admin
    29 Jun 2014 | 1:30 pm
    It was business page news last week that George Stephanopoulos is to become the “chief anchor” at ABC News, meaning he will lead the network’s coverage whenever there is breaking news. Stephanopoulos isn’t replacing Diane Sawyer as anchor of ABC’s evening news broadcast when she steps down in August.  Her replacement is David Muir. Instead, Stephanopoulos will continue to co-host ABC’s morning show, where the bigger audience and  far greater advertising profits are to be found, as well as This Week, its Sunday morning talk show. In other words, the evening television network…
 
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • American firms are aging too

    Tyler Cowen
    1 Aug 2014 | 1:47 am
    The share of firms aged 16 years or more was 23 percent in 1992, but leaped to 34 percent by 2011—an increase of 50 percent in two decades. The share of private-sector workers employed in these mature firms increased from 60 percent to 72 percent during the same period. Perhaps most startling, we find that employment and firm shares declined for every other firm age group during this period. We explore three potential contributing factors driving the increasing share of economic activity occurring in older firms, and find that a secular decline in entrepreneurship is playing a major…
  • Why is euro-area inflation so low?

    Tyler Cowen
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:59 pm
    Sober Look has the numbers, for instance: The area’s CPI is now below 0.5% on a year-over-year basis. Yesterday we saw German CPI hit new lows (see chart) and Italy’s inflation rate is now hovering just above zero. What is the most economical model here?  The ECB invested in building up a lot of credibility in some areas, such as price level stability, but that means less credibility when it comes to pushing higher inflation.  So to get two percent inflation, perhaps the ECB has to genuinely and truly seek four percent inflation, because a big chunk of the market won’t…
  • Economists sign petition asking Congress to contain fallout from Argentina debt ruling

    Tyler Cowen
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:51 pm
    The notice is here, signers include Bob Solow and Dani Rodrik.  I agree with their arguments, and you will find my slightly different but still consistent earlier critique here.  Here is one bit from the press release: “It’s a widely shared opinion among economists that the court’s attempt to force Argentina into a default that nobody – not the debtor nor more than 90 percent of creditors – wants, is wrong and damaging,” said Mark Weisbrot, economist and Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, who helped circulate the letter. Matt Levine has a good post on…
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:05 am
    1. Further evidence for political insider trading, this time for hedge funds. 2. You call it “3-D printing optimism,” I call it “order transmission and cheap delivery pessimism.”  Amazon enters the game. 3. Google search and stock prices, further results. 4. Indian monkey costume markets in everything, Parliamentary edition.  And lingerie for Chinese peaches. 5. China will liberalize its internal passport system.  And The Woman in Black settles in Winchester,VA. 6. Broody octopus keeps four-year vigil. 7. In which we learn that Neel Kashkari is very good at…
  • Private Schools vs. Caste Discrimination

    Alex Tabarrok
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:20 am
    Nearly 30% of children in India (ages 6-14) attend private schools and in some states and many urban regions a majority of the students attend private schools. Compared to the government schools, private schools perform modestly better on measures of learning (Muraldiharan and Sundararaman 2013, Tabarrok 2011) and much better on cost-efficiency. Moreover, even though the private schools are low cost and mostly serve very poor students they also have better facilities such as electricity, toilets, blackboards, desks, drinking water etc. than the government schools (e.g. here and here). In…
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    Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

  • What THEY Cover Up: Live from La Farine CCXXXI: August 1, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Aug 2014 | 5:45 am
    Moe Lane: HA! My Secret Map made the Tor.com blog!:
  • Liveblogging World War I: August 1, 1914: Failing to Shy at the Jump

    J. Bradford DeLong
    1 Aug 2014 | 12:42 am
    Christopher Clark: The Sleepwalkers: On 31 July, after further wavering over military measures, news arrived from Ambassador Pourtalès in Moscow that the Russians had ordered total mobilization from midnight on the previous evening. The Kaiser now ordered by telephone that the SIDW be declared, and the order was issued to the armed forces by Falkenhayn at 1.00 p.m. on 31 July. The responsibility for mobilizing first now lay squarely with the Russians, a matter of some importance to the Berlin leadership, who were concerned, in the light of pacifist demonstrations in some of the German…
  • Thursday Watching Numbers Weblogging: Over at Equitable Growth

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:56 am
    A Note on the Shape of Yesterday's GDP Growth Number | Washington Center for Equitable Growth Nick Bunker: Durable Consumption and Economic Growth Nick Bunker: A History of Postwar U.S. Economic Growth
  • Neel Kashkari Finds Out: Low Employment Not Due to Skill Mismatch or "Structural" Factors: Live from La Farine CCXXX: July 31, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:22 am
    Neel Kashkari--who has proven himself an extremely reliable and conscientious employee in the past--spends a week in Fresno. He tries and fails to find work. Someone whose market wage is in the seven figures--he is not a "zero marginal product" middle-aged male worker. And yet... We need more stimulus: fiscal, monetary, banking, housing. We need it now! Neel Kashkari: Brother, Can You Spare a Job?: "I wanted to see firsthand.... ...So, on the morning of July 21 I took a Greyhound bus from Los Angeles to Fresno. With only $40 in my pocket (and no credit cards), a backpack, a change of clothes…
  • Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for July 31, 2014

    J. Bradford DeLong
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:07 am
    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Nick Bunker: The durability of consumption and economic growth | Washington Center for Equitable Growth Nick Bunker: A post-war history of U.S. economic growth | Washington Center for Equitable Growth Was NAFTA a Disasta?: Wednesday Focus for July 30, 2014 | Washington Center for Equitable Growth Afternoon Must-Read: Gary Burtless: Unemployment and the “Skills Mismatch” Story: Overblown and Unpersuasive | Washington Center for Equitable Growth Afternoon Must-Read: Rick Perlstein: Ronald Reagan's Brand of Leadership | Washington Center for Equitable…
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    99% Invisible

  • 125- Duplitecture

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

    Roman Mars
    22 Jul 2014 | 6:26 am
    Reporter Whitney Jones argues that R.E.M.’s Out of Time is the most politically significant album in the history of the United States. Because of its packaging.
  • 123- Snowflake

    Roman Mars
    15 Jul 2014 | 11:47 am
    Well before the early 1500s, when Sir Thomas Moore first coined the term “Utopia,” people have been thinking about how to design their ideal community. Maybe it’s one that doesn’t use money, or one that drops traditional family structures and raises children collectively. For a community of people on the outskirts of the small Arizona town of Snowflake, “utopia” is just a place where they won’t be physically sick. That’s because everyone in this community is suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS.
  • 122- Good Egress

    Roman Mars
    8 Jul 2014 | 1:52 pm
    When designing a commercial structure, there is one safety component that must be designed right into the building from the start: egress. “Egress” refers to an entire exit system from a building: stairs, corridors, and evacuation routes outside the building. Each state’s building code specifies a certain number of means of egress, depending on the size and purpose of the structure. Simply put, there have to be enough doors, corridors, and stairs for every occupant to exit in an orderly manner in the event of an emergency.
  • 121- Cold War Kids

    Roman Mars
    1 Jul 2014 | 11:30 am
    During the 1961 Berlin Crisis—one of the various moments in the cold war in which we came frighteningly close to engaging in actual war with the Soviets—President John F. Kennedy vowed to identify spaces in “existing structures both public and private that could be used for fallout shelters in case of attack.” After JFK’s speech, a fallout shelter economy sprung up overnight in the U.S. There were door to door bomb-shelter salesmen, shelter displays at malls and county fairs, and pamphlets for sale on every magazine rack. But by the time Kennedy made that speech, one…
 
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    bank-o-meter.com

  • Thursday, July 31, 2014 - Ugly Day, Ugly Logic

    Sinclair Noe
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:07 pm
    Ugly Day, Ugly Logicby Sinclair NoeDOW – 317 = 16,563SPX – 39 = 1930NAS – 93 = 436910 YR YLD un = 2.55%OIL – 2.12 = 98.15GOLD – 14.00 = 1281.50SILV - .23 = 20.48Well, this was just ugly. The worst day for the Dow Industrial Average in about 4 months. Back on April 10th, the Dow dropped 267 points; that same day, the S&P 500 was down 30 points. Today wiped out the gains from July, with July marking the first negative month for the Dow and the S&P since January.The S&P is still up about 5% for the year to date, but the Dow started the year at 16,576. All those record highs…
  • Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - GDP, Fed, Vultures, and Banksters

    Sinclair Noe
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:08 pm
    GDP, Fed, Vultures, and Bankstersby Sinclair NoeDOW – 31 = 16,880SPX + 0.12 = 1970NAS + 20 = 446210 YR YLD + .09 = 2.55%OIL - .72 = 100.25GOLD – 4.30 = 1295.50SILV + .06 = 20.72Last week we told you that this week would be very busy. Well, here we are; today we had a big report on second quarter GDP and the Fed wrapped up a policy session, and that’s just the beginning.  This morning, the Commerce Department reported the gross domestic product grew at a 4% pace in the second quarter. Boom. And first quarter GDP was revised from negative 2.9% to negative 2.1%; but any way you look…
  • Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - How Do you Feel?

    Sinclair Noe
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:01 pm
    How Do You Feel?by Sinclair NoeDOW – 70 = 16,912SPX – 8 = 1969NAS – 2 = 444210 YR YLD  - .03 = 2.46%OIL - .63 = 101.04GOLD – 4.70 = 1299.80SILV un = 20.66How are you feeling? Are you confident? Apparently more people are. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index increase to 90.9 in July, up from 86.4 in June; it’s the highest level in almost 7 years; it marks a significant rebound from the February 2009 low of 25.3. The people who compile the index say: “Strong job growth helped boost consumers’ assessment of current conditions, while brighter short-term outlooks…
  • Monday, July 28, 2014 - You Might Not Like the Solution

    Sinclair Noe
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:09 pm
    You Might Not Like the Solutionby Sinclair NoeDOW + 22 = 16,982SPX + 0.57 = 1978NAS – 4 = 444410 YR YLD + .02 = 2.47%OIL - .52 = 101.57GOLD – 4.80 = 1304.50SILV - .18 = 20.67This will be a busy week for economic reports. Today’s reports included the National Association of Realtors’ index of pending home sales for June; it dropped 1.1%. This index looks at contracts signed, and usually about 80% of signed contracts result in a sale within 2 months. The pending home sales index is up 9% from February, but it is down 7.3% compared to June a year ago. The blame can be placed at the usual…
  • Friday, July 25, 2014 - Hot and Dry

    Sinclair Noe
    25 Jul 2014 | 2:36 pm
    Hot and Dryby Sinclair NoeDOW – 123 = 16,960SPX – 9 = 1978NAS – 22 = 444910 YR YLD - .04 = 2.47OIL - .13 = 101.94GOLD + 13.30 = 1308.20SILV + .35 = 20.82For the week, the Dow is down 0.8%, the S&P is flat and the Nasdaq is up 0.4% in its second straight weekly rise.In economic news, durable goods orders were up 1.4% in June, but May’s numbers were revised lower to show a 1.2% decline. Shipments of core capital goods fell 1%. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the government's gross domestic product measurement. The government will release its…
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    iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

  • Too Much At Stake: Moving Ahead with Energy Price Reforms

    iMFdirect
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:40 am
    By Ian Parry (Versions in Español, 中文, Français, and Русский) Energy plays a critical role in the functioning of modern economies. At the same time, it’s at the heart of many of today’s pressing environmental concerns—from global warming (predicted to reach around 3–4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century) and outdoor air pollution (causing over three million premature deaths a year) to traffic gridlock in urban centers. In a new IMF book, we look at precisely how policymakers can strike the right balance between the substantial economic benefits of energy use…
  • Should We Worry About Higher Interest Rates?

    iMFdirect
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:15 am
    By Hamid Faruqee Global interest rates will eventually move higher. We do not know precisely when,  how fast, or how far, but we do know the direction. After a long period of very low interest rates following the global financial crisis, some central banks (mainly, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England) are planning to “normalize”—that is, to gradually tighten their easy monetary policies as their economies improve. And when U.S. and U.K benchmark interest rates go up, interest rates tend to go up elsewhere, too. So should we worry if and when global financial conditions…
  • Managing Housing Market Risks in the United Kingdom

    iMFdirect
    28 Jul 2014 | 7:37 am
    By Ruy Lama House prices are rising rapidly in the UK at an annual rate of 10.5 percent. House price inflation is particularly high in London (20 percent per year), and it is gradually accelerating in the rest of the country. The recent increases in house prices have been getting a lot of attention, and understandably have raised questions about living standards and whether another “boom-bust” cycle has begun. The current UK housing cycle raises two important questions. What is driving the rise in house prices? And how should macroeconomic policies respond? Macroeconomic policies should…
  • The Slow Recovery Continues

    iMFdirect
    24 Jul 2014 | 8:30 am
    By Olivier Blanchard (Versions in Español, 中文,  日本語, Русский ) The recovery continues, but it remains weak, indeed a bit weaker than we forecast in April. We have revised our forecast for world growth in 2014 from 3.7 percent in April to 3.4 percent today. This headline number makes things look worse than they really are. To a large extent, it reflects something that has already happened, namely the large negative US growth rate in the first quarter. But it is not all due to that. It also reflects a number of small downward revisions, both in advanced and in emerging…
  • Euro Area: An Unbalanced Rebalancing?

    iMFdirect
    22 Jul 2014 | 8:05 am
    By John Bluedorn and Shengzu Wang Since the financial crisis, the euro area current account, made up mostly of the trade balances of the individual countries, has moved from rough balance into a clear surplus. But the underlying rebalancing across economies within the euro area has been highly asymmetric, with some debtors, like Greece, Ireland, and Spain, seeing large current account improvements (sometimes into surplus), while creditors, like Germany and the Netherlands, have basically maintained their surpluses (Chart 1). A set of new staff papers look at the drivers of the improvements in…
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    EconomicPolicyJournal.com

  • The Frontline Protection Against a Terrorist Attack in the US?

    31 Jul 2014 | 7:04 pm
    File under: Security Theater in Action It's really a good thing that there aren't many serious terrorists (if any) in the US. Jaison De Montalegre sends this photo taken at Grand Central Station in NYC. Would hardcore terrorists really tremble because of these two characters?
  • Enemies of America: Bloomberg, Stern, and Rand Paul

    31 Jul 2014 | 5:57 pm
    By Micahel Scheuer There must be few occasions in history when a Fifth Column was as openly disloyal and flamboyant as is Israel First in the United States, advocating at every turn that Americans become involved in wars that are none of their concern. These Jewish and non-Jewish Americans have so corrupted the U.S. political system and media that they feel perfectly at ease in acting in ways
  • Is There an Austrian Economics Mole at NPR?

    31 Jul 2014 | 4:52 pm
    Charles Goyette emails: Bob: I don’t know if there’s an Austrian mole in NPR, but this report is well worth a listen!  It’s one young girl’s story about irrepressible market forces in North Korea’s command economy.  It has all the archetypal elements: the grand socialist plan, fiat currency, starvation, black markets, price discovery, bribery, the crack-up boom, entrepreneurship.  http
  • Mises Makes It to the Front Page of TheStreet.com

    31 Jul 2014 | 3:57 pm
    A column by EPJ friend, Rafi Farber, written for TheStreet.com mentions Mises' Regression Theorem in relation to the crisis in Argentina: In order for an economy to function on the most basic level, prices have to mean something. They have to make sense -- calculate values of scarce resources accurately in order to allocate them in the most efficient way. In order for them to make sense, they
  • Ross Ulbricht to File 'Cutting Edge 4th Amendment Privacy in the Digital Age' Motions

    31 Jul 2014 | 3:46 pm
    EXCLUSIVE. EconomicPolicyJournal.com has learned that the attorneys for Ross Ulbricht will submit,on his behalf, a new round of motions tomorrow addressing "cutting edge 4th amendment issues and privacy in the digital age." I expect the motions to generate much discussion with regard to privacy in the age of the  internet. The government alleges that Ulbricht was the founder and operator of
 
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    Visualizing Economics

  • DesignandGeography.com

    Catherine Mulbrandon
    29 Jul 2014 | 2:15 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
  • Average Household Income by US Counties

    Catherine Mulbrandon
    4 Jul 2014 | 9:42 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
  • Jersey City 2014 Budget in 4 Easy Graphs

    Catherine Mulbrandon
    2 Jun 2014 | 3:11 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
  • US Housing Boom, Bust and Recovery Maps

    Catherine Mulbrandon
    18 May 2014 | 3:18 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 Rolling Gold Returns Compared to Stocks 1928-2013

    Catherine Mulbrandon
    16 May 2014 | 12:14 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
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    Carl Futia

  • Attention Traders

    31 Jul 2014 | 8:43 am
    As you know I have started to post the S&P E-mini trades I make in my trading seminar CarlFutiaRealTime  on this blog's Twitter feed (at the top of the right hand column). You can follow me here on Twitter for free but keep in mind that the trade postings are delayed 5-10 minutes. Since I started posting these trades on October 14 they have generated  72 points profit on a one contract basis. This is a return of 36% on a 10k trading account to margin a single contract (a very conservative approach since day trade margin on a single contract is only about $2,500). Since the start…
  • danger ahead

    31 Jul 2014 | 8:31 am
    Here are daily charts of my three favorite trend indicators: the Dow Industrials, the S&P 500, and the NYSE advance-decline line.As I write this all three are below their 50 day moving averages (green lines, red arrows). Assuming they stay below them for the next couple of days I think this means that the Dow and the S&P are headed for their 200 day moving averages (red lines and green arrows) and quite possibly below them.This "sell signal" from the 50 day moving averages should be taken seriously. The bull market in the US stock market has lasted more than 5 years from its inception…
  • Guesstimates on July 31, 2014

    31 Jul 2014 | 6:12 am
    September S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1942-56. A break below 1940 would mean that a drop of at least 90 -110 points is underway.  QQQ: Support is now at 94.00 and I think the Q’s have a good shot at 99.00. TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: The euro has definitely broken the low of the 1.35-1.37 trading range and is now headed for 1.33 or lower. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. September Crude:  Crude has dropped decisively below 102 support and is now headed for…
  • Guesstimates on July 30, 2014

    30 Jul 2014 | 6:09 am
    September S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1962-74. A break below yesterday’s low would be very bearish but meanwhile I still think that the ES is in the early stages of a move to 2000 and higher.  QQQ: Support is now at 94.00 and I think the Q’s have a good shot at 99.00. TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: The euro has definitely broken the low of the 1.35-1.37 trading range and is now headed for 1.33 or lower. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. September Crude:  Crude has…
  • Guesstimates on July 29, 2014

    29 Jul 2014 | 6:04 am
    September S&P E-mini Futures: Today’s range estimate is 1973-85. I think that the ES is in the early stages of a move to 2000 and higher.  QQQ: Support is now at 94.00 and I think the Q’s have a good shot at 99.00. TNX (ten year note yield): I think the market will move to 3.50% over the next few months.Euro-US Dollar: The euro has definitely broken the low of the 1.35-1.37 trading range and is now headed for 1.33 or lower. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is headed for 107.00. September Crude:  Crude has dropped decisively below 102 support and is now headed for 90.August Gold:…
 
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    True Economics

  • 31/7/2014: Deflationary Trap: Eurocoin Signals Slowing Euro Area Growth in July

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:16 am
    July Eurocoin - higher frequency gauge of economic activity in the euro area published by CEPR and Banca d'Italia - is out. Headline number posted a decline from 0.31 in June to 0.27 in July, consistent with slower growth in the first month of Q3 2014.As chart above shows, July reading is barely above the statistical significance line, suggesting that the slowdown is quite pronounced. As Eurocoin release indicates: "The negative impact of the fall in industrial production in May and of the weak performance of the stock market in July was partially offset by the flattening of the yield curve."…
  • 29/7/2014: Pause that hype about Russian reserves draining... for now

    30 Jul 2014 | 7:25 am
    There is a lot of media 'noise' around Russia's foreign exchange reserves and the alleged links to sanctions as a causative driver for, what some report as dramatic, declines in Russian reserves.Here is analysis of the official data.Two charts first:Total reserves:As of the week of July 18, 2014, these stand at 472,500 million USD, down 4.2% on March 1, 2014 (20 days before the first round of sanctions announcements) and down 7.3% on January 1, 2014 (time around which the crisis in Ukraine started to take on sinister character, threatening directly the previous regime and drawing Moscow into…
  • 29/7/2014: Vera Graziadei Interview: Ukraine, Russia, Maidan...

    30 Jul 2014 | 6:35 am
    This is a very insightful, personal-level interview with Vera Graziadei, who is a British TV presenter with Russian and Ukrainian roots, born in Donetsk, raised first in Eastern Ukraine, then in the UK, educated in LSE and so on...http://www.bne.eu/content/interview-graziadei-anger-towards-euromaidan-passionate-%E2%80%93-no-actMany personal feeling she narrates in the interview are shared by other people who have personal and familial ties to Ukraine and Russia. I would count numerous instances where reading her interview led me to think: "Me too! I felt the same." As an analyst, I too often…
  • 30/7/2014: Some Simple Maths Around Live Register Numbers

    30 Jul 2014 | 4:09 am
    There are some positive news on Live Register front today, which you can read about here: http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/lr/liveregisterjuly2014/#.U9jKTIBdWEIMy friend, Marc Coleman noted in his commentary that:Progress of sorts, I agree. However, several caveats apply:The above figures quoted by Marc omit outflows from LR due to expiration of benefits (e.g. two-earners household where one earner becomes unemployed, draws unemployment supports, but then runs out of benefits due to high income of the other earner, etc);The above reductions also reflect outflows of working…
  • 29/7/2014: Latest Round of EU Sanctions: Mirroring the U.S. and upping the ante...

    29 Jul 2014 | 11:42 am
    EU finally agreed on the new round of sanctions against Russia - the full document is available here: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/144159.pdf"In order to restrict Russia's access to EU capital markets, EU nationals and companies may no more buy or sell new bonds, equity or similar financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 90 days, issued by state-owned Russian banks, development banks, their subsidiaries and those acting on their behalf. Services related to the issuing of such financial instruments, e.g. brokering, are also prohibited." This is…
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    Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

  • Pending Home Sales: June 2014

    28 Jul 2014 | 11:26 am
    Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for June showing that pending home sales declined with the seasonally adjusted national index falling 1.1% from May and dropping 7.3% below the level seen in June 2013. Meanwhile, the NARs chief economist Lawrence Yun indicated that while current activity has improved overall, conditions are still challenging for potential home buyers."Activity is notably higher than earlier this year as prices have moderated and inventory levels have improved, ... However, supply shortages still exist in parts of the…
  • New Home Sales: June 2014

    24 Jul 2014 | 7:56 am
    Today, the U.S. Census Department released its monthly New Residential Home Sales Report for June showing a notable decline with sales declining 8.1% from May falling 11.5% below the level seen in June 2013 remaining near an historically low level with 406K SAAR units. The monthly supply increased to 5.8 months while the median selling price increased 5.27% and the average selling price increased 8.27% from the year ago level. The following chart show the extent of sales decline to date (click for full-larger version).
  • The Chicago Fed National Activity Index: June 2014

    21 Jul 2014 | 8:27 am
    The latest release of the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (CFNAI) indicated that the national economic activity weakened in June with the index falling to a very weak level of 0.12 from a level of 0.16 in May while the three month moving average worsened to a weak level of 0.13. 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…
  • Retail Sales: June 2014

    15 Jul 2014 | 9:26 pm
    Yesterday, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest nominal read of retail sales  showing increasing activity in June with sales rising 0.2% from May and 4.3% on a year-over-year basis on an aggregate of all items including food, fuel and healthcare services. Nominal "discretionary" retail sales including home furnishings, home garden and building materials, consumer electronics and department store sales declined slightly, falling 0.31% from May but rising 1.73% above the level seen in June 2013 while, adjusting for inflation, “real” discretionary retail sales declined 0.48% on…
  • Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – July 09 2014

    9 Jul 2014 | 11:33 am
    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications. The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases. The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate…
 
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    Stock Trading To Go

  • STTG Market Recap July 31, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:07 pm
    Thursday was the first very truly rough day in a long while for the indexes but it should not have been a major surprise. If you have been reading our recaps we had been mentioning how the indexes were being held up by some big names but under the surface breadth was weakening. Further the NYSE McClellan Oscillator has been negative all month which is another sign that the market is... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap July 30, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:22 pm
    The Federal Reserve did nothing surprising ($10B reduction in quantitative easing a month) and a market that was sort of weak/neutral rallied on some dovish comments on the labor market in today's statement. At the close the S&P 500 gained 0.01% while the NASDAQ added 0.45%.Voting to cut another $10 billion from its monthly bond buys, the central bank left its short-term interest rate... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap July 29, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    29 Jul 2014 | 5:20 pm
    Indexes continue to stagnate in July as the S&P 500 fell 0.45% and the NASDAQ 0.05% due to a late day selloff. Sanctions versus Russia were heightened by the U.S. and Europe which some point to for the late selling. (Obama spoke on TV) The Conference Board's measure of consumer confidence came in Tuesday at 90.9 in July, the highest reading since October 2007. Original post: STTG... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • Robo-Advisors vs Online Brokers vs RIAs – Which is Best?

    Blain Reinkensmeyer
    29 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    The rise of the “robo-advisor” is hard to ignore. Startups Wealthfront, Betterment, Personal Capital, and others have shaken up the managed assets scene by letting algorithms determine the best allocation of capital.Investing with a robo-advisor has given investors the ability to accomplish long term investment goals with a much lower cost over using a traditional advisor.A similar trend of... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
  • STTG Market Recap July 28, 2014

    Mark Hanna
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:48 pm
    Stocks sold off moderately Monday morning but dip buyers came in yet again - a pattern we have now seen for 2 months - and indexes close near unchanged. The S&P 500 gained 0.03% while the NASDAQ dropped 0.10%. News flow was light; keep in mind we do have the Federal Reserve meeting Tuesday and Wednesday but they have telegraphed their intentions so no fireworks will come of this. We... Read the full article at StockTradingToGo.com
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    Political Calculations

  • Taking The Fork in the S&P 500's Future

    1 Aug 2014 | 1:01 am
    Earlier this week, we wrote what was perhaps one of the most timely posts ever in the history of Political Calculations, as we discussed how we may have finally succeeded in compensating for the echo effect in our forecasting method for anticipating the future of the S&P 500: Here's the result of our rebaselining the calculation to incorporate the historic stock data in our projections of today: Suddenly, we find that stock prices would appear to be once again predictable, currently following the trajectories that are consistent with investors continuing to be focused on either 2014-Q3 or…
  • Illinois' Long Term Unemployed Get Hired

    31 Jul 2014 | 1:19 am
    On 28 December 2013, approximately 74,000 Illinoisans who had been unemployed for more than 26 weeks but less than 73 weeks lost their unemployment insurance benefits when the federal government's emergency extended unemployment benefits program expired. Paying an average benefit of $320 per week, up to a maximum of $413 per week, Democratic Party politicians and interest groups vowed to do whatever it took to get their unemployment benefits back. By spring, Illinois' elected representatives in the U.S. Congress used their influence to get the Illinois Department of Economic Security (IDES)…
  • Diverging Trends for Non-farm Payroll and Total Employment

    30 Jul 2014 | 1:35 am
    What does it mean when the trends for non-farm payroll jobs and total employment in the U.S. are on two separate and diverging tracks? We're asking that question today because of something we've observed in the data for the state of Illinois while working on a different project. The chart below shows what we found when we looked at that state's total employment numbers and nonfarm payroll jobs since December 2012. Here, we observe that the trends for the state's total employment and for the state's non-farm payroll jobs would appear to be on diverging trajectories over time. As we've…
  • The Differences Between the Household and Establishment Employment Surveys

    29 Jul 2014 | 1:31 am
    Every month, when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) puts out its Employment Situation report, it provides the results of two different surveys that it conducts each month: the Household survey and the Establishment survey. We thought we'd take this opportunity to note the differences between the two. The Household portion of the Employment Situation report is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, which surveys some 60,000 American households during the week of the 12th of each month as part of its Current Population Survey (CPS). In addition to determining the employment status of the…
  • Compensating for the Echo Effect

    28 Jul 2014 | 1:38 am
    We think we may finally have a decent handle on how to compensate for the echo effect in our forecasting of the S&P 500's future. To briefly recap the story to date, our index value forecasting method incorporates historic stock prices from a year earlier as part of the base reference points from which we project the future value of stock prices. The "echo effect" is something that results from our use of that historic data, particularly when stock prices had experienced a "noise event". A noise event is when stock prices deviate from the level that their fundamental underlying driver, the…
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    Calafia Beach Pundit

  • Tribute to Milton Friedman

    31 Jul 2014 | 6:43 pm
    I had the great privilege and the great fortune of seeing Milton Friedman in person quite a few times in the 1980s and 1990s, and I've read just about everything he's written. He was one of the most amazing and influential people I've known. His good humor, rock-solid logic, and clear thinking were simply astonishing. No one could beat him in a debate. Milton was all about freedom, a concept that to this day remains under siege from those who fail to understand how it works. Today, on the 102nd anniversary of Milton's birth, Mark Perry posted a wonderful collection of Milton's quotes.
  • The 2.1% recovery gives us 2.5% yields

    31 Jul 2014 | 6:05 pm
    We now know that the big negative GDP number in the first quarter wasn't the beginning of another recession (I didn't think so). Turns out it was a combination of bad weather and the vagaries of GDP accounting; sometimes those things just happen, and then they are reversed. As we learned yesterday, the first quarter's growth was revised to -2.1%, and the second quarter came in at 4%. For the past five years, the economy has grown at a 2.1% annualized pace, and that's pretty close to what we saw in the first half of this year after all the dust had settled. Ho-hum, not very exciting, and…
  • What's driving the decline in labor force participation?

    30 Jul 2014 | 6:59 pm
    One of the distinctive features of the U.S. economy's current expansion phase is that it has been the weakest recovery ever. As the graph above shows, the economy is operating significantly below its long-term growth trend; if this were a typical expansion, the economy would have recovered to its trend growth path long ago. In fact, it's only grown at a 2.1% annualized pace from mid-2009 through mid-2014. Not only is growth slow, but the economy likely has a lot of unused capacity; because of that, national income today is arguably about $1.7 trillion less than what it could or should…
  • Confidence rises to its long-term average

    29 Jul 2014 | 9:08 am
    The Conference Board's July survey of consumer confidence came in much stronger than expected (90.9 vs. 85.4), and marked a new post-recession high, as seen in the graph above. I note that the July value of this index is now equal to its average since 1970. The current business cycle set the all-time low-water mark for confidence in February, 2009; from the depths of depression and fear we have now recovered to something akin to "normal." It's taken over five years to get back to normal, but at least things continue to improve.From this it follows that we are no longer in a risk-averse…
  • Household net worth is up, not down

    28 Jul 2014 | 9:08 am
    Over the weekend, the New York Times ran an article titled "The Typical Household, Now Worth a Third Less." It cites a study by the Russell Sage Foundation which claims that "The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline." I've since seen this article widely quoted, since its results are nothing less than shocking.But is the claim true? I very much doubt it.Consider the dramatic contrast to be found in the household net worth figures compiled by the Federal Reserve, which I have featured here…
 
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    Donald Marron

  • The Federal Reserve is Not Ending Its Stimulus

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

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

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

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

  • Recent economic growth

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

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

    24 Mar 2014 | 1:44 pm
    Matt Drudge famously said he's paying his.Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not 'getting covered'... I'M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX!— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) March 21, 2014Here are the IRS instructions, where self-employed taxpayers are told to consider including their 2014 individual mandate penalty with their estimated tax payments beginning April 15, 2014.
  • Sell your copy of the Redistribution Recession!

    4 Mar 2014 | 1:31 pm
    sell your hard copy of the Redistribution Recession! There is a severe shortage and as far as I can tell used copies are going for $100.http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0199942218/ref=tmm_hrd_used_olp_sr?ie=UTF8&condition=used&sr=&qid=When the publisher starts shipping again next month (they promised me that they will never charge more than $40), I recommend buying multiple copies so that you get more revenue during the next shortage.If you don't already have a copy: what were you thinking?!
  • What's happening to the workweek in low-wage industries?

    20 Feb 2014 | 11:00 am
    http://news.investors.com/politics-obamacare/020714-689319-low-wage-workweek-hits-new-low-with-obamacare.htm
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Stanny Stanny Stannitude

    Andrew
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:11 pm
    On the stan-users list, Richard McElreath reports: With 2.4 out, I ran a quick test of how much speedup I could get by changing my old non-vectorized multi_normal sampling to the new vectorized form. I get a 40% time savings, without even trying hard. This is much better than I expected. Timings with vectorized multi_normal: # Elapsed Time: 96.8564 seconds (Warm-up) # 87.8308 seconds (Sampling) # 184.687 seconds (Total) Timings without vectorized multi_normal: # Elapsed Time: 168.544 seconds (Warm-up) # 147.83 seconds (Sampling) # 316.375 seconds (Total) These timings are for a Gaussian mixed…
  • The health policy innovation center: how best to move from pilot studies to large-scale practice?

    Andrew
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:34 am
    A colleague pointed me to this news article regarding evaluation of new health plans: The Affordable Care Act would fund a new research outfit evocatively named the Innovation Center to discover how to most effectively deliver health care, with $10 billion to spend over a decade. But now that the center has gotten started, many researchers and economists are disturbed that it is not using randomized clinical trials, the rigorous method that is widely considered the gold standard in medical and social science research. Such trials have long been required to prove the efficacy of medicines, and…
  • Statistics and data science, again

    Andrew
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:47 am
    Phillip Middleton writes in with two questions: (1) Is html markdown or some other formatting script usable in comments? If so, what are the tags I may use? (2) What are your views on the role of statistics in the evolution of the various folds of convergent science? For example, upon us there is this rather nebulously defined thing called data science which roughly equates to an amalgam of comp sci and stats. I tend to interpret it as somewhat computational stats, somewhat AI – or maybe it’s just an evolution of data mining, I don’t know yet. The comp sci camp is marketing…
  • The Ben Geen case: Did a naive interpretation of a cluster of cases send an innocent nurse to prison until 2035?

    Andrew
    29 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    In a paper called “Rarity of Respiratory Arrest,” Richard Gill writes: Statistical analysis of monthly rates of events in around 20 hospitals and over a period of about 10 years shows that respiratory arrest, though about five times less frequent than cardio-respiratory arrest, is a common occurrence in the Emergency Department of a typical smaller UK hospital. He has lots of detailed and commonsensical (but hardly routine) data analysis. Those of you who read my recent posts (here and here) on the World Cup might be interested in this, because it has lots of practical details of…
  • SciLua 2 includes NUTS

    Bob Carpenter
    28 Jul 2014 | 3:00 pm
    The most recent release of SciLua includes an implementation of Matt’s sampler, NUTS (link is to the final JMLR paper, which is a revision of the earlier arXiv version). According to the author of SciLua, Stefano Peluchetti: Should be quite similar to your [Stan's] implementation with some differences in the adaptation strategy. If you have time to have a look and give it a try I would appreciate your feedback. My website includes the LuaJIT binaries for 3 arches [Windows, Mac OS X, Linux], and the Xsys and Sci libraries needed to run NUTS. I’ve also been working on a higher-level…
 
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    Capital Chronicle

  • Uncertainty vs risk: S&P500 volatility since 1929

    7 Jul 2014 | 1:49 pm
    This from Goldman Sachs' Top of Mind Global Macro Research report of 25 Jun, 2014:Although the detail within the GS report is balanced this shorter and sharper piece from the FT's Underground Economist distills the debate with no great loss of message.(And that Professor Bloom paper the FT cites is here)
  • Curse of Reinhart & Rogoff strikes Piketty

    23 May 2014 | 11:28 pm
    If only Mr. Rogoff had waited a couple of weeks before reviewing Mr. Piketty's opus here the result might have been far more entertaining (as well as thought-provoking).Why? Mr. Piketty got the R&R treatment from the FT this week (right here, you may have to register to see). Some of the criticism is about data sources; some is about data adjustments; and some concerns data selection. But the underlying question is about the combination of these and their subsequent interpretation.The New York Times captures that last point when commenting on this graphic from the FT piece written by…
  • What do you have to do to lose your US banking license?

    1 May 2014 | 5:04 am
    More anti-bank developments reported here by Dealbook featuring, amongst others, Preet Bharara the US attorney in Manhattan. It was Bharara who took down Galleon and saw that Rajaratnam got jail time. After that conviction Bharara said:“The message today is clear — there are rules and there are laws, and they apply to everyone, no matter who you are or how much money you have.” Now he (and others) are seeking to walk the talk by bringing criminal charges against two foreign banks operating in the US.Tough ask? Law breaking and deception by banks have only been met to date with…
  • 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…
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    Businomics Blog

  • Housing Vacancy Improving

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

  • The failed 2013 Keynesian experiment: even worse than you thought

    ssumner
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:52 am
    When 2013 ended I couldn’t help pointing out that we passed Krugman’s famous “test” of market monetarism with flying colors.  GDP growth was initially estimated as being slightly higher in 2013 than 2012 (comparing Q4 to Q4.) Now the annual revisions are in for 2012 and 2013, and the new numbers look even worse for the Keynesians.  Let’s start with the numbers that Keynesians always (wrongly) use as proxies for demand growth—RGDP: 2011:4 to 2012:4:   1.60% 2012:4 to 2013:3:  3.13% So real GDP growth almost doubled under the weight of higher income…
  • Does monetary policy explain the British jobs recovery?

    ssumner
    28 Jul 2014 | 6:49 pm
    There’s been a lot of discussion of the disconnect between British output (which has done poorly over the past 6 years), and total employment, which is reaching new records, and is even at near record levels as a percentage of the population.  After discussing the strong UK jobs growth, Matt Yglesias presents data on the weak RGDP performance, and then comments: This is a very long time for GDP to recover to its pre-crisis point, and GDP per person is at an almost shockingly low level. This is far worse than the US has done. There are some different possible interpretations of this.
  • Is the Fed finally beginning to see the problems with IT?

    ssumner
    27 Jul 2014 | 6:11 pm
    For years I’ve been arguing that the public doesn’t understand inflation targeting, and that the Fed needs a target that the public does understand, such as NGDP targeting.  In 2010 when core inflation was running below 1%, Bernanke said the Fed would seek to raise the rate of inflation closer to 2%. Talk radio told its listeners that the Fed wanted to raise their cost of living when average Americans were already struggling, and of course there was an uproar. Now Mike Bryan of the Atlanta Fed has a post that discusses many of these problems.  He starts off with a survey done by…
  • Andolfatto interviews Woodford

    ssumner
    27 Jul 2014 | 8:09 am
    David Andolfatto is a very knowledgeable monetary policy blogger, and here he interviews Michael Woodford, perhaps the world’s leading monetary theorist.  I’ll just focus on one issue: Andolfatto There is a conventional wisdom of how these tools might work. Can you explain to us the findings of your own research, how they might corroborate these findings or these beliefs? Or go against them in some manner? Is there something surprising that emerges from what you’ve discovered? Woodford I think so. I think a lot of the discussion that you see of the point of asset purchases…
  • Hope for Indonesia

    ssumner
    27 Jul 2014 | 7:41 am
    With all the focus on trivial issues in America, we sometimes lose sight of momentous events in the country where the population is closest in size to the US. Indonesia just elected a new President and here are some facts about him: 1.  Born in the summer of 1952 2.  Lived on the island of Java as a boy. 3.  Inspirational speaker, popular with young people. So far he sounds exactly like Obama.  Posters also look similar. Before you say “here we go again with all that ‘hope and change’”, consider that Jokowi favors market reforms.  Equity markets celebrated his…
 
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    Scott Lincicome

  • Announcements

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

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

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

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

  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Into the Storm: Sharknado II - Embracing the Con

    31 Jul 2014 | 1:34 pm
    Today was not unexpected.  Let me repeat.  I was not surprised.  The markets today were so boring, in the manner of a staged match in professional wrestling, that I actually broke down and watch a DVR'd copy of 'Sharknado II.'    It was absurd to the point of being clichéd and campy but without genuine laughs, just like the current US Congress.
  • SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Don't Worry Baby

    31 Jul 2014 | 1:28 pm
    Today was 'laundry day' at the US markets, as the foamy stock peak of the past month took a hard turn in the old 'wash and rinse' cycle, that blew off the froth. That's what it was.  Pure and simple.  Any talk of 'gloom and doom' and imminent collapse is pretty much rubbish, although the economy is certainly grossly underperforming its potential despite the rosy numbers the bureaucrats like
  • NAV Premiums of Certain Precious Metal Trusts and Funds

    31 Jul 2014 | 11:15 am
    It is interesting that the precious metals are moving with the equity markets today. I suspect it is more about the events of the week with regard to monetary policy and economic reports than anything else. The gold/silver ratio remains historically high around 62.5.
  • Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - All Along the Watchtower

    30 Jul 2014 | 1:34 pm
    “We’ve had a lot of bombs being thrown around the world, and this is America throwing a bomb into the global economic system. We don’t know how big the explosion will be — and it’s not just about Argentina.” Joseph Stiglitz Gold took a little hit today, and silver held its price. Very anti-climactic given such an impressive sign of recovery in the real economy!
  • SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Triumph of the Swill

    30 Jul 2014 | 1:13 pm
    GDP was 'better than expected' this morning, coming in at 4.0% growth. Well, it was not better than expected if you read my forecast about what they would do with it and the revisions.  They even improved the fourth revision of that anomalous one-off please ignore it Q1 to only  -2.1% vs. a -2.9% decline. Progress! The tech bulls are riding high, laughing it up on bubblevision.  It's
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • Am I a Tory?

    chris dillow
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:57 am
    Am I a Tory, or is Jesse Norman a socialist? I'm prompted to ask because the other day he reminded me of his superb lecture (pdf) on Burke and Oakeshott. What I mean is that, as Jesse says, both men, in their different ways, supported tradition against rationalism. This anti-rationalism, says Jesse, is "one of the central intellectual roots of conservatism through the ages." That small c in "conservatism" is well chosen. Take three examples:  - You can read Harry Braverman's account of deskilling - which is as relevant today as ever - as being in this…
  • The economic base of virtue

    chris dillow
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:30 am
    ResPublica's call for more virtue in banking looks like it is out of step with our times. This is an indictment not of ResPublica, but of our times. In fact, virtue is necessary for a healthy free market economy because virtuous men do the right thing without law, and so virtue is an alternative to an arms race between ever-increasing regulation and ever more cunning attempts to game such regulation. Free markets, in this sense, need a moral framework. This poses the question: what is the economic basis of virtue? If you think this is a Marxian question, you'd be only half right. When…
  • The productivity silence

    chris dillow
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:24 am
    Simon Wren-Lewis wonders why the government has been so silent about stagnating productivity. I suspect there's a simple reason for this: you don't look a gift horse in the mouth. The drop in productivity growth has saved Osborne a massive embarrassment. To see this, consider a counterfactual. Imagine that productivity (defined as GDP divided by total employment) since the general election had grown by 2.3% per year - its average from 1977 to 2007 - and that output had followed the course it actually has*. If this had happened, employment would now be 2.48 million lower. If half of…
  • Wages & profits

    chris dillow
    28 Jul 2014 | 6:15 am
    Accountants EY say that the number of firms issuing profit warnings has risen. This reminds us of an awkward fact - that real wages haven't fallen because capitalists have increased their exploitation of workers. Instead, they've fallen because productivity has fallen. And lower productivity means lower incomes for both capital and labour. My chart shows the point. It shows that the share of non-financial profits in GDP hasn't changed much since 2010, and is lower than it was before the crisis. This doesn't necessarily undermine Labour's interest in predistribution and the…
  • Unobservables in economics

    chris dillow
    27 Jul 2014 | 5:18 am
    Nick Rowe has raised an awkward point in the philosophy of economics. He writes: If you want to increase the natural rate of interest, starting now, for the next 3 years [as fiscal expansionst want to], it does not matter what you do to the level of government spending right now. The only thing that matters is that you get people to believe that the growth rate of government spending will be lower than they would otherwise expect it would be. This short paragraph appeals to not one but two unobservable variables: the natural rate of interest and expectations of government spending. Which…
 
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    David Smith's EconomicsUK.com

  • The black hole's still huge - but Osborne's slowly filling it

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

    David Smith
    25 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    For all the caveats about per capita GDP - not something that usually gets much emphasis in the policy debate - this was another good GDP number, following on from the symbolic uprating of UK growth forecasts by the International...
  • An independent Scotland risks a Greek tragedy

    David Smith
    20 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. This will not be my last look at Scottish independence between now and the September 18 referendum but it will keep us going for now. I...
  • Don't blame Superpound for Britain's export woes

    David Smith
    13 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Official figures a few days ago for industrial production in Britain produced a surprise. And, for once, it was not a pleasant one. Overall industrial output...
  • Inequality: always with us but less than it was

    David Smith
    6 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Inequality is always with us and it never loses its power to provoke debate. This year, of course, we have had a bestselling book on it,...
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    Top Gun Financial Planning

  • It’s A Bull Market

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

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

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

    Greg Feirman
    28 Dec 2013 | 1:27 pm
    NOTE: Every week or two I wrote a Client Note for my clients. I post the notes to my blog but with a time delay usually between 1 day and 1 week. To receive the Client Notes at the same time as my clients, sign up in the box in the right hand corner of the website. ***** I have finally come around to the view that the path of least resistance for stocks is higher. The first and most important reason is that the Fed and global central banks remain highly accommodative.  The much feared Fed taper finally occurred two weeks ago – and stocks rocketed higher!  One reason could be that…
  • Bull Markets Don’t Last Forever

    Greg Feirman
    9 Nov 2013 | 6:25 am
    NOTE: Every week or two I wrote a Client Note for my clients. I post the notes to my blog but with a time delay usually between 1 day and 1 week. To receive the Client Notes at the same time as my clients, sign up in the box in the right hand corner of the website. A number of factors have coalesced in recent weeks that merit attention. First, consider the overall context.  We are now almost 5 years into one of the greatest bull markets in history.  Bull markets don’t last forever.  According to Jim Stack of Investech, the average bull market since 1932 lasts 3.8 years.  Odds are…
 
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    Project Syndicate RSS-Feed

  • A Tear for Argentina

    Kenneth Rogoff
    1 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    Argentina’s latest default poses unsettling questions for policymakers. Though the country’s periodic debt crises are often the result of self-destructive macroeconomic policies, the default has been triggered this time by a significant shift in the international sovereign-debt regime.
  • Unholy War

    Naomi Wolf
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    Someday, the details of Israel's Operation Protective Edge in Gaza will be investigated and history will be written. But, before that happens, Israel has two moral paths open before it, one of which leads to a very dark place.
  • Mercosur Blues

    Andrés Velasco
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    When the leaders of Mercosur met in Caracas this week, the usual bluster about standing up to imperialism filled the air. But so did the unmistakable scent of decay.
  • China’s Victory in Ukraine

    Dmitri Trenin
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    There is no question that Russia will pay a price for its actions in Ukraine. The question for the US and its allies is whether exacting that price will come with a price of its own.
  • New Hope for Haiti

    Ban Ki-moon
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    In recent years, the UN's commitment to Haiti has helped to reduce the toll of the cholera epidemic that has been ravaging the country since 2010, while promoting security, stability, and human rights. The international community now must step up to support continued progress in these areas.
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    Benzinga Feeds

  • Dow Suffers 300 Point Drop; S&P 500 And NASDAQ Also Tumble

    Jayson Derrick
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:49 pm
    U.S. stocks posted steep losses as investors had plenty to worry about. Unable to reach a last-minute settlement, Argentina defaulted on its debt obligations. Naturally, as a global economy, the credit of one country affects other countries worldwide. The Labor Department reported that U.S. labor costs rose the most in five years.
  • Wells Capital Management's Paulsen Talks About Current Market Action

    Craig Jones
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:13 pm
    James Paulsen of Wells Capital Management says the market sell-off on Thursday was because "good news on Main Street is no longer good news, necessarily, for Wall Street."
  • Challenger Reports Planned Layoffs Surge In July Thanks To Microsoft

    Dave Moenning
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:05 am
    Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that planned job cuts rose to 46,887 in the month of July, the second highest monthly total of the year. Thanks in large part to the unexpectedly large layoffs announced by Microsoft, July's level is 49% higher than June's total layoffs of 31,434 and is 24% above the year-ago level of 39,372.
  • #PreMarket Primer: Thursday, July 31: Obama On The Chopping Block

    Laura Brodbeck
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:37 am
    With a vote to determine who will have control of Congress next year just around the corner, Republicans from the House of Representatives voted to allow lawyers to put together a case against U.S. President Barack Obama.
  • Stocks Mixed Despite Better Than Expected GDP

    Jayson Derrick
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:43 pm
    U.S. stocks were mixed as the Fed continued to wind down its monthly asset purchase program by another $10 billion. The Fed noted that the economy rebounded in the second quarter despite significant under-utilization remaining in the labor market. As such, the Fed noted, it will maintain a policy of keeping money easy for the near term.
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    OilPrice.com Daily News Update

  • The EPA Holds The Key To Effective Sanctions Against Russia

    31 Jul 2014 | 3:11 pm
    There now seems to be general consensus amongst the United States and many European nations regarding the actions of the Putin regime in Eastern Ukraine and what should be done about them. Tragically, It took the downing of a civilian plane and the loss of 298 innocent lives, but there is finally agreement that something must be done. It appears, though, that all are also agreed that action should fall short of a military response, either direct or indirect. As the father of a U.S. Army soldier, I hope that that can be achieved, but for economic…Read more...
  • Oil Majors Pivoting Away from Risky Countries

    31 Jul 2014 | 3:04 pm
    The rising tide of political instability around the world is negatively affecting the some of the oil industry’s largest companies, and several are considering withdrawing their investments in risky areas. Violence, government turmoil, sabotage, and economic sanctions are presenting serious challenges to the oil majors, after years of expanding deeper and deeper into some of the least developed parts of the world. The Wall Street Journal wrote on July 27 about several companies that are pivoting away from troubled regions, and moving towards…Read more...
  • BRICS Bank Will Not Solve Members’ Energy Issues

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:53 pm
    From changing the nature of global politics to being a force for human rights, the announcement of the new BRICS development bank has been met with feverish anticipation by the global economic community. Its supporters have written that it will free the world from the grip of the U.S. dollar as reserve currency, while its detractors say that China and Russia, in particular, are not to be trusted when handing out development loans. The naked oil grab that China completed in Venezuela last week left the world in little doubt that the creation of…Read more...
  • China, America, and a New Cold War in Africa?

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:39 pm
    Is the Conflict in South Sudan the Opening Salvo in the Battle for a Continent? [This story was reported in partnership with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute. Additional funding was provided through the generosity of Adelaide Gomer.]Juba, South Sudan -- Is this country the first hot battlefield in a new cold war?  Is the conflict tearing this new nation apart actually a proxy fight between the world’s two top economic and military powers?  That’s the way South Sudan’s Information Minister Michael Makuei…Read more...
  • Poland Says Russian Produce Ban Is Payback for Sanctions

    31 Jul 2014 | 1:45 pm
    Warsaw says Russia’s ban on most fruit and vegetable imports from Poland has nothing to do with food safety, as Moscow contends, but is political retaliation for new, tough Western sanctions on Russia, particularly its lucrative oil sector.Alexei Alekseenko, a spokesman for Russia’s Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service, issued a statement on July 30, a day after the new sanctions were announced, saying Russia will limit imports of Polish fruit, citing “the violation of certification and the identification of quarantine…Read more...
 
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    zentrader.ca

  • S&P Has Topped For This Daily Cycle

    Jeff Pierce
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:17 pm
    By Poly This is an excerpt from this week’s premium update from the The Financial Tap, which is dedicated to helping people learn to grow into successful investors by providing cycle research on multiple markets delivered twice weekly. Now offering monthly & quarterly subscriptions with 30 day refund. Promo code ZEN saves 10%. The S&P has been invincible of late, but I believe its days are now numbered. Of course, I’m talking strictly about this current Daily Cycle only, as we all know too well that the longer term trend is in a runaway or parabolic like state. In fact, I’m…
  • Healthcare Sector In Focus

    Jeff Pierce
    30 Jul 2014 | 9:56 pm
    By Jeff Pierce Keep your eyes on the healthcare sector in the coming 3-6 weeks as this could provide some decent swing trading opportunities. Nearly all of these charts have had follow through since their breakout, but I want to see additional strength on these daily charts before I attempt to buy a pullback. Below are the 5 stocks I like the best in this sector. Hca Holdings, Inc – Earnings Surprise | FindTheBest      
  • Options View Greenspan’s Significant Correction

    chris
    30 Jul 2014 | 12:14 pm
    By Chris Ebert It’s easy to panic when someone as visible as Alan Greenspan, former chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, mentions the possibility of a “significant correction” coming for the stock market. It may be helpful for traders to consider just what a “significant correction” would entail, thus making it recognizable if it does occur. Healthy risk-management often involves hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, so it is important to readily identify the worst, should it indeed occur. Traders who are prepares for the worst are less likely to panic, and thus have an…
  • Stock Options Explain Doji Candles

    chris
    27 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    By Chris Ebert Candlesticks are a common tool that some stock market traders use to gauge sentiment and emotions in the market. Since emotions affect the reactions of traders, the reactions of those traders can reveal their emotions; and knowing those emotions can give a trader an edge. Traders who are aware of the predominant emotions in the market can make educated guesses about how the market will perform in the future, albeit not with 100% accuracy, but with enough accuracy to be helpful. Candlesticks can help traders detect emotions. Understanding those emotions, however, can be…
  • Strength In Aluminum Stocks Good For Markets

    jeff pierce
    22 Jul 2014 | 11:20 pm
    By Jeff Pierce AA and CENX showed up on my momentum scans today not because they had big moves, but because the overall strength of their trend is so strong. It’s generally a good thing for the general markets when this sector is doing well and we can often expect the markets to continue to rise. Trends don’t turn on a dime and while in the short term they may be a little overbought these trends can go on for far longer then we can imagine. AA – with a weekly RSI of 88 this is definitely overheated. A pullback in the $13-14 range should be the perfect area to add to this if…
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    NEW ECONOMY

  • Why Target Stopped Asking Job Applicants If They've Been Convicted of a Crime

    Nur Lalji
    18 Jul 2014 | 11:30 am
    Kissy Mason and her son call on Target to change its hiring practices at the company's corporate headquarters in May 2012. Photo courtesy of TakeAction Minnesota. Kissy Mason understands the importance of second chances. As she grew up in Minneapolis in the '80s and '90s, she watched her family members move in and out of prison and saw the discrimination they faced as a result. “People in my family were being locked up, and then they were locked out of a right to live, a right to employment,” she said. Unemployment is a huge barrier to the success of ex-offenders outside prison walls.
  • These Young People Are Pioneering Appalachia's Post-Coal Economy

    Joe Solomon
    17 Jul 2014 | 11:45 am
    Joe Solomon is a campaigner with Energy Action Coalition. Highlander Center staff and Appalachian Transition Fellows don helmets in preparation for a trip into a mine at the Coal Mine Museum in Benham, Ky. Photo by Catherine Moore. In the Hunger Games novels, heroine Katniss Everdeen comes from a coal mining region known as District 12. Her people are poor and looked down upon, but they’re also resourceful and know how to work together. In the end, it’s those skills that allow Katniss and her friend Peeta to win the games against better-trained rivals from the wealthy capital. You could…
  • Welcome to the Spanish Town Where People Come Before Profit

    Liam Barrington-Bush
    16 Jul 2014 | 5:14 pm
    This article originally appeared at Contributoria.com. A modified photograph of a mural in Marinaleda by Rocío Garcia Montes / Flickr. In the south of Spain, the street is the collective living room. Vibrant sidewalk cafes are interspersed between configurations of two to five lawn chairs where neighbors come together to chat over the day’s events late into the night. In mid-June the weather peaks well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the smells of fresh seafood waft from kitchens and restaurants as the seasonably late dining hour approaches. Marinaleda boasts a modest but steady local…
  • Gar Alperovitz on Why the New Economy Movement Needs to Think Big

    Scott Gast
    2 Jul 2014 | 3:40 pm
    Photo by Walter Corno / Flickr. It’s possible that the future of the American economy arrived 37 years ago, on a drizzly, gray day in Youngstown, Ohio. That morning, in 1977, residents woke to the news that Youngstown Sheet and Tube, a large steel mill and major provider of good, well-paying jobs in the area, was to shut its doors, putting five thousand people out of work. It was the first among a series of blows to the city, which would eventually lose half its population and sink into Rust Belt decrepitude. Click here to subscribe to YES! But something else happened in the wake of the day…
  • Worker-Owned Co-ops Get $1 Million in NYC Spending

    Liz Pleasant
    27 Jun 2014 | 3:55 pm
    Photo by Premshree Pillai / Flickr. New York City’s budget for the 2015 fiscal year includes a new item that supporters of a fairer economy will want to celebrate: $1.2 million set aside for the development of worker-owned cooperative businesses. "Support shows that they understand cooperatives can be a viable tool for economic development that creates real opportunity." The spending is a small fraction of the $75 billion budget, which the City Council approved on June 26. But, according to a statement by U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, it's the largest investment in the sector ever…
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    Central Bank News

  • Central Bank News Link List - July 31, 2014 - BOE’s Broadbent says ‘edge is coming off’ UK housing

    centralbanknews.info
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:14 pm
    Here's today's Central Bank News' link list click through if you missed the previous link list. The list comprises news about central banks that is not covered by Central Bank News. The list is updated during the day with the latest developments so readers don't miss any important news.BOE’s Broadbent says ‘edge is coming off’ UK housing (Bloomberg)Fed seen raising interest rates in June 2015 (Reuters)India’s central bank seen keeping policy rate steady until Q1 2015 (Reuters)Chile central bank stresses economic slowdown-minutes (Reuters)Argentina defaults but investors see…
  • Colombia hikes rate for 4th time, raises growth forecast

    centralbanknews.info
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:37 pm
         Colombia's central bank raised its benchmark intervention rate for the fourth time in a row, as expected, saying demand is strong, credit growth is rising and real interest rates are at levels that are driving up spending.    The Central Bank of Colombia raised its policy rate by another 25 basis points to 4.25 percent and has now raised its rate by a total of 100 basis points since April to curb inflationary pressures.    The central bank also raised its 2014 growth forecast to between 4.2 and 5.8 percent, with 5.0 percent the most likely figure,…
  • Czech holds rates, delays exit from using FX until 2016

    centralbanknews.info
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:02 am
        The Czech National Bank (CNB) maintained its rates at technically zero and said it would continue to use the exchange rate as a monetary policy instrument at least until 2016, pushing back the timeframe for any exit from keeping down the koruna currency by at least six months.    The CNB, which started using the exchange rate as an additional tool for monetary easing in November 2013, also said it would "have to find a further noticeable increase in anti-inflationary factors before moving the exchange rate commitment to a weaker level."   The CNB has a…
  • Philppines raises rate 25 bps to curb inflation pressures

    centralbanknews.info
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:46 am
        The Philippine central bank raised its key policy rates by 25 basis points, as expected, in what it described as "a preemptive response to signs of inflation pressures and elevated inflation expectations," along with "preemptive measures in the context of the eventual normalization of monetary policy in some advanced economies."    Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has been tightening its policy stance since March by raising reserve requirements and last month, when it raised the rate on its Special Deposit Account (SDA), warned that it was ready to undertake further…
  • Albania maintains rate, may cut rates further

    centralbanknews.info
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:32 pm
        Albania's central bank maintained its key interest rate at 2.50 percent, but said "the monetary stimulus may increase further, in the event the economic and monetary developments will shift the balance of inflation risks downside."     The Bank of Albania, which has cut its rate by 50 basis points so far this year, issued the following statement by its governor, Ardian Fullani:Today, on 30 July 2014, the Supervisory Council of the Bank of Albania reviewed and approved the Monetary Policy Statement of the Bank of Albania on the first half of 2014. Based on…
 
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    Business Insider

  • The Gaza Ceasefire Is Already Crumbling Just Hours After It Was Implemented

    Reuters and Brett LoGiurato
    1 Aug 2014 | 3:10 am
    Israeli shelling near the southern Gaza town of Rafah killed at least 25 people on Friday, the Palestinian Interior Ministry said, as a ceasefire that went into effect only hours earlier appeared to be crumbling. An official later told The Associated Press that Israeli tank fire had killed 27 Palestinians. Israel accused Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups of violating the U.S.- and U.N.-mediated truce, but did not elaborate, amid Israeli media reports that gunmen had fired at Israeli soldiers in the Rafah area. The 72-hour ceasefire had been brokered by the United States and United…
  • Giraffe Dies After Head Strikes Overpass

    Associated Press
    1 Aug 2014 | 2:55 am
    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Officials in South Africa say they plan to file charges after the death of a giraffe whose head struck a highway overpass while it was being transported in a truck. Animal welfare officer Rick Allan said Friday that the accident on a highway between Pretoria and Johannesburg was very unsettling because it could easily have been avoided. He says charges are likely to be filed against those responsible under animal protection laws. Startled motorists took photographs of the truck before the accident Thursday. It was carrying two giraffes whose long necks were visible…
  • Chrysler Auto Sales Jump (F, GM, TM)

    Sam Ro
    1 Aug 2014 | 2:39 am
    Chrysler just announced that its U.S. auto sales increased by 20% in July. However, it was a bit lighter than the 22.5% jump expected. Throughout the day, the world's big automakers will announce their July U.S. sales stats. Analysts estimate the annualized pace of sales slipped to 16.7 million units in July from 16.9 million in June. "Mid-month industry surveys indicate that overall sales only pulled back slightly in July after rising to an eight-year high of 16.9 million in June, and our AlphaWise team is seeing similar trends," Morgan Stanley's Ted Wieseman said. "Retail sales appear to…
  • The Fed Is Taking A Huge Risk By Cherry-Picking Indicators

    Sam Ro
    1 Aug 2014 | 2:31 am
    The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate it relies on to guide monetary policy: maximum employment and stable prices. Regarding employment, it has become less and less clear exactly how the Fed measures employment when it considers its policy goals. On Wednesday, we learned that the unemployment rate has become a less important measure to the Fed when it said, "Labor market conditions improved, with the unemployment rate declining further. However, a range of labor market indicators suggests that there remains significant underutilization of labor resources." In other words, it's not just about…
  • The Pace Of Manufacturing In Europe Is Sitting At A 7-Month Low

    Sam Ro
    1 Aug 2014 | 2:07 am
    Europe just unloaded a slew of manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) data. These are the numbers derived from surveys of businesses. Anything above 50 signals growth, and anything below signals contraction. "July saw the Eurozone Manufacturing PMI hold steady at June's seven-month low of 51.8, as the ongoing expansions in Germany and outside of the big-two economies were partly offset by a deeper downturn in French manufacturers." Here's a quick summary of what we learned in July: UK (55.4 in July, down from the flash estimate of 57.2): "The UK manufacturing sector started the third…
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    Business + Economy – Articles – The Conversation

  • Failing to account for water lets business down

    Roger Burritt, Professor of Accounting and Sustainability at Macquarie University
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:20 pm
    Australia leads the world in water accounting standards, but this is at risk.Flickr/Chris Morin, CC BYAs part of its budget cuts, the federal government plans to disband the Water Accounting Standards Board, which looks after water accounting. But is this leaving business high and dry? Water accounting is defined by the Bureau of Meteorology as a systematic process of identifying, recognising, quantifying, reporting and assuring water use. It includes the rights and other claims to that water; and the obligations against that water. Water management is of critical concern to business, from…
  • A Lidl bit of grocery competition could cause a Coles rethink

    Gary Mortimer , Senior Lecturer, QUT Business School at Queensland University of Technology
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:47 pm
    Lidl: will Australian shoppers line up for another discount grocery chain?Robert Wallace/Flickr, CC BY-NC-NDAustralian shoppers have inadvertently invited global discount grocers to our shores by demonstrating their readiness to adopt private labels. In 2001, German discounter Aldi opened its first store in Sydney. The impact this business format would have on the Australian grocery sector was underestimated. Initially, Aldi was dismissed as a small “no-frills” food store that provided a small range of non-branded products. Thirteen years later Aldi has over 340 stores, is the…
  • A beacon to the future. How Apple has enabled Minority Report shopping

    David Glance, Director of Innovation, Faculty of Arts, Director of Centre for Software Practice at University of Western Australia
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:11 am
    Personalised Shopping In the movie Minority Report), Tom Cruise’s character is personally greeted by a virtual assistant as he enters a clothing store after cameras scan his retinas and identify him (incorrectly, but that is for other reasons). Minority Report Apple’s iBeacons It turns out that there is a much simpler way of identifying people and personalising retail experiences and not surprisingly, it was Apple that packaged it in a simple and elegant way. The technology is called iBeacon and it is based on a version of Bluetooth called Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or Bluetooth Smart.
  • Boards, risk taking and independence: a $50bn mistake

    Peter Swan, Professor of Finance at Australian School of Business
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:08 pm
    Commonly held beliefs about what makes a good board of directors are often wrong.ShutterstockThe Australian Institute of Company Directors is pushing for company directors to be better protected from lawsuits, arguing concern about jail time and fines is impacting director decisions and ultimately stunting company growth. But the push comes at a time when new research shows board make-up might not be optimal, and in fact the organisation advising Australia’s largest companies is systematically recommending against the most productive board structures. Unlike the US Securities and Exchange…
  • Xi Jinping’s Latin American tour harbours insights for Australia

    Adrian Hearn, Coordinator of international relations research, The University of Sydney China Studies Centre at University of Sydney
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:05 pm
    Xi Jinping's tour through Latin American countries signals the time is right to reassess Chinese investment in Australia.AAP/EPA/CubadebateChinese President Xi Jinping has just returned from his second state visit to Latin America, having achieved what no other leader could. His dash through Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, and Cuba has breathed new life into the four struggling economies, while securing unprecedented access to the natural resources China needs. This “win-win” exchange resembles a pattern established by Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao. Hu undertook no less than five state…
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    Mindful Money » Shaun Richards

  • When will the internal devaluation model help the Greek economy recover?

    Shaun Richards
    1 Aug 2014 | 3:42 am
    The last few days have brought news in areas which make me think of Greece. Only yesterday I discussed the problems and travails of the Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo which was supposed to have been overseen by the same Troika (ECB,IMF and European Commission) that has been present in Greece for over four years now. Seeing as they missed an extraordinary amount at BES it is only natural to wonder what they have missed or overlooked in Greece too. Also we are left wondering such issues have spread beyond the banking sector to the rest of the economy. Something along these lines was seen…
  • The story of Banco Espirito Santo is a sad but by now very familiar one

    Shaun Richards
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:55 am
    Last night saw an example of what a difference a few days makes although in this instance we have to stretch a few to mean nineteen days. Back on the 11th of this month I discussed the building unease about the problems at the Espirito Santo Group and the implications for Banco Espirito Santo (BES) where it was a major shareholder. As ever the official view was “move along there is nothing to see here” as exhibited by this press release from the Bank of Portugal. Banco de Portugal clarifies, based on the information reported by BES and its external auditor (KPMG), that BES holds…
  • Are German bond yields a canary in a coalmine?

    Shaun Richards
    30 Jul 2014 | 3:39 am
    Today I wish to return to a subject I discussed on the 14th of this month which is bond yields and in particular those in Europe right now. This time I wish to analyse what the recent changes tell us about the underlying economies. Let us start with the major economy in Europe which is Germany and note that its ten-year bond yield has now fallen to 1.12%. This is as far as anyone can tell, an all-time low for it and if you prefer it is an all-time high for the price. Indeed the futures contract based on it has hit several highs this week. One way of pointing out the change over time was made…
  • The UK current account deficit does not matter much according to the Bank of England

    Shaun Richards
    29 Jul 2014 | 3:35 am
    Today has opened with a speech by Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent at Chatham House. In many ways it is an extraordinary speech so let us get straight to a description of what Ben considers to be a non-problem. From 1½% of GDP in 2011 the deficit on the current account – the combined balances for trade, asset income and transfers – widened to 4½% of GDP last year. That’s the second-highest annual figure since the Second World War.  In particular, it is significantly higher than during any of the innumerable currency crises the UK suffered over the following thirty years…
  • Despite the promises real wages continue to fall in Japan

    Shaun Richards
    28 Jul 2014 | 3:32 am
    It is time again to take a look at the economy of the land of the rising sun. Before we do so there are a couple of developments in other areas in Japan. The first is that it is suffering/enjoying a heatwave in a similar fashion to that of the UK although the temperature is in fact overall higher than in the UK. The second is potentially much more ominous as the government of Shinzo Abe has authorised the export of armaments from Japan in another sign that the country is becoming increasingly militarised. What about financial markets? If we reverse the actual level of importance and look at…
 
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    SurvivalBlog.com

  • Notes for Friday – August 01, 2014

    Hugh James Latimer
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:08 pm
    August 1st is celebrated as Swiss Independence Day, in recognition of the signing of the Federal Charter of 1291, which united Switzerland’s first three cantons. As of 2014, Switzerland has been free and independent for 723 years. Having a well-armed populace has assured that. August 1st is also remembered as the election day in 1946 that sparked the Battle of Athens, Tennessee, when returning World War II veterans took up arms to oust a corrupt local government that was rigging an election. o o o We are excited about round 54 of the writing contest as we have 2 new sponsors of the…
  • Round 53 Non-Fiction Writing Contest Winners Announced!

    Hugh James Latimer
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:07 pm
    We have completed Round 53 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest! First Prize goes to M.H. for “Killing, Dying, and Death – Part I” and “Part II”, which was posted on Sunday July 27 and Tuesday July 29, 2014. He will receive the following prizes: A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value), A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day…
  • Preserving and Storing Food Safely – An Overview, by N.M.

    Hugh James Latimer
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:07 pm
    Preserving food has become an important focus of many families. After reading this article, you will understand what is involved in preserving and be able to decide if it’s for you. Food prices are soaring, and food quality and quantities are decreasing. You can save lots of money by buying things on sale or take advantage of bulk purchases, because you can preserve the food and use it later. You will be protecting yourself and your family by having safely stored nutritious food in the event of an emergency, and you can help your neighbors. With all these pluses, it’s a wonder why…
  • Two Letters Re: Killing, Dying, and Death

    Hugh James Latimer
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:05 pm
    The article brings topics that ring very true in my mind. Having served years ago but not in combat, I realize how important the trust is of your fellow soldiers and their need to trust you. It can not be stressed more that you will never know for sure of that trust until the “chips are down”, as they say. (Watch “The Pacific” dvd series based on the book The Old Breed. It will give anyone uninitiated a glimpse of the physical and psychological horrors of war.) I have come to peace with myself and God with the fact of dying. I hope, as the writer says, it will not be…
  • Economics and Investing:

    Hugh James Latimer
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:05 pm
    Horrifying Worldwide Financial Destruction To Shock Investors. – J.W. o o o The Never-Ending ‘Recovery’ o o o Welcome To The NEW DARK AGE. – S.S. o o o Video and Text: The 20% market correction has already started, CDV o o o Asset Forfeiture – How To Steal Americans’ Hard Earned Cash With Zero Repercussions. – DSV
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    OpenMarkets

  • MARKET UPDATE: GOODBYE JULY

    OpenMarkets
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:26 pm
    Today is the last day of the month and it’s proven to be anything but boring.  With Earnings and the geopolitical structure around the markets, July has seen a lot of volatility and, more importantly, a lot of dialogue.  Jack talks more about to what to expect in August.
  • Market Update: Two Schools of Thought on GDP Growth

    Evan Peterson
    30 Jul 2014 | 3:14 pm
      The greater than expected GDP growth in the U.S. breeds two schools of thought, says Jack Bouroudjian: One that buys bonds, and thinks we aren’t going to see the recovery, and another that is putting money into equities with an appetite for risk. Friday’s unemployment number may shed more light on where the economy and equity markets will be headed.
  • Q&A with Edward Griffiths of Saracens Rugby Club

    OpenMarkets
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:05 am
    Upon his arrival in 2009, Saracens Rugby Club CEO Edward Griffiths instilled a unique and unorthodox philosophy for his team that centers on people-building both on and off the pitch. His dedication to the “process” has led to Saracens becoming one of the most recognizable global brands in rugby, just in time for the introduction of the sport to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  With the recent announcement of CME Group’s sponsorship of Saracens, we’ve taken the opportunity to catch up with Mr. Griffiths to get his thoughts on a variety of subjects.   It has been…
  • At Last, Some Trends to Follow in the Brent Market

    Alan Bannister
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:06 pm
      Events in the Middle East strongly influence price behavior in the Brent crude market and the recent instability in Iraq has caused some substantial price swings. As the chart below shows, Brent was stuck in a range-bound pattern from July 2013 to June 2014. Although trends existed for a few days, in general the market favored “mean reversion” strategies during this period. Traders whose preferred style is long-term trend following may be forgiven if they had given up on the crude markets in the past twelve months.     If a trader was still persevering with trend…
  • Monday Outlook: FOMC and Jobs

    OpenMarkets
    28 Jul 2014 | 2:21 pm
      This week promises to be one of the pivotal ones. With an FOMC meeting beginning Wednesday and non-farm payrolls Friday – not to mention we’re in the midst of earnings season – it’s no wonder that equity market analysts are calling this a “decision point” kind of week.   Economic Calendar Tuesday: US: Pending Home Sales Index  10:00 AM ET   Wednesday: FOMC Meeting Begins 8:00 AM ET S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index 9:00 AM ET US: Consumer Confidence 10:00 AM ET   Thursday: US: ADP Employment Report  8:15 AM ET US: GDP  8:30 AM ET FOMC Meeting…
 
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    eWallstreeter

  • Paul Krugman: Knowledge Isn’t Power

    1 Aug 2014 | 12:24 am
    "Are we as societies even capable of taking good policy advice?": Knowledge Isn’t Power, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: ...I’ve been looking at surveys from the Initiative on Global Markets, based at the University of Chicago. For two years,...
  • "Nancy's VoiceBox", Lou Gehrig's Disease, Google Glass

    31 Jul 2014 | 8:44 pm
    Occasionally I receive a touching email that also offers a practical solution to extreme challenges. This is one of those times. Please consider this email from reader "Zentagle". Hi Mish,I have been following your blog for years now. Time is precious and not many writers "stick" . . . but you have. Thank you for your insights and passion throughout the years.Your stories of your wife's and your struggle with ALS had a powerful impact because during that time a dear friend and employee, Nancy, w
  • The week ahead: July 31st: Erdogan's constitutional assault

    31 Jul 2014 | 3:16 pm
    TURKEY'S first direct presidential election and 100 years after the outbreak of the first world war, a look at how the conflict is still viewed differently across Europe Comment Expiry Date: Fri, 2014-08-15
  • An Obvious but Important Point Regarding Executive Orders

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:52 pm
    It was my privilege to visit the White House today to attend the signing of the new Executive Order to ensure that federal contracts don’t go to firms that violate labor laws. As I wrote earlier, it’s a good idea for a number of reasons: First, the federal government does a lot of business with private... Read more
  • Heads Up: It’s Jobs Tomorrow…again

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:25 pm
    Here’s the expectations table from Bloomberg:   Source: Bloomberg Jobs-watcher extraordinaire Heidi Shierholz asks this of tomorrow’s report: …have we really kicked it into higher gear? A jobs number north of 270,000 would be a pretty clear sign that the answer is yes—but anything much less than that would push us back to “we have to wait... Read more
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    The Last Embassy

  • ACA/Obamacare: Great Coverage! 11 Out of 12 Fake Applicants Can’t Be Wrong!

    W.E. Heasley
    29 Jul 2014 | 2:31 am
    ‘The House Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee held a hearing Wednesday about an undercover investigation by the GAO that found it was able to sign up 11 out of 12 fake applicants using false citizenship/immigration and income documents. “The initial findings are deeply troubling to me,” said subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany (R-La.). “We’re in an area, where tax credits are being
  • ACA/Obamacare: Halbig v. Burwell Upon Further Review.

    W.E. Heasley
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:13 am
    Consider these three statements regarding the legislation known as Obamacare: 'Max Baucus (D-Montana), chair of the Senate Finance Committee through which the health bill flowed, insisted that reading the law wasn't necessary. “I don’t think you want me to waste my time to read every page of the healthcare bill,” Baucus said, according to the Flathead Beacon. “You know why? It’s statutory
  • ACA/Obamacare: No Front End Verification for Premium Subsidy and the Backend Disaster on Tax Day 04/15/2015

    W.E. Heasley
    27 Jul 2014 | 6:57 pm
  • Health-Care Supply: About Those Certificate-of-Need [CON] Statutes

    W.E. Heasley
    20 Jul 2014 | 6:27 am
    DO CERTIFICATE-OF-NEED LAWS INCREASE INDIGENT CARE? by Thomas Stratmann and Jacob W. Russ Abstract Many states have certificate-of-need regulations, which prohibit hospitals, nursing homes, and ambulatory surgical centers from entering new markets or making changes to the existing capacity of medical facilities without first gaining approval from certificate-of-need regulators. These
  • ACA/Obamacare: Fuzzy Funding -or- Here Comes The Funding Cliffs!

    W.E. Heasley
    14 Jul 2014 | 7:09 pm
    “Fasten your seat belts. Turbulence lies ahead for ObamaCare as funding streams for three programs are set to nose-dive. Millions of children could lose coverage, and millions more insured via Medicaid or ObamaCare plans could have an even tougher time finding a doctor. These funding cliffs weren't driven by policy but by politics: Provide short-term funding to get ObamaCare off the
 
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    ftmdaily.com

  • Market Barometer Alert – 7/31/14

    Jerry Robinson
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:07 pm
    Our Market Barometer is flashing an important alert. Investors, here’s what to do now…Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the author of Bankruptcy of Our... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • The Real Story Behind Russian Sanctions

    Jerry Robinson
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:13 am
    On today's podcast, Jerry Robinson exposes the real reasons why the U.S. and Europe are upping the ante against Russia.Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Real Estate Investing Success Secrets

    Jerry Robinson
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:27 am
    On today's podcast, Jerry Robinson explores the topic of real estate investing with best-selling author, Kim Kiyosaki.Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • [SUBSCRIBER VIDEO] Market Conditions – 7/28/14

    Jerry Robinson
    28 Jul 2014 | 6:28 pm
    In this brief "subscribers-only" video, Jerry Robinson shares his latest thoughts on the S&P 500, gold, the silver price fixing scheme, and current margin debt levels in the U.S. financial... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Why America is Becoming a Renter Nation

    Jerry Robinson
    28 Jul 2014 | 2:15 pm
    On today's podcast, Jerry Robinson explores the reasons behind the soaring rental demand in America.Author informationJerry RobinsonPublisher at FTMDaily.comJerry Robinson is the author of Bankruptcy... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    Exchange Rates UK - Currency News

  • British Pound Falls vs Euro and US Dollar Exchange Rates Amid Cautious Rhetoric From MPC Members

    Adam Solomon
    1 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    The Pound Sterling (GBP) exchange rate complex remained firmly on the defensive again on Thursday, falling to an 8 week low close to 1.6850 against the US Dollar (USD), as month end positioning became a factor, amid further evidence of structural long positions being scaled back by hedge funds. The UK currency also tested support just... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Foreign Exchange Rate Forecasts For Pound Sterling, Euro, US Dollar and Canadian Dollar

    Yvic Carr
    1 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    Exchange Rates UK: Foreign Forecasts For Pound Sterling, Euro, US Dollar and Canadian Dollar - The Pound Sterling (GBP) lost further value on Thursday as domestic data prints underwhelmed and German figures showed strong jobs market results. Some value was made back during the later part of the European trading session. At 18:00am (UK... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • GBP AUD Forecast: Pound Spikes vs Australian Dollar Exchange Rate as Investors Buy Sterling & US Dollar

    Samuel Allen
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    The British Pound to Australian Dollar (GBP/AUD) exchange rate has spiked higher after stronger than expected U.S data pulled currency flows away from the Aussie Dollar and into both the Sterling and US dollar overnight. Future interest rates in the UK and Australia are predicted to diverge, Australian rates are likely to fall whilst UK... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • US Dollar Rate STRENGTHENS Today - GBP USD Exchange Rate Falls to Seven Week Low

    Samuel Allen
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:00 am
    The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate has today now fallen to a 7 week low marking the pairs worst monthly fall in over 1 year as traders gear up for a resurgent US currency. The GBP USD exchange rate is currently 1.68882. Market predictions had previously put UK economic growth and prospects of an interest rate hike well ahead of its U.S... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
  • Pound to Canadian Dollar Forecast: Will Today See GBP/CAD Exchange Rate Movement?

    Tom Trevorrow
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:00 am
    The Pound to Canadian Dollar rate climbed by half a cent yesterday afternoon to 1.8458 as traders reacted to the positive GDP report from the US. The GBP CAD exchange rate today stands at 1.83910. The advanced estimate of the US GDP in the second quarter showed growth of 1.0 per cent. Today's latest forex markets show the following CAD... Exchange Rates UK - Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange
 
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    BusinessClimate.com Blog

  • Venture Capital: Deals Beyond the Valley

    Bill McMeekin
    30 Jul 2014 | 3:30 am
    Silicon Valley is still the alpha and omega of venture capital funding. Venture capital funding totaled $29.4 billion in the U.S. in 2013, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers and National Venture Capital Association MoneyTree report, and of that, deals in Silicon Valley accounted for nearly 42 percent of venture dollars. In fact, venture capital funding in Silicon Valley was greater than the next three regions – New England, New York Metro and Los Angeles/Orange County -combined. With software, media and entertainment, and IT services categories ranking 1, 3 and 5 respectively,…
  • A Measure of Spirit: Cities With the Most Creative Connectivity

    Emily McMackin
    25 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    What do San Francisco, Boston and Nashville have in common? Not much it might seem, but these three cities were recently singled out as the most creative cities in America by Forbes. Unlike traditional rankings that measure creative vitality in cities by the presence of art galleries or patents, this list used new metrics to get a glimpse of the true creative spirit of a place. Taking the 50 largest MSAs, researchers used crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo as well as music sites like Bandcamp and ReverbNation to determine which cities had the most people actively engrossed…
  • Exports and FDI: New Avenues for Manufacturing

    Bill McMeekin
    23 Jul 2014 | 3:30 am
    It’s not a small world after all. In fact, it’s a big world with a big appetite for all types of products and commodities, providing a key source of opportunity, investment and jobs. And in the U.S., the impact on jobs of inbound foreign investment and outbound exports is significant and growing. New data from the U.S. International Trade Administration puts the number of U.S. jobs tied to exports at 11.3 million. Goods exports to Canada support nearly 1.3 million jobs, but the NAFTA region (which includes Canada) trails the Asia and Pacific region, to which exports account for…
  • Pro-Business States: One Recipe, Many Ingredients

    Bill McMeekin
    17 Jul 2014 | 3:30 am
    Pollina Corporate Real Estate has released its annual Pro-Business States ranking, based on 32 factors that, as the authors say, state governments can control, including taxes, human resources, education, regulatory environment, right-to-work legislation, energy costs, infrastructure spending, economic incentive programs and state economic development efforts. The Pro-Business States ranking is a joint venture between Pollina and the American Economic Development Institute. Here’s Pollina’s top 10 Pro-Business States: 1. Utah 2. Wyoming 3. Nebraska 4. Virginia 5. Kansas 6. North…
  • Mexico Revs Up Competition for Southeast Auto Industry

    Bill McMeekin
    11 Jul 2014 | 3:30 am
    The heart of the Southeast auto industry beats strongly in Tennessee, where massive assembly plants for General Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen and a growing roster of Tier I and Tier II suppliers have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in investment and created thousands of jobs. Business Facilities magazine named Tennessee the top state in its Automotive Manufacturing Strength ranking for 2013,  the fourth consecutive year for the recognition. Several other states are also contributing to the success of the Southeast auto industry. South Carolina, where German automaker BMW…
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    Penury Street

  • World in Conflict

    Dennis Dotem
    13 Jul 2014 | 4:37 am
     The world is changing.Ukraine is facing an escalating civil war, Iraq is in a civil war, Libya is disintegrating, Thailand is under military rule, Egypt is under military rule, CAR is in a religious war, Venezuela faces a revolution, US is spying on everyone and doesn’t give a damn, Russia is becoming ultra-nationalist, China faces a an enormous property bubble, in a few years time bees, corals and hundreds of species of flora and fauna are going to be extinct as a result of global warming, drug-resistant bacteria are becoming a catastrophe and technology is going to replace…
  • Russia’s Appetite: What’s Next for Eastern Europe?

    Dennis Dotem
    26 Mar 2014 | 1:56 am
    With the recent acquisition of Crimea, Russia has set a precedent that hasn’t been set since the early days of the Cold War: What are you going to do about it? What are the consequences of such action and what the future might hold for international diplomacy and relation, let’s find out.Let’s get history and context out of the way: Both the Crimea and Ukraine were a part of the Soviet Union, and before that, a part of the Russian Empire, and before that a part of the Kievan Rus’ and other bigger, more advanced countries bordering it. Actual independence was achieved…
  • Our Economic System Has Stopped Working

    Dennis Dotem
    27 Jan 2014 | 7:28 am
    What is the purpose of humanity? Some might say the purpose is divine, some argue its ideological. But no one really knows, do they? And if they think they do, they acknowledge their own ignorance. Without much speculation, the human condition has left a few imprints on the never ending history, and by these imprints I and anyone willing, can judge what a true purpose, or rather, a narrative drives the average human.Throughout the years, thousands of years, humans have done nothing but advance in technology and societal order. The primitive hunter gathers became farmers or maybe patricians,…
  • Inflation is Inevitable

    Dennis Dotem
    1 Dec 2013 | 5:48 am
    When the US increases its debt it is to pay government expenses that is not covered by tax collection. Right now more debt is issued than the regular debt market can absorb. The debt that cannot be sold to the free market is basically monetized by the Federal Reserve. The FED create new dollars that they use to purchase the unsold/unsellable debt. At present time the FED is creating around 80-90 Billion USD every month in this manner, about 30% of the monthly government budget. Obviously all of this new money will go to pay wages and for goods and services the government needs. It is quite…
  • Rise of NSA Surveillance: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    Dennis Dotem
    7 Nov 2013 | 4:40 am
    It has become common knowledge to anyone residing in Europe, UK or US that their private communications, whether internet or cellular are being stored and most likely read through by a ginormous conglomerate of surveillance agencies. Most likely as meta-data: snippets of useful information organized by date, time and location. For example, on such a list, your phone call to your husband or wife would be registered as:11.04.2013 3:14 PM – 006 88356453 90 to 006 8867772 90 — 97 seconds — San Diego, CANo nude pictures or family history of heart disease as you can see? So how…
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    Shaun Da Costa

  • Is the circular economy a utopian concept?

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

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

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

    shaundacosta89
    11 Dec 2013 | 12:32 pm
    After returning from an unpaid internship in Austria for the last three months, I was very interested to see Boris Johnson’s latest comments on inequality. After reading a number of articles focusing specifically on his comments relating to IQ, I  believe many had not picked up upon another important part of his argument – the implied justification that the current level of income inequality is acceptable because it a key and necessary driver of economic growth. The argument that inequality drives economic growth goes back to the roots of economic theory itself. The theory…
  • How the economic machine works

    shaundacosta89
    3 Dec 2013 | 10:42 am
    This video by Ray Dalio is probably one of the most informative I have seen for a long time and it gives those without a background in economics a very simple and easy to understand model of what has been driving the recent financial crisis. It should be noted however that the model is very simplistic and doesn’t take into account a number of other factors such as international trade.
 
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    Latest blog entries

  • Bitcoin Fading Away

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

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

  • What is it like to be a start-up founder?

    reevu123
    13 Jul 2014 | 2:04 pm
    Answer by Jason M. Lemkin: Let me add a few specific thoughts, about how you'll feel, and what you'll take with you:  You may only be in the office 30, 40, 50 hours a week, whatever.  But every moment of every day, of every evening, of every shower, of every run, of every moment stolen with your kids and family — you will be thinking about your start-up.  For years and years and years and years. You won't be able to really appreciate your successes because you will be so obsessed with the next hill and doing what it takes to get to the next level. You will…
  • What are the most important points in a co-founder agreement for a startup?

    reevu123
    13 Jul 2014 | 2:03 pm
    Answer by Jason M. Lemkin: Vesting. The most important thing is vesting. You’ll be tempted to give yourself lots of credit, lots of upfront vesting, no cliff, to protect against the future.  Against the VCs.  Against the acquirers.  Against the unknown that will try to Steal Your Stock later.  Against the whatever. But it will turn out, lots of times, co-founders don’t work out.  (Far more often that your stock is “stolen”).  Your commitments, for whatever or no reason, don’t end up being equal.  At least not 1, 2, 3, 4 years down the road.  And as a…
  • What are the greatest achievements of India and the Indian government in the past two decades?

    reevu123
    13 Jul 2014 | 2:02 pm
    Answer by Balaji Viswanathan: Ending Polio among 1.3 billion people – Ending polio in India is world's greatest health achievement, says Bill Gates Mission to Mars – India’s mission to Mars has smaller budget than hit film Gravity, says PM Mission to Moon that gave further evidence of water in the Moon – Chandrayaan helps NASA detect water on Moon   Right to Information – An achievement that has turned thorn govtin  flesh – The Times of India Golden quadrilateral and other new highways – Over 40,000 km of highways/expressways added in the…
  • Why did Brazil lose to Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinal?

    reevu123
    13 Jul 2014 | 1:53 pm
    Answer by Christopher VanLang: This game was definitely one of the more traumatic breakdowns in football history. Going into the game, I anticipated Germany being the stronger side and Brazil struggling with the lack of Thiago Silva and Neymar but nothing like this. There are all sorts of psychological and emotional reason why this game was lost (or won depending on your perspective). But from a tactical standpoint, this was like a video game where Germany knew the secret winning combination and continued to use it and Brazil never figured out how to stop the bleeding. As Landon Donovan would…
  • Reviews of: Freakonomics (2005 book)

    reevu123
    13 Jul 2014 | 1:47 pm
    Answer by Reevu Adhikary: ★★★★☆ Freakonomics is a joyously entertaining book . It's an intellectual romp. But there are problems. Let's leave those for a moment and concentrate on the good parts. We're told early on that economist Steven Levitt is very good at asking questions. Indeed, he is. He’s also good at using the tools that he’s mastered as an economist to answer some of those questions in novel and interesting ways. That’s why this book is a charmer. Consider some of the questions as used in the chapter titles: 1.INTRODUCTION: The…
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    FT Alphaville

  • The hare gets rich while you don’t. Back the passive tortoise

    Dan McCrum
    1 Aug 2014 | 3:43 am
    Nomura, as part of an excellent report looking at various aspects of active versus passive investment management, have considered Warren Buffett’s famous bet that an index fund will beat a fund of hedge funds over ten years. Buffett is winning, and the bank’s conclusion is that this is very far from a fluke: In our view, alternative assets as a group show consistently poor performance. Beta is high. Alpha is near zero, if not negative. Correlation with standard asset classes is high. Return and diversification benefits are negligible. More on that below, but first note the…
  • Markets Live: Friday, 1st August, 2014

    Bryce Elder
    1 Aug 2014 | 3:03 am
    Live markets commentary from FT.com Continue reading: Markets Live: Friday, 1st August, 2014
  • The (early) Lunch Wrap

    Dan McCrum
    1 Aug 2014 | 2:49 am
    RBS annoyed by bonus cap || ArcelorMittal profit warning || Direct Line special dividend || Norway driller sees Russian opportunity despite sanctions || Iberia to but new aircraft || UK manufacturing slows || Japanese to live forever || Stocks down Continue reading: The (early) Lunch Wrap
  • Further reading

    David Keohane
    1 Aug 2014 | 12:39 am
    Elsewhere Friday, - About that banking Union. Where do we stand? - When it comes to governance, India’s Reliance is not a national champion but an embarrassment. - Statistics is not lame. Continue reading: Further reading
  • The 6am London Cut

    FT Alphaville
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:49 pm
    Markets: “Asian stocks dropped, extending the biggest global rout in six months that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average wipe out this year’s gains in one session amid weaker earnings and credit-market concerns.” (Bloomberg)Continue reading: The 6am London Cut
 
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    Marginal REVOLUTION

  • American firms are aging too

    Tyler Cowen
    1 Aug 2014 | 1:47 am
    The share of firms aged 16 years or more was 23 percent in 1992, but leaped to 34 percent by 2011—an increase of 50 percent in two decades. The share of private-sector workers employed in these mature firms increased from 60 percent to 72 percent during the same period. Perhaps most startling, we find that employment and firm shares declined for every other firm age group during this period. We explore three potential contributing factors driving the increasing share of economic activity occurring in older firms, and find that a secular decline in entrepreneurship is playing a major…
  • Why is euro-area inflation so low?

    Tyler Cowen
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:59 pm
    Sober Look has the numbers, for instance: The area’s CPI is now below 0.5% on a year-over-year basis. Yesterday we saw German CPI hit new lows (see chart) and Italy’s inflation rate is now hovering just above zero. What is the most economical model here?  The ECB invested in building up a lot of credibility in some areas, such as price level stability, but that means less credibility when it comes to pushing higher inflation.  So to get two percent inflation, perhaps the ECB has to genuinely and truly seek four percent inflation, because a big chunk of the market won’t…
  • Economists sign petition asking Congress to contain fallout from Argentina debt ruling

    Tyler Cowen
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:51 pm
    The notice is here, signers include Bob Solow and Dani Rodrik.  I agree with their arguments, and you will find my slightly different but still consistent earlier critique here.  Here is one bit from the press release: “It’s a widely shared opinion among economists that the court’s attempt to force Argentina into a default that nobody – not the debtor nor more than 90 percent of creditors – wants, is wrong and damaging,” said Mark Weisbrot, economist and Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, who helped circulate the letter. Matt Levine has a good post on…
  • Assorted links

    Tyler Cowen
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:05 am
    1. Further evidence for political insider trading, this time for hedge funds. 2. You call it “3-D printing optimism,” I call it “order transmission and cheap delivery pessimism.”  Amazon enters the game. 3. Google search and stock prices, further results. 4. Indian monkey costume markets in everything, Parliamentary edition.  And lingerie for Chinese peaches. 5. China will liberalize its internal passport system.  And The Woman in Black settles in Winchester,VA. 6. Broody octopus keeps four-year vigil. 7. In which we learn that Neel Kashkari is very good at…
  • Private Schools vs. Caste Discrimination

    Alex Tabarrok
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:20 am
    Nearly 30% of children in India (ages 6-14) attend private schools and in some states and many urban regions a majority of the students attend private schools. Compared to the government schools, private schools perform modestly better on measures of learning (Muraldiharan and Sundararaman 2013, Tabarrok 2011) and much better on cost-efficiency. Moreover, even though the private schools are low cost and mostly serve very poor students they also have better facilities such as electricity, toilets, blackboards, desks, drinking water etc. than the government schools (e.g. here and here). In…
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    Zero Hedge

  • Silver Eagle Bullion Coins Reach 26 Million For 2014

    GoldCore
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:42 pm
    Gold and silver both fell over 1% yesterday. Gold fell $14.60 to $1,282.10 while silver fell 25 cents to $20.37/oz. Asian trade was limited to a narrow band of $5.00 and volumes traded on Globex were again down. Gold in Singapore remained in a tight range between $1,280/oz and $1,285/oz. and traders appear to be waiting for the non farm payrolls data later today. A better than expected jobs number is expected after the positive surprise that was the GDP number. Although, many participants questioned the GDP number as the growth in inventories contributed 1.66 percentage points and likely…
  • Top Financial Experts Say World War 3 Is Coming … Unless We Stop It

    George Washington
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:33 pm
    Nouriel Roubini, Kyle Bass, Hugo Salinas Price, Charles Nenner, James Dines, Jim Rogers, David Stockman, Marc Faber, Jim Rickards, Paul Craig Roberts, Martin Armstrong, Larry Edelson, Gerald Celente and Others Warn of Wider War Paul Craig Roberts - former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan, former editor of the Wall Street Journal, listed by Who’s Who in America as one of the 1,000 most influential political thinkers in the world, PhD economist - wrote an article yesterday about the build up of hostilities between the U.S. and Russia titled, simply: "War Is…
  • Russia And Germany Allegedly Working On Secret "Gas For Land" Deal

    Tyler Durden
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:00 pm
    While many were amused by this photo of Putin and Merkel during the world cup final showing Europe's two most important leaders siding side by side, some were more curious by just what the two were scheming:   Thanks to the Independent, we may know the answer, and it is a doozy, because according to some it is nothing shy of a sequel to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact: allegedly Germany and Russia have been working on a secret plan to broker a peaceful solution to end international tensions over the Ukraine, one which would negotiate to trade Crimea's sovereignty for guarantees on energy…
  • Elliott's Paul Singer On Gold, Inflation, And The Global Monetary Delusion

    Tyler Durden
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:57 pm
    "Although the levitation of financial assets has yet to levitate gold, we will grit our collective teeth on that score and await either 'asset price justice' or the 'end times,' whichever comes first." Authored by Paul Singer, excerpted from Elliott Management's latest letter to investors, GLOBAL MONETARY DELUSION – MORE COWBELL Central bankers think they are the masters of the universe because the world is looking to them (and only them) to deliver continuous stability and prosperity. There is no reason to suppose that they understand the modern financial system and economy to any greater…
  • Saudi Man Receives 3 Year Prison Sentence And 450 Lashes For Being Gay

    Tyler Durden
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:56 pm
    Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, Saudi Arabia and its Medieval, inhumane monarchy has been a highlighted topic on Liberty Blitzkrieg for well over a year now. My government’s close alliance with this autocratic, homophobic and primitive fiefdom exposes the sham that is U.S. foreign policy more clearly than anything else. In exposing this authoritarian regime for what it really is, I hope that the American public will never again fall for war under the guise of false “humanitarian” purposes. There is nothing whatsoever humanitarian about…
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    nextnewdeal.net

  • Education Left Behind

    rgoldfarb
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:55 pm
    Young people in Illinois recognize that many aspects of the state's education system are broken, and they have some first steps for improving it. “Part of what is at risk is the promise first made on this continent: All, regardless of race or class or economic status, are entitled to a fair chance and to the tools for developing their individual powers of mind and spirit to the utmost. This promise means that all children by virtue of their own efforts, competently guided, can hope to attain the mature and informed judgment needed to secure gainful employment, and to manage their own lives,…
  • Leadership Wanted: The College Access Crisis Needs You, Mayor de Blasio

    rgoldfarb
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:54 am
    Focusing on programs that help at-risk college students achieve doesn't get them in the door, so the mayor must put more energy and funding into college access. This time a year ago, New York City residents were knee-deep in sorting through the promising rhetoric offered by hopeful bureaucrats vying to become the next Mayor of New York City. "The Tale of Two Cities" – the signature campaign phrase that helped propel Bill de Blasio into becoming the next chief executive of America’s largest city – speaks to the severity of the economic inequality that exists in New York City and across…
  • Lawrence Katz: In the Artisanal Economy, Work Is What You Make of It

    tprice
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:42 am
    The Next American Economy project brought together 30 experts from various disciplines to envision tomorrow's economic and political challenges and develop today's solutions. Their assignment: be bold, and leave the conventional wisdom -- and their own opinions -- behind. In today's video, Lawrence Katz imagines a future "artisanal economy" in which crafty workers carve out their own niches. Lawrence Katz, the Harvard economics professor known for his book The Race Between Education and Technology, speculates on the flourishing of an artisanal economy. He imagines a potential rebirth of…
  • Roosevelt Reacts: NLRB Holds McDonald's Accountable for Labor Violations

    tprice
    30 Jul 2014 | 3:39 am
    Yesterday, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board ruled that McDonald's is a joint employer for the workers at its franchises, meaning that the corporation could be held liable for any labor and wage violations that occur at its individual restaurants. The decision, says Roosevelt Institute President and CEO Felicia Wong, "rightly recognizes that, in today's changing and more fragmented workplace, workers still need the support and protections afforded by the law. Fast food workers are fighting for a wage that will allow them to care for their families and act as strong…
  • Frank Levy: Through Innovation, People Will Live Longer and Earn Less

    tprice
    30 Jul 2014 | 3:31 am
    The Next American Economy project brought together 30 experts from various disciplines to envision tomorrow's economic and political challenges and develop today's solutions. Their assignment: be bold, and leave the conventional wisdom -- and their own opinions -- behind. In today's video, economist Frank Levy foretells tech and health care trends resulting in longer lifespans and lower earning potential. MIT professor Frank Levy speculates that in the next 25 years, health innovation will improve life spans while tech innovation reduces earning potential for many Americans, resulting in…
 
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    Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

  • An Obvious but Important Point Regarding Executive Orders

    Jared Bernstein
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:52 pm
    It was my privilege to visit the White House today to attend the signing of the new Executive Order to ensure that federal contracts don’t go to firms that violate labor laws. As I wrote earlier, it’s a good idea for a number of reasons: First, the federal government does a lot of business with private firms, something in the neighborhood of $500 billion per year, and many firms depend on the business. The new order thus raises the cost of labor violations and strengthens the incentives to do the right thing. In so doing, it puts scofflaws at a competitive disadvantage. Second,…
  • Heads Up: It’s Jobs Tomorrow…again

    Jared Bernstein
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:25 pm
    Here’s the expectations table from Bloomberg:   Source: Bloomberg Jobs-watcher extraordinaire Heidi Shierholz asks this of tomorrow’s report: …have we really kicked it into higher gear? A jobs number north of 270,000 would be a pretty clear sign that the answer is yes—but anything much less than that would push us back to “we have to wait and see” territory. Her 270K is about the trend over the past three months, and while it’s a noisy indicator, GDP appears to have accelerated smartly in Q2 as well, based in part on faster consumer spending and…
  • President Obama’s new Executive Order: If you violate labor laws, you shouldn’t get gov’t contracts.

    Jared Bernstein
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:05 am
    Over at PostEverything. It’s a smart policy that should help improve job quality for millions of private sector workers employed under federal contracts. And he doesn’t need Congress to do it!
  • Parsing the Fed

    Jared Bernstein
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:21 pm
    Fed porn. That’s what a guy I know who covers the Fed calls minutiae of the type I’m about to share with you. So be forewarned, but tracking the entrails of statements by the central bank is an occupational requirement. It’s also made a whole lot easier by the Wall St. Journal’s Fed tracker, which allows you to compare the last FOMC statement to earlier ones, including the one that just came out this afternoon. (h/t: AM for reminding me of this cool tool.) As you’d expect, the practiced data watchers on the committee are engaged in the type of smoothing I…
  • Hey Kids: Keep the Noise Down! (GDP version…)

    Jared Bernstein
    30 Jul 2014 | 9:57 am
    What parent, busily trying to make sense out jumpy data, hasn’t yelled that down to the basement, especially during summer, when the kids are out of school? My kids, however, schooled in the volatility of high-frequency data, yell back: “Dad, if you want to filter out the noise, compute year-over-year changes!” Ah, from the mouths of babes… They’re right, of course, and this is especially important when you’re dealing with outliers like the big negative print for Q1 of this year: -2.1% (as revised). The figure below plots quarterly annual growth rates…
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    Freakonomics

  • How Much Does Your Name Matter? A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

    Freakonomics
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:35 am
    This week’s podcast is a rebroadcast of our episode called “How Much Does Your Name Matter?” (You can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript; it includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) The gist: a kid’s name can tell us something about his parents — their race, social standing, even their politics. But is your name really your destiny? The episode draws from a Freakonomics chapter called “A Roshanda By Any Other Name” and includes a good bit of new…
  • A Podcast User’s Guide for People Who Don’t Use iTunes or iPhones

    Freakonomics
    24 Jul 2014 | 11:02 am
    We routinely hear from people who’ve heard about our Freakonomics Radio podcast, but feel somewhat shut out from the podcasting world because they don’t use an iPhone or iTunes. So here are some alternative options: 1) For Android Users We’ve heard great things about Pocket Casts, which, for $3.99, syncs your favorite podcasts and keeps them backed up. You can also stream it to your Chromecast. Pocket Casts also works for Apple devices. 2) Windows Users You actually don’t need a third-party app to stream, download, or subscribe to podcasts. It’s super simple: here are…
  • Does Religion Make You Happy? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Gretta Cohn
    24 Jul 2014 | 8:40 am
    (Photo: www.CGPGrey.com) This week’s episode is called “Does Religion Make You Happy?” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) We undertook this episode in response to a listener question from Joel Rogers, a tax accountant in Birmingham, Ala. Here’s what he wrote: Being devout Southern Baptists my parents have steadfastly been giving 10% of their income to the church their whole lives. I recently voiced my opinion that I…
  • Does Religion Make You Happy? Full Transcript

    Freakonomics
    24 Jul 2014 | 6:43 am
    [AMBI: Birds chirping] JOEL: Jesus can’t keep the heat out in there! WAYNE: Woo man, nice and warm! JOEL: I’m dumping sweat… WAYNE: I’ll tell you what! Stephen J. DUBNER: That’s Joel Rogers and his father Wayne. JOEL: Yeah! So we’re just about to walk into Grace Life Baptist Churchand worship with my parents, and my brother, also, my sister is about to be here, running a little late as usual. [AMBI: Roosters crow, gravel crunch] [MUSIC: Cantinero, “Happy When I’m Down” (from Championship Boxing DUBNER: We’re in McCalla, Alabama, about 20 minutes outside of Birmingham, on a…
  • Why You Should Bribe Your Kids: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Suzie Lechtenberg
    17 Jul 2014 | 4:52 am
    (Photo: Nana B Agyei) This week’s episode is called “Why You Should Bribe Your Kids.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) Let’s say you’re trying to get a bunch of kids to eat more nutritious food. What’s the best way to do this — education, moral urging, or plain old bribery? That’s one of the questions that a pair of economists set out to answer in a recent field experiment in Chicago.
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    interfluidity

  • Welfare economics: housekeeping and links

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

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

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

    Steve Randy Waldman
    11 Jun 2014 | 10:19 pm
    This is the third part of a series. See parts 1, 2, 4, and 5. Last time, we concluded that output cannot be measured independently of distribution, “the size of the proverbial pie in fact depends upon how you slice it.” That’s a clear enough idea, but the example that we used to get there may have seemed forced. We invented people with divergent circumstances and preferences, and had a policy decision rather than “the free market” slice up the pie. Now we’ll consider a more natural case, although still unnaturally oversimplified. Imagine an economy in which…
  • Welfare economics: the perils of Potential Pareto (part 2 of a series)

    Steve Randy Waldman
    5 Jun 2014 | 7:32 am
    This is the second part of a series. See parts 1, 3, 4, and 5. When economics tried to put itself on a scientific basis by recasting utility in strictly ordinal terms, it threatened to perfect itself to uselessness. Summations of utility or surplus were rendered incoherent. The discipline’s new pretension to science did not lead to reconsideration of its (unscientific) conflation of voluntary choice with welfare improvement. So it remained possible for economists to recommend policies that would allow some people to be made better off (in the sense that they would choose their new…
 
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    Why Nations Fail

  • Why Lebanon Has a Very Ineffective State (with thanks to Ishac Diwan and Danyel Reiche)

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:16 am
    In our last post we argued that a problem with the approach to state formation pioneered by James Scott is that he takes it for granted that states want to expand and dominate society. It turns out that this is not true in much of the world. Still in other dimensions we think that he actually undersells his ideas. For instance in the Art of Not Being Governed he states that the analysis is of historical importance mostly and not relevant to the recent past. Scott rules out the applicability of his ideas to modern times because he does not consider the possibility that people can sometimes…
  • The Will to Make Legible

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    25 Jul 2014 | 11:44 am
    The University of the Andes in Bogotá where James Robinson teaches every summer wants to expand at the moment. In particular just to the north of the campus in downtown Bogotá, about 10 minutes walk for the Casa de Nariño, the presidential palace, is a neighborhood called Triángulo de Fenicia. The deal that the university proposed is that they would buy up all the properties and then re-house the people living there in new apartment buildings they would construct as part of the campus extension (you can read about the project here.) Looks like a great deal; nearly…
  • Hard Times for Geographical Determinism

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    22 Jul 2014 | 8:47 pm
    When we began our research with Simon Johnson in 1998 that provided a lot of the insights around which we built Why Nations Fail, we were partly reacting against the ascendancy of what we saw as a highly misleading explanation form, comparative economic development based on geography — both in academia and in policy discussions. In Chapter 2 of our book “Theories that Don’t Work” we explain in detail some of the evidence that is inconsistent with such geographical views. Thankfully, one rarely hears nowadays at an economics conference that Africa is poor because it is…
  • An Application of the Art of Not Being Governed

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    17 Jul 2014 | 12:16 pm
    Scott’s theory can actually help to understand some facts about economic development. In their paper Geography and Economic Development, John Gallup, Jeffrey Sachs, and Andrew Mellinger elaborate several versions of what we called the geography hypothesis in Why Nations Fail. They point out that there is a correlation between the distribution of population in a country and poverty, with countries in Asia and Africa often having populations far from the coast and navigable rivers — a fact which they interpret as a geographical source of underdevelopment. But they do not explain why…
  • The Art of Not Being Governed

    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
    15 Jul 2014 | 11:25 am
    Scott followed up Seeing Like a State with another important book on the state, The Art of Not Being Governed. The thesis of this book is simple but provocative. Focusing on South East Asia, Scott points out that historically (roughly up until the middle of the 20th century) many countries like Burma, Thailand and Vietnam were divided into core areas controlled by the state, and peripheries that are largely outside the state’s control. These peripheries are typically more ethnically diverse, culturally distinct, poorer and often in conflict with the state in the core. On way of viewing…
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    Credit Writedowns

  • Europe: A plan to boost economy by cutting taxes

    Edward Harrison
    29 Jul 2014 | 7:28 am
    By Andrea Terzi originally published at Social Europe and republished with consent of Author The anti-austerity vote in the European elections reflected two different kinds of discontent. One is a feeling of frustration, which is invigorating nationalism: the vote for “less Europe.” The other is a lack of confidence in current EU policies: the vote for “another Europe.” In both cases, voters  revealed that they have lost interest in blaming the crisis on U.S. bankers or on national governments (for not complying with EU rules) and instead are pleading for effective job-creating…
  • Links: 2014-07-28

    Edward Harrison
    28 Jul 2014 | 5:45 am
    US says images show Russian attacks on Ukraine – FT.com Euro zone may discuss early Irish bailout repayment to IMF | Reuters Argentine default looms as time runs out for debt deal | Reuters Shinzo Abe faces rising disenchantment in Japan – FT.com Brazil injects $20bn into banking sector – FT.com Lavrov says Russia will not respond in kind to Western sanctions | Reuters Yukos Owners Win $50 Billion in 10-Year Fight With Russia – Bloomberg India prepares for ‘big bang’ in smartphone use – FT.com In Ukraine’s east, Soviet-style economy withers under…
  • QE is fiscal policy

    Frances Coppola
    24 Jul 2014 | 12:36 pm
    By Frances Coppola A new paper by Johnston and Pugh of the legal department of the University of Sheffield discusses the legality and the effectiveness of QE and its relatives, including the ECB’s OMT “whatever it takes” promise. The background to this is the German Constitutional Court’s ruling that OMT amounts to monetary financing of government deficits and is therefore unlawful. Although the European Court of Justice is still to give its judgment in this matter – and is widely expected to dissent – the ECB is evidently doing its best to avoid outright…
  • Apple’s shift into China shows the company’s masterful execution

    Edward Harrison
    23 Jul 2014 | 6:06 am
    Apple’s Q3 2014 earnings report yesterday was a mixed bag in terms of actual results. But from my perspective the results show a company that continues to execute its strategy well given the onslaught from cheaper handsets using the Android operating system. Apple posted a smaller-than-expected 6% gain in quarterly revenue due to sluggish growth in saturated markets in Europe and North America. But revenue in China surged 28% despite Apple’s premium pricing. Apple’s growth days are over in developed markets. But I have been upbeat about Apple’s results because of the China strategy…
  • Links: 2014-07-23

    Edward Harrison
    23 Jul 2014 | 4:42 am
    Split Obamacare Court Rulings Revive Health-Care Debate – Bloomberg EUobserver / Leaked paper: EU options on ‘stage three’ Russia sanctions Europe Toughens Sanctions on Russia – WSJ Condo Builders Fuel Land Rush in Miami – WSJ Draghi Faces German Hard Line on Avoiding Deflation – Bloomberg UK arms export licences for Russia still in place despite claims of embargo – report | World news | theguardian.com Deutsche Bank Suffers From Litany of Reporting Problems, Regulators Said – WSJ Meat Supplier in China to Yum, McDonald’s…
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    Liberty Street Economics

  • Just Released: Updated Study of the Competitiveness of Puerto Rico’s Economy Proposes Steps to Address the Island’s Fiscal Stress

    Blog Author
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:00 am
    James Orr An Update on the Competitiveness of Puerto Rico’s Economy, released today, offers six steps that the Island’s government should consider taking to restore its fiscal health. Puerto Rico faces interrelated economic and fiscal challenges. The report characterizes economic activity in Puerto Rico as flat at a depressed level and shows that public debt has risen to about 100 percent of GNP, a high ratio compared with the ratios for U.S. mainland states and a number of foreign economies. Besides the weak economy, the main sources of the debt buildup…
  • Becoming More Alike? Comparing Bank and Federal Reserve Stress Test Results

    Blog Author
    21 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    Beverly Hirtle, Anna Kovner, and Eric McKay Stress tests have become an important method of assessing whether financial institutions have enough capital to operate in bad economic conditions. Under the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, both the Federal Reserve and large U.S. bank holding companies (BHCs) are required to do annual stress tests and to disclose these results to the public. While the BHCs’ and the Federal Reserve’s projections are made under the same macroeconomic scenario, the results differ, primarily because of differences in the models used to make the…
  • Historical Echoes: The Worst Bank Robbers in Mendham, New Jersey

    Blog Author
    18 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    Megan Cohen There are many methods by which financial institutions can ready themselves for worst-case scenarios: they participate in the federal deposit insurance system, they follow a variety of banking regulations, and they prepare for natural disasters, for starters. But what about bank robberies, which typically strike their targets with little or no warning?      Not every bank is lucky enough to get advance notice of a plot in the works. Even fewer banks are located in a small town with local police intent on catching would-be thieves in the middle of the act and…
  • Risk Aversion and the Natural Interest Rate

    Blog Author
    16 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    Bianca De Paoli and Pawel Zabczyk One way to assess the stance of monetary policy is to assert that there is a natural interest rate (NIR), defined as the rate consistent with output being at its potential. Broadly speaking, monetary policy can be seen as expansionary if the policy rate is below the NIR with the gap between the rates measuring the extent of the policy stimulus. Of course, there are many challenges in defining and measuring the NIR, with various factors driving its value over time. A key factor that needs to be considered is the effect of uncertainty and risk aversion on…
  • Just Released: July Empire State Manufacturing Survey Shows Strength

    Blog Author
    15 Jul 2014 | 5:45 am
    Jason Bram and Richard Deitz The July 2014 Empire State Manufacturing Survey, released today, points to some notable strengthening in New York’s manufacturing sector. The survey’s headline general business conditions index and the new orders and shipments indexes all climbed to their highest levels in more than four years. The employment measure also moved up in July and is close to the three-year high set in April. Because the survey’s diffusion indexes measure the breadth of change for their respective indicators, greater values tend to indicate not just higher levels…
 
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    The Incidental Economist

  • Stand Up! – July 30, 2014

    Aaron Carroll
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:48 am
    I am a frequent guest on Stand Up! with Pete Dominick, which airs on Sirius/XM radio, channel 104 from 6-9AM Eastern. It immediately replays on the channel, so those on the West Coast can listen at the same times. On this show we were all over the map. But it was a lot of fun! You can play the audio right here, after the jump… 07/30/14
  • Does it matter what Congress intended?

    Nicholas Bagley
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:18 am
    Over the past week, there’s been an awful lot of chatter about whether Congress really meant to eliminate subsidies from federal exchanges. Most has come from those appalled at the D.C. Circuits’ decision to invalidate the IRS rule. Their tone reflects what Jonathan Chait aptly calls “the kind of stammering, bug-eyed disbelief that occurs when somebody is forced to defend a factual proposition that everybody knows is true.” Collectively, I think the government’s defenders make a powerful case that Congress didn’t intend to withhold tax credits from people in states with federal…
  • NEJM: GME Reform

    Aaron Carroll
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:54 am
    The IOM recently released a report on Graduate Medical Education (GME) financing that has set the medical training world on fire. It’s long, and it’s complicated, and – to be honest – I don’t feel well versed enough in this yet to comment. So I won’t. That said, Gail Wilensky and Don Berwick have a piece in this week’s NEJM that’s hard to ignore. Especially this part: After reviewing the relevant literature, the committee reached several important conclusions that helped shape its recommendations: forecasts of future physician shortages are…
  • The Problem With ‘Pay for Performance’ in Medicine

    Aaron Carroll
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    The following originally appeared on The Upshot (copyright 2014, The New York Times Company). “Pay for performance” is one of those slogans that seem to upset no one. To most people it’s a no-brainer that we should pay for quality and not quantity. We all know that paying doctors based on the amount of care they provide, as we do with a traditional fee-for-service setup, creates incentives for them to give more care. It leads to increased health care spending. Changing the payment structure to pay them for achieving goals instead should reduce wasteful spending. So it’s no surprise…
  • AcademyHealth: Massachusetts Health Care Reform and Chronic Disease Outcomes

    Aaron Carroll
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:59 pm
    My latest post at the AcademyHealth blog: One of the critical questions about health care reform asks how much good reform will do to improve the quality of people’s health. Yes, insurance is about more than outcomes. It’s also about giving people peace of mind and providing them with financial security. But it’s also about making people healthier. Does it do that? After the results of the Oregon Insurance Health Experiment, many debated this issue. Some of the papers claimed that providing people with Medicaid did little to improve chronic disease. Some, like Austin and I, argued that…
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    LewRockwell

  • CIA Post-9/11 Torture Ops

    Russia Today
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    When the CIA first began using its controversial interrogation and detention methods after the September 11th attacks, it reportedly declined to tell the Secretary of State and other American ambassadors about its actions. The revelation comes from the Senate’s still-unreleased report scrutinizing the United States’ post-9/11 interrogation techniques, and first came to the public’s attention Wednesday when the White House unintentionally emailed a document detailing the findings to an Associated Press reporter. The report – parts of which could be declassified by the White House in…
  • The Real Science Is Suppressed

    L.K. Samuels
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Almost every day claims are made by political pundits and so-called experts that mankind is the prime cause behind changes in our climate.  The problem with such claims is that they have no basis in science, especially within the new sciences of chaos theory and complexity science. To treat climate change as almost entirely anthropogenic is bad science. And chaos theory and complexity have already debunked this myth long ago. Chaos theory arose from climate and weather prediction models, along with the non-repeatable and chaotic behavior found in the three-body problem. And what chaologists…
  • Terrorism and Gaza


    No Author
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    As I’ve written many times before, “terrorism” is, and from the start was designed to be, almost entirely devoid of discernible meaning. It’s a fear-mongering slogan, lacking any consistent application, intended to end rational debate and justify virtually any conduct by those who apply the term. But to the extent it means anything beyond that, it typically refers to the killing of civilians as a means of furthering political or military goals. Below are two charts reflecting the deaths of civilians, soldiers and “militants” in both Gaza and Israel since the July 8 Israeli…
  • Nixon’s Secrets

    Roger Stone
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    The Bay of Pigs, the JFK Assassination, Watergate and the Nixon pardon finally connected- and the dark secrets of Watergate are revealed. In “Nixon’s Secrets” the blockbuster book by Roger Stone with Michael Colapietro…out August 11th from Skyhorse Publishing the dark secrets of these historic events are finally exposed, the light and dark side of Nixon exposed and analyzed. Nixon’s Secrets Chronicles Nixon’s greatest triumphs, his bitter loses , his Spartan like disciple , meticulous preparation , hard work and resilience . Chart the rise and fall and rise of fall…
  • A Murdered Doctor, a Secret Lab, and the Killing of JFK

    No Author
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    On Monday, two threads in New Orleans’ long and sometimes twisted historical tapestry will intersect, giving us one of the most unlikely events of the summer. It’s a traditional jazz funeral, being held for a woman murdered 50 yeas ago, who, some say, had a mysterious connection to the man who assassinated John F. Kennedy. Only in New Orleans. “Mary Sherman was a beautiful, educated, and successful woman, beloved and respected by those who knew her,” says Ed Haslam, whose book about the woman’s murder, “Dr. Mary’s Monkey,” has been something of an underground classic for 20…
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    Angry Bear

  • Consumption by capital income will decrease further even as wages perk up

    Edward Lambert
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:18 am
    On a day that news comes out about wage growth perking up, the stock markets fall. (link to Dean Baker’s post) At the moment, the Dow is down 1.18% and the Nasdaq is down 1.81% for the day. The Dow has fallen below my attractor level of 16,800. A day when the stock market falls tends to make capitalists think a little more before they spend money on personal consumption. It might be better to just save the money. The market will not recover like it did in preceding years. So all the waiting to get unemployment down so that wages could rise, so that consumption would strengthen……
  • Shortage of labor by rejecting wage offers

    Edward Lambert
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    This posts refers to an article written by Gary Burtless, Unemployment and the “Skills Mismatch” Story: Overblown and Unpersuasive. Mr. Burtless says that businesses are complaining about a skills shortage in an environment of lots of job openings. What kind of model might describe this situation? I have one… (link to model) Labor share represents the strength of real wages to entice workers. The employment rate represents the percentage of workers that will be employed at that labor share. If labor share/real wages fall, less workers are willing to supply their efforts at that wage…
  • Forgotten, a beautiful dog waits for a home [in the Houston area] after nearly two years in boarding

    Beverly Mann
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:43 pm
    Okay, yeah, I’m at it again.  Sorry about the off-topic intrusion, but …. Anyone in the Houston area who might be interested?
  • Yes, there is trouble in Japan

    Edward Lambert
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:04 pm
    Just yesterday I posted about how weak real wages in Japan spells trouble for Abenomics. (link) Today we see by way of Stanley White and Leika Kihara at Reuters that output in Japan might be showing recession. “Output is clearly weakening, enough to make you even wonder if the economy is OK,” said Yoshiki Shinke, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.” I said yesterday in the comments section of my post that GDP growth will slow down… I keep something in mind… From my view, Japan is already up against the effective demand limit. How do I know? Capacity…
  • Output Gap not so large… just for the record

    Edward Lambert
    30 Jul 2014 | 12:49 pm
    Janet Yellen said today that there is still considerable slack in the economy in terms of labor and capital. So there is less pressure to tighten monetary policy earlier. Just for the record, from my own research there is little spare capacity left… Here is my graph… Warning! The potential GDP used in the graph below is not the CBO Potential. It is my own determination of potential GDP based on Effective Demand. I measure the output gap as a % difference between capacity utilization and effective labor share. For most of the past 40 some years, my measurement was close to the CBO…
 
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    Macro and Other Market Musings

  • Revisiting the Great Experiment of 2013

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

    28 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    One hundred years ago today World War I (WWI) began. On this anniversary there has been a lot of discussion about the war and its implications for the century that followed. Today, as I traveled, I got to listen to one such discussion on the NPR program, On Point. The host, Tom Ashbrook, interviewed several historians and a commentator about the war. It was a really interesting show and I learned a lot, like how the problems in Middle East and Ukraine can be traced in part to the boundaries that were drawn after the war. I could not have asked for a better traveling partner.There was,…
  • A Surprising Look Back at the Fed's QE Programs

    24 Jul 2014 | 10:52 am
    The Fed's QE3 program is scheduled to end later this year. This will bring to a close the Fed's five year experiment with QE programs. They have been incredibly controversial, especially among those who believe these programs enabled the federal government to run large budget deficits. Those holding this view typically make one of two claims. First, the large scale asset purchases (LSAPs) done under QE meant the federal government had a guaranteed purchaser of its securities. Second, the QE programs kept the federal government's financing charges inordinately low. So are these claims correct?
  • Insure Against Central Bank Incompetence: My Reply to the New Keynesian Strikeforce

    23 Jul 2014 | 1:05 pm
    Apparently, it is open season on market monetarists. The red dots you see on our chest are from the laser scopes on the new keynesian guns of Tony Yates, Simon Wren-Lewis, and Paul Krugman. These individuals have been firing away with their critiques of market monetarism. Scott Sumner and Nick Rowe have already responded to many of them. Here I want to focus on what I view as one of their better criticisms: even if we are correct that monetary policy alone can end the slump, central banks have not shown themselves willing to do so. So why argue for them to do more? Here is Simon Wren-Lewis…
  • Follow up to My Washington Post Piece on Secular Stagnation

    15 Jul 2014 | 11:13 am
    I have an new article in the Washington Post where I make the case against secular stagnation. My argument is based on three observations. The details of these arguments and evidence for them are spelled out in the piece, but here is a quick summary.First, the prima-facie evidence most secular stagnation advocates point to is misleading. They see the long-decline of real interest rates since the early 1980s as supporting their view. Their real interest rate measures, however, do not account for a trend decline in the risk premium. Once that is done there is no downward trend in real interest…
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    niesr.ac.uk

  • Welfare reform and the "jobs miracle"

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

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

    JonathanPortes
    18 Jun 2014 | 6:06 am
    [Note: the views set out in this post are that of the author, not those of the Equality and Human Rights Commission]
  • Independence Bonus or UK Dividend?

    AngusArmstrong
    4 Jun 2014 | 7:18 am
    The publication of two official reports last week making apparently contradictory claims might appear to reflect badly on the 'dismal science' (economics). On the one hand, the Treasury report claims that Scots would be £1,400 better off each year by staying in the union. On the other hand, the Scottish Government claims that Scots would receive a £1,000 bonus per year if Scotland becomes independent. If the officials cannot decide, then is there any hope that the rest of us can make sense of their claims?
  • Immigration: recent trends and Thursday's figures

    JonathanPortes
    18 May 2014 | 8:35 am
    In advance of the latest batch of migration statistics on Thursday from the Office for National Statistics, I thought it was worth trying to summarise what the vast range of data on immigration tells about recent trends. This is not a particularly analytical piece: for excellent summaries about the economics of immigration to the UK, go to this from Jonathan Wadsworth (CEP) or this from CREAM (UCL).
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    Bruegel - Latest Updates

  • Ukraine: Can meaningful reform come out of conflict?

    31 Jul 2014 | 10:39 pm
    Apart from threats to its national security and territorial integrity, Ukraine faces serious economic challenges. These result from the slow pace of economic and institutional reform in the previous two decades, the populist policies of the Yanukovych era and the consequences of the conflict with Russia.The new Ukrainian authorities have made pro-reform declarations, but these do not seem to be supported sufficiently by concrete policy measures, especially in the critical areas of fiscal, balance-of-payment and structural adjustment. Also, the international financial aid package granted to…
  • Fact of the week: Russia sanctioned from all sides

    29 Jul 2014 | 10:17 pm
    Yesterday, the EU introduced new sanctions targeted at specific sectors of the Russian economy. This came one day after an international arbitration court in The Hague had decided for an unprecedented ruling related to Yukos, an oil company with a very controversial fate. On Monday a Tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled unanimously that Russia shall pay 50 billion USD to shareholders of Yukos, which back in 2003 used to be Russia’s biggest oil company. It “used” to be, because Yukos actually does not exist anymore. It was seized by the Russian state ten…
  • Blogs review: The economics of big cities

    29 Jul 2014 | 12:25 am
    What’s at stake: An intriguing paradox of our age is that the global economy is becoming increasingly local, with super-productive cities driving innovation and growth nationwide. This has generated a discussion as to whether local land use policies, which restrict the housing supply in high productive metro-areas, should be constrained by central governments to limit their negative externalities on overall growth. Local economies in the age of globalization Enrico Moretti writes that the growing divergence between cities with a well-educated labor force and innovative employers and the…
  • Chart of the Week: The Big Mac (index) and euro area adjustment

    28 Jul 2014 | 6:03 am
    Following up on previous comments on the Big Mac index and euro area adjustment, the latest data-update suggests a slow-down in the price adjustment between euro area countries taking place since the beginning of the crisis. Source: The Economist. Note: the price for Portugal in July 2012 are considered an outlier, interpolation has been used to correct for this. The chart above shows that there was nearly no change in big mac prices over the last year (blue bar, July 2013 to July 2014), except for Greece. While one could still observe major downward price adjustments of big mac burgers…
  • India torpedoes the Bali Trade Facilitation deal

    28 Jul 2014 | 2:01 am
    Citing concerns over food security, after a Cabinet meeting headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, India reportedly decided against signing onto the trade facilitation protocol that was agreed upon at the WTO’s the Ninth Ministerial Conference at Bali last December as a key deliverable under the Bali package2. While this is not yet an official position on the issue, concerns are rife that India may actually make good on the threat, if only as calculated brinkmanship to get its way at the WTO on its food security and public stockholding concerns. Other than South Africa…
 
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    TaxVox

  • How REIT Spinoffs Will Further Erode the Corporate Tax Base

    Howard Gleckman
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:59 pm
    While Congress has been obsessing about tax inversions, it turns out another—potentially more important–tax avoidance technique is getting increased attention from the business community: Spinning off tangible assets into Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). If these deals become widespread, they’d be another nail in the coffin of the corporate income tax. Multinational firms already slash their U.S. tax liability on income from intellectual property by shifting patents and goodwill to affiliates in low-tax countries. These latest transactions would allow them to slash their…
  • What’s Love Got to Do with It? Not Much, in Congress

    Renu Zaretsky
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    The Senate won’t “Bring Home Jobs…” at least not through the bill that would have denied tax deductions for costs of moving corporations out of the country. The Bring Home Jobs Act needed 60 votes to pass but received only 54. The House GOP may vote to put the estate tax to death. They’ve been trying to repeal the estate tax for over a decade, and after the August recess, they may try again. House Ways & Means Chair Dave Camp doesn’t believe “death should be a taxable event.” TPC notes that the estate tax is the most progressive federal tax: Estates of people in the top…
  • What Ronald Reagan Didn’t Say About the EITC

    Len Burman
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:15 pm
    I like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It encourages work and allows millions of low-wage workers and their kids to escape a life of poverty. Democrats support it as a critical part of the safety net. Republicans back it because it rewards work and family. Just last week, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) endorsed President Obama’s proposal to increase the EITC for childless workers. Republican icon Ronald Reagan supported the Tax Reform Act of 1986’s expansion of  the EITC. And he is widely quoted on liberal websites (such as this one) as saying that “the Earned…
  • Reincorporation, Renunciation, and a Dose of Reality

    Renu Zaretsky
    30 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    There’s more than one way for a corporation to reduce taxes. It doesn’t have to reincorporate itself overseas. It could instead spin off a part of itself into a publicly traded real estate investment fund. As long as the new REIT distributes 90 percent or more of its income to investors as taxable dividends, it would not be required to pay federal taxes. Investors are betting that the telecommunications industry will find the maneuver  especially lucrative. One tax consultant concludes “the technique is now widely available to any company that has real estate.” For what it’s worth,…
  • Are Tax Inversions Really Unpatriotic?

    Howard Gleckman
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:21 pm
    President Obama and many congressional Democrats argue that U.S.-based multinational firms are being unpatriotic by moving their corporate addresses overseas in order to reduce their taxes. Obama even implied they are “corporate deserters.” These are powerful, emotionally-charged allegations. But are they fair? Is it unpatriotic to maximize tax savings? After all, companies and individuals do it all the time. Or is it only unpatriotic to reduce taxes by shifting your legal headquarters to a low-tax country? Obama is mostly engaging in election-year demagoguery. The U.S. does a remarkably…
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    Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

  • The Tax Rules That Health Care Assisters Need to Know

    January Angeles
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:39 pm
    “Navigators” and others helping people apply for health coverage need to understand basic tax filing rules because eligibility for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and premium tax credits for coverage bought through federal and state Marketplaces is based on Internal Revenue Code definitions of income and household.  We’ve developed The Health Care Assister’s Guide to Tax Rules to help fill this need. The guide provides basic information on relevant tax rules, including when someone is required to file taxes, what filing status options are available, the…
  • Why the Ryan Plan Should Worry Those Who Are Concerned About the Affordable Housing Crisis, Part 1

    Douglas Rice
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:33 am
    A centerpiece of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s poverty plan is the proposal to consolidate 11 safety net programs — including four housing assistance programs — into a single, flexible block grant to states.  Among its downsides, this proposal threatens to lead to reductions in funding that provides housing assistance to millions of low-income families and individuals. My colleagues have already set out some of the reasons to be concerned by Chairman Ryan’s proposal: Block grants have proven to be easy targets for funding cuts, in part because their inherent flexibility…
  • Where Things Stand for the Unemployed

    CBPP
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:40 am
    With the July jobs report due out tomorrow, we’ve updated our overview of unemployment insurance and our backgrounder on how many weeks of benefits are available across the country. Workers in most states are eligible for up to 26 weeks of benefits from the regular state-funded unemployment compensation program, although eight states provide fewer weeks and two provide more.  Emergency Unemployment Compensation, a temporary federal program that provided additional weeks of benefits to workers who exhausted their regular state benefits before finding a job, expired at the end of 2013 and…
  • IMF and OECD Call for Stronger EITC and Minimum Wage

    Chye-Ching Huang
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:42 am
    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which have previously recommended expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and raising the federal minimum wage, both issued recent reports underscoring that these measures should be viewed as complements, not competing alternatives. The reminder that a higher minimum wage can make a stronger EITC more effective at reducing poverty and encouraging work is especially timely given House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new poverty plan.  Ryan commendably recommended…
  • GAO Medicaid Data Show Per Capita Caps Would Lead to Disparate, Harmful Funding Cuts

    Matt Broaddus
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:04 am
    We’ve previously warned that proposals to change the formula for federal Medicaid funding for states to a fixed dollar amount per Medicaid beneficiary — known as a “per capita cap” — would mean cuts in federal funding for all states.  The change would hit some states particularly hard due to substantial differences in per-beneficiary spending and how fast such costs grow over time.  A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) analysis backs up our warning. GAO’s analysis shows that states vary widely in how much they spend per beneficiary, consistent with our own analysis…
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    Eschaton

  • Morning Thread

    1 Aug 2014 | 2:42 am
    For those who were wondering, it's FRIDAY. Yeah!
  • Late Night

    31 Jul 2014 | 8:00 pm
    Rock on.
  • Thursday Evening

    31 Jul 2014 | 4:18 pm
    Enjoy
  • Non-Partisan Bi-Partisanship

    31 Jul 2014 | 1:24 pm
    The political press are, of course, purely objective, having no ideology and no policy preferences. Except, of course, they do, both as individuals and as a culture, collectively. There's pressure (failing, but still) on Republicans to do something about immigration law in part because the collective agrees something must be done. Even though "something" is pretty loosely defined, it's about the most liberal "everybody agrees in a non-partisan bi-partisan way" issue that we've had in awhile. Doesn't mean I understand it.
  • Afternoon Thread

    31 Jul 2014 | 12:36 pm
    enjoy
 
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    Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Stanny Stanny Stannitude

    Andrew
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:11 pm
    On the stan-users list, Richard McElreath reports: With 2.4 out, I ran a quick test of how much speedup I could get by changing my old non-vectorized multi_normal sampling to the new vectorized form. I get a 40% time savings, without even trying hard. This is much better than I expected. Timings with vectorized multi_normal: # Elapsed Time: 96.8564 seconds (Warm-up) # 87.8308 seconds (Sampling) # 184.687 seconds (Total) Timings without vectorized multi_normal: # Elapsed Time: 168.544 seconds (Warm-up) # 147.83 seconds (Sampling) # 316.375 seconds (Total) These timings are for a Gaussian mixed…
  • The health policy innovation center: how best to move from pilot studies to large-scale practice?

    Andrew
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:34 am
    A colleague pointed me to this news article regarding evaluation of new health plans: The Affordable Care Act would fund a new research outfit evocatively named the Innovation Center to discover how to most effectively deliver health care, with $10 billion to spend over a decade. But now that the center has gotten started, many researchers and economists are disturbed that it is not using randomized clinical trials, the rigorous method that is widely considered the gold standard in medical and social science research. Such trials have long been required to prove the efficacy of medicines, and…
  • Statistics and data science, again

    Andrew
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:47 am
    Phillip Middleton writes in with two questions: (1) Is html markdown or some other formatting script usable in comments? If so, what are the tags I may use? (2) What are your views on the role of statistics in the evolution of the various folds of convergent science? For example, upon us there is this rather nebulously defined thing called data science which roughly equates to an amalgam of comp sci and stats. I tend to interpret it as somewhat computational stats, somewhat AI – or maybe it’s just an evolution of data mining, I don’t know yet. The comp sci camp is marketing…
  • The Ben Geen case: Did a naive interpretation of a cluster of cases send an innocent nurse to prison until 2035?

    Andrew
    29 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    In a paper called “Rarity of Respiratory Arrest,” Richard Gill writes: Statistical analysis of monthly rates of events in around 20 hospitals and over a period of about 10 years shows that respiratory arrest, though about five times less frequent than cardio-respiratory arrest, is a common occurrence in the Emergency Department of a typical smaller UK hospital. He has lots of detailed and commonsensical (but hardly routine) data analysis. Those of you who read my recent posts (here and here) on the World Cup might be interested in this, because it has lots of practical details of…
  • SciLua 2 includes NUTS

    Bob Carpenter
    28 Jul 2014 | 3:00 pm
    The most recent release of SciLua includes an implementation of Matt’s sampler, NUTS (link is to the final JMLR paper, which is a revision of the earlier arXiv version). According to the author of SciLua, Stefano Peluchetti: Should be quite similar to your [Stan's] implementation with some differences in the adaptation strategy. If you have time to have a look and give it a try I would appreciate your feedback. My website includes the LuaJIT binaries for 3 arches [Windows, Mac OS X, Linux], and the Xsys and Sci libraries needed to run NUTS. I’ve also been working on a higher-level…
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    macroblog

  • GDP Growth: Will We Find a Higher Gear?

    macroblog
    21 Jul 2014 | 12:37 pm
    We are still more than a week away from receiving the advance report for U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) from April through June. Based on what we know to date, second-quarter growth will be a large improvement over the dismal performance seen during the first three months of this year. As of today, our GDPNow model is reading an annualized second-quarter growth rate at 2.7 percent. Given that the economy declined by 2.9 percent in the first quarter, the prospects for the anticipated near-3 percent growth for 2014 as a whole look pretty dim. The first-quarter performance was dominated, of…
  • Part-Time for Economic Reasons: A Cross-Industry Comparison

    macroblog
    18 Jul 2014 | 1:38 pm
    With employment trends having turned solidly positive in recent months, attention has focused on the quality of the jobs created. See, for example, the different perspectives of Mortimer Zuckerman in the Wall Street Journal and Derek Thompson in the Atlantic. Zuckerman highlights the persistently elevated level of part-time employment—a legacy of the cutbacks firms made during the recession—whereas Thompson points out that most employment growth on net since the end of the recession has come in the form of full-time jobs. In measuring labor market slack, the part-time issue boils…
  • Introducing the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow Forecasting Model

    macroblog
    10 Jul 2014 | 12:26 pm
    The June 18 statement from the Federal Open Market Committee opened with this (emphasis mine): Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April indicates that growth in economic activity has rebounded in recent months.... Household spending appears to be rising moderately and business fixed investment resumed its advance, while the recovery in the housing sector remained slow. Fiscal policy is restraining economic growth, although the extent of restraint is diminishing. I highlighted the business fixed investment (BFI) part of that passage because it contracted at an…
  • The Implications of Flat or Declining Real Wages for Inequality

    macroblog
    30 Jun 2014 | 10:56 am
    A recent Policy Note published by the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College shows that what we thought had been a decade of essentially flat real wages (since 2002) has actually been a decade of declining real wages. Replicating the second figure in that Policy Note, Chart 1 shows that holding experience (i.e., age) and education fixed at their levels in 1994, real wages per hour are at levels not seen since 1997. In other words, growth in experience and education within the workforce during the past decade has propped up wages. The implication for inequality of this growth in education…
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    Stumbling and Mumbling

  • Am I a Tory?

    chris dillow
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:57 am
    Am I a Tory, or is Jesse Norman a socialist? I'm prompted to ask because the other day he reminded me of his superb lecture (pdf) on Burke and Oakeshott. What I mean is that, as Jesse says, both men, in their different ways, supported tradition against rationalism. This anti-rationalism, says Jesse, is "one of the central intellectual roots of conservatism through the ages." That small c in "conservatism" is well chosen. Take three examples:  - You can read Harry Braverman's account of deskilling - which is as relevant today as ever - as being in this tradition.
  • The economic base of virtue

    chris dillow
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:30 am
    ResPublica's call for more virtue in banking looks like it is out of step with our times. This is an indictment not of ResPublica, but of our times. In fact, virtue is necessary for a healthy free market economy because virtuous men do the right thing without law, and so virtue is an alternative to an arms race between ever-increasing regulation and ever more cunning attempts to game such regulation. Free markets, in this sense, need a moral framework. This poses the question: what is the economic basis of virtue? If you think this is a Marxian question, you'd be only half right.
  • The productivity silence

    chris dillow
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:24 am
    Simon Wren-Lewis wonders why the government has been so silent about stagnating productivity. I suspect there's a simple reason for this: you don't look a gift horse in the mouth. The drop in productivity growth has saved Osborne a massive embarrassment. To see this, consider a counterfactual. Imagine that productivity (defined as GDP divided by total employment) since the general election had grown by 2.3% per year - its average from 1977 to 2007 - and that output had followed the course it actually has*. If this had happened, employment would now be 2.48 million lower. If half of…
  • Wages & profits

    chris dillow
    28 Jul 2014 | 6:15 am
    Accountants EY say that the number of firms issuing profit warnings has risen. This reminds us of an awkward fact - that real wages haven't fallen because capitalists have increased their exploitation of workers. Instead, they've fallen because productivity has fallen. And lower productivity means lower incomes for both capital and labour. My chart shows the point. It shows that the share of non-financial profits in GDP hasn't changed much since 2010, and is lower than it was before the crisis. This doesn't necessarily undermine Labour's interest in predistribution…
  • Unobservables in economics

    chris dillow
    27 Jul 2014 | 5:18 am
    Nick Rowe has raised an awkward point in the philosophy of economics. He writes: If you want to increase the natural rate of interest, starting now, for the next 3 years [as fiscal expansionst want to], it does not matter what you do to the level of government spending right now. The only thing that matters is that you get people to believe that the growth rate of government spending will be lower than they would otherwise expect it would be. This short paragraph appeals to not one but two unobservable variables: the natural rate of interest and expectations of government spending. Which…
 
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    Moneybox

  • Middle Class Death Watch: The Median Household Is Now Poorer Than in 1984

    Jordan Weissmann
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:04 pm
    You're probably aware that a great chunk of America is poorer today than before the housing crash. But recently, the Russel Sage Foundation delivered a reminder that middle-class wealth is in fact still lower than it was a generation ago. As shown on the graph below, the median household in 2013 was worth about 20 percent less than in 1984.  As Allison Schrager writes over at Bloomberg Businessweek, middle class families are poorer today than in the Reagan days for two main reasons. For starters, housing collapsed—and for most Americans, their home is their biggest source of savings by…
  • Nordstrom Buys a Site for Men Who Hate to Shop

    Alison Griswold
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:10 pm
    The basic principle of Trunk Club is simple: Men hate to shop. So what if they didn't need to? What if, for a reasonable fee, a stylist evaluated a man's clothing preferences and then shipped him an assortment of items to try? Maybe enough men would prefer a service like that to the slog of shopping to make a profitable business. Nearly five years down the line, Trunk Club is doing well enough that big-name retailers are taking note. On Thursday, Nordstrom announced that it was buying Trunk Club for an undisclosed sum to help tap the growing market for men's fashion and to better integrate…
  • The Incredible Shrunken U.S. Corporate Tax

    Jordan Weissmann
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:55 pm
    As I argue in my column today, one of the basic problems with the corporate income tax is that it was conceived in a pre-globalization world, a time before tax havens and before U.S. companies started making a sizable chunk of their profits overseas. So I thought it would be useful to break out this graph, from the Tax Policy Center, showing how the corporate income tax’s role in the U.S. tax base has changed over time. Back in 1950, the corporate income tax was able to provide more than a quarter of federal revenue. Today, it’s down closer to 10 percent. Payroll taxes have essentially…
  • The McDonald’s-NLRB Kerfuffle Suggests That Our Labor Laws Are Woefully Out of Date

    Alison Griswold
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:32 am
    On Tuesday afternoon, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board said something that could radically change the worker-employer relationship for major restaurant companies. McDonald’s, the board’s general counsel determined, could be held as a “joint employer” in certain complaints over workers’ rights at its franchises. In the past, McDonald’s has escaped liability for management practices at its franchises by saying that the franchisee, and not its corporation, determines wages and working conditions in those restaurants. In the U.S., roughly 90 percent of…
  • Service Workers Deserve Higher Pay. They Also Desperately Need Some Vacation.

    Jordan Weissmann
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:12 am
    In Europe, vacation time is treated as a human right. In the United States, we see it as a perk—employers aren’t legally required to give their workers paid time off for rest, even on national holidays. So just as we get income inequality, we get leisure inequality, which is illustrated nicely in a new Bureau of Labor Statistics report on which jobs come with vacation benefits. As Wonkblog’s Christopher Ingraham pointed out yesterday, “Managers are nearly twice as likely as service workers to get paid time off.” I think numbers like these really speak to a bigger story about the…
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    Economic Development BlogEconomic Development Blog -

  • Tesla Breaks Ground in Reno, Nevada for Gigafactory – Site Selection in Progress

    Economic Development HQ.com
    1 Aug 2014 | 3:26 am
    Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) released their second quarter financial results for the year, and also provided an update about their Gigafactory site selection process. Tesla Gigafactory (photo – teslamotors.com) Tesla had previously disclosed that they will be breaking ground on multiple sites in different states for the Gigafactory battery project with an investment of $4-5 billion and the creation of 6,500 jobs by 2020. The company initially shortlisted Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas as locations for the Gigafactory, and then added California to the list. They plan to break ground…
  • Minnesota Economic Development Incentives Assist PERBIX HQ Relocation and Job Creation

    Economic Development HQ.com
    1 Aug 2014 | 1:37 am
    PERBIX, a provider of manufacturing and engineering services, announced plans to consolidate and expand their operations in Minnesota to a new headquarters in the North Cross Business Park in Brooklyn Park, MN. PERBIX (photo – perbix.com) The company will invest $1.1 million into the project, supported by $139,000 in Minnesota economic development incentives for creating jobs. PERBIX will be relocating about 75 existing employees from their current location in Golden Valley to the new headquarters and general operations building in Brooklyn Park, and will also create 12 new jobs within…
  • USDA Grants For California Economic Development Organizations Supporting Rural Microentrepeneurs

    Economic Development HQ.com
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:49 pm
    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded grants totaling $300,000 for supporting business development and job growth in rural communities. USDA microloans (photo – usda.gov) The USDA is awarding $30,000 each to ten Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs). Two of these are California economic development entities - the Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation and the Jefferson Economic Development Institute. The grants, awarded under the USDA Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), will help the MDOs offer…
  • Monticello, AR Economic Development Commission Lands $90M Biomass Wood Pellet Facility

    Economic Development HQ.com
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:29 am
    Zilkha Biomass Energy announced plans to establish a new facility for manufacturing advanced wood pellets in Monticello, Arkansas. Zilkha Biomass Energy (photo – zilkha.com) The company will invest $90 million into the project, and expects to create 52 new jobs in Monticello and Drew County. Zilkha Black® Pellet is the first advanced pellet in the biomass industry. These Zilkha pellets are water-resistant and can easily be transported and stored outside like coal. The pellets can be integrated into coal-fired plants that need to reduce emissions to comply with clean air regulations.
  • Organic Food Producer Sky Valley Foods Relocating to Danville, Virginia

    Economic Development HQ.com
    30 Jul 2014 | 10:57 pm
    Sky Valley Foods, which makes natural and organic sauces and salad dressings, announced plans to relocate and expand their operations to Danville, Virginia. Sky Valley Foods CEO Dennis Daniels unveils Sky Valley Foods sign at launch event in Danville, VA (photo – danville-va.gov) The company is moving into a 132,000 square-foot facility in the Airside Industrial Park in Danville. This property was formerly occupied by Amcor Tobacco Packaging and Shorewood Packaging Corp., but has been vacant since Amcor closed in April 2013. Sky Valley Foods will be creating 60 new jobs in Danville by…
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    Washington Center for Equitable Growth

  • Is Living on the Dole Bad for You?: Thursday Focus for July 31, 2014

    Brad DeLong
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:47 am
    At one point my grandfather was the richest man between Orlando and Tampa, and I figure that about $15K/year (in 2014-value dollars) of his money has been spent on me, one way or another, since my birth. That’s a substantial dole to live on, and–needless to say–I am extremely grateful to my late grandfather and grandmother for giving it to me. But has this harmed me? Brink Lindsey would presumably say that yes, it has: Brink Lindsey:* Why Living on the Dole is Bad for You: “I worry that a UBI would further encourage mass idleness… …a serious and worsening…
  • Lunchtime Must-Read: Jason Furman and John Podesta: We Can’t Wait: The Cost of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change

    Brad DeLong
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:07 am
    Jason Furman and John Podesta: We Can’t Wait: The Cost of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change: “Some are still claiming uncertainty… …about the underlying science of climate change, saying it would be better to wait for more data, analysis and time to act…. We do face significant uncertainty…. That uncertainty, however, is an argument for doing more and doing it sooner…. Acting now to put in place policies that reduce carbon emissions is like taking out an insurance policy…. The costs of achieving a fixed climate change goal would be 40…
  • A Note on the Shape of Yesterday’s GDP Growth Number

    Brad DeLong
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:38 am
    I want to highlight the post by Nick Bunker yesterday over at Equitable Growth Value Added on the shape of the GDP growth number. Our 4%/year first-quarter real GDP growth rate was only a 2.3%/year growth rate for demand–the rest was inventories. And our (still anemic) growth in consumption continues to be largely growth in durables consumption. Well worth your reading, if you haven’t already: Nick Bunker: The durability of consumption and economic growth: “The Bureau of Economic Analysis… estimates [real] GDP grew by 4 percent on an annualized basis during the second…
  • Morning Must-Read: Ari Phillips: Paul Ryan Says Climate Change Is An Excuse To Illegally Grow Government And Raise Taxes

    Brad DeLong
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:50 am
    Ari Phillips: Paul Ryan Says Climate Change Is An Excuse To Illegally Grow Government And Raise Taxes: “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Wednesday that… …’climate change occurs no matter what’, but that the EPA’s recent efforts to reduce emissions from existing power plants are ‘outside of the confines of the law’, and ‘an excuse to grow government, raise taxes and slow down economic growth’. Speaking at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor in Washington, Rep. Ryan said that he would argue that the ‘federal government,…
  • Over at Grasping Reality: Neel Kashkari Finds Out Our Big Macroeconomic Problem Is Lack of Demand

    Brad DeLong
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:28 am
    A 41-year-old with a long record of extremely conscientious and highly-productive work experience that has left his employers extremely satisfied [cannot find work in Fresno.](http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2014/07/neel-kashkari-says-low-employment-not-due-to-skill-mismatch-or-structural-factors-live-from-the-roasterie-ccxxx-july-31.html) Thus Neel Kashkari finds out that the really big problem is not a lack of productive and marketable skills or of work ethic on the labor side, but rather a shortfall of demand…
 
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    The Indian Economist

  • Solutions…

    TIE
    29 Jul 2014 | 7:30 pm
    By Razi Iqbal Edited by Nidhi Singh, Junior Editor, The […]The post Solutions… appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • Ravana: The Complete Man?

    TIE
    29 Jul 2014 | 7:30 pm
    By Nidhi Mardi Edited by Michelle Cherian, Associate Ed […]The post Ravana: The Complete Man? appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • E-Waste Management: The Emerging Eco- Friendly Business in India

    TIE
    29 Jul 2014 | 7:30 pm
    By Amit Singh Negi Edited by Liz Maria Kurkiakose, Asso […]The post E-Waste Management: The Emerging Eco- Friendly Business in India appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • The Politics Of Nationalism!

    TIE
    29 Jul 2014 | 7:30 pm
    By Saurabh Gandhi Edited by Nidhi Singh, Junior Editor, […]The post The Politics Of Nationalism! appeared first on The Indian Economist.
  • What Do Minorities In The Muslim Majority Countries Require?

    TIE
    29 Jul 2014 | 7:30 pm
    By Saif Ahmad Khan Edited by Liz Maria Kurkiakose, Asso […]The post What Do Minorities In The Muslim Majority Countries Require? appeared first on The Indian Economist.
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    FiveThirtyEight » Economics | FiveThirtyEight

  • It’s Too Soon to Celebrate the Drop in Long-Term Unemployment

    Ben Casselman
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:32 pm
    On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its latest round of job figures, and there’s a good chance they’ll show that the number of long-term jobless — typically defined as those out of work for more than six months — has dropped below 3 million for the first time since 2009. That’s still double the number when the recession began in 2007, but it represents a more than 50 percent drop from 2010. Over the past two years, the decline in long-term unemployment has accounted for 70 percent of the drop in overall joblessness.That certainly sounds like good news. But…
  • Even After 25 Years, Pete Rose’s Ban From Baseball Is Money in the Bank

    Kostya Kennedy
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:32 am
    In the long and varied history of sports heroes — from Pheidippides to Johnny Football — none has signed his name more often, nor more energetically and whimsically, than Pete Rose. Signing for dollars has been at the core of Rose’s livelihood, and lifeblood, since he was banned from baseball 25 years ago. For years now he has appeared four days a week, in five-hour shifts, at a memorabilia shop in a Las Vegas mall. The crowds don’t swarm, but they do come, steadily. An autographed ball costs $99, a bat $200, a jersey $40. Items are also bundled and sold in packages. It’s…
  • North Dakota’s Oil Bonanza Is Unsustainable

    Ben Casselman
    21 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    A decade ago, North Dakota was a wind-swept also-ran in the oil industry. Wildcatters struck oil there in the 1950s, but the rock was too dense to get most of it out, and the fields never amounted to much. The state produced about 30 million barrels of oil in 2004, enough to satisfy U.S. demand for about a day and a half.Then everything changed. In the mid-2000s, companies in Texas had figured out how to extract natural gas from dense shale rock near Fort Worth. A few enterprising oil men figured the same approach might work in North Dakota’s oil fields, and after a few false starts, they…
  • Corporate America Is Enriching Shareholders at the Expense of the Economy

    Douglas Skinner
    15 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    Economics 101 tells us there are basically two things you can do with your money: Spend it and enjoy the benefits of your new purchases today, or invest it — with the hope that you’ll make more money in the future. This basic trade-off between consumption and investment applies to companies as well. Over the past decade, the balance in corporate America has swung toward consumption, raising concerns about the U.S.’s future economic growth.Let me explain what “consumption” means in a company’s case. Rather than saving its money to grow the business, the company gives back…
  • Immigration Is Changing Much More Than the Immigration Debate

    Ben Casselman
    9 Jul 2014 | 3:08 am
    In 1994, California Governor Pete Wilson aired television ads showing people scrambling across the Mexican border near San Diego. “The rules are being broken,” a narrator intoned. “Pete Wilson has had the courage to say enough is enough.” Wilson, who at one point trailed in the polls, ended up cruising to an easy re-election.Two decades later, the rhetoric around immigration hasn’t changed much — just look at Virginia, where long-shot challenger Dave Brat upset Eric Cantor in part by promising to “secure the border” and “reject any proposal that grants amnesty” to…
 
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    Economics and everyday life at EconLife.com

  • Hiring at Bank of America

    Econlife Editor
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
    Recently, Bank of America has hired significantly more junior bankers in attempts to better working conditions for young employees.  Vote and comment!
  • Argentina’s (Long) Default History

    Elaine Schwartz
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    With Argentina again defaulting on her sovereign debt, she is violating the sanctity of contracts and lessened her borrowing ability at home and globally.
  • How North Dakota Fuels Economic Growth

    Elaine Schwartz
    30 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    A magnet for entrepreneurs and workers seeking high paying jobs, North Dakota's city of Williston shows how energy wealth fuels economic growth.
  • Greece Again?

    Elaine Schwartz
    29 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    With more austerity resistance to government spending cutbacks, Greece could again be heading for a sovereign debt default and a bailout.
  • Why the GDP is Much More Than a Number

    Elaine Schwartz
    28 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    Seemingly just a statistic, how we calculate the GDP and how it is used can be controversial and affect the lives of millions of people.
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    Vox - All

  • Congress passed a plan to fix the VA. Here's what it does.

    German Lopez
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:38 pm
    In the aftermath of the big scandal at the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Congress and the White House have responded with various changes to reform the nation's publicly run health-care system for veterans. Congress on Thursday, July 31, overwhelmingly approved sweeping changes to the VA's health-care system. The VA reform bill is the largest bipartisan effort passed by the current Congress, and the largest attempt to reform the VA in more than a decade. Congress and the White House have taken steps to fix the issues More than three months ago, allegations began trickling out of the VA…
  • Economists expect no change in unemployment rate in July Jobs report

    Matthew Yglesias
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:36 pm
    Tomorrow is Jobs Day. The consensus of economic forecasters is that the economy will gain 233,000 jobs while the unemployment rate stays put at 6.1 percent. In the context of a fifth consecutive month of payroll growth over 200,000 a steady unemployment rate would actually be better news than a falling one since a steady rate would indicate that the labor force is expanding in response to benign economic conditions and the economy is not running out of room to grow. The context for the report is a run of good news from other economic indicators. Second quarter GDP saw a strong rebound…
  • How deforestation is helping to spread Ebola

    Brad Plumer
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:26 pm
    One of the big questions surrounding the current deadly Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone is how the disease spread to humans in the first place. This map is up to date as of June 20, 2014. CDC/VSPB In all likelihood, the virus was originally circulating among bats or possibly gorillas in the forests of western Africa. Some experts believe that the disease may have spread to humans via "bushmeat" — someone butchering an infected bat for food, say, and coming in contact with its blood. The disease then traveled from humans to humans. One possible conduit is through certain…
  • Where Americans find the money to pay for college

    Libby Nelson
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:50 pm
    A strong majority of American families don't think students' should have to foot the entire bill for their college education, a new national survey shows. One in 5 families said the student should be solely responsible for paying to attend college. But the survey, from student lender Sallie Mae and market research firm Ipsos, found both parents and students were unselfish when it comes to the more than $20,000 the average family paid to attend college. Students were more likely to say that students should pay for college, and parents were more likely to say that parents should pay: Low-income…
  • Obamacare is another step closer to the Supreme Court. Again.

    Adrianna McIntyre
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:25 pm
    This won't surprise anyone who's been following Obamacare's latest legal battle, but the case just got one step closer to the US Supreme Court. Again. The most recent legal challenge centers on the subsidies available to people newly insured on state insurance exchanges. The plaintiffs argue that, based on the plain text of the law, Congress only authorized subsidies for state-established exchanges and that subsidies shouldn't be available in the 36 states with federal exchanges. The federal government vehemently disagrees. The plaintiffs inKing v. Burwellthe case that was decided by the…
 
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    Commentary - Money, Banking and Financial Markets

  • Inflation Expectations: How Credibility Pays Off

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:19 am
    Monetary policymakers always worry about inflation expectations. They can’t directly observe what households and business anticipate for the future path of prices, so they construct estimates from market prices and surveys. Why do they care so much? The reason is simple: keeping inflation expectations low and stable is the first step to keeping inflation low and stable. It also makes the economy more resilient in the face of adverse shocks.The good news is that U.S. long-term inflation expectations currently are stable and have been for some time. To see this, let’s start with a…
  • Regulating Money Market Mutual Funds: An Update

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    28 Jul 2014 | 5:27 am
    The SEC has finally acted.  On July 23, the SEC issued 859 pages of new rules for the operation of some money market funds. (You can find a mercifully short description here.)  To summarize our reaction: we are underwhelmed!  It is hard to see how the new rules will reduce systemic risk in any meaningful way.We first wrote about money market funds in May. The original post is here. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.  Let’s start by summarizing the new final regulation.  It has three parts:1)It applies to institutional prime money funds only.2)These funds are…
  • How big can the U.S. current account stay?

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    24 Jul 2014 | 5:12 am
    In the past few years, the U.S. current account deficit has shrunk from over 6% of GDP in mid-2006 to less than 3% today. Since these current account deficits reflect capital account surpluses, many people view them as a symptom of the problems that led to the crisis. That is, funds from abroad were fueling the credit boom in the United States, which in turn fed the boom in housing prices, etc.As you can see in the chart below, over the past three decades the U.S current account has been in surplus only briefly in the first half of 1990. Since then, it has been continuously in deficit. How is…
  • Truth or consequences: Ponzi schemes and other frauds

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    21 Jul 2014 | 8:15 am
    In the financial world, the real scandal is often what’s legal, but you still have to watch out for fraudsters. If you don’t pay the costs of screening and monitoring your financial counterparties, you may lose your house (no metaphor intended).The never-ending need for financial vigilance came to mind recently when we noticed that the 1920 home of Charles Ponzi was for sale in Lexington Massachusetts. It’s a very large house – 7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 7000 square feet of space (650 square meters) on nearly an acre of land (0.4 hectares).  (You can see a picture here.)Ponzi was a…
  • Debt, Great Recession and the Awful Recovery

    Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
    17 Jul 2014 | 5:18 am
    Debt has been reviled at least since biblical times, frequently for reasons of class (“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7). In their new book, House of Debt, Atif Mian and Amir Sufi portray the income and wealth differences between borrowers and lenders as the key to the Great Recession and the Awful Recovery (our term). If, as they argue, the “debt overhang” story trumps the now-conventional narrative of a financial crisis-driven economic collapse, policymakers will also need to revise the tools they use to combat such deep…
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    Credence Independent Advisors

  • June witnessed a rise in UK mortgage approvals for the first time in four months

    Thomas Crowe
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:17 am
    The UK mortgage approvals did see an increase in June, after four months, but were still 12 percent lower than January highs. The UK mortgage approvals saw a rise in June, after declining from February to May; amid new stricter lending rules imposed by banks. According to the Bank of England, after a four month decline and witnessing an 11-month low of 62,007 in May, the mortgage approvals rose to a four month high of 67,196 in June. The implementation of tighter lending policy at the start of the year by high street banks and building societies was responsible for the changes witnessed in…
  • Asian shares hit six and a half year high, dollar steady before Fed

    Dermot Crawford
    30 Jul 2014 | 12:27 am
    (Reuters) – Asian shares touched a six-and-half-year peak while the dollar held steady against the euro on Wednesday, as investors awaited key U.S. data as well as a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that some believe might result in a more hawkish policy outlook. In addition to second-quarter U.S. growth figures, investors awaited the conclusion of the Fed’s two-day policy meeting and its policy statement scheduled to be released at 2 p.m. (17:00 London time). The Fed will not be updating its economic forecasts and Chair Janet Yellen will not hold a news conference, keeping…
  • Homebuyers’ confidence tumbles over high prices and interest rate fears

    Jamil Al Maani
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:04 am
    Fewer people than ever believe the next year is a good time to buy, with Londoners feeling the most gloomy. Confidence in the housing market has tumbled to its lowest level in at least three years amid fears of over-inflated prices and a potential rises in interest rates. Across the country, the net balance of people who believe the next year will be a good time to buy a home has plunged to 5pc from 34pc in the end of the first three months of the year, according to Halifax’s quarterly Housing Market Confidence tracker. The figure represents the difference between the proportion of those…
  • China shares lead Asia higher, dollar buoyed

    Mark Boyes
    27 Jul 2014 | 10:58 pm
    (Reuters) – Asian stocks shrugged off a drop in Wall Street and hovered near three-year highs on Monday, with China taking the lead after data showed a robust jump in profits earned by industrial firms in the world’s second-largest economy. The dollar traded near six-months peaks against a basket of major currencies as the euro continued to sag. Profits earned by Chinese industrial firms rose 17.9 percent in June to 588.08 billion yuan (56.05 billion pounds) from a year earlier, up sharply from an 8.9 percent rise in May, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Recent data have…
  • Britain’s top spending tourists are Middle East Visitors

    Kareem Sattar
    27 Jul 2014 | 12:51 am
    According to ‘Visit Britain’, the national tourism agency of Britain; tourists from the Middle East are Britain’s top spending international shoppers The survey shows that tourists from the Middle East are twice as likely as typical visitors to buy clothes and shoes. Kuwaiti visitors rank number one in terms of spending on shopping in the UK, followed by Nigerians in second place and Saudi Arabians in third place. A visitor from Kuwait on average delivers £4,000 to the UK economy, whereas a visitor from France delivers an average of £343 to the UK economy. According to Global Blue,…
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