Archive for the ‘Inequality’ Category

What we would do if we wanted to reduce America’s excessive share repurchasing problem.

September 11th, 2014

You’ve hopefully heard about, if not read, this revealing analysis by William Lazonick on the sharp rise in public corporations using their profits to boost their share price through stock buybacks as opposed to re-investment. I won’t summarize the findings, as Harold Meyerson amply does so here. As he writes: From the end of World… Read more

A Simple Picture of Inequality

September 4th, 2014

The Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finance (SCF) findings for 2013 are just out. It will take a bit to absorb them all—this is a rich data set with data not just on income, but on wealth as well, including debt. That makes it a key source for information on household net worth. But I… Read more

Keep those Talons In, Fed Hawks!

August 7th, 2014

As the job market tightens, we may well see some increases in the pace of wage growth. I, and more importantly, millions of working people, certainly hope so. But predictably, pressure is building on the Federal Reserve to stomp out any such thing sooner than later, based on the fear that wage pressures will set off higher and… Read more

The Tradeoff between Inflation and Unemployment: What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us

July 28th, 2014

To assert that economists are having trouble figuring out the relationship between inflation and unemployment is like saying chefs can’t figure out what to do with salt and pepper.  It’s that fundamental.  Yet, we’re befuddled, and that has powerful policy implications. For example, a prominent macro economist recently suggested to me that we must have… Read more