A lot of what I’ve written here and elsewhere has been pretty negative of late, largely because I’m discouraged by the data flow and its linkage to policy neglect. So, upon feeling pretty good about Twitter’s IPO today, I thought I should take a moment and say so. Not like it’s a big, transformative event [...]
Over at the NYT Economix blog, based on an important new paper by Federal Reserve economists. Be sure to look at all the panels in their figure 1.1 (I just used one for the NYT piece).
An upside surprise to this AMs GDP report–up 2.8% over the quarter (at an annualized rate), when expectations were for 2%. The source of the acceleration is largely from the volatile inventory sector, so I wouldn’t read too much into it. Given generally tepid consumer and (non-residential) investor demand, both of which were pretty blah [...]
A conversation in my house tonight, lightly edited: me: Hey, you should check out this oped Dean and I have in the NYT. wife (interested): What’s it about? me: It’s about the trade deficit. wife (warily): The deficit? me: the trade deficit. wife: So, not the budget deficit? me: No, this one’s about lowering the [...]
A number of people have asked me my thoughts about this piece by PIMCO founder Bill Gross on inequality, tax reform, and more. Gross argues that as economic growth has become increasingly concentrated, investment and consumer demand have taken a big hit. But how come profit margins keep growing, given that those two growth cylinders [...]
Sequestration continues to whack budgets, programs, and communities across the land. The longer these cuts persist, the more they become the “new normal,” i.e., an accepted and expected component of future budgets/CRs. It’s good to hear that the White House recognizes this danger and would like to see sequestration replaced. But that will take compromise, [...]
Paul Krugman has a piece up today about how Germany’s large and persistent trade surpluses play an important, destructive role in the slump in the rest of the Euro area—essentially, they import much-needed labor demand from the rest of the zone. The implication is that there’s some type of market manipulation going on behind these [...]
Over at the NYT Economix blog: explaining that in terms of slow economic growth, the government isn’t the only drag and discussing the troubling intersection of market failure and government failure. Adjusting the Taylor Rule for the unemployment rate bias. Illustrating that we’re engaged in a level of budget austerity that’d make a European policymaker proud. [...]
In a post the other day about the Federal Reserve and inflation, I noted that a commonly used rule to gauge where the Fed should set the Federal Funds Rate (FFR) was pointing at around -2% right now. However, I noted that: …if you tweak that calculation in a way that I think you should, [...]
I talk a lot, as one should, about market failures. But government failure is unfortunately, increasingly worthy of attention. Over at the NYT Economix blog.
I know I’ve been going on about fiscal drag a lot lately, but a) it’s been historically large, as I’m about to show, b) it’s a big reason we’re stuck in the current econo-slog, and c) I’m not nearly as repetitive as the folks who go on so loudly and incorrectly about how badly we [...]
Over at the NYT Economix Blog.
In a refreshing break from all the health care mishegoss, I keep running into people who want to talk about this idea that faster inflation would help the economy pull out of its growth slog. Since I view faster growth as an extremely laudable and overlooked goal, allow me to say a bit more about [...]
Well, if you want to steep yourself in the latest argument about health care reform, I hope you’ve got some free time. The papers are brimming with stories about the President’s inaccurate statement when selling the bill that “if you like your insurance, you can keep it under this plan.” I suspect I made similar [...]
Like Igor Volsky, you might ask yourself why this particularly story has any legs right now since it’s re-litigating an issue that was widely debated a few years ago. But the answer is obvious: tis the season to attack the Affordable Care Act, no matter if this one is a greatest hit from 2010. At [...]
The sequester continues to indiscriminately whack away at everything from schools to space missions, so we continue to document the damage. What’s notable is that the budget talks that are just starting may–and that’s “may,” not “will,”–find a way to offset some of these spending cuts over the next couple of years. As I wrote [...]
Over at the NYT Economix blog: considering how the budget debate could help the economy. Giving my first impressions on the September jobs numbers. Pointing to a NYT piece on why faster inflation would actually be helpful right about now. Explaining how dysfunctional politics plays a role in our too-slow job growth and too-slow GDP [...]
Very interesting piece in today’s NYT on how more inflation would actually be helpful right about now. That’s probably counter-intuitive to a lot of readers so let me elaborate. To be clear, none of us would be calling for faster price growth were it not for the fact that inflation is really low. This chart [...]
…even our current politics might be able to clear it. Over at the NYT blog.
Running out so more to say on this later—it is, um, kinda important. But cutting to the chase, our too-slow job growth is a function of our too-slow GDP growth, and a big part of that is fiscal drag and other intangible nastiness emanating from our dysfunctional politics. In other words, that stuff has a [...]
I’m late to this, but a number of people, as in non-economists, have been asking me about the confusing Nobel prizes given out this year to economists with seemingly fundamentally different views of how the economy works, particularly from the perspective of asset pricing. One winner (Fama) is associated with a theory of highly informed, [...]
These posts usually come on Friday’s but if the BLS can put out the jobs report on Tuesday, then clearly there’s no order in the universe and we can all just do whatever we want. First, the great Sue Maskaleris (and old friend whose music I’ve featured here before–her new album is deservedly the rage*) [...]
Interesting but not unexpected: as sequestration lingers–as it becomes the new normal–there are fewer articles about its effects. I suspect this will incorrectly be taken to mean that it’s not having much of an impact, as opposed to the what’s really going on, i.e., the new normal: we’re learning to live with the damage that [...]
Some articles out today show an interesting dynamic at work regarding the Federal Reserve’s communication with markets. Simply put, by surprising the markets last month, the Fed persuaded them that they really mean it when they say they’re in data-driven mode. Given the weaker-than-expected jobs report, most commentators now expect the Fed to hold off [...]