EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    Global Macro

  • TIME

    Marketing Jeter’s Farewell Season, by the Numbers

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  • Marc to Market

    Dollar Slips Marginally, Dollar-Bloc Remains Heavy, Market Awaits Fresh Push

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  • Beat the Press

    Should We Worry About Economic Stagnation Due to Weak Supply

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  • Beat the Press

    NYT Passes Judgement on European Concerns on Sharing Economy

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  • naked capitalism

    Evil Feedly and Digg: “Social Logins” as Symptoms of Creeping Surveillance State

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  • The Big Picture

    The Response of Stock Market Volatility to Futures-Based Measures of Monetary Policy Shocks

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  • naked capitalism

    And Then Gerard’s Car Caught on Fire

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  • naked capitalism

    For-Profit Colleges as Factories of Debt

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  • Economist's View

    Paul Krugman: Those Lazy Jobless

    Why are conservatives are blaming the victims of the recession despite "evidence and logic" to the contrary?: Those Lazy Jobless, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Last week John Boehner, the speaker of the House, explained to an audience at the American Enterprise Institute what’s holding back employment in America: laziness. People, he said, have “this idea” that “I really don’t have to work. I don’t really want to do this. I think I’d rather just sit around.” Holy 47 percent, Batman! It’s hardly the first time a prominent conservative has said something along these lines. Ever since a financial crisis plunged us into recession it has been a nonstop refrain on the right that the unemployed aren’t trying hard enough, that they are t...more

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  • Economist's View

    Fed Watch: Hawkish Undertone

    Tim Duy: Hawkish Undertone, by Tim Duy: The Fed co«ntinuous to moves toward policy normalization. Slowly. Very slowly. They believe they are making every effort to avoid a premature withdrawal of accommodation. Every step is sequenced. And that sequencing did not allow for the removal of the considerable period language just yet. That said, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen noted in the associated press conference that, considerable period or not, the statement does not represent a promise to maintain a particular policy path. Moreover, the ambiguous definition of "considerable time" gives the Fed sufficient flexibility without breaking a promise in any event. Assuming asset prices end in October as the Fed expects, even a rate hike as early as March could ...more

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  • Economist's View

    Links for 9-22-14

    Ordinary People Bear Economic Risks, Donald Trump Doesn't - Robert Reich Economic security and “the great disturbing factors of life” - MaxSpeak Meanwhile, in the Annals of Citizenship - Economic Principals China risks ‘balance-sheet recession’ as stimulus impact wanes - FT.com Why is Thomas Piketty's 700-Page Book a Bestseller? - Brad DeLong Krugman on Minsky, IS-LM and Temporary Equilibrium - Uneasy Money That referendum was fun. Shall we do it again? - mainly macro Conservative Canadian Cockroach - Paul Krugman Financial Policy - Roger Farmer Piketty’s Fence - Jeffrey Frankel ...more

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  • TIME

    The Rockefellers Are Pulling Their Charity Fund Out of Fossil Fuels

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Are stock buybacks too high?

    Edward Luce writes in The Financial Times: According to William Lazonick, a scholar at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, seven of the top 10 largest share repurchasers spent more on buybacks and dividends than their entire net income between 2003 and 2012. In the case of Hewlett-Packard, which spent $73bn, it was almost double its profits. For ExxonMobil, which came top with $287bn in buybacks and dividends, it amounted to 83 per cent of net income. Others, such as Microsoft (125 per cent), Cisco (121 per cent) and Intel (109 per cent) were even more extravagant. In total, the top 449 companies in the S&P 500 spent $2.4tn – or more than half their profits – on buybacks in those years. They spent almost the same again in dividend payouts. Taken together, th...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    You earn more in the financial sector because of rent-sharing

    We again looked at those individuals moving into and out of the finance sector, but this time restricted the sample only to those doing a job with the same title in both the finance and non-finance sectors, focusing on generic job titles such as ‘function manager’, ‘ICT professional’, ‘secretarial’, ‘customer service’ etc. The results reveal that the same people doing the same job earn around 20% more when doing that job in the finance sector rather than the non-finance sector. This premium is observed to be remarkably similar whatever job title is considered – whether it is a typically high-paid or low-paid job. This suggests that the pay premium is ubiquitous across all individuals working in the finance sector. This idea is further supported by look...more

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  • VoxEU.org: Recent Articles

    Returns to education over the life cycle

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  • TIME

    More Than 200,000 GM Cars Have Been Recalled for a Brake Defect

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Scott Sumner is perhaps a Japan pessimist

    If you want to know what Japan is up against consider that Japanese RGDP has grown by 0.00% per year over the past 6 1/2 years.  In contrast, Germany, the shining star of the European economy, has grown at 0.5% per year over the past 6 1/2 years.  Then consider the fact that the Japanese workforce is falling at an accelerating rate, and unemployment is already at the lowest level in decades.  How fast do you expect Japan to grow?  Negative growth will be the norm; zero growth is the new “economic miracle.” The post is here. ...more

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    G20 to boost growth but warns of risk in financial markets

    The Group of 20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank chiefs over the weekend focused on boosting global economic growth. “We are determined to lift growth, and countries are willing to use all our macroeconomic levers – monetary, fiscal and structural policies – to meet this challenge,” said Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey, who hosted the event. However, it was also mindful of the risk arising from monetary stimulus, according to a Bloomberg report. “We are mindful of the potential for a build-up of excessive risk in financial markets, particularly in an environment of low interest rates and low asset price volatility,” the meeting communique said. The following are some pertinent statistics cited by Bloomberg: The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is ...more

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    Piketty’s Fence

    Most of the reviews of Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century have already been written.  But I thought it might be best to read it all the way through before offering my own thoughts on this book, which startlingly rose to the top of the best seller lists last April.  It has taken me five months, but I finished it. One of the things the book has in common with the Karl Marx’s Das Capital (1867) is that it serves as a rallying point for the many people who are passionately concerned about inequality, regardless whether they understand or agree with the specific arguments contained in the book in question.  To be fair, much of what Marx wrote was bizarre and very little was based on careful economic statistics.  Much of what Piketty says is ba...more

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  • The Big Picture

    Amazon ‘Targeting’ Hachette Writers

    Roxana Robinson, president of the Authors Guild, and Bloomberg Contributing Editor Paul Kedrosky, talk about the dispute between Hachette Book Group and Amazon Inc. over e-book pricing and distribution. Source: Bloomberg, Sept. 16 2014 ...more

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Lose Money Quick Scheme: EU Airlines in, Er, Europe

    Those were the days, my friend: aboard Lufthansa in the Fifties.My grandparents belonged to a generation when there was still novelty and romance associated with commercial flight. They would dress in their finest as they jetted off to American or European capitals for work or leisure. "Put on your finest suit, dear; we're flying to Vienna tonight." I am sure this memory was not something I made up: until the early Seventies, it really was like this. Since air travel was oh so very costly. you might as well live it up while airborne. For better or worse, deregulation and the accompanying democratization of flight has made air travel mundane. So much so that the shirtless, lardy American bloke you would rather avoid in public ends up next to you on the plane...snoring ra...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Mark Twain gives us advice about our wars

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  • John Quiggin

    Sandpit

    A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on.

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  • John Quiggin

    Monday Message Board

    It’s time for another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. ...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Minimum Logic

    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to the Financial Times: Joseph Stiglitz concludes that raising the minimum wage in the U.S. will increase American workers’ bargaining power (“Pay pressure,” Sept. 19).  Mr Stiglitz reaches this conclusion by arguing that American workers’ pay is now kept low in part by “asymmetric globalization” - a phenomenon mentioned but not defined in your pages, but which Mr Stiglitz suggested last year in the New York Times involves the ability of “mobile capital” to demand “that workers make wage concessions.” Mr Stiglitz’s argument for raising the minimum wage is flawed. The high global mobility of today’s capital that he fingers as a culprit causing stagnan...more

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  • The Big Picture

    Comparo: iPhone 6 Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S5

    From the inimitable Onion:   click for larger graphic Source: The Onion:

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  • Marc to Market

    Technical Outlook for the Dollar

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  • Marc to Market

    Thinking about the Week Ahead

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Monday Smackdown: The Stupidest Paragraph in Perhaps the Stupidest Article Ever Published

    We are interrupting our DeLong Smackdown Watches (and other things to bring you news that International Economy is now in the running for the Washington Post for the title of publication that exercises the very least quality control--that takes the least care to make sure that the articles it publishes inform rather than mislead their readers. Let's turn the mike over to Menzie Chinn: Menzie Chinn: The Stupidest Paragraph in Perhaps the Stupidest Article Ever Published: Bruce Bartlett brought my attention to this article... ...which Mark Thoma mused was “The Stupidest Article Ever Published”. From "The Inflation Debt Scam", by Paul Craig Roberts, Dave Kranzler and John Williams[, in International Economy]: To understand how risky the rise of debt is, ...more

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Lunchtime Must-Read: Heidi Moore et al.: Why is Thomas Piketty's 700-Page Book a Bestseller?

    **Heidi Moore et al. Why is Thomas Piketty's 700-page book a bestseller?: "There’s been a bizarre phenomenon this year... it’s a bestseller.... Why this book? The themes that Piketty brings up have been enshrined in discussion about progressive economists for decades.... Now, over to the experts... Stephanie Kelton: What explains the Piketty phenomenon?... The title,... doesn’t exactly carry the titillating allure of a bestseller like, say, Fifty Shades of Grey.... The Occupy movement laid the groundwork for a great debate. What was happening to America? Were we witnessing the rise of a plutocracy or the emergence of a meritocracy? Chris Hayes and Joe Stiglitz made the case on the left, while Tyler Cowen and David Brooks provided a counter-narrative for the ri...more

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for September 21, 2014

    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog Why is Thomas Piketty's 700-Page Book a Bestseller?: (Early) Monday Focus for September 22, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Morning Must-Read: Steven J. Davis and John Haltiwanger: Labor Market Fluidity and Economic Performance - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Morning Must-Read: Barry Ritholtz: After 30,000 Posts... - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Morning Must-Read: Sam Wang: Senate Conditions Are Back To September 3 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Econometrics: One Thing That I Have Never, Ever Understood. Never. And Probably Never Will...: Very Late Thursday Focus for September 18, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Plus: http://equitablegrowth.org/2014/09/21/things-...more

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  • Econbrowser

    Regimes in macroeconomics

    For academic researchers who are readers of this blog (and I know you’re lurking out there), I wanted to call attention to my new paper on Macroeconomic Regimes and Regime Shifts: Many economic time series exhibit dramatic breaks associated with events such as economic recessions, financial panics, and currency crises. Such changes in regime may arise from tipping points or other nonlinear dynamics and are core to some of the most important questions in macroeconomics. This chapter surveys the literature on regime changes. Section 1 begins with an interpretation of the move of an economy into and out of recession as an example of a change in regime and introduces some of the basic tools for analyzing such phenomena. Section 2 provides a detailed overview of e...more

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  • Beat the Press

    Calpers Ends Its Wall Street Support Program, Stops Investing in Hedge Funds

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  • Paul Krugman

    Conservative Canadian Cockroach

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    Correlation is not causation

    Fun examples.

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Quotation of the Day…

    (Don Boudreaux) … is from pages 387-388 of the 2014 collection, The Market and Other Orders (Bruce Caldwell, ed.), of some of F.A. Hayek’s essays on spontaneous-ordering forces; specifically, it’s from Hayek’s previously unpublished 1961 lecture at the University of Virginia “The Object of Economic Theory” (which is the first of four lectures that Hayek delivered in UVA’s Newcomb Hall during the Spring 1961 semester; the title of this lecture series by Hayek is “A New Look at Economic Theory”) (editor’s footnote excluded): It seemed to me that at least a substantial part of the benefit I had derived from the study of economics, and of what I accepted as the criterion of a good economist in others, was not any knowledge of...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Some Links

    (Don Boudreaux) Steve Moore finds that Obama’s policies hurt most the people they are supposedly intended to help the most.  (This finding is unsurprising given that, for example, Pres. Obama frequently calls for a policy – raising the minimum wage – that artificially raises employers’ costs of hiring low-skilled workers.  Arbitrarily binding golden-egg-laying geese is not the way to get more golden eggs, even if the those who impose the binds both assure us of their excellent intentions and offer fine rococo theories to explain how their bully binds will make geese more fecund.) George Will rightly is appalled at the idea of paying people to vote.  (For evidence of just how especially badly voters behave when they are paid to vote, just look ...more

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  • John Quiggin

    From derp to denialism

    Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen four major reports (details over the fold) from very different sources, all making the same point: decarbonizing the world economy will involve economic costs that are (a) small; and (b) far outweighed by the benefits And, the empirical evidence so far is strong. The EU and US have both reduced CO2 emissions significantly, at negligible or even negative economic cost. The measures announced by Obama, including vehicle emissions standards and restrictions on coal-fired power stations appear set to achieve further substantial reductions, again while yielding net economic benefits. Against the expectations of doubters, wind and solar PV are steadily increasing their share of electricity generation, to the point where they con...more

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  • VoxEU.org: Recent Articles

    US skill gaps, shortages, and mismatches

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  • VoxEU.org: Recent Articles

    Finance sector wages: high and rising rent extraction

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Elysium Shouts Big, Loud Messages About Health Care & Immigration Reform. Gun Control, Not so Much

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  • Paul Krugman

    Heimatsicherheitsamt (Trivial)

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  • Paul Krugman

    Return of the Bums on Welfare

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  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

    How scared of deflation were you, in 2008?

    In normal times, like today, or 2004, my subjective probability distribution for the average annual inflation rate over the next 5 years looks something like this: The Bank of Canada tries to keep inflation between 1% and 3%, and targets the 2% midpoint of that range. In any one year, inflation will rarely fall below 1% or rise above 3%. And if we take a 5 year average of annual inflation rates, that is very unlikely to happen. And it is unlikely the Bank of Canada will change its inflation target in the near future, and if it did change the target it would probably give us a few years advance warning. It is hard to remember what we thought in the past. It is especially hard to remember the things we were scared of in the past, when those things we were scared of happe...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    As we start a new war, have we learned from our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    US and Japanese leading indices rise

    Markets were mixed on Friday. The STOXX Europe 600 Index rose 0.2 percent but the S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 percent from its record high closing on Thursday as the US Dollar Index rose for a 10th straight week, the longest since at least March 1967. Notwithstanding the decline in US stocks on Friday, the US economy is likely to continue to grow in the next few months. A report on Friday showed that the Conference Board's US leading economic index rose 0.2 percent in August after having risen 1.1 percent in July. Japan's economy also appears likely to maintain growth. Another report on Friday showed that Japan's leading index rose to 105.4 in July -- down from an initial estimate of 106.5 -- from 104.7 in June. The coincident index was unrevised at 109.9, up from 109.3 ...more

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  • Econbrowser

    Assume a Can Opener – Wisconsin Variant

    The MacIver Institute, an organization of endlessly imaginative analysis, has highlighted this LFB memo that reports that under the right conditions, the structural budget balance will be +$535 for the 2015-17 biennium. Those assumptions include a $116 million cut to this FY’s appropriations, revenues in the 2015-17 biennium would rise (annually) at the rate it has during the previous five fiscal years, 2.9%, and net appropriations in each of the years during the biennium would stay at FY2014-15 levels, “adjusted for one time commitments and 2015-17 commitments.” I am not an expert in the intricacies of budgeting (here’s a start), and the evolution of Wisconsin tax revenues. However, what I can see in graph for Wisconsin here, for the period 200...more

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  • Free exchange

    Do poor countries really get richer?

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    The Fate of French-Made Warships Ordered by Russia

    Like giving matches to a pyromaniac? French-built warships ordered by Russia.It is no secret that the French economy is not doing so well. Its President Francois Hollande faced a no-confidence vote just this week, largely due to discontent over the state of the economy. After famously applying top taxes rates over 50%, his administration is backing down somewhat on the more socialist elements of his economic plan. A pro-business Hollande; who'd have though of it? I guess approval ratings south of, oh, 15% concentrates the mind.Aside from class warfare taking a backseat to economic reality, another concerns the recent controversy on what to do with French-built Mistral-class amphibious assault ships ordered by Russia. (Just the ticket for showing up unannounced on certai...more

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Stocks rise, US housing starts fall

    Stocks rose on Thursday. The S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent to hit a new record high. The STOXX Europe 600 rose 1.0 percent. US stocks rose despite a report on Thursday showing that housing starts fell 14.4 percent in August. The decline came after starts had hit a 1.12-million unit rate in July, the highest since November 2007. Building permits fell 5.6 percent in August. China's housing market is also looking weak. A report on Thursday showed that average new home prices across China fell 1.1 percent in August, with prices falling in 68 of the 70 major cities monitored, up from 64 cities in July. In Japan, a report on Thursday showed that exports fell 1.3 percent in August from a year ago. Imports fell 1.5 percent. Nevertheless, the trade balance remained in deficit for t...more

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  • Smart Economy

    Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

      Free Radicals and Cancer Metastasis KEY QUOTE:  The Belgian team led by Sonveaux has found the mechanism by which cells can control changes caused at least in part by free radicals. The free radical involved in the metastacism of tumor cells is superoxide. Tests in mice on melanoma and breast cancer cells showed that administering an antioxidant stopped the production of superoxide. That, in turn, prevented cell changes that would lead to metastasis.   N.B. This is confirmation why Carbon 60 Hydrated Fullerenes stops cancer metastasis, by scavanging free radicals that cause cancer. Ukrainian scientists have known this for over ten years!!--Walter Derzko September 18, 2014 12:28 AM                 WASHINGTON— Cancer remains one of the dea...more

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  • Free exchange

    What technology will bring

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  • Econbrowser

    Wisconsin Private Nonfarm Payroll Employment Declines in August

    DWD released August employment figures today. Attainment of Governor Walker’s 250,000 net new private sector jobs continues to be unlikely. Figure 1: Private nonfarm payroll employment, s.a., in ‘000s (red), forecast from March 2014 Wisconsin Economic Outlook, interpolated from quarterly, using quadratic match (green), and linear trend consistent with Governor Walker’s pledge to create 250,000 net new private sector jobs by end of first term (gray). Source: Department of Workforce Development, Wisconsin Economic Outlook (March 2014), and author’s calculations. Total employment did increase, attributable to a large increase in local government employment. Since August is related to the beginning of the school year, the government employment prel...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    Three Key Questions About the Slowdown in Emerging Markets

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  • CIPE Development Blog

    Can Boards Help Fight “Compliance Fatigue” In Emerging Market Firms?

    In the first half of 2014, anti-corruption enforcement actions by the U.S. alone cost the business community more than $500 million. It would seem logical that as a result anti-corruption compliance would be at the forefront of every multinational corporation’s activities. But that’s not the case, at least as described in the 2014 Global Fraud Survey, perhaps one of the largest and most credible... ...more

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Ruble in Trouble; Russia Raids SWF Soon?

    Sorry, Vlad, but your currency is more worthless than the dollar right about now.No, no, it's not what you may think--Russia may raid its sovereign wealth fund, AKA stabilization fund or rainy day fund, soon. To be precise, it's the "Russia Direct Investment Fund." But first, a little bit of background from current events: new and recent EU sanctions have sent the Russian ruble tumbling to all-time lows. Whereas US sanctions had limited direct effect on Russian trade, EU sanctions have hit it squarely in the gut since the grouping is Russia's largest trading partner:Russia's currency dropped to an all-time low against the dollar on Tuesday as investors fret about long-term economic damage from Western sanctions...The Russian currency fell more than 1 percent to 38.80 ...more

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  • Smart Economy

    New non-invasive technique could revolutionize the imaging of metastatic cancer

                     IMAGE:   This is Paul Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., Thelma Newmeyer Corman Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and co-leader of the Cancer Molecular Genetics research program at VCU Massey Cancer Center, chairman of... Click here for more information.      Bioluminescence, nanoparticles, gene manipulation – these sound like the ideas of a science fiction writer, but, in fact, they are components of an exciting new approach to imaging local and metastatic tumors. In preclinical animal models of metastatic prostate cancer, scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions have provided proof-of-principle of a new molecular...more

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  • Smart Economy

    Space: The final frontier… open to the public

      UTMB research shows average people healthy enough for commercial space travel Historically, spaceflight has been reserved for the very healthy. Astronauts are selected for their ability to meet the highest physical and psychological standards to prepare them for any unknown challenges. However, with the advent of commercial spaceflight, average people can now fly for enjoyment. The aerospace medicine community has had very little information about what medical conditions or diseases should be considered particularly risky in the spaceflight environment, as most medical conditions have never been studied for risk in space — until now. The aerospace medicine group at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston recently studied how average people with common ...more

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  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

    The orthodox New Keynesian position on liquidity preference and loanable funds

    I am not an orthodox New Keynesian macroeconomist (ONKM), but I can pretend to be one. Q: What determines the rate of interest? ONKM: "The central bank sets the rate of interest." Discussion: the above answer is a pure liquidity preference theory of the rate of interest. By having a perfectly elastic money supply curve, at some rate of interest chosen by the central bank, the stock of money adjusts to equal whatever quantity  of money is demanded at that rate of interest. Like in all liquidity preference theories, the rate of interest is determined by the demand for money and the supply of money. The only difference here is that the money supply curve is perfectly interest-elastic. Q: But what determines where the central bank chooses to set the rate of ...more

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  • Free exchange

    Still patient, but for how long?

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    Follow or Break the Rule?

    Lars Christensen plots with recent data a version of the Taylor rule I proposed some years ago (published here).  I suggested this rule as an approximate description of Alan Greenspan's monetary policy in the 1990s. Here is Lars's plot:Click on graphic to enlarge  I based this rule (the green line) on data only from the 1990s, but notice that it does reasonably well until 2009.  The red line is the rule with parameters estimated from the later period.Taken at face value, the rule suggests that it is time for the Fed to start raising the federal funds rate.  If you believe this rule was reasonably good during the period of the Great Moderation, does this mean the Fed should start tightening now, as the economy g...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    Carbon Pricing: Good for You, Good for the Planet

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  • CIPE Development Blog

    Investing in Corporate Governance Practice in Palestine

    On September 9-10 in Ramallah, I had the privilege of participating in a CIPE-supported training workshop on corporate governance with the leaders and technical staff of nine Palestinian chambers of commerce from the West Bank. This was an unprecedented gathering organized by our partner the Palestine Governance Institute (PGI) and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture... ...more

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  • Alpha.Sources

    Where Are My Foreign Assets When I Need Them?

    How do you show the challenge of the eurozone periphery in one chart? Well, it is difficult but the representation below is a good pick in my view. A structurally negative net foreign asset position is a very tough hurdle to overcome when in a currency union, saddled with poor demographics and need net external demand to boost national income. Think of the periphery as Japan and Germany without(!) the strong net foreign asset position.  These countries seem to have grown old before getting rich and without the ability to devalue in nominal terms, the outlook is not good.    --- Picture is courtesey of Pantheon Macroeconomics and has also been posted on Twitter.  ...more

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  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

    Tax Competition

    The Tax Foundation released its 2014 International Tax Competitiveness Index (ITCI) of 34 OECD countries and Canada’s overall rank was 24 out of 34 countries.  Despite our recent snagging of Burger King, we are apparently in the bottom third of OECD countries when it comes to tax competitiveness.  Interestingly enough, the United States did even worse than us coming in 32nd place – ahead of Portugal and France.  However, despite our low overall ranking, we were in the top third when it came to consumption taxes where we ranked 10th out of 34 (in this category the United States ranked 4th).  This was our best performance. So it is worth examining how we did in some of the sub-categories used to construct the consumption tax ranking.  Fi...more

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  • CIPE Development Blog

    Case Studies on Democratic Reform in Yemen and Paraguay

    CIPE possesses over thirty years of experience in strengthening democracy worldwide and promoting market oriented reforms in various country contexts. In the forthcoming publication Strategies for Policy Reform, two case studies from Paraguay and Yemen represent distinct approaches to ensuring that democracy delivers economic and political freedoms to citizens. READ MORE ...more

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  • Alpha.Sources

    The Italian Economy Remains Stuck ...

    Italy has the dubious honor of the being the first eurozone economy to re-enter recession after the decidedly tepid recovery since 2012. This is bad news for an economy struggling with steadily increasing government debt and no real solution on how to pay off its mounting liabilities. What is even worse is that it looks as if the economy is not about to exit its malaise anytime soon. --- Picture is courtesey of Pantheon Macroeconomics and has also been posted on Twitter.    ...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    What’s Lurking in the Shadows of China’s Banks

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    The Case for Civility

    Noah Smith puts it well:most of our arguments are over things like Obamacare, or antipoverty programs, or financial regulation-- issues on which reasonable people can and do disagree. If you’re uncivil in this sort of situation -- if you call your opponent an idiot, or a liar, or a nastier name simply because you think his or her argument is bad -- you’re basically being overconfident. You’re assuming that there’s essentially no chance that you’re in the wrong, so it’s in the public interest for you to rail against your opponent and score points with the crowd. If you do this, there’s no chance that you yourself will learn anything from the encounter....more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Back to sanity on economic convergence

    It’s been interesting to watch how the conventional wisdom on rapid convergence – developing countries closing the gap with the advanced economies – has been changing over the last few years. It wasn’t so long ago that the world was in the grips of emerging-markets mania, projecting wildly optimistic growth numbers decades into the future. For the last 4-5 years, I have been writing that the pace of convergence we have experienced over the last two decades is unsustainable. There were temporary factors (cheap capital, low interest rates, high commodity prices, rapid Chinese expansion) which would begin to reverse themselves. And perhaps most importantly, export-oriented industrialization was running out of steam much earlier, even in the relatively successful co...more

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  • Institutional Economics

    I am leaving CIS and returning to financial markets

    This is my last week at CIS. I will be returning to financial markets from whence I came back in 2008. Thanks to Greg Lindsay for giving me a platform to participate in the public policy debate over the last few years. Thanks also to those who contributed to Policy while I was editor over the last 18 months. Policy will continue under a new editor. My new employer won’t be paying me to blog or tweet during business hours, so you will be hearing even less from me on what is already a very low frequency blog. I will still post material here from time to time and link to what I am doing when appropriate. Needless to say, nothing on this web site should be attributed to current or previous employers. This blog has followed me around in various roles since 2003, back whe...more

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    Modi, Sisi & Jokowi: Three New Leaders Face the Challenge of Food & Fuel Subsidies

    In few policy areas does good economics seem to conflict so dramatically with good politics as in the practice of subsidies to food and energy.  Economics textbooks explain that these subsidies are lose-lose policies. In the political world that can sound like an ivory tower abstraction.   But the issue of unaffordable subsidies happens to be front and center politically now, in a number of places around the world.   Three major new leaders in particular are facing this challenge:  Sisi in Egypt, Jokowi in Indonesia, and Modi in India. The Egyptian leader is doing a much better job of facing up to the need to cut subsidies than one might have expected.  India’s new prime minister, by contrast, is doing worse than expected – even torpedoing a long-anticipated ...more

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    Has Italy Really “Gone Back Into Recession”?

     Has Italy Really “Gone Back Into Recession”? Italians and the world have now been told that their economy slipped back into recession in the first half of 2014.  This characterization is based on the criterion for recession that is standard in Europe and most countries:  two successive quarters of negative growth.  But if the criteria for determining recessions in European countries were similar to those used in the United States, this new downturn would be a continuation of the 2012 recession in Italy, not a new one.  A common-sense look at the graph below suggests the same conclusion: the 2013 “recovery” is barely visible. Worse, Italy under U.S. standards would probably be treated as having been in the same horrific six-year recession ever s...more

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  • Institutional Economics

    Wayne Swan on Monetary Offset and the GFC

    Former Treasurer Wayne Swan is releasing some of his briefing notes from the GFC ahead of the launch of his upcoming memoir, The Good Fight. The first instalment from a meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence with the Prime Minister, Treasury Secretary and other senior officials on 4 August 2008 is remarkable for its acknowledgement of monetary offset. Indeed, the notes could just as easily have been written by Scott Sumner: There are three broad considerations the Government would need to keep in mind in taking a decision to engage in discretionary [fiscal] action: • The Reserve Bank through its control over interest rates, determines the overall level of aggregate demand in the economy, and the Bank would likely take account of any fiscal stimulus in its monet...more

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  • Alpha.Sources

    Weak economic data would test bonds in the periphery

    Volatility has engulfed the eurozone in the past few weeks, but bond markets remain a relative sea of calm. This could change quickly however, if the economic data in the periphery takes a serious turn for the worse. Given the absence of active balance sheet expansion at the ECB, Q3 PMIs have suddenly taken in critical importance   --- Picture is courtesey of Pantheon Macroeconomics and has also been posted on Twitter.  ...more

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  • Institutional Economics

    The Financial System Inquiry and Macro-Pru

    I have an op-ed in Business Spectator endorsing the sceptical approach to macro-prudential regulation taken in the Murray inquiry’s interim report: Macro-prudential policies are seen as providing policymakers with a more targeted set of policy instruments that might complement or even substitute for changes in official interest rates. However, these instruments also implicate policymakers in making much finer judgements about risks to financial stability as well as the more traditional concern of monetary policy with price stability. A blunt instrument like monetary policy encourages caution in making such judgements. By contrast, more targeted counter-cyclical quantitative controls are a standing invitation to micro-manage credit allocation, but do not in thems...more

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  • CYNICONOMICS

    Technical Notes for ‘Never Mind Their Distrust of Data and Forecasts…’

    This is a short appendix for our earlier post, “Never Mind Their Distrust of Data and Forecasts; Austrians Can Help You Predict the Economy,” in the usual Q&A format. Why do you show three different series in the first chart? We show “Net Private Debt from Census Bureau” because it has the longest history. We use it later to calculate 5-year credit growth figures for the period before the Fed’s “flow of funds” becomes available. We deduct financial and real estate corporation debt in the second dotted line to show that private debt growth in the late 1920s wasn’t skewed by financial debt (as it was in the 2000s). We can only back out financial debt from 1926 (not enough data to use in the “savings rates and credit growth” chart), but this series...more

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  • CYNICONOMICS

    Never Mind Their Distrust of Data and Forecasts; Austrians Can Help You Predict the Economy

    [O]f all the economic bubbles that have been pricked, few have burst more spectacularly than the reputation of economics itself. – From The Economist, July 16, 2009. It’s been five years since the The Economist magazine published the critical commentary  excerpted above. In hindsight, the noted reputational damage was neither lasting nor spectacular. As of today, we’d say it’s almost non-existent. Mainstream economists continue to dominate their profession and wield huge influence on public policies. They merely needed to close ranks after the financial crisis and wait for people to forget that their key theories and models were wholly discredited. Meanwhile, heterodox economists who stress credit market risks and financial fragilities – the Austrians, the Mi...more

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  • CYNICONOMICS

    Technical Notes for ‘Planning for Future Rate Hikes…’

    This is a short appendix for our earlier post, “Planning for Future Rate Hikes: What Can History Tell Us that the Fed Won’t?,” presented in Q&A format. I don’t understand the calculations in your charts – can you walk me through one of the figures? Sure, we’ll do this for the figure depicted by the first bar (6.1%) on the real fixed investment chart: We start by isolating all 4 quarter periods over which the fed funds rate dropped by more than 2%. There were 37 such periods in our data set, as shown in the first chart of the main article. For each of these periods, we record the growth in real fixed investment over the next 4 quarters. This is what we mean by lagged growth – we’re lagging the economic outcome against the change in interest rate...more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    My moonlighting career of the last 4 years

    At long last, Turkey's consitutional court has reversed the conviction of the more than 200 officers previously found guilty in the bogus Sledgehammer coup plot, leading to the release on June 19th of all those in jail (including my father in law). Even though a retrial is to take place, the ruling is a coda to the last four-and-a-half years during which my wife and I moonlighted as criminal investigator, forensic analyst, and political activist. It has been a truly surreal and bizarre experience, given how so many intelligent people bought into -- and refused let go of -- a coup plot that was patently fictitious.     So I thought this would be a good time to post a longish account of my involvement in the story. I wrote it as much to make sense of it to...more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Joining Global Policy as general editor

    David Held is one of the most thoughtful researchers and commentators on global issues, so I am thrilled and honored to be joining forces with him as joint general editor of Global Policy. The journal publishes a range of exciting academic and policy oriented pieces. Check it out here....more

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Farewell

    In memoriam: Gary S. Becker, 1930-2014. The Becker-Posner blog is terminated. Richard A. Posner

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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Piketty Myopia

    Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been lauded for its detailed analysis of data and for the end result of that analysis, a sweeping statement of an inexorable widening of the distribution of wealth between those with capital and those without. There is unabashed glee among those who have bemoaned the plight of the middle class as the one percent has pulled away, waving the book as the gotcha ya for income redistribution.  As should be clear from some of my previous posts, I am one of those people bemoaning the plight, but I am a little slower than many others to take up the Piketty banner. The book's argument looks at wealth and growth data over the past three centuries, and takes its implications forward with a similar, historical scope...more

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  • Felix Salmon

    Post Felix

    By Shane Ferro Today is Felix’s last day at Reuters. Here's the link to his mega-million word blog archive (start from the beginning, in March 2009, if you like). Because we’re source-agnostic, you can also find some of his best stuff from the Reuters era at Wired, Slate, the Atlantic, News Genius, CJR, the NYT, and NY Mag. There’s also Felix TV, his personal site, his Tumblr, his Medium archive, and, of course, the Twitter feed we all aspire to. Counterparties may have been the brainchild of Felix and the recently departed Ryan McCarthy, but the blog, site, newsletter, and Twitter feed will continue to exist in their absence. It will be run by Ben Walsh and Shane Ferro, with some non-trivial amount of snark. Today we focus on the reason Felix started Counterparti...more

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  • Felix Salmon

    The Piketty pessimist

    By Felix Salmon This chart comes from the World Economic Forum’s 2014 Global Risks Report, which came out just before Thomas Piketty’s book started becoming the topic of discussion in economic and plutocratic circles.* You can clearly see what you might call the rise of inequality-as-an issue: before 2012 it’s nowhere to be found, but since then it’s been consistently in the top spot. My prediction is that in 2015, thanks to Piketty, the WEF will start talking less about income inequality, and more about wealth inequality. The big question, though, is whether inequality is really much of a risk at all. After all, from the point of view of the average billionaire WEF delegate, inequality would seem to look much more like a reward. Chrystia Freeland has a hopeful...more

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  • Felix Salmon

    The most expensive lottery ticket in the world

    By Felix Salmon No Exit, the new book from Gideon Lewis-Kraus, should be required reading for anybody who thinks it might be a good idea to found a startup in Silicon Valley. It shows just how miserable the startup founder’s life is, and raises the question of why anybody would voluntarily subject themselves to such a thing. A large part of the answer is that Silicon Valley is gripped by a mass delusion, compounded by a deep “fake it til you make it” attitude toward success. Why do so many people in Silicon Valley want to be founders? Because every founder they meet is always killing it, crushing it, having massive success, just about to close a huge round, etc etc. At some level, they must know this is impossible: if 90% of startups fail, it simply can’t be the...more

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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Big Data versus the SAT

    In a recent Time Magazine article, the president of Bard College, Leon Botstein, joined a chorus of criticism of the SAT, going so far as to call it “part hoax and part fraud.”  Criticism is coming fast and furious because the SAT has just unveiled a new, improved product to try to fend off a trend among competitive colleges to downplay the role of the SAT, and even to eliminate its use entirely.  (The not-for-profit status of the College Board, which produces the SAT, does not put the company beyond reacting to a profit motive; not-for-profit does not exactly mean you don’t get benefits from pulling in more revenue). Among the critiques are that performance during one afternoon in the junior year of high school should not govern a student’s future (th...more

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Sabbatical Notice

    Starting this weekend, we will be taking a one-month sabbatical from blogging. We will resume at the end of that period.

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    The Embargo of Cuba: Time to Go- Becker

    The US embargo of Cuba began in 1960, a year after Fidel Castro turned this island toward communism. It was extended to food and medicines in 1962, the same year as the showdown with Russia over the installation of missiles there. The embargo has prevented American companies from doing business with Cuba, and discouraged tourism to Cuba. The American government also tried with quite limited success to prevent other countries from trading with Cuba. In general economic embargoes are undesirable because they interfere with free trade among countries. Yet a case could be made for an embargo against Cuba. Castro not only allowed Russian missiles to be installed in Cuba, just 90 miles from Florida, but was also actively trying to interfere in other countries by sending troop...more

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  • Stefan Karlsson's blog

    New Blog Address: http://stefankarlssoneng.wordpress.com/

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  • Stefan Karlsson's blog

    Ukraine Crisis Isn't Over

    So now the so-called protestors have overthrown democratically elected President Yanukovich in what is in effect a coup. It is unclear what will happen, and how Russia and Yanukovich and his supporters will act, but this is almost certainly not the end of it.Indeed, how could it be the end? Some people argue that protestors were motivated by anger over corruption and abuse of power from Yanukovich. But while Yanukovich is no doubt corrupt and some protestors may indeed have been motivated by anger over that fact, the opposition movement led by Yulia Tymoschenko is just as corrupt as Yanukovich, so if they prevail, that won't mean less corruption and abuse of power.No, what this conflict is really about is that today's Ukraine is an artificial state created by Soviet com...more

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  • Stefan Karlsson's blog

    How Old Posts Can Become Popular Again

    Suddenly, my post about why Ukraine should be divided between its anti-Russian and pro-Russian parts has seen a dramatic increase in page views. That is no doubt related to the latest escalation of Ukraine's political crisis with both government forces and the neo-Nazi elements of the opposition increasingly using violent means in the confrontation. Ukraine is dangerously close to a full scale civil war. Let's hope that it doesn't come to that. Ukraine has been ravaged for a century by wars, German Nazis, Communism, corruption and ethnic conflict, to add a(nother) civil war would be really cruel. I remain convinced that secession is the best way to solve the conflict peacefully....more

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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Live to Eat, Eat to Live

    In a recent New York Times opinion piece, Paul Krugman assessed the possibility that the economy is in a new, constant state of mild depression, and suggests several reasons why this might be occurring, including slowing population growth and a persistent trade deficit. To this I would like to suggest another one, which has been a topic of some of my previous posts: We simply demand less in terms of the consumption of produced, brick and mortar types of goods because that is not where we are spending our lives. Granted, we need a place to live, food to eat, a car to get around, but now we are not living to eat, we are eating to live; we are living to do things that do not require a huge industrial machine. (I won't even get into the point that insofar as we require the...more

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The Oil Drum writers: Where are they now?

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Why US Financial Hegemony Will Endure

    Will and I have a piece, now ungated, over at a fantastic new online magazine called Symposium. Our article translates much of the main points of our Perspectives Piece (co-authored with Thomas and Andy Pennock) for popular consumption. We are also blogging over there this week in support of the article. Please do check out our writing this week on the magazine's website, as well as the other great content on the site....more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Foreign Direct Investment, Human Rights, INGOs

    One of the major areas of underdeveloped research within political science is the interaction between non-state actors. From an international political economy perspective, the literature has largely ignored the interaction of various non-state actors that are growing in importance, and its effects on different forms of trade. In a recently published article "Avoiding the Spotlight: Human Rights Shaming and Foreign Direct Investment" by Colin Barry, Chad Clay and Michael Flynn, they lay the foundation for examining this interaction. They examine the interaction between non-state actors (INGOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs) and the extent to which private actors' choices to invest in countries are affected by the reputational costs of doing business in those...more

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The Last Post

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The House That Randy Built

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Verizon, Vodafone, and Measuring FDI

    Recently back from APSA in Chicago, I've been reflecting on the state of our knowledge about FDI (or perhaps more accurately, cross-border management stakes in enterprises). That, and working on my dissertation, applying for academic jobs, and teaching. Oh, and telling everyone who'll listen about my Optimus Prime sighting on Michigan Ave.Anyway, I find a post-conference review of the discipline is generally a good way to consider potentially fruitful lines of new inquiry. In my experience, the quality of papers at conferences can be rather hit-or-miss. This generally fits into my view of conferences as important sources of external deadlines for getting drafts done as well as interacting with other scholars in more informal settings such as the hotel bar/lobby/over-cro...more

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  • Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed

    Twitter Digest: 2013-06-09

    Given that I block NSA & PRISM tweets, was entertaining tuning into twitter & trying to figure why everyone was on about Lord Snowdon -> Turned on GoT tonight just in time to catch Daenerys reenacting her Level 2 YMCA gymnastics pageant. -> How Not to Be Alone | Jonathan Safran Foer – http://t.co/HMFxg75lfh http://t.co/DzAtvWBQJr -> Excellent, but fellow sports-med geeks only: Sports and exercise-related tendinopathies: a review – http://t.co/WGkhRlO6Uz -> ...more

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  • Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed

    Twitter Digest: 2013-06-07

    Photo-set: Flooding Across Central Europe – http://t.co/8G6j8teCbd -> CDC Update: Severe Respiratory Illness Associated with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus – http://t.co/hWqN1338VN -> Col Flagg: Have you ever heard of Malaysian Chest Implosion Torture? Radar: No. Coll Flagg: Good. It hasn’t been invented… yet. -> tl;dr: There are Manchurian Candidate engineers at large tech cos that have stolen SSL root cert and NSA is using it for cattle mutilation. -> Brian: …Will you please listen? I'm not the Messiah! Do you understand? Honestly Woman: Only the true Messiah denies his divinity! -> ...more

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  • Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed

    Twitter Digest: 2013-06-05

    FRED: Free Energy Data – http://t.co/90H7GVDazO -> Solipsisms ‘r’ us, courtesy of my friends at @thinkup: I apparently mention me a lot – http://t.co/9rTRXvBM9D -> Almost 10,000 words on soccer/Italy/economics/racism by @wrightthompson? Yes, & it’s super. Go. http://t.co/g4sgEFLkIC -> When The Beautiful Game Turns Ugly: A journey into the world of Italy's racist soccer thugs http://t.co/nckrbeLPfs -> Can’t remember last time I read an OpEd or column. Do those still exist? -> ...more

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  • The Street Light

    Cyprus and Eurozone Bank Deposits

    To me, the central issue raised by this week's Cyprus debacle is how it has affected confidence across the eurozone.  To what degree has the possibility of insured depositors at a eurozone bank losing a portion of their deposits affected the mindset of depositors?  To what degree has ECB acquiescence to this possibility undermined the notion that deposit insurance in the eurozone means the same thing in all countries?  And to what degree has the ECB's direct threat to end support for Cyprus's banking system in the event that the government of Cyprus can not arrange sufficient funds to meet its conditions made a farce of its earlier promise to "do whatever it takes to preserve the euro"?These, to me, are the interesting questions prompted by this week's ev...more

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  • London Banker

    Chop Off Their Hands . . .

    President Truman famously called for a one handed economist. The Carolingian kings of France would have accommodated him. They realised that a kingdom required a common currency under the control of the king and well regulated markets to sustain the confidence of the people. At first mints were established widely, spread across the kingdom. Local barons began to profit from debasing the coinage, undermining confidence in the monetary system. So Charles the Bald established mints under his direct control and regulated the issue of coins: C.12. Following the custom of our predecessors, just as it is found in their capitularies, we decree that in no other place in all our kingdom shall money be made except in our palace, and in St. Josse and Rouen, which right in th...more

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  • The Street Light

    When the Fed Chair is an Academic

    The big economic news of the week was, in fact, big economic news: the Fed's announcement of significant changes from past practice in the the quantity of its next round of large scale asset purchases ("unlimited"), and in the timing of any future reversal of this expansionary policy ("a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens").I view this as a pretty fundamental shift in how the Fed hopes to affect the economy.  Rather than trying to push economic activity one way or the other through its management of interest rates (which can alter economic activity through its portfolio-rebalancing and wealth effects, for example), the Fed is now quite explicitly trying to affect economic activity by altering interest rate and inflation expectations.  As...more

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  • London Banker

    For Want of a Nail, the Ship Was Lost

    Imagine a great ship dominating the skyline on a distant sea. Imagine the complexity of that ship: keel, ribs, planks, masts, spars, and an infinite number of less readily named components. Each component was hand-crafted by a craftsman skilled in his trade, to precise requirements, and secured in position to take the stress and strain of a life at sea.Now imagine a crew. They didn't build the ship. The crew are told that the one and only purpose of the ship is to realise a profit for every man jack aboard. Any hand not contributing a profit will be turned ashore. Down below in the ship are nails. Thousands and thousands of nails. Nails are useful. Nails are much sought after in every port the ship enters. Nails can be readily sold and never traced. The crew h...more

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  • London Banker

    Lies, Damn Lies and LIBOR

    I've been hesitant to write about the LIBOR scandal because what I want to say goes so much further. We now know that Barclays and other major global banks have been manipulating the calculation of LIBOR through the quotation data they provided to the British Bankers Association. What I suspect is that this is not a flaw but a feature of modern financial markets. And if it was happening in LIBOR for between 5 and 15 years, then the business model has been profitably replicated to many other quotation-based reference prices.Price discovery is not a sexy function of markets, but it is critical to the efficient allocation of scarce capital and resources, and to the preservation of the long term wealth of investors and the economy as a whole. If price discovery is compr...more

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  • The Street Light

    Government Job Destruction

    Another jobs report in the US, another month where part of the private sector's job creation was undone by continued job destruction by the government sector. The 15,000 additional jobs lost in April brings total job losses in the government sector since January 2010 to over 500,000. While the US has not quite been experiencing European-style austerity over the past two years, that's still a pretty tough headwind to fight as it emerges from recession. ...more

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