EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    United States

  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Links and Tweets...

    Matthew C. Klein: 2009 FOMC transcripts http://ftalphaville.ft.com/tag/2009-fomc-transcripts Sendhil Mullainathan: Departmental Seminar: Machine-learning in Economics http://events.berkeley.edu/index.php/calendar/sn/econ/type/week.html Afternoon Must-Read: Nicholas Bagley: Deferring to the IRS http://equitablegrowth.org/?p=9632 Nick Bunker: Uncertainty means that the Fed should wait a while before shifting course. Given the current situation, this would mean waiting a while to raise interest rates and then rapidly raising rates when the time comes..." http://equitablegrowth.org/news/uncertain-nature-natural-rate-interest Lunchtime Must-Read: Zachary Tracer: Hospital Stocks Surge After Justice Kennedy Criticizes Obamacare Challenge http://equitablegrowth.org/?p=961...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    The publishing culture that is German

    The copyright on Mein Kampf is running out in 2016, so what will Germany do?  Here is the latest: The Institut für Zeitgeschichte got the call, and apparently their critical edition should be available already shortly after the copyright runs out, in January 2016. In Die Zeit they report on some of the details — including that the two-volume edition might extend to 2000 pages, some 780 of actual text and the rest taken up largely by the up to 5000 explanatory notes. That is from Literary Saloon. ...more

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    http://www.bradford-delong.com/2015/03/afternoon-must-read-nicholas-bagley-deferring-to-the-irshttpequitablegrowthorgp9632-given-the-chief-justic.html

    Afternoon Must-Read: Nicholas Bagley: Deferring to the IRS: "Given the Chief Justice’s near-silence at oral argument in King v. Burwell, much will be made of Justice Kennedy’s sensitivity... ...to the argument that accepting the plaintiffs’ interpretation of the statute would raise serious federalism concerns. That’s completely appropriate. But I want to call attention to a different question that Kennedy asked... whether Chevron should apply.... Well, if [the statute is] ambiguous, then we think about Chevron. But it seems to me a drastic step for us to say that the Department of Internal Revenue and its director can make this call one way or the other when there are, what, hundreds of millions, billions of dollars of subsidies involved here?… ...more

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  • naked capitalism

    2:00PM Water Cooler 3/5/15

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Does David Brooks Have Nobody to Tell Him Not to Do This?

    Live from La Farine: Go read David Brooks' column in the NYT this morning and tell me that's not just one giant subtweet from a man going through a divorce.— Tom Tomorrow (@tomtomorrow) March 4, 2015 One ex-NYTer once characterized it to me as possessing "the veneer of professionalism" with little idea of what the substance would be... David Brooks: Leaving and Cleaving - NYTimes.com: "So much of life is about leave-taking: moving from... love to love.... In earlier times, leaving was defined by distance, but now it is defined by silence. Everybody everywhere is just a text away, a phone call away.... The person moving on... makes a series of minute-by-minute decisions to not text, to not email or call, to turn intense communication into sporadic...more

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  • All HW content

    Mortgage Contracting Services adds Greg Smith as assistant vice president

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Some Links

    (Don Boudreaux) Cato’s Ted Galen Carpenter wisely warns against entangling alliances.  A slice: As my colleague Doug Bandow has correctly observed, Washington collects allies with less thought and discrimination than most people collect Facebook friends.  In doing so, we also collect all of the disputes and feuds that those “friends” wage with other parties.  That is an unnecessary and unwise policy for a superpower. Jon Murphy, over at A Force for Good, exposes yet further errors in Paul Krugman’s quite bad column on Wal-Mart and the minimum wage.  And Bob Murphy does the same.  Here’s a slice from Bob’s post: However, in this post I want to focus on two other points that I haven’t seen Krugman’s critics address. First, it is a very...more

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  • Economist's View

    'Economists' Biggest Failure'

    Noah Smith: Economists' Biggest Failure: One of the biggest things that economists get grief about is their failure to predict big events like recessions. ...  Pointing this out usually leads to the eternal (and eternally fun) debate over whether economics is a real science. The profession's detractors say that if you don’t make successful predictions, you aren’t a science. Economists will respond that seismologists can’t forecast earthquakes, and meteorologists can’t forecast hurricanes, and who cares what’s really a “science” anyway.  The debate, however, misses the point. Forecasts aren’t the only kind of predictions a science can make. In fact, they’re not even the most important kind.  Take physics for example. Sometimes...more

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  • Economist's View

    'Washington Strips New York Fed’s Power'

    I wasn't aware of this, apparently for good reason: Washington Strips New York Fed’s Power, by Jon Hilsenrath, WSJ: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, once the most feared banking regulator on Wall Street, has lost power... The Fed’s center of regulatory authority is now a little-known committee run by Fed governor Daniel Tarullo , which is calling the shots in oversight of banking titans such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc . The new structure was enshrined in a previously undisclosed paper written in 2010 known as the Triangle Document. ... The power shift, initiated after the financial crisis and slowly put in place over the past five years, is more than a bureaucratic change. ... During internal debates on a range of issues ... New York Fed...more

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  • All HW content

    JPMorgan preps second ARM-only jumbo mortgage bond

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Weekly Unemployment Claims: Initial and Continued March 05 2015

    Today’s jobless claims report showed a an increase to both initial and insured unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims remained above the 300K level. Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims increased 7,000 to 320,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “insured” claims increased by 17,000 to 2.421 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 1.8%. ...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    ADP National Employment Report: February 2015

    Yesterday, private staffing and business services firm ADP released the latest installment of their National Employment Report indicating that the situation for private employment in the U.S. improved in February as private employers added 212,000 jobs in the month bringing the total employment level 2.62% above the level seen in February 2014. Look for Friday’s BLS Employment Situation Report to likely show somewhat similar trends. ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Goldman February Payrolls Preview

    Yesterday I posted a employment preview for February. Here are some excerpts from Goldman Sachs economist David Mericle: We expect nonfarm payroll job growth of 220k in February, below the consensus forecast of 235k. Labor market indicators were mixed in February, and we expect that the effect of four major snowstorms in the month leading into the February survey week will also weigh on payroll growth. We expect a one-tenth decline in the unemployment rate to 5.6%, reversing the increase seen last month. On average hourly earnings, our baseline expectation is for a 0.2% increase, but we see some upside risk from possible statistical distortions related to the severe snowstorms.emphasis added...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Thursday assorted links

    1. More on why greater unionization won’t make much of a dent in inequality. 2. What happens when you crash the Ivy League for four years without registering? 3. The professionalization of fourth grade sports. 4. How standards of living have evolved over time, the real stuff. 5. Thomas Edsall on Larry Summers and populism. 6. Who gets the Sweet Briar endowment? 7. New data on what finger length might mean. 8. Ryan Decker is taking a job at the Fed. ...more

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  • Economist's View

    Ten Years

    Today is the ten-year anniversary for this blog. Ten years! It hardly seems like that long. When I started, I didn't expect much. So far as I can recall, I haven't missed a single day in all that time. Sometimes it's just a simple post with links, etc., but there have been new posts every single day for 10 years. My life has changed a lot in the last year and a half, and I can't promise that I won't miss a day now and then -- there will be times soon, I think, when the record may end. Ten years straight seems like enough in any case. But for now, it continues... Thanks to all who have stopped by over the years!...more

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  • All HW content

    Wingspan lays off 100 more employees in Monroe

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  • The Big Picture

    Screw it, I’m all in!

    Source: EcPoFi

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Jobless Claims Rise To 10-Month High

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    An Open Letter

    March 5, 2015 The Honorable John Boehner Speaker House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 The Honorable Mitchell McConnell Majority Leader United States Senate Washington, DC 20510  The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Minority Leader House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515  The Honorable Harry Reid Minority Leader United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 Dear Mr. Speaker, Mr. Leader, Madam Pelosi, and Senator Reid:International trade is fundamentally good for the U.S. economy, beneficial to American families over time, and consonant with our domestic priorities. That is why we support the renewal of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to make it possible for the United States to reach international agreements with our economic partners in Asia through the Tran...more

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  • Econbrowser

    Is the United States Protected from the European Debt Crisis?

    For those of you in San Diego I wanted to call attention to a roundtable discussion this Friday March 6 on some of the ongoing concerns about European sovereign debt. I’ll be appearing along with Jeffrey Frieden from Harvard (who will be quite familiar to regular readers of Econbrowser) and David Leblang of the University of Virginia. Details on how to register for the event can be found here. ...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Market-Tested Innovation

    (Don Boudreaux) The title of this post comes from Deirdre McCloskey.  It’s the term Deirdre uses to describe the proximate source of the vast riches enjoyed daily by ordinary people in modern market-oriented societies.  Innovation is the act or process of coming up with new, creative ideas.  And innovations are market-tested if their successes or failures are determined through a process of voluntary choices: no one is forced to purchase, to use, or to fund an innovation; no one is prevented from purchasing, using, or funding an innovation; everyone who wishes to use his or her own resources to act innovatively, or to fund an innovation, is free to do so. Under such rules (along, of course, with basic laws of property, contract, and tort) – and in a cultu...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    US Nonfarm Private Payrolls: February 2015 Preview

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    The SEC misspeaks about the effect of US v Newman on insider trading cases

    At the recent SEC Speaks conference: SEC Solicitor Jacob Stillman said the Newman decision would lead to confusion because it altered the recognized standard for the personal benefit that must be... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • naked capitalism

    No, the Secretary of State Does Not Get to Privatize Their Email, Not Even Hillary Clinton

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  • Calculated Risk

    Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increased to 320,000

    The DOL reported:In the week ending February 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 320,000, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 313,000. The 4-week moving average was 304,750, an increase of 10,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 294,500.There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. The previous week was unrevised.The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since January 2000.Click on graph for larger image.The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims increased to 304,750.This was above the consensus forecast of 300,000, however the low level of the 4-week average suggests few layoff...more

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  • Beat the Press

    The WaPo Inadvertently Tells Readers Why the Government Never Takes Action Against an Over-valued Dollar

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Quotation of the Day…

    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 295 of Randy Simmons’s 2011 Revised Edition of his and the late William Mitchell’s excellent 1994 book on public choice, Beyond Politics: Americans’ desire to protect their privacy and rights to be different is impressive.  Protagonists of equality never, it seems, make clear precisely what, other than wealth and income, should be equalized.  Must everyone dress alike?  Live in the same houses with the same furniture?  Eat the same meals?  These are not rhetorical questions to be dismissed as the mouthings of irritable, impatient self-important professors.  If de Tocqueville’s observation concerning the increasing marginal importance of differences as equality is achieved is true, the egalitarian faces a serious di...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    ADP Data Anticipates Slower Growth For US Feb Payrolls Report

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    The Ferguson Kleptocracy

    In Ferguson and the Modern Debtor’s Prison I wrote: You don’t get $321 in fines and fees and 3 warrants per household from an about-average crime rate. You get numbers like this from bullshit arrests for jaywalking and constant “low level harassment involving traffic stops, court appearances, high fines, and the threat of jail for failure to pay.” The DOJ report on the Ferguson Police Department verifies this in stunning detail: Ferguson has allowed its focus on revenue generation to fundamentally compromise the role of Ferguson’s municipal court. The municipal court does not act as a neutral arbiter of the law or a check on unlawful police conduct. … Our investigation has found overwhelming evidence of minor municipal code violations resulting in ...more

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  • The Big Picture

    10 Thursday AM Reads

    Another snow storm. * Sigh * Hopefully, our morning train reads will help you through the rest of our winter of discontent: • What happens when US rates rise? Three Scenarios (Medium) see also The Blueprint for a Bond Bear Market? (A Wealth of Common Sense) • Janet Yellen, Forecasting Ace (Real Time Economics) • Passive management vs. saving more (Noahpinion) but see Yale Sticks to Endowment Model, Despite Critiques (Chief Investment Officer) • U.S. Companies Are Stashing $2.1 Trillion Overseas to Avoid Taxes (Bloomberg) • No, the Banks Aren’t Losing (Pro Publica) Continues here         ...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    The limits of corporate personhood: Can a corporation be an expert witness?

    Not in Delaware, as Jim Hamilton explains: Only a biological person can be an expert witness in Delaware under its Rules of Evidence, so the defendants in a shareholder litigation could not designate... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Negative Interest Rates, the ZLB, and True Capitalists

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 3/5/15

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  • The Big Picture

    NASDAQ 5000 – Crash? Bubble? Fair Value?

    NASDAQ 5000 – Crash? Bubble? Fair Value? March 4, 2015 Almost fifteen years ago, on April 1, 2000, we wrote and published a piece entitled “Will the NASDAQ sell-off become a crash?” We have now retrieved that piece from our archives and posted it on our website. In preparing that piece we evaluated the stock market and made a theoretical calculation in which we merged two companies, Cisco and Microsoft. We assumed that their reported earnings were accurate. We found that the two companies merged together had earnings of $10 billion and their merged theoretical market valuation amounted to $1 trillion. Our conclusion at the time was fairly straightforward. There was nothing wrong with either company. Both Cisco and Microsoft were fine, large, developing, worldwid...more

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    The new tech revolution can be boon or bane. Let’s choose wisely.

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for March 5, 2015

    Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Nearing $1,000 per square foot in Culver City: Would you pay $900,000 for 920 square feet? Or you can buy a fixer upper for $325,000 in the same zip code.

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  • Calculated Risk

    Thursday: Unemployment Claims, Stress Test Results

    From Greg Ip at the WSJ: Janet Yellen, Forecasting Ace Her forecasts as a Fed official have been strikingly accurate, as the release of 2009 transcripts to the Fed’s deliberations make clear. If she worked on Wall Street, she’d be a “hot hand.” This does not mean as chairwoman she is necessarily right; but it does suggest her forecasts deserve the benefit of the doubt....A Wall Street Journal study of her public comments concluded that she consistently hit the mark more often from 2009 to 2012 than other members of the Federal Open Market Committee.Transcripts of FOMC meetings in 2009, released Wednesday, reinforce this point. Ms Yellen is repeatedly more gloomy about the outlook, less worried about inflation, and more in favor of forceful monetary stimulus than...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    James Park on Bondholders and Securities Class Actions

    My friend and UCLAW colleague James Park has posted his article Bondholders and Securities Class Actions (January 15, 2015), available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2550398. Here's the abstract:... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    A key to understanding the news: the unexpected rules in our age of wonders.

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    The Lee-Rubio Tax Reform

    Senators Mike Lee and Marco Rubio announced a bold and attractive tax plan today. I especially appreciate their desire to eliminate the current tax code's bias for debt over equity finance....more

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    No Way to Avoid It

    In my column on dynamic scoring, I wrote:[A]ccurate dynamic scoring requires more information than congressional proposals typically provide. For example, if a member of Congress proposes a tax cut, a key issue in estimating its effect is how future Congresses will respond to the reduced revenue. This raises important questions for which we have no easy answers. In the coming years, will these Congresses respond quickly to the revenue shortfall, or will they let budget deficits fester? When they act to close the budget gap, will they increase taxes, or will they cut spending? If they cut spending, will it be on consumption items, such as health care for the elderly, or on growth-promoting investments, such as education for the young? The impact of the initial tax c...more

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    Education is not a solution to automation.

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for March 4, 2015

    Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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  • Econbrowser

    Guest Contribution: “Analyzing Recent Trends in the U.S. Wealth Distribution”

    Today we are fortunate to present a guest contribution written by Ricardo T. Fernholz, Assistant Professor of Economics at Claremont McKenna College. Recent trends in income and wealth inequality have drawn much attention from both academics and the general public. Atkinson, Piketty, and Saez (2011) and Saez and Zucman (2014), among others, document these trends for different countries around the world and have prompted a substantive debate about the underlying causes and the appropriate policy responses, if any. A General Approach In new research (Fernholz, 2015), I develop a general statistical model of wealth distribution to address these issues empirically. This approach overlaps both the empirical literature on income dynamics (Guvenen, 2009; Browning et al., 201...more

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  • Beat the Press

    NYT Misses the Story on the Fed and African American Unemployment

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  • Beat the Press

    What Happened to the Great American Boom?

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  • Econbrowser

    Some Government Workers Will Get Pay Raises in Wisconsin

    From State troopers who protect Governor given $4 an hour pay raise: Just after Republican lawmakers announced they were rejecting raises for rank-and-file state troopers, Gov. Scott Walker’s administration granted $4-an-hour raises to the State Patrol officers responsible for protecting the governor. … The pay bump will cost the state about $36,500 and comes at a time when the Republican governor is routinely traveling out of state — with the officers for security — to attend what amount to campaign events leading up to a presidential run. The top two Republicans in the Legislature announced Feb. 17 they would not allow a 17% pay boost for state troopers that Walker’s administration had negotiated. Those pay raises can’t go into effect wi...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    How Negative Can Rates Go?

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Reality And Desperation Are Going To Kick In

    Bloomberg reports on the UK. “Buying upscale homes in the U.K. through trust funds and overseas-based companies is popular among the rich as a way to minimize taxes and protect privacy. The practice also makes it difficult for law enforcement and the courts to establish whether their owners bought them legitimately. Hundreds of billions of pounds classified as the proceeds of crime are laundered here every year and London’s surging property market is one of the more attractive ways to do it, according to the U.K. National Crime Agency.” “More than 12,500 London properties worth over 48.5 billion pounds were sold by offshore companies from 2012 through 2014, Land Registry data compiled for Bloomberg News show. More than a third of the sellers were out...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Does The Fed Have a Currency Problem?

    The PCE inflation data was released today, and I have been seeing commentary on the relative strength of the core-inflation numbers. This, for example, from the Wall Street Journal: A key gauge of U.S. consumer prices sank in January due partly to cheaper oil, undershooting the Federal Reserve’s goal of 2% annual inflation for the 33rd consecutive month. But a gauge of underlying price pressures remained resilient headed into 2015. The picture: Core-PCE is hovering around 1.3%, and the stability relative to last month is supposedly supportive of Federal Reserve plans to hike interest rates later this year.   I would caution against that interpretation just yet. While it is true that the year-over-year change is how the Fed measures its progress toward price stab...more

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  • Robert Reich

    Will the Democratic Nominee for 2016 Take on the Moneyed Interests?

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Paul Krugman Needs a T-Shirt

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    The Origins of the Eurozone Monetary Policy Crisis

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  • Paul Krugman

    Larry Kudlow and the Failure of the Chicago School

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  • Paul Krugman

    The Slippery Slope of Disinflation

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Game On

    Almost too much Fed news last week to cover in one post. The highlight of the week was Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony to the Senate and House. On net, I think her assessment of the US economy was more optimistic relative to the last FOMC statement, which gives a preview of the outcome of the March 17-18 FOMC meeting. Labor markets are improving, output and production are growing at a solid pace, oil is likely to be a net positive, both upside and downside risks from the rest of the world, and, after the impact of oil prices washes out, inflation will trend toward the Fed's 2% target. To be sure, some challenges remain, such as still high underemployment and low levels of housing activity, but the overall picture is clearly brighter. No wonder then that ...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    California Rental Armageddon: Nearly half of Los Angeles adults doubling up, working class moving out, or you have the option of simply living in poverty.

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    “Middle-Class Economics”

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    It is hard to feel urban form sometimes.

    I have spent a fair amount of time in Sao Paulo over the past 3-4 years, and always thought it sprawled more than LA, because it takes forever to get from one side of the place to the other.  So was I surprised when I went to Google Earth and looked at both of them from the same elevation. Here is LA:Now here is SP:It is far more compact.  Metro LA has about 18 million people; SP has about 20 million. But it takes about 2 hours to get from Santa Clarita in the west to San Bernardino in the east--the distance between the two is 85 miles; it can take four hours to go just 30 kilometers in SP.  Sao Paulo feels much larger to me....more

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  • macroblog

    Are Shifts in Industry Composition Holding Back Wage Growth?

    table { font: inherit; font-size: 90%; } .citation, .byline { font-style: italic; } .centeredImage { display: block !important; margin-left: auto !important; margin-right: auto !important; } The last payroll employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) included some relatively good news on wages. Private average hourly earnings rose an estimated 12 cents in January, the largest increase since June 2007. Even so, earnings were up only 2.2 percent over the last year versus average growth of 3.4 percent in 2007. What accounts for the sluggish growth in average earnings? The average hourly earnings data for all workers is essentially the sum of the average earnings per hour within an industry weighted by that industry's share of employment. In this...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Weekly Unemployment Claims: Initial and Continued February 26 2015

    Today’s jobless claims report showed a notable increase to initial unemployment claims and a decrease to insured unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims remained above the 300K level. Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims jumped 31,000 to 313,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “insured” claims declined by 21,000 to 2.401 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 1.8%. ...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Searching for deals in Pacoima – Flippers still out in force and loans made during the last bubble still cause distress today.

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  • macroblog

    Are Oil Prices "Passing Through"?

    In a July 2013 macroblog post, we discussed a couple of questions we had posed to our panel of Southeast businesses to try and gauge how they respond to changes in commodity prices. At the time, we were struck by how differently firms tend to react to commodity price decreases versus increases. When materials costs jumped, respondents said they were likely to pass them on to their customers in the form of price increases. However, when raw materials prices fell, the modal response was to increase profit margins. Now, what firms say they would do and what the market will allow aren't necessarily the same thing. But since mid-November, oil prices have plummeted by roughly 30 percent. And, as the charts below reveal, our panelists have reported sharply lower unit cost obs...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Yellen Heading to the Senate

    All eyes will be focused on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as she presents the semi-annual monetary policy testimony to the Senate Banking Committee. I anticipate that she will stick to an economic outlook very similar to that detailed in the last FOMC statement and related minutes. Expect her to indicate that the Fed is closing in on the time of the first rate hike - after all, this was clearly the topic of conversation at the January FOMC meeting. I anticipate the "Audit the Fed" movement will be on display in the Q&A, which will provide Senators the opportunity to display their ignorance of monetary policy. And with any luck, we will learn how "patient" the Fed really is. That said, I am wary of expecting much in the way of insight on "patient." The Fed has trap...more

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  • Robert Reich

    Why We're All Becoming Independent Contractors

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  • macroblog

    Business as Usual?

    Each month, we ask a large panel of firms to compare their current sales with "normal times." In our February survey, the firms in our panel reported their sales were approaching normal. Indeed, on average, larger firms (those with 100 or more employees) tell us sales levels this month were right at normal. But smaller firms, although improving, are still lagging their larger counterparts (see the chart). (enlarge) These qualitative assessments suggest a continuation of the trend we've seen in our quarterly quantitative data (these data are compiled at the end of each quarter). In December, our panel of firms reported sales levels about 2.7 percent below normal—virtually identical to the Congressional Budget Office's estimate of the output gap. Here, too, our...more

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  • Robert Reich

    The President Should Not Only Veto the Keystone XL Pipeline but...

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    Should Finance Departments Pay Pigou Taxes?

    The Economist leads me to an article by Stephen G Cecchetti and Enisse Kharroubi: The purpose of this paper is to examine why financial sector growth harms real growth. We begin by constructing a model in which financial and real growth interact, and then turn to empirical evidence. In our model, we first show how an exogenous increase in financial sector growth can reduce total factor productivity growth.2 This is a consequence of the fact that financial sector growth benefits disproportionately high collateral/low productivity projects. This mechanism reflects the fact that periods of high financial sector growth often coincide with the strong development in sectors like construction, where returns on projects are relatively easy to pledge as collateral but prod...more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    One reason to worry about US inequality...it is really bad for our babies.

    My colleague Alice Chen, along with Emily Oster and Heidi Williams, have a new paper that explains differences in the infant mortality rate in the United States and other OECD countries. Despite its affluence, the US ranks 51st in the world in infant mortality, which puts it at the same level as Croatia.One reason the US performs poorly on the infant mortality measure actually reflects differences in measurement between it and other countries--babies born very prematurely in the United States are recorded as live births, but in other countries might be reported as miscarriages.  Because extremely premature babies have higher mortality rates, their inclusion in the US birth and mortality rate makes the US look relatively worse.Nevertheless, when Chen, Oster and Will...more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Premature deindustrialization in the developing world

    Mention “deindustrialization,” and the image that comes to mind is that of advanced economies making their way into the post-industrial phase of development. In a new paper,[1] I show that the more dramatic trend is one of deindustrialization in the developing countries. This is a trend that is appropriately called premature deindustrialization, since it means that many (if not most) developing nations are becoming service economies without having had a proper experience of industrialization. Latin America appears to be the worst hit region. But worryingly similar trends are very much in evidence in Sub-Saharan Africa too, where few countries had much industrialization to begin with. The only countries that seem to have escaped the curse of premature industrializati...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    What Is Citigroup Hiding From Its Shareholders Now?

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    January 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Tax Breaks (for the Rich) Are Forever

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Greek elections, democracy, political trilemma, and all that

    Two-and-a-half years ago I wrote a short piece titled "The End of the World as We Know It" which began like this: Consider the following scenario. After a victory by the left-wing Syriza party, Greece’s new government announces that it wants to renegotiate the terms of its agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. German Chancellor Angela Merkel sticks to her guns and says that Greece must abide by the existing conditions. Fearing that a financial collapse is imminent, Greek depositors rush for the exit. This time, the European Central Bank refuses to come to the rescue and Greek banks are starved of cash. The Greek government institutes capital controls and is ultimately forced to issue drachmas in order to supply domestic liq...more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Levels of intellectual responsibility

    This piece on “Erdogan’s Willing Enablers” prompts me to put down a few thoughts on the role that various members of the Turkish media and intelligentsia have played in enabling the steady deterioration of the political climate in Turkey over the last decade. What stands out with these intellectuals is that, even if they were not in all cases liberal in outlook, they all claimed to espouse values consistent with Western democracy: respect for human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law.    I don’t want to go over the entire saga of how leading Turkish intellectuals continually misrepresented what was happening over this period and bought into the Gulenist narrative, while overlooking the accumulating repression of media freedoms and violations...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    November 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Ex Ante versus Ex Post Social Policy

    I have written various posts on social policy related to the question of whether and how we redistribute income. One argument of equal opportunity and social egalitarianism is that it is fair to control for the randomness of life. For example, take the luck of the draw in who your parents are. If your best career choice was to be born into a wealthy family, if you got ahead because your father could pull strings to get you an internship at a big investment bank; because you built up your high school resume by spending a summer building houses in Tibet while a classmate had to spend the summer working at the 7-11; or because you could afford two years of one-on-one tutoring for the SAT, the result might be to score higher in an objective standard of selection and have a ...more

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  • Rick Bookstaber

    On Death with Dignity

    We take the will to live as a positive attribute, and naturally so; it is, of course in our genes.  Whatever subset of our species took a lackadaisical view toward the prospect of death was screened out long ago. We look with admiration on those who battle against terminal illness --  “She’s a real fighter” -- and look down on those who take their own lives. Fighting for your life is the genetic prime directive.   Thus the recent death of Brittany Maynard spurred a flurry of news articles and posts on the Death with Dignity movement. There will be a lot more to come on this topic, and the movement will gather steam because whatever is in the crosshairs of the baby boomers weighs down on society as a whole. Soon the baby boomers will come to the...more

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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Uber: What could possibly go wrong

    Uber at the core is nothing more than a bunch of guys who came up with a clever app for streamlining the way you call for a car.  Rather than phoning or texting, you tap on the app.  Rather than paying with cash or credit cards, you have an account.  And rather than depending on the reputation of the car company, you depend on the ratings-based reputation of the specific driver. (Another feature, the pre-determined fare, with that fare essentially including all fees including tip, is nothing new for car services). And, by the way, it is readily replicable by any other car services, including those that already have a reputation and experienced drivers.  So it seems to me that it is only mildly innovative.  How do you build a successful world-wid...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    October 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • The Street Light

    Transfer Pricing Economics

    I'd like to announce that after a long hiatus from blogging, I'm taking it up again in a new forum.  The new blog, Transfer Pricing Economics, is primarily devoted to exploring my particular area of professional specialty, namely "transfer pricing".  If that term doesn't mean anything to you, then feel free to check out my brief explanation of transfer pricing. My aim is to expose and analyze the connections between the arcane world of transfer pricing and broader developments in the economic and financial world. And the connections are significant: the rules and economic logic of transfer pricing have a direct impact on trillions of dollars of international trade every year. So please feel free to check in on and contribute to the discussions about these...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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  • 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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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Capital Gains And Games Now Being Published By Forbes

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Big Changes Are Coming To Capital Gains And Games

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Camp Plan Puts Nail In Tax Reform Coffin For This Year, And Next, And...

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    Can the F-35 Replace the A-10?

    by Nickolai Sukharev  One of the big decisions the United States Air Force has considered over the last few months is whether to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet as a cost saving measure while developing and procuring the F-35A Lightening II. Given the Budget Control Act caps on Pentagon spending and the need to better allocate funds, officials have expressed their preference to prioritize multi-mission platforms in the inventory. But the problem is that the F-35A is not a replacement for the A-10’s close air support. The reason is simple: it lacks comparable capabilities despite a higher operating cost. Given the constrained budgetary environment, the comparative cost to maintain and operate the two aircraft should be a decisive consideration. The A-10 is a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    After Geneva Talks A Consensus on Moving Forward

    By Homa Hassan The two-day round of P5+1 negotiations with Iran just concluded in Geneva and Western diplomats are carefully reviewing a detailed proposal presented by Iran. As this proposal is being reviewed ahead of the follow-on meetings in November it is important to look at what the realistic prospects of a deal will look like. Going into this week’s talks, a number of commentaries came out attempting to set negotiations up for failure. However, it is widely agreed that a negotiated solution to Iran’s controversial nuclear program is the best way to achieve a sustainable solution and a recent survey of reports and recommendations from bipartisan think tanks and high-level experts demonstrates a broad consensus on how to approach negotiations a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    TPP, TTIP and Getting America's Competitiveness Back on Track

    By Marcela Heywood Last week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia marked further progress for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and set an ambitious goal to finish negotiations by the end of the year. Although the U.S. government shutdown – and President Obama’s absence in Bali – did not hinder the trade talks, it did call America’s credibility into question. Government shutdown could threaten both TPP and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations by displaying uncertainty in U.S. economic and foreign policy priorities. Congress needs to reach an agreement and prioritize TPP and TTIP, as they are necessary policy initiatives to boost American competitiveness, stimulate the economy, and exert soft power to cr...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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  • 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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  • TPMCafe

    Message to world government: Don't govern the Internet

    You could think of the Aspen IDEA report published today as a letter to the head of the International Telecommunications Union, Hamadoun Touré, suggesting that he should reconsider his intent to put the "light touch" of government on the Internet's operations. M. Touré will be running a major meeting of world governments in Dubai at the end of this year. The Dubai meeting, known as WCIT 12, may have an agenda that is a light touch only if that's what you can call a grab for the jugular vein of the Internet. The issues may include a "per click" tax on international Internet traffic, individual nation state regulation identities to online activity, national encryption standards to allow government surveillance, and multinational governance of the Internet. Russia, Chi...more

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  • TPMCafe

    Obama and Romney on Foreign Policy - Drawing the Contrasts

    The political battle lines are being drawn for the general election debate over foreign policy and national security, and you can't do much better than my fellow Democracy Arsenal blogger Michael Cohen for a guide. One key theme of Michael's latest column for ForeignPolicy.com is what a difference it makes for a candidate to bear the responsibility of governing, or on the other hand, campaign to be commander in chief on the basis of self-serving pot shots. My only quibble regards how Romney's reed-thin foreign policy argument will fare with voters. Take Michael's analysis of Romney's potential advantage in the debate on Iran: He can simply lob rhetorical haymakers that hype up the threat of an Iranian bomb or offer Churchillian declarations about his intention to stop...more

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  • TPMCafe

    Will Yale's Alumni Save Liberal Education?

    Hoping to head off alumni resistance to the brand-new "Yale-National University of Singapore" college that the Yale Corporation has created somewhat stealthily in collaboration with the government of that authoritarian city-state, Association of Yale Alumni chairman Michael Madison has inadvertently demonstrated one of the ways Yale College is being transformed from a crucible of civic-republican leadership, grounded in liberal education, into a global career-networking center and cultural galleria for a new elite that answers to no polity or moral code: STATEMENT OF THE OFFICERS OF THE AYA BOARD OF GOVERNORS, Michael Madison, Chair of the Board "All Yale-NUS College graduates will be warmly welcomed as a part of the Yale alumni community. They will also be invited...more

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Richard Wood Richard Wood

Richard has published papers on wages policy, the taxation of financial arrangements and macroeconomic issues in Pacific island countries. Views expressed in these articles are his own and may not be shared by his employing agency. He is the author of How to Solve the European Economic Crisis: Challenging orthodoxy and creating new policy paradigms