EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    United States

  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Links and Tweets...

    Tim Worstall: We Really, Seriously, Don't Want Currency Manipulation Provisions In Trade Deals http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2015/04/25/we-really-seriously-dont-want-currency-manipulation-provisions-in-trade-deals/ Dan Drezner: This Wasn’t the PhD Advice You Were Looking for http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/24/this-wasnt-the-phd-advice-you-were-looking-for Philip Sandifer: Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons: An Analysis of Theodore Beale and his Supporters http://www.philipsandifer.com/2015/04/guided-by-beauty-of-their-weapons.html Stuart Vyse: An Introvert’s Guide to Greeting Strangers, Vague Acquaintances, and Friends https://medium.com/human-parts/an-introvert-s-guide-to-greeting-strangers-vague-acquaintances-and-friends-dbb...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Black Knight: House Price Index up 0.7% in February, 4.6% year-over-year

    Note: I follow several house price indexes (Case-Shiller, CoreLogic, Black Knight, Zillow, FHFA, FNC and more). Note: Black Knight uses the current month closings only (not a three month average like Case-Shiller or a weighted average like CoreLogic), excludes short sales and REOs, and is not seasonally adjusted.From Black Knight: Black Knight Home Price Index Report: February Transactions – U.S. Home Prices Up 0.7 Percent for the Month; Up 4.6 Percent Year-Over-YearToday, the Data and Analytics division of Black Knight Financial Services released its latest Home Price Index (HPI) report, based on February 2015 residential real estate transactions. The Black Knight HPI combines the company’s extensive property and loan-level databases to produce a repeat sales analy...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Quotation of the Day…

    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 11 of the 1991 Liberty Press edition of Bruno Leoni’s 1961 volume, Freedom and the Law (original emphasis): Both the Romans and the English shared the idea that the law is something to be discovered more than to be enacted and that nobody is so powerful in his society as to be in a position to identify his own will with the law of the land. Legislation is made.  Diktats are made.  Law, in contrast, is never made (which is why the term “lawmakers” used to describe legislators is wholly inaccurate).  Instead, law evolves spontaneously into existence and into whatever present form and content it takes.  Unlike legislation and other government diktats, law is the result of human action but not of human design. ...more

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  • The Big Picture

    10 Monday AM Reads

    Welcome back to the workweek. Let’s kick it off right with our expertly curated morning train reads: • U.S. Money Managers Turn Cautious, reining in their optimism since the fall (Barron’s) but see Why This Old Bull Market May Not Be Ready to Die (MoneyBeat) • The remarkable life — and investing lessons — of Ronald Read (Washington Post) • 3 Valuable Lessons From the Nasdaq Bubble (Pragmatic Capitalism) see also Nasdaq record reflects markets stuck in time warp: Highs reinforce the lesson that valuation is a poor guide to short-term moves (FT) • The Timeless Nature of the Herd Mentality (A Wealth of Common Sense) • Is Obama the Most Deflationary Force in America Right Now? (Reformed Broker) • The Death of Cash: Could negative ...more

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Taking Equity To Purchase Investment Properties

    The Monterey Herald reports from California. “The number of homes for sale in Monterey County in March hit its second lowest point in 20 years. Scarcity has helped increase the countywide median home price to $515,000. ‘It’s not good for buyers … we were really surprised it became a sellers’ market so quickly,’ said Sandy Haney, CEO of the Monterey County Association of Realtors. Haney said the lack of housing can create anxiety among real estate agents. ‘Realtors get very frustrated for their buyers,’ she said. ‘Now you have buyers who want to get into the housing market but are priced out.’” The Sacramento Business Journal. “Luxury home sales in the Sacramento region took a 30 percent jump in the first quarte...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 4/27/15

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  • naked capitalism

    Eurogroup Demands Varoufakis’ Ouster; Trajectory Toward Default Continues

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Q1:2015 US GDP Estimate: +1.8% | 27 Apr 2015

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  • The Big Picture

    British Vogue Interview: Jony Ive and Marc Newson

    British Vogue’s Suzy Menkes interview Jony Ive and Marc Newson regarfing Apple Watch and latest fashion trendsn

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Liveblogging World War II: April 27, 1945: Execution of Mussolini

    World War II Today: Execution of Mussolini: It was on the 27th April that a column of German trucks made their way north to Switzerland. Amongst the group was Benito Mussolini, thinly disguised in a German army helmet, and his mistress, intending to take a plane to Spain. The group was checked by communists of the 52nd Garibaldi Partisan Brigade in the village of Dongo on Lake Como – and Mussolini was immediately recognised by Urbano Lazzaro, the political officer. That evening Radio Milano announced: The head of this association of delinquents, Mussolini, while yellow with rancour and fear and trying to cross the Swiss frontier, has been arrested. He must be handed over to a tribunal of the people so it can judge him quickly. We want this, even though ...more

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    http://www.bradford-delong.com/2015/04/comment-of-the-day-cosma-shalizi-i-was-struck-both-by-maynards-point-and-nbarnesshttpwwwbradford-delongcom2.html

    Comment of the Day: Cosma Shalizi: "I was struck both by Maynard's point and NBarnes's when reading the original... ...If the whole system is as described, then counseling isolated moral heroism is simply reconciling oneself to the victory of the asshole factory. The obvious sane response is instead collective action to change the system. But I am not sure the system is as described. (I passing, I will gently suggest that if our host has to distinguish mere 'must reads' from 'must-must reads', that is a sign that 'must read' has been devalued from over-use, and should be throttled back.)" ...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Initial Guidance | 27 April 2015

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    America is broken. Here are ideas about ways to fix it.

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  • The Big Picture

    The True Levels of Government and Social Expenditures in Advanced Economies

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  • All HW content

    Black Knight: Home prices tick up slightly in February

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for April 27, 2015

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

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  • Economist's View

    Links for 04-27-15

    Just What Are the Risks That Alarm Ken Rogoff? - Brad DeLong Why So Many Americans Feel So Powerless - Robert Reich Is Free Trade Good for Everyone? - Richard Green Gorski on critical realism - Understanding Society China may join the unconventional monetary club - Gavyn Davies The Unit Root of the Matter: Is it Demand or Supply? - Roger Farmer Leonhardt’s “College for the masses” - Jared Bernstein Sauce for the Gander - David Warsh Five things to watch at the Fed this week - FT.com Central bankers as supervisors: The bandwagon effect - Vox EU ...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    On closeted Christian law professors: Thoughts on Dreher's Kingsfield

    I recently came across a several week old column by Rod Dreher. in which he bemoans the state of religious liberty in the USA. (HT: Paul Caron) What particularly caught my eye, however, was Dreher's... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Is globalization going in reverse?

    Jeffrey Rothfeder has a very good piece on that question, here is one excerpt: Somewhat surprisingly, cross-border capital flows are equally anemic. Despite the common perception that multinationals these days manufacture their products anywhere but the West, global foreign direct investment (which reflects the amount that companies earmark for doing business in other countries) has fallen to a mere 2 percent of global GDP from 4 percent before the recession. Still, the most tangible metric that belies the Pollyannaish depictions of globalization is corporate financial performance, which is also a window into the fundamentals of local economies. Although most companies don’t separate out geographical earnings, revenue comparisons provide an apt picture — and few mul...more

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  • naked capitalism

    More Barbarians at the Gates: Private Equity Puts Primary Care in Play

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Why the TPP is a better trade agreement than you think

    In a word, Vietnam.  Vietnam has about ninety million people and a relatively low per capita income, below by 2k by some measures.  It liberalized tariffs a good deal upon WTO accession, but since then has done some backsliding.  It has large numbers of state-owned enterprises, and its policies toward such enterprises could use more transparency and predictability, as indeed TPP would bring.  Most generally, Vietnam is not today a free country.  Bringing Vietnam into TPP would further ensure their attachment to a broadly liberal global trading order.  TPP also would bring free(r) labor unions to Vietnam. Tuong Lai writes (see the first link above): But Vietnam cannot play its significant geopolitical role until it fully develops economically and further liberalize...more

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  • All HW content

    Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: What’s the diagnosis for the "sick" housing market?

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  • Calculated Risk

    Sunday Night Futures

    From the Financial Times: Eurozone officials seek to bypass Varoufakis to spur Greek talksA fraught eurozone meeting in Riga at the weekend has left Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, increasingly isolated both in Brussels and in Athens as officials seek to bypass him in an effort to jump-start bailout talks.Excerpt with permissionTime is getting short.Monday:• 10:30 AM ET: Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey for April.Weekend:• Schedule for Week of April 26, 2015From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: currently S&P futures and DOW futures are up slightly (fair value).Oil prices were up over the last week with WTI futures at $57.36 per barrel and Brent at $65.28 per barrel.  A year ago, WTI was at $102, and Brent was at $109 - so, even wit...more

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  • Robert Reich

    Why So Many Americans Feel So Powerless

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Robot sentences to ponder

    Harnessing high-powered computing, color sensors and small metal baskets attached to the robotic arms, the machine gently plucked ripe strawberries from below deep-green leaves, while mostly ignoring unripe fruit nearby. Such tasks have long required the trained discernment and backbreaking effort of tens of thousands of relatively low-paid workers. But technological advances are making it possible for robots to handle the job, just as a shrinking supply of available fruit pickers has made the technology more financially attractive. …Machines are doing more than picking produce. Altman Specialty Plants Inc., one of the country’s largest nurseries, has been using eight, squat robots for the past two years to ferry more than 1.2 million potted roses and other plan...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Costs (Such as Exports) Are Not Benefits

    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to the New York Times: The caption to a photo accompanying Greg Mankiw’s superb essay on the benefits of free trade reads “The 18th-century economist Adam Smith wrote that nations can benefit as much from imports as from exports, turning the conventional wisdom on its head” (“Economists Actually Agree on This: The Wisdom of Free Trade,” April 26). The text of Mr. Mankiw’s essay assures me that he did not write this caption. While Adam Smith did indeed turn conventional wisdom on its head, he emphatically did not write that nations can benefit as much from imports as from exports.  Instead, he countered the conventional wisdom by showing that nations benefit only from imports.  Smith understood correctly that expor...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    We Weren’t Soldiers (Personal and Trivial)

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    Is Free Trade Good for Everyone?

    Greg Mankiw implies that it is, and that all economists agree that it is.  But it actually isn't.  Who says so?  Economists.In particular, the workhorse theory of International Trade, the Hecksher-Ohlin Theorem, leads to the Stolper-Samuleson Theorem, which shows that when countries start trading with each other, the relatively abundant factor of production in each country becomes better off, while the relatively scarce factor becomes worse off.   In the US context, this implies that opening up trade will leave capital better off relative to labor, and skilled labor better off relative to unskilled labor.Does trade increase the total size of economies?  Yes--this is something that economists do agree on. But in the absence of redistribution--som...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Some Links

    (Don Boudreaux) Greg Mankiw, writing in today’s New York Times, makes the case for free trade – and, in the process, rightly laments the economic ignorance that leads so many people to oppose it.  Back in 2007, my colleague Dan Klein argued along the same lines. George Will relies heavily and wisely upon the great Bruce Yandle’s theory of bootleggers and Baptists.  A slice: Yandle’s “bootleggers and Baptists” hypothesis is given many illustrations, from environmental regulations to Obamacare, in a new book of that title, co-authored with his economist grandson, Adam Smith. Yandle’s hypothesis expands “public choice” theory, which demystifies and de-romanticizes government by applying economic analysis — how incentives influence behavi...more

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  • Economist's View

    'This Is Not A Trade Agreement'

    This is not a subtweet: This Is Not A Trade Agreement, by Paul Krugman: OK, Greg Mankiw has me puzzled. Has he really read nothing about TPP? Is he completely unaware of the nature of the argument? Personally, I’m a lukewarm opponent of the deal, but I don’t see it as the end of the Republic and can even see some reasons (mainly strategic) to support it. One thing that should be totally obvious, however, is that it’s off-point and insulting to offer an off-the-shelf lecture on how trade is good because of comparative advantage, and protectionists are dumb. For this is not a trade agreement. It’s about intellectual property and dispute settlement; the big beneficiaries are likely to be pharma companies and firms that want to sue gov...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    This Is Not A Trade Agreement

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  • Economist's View

    'Mediamacro Myth 6: 2013 Recovery Vindication'

    Simon Wren-Lewis: Mediamacro myth 6: 2013 recovery vindication: The idea that austerity during the first two years of the coalition government was vindicated by the 2013 recovery is so ludicrous that it is almost embarrassing to have to explain why. The half-truths in this case are so flimsy they do not deserve that label. I can think of two reasons why that claim could have any credibility. The first is that people confuse levels and rates or change. The second is that some critics of austerity might have occasionally overstated their case. To see the first point, imagine that a government on a whim decided to close down half the economy for a year. That would be a crazy thing to do, and with only half as much produced everyone would be a lot poorer. However a year la...more

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    Oz the Great and Powerful: a reminder that Mickey Mouse Owns Your Childhood

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Up, Up, And Away

    The used house salespeople ponder the housing bubble. “This spring buying season is off to a strong start—in fact, prices are going up faster than they were just a few months ago, according to nearly every recent metric. So does that mean we’re in a bubble? Nope, that’s just what happens when demand increases faster than supply. After all, existing-home sales were up 9% year over year in March, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Inventory is also increasing, but not as fast as sales, resulting in a tight supply getting even tighter.” From Morningstar. “The other big news this week was that U.S. housing data, though not fantastic, appears to indicate that the U.S. housing industry has established a bottom. Early spring shoots are...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    ATA Trucking Index increased in March

    Here is an indicator that I follow on trucking, from the ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Gained 1.1% in MarchAmerican Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.1% in March, following a revised drop of 2.8% during the previous month. In March, the index equaled 133.5 (2000=100). The all-time high is 135.8, reached in January 2015.Compared with March 2014, the SA index increased 5%, which was above the 3.3% gain in February but below January’s 6.7% year-over-year increase. During the first quarter, tonnage was unchanged from the previous quarter while increasing 5% from the same period in 2014. ...“While tonnage did not fully recoup the loss from February, it increased nicely in March,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob ...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Ecomentalists and science denial

    The environmental movement’s war against genetic engineering has led to a deepening rift with the scientific community. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center and the American Association for the... [[ 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

    America slides to the right, faster. Why? What you can do about it!

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Millennials shun the new home sales market: in the face of tight inventory, why are builders not building new homes?

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  • Paul Krugman

    Choose Your Heterodoxy (Wonkish)

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    The Case for Trade

    Click here to read my piece in Sunday's NY Times.

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    Congratulations, Roland

    Roland Fryer has won the John Bates Clark Award.  The past three winners have been Roland Fryer (Harvard faculty), Matthew Gentzkow (Harvard undergrad and PhD), and Raj Chetty (Harvard undergrad, PhD, and faculty)....more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Book Bits | 25 April 2015

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Sea Smoke Sea Spray (Santa Rita Hills) 2011

    For dinner tonight I made open face croque madames on savory cheese and chive waffles. For the waffles, I made up a half batch of Bob's Red Mill Organic 7 Grain Pancake & Waffle Mix , to which I... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • All HW content

    Investors still bullish on single-family rental market

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  • Econbrowser

    Foreign Reserve Accumulation Tails Off

    And actually decline, in dollar terms. Figure 1 displays total reserves and non-advanced country reserves, denominated in US dollars. Figure 1: Foreign exchange reserves, total (blue), and held by non-advanced countries (red), in trillions of USD. Source: IMF COFER. Note the drop in non-advanced country reserves in the last two quarters. The only drop of a comparable magnitude occurred during the aftermath of the global financial crisis. The rapid appreciation of the dollar makes the interpretation of dollar-valued reserves a bit more complicated than usual. In SDR terms, reserves have essentially plateaued. Figure 2: Foreign exchange reserves, total (blue), and held by non-advanced countries (red), in trillions of SDR. Source: IMF COFER. This is interesting because ...more

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  • Econbrowser

    Currency Manipulation, the RMB and Misalignment, Yet Again

    In his criticism of the Trans Pacific Partnership, Senator Schumer discussed at length the need to counter currency manipulation, with particular reference to China. (See developments here.) This is an odd focus, given that China is not involved in the TPP. I’ll leave that point aside, and note that it’s not clear to me what constitutes currency manipulation. But we can revisit whether the Chinese currency, the RMB, is still undervalued. Kessler and Subramanian (2014) use a methodology similar to Cheung, Chinn and Fujii [1] [2] for a 2011 cross-country cross-sectional sample, and conclude using a linear specification that the RMB was about 10% undervalued. Source: Kessler and Subramanian (2014). This approach builds on the Penn effect — the fact th...more

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  • Econbrowser

    Trends in Poverty in Wisconsin

    Poverty, estimated using the official criteria and poverty threshold, or including taxes and non-cash benefits, rises in Wisconsin (while the officially reported Census measure declines in the US). [minor edits to clarify MDC 4/23] The invaluable Wisconsin Poverty Report, coauthored by my La Follette colleague Tim Smeeding, Julia Isaacs (Urban Institute & IRP) and Katherine A. Thornton (IRP) under the auspices of the Institute for Research on Poverty, has just been released. The key methodological innovation in the “Wisconsin Poverty Measure” is to calculate a taxes and non-cash benefits inclusive measure of poverty. Time series for the market income, official, and augmented measures are displayed in Figure 1. The * indicates that the change is statis...more

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Was Monetary Policy Loose During the Housing Boom?

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    The return of the broke homeowner: Between 2006 and 2014 9.3 million homeowners were foreclosed on, received a DIL or short sold.

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  • macroblog

    What the Weather Wrought

    At Seeking Alpha, Joseph Calhoun responds to Friday's macroblog post, which noted that, over the course of the recovery, first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth has on average been slower than the quarterly performance over the balance of the year: ... the "between-the-lines" meaning of the Atlanta post is to ignore all of this since this weakness is being portrayed as "just like last year" a statistical problem in the one measure that economists think most represents the economy. Rest assured, we try pretty hard to not place any messages "between the lines," and the penultimate sentence of Friday's piece was meant to strike the appropriately tentative tone: "As for the rest of the year, we'll have to wait and see." We do believe, like others, that we...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    The Chicago Fed National Activity Index: March 2015

    The latest release of the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (CFNAI) indicated that the national economic activity weakened in March with the index falling to a level of -0.42 from a level of -0.18 in February while the three month moving average also declined to a level of -0.27. The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity collected into four overall categories of “production and income”, “employment, unemployment and income”, “personal consumption and housing” and “sales, orders and inventories”. The Chicago Fed regards a value of zero for the total index as indicating that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate while a negative value indicates below average growth. A value at or b...more

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  • Robert Reich

    How the New Flexible Economy is Making Workers’ Lives Hell

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Say It Ain’t So, Ben

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    Why I favor estate tax repeal

    This past week, The House of Representatives passed repeal of the estate tax.  This is a policy change I have long supported, for reasons explained here.

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Compton and Paramount real estate deals: 4 properties in the heart of Los Angeles County. Location is more than a matter of mileage and sunshine.

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    It Takes A Regime Shift to Raise an Economy

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  • macroblog

    Déjà Vu All Over Again

    In a recent interview, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said, “The first quarter was poor. That seems to be a new seasonal pattern. It's been that way for about four of the last five years.” The picture below illustrates the vice chair's sentiment. Output in the first quarter has grown at a paltry 0.6 percent during the past five years, compared to a 2.9 percent average during the remaining three quarters of the year. What's causing this pattern? Well, it could be we just get really unlucky at the same time every year. Or, it could be a more technical problem with seasonal adjustment after the Great Recession (this paper by Jonathan Wright covers the topic using payroll data). It also seems likely that we can just blame the weather (see this Wall Street J...more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Turkish economic myths

    Preparing for a panel discussion on Turkey gave me the opportunity of putting together some notes and slides on the country’s economy. That Turkey is not doing well at the moment, economically or politically, is well known. But the roots of the problem remain misunderstood. Many analysts blame the weakening of “structural reforms” (on economics) and the turn towards authoritarianism after the Gezi protests in 2013 (on the politics). See for example here. In truth, Turkey’s problems on both fronts predate the recent slowdown in growth and have been long ingrained in the governing party’s (AKP) strategy. I have discussed the politics before at length. Here I focus on the economics. First, let’s dispense with some misconceptions about how well the Turkish econo...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    No More Cheating: Restoring the Rule of Law in Financial Markets

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    It Can Wait. Really.: The Real Solution to Notification Overload

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  • Robert Reich

    The Defining Moment, and Hillary Rodham Clinton

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  • macroblog

    Is Measurement Error a Likely Explanation for the Lack of Productivity Growth in 2014?

    Over the past three years nonfarm business sector labor productivity growth has averaged only around 0.75 percent—well below historical norms. In 2014 it was negative, as can be seen in chart 1. (enlarge) The previous macroblog post by Atlanta Fed economist John Robertson looked at possible economic explanations for why the labor productivity data, taken at face value, have been relatively weak in recent years. In this post I look at the extent to which “measurement error” can account for the weakness we have seen in the data. By measurement error, I mean incomplete data and/or sampling errors that are reduced when more comprehensive data are available several years later. I do not mean the inherent difficulties in measuring productivity in sectors su...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – April 08 2015

    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications. The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases. The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage (from FHA and conforming GSE data) declined 5 basis points to 3.79% since last week while the purchase application volume increased 7% and the refinance application volume d...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Air Pocket

    The employment data hit an air pocket in March, in line with a variety of softer economic news in the first quarter. That said, it likely will have little near term impact on Fed policy; I anticipate they will tend to dismiss the number as expected volatility in the overall upward path of job growth. Job growth was paltry 126k in March and, in what might be a greater indication that US labor markets are hitting an inflection point, the January and February numbers were revised downward. The three-month moving average dipped sharply, while the 12-month moving average is leveling out: A clear slowdown in the good producing sector is contributing to the weaker numbers as the impact of lower oil prices works through mining. That factor, the stronger dollar, and the West c...more

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    It's Already Priced Into the Market

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    S&P/Case-Shiller: January 2015

    Today's release of the S&P/Case-Shiller (CSI) home price indices for January reported that the non-seasonally adjusted National index declined from December with prices falling 0.05% while the Composite-10 city index declined 0.01% and the Composite-20 city index declined 0.03% over the same period.On an annual basis, the National index increased 4.47% above the level seen in January 2014 while the Composite-10 city index increased 4.37% and the Composite-20 city index increased 4.56% over the same period.On a peak basis, all three indices still show significant peak declines slumping 9.73% for the National index, -17.01% for the Composite-10 city index and -16.26% for the Composite-20 city index on a peak comparison basis. ...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Thoughts on Yellen's Speech

    I came back from Spring Break vacation to find a detailed speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen that further lays the groundwork for rate hikes to begin later this year. The speech is a remarkably clear elucidation of her views and provides plenty of insight into what we should be looking for as the Fed edges toward policy normalization. A speech like this once a month from a Federal Reserve Governor would, I think, go a long way toward enhancing the the Fed's communication strategy. One of the most important takeaways from this speech is the importance of labor market data in the Fed's assessment of the appropriate level of accommodation: Although the recovery of the labor market from the deep recession following the financial crisis was frustratingly slow for quite a lon...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    February 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Yellen Strikes a Dovish Tone

    The FOMC concluded its two-day meeting today, and the results were largely as I had anticipated. The Fed took note of the recent data, downgrading the pace of activity from "solid" to "moderated." They continue to expect inflation weakness to be transitory. The risks to the outlook are balanced.  And "patient" was dropped; April is still off the table for a rate hike, but data dependence rules from that point on. Growth, inflation and unemployment forecasts all came down. Especially important was the decrease in longer-run unemployment projections. The Fed's estimates of NAIRU are falling, something almost impossible to avoid given the stickiness of wage growth in the face of falling unemployment. The forecast changes yielded a downward revision to the Fed's interest ...more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    LA has zoned itself out of the ability to house its residents (h/t Matthew Glesne)

    Once upon a time, the zoning in Los Angeles would have allowed for 10 million residents to live within its municipal boundaries.  Greg Morrow, in his UCLA dissertation, "Homeowner Revolution: Democracy, Land Use and the Los Angeles Slow Growth Movement 1965-1992," documents how this was eroded over time:So LA really did create a moat around itself and pulled up the drawbridge.  For those of us who think the blessings of cities should be shared widely, this is a shame....more

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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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  • 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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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    January 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

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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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  • 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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  • 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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Aaron Menenberg Policies of Scale

Aaron Menenberg is Foreign Policy and Energy analyst, and a Future Leader with Foreign Policy Initiative. He also co-hosts Podlitical Risk (@podliticalrisk). He is a graduate student in international relations at The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Previously he has worked at Praescient Analytics, The Hudson Institute, for the Israeli Ministry of Defense, and at the IBM Corporation. The views expressed are his own, and you can follow him on Twitter @AaronMenenberg. He welcomes questions and comments at menenbergaaron@gmail.com.