EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    United States

  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for December 21, 2014

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

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  • Economist's View

    Links for 12-21-14

    More Macro Modeling Meta - Paul Krugman Monetary Impotence in context - mainly macro Monetary policy is always and everywhere about expectations - Nick Rowe Thomas Piketty at the Bank of England - The Enlightened Economist Economics Navel-Gazing, Curricular Edition - Twenty-Cent Paradigms Josh Angrist: Real-World Research Strategies - MIT Technology Review Should theories be testable? - Noahpinion Islamic Banking from a U.S. Angle - Tim Taylor The Oz Effect - Paul Krugman The riddle of Argentina - Vox EU Oil price volatility and speculation - Vox EU ...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Ilargi: Drilling Our Way Into Oblivion

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    (Understated) claims about Russia

    Here is a new research paper by Voskobvoynikov and Solanko, but dating before the collapse in oil prices: Based on newly available data, we argue that multifactor productivity increases over the period 1995-2008 generated only about a half of Russia’s GDP growth, a smaller increase than most previous estimates. Further, growth in multifactor productivity seems to have contributed to a smaller share of GDP growth in 2003-2008 than in the first seven years of our observation period. These results imply that increases in capital inputs, and consequently investments in fixed capital, are more important than previously thought for Russia’s economic growth. Detailed analysis of industry-level data reveals two drivers of economic growth in the period: the extended oil &...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    The FBI told their story about North Korea attacking Sony. Before we retaliate, read what they didn’t tell you.

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  • The Big Picture

    Millennium Falcon’s Hyperdrive Malfunction

    The ‘comical’ sounds that make the Millennium Falcon’s hyperdrive malfunction, as demonstrated by Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt in this 1980 clip. Millennium Falcon’s hyperdrive malfunction SFX demonstrated by Sound Designer Ben Burtt ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Schedule for Week of December 21st

    The key reports this week are November Existing Home Sales on Monday, November Personal Income and Outlays on Tuesday, November New Home Sales on Tuesday, and the third estimate of Q3 GDP also on Tuesday.Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!----- Monday, December 22nd -----8:30 AM ET: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for November. This is a composite index of other data.10:00 AM: Existing Home Sales for November from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The consensus is for sales of 5.20 million on seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis. Sales in October were at a 5.26 million SAAR. Economist Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will report sales of 4.90 million SAAR.A key will be the reported year-over-year increase in inventory of homes for sale.----- ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Existing Home Sales: A Likely "Miss"

    The NAR will report November Existing Home Sales on Monday, December 22nd. The consensus is the NAR will report sales at 5.20 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), however economist Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will report sales of 4.90 million on a SAAR basis.Housing economist Tom Lawler has been sending me his predictions of what the NAR will report for over 4 years.  The table below shows the consensus for each month, Lawler's predictions, and the NAR's initial reported level of sales.  Lawler hasn't always been closer than the consensus, but usually when there has been a fairly large spread between Lawler's estimate and the "consensus", Lawler has been closer.Over the last four years, the consensus average miss was 150 thousand with a standard d...more

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    The Peltzman Effect

    My friend Allen Sanderson points out these headlines in today's Wall Street Journal:Safety Gear Helps Reduce U.S. Traffic Deathsand Cities Target Elevated Levels of Pedestrian DeathsAs Sam Peltzman pointed out years ago, when cars get safer, drivers are less careful, increasing externalities on pedestrians....more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Assorted links

    1. One million mummies. 2. Schemes to clean up Beijing’s air. 3. National security Christmas gifts. 4. How do people encounter bourbon? 5. Krugman’s model of monetary impotence. and more here.  I say if there is no representative agent, there is a game-theoretic scramble for goods in period one, following an increase in the (purely current) money supply.  That said, you still shouldn’t expect the quantity equation to apply to the monetary base.  Scott Sumner responds here.  Empirically, the problem is to explain both Switzerland and the UK (some price inflation over five percent), not to cite one or the other.  I say that depends on what the central bank/government wants, not time consistency issues by the way. 6. Does the plasticity of human natu...more

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  • The Big Picture

    Sony Hack

    Yes, the hack was a criminal attack. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve been laughing over the revelations, while I’m not crying over the racist comments. The truth is these Hollywood mavens think they’re better than us. And they can’t stop crying about piracy, can’t stop bitching that someone moved their cheese, all the while believing they’re entitled to their millions because they’ve been anointed with “special juice,” that gives them divine insight into America’s entertainment wants. Hell, if the entire Sony studio caved in, our culture would be none the worse. But it’s the racist comments that bug me. We’ve got a Supreme Court which declares racism is over, with voting rights law...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    More Macro Modeling Meta

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Guy Vidra's Open Letter to "New Republic" Readers

    Guy Vidra: Open Letter to New Republic Readers: "I started my career in journalism... ...My first job out of college was as a junior editor for a small publication in Dublin, Ireland. When I moved back to the United States, I worked as a copy editor for a company many do not remember today called Bridge News. At the time, Bridge was one of the largest financial news providers in the world but was quickly displaced by a faster moving competitor, Bloomberg. It was the first of many times in my career when I witnessed a traditional media outlet upended by a new competitor on the landscape. My career has provided me with the privilege of working with some of the world’s best publishers. I have sat beside talented writers and editors and share their dedication t...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Chinese media on *The Interview*

    Here are the last few paragraphs from Global Times: The US society stands on the upper stream of global competition of culture. It needs to show some good manners instead of being too aggressive. The American elites should not just speak like gentlemen, but behave like them. The biggest motive for Sony Pictures may be the box office, by putting out a sensational story. However, if the movie really was shown on a large scale, it would further upset the already troubled US-North Korea ties. Some people in the US have complained that China has been suppressing Hollywood’s freedom of creativity through economic power. Actually China should further stick to principles when dealing with Hollywood. Apparently, it is easier to show them the economic consequences than tryi...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Slave to a Myth

    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education; (thanks to Lyle Albaugh and George Leef for alerting me to this Beckert essay) : Sven Beckert struggles to portray slavery as essential to the origins of capitalism (“Slavery and Capitalism,” Dec. 12).  His core argument, it seems, boils down to this: slavery existed at the time of the industrial revolution; textile production was the leading activity of that revolution; textile mills used lots of “cheap, slave-grown cotton” from the U.S.; therefore, slavery was necessary for the creation of capitalism. Problems aplenty infect Prof. Beckert’s narrative, but none more fatally than his presumption that using slaves to grow cotton made that commodity especially “cheap” (and, thus,...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    The Oz Effect

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Weekend Reading: Karl Whelan: Thoughts on “Teaching Economics After the Crash”

    Karl Whelan: Thoughts on “Teaching Economics After the Crash”: "This is a long post on the state of economics... ...and how it is taught to undergraduates. The world is not crying out for another such discussion, so blame Tony Yates, via whom I ended up listening to Aditya Chakrabortty’s documentary ‘Teaching Economics After the Crash’ for BBC Radio 4. Like Tony, I viewed the programme as a hopelessly one-sided critique of the economics profession. Still, it was useful in the sense that it packed all the regular criticisms about economics into one short piece. I agree with most of what Tony wrote but I want to take a different approach because I think it’s worth engaging a bit more positively with the criticisms raised. My sense is that a lar...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 401 Institutions

    This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.Here is the unofficial problem bank list for Dec 19, 2014. Changes and comments from surferdude808: The OCC released an update on its latest enforcement action activity that contributed to many changes to the Unofficial Problem Bank List this week. Also, the FDIC closed a bank this Friday in what will likely will be the last closure of the year. In all, there were nine removals and four additions that leave the list with 401 institutions with assets of $125.1 billion. A year ago, the list held 633 institutions with assets of $216.7 billion. Assets on the list increased by $1.2 billion this week and one would have to go all the way back about two years to the week ending November 16, 2012 f...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Best of Book Bits 2014 (Part II)

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Quotation of the Day…

    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 120 of the third edition (2015) of my colleagues Tyler Cowen’s and Alex Tabarrok’s microeconomics textbook, Modern Principles: Microeconomics: How is order produced from freedom of choice?  That is a scientific mystery, and prices are the biggest clue to the solution.  Prices do much more than tell people how much they must shell out for a burger and fries.  Prices are incentives, prices are signals, prices are predictions….  A price is a signal wrapped up in an incentive. People who advocate government controls on prices (such as rent-control and minimum wages) – and controls on activities (such as speculation) that cause prices to more accurately reflect underlying economic realities – do not unde...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 12/20/14

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Liveblogging World War II: December 20, 1944: The Radio News

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  • The Big Picture

    10 Weekend Reads

    Good Saturday morning. Pour yourself a strong cup of joe, and settle in for our longer form, weekend reads: • What Happened When Marissa Mayer Tried to Be Steve Jobs (NYT Magazine) • China is Planning to Purge Foreign Technology and Replace With Homegrown Suppliers  (Bloomberg) • The most powerful financial regulators in the world — and they never asked for the job (Medium) • Why the Oil Rout Has Spread Economists See Benefits of Cheaper Oil. But Before the Gain, Markets Feel the Pain (WSJ) • Can the stock market save millennials? ‘Depression babies’ must not run away from investing in stocks because it is their safest long-term bet, says Patrick O’Shaughnessy, the author of Millennial Money (The Guardian) • Playing Chicken: Antibiotics ma...more

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    For Real Estate, The Winter Is Coming

    It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “Orlando is primed to see an exodus of investors who bought thousands of houses in the area during the downturn, according to RealtyTrac. Winter Park real-estate agent David Welch has helped cash investors purchase Orlando-area houses in recent years. He said that so far, few have started to sell off their assets, but that prospect looms large. ‘It was great having them come in and grab these things, but at some point they’re going to want to divest themselves,’ Welch said. The investors aren’t likely to collaborate on how they sell off their properties, so it’s uncertain how the market will be affected, Welch added.” “Wielding the biggest clout among the investor-owne...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Parallel Sovereignty on Rose Street in Baltimore

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for December 20, 2014

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

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  • Economist's View

    Links for 12-20-14

    The Simple Analytics of Monetary Impotence (Wonkish) - Paul Krugman Karl Whelan: Teaching Economics After the Crash - Brad DeLong How a 2% Inflation Target Became Global Economic Gospel - NYTimes 5 Reasons for the Slow Recovery in Long-Term Unemployment - WSJ The Widespread Decline in Involuntary Part-Time Work - macroblog Coordination, Efficiency, and the Coase Theorem - Rajiv Sethi Piketty Sticks to Wealth Tax Proposal, Sees Positive Signs - WSJ Helicopter money is normal, or else we're doomed! - Nick Rowe Fed’s Kocherlakota: Fed Policy Creating Downside Risks For Inflation - WSJ 30% of the Euro Area HICP basket is now in outright deflation - Bruegel.org Peston’s Mr Market, Krugman and Wren-Lewis’ Dr Pangloss - longandvariable Switzerland and the Inflation ...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Reality-Based?

    (Don Boudreaux) At the same time that I was writing this blog post earlier today, one of the quack healers mentioned in that post held a press conference, it would seem, for the purpose of supplying evidence in support of the point of that post.  Here’s a slice from the Wall Street Journal‘s analysis of a choice part of that press conference: Mr. Obama’s market analysis is more remarkable and worth quoting at length: “So there’s no—I won’t say ‘no’—there is very little impact, nominal impact, on U.S. gas prices—what the average American consumer cares about—by having this pipeline come through. And sometimes the way this gets sold is, let’s get this oil and it’s going to come here. And the implication is, is that’s going to lowe...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Celebrities on the Oxford comma

    My friend Bill Klein sent me this fascinating link. What surprises me is that some of these celebrities even know what the Oxford commas is (although perhaps they cheated). [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Yours Truly Quoted by James Stewart in the NY Times re Insider Trading

    From the NYT: Added Stephen M. Bainbridge, an insider trading expert at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law: “It’s always been a problem to gerrymander insider trading into... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    The polls tell us America is a Christian nation, with a Republican, Creationist, pro-torture heartland

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  • Paul Krugman

    Friday Night Music: The Roches, Winter Wonderland

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  • All HW content

    America’s housing market value soars to $27.5 trillion

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  • All HW content

    Minecraft creator outbids Beyoncé and Jay Z for home

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  • All HW content

    Accenture: 3 big predictions for mortgage lending next year

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  • Economist's View

    Regulation of the Financial Industry

    Is the financial industry is winning the war over regulation?: Volcker lambasts Wall Street lobbying, FT: Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman, has lambasted the "eternal lobbying" of Wall Street after regulators granted the industry more time to comply with a rule designed to prevent them from owning hedge funds. In a withering statement ... Mr Volcker said: “It is striking, that the world's leading investment bankers, noted for their cleverness and agility in advising clients on how to restructure companies and even industries however complicated, apparently can't manage the orderly reorganization of their own activities in more than five years.” “Or, do I understand that lobbying is eternal, and by 2017 or beyond, the expectation...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Is America a Christian nation?

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Chicago Fed Nat’l Activity Index: Nov 2014 Preview

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  • The Capital Spectator

    ETF Performance Review: Major Asset Classes | 19 Dec 2014

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  • Beat the Press

    If You Can Find a Way to Show Middle Income Families Are Gaining, the Washington Post Will Give You Lots of Coverage

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  • macroblog

    Exploring the Increasingly Widespread Decline in Involuntary Part-Time Work

    We at the Atlanta Fed have been arguing for some time that the unusually large number and share of workers employed part-time but wanting full-time work (counted in the Current Population Survey as part-time for economic reasons, or PTER) partly reflects slack in the labor market that is not reflected in the official unemployment statistics. We are in good company. Chair Yellen reiterated this view in her prepared remarks during Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee press conference. The good news is that the stock of PTER workers has declined by around 900,000 during the last year compared with a decline of fewer than 200,000 in 2013. Moreover, the CPS data suggest the decline is primarily because these workers have either found full-time work or are no longer w...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Looking for teaching materials on Citizens United and B Corps

    I want to include modules on Citizens United (personhood) and B Corps/L3Cs in my corporate social responsibility course new spring. Anybody got some? [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Econbrowser

    Guest Contribution: “Why Are So Many Commodity Prices Down in the US… Yet Up in Europe?”

    Today we are fortunate to have a guest contribution written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at Harvard University, and former Member of the Council of Economic Advisers, 1997-99. Oil prices plummeted 43% during the course of 2014 – good news for oil-importing countries, but bad news for Russia, Nigeria, Venezuela, and other oil exporters. Some attribute the price drop to the US shale-energy boom. Others cite OPEC’s failure to agree on supply restrictions. But that is not the whole story. The price of iron ore is down, too. So are gold, silver, and platinum prices. And the same is true of sugar, cotton, and soybean prices. In fact, most dollar commodity prices have fallen since the beginning of the year. Though a host of sector-...more

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  • Beat the Press

    A Bit More on Chronic Lyme Disease: Scientists Ignoring the Science

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  • Beat the Press

    Schumer Should Focus on Keeping Government from Redistributing Income Upward

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    California November home sales slowest since November 2007: Year-over-year sales are down 8 percent and market grinds to low volume as year closes.

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Quick FOMC Recap

    Running short on time today.... Today's FOMC statement was a reminder that in normal times the Federal Reserve moves slowly and methodically. Policymakers were apparently concerned that removal of "considerable time" by itself would prove to be disruptive. Instead, they opted to both remove it and retain it: Based on its current assessment, the Committee judges that it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy. The Committee sees this guidance as consistent with its previous statement that it likely will be appropriate to maintain the 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable time following the end of its asset purchase program in October, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Commit...more

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  • Robert Reich

    The Coin of the Realm: How Inside Traders Are Rigging America

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Elizabeth Warren And The Independent Community Bankers of America Are Right: Antonio Weiss Should Not Become Undersecretary for Domestic Finance

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – December 17 2014

    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) decreased 5 basis points to 3.97% since last week while the purchase application volume declined 7% and the refinance application volume w...more

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  • Econbrowser

    Russia: Seems Like Old Times

    As I watch the financial meltdown in Russia (and work on a chapter on financial crises), I am pervaded by a sense of déjà vu. As Paul Krugman notes, the unfolding of the crisis is not mysterious, although the timing — and ferocity — is somewhat unexpected. Figure 1 depicts the collapse in the ruble even as the policy rate is hiked up, an astounding 6.5% yesterday. Figure 1: USD/RUB exchange rate (blue, left scale), seven day repo rate, % (red, right scale). Vertical dashed line at 17 July 2014. A rise in the exchange rate is a rouble appreciation. Source: Pacific exchange service, Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Foreign exchange reserves are being depleted at a rapid pace, even as intervention ceases. Figure 2: Russian Federation f...more

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    The Affair

    The best new TV show this year, at least among those I have seen, is Showtime's The Affair. It is a compellingly written and acted drama and crime story told, alternately, from two perspectives. If you want to check out the first episode, you can do so here. (One of the lead actors is Dominic West, who played McNulty in The Wire, another of the all-time great TV shows.)...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    New Residential Construction Report: November 2014

    Today’s New Residential Construction Report showed notable declines to both permits and starts with total permit activity declining a notable 5.2% since October while total starts declined 1.6% over the same period.Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, declined 1.2% from October to 639K single family units (SAAR), and declined 0.9% below the level seen in November 2013 and still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005. ...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Homebuilder Blues: NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Ratings December 2014

    Yesterday, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that assessments of housing activity went flat in December with the composite HMI index falling slightly to 57 from 58 the prior month while the "buyer traffic" index remained at a level of 45. ...more

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    From the Harvard Holiday/Skit Party

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  • Econbrowser

    Guest Contribution: “Transparency and the Global Transmission of Financial Shocks”

    Today we are fortunate to have a guest contribution written by Luis Brandão-Marques, Senior Economist, Gaston Gelos, Chief of the Global Financial Stability Analysis Division, and Natalia Melgar, Economist, all at the IMF. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management. Country transparency and capital flows The ongoing debate on the normalization of U.S. monetary policy has renewed interest in understanding how financial shocks get transmitted from the financial centers to the rest of the world, in particular to emerging markets. In this context, it is often asserted that more country-level transparency—the availability of information to properly assess risks and returns as...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    IP, Russia

    The string of solid US economic news continued with industrial production advancing 1.3% in November. Year-over-year growth (5.2%) is now comparable to the late-90's: Meanwhile, the international fallout from the oil price drop continues. Russia is a classic emerging market crisis story. The decline in energy prices reveals a currency mismatch between assets and liabilities. The decline in oil dries up the dollars needed to support those liabilities, so the value of the ruble is bid down as market participants scramble for dollars. One suspects that capital flight from Russia only aggravates the problem; those oligarchs are seeing their fortunes whither. Currency plummets, aggravating the cycle. The sanctions were the beginning of this crisis, the oil price shock the ...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Real Homes of Genius: $100k homes in Compton. Time to shop for deals in L.A. County if you don’t mind brown lawns and a touch of metal bars on the windows.

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    More Questions for Yellen

    FOMC meeting this week. We all pretty much know the lay of the land. "Considerable time" is on the table, and whether it stays or goes is a close call. The existence of the press conference this week argues for the change over just waiting until January. Stupid reason, I know, but we are just playing the Fed's game here.  No real reason not to wait until January other than to keep a March rate hike in play, but only a few policymakers are seriously looking at March anyway.  Uncertainty regarding the financial market impact of the oil price drop and its subsequent impact on credit markets seems sufficient to stay the Fed's hand - but they may be hesitant to appear reactive to every dip in financial markets.  If the statement is changed, they will probably replace "c...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Citigroup Will Be Broken Up

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Inflation Targeting's Big Wrinkle

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Why Millennials are stuck living at home with parents: The impact on first time home buying, renting, and the 2015 housing market. Big jump in foreign EB-5 visas.

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Don’t Repeal Swaps Push-Out Requirements (Section 716 of Dodd-Frank)

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Institutional Money Asset Growth Remains Weak and It Matters

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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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  • Robert Reich

    Wall Street's Democrats

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  • macroblog

    And the Winner Is...Full-Time Jobs!

    Each month, the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) surveys about 60,000 households and asks people 15 years and older whether they are employed and, if so, if they are working full-time or part-time. The BLS defines full-time employment as working at least 35 hours per week. This survey, referred to as both the Current Population Survey and the Household Survey, is what produces the monthly unemployment rate, labor force participation rate, and other statistics related to activities and characteristics of the U.S. population. For many months after the official end of the Great Recession in June 2009, the Household Survey produced less-than-happy news about the labor market. The unemployment rate didn't start to decline until October 2009, a...more

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Monday Morning 'Money Still Matters' Round Up

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  • macroblog

    The Long and Short of Falling Energy Prices

    Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal asked the $1.36 trillion question: Lower Gas Prices: How Big A Boost for the Economy? We will take that as a stand-in for the more general question of how much the U.S. economy stands to gain from a drop in energy prices more generally. (The "$1.36 trillion" refers to an estimate of energy spending by the U.S. population in 2012.) It's nice to be contemplating a question that amounts to pondering just how good a good situation can get. But, as the Journal blog item suggests, the rising profile of the United States as an energy producer is making the answer to this question more complicated than usual. The data shown in chart 1 got our attention: As a fraction of total investment on nonresidential structures, spending on ...more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    If you think we're post-racial, read the lead article from the November 2014 American Economic Review

    Alesina and La Ferrara conclude:This paper proposes a test for racial bias in capital sentencing in the US over the period 1973-1995. We use the share of judicial errors in rst degree sentencing as an indicator of racial bias of such courts. Using an originally collected dataset, we uncover a bias against minority defendants killing white victims. The bias is present, according to our test, only in Southern States. More precisely, according to our interpretation rst degree courts tend to place less weight on the possibility of condemning an innocent in cases of minority defendants with one or more white victims relative to minority defendants who did not kill whites. The same does not hold for white defendants. This result is not explaine...more

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  • Robert Reich

    Patrolling the Boundaries Inside America

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    October 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    Jung Hyun Choi and I write about Income Inequality across Cities.

    We will be presenting at APPAM:This paper investigates why the level of income inequality differs across U.S. cites. We alsoexplore why some cities experienced faster increases in the level of inequality than others.Using the Decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS) from 1980 to 2011,we explore whether the disparities in the level and the changes in the level of inequality canbe explained by MSA characteristics, including labor market conditions, skill distribution,residential mobility, racial concentration, industrial composition and unionization. We alsoexamine how state level policies such as unemployment insurance benefits and minimumwage level is associated with income inequality.Our findings hows that negative labor market conditions, concentration...more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    How people who can't do math get shafted.

    I have a car (an Accord, if you must know) that is 17 months old.  When I bought the car, the dealer offered me a car loan at 0 percent interest for 36 months, so I took it.  Even in the world of very low discount rates, accepting the loan allowed me to get a further small effective discount on the car.The dealer called me today, saying I could trade the car in for a new car and not increase my payment; the payment would simply reset for 36 months.  I told him I needed to do a little math before calling him back.  The math I did was as follows:Value of Old Car from Kelly Blue Book + PV of 36 months of payments = Cost of New Car.Cost of New Car - Edmunds Value of New Car = $6000.Yes, the dealer was trying to fool me into paying $6000 for...nothin...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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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Services, manufacturing, and new growth strategies

    I gave a talk yesterday on New Growth Strategies at the World Bank, which was more or less an elaboration of this short piece. I argued that industrialization had pretty much run out of steam as a growth strategy, that services would need to be the focus going forward, and that this required in turn a different policy mindset about how to increase productivity. In particular, I argued that policies focusing on generating a sequence of sectoral “winners,” which worked so  well in manufacturing (garments to car seats to cars to electronics), would have much smaller payoff in services, in view of the non-tradability of most service segments. I suggested further that, even under the best of circumstances, a services-oriented strategy would yield lower growth than ...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    September 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    The Return of Voodoo Economics

    Paul Krugman’s column in the New York Times today talked of the revival of “Voodoo economics” by some Republican politicians.  This refers to the Laffer Proposition that a cut in income tax rates stimulates economic activity so much that tax revenue goes up rather than down.   Gov. Sam Brownback, who is running for re-election in Kansas, has had to confront the reality that tax revenues went down, not up as he argued they would, when he cut state tax rates. I disagree with one thing that Krugman wrote in his column: the idea that there was a long break,  particularly after George W. Bush took office, during which Republican politicians did not push this line.  To the contrary, I have collected many quotes from George W. Bush and his top officials claiming the...more

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    Piketty’s Fence

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

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    August 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Back to sanity on economic convergence

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

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

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

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

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    My moonlighting career of the last 4 years

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

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  • 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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Emre Deliveli The Kapali Carsi

Emre Deliveli is a freelance consultant, part-time lecturer in economics and columnist. Previously, Emre worked as economist for Citi Istanbul, covering Turkey and the Balkans. He was previously Director of Economic Studies at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey in Ankara and has has also worked at the World Bank, OECD, McKinsey and the Central Bank of Turkey. Emre holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale University and undertook his PhD studies at Harvard University, in Economics.

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