EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    United States

  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    What THEY Cover Up: Live from La Farine CCXXXI: August 1, 2014

    Moe Lane: HA! My Secret Map made the Tor.com blog!:

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  • The Big Picture

    The Growth Impact of Discretionary Fiscal Policy Measures

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  • The Big Picture

    The Ins and Arounds in the U.S. Housing Market

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    American firms are aging too

    The share of firms aged 16 years or more was 23 percent in 1992, but leaped to 34 percent by 2011—an increase of 50 percent in two decades. The share of private-sector workers employed in these mature firms increased from 60 percent to 72 percent during the same period. Perhaps most startling, we find that employment and firm shares declined for every other firm age group during this period. We explore three potential contributing factors driving the increasing share of economic activity occurring in older firms, and find that a secular decline in entrepreneurship is playing a major role. We also believe that increasing early-stage firm failure rates might be a growing factor. From Ian Hathaway and Robert E. Litan, there is more here. ...more

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Liveblogging World War I: August 1, 1914: Failing to Shy at the Jump

    Christopher Clark: The Sleepwalkers: On 31 July, after further wavering over military measures, news arrived from Ambassador Pourtalès in Moscow that the Russians had ordered total mobilization from midnight on the previous evening. The Kaiser now ordered by telephone that the SIDW be declared, and the order was issued to the armed forces by Falkenhayn at 1.00 p.m. on 31 July. The responsibility for mobilizing first now lay squarely with the Russians, a matter of some importance to the Berlin leadership, who were concerned, in the light of pacifist demonstrations in some of the German cities, that there should be no doubt about the defensive character of Germany’s entry into war.... During a meeting at which War Minister Falkenhayn was present, Wilhelm gave a...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 8/1/14

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for August 1, 2014

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

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  • Economist's View

    Paul Krugman: Knowledge Isn’t Power

    "Are we as societies even capable of taking good policy advice?": Knowledge Isn’t Power, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: ...I’ve been looking at surveys from the Initiative on Global Markets, based at the University of Chicago. For two years, the initiative has been regularly polling a panel of leading economists... It usually turns out that there is much less professional controversy about an issue than the cacophony in the news media might have led you to expect. This was certainly true of the most recent poll, which asked whether the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — the Obama “stimulus” — reduced unemployment. All but one of those who responded said that it did, a vote of 36 to 1. ...  As it happens, the odd man out — li...more

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  • Economist's View

    Links for 8-01-14

    Why one editor won't run any more op-eds by Moore - CJR The Increasing Dominance of Older Firms - Brookings Institution The Too-Big-to-Fail Subsidy Distraction - Rortybomb Is Living on the Dole Bad for You? - Brad DeLong Summer 2014 Journal of Economic Perspectives - Tim Taylor Economic Dynamism and Productivity Growth - Growth Economics The Tale Of Two Middle Classes - Branko Milanovic Surprisingly high non-success? - Bill Sundstrom Too Much At Stake: Moving Ahead with Energy Price Reforms - IMF Blog Truths and myths about the rise of part-time jobs - David Cay Johnston How Yellen Might Have Responded to Policy Rules Legislation - Econbrowser How Does Income Inequality Compare? - St. Louis Fed Why tax systems are trickier than Martian algebra - Tim Harford How Do ...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Humanity May Face Choice By 2040: Conventional Energy or Drinking Water

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  • naked capitalism

    GAO Report on Too Big to Fail Strives to Be All Things to All Observers

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Why is euro-area inflation so low?

    Sober Look has the numbers, for instance: The area’s CPI is now below 0.5% on a year-over-year basis. Yesterday we saw German CPI hit new lows (see chart) and Italy’s inflation rate is now hovering just above zero. What is the most economical model here?  The ECB invested in building up a lot of credibility in some areas, such as price level stability, but that means less credibility when it comes to pushing higher inflation.  So to get two percent inflation, perhaps the ECB has to genuinely and truly seek four percent inflation, because a big chunk of the market won’t believe they really want four percent.  Four will get them to two. The ECB in fact may be wishing for two percent price inflation and getting…less than that.  Which in turn con...more

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  • The Big Picture

    Blowing the Whistle on NSA Spying on Americans

    Before Snowden: The Whistleblowers Who Tried To Lift The Veil Source: NPR

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  • Beat the Press

    Larry Kotlikoff Tells Us Why We Should Not Use Infinite Horizon Budget Accounting

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  • Econbrowser

    Anti-Intellectualism in American Blogging

    With apologies to Richard Hofstadter. On reading “New Classical Kansas”, James Sexton comments: What? Log? Why Log? Why not just “economic activity”, whatever that is? Why all the babbling bs? ARIMA(1,1,1)? You believe that holds any meaning in relation to Kansas’ “economic activity”? Why? … Was there an expectation of huge growth in Kansas in response to the tax cuts? No. But, our unemployment is decidedly below the national average. You know, that’s like more people working and earning, and stuff. But, better, … well, worse in your point-of-view, people get to actually keep more of what they earned. This is an end, in and of itself. Kansas is fine. And, it will be more fine, because people get to keep what they earned, and are not ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Friday: Jobs, Autos, ISM Manufacturing and More

    From Goldman Sachs economist Sven Jari Stehn: July Payroll Preview We expect a 235,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls and a one tenth drop in the unemployment rate to 6.0%. As far as payrolls are concerned, our forecast would be a solid gain but at a pace slightly below that seen over the past few months. While a number of labor market indicators improved slightly in July (including jobless claims, the business survey employment components and household job market perceptions), other considerations point to a deceleration in the pace of employment creation (including a slowdown in ADP employment growth, softer online job advertising, higher layoffs and the composition of the June payroll gain).Friday:• At 8:30 AM ET, the Employment Report for July. The consensus is for ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Preview: Employment Report for July

    Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for July. The consensus, according to Bloomberg, is for an increase of 233,000 non-farm payroll jobs in July (range of estimates between 200,000 and 280,000), and for the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 6.1%.Note: The BLS reported 288,000 payroll jobs added in June with the unemployment rate at 6.1%. Here is a summary of recent data:• The ADP employment report showed an increase of 218,000 private sector payroll jobs in July. This was below expectations of 235,000 private sector payroll jobs added. The ADP report hasn't been very useful in predicting the BLS report for any one month, but in general, this suggests employment growth slightly below expectations.• The ISM manufacturing and non-manu...more

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  • All HW content

    Two Harbors brings $268 million prime jumbo RMBS to market

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    The Argentine Debt Litigation

    Alison Frankel has a very insightful post about how the looking Argentine debt default illustrates the limits of US courts to manage sovereign debt litigation: ... the hedge fund litigation with... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Fannie Mae: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined in June, Lowest since October 2008

    Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in June to 2.05% from 2.08% in May. The serious delinquency rate is down from 2.77% in June 2013, and this is the lowest level since October 2008. The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 5.59%.Last week, Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in June to 2.07% from 2.10% in May. Freddie's rate is down from 2.79% in June 2013, and is at the lowest level since January 2009. Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%. Note: These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure".Click on graph for larger imageThe Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate has fallen ...more

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  • All HW content

    Trulia posts 2Q14 net loss of $2.4M on rising revenues of $64.1M

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  • All HW content

    Ellie Mae 2Q14 earnings overcome outages

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  • Economist's View

    Fed Watch: On That ECI Number

    Tim Duy (see Dean Baker too): On That ECI Number: The employment cost index is bearing the blame for today's market sell-off. Sam Ro at Business Insider reports: ...traders agree that today's sell-off is probably due to one stat: the 0.7% jump in the employment cost index (ECI) in the second quarter. This number, which crossed at 8:30 a.m. ET, was a bit higher than the 0.5% expected by economists. And it represents a year-over-year growth rate of over 2%. It's a big deal, because it's both a sign of inflation and labor market tightness, two forces that put pressure on the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy sooner than later. The ECI gain was driven by the private sector (compensation for the public sector was up just 0.5%, same as the first q...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    On That ECI Number

    The employment cost index is bearing the blame for today's market sell-off. Sam Ro at Business Insider reports: ...traders agree that today's sell-off is probably due to one stat: the 0.7% jump in the employment cost index (ECI) in the second quarter. This number, which crossed at 8:30 a.m. ET, was a bit higher than the 0.5% expected by economists. And it represents a year-over-year growth rate of over 2%. It's a big deal, because it's both a sign of inflation and labor market tightness, two forces that put pressure on the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy sooner than later. The ECI gain was driven by the private sector (compensation for the public sector was up just 0.5%, same as the first quarter), and I would be cautious about reading too much into those ...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Economists sign petition asking Congress to contain fallout from Argentina debt ruling

    The notice is here, signers include Bob Solow and Dani Rodrik.  I agree with their arguments, and you will find my slightly different but still consistent earlier critique here.  Here is one bit from the press release: “It’s a widely shared opinion among economists that the court’s attempt to force Argentina into a default that nobody – not the debtor nor more than 90 percent of creditors – wants, is wrong and damaging,” said Mark Weisbrot, economist and Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, who helped circulate the letter. Matt Levine has a good post on the situation here. ...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Some Links

    (Don Boudreaux) This post by Cato’s Dan Ikenson on the U.S. Export-Import Bank is a bit wonky, but well worth your time to read if you’ve any serious interest in the argument over the reauthorization of that great geyser of cronyism.  Here’s Dan’s conclusion – compelling one, especially in light of the fact that politicians, unlike the market, care only about what is easily seen: There are hundreds and probably thousands of U.S. companies scattered over 189 industries that produce in the United States, employ American workers, pay federal, state, and local taxes, and contribute to the social fabric of the communities in which they operate, but are competitively disadvantaged by Ex-Im’s provision of low-rate financing to their foreign com...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    ISM Manufacturing Index: July 2014 Preview

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  • Econbrowser

    Guest Contribution: How Janet Yellen Might Have Responded to the Policy Rules Legislation

    Today, we’re fortunate to have Alex Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy, Assistant Professor of Economics at Lehigh University, David Papell and Ruxandra Prodan, respectively Professor and Clinical Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Houston, as Guest Contributors In a contentious hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reacted extremely negatively to the proposed “Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014”, introduced into Congress on July 7, which would require the Fed to adopt a policy rule. As reported in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal on July 16, she called the proposal a “grave mistake” which would “essentially undermine central bank independence.” In the next day...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Personal Consumption Expenditures: June 2014 Preview

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    A Big Rebound That Seems To Be Backfiring

    The Denver Post reports from Colorado. “Richmond American Homes is breaking new ground in its Peoria Place community — but not in a way that some real estate agents and buyers like. The new development’s homeowners association limits rentals to 15 percent of homes in the community. Homes rented out must be on two-year leases and the HOA board must approve any tenants. ‘I am in the information-technology industry, and at any time, the job market could change,’ said Scott Stevens, who signed on the dotted line to buy a home at Peoria Place in March. If he relocated for work, Stevens said he would want to return to metro Denver at some point, which renting out his home would allow him to do.” “During the housing downturn, many “a...more

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Thursday Watching Numbers Weblogging: Over at Equitable Growth

    A Note on the Shape of Yesterday's GDP Growth Number | Washington Center for Equitable Growth Nick Bunker: Durable Consumption and Economic Growth Nick Bunker: A History of Postwar U.S. Economic Growth ...more

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  • Beat the Press

    How Do You Spell "Inflation Hawks on the Warpath?" ECI

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Quotation of the Day…

    (Don Boudreaux) … is from Milton Friedman’s first Newsweek column – “Minimum-Wage Rates” – which appeared on September 26, 1966: I am convinced that the minimum-wage law is the most anti-Negro law on our statute books – in its effect not its intent. (The first part of Friedman’s quotation is unquestionably true.  The latter part might have been true by 1966, when Friedman wrote these words.  But the original intent of minimum-wage legislation was, if not explicitly anti-black, certainly unsavory.) If you mandate that Smith, if he chooses to deal with Jones, bestow more benefits on Jones than  Smith would otherwise bestow, you will reduce Smith’s eagerness to deal with Jones, or you will oblige Jones to give ...more

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  • Beat the Press

    Charles Lane Wants to Cut Social Security and Medicare

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Expecting To Make Money On The Sale

    CBS DFW reports from Texas. “Despite a nationwide decline of new homes sales, North Texas is once again serving as an exception to the trend. Tony Caballero, of Net Worth Realty, says people are outbidding one another to get into these houses. Caballero said, ‘Most people are paying 18 to 20 percent above market value just because there is no supply out there, and they want to buy a house and they can afford it.’” “He went on to say if there is a new home market problem in DFW, it is that there aren’t enough of them. Caballero added, ‘The labor can’t keep up with the demand. I mean they just can’t build them fast enough.’” The Dallas Business Journal. “Land investment firm Encore Land LLC, a division of Dallas-...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    US Nonfarm Private Payrolls: July 2014 Preview

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  • Fabius Maximus

    We love the Constitution yet hate our government. The past tells us why.

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Revisiting the Great Experiment of 2013

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    According to Its Text, It Benefits the Poor

    (Don Boudreaux) Congratulations are due to Zac Gochenour, who successfully defended his excellent dissertation on Monday afternoon in Carow Hall on George Mason University’s Fairfax campus.  Dr. Gochenour (who will soon start his career as an assistant professor at Western Carolina University) began his academic study of economics as an undergraduate at George Mason.  Bryan Caplan served as chairman of Zac’s dissertation committee; Pete Leeson and I had the honor of serving as the other two members of Zac’s committee. Zac’s dissertation is on the economics and political economy of immigration.  Here’s a brief passage from page 14 of chapter 2 – a chapter that details the history of efforts in the United States to restrict immigrati...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    Ending Prohibition 2.0

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    FOMC Statement

    At the conclusion of this week's FOMC meeting, policymakers released yet another statement that only a FedWatcher could love.  It is definitely an exercise in reading between the lines.  The Fed cut another $10 billion from the asset purchase program, as expected.  The statement acknowledged that unemployment is no longer elevated and inflation has stabilized.  But it is hard to see this as anything more that describing an evolution of activity that is fundamentally consistent with their existing outlook.  Continue to expect the first rate hike around the middle of next year; my expectation leans toward the second quarter over the third. The Fed began by acknowledging the second quarter GDP numbers: Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Renter nation: The 2000s are highlighting a big shift from homeownership to renting. The number of single family homes now used as rentals is at a record high.

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Will the NLRB's McDonald's Decision Affect How We Teach Agency Law?

    The agency chapter of the Business Associations casebook I co-author with Bill Klein and Mark Ramseyer relies heavily on cases involving franchise relationships. Is the franchisee an agent of the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    Useless Expertise

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  • Econbrowser

    Finally, some economic growth!

    The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that U.S. real GDP grew at a 4.0% annual rate in the second quarter. Hopefully that’s the start of something good; but so far, it’s only a start. U.S. real GDP growth at an annual rate, 1947:Q2-2014:Q2. Blue horizontal line is drawn at the historical average (3.1%). In part, the growth from Q1 to Q2 looked good because the level for Q1 was so bad. True, the BEA’s new estimate of Q1 growth (a 2.1% drop at an annual rate) was a little improvement over the -2.9% figure the BEA announced last month. But the revised estimates still imply a pathetic annual growth rate below 1% for the first half of the year. And true also, the BEA revised up the estimates for 2013, so that the last 4 quarters clocked a more re...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    Stealth Single Payer

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Myths about the Vietnam War laid the foundation for our Forever War

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Biden: "I Should Have Had One Republican Kid To Go Out And Make Money"

    The Washington Free Beacon reports that Vice President Joseph Biden made his audience “burst into laughter” at the Urban League gathering in Cincinnati when he cracked “I should have had one... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    Interview with Larry Summers

    In The New Republic.

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  • Fabius Maximus

    The teaching of ignorance: what nation most contributed to the defeat of Germany in 1945?

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    The Other Important Legacy of World War One

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Pending Home Sales: June 2014

    Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for June showing that pending home sales declined with the seasonally adjusted national index falling 1.1% from May and dropping 7.3% below the level seen in June 2013. Meanwhile, the NARs chief economist Lawrence Yun indicated that while current activity has improved overall, conditions are still challenging for potential home buyers."Activity is notably higher than earlier this year as prices have moderated and inventory levels have improved, ... However, supply shortages still exist in parts of the country, wages are flat, and tight credit conditions are deterring a higher number of potential buyers from fully taking advantage of lower interest rates."The following chart shows ...more

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  • Robert Reich

    The Increasing Irrelevance of Corporate Nationality

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    What happens when investors pullback form the housing market? Cash sales volume down 21 percent in California year-over-year. Sales volume remains incredibly low as inventory builds up.

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    A Surprising Look Back at the Fed's QE Programs

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    New Home Sales: June 2014

    Today, the U.S. Census Department released its monthly New Residential Home Sales Report for June showing a notable decline with sales declining 8.1% from May falling 11.5% below the level seen in June 2013 remaining near an historically low level with 406K SAAR units. The monthly supply increased to 5.8 months while the median selling price increased 5.27% and the average selling price increased 8.27% from the year ago level. The following chart show the extent of sales decline to date (click for full-larger version). ...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    The drought of young California home buyers: Unaffordable housing reigns supreme as first time home buyers squeezed out of market. Of 7,000,000 completed foreclosures since 2005, 1 million occurred in California.

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    It Takes More than Two to Tango: Cry, But Not for Argentina, nor for the Holdouts

    U.S. federal courts have ruled that Argentina is prohibited from making payments to fulfill 2005 and 2010 agreements with its creditors to restructure its debt, so long as it is not also paying a few creditors that have all along been holdouts from those agreements.  The judgment is likely to stick, because the judge (Thomas Griesa, in New York) told American banks on June 27 that it would be illegal for them to transfer Argentina’s payments to the 92 per cent of creditors who agreed to be restructured and because the US Supreme Court in June declined to review the lower court rulings. It is hard to cry for Argentina or for its President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Nevertheless the ruling in favor of the holdouts is bad news for the international financial syst...more

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  • macroblog

    GDP Growth: Will We Find a Higher Gear?

    We are still more than a week away from receiving the advance report for U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) from April through June. Based on what we know to date, second-quarter growth will be a large improvement over the dismal performance seen during the first three months of this year. As of today, our GDPNow model is reading an annualized second-quarter growth rate at 2.7 percent. Given that the economy declined by 2.9 percent in the first quarter, the prospects for the anticipated near-3 percent growth for 2014 as a whole look pretty dim. The first-quarter performance was dominated, of course, by unusual circumstances that we don't expect to repeat: bad weather, a large inventory adjustment, a decline in real exports, and (especially) an unexpected decline in hea...more

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    What makes a good economist?

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    The Chicago Fed National Activity Index: June 2014

    The latest release of the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (CFNAI) indicated that the national economic activity weakened in June with the index falling to a very weak level of 0.12 from a level of 0.16 in May while the three month moving average worsened to a weak level of 0.13. 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 ...more

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  • macroblog

    Part-Time for Economic Reasons: A Cross-Industry Comparison

    With employment trends having turned solidly positive in recent months, attention has focused on the quality of the jobs created. See, for example, the different perspectives of Mortimer Zuckerman in the Wall Street Journal and Derek Thompson in the Atlantic. Zuckerman highlights the persistently elevated level of part-time employment—a legacy of the cutbacks firms made during the recession—whereas Thompson points out that most employment growth on net since the end of the recession has come in the form of full-time jobs. In measuring labor market slack, the part-time issue boils down to how much of the elevated level of part-time employment represents underutilized labor resources. The U-6 measure of unemployment, produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Sta...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    June 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Robert Reich

    The Rise of the Non-Working Rich

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Yellen Testimony

    Fed Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified before the Senate today, presenting remarks generally perceived as consistent with current expectations for a long period of fairly low interest rates.  Binyamin Applebaum of the New York Times notes: Ms. Yellen’s testimony is likely to reinforce a sense of complacency among investors who regard the Fed as convinced of its forecast and committed to its policy course. She reiterated the Fed’s view that the economy will continue to grow at a moderate pace, and that the Fed is in no hurry to start increasing short-term interest rates. A key reason that Yellen is in no hurry to tighten is her clear belief that an accommodative monetary policy is warranted given the persistent damage done by the recession: Although the econom...more

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    Commodity Money

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  • macroblog

    Introducing the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow Forecasting Model

    The June 18 statement from the Federal Open Market Committee opened with this (emphasis mine): Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April indicates that growth in economic activity has rebounded in recent months.... Household spending appears to be rising moderately and business fixed investment resumed its advance, while the recovery in the housing sector remained slow. Fiscal policy is restraining economic growth, although the extent of restraint is diminishing. I highlighted the business fixed investment (BFI) part of that passage because it contracted at an annual rate of 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014. Any substantial turnaround in growth in gross domestic product (GDP) from its dismal first-quarter pace would seem to re...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    How to Get Thrown Out of a Luxury Hotel

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  • Robert Reich

    The Limits of Corporate Citizenship: Why Walgreen Shouldn't Be Allowed to Influence U.S. Politics If It Becomes Swiss

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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 Baseline Scenario

    Corporate Political Contributions and Bad Faith, Whatever That Is

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    May 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Larry Summers and Finance

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    The ECB’s Unprecedented Monetary Stimulus

    After the recent Draghi press conference announcing new measures to ease monetary policy in euroland, I responded to live questions from the Financial Times: “The ECB Eases,” podcast,  FT Hard Currency, June 5, 2014 (including regarding my proposal that the ECB should buy dollar bonds). And also to questions in writing from El Mercurio, June 5: • Many critics point that these measures do not solve the economic problems of the Eurozone and in that they only benefit the financial markets. Do you agree? JF: It is too much to expect monetary policy by itself to solve all the economic problems of the Eurozone. But I think the measures announced by the ECB today were steps in the right direction. Mario Draghi emphasized steps to facilitate the transmission...more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Joining Global Policy as general editor

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

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Erdogan’s Coup

    Daron Acemoglu wrote what seemed like a surprising upbeat piece on Turkish democracy a few days ago. His argument seems to be that democracy required power to be wrested away from the secularists who had erected authoritarian structures, and Erdogan had achieved that. Even though, Erdogan’s recent turn to authoritarianism is “lamentable,” it was, Acemoglu claims, a predictable stage in Turkey’s democratic transition. Once Erdogan is gone, the article implies, democracy would be on a stronger footing than ever. There were in fact many other paths that could have proved less costly. The more typical pattern is that the old elites reach a modus vivendi with the rising, popular forces that preserves some of their privileges in return for opening up (as happened in S...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    Shambling Towards Affordability: Housing Valuations Surpass Pre-Bubble Peak

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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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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    China Is Not Yet #1

    Widespread recent reports have trumpeted: “China to overtake US as top economic power this year.”  The claim is basically wrong. The US remains the world’s largest economic power by a substantial margin. The story was based on the April 29 release of a report from the ICP project of the World Bank: “2011 International Comparison Program Summary Results Release Compares the Real Size of the World Economies.”     The work of the International Comparison Program is extremely valuable.  I await eagerly their latest estimates every six years or so and I use them, including to look at China.  (Before 2005, the data collection exercise used to appear in the Penn World Tables.) The ICP numbers compare countries’ GDPs using PPP rates, rather than actual excha...more

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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Piketty Myopia

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

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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Big Data versus the SAT

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

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Sabbatical Notice

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

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    The Embargo of Cuba: Time to Go- Becker

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

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  • 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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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    Hannah Harris Green in The Guardian on Race, Crime and Television

    She writes:The First 48 is an A&E true crime reality show that documents real police investigations for the first 48 hours after a homicide report, including what happens inside interrogation rooms. If this sounds dangerous and ethically questionable, that's because it is. Police accidentally killed a child as A&E's cameras rolled, and a legally innocent man came to beknown as a murderer after of his appearance on the show. Catastrophes like these have led to lawsuits, and now many cities refuse to work with The First 48.......This portrayal is not representative of American crime statistics. Although homicide arrests are disproportionately high among African Americans, about the same total number of white people are arrested i...more

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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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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Live to Eat, Eat to Live

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

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow has issues with sifting and winnowing.

    A geography professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Rachel Slocum, made the mildly controversial point in an email to her students that Republicans in the House of Representatives had brought about the partial closure of the US government, and had therefore brought about the closure of the US Census web site.  This closure prevented her students from completing their assignments.  She never used abusive or offensive language.Her point raised howls among the conservative blogasphere and media; when confronted with this, her boss, UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow, publicly reprimanded her for expressing a factually based opinion to her class.  In my view, it was his job to back her--not to agree with her opinion, but rather to defend he...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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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    The Windy City and The Foggy City

    Hannah Green writes:ERNEST HEMINGWAY famously wrote of Paris, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." For half a century, Hemingway’s nostalgic vision of the city of lights has made undiscovered literary geniuses wish that they could be unemployed in Paris in the 1920s instead of unemployed wherever they live, now. Last year, Teju Cole’s debut novel, Open City, offered a different kind of literary city. The main character, Julius, who resembles Cole, wanders the streets of New York, conversing with the city’s residents and falling into reveries about music, history, and literature. Most of the people he speaks with are immigrants, ...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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  • The Street Light

    Government Job Destruction

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

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  • 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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Otaviano Canuto

Otaviano Canuto is Senior Advisor on BRICS Economies in the Development Economics Department, World Bank, a new position established by President Kim to bring a fresh research focus to this increasingly critical area. He also has an extensive academic background, serving as Professor of Economics at the University of Sao Paulo and University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil.

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