EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    United States

  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for August 27, 2014

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

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  • Economist's View

    Links for 8-27-14

    State Income Taxes Have Little Impact on Interstate Migration - CBPP This time is different, long-term unemployment edition - FT Alphaville Housing, Productivity, and Nerds - Growth Economics More Thoughts on Ending the Corporate Income Tax - Beat the Press When Advocating the End of Corporate Taxes,... - Jared Bernstein I still don't understand the philosophy of Bayesian probability - Noahpinion How the Fed’s Regional Structure Affects Monetary Policy - St. Louis Fed Employers Aren’t Just Whining – the “Skills Gap” Is Real - James Bessen New Business Establishments: The Shift to Existing Firms - Tim Taylor South Africa’s Subprime Crisis - NYTimes.com ...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Santa Cruz notes

    The town square is lovely, even though they removed the sloth for fear he would electrocute himself.  The population is friendly, the weather is perfect, and there are few sights.  Unlike in much of South America, danger is not a concern.  The small children who hang out in the central square seem to think that a full embrace of a pigeon is a good idea. The food  is excellent and yet you never hear about it.  Try El Aljibe for local specialties (peanut soup, or duck and corn risotto, with egg on top), and Jardin de Asia for Amazonian Andean Peruvian Japanese Bolivian fusion.  It is hard to find the Cochabamba version of Bolivian food that has made it over to the U.S.   The steak here is decent but not as good as Argentina or Brazil. The taxi equilibrium is that ...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Blog Roundup: Does Mario Draghi’s Speech at Jackson Hole Signal Policy Shifts?

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  • All HW content

    7 Signs you're ignoring TILA-RESPA

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  • naked capitalism

    Philip Pilkington: Econometricians, Financial Markets and Uncertainty – An Anthropological View

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  • Beat the Press

    Subverting the Inversions: More Thoughts on Ending the Corporate Income Tax

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  • Calculated Risk

    Zillow: Case-Shiller House Price Index expected to slow further year-over-year in July

    The Case-Shiller house price indexes for June were released this morning. Zillow has started forecasting Case-Shiller a month early - and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.   From Zillow: Case-Shiller Slowdown Forecasted to ContinueThe Case-Shiller data for June 2014 came out this morning, and based on this information and the July 2014 Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI, released August 21), we predict that next month’s Case-Shiller data (July 2014) will show that the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) 20-City Composite Home Price Index increased by 7.0 percent and the NSA 10-City Composite Home Price Index increased by 6.9 percent on a year-over-year basis. The seasonally adjusted (SA) month-over-month change from June to J...more

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  • The Big Picture

    Deflation Fears

    Deflation Fear David R. Kotok August 26, 2014     A worldwide deflation fear is expanding and may actually be rampant. BCA Daily Insights (August 25, 2014) notes that, out of 32 OEC countries, more than two-thirds have domestic inflation rates that fall short of 1%.” BCA analysts go on to argue that the worldwide inflation rate may converge to zero over the next couple of years. Debt markets currently reflect this fear. Here are examples of yields on the benchmark 10-year interest rate for sovereign debt. This is not about credit risk. This is about the risk that the global price-level change will approach or reach zero. 1.      United States 10-Year Treasury Yield, 2.4% 2.      Germany 10-Yield Bund Yield, under 1% 3.      Japanese 10-Year...more

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  • All HW content

    QC software just one component of a QC solution

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  • All HW content

    Rushmore Loan Management Services to open branch in Puerto Rico

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Teach the Timeless Verities

    (Don Boudreaux) In just over three hours I will meet for the first time my Fall 2014 ECON 103 students.  These are the 288 students – mostly 18-year-old freshmen who have, as of this moment, no earthly idea what economics is – who’ll file into room 80 (an auditorium) of Enterprise Hall at George Mason University to take from me the all-important Principles of Microeconomics course. I’m biased, of course.  (Who’s not?)  But I sincerely believe – believe to the point that I can say that I know – that principles of microeconomics is the most important economics course any student can ever take.  Ever.  By far.  If taught properly, and learned with an open and critical and attentive mind, a principles of microeconomics course...more

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    News from Amazon

    Source To users of my favorite textbooks: Thank you!  Have a great semester.

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  • Calculated Risk

    A few comments on the Seasonal Pattern for House Prices

    • Starting this month, S&P is releasing the Case-Shiller National Index on a monthly basis. This probably means most reporting of a "headline number" will be switched from the Case-Shiller Composite 20 to the National Index.• On a method to improve the seasonal factors, see Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko's article "Let’s Improve, Not Ignore, Seasonal Adjustment of Housing Data"There has always been a clear seasonal pattern for house prices, but the seasonal differences have been more pronounced since the housing bust.Even in normal times house prices tend to be stronger in the spring and early summer than in the fall and winter. Recently there has been a larger than normal seasonal pattern mostly because conventional sales are following...more

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  • The Big Picture

    10 Tuesday PM Reads

    My afternoon train readings: • Cutting the corporate tax would make other problems (The Upshot) see also The Republican civil war over taxes is coming (WonkBlog) • Financial Beliefs You Might Not Like (WSJ) • Active Versus Passive Is the Wrong Question (Morningstar) • More Economists See Fed Policy As Too Loose (Real Time Economics) • The Incomparable Advantage of Having to Work for What You Get (Mr. Money Mustache) • The mystery of the falling teen birth rate (Vox) • Why is Paul Ryan’s embarrassed by Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged? (Intelligencer) • There Are Millions of Michael Browns In America (FiveThirtyEight) • Facebook bans Clickbait: You’ll never guess what Facebook is cracking down on now (Re/Code) • I’m Chevy Cha...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Minimum Car Price

    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s an e-mail sent to me by Cafe patron Regan Taylor: Minimum wage logic: raising the minimum wage to (at least) $10.10/hr will be good for minimum wage workers. It will put more money in their pockets spurring economic growth. A few years ago, the federal govt bailed out General Motors. Instead of engaging in such a gross display of corporate welfare, why didn’t we just apply the same logic to help the auto giant? If raising the MW from $7.25 to $10.10 (a 39% increase) helps those who sell their labor at that price, why didn’t the govt pass a law that mandated that all auto firms raise the price of every car, van, SUV, and truck they sell by 39% also – or at least raise by 39% the price of their lowest-priced models? Is there ...more

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  • The Big Picture

    Student Loans Are Going to Crush the Economy! (No, they are not)

      Student loans are the next great subprime crisis! At least that’s what the usual purveyors of doom and gloom say (see this, this and this). The numbers are big, the default rates are high and soon enough this is going to tip the economy into the next crisis or recession. Not so fast, writes Torsten Slok, chief international economist for Deutsche Bank AG, in his forthcoming September chart-book continues here         ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Zillow: Negative Equity declines further in Q2 2014

    From Zillow: High Negative Equity Causing Generational Housing Gridlock According to the second quarter Zillow Negative Equity Report, the national negative equity rate continued to decline in 2014 Q2, falling to 17 percent, down 14.4 percentage points from its peak (31.4 percent) in the first quarter of 2012. Negative equity has fallen for nine consecutive quarters as home values have risen. However, more than 8.7 million homeowners with a mortgage still remain underwater emphasis added The following graph from Zillow shows negative equity by Loan-to-Value (LTV) in Q2 2014 compared to Q2 2013.Click on graph for larger image.From Zillow: Figure 6 shows the loan-to-value (LTV) distribution for homeowners with a mortgage in 2014 Q2 versus 2013 Q2. The bulk of underwa...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Import Competition and the Great U.S. Employment Sag of the 2000s

    In the new NBER paper on this topic by Daron Acemoglu, David Autor, David Dorn, Gordon H. Hanson, and Brendan Price, we see the evidence for this proposition piling up: Even before the Great Recession, U.S. employment growth was unimpressive. Between 2000 and 2007, the economy gave back the considerable gains in employment rates it had achieved during the 1990s, with major contractions in manufacturing employment being a prime contributor to the slump. The U.S. employment “sag” of the 2000s is widely recognized but poorly understood. In this paper, we explore the contribution of the swift rise of import competition from China to sluggish U.S. employment growth. We find that the increase in U.S. imports from China, which accelerated after 2000, was a major force behi...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Tuesday assorted links

    1. The FAA vs. model airplanes. 2. What it’s like to be in a plane crash. 3. Larry Summers on reading. 4. The eleven funniest papers in the history of economics?  How about that one that got published twice (identically) in the QJE? 5. Beware tall men. 6. Political diversity will improve social psychological science (pdf), coverage of that paper here. ...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Pejman Yousefzadeh: "This Blog Post Is Dedicated to Stephen Bainbridge"

    The “moral outrage over tax inversions” is feigned outrage. It is ginned up, fake, astroturfed outrage that will go away as soon as the midterm elections are over. via pejmanyousefzadeh.net [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Tuesday Declaration of Summer Book Review Bankruptcy

    At the start of summer I put a large pile of books on my desk. "I will write reviews of these this summer", I thought. "They all deserve to be reviewed, and it will be quick and easy to do". Not going to happen. I therefore declare book-review bankruptcy and formally and permanently disavow all intention of ever writing reviews of: ...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Obama's favorite billionaire to help finance Burger King tax inversion

    President Obama loves (or, at least, loves to use) Warren Buffett: First Lady Michelle Obama will jet off to Omaha, Nebraska, where she'll attend an Obama campaign fundraiser. Hosting the Omaha event... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Fulfilling A Duty to Expose Pompous Displays of Ignorance

    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to Sen. Sherrod Brown: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Capitol Hill Washington, DC Sen. Brown: You call on consumers to boycott Burger King for taking steps to keep its shareholders’ taxes as low as possible by moving its headquarters to Canada - that is, for responding predictably to incentives that you yourself, as a legislator, helped to create. First, you err in asserting that Burger King will “abandon” its American customers.  A company headquartered in Canada is no more likely to “abandon” paying customers in America than is a company headquartered in Kansas likely to abandon paying customers in Arkansas.  Indeed, with fewer of its profits siphoned off to fund the boondoggles that you and other membe...more

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  • Economist's View

    A Reason to Question the Official Unemployment Rate

    [Still on the road ... three quick ones before another long day of driving.] David Leonhardt: A New Reason to Question the Official Unemployment Rate: ...A new academic paper suggests that the unemployment rate appears to have become less accurate over the last two decades, in part because of this rise in nonresponse. In particular, there seems to have been an increase in the number of people who once would have qualified as officially unemployed and today are considered out of the labor force, neither working nor looking for work. The trend obviously matters for its own sake: It suggests that the official unemployment rate – 6.2 percent in July – understates the extent of economic pain in the country today. ... The new paper is a reminder that the unemployment rat...more

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  • Economist's View

    'Who Pays Corporate Taxes?'

    Justin Fox Who Pays Corporate Taxes? Possibly You: Who pays corporate income taxes? Just one thing’s for sure: it’s not corporations. ... For a long time it was thought the owners paid the tax. That belief can be traced largely to a classic 1962 theoretical analysis by economist Arnold Harberger... Harberger saw this as a bad thing. By taking money away from capital owners, the corporate income tax was depressing investment and distorting the economy. But for those more concerned with the distributional effects of taxation, Harberger’s model at least showed the burden landing on people who were wealthier than average. His theoretical model, however, assumed a closed economy... As the world’s economies became more intertwined in recent decades, economists —&#...more

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    An Interesting Ad-Lib from ECB Head Mario Draghi's Jackson Hole Speech: Morning Comment

    Joe Weisenthal notes Lorcan Roche Kelly of Agenda Research on an extended ad-lib in Mario Draghi's Jackson Hole speech. Ad lib emphasized; things in the text not mentioned struck through: Inflation has been on a downward path from around 2.5% in the summer of 2012 to 0.4% most recently. I comment on these movements about once a month in the press conference, and I have given several reasons for this downward path in inflation, saying it is because of food and energy price declines; because after mid-2012 it is mostly exchange rate appreciation that has impacted on price movements; more recently we have had the Russia-Ukraine geopolitical risks, which will also exert a negative impact on the euro area economy; and of course we had the relative price adjustment th...more

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  • Beat the Press

    How to Think About the Corporate Income Tax

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Is The US Stock Market Rally Built On Solid Ground?

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  • Fabius Maximus

    The long-simmering conflict in the Middle East breaks out, surprising US experts

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Liveblogging World War I: August 26, 1914: The Flames of Louvain

    From Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of August: On August 25 the burning of Louvain began. The medieval city on the road from Liège to Brussels was renowned for its University and incomparable Library, founded in 1426 when Berlin was a clump of wooden huts. Housed in the fourteenth century Clothworkers’ Hall, the Library included among its 230,000 volumes a unique collection of 750 medieval manuscripts and over a thousand incunabula. The façade of the Town Hall, called a “jewel of Gothic art,” was a stone tapestry of carved knights and saints and ladies, lavish even of its kind. In the church of St. Pierre were altar panels by Dierik Bouts and other Flemish masters. The burning and sack of Louvain, accompanied by the invariable shooting of civilians, lasted six da...more

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Snapshot: The Romance Only Works In A Rising Market

    The Daily Mail reports from the UK. “One in five of the 171,000 loans taken out in the second quarter of this year had a term of 30 years or longer, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Among first-time buyers the figure was even higher, at 28 per cent. Ray Boulger, of mortgage broker John Charcol, said: ‘Is there anything inherently wrong with 30-year mortgages? No, it depends on individual circumstances. The idea that a mortgage has to last 25 years is outmoded. Most people will be better off with a long-term loan, if the only alternative is renting.’” This is Money UK. “Falling temperatures have put summer on hold — and our overheated housing market is following suit, cooling so rapidly that thousands of sellers are slashing p...more

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  • Beat the Press

    NYT Has Determined That Brazil's Neo-Liberal Policies Were Necessary to Allow Growth

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 8/26/14

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for August 26, 2014

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

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  • Econbrowser

    I Killed Some Brain Cells Today: Episode 2

    “Energy regulation efficiency” and economic growth. Last time, we turned to the Phoenix Institute for some mind-numbing, soul-killing “research”. Today we look to the Pacific Research Institute for some dumbfounding “analysis”. This particular piece of research was brought to my attention by Patrick R. Sullivan, who is fond of quoting talking points from the MacIver Institute, the National Center for Policy Analysis, Cato, in addition to the Pacific Research Institute. The study in question purports to show: The most interesting relationship is between a state’s [energy regulation efficiency] ranking and its economic growth rate. High ranked states on average grow faster than those ranked low. Moreover, the higher rate of economic ...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Snarky law school tweets of the day

    Republican law profs cited more often than Dems. http://t.co/YVe1d9PYac So who's the stupid party now? — Stephen Bainbridge (@ProfBainbridge) August 25, 2014 As I read this study, a law dean who... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    Real Americans and Real Economics

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  • macroblog

    What Kind of Job for Part-Time Pat?

    As anyone who follows macroblog knows, we have been devoting a lot of attention recently to the issue of people working part-time for economic reasons (PTER), which means people who want full-time work but have not yet been able to find it. As of July 2014, the number of people working PTER stood at around 7.5 million. This level is down from a peak of almost 9 million in 2011 but is still more than 3 million higher than before the Great Recession. That doesn’t mean they won’t ever find full-time work in the future, but their chances are a lot lower than in the past. Consider Pat, for example. Pat was working PTER at some point during a given year and was also employed 12 months later. At the later date, Pat is either working full-time, still working PTER, ...more

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  • Robert Reich

    Back to School, and to Widening Inequality

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  • macroblog

    Seeking the Source

    As the early data on the third quarter begin to roll in, the (very tentative) conclusion is that nothing we know yet contradicts the consensus gross domestic product (GDP) forecast (from the Blue Chip panel, for example) of seasonally adjusted annualized Q3 growth in the neighborhood of 3 percent. The latest from our GDPNow model: The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2014 was 3.0 percent on August 19, up from 2.8 percent on August 13. The nowcast for inventory investment ticked up following the Federal Reserve's industrial production release on August 15 while the nowcast for residential investment growth increased following this morning's new residential construction release from the U.S. Census Bureau...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    Yellen, Wages, and Intellectual Honesty

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  • Paul Krugman

    Kingslayer Me

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  • Fabius Maximus

    The core of the climate debate: how much of the past warming did we cause?

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Q3:2014 US GDP Nowcast: +2.5% | 25 August 2014

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    About the Fed Not Trying Hard Enough To Hit Its Inflation Target

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Building for a future of American renting serfs: Private housing starts for structures with at least 5 units hits a post recession high. More than 11 million Americans spend more than 50 percent of income on rent

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  • Econbrowser

    What did quantitative easing accomplish?

    Roger Farmer has taken a new look at an issue concerning the Federal Reserve’s program of large-scale asset purchases (referred to in the popular press as “quantitative easing”) that I’ve been discussing on Econbrowser and in my research with University of Chicago Professor Cynthia Wu for some time. One theory of how LSAP might affect interest rates is that if the Fed takes a large enough volume of long-term securities out of the hands of private investors, the drop in net supply could in principle lower the yields on those securities. In the years since the collapse of Lehman in September 2008, the Fed’s total assets more than quadrupled, and the Fed’s share of the total Treasury debt that was held in the form of longer-term securi...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    “Edge of Tomorrow”: Cruise, Again and Again

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    What To Make of Corporate Tax Inversions

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

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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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  • The Capital Spectator

    Book Bits | 23 August 2014

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  • Econbrowser

    New Quarterly Gross State Product Series: Wisconsin and Minnesota

    The BEA has released a new quarterly Gross State Product (GSP) series for states — a tremendous innovation for those of us interested in tracking state economies. One interesting comparison is Minnesota vs. Wisconsin. With GSP data, one can look at the ratio of per capita income expressed in Chained 2009$ (rather than the ratio of indices, as I have been doing using the Philadephia Fed data, e.g., [1]). Here is the log ratio: Figure 1: Log ratio of GSP per capita of Minnesota to Wisconsin (blue) and five quarter centered moving average (red). GSP in Ch.2009$, SAAR; population is annual resident population, interpolated using quadratic match average. Source: BEA, FRED, and author’s calculations. Notice that Minnesota starts moving up and away from Wisconsin...more

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Talking About the Past Five Years

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Real Homes of Genius: A search for small homes in Culver City. High prices for 700 and 800 square feet of stucco box joy.

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – August 20 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 6 basis points to 4.15% since last week while the purchase application volume decreased 0.4% and the refinance application volum...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

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

    Recently, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that assessments of housing activity improved notably in August with the composite HMI index climbing to 55 from 53 the prior month while the "buyer traffic" index rose to a level of 42.Looking at the data, its pretty clear that while there was a bit of a pullback in activity earlier in the year, homebuilder sentiment and, in particular, assessments of buyer activity have improved. ...more

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    Teaching Conference

    I will be speaking at the annual conference of the National Economics Teaching Association, which this year is being held on Thursday, November 6th and Friday, November 7th, 2014 in San Diego, CA.  If you want to consider attending, click here for more information. You can potentially win a free trip to the conference, as well as some cash, by entering this contest....more

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  • macroblog

    Are You Sure We're Not There Yet?

    In recent macroblog posts, our colleagues Dave Altig and John Robertson have posed the questions Getting There? and Are We There Yet?, respectively. "There" in these posts refers to "full employment." Dave and John conclude that while we may be getting there, we're not there yet. Not everyone agrees with that assessment, of course. Among the recent evidence some observers cite in defense of an approaching full-employment and growing wage pressures is the following chart. It shows a rather strong correlation between survey data from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) on the proportion of firms planning to raise worker compensation over the next three months and lagged wage and salary growth (see the chart). (This recent post from the Dismal Scient...more

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  • Robert Reich

    The Disease of American Democracy

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Will the young buy homes? Student loans holding some young buyers back and household formation remains weak in the face of stagnant incomes.

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    The Secular Stagnation Bug is Spreading at the Fed

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Retail Sales: July 2014

    Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest nominal read of retail sales  showing modest activity in July with sales going flat from June and rising 3.7% on a year-over-year basis on an aggregate of all items including food, fuel and healthcare services. Nominal "discretionary" retail sales including home furnishings, home garden and building materials, consumer electronics and department store sales declined slightly, falling 0.1% from June but rising 1.68% above the level seen in July 2013 while, adjusting for inflation, “real” discretionary retail sales declined 0.23% on the month and falling 0.34% since July 2013. ...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Heading Into Jackson Hole

    The Kansas City Federal Reserve's annual Jackson Hole conference is next week, and all eyes are looking for signs that Fed Chair Janet Yellen will continue to chart a dovish path for monetary policy well into next year.  Indeed, the conference title itself -  "Re-Evaluating Labor Market Dynamics" - points in that direction, as it emphasizes a topic that is near and dear to Yellen's heart.  My expectation is that no hawkish surprises emerge next week.  Despite continued improvement in labor markets, Yellen will push the Fed to hold back on aggressively tightening monetary policy.  And with inflation still below target, wage growth constrained, and inflation expectations locked down, she holds all the leverage to make that happen. Today we received the June JOLTS r...more

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    Has Italy Really “Gone Back Into Recession”?

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

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    July 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Robert Reich

    The Rebirth of Stakeholder Capitalism?

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Fed Hawks Squawk

    How much leeway does Fed Chair Janet Yellen have in her campaign to hold interest rates low for a considerable period after asset purchases end later this year?  If you listen to Fed hawks, you would believe that she is quickly running out of room.  Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher argued that the liftoff date for interest rates is creeping forward.  From Reuters: "I think the committee, as I listen to them and I can only speak for myself around that table during two days of discussion, is coming in my direction, so I didn’t feel the need to dissent,” Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher said on Fox Business Network. "We are going to have to move the date of liftoff further forward than had been projected the last time we issued ...more

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    US Monetary Policy and East Asia

    I visited Korea earlier this summer and gave a talk on effects of U.S. Tapering on Emerging Markets.  (This was also the subject of comments at an Istanbul conference sponsored by the NBER and the Central Bank of Turkey in June.) An interview on the effects of policy at the Fed and other advanced-country central banks on East Asian EMs now appears in KRX magazine (in Korean), August. Here is the English version: Special Interview with  Jeffrey A. Frankel <KRX MAGAZINE> August Q: On 10 June 2014, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said in a speech that the Fed’s “new” monetary policy tools, including forward guidance and large-scale asset purchases, were “essential” in ensuring the economic recovery in the Unite...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Good Lord, What is Going on in Eugene?

    This is just plain depressing.  The front page stories from the CityRegion section from my morning paper: Man sentence for kidnap, assault A Eugene man was sentenced Thursday to more than 22 years in prison for terrorizing, drugging, stabbing and shooting his new girlfriend in April... Online sex ad sting leads to 6 arrests Six men were arrested Wednesday night and early Thursday morning on prostitution charges after Eugene police and the Lane County District Attorney’s office coordinated a sting to arrest online sexual predators... Brother plead not guilty to encouraging child sexual abuse Twin brothers Jody and Jacky Allard pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon in Lane County Circuit Court to felony child pornography charges. The 42-year-old brothers, who were ­...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    June 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    How to Get Thrown Out of a Luxury Hotel

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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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  • 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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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Farewell

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

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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Piketty Myopia

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

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  • 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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