EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    United States

  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Don’t put your money where your mouth is

    Not a surprise to me but yikes nonetheless: In the first comprehensive study of the DNA on dollar bills, researchers at New York University’s Dirty Money Project found that currency is a medium of exchange for hundreds of different kinds of bacteria as bank notes pass from hand to hand. By analyzing genetic material on $1 bills, the NYU researchers identified 3,000 types of bacteria in all—many times more than in previous studies that examined samples under a microscope. Even so, they could identify only about 20% of the non-human DNA they found because so many microorganisms haven’t yet been cataloged in genetic data banks. Easily the most abundant species they found is one that causes acne. Others were linked to gastric ulcers, pneumonia, food poisoning and stap...more

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  • This Is Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Liveblogging World War II: April 19, 2014: American Refit of French Battleship Richelieu

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    I'm going to New Zealand. Yes, really. No, seriously.

    As regular readers know, I've been resisting travel for several years due to the combined miseries of enduring TSA groping and suffering from a bad back. With the considerable improvement of my back... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 521 Institutions

    This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.Here is the unofficial problem bank list for April 18, 2014. Changes and comments from surferdude808: An expected update from the OCC on its recent enforcement action activity contributed to a noticeable reduction in the Unofficial Problem Bank List this week. After nine removals, the list stands at 521 institutions with assets of $168.9 billion. A year ago, the list held 781 institutions with assets of $288.5 billion.Finding their way off the list through merger were National Bank of Earlville, Earlville, IL ($57 million) and Liberty Savings Bank, F.S.B., Pottsville, PA ($23 million). Actions were terminated against Eastern Savings Bank, FSB, Hunt Valley, MD ($425 million); Phoenixville Fe...more

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  • The Big Picture

    Monetary Policy and the Economic Recovery

    Monetary Policy and the Economic Recovery Chair Janet L. Yellen At the Economic Club of New York, New York, New York April 16, 2014       Nearly five years into the expansion that began after the financial crisis and the Great Recession, the recovery has come a long way. More than 8 million jobs have been added to nonfarm payrolls since 2009, almost the same number lost as a result of the recession. Led by a resurgent auto industry, manufacturing output has also nearly returned to its pre-recession peak. While the housing market still has far to go, it seems to have turned a corner. It is a sign of how far the economy has come that a return to full employment is, for the first time since the crisis, in the medium-term outlooks of many forecasters. It is a...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    Obamacare Versus The Wusses

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  • Paul Krugman

    My Head Talks Piketty With Bill Moyers

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Assorted links

    1. Scott Winship reviews Piketty.  And Kevin Hassett on Piketty. 2. Why should there be deflation in Sweden? 3. Why is the singing of the national anthem so much better for hockey? 4. Liberalism unrelinquished, a project headed by Daniel Klein to reclaim the use of this word.  They are looking for signers. 5. Professional actor reading a Yelp review. 6. Will health care spending balloon again? ...more

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  • Economist's View

    The Near Future

    Dan Little: The near future: There is a lot going on in America and the world today: climate change, increasing separation between the rich and the non-rich, entrenched poverty in cities, continuing effects of racism in American life, and a rising level of political extremism in this country and elsewhere, for starters. Add to this politico-military instability in Europe, continuing social conflict over austerity in many countries, and a rising number of extreme-right movements in a number of countries, and you have a pretty grim set of indications of what tomorrow may look like for our children and grandchildren. How should we think about what our country will look like in twenty or thirty years? And how can we find ways of acting today that make the prospects for tom...more

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  • This Is Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Weekend Reading: Anti-Gay and Anti-Black: John Holbo on Conrad Friedersdorf and Sam Ervin, and Jelani Cobb on the Failure of Desegregation

    John Holbo: Conor Friedersdorf and Sam Ervin Jelani Cobb: The Failure of Desegregation with bonus E.J. Graff John Holbo: Let’s bury--I say, let’s bury the hatchet, but not in anyone’s head, boy: "My Chait thread was a moderate disaster.... Let’s cut all that loose and try again.... Conor Friedersdorf’s argument that gay marriage opponents shouldn’t be likened to racist bigots goes something like this. P1: Racism is pretty simple: “A belief in the superiority of one race and the inferiority of another.” P2: Opposition to same-sex marriage is complex: “One thing I’ve noticed in this debate is how unfamiliar proponents of stigma are with thoughtful orthodox Christians — that is to say, they haven’t interacted with them personally,...more

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  • This Is Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Weekend Reading: Annalee Newitz: The io9 Manifesto: Science Is Political: A Better Tomorrow Today!

    Annalee Newitz: The io9 Manifesto: Science Is Political: "io9 started out in 2007 as the germ of an idea for a site about futurism... ...with a name that was a joke about brain implants. Six and a half years later, we've grown in size--but we've also grown up. Our 2008 manifesto still holds true, but in 2014 we've got some amendments. Here they are. Last month, for the first time, io9 had over 10 million unique readers in the United States alone; globally, we had 15 million. We had a staff of three when we launched in 2008; now we've got 14. Our mission has grown too. Speculative Pop Culture: When I first conceived io9 back in 2007, I had one goal: to give readers a vision of the future that was based in scientific reality as well as science fiction. To do ...more

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    The Repetition Of Past Behaviour

    Readers suggested a topic on the current markets. “How will the (already started) decline play out this time? Jingle believes in some ungraphable pattern like a parabolic plateau, but things aren’t quite the same as last time. This crash seems more like squeezing out the investors and flippers and starting back with the decline on the regular owners that should have proceeded further 2 yrs ago. Not as many foreclosures, not the increasing unemployment?” “I’d be happy to see 2011 prices in my area again, but this time with houses you could actually buy rather than ones being held in reserve for some real estate investor group. Oxide thinks if this happens then the investors will come back.” One said, “More interest rate cuts ? Oh wait th...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    European Debt Deflation

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  • Beat the Press

    When It Comes to Generating Jobs It Pays Not to Listen to the Experts

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  • Calculated Risk

    Schedule for Week of April 20th

    The key reports this week are March Existing Home Sales on Tuesday and March New Home sales on Wednesday.For manufacturing, the April Richmond and Kansas City Fed surveys will be released.----- Monday, April 21st -----8:30 AM ET: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for March. This is a composite index of other data.----- Tuesday, April 22nd -----9:00 AM: FHFA House Price Index for February 2013. This was original a GSE only repeat sales, however there is also an expanded index. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase.10:00 AM: Existing Home Sales for March from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The consensus is for sales of 4.56 million on seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis. Sales in February were at a 4.60 million SAAR. Economist Tom Lawler estimate...more

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  • The Big Picture

    10 Weekend Reads

    Pour yourself a cup of Joe, settle into your favorite chair, and cozy up with my long form weekend reads. • Capital Man: Thomas Piketty is economics’ biggest sensation. He’s also the field’s fiercest critic (Chronicle of Higher Education) • The prose of psychoanalysis (TLS) • Three ways Jeff Bezos keeps improving Amazon’s workforce (Quartz) • A Silicon Valley Disaster: A 21-Year-Old Stanford Kid Got $30 Million, Then Everything Blew Up (Business Insider) • Our Nudge in Chief: Cass Sunstein believes laws and public policies should help save us from our irrational impulses (The Atlantic) • The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates (Chicago Magazine) see also Stories Triumph Statistics (Seeking Wisdom) • The Mental Life of Plants and Worms, Amo...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Quotation of the Day…

    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 168 of 2006 Nobel laureate Edmund Phelps’s 2013 book, Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change; in this passage Phelps discusses “corporatist” economic and political notions that dominated continental Europe for much of the 20th century (and that continue to this day to influence policy there; original emphasis): The corporatist system was idealized as having dispensed with individualism and competition, which were demonized as ugly and inhuman.  But the system merely transplanted individualism from the market to the state, where individuals would elbow their way to increased power.  The system would end competition among producers for the many buyers in the market.  But it replace...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Tom Sargent Summarizes Economics

    After he won the Nobel, Tom Sargent was “interviewed” in an ad for Ally bank in which his response was simply (and correctly), “no.” The joke is even better than I realized because Sargent has a history of giving very short speeches. In 2007 he gave a graduation speech to Berkeley undergraduates summarizing economics in just 335 words. It’s a damn fine speech. I remember how happy I felt when I graduated from Berkeley many years ago. But I thought the graduation speeches were long. I will economize on words. Economics is organized common sense. Here is a short list of valuable lessons that our beautiful subject teaches. 1. Many things that are desirable are not feasible. 2. Individuals and communities face trade-offs. 3. Other people h...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    The Pretense of Knowledge and Affection

    (Don Boudreaux) An excellent test of whether or not someone does or does not grasp the core Hayekian wisdom is supplied by his or her response to this passage found in yesterday217;s New York Times: “We understand that we doctors should be and are stewards of the larger society as well as of the patient in our examination room,” said Dr. Lowell E. Schnipper, the chairman of a task force on value in cancer care at the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In practical terms, new guidelines being developed by the medical groups could result in doctors choosing one drug over another for cost reasons or even deciding that a particular treatment — at the end of life, for example — is too expensive. People who truly understand the complexity of reality respond by ...more

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  • The Big Picture

    The Universe In Numbers

    The Universe In Numbers How big is the universe? How long will it take to get to Mars? How hot is space? Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually. ...more

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for April 19, 2014

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

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 4/19/14

    Let Them Eat Code Dissent (Paul Tioxon) Did scurvy wipe out Christopher Columbus’ crew? Skeletons suggest New World’s first European settlers were killed by disease Daily Mail (LS) Saudi Govt. Prohibits `Unauthorized’ Media Coverage Of MERS Avian Flu Diary. Marianne Jones identified this as a good site for keeping tabs on MERS CoV, which has a truly scary mortality rate. Vermont Senate Passes Mandatory GMO Labeling Bill NationofChange (furzy mouse) What the Future Looked Like in 1964 New York Times. I went to the World’s Fair! Did you? The birth of a new media species Financial Times. I don’t understand how this is a “new species”. The New Republic was (and maybe still is) a money loser, funded by wealthy backers. Rich men have a prou...more

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  • Economist's View

    Links for 4-19-14

    On the Liberal Bias of Facts - Paul Krugman Capitalism and the Dalai Lama - NYTimes.com I Saw a Monetarist Drinking a Pina Colada... - Brad DeLong Punish wage theft as severely as robbery - Catherine Rampell Don't Know Much About History, Rand Paul Edition - Paul Krugman Regulators’ attempts to hold back the financial tide are futile - FT.com OK, Tell Me — Please Tell Me — Why Bitcoins Aren’t a Bubble - Uneasy Money Has US household deleveraging ended? - vox The Unluckiness of the Long-Term Unemployed - Mike Konczal When Technology Spreads Slowly - Tim Taylor How Do You Say "Nobody Could Have Predicted" In Swedish? - Paul Krugman This One Figure Shows Why Fed Policy Failed - David Beckworth Wages, productivity, and employment in Italy - vox Liquid...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Please Join Us at Our NYC Meetup Next Friday, April 25

    I hope readers in New York will be able to join us at an informal gathering next Friday, April 25, from 5 PM to 8 PM. The venue is Sláinte, which bills itself as a modern Irish pub. That means it has a big selection of craft beers, good wines by the glass, and better food than the usual bar fare. The NYC meetup is at 304 Bowery, between Bleecker and Houston, so the nearby train stops are the B, D, F and M at Houston and the 6 at Bleecker, or the F at Second Avenue. Looking forward to seeing you next Friday! ...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Yanis Varoufakis on the “Success” of Greece’s Bond Sale

    Yves here. The RT show Boom/Bust has an informative conversation with Yanis Varoufakis on the conundrum of the recent successful Greece bond offering. Why would investors buy bonds of a clear basket case like Greece, when it’s obvious from the overhang of debt that more restructurings are inevitable? The segment with Varoufakis starts at 3:30. The opening segment is an update on possible HFT reforms. ...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Book Bits | 4.19.14

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  • Calculated Risk

    By Request: Public and Private Sector Payroll Jobs: Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama

    Following some comments from Senator Rand Paul, I've been requested to post this again with a couple of tables added.Senator Paul said last week: "When is the last time in our country we created millions of jobs? It was under Ronald Reagan ..."That is completely wrong. (I've corrected both Republicans and Democrats, but recently it is mostly prominent Republicans that make stuff up!).Here is a table for private sector jobs. Reagan's 2nd term saw about the same job growth as during Carter's term. Note: There was a severe recession at the beginning of Reagan's first term (when Volcker raised rates to slow inflation) and a recession near the end of Carter's term (gas prices increased sharply and there was an oil embargo).TermPrivate SectorJobs Added (000s)Carter9,041Reag...more

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    This One Figure Shows Why Fed Policy Failed

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  • Economist's View

    Debate at KSU: Thoma vs. Williamson

    [It starts around the 7:00 minute mark]

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Some Links

    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s Richard McKenzie explaining, in Investor’s Business Daily, that the minimum-wage’s ill-consequences for low-skilled workers are not limited to these workers’  greater difficulty at finding employment.  (HT Mark Perry)  Here’s Richard’s conclusion: Proponents and opponents of minimum-wage hikes do not seem to realize that the tiny employment effects consistently found across numerous studies provide the strongest evidence available that increases in the minimum wage have been largely neutralized by cost savings on fringe benefits and increased work demands and the cost savings from the more obscure and hard-to-measure cuts in nonmoney compensation. Mark Perry shares some very inconvenient data, just in time f...more

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  • All HW content

    California dreaming? Be prepared to pay up

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  • All HW content

    Revolving door starts turning as WFC hires two former CFPB execs

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  • All HW content

    Forbes: 10 best cities for raising a family

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  • Beat the Press

    $15 Billion In Higher Pay: Cheap Fun for Republicans Over the Minimum Wage

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Chicago Fed Nat’l Activity Index: Mar 2014 Preview

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  • Beat the Press

    The Health Care Exchanges Need Healthy People, It Doesn't Matter If They Are Young

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    History Repeats, First As Tragedy And Then As Farce

    It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “Katrine and Stephen Campbell were up against stiff competition from 10 other bidders for the Reading home they wanted to buy. So, instead of making a specific offer, they promised to top whatever turned out to be the high bid by an additional $5,000. The increasingly popular tactic, known as an escalation clause, worked. The Campbells bought the four-bedroom house late last year for $597,000 — or $18,000 above the original list price, including the extra $5,000. ‘We must have looked at 50 places before making a bid on a house,’ said Katrine Campbell. ‘We made only one offer — and we got it.’” “‘It sounds a little risky to me,’ said Peter Ruffini, president o...more

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  • Econbrowser

    “The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of the Pacific Rim”

    That’s a new volume out from Oxford University Press, co-edited by Inderjit Kaur and Nirvikar Singh. The contributors are all prominent scholars in the field of Pacific Rim economics. Several are familiar Econbrowser guest contributors, or highlighted in posts (noted below). The book is described at further length here. The table of contents: PART I. THE NATURAL WORLD: HISTORY, CLIMATE, AND RISKS 1. The History of Biological Exploitation on the Pacific Rim, Eric Jones 2. Climate Risk and Response in the Pacific Rim, David Roland-Holst 3. Natural Disasters and Economic Policy for the Pacific Rim, Ilan Noy [post on disasters] PART II. PEOPLE: MIGRATION, DEMOGRAPHICS AND HUMAN CAPITAL 4. International Labor Migration in the Pacific Rim, Philip Martin 5. Age Composi...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    US Economic Profile | 4.18.14

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Watch corporations strip-mine their future (and ours)

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  • macroblog

    Using State-Level Data to Estimate How Labor Market Slack Affects Wages

    At a recent speech in Miami, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart had this to say: Wage growth by most measures has been very low. I take this as a signal of labor market weakness, and in turn a signal of a lack of significant upward unit cost pressure on inflation. This macroblog post examines whether the data support this assertion (answer: yes) and whether wage inflation is more sensitive to some measures of labor underutilization than other measures (answer: apparently, yes). San Francisco Fed President John Williams touched on the latter topic in a recent speech (emphasis mine): We generally look at the overall unemployment rate as a good yardstick of labor market slack and inflation pressures. However, its usefulness may be compromised today by the extrao...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Hong Kong Bubble?: Hong Kong Residential Property Prices January 2014

    The latest release of the University of Hong Kong's Hong Kong Residential Real Estate Series (HKU-REIS) indicating that, in January, the price of residential properties declined 2.45% since December falling 1.30% below the level seen in January 2013. Clearly, the latest data is indicating a notable pullback in prices coming with the first year-on-year declines seen since 2009.  It will take some more data in order to see the extent of this pullback but with recent headlines indicating that China officials are loosening property and lending standards in order to control the downside risk, it appears that we may be seeing the beginnings of a notable pullback.The HKU-REIS is a set of property price indices constructed monthly using a “modified” repeat-sale meth...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    "An Evaluation of Shareholder Activism"

    Just as I have reservations about empirical scholarship in the law, I have different but equal reservations about economic modeling in the law. But, setting those aside, An Evaluation of Shareholder... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    "Does Religious Piety Inspire Corporate Social Responsibility?"

    As regular readers know, I take empirical work with a rather large grain of salt. With that qualifier, however, I found a new article entitled Does Religious Piety Inspire Corporate Social... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Robert Reich

    Antitrust in the New Gilded Age

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Mirror, mirror on the wall, tell me what two counties are the bubbliest of them all. Orange County and Los Angeles County. Southland homes sales reach 6 year low while median price hits 6 year high.

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Should we listen to amateurs’ analysis of climate science?

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    Sometimes it's better to split the baby

    This story about the Census Bureau is amazing to me: The Census is changing its annual survey about health insurance.  As a result, the new data will not be comparable to the old, making it much harder to gauge the effects of the Affordable Care Act.Is this a White House conspiracy to hide the effects of the law, as some have suggested?  Maybe, but probably not. I have a lot of respect for the government data producers, so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt.Yet I don't see why the Bureau needs to make such a sudden change.  Why not, for a few years, give half the sample the old questionnaire and half the new one?  This procedure would provide a basis for eventually splicing together the old and new time series....more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Rumsfeldian Journalism

    A

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    The most fun event the Harvard economics department has sponsored since Kuznets did his song and dance number in drag

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Defending Kickbacks

    A

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  • Econbrowser

    ACA Insurance Coverage Cost Update from CBO

    Estimated insurance coverage costs revised downward. From the CBO, Updated Estimates of the Effects of the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act, April 2014: Figure 3 from CBO, Updated Estimates of the Effects of the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act, April 2014. Relative to their previous projections, CBO and JCT now estimate that the ACA’s coverage provisions will result in lower net costs to the federal government: The agencies now project a net cost of $36 billion for 2014, $5 billion less than the previous projection for the year; and $1,383 billion for the 2015–2024 period, $104 billion less than the previous projection. The estimated net costs for 2014 stem almost entirely from spending for subsidies that are to be...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

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

    Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that assessments of housing activity went flat in April with the composite HMI index climbing to 47 from 46 the prior month while the "buyer traffic" index remained unchanged at a level of 32.The recent pullback has been notable and while many are suggesting that inclement weather is responsible, only time will tell if this is the beginning of an ongoing downtrend for new construction or just a momentary pause.Looking at the data, it is fairly clear that the last year of results indicate a major change in builder sentiment likely coming as a result of improvements in confidence given the notable rise in buyer traffic, reduced inventory and a more balanced mon...more

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  • Robert Reich

    HAPPY TAX DAY, AND WHY THE TOP 1% PAY A MUCH LOWER TAX RATE THAN...

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    How to Give an Applied Micro Talk

    Advice from Jesse Shapiro.

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  • Fabius Maximus

    We live in an age of ignorance, but can decide to fix this – today

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    March 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Population growth, migration, and real estate: Los Angeles County had the highest number of international migrant growth between 2012 and 2013 while Texas boomed with domestic migration.

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  • Econbrowser

    An Economic Sanctions Menu Targeting Russia

    As Russia fosters heightened instability in the eastern portions of Ukraine [0], we should be considering what methods will impose maximum pain on Russian policymakers. Already, the Russian economy has taken a hit, even while in an already fragile state.[1] [2] From Robert Kahn at CFR: Direct bans on business trade and investment can meaningfully reduce Russian wealth and growth, but the most powerful effects on Russia stem from financial sanctions. In part, this reflects the inherent importance of finance for cross-border trade and investment. More specifically, the complexity of Russian entities’ financial dealings with the West creates the potential for forced, rapid deleveraging—an intense “Lehman moment” of the sort witnessed in global markets...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    What Might Have Been . . .

    A

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  • macroblog

    Reasons for the Decline in Prime-Age Labor Force Participation

    As a follow up to this post on recent trends in labor force participation, we look specifically at the prime-age group of 25- to 54-year-olds. The participation decisions of this age cohort are less affected by the aging population and the longer-term trend toward lower participation of youths because of rising school enrollment rates. In that sense, they give us a cleaner window on responses of participation to changing business cycle conditions. The labor force participation rate of the prime-age group fell from 83 percent just before the Great Recession to 81 percent in 2013. The participation rate of prime-age males has been trending down since the 1960s. The participation rate of women, which had been rising for most of the post-World War II period, appears to hav...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    When Will The Fed Change Its Reaction Function?

    The March FOMC minutes were generally interpretted as having a dovish tenor, contrasting with the generally hawkish reception for the statement and ensuing press conference.  Overall, the Fed appears committed to a long period of low interest rates and I continue to think this should be the baseline view.  But actually policy seems to remain hawkish relative to the Fed's rhetoric. By its own admission, the Fed is missing badly on both its mandates. Why then the push to reduce accommodation by ending asset purchases and laying the groundwork for the first rate hike? This leaves me wary the Fed could turn dramatically more hawkish with little provocation from the data.  At the same time, one can imagine the Fed realizes that the current reaction function remains inc...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    What does $500,000 buy you in Southern California real estate? A look at Culver City, Pasadena, and Riverside.

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  • macroblog

    A Closer Look at Post-2007 Labor Force Participation Trends

    Introduction The rate of labor force participation (the share of the civilian noninstitutionalized population aged 16 and older in the labor force) has declined significantly since 2007. To what extent were the Great Recession and tepid recovery responsible? In this post and one that will follow, we offer a series of charts using data from the Current Population Survey to explore some of the possible reasons behind the 2007–13 drop in participation. This first post describes the impact of the changing-age composition of the population and changes in labor force participation within specific age cohorts—see Calculated Risk posts here and here for a related treatment, and also this recent BLS study. The next post will look at the issue of potential cyclical impacts o...more

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  • Robert Reich

    WHY THE MINIMUM WAGE SHOULD REALLY BE RAISED TO $15 AN...

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Financial Stability Concerns Are Overblown

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    One For the Doves

    The March employment report came in pretty much in line with expectations.  Nonfarm payrolls gained by 192k, and January and February were both revised higher.  If you can discern any meaningful change in the underlying pace of economic activity from the nonfarm payrolls numbers, you have sharper eyes than me: You could almost draw that twelve month trend with a ruler.  The unemployment rate moved sideways: In the past, sharp declines in the unemployment rate have been followed by periods of relative stability.  I suspect we are currently in one such period.   The internals of the household report were generally positive.  The labor force rose by 503k, pushing the participation rate up by 0.2 percentage points.  And the labor market appeared to absorb those ne...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Envisioning Employment: Employment Situation March 2014

    The latest Employment Situation Report indicated that in March, net non-farm payrolls increased by 192,000 jobs overall with the private non-farm payrolls sub-component adding 192,000 jobs while the civilian unemployment rate went flat at 6.7% over the same period.It's important to note that with today's release (and revisions), the private non-farm payroll level has risen to the highest level seen in over six years and finally climbed higher then the level seen before the start of the Great Recession. Net private sector jobs increased 0.17% since last month climbing 1.99% above the level seen a year ago and climbing 0.36% above the peak level of employment seen in December 2007 prior to the Great Recession. ...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Employment Report Ahead

    Sorry for the light blogging this week - just getting back into the swings of things during the first week of spring term.  But nothing like an employment report to pull me out of hibernation. It is no secret that the employment report has a significant impact on monetary policy.  And we need to make increasingly deeper dives at the data to discern the implications for policy.  Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made that clear in her speech this week when she outlined a number of indicators - part-time but want full-time, wages,long-term unemployment, and labor force participation - as evidence of slack in the labor market.  Such slack is sufficient, in her view, to justify maintaining accommodative policy for a considerable period (although note that accommodativ...more

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Should We Be Worried?

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Higher food prices are good for the poor ... in the long run

    Guest post by Derek Headey A few years ago Dani very kindly let me guestblog on some of my work on the global food crisis (see here and also Dani’s much earlier comments here). In that earlier work I used Gallup World Poll data on subjective food security to conclude that the 2007-08 global food “crisis” seemingly had no adverse impact on the world’s poor. As The Economist noted (here), my results were subsequently corroborated by World Bank estimates, which suggested that global poverty continued to fall through the 2007-08 food crisis. In my most recent paper, however, I find an even stronger result: higher domestic food prices predict reductions in poverty (see here). The methods in this paper are fairly simple. I take World Bank national poverty estimates fo...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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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    February 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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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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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    Case-Shiller Index: Cheaper Homes Still Rebounding Fastest

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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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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    End the Cuban Embargo—Posner

    I agree with Becker that we should end the embargo. It was first imposed in 1960, two years after Castro took power, and strengthened after the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, and thereafter modified from time to time—and recently somewhat relaxed, so that today in fact we have several billions of dollars in trade with Cuba each year.  Communist Cuba in Castro’s heyday, before the collapse of the Soviet Union followed by the rapid collapse of communism in all countries except North Korea—and Cuba—was, even apart from the missile crisis, an active although not dangerous enemy of the United States, supporting and fomenting communist subversion against a variety of nations some of them allies of the United States. But the embargo was never much more than an annoyanc...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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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    If the rest of the world really want to help Turkey

    Here is the one paragraph version of what is happening in Turkey. During the last decade in which he has been in power, Erdogan has allowed the Gulen movement to take control over the police, judiciary, and large parts of the state apparatus. The Gulen movement in turn established a republic of dirty tricks, with illegal wiretaps and video recordings, fabricated evidence, framing of innocent people, slander and disinformation as its modus operandi.  The monster Erdogan created eventually turned against him as the common enemy, the military and the rest of the secular establishment, were vanquished. He is now trying to slay the monster. That means purges, bringing the judiciary under his control, tightening the screws on the Internet and social media, and greatly e...more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Economics as craft

    I have an article in the IAS’s quarterly publication, the Institute Letter, on the state of Economics.  Despite the evident role of the economics profession in the recent crisis and my critical views on conventional wisdom in globalization and development, my take on the discipline is rather positive. Where we frequently go wrong as economists is to look for the “one right model” – the single story that provides the best universal explanation.  Yet, the strength of economics is that it provides a panoply of context-specific models. The right explanation depends on the situation we find ourselves in. Sometimes the Keynesians are right, sometimes the classicals. Markets work sometimes along the lines of competitive models and sometimes along monopolist...more

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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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  • Rick Bookstaber

    The Product is the Promise: Finance and Social Values

    In the first paragraph of my book A Demon of Our Own Design(Wiley, 2007) I observe that “You don't deliberately obliterate hundreds of billions of dollars of investor money. And that is at the heart of this book – it is going to happen again. The financial markets that we have constructed are now so complex, and the speed of transactions so fast, that apparently isolated actions and even minor events can have catastrophic consequences.” I then spend a significant portion of the book explaining the mechanics that lead the financial markets to lurch from crisis to crisis; why is it that while engineering in other fields increases safety, financial engineering seems to make things get worse. I suggest that the problem stems from the complexity and tight coupling that...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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Dan Steinbock

Dr Dan Steinbock is a recognized expert of the multipolar world. He focuses on international business, international relations, investment and risk among the major advanced economies (G7) and large emerging economies (BRICS and beyond). In addition to his advisory activities (www.differencegroup.net), he is affiliated with major US universities as well as international think-tanks, such as India China and America Institute (USA), Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China) and EU Center (Singapore).

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