July 31, 2006
About that pause
A few weeks ago I noted that the fed funds futures contracts seemed to reflect an expectation that we'd see one more rate hike this fall, and that would be it. But a lot can change in two weeks. Now the message looks more like, "that's it!"
July 30, 2006
Report of the National Research Council on "Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years"
What do the scientists (in peer reviewed journals) say about global warming?
July 28, 2006
Slower second quarter growth
As expected, GDP growth slowed significantly in the second quarter.
July 27, 2006
Seasonal adjustment and new home sales
How significant is the housing slowdown? Answering requires separating the seasonal from the cyclical factors.
July 25, 2006
A Dynamic Analysis of Permanent Extension of the President's Tax Relief
The press account surrounding the Mid Session Review (MSR) (page 3-4) noted the preferred estimate of GNP response to the President's tax proposals: real GNP might be 0.7 percent higher than steady state baseline. The Treasury's Office of Tax Analysis has just released the underlying analysis.
July 24, 2006
Reading the yield curve
What are the implications of the current shape of the yield curve?
The Gamble Fails: Doha talks collapse
The Bush Administration's quid pro quo of early-on steel protectionism in exchange for fast track negotiating authority for the Doha Round seems like a bad bet (May 24) in retrospect.
July 23, 2006
A long term perspective on differential approaches to fiscal policy
Or, over the past quarter century, have Democrats and Republicans acted differently?
July 21, 2006
That's one way to raise those campaign dollars
A California lawyer tells doctors that they should not expect to be asked to testify in workers' compensation trials unless they contribute $2,500 to Phil Angelides' campaign for governor.
July 20, 2006
(Non) transparency of GWOT expenditures, and an update on Iraq metrics
While the events in Lebanon and Gaza have pushed Iraq off center stage, Iraq and Afghanistan remain the largest fiscal drains on the U.S. Treasury and the military's ability to respond to other strategic challenges. In this light, GAO Comptroller David Walker's testimony on Tuesday [pdf] is both illuminating and depressing. From the Summary:
July 19, 2006
Bernanke's latest testimony
A more optimistic assessment from the Fed chair than I had been expecting.
July 17, 2006
Some (delayed) reflections on whether the non-oil trade deficit stabilization at hand -- or not
I was out of the country when these data were released, so I didn't immediately write a post on the data. In any case several commentators covered the ground so well I didn't have much to add immediately. Several forwarded the possibility of trade deficit (as a share of GDP) stabiization (see here and here), in light of the fact that the May trade release which showed a smaller than consensus deficit. In the past I made similar observations (see here). I remain hopeful, but am still not yet convinced.
July 15, 2006
Can the economy shrug off $80 oil?
With world oil supplies already stressed by production cutbacks in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, worries that the Israeli conflict might further disrupt oil shipments have produced new price highs. How does that affect the prospects for an economic downturn?
July 14, 2006
Are we there yet?
Almost, but not quite, sayeth the fed funds futures.
July 13, 2006
Out of sample prediction of the euro, pound and CAD
Once more unto the breach.
July 11, 2006
China roars into the automotive era
Guess who's now the second-biggest market for new cars in the world?
Is the surge in tax receipts truly extraordinary?
There has been much talk about how the deficit problem has been licked, as tax receipts surge. Is (Lafferian) supply-side economics right? Are we in a new era of surging tax receipts for the forseeable future? The short answers are "no" and "no".
July 10, 2006
One picture from the 2005 International Investment Position release (and one from the NIPA)
Amid all the relief (see here and -- kind of -- here) over the improvement in the U.S. net international investment position (NIIP) despite the record current account deficit, the trend in one ratio was unremarked upon -- namely the ratio of U.S. Government securities held by non-residents, divided by GDP.
July 08, 2006
Questions remain about Saudi oil
Is Saudi Arabia part of the reason for oil's new price highs?
July 06, 2006
Production subsidies for ethanol
Do we need to subsidize ethanol production? Does it matter if we are subsidizing the input (i.e., corn)? This is not a rhetorical question.
July 02, 2006
The Fed speaks and markets listen
Tim Iacono at The Mess That Greenspan Made had some interesting graphs this week.