May 31, 2007
Messages from the GDP Preliminary Release
GDP growth was revised down, as expected, in today's NIPA preliminary GDP release. At 0.6% q/q growth SAAR was below Bloomberg consensus of 0.8%. But even more revealing is the pattern in recent revisions; in addition, trade adjustment looks a bit further off.
May 30, 2007
Economics of the Great Depression
May 29, 2007
George Borjas thinks he understands Paris Hilton
My former colleague George Borjas has a notion that he might get more traffic for his new blog if he discusses the economics of Paris Hilton.
You think he's right?
May 28, 2007
More on Real Exchange Rate Changes and Trade Adjustment
Time for an update on estimated income and price elasticities of US trade flows. These issues are important to those of us who believe that the US remains vulnerable to shifts in the rest-of-the-world's willingness to finance the current account deficit. If you think it's just jolly fine and likely for the US to keep on borrowing at around 6.5 percent of GDP for the indefinite future, skip this post.
May 27, 2007
May 26, 2007
Not dead yet
We're still not seeing the deterioration in economic conditions that some had been expecting.
May 25, 2007
Econbrowser: The Movie
I appeared this week on our local PBS television station to talk about ethanol subsidies (one of my favorite rants). If you're interested, you can watch a 5-minute broadcast of that interview via KPBS Full Focus.
One (Non-Isolated) Example of the Current State of Affairs in Government Administration
Special counsel finds GSA chief violated Hatch Act
By Daniel Pulliam firstname.lastname@example.org May 23, 2007
A report from the federal agency that investigates allegations of illegal political activity in the government has concluded that Lurita Doan, the head of the General Services Administration, violated the Hatch Act.
May 23, 2007
Who should pay this bill?
I suggested a few weeks ago that rising crude oil prices along with seasonal demand and fuel requirements were the primary cause of this spring's hike in U.S. gasoline prices. As Menzie noted yesterday, refining margins are clearly also now making an additional contribution. Which reminded me to look into the current status of the now decade-long effort of Arizona Clean Fuels to try to build a new refinery.
May 22, 2007
Gasoline prices surge: Thinking about Some Causes
Nominal gasoline prices are at an all time high. However, in real terms, April prices were not the highest. May prices might be, depending on how you calculate it (hard to figure it out since May's CPI is not yet out). From the Washington Post:
May 21, 2007
Peak oil in America
The following is an article I prepared for the Peak Oil Review, which is produced by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas.
May 19, 2007
Bernanke on subprime mortgages
If Bernanke isn't worried about subprime mortgages, should you be?
May 17, 2007
New study of the effects of oil price shocks on the economy
University of Michigan Professor Lutz Kilian, whose research we've often highlighted here (, ), and Michigan Ph.D. candidate Paul Edelstein have an interesting new paper on how energy price changes affect the economy.
Follow up on Housing Permits and Housing Starts: Do Permits "Predict"
In an earlier post on investment, I made the assertion that housing permits led housing starts. This assertion was contested by a number of observers (GWG, rana, spencer, CalculatedRisk). I've decided to revisit this question, since clearly, the best characterization of the stylized facts takes on heightened importance given the yesterday's release, as discussed by Bloomberg:
May 15, 2007
Northern Ghawar is in decline
If you end up being surprised by the big story of the next decade, you can't say, "nobody told us." Instead you'll have to say, "we didn't listen."
May 14, 2007
Tales from the WSJ Survey of Forecasts
The results of the Wall Street Journal's recent survey of forecasts were discussed in an article with the curious title "The Economy Is Clawing Back, but Not Much".
May 13, 2007
Estimating equilibrium exchange rates: More reasons for humility
Last Tuesday, there was a unique joining of three subcommittees to address the issue of alleged Chinese currency manipulation. Here's Steve Roach's assessment , Mish's view , and news accounts by CNN  and by WSJ .
May 12, 2007
Deciding what to worry about
May 10, 2007
Oops. Or Trade Deficit Stabilization Deferred
May 09, 2007
Why hasn't construction employment plunged?
We're well into a severe housing downturn by every measure except for the number of people working in residential construction.
May 08, 2007
The Empirics of Chinese Trade and Implications of Yuan Appreciation
In previous posts I've discussed some of the estimates of aggregate trade elasticities. Some new work presented at a recent IMF conference on Chinese trade suggests that we may need to revise some of our views on the efficacy of yuan appreciation for inducing expenditure switching.
May 06, 2007
Can this be true?
Did Bush know about the 9/11 attacks in advance?
allegedly 35% of American Democrats answered "yes" and another 26% said they are not sure.
If that's accurate, America's system for communicating facts and ideas is seriously broken. I'm wondering if that breakdown might be related to the following dilemma. If you are a liberal elected official or opinion maker who is shown evidence of such massive delusion, do you (a) try to correct it, or (b) try to exploit it?
May 04, 2007
New job creation slows significantly
No, I don't like the latest employment numbers.
May 03, 2007
Auto sales down in April
The number of new cars and light trucks sold in America was down nearly 8% in April relative to the previous year. That's a significant deterioration of the recent downward trend, but not yet a catastrophic plunge.
Is the "Investment Disconnect" So Surprising? Could It Be Even More Extreme Than We Think?
May 01, 2007
Idle hands are the devil's workshop
Professor Gordon Dahl (my colleague here at UCSD) and Berkeley Professor Stefano DellaVigna have an interesting new research paper titled Does Movie Violence Increase Violent Crime?