March 31, 2008
Maybe not so nonsensical after all
How far will house prices fall? Implications from the latest WSJ survey.
NCAA basketball: Round 4
Sixteen entries in the 2008 NCAA Bracket Econbrowser Challenge correctly picked all of the Final Four teams in the NCAA basketball tournament, including our two leaders who also correctly picked all of the Elite Eight finalists.
March 29, 2008
"Antarctic Ice Shelf Disintegration Underscores a Warming World"
Satellite imagery from the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder reveals that a 13,680 square kilometer (5,282 square mile) ice shelf has begun to collapse because of rapid climate change in a fast-warming region of Antarctica.
NCAA basketball: Round 3
And after Round 3 of the 2008 NCAA Bracket Econbrowser Challenge we have not one but two entries (from N. Klingenstein and H. Parsley) that correctly picked all of the Elite Eight finalists. How they knew Davidson would get there is beyond me.
March 27, 2008
Recessions at the state level
I've been invited to give the keynote lecture at the Society for Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics Annual Symposium next week at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. I plan on presenting results of some ongoing research with Mike Owyang of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis on regional propagation of business cycles. This is the first of two posts that describe some of our findings about how recessions differ and seem to propagate across different states and regions.
March 26, 2008
Would you like anything else with that coffee, Ben?
Last week we received some new data linking commodity prices to the decisions of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
March 25, 2008
Recoupling, Monetary Policy Divergence, and the Dollar
At the risk of losing my audience by skipping over the the record housing price decline, and an outsized drop in the consumer confidence index, I'm going to focus on what seems like old news (but is being reflected in current news on the dollar), namely the OECD reduction in growth forecasts for the G-7 economies. The euro area economy is slated to do better than the US economy in 2008H1, but that's not saying much.
March 24, 2008
Kicking the Can down the Road
Inspection of the Administration's approaches to previous policy issues provides some instructive precedents , , , ,  to consider in light of current policy challenges in the financial markets.
March 23, 2008
Here are a couple of nice summaries of the credit crunch and the Fed's response.
NCAA basketball: Round 2
Here's the status of the 2008 NCAA Bracket Econbrowser Challenge now that the tournament is down to 16 surviving teams.
March 22, 2008
In memoriam: John E. Flavin, Jr. (1922-2008)
Some personal reflections on the last year of my father-in-law, who died Thursday at the age of 86.
NCAA basketball: postmortem for Round 1
Herewith an update on how the 2008 NCAA Bracket Econbrowser Challenge stands after round 1.
March 21, 2008
More bad news
More confirmation that the slowdown in housing has spilled over to manufacturing.
NCAA Basketball: Day 1
We seem to have no fewer than six separate entries in the 2008 NCAA Bracket Econbrowser Challenge with a perfect score so far, having accurately predicted the outcome of all 16 of the first night's basketball tournament games. And five of those perfect entries all seem to have been submitted by a certain M. Goodrum.
Hmmm... this guy could be tough to beat.
March 20, 2008
De-Globalization? Musing about Oil Prices and Trade Costs
This post recaps a post from over a year and a half ago, in light of surging oil prices. Most attention is rightly focused on the supply side effects of the increase in the real price of oil. However, another facet is the impact on transportation costs, and hence the tradability of goods across borders.
March 19, 2008
2008 NCAA Bracket Econbrowser Challenge
How much ammo is left in that fed funds gun?
Iraq Burn Rate > $12 billion per month?
That's what's implied by the graphic in today's NYT article, based on CBO data.
March 18, 2008
Not a bailout
How shall we describe what happened this weekend with Bear Stearns? The first big casualty of the credit crisis, yes. Bailout, no.
No, I'm not talking about the credit markets-- I'll take those up in my next post, I promise. But first I need to discuss something really important, namely, the men's college basketball tournament.
March 17, 2008
Limits to Expenditure Switching? Monetary Policy, Intervention, and Tradability
Currently, net exports are one of the few bright spots in the US economy. As Krugman points out, this is the one area where monetary policy is proving effective: by driving down the value of the dollar, expenditure switching is being induced.
President Bush Discusses Economy
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for coming by today to talk about the economic situation -- we'll be meeting later on this afternoon with the President's Task Force on Financial Markets.
March 15, 2008
Last week the Fed announced yet another new measure to deal with the ongoing problems in credit markets in the form of a just-created Term Securities Lending Facility, which we're apparently invited to refer to affectionately as a TSLF.
March 14, 2008
"Harvard's Feldstein Says U.S. Economy in Recession"
That's the title of an article in today's Bloomberg. I think it highlights an interesting counterpoint between the statements coming out from the Administration, on one hand, and from academic and financial sector economists, on the other. From Bloomberg:
Looking even more like a recession
The Census Bureau announced yesterday that the seasonally adjusted nominal dollar value of retail and food services sales fell by 0.6% between January and February, the worst monthly performance since June's -0.8% value.
March 12, 2008
"Bush Would Like a Stronger Dollar"
That's the title of a post in today's WSJ RealTime Economics:
President George W. Bush said in an interview today with Nightly Business Report that the dollar's fall to record lows against the euro is not a good thing and he "absolutely" wants a stronger dollar. Excerpts:
March 11, 2008
Asking too much of monetary policy
I remember a Federal Reserve economist once recounting a conversation with his young daughter, who asked him, "What do you do at work, Daddy?" He answered, "I help make important decisions." "What kind of decisions, Daddy?" "Oh, things like how much money the government needs to print."
March 10, 2008
Pretty Darn Good...(An Update on "Two Recession Bush Presidency?")
Two months ago, I posed the question "What Are the Prospects for a Two Recession Bush Presidency?" I think the answer is indeed "pretty good", given the recent data.
March 09, 2008
Has the recession started?
The latest employment numbers suggest that the tide has turned.
March 08, 2008
Three Pictures from the Labor Market
From yesterday's White House press conference:
March 07, 2008
Commodity prices and the Fed
If the Fed thinks that recent commodity price moves have nothing to do with their own actions, perhaps they should think again.
March 05, 2008
Tabulating the Credit Crunch's Effects: One Educated Guess
In a recent paper, David Greenlaw, Jan Hatzius, Anil K Kashyap, Hyun Song Shin exposed us outsiders to the inside workings of those estimates we see of how the credit crunch affects output. The paper, entitled "Leveraged Losses: Lessons from the Mortgage Market Meltdown", was widely covered (, , , Calculated Risk, Big Picture) but I still think that the conclusions, as well as the methodology, bear some repeating for emphasis. And in any case, it's a long paper, and different people have focused on different aspects.
March 04, 2008
It's not just housing any more
Not a good start to the week week for those holding on to hopes that the U.S. will avoid a recession.
March 03, 2008
Two Questions: What Do Slowing Imports Mean? And Is There a J-Curve?
As the dollar continues to plumb new depths , and the economic slowdown continues, I want to discuss two questions about the trade balance that occur to me.
March 02, 2008
Just how badly is the U.S. economy doing?
That's the topic of a piece I wrote for today's San Diego Union-Tribune.