June 30, 2008
Play chess like the pros
While I'm on the subject of the benefits of slowing down I should perhaps mention this hilarious chess game between grandmasters Maxim Dlugy and Hikaru Nakamura.
June 28, 2008
As noted by Calculated Risk, global warming or no, the spring selling season for new homes never seemed to arrive this year.
June 26, 2008
Kling's question on oil speculation
Arnold Kling poses a question for Paul Krugman. Here's how I would answer.
June 25, 2008
Calculating your savings from slowing down
Ironman has developed a neat tool that allows you to input your vehicle's typical mileage and then calculate how much money you're likely to save on a particular trip by driving slower. Pretty cool!
How big a contribution could oil speculation be making?
A key reason why oil prices have been going up is that Asia and the oil producing countries are consuming more while global oil production has stagnated. That means Europe and America had to consume less, and a very high price proved necessary to accomplish that.
I do believe that speculation has been another factor that contributed to recent high oil prices. However, a key element of the bubble story is that there needs to be a very limited response of quantity demanded to the price increases, which the most recent data persuade me is no longer the case. Some of the estimates I've been hearing of the size of the contribution speculation is currently making to the price are therefore difficult to defend. Here I explain why, essentially elaborating on Paul Krugman's theme.
June 24, 2008
Update and Summary: Economic Activity Measures
New aggregate indicators on the macroeconomy are out. How do they compare against a summary measure of the macro series the NBER BCDC focus on?
June 23, 2008
Saudi oil production increases
The recently announced Saudi oil production increases are more modest than had been suggested in some of the earlier rumors. The Oil Drum (,) is your source for the meaning of the latest announcements.
June 20, 2008
How to save money on gas
Environmental Economics and The Energy Collective are among the many voices recently advising consumers they could save gasoline by driving more slowly. I was curious to take a look at the evidence behind such claims.
June 19, 2008
China and the business cycle
Could the phenomenal growth train get derailed?
June 18, 2008
Drilling Our Way to ...
As I type this post, the President is proposing once again drilling in ANWR, noting the "enormous" benefits.    I'd like to just note the analysis his Administration's DoE just published last month.
June 16, 2008
Prospects for Nonresidential Investment: Tales from Residential Investment and Corporate Profits
Nonresidential investment has been increasing until 2008Q1, at which time it essentially stalled (-0.2 ppts. annualized in log terms). On the basis of past historical correlations, what's in store?
June 15, 2008
Saudi oil production plans
A potentially huge story from the New York Times.
June 13, 2008
A Closer Look at the Impact of Higher Gasoline Prices
There's been a lot of discussion recently about the effects of high gasoline prices on the quantity demanded of gasoline, as well driving behavior (Jim Hamilton, Jim Hamilton, CR, CR, Paul Krugman). David Austin, whose work I have cited often on this blog, gave a fascinating presentation, entitled "Effects of Gasoline Prices on Driving Behavior and Vehicle Choice" at the recent Society of Government Economists conference in Washington, DC a couple of weeks ago. In it, he tackles some of these issues. (Note, these are his own personal views and do not necessarily represent the views of any specific organization.)
June 12, 2008
A bit of sunshine
Consumers say they're gloomy, but why are they still spending?
June 11, 2008
Housing and the oil shock
The housing downturn and rising gasoline prices are each exerting a significant contractionary influence on U.S. GDP. There is also an interactive effect between the two.
June 10, 2008
Recession versus Negative Output Gap
Over the past few days, I've been trying to identify appropriate measures of the output gap (and trying to relate that to exchange rate changes). As I've done so, I've come to realize that (1) it's a difficult thing to do, and (2) interesting stories come out of different measures.
June 08, 2008
Trends in Key Recession Indicators
Since December 2007 is a commonly identified turning point , , I thought it would be of interest (given Jim's take on whether it matters if we're in a recession) to see what the indicators that the NBER BCDC focus on -- payroll employment, industrial production, real personal income less transfers, real manufacturing and trade sales, and to a lesser extent monthly real GDP -- are doing. They're declining...
Why did oil breach $138?
June 07, 2008
Is this a recession and do we care?
Could well be, and yes you should.
June 06, 2008
Oil Prices in Other Currencies
Some of the explanations for the dollar jump rely upon the perceived weakness in the dollar's value (and hence, by extension, Fed policy). Does this make sense?
June 05, 2008
The oil shock of 2008
Time to reassess the potential for recent oil price increases to contribute to an economic downturn.
June 04, 2008
More on De-Globalization: Oil, Transport Costs and Inflation
The impact of rising transportation costs, driven significantly by high oil prices, is already being seen in capital-intensive manufacturing that carry a high ratio of freight costs to the final sale price. But a new report has determined that higher energy prices are affecting transport costs at such an unprecedented rate that "the cost of moving goods, not the cost of tariffs, is the largest barrier to global trade today."
June 03, 2008
Bruce Mizrach prepared some very thoughtful questions for an interview at the Society for Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics Symposium in San Francisco two months ago. We discussed a broad range of topics, including my background, Markov-switching models, the Fed, oil prices, and why I blog. Below are links you can follow to see the answers to particular questions.
June 02, 2008
Important Footnotes in Dynamic Scoring
The White House today cited the 2006 Treasury Report in its "Pro Growth Tax Policy" information sheet. From the website:
June 01, 2008
From the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee: