November 30, 2011
Central banks augment currency swap capabilities
The U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and central banks of Canada, England, Japan, and Switzerland today announced a coordinated monetary action that could provide added assistance to interbank lending in the event of a further deterioration in global financial markets. Here I offer some thoughts on what the action signifies.
November 29, 2011
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the beancounters."
(With apologies to Shakespeare). Or, how political discourse in America is becoming more like that in Greece.
I’ve been away in Europe for much of the last few weeks, and have heard plenty about the euro crisis (and US fiscal paralysis). And while I think the comparisons often made between the Greek and American fiscal situations are overstated (different debt-to-GDP ratios and trajectories, and critically very different arrangements with respect to central banks), in one way -- namely the way in which Greece managed to enter into EMU, and to hide its debt to GDP ratio -- the US could become more like Greece, if some in the political sphere have their way. From the FT:
November 27, 2011
If you're prone to worry about where the economy's headed, last week's developments weren't very reassuring.
November 23, 2011
Taxing the 1%
Trying to prevent an increase in tax rates on the richest 1% of Americans looks to me like a losing strategy for the Republicans.
November 22, 2011
"Solving America’s Debt Crisis"
That's the title of a piece my colleague Andrew Reschovsky has in the Fall La Follette Policy Report. With the admission of failure by the Supercommittee, it's important to recall the basic choices facing the Nation.
November 20, 2011
Implications of the recent rise in oil prices
The price of West Texas Intermediate has risen almost $10 a barrel since the start of September, and briefly bumped back above $100 a barrel this week. Here's why I think that development may not be as worrisome for the U.S. economy as it might sound.
November 18, 2011
Dispatches (XV): Wisconsin Macroeconomic Indicators
Here are some macro indicators for the Wisconsin macroeconomy. In sum, civilian employment is rising (to essentially 2011M01 levels), but nonfarm payroll employment is declining; private sector employment (ex-farm) is flat, while government employment is declining; and leading indicators are pointing to a downturn.
November 17, 2011
The Economy Slows Here and Abroad
And what we can do about it
From Macroeconomic Advisers and e-forecasting, some recent reads on the macroeconomy:
November 15, 2011
Links for 2011-11-15
Quick summaries of a few items of interest.
Exports in the Recovery (II)
Following up on my previous post on the export contribution in the recovery (averaging 2.6 ppts since the trough), here are some additional observations. First, export growth in the current recovery has been substantially greater from the trough than in the last three recoveries.
November 13, 2011
Greece, Italy, and financial stability
The drama began in Greece. Where is it going to end?
November 12, 2011
I Killed Some Brain Cells Today
I ran a regression of ΔY on ΔX and ΔZ, over the 1967Q1-2011Q3 period. I found that the coefficient on ΔX was 0.007, and on ΔZ was -0.080. Neither coefficient was statistically significant at conventional levels, so I concluded that neither affected ΔY.
November 10, 2011
The U.S. State Department received the application from TransCanada for permission to build the Keystone XL Pipeline Extension over 3 years ago. Today, the White House made a firm decision not to decide just yet, with the State Department indicating that an actual decision is at least another year away.
Nice to see the President is focused like a laser on how to get Americans back to work.
Has Austerity Brought a Boom in the UK?
In "UK: Economic growth, double-dips and the PMI," (G. Buckley, Deutsche Bank, Nov. 4, 2011, not online):
UK GDP grew by 0.5% qoq in Q3, but the position the economy is in is now officially worse than it was in the aftermath of the Great Depression. Add to this the weakening in the composite PMI survey for October (particularly the manufacturing report), also published this week, and escalating risks for a sharper euro area recession, and the stage possibly looks set for a much bleaker picture by the end of this year/start of 2012.
November 09, 2011
Some infrastructure spending is more stimulative than others.
November 07, 2011
Guest Contribution: "What can exports tell us about the economy?"
Today, we are fortunate to have Jay C. Shambaugh of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University as a guest contributor.
There has been considerable debate lately about why the U.S. economy continues to struggle. Some -- notably economists on the right and some Federal Reserve Bank Presidents -- have argued that concerns about future taxes and regulation are preventing American businesses from investing and hiring. Other economists have argued that we have inadequate aggregate demand in the economy and that explains slow GDP and employment growth -- not fear of future government policy.
Photos from a (Book) Forum
From Prakash Loungani's blog:
A standing-room only audience at the IMF last month heard a presentation by [Menzie] Chinn and [Jeffry] Frieden [on Lost Decades], along with comments from Diane Lim Rogers (Concord Coalition), Gail Cohen (Joint Economic Committee) and Simon Johnson (MIT and Peterson Institute). The forum was moderated by Nobel Prize-winner George Akerlof.
November 06, 2011
Autos, housing, and the business cycle
Here I offer some observations on what's been holding back the recovery.
November 03, 2011
"Lurking in the Shadows..."
"...the Risks from Nonbank Intermediation in China," by Nigel Chalk in IMFDirect.
Many China-watchers looked on in awe in 2009 as the government’s response to the global financial crisis unfolded, causing bank lending as a share of the economy to expand by close to 20 percentage points in less than a year. ...
November 02, 2011
Exports in the Recovery
Just a quick observation today, elicited by a question: what has been a consistent source of growth since the recovery began?
November 01, 2011
Geography and income
Running a little behind, so I decided today to reprint something I wrote 4 years ago as an excuse to call attention to some charts I still think are pretty interesting.
"An Examination of U.S. Dollar Declines"
...we examine the role of market uncertainty and currency risk premia in the pace and size of episodes of dollar weakness since 1991. We find that the most recent bout of U.S. dollar declines largely can be attributed to the recovery in global economic activity from the most recent recession.