July 31, 2012
“Slow Recovery or Failed Agenda?”
That’s the question posed in the title of yesterday’s op-ed by Ed Lazear, and it's an excellent question. Looking at the statistics, 13 quarters after the President’s inauguration, non-defense GDP is only 4% higher (in log terms) than when he came into office.
July 30, 2012
Yet another discouraging GDP release
The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday that U.S. real GDP grew at an anemic 1.5% annual rate during the second quarter. When the same bad thing keeps happening to you again and again, "disappointed" no longer seems the appropriate word to use.
July 29, 2012
We Can Emulate the UK (GDP-wise)!
Or, still no expansionary fiscal contraction in the UK (surprise!)
July 26, 2012
Guest Contribution: Rejoinder to "Oil Price Spike Exacerbated by Wall Street Speculation?"
Today, we are fortunate to have Luciana Juvenal and Ivan Petrella, as guest contributors. In this post, they respond to Wednesday's guest contribution by Lutz Kilian, entitled Oil Price Spike Exacerbated by Wall Street Speculation?.
July 25, 2012
Guest Contribution: "Oil Price Spike Exacerbated by Wall Street Speculation?"
A recent study by Luciana Juvenal and Ivan Petrella suggests that the financialization of oil futures markets contributed significantly to the surge in oil prices after 2003. Lutz Kilian, Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan, questions their analysis and highlights that their paper actually does not shed any light on the role of Wall Street speculation.
July 24, 2012
Crowding Out Watch: July 2012
As feared by Representative Ryan, in March 2011, crowding out due to deficits: The ten year inflation adjusted constant maturity rate as of 7/20 was -0.67%
Source: St. Louis Fed FRED accessed 7/24 11am Pacific.
July 23, 2012
The Path Not Taken ... Thus Far: Debt Deleveraging by Inflation
July 21, 2012
The fiscal cliff and rationality
What should happen, what could happen, and what will happen?
July 20, 2012
Wisconsin Employment Release for June: Payroll, Private, Civilian Employment Decline.
The BLS has released preliminary estimates for June employment in Wisconsin. Private payrolls declined 11.7 thousand while total nonfarm payroll declined 13.2 thousand (0.5% and 0.5% respectively, using log differences), at seasonally adjusted rates. Civilian employment decreased 7.9 thousand (0.3%). (At annualized rates, these would be 6%, 5.8% and 3.3%, respectively). It is interesting to observe that none of these figures are cited in the text of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development press release. Instead, it notes:
July 19, 2012
Would Regulation of Libor Have Passed Senator Shelby’s Benefit-Cost Analysis?
Senator Shelby, Ranking Republican of the Banking Committee, has sponsored The Financial Regulatory Responsibility Act, which seeks to restrict implementation of Dodd-Frank, and require benefit-cost analysis for financial regulation. To quote Sen. Shelby: "American job creators are under siege from the Dodd-Frank Act."  Now, it’s clear that British authorities have primary responsibility for regulating Libor (after all, the “L” in Libor stands for “London”). But I think it’s useful to consider this question because clearly similar concerns will arise in markets in the US sometime in the future.
July 18, 2012
Maugeri on peak oil
Carpe Diem, Reuters, FTalphaville, and WhaleOil are among those calling attention to a new paper by Leonardo Maugeri, senior manager for the Italian oil company Eni, and Senior Fellow at Harvard University, which concluded:
Contrary to what most people believe, oil supply capacity is growing worldwide at such an unprecedented level that it might outpace consumption. This could lead to a glut of overproduction and a steep dip in oil prices.
Based on original, bottom-up, field-by-field analysis of most oil exploration and development projects in the world, this paper suggests that an unrestricted, additional production (the level of production targeted by each single project, according to its schedule, unadjusted for risk) of more than 49 million barrels per day of oil (crude oil and natural gas liquids, or NGLs) is targeted for 2020, the equivalent of more than half the current world production capacity of 93 mbd. [After factoring in risk factors and depletion rates of currently producing oilfields], the net additional production capacity by 2020 could be 17.6 mbd, yielding a world oil production capacity of 110.6 mbd by that date.
Here I take a look at some of the details of Maugeri's analysis.
July 17, 2012
High Inflation at the Gates?
The Federal Reserve needs to raise interest rates to stave off inflation, says Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. "I'm worried they're not going to pre-empt inflation," the House Budget Committee Chairman tells CNBC.
Recent economic reports from China are, at the least, mixed. The responses to Friday’s GDP report are illustrative.
July 15, 2012
Is QE3 coming?
Conditions have changed since January, and we might expect some additional stimulus from the Fed at the next FOMC meeting.
July 14, 2012
May Temperatures, Economic Implications
With update (7/19) comparing global land/ocean temperature anomaly 2012 vs. 2010 and 2005
The United States reported its warmest spring since records began in 1895,...
July 12, 2012
Data on Tax Rates, by Quintiles
Or, where have you gone, Todd Henderson?
July 11, 2012
Shale oil and tight oil
Since 2005, the "total oil supply" for the United States as reported by the Energy Information Administration increased by 2.2 million barrels per day. Of this, 1.3 mb/d, or 60%, has come from natural gas liquids and biofuels, which really shouldn't be added to conventional crude production for purposes of calculating the available supply. Of the 800,000 b/d increase in actual field production of crude oil, almost all of the gain has come from shale and other tight formations that horizontal fracturing methods have only recently opened up. Here I offer some thoughts on how these new production methods change the overall outlook for U.S. oil production.
July 09, 2012
The Fiscal Cliff, and the Enduring Legacy of EGTRRA/JGTRRA and a Certain Discretionary Spending Measure Starting in 2003
The CBO recently released a document that places our current policy dilemma in context (Changes in CBO’s Baseline Projections Since January 2001, June 7, 2012).
July 06, 2012
Current economic conditions
I see both dark clouds and rays of hope.
July 04, 2012
Update on U.S. gasoline prices
Two weeks ago, I commented on the tendency of U.S. retail gasoline prices to follow the price of Brent crude oil, anticipating on the basis of the price of Brent, then at $91.50, that we might expect to see average U.S. retail gasoline prices, then at $3.47, to fall an additional 35 cents/gallon. The gasoline price has since come down about 11 cents. But with Brent now surging back up near $100, this is about all we can expect.
July 03, 2012
Emerging Reserve Currencies?
From the abstract to "A Note on Reserve Currencies with Special Reference to the G-20 Countries"
It is most likely that the current reserve currencies will retain their status in the near future, given the persistence in the composition of reserve holdings.
July 01, 2012
Natural gas liquids
According to the Energy Information Administration, in March the United States produced a "total oil supply" of 10.8 million barrels per day, which was 2.1 mb/d more than in January 2005. But if you just rely on those aggregate numbers, you'll miss some very important trends.