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Analysis of current economic conditions and policy
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17 февраля, 07:18

Crazy Definitions of Equilibrium Exchange Rates

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“The Coalition for a Prosperous America” releases what it burbles as a “Groundbreaking CPA Study…” entitled “Quantifying Economic Growth and Job Creation from a Competitive Dollar”. Don’t be fooled by all the footnotes and the numbers. At the basis of the analysis is the aphorism: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”. Here’s how the […]

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16 февраля, 01:39

Industrial and Manufacturing Production Decline: Whence the Business Cycle?

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Interesting news even as we are flying partly blind (some government series are still lagging). Here’re industrial and manufacturing indices, normalized to 2009M06=0 (recession trough). The 0.9% and 0.6% declines in m/m manufacturing and industrial output compare to 0.55% and 0.5% standard deviations over the 2009M06-2013M01 period. The manufacturing decline is therefore statistically significant. Last […]

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14 февраля, 23:28

Why Isn’t Stephen Moore Still Bragging about Coal As #1?

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Recall from July 2017, when Stephen Moore wrote an article entitled “When It Comes To Electric Power, Coal Is No. 1” ? No more. Now, lying has never been an impediment to Mr. Moore claiming something that was untrue (see [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] ) — but in this case perhaps it’s […]

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14 февраля, 10:11

The Mystery of the Miniscule Term Spread

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The Federal budget has just had a big hole blown in it, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the last omnibus spending bill, the both the Fed and foreigners (including central banks) are no longer adding to their holdings of Treasurys. First, consider that when structural (cyclically adjusted) budget deficits rise, often […]

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11 февраля, 19:10

Scott Walker Lies (Yet Again)

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About taxes and revenues and growth. He just can’t stop lying. From twitter: “During the 3 times the top marginal tax rates were lowered in the 20th century (Harding/Coolidge, JFK/LBJ & Reagan) revenues actually went up while the economy improved in America.” You can look to the following two graphs to assess the veracity of […]

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11 февраля, 04:28

Random Sunday Observation on the Compositional Attributes of the Econoblogosphere

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The economics blogosphere, as listed in several lists of “top blogs” is remarkably monochromatic, and male. If one types in the words “top economics blogs” into Google, one gets several lists: Intelligent Economist, 2018 FocusEconomics, 2018 American Library Assn I would’ve liked to do a tabulation and present a formal breakdown. However, the day job […]

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10 февраля, 02:35

Scott Walker Tweets on Job Creation

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From twitter: The U.S. economy added 304,000 new jobs in January. @POTUS @realDonaldTrump should highlight this positive economic news in his @SOTU address. More jobs, low unemployment. This reminds me that only as of November 2018 did Wisconsin meet and continuously exceed the goal of 250,000 new jobs that former Governor Scott Walker promised for […]

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10 февраля, 00:02

What a Confidence Interval Is Not

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Ever since I read the hysterically incorrect interpretation of a confidence interval from a person who purports to be a policy analyst, I’ve been looking for a succint explanation from a statistician, as a handy reference. Here it is (h/t David Giles via Mark Thoma): The specific 95 % confidence interval presented by a study […]

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08 февраля, 06:44

“Go back to Puerto Rico”

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“Republican Rep. Jason Smith yelled a potentially racially charged remark across the aisle as Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas was at the podium.” (Roll Call) This behavior provides an insight into the sheer callousness of some people. Nonetheless, this provides a good example to remember what has happened in Puerto Rico, as they now face an impending food crisis, as funding […]

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07 февраля, 21:08

This Is Winning?

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The November trade release on US-China trade: Of course, as Brad Setser points out, Chinese imports from the rest of the world overall have also decreased, so the decrease in US exports to China cannot be completely ascribed to tariffs and counter-tariffs. However, to the extent that the Chinese slowdown is partly attributable to the […]

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07 февраля, 07:02

Guest Contribution: “Can Specialization Patterns and Trade Costs Account for External Balances?”

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Today, we are pleased to present a guest contribution written by Emine Boz (IMF), Nan Li (IMF) and Hongrui Zhang (IDB). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the IMF, IDB, their Executive Boards, or the managements of those organizations. Some major economies specializing in sectors that […]

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05 февраля, 09:11

“International spillovers of monetary policy through global banks”

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That’s the title of a special issue of the Journal of International Money and Finance that’s just been published. From the introductory editorial: “…most of the literature [on spillovers] has focused on macroeconomic channels, whereas comparatively less attention has been paid to transmission via banks, which may vary depending on individual banks’ characteristics and the […]