RSS TheMoneyIllusion
  • Taking Trump seriously and literally August 4, 2020
    Before becoming president, Trump said things that were so bizarre and so offensive that most people assumed he could not possibly be serious. They’d say things like, “Trump should be taken seriously, but not literally.” After all, if we took him literally, then he would have been a fascist. Some examples. Prior to becoming president: […]
  • Will Trump do for NIMBYism what he did for trade and immigration? August 3, 2020
    The GOP has traditionally been the party that is more skeptical of economic regulations, including zoning restrictions. Republican states like Texas have far more lenient zoning rules than Democratic states like California. But just as Trump moved the GOP away from its traditional views on trade and immigration, he seems to be doing the same […]
  • Everything is political in a banana republic August 3, 2020
    Another example: Two board members have since departed. David C. Williams, the vice chairman, left in April over concerns that the Postal Service was becoming increasingly politicized by the Trump administration, according to two people familiar with his thinking. Ronald Stroman, who oversaw mail-in voting and relations with election officials, resigned in May. One of […]
  • Another day, another example August 1, 2020
    It’s getting to the point where every single day you can find examples of the US becoming a banana republic, usually on Trump’s twitter account: The appeal came a day after US president Donald Trump vowed to ban TikTok in the US, and said a sale to any party — including Microsoft — would not […]
  • Nowcast bleg July 31, 2020
    I just received in my email box the latest “Nowcast” from the New York Fed. Unfortunately, I cannot understand what they are trying to say. It seems like they are predicting (as of July 31, 2020) that Q2 growth will be minus 13.75%, at an annual rate. But one day earlier, growth was officially estimated […]
  • Banana republic watch July 31, 2020
    Yesterday we saw Trump ask whether it might be better if the election were delayed. Today we have another example, from the FT: What would happen if President Donald Trump took his rhetoric about “making China pay” for Covid-19 to its logical conclusion? Leading Republicans like senator Lindsey Graham say the US should consider cancelling […]
  • Robert Hetzel on Fed policy and moral hazard July 31, 2020
    The Mercatus Center has just published an excellent paper by Robert Hetzel entitled COVID-19 and the Fed’s Credit Policy. Here’s the abstract: In March 2020, with the realization of the enormity of the threat posed by the COVID- 19 virus, financial markets exhibited unusual volatility. According to the Federal Reserve’s narrative, financial markets became dysfunctional; […]
  • Jonathan Turley on Trump Derangement Syndrome July 30, 2020
    Today’s good post on the economy is over at Econlog. Here’s my bad post: Matt Yglesias directed me to an April 25 article by Jonathan Turley in The Hill, where he derided Biden’s claim that Trump would “try” to delay the election: Biden left little doubt of such a plan by Trump. He said, “Mark […]
  • The Democratic Party’s hard right views on marijuana July 28, 2020
    OK, maybe they are a bit less bad than the GOP, but this is truly inexcusable in the era of Black Lives Matter: It’s 2020 and the leadership of the Democratic Party still cannot get it together on marijuana legalization, which two-thirds of Americans support. . . . Marijuana Moment reports that on Monday the […]
  • What’s so bad about identity politics? July 28, 2020
    Some progressive commenters were critical of my statement that I oppose identity politics. And when you read the following, it’s not hard to see why: Both with a zest for the controversial, the litigious, and the troll, Kobach and Thiel have also each collected enemies in their political crusades. They both inveigh against identity politics, the […]
RSS The Back of the Envelope (a blog) – Preston Byrne
  • Summon the Libertarians! July 22, 2020
    In the wake of the Portland rioting and subsequent deployment of federal law enforcement officers in that city to protect federal property and enforce federal law, there has been something of a trend on that dystopian hellscape of a microblogging site – Twitter – where the sort of people who normally oppose libertarianism and/or don’t… […]
  • You really shouldn’t record Clubhouse calls July 3, 2020
    Somewhat distressingly, this is the second blog post I’ve written on a legal topic following a call for same from the inimitable Balaji Srinivasan. It’s not legal advice. See disclaimer. My last post was on the topic of how to introduce anti-cancellation language into an employment agreement. This blog post will be on the subject… […]
  • Anti-Cancellation Clauses: corporate timeouts for the digital age June 18, 2020
    Right now, a lot of people are getting fired because of Internet mobs. This is a draft for discussion and is not legal advice. The text below is offered for discussion purposes only. You must speak to a lawyer in your jurisdiction and any other relevant jurisdictions before negotiating any employment agreement of any type.… […]
  • Section 230 explained with stick figures June 17, 2020
    Another day, another terrible take on Section 230 from politicians with law degrees who should know better. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act – 47 U.S.C. § 230 – is a law that, arguably, is the reason that the modern Internet exists. Politicians keep misrepresenting what the statute is for and how it works.… […]
  • Business compliance issues arising from “domestic terrorist” use of internet platforms June 1, 2020
    The below is not legal advice. See disclaimer. Good morning, on the strangest Monday morning in American history This morning, on Twitter, the President of the United States declared Antifa – Antifaschiste Aktion, an originally-European street gang of far left wing activists – to be a terrorist organization. Whether we agree with that designation or… […]
RSS Econlib
  • Why Matt Ridley Writes on Innovation August 4, 2020
    First in a #ReadWithMe Series   Matt Ridley’s How Innovation Works is a remarkable book. It is the third book in a row that Ridley, better known as a scientific journalist and, indeed, one of those rare people who makes highly complex scientific arguments understandable to the average educated reader, devoted to the _economic_ and […]
  • Rethinking the Great Recession August 4, 2020
    When I studied history, I was perplexed as to how the US could have done things like the internment of Japanese-Americans in WWII or the Joe McCarthy witch hunts of the early 1950s. Today, as I observe the growing anti-Chinese hysteria, these events are becoming easier to understand. When I studied economic history, I was […]
  • Escaping Paternalism Book Club: Part 4 August 4, 2020
    Summary Chapter 8 of Escaping Paternalism provides a vigorous public choice critique of paternalism in general and the “new paternalism” in particular.  While they deploy most of the standard public choice arguments, Rizzo and Whitman (RW) also ably turn the tools of behavioral economics against paternalism itself.  Real-world paternalists really should proverbially cast the beam out […]
  • Should Jane Decide Who Gets the Vaccine? August 3, 2020
    Who will get the cars and when? Who will get the steak? Who will get the wine? Or, as the Associated Press asked this morning, “who’s first in line for COVID-19 vaccine”? There are two answers: (1) Jane who works for the government will decide. (2) An impersonal, decentralized, efficient exchange process, where everybody is […]
  • How strong is the paternalist argument for drug regulations? August 3, 2020
    We are often told that we cannot leave the pharmaceutical market unregulated, as uninformed consumers will make poor choices. I don’t doubt that there would be many examples of poor choices in a free market, but that’s not the same as claiming that the choices would be poor, on average. This article caught my eye: […]
  • Cities and economies: They’re made of people! August 3, 2020
    If you live in a city then there’s a good chance that on the first weekend of May every year you can find people who hold free walking tours highlighting local insights, history, or hidden nuggets in the neighbourhood you’re walking. The people leading these tours do so in honour of the work and life […]
  • Escaping Paternalism Book Club: Rizzo and Whitman Response, Part 2 August 3, 2020
    This is the second of a series of responses by Mario Rizzo and Glen Whitman, authors of Escaping Paternalism, for my Book Club on their treatise. Inclusive Rationality and Falsifiability In the first installment of the book club, Bryan raised questions about the falsifiability of inclusive rationality, and he wonders if we can offer a […]
  • Missing: Entrepreneurship in Economic Education August 3, 2020
    Traditional neoclassical microeconomics presents a very lengthy and rigorous treatment of business firms operating in markets with different levels of competition. Economics professors test their students’ knowledge about this material mostly with equations, graphs, and mathematical conditions. While these models are neat and tidy, they to a large extent completely ignore the real driving force […]
  • Economists Waging War August 3, 2020
    A Book Review of Economists at War: How a Handful of Economists Helped Win and Lose World Wars, by Alan Bollard.1 Most economists go through their lives wondering if any of their work has had an effect on the world beyond academe. The seven economists that Alan Bollard writes about in Economists at War probably […]
  • Twilight of the Bourgeoisie August 3, 2020
    The new urban paradigm is what Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, famously labeled a “luxury city,” built around the preferences of his ultra-rich compadres. But within the dominant cities are clear divisions by class, education, and sometimes race. The wealthy live in safe, gentrified areas, while the poor and minority populations are […]
RSS Moneyness
  • How the pandemic has clogged the global economy with paper currency August 1, 2020
    The outbreak of Covid-19 has caused a global increase in the amount of cash in the economy. I think I've got a pretty neat explanation for why.But before I tell you what it is, let me show what the cash build-up looks like. Here's what has happened to banknotes in circulation in Canada so far […]
    JP Koning
  • Pennies as state failure July 21, 2020
    We can all think of examples of state failure. The most obvious include the inability to protect citizens from criminals, failure to provide drinkable water, and incapacity to cope with a public health crisis like COVID-19. I would argue that the ongoing existence of the penny within a nation's borders is another example of state […]
    JP Koning
  • Bitcoin is more like ham radio than the early internet July 10, 2020
    People in the bitcoin community often make fun of me as a nocoiner. That is, I don't have any bitcoins and am vocal about that fact. (Neither of which is true, by the way).The truth is that I have no problem with bitcoin. It is a solid protocol that has survived handily for eleven years. […]
    JP Koning
  • Is fiat money to blame for the Iraq war, police brutality, and the war on drugs? June 29, 2020
    I often encounter memes claiming that fiat money is to blame for all sorts of government evils. Here is one example from Kraken bitcoin strategist spokesperson & bitcoin meme factory Pierre Rochard:The military-industrial complex that deliberately creates wars is financed by inflationary State fiat currencies.— Pierre Rochard (@pierre_rochard) January 8, 2020 The rough idea behind […]
    JP Koning
  • Banks are slow to increase rates on savings accounts, but quick to reduce them June 24, 2020
    Chase Sunset & Vine, 2012. Painting by Alex SchaeferThere is a fundamental asymmetry to banking. Banks don't like to share higher interest rates with their customers who have checking and savings accounts. But they are quick to pass off lower interest rates to us.This asymmetry is good for bank shareholders, but bad for customers.To illustrate […]
    JP Koning
  • Want to open an account at the central bank? I'll pass, thanks June 6, 2020
    The only type of central bank-issued money that we hoi polloi can own are banknotes. But over the last few years, researchers at central banks have been increasingly toying with the idea of issuing digital money for public consumption. I count 380,000 search results on Google for the term "central bank digital currency," up from […]
    JP Koning
  • How the Bank of Canada's balance sheet went from $118 billion to $440 billion in eight weeks May 30, 2020
    Ever since the coronavirus hit, the Bank of Canada's balance sheet has been exploding. In late February its assets measured just $118 billion. Eight weeks later the Bank of Canada has $440 billion in assets. That's a $320 billion jump! To put this in context, I've charted out the Bank of Canada's assets going back […]
    JP Koning
  • One country, two monetary systems May 19, 2020
    I often write about odd monetary phenomena on this blog. Here's a new contender, Yemen's dual banknote system. Yemen uses the Yemeni rial as a unit of account. As one of the poorest countries in the world, Yemen still relies mostly on banknotes to make transactions, which are issued by the Central Bank of Yemen, […]
    JP Koning
  • Why Fedcoin May 11, 2020
    Six years ago I wrote a blog post about Fedcoin. Fedcoin is a type of central bank digital currency, or CBDC. (I called it Fedcoin at the time, but it could be any central bank that issues it, not just the Federal Reserve.)So why Fedcoin?The rough idea was that it might make sense for the […]
    JP Koning
  • The best investment in the world April 23, 2020
    I've blogged about strange trades before. There's Kyle Bass's bet on 5-cent coins. The great Japanese gold trade of 1859. And the epic bull market in shares of the Swiss National Bank, Switzerland's central bank.This post is about the best investment in the world. I won't leave you hanging. It's the U.S. "Series EE" savings […]
    JP Koning
RSS Welcome to my blog on Trys Mudford
  • Lessons learned buying our first home July 16, 2020
    On the 5th June, after many weeks of lockdown separation, Lauren and I picked up the keys to our first house. Here are some of the lessons we learned along the way. When looking for a house, work out your priorities for rooms/space, and try to imagine how long you plan on staying there. You […]
  • URLSearchParams and FormData on MS Edge May 8, 2020
    This is one of those “I couldn’t find the answer googling, so writing this post as a reminder to future me” sort of posts. There’s a really neat feature of URLSearchParams that lets you construct it with a FormData object. It’s a lovely pattern for converting a form to a query string in a few […]
  • SofaConf 2020 - a technical write-up May 6, 2020
    We’ve just launched 2020.sofaconf.com and you should definitely come along! The tickets are incredibly reasonable for a one day conference, let alone a 🎉 FIVE DAY 🎉 conference, with an amazing roster of speakers! We build a good number of event sites at Clearleft, including: dConstruct (we all remember this absolute peach 🍑), UXLondon, Leading […]
  • Virtual Games: Yahtzee April 1, 2020
    Following on from Boggle, we’re going to set up the classic dice game, Yahtzee. This post will be a step-by-step guide showing you how to set up and play in a couple of minutes. Step 1: Template We’ve made a template to get you started. Click ‘Use Template’ to take a copy of our spreadsheet, […]
  • Virtual Games: Boggle March 30, 2020
    Being stuck in lockdown away from your fiancée isn’t all that fun. Because we’re incredibly fun people™, we decided to recreate some of our favourite games in virtual form! This post will be a step-by-step guide showing you how to set up and play virtual Boggle in a number of minutes. The humble spreadsheet is […]
  • Prioritising Requirements March 25, 2020
    In any development project, there is a point at which one must decide on the tech stack. For some, that may feel like a foregone conclusion, dictated by team appetite and experience. Even if the decision seems obvious, it’s always worth sense-checking your thought process. Along with experience and gut-feelings, we also have blind-spots and […]
  • Currying in CSS? February 26, 2020
    There were lots of interesting discoveries found whilst developing Utopia. This one came when declaring CSS custom properties. Taking a card as an example, one would often start off with some CSS like this: .card { padding: 40px; background: #FAFAFA; } Then extract the values out for re-use across the website: :root { --card-padding: 40px; […]
  • Refactoring CSS Locks February 6, 2020
    In our first Utopia.fyi release, I stumbled upon an elegant way to re-use CSS locks. In a traditional CSS lock, we have a @media query that locks the selectors when they reach the max viewport size. In this example, we go from 2em to 4em, between viewports of 20em and 80em: h2 { font-size: calc(2em […]
  • Fluid Custom Properties February 3, 2020
    Read the article
  • CSS-only fluid modular type scales February 1, 2020
    Read the article
RSS Welcome to Night Vale
  • 171 - Go to the Mirror? August 1, 2020
    Have you ever looked at yourself? Truly looked at yourself? Weather: “Flower Lane” by Funbearable https://funbearable.bandcamp.com/ Livestream of THE LIBRARIAN on Aug 20: https://noonchorus.com/welcome-to-night-vale/ Black Lives Matter. Donate where you can to support social justice initiatives You can also support the Night Vale Patreon, to help us keep making this show: http://patreon.com/welcometonightvale/ Rescheduled tour dates for […]
  • Announcement: CONDOS Livestream on July 9 July 2, 2020
    A Welcome to Night Vale live performance of our 2013 hit show CONDOS… Thursday July 9 at 8pm ET Tickets are pay-what-you-can starting at $5. https://noonchorus.com/welcome-to-night-vale/ The show features: Cecil Baldwin, Dylan Marron, Meg Bashwiner, Symphony Sanders, Mara Wilson, and Disparition. Join us next Thursday for a rare performance of a show that we haven’t […]
  • 170 - To the Family and Friends June 15, 2020
    To the family and friends of Intern Victor, we extend our condolences Weather: “A List for Spring” by Joseph Fink https://josephfink.bandcamp.com/ Black Lives Matter. Donate where you can to support social justice initiatives: https://www.thecut.com/2020/05/george-floyd-protests-how-to-help-where-to-donate.html You can also support the Night Vale Patreon, to help us keep making this show: http://patreon.com/welcometonightvale/ Sponsor: CATAN https://catanshop.com/nightvale Rescheduled tour […]
  • 169 - The Whittler June 1, 2020
    An old man sits on the steps of the old General Store whistling a lonesome tune. Weather: “Embroidery Stars” by Carrie Elkin http://carrieelkin.com/ Black Lives Matter. Donate where you can to support social justice initiatives: https://www.thecut.com/2020/05/george-floyd-protests-how-to-help-where-to-donate.html You can also support the Night Vale Patreon: http://patreon.com/welcometonightvale/ Rescheduled tour dates for 2020: http://www.welcometonightvale.com/live/ Our third novel, The […]
  • 168 - Secret Blotter May 15, 2020
    For the first time ever, the Sheriff's Secret Police has made their blotter public. Guest writer: Brie Williams Weather: “Best Friends” by Curtains: https://curtains.bandcamp.com/ If you can, please support our Patreon: http://patreon.com/welcometonightvale/ Rescheduled tour dates for 2020: http://www.welcometonightvale.com/live/ Our third novel, The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home, is out now: http://www.welcometonightvale.com/books/ […]
  • 167 - Echo May 1, 2020
    The pilot has arrived, and so have his passengers. (Part 5 of 5) Weather: “The Stolen Century” by Ellen Beizer: http://ellenclairebeizer.com/ If you can, please support our Patreon: http://patreon.com/welcometonightvale/ Rescheduled tour dates for 2020: http://www.welcometonightvale.com/live/ Our third novel, The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home, is out now: http://www.welcometonightvale.com/books/ Music: Disparition http://disparition.info […]
  • 166 - Delta April 15, 2020
    The passengers have been found, or rather, they have found us. (Part 4 of 5) Weather: “A Prayer for the Sane” by Danny Schmidt http://dannyschmidt.com Rescheduled tour dates for 2020: http://www.welcometonightvale.com/live/ Our third novel, The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home, is out now: http://www.welcometonightvale.com/books/ Music: Disparition http://disparition.info Logo: Rob Wilson http://robwilsonwork.com Written […]
  • 165 - Charlie April 1, 2020
    Nothing about Charles Rainier's average New England upbringing indicated he would one day be standing in the middle of a desert searching for fugitives from his own Asylum. (Part 3 of 5) Weather: “Breathe” by Tanja Daub http://tanjadaub.bandcamp.com We have rescheduled tour dates and an added Louisville show: http://www.welcometonightvale.com/live/ Our third novel, The Faceless Old […]
  • Bonus: Excerpt 2 from "The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home" March 24, 2020
    An excerpt (read by Mara Wilson) of Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor's new novel The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home. Out today… wherever you get books, or order from some fantastic independent book stores: http://welcometonightvale.com/books.
  • News about books and tours, and "Our Plague Year" March 17, 2020
    Joseph has a few things to chat about with you, and then we present the first episode of our new show, Our Plague Year. Introducing a new kind of current events podcast. An island in a storm of bad headlines. An experiment in public anxiety. Let's get through this year together. Subscribe at http://ourplagueyear.libsyn.com/ or […]
RSS Welcome to vSphere-land!
  • vSphere 7.0 Link-O-Rama March 10, 2020
    Your complete guide to all the essential vSphere 7.0 links from all over the VMware universe. Bookmark this page and keep checking back as it will continue to grow as new links are added everyday. Also be sure and check out the Planet vSphere-land feed for all the latest blog posts from the Top 100 […]
  • VMware announces vSphere 7.0: Here’s what you need to know March 10, 2020
    VMware just announced the latest release of vSphere, 7.0, and it’s their biggest release to date. Before we dive in and cover what’s in it, let’s talk about timing first. Note this is just the announcement, VMware typically does the announcement first and the GA is usually about 30 days later. VMware major releases have […]
  • Top vBlog 2020 starting soon, make sure your site is included March 4, 2020
    All right let’s do this, Top vBlog 2020 is about ready to go. The last Top vBlog 2018 kicked off at the end of 2018 and wrapped up in March 2019 and was based on blogging done in 2017. As we were running behind the timing worked out that I didn’t do one last year […]
  • Will there be a VMworld event this year? February 28, 2020
    With the continued spread of the coronavirus more and more large event conferences are being canceled. Facebook has already canceled their F8 conference in May which was going to be held in San Francisco and attracts around 5,000 attendees. Mobile World Congress a large telecom event which was being held in Barcelona was also recently […]
  • Sign up now for VMware’s big launch announcement on 3/10 February 14, 2020
    VMware has announced an upcoming event where they will reveal “new product details across VMware’s complete modern applications portfolio”. You can probably guess what this is about, the long awaited next major version of vSphere featuring the native Kubernetes support that they announced as Project Pacific back at VMworld. This has been the longest time […]
  • Heads up: If you are using vVols be careful upgrading to 6.7 U3 February 11, 2020
    For all those that are using vVols and looking to upgrade to vSphere 6.7 Update 3 take note of an important change that VMware quietly made in that release which could potentially cause issues with vVols by not allowing self-signed certificates to be used by default. As you know a certificate is required for communication […]
  • Coming Soon: Top vBlog 2020 January 23, 2020
    After a brief hiatus and a health scare, I’m back at it and ready to launch the next Top vBlog voting. We have been running behind the last few years so I’ve decided to fast forward to 2020 which will be based on on blogging activities in 2019 so we’re all caught up to the […]
  • vVols at VMworld 2019 Special Report September 12, 2019
    I already did a whole big post on my experience at VMworld this year but since there was a lot of activity centered around vVols at VMworld this year I thought I would do a post to highlight that as last year vVols didn’t get as much love at VMworld. Before I start I’d like […]
  • My thoughts and observations on VMworld 2019 September 11, 2019
    Another year, another VMworld, this one being #12 for me, wow has it really been 12 years of going to VMworld. I’ve never in my professional career gone to any conference that many times. I think that is a largely a testament to how relevant VMware has managed to stay in the ever changing IT […]
  • Here we go again: the correct case for VVols is now vVols August 2, 2019
    VMware loves their acronyms and through the years has constantly changed the format for them from upper to lower case. vSAN has gone from VSAN to vSAN and now according to VMware the correct case for abbreviating VVols is vVols. It’s always frustrating when VMware does this, especially if you are a vendor and have […]
RSS The Everyday Economist
  • In Memory of Bob Rossana July 6, 2020
    Robert “Bob” Rossana died back in February of this year. I was inadvertently left off of the university announcement email and did not hear about it until much later. Bob was my dissertation advisor. He meant a lot to me … Continue reading →
  • The Coronavirus and Lessons for Preparedness March 27, 2020
    My new Mercatus policy brief is up. It is entitled, “The Coronavirus and Lessons for Preparedness.” You can find it here.
  • Macroeconomic Policy and the Coronavirus March 13, 2020
    (The post is also going to be cross-posted at Lars Christensen’s Market Monetarist blog.) As the coronavirus spreads across the world, there is growing concern about the economic implications of the virus and what, if any, policy action is required … Continue reading →
  • Podcast on Maritime Policy February 28, 2020
    I recently recorded an episode of The Economics Detective podcast with Garrett Petersen. The subject of the podcast is my paper, “U.S. Maritime Policy and Economic Efficiency.” A link to the paper is here. A link to a blog post … Continue reading →
  • Some Links January 6, 2020
    A couple of links to things I have been working on… My paper entitled, “The Riksbank, Emergency Finance, Policy Experimentation, and Sweden’s Reversal of Fortune” is now forthcoming at the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. The paper includes a … Continue reading →
  • On Maritime Policy December 10, 2019
    Some time ago, I was listening to NPR and the hosts were discussing the Jones Act. For those who are unaware, the Jones Act requires that any shipping done from one U.S. port to another U.S. port must be carried … Continue reading →
  • On Drawing the Wrong Lessons from Theory: The Natural Rate of Unemployment October 9, 2019
    Economic theory is important. Theory provides discipline. Economists write down a set of assumptions and follow those assumptions to their logical conclusions. The validity of a particular theory is then tested against observed data. Modern economic theory is often mathematical, … Continue reading →
  • On Exhaustible Resources, Part 2 September 25, 2019
    Yesterday’s post on exhaustive resources has drawn a lot of ire from critics. Some have argued that I didn’t address the problem of economic growth. In short, the argument is that there are two sources of economic growth. The first … Continue reading →
  • On Exhaustible Resources September 24, 2019
    Yesterday, George Monbiot wrote in the Guardian that the survival of capitalism relies on persistent economic growth and persistent economic growth is impossible in the long-run because there are finite resources in the world. In response, I made the following … Continue reading →
  • A Simple Lesson About Money and Models October 12, 2018
    Imagine you are in your high school algebra class and you are presented with the following two equations: Two linear equations with 2 unknowns. This is a simple problem to solve. Now suppose that your teacher gives you the following … Continue reading →
RSS Uneasy Money
  • Why The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page is a Disgrace July 24, 2020
    In view of today’s absurdly self-righteous statement by the Wall Street Journal editorial board, I thought it would be a good idea to update one of my first posts (almost nine years ago) on this blog. Plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose; just gets worse and worse even with only occasional contributions by […]
    David Glasner
  • What’s Right and not so Right with Modern Monetary Theory July 2, 2020
    I am finishing up a first draft of a paper on fiat money, bitcoins and cryptocurrencies that will be included in a forthcoming volume on bitcoins and cryptocurrencies. The paper is loosely based on a number of posts that have appeared on this blog since I started blogging almost nine years ago. My first post […]
    David Glasner
  • An Austrian Tragedy May 25, 2020
    It was hardly predictable that the New York Review of Books would take notice of Marginal Revolutionaries by Janek Wasserman, marking the susquicentenial of the publication of Carl Menger’s Grundsätze (Principles of Economics) which, along with Jevons’s Principles of Political Economy and Walras’s Elements of Pure Economics ushered in the marginal revolution upon which all of […]
    David Glasner
  • A Tale of Two Syntheses May 8, 2020
    I recently finished reading a slender, but weighty, collection of essays, Microfoundtions Reconsidered: The Relationship of Micro and Macroeconomics in Historical Perspective, edited by Pedro Duarte and Gilberto Lima; it contains in addition to a brief introductory essay by the editors, and contributions by Kevin Hoover, Robert Leonard, Wade Hands, Phil Mirowski, Michel De Vroey, […]
    David Glasner
  • Filling the Arrow Explanatory Gap April 24, 2020
    The following (with some minor revisions) is a Twitter thread I posted yesterday. Unfortunately, because it was my first attempt at threading the thread wound up being split into three sub-threads and rather than try to reconnect them all, I will just post the complete thread here as a blogpost. 1. Here’s an outline of […]
    David Glasner
  • The Equilibrium of Each Is the Result of the Equilibrium of All, or, the Rational Expectation of Each is the Result of the Rational Expectation of All April 13, 2020
    A few weeks ago, I wrote a post whose title (“The Idleness of Each Is the Result of the Idleness of All”) was taken from the marvelous remark of the great, but sadly forgotten, Cambridge economist Frederick Lavington’s book The Trade Cycle. Lavington was born two years after Ralph Hawtrey and two years before John […]
    David Glasner
  • My Paper “Hayek, Deflation, Gold, and Nihilism” Is now Available on SSRN March 29, 2020
    I contributed a chapter entitled “Hayek, Deflation, Gold and Nihilism” to volume 13 of Hayek: A Collaborative Biography edited by Robert Leeson and published in 2018 by Palgrave Macmillan. I have posted a preliminary draft of that chapter on SSRN. Here is the abstract. In Hayek’s early writings on business cycle theory and the Great […]
    David Glasner
  • “The Idleness of Each Is the Result of the Idleness of All” March 20, 2020
    Everyone is fretting about how severe the downturn that is now starting and causing the worst plunge in the stock market since the 1929 crash is going to be. Much of the discussion has turned on whether the cause of the downturn is a supply shock or a demand shock. Some, perhaps many, seem to […]
    David Glasner
  • Noah Smith Gives Elizabeth Warren’s Economic Patriotism Plan Two Cheers; I Give it a Bit Less February 25, 2020
    Update 2/25/20 4:41pm EST: I wrote this post many months ago; I actually don’t remember where or when, but never posted it. I don’t remember why I didn’t post it. I don’t even know how it got posted, because, having long forgotten about it, I certainly wasn’t trying to post it. I was just searching […]
    David Glasner
  • My Paper “Hayek, Hicks, Radner and Four Equilibrium Concepts” Is Now Available Online. January 31, 2020
    The paper, forthcoming in The Review of Austrian Economics, can be read online. Here is the abstract: Hayek was among the first to realize that for intertemporal equilibrium to obtain all agents must have correct expectations of future prices. Before comparing four categories of intertemporal, the paper explains Hayek’s distinction between correct expectations and perfect […]
    David Glasner
RSS Greg Mankiw’s Blog
  • On Shareholders and Stakeholders July 24, 2020
    Click here to read my column in Sunday's New York Times.
    Greg Mankiw
  • Hard To Believe July 20, 2020
    No matter how bad President Trump gets, he can always get worse.Ungated version of Post story.
    Greg Mankiw
  • A Podcast Interview July 1, 2020
    You can hear a recent interview of me by clicking here.
    Greg Mankiw
  • Modules for Introductory Econ June 30, 2020
    Here is some information for those teaching introductory economics using my favorite textbook.I have written four modules, or mini-chapters, with optional material that instructors can include in their courses. For instructors using the digital version of the book, these modules can be added for free with a few mouse clicks. As of now, there are […]
    Greg Mankiw
  • The Declining Role of the CEA June 27, 2020
    According to this article, Tomas Philipson, the acting chair of the Council of Economic Advisers who just resigned, has tested positive for Covid-19. What caught my eye in the article was this sentence:A White House official told the Journal that Trump and Philipson spent little time together, though the two were seen standing close to […]
    Greg Mankiw
  • Eater of Souls? June 27, 2020
    Source. Click on image to enlarge.
    Greg Mankiw
  • Rap for Econ 101 June 26, 2020
    Some years ago, I plugged some rap songs designed to be used in classrooms for introductory economics. The creators alert me that these songs can now be found here. They also note that the songs on elasticity and regulation are their personal favorites.
    Greg Mankiw
  • Perhaps The Best Campaign Ad Ever June 13, 2020
    Greg Mankiw
  • Maskin Lectures June 8, 2020
    My colleague Eric Maskin will be giving two lectures on voting theory on June 25.  Information here.
    Greg Mankiw
  • What I've been watching June 7, 2020
    Over the past week, I have watched the six-part HBO miniseries The Plot Against America, which came out in March. It is based on the 2004 Philip Roth novel of the same title and tells an alternative history in which FDR is defeated in 1940 by the fascist-sympathizing Charles Lindbergh through the eyes of a […]
    Greg Mankiw
RSS Economist's View
  • Dollarization for Lebanon July 30, 2020
    "The Lights Go Out in Lebanon as Financial Collapse Accelerates," declared a recent headline in The Washington Post. The headline refers specifically to worsening power outages but more generally to Lebanon's ongoing "economic implosion." This breakdown is due in large part to chaos in Lebanon's monetary and... Continue reading The post Dollarization for Lebanon appeared […]
    Larry White
  • The New Deal and Recovery, Part 6: The National Bank Holiday July 28, 2020
    "The public plainly showed that it recovered from the fear and hysteria which characterized the last few days before the banking holiday was proclaimed." (The New York Times, March 14th, 1933.) During the opening days of March, 1933, the U.S. economy resembled a stricken body slowly bleeding... Continue reading The post The New Deal and […]
    George Selgin
  • The New Deal and Recovery, Part 5: The Banking Crisis July 18, 2020
    Today, when we speak of ways to fight recessions, two options inevitably take pride of place: expansionary Fed policy (meaning lower interest rates or more asset purchases or both) and expansionary fiscal policy (more government spending or lower taxes or both). But if you've been keeping up... Continue reading The post The New Deal and […]
    George Selgin
  • Fed's Intervention in Corporate Credit: A Risky Venture July 13, 2020
    Under the  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress appropriated $454 billion to the Treasury's Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) to backstop emergency lending facilities known as "special purpose vehicles" (SPVs).[1]  With the Treasury backstop, the Fed has the potential to lend a maximum of $4.5... Continue reading The post Fed's Intervention in Corporate […]
    James Dorn
  • Where Have All the Coins Gone? July 10, 2020
    "If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert," the economist Milton Friedman once quipped, "in five years there'd be a shortage of sand." The U.S. Mint, to its credit, had a much longer run. The Federal Reserve, which purchases coins from the Mint... Continue reading The post Where Have All the […]
    Will Luther
  • The New Deal and Recovery, Part 4: FDR's Fed July 6, 2020
    "Roosevelt had conducted an active monetary and fiscal program of recovery…working along lines suggested by Keynes." Eric Rauchway, The Money Makers, p. xvi. As we saw in the last installment to this series, New Deal fiscal policies did little to help the U.S. economy recover from the... Continue reading The post The New Deal and […]
    George Selgin
  • The New Deal and Recovery, Part 3: The Fiscal Stimulus Myth June 29, 2020
    "[The COVID-19 crisis] wouldn't be the first time America has resorted to large-scale fiscal stimulus in a peacetime emergency. The New Deal of the 1930s, a response to the Great Depression, is probably the most far-reaching example." (Katia Dmitrieva, "The Times America Went Big and Flooded Economy... Continue reading The post The New Deal and […]
    George Selgin
  • Liu: Reining in the SEC's Enforcement Remedies June 26, 2020
    Earlier this week, in Liu v. SEC, the Supreme Court held that the SEC may seek "disgorgement" from a wrongdoer in a civil action, but only to the extent of the net profits from a violation and the award must benefit the victims. Unlike several other recent... Continue reading The post Liu: Reining in the […]
    Jennifer Schulp
  • The New Deal and Recovery, Part 2: Inventing the New Deal June 22, 2020
    "It is difficult to think of an important aspect of the New Deal to which Roosevelt had not plainly pledged himself before taking office. …Roosevelt had campaigned on a clear and specific New Deal Program." (Eric Rauchway, Winter War, pp. 15-17.) To understand the New Deal's shortcomings... Continue reading The post The New Deal and […]
    George Selgin
  • Fed Policy: A Shadow Review—New Issue of the Cato Journal June 20, 2020
    Cato's Annual Monetary Conference last November hosted a "shadow review" of the Federal Reserve's own self-review, dedicated to examining "whether the U.S. monetary policy framework can be improved to meet future challenges." The articles in the spring/summer 2020 issue of the Cato Journal, drawn from that conference,... Continue reading The post Fed Policy: A Shadow […]
    Amanda Griffiths
RSS askblog
  • President Trump as a progressive conservative August 4, 2020
    F.H. Buckley writes, our politics can be portrayed along two axes, economic and non-economic, according to the preferences of two-dimensional men who vote for two-dimensional progressive conservatism. This divided voters into four quadrants, and the winning one was left-wing or … Continue reading →
    Arnold Kling
  • Edward Leamer for Nobel August 3, 2020
    There is a podcast with me and Brendan Beare. Here is the earlier article.
    Arnold Kling
  • Where conservatives agree and disagree August 2, 2020
    Yuval Levin writes, That human beings start out crooked and prone to sin means we require strong social institutions meant to form us, and that we cannot thrive in their absence. It means the good of the individual cannot be … Continue reading →
    Arnold Kling
  • The new class war and the virus August 1, 2020
    Michael Lind writes, The present system serves the credentialed elite in the large private, public, and nonprofit bureaucracies of the managerial elite quite well. In contrast, the members of the professional bourgeoisie and the small business bourgeoisie live in terror … Continue reading →
    Arnold Kling
  • The virus as a social change agent July 31, 2020
    Balaji S. Srinivasan writes, Every sector that had previously been resistant to the internet (healthcare, education, law, finance, government itself) has now flipped to remote-first. This is a response to Einat Wilf, who writes, Many of us have been forced … Continue reading →
    Arnold Kling
  • More thoughts on the religion that persecutes heretics July 30, 2020
    In TLP, I contrast demonization rhetoric with persuasion rhetoric. As an exercise, you might try to pantomime each. That is, act out the facial expressions and hand gestures of someone who is demonizing another person. Then act our trying to … Continue reading →
    Arnold Kling
  • Paul Graham on the religion that persecutes heretics July 29, 2020
    Paul Graham starts with this framework: The kids in the upper left quadrant, the aggressively conventional-minded ones, are the tattletales. They believe not only that rules must be obeyed, but that those who disobey them must be punished. The kids … Continue reading →
    Arnold Kling
  • Ranked-choice voting July 28, 2020
    Mark Begich and Sean Parnell write, Jason McDaniel, a political scientist at San Francisco State University, found that ranked-choice voting decreased turnout by 3 to 5 percentage points on average in cities that implemented it. Mr. McDaniel was blunt in … Continue reading →
    Arnold Kling
  • Isolation, attention, and totalitarianism July 27, 2020
    UCSD scientists wrote, Joint attention episodes set the stage for infant learning. In many cultures and contexts, infants and children learn to attend to whatever adults attend to. This helps children learn their group’s language, social routines, and practical skills. … Continue reading →
    Arnold Kling
  • The issue du jour July 26, 2020
    Russ Roberts talks with Glenn Loury, who says, the descendants of American slaves, again, taken as a whole, are the richest and most powerful and influential population of African descent on the planet. So, the idea that we want to … Continue reading →
    Arnold Kling
RSS Brookings Topics – Monetary Policy
  • Hutchins Roundup: Population aging, sovereign debt restructuring, and more July 28, 2016
    Studies in this week’s Hutchins Roundup conclude that population aging slows growth mainly through its effect on labor productivity, sovereign debt restructurings are only good for growth if they deal with debt overhang, and more. Population aging will lower growth in coming decades Nicole Maestas of Harvard and Kathleen Mullen and David Powell of the […]
    Anna Malinovskaya and Louise Sheiner
  • Hutchins Roundup: Real interest rate, unemployment insurance, and more July 21, 2016
    Studies in this week’s Hutchins Roundup challenge assertions that much of today’s low interest rates reflect a decline in the natural rate of interest, find that reducing the maximum duration of unemployment benefits spurs recipients to look for work sooner, and more. Monetary policy has contributed to the decline in the real interest rate Using […]
    Anna Malinovskaya and David Wessel
  • Lessons learned from Detroit: A judge's perspective July 20, 2016
    U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen has more experience than most in resolving thorny cases of municipal distress: He was the mediator in the high profile bankruptcy of Detroit. What lessons did he draw from that experience that might apply to future municipal bankruptcies? We put that question to him at our recent Municipal Finance […]
    Evan Bursey and David Wessel
  • How to right the U.S. 'Fiscal Ship'? Online game players chart their own course July 18, 2016
    Confronted with more than 100 spending and tax options to restrain the rise of the federal debt, Americans who play “The Fiscal Ship” computer game to completion overwhelmingly choose tax increases over spending cuts, the game’s creators report. Within that, a carbon tax is the option picked most frequently, they said. The Fiscal Ship, a […]
    David Wessel
  • Implementing monetary policy post crisis July 14, 2016
    Donald Kohn delivered the following remarks for the workshop, "Implementing Monetary Policy Post Crisis: What have we learned? What do we need to know?" at Columbia SIPA and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on May 4, 2016. Before the global financial crisis, the implementation of monetary policy was focused only on one thing--achieving […]
    Donald Kohn
  • Hutchins Roundup: For-profit schools, international monetary policy coordination, and more July 13, 2016
    Studies in this week’s Hutchins Roundup find that for-profit schools raise earnings of their graduates but the magnitude of this effect is bigger for men than for women, better monetary policy coordination among countries is not feasible, and more. For-profit schools improve earnings potential but the gains are not equally distributed Using earnings data for […]
    Anna Malinovskaya and David Wessel
  • Changing patterns in household ownership of municipal debt July 8, 2016
    Editor’s note: This paper was published at part of the 5th annual Municipal Finance Conference hosted at Brookings on July 12, 2016. Visit the conference homepage to learn more and read nine other papers on municipal finance. A shrinking proportion of U.S. households hold municipal bonds and that could weaken the political will of state […]
    Daniel Bergstresser and Randoph Cohen
  • Hutchins Roundup: Fiscal consolidations, health spending, and more July 7, 2016
    Studies in this week’s Hutchins Roundup find that attempts by advanced economies to reduce debt after the global financial crisis contributed to a permanent decline in their GDP, the global financial crisis increased health care spending, and more. Fiscal consolidations in advanced economies after the financial crisis were self-defeating Antonio Fatás of INSEAD and Lawrence […]
    Anna Malinovskaya and Louise Sheiner
  • Hutchins Roundup: Natural interest rate, fiscal multipliers, and more June 30, 2016
    Studies in this week’s Hutchins Roundup conclude that global factors might be driving the recent decline in the natural interest rate in advanced economies, the magnitude of fiscal multipliers depends on the level of government debt even in recessions, and more. Global factors may be responsible for the decline in the natural interest rate Kathryn […]
    Anna Malinovskaya and Louise Sheiner
  • Hutchins Roundup: Money market funds, quantitative easing, and more June 23, 2016
    Studies in this week’s Hutchins Roundup find that the very low interest rates have had a significant effect on money market funds, the ECB’s quantitative easing has had less impact on the euro area’s GDP and inflation than the Fed’s QE did in the U.S., and more. Near-zero U.S. interest rates influence money market funds’ […]
    Anna Malinovskaya and David Wessel
RSS Monetary Freedom
  • More "Interesting" Thoughts about Socialist Monetary Policy April 10, 2019
    Interest income is forbidden in a socialist society due to socialist ideology.   Someone is earning income on their money, when the only legitimate form of income is from labor.In a previous post, I described a socialist monetary policy that was based upon the issue of money to pay wages to government workers (which are all […]
    Mayor Bill Woolsey
  • Socialist Monetary Policy April 8, 2019
    Consider a command economy that doesn't fully dispense with money but rather pays wages to the workers in all of the nationalized industries and charges them prices for the consumer goods they buy in the various government owned and operated shops and stores.   In other words, they are not quite ready to have people show […]
    Mayor Bill Woolsey
  • Government Default and MMT April 7, 2019
    Advocates of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) have claimed that most economists have recently come around to their position that a government that borrows in terms of its own currency cannot default on its debt.   It can simply create new money out of thin air and pay off its debt as it comes due.This is hardly […]
    Mayor Bill Woolsey
  • Modern Monetary Theory April 6, 2019
    I believe it was Robertson who claimed that what was true in Keynes was not new and what was new in Keynes was not true.   Much the same can be said of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT.)It is almost certain that a monetary system can be developed where the government creates money to fund its spending […]
    Mayor Bill Woolsey
  • What is the "Right" Corporate Income Tax? Zero! February 4, 2018
        The recent tax bill signed by President Trump reduces the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%.    This was a positive change, but really, just a step in the right direction.   The corporate income tax rate should be zero.     All corporate income belongs to people and it is the people […]
    Mayor Bill Woolsey
  • Buchanan, Calhoun and Rothbard--More of MacLean's Follies October 8, 2017
    Nancy MacLean's Democracy in Chains follows its fictional introduction , the imaginary "Meeting in Dixie" with a prologue, "The Marx of the Master Class."   There she claims that Calhoun was James Buchanan's "lodestar."   As has been pointed out by others, there is a serious problem.  Buchanan never cited Calhoun.  He was hardly developing and elaborating on […]
    Mayor Bill Woolsey
  • Jeff Friedman on James Buchanan and Libertarianism. September 4, 2017
    Jeff Friedman's new blog began with an attack on libertarians and James Buchanan.   The context was MacLean's book, Democracy in Chains.   Friedman argues that MacLean's work fails as a work of history.   He cites a variety of instances where she misrepresents libertarians. However, his major criticism of her work is that it exhibits […]
    Mayor Bill Woolsey
  • Is Democracy in Chains Good for Buchanan's Legacy? July 26, 2017
         My impression of Nancy MacLean's Democracy in Chains is that it is primarily an attack on Charles Koch.   The Koch brothers are hardly an unusual target.   What is special about MacLean's "contribution" is that she uses James M. Buchanan as a club.    Yet another reason for the perfidy of the […]
    Mayor Bill Woolsey
  • What James Buchanan Told Me.... July 12, 2017
    ... and everyone else in class.     I took two classes with James M. Buchanan.   The first was in the late seventies at Virginia Tech and the second in the early eighties at George Mason.    He was also a member of my dissertation committee.      Anyway, in class he explained that when […]
    Mayor Bill Woolsey
  • NGDP Targeting and a Small Open Economy July 11, 2017
    IHS and the Mercatus Institute had meeting about monetary policy in San Diego on June 25th.   I was fortunate to attend. Scott Sumner was interviewed by David Beckworth for Macro Musings.   I suppose we were the live audience.   (As I write, the interview isn't up yet.)In the question and answer period, Sumner […]
    Mayor Bill Woolsey
RSS Bloggingheads.tv
  • Just to Play Devil's Advocate (Kat Rosenfield & Phoebe Maltz Bovy) August 4, 2020
    The latest online dating scourge: "wokefishing" ... When your boyfriend confesses to you that he used to be a Nazi ... "Media Thirst Guys," the men who want to date women who know Ezra Klein ... Should the Very Online only date the Very Online? ... A portrait of a woman who went from white […]
  • Trump's Perfect Storm (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus) August 1, 2020
    Mickey: The LBJ ’68 scenario is gathering steam ... The perfect storm that would get Trump reelected ... Bob vs. Mickey on America’s posture toward China ... Hydroxychloroquine and sex with demons ... Woke denialism about moral progress ... Mickey’s unconventional plan for socioeconomically integrating the suburbs ... Weighing Susan Rice as VP ... Do […]
  • The IQ Taboo (Glenn Loury & Amy Wax) July 31, 2020
    Debating Charles Murray’s new book, Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class ... Amy: It is an undeniable fact that there are IQ differences between whites and blacks ... Do group IQ differences have a place in politics? ... Does public opinion about race influence elites? ... Amy: Bohemians belong on the margins […]
  • Special Beach Edition (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis) July 31, 2020
    Herman Cain’s death and conservative resistance to masks ... Matt: GOP senators are acting like they know Trump is going to lose ... Would President Biden be able to cut deals with McConnell? ... The dilemma for GOP reformers: fix the party or burn it down? ... Did Politico accidentally reveal Biden’s VP pick? ... […]
  • Apocalypse Never (John Horgan & Michael Shellenberger) July 29, 2020
    Michael’s new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All ... Michael: No one has to die from climate change ... Why Michael doesn’t consider himself to be a climate-change skeptic ... The economics of nuclear power... ... …and the politics of nuclear weapons ... Michael: “I don’t think we’ve ever had a capitalist […]
  • The Return of Holy Russia (Nikita Petrov & Gary Lachman) July 27, 2020
    Gary’s new book, The Return of Holy Russia ... Russian exceptionalism and psychogeography ... Why are people always talking about “the Russian soul”? ... Was Bolshevism a break with the past or a continuation of it? ... The Russian desire to unite opposites ... The infamous TV broadcast that claimed Lenin was a mushroom ... […]
  • Woke Critical Mass (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus) July 25, 2020
    Trump's three- (or maybe four-) pronged campaign strategy ... Was Bob too nice to Bari Weiss in his anti-Bari essay? ... What's really new about cancel culture? ... On the purported bigotry of Maria Farmer, a prominent victim of Jeffrey Epstein ... Mickey wishes Ghislaine well ... Reasons to doubt "horseshoe theory," where the Trumpist […]
  • The Dark Arts (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter) July 23, 2020
    John on "a truly medieval moment" ... Why Glenn didn't sign the Harper's open letter ... Linguists petition against fellow linguist Steven Pinker ... Is this actually just about the economics of the collapsing media industry? ... Calling someone a racist vs. calling someone a witch ... John's harsh review of White Fragility ... Critiquing […]
  • Baseball Metaphor Edition (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis) July 22, 2020
    Why South Carolina deserves to be the Democratic primary "cleanup hitter" ... Has Biden boxed himself into picking a black woman as VP? ... The case for having a "next in line" ... Bill: The pick will be either a woman of color or a populist progressive, not both ... Liz Cheney, Tucker, Hannity, and […]
  • Everything in Moderation (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Leigh Stein) July 20, 2020
    Leigh's new novel, Self Care ... Are social justice warriors sincere or cynical? ... On being a white author writing a black character in 2020 ... Why are all these white women apologizing on Instagram? ... The trials and tribulations of being a moderator ... Aryeh: Many of today's controversies come down to forum moderation […]
RSS Grasping Reality with Both Hands

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  • Deplorably, the Trump Movement Is Made Up of Grifters, Ghouls, & Their Victims August 4, 2020
    Deplorably, a large number of easily-grifted morons thought Trump was their friend—or at least that the people lower down in the Trump base were their prey to be scammed... Back in 2015, I concluded that the Donald Trump campaign was a deplorable multi-level marketing scam. At the top, a few grifters running lots of cons. […]
    J. Bradford DeLong
  • Briefly Noted for 2020-08-03 August 4, 2020
    **Clinton Foundation**: _Administration Alumni Conversation with President Clinton and Secretary Rodney Slater_ : ‘Administration Alumni Conversation with President Clinton and Secretary Rodney Slater… **St. Ignatius of Loyola**: _Prayer for Generosity : ‘Eternal Word, only begotten Son of God,/Teach me true generosity./Teach me to serve you as you deserve./To give without counting the cost,/To fight heedless […]
    J. Bradford DeLong
  • Heavy But Inconclusive Skirmishing Between the Military Camps at Ilerda: Livelogging the Fall of the Roman Republic August 3, 2020
    A strongly unconventional high politician knows that his adversaries will try and convict him of crimes after he lays down his military command, so he lets the dice fly. His first probing military moves demonstrate his position is very strong. From a central position in control of the heart of the empire, he moves first […]
    J. Bradford DeLong
  • DuBois: The Comet—Noted August 3, 2020
    Worth reading. What we call “Lovecraftian” but in a profoundly anti-Lovecraftian way: the real horror comes not from alien species, or the dead uncaring stars, or death from the comet, but from white men—northern white men—doing what white men naturally did… do: **W.E.B. DuBois**: _The Comet_ : ‘He stood a moment on the steps of […]
    J. Bradford DeLong
  • Briefly Noted for 2020-08-02 August 2, 2020
    **Parker Molloy**: _'Here’s a mashup_ that the amazing @JohnnyHeatWave made to go along with my @mmfa article. It’s depressing. .... It’s all even more ridiculous if you look at the number of times *the same person* credulously talks about Trump’s “new tone”... **Paul Krugman**: _With the Coronavirus Pandemic, Republicans Are Flunking Microbe Economicss_ : ‘The […]
    J. Bradford DeLong
  • Steve M.: The Post-Trump GOP Is Likely to Be Even Worse—Noted August 2, 2020
    **Steve M.**: _The Post-Trump GOP Is Likely to Be Even Worse_ : ‘The Lincoln Project.... I believe the Project's founders and allies when they say they're disgusted with the Republican Party and want to reform it. I'm not saying I'd like the party they hope to create... >...But in some areas, I think the party […]
    J. Bradford DeLong
  • Wikipedia: Trans-Mediterranean Barbary Slave Trade—Noted August 2, 2020
    Nunn's estimates: trans-Atlantic slave trade: 10.5 million; Indian Ocean slave trade: 900,000; trans-Saharan slave trade: 3.2 million; Red Sea: 1.3 million: **Wikipedia**: _Trans-Mediterranean Barbary Slave Trade_ : 'Robert Davis... estimates... Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli alone enslaved 1 million to 1.25 million... from the beginning of the 16th century to the middle of the 18th from […]
    J. Bradford DeLong
  • Against 'Ideology for Ideology's Sake'—Note to Self August 2, 2020
    Smart young whippersnapper and Equitable Growth alumnus Marshall Steinbaum attempts to solve the problem of corrupt interests and corrupt ideology with... MOAR IDEOLOGY! Ideology that he hopes, somehow, will be reality-based. I do not think this will work: **Marshall Steinbaum**: '_In order to know what to do_ , we have to know how things work. […]
    J. Bradford DeLong
  • Lacker: GPT-3 vs. Turing—Noted August 2, 2020
    Much of our intelligence is devoted to constructing models of other minds based on observations of actions, expressions, and words. We have a strong tendency to overdo it. Thus we can be very easily grifted to really, really believe that there is another mind—another Turing-class entity—back there when there isn't: the lightning does not really […]
    J. Bradford DeLong
  • Waldmann: Social Democracy & Freedom—Noted August 2, 2020
    **Steve Randy Waldmann**: _Social Democracy & Freedom_ : ‘So who is right here? I say Milton Friedman is. “Free speech” stops being real, stops being a practicable ideal, once the consequences of unpopular expression are so great you’ll be banished from the communities you value and be unable to earn a decent living. Both the […]
    J. Bradford DeLong
RSS uneconomical
  • Where are the “devaluationists”? January 28, 2016
    A Resolution Foundation report on UK monetary policy reminds me of the near absence of discussion about devaluation.  The report has a section on policy options to deal with the ZLB, giving five choices: QE, negative rates, higher inflation target, fiscal policy, and structural reform.  You could substitute “devaluation” for QE and/or negative rates; the section on the […]
  • Youth unemployment, crisis over? November 19, 2015
    I wonder if the best defence of the theory that the imposition of the UK National Minimum Wage didn’t hurt anybody much is that there never really was a youth unemployment “crisis”.  After all, it would surely look brave to believe both that the Low Pay Commission was “successful” in setting the minimum wage, and that there was a youth unemployment crisis right after a period of […]
  • Lessons from Switzerland June 23, 2015
    When central banks want to shift towards a different policy stance, market expectations are usually carefully and gradually managed through speeches, hints, and off-the-record leaks.  The steps required to move the Bank of England from “not doing forward guidance” to “doing forward guidance”, for example, started with the appointment of Mark Carney in November 2012, continued through the various hints […]
  • UK households enjoy £125bn “tax break”! May 27, 2015
    Via Mr. Worstall, the Guardian reports on a “shocking discovery”, that landlords pay tax on their profits rather than revenue: Landlords are allowed to deduct a wide range of expenses, on top of mortgage interest costs, before they have to pay tax on their rental income. These allowable expenses include the cost of insurance, maintenance and repairs, utility bills, cleaning and […]
  • What Would Irving Fisher Say? May 19, 2015
    If you compared two periods: 1) Period One, where nominal asset prices fell 15%, nominal incomes fell 4%, the labour market was contracting sharply … oh, and the CPI rate was usually above 3%. 2) Period Two, where nominal asset prices are at all time highs, rising 5-10% p.a., nominal incomes are rising 3-4%, the labour market […]
  • The hidden 2011-2 “investment” boom? May 18, 2015
    To keep my comment section happy, here is some “productivity scepticism”.  I like this theory from Paul Donovan of UBS discussed in a Guardian article, here quoting Donovan: “In 2000, 32% of UK businesses were employers. By 2014, 24% of UK businesses were employers. This raises the obvious question of what on Earth 76% of UK businesses were […]
  • 2015 Q1 wages update (or, there is not much inflation) May 13, 2015
    What do you expect to happen with a 2% inflation target, if productivity growth falls from 2% per annum to 0% per annum?  You expect tight money.  Nominal wage growth must be pushed down from 4% to 2%.  If nominal wages are sticky you’ll need a nasty blast of unemployment to achieve this.  But the labour market will adjust eventually to […]
  • Update on that supply shock May 13, 2015
    An update on a previous post.  Independent forecasts for UK real GDP growth in 2015 are exactly the same as before the oil price collapsed.  From HM Treasury’s collection of forecasts from last month: The median real GDP forecasts from the Bank are now slightly lower than August last year, when the oil price was above $100.  Carney claimed […]
  • Are we nearly there yet? (redux) May 13, 2015
    As usual it doesn’t take long for the OBR employment forecast to look too low.  Labour market data covering the three months to March out today: Employment has hit the OBR’s estimate of trend employment.  I’m not sure if this is a first, due to the ONS revision to population estimates last year, the current labour market data is not […]
  • Bank of England forecast error May 8, 2015
    Or, the guv’nor at least.  The Guardian on Mervyn King circa early 2010 on the Tories circa 2015: “I saw the governor of the Bank of England [Mervyn King] last week when I was in London and he told me whoever wins this election will be out of power for a whole generation because of how […]
RSS Notebook on Cities and Culture
  • A Year in Seattle Preview: The Young Cynic with Peter Bagge April 7, 2015
    In downtown Seattle, Colin talks with comic artist Peter Bagge, creator of the legendary alternative comic series Hate, contributing editor and cartoonist at Reason magazine, and author of such graphic novels as Apocalypse Nerd, Other Lives, Reset, and Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story. They discuss whether Seattle is still the place to be for the Buddy Bradleys of the world; the cheap "place to […]
    Colin Marshall
  • Notebook on Culture's year in Seattle Kickstarts now (for five days only)! April 6, 2015
    The Kickstarter drive for Notebook on Cities and Culture's sixth season launches now. If we raise its budget, we'll spend an entire year in Seattle: the city of grunge, Microsoft, Amazon, the Space Needle, Buddy Bradley, Archie McPhee, sleeplessness, Starbucks, and much more we'll discover through at least 52 in-depth conversations with its novelists, journalists, comic artists, filmmakers, broadcasters, explorers, […]
    Colin Marshall
  • Korea Tour: Opting for Korea with Brother Anthony March 17, 2015
    In an officetel in Seoul, Colin talks with Brother Anthony of Taizé, one of the most renowned translators of Korean poetry, president of the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch, and naturalized citizen of South Korea. They discuss the frequency with which he's heard "Why Korea?" in the 35 years since he first arrived as a member of Taizé; the […]
    Colin Marshall
  • Korea Tour: The Style of the Time with Matt VanVolkenburg March 13, 2015
    In Seoul's Sinchon district, Colin talks with Matt VanVolkenburg, author of Gusts of Popular Feeling, a blog on "Korean society, history, urban space, cyberspace, film, and current events, among other things." They discuss what it feels like to live in Seoul, of all places, without a smartphone; why navigating the city poses so much of a challenge […]
    Colin Marshall
  • Korea Tour: Concrete Utopia with Minsuk Cho March 9, 2015
    In Seoul's Itaewon district, Colin talks with architect Minsuk Cho, principal at Mass Studies, designer of the Golden Lion-winning Korean pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014. They discuss whether he talks about the use of space differently in English than in Korean; how copying, and especially while misinterpreting across cultural boundaries, counts as a way of creating; […]
    Colin Marshall
  • Korea Tour: It Takes a Lifetime with Michael Elliott March 4, 2015
    In Seoul's Sinchon district, Colin talks with Michael Elliott, creator of the English-learning site for Koreans English in Korean and the Korean-learning site for English-speakers Korean Champ. They discuss why Koreans insist on the difficulty of their own language; whether and why he considers Korean difficult; what it means that "there are so many different ways to say […]
    Colin Marshall
  • Korea Tour: Ruled by the Heart with Andrew Salmon March 1, 2015
    In Seoul's Susong-dong, Colin talks with Andrew Salmon, author of To the Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea 1951; Scorched Earth, Black Snow: Britain and Australia in the Korean War, 1950; and All That Matters: Modern Korea. They discuss how Korean culture has influenced the names of his cats; the dullness of London by […]
    Colin Marshall
  • Korea Tour: Gangbuk Style with Daniel Tudor February 25, 2015
    In Seoul's Hongdae district, Colin Marshall talks with Daniel Tudor, former Economist correspondent in Korea, co-founder of craft beer pizza pub chain The Booth, author of the books Korea: The Impossible Country, A Geek in Korea, and (with James Pearson) North Korea Confidential. They discuss the difference between Gangnam and Gangbuk style; the recently emerging trend toward Korean nostalgia, and what happens […]
    Colin Marshall
  • Korea Tour: One Long Bike Party with Coby Zeifman February 22, 2015
    In Changwon, "Environmental Capital of South Korea," Colin Marshall talks with Coby Zeifman, former outreach coordinator for Nubija, the city's bike share system. They discuss what makes Changwon a cool town; why a feature like Nubija, despite its impressiveness, needed the kind of outreach he has tried his utmost to provide; Changwon's history as a manufacturing town […]
    Colin Marshall
  • Korea Tour: ¿Por Qué Corea? with Sofía Ferrero Cárrega February 18, 2015
    At a coffee house somewhere in Busan, Colin talks with Sofía Ferrero Cárrega, film critic and enthusiast of Korean cinema. They discuss whether she'd recommend other movie-lovers move to Busan; how the Busan International Film Festival attracted her to the city (and the importance of its parties); why, in Busan, "everybody says yes"; the state of […]
    Colin Marshall
RSS Macro Musings Blog
  • Make-Up Policy: Where Art Thou? July 13, 2020
    As we head into the second half of the year, the swift recovery many were hoping for is facing an uncertain future. The resurgence of the COVID-19 virus and concerns about dwindling fiscal support have many worried. I submit that even in the absence of these worries, the recovery would still be on shaky grounds […]
  • NGDP Targeting in the United Kingdom June 25, 2020
    Something interesting is happening in the United Kingdom. Some government officials there are pushing for the Bank of England to adopt an NGDP target. From the Independent:Officials in the UK Treasury are “probably” considering whether to change the Bank of England’s inflation-targeting mandate due to the massive economic shock imparted by the coronavirus crisis, according to […]
  • The Public Finance Implications of COVID-19 June 11, 2020
    Peter Stella joined me on the podcast this week. He was back by popular demand and we touched on two important and related questions: how should the government finance its relief efforts and who should ultimately manage the public debt? The U.S. Treasury may seem like the obvious answer to both questions, but it is not […]
  • Extensions to the NGDP Gap May 26, 2020
    The monetary policy program at the Mercatus Center recently released a new measure called the NGDP gap. We created it as an alternative way to gauge the stance of monetary policy and have provided a website that will update the measure as new data become available. In this post, I will briefly summarize the NGDP […]
  • Assorted Macro Musings April 2, 2020
    1. USA Today published my Op-Ed titled "Fighting the Coronavirus Pandemic: The Economic Front." In it, I make the case that the large relief package from the White House and Congress and the Fed's interventions are best seen as mobilizing for war: The proposed government outlays can be best thought of as part of a mass […]
  • The Decline of the 10-Year Treasury: Implications for Fed Policy March 5, 2020
    The 10-year treasury yield reached an historic low this week, crossing the 1% barrier. For many observers, this was a troubling development that confirms the U.S. economy is being sucked into the mire of secular stagnation. For others, it was an unsurprising outcome given the long-run trajectory of interest rates and the ongoing safe asset shortage problem.Both views […]
  • Allan Meltzer's Life Work October 14, 2019
    The Hoover Press and the Mercatus Center have just released a new book on Allan Meltzer's contributions to economics. The book is comprised of papers that were presented at a 2018 conference commemorating his work on the monetary transmission mechanism, the history of the Fed, and his more general work on public policy. Below is […]
  • New Policy Brief on NGDPLT October 14, 2019
    I have a new policy brief out on NGDP level targeting. The article summarizes in an accessible manner the key arguments for NGDP level targeting while also addressing the main concerns of this approach. The policy brief also shows how one could implement a NGDP level target in practice. The article comes out now as […]
  • The Repo Man Cometh September 23, 2019
    SourceThe repo market hit some road bumps last week. Trading pressures in this key funding market pushed repo interest rates well above the Fed's target interest rate range. This development caused some observers to worry that it was a 2008-type run on the repo market all over again. Bill Dudley and others, however, noted this was a technical […]
  • Some Assorted Macro Musings September 10, 2019
    Dollar DominanceI have been part of a dollar dominance conversation for the past few weeks. It started with my NRO article, discussions on the topic at the Jackson Hole conference, and a follow-up blog post. Later, there were twitter conversations, an interview on Bloomberg TV, and several podcast recordings. This all culminated in an article I wrote for […]
RSS Econbrowser
  • Business Cycle Indicators: August 3, 2020 August 4, 2020
    Here are five key indicators referenced by the NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee in Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment (blue), industrial production (red), personal income excluding transfers in Ch.2012$ (green), manufacturing and trade sales in Ch.2012$ (black), and monthly GDP in Ch.2012$ (pink), all log normalized to 2019M02=0. Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment (blue), industrial […]
    Menzie Chinn
  • Guest Contribution: “The impact of the pandemic on developing countries” August 3, 2020
    Today, we present a guest post written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and formerly a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.  A shorter version appeared in Project Syndicate. The covid-19 pandemic has had differentiated impacts across countries. This is true even among the set of Emerging Market and […]
    Menzie Chinn
  • Record-breaking drop in GDP July 30, 2020
    The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that seasonally adjusted U.S. real GDP was 9.5% lower in the second quarter than it had been in the first quarter, which they reported as a decline at an annual rate of 32.9% (0.9054 – 1 = -0.329). That is four times as large a quarterly decline as […]
  • Guest Contribution: “Lasting Damage of the Pandemic” July 29, 2020
    Today we are pleased to present a guest contribution written by Ayhan Kose and Franziska Ohnsorge, respectively Director and Manager in the World Bank’s Prospects Group. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this blog are entirely those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the views of the World Bank, its Executive Directors, […]
    Menzie Chinn
  • Covid-19 Fatalities, Excess Fatalities, Forecasts July 29, 2020
    From CDC, Atlantic/Covid Tracking Project, and IHME: Figure 1: Weekly fatalities due to Covid-19 as reported to CDC for weeks ending on indicated dates (black), excess fatalities calculated as actual minus expected (teal), fatalities as tabulated by The Covid Tracking Project/Atlantic (dark red), IHME forecast (light red), all on log scale. Source: CDC 7/29/2020 vintage, […]
    Menzie Chinn
  • Covid-19 Fatalities per Million July 29, 2020
    See figure below: Source: FT, accessed 7/28/2020.   For those who believe that increased testing is behind the increased number of cases, here is a testing-insensitive time series. Addendum: Reader sammy says these numbers in the first figure are infinitesimal; but those are flows. Here are cumulatives. Not …so…trivial…now. Source: FT, accessed 7/28/2020. Reader Bruce […]
    Menzie Chinn
  • Guest Contribution: “International Factor Payments and the Pandemic” July 28, 2020
    Today we are fortunate to have as a guest contributor Joseph Joyce, Professor of Economics and M. Margaret Ball Professor of International Relations at Wellesley College. Trade in goods and services constitutes the most visible component of globalization. But there are also markets for labor and capital, the factors of production, as workers and firms seek […]
    Menzie Chinn
  • The Dollar’s Value under Pressure July 27, 2020
    The dollar’s value has come under pressure recently. Does this mean the dollar’s role as a key international currency is at threat? The short answer: not necessarily. Figure 1: Nominal value of US dollar against major currencies, in logs (black, left scale 1/2/2020=0), dxy dollar index, in logs (teal, left scale), Economic Policy Uncertainty index […]
    Menzie Chinn
  • Collapsing Confidence in Public Health/Macroeconomic Management July 26, 2020
    Consumer sentiment declines; economic policy uncertainty on the rise; real interest rates declining. It’s all in the graph below. Figure 1: University of Michigan consumer sentiment (top), Economic Policy Uncertainty Index (middle), TIPS 10 year constant maturity yield, % (bottom). U Mich sentiment is preliminary for July, EPU in July is thru 7/25/2020, TIPS in […]
    Menzie Chinn
  • Congressional Research Service: “Fiscal Policy and Recovery from the COVID19 Recession” July 26, 2020
    From the summary of the document, which reviews the literature and current macroeconomic state of play. Some key findings are germane to the current intra-Republican party debate over how to proceed with the current recovery package. I know it is the triump of hope over experience to think they will accede to expertise, but here […]
    Menzie Chinn
RSS Ed Dolan’s Econ Blog
  • New Research Boosts Our Understanding of the Effective Marginal Tax Rates for the Poor July 13, 2020
    Does the American welfare system adequately encourage the poor to achieve self-sufficiency, or is it a “poverty trap” that locks welfare beneficiaries into a lifetime of dependency? The question has been debated endlessly with no clear win for either side. In large part, the dispute turns on a concept known as the effective marginal tax rate (EMTR) faced […]
    Ed Dolan
  • It's Time to End the Preference and Tax Capital Gains as Ordinary Income June 15, 2020
    The United States entered the COVID-19 crisis with an unusually large budget deficit for an economy at or close to full employment. Even if employment, output, and growth were to recover quickly to where they were at the end of 2019 (something that is far from certain), the deficit, under current law, will remain large.The good […]
    Ed Dolan
  • How Household Debt Threatens the Recovery June 8, 2020
    The COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on the health of low-income Americans, but even those low-wage workers who avoid the disease itself are likely to suffer grave economic distress. In part, that is because workers with lower incomes have been more likely to lose their jobs than those who are better paid. The Pew […]
    Ed Dolan
  • COVID Pandemic Highlights Need for Reform of US Healthcare May 21, 2020
    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted longstanding weaknesses of the U.S. healthcare system. In a May 20 webinar sponsored by the Niskanen Center, I examined three key issues:Where has our healthcare system failed?What can be done to make it work better?Is healthcare reform as we know it even relevant any more?By "healthcare reform as we know […]
    Ed Dolan
  • A Social Safety Net for the Pandemic and Beyond May 15, 2020
    America's social safety net has been severely strained by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the virus has affected people in all walks of life, the burden of illness and lost jobs has fallen most heavily on people in the lower half of the income distribution.As the chart shows, those in the bottom half are the households […]
    Ed Dolan
  • Ozzie Zehner is at it again: Green Illusions, and Planet of the Humans May 9, 2020
    Are solar, wind, and other alternatives the magic bullets that will solve the world’s environmental and energy problems? Take a closer look, wrote Ozzie Zehner in his 2012 book,  Green Illusions. He is still saying much the same thing, in a new movie, Planet of the Humans, despite the great strides renewables have made in the […]
    Ed Dolan
  • COVID-Related Spending Must Not Become an Excuse for a Post-Crisis Fiscal Straitjacket May 3, 2020
    Writing for the Brookings Up Front blog, Stuart Butler and Timothy Higashi urge fiscal policymakers to look beyond the current crisis. Extraordinary short-term spending is justified, they agree, but, they urge that “we also need to put in place – ideally as part of ongoing stimulus measures – procedures that will help policymakers and the […]
    Ed Dolan
  • Tired of the COVID-19 Lockdown? Here is a Responsible Reopening Plan April 23, 2020
    People are getting tired of the COVID-19 lockdown. Surveys show that a majority still put a greater priority on protecting public health than on reopening the economy, but either way, we would all prefer to do both. A plan released yesterday from the Harvard-based Safra Center for Ethics shows that is possible, if we are willing to take the […]
    Ed Dolan
  • The Shaky Logic Behind Hopes for a Quick Recovery April 21, 2020
    President Donald Trump promises that the economy will soar "like a rocket ship" as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Writing for the Independent Institute, R. David Ranson, like many who fear the government more than they fear the virus, agrees.“We ought to be thankful that the economic system is resilient in a way that […]
    Ed Dolan
  • A Social Safety Net For an Age of Uncertainty April 15, 2020
    The COVID-19 pandemic is turning out to be a wake-up call, not just for public health, but for economic security, as well. We are learning that any one of us can be knocked off the ladder of prosperity at any time, no matter what rung we are on today.What is more, COVID-19 is by no […]
    Ed Dolan
RSS Freethinking Economist
  • What you need to think if you are calling for a NGDP target June 29, 2020
    Don’t worry. I am not going to write another post arguing that the world’s problems would all go away if its central banks adopted a NGDP level target (it has been over 10 years now, give it a rest!). There are plenty out there already: this one by Sam Dumitriu is a good place to start,Continue […]
  • Keynes on how to pay for the War, and what to worry about most May 18, 2020
    It is marvellously calming to pick up a hitherto unread piece by Keynes at a time like this. For some reason, a number of the epoch-making economists of the past were also wonderful writers – I am thinking Smith, Keynes, Friedman and Hayek, whether you agree with them or not – and it is niceContinue […]
  • Some of the bailout reading I compiled April 29, 2020
    OK, so my technique when asked to write a big piece (like my newly published report on Bailout Policy for the Coronavirus Crisis) is to engage in a constant, mind-wearying conversation with myself over email and sometimes with Twitter on the back of all the stuff I read that may have some tangential relationship withContinue […]
  • We didn’t buy pandemic insurance and can’t forever pretend that we did April 27, 2020
    Several aeons have passed since I began thinking about covid-19 bailouts (IFG pamphlet out shortly, watch this space), and still I struggle to get my thoughts straight.  During that time, the blogosphere and in particular VoxEU have drenched us in high-speed, quality thought, even as the facts on the ground have shifted at speed.  JustContinue […]
  • What the betting markets are saying …. It’s complicated October 3, 2019
    I am pathologically fascinated by political probabilities, and have been for easily 20 years: my first big speculative win in life was to “buy” Labour seats in the 1997 General Election at around 350, and I have been hooked every since. Here are some of the current odds. A meaningful vote to pass in 2019 Continue […]
  • The defeat of the Treasury must not be final September 28, 2019
    For most advisers toiling within government, the standard daily routine is simple: “wake up/go to work/try to do things/get told you can’t by the Treasury/grumble a lot/go home”. OK, I exaggerate: there is the whole maddening business of government by collective agreement to wade through. This means that any other department, from the mighty HomeContinue […]
  • When concentrating your vote flips over into being a disadvantage September 19, 2019
    There was a fascinating discussion on my Twitter timeline with Rob Ford, Will Jennings, Iron Economist and many other distinguished people, triggered by concerns about the Liberal Democrat revoke A50 policy.  In short: the concerns expressed by some are that the Liberal Democrats might get the total majority they would need to enact this RevokeContinue […]
  • Trying to start a fight between the Bank of England and Resolution Foundation September 17, 2019
    It is excellent that the Resolution Foundation has embarked upon serious macro-economic wonkery. Their opening salvo – “Recession Ready?: Assessing the UK’s macroeconomic framework” – is as good an introduction to the state of play as you can find. They call it “the most comprehensive assessment of the UK’s macroeconomic policy framework since the financialContinue […]
  • The vast, unknowable potential of tactical voting September 11, 2019
    TL;DR summary: if you adjust the uniform swing so that voting patterns reflect echoes of past Labour or LibDem strength, the predicted Tory majority vanishes. If you add onto this a measure of tactical voting, their seat share might fall by dozens of seats more.  But detecting whether this is realistic is very, very hard. Continue […]
  • Conventional wisdom comes good, with a time fuse September 9, 2019
    I’ve had this thought for a while, and wanted to get it down in case it proves to be an enduring one.  We have seen recently – by which I mean, since I have been paying attention – a number of sharp examples of the conventional wisdom being overthrown. By this, I mean suggestions orContinue […]
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