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Jump in March Trade Deficit Means GDP Fell in First Quarter

The sharp jump in the March trade deficit reported this morning means that GDP in the first quarter will be revised into negative territory. The $51.4 billion trade deficit reported for March, was $15.5 billion increase from the $35.9 billion deficit reported in February. Show More Summary

Thanks to Warren Buffett, Omaha Is Getting Less Reliant on Coal 

Buffett-palooza concluded on Sunday. During the annual shareholder meeting of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which has evolved into a kind of Woodstock of capitalism, thousands of people converge on Omaha, Nebraska, to celebrate...Show More Summary

Ben Bernanke's Bad Example

At MoneyWatch: Ben Bernanke's bad example, by Mark Thoma: The recent announcements that former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has accepted a position as a senior adviser at Pimco and a similar position at hedge fund Citadel have raised questions...

MBA: Mortgage Purchase Applications increase, Refinance Applications in Latest Weekly Survey

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease 4.6 % in Latest MBA Weekly SurveyMortgage applications decreased 4.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications...Show More Summary

Beyond economic voting: Happiness and elections

A solid empirical result is that voters reward governments for recent economic prosperity. This column presents new evidence that the electoral fate of governing parties is also associated with the electorate’s wider ‘subjective well-being’. Policymakers who want to win should focus on more a broad range of factors that matter to the quality of people’s lives.

Kocherlakota: First-Quarter Economic Softness Is ‘Matter for Concern’

Soft economic data in the first three months of 2015 should give Fed officials pause when it comes to raising interest rates, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota said.

First Quarter GDP Likely Negative as Trade Deficit Soars

By David Dayen, a lapsed blogger. Follow him on Twitter @ddayen. Because of the blinkered way we talk about the economy in this country, news that the trade deficit widened in March well above consensus expectations will undoubtedly be met by cries that we must create more free trade deals to counteract that. Of course, […]

At INET Conference, Warren Adds Two Pieces to Her Financial Reform Framework

The reason I'm filling in today and tomorrow is that Yves is in Washington for the INET Finance and Society conference, which is unique because it features a dozen and a half speakers, every one of them a woman, from Fed Chair JanetShow More Summary

Monday Links: Rihanna, Baltimore, Jean Tirole, Private Equity

(1) Rihanna, American Oxygen. The video for this song from mega-pop-star Rihanna’s new album R8 is pretty interesting–with lyrics that seem to be about the so-called “American Dream,” and which could almost be a patriotic anthem, but with at least one … Continue reading ?

Income inequality and citizenship

Our level of income is unarguably dependent on where we live in the world. But evidencing this is tricky. This column presents a model that explains global income variability using one variable only – where you live. The results suggest that we might want to reassess how we think about both economic migration and global inequality of opportunity.

Alicia García-Herrero: Additional monetary easing for China?

As many other central banks in the Asian region, the People Bank of China (PBoC) has been on an easing mode for a few months now and more seems to be in the store. The once relatively polarized debate on what the PBoC monetary policy stance should be has increasingly leaned towards additional easing. Show More Summary

Matías Vernengo: On Free Trade and Economics Consensus

Mankiw tells us in his most recent NYTimes column that economists agree that Free Trade is good. He links to a poll in which, essentially, mainstream economists of different persuasions, some Keynesian and some not, and different political views, some liberal and some conservative, say that trade agreements are good. Show More Summary

Orwell as Public Choice Socialist

(May 6, 2015 12:16 AM, by Bryan Caplan) There really ought to be a paper on George Orwell and Public Choice. Thanks to Loyola University senior Michael Makovi, there finally is. He's done a great job - "George Orwell as Public Choice Economist," forthcoming in The American Economist,... (0 COMMENTS)

Refusenik Market

Cycle screening measures were weaker on Tuesday. Yet again there was no follow through on the strengthening of the past several days. Have the bears gotten the upper hand. Click here to download complete report in pdf format (Professional Edition Subscribers). Try the Professional Edition risk free for thirty days. If, within that time, you…

European 10-Year Bond Yields Spike Higher; Contagion Already? Something Worse?

Those who claim there will be no Greece contagion need consider yields in other European bonds.In spite of the fact the ECB is buying 60 billion euros of debt a month for 19 months, yields on many longer-dated bonds are rising.SpainShow More Summary

Noted for Your Nighttime Procrastination for May 5, 2015

Must- and Should-Reads: Must-Read: Martin Wolf: [The British economy after the coalition](http://equitablegrowth.org/?p=11223) Paul Krugman: ["The great sociologist William Julius Wilson argued long ago that widely-decried social changes... Show More Summary

T on Niall Ferguson's "The Pity of War", Plus Rebuttal: Hoisted from the Archives from Three Years Ago

T on Niall Ferguson's WWI Book: >His WWI book was awful. It's entire premise is anachronistic, and it shows the same predilection for snide ad hominem attacks as the rest of his writing. I beg to differ. I thought that Ferguson"s World...Show More Summary

Kocherlakota Reiterates Fed Shouldn’t Raise Rates in 2015

The Federal Reserve shouldn't raise its benchmark short-term interest rate in 2015, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota reiterated Tuesday.

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