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Assessing compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact’s rules

The European Commission has clarified the flexibility in existing Eurozone fiscal rules. This column argues that the emphasis on structural rather than headline deficits is desirable but requires identification of potential growth rates. Show More Summary

How interest rates matter, and how they don't

(March 1, 2015 07:44 PM, by Scott Sumner) There are certain topics that are extremely hard to explain to the average person. Interest rates are one of those topics. I've often argued that interest rates don't really matter that much; they are a sort of epiphenomenon of monetary... (0 COMMENTS)

Links and Tweets...

Surge Guriev: "The killers must have assumed that police would not try to pursue them.... Common murderers they would likely have chosen another venue.... Mr Nemtsov’s killers have burnt the regime’s last bridges with its liberal opponents. Show More Summary

Noted for Your Afternoon Procrastination for March 1, 2015

Must- and Shall-Reads: Surge Guriev: ["The killers must have assumed that police would not try to pursue them.... Common murderers they would likely have chosen another venue.... Mr Nemtsov’s killers have burnt the regime’s last bridges with its liberal opponents. Show More Summary

Links and Tweets for February

Morning Must-Read: Paul Krugman: The Regrettable Man <-- continuing to watch the persistence of the inflation cult... Nick Bunker: Weekend Reading <--Nick's five must-reads plus a chart... Charlie Jane Anders: "In the hands of most... Show More Summary

Australia's Mining Bust Turns Towns Into Ghost Towns; Expect Interest Rate "Shock and Awe"

As Australia's mining boom turns to bust, Towns are Dying the Death of a Thousand Cuts as Miners Leave in Droves. Locals say the main street of Dalby resembles a ghost town these days – a sad indication of a mining boom ending too soon...Show More Summary

A Dozen and a Half for March 1, 2015...

A Dozen and a Half for March 1, 2015(https://medium.com/brad-delong-s-newsletter/a-dozen-and-a-half-for-march-1-2015-99e847f3cdc4) In my part of the real world, the big news in the second half of February 2015 was the increasing probability...Show More Summary

Odd notes

1.  Look how Newsweek puts things in perspective: The bombardment was preceded by a large-scale Kurdish operation against Isis in northern Iraq, which saw 5,000 Kurdish fighters, supported by US-led coalition airstrikes, sweep around Mosul to recapture an area larger than the size of Andorra, Liechtenstein and San Marino combined. That large, eh? 2.  This […]

'A Slippery New Rule for Gauging Fiscal Policy'

Greg Mankiw: A Slippery New Rule for Gauging Fiscal Policy: the case for dynamic over static scoring is strong in theory. Yet three problems make the task difficult in practice. First, any attempt to estimate the impact of a policy....

'What is the New Normal for the Real Interest Rate?'

Jim Hamilton: What is the new normal for the real interest rate?: The yield on a 10-year Treasury inflation protected security was negative through much of 2012 and 2013, and remains today below 0.25%. Have we entered a new era...

What is the new normal for the real interest rate?

The yield on a 10-year Treasury inflation protected security was negative through much of 2012 and 2013, and remains today below 0.25%. Have we entered a new era in which a real rate near zero is the new normal? That’s the subject of a new paper that I just completed with Ethan Harris, head of […]

Greek Austerity Does Not Protect Europe's Taxpayers

The NYT described Germany's insistence that Greece adhere to an austerity plan as being derived from a desire to protect taxpayers. It's not clear that this is the case. Most of the debt is owed to official lenders who have no need to make demands on Germany's taxpayers to get funding. Show More Summary

If Europe keeps growing, Brexit won't happen

My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. Greece?s negotiations with its creditors have provided us all with an entertaining glimpse into the dysfunctional family that is the eurozone. So we have had Wolfgang...

IEA's shadow MPC votes 6-3 to keep rates on hold

The Shadow MPC has voted to keep rates on hold, entrenching its reversal, at the last meeting, of its long-standing call for rate rises. Those favouring a hold included members arguing that there is no inflationary pressure and/or that the...

Restaurant Performance Index shows solid Expansion in January

Note: In a related story, the WSJ reported yesterday Wages Rise at Restaurants as Labor Market TightensRestaurant wages zoomed up to an annualized pace of more than 3% in the second half of last year from below a 1.5% pace in the first half of 2013, according to the Labor Department.... Show More Summary

Krugman's Bait and Switch

(March 1, 2015 11:55 AM, by David Henderson) Paul Krugman has a post on the importance of MIT economists in policy discussions. Had he simply made the point that they are highly influential, his post would have been fine. We could still argue about which of the influences... (0 COMMENTS)

Mankiw on dynamic scoring

Here is the conclusion: So there are good reasons for the economists hired by Congress to pursue dynamic scoring. But there are also good reasons to be wary of the endeavor. via www.nytimes.com Congress now requires the CBO to use dynamic scoring when assessing their proposals. Dynamic scoring allows the...

Liveblogging World War II: March 1, 1945: Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Address to Congress on Yalta

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: [Address to Congress on Yalta (March 1, 1945)—Miller Center](http://millercenter.org/president/fdroosevelt/speeches/speech-3338): >I hope that you will pardon me for this unusual posture of sitting down during...Show More Summary

Austerity Kills: Economic Distress Seen as Culprit in Sharp Rise in Suicide Rate Among Middle Aged

I'm surprised, but perhaps I shouldn't be, that a recent study hasn't gotten the attention it warrants. It points to a direct connection between the impact of the crisis and a marked increase in suicide rates among the middle aged.

Nurses Unite to Stop TransPacific Partnership Fast Track

In case you haven't noticed, nurses unions have emerged as a particularly powerful and credible labor/lobbying group. So it's encouraging to see them use their bully pulpit to rally voters to contact their Congresscritters and voice opposition to the upcoming vote on so-called fast track authority for the TransPacific Partnership. Show More Summary

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