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Smart Reforms of the Social Safety Net Could Make the Economy More Growth-Friendly

A rising tide lifts all boats, does it not? That cliché of economic policy is meant to highlight the ways in which economic growth, as a substitute for targeted social policies, can make life better not just for the privileged, but for the disadvantaged, as well. Show More Summary

Bank bail-ins: Lessons from the Cypriot crisis

Europe’s new framework for resolving banks includes a ‘bail-in’ mechanism which aims to ensure that banks’ shareholders and creditors pay their share of costs, and which was first used to resolve the 2013 banking crisis in Cyprus. This...Show More Summary

Contrary to What You Hear from Ivanka Trump, Most Women in Their Late Sixties Don't Want to Work

A NYT article discussed a plan being pushed by Ivanka Trump and several Republicans in the Senate which would allow for new mothers to take up to twelve weeks of paid family leave. This would be paid for by delaying their Social Security...Show More Summary

Henderson on Economic Inequality

(February 20, 2018 07:58 PM, by David Henderson) [L]et us consider two historical figures of twentieth-century American history. The first came to prominence in the late 1940s, when he invented a light one-man chainsaw, and sold more than 100,000 of them at a price that made him... (0 COMMENTS)

Wednesday: Existing Home Sales, FOMC Minutes

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Unable to Extend Last Week's GainsMortgage rates moved back up today after ending last week on a positive note. Improvements in rates have been uncommon so far in 2018. In fact, we haven't seen more than 2 consecutive days without a move higher. Show More Summary

$110 bills are still lying on the sidewalk

I have a new post on the Hypermind NGDP prediction market, over at Econlog.  I argue that it might be best if the market fails. Even so, I’m encouraging people to participate.  The prize money for each contract is over $36,000, and it costs nothing to participate.  Where else in life can you win money […]

Estimating the Long Run Growth Effects of Tax Cuts: An Example

Does this belong in the next edition of Martha Olney's and my _Macroeconomics_ textbook? Box 4.4.6: Estimating the Effects of Policy Changes: An Example In late 2017 and early 2018 the Trump administration and the Republican congressional...Show More Summary

There's no success like failure

(February 20, 2018 04:56 PM, by Scott Sumner) I've worked in several different types of organizations, and I've observed a growing tendency for managers to look for measurable metrics to assess productivity. Fortunately, I've generally been in a position where I didn't have to spend a lot of... (0 COMMENTS)

Q1 GDP Forecasts

It is early, but here are few Q1 GDP forecast.From Merrill Lynch: The weak retail sales data sliced 0.3pp from our 1Q estimate to 2.0%, while 4Q 2017 dropped to 2.5% from 2.7%.And from the Altanta Fed: GDPNowThe GDPNow model estimate...Show More Summary

Crazy Train! U.S. Yields Climb as Treasury Set to Sell A Quarter of a Trillion Dollars In Bills and Notes (At Least Momentum Stocks Look Good!)

Yes, Treasury will sell a quarter of a trillion dollars of bills and notes this week to fund the Crazy Train spending habits of the US Congress. The post Crazy Train! U.S. Yields Climb as Treasury Set to Sell A Quarter of a Trillion Dollars In Bills and Notes (At Least Momentum Stocks Look Good!) was originally published at The Wall Street Examiner. Follow the money!

Against Argumentative Definitions: The Case of Feminism

(February 20, 2018 02:22 PM, by Bryan Caplan) Suppose I define socialism as, "a system of totalitarian control over the economy, leading inevitably to mass poverty and death." As a detractor of socialism, this is superficially tempting. But it's sheer folly, for two distinct reasons.First, this plainly isn't... (0 COMMENTS)

Update: For Fun, Stock Market as Barometer of Policy Success

Note: This is mostly a repeat of a June 2017 post with updated statistics and graph, and one new quote.There are a number of observers who think the stock market is the key barometer of policy success. My view is there are many measures...Show More Summary

On the Link between US Pay and Productivity

Anna Stansbury and Lawrence Summers at VoxEU: On the link between US pay and productivity, by Anna Stansbury and Lawrence Summers, VoxEU: Pay growth for middle class workers in the US has been abysmal over recent decades – in real.....

Inflation, General Data Flow, Fiscal Stimulus, And Implications For Monetary Policy

Tim Duy: Inflation, General Data Flow, Fiscal Stimulus, And Implications For Monetary Policy, by Tim Duy: The data flow remains supportive of the Fed’s forecast of sustained moderate growth. A spike in prices, however, drove core CPI inflation to the...

Why a Republican Plan for Paid Leave Has Stirred Concern About Social Security

A proposal would allow people to collect Social Security after a birth, but there’s a catch.

2:00PM Water Cooler 2/20/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Patient readers, I started today filled with good intentions, and then got a late start. I will add more material in a bit! –lambert Trade “China’s got a trade problem that can’t be solved by Belt and Road” [South China Morning Post]. “That’s Belt and Road for you, a storm […]

Tax Astroturf: The B-Team Lowers the Bar for Tax Transparency

Quelle surprise! The B Team, a supposed top group for "responsible business," punts on tax transparency.

Chemical Activity Barometer Increased in February

Note: This appears to be a leading indicator for industrial production.From the American Chemistry Council: Industrial Activity Signals Further Gains in U.S. Economyhe Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created...Show More Summary

Italian elections update

(February 20, 2018 10:15 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) A government that doesn't do much is highly preferable than one that does harm. Italian elecions are fast approaching: they'll be held on March 4. I think there is so far an unnatural/uncanny sense of composure surrounding the ballot. I... (0 COMMENTS)

Robert Samuelson Is Worried About Inflation, Yet Again

As the saying goes, writing for Washington Post means never having to say you're sorry. Hence the paper never apologized for saying NAFTA had caused Mexico's GDP to quadruple when the true growth was just 84.2 percent. And Robert Samuelson...Show More Summary

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