Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

THE Important Graphic from April’s Unemployment Report

What happens when you downsize a large number of people? Well, it depends on the cohort downsized. In this case, Figure 1 That’s correct; Average Hourly Earnings skyrocketed from $28.67 to $30.01: up $1.34. For context, that one-month change matches the average hourly earnings growth from September/October of 2018 until March of this year–18 months […]

What a Difference Three Days Makes?

March 27: TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday it had reached an agreement with three Central American countries to carry out joint police operations in the region, as the Trump administration seeks to stem the flow of migrants across its southern border. The governments of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and the United […]

The Bank is the Colour of Malpasspractice, not Dead Televisions

If you want to understand why Mark Thoma’s 12-year daily-and-then-some blogging effort has become intermittent, consider that President Shit-for-Brains has made his nomination for the person to ru(i)n the World Bank. David Malpass. This David Malpass. The best part of the nomination so far? This Twitter feed from Charles Kenny. Brad DeLong concurs. And I’m […]

Is this Short Covering, or Are the Suckers Flooding the Market?

Via ElNuevoDia at LG&M, “Gamblers are now betting that Kavanaugh will not be confirmed.” The market in question, at PredictIt, seems rather straightforward. Note, though, that the contract only opened five days ago (18 September) and traded consistently in the 60-70% range through yesterday (22 Sep), closing at 61% and only reaching as low as […]

Ten Years Have Got Behind You

It has been almost ten years since: Bear Stearns folded Lehmann collapsed of its own free will I posted on this blog All of the above Those who guessed “c” or “d” are optimists. Those who are expecting a long series of posts dwelling on the correct answer of “b” (with some references to “a” […]

Minimum Wage Effects with Non-Living Wages

I’m teaching “Economics for Non-Economists” this semester. This is an interesting experiment, and is strongly testing my belief that you can teach economics without mathematics so long as people understand graphs and tables. (It appears that people primarily learn how to read graphs and tables in mathematics-related courses. Did everyone except me know this?) Since […]

Any Economist Who Talks about Rational Investment is Full of Shit, Hoosier Edition

CPAC had a gathering of Republican Governors today. As Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) on Twitter noted, the Brownback/Walker/etc. panel was called “How to ruin your state’s economy with one easy tax cut.” So naturally my thoughts shifted to the one way blowing up your state’s economy could be ameliorated: if some unearned windfall occurred. Could a […]