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

Index of leading indicators says recession almost certain; so what of the coincident indicators?

Index of leading indicators says recession almost certain; so what of the coincident indicators? – by New Deal democrat This week is one of those where almost all of the important data is crammed into one day – in this case, Thursday, when Q4 GDP, initial claims, real manufacturng and trade sales, durable goods orders, […]

Extending Capital to Nature, Reducing Nature to Capital

Extending Capital to Nature, Reducing Nature to Capital The Biden administration has announced it is inaugurating a program to incorporate the value of natural resources and ecological services into national income accounts.  The New York Times article reporting this development predictably portrays the response as divided between two camps: on the one side are environmentalists, who think […]

Trump and the debt ceiling

According to Politico, Trump is against cutting Social Security and Medicare: Former President Donald Trump issued a warning to Republican lawmakers on Friday: Don’t lay a finger on entitlement programs as part of the debt ceiling showdown with the White House. “Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or […]

And the King of Coincident Indicators rolls over

And the King of Coincident Indicators rolls over  – by New Deal democrat This morning’s second big – and big negative – report was for industrial production, the King of Coincident Indicators (I call it so because historically, it more often than not marks the exact month +/-1 that a recession begins or ends). In […]

Job Market’s 2.6 Million Missing People

“Job Market’s 2.6 Million Missing People Unnerves Star Harvard Economist,” (msn.com), Ben Steverman  Originally in a comment in this post Discussion on Solutions to Social Security, Angry Bear. The number I had originally calculated was ~2.6 million people joining the Civilian Labor Force. I had said: Since you addressed me, what group is dropping out […]

Discussion on Solutions to Social Security at Angry Bear

A different viewpoint by myself which is not so new and very workable. Dean Baker at CEPR offers up his viewpoint on saving Social Security. I believe we are in close proximity to a solution except I would suggest a different source of funds. Dale, Bruce, and Arne have talked this simple solution up until […]

A New Wellbeing Rankings Study

A New Wellbeing Rankings Study  David G. Blanchflower of Dartmouth and Alex Bryson of University College in London have just published a paper at NBER 30759 “Wellbeing Rankings,” which provides some provocative ideas and data on various possible measures of well-being in societies. This reflects dissatisfaction with the tendency to use a single measure, “life […]

Graphically Defining the economy in 2022

Three graphs which defined the economy in 2022; a look back at my forecasts In the summer of 2021, looking at the long leading indicators, I wrote: “while the long leading indicators confirm a firm, even strong expansion through the remainder of 2021, by spring of 2022 they are neutral, suggesting a much softer economy, […]

The 2022 Globie: Money and Empire

by Joseph Joyce The 2022 Globie: Money and Empire Every year we name a book the “Globalization Book of the Year” (aka the “Globie”). The prize is (alas!) strictly honorific and does not come with a monetary award. But announcing the award gives me a chance to draw attention to a recent book—or books—that are […]

Saving Ryan

I just finished reading “Saving Ryan” by Emil Kakkis. Kakkis is a physician who pioneered enzyme replacement therapy for Mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I), a progressive and fatal disease. The story is about the patients and their families who struggle with the disease and Emil’s struggle to deliver life-enhancing therapy against terribly long odds. The Ryan […]