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

Panel Discussion with: Krugman, Sachs, Phelps, Soros

Just wanted to let everyone know about a presentation that aired on Cspan’s Book TV.  It is a 2 hour panel discussion titles: Global Economy: Crisis Without End.  It was held 2/17/12.   Click hereto bring up the show.   What I found most interesting was the different perspectives between Krugman and Sachs. I’m not […]

Housing Bubbles: Less Frothy but Europe is Behind

by Rebecca Wilder Housing Bubbles: Less Frothy but Europe is Behind Wolfgang Muenchau’s article in the Financial Times, There is no Spanish siesta for the Eurozone, inspired me to update my post on housing bubbles around the world (really just Europe and the US). He argues that Spain’s bubble was much more extreme, and that […]

Does the US Corporate Saving Rate Portend a Lower Unemployment Rate?

by Rebecca Wilder Does the US Corporate Saving Rate Portend a Lower Unemployment Rate? An interesting thing happened in Q4 2011: the corporate saving rate declined following two quarters of gains. Nominal net saving by the domestic business sector fell 3%, while nominal gross fixed investment and inventories surged 6% – the two pushed the […]

Euro Area GDP Report: Not Pretty

by Rebecca Wilder Euro Area GDP Report: Not Pretty Today Eurostat released the second estimate of Q4 2011 Gross Domestic Product. Real Euro area (EA) GDP declined 0.3% over the quarter (-1.3% on an annualized basis). In this release Eurostat provides a breakdown across region, spending categories, and industry, and is much more detailed than […]

European Daily Catch: Retail Sales Stabilizing?

by Rebecca WilderEuropean Daily Catch: Retail Sales Stabilizing? Today’s real retail sales gave the ECB and EU heads of state another reason to keep their fingers crossed for stability of the Euro area economy (.pdf of release). In January, volume adjusted retail sales increased 0.3% in the Euro area (EA) and broke a 4-month trend […]

All of the Euro Area Usual Competitive Suspects in One Chart…But with a Twist

by Rebecca Wilder All of the Euro Area Usual Competitive Suspects in One Chart…But with a Twist The European Commission’s Economic and Financial Affairs initiated the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) Scoreboard. The MIP Scorecard will be used to identify emerging or persistent macroeconomic imbalances in a country. In their inaugural release, the EC listed 12 […]

Does Latvia Give Us Any Clues?

by Rebecca Wilder Does Latvia Give Us Any Clues? Short answer: yes, as long as global trade growth is negligible. Over the weekend I came across a December CEPR paper about the Latvian economy. Authors Mark Weisbrot and Rebecca Ray highlight the Latvian experience with internal devaluation, which may prove to be a case study […]

Euro Area Portfolio Flows

by Rebecca Wilder Euro Area Portfolio Flows Today the ECB released the Euro area balance of payments for December. This is a statistical release that is worthy of only the biggest data geeks – but it is quite interesting, especially in forming relationships between FX and capital flows. I’ll demonstrate what’s been going on in […]

Unfounded Obsession With the Greek Minimum Wage

by Rebecca Wilder Unfounded Obsession With the Greek Minimum Wage The Greek minimum wage is apparently a point of contention between the Troika (ECB/EU/IMF) and the Greek government. The NY Times cites competitiveness gains as a rationale for the minimum wage cut: The goal of any pay cuts would be to help make Greek workers, […]