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

Three Charts in a Tangle: What Lending?

UPDATE: Credit where due category: H/T to Felix Salmon for pointing to this chart at, which gives you borrowings relative to GDP. I often hate line graphs, especially when they include outliers that skew the axis, making it virtually unreadable. (This may be a result of seeing several papers this semester with Chilean/US$ exchange […]

Taxation’s Rhetoric: Today and yesterday’s economic crap

by: Divorced one like Bush In a posting regarding which presidents would be considered socialist I found the following curious:1921 – 4% 73% Census1922 – 4% 56% Census1923 – 3% 56% Census1924 – 1.5% 46% Census1925-1928 – 1.5% 25% Census1929 – 0.375% 24% Census1930-1931 – 1.125% 25% Census 1982-1986 12 brackets 12% 50% IRS1987 5 […]

Perception v. Reality

Perception, per the NYT: Fed Leaves Key Rate Steady as It Worries About Growth Reality: TSLF (Mar 11), PDCF (Mar 16), expanded acceptable collateral pool (multiple times, most recently Monday), loans to the parent from the subsidiaries to cover capital needs.* And it may not be enough. (Of course it’s an AIG link.) There’s more […]


Fed values Bear Stearns assets at a level where it has only cost them $100,000nothing—so far. (Indeed, there’s a $50,000 “buffer” left.) Strangely, the scuttlebutt in the market yesterday was that the valuation should be around $24 billion. Or at least that’s how I read this paragraph: If the portfolio’s value were to drop to […]

A Quick One: Inflationary Credit Recession Strategies

Tom’s doing some heavy lifting, PGL is in form, Bruce has started SocSec 101, and the entire economics blogsphere is having so many conniptions over Hillary that you’d think the CEA was actually the Shadow Government. So I just want start easy, and take a look at three easy-to-compare data points:First, the Federal Funds target […]

Monetary Policy in America v. Europe: Whatever Happened to Expenditure-Switching?

Sebastian Mallaby writes about how the U.S. Federal Reserve is pursuing easy monetary policy to stimulate our aggregate demand while the European Central Bank is pursuing a tighter monetary policy on the concern that Europe might slip into an inflationary spiral from excessive aggregate demand: The divergence in approaches on either side of the Atlantic […]