The Atlanta Fed's macroblog provides commentary on economic topics including monetary policy, macroeconomic developments, financial issues and Southeast regional trends.
- BLS Handbook of Methods
- Bureau of Economic Analysis
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Congressional Budget Office
- Economic Data - FRED® II, St. Louis Fed
- Office of Management and Budget
- Statistics: Releases and Historical Data, Board of Governors
- U.S. Census Bureau Economic Programs
- White House Economic Statistics Briefing Room
March 26, 2006
Odds And Ends
Another quarter begins at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and I have once again cleverly fallen behind on my reading, giving me the excuse to introduce some of my favorite weblogs to new students, via this review of things I should have talked about last week.
First things first, the week ended with economic news that was mixed, at best. Kash at Angry Bear reads the durable goods reports and concludes (fairly, I think) that business investment spending is still short of spectacular. On the other hand, at The Nattering Naybob Chronicles, Mr. Naybob is able to look on the bright side: "Both [the durable goods and house sales] reports eased inflation fears and bond yield dropped."
With respect to the real estate news, Calculated Risk, a consistently fine go-to source on the housing market, has the latest on home mortgage applications (down slightly), existing home sales (up, but perhaps not the best indicator), and new home sales (a better indicator, and coming in "very weak".) CR also has a handy chart, mapping the pattern of home sales in recessions. At the Big Picture, Barry Ritholtz opines: "The [Real Estate] market has dropped from white hot to red hot to mid-plateau." Calculated Risk says "The sky may not be falling, but... housing sales are clearly trending down." Captain Capitalism, however, is not cheered by that prognosis, and Michael Shedlock pores over the Calculated Risk pictures, to find that his disposition is soured as well. ElectEcon finds a prediction that things are going to get ugly fast.
For those who simply must have more housing indicators to watch, Daniel Gross bears good news, from Standard & Poor's. For those who just can't get enough detail on economic data period, Mark Thoma has more at Economist's View.
Speaking of data, a nice summary of U.S. wealth as reported in the Federal Reserve's Flow of Funds can be found at Angry Bear. (Although I don't necessarily endorse the conclusions, you might also enjoy the pictures provided at Economic Dreams - Economic Nightmares.)
Last week I (sort of) came to the rescue of the Consumer Price Index. Barry Ritholtz (again) counter punches, with a Wall Street Journal survey of readers indicating the vast majority don't think very highly of the Consumer Price Index, but Russell Roberts effectively (in my view) defends the beleaguered index, at Cafe Hayek.
Mark also relays the crux of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech on the yield curve. Meanwhile, the inverted yield curve watch continues, at The Capital Spectator.
Shifting to the fiscal side of the government house, Kash breaks down the sources of federal spending growth in the United States over the past five years. The guys at Angry Bear have had several useful, even if a bit partisan, posts on the subject in the recent past -- here, here, here, here, and here. Gary Becker and Richard Posner provide some much needed perspective on how to think about the build-up in defense spending.
In other legislative news, Andrew Chamberlain at Tax Policy Blog indicates that tax reform may not be dead just yet (good), and at Vox Baby, Andrew Samwick reports on the progress of pension reform (decidedly not good).
David Weman at A Few Euros More gives us the heads up on an item (from the Guardian Unlimited (U.K.) blog) bemoaning the rising tide of protectionism (among countries, including the U.S., that really ought to know better). The Skeptical Speculator concurs that "protectionism looms." Asia Pundit reminds us that, in the United States, the impulse is bipartisan (and Sun Bin channels Stephen Roach's comments on the subject). William Polley deems it "Nothing if not predictable." Mark Thoma provides an extended commentary from the Financial Times on the dangers of "Dobbism" (as in Lou). Daniel Drezner, however, has better news. Brad DeLong takes notice of a Alan Blinder's sometimes less charitable view of trade and globalization, to which Arnold Kling replies -- here and here.
Steve Antler (of EconoPundit) makes the connection from trade protectionism to immigration reform. Russell Roberts is even less tolerant of the anti-immigration argument. So is Arnold Kling (at EconLog). EurActiv reports on how the EU is attempting to deal with its own immigration questions. The New Economist provides a glimpse of research suggesting that outsourcing explains about 28 percent of the growth in the wage gap between high- and low-skilled labor between 1980 and 1999.
Continuing with the international theme, Brad Setser thinks both sides are at fault in the ongoing tensions over Chinese exchange rate policies. He also has terrific coverage of Larry Summers' must-read views on the current state of global financial markets and capital flows. Mark Thoma notes an article on the relationship between exchange rate policies and trade gaps and a summary of research on foreign direct investment. Steve Antler suggests an explanation for "why the dollar still reigns". Barry Ritholtz is pretty sure the answer is not Dark Matter. Menzie Chinn, writing at Econbrowser, is even less convinced. (He follows up that post with a very nice discussion of "purchasing power parity." Don't worry if you don't know what that means -- Menzie will fill you in.)
Speaking of China, Daniel Gross carries a story from the New York Times on the development race between China and India, the latter a country that I think gets far less attention than it deserves. (Lest there is any confusion, I mean positive attention.) Interestingly, Toni Straka at The Prudent Investor -- who unfailingly does not ignore India -- reports that India is about to float its currency and remove foreign exchange controls.
About Economics has a macro-relevant post on the, increasingly quaint, problem of the so-called zero nominal interest rate bound. Digging even further into the history of monetary theory, Jane Galt ruminates on "free money." In the some-think-it-matters-I-don't category, The Capital Spectator comments on the retirement of M3. So does Tim Iacono. That makes the graphs at Economist's View on M3 velocity -- explained here -- somewhat obsolete, but don't worry -- there is still M1 and M2 to absorb your attention.
UPDATE: Oh yeah -- Tyler Cowen has a new gig at the New York Times.
SPECIAL BRAIN-LOCK UPDATE: Above I hat-tipped A Fistful of Euro's David Weman for a Guardian article "bemoaning the rising tide of protectionism" (my words). Unfortunately, the Guardian article that does the bemoaning is not the one David cites. I had in mind an earlier article by James Surowiecki. David was pointing to another article, by Daniel Davies, arguing that capital controls do not count as protectionism. Double hat-tip to David for keeping me on the straight and narrow. (Oh, and by the way -- I'm with Surowiecki.)
March 26, 2006 in Asia, Data Releases, Deficits, Europe, Exchange Rates and the Dollar, Federal Debt and Deficits, Housing, Inflation, Interest Rates, Labor Markets, Saving, Capital, and Investment, Taxes, This, That, and the Other, Trade , Trade Deficit | Permalink
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to blogs that reference Odds And Ends :
» Round-up of Recent Economics Blog Postings from EclectEcon
Dave Altig at Macroblog has a very comprehensive round-up of recent blog postings from all over creation, all grouped by various economics topics. It is very thorough and ... [Read More]
Tracked on Mar 26, 2006 9:04:00 PM
» Carnival of the Economists from The Big Picture
Over at Macroblog, Dave Altig collects lots of Odds And Ends from the week's economic writings. He's a one man Carnival of the Economists. Looks like it took hours to put together. If you are looking for additional sources of economic writing and discu... [Read More]
Tracked on Mar 27, 2006 9:46:30 AM
Tracked on Mar 28, 2006 1:06:21 PM
- Sales Flexing Muscle at More Firms
- All Eyes on the Consumer
- Signs of Strengthening Wage Growth?
- What the Weather Wrought
- Déjà Vu All Over Again
- Is Measurement Error a Likely Explanation for the Lack of Productivity Growth in 2014?
- What Seems to Be Holding Back Labor Productivity Growth, and Why It Matters
- Signs of Improvement in Prime-Age Labor Force Participation
- Could Reduced Drilling Also Reduce GDP Growth?
- Are Shifts in Industry Composition Holding Back Wage Growth?
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- Business Cycles
- Business Inflation Expectations
- Capital and Investment
- Capital Markets
- Data Releases
- Economic conditions
- Economic Growth and Development
- Exchange Rates and the Dollar
- Fed Funds Futures
- Federal Debt and Deficits
- Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy
- Financial System
- Fiscal Policy
- Health Care
- Inflation Expectations
- Interest Rates
- Labor Markets
- Latin America/South America
- Monetary Policy
- Money Markets
- Real Estate
- Saving, Capital, and Investment
- Small Business
- Social Security
- This, That, and the Other
- Trade Deficit