Tag Archives: economic forecasts

The debt ceiling explained

The federal debt ceiling is a looming catastrophe one day and a crisis averted the next. It seems a never-ending cycle. WSJ’s David Wessel explains the basics of the debt limit and why you should care…click here.

Housing multiplier effects

People frequently ask how a sector that currently accounts for 2.5% of the US economy can be so important. First, residential investment has large swings during the business cycle, and will probably increase sharply over the next few years. Second, there are spillover effects from housing – meaning housing has a much larger impact on overall economic activity than just “residential investment”. We are starting to see some signs of spillover from Kate Linebaugh and James Hagerty at the WSJ: From Power Tools to Carpets, Housing Recovery Signs… Read More →

Abbott & Costello Economics

Unemployment is dropping — as explained by Bud & Lou: COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate. ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible times. It’s 9%. COSTELLO: That many people are out of work? ABBOTT: No, that’s about 20%. COSTELLO: You just said 9%. ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed. COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work. ABBOTT: No, that’s about 20%. COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 20% unemployed. ABBOTT: No, that’s 9%… COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 9% or 20%? ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 20% are out of work. COSTELLO: IF… Read More →

Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two

An entertaining parody of the mindset of many of today’s economists. Also a great illustration of network externalities.

$5 Gas Not Likely, Says Texas A&M Expert

Having to dig deeper to fill up the gas tank? You are not alone as gas prices have steadily risen in the past few weeks, but the possibility of gas hitting $5 a gallon by summer as many analysts are predicting is very unlikely, says a Texas A&M University economist who has studied oil prices for decades. John Moroney, professor of economics and an oil analyst for more than 30 years, says the possibility of gas reaching $4 a gallon from its current national average of around $3.45… Read More →

3 misconceptions that need to die

HT to Sid Raisch for this link — http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/10/25/3-misconceptions-that-need-to-die.aspx, Morgan Housel, October 25, 2011 At a conference in Philadelphia earlier this month, a Wharton professor noted that one of the country’s biggest economic problems is a tsunami of misinformation. You can’t have a rational debate when facts are so easily supplanted by overreaching statements, broad generalizations, and misconceptions. And if you can’t have a rational debate, how does anything important get done? As author William Feather once advised, “Beware of the person who can’t be bothered by details.” There seems… Read More →

Reducing future deficits while stimulating today's economy

How can Congress reduce future deficits while stimulating today’s economy?  University of Delaware economist Laurence Seidman argues that legislators should enact a budget that maintains balance under normal unemployment levels, and a fiscal stimulus package with a clause that phases out the package as the economy returns to full employment. Want to read more? Click here.

The Case for Optimism

From today’s Wall Street Journal article “The Case for Optimism” by Ross Devol, executive director of economic research at the Milken Institute: Gloom and doom is the hallmark of the current economic debate, as the most recent congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke demonstrates. Despite Mr. Bernanke’s generally upbeat message on the Fed’s official forecast, which calls for moderate economic growth of somewhere between 3.0% to 3.5% this year, the market and the media fixated on his acknowledgment that the outlook was “unusually uncertain.” Those words… Read More →

Economy still mixed

It could’ve shaped up to be a good week. After all, the Senate pushed through a vote on bank reform, bellwether earnings weren’t all that bad, BP finally seems to have halted the spewing oil in the Gulf, the Northeast got a small reprieve from the heat wave — and last but not least — Apple announced plans to rectify “Antennagate.” Nevertheless, U.S. stocks ended the week on a sour note, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 250 points Friday. Bank reform moves ahead. This week,… Read More →

Inflation remains low as retail sales and housing starts rise

Inflation Remains Subdued. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), a key measure of inflation, rose by 0.1 percent in March. Core CPI-U, which excludes the food and energy categories and is a less volatile measure of inflation, remained unchanged in March relative to February. This follows the general pattern of low inflation that has persisted since the start of the recession, and projections by the Administration, the Federal Reserve, and the Congressional Budget Office all suggest that inflation… Read More →