Aug 152016
 
Economic update

For a quick economic update for members of Bellevue Rotary recently, I updated several slides I usually include as a part of my talks and added a new one or two. You can download all of them as a PDF file here. Among bullet points: We live in a slow-growth world. [continue reading . . . ]






Aug 292015
 
The recovery: Still tepid

Good on us that the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate estimated at 3.7% in the April-May-June quarter rather than the 2.2% rate announced as the first estimate a month ago. But don’t get too excited. State and local government spending accounted for a higher-than-average share of the growth [continue reading . . . ]






Jun 122015
 
Condemned to slow growth?

June marks the end of the sixth year since the Great Recession passed into history. At 18 months, it was the lengthiest recession since World War II, surpassing the 16 months of the other notably long-lived  post-war recessions, ended in March 1975 and November 1982. For duation, of course, the [continue reading . . . ]






Aug 192013
 
Still a Great Disappointment

The Great Recession (January 2008-June 2009) was less severe and the recovery stronger than we thought at the time. But it was still the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. And the recovery remains the Great Disappointment. Uncle Sam in late July published national income and product accounts updated [continue reading . . . ]






Apr 032013
 
Wealth and recessions

A correspondent who heard me last week on KUOW‘s Weekday program asks if there is research on “a correlation between the wealth lost in a downturn and the length of following recovery.” I told him the book to read is This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly  By Carmen [continue reading . . . ]






Apr 022013
 
Great Disappointment

How anemic has been the recovery from the Great Recession? Here’s one way of looking at it. Until the Great Recession (December 2007-June 2009), the lengthiest recessions of the post-World War II era were 1973-1975 and 1981-1982, both at 16 months. The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau [continue reading . . . ]






Dec 122012
 
Printing more will do what, exactly?

So we have just started Year 5 of N-ZIRP, the Fed’s near-zero-interest-rate policy, and it is working so well that the Fed will have to keep printing money. What’s wrong with this picture? In fact, despite a massive expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet, and some of the lowest interest [continue reading . . . ]






Oct 312012
 
KUOW: GDP, MSFT, AMZN

Some things I hope to cover on the business-economy segment on KUOW today: U.S. economy: The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced October 26 that the U.S. economy grew at annual rate of 2.0% in the July-September quarter, much better than the 1.3% rate in the summer quarter. In real terms [continue reading . . . ]






Sep 172012
 
QE and financial repression

Say what you please about Ben Bernanke’s unconventional monetary policies (quantitative easing, QE for short, and Operation Twist), they’ve been good for the stock market. The first chart shows that stock prices have roughly doubled, give or take a few percentage points, since Dr. Ben launched the first round of [continue reading . . . ]






Jul 032011
 

The bad news is that the United States – indeed, much of the developed world – is in the midst of a “contained depression.” The private sector continues to de-leverage. Unemployment remains high. Pay for most is static or declining. Deflation remains a bigger threat than inflation. Depressions eventually end, [continue reading . . . ]






May 212011
 
Lesser Depression?

What to call the period that arguably began in 2006 when the rich world’s housing market peaked? The Financial Times (FT) in a Lex column May 13 uses a term I have not seen before: “Lesser Depression.” The U.S. economy typically rebounds strongly following a recession. The 1974-75 and 1981-82 [continue reading . . . ]