"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister


"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont


"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister


"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Saturday, November 15, 2014

the Banks

Rant Of The Day by Andrew Sullivan

Friday, November 14, 2014

Emily Bazelon

Bazelon was one of my favorite regulars on The Colbert Report along with the German ambassador. Hopefully she'll visit the new show.


Thursday, November 06, 2014

Mid Terms and minimum wage

Bad news is that Republicans took governorships and the Senate. Good news on the minimum wage and rewarding work.
For all that, the minimum wage is popular, very popular, as voters in four red states proved once again Tuesday. Nebraskans approved a ballot measure to raise that state’s minimum wage to $8 an hour next year and $9 in 2016; South Dakotans voted to raise it to $8.50 next year. Arkansas voters approved a gradual increase to $8.50 by 2017. And Alaskans agreed to raise it to $9.75 by 2016. 
In Illinois, the one blue state to consider the issue, voters opted for $10 an hour starting next year, albeit in a nonbinding referendum. 
Consequently, a majority of states, containing more than half of the working-age population, have or soon will have minimum wages higher than the federal minimum.

via Dean Baker
Anyhow, Lane wants politicians to stop raising the minimum wage so he proposes indexing it to the rate of inflation. The idea of indexation is good, but Lane has the wrong target. Back in the good old days, when we had 4.0 percent growth and 3.0 percent unemployment, the minimum wage rose in step with productivity. If it had continued to rise in step with productivity since its peak level in 1968 it would be more than $17 an hour today.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Keynes and the ZLB

The Liquidity Trap, the Great Depression, and Unconventional Policy: Reading Keynes at the Zero Lower Bound by Richard Sutch


QE and inflation

The Effect of QE on UST Yields by Mark Dow

Via Matthew Klein
Mark Dow has persuasively argued that it boils down to learning: a lot of people used to think bond-buying was equivalent to the policies that led to the Weimar hyperinflation and those people either changed their mind or were forced to leave the market because their trades kept blowing up. 
(Peter Thiel comes to mind.) 
Another possibility is that QE3 did affect inflation expectations but in a way that is invisible to the naked eye because we can’t know what would have happened in the absence of additional bond-buying. While intriguing, this unfalsifiable hypothesis leaves us feeling empty inside.
Did Dow anticipate Robert Waldmann?


Friday, October 31, 2014

Konczal on monetary policy

Did the Federal Reserve Do QE Backwards? by Mike Konczal

It would have been nice for a journalist or Congressperson to have asked Bernanke. This is why they wanted to get out of QE ASAP.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

O'Brien on QE

Why the Fed is giving up too soon on the economy by Matt O'Brien

Kockerlakota and the North Dakota oil boom

Kocherlakota dissents. I believe his turn about first came when he visited the North Dakota "man camps" of the oil boom.

Oct. 29 FOMC statement:
Voting against the action was Narayana Kocherlakota, who believed that, in light of continued sluggishness in the inflation outlook and the recent slide in market-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations, the Committee should commit to keeping the current target range for the federal funds rate at least until the one-to-two-year ahead inflation outlook has returned to 2 percent and should continue the asset purchase program at its current level.

'The Overnighters' shows dark side of North Dakota oil boom