People want to understand phenomena. We want explanations for what happens. Journalists, especially TV and radio journalists, want explanations that can be summarized in 1-2 sentences in a sound bite. Randomness is pretty scary. And anything that's too complex to understand easily looks a lot like randomness. So what triggered this little nugget of metaphysical … Continue reading Religion, The Stock Market, and the Search for Meaning
The last couple of days I've posted some thoughts on The Fed and the summer 2011 "audit" by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) here and here. A long time reader and commenter, AZleader, apparently also wrote about The Fed audit. I like his post a lot. In particular, AZleader went beyond the press releases and news … Continue reading More on The Fed Audit, “Secret Loans”, and Conflicts of Interest
Yesterday I responded to a reader who asked if "The Fed is out of control". In short, I said no, not in the sense that critics have charged them with "out of control printing of money" that could produce inflation. But I left the post with an acknowledgement that the secrecy of The Fed carries … Continue reading Is The Fed Corrupt or Captured?
The Federal Reserve System is an extremely controversial and largely misunderstood institution. Senators on both the right (Ron Paul) and the left (Bernie Sanders) are highly critical of The Fed. I've shied away from commenting on The Fed because it's a pretty complex subject. Every time I think there's a point to be made, … Continue reading Is The Fed Corrupt or Out of Control?
Today is Thanksgiving Holiday here in the U.S. I just want to take a moment to thank all of those who help make my life rich and rewarding. They include: my wife and son. I couldn't do this all without you. my extended family you, my readers on this blog, it's been fun and inspiring … Continue reading Giving Thanks
This is only tangentially related to economics, but I'm pretty excited about some coverage I got for my other project (besides blogging here and teaching at LCC). If you teach in higher education yourself, you might be interested. If so, contact me. The article is from Converge Magazine yesterday: Economics Professor Starts Designing Tools for … Continue reading Malartu, My Other Project
I'm not the most regular blogger. I really do strive to post daily, it often doesn't work out. Sometimes my schedule pinched. Other times, health issues get in the way (ever try to write with a toothache?). But then there are times when the news makes me so angry I can't find civil words that … Continue reading Occupy Wall Street Meets Fahrenheit 451 – Whose Property Rights?
Following up on yesterday's post about the Global Top Incomes Database, I thought I'd give an example. Here's what I created: So what are we looking at? The blue line shows almost a century of the average income of the bottom 90% of American earners (in constant, real 2008 dollars - scale on right side). … Continue reading The Top 0.1% Vs. Rest of Us Throughout the 20th Century
Any student, researcher, or #OWS protestor interested in income distribution and income growth should definitely be aware of this resource: The World's Top Incomes Database. (hat tip to Krugman, from whom I learned about it). It's a very powerful database combined with a very easy to use interface that allows you to extract exactly the … Continue reading Awesome Resource – The World Top Incomes Database
We rarely get to conduct scientific experiments in economics, but for the last 3+ years The Federal Reserve has unintentionally conducted a test of an economic theory called the "Quantity Theory of Money" (QTM). QTM makes some very specific predictions - predictions that Ron Paul, conservatives on Wall Street, and others have been repeating a … Continue reading The Quantity Theory of Money and Fears of Inflation Are Nonsense