Jobs the Bright Spot in a Downbeat Year

Even in a flat year the mood ebbs and flow, often quite dramatically. This time last year the eurozone appeared to be teetering on the edge of the abyss, threatened by its own internal economic contradictions as well as by the politics. I know some very prominent people who thought it was only a matter […]

Nominal GDP Targeting: Still a Skeptic

In a few days the clock will run out on another year of disappointing economic growth in the United States and, generally speaking, in the world. It is inevitable and appropriate, then, that the year-end ritual of looking forward by looking backward will include an assessment of whether more or better policy can contribute to […]

The ECB Is Not Infallible

For the ECB, 2012 ended on a high note. Mario Draghi was proclaimed person of the year by the Financial Times, and at the December summit the ECB was given the final say on euro area banking supervision. Amid a general collapse in confidence in banks, politicians and national supervisors, all hopes are now directed […]

More News That You Just Cannot Makeup

*Updated, with a fourth story added 1. How many Americans have been shot-to-death by guns since Sandy Hook? Oh, I know, guns don’t kill people. But, anyway, you know what I mean. Apparently no one has been keeping track of gun deaths in the US–that would be a bit inconvenient for our gun nuts. But […]

Does Sub-Saharan Africa Deserve A Slice Of Your Portfolio?

“One of the most remarkable features of the global economy over the past fifteen years has been the striking surge of economic growth over much of sub-Saharan Africa,” Charles Collyns, assistant secretary for international finance at the US Treasury, advised earlier this month. We’ve heard this story before, of course, only to discover that the investment results […]

Realism about the fiscal cliff

Summary: The fiscal cliff dominates the news. What will happen if we fall off it. How we can avoid it, preferably by easy painless solutions. Here we peel back the consensus wisdom to see what lies beneath. We’ll look at the cliff from different perspectives. Contents (1)  It’s not important For three decades the results […]

Fiscal Cliff Notes: Interpreting the Deadline News

Here is an all-time first:  Market rallies on news that Congress will be in session! That was today’s story.  The market gyrations lacked a grounding in reality.  Joe Weisenthal charts the day, with my comments to follow. Here are a number of rhetorical questions: After weeks of public posturing on both sides, would we really expect […]

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