A Few Last 2013 Developments: France, Italy, Turkey, China

In the last full trading session of the year, the US dollar is little changed against the major currencies and a bit softer against many of the freely accessible emerging market currencies.  Asian equities mostly firmed, with the MSCI Asia-Pacific Index gained a little less than 0.5%, while the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is little […]

Eurozone Sovereign Debt: All Quiet on the Southern Front

After a wild ride in 2011-2012, interest rates have settled down on European sovereign debt. For now. Yields on long-term government bonds, Jan 2009 to Nov 2013. Data source: Eurostat. Greek yields fell sharply following the PSI agreement in March 2012, a de facto default that ended up reducing the value of Greek’s debt by 20%. But as […]

Is the Labor Force Participation Rate About to Fall Again?

A few posts back my Atlanta Fed colleagues Tim Dunne and Ellie Terry offered up our latest contribution to the ongoing head-scratching over the rather spectacular decline in U.S. labor force participation (LFP) since the onset of the Great Recession in December 2007. “Rather spectacular” in this case means a fall in the participation rate from […]

Fed Watch: Inflation, Wages and Policy

As something of a addendum to my last piece, I wanted to follow up on the take-down of the inflation story by Ethan Harris of BAML as reported by Sam Ro at Business Insider.  Harris’ argument is that there is plenty of slack in the labor market, so there is no reason to worry that wage growth-fueled inflation […]

On Challenging the Fed

At first blush, the Federal Reserve looked to have pulled off an almost seamless hand-off of accommodation from quantitative easing to forward guidance at the last FOMC meeting.  The announcement of the long-awaited taper was met with a subdued bond market reaction while stocks soared.  Since then, however, bond yields have climbed, breaching the three […]

Preventing Civil War in South Sudan

This post comprises the first two paragraphs of a column that appeared on the NYT.com’s Economix blog on Thursday, December 26, 2013.  To read the full post, click here. The news from Juba is very bad. South Sudan is in the throes of political conflict and serious fighting, with several hundred people reported dead and more injured, […]

Why You Shouldn’t Succumb to Defeatism About the Affordable Care Act

Whatever happened to American can-do optimism?  Even before the Affordable Care Act covers its first beneficiary, the nattering nabobs of negativism are out in full force. “Tens of millions more Americans will lose their coverage and find that new ObamaCare plans have higher premiums, larger deductibles, and fewer doctors,” predicts Republican operative Karl Rove. “Enrollment numbers will […]

And That’s a Wrap For 2013…

The year is fading fast and your editor is heading south for a short holiday. The usual routine will resume in the new year—Thursday, January 2, 2014, to be precise. But before we close the books on 2013, let’s take one final look in the rear-view mirror and stack up the major asset classes in […]

‘Welcome’ to the Sharing Economy — Also Known as the Collapse of the American Dream

Your opportunity to be a “micro-entrepreneur”: By cleaning other people’s homes or renting out your spare room. Thomas Friedman, and others, have recently extolled the virtues of the sharing economy (see “Welcome to the Sharing Economy,” or “How to Monetize Your Closet“). At the risk of bragging, my immigrant parents were clearly trendsetters in this […]

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