Conflicting Numbers in Today’s Jobs Report

Conflicting Numbers in Today’s Jobs Report

Nonfarm payrolls surged today — up 242,000 in February — while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9 percent. The total number of nonfarm jobs reached its highest level ever — about 144 million jobs in total. Additionally, as job creation increased, the civilian labor force participation rate expanded 0.4%.  December and January NFP numbers were revised upward to reflect […]

US, China and Ultra-Low Oil Prices

US, China and Ultra-Low Oil Prices

photo: Michael Elleray The US-led petrodollar era is being surpassed by a multipolar oil age in the Middle East. The transition is permeated by fundamental change and financial speculation that is penalizing the roles of the US and China in the region.    As producers have scrambled to gain market share from competitors, prices remain more […]

Who’s Disrupting Whom? An Opportunity for Startups and Government

Who’s Disrupting Whom? An Opportunity for Startups and Government

Everyone is talking about the fourth industrial revolution: a change fueled by a digital era in which technology is transforming humankind as we know it, creating new industries, and dramatically increasing and improving productivity and economic growth. Yet as Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, reflected, “The extent to which that transformation is positive […]

Can the Private Sector Save Development?

Can the Private Sector Save Development?

It would be difficult to imagine a bigger sea change in thinking and practice about the private sector’s role in international economic development than what we’ve witnessed these past 12 months: from the financing-for-development conference in April that talked about moving from billions to trillions of dollars by crowding in private-sector financial resources, to the […]

Fed Agrees — On Uncertainty

Fed Agrees — On Uncertainty

photo: doug turetsky Fed minutes from the January 26th & 27th policy meeting released earlier today could be summed up, to a first order approximation, as expressing uncertainty, with a bias to the downside. To wit, from the Current Conditions and the Economic Outlook: “Participants discussed whether their current assessments of economic conditions and the medium-term […]

Why Would Anyone Want to Make the US More Like Europe?

Why Would Anyone Want to Make the US More Like Europe?

photo: Moyan Brenn The idea that Democrats want to make America more like Europe is a favorite Republican attack line. Writing in The New York Times, David Brooks expresses amazement that so many millennials are supporting Bernie Sanders, an open admirer of the European model. Why would anyone in their right mind favor “sluggish” Europe over “vibrant” […]

Monetary Policy in an Open Economy

Monetary Policy in an Open Economy

photo: Paul Falardeau The recent research related to the trilemma (see here) confirms that policymakers who are willing to sacrifice control of the exchange rate or capital flows can implement monetary policy. For most central banks, this means using a short-term interest rate, such as the Federal Funds rate in the case of the Federal Reserve […]

In 3D Printing We Believe

In 3D Printing We Believe

We’re seeing a shift in how goods and services are consumed. Driven by the global move towards sustainability, fewer businesses and consumers feel the need to individually purchase, own, and maintain various material assets. From Netjets to AirBnB and Zipcar to Buzzcar, US and European consumers have been flocking toward the “Sharing Economy.” With the […]

Only Recession Can Prevent An Oil Price Spike

photo: L.C. Nøttaasen The biggest result from the collapse in oil prices could be a future price spike. Oil prices at $30 per barrel have put most producers under water. That has led to austere budgets and severe cuts to spending. Wood Mackenzie recently estimated that $380 billion in major oil projects have been delayed or […]

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