Why Inflation Stays Low Even Though Unemployment Is Down

January 3, 2018

To long-time baseball fans, the Phillips Curve sounds like a tribute to A.W. Phillips, a New Zealand-born economist who in 1958 noticed that wage growth is strong when the jobless rate is low. (Yes, kind of obvious to the layman.) American economist Paul Samuelson later made a bolder restatement of the Phillips Curve, saying that overall inflation—not just wage growth—is higher when labor markets are tight. Except the Phillips Curve hasn’t…

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The U.S. Economy Is Finally Living Up to Lowered Expectations

December 9, 2017

People are cheering that the U.S. economy is finally back to operating at its full potential, eight years after the global financial crisis ended. “U.S. Economy Reaches Its Potential Output for First Time in Decade,” the headlined its Congressional Budget Office, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis This chart makes the point. The red line represents gross domestic product. It just managed to cross the blue line, which is the Congressional Budget Office’s…

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Trumps Latest Pick for the Fed Is No Fan of Paper Money

December 8, 2017

Economist Marvin Goodfriend doesn’t like the green paper rectangles in your wallet, which are formally known as “Federal Reserve notes.” His opinion matters, because President Trump has nominated him to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. If confirmed by the Senate to a 14-year term, Goodfriend may take the opportunity to pursue his academic interest in abolishing—or at least demoting—paper money. Goodfriend’s dislike for cash could become an issue in…

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Science Advances One Funeral at a Time. The Latest Nobel Proves It

October 17, 2017

The German physicist Max Planck said that science advances one funeral at a time. Or more friendly rival; they even play tennis together. “In the long run,” Azoulay said, “the best ideas probably win. But in the short run, lots of funky things can happen. Thaler’s career is an embodiment of the beginning and the end of that process.” Peter Coy Bloomberg Businessweek Columnist @petercoy Peter Coy is the economics editor…

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Dr. Doom, at Age 89, Has Ideas About How to Pick the Next Federal Reserve Chief

October 16, 2017

There aren’t many people still working on Wall Street who can blithely say “Bill” when speaking of long-ago Federal Reserve Chairman William McChesney Martin. Henry Kaufman, now 89, is one of them. The Wall Street economist once known as Dr. Doom for his bearish pronouncements on interest rates cited Martin in an Oct. 5 talk that was full of pointed observations about Fed chiefs past, present, and future. Kaufman, who…

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