United States Gross Domestic Product expanded at a 3.2 percent pace in quarter one of 2010, according to the preliminary estimate released today. This was very close to our forecast of 3.1 percent. This expansion was the result of 3.6% growth in personal consumption expenditures and a $50 billion increase in real private inventory spending,… Read more

The current VC Reporter has a great article on two competing downtown Ventura projects. The proposals are for Ventura’s iconic intersection at California and Main, and each would be a huge innovation for the City. The smaller proposal is for a $19 million mixed use project with 29 residential units priced from $400,000 to $850,000.… Read more

When thinking about regulation, it is helpful to have some regulatory principles. Here are my proposals: Keep it simple. Simple regulation is cost-effective regulation. Simple regulation minimizes both regulatory costs to the government and compliance costs to the regulated firms, costs eventually borne by consumers or taxpayers. Complicated regulation invites lawsuits and encourages efforts to… Read more

Almost everybody pontificating about financial regulation seems to be recommending increased capital ratios, increasing the ratio of firm’s capital to assets. It is also true that financial regulation around the world includes minimum capital ratios. The reasoning seems to be that if you increase a financial institution’s capital, it is less likely to fail, but… Read more

This is a question that I’ve never seen asked, at least not in the popular press, but it seems important to me, and I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately. For one thing, how can you possibly write good regulation if you don’t know what you are trying to do? It could be that… Read more

New durables-manufactured goods orders fell 1.3 percent in March, but excluding transportation, orders rose 2.8 percent. The overall drop was driven by a large decline in aircraft orders. The aircraft orders are volatile and not driven as much by overall economic trends. These results are consistent with our March forecast where we projected relatively strong… Read more

I was in Peoria yesterday to give a talk to the City Council. Peoria is a suburb of Phoenix, but it is intent on having its own identity and economy. The City has a population pushing 150,000 spread over an amazing 180 square miles. They like their open space in Peoria. It’s a great looking… Read more

Dan Hamilton and Kjersti Framnes The California March unemployment rate increased to 12.6 percent from 12.5 percent in February. Since August of 2009 the unemployment rate has climbed 60 basis points, and there has not been any interim month of recovery. The unemployment rate would likely be even greater if not for net domestic out-migration.… Read more

Ventura California’s City Manager, Rick Cole, has had two recent pieces at newgeography.com, here and here, titled “The War for Jobs.” In these pieces, he outlines some important changes in California cities’ environment, and what Ventura is doing to attract or grow jobs, because, as he says, governments don’t create jobs. Rick’s right. Governments don’t… Read more

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Larry Summers are having a heated exchange over the impacts of unemployment insurance on jobs, and they are both being stupid. The WSJ claims that extending unemployment insurance is causing unemployment, and that their opinion is consistent with Summers’ past statements. Unemployment insurance can exacerbate unemployment in times of… Read more