Several years ago I was asked to speak at a dinner meeting for some customers of a large insurance company.  It so happens that another economist, Gene Stanaland, was the featured speaker in the afternoon session.  Gene turned out to be a professional speaker who bills himself as the “Will Rogers of Economics.”  He was… Read more

In this article, Joshua Brown argues that the impacts of Greek default are likely to be small.  He correctly points out that Greece’s economy is really pretty small in the scheme of things. But does that really mean that the impact of a default is really small?  I think most of the time it would,… Read more

Here’s what the OECD has to say about the global economy: But the global economy can be characterised (sic) as only achieving a muddling-through “B-minus ” grade. Global growth in the first quarter of 2015 was weaker than in any quarter since the crisis. And although this softness is seen as transitory, productivity growth continues… Read more

I saw this Kaufman Foundation article that argues that, by reducing the downside risks, an aggressive government-provided safety net promoted entrepreneurship, jobs, and economic growth.  If one follows the links, there is some empirical support for the argument. So, I figured that if I looked at data across countries, high-support countries would dominate new-business data.  When… Read more

Since the dismal first-quarter GDP was revised down, we’ve heard all sorts of excuses.  These include bad winter weather and problems in the seasonal adjustment process.  The bad-winter excuse has been popular for several winters now.  Of course, as I’ve said before, strong economies absorb bad winters with minimal impact on output, GDP. Now, we hear… Read more