The Federal Open Market Committee began its two day September meeting yesterday, where it will consider raising the short-term policy rate, or the guidance on that rate. It has been nine years since the committee has raised this rate. The prospect of higher rates has financial markets and their commentators very nervous. The rate-raising event,… Read more

I just finished John Taylor’s new book, First Principles. It’s a very good and fast read. It’s a little over 200 pages, and not a derivative in it. I don’t think there is even an explicit formula in it. Taylor writes very well, especially for an academic economist. Maybe that is from all his years… Read more

This morning’s much anticipated fourth quarter GDP release provides a preliminary estimate of real GDP growth of 2.8 percent. To be fair, perhaps the anticipation is experienced mostly by forecasting economists and financial market watchers. I am always particularly interested in fourth quarter as it closes out the year and in this case I forecasted… Read more

Previously published September 28 in the “California Economic Forecast”: The saga of the Great Recession continues. Over six million people have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks, and job growth may be slow enough in the next few months that the unemployment rate rises again. Major revisions to GDP, released in late July, show… Read more

It is time to write about inflation.  From fall of 2008 until about a month ago I was more concerned about deflation than inflation.  In my post last fall, I characterized the United States economy as being in a “Good-delation Equilibrium”, one that eased pressure on households and the Fed in a weak-demand economic environment. … Read more

After the kids went to bed last night, I checked the web to see if there was anything new. The Wall Street Journal posts the next day’s op-eds the evening before print publication. So, I checked those out. I started reading a piece by Judy Shelton provocatively titled The Fed’s Woody Allen Policy. Hey, I… Read more

Most people are concerned about potential inflation, but deflation is the immediate worry. It is easy to see why the concern for inflation. Big deficits and big increases in the monetary base usually lead to inflation. However, inflation is not inevitable. For inflation to occur, increases in the monetary base have to be translated to… Read more