Previously Published in CERF’s September California Economic Forecast There are no surprises in our California forecast.  There aren’t any changes either.  We expect California to continue plugging along as it has for several years now.  The growth on average will be slow, but the Bay Area will do better. We don’t see much upside potential. … Read more

Previously published in CERF’s September 2016 Economic Forecast publication: I have complained for years that California’s economy is not performing as it should, and it’s not working for a large part of the population, young people, minorities, less educated workers, even much of the middle class.  Those who disagree with me point out that, measured… Read more

Previously Published in CERF’s September 2016 California Economic Forecast: It’s time for another presidential election.  Each candidate is promising new initiatives that will bring prosperity to Americans.  So, we’re forecasting vigorous economic growth?  No. Our forecast is pretty much the same as it’s been for years, anemic economic growth as far as we can see.… Read more

At the ASSA economics conference on Sunday, I attended a session on the equilibrium real (inflation adjusted) interest rate.  This topic was being discussed in particular as a metric relating to sluggish U.S. economic growth since the Great Recession. First, some presenters documented empirically that real interest rates since 1860 has had episodes, some of… Read more

In late 2008, U.S. banks accelerated consolidation driven by intense Federal government pressure (many failing banks were “saved” by being acquired by a larger bank). This yielded a banking structure where today the largest five U.S. banks control over 44 percent of the nation’s banking assets. The five largest U.S. banks held assets of $6.7… Read more

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

A central concept in Modern Macroeconomic theory is that capital stock will be accumulated through the process of saving for the future. A new country, starting with a low capital level, will accumulate capital for some number of years or decades until reaching an equilibrium level of capital stock. Progressive taxes on capital income imply… Read more