Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bair and Reserves for All

I think the Fed's new Overnight Reverse Repurchase Facility is great. Sheila Bair, in the Wall Street Journal, thinks it's awful.

I think it will enhance the stability of the financial system. She thinks it will lead to instability. Well, at least we agree on the important issue.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lucas and Sargent Revisited

The economics blogosphere has a big discussion going on over Bob Lucas and Tom Sargent's classic "After Keynesian Macroeconomics." You can start at Simon Wren-Lewis, Mark Thoma here and here and work back through the links.

A few thoughts here, as it bears on my WSJ oped from last week and my last post on EFG and how we do macro.

1. Views of Keynesian economics

Re-reading this paper, you will be struck about how much Lucas and Sargent praise Keynesian models, which you'd think it is their purpose to destroy.

They called the Keynesian revolution a "remarkable intellectual event." they continued

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summer Institute

I just got back from the NBER Summer Institute. The Economic Fluctuations and Growth meeting organized by Larry Christiano and Chad Jones sparks some thoughts on where macro is and where we're going. (I also attended the monetary economics and asset pricing meetings, which were excellent and thought provoking too, but one can only blog so much.)


Friday, July 11, 2014

Summer Institute Dining

I'm at the NBER summer institute. By quirk of fate I ended up spending a week here, with my son, so we ended up exploring a lot of local restaurants. There's no NBER wiki for "summer institute restaurants" so we'll start one here. There is now a rent a bike stand right in front of the Galleria which makes getting some places a lot easier.

So, here are our best finds. Use the comments to post yours. Perhaps Cambridge locals will have good suggestions or comments on these.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Legislated Taylor Rule?

John Taylor announces in his blog post, "New Legislation Requires Fed to Adopt Policy Rule'' that today (June 8)

.. the ‘‘Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014” was introduced into Congress. It requires that the Fed adopt a rules-based policy. Basically, the Fed would have to report to Congress and explain any deviation from a "Reference policy rule,"
The term ‘Reference Policy Rule’ means a calculation of the nominal Federal funds rate as equal to the sum of the following: (A) The rate of inflation over the previous four quarters. (B) One-half of the percentage deviation of the real GDP from an estimate of potential GDP. (C) One-half of the difference between the rate of inflation over the previous four quarters and two. (D) Two.
Wow. John will testify at a hearing at the House Financial Service Committee on Thursday, along with Mark Calabria, Hester Peirce and Simon Johnson. This should be very interesting.

Questions for discussion:

One idea for renewing prosperity

For its 125th anniversary issue, the WSJ asked "If you could propose one change in American policy, society or culture to revive prosperity and self-confidence, what would it be and why?" Oh, and you have 250 words.

My answer, along with some great other essays here at the WSJ as "Ideas for Renewing American Prosperity."

I asked my son what to do. He answered quickly, "wish for more wishes." That's pretty much what I did.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Macro debates

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, on supply vs, demand in understanding slow growth.

The underlying paper is The New Keynesian Liquidity Trap, for those wanting more substance to some of the claims about New Keynesian models.

They didn't want the graph, but I think it illustrates the point well.

Please follow the link for the oped itself.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Deflation Skeptics

Michele Boldrin, Giovanni Federico and  Giulio Zanella have an excellent essay on noisefromamerika, Should we worry about deflation? Maybe yes, maybe no. (If your Italian is rusty, Google translate does a fine job with it.) This matters of course, as deflation is the great European preoccupation at the moment.

They remind us that, although deflation was correlated with the Great Depression in the US and some other countries,
Source: "PIL" is GDP
that correlation is not universal. For example, in the late 19th century, deflation coincided with strong growth,

What's the difference?