What if, through diligent study of search trends, you could predict what happens in the world tomorrow, next week, or next month? Well, that'll probably never happen, but you might be able to outdo some of the professional forecasters on Wall Street as far as predicting the direction of some important economic indicators.
Krugman: Recession could end this summer. Peter L. Bernstein, chronicler of risk, died over the weekend. NY Fed president suggests Fed should be able to issue its own debt. "The 'part-timezation' of America." Felix Salmon on why banks shouldn't repay TARP funds just yet. Why white-collar criminals can't hack it as fugitives. --Zubin Jelveh
We learned last month that one of the ways the Congress is considering paying for health care reform is through a tax on "sugar-sweetened beverages." While a soda tax would no doubt accomplish that, would it also achieve another desirable goal: promote healthier behavior on the part of consumers? Superficially, you'd think that raising the cost of high-caloric sodas would induce people to consume them less--and maybe shed a few pounds in the process. But a new NBER study suggests that the relationship between such sin taxes and consumer behavior isn't always as predictable as you'd think.
Obama set to appoint new "Special Master for Compensation". Since when does the Federal Reserve need a lobbyist? Jim Cramer: Ben Bernanke is the "greatest Federal Reserve chairman in history." Good corporate governance and higher stock prices go hand-in-hand. A look inside Tim Geithner's for-sale home. --Zubin Jelveh
Or more accurately, graphics, since there's nothing else in the world that gets econo-nerds' visual proclivities going quite like the data-rich jobs report -- which today provided some more evidence that the bottom of the current downturn is behind us. Here's a selection of some of the best charts from around the web.
Beneficiaries of tax breaks from the "Homeland Investment Act" did anything but. Countrywide's former CEO is charged with insider trading. Morgan Stanley says the rise in rates is "fully driven by a rise in the inflation premium." Digg is letting users vote on the site's advertising. Why do men have more followers on Twitter? --Zubin Jelveh
In his testimony and Q&A session before the House yesterday, Fed Chair Bernanke stressed that the U.S. needed to keep it's debt-to-GDP ratio stable, even if it's at higher levels than we've been used to: "there are countries that have 80-percent or 100-percent debt-to-GDP ratios. I'm not recommending that.
The Fed's united front is coming to an end: Hoening wants higher rates. Tim Geithner is having a very hard time selling his house. Steve Levitt opines on the trouble with macroeconomists. Ezra Klein asks why economists get to be experts on everything. Eight suggestions from Berkeley's Barry Eichengreen on how to "radically remake the world". Census: Internet use has tripled over last 10 years. --Zubin Jelveh
With Osama bin Laden-and-gang's return to the headlines this week, it's worth asking the question. Americans certainly know from 9/11 that terrorism can completely and utterly change the state of the world, but do attacks help terrorists achieve their goals? According to new work from two Israel-based economists, the answer is yes -- and no. Eric Gould and Esteban Klor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem examined the effects of Palestinian terrorist acts between 1984 and 2006 on the attitudes of the Israeli electorate.
Hummer to be owned by the Chinese. Obama advisers outline "economic case for healthcare reform." Fed's Fisher: Higher yields due to improving economy and future deficits. Adding his two cents, Martin Wolf says higher yields show return to normality. Should sellers entice home buyers by offering price protection? --Zubin Jelveh