Steve Levitt will be on the The Daily Show tonight. Are Asian economies already overheating? Still plenty of takers for Treasuries. FDIC interested in securitizing assets of failed banks. Temp-staffing demand picking up. Data-dump of the day: Pirate attacks in 2009.
A while ago, I criticized a new paper on the supremacy of the U.S. healthcare system that was being touted by Gary Becker and Greg Mankiw. The paper, by Samuel Preston and Jessica Ho at the University of Pennsylvania, showed that mortality trends for prostate and breast cancer were much better in the U.S. than in other advanced countries. My main beef was that Preston and Ho's research design was too blunt to really pick up on why this was the case. But I see that an updated NBER version of the paper has more details on what could be behind the better U.S.
Are the zombies out in Europe? Betting markets don't (yet) think a public option is back on track. Dodd wants a temporary freeze on credit card fees and rates changes. Krugman on the parallels between dollar-pegged and gold-standard nations. How Nassim Taleb is "trying so hard to make the old sound new." Dan Gross: You need an anthropology degree to understand Wall Street.
Levitt's defense of Superfreakonomics and global warming. Historically, trade has led to improved labor rights. U.K. economy still in recession in third quarter. Bernanke says smaller banks are not necessarily the answer. Could Roger Ailes run for president?
Christina Romer on the declining impact of the stimulus. Chart of the Day: State-level ideology splits. Andrew Leonard: Big banks won't be broken up. Why Incentive pay doesn't work at high levels. TED Video: "How the Current Economy Has Affected Dentists, Vasectomies, Guns and Shark Attacks."
Macroblog compiles the evidence for a jobless recovery. The CBO on how and when its estimates are made public. Will banking reform dominate the first half of 2010? Look to India to see which global sectors are recovering. Martin Feldstein says companies don't have to worry about future higher taxes.
Wages in NYC fell over 20% post-crisis. America's upward mobility myth. S.E.C. set to sharply reduce trading in "dark pools." Is the administration overstating the impact of its stimulus dollars? Nobel lessons for economics students. Why do Yahoo email users have the worst credit ratings?
Jose Lopez at the San Francisco Fed takes a look at the Fed's power to influence a wide variety of market interest rates and finds that, despite improving economic conditions, the relationship between the fed funds rate (the rate the Fed controls) and other rates is still broken. The following chart from Lopez's analysis shows the pre- and post-crisis movements of the inflation-adjusted fed funds rate (blue line) and an indicator for 13 different market rates (red line): The disconcerting thing about this picture is that the gap between the funds rate and market rates is wider now than at any
An interesting set of some 40 charts depicting poverty levels, inequality, and income distributions covering 191 countries between 1970 and 2006 in a paper from MIT's Maxim Pinkovskiy and Columbia's Xavier Sala-i-Martin.
Plenty more insider-trading charges could be coming. Dubner's response to Superfreakonomics criticism. Bernanke: China should spend more on healthcare. Fannie and Freddie are worth zilch. Charles Calomiris and Allan Meltzer on what to do about bank size. The booming underground sperm donation market.