Is World Trade Volume a Leading Indicator?

The slowdown could be coming from tariffs, or from decelerating economic growth. You decide…

Figure 1: World trade volume, 2010=100 (blue). NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, and NBER. 

Update: Ed Hanson Testimonial Post: Reader Ed Hanson seems to believe the United States has been taken advantage of grieviously. Here is DB’s assessment of US tariff rates vis a vis some major trading partners. Why do some people persist in arguing things not validated by … facts?

So tariff-wise we’re becoming like a third world country. How’s that working for us?

Update, 10/12 8:45pm Pacific: Reader Ed Hanson conjectures:

And as noted, again Menzie uses a truncated chart to make his point. Only two recessions. A much longer historical chart would be more illuminating.

As in almost every thing Ed Hanson has ever written, he is wrong here, as far as we can tell. Reader spencer has provided me base year 2005 data extending back to 1991 so we can confirm the irrelevance of Ed Hanson’s comment.

Figure 2: World trade volume, 2010=100 (blue), 2005=100 (red). NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, personal communication from spencer, and NBER. 



99 thoughts on “Is World Trade Volume a Leading Indicator?

  1. Moses Herzog

    A running joke in our household growing up—my Mom (or my father’s mother-in-law who was a woman obsessed with food and would serve 6-7 people like it was a 200 person banquet) would ask my Dad if he wanted Apple pie or chocolate cake (or you fill in the blank of any two desserts) and he would say “YES”.

    Am I allowed to answer “both” here??

  2. Ed Hanson

    Since it is up to each to decide, not a great indicator. Looking at above chart. Slow down around 2011, no recession. Slow down around 2012, no recession. Slow down around 2015, no recession. Slow down around 2016, no recession.


      1. Barkley Rosser

        There was a decline in 2015 or thereabouts, but it seems to have been brief, shorter than the one going on now.

        1. Willie

          And there was a slowdown in some sectors of the economy right about then. It looks like a pretty accurate indicator to me.

    1. pgl

      “Slow down around 2016, no recession.”

      Ed – try checking with for once in your life. Real exports for the U.S. in 2016 were flat which led to a very slow growth rate for GDP. And that was for a small and very temporary decline in this world index. As others have pointed out to you – the most recent dip is more sustained.

      Oh wait – you are Mr. Magoo and cannot see that until it is pointed out to you by Fox & Friends. Never mind!

  3. Moses Herzog

    Our best friends in the Middle East getting bombed to death and slaughtered:

    Turkey will do what America often does in these situations. They’ll bomb the crap out of the Kurdish people, including women and children they label as “terrorists” and then pick off the leftover survivors with ground troops. What is donald trump doing while our friends who saved some American soldiers from direct danger in ground battles are being murdered by the Turks?? What is donald trump doing while our brothers in the fight against ISIS are being massacred in their homes??Commenting on NBA personalities that have won multiple NBA titles each and have zero stains on their personal lives.–DNBtaw6Q

    So Republicans have run out of Hollywood celebrities to libel and disparage, now Republicans are moving on to insult men highly respected in their profession for no reason at all.

  4. Moses Herzog

    Wait….. They’re talking about the self-labeled “very stable genius” like he’s emotionally unstable. What up wit dat??

    Moscow Mitch and donald trump, exchanging love poems to each other 3 times daily. Brings new meaning to the slang “butt buddies” doesn’t it??

  5. Moses Herzog

    Does anyone here wonder what will happen when the Kurds can no longer guard/detain ISIS terrorists in Kurdish territory prisons and wander without anyone’s knowledge where ISIS are?? If they target Europe or America, again, Moscow Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham with have to answer for MORE blood on their hands—and when you let hundreds of the most extreme and war-hardened ISIS fighters loose, do you think they will sit around waiting to be detained or hangout where they can be easily identified?? Moscow Mitch and Lindsey Graham have clearly exhibited they no longer care about American security—that much they are screaming with their phone babysitting, golf rounds babysitting, and personal h*ndjobs to donald trump now.

    So there are 10,000 to 12,000 ISIS terrorists donald trump has now set loose from the Kurdish guarded prisons. This is what the MAGA illiterates want for America?? ENJOY!!!

    1. Barkley Rosser

      On this matter st least, Moses and I are in complete agreement, I think. Four points not noted so far by anybody:

      1) Trump has exhibited a complete lack of care regarding the Kurds, pointing out that they “did not help us in Normandy” in WW II. Of courrse the only nations that did were UK and Canada, both of which Trump has treated at least somewhat badly.
      2) He seems to completely discount any danger to the US from ISIS/Daesh fighter escaping, saying “they will go to Europe, which is where they want go.” Again, so much for our erstwhile allies, not to mention that letting them out allows them to plot attacks in the US.
      3) He presents a completely contradictory story about what is going down. On the one hand Turkey is supposedly only going 18 miles to establish a narrow buffer zone, although they are bombing Kudish locations much farther in than that. On the other hand they are supposed to take over guarding the prisons/camps where all the ISIS/Daesh fighters and families are being held if the Kurds stop doing so. But how are they supposed to do that if they are only going in 18 miles?
      4) Only a few people have mentioned this, but given Trump’s history I increasingly think it is a much more serious motive for this horror. Ttump has serious business interests in Turkey he wants to maintain, so he wants to please Erdogan. Again, this all came out of a phone call between the two of them with reportedly nobody in the admin supporting this or knowing it was coming. And Putin also likes it.

      1. pgl

        “Ttump has serious business interests in Turkey he wants to maintain, so he wants to please Erdogan. Again, this all came out of a phone call between the two of them with reportedly nobody in the admin supporting this or knowing it was coming. And Putin also likes it.”

        Art of the Deal. Trump gave Erdogan want the Turkish government wanted. So what did Erdogan give Trump? I’m still betting some political dirt on a Democrat running for the White House.

      2. Julian Silk

        Dear Barkley,

        I think you are right on all counts. I also want to add a little more about the current economic situation, with a focus on the U.S. Steel prices are down since 2017, and while production is up, it is at about 2014 levels, and not much better. Data are at

        So this really isn’t a guarantee of Midwest votes for this President, and I think there will be something else done for steel – possibly some sort of direct financial aid, possibly something else. The good conservative Republicans who were horrified at the abandonment of South Vietnam in 1975 will have a hard time swallowing this treatment of the Kurds, and I do not think it will last. So a financial stimulus that somehow placates some of the Kurds and keeps the conservative Republicans in check, and that aids the steel industry, is a likely prospect, and it will have an effect on inflation.


      3. baffling

        i do find it ironic that the man who complains the kurds did not help the us fight in wwII is the same man who did not help the us fight in vietnam due to “bone spurs” that disappeared after the war.

      4. dilbert dogbert

        Poles fought in the Italian Campaign. Dutch pilots were trained at Beale Air Force Base CA. There were a lot of nations in the anti-fa.

  6. Ed Hanson

    Yes, that was the main point of the post. I might question your definition of sustained, as this slow down is about a year in length so far. Not much different then some of the past slow downs I pointed out. But you created the title, are you rescinding it now? I simply pointed out several times on your abbreviated chart when such slow downs were not followed by recession. And concluded that as an indicator, this one has not been very good lately, if it ever was.

    1. pgl

      “I might question your definition of sustained, as this slow down is about a year in length so far. Not much different then some of the past slow downs I pointed out.”
      I was right – you are Mr. Magoo. Come on Ed – the other slowdowns lasted a quarter – this one has lasted over a year. Yuuuge difference that even the dumbest person ever could see. But not you.

  7. Ed Hanson


    Look at the the chart at recession times. The 2001 recession had a definite decline before the the recession, an example of a leading indicator.

    But the big recession, 2008, had no decline before the recession, and only a leveling off during the first part of the recession. Definitely not a leading indicator.

    I note two other things.

    Again Menzie is using a post to scare readers about a recession, but if you have read earlier discussions, he denies any such indication of a the 2001 recession.

    And as noted, again Menzie uses a truncated chart to make his point. Only two recessions. A much longer historical chart would be more illuminating.


    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Ed Hanson: Ooh, yes, I’m manipulating the data to scare the ill informed. You go and download the data pre-2000, and plot it. I’ve provided the link; you send me the resulting graph. I await with bated breath…

        1. Willie

          And here I thought people who would read a blog like this would be at least marginally informed and open to evidence. Surprise. Ideologues infest everything eventually.

      1. Ed Hanson


        I never accused you of manipulating data, only sometimes conveniently truncating the dates of your charts. Your soybean price charts being the most obvious, that is, although the price drop during the late part of the President Obama administration dwarfs the price drop during the President Trump administration, those years never show on your chart. Perspective is the victim.

        In this case, your title asks whether world trade is a leading indicator but your chart only shows two recessions. A more informative post would have shown several more.


          1. Ed Hanson


            It is obvious that you do not consider this topic as important, nor does it have to be. Not every topic posted has to be earth shaking. But somehow you should find a way to inform your readers of that. Perhaps a qualifying “I find this interesting but minor.” Or perhaps a more truthful “another in my series of anti-Trump propaganda.”


        1. pgl

          “I never accused you of manipulating data, only sometimes conveniently truncating the dates of your charts.”

          Lord – saying someone truncated the dates to misrepresent the data is accusing someone of manipulation. Man up Ed. Of course you little accusation here is beyond pathetic.

          1. Menzie Chinn Post author

            pgl: The reason why Ed Hanson has not taken up my challenge to post pre-2000 world trade volume data from CBP is because…it doesn’t exist! Maybe someone else has such a monthly series, but they don’t. But Ed has either decided not to mention that, or has been too lazy to click on the link. I find there is a high correlation between the ill-informed and misguided and laziness.

        2. pgl

          “Your soybean price charts being the most obvious, that is, although the price drop during the late part of the President Obama administration dwarfs the price drop during the President Trump administration”.

          Seriously Ed? Now you are truncating. Soybean prices soared during Obama’s first term and then retreated back to around $10.50 a pound. Menzie is not the one being dishonest here. You are.

        3. Barkley Rosser


          First of all, you continue to think that there were more actual declines than there were. There was a decline before the 2000-01 recession, one coincident with the Great Recession, 2008-09, a small one in 2015 that did not lead to a recession, and the one going on now, which is probably at least partly aggravated by the rising tariffs with the trade war. That is it. The others you mentioned did not involve actual declines in world trade volume.

          Now indeed what happened with the Great Recession is interesting, and you do have a point there that on that one the decline in world trade was not a leading indicator, but instead a coincident one. of course that recression was triggered by a masssive financial crisis in the US that came from the collapse of our housing bubble, so it was not led by world trade declining. Indeed,the recession started in the US and then spread to the rest of the world. What is going on now is that the rest of the world is slowing more than the US, with parts of it, such as Germany, actually already in recession. So the recessionary pressure is coming to us from abroad, not going out from us to the rest of the world as in 2008.

          A minor note on the Great Recession is that back then I had a public internet debate with both Dean Baker and Nouriel Roubini, widely recognized as people who “called the recession” and its prior housing bubble and crash, which I also called then. However, both of them jumped the gun on their recession call, saying that the decline in housing construction that began in late 2006 after the housing bubble peaked would push the US economy into recession in early 2007. They were both a year too soon, and I pointed out then that a reason the US was not likely to immediately go into recession with the fall in housing constructino was that the US dollar was relatively low in forex value, which would prop the US economy up by holding up exports, which is exactly what happened, and Dean has since agreed that I was right about that.

        4. baffling

          “although the price drop during the late part of the President Obama administration dwarfs the price drop during the President Trump administration, those years never show on your chart. Perspective is the victim.”
          ed, the entire point of the argument is NOT whether prices rise or fall. we all know general market forces impact those prices. what menzie and others are pointing out is when prices rise or fall not based on market forces, but based on trump economic policy, it is self inflicted. it is disingenuous (or ignorant?) of you to conflate the two issues to try and make an inaccurate point.

        5. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Ed Hanson: I have added Figure 2, data extending back to 1991. I don’t think it changes any conclusions I made — do you?

          And you still haven’t told me why we would want to take tariffs back to 1917 levels. Please acknowledge inquiry.

    2. pgl

      The 2008 recession???? You have heard of the housing slump. Or the financial crisis from 2007 to 2009. Ed – are you trying to win the Stupidest Person Alive award? If so, you are doing a wonderful job.

  8. Moses Herzog

    A sitting “president” asks the then sitting Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson) to break the law, and intercede with the DOJ in 2017 to clear a Turkish banker, who is a legal client of Rudolph Giuliani’s, to clear him of a crime:

    Now we only just got this news today (Oct 9, Wednesday). Does this sound anything similar to a phone call made to Ukraine where “the very stable genius” tried to arm twist the leader of Ukraine by denying funds?? I’m “guessing” it won’t be very difficult to have Rex Tillerson testify before Congress about the crime by our “very stable genius” “president”, and it’s worthy to note, the SECOND time Rex Tillerson refused to do this—-General Kelly was in the room.

    1. pgl

      Trump’s behavior in this story was criminal. Of course we now know it is par for the course with this mob boss.

      Tillerson was a stand up Sec. of State. I guess that is why Trump replaced him with fellow criminal Mike Pompeo.

  9. Moses Herzog

    A reporter who seemingly knows what is going on (at least better than most) in the Kurdish area of Syria:

    The Kurds (America’s best friend in the Middle East) are getting slaughtered with bombs and other tactics, and our “ally” in NATO, Turkey, is getting advice from Russia on the most efficient places to murder Kurds.

    1. pgl

      Trump’s latest excuse for abandoning the Kurds – they did not join us, the Canadian, and the Brits in the D’Day invasion of Normandy.

      Trump is the dumbest President we have ever had.

      BTW – what did Trump get from Turkey? More Biden dirt?

      1. Moses Herzog

        The reality is Rex Tillerson was a HORRIBLE Secretary of State. And many— MANY “career type” professionals who had worked in the State Dept said Tillerson was horrible at his job. There was huge bloodletting in the State Dept during Tillerson’s captaining. But let’s give the man this much, he was pretty honest during his time in the State Dept, and was not willing to commit a felony crime of treason or deal making for ONE “very stable genius” while on the job. So we can give Tillerson credit for that much as we know weaker men such as Mike Pence had nothing to say while the crime of treason was being committed against his own country.

        End analysis: Tillerson is a VERY believable witness in an impeachment hearing.

      2. Moses Herzog

        Here is some analysis on donald trump’s holdings in Turkey. Who will say this has nothing to do with the decision to massacre Kurds??

        The trump Towers in Istanbul (after the link jump hit the white arrow aimed at the right and you can see different angles of the same trump hotel:!1s0x14cab6fc4a46fc63%3A0x9ce9fcc6cd43250!2m22!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i20!16m16!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e5!2m2!1m1!1e4!2m2!1m1!1e6!3m1!7e115!!5strump%20towers%20in%20turkey%20-%20Google%20Search!15sCAQ&imagekey=!1e10!2sAF1QipMqhz72jw1XeDfBHaXEoWdDC7yFC8IHJLKbYYfw&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjlhNmHt5LlAhURlKwKHXiWAyQQoiowJ3oECA0QBg

        This is why Kurd soldiers (some high-ability female soldiers) and their wives, children, and families are either being murdered right now or running frantically for their lives. Americans are now back-stabbers because of this leathery orange amoral bastard.

      3. noneconomist

        Nor were the Kurds anywhere to be seen at Gettysburg. Pickett could certainly have used them. Wait a minute…

  10. spencer

    It probably does not cause a recession alone, but is just one more element in the factors contributing to a slowing of world economic growth.

    If you look at Census real US trade data the only source of growth is petroleum exports.

  11. pgl

    Ukraine Gate heats up:

    Two associates of Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani who were tied to the Ukraine pressure campaign were arrested on Wednesday on campaign finance charges, a source familiar told TPM. The pair — Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman — reportedly traveled to Kyiv in 2019 as Giuliani and Trump pressed the Ukrainian government to fabricate dirt on Joe Biden and the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.

    Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York charged the pair – as well as David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin – on two counts of conspiracy, false statements to the FEC, and falsifying records. Prosecutors accuse the four of conspiring “to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and State office so that the defendants could buy potential influence” with politicians and government.
    The indictment accuses Parnas and Fruman of funneling $325,000 in foreign cash to pro-Trump Super PAC America First Action in a mysterious transaction that TPM wrote about last month. That PAC also benefitted an unnamed “then-sitting U.S. Congressman” who received a commitment from Parnas and Fruman for $20,000. At around that time, the indictment reads, “Parnas met with Congressman-1 and sought Congressman-1’s assistance in causing the U.S. Government to remove or recall the then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.” Last year, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling for Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s removal, accusing her of being anti-Trump.”

    My oh my. Trump has already likely called his mob lawyer William Barr to quash this entire investigation. King Donald and his minions are above the law. MAGA!

  12. Moses Herzog

    Same story as pgl was already on top of and posted related to Giuliani’s and donald trump’s scum dealers:

    Without having read the entire story yet, I wonder how long it takes for these two pieces of gutter refuse to spill their guts?? In a world where socio-economic status seems to play a large role in both level of lawyers and judge’s treatment of crimes, it’s hard to say, but I lay it over 50% odds they flip very quickly, because no one in their right mind wants to sit in prison cell for that sack of shit Giuliani. His own son would probably turn state’s evidence on Rudy.

  13. Ed Hanson


    about the update

    Is my reading of chart correct, in 2017, US weighted tariff rate was lower than the EU. That is what
    I was saying. While this statistic is not a product by product analysis (much more significant), it still shows that the US puts its exporters at a disadvantage. That should be corrected, and President Trump made it a major plank in his campaign. He was elected and has followed up on his promise.

    You don’t like the increase in US tariffs, okay, then convince our major economic trading partners to commit to lowering their tariffs on US goods at least to US 1917 rates.. After all, lower tariffs are good for everyone.


    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Ed Hanson: US tariffs were trivially lower than EU in 2017. Not sure why you want to lower tariffs to 1917 rates.

      Do you understand the incidence of tariffs? We could remove all tariffs w/o partners doing so, and still see increased welfare. For the love of god, please read an international trade textbook.

      1. Ed Hanson


        Why 2017, an arbitrary year chosen because it was the last year before the ‘trade war.’ pick your own date or rate, just so it is even between countries.

        A series of questions.

        Assuming you are correct that the tariff difference between the US and EU is trivial, than why is it so difficult for the EU to make that difference zero? Why will you not analyze the tariff treatment of individual classes of goods such as steel and aluminum, instead of generalize trade. ? If I am correct that EU tariff rate on US steel was higher than the US tariff rate on EU steel, why had the US allowed the tariff difference on steel and aluminum to be so different for so long?

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Ed Hanson: You wrote:

          You don’t like the increase in US tariffs, okay, then convince our major economic trading partners to commit to lowering their tariffs on US goods at least to US 1917 rates.. After all, lower tariffs are good for everyone.

          I’m asking why *1917*?

        2. 2slugbaits

          Ed Hanson Why do you keep talking about equalizing the differences between tariff rates? Let me see if I’m understanding you.

          Scenario 1: The US and all of our trading partners share a common tariff of (say) 20%, so the difference in tariff rates is zero.

          Scenario 2: The US has a 5% tariff on imports and our trading partners have a 20% tariff on imports of US goods & services.

          Are you saying that Scenario 1 is better than Scenario 2?

    2. pgl

      Ed – you demanded that Menzie take that CPB series before 2000 even though their series STARTED in 2000.

      But I have a request for you now – consult with CPB and find the trade weighted average US tariff rate from 1917 to 2018. We’ll wait.

      BTW – do the same for the EU trade weighted tariff rate.

      Hehe. I wonder if Ed does not even realize when the EU was formed. Or what it really is!

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Ed Hanson: The optimal customs union is one encompassing the world. I don’t understand why you add the proviso “in this era of global trade”. For the love of god, read a trade textbook!

      1. noneconomist

        Perhaps adding an American history text wouldn’t hurt either. But Ed knows what he knows. He has no need for facts. Especially when alternate ones are readily available.

    2. pgl

      A wee challenge for you Ed. I seriously doubt you even know what a custom union even is. Say pray tell us – what is your definition of this term.

      This should be a real laugh!

  14. Willie

    Great update! I’m amused – that’s the same DB who are in hot water for helping Trump get laundered money, right? Even they don’t think the actual facts are on Trump’s side. What next, Fox News saying Trump made a mistake somewhere?

    Looks like we are trying to take our ball and go home. That always wins friends and influences people.

  15. pgl

    “Here is DB’s assessment of US tariff rates vis a vis some major trading partners.”

    Deutsche Bank – the only non-Russian bank who would lend to Trump. But come on Menzie – why post tariff rates for 2017. Ed wanted us to go way back to 1917. At least that it what he wrote. And of course this clown thinks CPB data goes back that far!

  16. pgl

    “Why do some people persist in arguing things not validated by … facts?”

    If you work for Trump – which Ed seems to – that is your job. BTW – if you get your “facts” (that is Ed’s source), then you are going to write really stupid stuff like his comment that US steel producers are the most efficient in the world and damaged by trade protection by other nations. Of course everyone with a brain knows the facts are just the opposite of what Ed wrote on this one!

    CoRev is no longer the dumber person here. Neither is Bruce Hall. Ed has overtaken the other two in a three person race for Stupidest Person Alive. Come on CoRev and Bruce – TRY HARDER!

  17. Moses Herzog

    This thought is posited to the receiver with all due respect. But I think a Mr. 2slugbaits might learn something reading this. Or maybe it will help drive the point he already knows down harder:

    Yeh see kids, you can’t get “just a little bit pregnant”. Sorry, but you can’t. You either are pregnant, or you’re not.

    And when we let this stuff go on year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, and then we wave the naughty finger at donald trump, then, that naughty finger just doesn’t have the power that it used to. And when you leave this rationalization for donald trump as very low lying fruit—then it gives the trumps of the world more “wiggle room” at times like this. Which is why it should not be allowed. But national level legislators aren’t going to stop this little game, anymore than they stop lobbyists—because the sugar is for the people at the top, and it tastes oh so good. That’s how people can’t see any difference between two parties and we get statements like this:

    This is why a man who either is in early stages of dementia, has had a minor stroke, and or both, is doing a balancing high wire act while trying to put negative media focus on conceivably the most immoral man who has ever been America’s President. Because that naughty finger keeps on bending back towards “Middle Class Joe” and we then see that Joe has NEVER been “middle Class Joe”.

    1. 2slugbaits

      Moses Herzog The article is about Hunter Biden, not Joe Biden. Two different individuals. As I have said many times, Hunter Biden’s actions were swampy and showed disregard for his father even though they were almost certainly legal. But Hunter Biden’s actions do not reflect on Joe Biden. The sins of the son shall not be visited upon the father. BTW, as the article points out, Joe Biden was actively working against his son’s interests by pressuring Ukraine to fire the corrupt prosecutor who failed to investigate Hunter Biden’s company.

      1. Moses Herzog

        @ 2slugbaits
        An interesting stance from a person who shows above average intelligence on most topics. Everyone has a blind spot I guess.

        I don’t suppose you noticed how the timing of Hunter’s dealings in China correlate to a personal visit to China by—-VP at the time—-JOE Biden did you?? This is the type question we normally reserve for CoRev or Ed Hanson, but, uuuuuhh you’re not being deliberately obtuse are you 2slugbaits??

        Let me help you understand better. I’ll of course be playing the part of Andy Dufresne in this short tutorial:
        “In 2013, I was one of four reporters who traveled aboard Air Force Two with Biden and his son to China, a visit that was sandwiched between stops in Japan and South Korea. When we got on the plane on a bright Sunday afternoon at Joint Base Andrews, the Bidens were already on board, having just flown in from a family Thanksgiving gathering in Nantucket. Biden often took family members and especially his grandchildren on his foreign trips, so their presence didn’t raise eyebrows.

        What wasn’t known then was that as he accompanied his father to China, Hunter Biden was forming a Chinese private equity fund that associates said at the time was planning to raise big money, including from China. Hunter Biden has acknowledged meeting with Jonathan Li, a Chinese banker and his partner in the fund during the trip, although his spokesman says it was a social visit.

        The Chinese business license that brought the new fund into existence was issued by Shanghai authorities 10 days after the trip, with Hunter Biden a member of the board.”

        The part above in bold text and quotations is written by Josh Lederman of NBC News. He was my “RA” for this blog comment, and as such, did ALL the dirty work involved. (That last sentence preceding this one is satirical)

        1. 2slugbaits

          Moses Herzog Again, you are confusing Joe Biden with Hunter Biden. They are two different people. There’s plenty of evidence that Hunter Biden’s business activities were swampy at best even if technically legal. Hunter Biden is no saint. But Hunter Biden’s ethical problems have nothing to do with Joe Biden.

          1. Moses Herzog

            It’s always fascinating observing otherwise intelligent people rationalize both immoral and unethical behavior.

            Playing the part of Joe Biden in this Off-Broadway theater production will be Moe. The part of 2slugbaits will be played by Curly:

            Let’s see if we can find some more gems here from 2slugbaits on the topic of politicians using influence to enrich their children and/or relatives:

            He says the following: “Trump hasn’t renegotiated any new trade deals. He keeps saying he’s going to do that, but so far I haven’t seen any new deal, unless you want to count the special trademark deals for Ivanka.”

            More good ones:

            2slugbaits goes on with his completely non-hypocritical argument:
            ” If Hunter Biden had been doing anything illegal, then Joe Biden would have been putting his own son in legal jeopardy. Please, get a clue and take the time to understand the basic facts surrounding the issue. And there is absolutely no evidence that Hunter Biden did anything illegal. What he did was smarmy, but not even close to the swampy deals Ivanka has been negotiating with foreign entities.”

            Yeah, 2slugbaits is right, so similarities here at all. 2lugs wants everyone to know, Hunter Biden and Joe Biden only got “a little pregnant” so it really doesn’t count people.

  18. Moses Herzog

    Discussion on the Giuliani situation, the connection to Russia, the connection to Ukraine, the possible return back to Manafort again and one of these guys says he highly suspects Giuliani was wire-tapped and he suspects that Giuliani is going to get very little sleep Thursday night to Friday morning. No “new” information past this afternoon’s news, just maybe more audible details than on most TV breakdowns:

  19. CoRev

    I wonder if world trade volume would include US soybeans, which as of 10/11/2019 reached a Nov price of $9.34 and NOT $8.72 as some one once predicted


    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      CoRev: Are you being deliberately Obtuse? $8.72 was a one year ahead futures contract recorded in July 2018 for July 2019 contract — not November 2019 contract.

    2. Menzie Chinn Post author

      CoRev: As an aside, your comment doesn’t make sense; “volume” is a quantity measure, not a value measure (if it were, we’d call it “global trade value”)

      Can you please acquaint yourself with (1) the nature of futures contracts (2) What is a volume measure.

      1. CoRev

        Only in a bizarro Menzie derived world is volume, “a quantity measure,” does not include agriculture products, including soybeans. Also, in this world is volume and price independent from each other. Maybe that’s why Menzie is confused, and asking a question about volume being a leading indicator.

        However I do agree: “$8.72 was a one year ahead futures contract recorded in July 2018 for July 2019 contract…” Futures as price predictors was wrong in July 2018, July 2019, and now in October 2019.

        Since 2019 harvest season has started, soybean prices have gone up the better part of a dollar, ~$.75 to ~$.80. Yet, the Chinese tariffs remain.

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          CoRev: I didn’t say the measure excluded commodities. I focused on the fact that it’s a quantity index so the price of soybeans is immaterial.

          1. CoRev

            Menzie, I see can not take being called out. For anyone wondering there is a comment of mine missing. Read Menzie’s comment and think about price being immaterial to volume/quantity.

        2. pgl

          Do you get a blind monkey to type this gibberish? Give us a break CoRev as you are doing nothing more than mindless harping.

  20. Moses Herzog

    Menzie, You know I have high high respect for you, yes.?? I’m going to attempt to “put you on the spot” here. And occasionally I might dare to “rib” you in humor, in hopes it might also make you laugh, or at least half-chuckle. So I ask you the following in a semi-serious, yet mild-ribbing way. Do you have 500 citations yet?? You know why I ask, yes?? There were 11 in that group in 2005.

    Zingales recently gave some names as good candidates for Nobel. Did you have any thoughts on “favorites” to win?? THANKS

    1. Moses Herzog

      OK, Menzie’s not gonna humor me today. So, I’m gonna give the list Zingales mentioned, we have 3 higher probable Nobel Prize candidates mentioned first, and then seemingly the lower odds ones as we go down the list
      Higher chance to win
      Douglas Diamond
      Alan Krueger & David Card
      Josh Angrist

      Moderate chance
      Robert Barro
      Mike Jensen <<——-(I would guess Professor Hamilton likes him, but that is only a guess)
      David Kreps

      Dark horse/Cinderella picks
      Ernst Fehr
      Janet Currie

      OK, so if any of the above candidates wins the Nobel Prize for 2019, you can thank Mr. Zingales and remember shotgun blast prediction of winners always works best.

          1. Moses Herzog

            What did you think I was referring to when I said rules change and linked the article?? That wasn’t exactly subtle Menzie. You are the LAST person I thought I had to spell it out for. Why would I link an article that is a proponent of changing the rule. Rule changes happen, and it sure as hell makes a lot more sense than the “take back”, which is a joke at that point anyway.

            No, for the record I did not know that before.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        Well, that was a failed prediction. I was suggesting in several places over the last few days that the most likely award would be Esther Duflo, who got it, and John List, who did not. he will get it eventually. Basically Banerjee and Kremer are frequent coauthors with Duflo, so it is for deverlopment and randomized field experiments. List is the one who revived field experiments in the 90s, but has not done much on development or with that group.

        BTW, I could not find Google scholar citatins for Kremer, althnough I know he has a lot, but Duflo is at about 55,000 and Banerjee is at about 49,000, which means that both of them have fewer than Jim Hamilton, although they are younger than he is.

        1. Moses Herzog

          @ Barkley Junior
          Why don’t you show us where you made that “suggestion?? Why is it so hard for the PhD man to provide links?? If you “suggested it” let’s see the links for it. You’re a big boy now Barkley, if you can make useless posts on different blogs then you can also post links.

          1. Moses Herzog

            @ Menzie
            Menzie, I have no problems with Miss Duflo—shall I link to my past comments on your blog or other blogs related to Duflo to satisfy that claim?? Happy to. I’m referring to Barkely Junior’s claim that he had already “suggested” several places Duflo would win the Nobel in the 2019 year. I think Duflo is a great choice—-I am wanting links or proof from Barkley showing he had Duflo pegged to win this year.

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Moses Herzog: Thought you meant links to google scholar citations. I think I remember him mentioning Duflo, but I will let you two fight it out.

          3. Barkley Rosser


            I thought about it after Tyler’s post and decided Duflo and List looked most likely. I said it in a class last week and also in a seminar in my department. Sorry, boy, no links.

            While you are at it, how about telling us what your employment is? My record is pretty much public as Menzie has just demonstrated.

          4. Moses Herzog

            @ Barkley Junior
            So let’s get this right. You fail to put a post or comment up anywhere online stating who YOU thought would win (being the shy guy you are of course), but then take shots at me for running down a list of strong possible candidates. Not ONE SINGLE link anywhere. But you tell us you mentioned it in a class?? Well, Barkley we’ll have to take your word on that. And I think I know what your word is worth, as you have established that here multiple times. Intelligent people might ask though, why you didn’t mention it when I had brought the topic up, instead, going on about your own number of citations, which no one had asked or brought up. That might have been the obvious time to mention your “suggestions” who would win the 2019 Nobel. You mentioned 5 people after my comment. “Strangely” none of them Duflo or Banerjee. Maybe you can bully your “RA” into telling us you mentioned it.

        2. Barkley Rosser


          You have written so many complete incorrect and plain silly things on this Nobel business I am not going to bother responding to any of it. You have Menzie correcting you, which is a sign that you are off, way off, making yourself look like a completely idiotic fool, not for the first time.

          So, instead I am going to repeat an offer I have made several time previously, but never accepted by you. But here gores again. I suggest a truce where we both avoid personal attacks. To aid that, I apologize for recent personal attacks, including the one in the paragraph above. I have made some other harsh ones recently I imagine have you ticked off.

          So let us just stop it. We agree on most things going through here, although certainly not all, and I am alll for debating real on-topic matters here, not all the off-topic dreck that insist on dragging in so much. So, that is what I have to say now. Deal?

          Let me note that I think Menzie in particular would really welcome it. Some others may find our contretemps amusing, but frankly it is getting boring. Heck over on MR in arguments following the Nobel announcement (which Tyler Cowen called exactly a year ago), there is somebody accusing me of being a “Saudi intelligence aset.” So really, Moses, your trivial and silly attacks are just boring. If just for Menzie’s sake, let us move on.

    2. Barkley Rosser


      According to Google Scholar to Google Scholar, Jim Hamilton has over 64,000 citatins; Menzie has just over 22,000, Robert Flood has just over 12,000. I am listed as having just over 5,000, although it does not have most cited article and some other items, which if included would put me at just over 6,000.

      So, that is where some of the folks who hang around here are at on that matter.

      The social scientists with the most GS citatons who have not received a Nobel are Andrei Shleifer who has just over 300,000 citations, and political scientist Robert Putnam, who has over 215,000 and who could get it for social capital.

  21. Moses Herzog

    For those not paying attention at home, this next one in the conga line will be Dept of Homeland Security #5 for donald trump. donald trump basically made McAleenon’s life a living Hell, and McAleenan suspected most of the time the Dept was being run by Nazi Stephen Miller.

    A cartoon representation of the people at the top of the Dept of Homeland Security as the Nazi Stephen Miller decides who is unacceptable to Congress next:

    Wait here….. CNN has live coverage of donald trump’s speech in Lake Charles, Louisiana, let’s take a listen:

  22. Moses Herzog

    For the record, I mentioned Esther Duflo in a positive light on this blog in February of this year. It was not in reference to a Nobel, but I have read a scant amount of her writings, have her and her husband’s book here in the house somewhere, and enjoy her writings very much. The only reason I haven’t read more of Miss Duflo’s works is my own personal laziness.

    I’m not certain who has mentioned Duflo on this blog after I mentioned her back in February, but I do know it wasn’t Barkley Junior.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      Oh gag, here you go again with your “ladies” talk. “Miss Duflo”? Like Lael Brainard, she is both married, thus either a “Mrs.” or a “Miss,” as well as being both “Dr.” and “Prof.,” but definitely not “Miss.” No wonder you cannot hold a job apparently, Moses.

Comments are closed.