Last week ECB President Mario Draghi revealed that the European Central Bank has been considering large-scale asset purchases as a tool to prevent European inflation from falling too far below the ECB’s target rate of 2%. What is the evidence for the effectiveness of these policies, and are there any risks?
Here are some graphs of economic data that illustrate some interesting trends.
It may be snowing back east, but March Madness has arrived just the same. Time to invite everyone to test your uncanny ability to predict the outcome of the U.S. college mens’ basketball tournament. Field seems particularly wide open this year. If you want to participate, go to the Econbrowser group at ESPN, do some minor registering to create a free ESPN account if you haven’t used that site before, and fill in your bracket with who you think might be the winners of each game. Just be sure you complete your predictions before Thursday, because the Econbrowser group does not allow changes in your bracket after the round of 65 begins on Thursday.
Mortgage and credit card debt today are lower than they were before the Great Recession. But the dollar value of outstanding student loans has surged, growing from 4% of GDP in 2007 to over 7% today.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have prompted some discussion of revisiting U.S. policy on exports of oil and natural gas.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) last week called for faster Energy Department approval of facilities to export liquefied natural gas (LNG). Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) called for lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports. Here I offer an assessment of these proposals.
I was in New York on Friday attending the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum. One of the sessions was on how central banks could better communicate their plans for using unconventional monetary policy. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans presented some very interesting ideas.
Why do economists always want to take the natural logarithm of everything? Here’s the answer,if you don’t mind looking at a few equations and graphs.
Bits and bytes can be stolen just like the cash under your mattress.