Russia’s central bank has unexpectedly raised its key bank interest rate over concerns about inflation and “geopolitical tension”.
I was at the NBER Summer Institute’s meeting of the International Finance and Macro group where (in addition to finally meeting Jim Hamilton) I had the opportunity to hear two papers on a topic near and dear to me — namely the relationship between the forward premium (the gap between the forward and spot rate, or equivalently in the absence of political risk, the interest differential) and the carry trade. (For discussion of related papers at last year’s IFM, see this post).
In a recent article, Amity Shlaes asserts official statistics mismeasure how we experience inflation. I’m going to agree, but not for the reasons you might think. It’s not because John Williams’ Shadowstats, which she appeals to, is right (Jim has comprehensively documented why each and every person who cites that source should be drummed out of the society of economists or aspiring economic commentators). Rather it’s because I think people do have biases — i.e., the steady-state rational expectations hypothesis might not be applicable.
State level employment data will be released by the BLS on Friday, but state agencies have already released data (h/t J. Miller) confirming that Wisconsin private employment performance deteriorates, while Kansas continues to trend sideways. So much for the benefits of a high ALEC-Laffer ranking.
After the shocker of -2.9% growth (SAAR) in 2014Q1, all eyes have been on Q2. Macroeconomic Advisers released its estimate for May — a 0.2% increase on April (2% on an annualized basis).
This is not the most erudite debate, but it pretty much sums up matters.