• People with a stash of saved ketchup packets, now in short supply, are listing them on eBay and Facebook’s Marketplace. And folks are buying them. Link via @WSJ
    David Wessel Thu 15 Apr 2021 11:16
  • First look with tax return data at where #OpportunityZones $$ actually went in 2019. 84% of OZs got no money in this big sample. Link
    David Wessel Wed 14 Apr 2021 22:40

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  • RT @NiemanReports: One of the motivations for @mitrakalita to create @URLmedia was hope that the public "will hear about certain story line…
    David Wessel Wed 14 Apr 2021 21:40
  • RT @lkatz42: New data & insights on the crucial role of unions in the decline & then rise in US inequality in @QJEHarvard by Farber,@djh120…
    David Wessel Wed 14 Apr 2021 18:45
  • Reuters names Alessandra Galloni as its next editor-in-chief Link
    David Wessel Wed 14 Apr 2021 16:25

    (Reuters) - Reuters News has named one of its top editors, Alessandra Galloni, as its next editor-in-chief, the first woman to lead the globe-spanning news agency in its 170-year history.

    A native of Rome, Galloni, 47, will replace Stephen J. Adler, who is retiring this month after leading the newsroom for the past decade. Under his leadership, Reuters has received hundreds of journalism awards, including seven Pulitzer Prizes, the industry’s highest honor.

    A speaker of four languages, and with broad experience covering business and political news at Reuters and previously at the Wall Street Journal, Galloni takes the helm as the news agency faces an array of challenges. Some of these are common to all news media. Others are specific to the organization’s complexity: With a worldwide staff of some 2,450 journalists, Reuters serves a range of divergent customers and is also a unit in a much larger information-services business.

    Since 2008, Reuters has been part...

  • RT @JedKolko: Big differences in vaccination rates by education. Much more detail about vaccination rates and hesitancy at the @uscensusb…
    David Wessel Wed 14 Apr 2021 15:40
  • New from Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti: The US is increasingly a net debtor nation. Should we worry? Link via @BrookingsInst Hutchins Center https://t.co/2Fdt2wEdLf
    David Wessel Wed 14 Apr 2021 15:40

    At the end of 2020, Americans owed $14 trillion more to the rest of the world than the rest of the world owed to America, according to the latest reading on the nation’s Net Investment Position (NIIP) from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). That’s 67 percent of U.S. GDP, up from about 50 percent at the end of 2019 and well above the 16 percent of GDP recorded a decade ago.

    This blog discusses two questions: First, how did we get here? After all, U.S. current account deficits have been moderate during the past decade. So why has the U.S. net debtor position increased so much? Second, is this increase in net foreign liabilities a cause for concern? (Spoiler: Not much.)

  • New from the Richmond Fed: MMT and Government Finance: You Can't Always Get What You Want. Link
    David Wessel Wed 14 Apr 2021 15:35

    During the past 25 years, low interest rates and highly expansionary monetary policy with little apparent inflation have created the illusion that a government can simply print money to fund exorbitant deficit spending with no repercussions. This core tenet of so-called "modern monetary theory" ignores the fact that deficit spending is constrained in the long run by a government's ability to satisfy creditors.

  • In @WSJ interview, Boston Fed's Eric Rosengren lists three big financial stability risks. Link via @WSJ https://t.co/GL3VaZxmrF
    David Wessel Wed 14 Apr 2021 14:50

    Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday said he sees no urgency for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates even with a positive economic outlook, and laid out some guidance on how much of an inflation increase he is willing to tolerate. Mr. Rosengren also flagged where he sees risks in the financial system and said research by the Fed related to climate change is entirely appropriate. Here is a transcript of the interview, lightly edited for clarity.

    MICHAEL S. DERBY: One place I wanted to start out is a place that some of your colleagues have talked about recently. What was the liftoff dot you submitted to the [Summary of Economic Expectations] forecast back at the March FOMC meeting?

    MR. ROSENGREN: Yeah, so I don’t publicly talk about my liftoff dot. What I would say is that I’m expecting a very strong economy over the course of this year, I’m expecting the unemployment rate to get...

  • First look with tax return data at where #OpportunityZone actually went in 2019. 84% of OZs got no money in this big sample. Link
    David Wessel Wed 14 Apr 2021 11:35

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  • New from @PeterContiBrown and @KalebNygaard: A demographic database of the 2,607 individuals who have served on boards of the regional Federal Reserve banks back to 1914. In 2019, 37% were female. Link via @BrookingsInst
    David Wessel Tue 13 Apr 2021 21:44

    A growing chorus has called on the Fed to diversify its ranks at all levels to reflect better the heterogeneity of the United States. So far most of these efforts speak to the diversity of the Fed’s principals, namely, the members of the Fed’s Board of Governors and the presidents of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks. In this study, we dig deeply into a vital part of Federal Reserve governance that has so far not received the same sustained attention: the directors of the Federal Reserve Banks, those responsible for choosing the presidents of the Federal Reserve Banks in the first instance. We find a staggering homogeneity among them, with only recent signs of diversification. They are overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, and overwhelmingly drawn from the business communities within their districts, with little participation from minorities, women, or from areas of the economy—labor, nonprofits, the academy—with important contributions to make to Fed governance....

  • RT @hamiltonproj: Released today: two new Hamilton Project papers evaluate policy options to reform the #UI system and #housing policy in t…
    David Wessel Tue 13 Apr 2021 13:54
  • RT @kenanfikri: Just came across this amazing story from last summer about the renewed life that refugees brought to Erie, Pennsylvania, an…
    David Wessel Tue 13 Apr 2021 13:54
  • Americans finally have too much toilet paper. Sales fall below pre-pandemic level as consumers work off Covid-caused stockpiles. Link via @WSJ
    David Wessel Tue 13 Apr 2021 13:54

    After a year in which toilet-tissue shortages left consumers scrambling for squares, sales are plummeting to below pre-pandemic levels.

    Bath-tissue sales in January fell more than 4% from the same period a year earlier, before the spread of Covid-19 spurred Americans to load up on staples from toilet paper to sanitary wipes, according to figures from NielsenIQ. The decline, which comes even though legions of Americans continue to work and attend school from home, indicates last year’s stockpiling is starting to have an effect on sales.

    “You never knew when you weren’t going to be able to get it, so every time we went out we got some,” said Marjorie Greenburgh, 62 years old, of New Rochelle, N.Y. “They just kept amassing.”

    Ms. Greenburgh still has 54 rolls, stored in various places throughout her home: in a guest room, the back of a linen closet, the laundry room in the basement. “I’m not planning on buying for a while,” she said.

    Demand for...

  • RT @WhiteHouseCEA: In the next several months we expect measured inflation to increase somewhat, primarily due to three different temporary…
    David Wessel Tue 13 Apr 2021 00:38
  • RT @BrookingsPress: .@Davidmwessel of @brookingsinst Hutchins Center shares findings on how #multinationals contribute, or don’t, to global…
    David Wessel Mon 12 Apr 2021 16:33
  • Job opening: Committee for Economic Development (at Conference Board) looking for an economist with 5- to 10-years experience in analysis of U.S. economic policy. #econtwitter Link
    David Wessel Mon 12 Apr 2021 13:18
  • Why big-spending Biden shrugs off warnings of inflation Link via @politico @vtg2
    David Wessel Mon 12 Apr 2021 12:33

    Republicans are warning that President Joe Biden is taking a risky gamble that he can carry out his massive spending plans without triggering runaway inflation. Biden is betting on history as his defense.

    The specter of raging inflation — the erosion of consumer purchasing power — has become central to the debate about whether the government can afford Biden’s multitrillion-dollar “Build Back Better” programs. But years can go by before soaring inflation ever takes hold — and Biden will probably be gone from the White House if the country finds out that his critics were right.

  • Thread on economist John Williamson, who has died at age 83, from @Mark4Harrison, professor emeritus at Warwick Link
    David Wessel Sun 11 Apr 2021 22:22

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  • RT @bcheungz: notable that the decision was unanimous; Fed Gov Lael Brainard, who advocated for more stringent limits on capital distributi…
    David Wessel Thu 25 Mar 2021 20:45
  • RT @KateDavidson: The Senate just confirmed @wallyadeyemo to be deputy Treasury secretary by voice vote.
    David Wessel Thu 25 Mar 2021 20:00
  • Christy Romer says spending $1 trillion on one-time stimulus checks and PPP was a mistake, perhaps even “wasteful” #BPEA
    David Wessel Thu 25 Mar 2021 15:45
  • Christy Romer says households and non-profits are sitting on $10 trillion more than they had before the pandemic. But labor market still quite depressed; need faster growth in response. We are unlikely to overheat post-COVID. #BPEA
    David Wessel Thu 25 Mar 2021 15:45
  • More Christy Romer from #BPEA. Fiscal space didn’t matter much in size of country’s fiscal response to pandemic (except in EU) https://t.co/xIupnGmF3f
    David Wessel Thu 25 Mar 2021 15:30
  • Christy Romer at #BPEA shows just how large US fiscal response to COVID was compared to other countries. https://t.co/JnJZPzv1ny
    David Wessel Thu 25 Mar 2021 15:30
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