Money Market Mutual Funds: Holdings evolve amid revamp debate

Another chart related to my research on money market mutual funds, a type of retail investment offering great liquidity and yields that follow market rates on short-term securities.  Each series in the figure represents a type of assets held by this sector. The data are from the U.S. Financial Accounts; all I have done is

20 Apr 2017

Why not cut the deficit?–answering a noneconomist’s question

A friend sends an investment advice newsletter from a broker-economist type. The letter–a propos of the current effort to ramp up tax reform work in Congress after the health-care flop–discusses debt and the deficit in the United States. Typical of the deficit hysteria-entitlement reform camp, the article mentions amounts amounts of  government debt per U.S.

18 Apr 2017

Range and punch of anti-stagnation tools should be increased

In the New York Times’s Dealbook column, macro issue as Justin Wolfers attempts to make a case that a re-do of the policy arsenal is in order. While the employment situation is vastly improved, policymakers won’t be able to count on Fed rate cuts to rescue the economy next time, given low post-crisis “settings” of

10 Apr 2017

Major “populist” and fiscal-stimulus items offer glimmer but stay off front burner

Some progressive economists are cringing at a right-wing administration and its likely nefarious acts. On the other hand, while I count myself among this group, I see the Trump Administration as an interesting chance to get away from the standard neoliberal policies likely to be in force most of the time. For example, interventionist economic

19 Mar 2017

Prospects for fiscal- and trade-policy flexibility dim a bit

This blogger puts on a reporter’s hat once again, with some tidbits from the press on prospects for macroeconomic policy in the coming years. A report in the Financial Times suggests that the Wall Street faction in economic policy issues may be pushing aside Peter Navarro as a player with power on trade issues, at

16 Mar 2017

Recent peso policy developments bring up theoretical controversies

The latest issue in exchange rates is still what will happen as the Fed carries out the process of raising short-term interest rates on government paper from levels that were effectively zero before last December. Usually such moves increase the value of the home currency, as investors and traders exchange their money for dollar-denominated assets

08 Mar 2017

MMMFs and more post-conference wrap-up

The money market mutual fund (MMMF) data featured in my last post may need some explanation and in fact I ended the post with the statement, “More later.” I gathered the data in connection with work on this financial instrument that I did for a presentation at the Eastern Economic Association meeting last weekend. The

04 Mar 2017

Post-conference upload: Money Market Mutual Fund Data

Financial Accounts data from Federal Reserve Board of Governors website ( More later.

02 Mar 2017

More Trumponomics news

The administration continues to make announcements of interest to those concerned with macro policy, budget priorities, employment recovery, investment in the future, etc. Today, Trump announced (Financial Times article) that his administration would seek a 10-percent increase in annual defense spending. A graphic in the article shows that even in nominal terms (dollars) the defense

28 Feb 2017

Trump’s early economic policy actions numerous

Among the economic policy changes already effected or otherwise making  the headlines in the early weeks of the new Administration and Congress are the following: a federal government hiring freeze a “border tax” under discussion in Congress an order to waive or delay unspecified provisions of ACA health care law the early order to construct

10 Feb 2017
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