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

For expansionists: a better infrastructure plan

I argued in my previous post against claims that the US economy faces tight limits to noninflationary growth–limits that would be passed in the event policymakers tried to increase GDP growth over a period of years. At this link, the Roosevelt Institute offers an example of the kind of fiscal policy action that Congress could take to

06 Feb 2017

No “law” of growth justifies fiscal tightening

When  it comes to interpreting employment malaise, three mainstream groups vie for policy dominance, at least according to the reckoning of blogger and professor Brad DeLong at an conference session last year where mainstream economists faced off with scholars from one of the heterodox economics associations. (Here is a link to DeLong’s blog site.) One

17 Jan 2017
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