Bull Market Rally in World Stocks; Largest 3 Month Gain in History of MSCI World Stock Market Index
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
NY TIMES (Jan. 7, 2009) -- This is what life in one American city looks like after an industrial collapse: Unemployment is far below the national average (see chart above, data through April 2009). While housing prices sank nearly everywhere in the last year, they rose here. Wages are also up. Foreclosures are comparatively uncommon.
LOS ANGELES (May 28) – Home sales increased 49.2% in April in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home declined 36.5%, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (C.A.R.) reported today.“With annualized sales at 540,360 units, April marked the eighth consecutive month of home sales above the 500,000 level,” said C.A.R. President James Liptak.
ORLANDO, Fla. – May 27, 2009 – Florida’s existing home sales rose in April – the eighth consecutive month that sales activity increased in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR). April’s statewide sales showed gains over the previous month’s sales level in both the existing home and existing condominium markets.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Scores of companies are being punished in the bond market as the Obama administration's policies on General Motors and Chrysler LLC create new risks for creditors, a veteran bond strategist says.
HT: Mike LaFaive
The Baltic Dry Index came close to reaching an 8-month high today, closing above 3,000 for the first time since early October, and hitting the highest level since September 30. The shipping index has advanced for each of the last 20 sessions, and the 222 point increase today was the largest one-day increase since early July 2008.
April Unemployment Rates
University of Chicago
Approved Women's Groups on campus: 11
Approved Men's Groups on campus: 0 (1 pending)
CHICAGO TRIBUNE -- A group of University of Chicago students think it's time the campus focused more on its men. A third-year student from Lake Bluff has formed Men in Power, a student organization that promises to help men get ahead professionally. But the group's emergence has been controversial, with some critics charging that its premise is misogynistic. Others say it's about time men are championed, noting that recent job losses hit men harder and that women earn far more bachelor's and master's degrees than do men (see data above).
Maryland couldn't balance its budget last year, so the state tried to close the shortfall by fleecing the wealthy. Politicians in Annapolis created a millionaire tax bracket, raising the top marginal income-tax rate to 6.25%. And because cities such as Baltimore and Bethesda also impose income taxes, the state-local tax rate can go as high as 9.45%. Governor Martin O'Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were "willing and able to pay their fair share." The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would "grin and bear it."
Read about The Laffer Curve here.
Above is the 1983 model, see the rest here.
I recognize that the word socialism is bound to make many readers twitch. It carries tremendous cultural baggage. I use socialism because technically it is the best word to indicate a range of technologies that rely for their power on social interactions. Broadly, collective action is what Web sites and Net-connected apps generate when they harness input from the global audience. Of course, there's rhetorical danger in lumping so many types of organization under such an inflammatory heading. But there are no unsoiled terms available, so we might as well redeem this one.
The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors reports that:
But in Michigan??? Read about it here.
Not really, Greg Mankiw explains.
Texas has only about 85 of the 1,200 retail health clinics in the nation. San Antonio does not have a single one. The clinics are popular wherever they exist because nurse practitioners can treat common ailments and minor injuries with little waiting time and fees that average about $60, much less than emergency rooms. The clinics operate evenings and weekends and accept insurance plans. The clinics would represent real health care reform, especially in Texas. Most of the state, 179 counties out of 254, is classified as medically underserved. Among them are 45 metropolitan counties.
The other day, Phoenix trumpeted that its daily light rail ridership had reached 37,000 boardings per weekday. Since most of those people have two boardings per day (one each direction) we can think of this as 18,500 people making a round trip each day.
An economic phenomenon called "price elasticity of demand" is well established when it comes to automobile purchases. In other words, if you raise the price of new cars, people will buy fewer of them or, at a minimum, put off the purchase for a year or so while they drive the old clunker for a few thousand more miles. And fewer new cars means more pollution, which can cause significant health problems. Yet environmentalists and the press have ignored this issue, so as not to inject a note of complexity or doubt into the chorus of glee that greeted the president's attack on greenhouse-gas emissions.
Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in April. Twenty-one states recorded over-the-month unemployment rate decreases, 18 states and the District of Columbia registered rate increases, and 11 states had no rate change, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.
Our modern living standards are almost entirely the result of investment, entrepreneurial discovery, and gains from depersonalized trade - trade between people who do not know each other and often never meet. As Adam Smith noted long ago, the division of labor is limited by the extent of the market. Much like a telephone or an Internet system, a market economy is a network good. As the size of the market expands from the local town or village to the region, nation, and beyond, network participants derive larger and larger benefits from trade, specialization, and economies of scale. For those connected to the global market, this system generates employment opportunities, high productivity per worker, and a vast array of consumer goods that are available at almost unbelievably low prices. This network system makes high-income levels and living standards possible.
There has been a lot of discussion lately about green shoots, mustard seeds and an end to the recession sometime this year. How long would it take for the NBER to make the official announcement that the current recession is over? Let's look at the last two recessions.
Pictured above is the HP-35, Hewlett-Packard's first pocket calculator and the world's first scientific pocket calculator. The HP-35 was available from 1972 to 1975, and retailed then for $395 (more than $2,000 it today's dollars).
Another policy response was the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 passed in February. The major part of this package was to send cash totaling over $100 billion to individuals and families in the United States so they would have more to spend and thus jump-start consumption and the economy. Most of the checks were sent in May, June, and July. As would be predicted by the permanent income theory of consumption, people spent little if anything of the temporary rebate, and consumption was not jump-started as had been hoped.
In the late 1960s, Stanford University conducted an experiment on young childrens' self-control and ability to delay gratification. Researchers would give young children a choice: the child could either eat one marshmallow right away or, if he or she was willing to wait while the researcher stepped out of the room for a few minutes, the child could have two marshmallows when the researcher returned. If the children rang a bell on the desk the researcher would come running back, and the child could eat one marshmallow but would forfeit the second.
The Philadelphia Fed reports today that the Six-Month Indicators Show Continued Improvement:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 13, 2009 – A new Walmart opens this month in Jacksonville, bringing 400 new jobs, savings for local shoppers and an increase in tax revenue to support the area’s economy. Nonprofit organizations will also benefit from the retailer’s ongoing charitable contributions and support for community projects. The Walmart, located at 10251 Shops Lane, will be open to customers at 8:15 a.m., Wednesday, May 20th.
Remember when Obama said that not one single American making under $250,000 would pay a single dime more in federal taxes? Well the new emission standards Obama wants will make the cars we all buy as much as $600 - $1,300 more expensive.
BillShrink provides a free, web-based service that provides users with personalized recommendations for everyday services such as cell phone plans and credit cards. These recommendations are computed in real-time by matching your indicated usage profile against literally millions of different market options. The results enable you to view and compare options so that you can make a well-informed decision that maximizes your savings.
President Obama's articulated criteria for his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court is: "We need somebody who's got the heart to recognize -- the empathy to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."
NY TIMES -- Credit cards have long been a very good deal for people who pay their bills on time and in full. Even as card companies imposed punitive fees and penalties on those late with their payments, the best customers racked up cash-back rewards, frequent-flier miles and other perks in recent years. Now Congress is moving to limit the penalties on riskier borrowers, who have become a prime source of billions of dollars in fee revenue for the industry. And to make up for lost income, the card companies are going after those people with sterling credit.
Your will (or estate or trust) protects your car, your house, your retirement account, and all your other assets for you. It ensures these valuables make their way to your spouse, siblings, children, or other loved ones. But what happens to all the assets you've created on the Internet, from your email address(es) to your PayPal account to your Facebook profile?
WASHINGTON POST -- Long derided by American conservatives as "socialist" and praised by the left for its generous government spending, Canada is casting off those stereotypes. Over the past few years, while U.S. politicians presided over huge increases in spending and debt, the Canadian government tightened its belt, slashed tax rates and balanced budgets. Consider these trends:
According to the Michigan Association of Realtors and Detroit Board of Realtors (data here), the average sales price of a Detroit home fell to $11,533 in April (Year-to-Date), a -43.8% decline from the $20,514 average home price during the same period last year (see chart above). 2009 year-to-date unit sales increased by 23.1% to 4,139 homes, compared to 3,360 Detroit homes sold last year over the same period. From the $97,850 peak Detroit home price in 2003, prices have fallen by an amazing 88%.
iVisit, a company out of Santa Monica, California that specializes in video teleconferencing applications, has teamed up with the National Institutes of Health to turn a mobile phone's camera into an eye for the blind. Using advanced image recognition software to identify what is in front of the phone, the system reads off what it is seeing.
The CBOE Volatility Index closed today at just barely above 30 (30.24), falling almost 3 points from Friday's close of 33.12, and is now more than 50 points below the November highs that were above 80.
BUFFALO NEWS -- Ending any speculation about another possible run for governor, Rochester businessman and Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano said Thursday he will be moving his legal residence to Florida to escape New York state taxes.
Here's the problem for states that want to pry more money out of the wallets of rich people. It never works because people, investment capital and businesses are mobile: They can leave tax-unfriendly states and move to tax-friendly states.
Plagiarism update, following this CD post.
MUMBAI, India (AP) — India's stock market surged an unprecedented 17%, forcing trade to close for the day, after the Congress Party's definitive victory in national elections set the scene for long-delayed economic reforms. Within seconds of trading, the Bombay Stock Exchange's benchmark Sensex vaulted 2,110.79 points, or 17.3%, to 14,284.21, triggering the historic shutdown Monday (see chart above). Infrastructure, banking and real estate companies led gains.
Bureau of Economic Analysis -- Real GDP -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the U.S. -- decreased at an annual rate of 6.1% in the first quarter of 2009, (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP decreased 6.3%.
Washington, D.C. -- Today, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released the latest analysis from the University of Mississippi's Potency Monitoring Project, which revealed levels of THC - the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana - have reached the highest-ever levels since scientific analysis of the drug began in the late 1970s. According to the latest data on marijuana samples analyzed to date, the average amount of THC in seized samples has reached a new high of 10.1%. This compares to an average of just under 4% reported in 1983 and represents more than a doubling in the potency of the drug since that time.