Links and Thoughts

April 1, 2014

We are in our fourth week of blogging, and so far it has been a lot of fun! And a lot of work … we are learning new appreciation for people who do this for a living.

We thought it would be a good time to share some links and thoughts in response to comments on our posts.

Ryan Avent of the Economist criticized our post on inflation. On some accounts he is exactly correct–for example, the Fed targets headline inflation, not core. But we disagree with his views that the Fed could generate significant inflation in a liquidity trap if they wanted to. We will have more on this in a later post.

Paul Krugman correctly pointed out that he did not invent the term “liquidity trap.” Of course he is correct. But he also being too modest. Almost everyone now associates the term with him given his seminal 1998 paper. It is an absolute must-read. It also has to be the easiest paper to find on google. Just google “baaack”. Seriously. Try it.

The Grumpy Economist, aka John Cochrane, took a shot at interpreting our event study of asset returns on Fed “surprise” days. We were pretty agnostic, but John did a great job going through what the results might mean. We plan a post on Yellen’s first press conference. Coming soon.

Two posts in particular garnered a lot of feedback: the post on how the gains to productivity are distributed in the economy and the post on measuring wealth inequality. Joe Weisenthal and Business Insider covered both posts, and Derek Thompson of the Atlantic covered the latter. We received several responses on the productivity post on measurement issues: should we be using compensation? Does it include benefits such as health care? Why are we using average productivity but median real wages? We plan another post on this issue as well.

Our post on the effect of the bad winter on auto sales was covered by Bill McBride at He is one of the best bloggers at keeping us up to date on the latest macroeconomic news. March auto sales are out this morning, and we are sure Bill will tell us what they mean! Matt O’Brien at the Atlantic even showed our state-level scatter-plot from the post. Go Stata!


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One Response to Links and Thoughts

  1. Fredrick Huebner on April 2, 2014 at 11:12 ami

    As an investor trying to keep informed about macro trends, I’ve found your blog very helpful in just your first month. Thanks for all your hard work and insight.