Today’s United States GDP Release and the Question of Saving

The initial estimate of United States third quarter GDP was released today. The economy grew at 2.5 percent, driven mostly by consumption growth of 2.4 percent and investment in equipment & software of 17.4 percent. Growth was slightly augmented by investment in structures and the improvement in net exports. The government sector’s impact on GDP . . . → Read More: Today’s United States GDP Release and the Question of Saving

Value at Risk and Extreme Scenarios

“Value at Risk is like an air bag that works well all the time except when you have an accident”

David Einhorn

Value at Risk (VaR) is a well-accepted measure of market risk.  It is defined as the minimum loss that could be expected to occur over a specified (short) horizon with a specified . . . → Read More: Value at Risk and Extreme Scenarios

First Step for California: Admit There’s a Problem

The October 29, 2009 issue of Time Magazine had an article titled “Why California is America’s Future.”  I sure hope not.  California is fast becoming a post-industrial hell for almost everyone except the gentry class, their best servants and the public sector.

We only need a few numbers to demonstrate that California is clearly . . . → Read More: First Step for California: Admit There’s a Problem

Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims

Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims were awarded the Nobel Price in Economics today.

When Robert Lucas won the Nobel Prize in 1995 I wondered if Professor Sargent and Professor Sims could win the prize. Certainly, their contributions were important. Professors Sargent and Sims, along with Professor Lucas, published in the Macroeconomics field, an area . . . → Read More: Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims

Housing bottom? Not yet.

Weakness in housing activity and housing prices continues to be a major drag on the overall economy.  My colleagues at CERF have long maintained that the homeownership rate (HOR) needs to fall back to its historical norm of 64% before housing can recover.  Their view has been that the attempt to increase the HOR . . . → Read More: Housing bottom? Not yet.