Paul Krugman has been getting a little more bearish on inflation, but he's worried about the latest employment news: I have increasingly been turning to wages as a measure of underlying inflation. That’s not because I think greedy workers are driving inflation — they clearly aren’t. But wage growth is probably a pretty good indicator ...continue reading "Are wages declining too slowly?"
Kevin Drum 🕸
Tyler Cowen linked today to a Substack post that he teased with the question, "Why are there so many right-wing scams?" The comments are a hoot all by themselves, but naturally I got suckered into clicking the link. I was amused to find that the essay starts off with an attack on the lead-crime hypothesis: ...continue reading "Why are there— Wait. Does lead really cause more crime?"
If you read the news last night, it looked pretty ordinary. An election in Georgia. War in Ukraine. College football playoffs producing joy and tears. But if you were on Twitter you would hardly know any of that stuff was happening. Instead, the conversation was overwhelmingly about the actions of Twitter itself during a 24-hour ...continue reading "Here’s the story of Twitter, Elon Musk, Matt Taibbi, and the Hunter Biden laptop"
According to the 2022 Sight & Sound poll, here are the two best films of each decade from the past century: 1920s: Man With a Movie Camera (#9), Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (#11) 1930s: The Rules of the Game (#13), L'Atalante (#34) 1940s: Citizen Kane (#3), Meshes of the Afternoon (#16) 1950s: Vertigo ...continue reading "The best films of each decade"
I was muddling around in Sight & Sound's latest edition of their 100 Best Films of All Time poll, and I got curious about which director seems to be the critics' favorite. It turns out there are five with more than two movies on the list: Alfred Hitchcock Vertigo, Psycho, Rear Window, North by Northwest ...continue reading "Mirror, mirror, who’s the best director of them all?"
I want to emphasize something that I mentioned in passing yesterday. Here is employment measured two different ways: The orange line is the usual payroll employment number that we see every month. It tells us that we've created 2.5 million new jobs since March. The blue line is the employment level. It's a broader measure, ...continue reading "How many new jobs have we created this year?"
I guess. I'm not feeling very sportsmanlike right now. I mean, why did Lincoln Riley keep Caleb Williams in the game til the very end? He shouldn't have taken a snap after about five minutes into the third quarter. And did someone put petroleum jelly on our defense's gloves? Alex Grinch has some questions to ...continue reading "Congratulations Utes"
Here is Hilbert walking purposefully toward the camera. The little curl at the top of his tail means he's feeling especially sociable, and indeed he was. When he reached us he immediately started circling around and then flopped onto the ground to get a tummy rub, purring and drooling the whole time. He only drools ...continue reading "Friday Cat Blogging – 2 December 2022"
Is remote work at high levels here to stay? My guess has been that it isn't, though obviously it was a previously growing trend that was bound to get a tailwind from the pandemic. It's still too early to draw any firm conclusions, but I figured it was time to mark my views to market ...continue reading "Here’s a midterm report on remote work"
In case you're interested in such things, Very Peri has only a few weeks left as Pantone's color of the year. It is being replaced in 2023 by Viva Magenta: This is no ordinary red, either! This year’s Color of The Year is powerful and empowering. It is a new animated red that revels in ...continue reading "Welcome to the magentaverse"
The American economy gained 263,000 jobs last month. We need 90,000 new jobs just to keep up with population growth, which means that net job growth clocked in at 173,000 jobs. The headline unemployment rate remained at 3.7%. As usual these days, the biggest gains were in leisure and hospitality. The biggest losses were in ...continue reading "Chart of the day: Net new jobs in November"
A few days ago I was thinking about writing a super-short explainer about the whole FTX affair, but then I got sick and never got around to it. But I'm better now! Plus Atrios linked today to an article that added, in the author's words, a "smoking bazooka" to the whole affair. So let's do ...continue reading "A very brief FTX/SBF explainer"
The is the Place de la Phallus in Paris. It is more widely known as the Place de la Concorde, but I think this picture speaks for itself. POSTSCRIPT: La Phallus? There's no use asking for logical explanations when it comes to the gender of words in languages that use gender. Phallus is a masculine ...continue reading "Lunchtime Photo"
French president Emmanuel Macron is visiting President Biden today, but before the visit he gave a speech at the French embassy. The Washington Post reports that he is not entirely satisfied with American foreign policy: The impact of the Inflation Reduction Act in Europe has proven to be a major point of tension. Macron’s sharp ...continue reading "France is not happy about growing American nationalism"
Income and spending data were released today along with the inflation figures. Here's the latest: Adjusted for inflation and population, month-over-month disposable personal income went up 4.2% (on an annualized basis) while personal spending went up 5.8%. On a dollar basis, that's an income increase of +$2,400 and a spending increase of +$3,100. On a ...continue reading "In October, income was up but spending was up even more"
The core PCE inflation rate plummeted again in October: Core PCE checked in at 2.7% in October and the headline rate came in at 4.1%. Both are lower than last month, but core in particular has now had two consecutive huge declines. I am, as usual, highlighting the core rate (inflation excluding food and energy) ...continue reading "Core PCE inflation plummets to 2.7% in October"
Here are average retail gasoline prices over the past year: In most of the country, the average price of a gallon of regular is $3.32. Here in the People's Republic of California it's $4.81. In both cases, if you adjust for inflation we're now below the prices of a year ago.
Over the past day I've read at least a dozen pieces explaining how stupid it would be for Apple to toss Twitter out of the App Store. But was Apple ever thinking of doing this? Elon Musk visited Cupertino to find out: Good conversation. Among other things, we resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being ...continue reading "Surprise! Apple never planned to kick Twitter out of the App Store"
Here's an interesting comparison of an artwork with itself in the Orange County Museum of Art. This is a normal exposure that shows what the piece looks like to the naked eye, and I initially took it only to make fun of it. A blank white canvas? Please. It's been done. But then I noticed ...continue reading "Lunchtime Photo"
Today Eurostat released its flash inflation estimate for November. Here is my usual presentation of the data: monthly core inflation with a trendline to smooth out the noise. The headline inflation rate was 10% thanks to high food and energy prices, but this is due mostly to Vladimir Putin, not to underlying economic conditions. Monthly ...continue reading "Core inflation in the Euro area is dropping steadily"