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State of the UK: The Great European Question

April 1st, 2015
in econ_news

by Michael Emerson, The Conversation

The UK’s place in Europe is one of the most divisive issues in the 2015 general election campaign. The Conservative Party and UKIP want an in/out referendum, Labour does not and the Liberal Democrats certainly recognise it as an important matter, even if leader Nick Clegg is refusing to come down on either side of the debate.

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Bosses Off Limits For Most April Fool's Pranksters

April 1st, 2015
in News, econ_news, syndication

from Felix Richter, Statista.com
by Niall McCarthy

Even though it may seem hard to believe, a third of American adults intend pulling off some form of prank on April Fool's Day, according to research conducted by The Harris Poll.

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The Number Of U.S. Banks Has Declined Sharply Driven By Voluntary Mergers Between Unaffiliated Banks

April 1st, 2015
in econ_news

from the Kansas Fed

The number of U.S. banks has trended lower over the past 30 years, dropping from about 14,500 in the mid-1980s to 5,600 today. The number of banks declined for many reasons, such as failures during periods of crisis, consolidation spurred by the relaxation of state branching and national interstate banking restrictions, and voluntary mergers between unaffiliated banks. Since the end of the 2007-09 recession, voluntary mergers have been the primary reason for the decline.

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Companies Cannot Stifle Whistleblowers In Confidentiality Agreements

April 1st, 2015
in econ_news

from the Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced its first enforcement action against a company for using improperly restrictive language in confidentiality agreements with the potential to stifle the whistleblowing process.

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Central Bank Solvency And Inflation

April 1st, 2015
in econ_news

by Marco Del Negro and Christopher A. Sims - Liberty Street Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

The monetary base in the United States, defined as currency plus bank reserves, grew from about $800 billion in 2008 to $2 trillion in 2012, and to roughly $4 trillion at the end of 2014 (see chart below). Some commentators have viewed this increase in the monetary base as a sure harbinger of inflation. For example, one economist wrote that this "unprecedented expansion of the money supply could make the '70s look benign." These predictions of inflation rest on the monetarist argument that nominal income is proportional to the money supply. The fact that the money supply has expanded rapidly while real income has grown very modestly means that sooner or later prices will have to catch up. Most academic economists (from Cochrane to Krugman and Mankiw) disagree.

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