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Rising Interest Rates, But Easier Financial Conditions

by Timothy Taylor, Conversable Economist

The Federal Reserve has been gradually raising its target interest rate (the "federal funds interest rate) for about two years, since early 2016. This increase has been accompanied by a controversy that I think of as a battle of metaphors. By raising interest rates, is the Fed stepping on the brakes of the economy? Or is it just easing off on the accelerator pedal?

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What Is A Long-Run Trend'?

by Philip Pilkington

Everyone complains about his memory, and no one complains about his judgment.

............................................................................ - Francois de La Rochefoucauld

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Data-Dependent ... On Imaginary Data

by John Mauldin, Thoughts by Frontline

Federal Reserve officials like to say their policy course is "data-dependent." That sounds very cautious and intelligent, but what does it actually mean? Which data and who's interpreting it? Let's ask a few questions.

Photo: Federal Reserve Board of Governors

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Inflation Is NOT Always And Everywhere A Monetary Phenomenon

by Philip Pilkington

Article of the Week from Fixing the Economists

Monetarism is a hoary old myth that does its damage in two distinct ways. The first is that, piggybacking on Milton Friedman's personality, basically an entire generation of economists are actually monetarist in their practical thinking. Greg Mankiw once remarked that New Keynesianism should more accurately be called New Monetarism and a glance at the actual pronouncements of even the more self-critical the New Keynesians shows this beyond a shadow of a doubt.

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The Chinese Banking System: Much More Than A Domestic Giant


-- this post authord by Eugenio Cerutti and Haonan Zhou

Chinese banks have continued to expand rapidly both domestically and abroad. Together, they constitute the largest banking sector in the world by far. This column places the Chinese banking system in a global context.

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Where Will We Get The Cash?

by John Mauldin, Thoughts by Frontline

Last week's turbulence shined a harsh spotlight on the stock market. Appropriately so, if that's where your investments are. But in the hubbub many investors are missing the deeper and far more urgent bond market issues.

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Big Data: How It Can Improve Our Health

by Elliott Morss, Morss Global Finance


Computers and large databases have been around for some time. But only now are we finding ways to take full advantage of it. Consider health care. Individual health records have been online for a decade (health patient portals). But their primary purpose has been to provide individuals with their health data.

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Tight Monetary Policy Is Not The Answer To Weak Productivity Growth


-- this post authored by Maurice Obstfeld and Romain Duval

The widespread and persistent productivity slowdown witnessed since the Global Crisis had already begun in advanced and low-income countries prior to the crisis. This column argues that the crisis amplified the slowdown by creating 'productivity hysteresis', and that monetary policy played an ambiguous role. Policymakers must now address the legacies of the crisis through innovation, education policies, and structural reforms.

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