Wednesday , October 27 2021
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The author John H. Cochrane
John H. Cochrane
In real life I'm a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford. I was formerly a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. I'm also an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute. I'm not really grumpy by the way!

John Cochrane – Grumpy Economist

John Cochrane, Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford, is The Grumpy Economist. But he claims to not actually be grumpy. On this blog, he provides detailed commentary backed with data and exceptional reasoning on current economic news, finance and policy policy.

Build back sausage

Inspired by Casey Mulligan's blog post, I went to read some of the "Build Back Better" bill. (Is it just me, or doesn't "Build Back Better" sound a lot like "Make America Great Again?") Heavens, not the whole thing -- that's way beyond me. I just read the first half of the child care tax credit, starting on p. 241. I was also inspired by PBS, which, coincidentally, I'm sure,  announced last week a Child Care Crisis. Well, what is the federal government going to do about this...

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Sowell Nobel?

There is less than a week to go before the Economics Nobel Prize. Dear Nobel Committee: How can you not give the prize to Tom Sowell this year? Tom's work evidently merits a Nobel purely as a contribution to economics, covering many issues. But we can't ignore what year it is, and what's going on in the world. Indeed, in the Physics and Chemistry prizes this year, as well as Nordhaus' climate-economics Nobel, the Prize committees show they care about research that applies to...

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What’s in the reconciliation bill? A conversation with Casey Mulligan.

 A podcast discussion with Casey Mulligan. What's in the reconciliation bill? How will it work? Link to the podcast page, with lots of other formats. Yesterday Casey tweeted that he had read the entire 2,400 page bill. Casey does this sort of thing, as explained in his book "Your'e hired." I have been trying to figure out what's in it for a while. The media coverage is basically absent. (See this great Marginal Revolution post and Bloomberg column (gated,...

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“Non-profit” housing at NYT

Every now and then the old New York Times resurfaces, with detailed reporting, actual facts, whether or not they support The Narrative. Such is the case with an article I recommend, Housing Boss Earns $1 Million to Run Shelters Despite a Troubled Past, by Amy Julia HarrisSince 2017, ... the city has awarded more than $352 million to a nonprofit run by Mr. [Jack A Brown to operate shelters. The money is meant to help homeless people regain their footing in life, but it has benefited Mr....

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Portfolio podcast

I did a Rational Reminder podcast and video, focusing on portfolio theory, but also a tour through asset pricing. My hosts Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore were unusually well prepared and asked great questions! Video below, or go here for video, podcast, and transcript for people (like me) who read more than listen.

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FiveThirtyEight p-hacking

 A correspondent sends me the lovely FiveThirtyEight site,  on how to p-hack your way to scientific glory.  Should I be proud or ashamed that it only took me 30 seconds to get a 1% p value? I fault it though for much too modest an effort, compared to many papers I have read. Include judges, mayors, state legislators. Measure  performance with levels, growth rates, unemployment, inequality, demographic breakdowns, house prices, health measures, investment, exports and more....

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Inequality/opportunity survey

I was interested by a simple survey run by the Archbridge Institute on attitudes regarding inequality vs. opportunity, and  equality vs. equity issues. Reducing inequality, "there should be no Billionaires" is only the top issue for a quarter of people. Equality of opportunity, and help for those on the bottom garner about 60%. The demographic consistency is interesting. Yes, the young and the credentialed skew more left -- our education system is passing on its values. But not...

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Treasury holdings

 Another great graph from Torsten Slok at ApolloForeigners hold less, Fed holds more. However, the Fed doesn't really hold Treasurys. The Fed turns Treasurys into interest-paying reserves, which banks hold. And banks turn reserves into bank deposits and other assets which we hold. So it is really a big shift from foreign to domestic holding. At, as a commenter on a previous post reminds us, current interest rates, exchange rates, and rates of other opportunities, which may change. So...

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Hope for California — housing edition

 California has at last passed the first laws overturning some residential zoning restrictions. WSJ coverage here.  From the California YIMBY press release, “The end of exclusionary, single-unit zoning in California is a historic moment -- we’ve taken a huge step toward making California a more affordable, equitable, and inclusive state.”...SB 9 ... makes it legal to build duplexes on lots zoned for one house statewide; the law also allows property owners to split their lots...

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Interest rate survey

Torsten Slok passed on a lovely graph, created from the Philadelphia Fed survey of professional forecasters: It's not just the Fed, whose own forecasts and dot plots have the same characteristics. Some potential lessons1) Just you wait. There is the story of the hypochondriac, who when he died at 92 had inscribed on his tombstone "See, I told you I was sick." More serious stories have been told of the 1980s high interest rates, worried for a decade about inflation that could have...

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