Monday, September 20, 2010

Trough Dated

Unlike most other countries, in the U.S., business cycle peaks and troughs are “officially” dated by a committee.

This was a big topic of discussion in the Spring 2010 class, because there wasn’t an official date for the trough yet, but we discussed how it was likely to be in summer of 2009 (I think I was leaning towards August).

As of September 20, 2010, it’s official: the recession ended in June of 2009.

The graph in the article is instructive because it shows that the trough is not when the economy has recovered, or when everyone starts to feel like things have returned to normal, but rather when we stop declining.


This also shows that the rate of recovery (the slope) is about the same as in the last two recessions. The lends credence to the idea that the Obama administration is doing a normal job. However, comparison with the “Reagan recovery” lends credence to the idea that Reagan did something that others didn’t. And of course, it could all be luck.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Where Were Jobs Lost?

From The Wall Street Journal, an interactive chart of what fields had job losses during the recent recession.


Treasury Secretary Geithner gets blasted a lot – especially in Utah.

Here’s the take of someone I trust who’s met with him in person:

Geithner is smart and deep. Geithner took questions on any topic. Bear in mind that taking questions from … [big name economics bloggers] …is not like taking questions from the press. Geithner quickly identified the heart of every question and responded in a way that showed a command of both theory and fact. We went way over scheduled time. He seemed to be having fun.

Evidence-Based Study Tips

Nine tips from The Psychologist. In short:

  • Believe you can improve
  • Sleep for long stretches every day
  • Don’t kvetch over past procrastination
  • Practice tests
  • Review periodically rather than cram
  • Abstract definitions beat real-life examples
  • Nap when tired
  • Get and read the powerpoints before class
  • Believe in yourself

Via BPS Research Digest.

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