Pulse: Growth Outlook and Business Cycle
This article was originally published by Washington Monthly.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) surprised the markets and most economists Friday with an announcement that the unemployment rate fell from 14.7 percent in April to 13.3 percent in May. President Donald Trump had the temerity to boast that George Floyd, the unarmed black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, was “looking down from heaven” to admire those numbers. “This is a great day for him,” Trump said in the Rose Garden. “This is a great day for everybody.”
I had planned to be in Washington last week at the IMF/World Bank meetings, a chance to hear the latest policy debates and catch up with old friends. Not this spring; the meetings were entirely virtual and didn't offer much clarity beyond a dismal forecast for 2020. I have however indulged in a cornucopia of online offerings, some of which I have included below.
We have another week of data on the US commercial banks’ assets and liabilities. Deposits rose by 2.6% in the week to 25th March, after a (revised) increase of 2.2% in the previous week. The increase in the fortnight to 25th March may have been the highest ever in such a short period of time. The implied annualised rate of increase was not much less than 250%.
Today's podcast guest is a fellow Chicagoan, best-selling author Michele Wucker. Her thought-provoking book, the Gray Rhino, was published in 2016 and has been quoted by President Xi Jinping of China. Michele’s key insight is that even when we see the future charging at us, we often fail to act.
To listen to the full podcast, please click here.
In 1919 John Maynard Keynes wrote the first best-seller in economics, The Economic Consequences of the Peace. The title is a bit misleading, since it is really about the cost of war. He railed against the Treaty of Versailles, correctly predicting that inequitable conditions of peace made another world war inevitable.
Written By Eleanor Shiori Hughes - November 14, 2019