Short essays on the economic issues of the day written for a generally informed readership.
2009, No. 47
The Case for “Inflation First” Monetary Policy
Policymakers should not think of price stability and economic stability as competing objectives but as complements—the best way to achieve the latter is to be firmly committed to achieving the former.
2009, No. 44
Vacancies and Unemployment
Expansions are usually associated with plentiful vacancies and a low number of unemployed workers. During recessions the unemployment pool swells while employers seek to fill fewer job openings.
2009, No. 42
Home Prices: A Case for Cautious Optimism
Many analysts are cautiously optimistic that the house price decline has ended, citing that house prices increased in June and July. There are several reasons for being cautious.
2009, No. 33
U.S. Migration Over the Life Cycle
Migration incentives for working-age and retired individuals are quite different and are sensitive to the level of human capital within the family.
2009, No. 26
Taming the Long-Term Spreads
Given the size of the underlying
markets, cutting the cost of capital
to firms and households by reducing
the yields required on long-term
corporate bonds and mortgages
is a key policy objective.
2009, No. 23
Lending Standards in Mortgage Markets
While the data seem to suggest
that lenders did the right thing
by tightening standards and
increasing denials...the ongoing
financial crisis suggests that they
did not tighten them enough.
2009, No. 22
The Global Recession
...an unusually high percentage
of the world’s large countries and
major U.S. trading partners are
currently experiencing a recession.
2009, No. 20
What’s Under the TARP?
The Financial Stability Plan,
initiated under the belief that
“[t]here is more risk and greater cost
in gradualism than in aggressive
action,” has several features.
2009, No. 19
Recession or Depression? Part II
“The economic performance during
the current recession is sharply
different from the 1929-33 episode
in most key respects, but not in all...”
2009, No. 17
“Economic misfortunes have caused many to reassess their finances, triggering sharp reversals in borrowing and spending habits.”
2009, No. 16
British Banking in Crisis
“The root of the problems of the British banks is the same as that of American banks: shaky mortgage-backed securities.”
2009, No. 15
Recession or Depression?
“Although the current recession may…
be the longest in the postwar period,
it is by no means certain that it will
be the deepest, but it’s increasingly
looking that way.”
2009, No. 12
Recent Movements in the Baltic Dry Index
“The BDI can be viewed as the equilibrium price of shipping raw materials, determined by the supply of
cargo ships and the demand for
transporting raw materials by ship.”
2009, No. 6
The Fed’s Response to the Credit Crunch
“The Federal Reserve Board has used Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act to create several new lending facilities to address the ongoing strains in the credit market.”