Over the last few classes, I’ve talked about several things in the blogosphere and/or other media. I’m going to link to them in this post. Hopefully, I’ll cover everything – if not, let me know in the comments.
The pros and cons of a weakening dollar were discussed in the following (July 3rd) Marketplace podcast:
U.S. exports are up and imports are down as a result of the dollar losing so much of its value against the euro. Who comes out ahead and who falls behind? Jeremy Hobson reports. [link]
Professor Robert Reich talked about a long-term stimulus package, as opposed to the current one in this (July 2nd) Marketplace podcast:
The economic stimulus was just a drop in the bucket. If Congress really wants to get the economy back on its feet, commentator Robert Reich has some summer homework for them. [link]
The Wall Street Journal has some numbers on monthly consumption, and consumer confidence, showing a slight increase in consumption (presumably from the stimulus package), but a sharp drop in consumer confidence:
Those charts, as well as several other economic indicators can be found on the Wall Street Journal‘s Economic Indicators page.
In class today, we talked about some of the non-mathematical problems with the Consumer Price Index – having more to do with the actual construction of the basket itself, rather than with the appropriate weights. Professor Menzie Chinn on the Econbrowser blog:
This post focuses on issue separate from the mathematics of the index forumulation, and has to do with what the typical weights at any given instant in time should pertain to. Should one use the expenditure weights that pertain to all the households aggregated in the economy? Or should one use the expenditure weights that pertain to the “typical” household? [link]
And finally, we discussed a new post by Stefan Tangermann on the Vox blog, that attributes rises in food prices to policies directed towards biofuels, and not coming from speculation and increased demand:
New research shows that India, China, and speculators are not the culprits in the food price explosion. Biofuels were a significant element in the 2005-2007 food price surge as they accounted for 60% of the growth in global consumption of cereals and vegetable oils. …new research also shows that biofuel support policies are disappointingly ineffective on environmental grounds, [and] governments should reconsider them. [link]