Merrick Garland, Peter Diamond, and blocking Obama’s nominations

Merrick Garland The kerfuffle around President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court reminds me of the same scuffle that’s been going on for the past eight years about the Federal Reserve.  Let me explain. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve runs the nation’s central bank and sets American monetary policy.  According to the Federal Reserve Act, “The Board of … [Read more...]

March Madness and the Economics of College Athletics

Source: Flikr Creative Commons I just read a nice article on the economic impact of March Madness by Simon Ogus. He goes through the effects on host cities, the TV revenue generated, and the money that flows to schools, conferences and the NCAA. I’m a strong believer in separating big-time athletics from colleges and universities. I used to be ambivalent, but that was before I read Taylor … [Read more...]

Inflation! Debasement!

Hyperinflation-era German currency Source: Flikr Creative Commons The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data came out today.  Inflation is low by any standard: 1 percent per year for all items in the CPI, 2.3 percent when we exclude energy and food from the index. A colleague and I have a running joke when these numbers appear.  Either by email or in person, we … [Read more...]