Homeownership rates in historical perspective

Here is a Wall Street Journal headline from April 28: “The U.S. Homeownership Rate Falls Again, Nearing a 48-Year Low.”  “The homeownership rate fell slightly in the first quarter of 2016, dashing hopes that it had finally hit a bottom,” read the lead paragraph. This sounds pretty ominous. Let’s take a closer look; first, here are the data to which the article refers: Now, let's pull … [Read more...]

Commencement 2016

We’re halfway through commencement here at CSB|SJU.  College of Saint Benedict held their ceremonies today at Clemens Fieldhouse and tomorrow Saint John’s University celebrates at the Abbey Church. At this time of year, I always think of my own commencement in 1983.  (I double checked and I’m on p. 58.  It wasn’t a dream…) I still remember economics classes with my fellow B.S. graduates: Paul … [Read more...]

Tax inversions and Ronald Coase

Ronald H. Coase Pfizer and Allergan called off their $150 billion merger this morning.  What caused these two companies to call the whole thing off? The headline reason for not going through with the transaction was that the Treasury Department changed the rules on tax inversions.  A tax inversion is a situation where a US-headquartered company, in this case Pfizer, merges with a … [Read more...]