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...]

Derailment on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief

(Source: Flikr Creative Commons) I cringe when I read sentences like this: "Amtrak's Southwest Chief was carrying more than 140 people when several rail cars derailed early Monday, moments after an engineer noticed a significant bend in a rail and applied the emergency brakes, authorities said. At least 32 people were hurt, two of them critically." (Source: New York Times) Unfortunately, I was … [Read more...]

Monday morning insights from NBER

(Source: Flikr Creative Commons) I look forward to my Monday morning e-mail because that's when I see what's up in the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Working Papers.  These articles are in the last stages before being published in refereed journals or conference volumes and thus have usually gone through a long process of seminars and formal peer review.  They are thus scientifically … [Read more...]