New Year’s Eve in Terlingua (12/31/03)

Another year has come and gone, We’re back to New Year’s Eve. Getting ready for another year, With new goals to achieve. It’s time to buy new notebooks, Some pencils and a pen. Write down our resolutions, And start all over again. Tomorrow begins the year, To really get in shape. To get better organized, […]

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Whole Grain Bread

We’ve come a long way—unfortunately—since our founding fathers wrote our constitution and tried to sort out the proper role of government from what should be left to the people. The recent spending bill, lauded rightly for the bi-partisan effort that went into its passage, must have left them spinning in their graves. I refer, of […]

Five Percent Growth–Wow!

Usually when a pretty good GDP number is released, I check to see how much of it is “real” and how much of it is due to inventory increases that may be building in its own reversal. Somehow, doing that today would make me a scrooge just before Christmas; so I won’t. I won’t even […]

Reserves Won’t Save the Russian Ruble

What I try to do in these posts is to comment on contemporary issues and the dialogue on financial TV through the prism of my long experience at the Fed. That experience formally began in August 1968 at the Richmond Fed as their new “international” economist. My first article for their economic review was on […]

Currency Confusion

Thursday’s WSJ had a front page article titled “Dollar’s Rise Causes Pain in Europe, Asia.” It began by stating that “A surging dollar and falling commodities prices are delivering a windfall to American shoppers and confounding central bankers by widening the gap between the expanding U.S. economy and struggling countries in Europe and Asia. The […]

Productivity is Key for Good Economic Performance

Third quarter productivity was revised to 2.3 percent growth in the third quarter, up from an initial estimate of 2.0 percent. That’s good news by recent lowered standards. This resulted in the related good news that unit labor costs fell 1 percent in the third quarter after a revised drop of 3.7 percent in the […]

Super Mario and the Euro

There was a central banker named Mario, Who promised to save the Euro, But he was too methodical, His approach was asymptotical, He got close, but no cigarillo.

No Matter Who Was in Charge, Just Blame the Fed

When I was SVP in charge of the Richmond Fed’s Baltimore branch and attended Maryland Bankers Association events, I always cringed when I was introduced, along with the state banking commissioner, as a banking regulator. She was, but I wasn’t. Our examination department was housed in the home office in Richmond and the branches were […]

Perception versus Reality–the Median versus the Mean

The post-election analysis on TV this morning included a brief discussion of the “disconnect” between perception and reality regarding the economy. The reality in the discussion was that incomes have been growing along with economic activity while the perception of many people is that they are losing ground. The discussants wondered why the perception was […]

Good Bye QE

I retired from the Fed on November 4, 2004, which will be 10 years ago in 6 days. At 8 AM tomorrow, I’m scheduled to give a speech on the economy after which I’ll have to give a defense of Quantitive Easing unless I try to preempt it during the speech. Texas audiences are polite, […]