Monday, April 20, 2009

Tea parties, retail sales, and more on the macro ranting.

Bruce Barlett, a former Regean official, points out some of the problems with the logic behind recent tea parties. I somehow think any such attempt to use logic will fall on deaf ears, but the tea parties seem rather silly to me. (part one)

Economix is still on the case of retail sales. We've seen a bigger decline than in the past. I'm going to predict that the trend line will stay below 100, as people try to save more, rely on credit less, and spend less. Dave Altig at the Atlanta Fed doesn't think there's anything so historically odd, though.

Menzie Chinn provides another excellent post, this time on the role of financial systems in macroeconomic models. Kling isn't convinced that macroeconomists have good models, and he's at least partially right, since all models require some degree of simplification. I think it's a field that will continue to get a lot of attention. In a not-totally-unrelated light, Dani Rodrik provides an interesting comment on the field of economics. Still on forecasting, Simon Johnsons provides his forecast of forecats. Nicholas Bloom at Stanford says that the response to the financial crisis was effective in avoiding a severe recession, and that growth will resume at the end of this year. I wonder how much of an effect the "response to the financial crisis" really had.

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