Forecasting GDP during and after the Great Recession


by Patrice Ollivaud, Economist, OECD Economics Department,  Pierre-Alain Pionnier, Head of Unit, OECD Statistics Directorate and Cyrille Schwellnus, Senior Economist, OECD Economics Department

How was it possible not to see the Great Recession of 2008-09 coming? How could economic forecasters blindly ignore financial developments? These are typical questions asked by the media in the wake of the Great Recession.

The OECD has drawn a number of lessons from the failure to forecast the Great Recession for the monitoring and statistical modelling of near-term economic developments. Crucially, a broader range of information, including financial developments, is now accounted for in OECD forecasts (Lewis and Pain, 2014). In an attempt to systematise this approach, OECD economists have recently estimated state-of-the-art statistical models that allow extracting meaningful signals from a large set of economic indicators, including equity and credit market indicators, real estate and consumer prices, disaggregate industrial production, as well…

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Why aren’t more Pro-Life advocates Vegetarian?

Do you really need an explanation? Not going to happen, but check this out please – this is my meal planning I live on breakfast 😀 and for breakfast I have one of two meal options: 1st) Butt…

Source: Why aren’t more Pro-Life advocates Vegetarian?

Generation X defers loss of subsidized savings accounts

Despite unified recommendations from 101 economists, reminiscent of service puppies for public administrators, the 2018 Cadillac Tax has been deferred to 2020. Among these economists was 2015 Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton. The opening statement from health economists and policy analysts, addressing senators and representatives, cited the unlimited exclusion from income and payroll taxes as being economically inefficient and regressive. The statement concluded that without the Cadillac Tax, government subsidized healthcare would be inevitable.

General public criticism of the Cadillac Tax is that more Americans will be uninsured. However, professional analysis by Moody’s Investor Services indicates that healthcare payer participation will increase as a result of the Cadillac Tax.

As the tax reads, individuals and employers not moving to lower-cost plans will be progressively included into a 40% tax rate. However, the tax is not designed to raise revenues to cover healthcare costs, it is designed to influence greater participation in lower-cost plans which reduces premiums and overall healthcare costs. These reductions allow participation from uninsured individuals, effectively reducing healthcare costs twice.

Without the Cadillac Tax’s design (lower-cost plans and increased participation), healthcare costs will inflate at least $4000 by 2028. In 2013, per capita healthcare expenditures were over $9000, when the poverty line income was only double that amount. That same year, 14.5% of Americans were impoverished. Greater participation from this group, first quintile earners, is necessary to reduce inflationary costs attributed to low participation and bad-debt, of which the latter efficiently increases both direct costs and premiums.

Third through fifth quintile earners in high-cost plans must shift to low-cost plans in order to increase affordability for first quintile earners and their participation. The reason for this, as previously explained, is to prevent the $4000 increases on current participants which would effectively reduce payer participation.

The Cadillac Tax, as noted by the economists, will remove healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) from healthcare plans. FSAs, generally owned by third through fifth quintile earners, act as a government subsidized savings accounts. FSAs are tax free, a $750 savings per year, and allow for accrual of interest to providers. This regressively pays upper quintile earners for having money in the FSA, especially when compared to a traditional savings account ($25 earned per year). Neither of these accounts are likely owned by the uninsured, notably the lower quintile earners, and the savings from FSAs will be outpaced by inflationary increases.

The Cadillac Tax allows the stability designed within the Affordable Care Act to progress efficiently and to non-governmentally finance healthcare. Financing affordable healthcare has been generationally deferred. As the 2020 deadline approaches, and with 80% of Boomers having insufficient financing for healthcare, this is undoubtedly the reason economists implore the U.S. to provide more affordable healthcare.


Why aren’t more Pro-Life advocates Vegetarian?

Do you really need an explanation?

Not going to happen, but check this out please – this is my meal planning

I live on breakfast

😀 and for breakfast I have one of two meal options:

1st) Buttered Toast, Half a Fresh cut Tomato, and 2 oz of cut Cheddar

oh it is fabulous, delicious, and obviously not vegan but goodness it’s great

2nd) Traditional Cereal (Honey-nut Cheerios) with Almond Milk (so tasty, why have any other liquid on cereal…unless Pecans…well Pecans are for my dessert so never-mind)

Okay so that’s just awesome and the best and I really enjoy fresh tomato, I feel great every morning 🙂

Lunch is on the go for me

I’m busy but get some running nutrition through the mid-day here are my two options:

1st) Peanut Butter and Jelly Jam Sandwich

classic, standard, I use Ancient Grains or 12-Grain bread (it just tastes good to me) and I always go for natural Jam, try, try, try to avoid added sugar, fresh fruit is delicious and for a kick of sweet try honey-sweetened.

I’m not opposed to sugar but the fresher the jam the better! (to me anyhow)

2nd) one Apple, one Orange, one Bana Banana

I feel like this gives me the biggest boost during the day but only if I’ve had enough complex carbohydrates surrounding this lunch aka cereal before and pasta after.

Dinner Time – Yay!

I do snack frequently through the day but it consists mostly of those things previously mentioned so dinner is straight forward for me and relatively uncomplicated yet I like variety so here are a handful of options:

1st) 4-Cheese Lasagna of course!

My Patronus is a kitty, my internal workings are Garfield…

2nd) Fettuccine Alfredo … fresh parsley, fresh diced tomato, and fresh garlic of course

This is just the best and Cody showed me how to properly create such an awesome dish…still, it doesn’t compare to hers (*points to self: ‘not a culinary-science’)

3rd) Tacos, Burritos,  Enchiladas, or Taco Salad (all bean varietals)

Every week has taco Tuesday and the varieties are plenty for me:

  1. cilantro, black-bean, and rice
  2. re-fried bean, romaine, and tomato
  3. double-decker: re-fried cohesion, kidney bean center (taco seasoned), fresh shred cheddar
  4. three-bean heaven (taco seasoned black beans and kidney beans)

4th) Spoil yourself Brie and Baguette

Okay, so really this is just delicious and if you’re in the mood drop in grapes or more of that natural fruit jam to feast like, my image of, a perfectly hedonistic bourgeois meal

Dessert, just don’t get me started…

I’m a child so I try not to splurge on dessert for myself but I happily watch others, almost inappropriately, savor the tasty bites or spoonfuls

(I satisfy a craving with a spoonful of peanut-butter and a swig of chocolate syrup…I’m not joking about being a kid over dessert)

As is such I generally do avoid temptation in this area but be creative and enjoy yourself 🙂

I recommend practicing the art of homemade caramel!

Image result for chocolate peanut butter roundsImage result for homemade caramel

Send an ask to: White Wine and Cat Hair

she knows how to roll in the pastry arts 🙂

Real Economic Growth Analyzed

Excellent read from Yale economist and Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis consultant Timothy Kehoe. He expresses that economic growth is driven by productivity growth as opposed to prevailing view of capital accumulation as driver.

This is shown with his use, as the beginning stage and presented in excerpt below, of the Malthusian Trap. Fascinating to me and fundamentally important is how this can be applied to global economic growth beyond his analysis.

From 1999 to 2013 (set in 2013 dollars) the World GDP – per capita (PPP) rose from $6800 to $13,100.

How do we move forward with this information?

  1. wait and see: continued development and economic growth
  2. search for post Kehoe analysis: next level (Kehoe 4?) and new cycle of leader-style
  3. present consideration: spread of investment into a global economy

The median annual household income worldwide is $9,733, and the median per-capita household income is $2,920″ by Glenn Phelps and Steve Crabtree via Gallup.

Article excerpt:

Stages of economic growth

We classify the countries in our sample into four stages of economic growth. (For details on country data and classification, see the appendix.)

0. Malthusian trap
1. Taking off into growth
2. Catching up to the economic leader
3. Joining the economic leader

The Stages of Economic Growth Revisited, Part 1

by Timothy J. Kehoe

The Stages of Economic Growth Revisited, Part 2

Hard learning: The American Income Mean vs Median

Matt Phillips reporter for Quartz, and previously the Wall Street Journal, offers assistance as people try to figure out the difference between mean and median income. From his perspective it appears Americans may be learning by proverbial “osmosis” rather than studiously as incomes diverge. With analysis from the Federal Reserve’s triennial survey of consumer finances Mr. Phillips shows how exactly the economy has improved.

Excerpt from article:

“despite the fact that mean income rose 4% to $87,200 per family, median income actually fell by 5% to $46,700 between 2010 and 2013.”

To be clear this means that the number of people making below median income has increased so significantly that the median actually fell while the majority of money itself rose for those fewer above median income.

Painfully, American families are learning the difference between median and mean

by Matt Phillips

The U.S. Debt, unlike the South – it will rise again

[Note on Image: picture the reverse as well but combined – fiscal cliff?]

A view forward to 2020 there will be an increase in entitlement spending as noted in the article per one of the President’s within the Federal Reserve district banks. With Baby Boomers moving to peak in claiming Social Security and Medicare benefits coupled with rising interest rates, my previous prediction of a rough year approximately 2019 doesn’t seem so radical.

IMO 2019/2020 also aligns with a roughly typical 10-year cycle of consumer tentativeness, increased investing, and then fear brought about by roughly steady years of growth (albeit this time slow, low, and difficult to accept as rebounded). I like to think of this as a revolving Jungian Cycle limited to Summer and Autumn.

I know there is plenty of debate on these issues but the economy has recovered to the point we’ve increased interest rates and with the entitlement wall approaching fast, beware the scare.

Affordable Care is a beast and not quite perfect but in this humble opinion it is the one thing going to keep the Baby Boomers from a scary end and I for one am willing to swallow the dark, expensive pill as a Millennial, will you Gen X?

The U.S. Debt: Why It Will Continue To Rise

by Forbes Contributor Mike Patton