Oil prices surged into the third quarter due to a combination of factors:
The midterm elections in the United States have produced a result that was very similar to what the surveys estimated. The so-called “blue wave”, an expected overwhelming victory of the Democratic Party predicted by some, did not happen. The Democratic Party won 26 seats in Congress, and the Republicans held the Senate, increasing their majority by two representatives. Therefore, these are better Republican results than expected.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law by President Trump less than a little less than year ago, on December 22, 2017. What are the likely benefits and costs associated with the legislation? The Fall 2018 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives (where I work as Managing Editor) includes a two-paper symposium on the subject. Joel Slemrod provides an overview of the main elements of the legislation and its effects in " "Is This Tax Reform, or Just Confusion?" (32:4, pp. 73-96). Alan J. Auerbach focuses on one primary aspect of the law, its shifts in the US corporate income tax, in "Measuring the Effects of Corporate Tax Cuts," (32:4, pp. 97-120).
· Despite US tariffs, China’s September trade balance with the US reached a record high
Traditional monetary policy, as practiced in the decades up to 2007, faces a problem looking ahead. The shared areas in this figure show recessions. During a typical recession, the Federal Reserve cut its policy target interest rates--the so-called federal funds rate--by about 5 percentage points.
The latest measures adopted by the Central Bank and the government of Argentina have stopped the collapse of the peso. However, without structural reforms on the spending side, we may find ourselves with a period of calm before a new storm.
One of my pet peeves about arguments over the role of money in elections is that the discussion usually focuses so heavily on campaign contributions, while leaving out other intersections of money in politics--like the role of lobbying.