Retail Sales and Personal Consumption

Modeled Behavior highlights the gap between consumption and retail sales.

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Stephen Roach Surveys The Next Asia

Stephen Roach has written on macroeconomics from a Wall Street perspective for years as head of the Morgan Stanley economics team.  Lately he has focused exclusively on Asia.  This book is a result of his in first-hand view the inner world of global macroeconomics.

Stephen Roach Surveys The Next Asia (Complete).

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More Greenspan

Alan Greenspan’s “The Crisis”.

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/Programs/ES/

BPEA/2010_spring_bpea_papers/spring2010_greenspan.pdf

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Moving Targets

David Brooks in his Return of History piece reminds us of how economics failed to prevent the recent crisis.  Either this gives economists a second chance to really explain how it all works, or we might begin to realize that markets adapt quickly to whatever policy invention we put into place.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/opinion/26brooks.html

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Recent House Price Surveys

Freddie Mac recently released their survey of house prices which is based on single-family repeat purchases (no refinances).  House prices in the US showed a 6.7% drop from the 2Q08 to 2Q09.  The Pacific region showed the largest decline, while the West South Central region showed little change.

There are several popular house price index sources: Freddie’s CMHPI (CMHPI Data – Freddie Mac),  OFHEO’s HPI (Federal Housing Finance Agency – House Price Index), and S&P Case-Shiller’s Home Price Index ( S&P | Indices > Alternative Indices – S&P/Case-Shiller® Home Price Indices – Home Price Values).

Freddie's CMHPI

Source: Freddie Mac

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