Tenth birthday of the June 2009 recovery

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June 17, 2019 — This month marks the 10th birthday of the US economic recovery.  June 2009  saw the “trough,” the end of the Great Recession of 2007-09. (As always, a declaration that the recession was over could as easily have been phrased less cheerfully as a declaration that the economy had hit “rock bottom.”)

Why such a long expansion?

Who or what deserves credit for the length of the expansion?

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Remembering Martin Feldstein

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June 13, 2019 — Here in Cambridge, we are reeling from the passing of Martin Feldstein on Tuesday. He was tremendously influential both as scholar and teacher.  He was also a  policy-maker:  Below, the last section of this remembrance offers some recollections of his time as Chairman of Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers.

In addition, remembrances at his funeral service today appropriately emphasized some qualities not known to those who knew of him only as a conservative economist: his generosity and humanity.  He was greatly interested in other people, especially young people.  A personal anecdote.  Once, leaving a conference at Stockbridge, VT, I discovered that somebody else had taken my taxi, leaving me in danger of missing my plane from the airport in Lebanon, NH. Marty and his wife Kate dropped what they were doing and made the 75 mile roundtrip drive to get me to the airport on time.
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The Trade War Resumes

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Donald Trump on May 5 suddenly revealed that a trade agreement with China was not imminent after all.  To the contrary, the Administration on May 10 raised its earlier 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25%, and threatened to extend 25% tariffs to the remainder of imports from China by late June (roughly $300 billion of goods).  China, of course, retaliated against US exports [announcing reciprocal 25% tariffs on $60 billion of US goods, to start June 1.  Surprised stock markets fell in response, with the S&P 500 down 4 per cent over the first week of the renewed trade war. read more

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