Cleveburgh Steel

Remember when the steel industry rated local news?

The 24 hour news cycle can be brutal.  Just beyond greater Pittsburgh, but near the center mass of Cleveburgh is Trumbull County, Ohio… home to Warren, Ohio and part of the Mahoning Valley were these two stories recently:

24 hours ago the headline was:  Valley employment . . . → Read More: Cleveburgh Steel

Spot the Fallacies, Free Trade Edition

From, in response to Obama’s claim that international trade isn’t always fair:

Here we see the view, commonly held by the media and non-economists in our universities, that international trade is a competition, analogous to sports or military competition (sometimes, “trade competition” is compared to the Cold War). If the playing field is . . . → Read More: Spot the Fallacies, Free Trade Edition

A Troubling Sentence

From the Grey Lady:

The United States trade deficit surged in January to the widest imbalance in more than three years after imports grew faster than exports.

This is not a good sign. The US economy is predicated on false demand, by which I mean that the US, and the citizens thereof, buy a . . . → Read More: A Troubling Sentence

Pop Quiz

Q: Who said this:

Second, the idea that U.S. economic difficulties hinge crucially on our failures in international economic competition somewhat paradoxically makes those difficulties seem easier to solve. The productivity of the average American worker is determined by a complex array of factors, most of them unreachable by any likely government policy. So . . . → Read More: Pop Quiz

On Free Trade

Vox has recently leveled his formidable intellectual barrels at free trade (see here, here, and here). The conclusion that he has reached has been that free trade has had negative effects on the American economy for the past several years, and that the Ricardian theory upon which the defense of free trade rests is . . . → Read More: On Free Trade

The Folly of Risking Trade War

There is a scene in Book XXI, Chapter IV, of Sir Thomas Mallory’s Le Morte D’Arthur,” which described how King Arthur waged his final battle with Sir Mordred, concluding with the utter destruction of both their armies, and leaving the latter surviving, alone. Meanwhile, the monarch still had two knights left, Sir Lucan and . . . → Read More: The Folly of Risking Trade War

The Ley Lines of Globalization

Six years ago, early in my tenure at Berkman, I wrote a blog post that tried to calculate the cost of shipping water from a bottling plant in Yaqara, Fiji to Cambridge, Massachusetts. I was interested in unpacking the everyday mystery of container shipping – how is it possible that we can sell a . . . → Read More: The Ley Lines of Globalization

Currency Conflicts Come to Prominence Again

From the mid 1990s onwards, the US trade balance has steadily become bigger. This is a centrepiece of the problem of `global imbalances’. Starting from values of roughly zero, this got all the way to values like $70 billion a month, where the US was importing over $2 billion a day of capital to . . . → Read More: Currency Conflicts Come to Prominence Again

Interesting Ideas in Trade

Akbar’s transport of ice

In the ferocious height of the Delhi summer, Akbar setup a mechanism whereby horses started out with ice in Kashmir and rode south. The ice was handed from one horse to another, keeping it constantly on the move. In the end, what reached him was a few kilos of ice.

. . . → Read More: Interesting Ideas in Trade

Economic Events on April 13, 2010

At 7:45 AM EDT, the weekly ICSC-Goldman Store Sales report will be released, giving an update on the health of the consumer through this analysis of retail sales.

At 8:30 AM EDT, the International Trade report for February will be released.  The consensus is a deficit of $39 billion, which would be a increase . . . → Read More: Economic Events on April 13, 2010