Shane's Feed
Jan 14, 2014
via Data Dive

JPMorgan’s fourth quarter earnings hit by Madoff settlements

JPMorgan reported its fourth quarter earnings this morning, beating expectations despite the numerous regulatory penalties, including settlements related to the Madoff case.

Here’s Reuters with the details:

The bank, which agreed last week to pay $2.6 billion to settle government and private claims over its handling of accounts of fraudster Bernie Madoff, said fourth-quarter net income fell 7.3 percent to $5.28 billion, or $1.30 per share.

Jan 10, 2014
via Data Dive

The terrible December jobs report

The jobs report is out today, and it’s weak. The economy added 74,000 jobs in December — the lowest growth the economy has seen since January 2011 and far below the expectation of 196,000. Because of people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.7% from 7.0% in November. Here’s Reuters’ chart of U.S. non-farm payrolls over the last year:

One theory of why the job growth number was so weak in December, put forth by a number of people including Felix Salmon, is because of unusually bad weather. This chart from Justin Lahart shows the number of people, in thousands, who had a job but who weren’t paid during the survey week because of weather:

Jan 9, 2014
via Equals

Is there an education penalty for women?

New stats out on women with graduate degrees are, quite simply, depressing.

The percentage of graduate students in economics who are women is down to 11% from a high of 16% in the 1990s, according to a new study by Wendy Stock and John Siegfried. What’s more, those who do make it to the end of a PhD program still face pitfalls. From the study (pdf):

For males, getting married within the first five years after graduation was associated with a 25 percent salary growth premium relative to other males. For females, however, getting married was associated with a 23 percent salary growth penalty relative to other females, perhaps reflecting compromises incurred in a two-career job search.

Jan 7, 2014
via Counterparties

The rise of activist investing

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It appears that we are (still) in the golden age of the activist investor. Alexandra Stevenson reports that “it’s no longer an insult to be called an activist investor”. In fact, it’s en vogue. In 2013, there were 10 instances of an activist investor pushing a company to “break itself up or sell or exit businesses”, compared to just three in 2009, according to the WSJ.

Jan 3, 2014
via Counterparties

China’s debt problem

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China’s debt problem is back. Around Christmas, the seven-day repo rate, a benchmark used to gauge how much money is in the banking system, spiked to nearly 9%, then fell again to around half that after the Chinese central bank injected cash into the system through reverse repos.

Dec 20, 2013
via Counterparties

Top of the charts

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The onslaught of year-end lists is upon us, and in the econoblogosphere that means, among other things, charts. Lots of charts.

Dec 20, 2013
via Equals

The default gender

Andrew Gelman wrote something really smart over at the Monkey Cage the other day regarding Ross Douthat’s column on how having daughters makes you more conservative (emphasis mine):

But here’s my question: Why is it all about “the effect of daughters”? Why not “Does having sons make you support the Democrats?” It looks to me like having sons is considered the default … Lots of discussion of how having a girl might affect your attitudes on abortion, not so much discussion about how having a boy might affect your attitudes on issues such as gun control or war, which disproportionately affect young men. This is a real problem, when issues of girls and boys, men and women, are treated asymmetrically.

Dec 20, 2013
via Data Dive

The surprise uptick in 3rd quarter GDP revisions

U.S. GDP grew at its fastest pace in nearly two years in the third quarter of 2013 — at a 4.1% annual rate rather than the 3.6% previously reported — according to revised data released by the government Friday. Particularly, consumer spending was much higher than previously reported.

Here’s more detail from Reuters:

Business spending increased at a 4.8 percent rate instead of the 3.5 percent pace reported early this month. That reflected stronger growth in intellectual property products such as software, research and development, and entertainment.

Dec 20, 2013
via Counterparties

Miami Babel: A weekend in the art world’s most baffling, velvet-roped, celebrity-filled spectacle

PRESS RELEASE: “Hope you are having an amazing week. I wanted to send over some photos and information of Gerard Butler traveling from LAX to Miami mid last week for Art Basel.

Gerard is wearing PRPS Goods & Co. denim while he stopped to sign a few autographs and talk to fans before rushing to his gate to catch the flight. He was hurrying to Miami for the dinner he hosted at the W South Beach with Dom Pérignon.”

Dec 18, 2013
via Counterparties

The last Fedbye

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The Fed’s December meeting statement is out, and the big news is that the taper is here. More specifically, the FOMC announced it will reduce its asset purchases to $75 billion per month from $85 billion. This was Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s last scheduled press conference before the Senate votes on the confirmation of his chosen successor, Janet Yellen, who is set to take over February 1. Having served as Fed chief since 2006, Bernanke’s term is effectively over, and it’s now time to consider his legacy.