Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ATTENTION: Midterms Postponed from 11/4 to 1//11

[UPDATE BELOW (Thursday)]


ECON206 (Macroeconomic Analysis)
ECON215 (Money and Banking).

I am moving the exams from Sunday Nov 4th to Nov 11th*: 

I am doing this for two reasons:

1.  My neighborhood was hardly affected becuase I live on a hill.  However, this storm has still been enormously disruptive.  I assume a number of students have been directly affected by the flooding or power outages and it would be ridiculous to expect these students to study for their midterms under those circumstances.

Even though the Macro Analysis midterm is take-home exam, I expect many students will not be able to make it on Sunday, which means they will not be able to discuss the midterm in class, that is unfair to them.

2.  As of today (Tuesday) it is not obvious how crippled public transportation will be or even if Queens College will be open on Sunday.  I want to end the uncertainty about whether or not there will be an exam on Sunday now so that you can go about bailing out your basements or checking on your neighbors without worrying about your tests.

[Update:]  Queens College will be open on Sunday for class.  However, I have no way of getting to QC by public transportation and I do not have any gas in my car.  I am hoping that I will be able to get gas on Saturday.  If I cannot, there will no be class.  Check back here on Saturday afternoon.

We will start going over new material (that won't be on the midterm) on Sunday.

*That means I will hand out the take-home exam in Macro Analysis on Nov 11th to be due Nov 18th.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Unanswered Questions Macroeconomic Analysis 10/7/12

Total US exports of weapons according to the Congressional Research Service (Table 36): $16 billion* out of total exports of around $1.5 trillion.

U6 unemployment vs U3 unemployment.  Interestingly, the wider measure of unemployment has flat lined over the last couple of months  Here is a table with the recent data:

Here is a short MSNBC video discussing the impact of public sector employment in general on the recession (with comparisons to past recessions).  I think some of the conclusions they draw are overstated, but the numbers are interesting:

Finally, I grossly overstated the jobs impact of hiring back teachers.  The number is actually 300,000 teachers have been laid off since Nov 2011.  Also, the info is from a tweet (from a credible source, mind you) so take that as you will.  Anyway, I have already spent too much time on this factoid!

*Estimates of arms exports varies widely, but I did  not see anyone claim more than around $20 or $30 billion in annual foreign arms sales.