Monday, April 23, 2012

Hamilton on Oil Speculation and other links for your classroom

  • Hamilton on oil speculation There has been a lot of chatter about whether speculators or fundamental forces are driving up global prices, and whether limits on speculative activity would help correct a supposed market failure. Here are two items that anyone should read who is concerned with this issue, both from the pen of James Hamilton. I this recent post, Hamilton explains why it is hard to see speculation as the cause of the recent rise in oil prices. In this older post, Hamilton goes into the broader issue of the constructive role that speculation plays in shaping the path of oil prices over time.
  • Megan Greene warns of trouble in Spain If you thought the euro crisis was over, think again. Two recent posts (here and here) by Megan Greene suggest that Spain is about to follow the trail blazed earlier by Ireland: A balanced budget going into the crisis, but despite that, deep trouble getting out of it.
  • Inflation's effects on wages and income distribution Does inflation help or hurt wage earners? This post by Tim Duy argues that there is little evidence that wages fail to keep up with inflation over time. However, there is evidence that excessive efforts by the Fed to restrain inflation can reduce labor's share of income in the long run.

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