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March 2012

"Do Leading Indicators Help Predict GDP Growth Rates?"

Not so much.

The only variables that seem to have any individual predictive power beyond that already embedded in lagged GDP changes are the S&P500, the ISM’s new manufacturing orders, and private housing building permits. 

But if you like forecasting, you might like this: "Everybody's Playing With This Unemployment Calculator That Lets You Predict The Future".

Hey, Wisconsin voters: *don't* recall Governor Walker

"True Confessions in Wisconsin".

When debate over public unions flared up in Wisconsin last year, educators claimed Gov. Scott Walker's austere reforms would require thousands of teachers to be laid off.

They were wrong.

With small changes in pension and healthcare contributions while allowing school districts to buy health insurance plans on the open market, Walker's reforms have resulted in what could be considered a statewide teacher-retention program. School districts such as Wauwatosa, hometown of Governor Walker and theWeekly Standard's Fox News star Stephen Hayes, faced a $6.5 million deficit and planned to lay off dozens of teachers. But Walker's reforms allowed all those teachers to remain employed.