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Hi, I’m looking for someone who completes me and… wait, I’m being told that this isn’t an online dating profile. And that I should keep it professional. And put on a shirt.

I’m Alphaville’s US editor. Born and raised in Tampa, university at Georgetown, and with the exception of a year spent backpacking abroad I’ve been in New York for the past decade. Before joining Alphaville I spent a little more than two years as a reporter at Dow Jones Financial News covering investment banking, asset management, and private equity. Along the way I’ve written freelance pieces on a variety of other topics from behavioural psychology to Muay Thai, the latter also being a personal interest that involves frequently getting kicked in the shins (and torso, and head). When my guard is down I’ll admit to having attended journalism school.

Prior to becoming a journalist, I was an analyst for three years at the JPMorgan Private Bank. I worked for a team that had clients in Mexico and the Southern Cone, and I ran an internal newsletter for other analysts at the bank, overseeing a small staff.

I tend to write mostly about US macroeconomic issues, with daily excursions into other topics. Find me also on Tumblr and as a recurring talking head on the Marketplace Weekly Wrap, NPR’s Here & Now, the Yahoo! Daily Ticker and a few other places.

Alphachat: Nikkei buys the FT, Gillian Tett’s forthcoming new book, and an Alphavillain returns from Greece

This episode was recorded on Wednesday, 29 July. You can find Alphachat on iTunes and Stitcher. Thanks for listening! Read more

RRPs for life?

The timing of the Fed’s initial rate hike and the subsequent path of future hikes are prominent unknowns on the minds of market participants and commentators. But the question of mechanics — how the Fed will raise rates — also matters.

Our colleague Sam Fleming recently interviewed New York Fed president Bill Dudley and asked him about the possibility of the Fed’s maintaining a larger balance sheet indefinitely in conjunction with the use of its reverse repo facility. His answer suggested that the central bank remained undecided: Read more

Alphachat: The Fifa scandal, a big week for tech, and Gawker

This podcast was taped on Wednesday, 22 July. We plan to continue tinkering with Alphachat’s format, content and length of time for the rest of the summer. If you have feedback, good or bad, you can leave a comment below, email us at, call us at 917-551-5012, or just tweet me at @cardiffgarcia. You can find Alphachat on iTunes and Stitcher. Thanks for listening! Read more

Alphachat: the artisanal economy, Treasury flash crash (still not) explained, campaign Twitter spats

Some quick news first. The honchos who run this joint have given us the resources to produce Alphachats more frequently and regularly, and we plan to spend the rest of the summer tinkering with different ideas for content and length. But we’d also really like to know what you want to hear.

You have a few options: leave ideas in the comments section below, email us at alphachat [at] ft [dot] com, call us at 917-551-5012 (a US phone number), or tweet at me directly at @cardiffgarcia. You can find Alphachat on iTunes and StitcherRead more

Camp Alphaville bonus impromptu iPhone video: Lorcan v Lars on Greece and the euro

Should Greece want to leave the euro? Lorcan Roche Kelly and Lars Christensen debate a recent post over at Lars’s blog. A fun and vigorous debate but some possibly NSFW language:

Camp Alphaville videos: Zoltan Pozsar on the shadow banking system

Last one — a chat with Zoltan Pozsar (in front of the Faces of Alphaville shooting gallery) on the safety of the US financial system, global regulatory architecture, and the Fed’s reverse repo facility:

Reminder: US Macro Live special edition, Fed presser edition

Matt and I will be hosting Macro Live for Wednesday afternoon’s FOMC presser. We’ll start at 2:25pm EST (7:25pm in London), and you’ll find us at our usual spot.

The FT will be repped at the presser by Sam-I-am Fleming, and here’s an excerpt from a preview by Robin Wigglesworth and Shawn Donnan: Read more

Video: US class of 2015, meet your fellow graduates and find out what’s next

Here’s a video with some facts about this year’s graduating class. For those interested, below is the transcript along with the sources used underneath the relevant passages. Read more

The mysterious decline in the number of US public companies

A new paper from Craig Doidge, G Andrew Karolyi, and René M Stulz investigates the reasons why the number of publicly listed US companies peaked in 1996, even as the number of publicly listed foreign firms climbed.

From the study:

The number of U.S. listings fell from 8,025 in 1996 to 4,101 in 2012, whereas non-U.S. listings increased from 30,734 to 39,427.

(Click to enlarge, and careful with the dual Y-axes.) Read more

Alphachat: the podcast moment, and some recommendations

(Here’s the ubiquitous emergency link in case anyone suffers from tech bork, and the embedded podcast doesn’t appear.)

The latest Alphachat is a discussion about the business of podcasting with FT media correspondent Shannon Bond and Buzzfeed’s Nick Quah, both of whom also offer a few recommendations for FT readers at the end of conversation. Nick writes Hot Pod, an excellent weekly newsletter that chronicles ongoing events in the podcasting world, aggregating the big stories of the week and adding his own reporting and critical commentary.

A time guide below, and a few additional notes after: Read more

The maddening conundrum-redux conundrum


Video: Automation, jobs and history

I started babbling with a camera in front of me and a green screen behind me, and then FT video producer Chris Booker employed his usual wizardry to make sense of it all. Read more

Reminder: US Macro Live special edition, Fed presser edition

Matt “Macro” Klein and I will be hosting Macro Live for Wednesday afternoon’s FOMC presser. We’ll start at 2:25pm EST (7:25pm in London), and you’ll find us at this link, our usual spot. See you there!

For a preview, here’s an excerpt from a recent piece by Sam-I-am Fleming, who will be repping the FT at the presser: Read more

Jobs, automation, Engels’ pause and the limits of history

Here’s a story that you may have heard.

Median wages and living standards are stagnant, and by some measures they have worsened, having decoupled from productivity growth for several decades. Read more

Unemployment rate now grazing the Fed’s Nairu central tendency range

Having fallen to 5.5 per cent, the US unemployment rate now touches the high end of the central tendency range of the Fed’s long-run estimate — its proxy for the non-accelerating rate inflation rate of unemployment. Read more

US equity market stat du jour

There were $118 billion of buyback authorizations in February, a 48% increase versus February of 2014 ($80 bln).

February was the strongest month ever and 2015 was the strongest start to the year ever with $152 billion of authorizations recorded year-to-date. We recorded 139 authorizations, which was virtually even with the same period in 2014 (141). Read more

More on the 1 per cent and US inequality since the crisis

Following up on a recent discussion within the economics commentariat (to which we contributed), we emailed economist Ed Wolff to request a further breakdown of his findings on changes in US income and wealth inequality.

Wolff’s analyses data from the Fed’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances, which considers pre-tax income but does include government transfers. You can read our earlier posts on his work here and hereRead more

US inequality and its dissed contents

The issue of whether US inequality has climbed since the recession of 2008 has been relitigated this week. A short analysis by Stephen Rose claimed that income inequality had actually fallen, assigning the credit to public policy.

David Leonhardt of the New York Times discussed Rose’s findings, followed by further analyses and critiques from Ben Walsh and Nick Bunker. I’ll present the findings first before adding my own thoughts at the end. Read more

Auto-finance, an update

We’ve been reading through the exhaustive new report from Citi on the noticeable impact of automation on the labour markets of several industries, and we came across a finance-related section that’s worth passing along.

It offers an update on the relative progress within the industry of moving various products to electronic trading platforms (emphasis ours, and click to enlarge the chart): Read more

Video: the welcome, belated backlash to the open-plan office

I really like my colleagues at the FT, but I spend at least half my working hours wishing they would stop talking. Pipe down. Not quite STFU but at least be mindful of making a racket. Read more

US labour compensation update

Earlier in January we refrained from commenting on the disappointing US wage figures in the December employment situation report.

The quarterly-released Employment Cost Index, as we and many others have noted, is a more comprehensive measure of labour compensation growth — better reflecting overall compensation and, as a fixed-weight measure, adjusting for shifts in employment categories. And we knew the Q4 numbers would follow the December jobs report a few weeks later — though not, sadly, in time for the Fed’s meeting last week.

The latest ECI was released Friday morning, and three quick points follow. Read more

US Treasury yields and shrinkage, sovereign bond availability edition

Sometimes the simplest explanation is the only one needed, and in economics it doesn’t get much simpler than supply and demand.

Competing reasons have been offered for the sustained, vigorous decline in 10-year and long-dated US Treasury yields despite the acceleration in the economic recovery since last spring. Most recently the sharp drop in yields has coincided with the stunning fall in oil and long-term inflation expectations, which boost real yields and thus make Treasuries more appealing. Read more

The Fed, the statement and the Nairu

Today’s FOMC statement should be about as shocking as the ending of The Sixth Sense.

Wait, you were genuinely surprised that Bruce Willis was dead the whole time? Fine, about as shocking as the final scene of The Usual Suspects then. Read more

Five scattered points about oil, crises, Keystone and other stuff

Some thoughts, musings, and simply fun items we’ve recently come across:

1) As of the start of this week, global non-energy equities have held up fine: Read more

Econo-yakking (observations from the AEA conference)

The annual conference hosted by the American Economics Association offers so many panels and paper discussions, on such a wide variety of topics, that there is something for everyone during each two-hour slot of time.

Should one follow the crowd to Mankiw vs Piketty on the importance of r > g (which got colourful), or get funky and check out Experimental Finance and Neuroeconomics? Read more

FOMC statement from 17 December 2014

Remember that we’ll be hosting a special edition of US Markets Live starting at 2:25pm EST. Join us here.

The highlights from the statement, which we’ll update as we make our way through it: Read more

Reminder: US Markets Live, special FOMC presser edition

Joseph and I will be kicking off at 2:25pm EST (7:25pm in London) at the usual place. We’ll have a few minutes to discuss the statement before the presser starts at 2:30pm.

Join us at the usual placeRead more

Will US household formation growth finally accelerate in 2015?

Have we been early or just wrong? Read more

The oddly subdued optimism about falling oil prices

Our pal Josh Brown has a hilarious post highlighting the pessimism bias in how the fall of oil prices has been discussed in the US:

This past June, crude oil prices were hitting highs above $110 a barrel and the narrative was that this was why stocks were selling off. The S&P 500 had a weekly correlation of .55 with oil, meanwhile, and had actually spent most of the year rising with it. So not only was the “story” of why stocks were dropping false, the data was as well. Read more

The Fed and oil: 2014 is not 2011 in reverse

Back in 2011, inflation climbed above the Fed’s 2 per cent target, but the FOMC resisted the impulse to tighten monetary conditions. Long-run inflation expectations hadn’t risen to worrying levels, and Ben Bernanke perceived that a price spike led by oil was likely to be “transitory”.

No surprise there: he wrote the paper on this very topic. And he was proved right. Read more