Best of Research Review 2017

So many research papers, so little time. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? You might start with the following five economic and financial papers that appeared in The Capital Spectator’s Research Review column in 2017. In a sea of newly minted studies over the past 12 months, these titles stand out as worthy of a second read.
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Macro Briefing: 29 December 2017

China denies selling oil to N. Korea after Trump criticism: USA Today
US jobless claims unchanged at low 245k last week: Bloomberg
Majority of BoJ members see no need for more monetary stimulus: MNI
US inflation is low because monetary policy is too tight: Scott Sumner
Zillow: value of US housing stock increased by 6.5% in 2017: Bloomberg
A short list of risk factors to monitor for 2018: MarketWatch
Chicago PMI in Dec rises to highest level since 2011: ISM Chicago

Are Recent S&P 500 Returns Excessive? Part IV

In today’s final installment1 of evaluating the US stock market’s recent performance, the toolkit uses three alternative risk metrics: the Sterling Ratio, the Calmar Ratio, and the Omega Ratio. In the dark art of deciding if the current return is extreme or not, I crunched the numbers using two rolling periods: 5 years and 20 years. Depending on which window you favor, the market’s current performance looks middling or flying in the upper reaches relative to the historical record.
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Macro Briefing: 28 December 2017

Turkey’s president says Syria’s Assad is “terrorist” and should step down: CNN
Venezuela’s state oil company, a major producer, may be collapsing: NY Times
US holiday sales set to break records: Reuters
S. Korea considers tough new measures to limit bitcoin trading: CNN Money
US Consumer Confidence Index falls in Dec from 17-year high: AP
Pending Homes Sales Index for US rises in Nov: Reuters 
US 10yr-2yr Treasury yield curve close to decade low: Bloomberg

Macro Briefing: 26 December 2017

S. Korea predicts N. Korea will pursue talks with US: Reuters
S. Korean newspaper reports N. Korea preparing satellite launch: IBT
Credit card data: US holiday spending rose at fastest pace since 2011: Dow Jones
CEBR: China on track to overtake US economy by 2032: Bloomberg
US consumer spending accelerated in Nov: Reuters 
US headline durable goods orders rise in Nov, but core orders dip: MarketWatch
New home sales in US post dramatic rise in Nov: USA Today
Kansas City Fed Mfg Index dips in Dec but still signalling “solid” growth: KC Fed
US Consumer Sentiment Index remains elevated despite Dec dip: UoM