2014 Oregon Economic Forum — Save the Date October 16, 2014

(mostly) Beyond Macroeconomics

October 16, 2014
Portland Art Museum
07:30am – 10:30am
Doors open at 7am – Breakfast is served.
$60 per person / $440 for a table of eight

Registration now available!


Believe it or not, the current economic expansion will be five years old this summer, making the recession something of a distant memory.  Of course, the business cycle is not dead – at best it is just in remission.  That remission provides an excellent opportunity for this year’s Oregon Economic Forum to address a broader array of issues, including the impacts of marijuana legalization and the pattern of migration that may shape Oregon’s economy in the future.  In addition, we are excited to have Doug Elliott, Wall Street veteran currently with the Brookings Institution, to give his insights into the job Wall Street should be doing for Main Street.  But we won’t ignore the business cycle entirely!  Forum Director Tim Duy kicks off our annual event with his thoughts on the shape and length of the current expansion.


Tim Duy, Director, Oregon Economic Forum, University of Oregon
“Economic Review and Preview”

Ben Hansen, Assistant Professor, University of Oregon
“Implications of Legalizing:  Evidence From Medicinal Marijuana”

Mark McMullen, State Economist, Oregon Office of Economic Analysis
“Destination Oregon”

Doug Elliott, Brookings Institute
“Making Wall Street Work for Main Street” (Keynote)

Detailed list of speakers and topics available here!

Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor KeyBank, our silver sponsor the Portland Business Journal, and our bronze sponsors the Port of Portland, Providence Health Plan, Langley, and the Portland Business Alliance.


QEInfinity Not

The Federal Reserve released the minutes of the June FOMC meeting today, but the contents had little in the way of groundbreaking news.  Most interesting was that Fed officials tired of being pestered about the “October or December” question regarding the end of the QE and decided to more or less commit to the earlier date: Continue Reading

When The Fed Starts Raising Rates

Via Twitter, modest proposal summarizes my last post:

This made me think about the last tightening cycle.  For those that hope to use tighter monetary policy to bolster the case against equities, recall that patience may be required:


Continue Reading

Inflation Hysteria Redux

I am in general agreement with Calculated Risk on this point:

I also think the economy is picking up, and I agree that as slack diminishes, we will probably see real wage growth and an uptick in inflation.

Moreover, note that this is largely consistent with the Federal Reserve’s outlook as well.  Recall San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams from April, via Bloomberg:

Williams, who forecast the Fed will start raising interest rates in the second half of next year, said inflation has “bottomed out” and will gradually accelerate to the central bank’s 2 percent target. He said prices have been held down by temporary forces such as a slowdown in health care costs.

The Federal Reserve has consistently predicted higher inflation, and consistently been surprised that that inflation has not yet arrived despite rapidly falling unemployment rates.  It would appear, however, that their forecasts are finally coming true.  Hence, I also agree with Calculated Risk when he says:

On inflation: I’m sympathetic to people like Joe Weisenthal at Business Insider who is looking for signs of inflation increasing; I’m starting to look for signs of real wage increases and inflation too. I just think inflation isn’t a concern right now (Weisenthal was correct on inflation over the last several years  in contrast to the people who were consistently wrong on inflation).

It is enough to simply say that inflation is coming.  That in and of itself is insufficient.  Any inflation call needs to be placed in the context of magnitude and expected monetary policy response.   Continue Reading