Date Topic Overview
  2019-08-22 Fiscal policy
Swiss federal tax revenues. Following the introduction of the Swiss debt brake federal tax revenues established a habit of exceeding expectations. Mounting surpluses deny parliament its right to budget and question the legitiimacy of the debt brake rule. Mediocre GDP forecasts are partly to blame and fixes are well feasible (in German). Details»

Forecast update. Weak growth of Swiss value added continues despite a slight uptick of the «KOF Surprise Indicator» to -0.03 (2019 Q1: -0.05). This latest reading indicates that annual growth remains below the one-percen mark year-on-year expansion estimated to amount to 0.84 percent in the second quarter of 2019. Details»

  2019-05-16 Quantification Forecast update. Swiss growth takes another hit as the May reading of the «KOF Surprise Indicator» logs -0.05 (2018 Q4: -0.03), a level last seen in late 2009. This drop indicates that annual growth has stalled with year-on-year expansion now in negative territory at -0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019. Details»

Forecast update. The «KOF Surprise Indicator» for measuring Swiss economic activity crashes to -0.030 (down from -0.014), its lowest value in two years. Swiss GDP growth is estimated at a weak 1.9 percent year-on-year implying a nonetheless impressive annual 3.1 percent expansion in 2018. Details»

Financial markets
What's knowledge in economics? In contrast to science that offers the prospect of clear-cut answers to precise questions, economists very often give ambigious if not outright contradictory advice. What may look like as a severe drawback should be embraced as a key and rewarding challenge, this brief note argues (in German). Details»
  2019-01-18 Financial markets

Published. My new book «Uncertainty and Economics» to be published 24th of January 2019! Read in this exclusive preview why uncertainty must be considered as the basis of economic theorising and why - against popular economic belief - emotions, therefore, play a key role in economic decision making making. Details»

Financial markets
Lucas critique. Is it rational to apply rational expectations models to economic problems? The Lucas (1976) critique clearly tells that it isn't. Uncertainty offers a reconciliation. Details»
  2018-11-14 Quantification

Forecast update. The «KOF Surprise Indicator» for measuring Swiss economic dynamics flags a healthy expansion of Swiss value added. Its latest reading of -0.014 (up from a revised -0.021) comes close its last high recorded one year ago. The nowcast of Swiss GDP puts Swiss year-on-year growth at 3.5 percent in the third quarter 2018. Details»

Fiscal policy
Economic development. Germany makes headlines owed to outbreaks of violence against foreigners. Some think that this violence is the result of an East German echo chamber within which xenophobic sentiments blossom. This novel analysis shows that the German press contributes to a new East-West divide putting the unification process on hold (in German). Details»
  2018-08-15 Quantification

Forecast update. The Swiss Economy maintains its momentum at large, the latest reading of the «KOF surprise indicator» shows. Despite a drop of the KOF surprise indicator from its latest high to -0.023 (down from a revised -0.019), the nowcast of Swiss GDP growth indicates that Swiss year-on-year growth remains strong at 2.4 percent in the second quarter 2018. Details»

Financial markets
Kapitalismus in den Farben der DDR
Monetary reform. The «sovereign money» proposel in Switzerland stirs considerable discussion. Sometimes, it turns paradoxial when opponents switch sides without even being aware (in German). Details»
  2018-05-25 Quantification

Forecast update. No surprises from the «KOF surprise indicator» for measuring Swiss economic dynamics as it stays put at -0.021 (slightly down from -0.020) in 2018, first quarter. This signal of strength combined with slight upward revisions of recent GDP data boosts the nowcast for the Swiss economy. Details»

  2018-04-11 Fiscal policy Debt brakes. Do debt brakes need the «right» design for working properly? No, recent results obtained with a new methodology show. The standard methods in the literature are badly flawed which is why some results may really surprise you. Details»
  2018-03-26 Financial markets No AI singularity. The so-called «AI singularity» just does not exist. And if it does we do not care! Details»
  2018-03-22 Fiscal policy Fiscal multipliers. Fiscal multipliers could inform policy makers about their policy's impact IF we only knew their values. Unfortunately, theoretical research has created a «fiscal multiplier morass». Read why Leeper et al.'s latest DSGE approach has made matters only worse. Details»
  2018-02-22 Quantification

Forecast update. The «KOF surprise indicator» for measuring Swiss economic dynamics slips to -0.020 (down from revised -0.015) in the final quarter of 2017. Despite notching down a bit from its Q3 reading, the recent update confirms positive signals from growing foreign trade, currency depreciation and declining unemployment figures.
The nowcast of Swiss GDP growth based on the «KOF surprise indicator» obtains a strong rate of growth of about 2.4 percent year-on-year. Details»

  2017-11-15 Quantification Forecast update. Its second consecutive increase pushes the «KOF surprise indicator» for measuring Swiss economic dynamics to a level last seen when the Swiss Franc was still fixed to the Euro in late 2014. The new level of -0.016 (up from a revised -0.020) in the second quarter indicates a significant acceleration of economic activity in the second half of the year. Details»
  2017-09-26 Financial markets

Mankiw's 9th principle. Gregory Mankiw says: Prices rise when the government prints too much money because money growth would CAUSE inflation. However, reading the fineprint of the Mankiw's proof, we beg to differ as there lures a wide gap between Mankiw's principle and the factual evidence »

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