Hans Rosling



Sadly, Swedish statistician Hans Rosling has died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 68. He had a marvelous, funny, clear way of presenting data. We watched at least one of his TED talks in Macroeconomics.

Check out his TED talks here

Play with Gapminder here

Read about him here.


2008 Financial Crisis




We have talked about this a bit in class.  Here are some more resources to learn more:


Inside the Meltdown, a Frontline documenary about how it all fell apart in 2008


The Untouchables, Frontline documentary about the non-prosecution of bankers.


Money, Power and Wall Street, another Frontline investigation


The Warning, Frontline investigation into what was happening in the financial sector before 2008


The Big Short. The movie: http://www.thebigshortmovie.com/


The Big Short by Michael Lewis.

Book: http://michaellewiswrites.com/index.html#top

An explanation from the Federal Reserve


All the Devils are Here



The Giant Pool of Money, a story from This American Life about the hhousing market in 2008


Bad Bank, also by This American Life on the collapse of the banks


Another Frightening Show About the Economy, yet one more from This American Life focusing on what might have been done to avoid the 2008 crash.



What else?  Include suggestions for further reading, watching and listening in the comments.

Money, Money, Money

  It's only natural that Washington's "Head of State" should grow a body and start walking around and doing stuff.

Awesome money collage art by Mark Wagner, http://markwagnerinc.com/washington-at-large/

We can exchange goods and services by barter or through a medium of exchange, like money.  So what makes something useful as money?  Believe or not Tide detergent has been used as money.  This week what makes money money.  How to create money.  And how to control the amount of money in an economy.

Before Next week:

— Finish your paper. Due by the beginning of class Thursday April 14.  Hard copy or emailed is fine. Have someone read it for you.  And go through the grading rubric to see what you would give yourself.  Do this when you still have time to improve your paper!

Rubric Measure of a country

–Watch the following videos:

Ep 29: What is Money?

Ep 30: Creating Money

Ep 32: Monetary Policy

The Panic of 1907 and the Creation of the Federal Reserve

— Complete the following study guide

PDF Study guide Money

Google docs here

For your procrastination:

Podcast from Marketplace on the end of the gold standard: Gold Standard RIP

Culture and savings from TED talks: Could your language affect your ability to save money? 


Explaining Business Cycles


Economists today are in a hot debate about the best way to model a national economy.  You will be able to closely examine that debate in your college economics classes (what? Of course, you will take economics in college.)  We are going to use one of the first, cleanest and still useful models – aggregate demand and aggregate supply.  After this week you will be able to identify the causes of the recessions we looked at last week, how it played out through unemployment and inflation and possible solutions for different types of recessions.

Before next week:

Complete Test 1.  Will be collected at the beginning of class.

— Watch the following videos:

Macro 3.1: Aggregate Demand Practice

Macro 3.2: Aggregate Supply Practice

Another take on Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply

— Complete the (short) Study Guide:


Practicing D&S

While macroeconomics is the study of a national economy it is based on what happens in market.  Individual markets are understood by examining supply and demand curves and equilibrium price and quantity.  Those darn graphs do not go away.

One the more important markets for a national economy is oil.  Oil plays a part in the finding, refining, processing and then as an input into plastics, trucking, air travels among other products and as a complimentary good for autos.


Let’s warm up for economics by looking at the recent changes in this vital market. Read   Oil Prices: What’s behind the Drop? Simple Economics  New York Times, Feb 3, 2016.

  • Draw a demand and supply graph to reflect the developments discussed in “Why has the price of oil been dropping so fast? Why now?”
  • Specifically how would a doubling of domestic production be reflected on the graph.
  • Is the new equilibrium price an explanation for the dropping oil prices?
  • And if in the last years production had doubled why are there now companies going bankrupt with 250,000 workers laid off?  Consider our prior discussion of economic profits.

That’s enough for now.  Put your answers to the last two questions in the comments.  I will post the graph and feedback on your comments next week.

For a review of demand and supply graphs, see Week 2 videos and worksheets



Coming Soon – Macro

Macroeconomics is the study of national economies.  In microeconomics we looked at economic decision making by consumers and individual firms.  Now we will measure the economic activity of all firms, all consumers and add government spending.  We will consider economic health of a nation by measuring unemployment and inflation rates as well as debt levels and international trade.


Source: http://www.amosweb.com

Before the first class I will need you all to gather data on three countries.  Details to come about a week before class starts.

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