Michael Shenk |

Research Assistant


Michael Shenk, Research Assistant

Michael Shenk was formerly a research assistant in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He joined the bank in January 2006, and his work focused on indicators of housing-market activity and on support for economists working on international topics. Mr. Shenk graduated from Miami University in December 2005 with a bachelor of arts in economics.

  • Fed Publications
Title Date Publication Author(s) Type

 

July, 2009 Michael Shenk; Paul W Bauer; Economic Trends
Abstract: In contrast to previous postwar recessions that tended to see sharply lower labor productivity growth, if not outright declines, the 2001 and the current recessions have had relatively strong labor productivity growth.

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June, 2009 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: The financial crisis and accompanying recession have had a severe impact on government budgets, raising the specter of huge government debt burdens down the road. Large government debt burdens are not just a fiscal problem. They can become a monetary problem, too.

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May, 2009 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends
Abstract: The media, as well policymakers, are increasingly calling the current economic downturn the “worst since the Great Depression.” They are not saying that the economy is in a worse place than it was in 1975 or, say the 1980s when inflation and unemployment were in the double digits. The comparison of this recession to others centers on the steepness and breadth of the current decline relative to previous cycles.

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May, 2009 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: A lively debate has arisen over the contribution that foreign savings may have made to our current economic problems. Some argue that an influx of foreign savings helped to inflate the U.S. housing bubble, whose bursting caused the financial turmoil that led to our current recession. Others insist that the problems were by and large home grown. A look at exchange rates and balance-of-payments patterns shows that a rise in U.S demand for imports preceded the influx of foreign savings this time around.

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May, 2009 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends
Abstract: It's been three years since the housing markets did a nosedive. Is the housing market correction finally over? The short answer is probably no, but there are some encouraging signs of improvement.

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May, 2009 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: No two recessions are exactly alike. Nevertheless, recessions often share basic characteristics that determine their severity and the pace of subsequent recoveries. The IMF has been studying two of these—association with a financial crisis and global reach—to see how they affect a recession’s contours. The implications for our current global economic malaise, which shares both of these characteristics, are sobering. They explain why the current global downturn is the worst since the Great Depression.

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May, 2009 Michael Shenk; Paul W Bauer; Economic Trends
Abstract: It is no secret that some households are being hit hard in the current recession. The ongoing job losses, lower housing wealth, and tight credit of this financial crisis have led to some abrupt shifts in household consumption behavior.

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April, 2009 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends
Abstract: Despite much of policymakers’ time being devoted to the ongoing financial crisis and the resulting recession, there seems to be a great deal of resolve to tackle the pressing issue of healthcare reform. With this in mind, it is a good time to take a look at the healthcare industry.

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April, 2009 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: China wants a new international reserve currency that is “disconnected from economic conditions and sovereign interests of any single country.” It has recommended Special Drawing Rights for the job. But the private sector will only adopt the SDR if it offers network benefits, comparable to the dollar, but that could take decades. In the meantime, countries worried about their expanding dollar portfolios might take a different tack: Allow their currencies to float and adopt a domestic monetary policy focused on long-term price stability.

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March, 2009 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: China manages the renminbi-dollar exchange rate closely. Between mid-1995 and July 2005, the People’s Bank of China pegged the renminbi at approximately 8.3 per U.S. dollar. Since then, the People’s Bank has loosened its reigns, allowing the renminbi to appreciate to 6.8 per dollar. Many people claim that China still manipulates the rate in an unfair bid, however such claims are not strictly correct. Nevertheless, China has never given the exchange-rate-adjustment mechanism free reign.

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03.02.2009 Economic Trends Michael Shenk; Paul W Bauer; Economic Trends
Abstract: Declining U.S. home prices led the way into the current worldwide economic crisis, and one sign that the crisis is abating will be when these prices begin to stabilize. The December 2008 S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes (released February 24, 2009) offered no evidence that this is happening yet.

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February, 2009 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends
Abstract: Ford, GM, and Chrysler have struggled for some time, but last fall their situations dramatically worsened. After the auto manufacturers pleaded their cases in December, Congress agreed to extend loans to Chrysler and GM in order to help keep the two companies alive. These three automakers were especially hurt in 2008 when sales declined nearly 25 percent. As sales have declined, Ford, GM, and Chrysler have cut their U.S.-based production in an attempt to adjust to the decreased demand for their vehicles.

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February, 2009 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: With world trade and industrial production falling precipitously, the International Monetary Fund has again pared its forecast for global economic growth. The agency now expects world economic activity to expand by only 0.5 percent in 2009, the slowest growth rate since World War II. The outlook is highly uncertain with risks clearly to the downside.

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February, 2009 Michael Shenk; Paul W Bauer; Economic Trends
Abstract: Few were surprised when the NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee announced on December 1, 2008, that the U.S. economy was in recession. However, what may have surprised some observers is that the committee dated the last business cycle peak, and hence the beginning of the recession, to December 2007.

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January, 2009 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: After reaching a record deficit of nearly $825 billion (annual rate) or 6½ percent of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2005, the U.S. current-account deficit has since narrowed. The connection between current-account deficits and trade patterns, however, does not mean that Americans spend too much and save too little. Maybe America is just a good place to invest.

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December, 2008 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends
Abstract: On the last Tuesday of every month, when the monthly S&P/Case–Shiller housing price indexes are released, newspapers fill up with dour headlines about another new record drop in home prices. While these headlines may be factually correct, it’s important to realize that the numbers being quoted are almost always the composite figures.

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December, 2008 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: The federal funds rate is now at 1 percent, and financial markets expect a further substantial cut. The United States has entered a recession, and the outlook for next year seems so somber that some economists are asking if deflation—a drop in overall prices—is not a distinct possibility. Japan underwent a decade–long odyssey with deflation and the zero–bound problem. The Bank of Japan’s experience during this period offers a guide for getting back to more familiar economic turf.

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11.07.08 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: A new IMF report says the turmoil in world financial markets is impeding global economic growth and predicts that subpar growth will likely continue for a fairly prolonged period. Advanced economies are expected to bear the brunt of the slowdown, with most predicted to experience a contraction in 2009. Emerging-market and developing countries will experience a slowing in economic growth as well, although the slowdown is expected to leave their economic growth fairly high relative to their history.

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November, 2008 Michael Shenk; Paul W Bauer; Economic Trends
Abstract: To get a clue as to where the economy may be headed, we step back to see how the components of GDP have evolved over the past two decades.

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October, 2008 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends
Abstract: The common definition of a recession, and the one most frequently cited in the media, is a period of two consecutive quarterly declines in real GDP. NBER’s actual definition is fairly vague, which explains why many prefer the shorthand definition, but the idea is fairly simple. A recession is any period when economic activity experiences a prolonged and widespread decline.

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October, 2008 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: The Federal Reserve is using swap lines to provide U.S. dollar liquidity to other central banks dealing with the global financial crisis.On September 29, the Fed offered swaps totaling $620 billion dollars to nine key central banks through April 2009, if necessary.

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September, 2008 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: The dollar’s recent depreciation and exceptionally strong economic growth abroad have been a boon to U.S. economic growth, but that may now be changing.

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September, 2008 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends
Abstract: Over the past two weeks, a lot of data on the housing market has been released, giving us a fairly comprehensive look at where the market stands through July. Here’s a brief overview of that data and the picture it paints of the housing market.

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August, 2008 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: The United States has run a current account deficit almost continuously since 1982. We have financed this deficit by issuing financial claims, such as stocks, bonds, and bank accounts, to the rest of the world. Since 1986, foreigners have held more claims on the United States than U.S. residents have held on them, or, in the jargon of international finance, the United States has maintained a negative net international investment position. Last year, that negative position reached a record $2.5 trillion.

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July, 2008 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: The dollar’s precipitous fall since February 2002, particularly against the euro, has renewed interest in foreign-exchange-market intervention, that is, official purchases and sales of foreign exchange designed to influence dollar exchange rates. But such intervention is unwise for two reasons.

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06.19.08 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends
Abstract: Recently, the argument has been made that outside of the housing market, the economy is actually doing pretty well. Looking at the GDP numbers, that argument appears to hold some weight. Once you take into account the direct impact of large declines in residential investment, GDP growth looks pretty good over the past two quarters. With homes so important to a household’s financial situation, how is it that a serious downturn in housing can have such a limited effect on the rest of the economy?

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June, 2008 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: A dollar depreciation tends to raise the dollar price of all goods and services imported into the United States. But the full amount of the depreciation rarely gets passed through to the dollar prices of imports, and lately the amount of pass-through seems to have declined along with worldwide inflation.

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May 9, 2008 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: The International Monetary Fund lowered its projections for world economic growth. No surprise there! But the report also suggested that the traditional correlation between growth in advanced-developed countries and growth in developing countries was weakening. Global trade gains and macroeconomic policy improvements have reduced—but not eliminated—the developing countries’ dependency on the developed world. Now that’s interesting!

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May 8, 2008 Michael Shenk; Beth Mowry; Economic Trends
Abstract: The April Employment Report came in better than anticipated, with a total loss of just 20,000 nonfarm jobs from payrolls. Revisions to February and March numbers increased the losses in those months by just 8,000. The unemployment rate edged slightly lower, from 5.1 percent to 5.0 percent over the month.

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April 9, 2008 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: Congress mandates the Federal Reserve “to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates?” Recently, some observers have suggested that the Federal Reserve pay more attention to the dollar, but adding an exchange-rate objective to the existing menu could greatly complicate the Fed’s ability to hit its key domestic objectives. A lot depends on what the reasons behind the dollar’s depreciation are.

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03.18.08 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends
Abstract:

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03.07.08 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract:

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02.07.08 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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01.18.08 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends

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01.08.08 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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12.12.07 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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12.10.07 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends

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December 7, 2007 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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11.14.07 Michael Shenk; Yoonsoo Lee; Economic Trends

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11.09.07 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends

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November 7, 2007 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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October 29, 2007 Michael Shenk; Andrea Pescatori; Economic Trends

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10.05.07 Michael Shenk; Murat Tasci; Economic Trends

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10.04.07 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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10.03.07 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends

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10.03.07 Michael Shenk; Murat Tasci; Economic Trends
Abstract:

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09.14.07 Michael Shenk; Yoonsoo Lee; Economic Trends
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09.14.07 Michael Shenk; Yoonsoo Lee; Economic Trends

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09.06.07 Michael Shenk; Economic Trends

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09.06.07 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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08.07.07 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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07.02.07 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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06.14.07 Michael Shenk; Ed Nosal; Economic Trends

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06.06.07 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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05.03.07 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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04.05.07 Michael Shenk; Ed Nosal; Economic Trends

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03.30.07 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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03.30.07 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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03.05.07 Michael Shenk; Ed Nosal; Economic Trends

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02.28.07 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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02.15.07 Michael Shenk; Ed Nosal; Economic Trends

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02.02.07 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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01.23.07 Michael Shenk; Ed Nosal; Economic Trends

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01.23.07 Michael Shenk; Ed Nosal; Economic Trends

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01.03.07 Michael Shenk; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends

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12.27.06 Michael Shenk; Ed Nosal; Economic Trends

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