Wednesday, June 9, 2010

6/9/10 Post

Stimulus Talk Yields to Calls to Cut Deficits
President Obama is discovering that the tools available to him last year — a big economic stimulus and action by the Federal Reserve — are both now politically untenable.
More Job Openings, but Employers Slow to Hire
There were more job openings in April but employers didn’t rush to fill them.
Economist: Blame Government for the Crisis
Russell Roberts of George Mason University says he believes that it was inept government policy, not Wall Street greed, which allowed the financial system to spin out of control.
Senators Appear Open to Raising Capital Requirements for Financial Sector
Senate lawmakers appeared resolved Tuesday to rework capital requirements to force financial institutions to raise as much as $1 trillion in new reserve funds.
Obama tells agencies: Cut 5%
The administration issued new budget guidance calling on non-security agencies to propose ways to cut their budgets by 5%, and called on all agencies to identify their worst-performing programs.
Wholesale Inventories in U.S. Rose 0.4% in April
Inventories at U.S. wholesalers rose in April for a fourth month, accompanied by a jump in sales that signals companies will ramp up orders to meet demand.

Research, Reports & Studies
The Financial Crisis: Moral Failure or Cognitive Failure?
This may be our first epistemologically]driven depressionc That is, a large role was played by the failure of the private and corporate actors to understand what they were doing.
Are Government Workers Underpaid?
Once all promised benefits are included, how do government employees compensation at all levels measure up against private-sector workers.
The Broadband Credibility Gap
Although the Chairmanfs gThird Wayh may provide the Commission with a perceived blanket of legal comfort, that legal certainty comes at the expense of financial uncertainty.

Economists’ Commentary
ZYWICKI: Why aren't banks lending?
Despite constant urging by Washington for banks to increase their lending, credit conditions remain tight.
How Many Employers Will Drop Health Coverage Under Obama Care?
Even if you buy the deficit-reduction assumptions employed by advocates… a wave of unexpected employer coverage drops would wipe out any deficit reduction.

Graphic of the Day
Private vs. State & Local Government Workers’ Total Hourly Compensation
See: What does the Federal Budget Freeze Look Like?
See also: Small Businesses Remain Best Reflection of Weak Economy

Fed's Beige Book: "modest" economic growth, "Shadow" inventory of Foreclosed Homes
Economic activity continued to improve since the last report across all twelve Federal Reserve Districts, although many Districts described the pace of growth as "modest."
Quick, More Stimulus!
Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong and others are now calling for bigger and better stimulus in the hopes of decreasing unemployment more rapidly. Most of this is wishful thinking or, should I say, value-signaling.

"Did You Know?"
Charitable giving fell 3.6 percent in 2009. Americans donated $303.75 billion in 2009, the second worst year since the survey began in 1956. The worst year was 1974, when giving fell an inflation-adjusted 5.5 percent