Friday, July 9, 2010

7/9/10 Post

Obama Seeking $5 Billion for Clean-Energy Tax Credit to Spur Job Creation
Obama said in his prepared remarks, released by the White House, that the $5 billion investment would generate almost 40,000 jobs and the $12 billion in private capital would add another 90,000 jobs.
Retailers Stock Up on Caution
Consumers aren't stepping up spending at the pace many retailers expected just a few months ago, raising the specter that stores will be stuck with piles of unsold goods later this year.
Canada Job Creation Is Five Times Economist Forecasts as Economy Recovers
Employment rose by 93,200 in June, following gains of 24,700 in May and April’s record 108,700, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. The jobless rate fell to 7.9 percent, the lowest since January 2009, from 8.1 percent.
U.S. Plans Cyber Shield for Utilities, Companies
The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed "Perfect Citizen" to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to people familiar with the program.
Rogoff Sees `Very, Very High' Chance European Aid Package Will Be Tapped
Harvard University professor Kenneth Rogoff said European nations will likely draw on a regional aid package after the International Monetary Fund urged the region to take further steps to combat its debt crisis.
A New Detroit Rises in India's South
Car Makers Are Lured by Chennai's Port, Educated Workers and Limited Hassles.

A Grove of Misconceptions
It’s ironic that a pioneer in an industry that has done so much to make workers more efficient – to enable a small handful of workers today to produce what in the past required many workers – now calls for public policies (such as trade barriers) to reverse many of the very efficiencies that his own entrepreneurial efforts have made possible.
Gratitude for ‘Broken’ American Healthcare
For my part, at the moment, the only appropriate response is awe and gratitude to have access to the healing power of American medicine. It’s an unfortunate human tendency that we often fail to be thankful for something until we’re in danger of losing it.
Dictionary of Received Ideas
That's the name of a feature by Justin Evans in the new periodical The Point (issue two, Winter 2010).
Consumer Credit declines sharply in May
Consumer credit is off 3.9% over the last 12 months.
Lebron and State Taxes
...omitted is the huge income-tax advantage on LeBron's non-athlete earnings. He could claim those as income he made in Florida and I would bet that those earnings are a multiple of his pay from whatever team hires him.
30 Year Mortgage Rates fall to Record Low
...averaged 4.57 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending July 8, 2010, down from last week when it averaged 4.58 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.20 percent.
Laffer on Unemployment Insurance
...I don't think unemployment insurance is stimulus. But you don't prove something by assuming it from the getgo.
How Large is the Outstanding Value of Sovereign Bonds?
Debt issued by governments worldwide is immense.
Warren Buffett’s Favorite Indicator Pops
According to Warren Buffett’s favorite economic indicator, rail traffic in the United States is booming again and gaining momentum this year, which is a good sign for the future direction of the U.S. economy.
Why Hold Reserves?
Suppose you see an individual, a bank, or a corporation sitting on a big pile of money. What should you conclude?
Volunteers Take Better Care of Detroit Than Elected Officials
This is a great example of why private citizens can be more invested in their communities, and thus take better care of them, than the government.

Research, Reports & Studies
How the Great Recession Has Changed Life in America
A Balance Sheet at 30 Months.
Regulation: Money to Go
The title loanmarket, like other markets for nontraditional loans, appears to be highly competitive and barriers to entry appear to be low. Pricing is highly transparent and simple, allowing easy comparison shopping by consumers. Absent an identifiablemarket failure, the case for heavy-handed paternalistic intervention is weak.
Ten Principles of Privatization
Best practices in privatization to lower the costs of government.
Regulation: Tracking ‘Go-Getters’ Across America
We discovered that emerging knowledge economies and
high levels of economic freedomdo indeed attract go-getters. Personal freedomand a creative environment are also important factors. Most consequential, however, is evidence that domestic and internationalmigrants behave very differently when deciding where to locate in the United States.

Did You Know
According to, the top 10 tax havens are: Delaware, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Cayman Islands, the City of London, Ireland, Bermuda, Singapore, Belgium, and Hong Kong.

Graphic of the Day
Political Calculations: Texas vs California: Which State Do CEOs Think Is Better for Business?
See: Construction and Education/Health Jobs

Economists’ Comments & Opinions
Obama threatens to follow in FDR's economic missteps
"By reaching into virtually every sector of economic life, government is injecting uncertainty into the marketplace and making it harder to raise capital and create new businesses."
Mitch Daniels on American Conservatism
Hayek, when I thumb back through it and look at what I marked when I first read it, was the book that, to me, convincingly demonstrated what was already intuitive: namely, the utter futility, the illusion of government planning as a mechanism for uplifting those less fortunate.
Housing Bulls Should Try Texas
Texas may have avoided the excesses of other states partly because of laws enacted after its own property bust in the 1980s.
The Obama-Pelosi Lame Duck Strategy
Union 'card-check,' cap and trade, and so much more.

Why do people presume that there must be something the government can do that would speed recovery? -Russ Roberts, Twitter

Book Excerpts
"What we know with certainty is that the regulatory process—acutely stepped up since the sixties—has had a devastating impact on investment, price stability, innovation, productivity, and economic development.

The incredible irony is that all this, allegedly executed in the interest of the consumer, has ultimately come out of the consumer’s pocket." -Former Treasury Secretary William E. Simon, A Time for Truth (1978)