Monday, May 2, 2011

General Economics

CNN: Money | Oil stabilizes after 'gut reaction' to bin Laden death
Oil prices erased early losses Monday, as the knee-jerk optimism triggered by Osama bin Laden's death began to fade.
Bloomberg | Europe Manufacturing Growth Accelerates More Than Estimated
A gauge of manufacturing in the 17-nation euro area rose to 58 from 57.5 in March, London-based Markit Economics said in an e-mailed report today. That’s above an initial estimate of 57.7 on April 19. A reading above 50 indicates growth.
CNN: Money | Gold at record highs! Dollar at 3-year lows! Don't panic
"The Fed has made it crystal clear that it is not going to do anything to stop the dollar from falling," said Kathy Lien, director of currency research at Global Forex Trading, adding that central bank's unwavering message gives investors the green light to keep adding high-yielding assets to their portfolio.
CNN: Money | Hands off my federal benefits!
A new rule issued by the Treasury Department and a group of other federal agencies takes effect Monday and aims to protect struggling retirees and others who depend on government payments from losing a crucial source of income.
Fox News | Economic developments around the globe
A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Friday:
Politico | Exports can drive U.S. recovery
World Trade Month, which begins today, comes at a unique time. The middle class is expanding around the globe — with more than 1 billion new consumers expected over the next 15 years. More than 80 percent of this growth in consumption is predicted to be outside North America and Europe. This is a clear call for our administration to help U.S. companies leverage these opportunities.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
PBS | The Budget Battle: WWHD? (What Would Hayek Do?) AK? (And Keynes?)
Cut taxes? Hike them? Cut government? Save the safety net? These economic questions are dominating debate in DC. So we thought we'd consult two of the greatest economists of all time: What would YOU do about today's budget deficit?
WSJ | Private Accounts Can Save Social Security
With just a 3% payroll deduction, a 67-year-old retiree who earned $50,000 a year could double his current Social Security benefit.
Investors | Chile's Private Social Security System Turns 30
May Day — socialists' paean to class warfare — evokes memories of Soviet tanks in Red Square and leftist radicals rioting. But Chile celebrates the actual empowerment of workers.

Think Markets | George Soros, F.A. Hayek, and The Constitution of Liberty
I think George Soros is a good man. To me he seems like a person who wants to make the world a better place. He, like Keynes, is against comprehensive economic planning (ambiguities about “planning” noted) but thinks that financial markets are inherently unstable and thus must be regulated by a nimble or flexible regulator.
NRO: The Corner | More Data on the Spending Multiplier
There’s a growing amount of evidence that the spending multiplier is much smaller than stimulus advocates have argued.
Reason Foundation | Anemic and Irratic Growth Is Indictment of Obama Economic Policy
The U.S. Department of Commerce released growth estimates for the First Quarter 2011 and they aren't encouraging. The economy grew at a paltry 1.8 percent, down significantly from Fourth Quarter 2010 estimates. All in all, the estimates are an indictment of the interventionist and manipulative turn economic policy has taken under the Obama Administration.

RCM: Wells Fargo | Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary
After much anticipation, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke at last held his press conference with select print journalists this week. As expected, the mostly prepared remarks contained no new information, but did provide more clarity on the Fed’s economic outlook, inflation and inflation expectations and the expiration of the large-scale asset program, commonly known as QE2.


Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | BACON: About Obama’s rich people …
Actually, they might not be wealthy and they’re already getting punished.

Heritage Foundation | Political Leaders’ Latest Scheme: Big Taxes on U.S. Exports
News flash: Since June 7, 2010, the value of the U.S. dollar has fallen 17.3 percent.

Health Care

National Journal | From the Hospital to the Home, Medicare Wants Its Money to Follow the Patient
A rule released on Friday ensures that Medicare will start to pay hospitals for the quality of care that patients receive rather than the number of procedures actually performed. The new rule fulfills one of the main promises of the new health care law and one aimed at lowering costs over the long run, by encouraging doctors to think long-term instead of performing procedures just so they can get paid. Most medical experts support the idea, saying doctors and hospitals should get credit for keeping patients healthy.


WSJ | It's Getting Harder to Bring Home the Bacon
C. Larry Pope, CEO of the world's largest pork producer, explains why food prices are rising and why they are likely to stay high for a long time.
Market Watch | Dollar mostly steady, slips vs. euro
The dollar slipped against the euro while maintaining a broadly positive tone against other major currencies in European trading hours Monday following news al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden has been killed.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Barron's | Ben Lays an Egg
There was no news from Ben Bernanke's news conference—perhaps because the real tale of QE2 is not a happy one.
Minyanville | Growth and Value in the Era of Quantitative Easing
If we are in a low-growth environment and rates are being kept artificially low, you might expect value issues to be favored over growth. But it hasn't worked that way.
Washington Post | Bernanke’s bet on jobs and inflation
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke glided smoothly through his first regular news conference the other day — an event both remarkable and unremarkable. It was remarkable for symbolizing the Fed’s ongoing transformation from a citadel of secrecy into an agency that tries to explain itself to the public.


WSJ | States' Pay Cuts Present Mixed Economic Blessing
The states cutting public workers' pay and benefits aren't just moving to balance their budgets. They are also embarking on a project that will reshape the economic climate of the nation.
CNN Money | Debt ceiling fight is here
When lawmakers return to Washington on Monday, the debate over raising the nation's debt ceiling will kick into hyperdrive.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | CHOCOLA: Balanced budget: A Sisyphean task
Constitutional amendment would ease the uphill fiscal struggle.
Barron's | Grow Up, Guys!
While the President and GOP sling mud at each other, the debt crisis is growing. Barron's offers some tough—but necessary—ways to alleviate it.


WSJ | Hiring in the U.S. Still Trails Corporate-Profit Gains
Eighteen months after the largest U.S. companies first regained their earnings stride, America's unemployed are still waiting for the job market to heat up.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | A New Immigration Consensus
A bipartisan coalition of business leaders and mayors have joined together to make the case that visa reform is an economic imperative.
Entrepreneur Corner | America is bleeding competitiveness
It’s not just the people we are denying visas to who are leaving; even U.S. permanent residents and naturalized citizens are going to where they think the grass is greener.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | Number of the Week: Millions Set to Lose Unemployment Benefits
5.5 million: Americans unemployed and not receiving benefits.