Friday, May 27, 2011

General Economics

Fox News | Economies around the world are growing more slowly
From the United States to Europe and even booming China, the global economy is showing signs of strain. Most majore economies are expected to keep growing. But evidence is mounting that many aroung the world are struggling to expand as fast as they did last year.
CNN: Money | Internet economy: Bigger than Canada
A group of researchers is trying to put a value on the Internet's contribution to the global economy -- and they think it's larger than the entire economies of Canada or Spain.
Fox News | GOP repackages agenda
Top House Republicnas called for tax reform an easing of government regulations and increased domestic energy production on Thursday in what officials said was an attempt to show that spending cuts are not their sole emphasis for creating jobs.
WSJ | The 'Real' Truth About Consumer Spending
The Commerce Department reports Friday on consumer income and spending for April. Income is seen rising 0.4% with spending up 0.5% month on month. Both numbers are one-tenth of a percentage point below March gains. On the surface, that doesn't seem too bad.
National Journal | Corporate Profits Still Climbing
Despite slowing growth and Wall Street dip, U.S. companies enjoyed a record harvest in the first quarter.
WSJ | Mortgage Rate Falls to 2011 Low
Home-mortgage interest rates fell last week to the lowest point of 2011 amid signs of a slowing economy, according to the latest survey from Freddie Mac.
Bloomberg | Crude Heads for Weekly Gain; JPMorgan Sees OPEC Quota Increase
Crude rose as much as 0.8 percent after Group of Eight leaders said the world economy is gaining strength and as a weakening dollar boosted the appeal of commodities. Futures narrowed their gains after a report showed European confidence in the economy weakened for a third straight month in May.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Bloomberg | Group of Eight Leaders Say Stronger Growth to Shift Focus to Cutting Debt
Europe vowed to fight its fiscal woes with “determination,” while President Barack Obama promised a “clear and credible” U.S. deficit-reduction strategy. Japan was allowed to put off savings measures until its economy rebounds from the March earthquake and tsunami.
Barron's | Fire Your Hedge Fund, Hire Your Congressman
House members outperform the stock market, though not as much as Senators, study finds. The ultimate insiders?
Bloomberg | Carter: Economic Stagnation Explained, at 30,000 Feet
The man in the aisle seat is trying to tell me why he refuses to hire anybody. His business is successful, he says, as the 737 cruises smoothly eastward. Demand for his product is up. But he still won’t hire.

Cato@Liberty | Don’t Cut Red Tape, Shut Down the Factory
“Cutting government waste” is the mantra for those politicians who regard certain government programs as sacred cows. President Obama hopes to pay for a sizeable part of his health care overhaul by eliminating “waste, fraud, and abuse” in Medicare.
Ludwig von Mises Institute | Out of Business
The last few years as an executive in a manufacturing company gave me a frighteningly close look at the inner workings of regulators in our government. Maybe I'm just naïve, but what I discovered was shocking.


WSJ | Cuomo's Tax Cap
The New York Democrat gets a harder limit than Chris Christie.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Daily Caller | Raising taxes on the energy industry would be a mistake
A better solution is overhauling our federal tax laws to encourage domestic energy production, eliminate loopholes, and provide a fairer tax structure so American companies can compete with their foreign rivals.

Heritage Foundation | Tax Hikes Are Not Government Savings
To review: Savings come from spending less, not taxing more. Higher taxes cannot be savings for the government, because the income wasn’t the government’s to begin with.
Atlantic: McArdle | Once Again, We Cannot Pay For Social Security By Ending the Bush Tax Cuts on High Earners
...the government does not borrow and save like normal people--its constraints are different. The closest it can come to saving is to pay off debt.

Health Care

National Journal | Democrats Cling to Health Care Law for Savings
Democrats have their on-the-record proof of what everyone knew—that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan to turn Medicare into a subsidy program would not pass in this Congress. But they still have to face the question of whether they will, in talks on reducing the deficit and raising the government's debt ceiling, approve any cuts to Medicare.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | LAMBRO: Medicare demagoguery backfire
Public won’t hear Democratic attacks until unemployment is fixed.
Washington Times | MILLER: Democrats’ Mediscare is bankrupt
It’s time for the GOP to hit back against empty attacks.

Heritage Foundation | New Study Shows Higher Health Care Costs under Obamacare
Despite President Obama’s assurances that his massive overhaul of the health care system would control health care costs and allow Americans to keep their current coverage, the outlook indicates otherwise. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) recently released its annual report on medical cost trends for 2012, and it is revealing.


Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Financial Times | Now is not the time to raise interest rates
The UK's economic performance over the past year is no surprise. When you tighten fiscal policy significantly after a major financial crisis, both history and mainstream economics would tell you to expect what we have now: no growth in broad money or credit, persistently high interest spreads for small businesses and households.


MarketWatch | China banks to stress-test gov’t debt, other risks
Chinese regulators have asked six major banks this week to submit new data on lending risks that place emphasis on their exposure to government-backed infrastructure projects and property-market lending, according to a report Friday in the state-run China Daily.
CNN Money | Texas budget cuts not as big as feared
Texas legislative leaders agreed Thursday to a budget that cuts $15 billion in spending over the next two years.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Post | The Chained CPI, an easy way to save money
GETTING THE DEBT under control will require some difficult choices, but not every step must be painful.
WSJ | Who's Winning the Budget War?
Republicans are forcing Democrats to acknowledge that voters want spending reform.

Atlantic: McArdle | The Budget Needs to Leave Room for Emergencies
...Americans increasingly seem to think about the budget the way that chronic overspenders think about their purchases...

CRS | Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress
Congress is currently debating proposals to reduce the federal debt. Multilaterally, Congress could urge the Administration to coordinate fiscal policies to avoid simultaneous austerity reforms that undermine the economic recovery.