Wednesday, June 8, 2011

General Economics

WSJ | Fed Sees Recovery Lagging
Bernanke Says Growth Slower Than Expected, Monetary Policy Isn't 'Panacea'
WSJ | CEO Tells Fed Chief New Rules Hurt Banks
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke defended U.S. efforts to overhaul regulation of financial markets after the financial crisis Tuesday, rejecting suggestions from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. chief Jamie Dimon and other bankers that regulators have gone too far.
National Journal | EPA Tells State More Study Needed on Oil-Sands Pipeline
The Environmental Protection Agency formally rejected the State Department’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline Tuesday, calling the level of analysis “insufficient.”
CNN: Money | It might be time to talk double-dip recession
In normal times, the default setting for the U.S. economy is 'expand.' But these aren't normal times.
Fox News | China ends wind power subsidy program
The U.S. on Tuesday called for China to disclose all its government subsidy programs as Beijing backed down in a trade dispute between the world's two leading economies over clean energy technology.
National Journal | Majority of Americans Disapprove of Obama’s Handling of the Economy, Budget Deficit
The poll, conducted from May 12-15, showed an increase in approval of the president’s handling of terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan, and foreign affairs since the previous poll was conducted in late March.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | The Economy Is Worse Than You Think
Expect more bad news until someone enacts a plan to bring deficits under control without raising taxes.
Financial Times | The road to recovery gets steeper
What is one to make of recent economic data, particularly in the advanced countries? I sthe world economy slowing ? If so, should policy do anything about it and if so what might the alternatives be?
Bloomberg | How Social Security Prolonged the Depression: Echoes
Social Security began its life as a tax increase, not a spending program. In 1937, the federal government started collecting a 2 percent payroll tax, but benefits didn't start flowing until 1940. For more than three years, Social Security siphoned money from consumers' pockets into government coffers while offering almost nothing in return.
WSJ | Time to Make Professors Teach
My new study suggests a simple way to cut college tuition in half.
CNN: Money | It's time to focus on free trade
Business leaders aren't worried that Washington is running out of tools to fix the economy. They say the White House stubbornly insists on reaching for the wrong toolbox.
RCM | Austan Goolsbee Escapes Economic Failure
Austan Goolsbee is only the latest prominent White House economist to pull the ejection lever and parachute to safety. But like the others, his reputation has already crashed and burned.
CNN: Money | Don't celebrate the rise in consumer credit just yet
New data shows consumer credit is rising fast, but that's not necessarily a good sign that spending is back. We're just taking out more loans.

Forbes | The Growing Challenge of Measuring Growth
The richer economies get, the more output and employment shift out of goods production (manufacturing, agriculture, and mining) and into services. Thus, manufacturing’s share of GDP fell by almost half between 1979 and 2009 – from 21 percent to 11 percent. Meanwhile, the share of private service industries rose by 25 percent over the same period – from 55 percent to 69 percent.
NRO: The Corner | How Free Is Your State?
This year, the freest states were New Hampshire, South Dakota, Idaho, Indiana, and Nevada; the least free states were New York, New Jersey, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. There’s also a fiscal-policy freedom ranking, a regulatory freedom ranking, a personal freedom ranking, and an economic freedom ranking. In every single one of them, New York, New Jersey, and California came in at the bottom.

Mercatus: Neighborhood Effects | Economic Freedom, Economic Growth, and Freedom in the 50 States
Mercatus released a new edition of William Ruger and Jason Sorens’s Freedom in the 50 States. To my knowledge, it is the most-comprehensive analysis of freedom at the state level, covering both economic freedoms and personal freedoms.
Cato @Liberty | Trade Agreements Promote U.S. Manufacturing Exports
Do trade agreements promote trade? The answer appears to be yes. In a new Cato Free Trade Bulletin released today, I examine the record of trade agreements the United States has signed with 14 other nations during the past decade.
Daily Capitalist | Too Big To Fail Banks Will Kill All Reforms
You may wipe your brow and say to yourself,“Well,we avoided the Big One this time,let’s get back to normal.”  After all,we were threatened with the specter of the Great Depression early into the crisis,at least according to Ben Bernanke, and you might think that we dodged that bullet. You would be wrong.


WSJ | Faded Malls Leave Cities in the Lurch
Switch to Online Shopping Undermines a Leading Revenue Source, Sales Taxes.
CNN Money | Tax cuts push debt to new milestone
A recent Treasury report noted that national debt will exceed the size of the economy this year -- a first since World War II. A year ago, the Treasury had estimated that notorious record wouldn't be hit until 2014.

CRS | U.S. International Corporate Taxation: Basic Concepts and Policy Issues
This report provides a general introduction to the basic concepts and issues relevant to the U.S. international corporate tax system. The explanations provided in this report emphasize the underlying concepts of the international tax system and are intended to be as simplified as possible.

Health Care

WSJ | Study Sees Cuts to Health Plans
A report by McKinsey & Co. has found that 30% of employers are likely to stop offering workers health insurance after the bulk of the Obama administration's health overhaul takes effect in 2014.
Fox News | States Objecting to Health Care Law to Get Day in Appeals Court
For the third time in five weeks, the Obmama administration's leagal point man for defending the president's health care overhaul will walk into a federal appellate courtroom Wednesday to defend the controversial measure as an appropriate and proper exercise of the governemnt 's power.
National Journal | Report: Reform May Move Millions More Off Employer Insurance
Administration officials reject a new McKinsey study, while Republicans are warm to it.

Heritage Foundation | Deciphering the Left’s Medicare Playbook
It’s a simple fact: You can’t sustain Medicare unless you transform the current—and unaffordable—system. But the left continues to falsely decry conservatives’ plans to achieve this, accusing them of plotting to end the program altogether.
Heritage Foundation | Lawmakers Press HHS for Information on Controversial Obamacare Waivers
Wondering how all those businesses in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s district ended up with Obamacare waivers? The story drew national attention last month, but there’s still little known about the process used by the Obama administration to grant the controversial waivers.


Bloomberg | Emerging Market Economies Must Speed Up Rate Increases, World Bank Says
The Washington-based institution lowered its growth forecast for the world economy this year to 3.2 percent from a January estimate of 3.3 percent, to reflect Japan’s earthquake and political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. The World Bank left unchanged a prediction for a global rebound to 3.6 percent in 2012.
Market Watch | Five key quotes from Bernanke’s speech
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke in Atlanta Tuesday in his first public comments following last Friday’s disastrous jobs report.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Minyanville | Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke in Atlanta Tuesday in his first public comments following last Friday’s disastrous jobs report.
As the Fed's primary goal is to keep Treasury yields down, the stock market may suffer as a result.

Political Calculations | The Taylor Rule
John Taylor is, of course the guy who invented the Taylor Rule. And recently, he got a bit annoyed with some other guys who had different ideas fro what level the Fed should set that base interest rate for U.S. banks, who invoked his rule to justify their preferences.
Cato @ Liberty | Trade Agreements Promote U.S. Manufacturing Exports
Do trade agreements promote trade? The answer appears to be yes. In a new Cato Free Trade Bulletin released today, I examine the record of trade agreements the United States has signed with 14 other nations during the past decade.


WSJ | April Job Openings Declined
The U.S. had 3 million job openings at the end of April, the Labor Department reported Tuesday, down slightly from March's 3.1 million vacancies. That tick downward suggests that worries about the economy led businesses to take more conservative stances.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | LAMBRO: Mayday over May unemployment
Desperate Obama eyes Reagan tax cuts to save economy and re-election.

EconLog | PSST and Long-term Unemployment
...relative to the Great Depression, a higher percentage of the unemployed have been out of work more than six months, as opposed to a higher percentage of total workers have been out of work for more than six months.


NY Times | Fed Wants Priority Put On Deficit
[Bernanke] said that growth remained slow and uneven, but he made no mention of the possibility that the Fed would intervene, noting instead that “a healthy economic future” required a plan to shrink the federal deficit.
USA Today | U.S. funding for future promises lags by trillions
The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. That brings to a record $61.6 trillion the total of financial promises not paid for.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | FOSTER: What real debt-ceiling judgment day looks like
The markets are watching, not whether the debt ceiling increases, but whether Washington will let the moment pass without taking strong action on the deficits.