Tuesday, June 14, 2011

General Economics

Bloomberg | Crude Oil Trades Near One-Month Low on Demand Outlook for China and U.S.
Oil traded near the lowest in almost a month as signs of slowing growth in the U.S. and China’s moves to tackle inflation spurred concern fuel demand may falter.
National Journal | Obama Opposes Repealing Ethanol Subsidies
The VEETC is a 45 cents-per-gallon credit of blended gasoline and ethanol. An amendment offered by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would repeal the credit and a 54 cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol. It does not affect the renewable fuels mandate, which requires the country to increase its production of biofuels.
CNN: Money | Retail sales slip for first time in 11 months
Total retail sales slipped 0.2% last month, the Commerce Department reported. The decline broke a winning streak of consecutive monthly gains going back to June 2010. But from a year ago, sales were up 8%.
Fox Business | OECD: Major Economies Seeing Slower Growth
Major economies; with the exception of the United States, are losing momentum as the outlook for growth worsens in European and developing countries, the OECD's leading indicator for April showed on Tuesday.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | The Return of the Population Bomb
When the experts tell you there are too many people, they don't mean too many Swedes.
Washington Times | EDITORIAL: Peak renewables
Real energy pipelines are a better bet than green pipe dreams.
WSJ | Uncertainty Is Not the Problem
It's not the policies we don't know about that are retarding the economy. It's the bad policies we have.
NYT | Nearly a Year After Dodd-Frank
Without strong leaders at the top of the nation’s financial regulatory agencies, the Dodd-Frank financial reform doesn’t have a chance. Whether it is protecting consumers against abusive lending, reforming the mortgage market or reining in too-big-to-fail banks, all require tough and experienced regulators.
WSJ | Food Is Much Safer Than You Think
There are a billion 'eating events' every day in America, yet we rarely get sick.
Washington Times | BLANKLEY: Brother, can you spare a regulation?
If we enter another depression, the likely reason will be new financial rules.
MSN | The coming global financial crisis
Politicians in the US, China and Europe are all postponing tough financial decisions until after next year's elections. But in 2013, we'll have to face the bigger problems.

Think Markets | We Told You So
In recent months – or has it been years? – Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong have been saying, in effect, “We told you so – the stimulus was not enough. Look at the sluggish economy and high unemployment rate.”
Reason Foundation | Renters are Fiscally Responsible Too
Like it or not, the American Dream is being redefined before our very eyes. Homeownership has long been held up as a preeminent virtue for every U.S. worker, but in the wake of the housing bubble, more and more households are shifting towards renting—and with good reasons.
Heritage Foundation | Obama Administration (Sort of) Goes to Bat for Free Trade Agreements
The Obama Administration recently made its strongest statement yet in support of free trade agreements. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commented on the challenges of implementing trade agreements:
Calculated Risk | Small Business Optimism Index decreases in May
The Index of Small Business Optimism fell 0.3 points in May to 90.9. This month marks the third monthly decline in a row.
Fox Business | Government Causes Poverty
I once went around the world to try to answer the question: what makes a nation prosperous? The answer: economic freedom.


Politico | President Obama pushes to extend payroll tax cut
President Barack Obama signaled Monday that a deficit-cutting package should include an extension of the one-year payroll tax cut for workers, saying any effort to slash government spending must be coupled with targeted investments.

Health Care

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Why ObamaCare Is Losing in the Courts
The government's lawyers keep changing their arguments as each one is exposed as constitutionally suspect.

Cato @ Liberty | Corrupt Obamacare Waiver Process Is Like a Scene from Atlas Shrugged
In a column about the revolving door between big government and the lobbying world, here’s what the irreplaceable Tim Carney wrote about the waiver process for folks trying to escape the burden of government-run healthcare.
Marginal Revolution | Drug Shortages
Currently there are about 246 drugs that are in short supply, a record high. These shortages are not just a result of accident, error or unusual circumstance, the number of drugs in short supply has risen steadily since 2006.


Market Watch | Bank of Japan expands lending, holds rates
The Bank of Japan expanded its special lending facility for growth industries on Tuesday, while keeping its key policy rate steady as expected and slightly tweaking upward its assessment of the country’s economy.
Financial Times | Inflation in China hits 34-month high
Consumer inflation in China rose to ites highest level in nearly three years in May, up 5.5 per cent from a year earlier, according to government figures released on Tuesday.
Market Watch | China tightens bank-reserve rules after CPI data
China on Tuesday lifted the proportion of funds banks must set aside as reserves by a half-point effective from June 20, marking the sixth such increase so far this year. The move reinforces its efforts to contain inflation, which is running at a nearly three-year high.
Bloomberg | Treasuries Fall as U.S. Retail Sales Dropped Last Month Less Than Forecast
Treasuries fell, pushing the 10-year note yield to the highest level in almost two weeks, as retail sales dropped in May less than economists forecast and producer prices rose more than projected.
Market Watch | Retail sales, producer prices in spotlight
Retail sales fell for the first time in 11 months, while producer prices climbed 0.2%.
CNN: Money | QE3? Don't bet on it just yet
Investors will be watching for any clues about what the central bank plans to do now that its controversial bond purchasing program is about to wind down at the end of the month -- just as the economy has hit a rough patch.
USA Today | Survey: Economists lower outlook, warn against Fed easing
The economists are lowering their forecasts for job creation and economic growth for the rest of this year, mainly because of high oil prices. A batch of bleak data over the past month has suggested that the 2-year-old economic recovery is slowing.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Minyanville | Exporters to the US Lost the War on Deflation
Loose money pulled the prices of producer goods higher worldwide; goods exported to the US faced downward price pressures from competition and American economic struggles.

Financial Times: A-List | The myth of China’s unbalanced growth
China's announcement today that inflation in May hit a three-year high of 5.5 per cent and industrial expansion exceeded expectations will buttress those who see an inevitable economic crash coming. But even those who remain confident that a soft ladning is possible seem to agree that China's economic growth is unbalanced.


CNN Money | Minnesota prepares for shutdown
Time is running out for Minnesota's parks, highway rest stops and public universities, not to mention 36,000 state employees.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Politico | Congress has basis for deficit deal
With recent reports that the Senate Gang of Six has been working on a long-term deficit reduction plan of $4.7 trillion in cuts over 10 years, it is essential that the nation rally behind it.
WSJ | The FCC's Good Deed
A new report says government shouldn't subsidize local news.


CNN Money | The sobering U.S. jobs deficit
How lost was the past lost decade for the U.S. economy?

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
IBD | Official Unemployment Count Far Rosier Than Grim Reality
At 54,000 new jobs per month, it would take 22 years to get the unemployed 13.9 million people back to work.
WSJ | The EPA's War on Jobs
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, normally a White House union ally, says the rule will destroy 50,000 jobs and another 200,000 down the supply chain.

Heritage Foundation | Morning Bell: Unemployment Is No Laughing Matter
Confronting the reality that his stimulus failed, the President quipped, “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.”