Friday, July 29, 2011

General Economics

Market Watch | Japan’s industrial output soft in June
Japan’s jobless rate ticked higher in June and industrial output was softer than expected, while consumer prices rose less than forecast, according to data released Friday.
WSJ | Little to Smile About With Growth Outlook
Macroeconomic Advisers estimates real GDP grew at just a 1.3% annualized rate. Capital Economics, which is on the higher end, expects growth of just 2.3%. This follows a similarly disappointing 1.8% growth pace in the first three months of the year.
Market Watch | ‘Great Recession’ even deeper than thought
The U.S. recession was even deeper than previously thought, a new government report showed on Friday.
Bloomberg | Crude Oil Tumbles, Heads for Weekly Decline, on U.S. Debt-Ceiling Dispute
Crude Oil Tumbles, Heads for Weekly Decline, on U.S. Debt-Ceiling Dispute.
Market Watch | You have saved enough for retirement — maybe
There’s a lot of worrisome news lately. Let’s take a moment to focus on something verging on optimistic: According to a new report, the retirement-savings crisis is not as bad as you thought. It turns out that plenty of people have enough money to enjoy a long and well-funded retirement.
CNN: Money | EOG's big gamble on shale oil
It was the winter of 2006, and EOG Resources executive vice president Kurt Doerr had to be wondering what the heck he was doing prospecting for oil in the frigid central plains of North Dakota. Sure, wildcatters had been pumping modest amounts of crude out there for decades. However, nobody had ever found a true gusher, and the timing seemed odd given that EOG's core business -- drilling for natural gas, not oil -- was absolutely booming.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Pittsburgh Live | Not so simple
Millions of entrepreneurs daily anticipate what consumers want -- and try to outguess each other in the competition to anticipate correctly. Countless investors, business executives, labor-union officials -- just like consumers and entrepreneurs -- attempt to promote their self-interest in a world of innovation, change and, hence, uncertainty.
RCM | The Failure of Central Planning Lite
The failure of Central Planning Lite cannot just be attributed to incompetence or politicization, to shovel-ready jobs that are not shovel-ready, or bailouts organized as favors to political pressure groups.
Washington Times | VERSACE: Figures show economic recovery remains elusive
There are a number of reasons that trace back to uncertainty, whether it be about the strength of the domestic economic recovery, European debt woes, the impact of whatever debt-ceiling and deficit deal brings. With that and more weighing on job creation, the reality is head count reductions are once again back in vogue.
Washington Times | LAMBRO: Economy weakening week after week
The American economy, for some inexplicable reason, has been pushed to the sidelines in the fierce debate over a fiscal crisis that threatens to shut down much of the government.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | What Happens to U.S. Companies’ Ratings if Treasury Debt Is Downgraded?.
A reader asks a good question prompted by today’s Capital column on the impact of a downgrade of the U.S. Treasury debt by Standard & Poor’s: If the U.S. loses its AAA rating, will U.S. companies automatically be downgraded too?
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Kansas-City-Area Manufacturing Slows Sharply.
The Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing composite index — an average of the indexes covering production, new orders, employment, delivery times and raw-materials inventories — plunged to 3 this month after jumping to 14 in the month prior. Readings above zero denote expansion.
Heritage Foundation | VIDEO: Growing Red Tape Threatens Economic Growth
As the economy continues to struggle, a new report highlights ways the government may be making things worse by imposing bigger burdens on business. Our new video breaks down the facts and highlights the impact of this creeping government red tape.


Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Daily Caller | The real-world impact of tax hikes on American jobs
Over the last few weeks, President Barack Obama has adamantly supported raising taxes on corporations and small businesses that employ millions of American workers as a precondition for cutting our bloated federal spending.

WSJ | Secondary Sources: Uncertainty, European Crisis, Taxes
A roundup of economic news from around the Web.

Health Care

Politico | Medicare at 67: The next big change?
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner failed to strike a "grand bargain" on the nation's deficit, but they may have pulled off another trick: revolutionizing the debate over Medicare.When they both accepted the idea of increasing the Medicare eligibility age to 67, they gave a controversial idea more legitimacy and high-profile support than it's ever gotten before.

Heritage Foundation | Will Taxpayers Foot the Bill to Market an Obamacare Budget Gimmick?
During the health care debate of 2009 and 2010, the Obama administration used a number of accounting tricks to try to get the Congressional Budget Office to score the legislation as deficit neutral. One such trick took the form of a new entitlement: the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) program.


Bloomberg | Franc, Yen Rally as Debt Impasse, Moody’s Spain Review Spur Refuge Demand
The dollar erased its gain against the euro, fell to a record versus the Swiss franc and approached a postwar low against the yen as America’s economy grew last quarter less than economists forecast. The Canadian and Australian dollars were the worst performers against the greenback as investors spurned higher-yielding assets.
Bloomberg | European Inflation Unexpectedly Slows to 2.5%
The inflation rate in the 17-nation euro region declined to 2.5 percent from 2.7 percent in the previous month, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today in an initial estimate. Economists expected price growth to hold steady, the median of 31 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Financial Times | America’s success depends on a sound fiscal regime
It is imperative, for both the nearer term and the longer term, that we meet the deficit commission’s goal of $4,000bn of deficit reduction over roughly 10 years, which would first stabilise and then begin to reduce our debt to gross domestic product ratio.


WSJ | New Unemployment Claims Fall Below Key Level
Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell 24,000 to 398,000 in the week ended July 23, the Labor Department said Thursday—the first time since early April that claims have been below the crucial 400,000 mark.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Nurturing Startups
A new study offers ideas to assist job-creating companies.


WSJ | Treasury Faces Pressure to Detail Backup Plan
The Treasury Department will face growing pressure Friday to detail its emergency plans to operate the government next week after a House Republican revolt Thursday night complicated efforts for Congress to raise the debt ceiling by Aug. 2.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | MILLER: Economy in the balance
Bipartisan constitutional amendment needed to restore fiscal sanity.
Daily Caller | Ignore the fire alarms
Rather than a danger to the economy or to investors, the debt ceiling is the one thing that is forcing a debate on the size and scope of government.
Washington Times | EDITORIAL: Economics on the brink
Debt-limit debate is about preserving Big Government, not preventing default.

Fox Business: Stossel's Take | Take A Chainsaw To The Budget
I don't claim to be a budget expert. But others, such as Chris Edwards at Cato and Stuart Butler at Heritage, are. They found lots of serious cuts.
Atlantic: McArdle | What Happens if We Don't Raise the Debt Ceiling?
I'll start by saying, however, that I have no idea whether we'll get a deal or not.  There is one thing I'm sure of:  Obama is indeed bluffing with the veto threat, and badly.  They could send him a repeal of Obamacare attached to a debt ceiling increase, and he'd sign it.  He is not going to endanger our credit rating, or social security checks, in order to prove a point.

RCM: Wells Fargo Economics Group | With Greece “Stabilized,” Will the Fire Spread?
Under four separate nominal GDP growth assumptions and four interest rate assumptions, we calculate the primary budget surpluses (in some cases, deficits) that would be required to stabilize government debt-to-GDP ratios in each country.