Friday, August 19, 2011

General Economics

Market Watch | Data Signals Trouble for Economy
New economic data signaled that manufacturing, which had been showing strength, may soon join other indicators in pointing down. The Fed is certainly watching but they are not yet ready to pull the trigger on another quantitative easing program.
CNBC | Fed's Fisher: Washington Must Do More For Economy
The Fed has done its job of providing cash and liquidity to help the market, but thanks to uncertainty and confusion in Washington that money is sitting on the sidelines, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher told Larry Kudlow Thursday.
Market Watch | Leading indicators up, modest growth seen
The economy should expand at a “modest pace” through the fall, the Conference Board said Thursday as it reported that its index of leading economic indicators grew 0.5% in July.
Bloomberg | Banks Lower U.S. Economic Growth Forecasts
Citigroup Inc. (C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) cut their U.S. growth forecasts as the global economy slows and officials struggle to stem Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis.
WSJ | Treasury Yields Fall to Historic Lows as Stocks Plunge
For at least 50 years, the 10-year U.S. Treasury note yielded nothing lower than 2%—until Thursday. The yield sank to 1.9872% in early trading on Thursday, the first time it has hit that level since at least the 1960s, based on St. Louis Federal Reserve records. Before that, comparisons become murky.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Daily Caller | Obamanomics:’ Stimulating unemployment, inflation and despair
Barack Obama’s prescription to this ongoing malaise? A perpetuation of the policies responsible for creating it – more borrowing, more spending and more debt (as well as a healthy dose of finger-pointing in the direction of anyone opposing him).
Washington Times | GHEI: The free trade lesson
The world learned at least one lesson from the Great Depression. Despite today’s economic gloom which has spread from the United States to Europe and now Asia, no major player has moved to introduce protectionist policies or impose capital controls on a large scale.
WSJ | The Tea Party's Achilles' Heel
A posture of bold fiscal conservatism simply isn't compatible with timid evasions on Medicare reform.
Washington Times | SCHNEIDER: Converted to the U.S.-Colombia FTA cause
New president’s human rights reforms should be rewarded.
WSJ | Why Americans Hate Economics
In university classrooms—and especially the Obama White House—fancy theories of macroeconomics defy basic common sense.
CNN: Money | Will Europe come tumbling down?
The debt crisis that started in Greece now threatens to topple the whole continent -- and kill the weak recovery in the U.S. Inside the race against the clock to fix the euro economy.

Heritage Foundation | Tales of the Red Tape #18: Americans Take a Regulatory Bleating
For 60 years, in fact, the federal government has actually regulated sheep and goat shepherds to ensure that nonimmigrant foreign workers don’t dare deprive Americans of the job. The U.S. Department of Labor issued a revised set of rules on August 4 (Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 32-10).

RCM: Wells Fargo | Leading Index Signals More Growth—Should You Buy It?
The Leading Economic Index posted another monthly gain, signaling continued growth. But, given the boost to the index by the money supply and the yield spread, does this really signal fair skies ahead?

Health Care

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Cato Institute | Obamacare Heads to the Supreme Court
When Congress was pushing through President Barack Obama's plan to nationalize health care decision-making, legislators gave little thought to the Constitution.

NBER | Gauging the Generosity of Employer-Sponsored Insurance: Differences Between Households With and Without a Chronic Condition
Given recent work on value-based insurance design and coinsurance as an obstacle to medication adherence, our findings suggest that the current design of health plans may put the health and financial well-being of the chronically ill at risk.


Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | EDITORIAL: Let the gas tax die
Federal control turns highways into slush fund for leftist causes.
Washington Times | STANEK: What Uncle Warren doesn’t mention
There are several problems with the billionaire investor’s logic and factual claims.
Washington Times | MURDOCK: Calling Buffett’s bluff
If Oracle of Omaha wants to pay more taxes, let him.


Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | The Texas Jobs Panic
Liberals try to discredit the Lone Star State's economic success.
Washington Times | PESHEK: EPA jumps the gun with job-killing rules
Agency’s new blow to air-quality standard comes two years early.

American: Enterprise Blog | Men at Work (Healthcare Edition)
For almost 50 years, unemployment rates among males working in hospitals or other parts of the health services industry have been lower than for their counterparts in the rest of the economy…
Atlantic: McArdle | Sticky Wages, Sticky Expectations: The Case for Accepting a Smaller Salary
Willingness to accept lower wages grows rapidly as the term of unemployment stretches out.  But willingness to offer lower wages may not.
American: Enterprise Blog | Debunking the ‘Texas Unmiracle’ Myths
Shapiro isn’t so fond of Perry himself, but that doesn’t matter. He uses raw data (and some excellent charts) to show that the claims about Texas’s employment success over the last few years are legitimate.
NRO: The Corner | Regulatory Hiring Bloom
While the private sector is struggling to grow and create jobs, there’s one area that is doing quite well: the federal regulatory business.


Fox News | White House asks agencies to propose budgets cuts
In a letter released Thursday, White House budget chief Jacob Lew told agency heads to submit financial blueprints with spending for the 2013 budget at least 5 percent below this year's levels. He also asked them to present additional proposals that would trim spending by a total of at least 10 percent that year.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Politico | Cost of government only goes up
This year Cost of Government Day arrived Aug. 12 — meaning that the average American toiled 224 days to foot the bill for this year’s total cost of government.
NY Times | Cutting Costs the Montana Way
I like to say we run government like a ranch. In ranching — my old job — you either pinch pennies or go belly-up. We do the same in government. Perhaps Washington can try it.
AEI | How the Debt Deal Will Really Work
It seems unlikely that the joint committee will be able to fulfill its mission. The political and philosophical divide between Democrats and Republicans is as great as it has ever been.


Bloomberg | Inflation May Embolden Foes of Fed Stimulus
Signs that consumer prices are rising even as the U.S. economy slows may delay additional moves by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke to spur growth.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Bloomberg | Fed’s Pianalto Says Weak Growth Warrants Holding Rates Near Zero Until ’13
“With my diminished outlook for economic growth, and my outlook for inflation to soon fall back to 2 percent, I was in favor of providing additional support to the recovery at last week’s FOMC meeting,” Pianalto said today in a speech in Columbus, Ohio.

Daily Capitalist | The Fed’s War Against Savers
The Fed needs to stop this war against savers, raise rates, or let the market determine yields, and stop the destructive money “printing” through quantitative easing. If they continue to destroy capital, the economy will face long-term stagnation.