Tuesday, September 6, 2011

General Economics

News                                                                                                                             
Bloomberg | Mortgage Claims by U.S. Impede Recovery, Must Be Halted, FBR’s Miller Says
U.S. government-backed firms and agencies should “stop punishing banks” and suspend demands for mortgage repurchases because they are impeding an economic recovery, according to Paul Miller of FBR Capital Markets & Co.
Politico | USPS warns of shutdown
U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe on Tuesday will ask Congress to take drastic measures to prevent the Postal Service from becoming insolvent and going out of business as early as this year.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Post | Stop bashing government workers
The August employment report shows that the public sector got hit hard again — losing 17,000 jobs. In states across the country, public workers aren’t just being laid off; they’re being made into economic scapegoats.
Daily Caller | Slouching toward Europe: America needs rehab
It’s hard for Europe to grow when nearly half of Europeans are officially “dependents” and only 64 percent of working-age citizens work.
WSJ | Leveraging a Hurricane
The real story behind the political theater over disaster relief.
RCM | Social Security's Truth Is Coming Our Way
With a $14.587 trillion dollar national debt, the U. S. is on track for bankruptcy and catastrophic economic pain. Politicians from OZ will say "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." But don't be fooled by smoke and mirrors.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Café Hayek | Type the Title You Want People to See
Keynes contributed nothing to that most fundamental analytical tool used by economists still today: supply and demand.
Econlog | Type the Title You Want People to See
The vast majority of long-term cost growth in Social Security and Medicare, for example, is projected to take place by 2035. The CBO now attributes 64 percent of cost growth through 2035 in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to population aging, even though two of these programs are health entitlements.
Calculated Risk | Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 987 Institutions
Here is the unofficial problem bank list for Sept 2, 2011.
Daily Capitalist | Global Manufacturing PMI At Two Year Low
The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI fell from 50.7 in July to 50.1 in August. The near-stagnation signalled by the index was the worst performance since the recovery began two years ago and represents a big turnaround in the growth profile of the manufacturing sector compared to the post-recession peak of 57.4 seen in February.
Calculated Risk | Schedule for Week of September 4th
The key economic releases this week are the July trade balance report on Thursday, and the August ISM non-manufacturing index on Tuesday.
Café Hayek | First thing we do…
In this week’s EconTalk, Cliff Winston makes the case for deregulating the market for lawyers. The conversation is based on his new monograph with Robert Crandall and Vikram Maheshri, First Thing We Do, Let’s Deregulate All the Lawyers.
Independent Institute: The Beacon | Regime Uncertainty: Pirrong Debunks the Keynesian Debunking
Thus, regime uncertainty is a multifaceted and somewhat nuanced concept. Many economists don’t like it because it cannot be measured and compiled along with other standard macro variables in a convenient data base.
Minyanville | Global Recession: Right Here, Right Now
Why are we talking about avoiding recession when the global economy is clearly in one and fundamentals are horrendous?

Reports                                                                                                                         
RCM: Wells Fargo | Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary
Today, markets received a gut-wrenching August payroll report, ratcheting up recession fears again.

Health Care

News                                                                                                                             
CNN: Money | National debt: Why entitlement spending must be reined in
Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are three of the government's most popular and relied upon programs. So why does Congress need to curb the growth in spending on them?

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Texas and Health Care
The attempt to dismiss the Texas jobs record seems to have abated, at least for now, but the episode shouldn't pass without mentioning the other great liberal theme: More than a quarter of the Lone Star State's people lack health insurance, and supposedly this is proof that Governor Rick Perry hates the poor, as well as vindicating President Obama's health-care plan.

Monetary

News                                                                                                                             
Market Watch | World Bank head praises yuan’s rise
World Bank President Robert Zoellick said on Monday that inflation remained one of China’s biggest economic challenges, while noting that recent gains in the Chinese currency against the U.S. dollar might reflect Beijing’s new willingness to allow appreciation of its currency to cool prices.
Market Watch | Gold turns higher as Europe debt woes bite
Gold futures were higher Tuesday, maintaining a gain in electronic trade after earlier notching a fresh high above $1,920 an ounce, as European sovereign-debt woes and global growth concerns boosted the metal’s safe-haven appeal.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Minyanville | The Hard Truth About Easy Money
I recognize that the option of easing by the Fed and the ECB can serve to stabilize equity markets from the effect of slow growth, but there comes a point in time when the failure of monetary policy to produce a reacceleration of economic growth will become more worrisome to investors.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Free Banking | Is Fractional-Reserve Banking Inflationary?
Certain economists of the Austrian School, and followers of Murray Rothbard especially, oppose fractional reserve banking for at least three reasons. They claim that banks resorting to it defraud people, that they bring about business cycles, and that their activities cause inflation. This article addresses the last claim only: I hope to discuss the others separately.

Taxes

News                                                                                                                             
Bloomberg | Obama Mulls Tax Cuts Beyond Republican Plans
Obama will unveil his new economic agenda as unemployment remains at 9.1 percent more than two years after the recession’s official end.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | YOUNG: Tax hikes’ three strikes
Debt deal makes cutting the only game in town.
WSJ | Reigniting the Entrepreneurial Spirit
For individuals, I will introduce three lower tax rates of 8%, 14% and 23%.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Free Banking | Taxation of banks
A tax on bank profits, for instance, reduces the amount that banks can pay to depositors, bank tellers, furniture makers who supply bank offices, shareholders, etc.
Cato@Liberty | Are Tax Havens Moral or Immoral?
Being the world’s self-appointed defender of so-called tax havens has led to some rather bizarre episodes.

Reports                                                                                                                         
Heritage Foundation | Setting the Tax Record Straight: Clinton Hikes Slowed Growth, Bush Cuts Promoted Recovery
Despite evidence to the contrary, President Obama and his supporters insist that a tax increase will not impede economic recovery.

Employment

News                                                                                                                             
WSJ | Infrastructure Likely Part of Obama Jobs Push
President Barack Obama signaled Monday he'll propose a major infrastructure program and an extension of a payroll tax break in the jobs speech he planned to deliver Thursday before a joint session of Congress.
CNN Money | Are new rules on health care and banks killing jobs?
Several economists said the truth is somewhere in between: The new regulations may be contributing to the general economic uncertainty, but they are not the main reason for sluggish hiring.
WSJ | Jobs Focus for Regulations
President Barack Obama is expected to use his jobs speech to Congress on Thursday to blunt business and Republican criticism that his administration is engaged in regulatory overreach.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Washington's Antitrust Timewarp
Blocking the AT&T-T-Mobile merger won't protect jobs.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Calculated Risk | Duration of Unemployment, Unemployment by Education and Diffusion Indexes
...two categories increased, especially the '15 to 26 weeks' group that increased to 2.24 million or almost 1.5% of the labor force - the highest level since January.
Daily Capitalist | Unemployment Will Remain High Because Obama Will Do All The Wrong Things
It is fitting to publish an article on Labor Day about unemployment. No doubt you already know that the market reacted badly (-2.5%) to last Friday’s unemployment numbers from the BLS.
Volokh Conspiracy | Jobs vs the Environment One More Time
Even if an environmental regulation generates net economic benefits, this does not necessarily translate into increased employment.  But whatever the effect of regulation on jobs, and even assuming the effect could be predicted with any accuracy, this is only one factor to be weighed when considering the desirability of regulation.
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Jobs Paralysis Raises Odds of Fed Action
Job market paralysis in August increases the chance the Federal Reserve will do something new to help the economy.

Reports                                                                                                                         
Heritage Foundation | Heritage Employment Report: This Labor Day, No New Jobs, High Unemployment
The answer, however, is increasingly clear: New government regulations and massive growth of unproductive government programs have made it harder for the labor market to recover.

Budget

News                                                                                                                             
National Journal | 'Super Committee' Timeline to Reduce the Budget Deficit
Congress returns from its summer recess and the joint select committee charged with reducing the deficit also begins its work in earnest this week. With talk of the deficit dominating headlines, here's a look at key dates for the committee.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
FT | Why austerity is only cure for the eurozone
Whatever role the markets may have played in catalysing the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone, it is an undisputable fact that excessive state spending has led to unsustainable levels of debt and deficits that now threaten our economic welfare.
Fox Business | Three Easy Steps for a Debt-Free U.S.
An initial $1.2 trillion over ten years works out to $120 billion a year, about 3% of current spending. So, if we were borrowing about 42 cents out of every dollar we are now borrowing 39 cents.
Washington Times | MURRAY: Needed: Budget reforms to save money into the future
Americans are fed up with shadowy accounting trickery.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Reason: Out of Control Policy Blog | Krugman's Achille's Heel on the Economy and Stimulus
They ignore the fact that how resources are allocated and for what is critical to long-run economic growth and sustainability. Their solution is simply to spend--large amounts, dumping as much money (as they think) the economy can withstand.
Heritage Foundation: Scribe | Chart of the Week: Your Share of the National Debt Is Growing Rapidly
The problem is Washington’s addiction to spending. For far too long both Republicans and Democrats have expanded government a pace that now threatens prosperity.