Friday, September 16, 2011

General Economics

Bloomberg | Crisis Worse Than 2008 in Europe as Rescue Options Dim, Gordon Brown Says
European banks are “grossly under- capitalized” and the debt crisis is more serious for the region than the 2008 meltdown as governments are constrained by fiscal pressures.
CNN Money | Postal Service targets 252 mail facilities
Hundreds of mail-handling facilities have been named in a shutdown list released Thursday by the U.S. Postal Service as the agency tries to fight massive red ink.
Fox Business | And the Regulations Go On and On
According to a Small Business Administration study conducted by Lafayette College Professor Mark Crain, the cost of all federal regulations for companies with 500 or more employees $7,755 a year per employee. Woe be to you if you were a small business, the costs escalate to $10,585 per year per employee if you have fewer than 20 employees. That's a 364% difference.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Post | Is another banking crisis looming in Europe?
The ECB’s safety net can buy time, but it can’t solve the underlying problem: banks’ exposure on sovereign debt holdings.
WSJ | The Obama Promise: Then and Now
The president's own economic words are coming back to haunt him.
AEI | Policy Prescriptions for the Economy
Unfortunately, according to the latest indicators, the U.S. economy continues to disappoint and performs more poorly than original forecasts that were made by the more optimistic economists, who also tended to be supporters of the idea that our economy needs a big Keynesian stimulus.
Washington Times | MCGEE: Small business, big dreams
Allowing risk-takers to pursue their goals is key to economic renewal.
Washington Times | Why the Jobs Plan Falls Short
Instead of temporary tax breaks and more spending, we need permanent tax incentives, development of our energy resources, and entitlement reform.
RCM | "Ponzi Scheme" Doesn't Quite Cover the Evils of Social Security
The awful truth is that Social Security's beneficiaries, who have been misled into believing that they are merely collecting the funds owed to them by a pension plan, are in reality just another faction of welfare recipients.

AEI: American | The Myth of Middle Class Stagnation
It’s time to correct a misconception regarding middle-class income.
Atlantic: McArdle | Why Solyndra Was Bad Stimulus
Good stimulus is not simply a matter of multipliers; it is also a matter of speed. And projects like infrastructure and underwriting simply take time. In an economic crisis, you're better off with a lower multiplier that moves quickly, than a higher multiplier which doesn't.
CafĂ© Hayek | The State Isn’t Us
Reasonable people can disagree over whether or not voluntary charity would be sufficient. It’s a mistake, however, to classify coerced ‘giving’ as “compassion,” and downright bizarre to accuse those of us who would rely more upon genuine compassion – evidenced by people giving from the goodness of their hearts rather than from a desire to avoid imprisonment – as endorsing a society without compassion.
Atlantic: McArdle | What Does Stimulus Do?
In general, stimulus is not a bad thing--but I think it's a limited thing. It's an aspirin tablet, not a cure for cancer.
ThinkMarkets | Financial Crisis from Lehman to Europe
The current financial crisis is a reverse of the 2008 disaster in key respects. This time, the culprits are certain governments, the problem is European and how badly it will affect the American financial system is a question.
Heritage Foundation | Solar Bankruptcies Mean It’s Time to End Energy Subsidies, Not Increase Them
If an energy source is not economically competitive, then the government should not artificially prop up these technologies and energy sources to create a market that wouldn’t exist without the subsidy.

Mercatus Center | New Ideas For Refinancing And Restructuring Mortgage Loans
A possible way to help jump start the economy and reduce mortgage defaults is to streamline mortgage refinancing. When a borrower refinances their mortgage, they may save $150 - $400 per month or $1,800 - $4,800 annually in mortgage interest.
Mercatus Center | Fixing the Watchdog: Legislative Proposals to Improve And Enhance the Securities and Exchange Commission
First, I will argue that clarifying the SEC’s legislative mandate to conduct economic analysis and a commitment of authority to economists on staff at the SEC are both vital to ensure that new rules work for investors rather than against them. Second, I will urge that the SEC be required to consider the impact of new rules on the state-based system of business incorporation.

Health Care

National Journal | Report: Warnings on Long-Term Care Plan Came Early
The Obama administration has been getting warnings for two years or more about problems with a new long-term care insurance plan called the CLASS Act, the Associated Press reports.
Politico | Obama jobs plan: Raise taxes on health care
Type the sentence(s) summarizing the link here.
National Journal | Blue Cross Pushes HHS to Release All Regulations By Early 2012
ealth plans don’t have the information they need to carry out some important health-reform changes – and they don’t have enough time to get the work done either, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association says.
National Journal | New GOP Attack on Health Care Turns Back the Clock
Republicans trying to gut the Obama administration’s health care law took a new tack on Thursday with proposed regulations that would turn back the clock on some health insurance regulations.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
AEI | The Impact of Health Care Reform on Access to Biologics, Health Policy, and Managed Care
The government is in the business of setting premiums. The health plans offered through the healthcare exchanges are going to be very tightly regulated. They will have a minimum benefit package set by the government This is going to have a profound influence on the kind of insurance that is offered.


Market Watch | Fed, in time, to use three easing tools: Blinder
The Federal Reserve will eventually try all three principal easing tools now on the table unless there is a dramatic improvement in the economic outlook, a former top central bank official told MarketWatch in an interview.
CNN: Money | CPI: Inflation rate picks up in August
The highest inflation rate in three years put a squeeze on consumers' wallets in August, according to the government's key price measure. The Consumer Price Index rose 3.8% in the month compared to a year earlier. That's up from 3.6% in July and is the highest reading since September 2008.
NYTimes | New President at Kansas City Fed
Thomas M. Hoenig, who announced last March that he would step down on Oct. 1 when he would be 65, the mandatory retirement age for Fed bank presidents. He was the Fed’s longest-serving regional bank president.

RCM: Wells Fargo | Consumer Prices Jump in August
Led by gains in housing, gasoline and food, headline CPI inflation increased a stronger-than-expected 0.4 percent in August. Excluding food and energy, prices rose a trend-like 0.2 percent.


CNN Money | Boehner: No tax hikes for super committee
House Speaker John Boehner drew a line in the sand on taxes on Thursday, saying that a special debt committee tasked with cutting at least $1.2 trillion from federal deficits shouldn't consider tax hikes.
WSJ | Boehner Pushes Tax Overhaul
House Speaker John Boehner wants Congress's deficit-reduction committee to initiate a broad rewrite of the tax code that closes loopholes without adding new tax revenue.
NY Times | Amnesty Program Yields Millions More in Back Taxes
More than 12,000 American taxpayers have voluntarily revealed their secret offshore bank accounts to the Internal Revenue Service as part of the government’s latest tax amnesty program, agency officials said on Thursday.
WSJ | Spain to Impose New Wealth Tax
Finance Minister Elena Salgado told journalists Thursday that the tax "will reinforce budgetary stability" and will be applied to people with net assets of more than €700,000 ($962,780) in 2011 and 2012.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Soak the Rich? No, Soak the Needy
Obama's proposal to limit charitable tax deductions punishes those who receive, not just those who give.

Heritage Foundation | Obama’s Jobs Plan: Permanent Tax Hikes on Job Creators
In the end, the tax hikes would be permanent while the jobs policies temporary; thus, the proposal is really a tax hike plan rather than a jobs plan.


NY Times | In Boeing Case, House Passes Bill Restricting Labor Board
The House voted on Thursday to approve a Republican-backed bill that would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board from trying to block Boeing from operating a new $750 million aircraft assembly line in South Carolina. The largely party-line vote was 238 to 186.
WSJ | OECD Calls for Action on Unemployment
In its annual employment outlook, the Paris-based think tank said that in July, 44.5 million workers were without jobs across its 34 developed-country members, 13.4 million more than immediately before the onset of the financial crisis.
Market Watch | No ‘gimmicks’ for job creation, Boehner says
Congress and the White House shouldn’t waste time with “short-term gimmicks” to spur the recovery and shrink the deficit, House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday, urging lawmakers to instead aggressively deregulate the economy and revamp the tax code to put people back to work.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Why the Jobs Plan Falls Short
Instead of temporary tax breaks and more spending, we need permanent tax incentives, development of our energy resources, and entitlement reform.
Forbes | Instead Of Obama's Jobs Plan, Pass Something That Will Work
President Barack Obama’s first, nearly $1 trillion “stimulus” bill enacted in February, 2009, was intellectually quite shocking for its total devotion to an unreconstructed, 1970s style, college freshman’s understanding of Keynesian economics. 

WSJ: Real Time Economics | Recession Job Losers Take Bigger Hit to Future Earnings
Employees who held their jobs for three or more years and were let go in a mass layoff saw the value of their future earnings decline by 11% in an average year compared to those who kept their jobs, according to a paper released Thursday at the Brookings Institution by Columbia University’s Till von Wachter and the University of Chicago’s Steven Davis. Similar workers who were let go in a mass layoff during a recession saw the value of their future earnings drop nearly twice as much, 19%.


CNN Money | Obama to lay out debt reduction plan
President Obama's debt reduction plan is set to land Monday in the laps of the 12 members of the Congress' bipartisan debt committee.
WSJ | Debt Showdown in Alabama
Jefferson County Presses for Concessions in Sewer Debt as Bankruptcy Vote Looms.
CNN Money | IMF chief: Advanced economies crushed by debt
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde sounded the alarm Thursday that global economies are in a "dangerous phase," in her first major speech in Washington since taking over as fund chief.
Politico | House GOP eyes year-end omnibus
Reversing their past rhetoric, House Republicans are actively considering plans to bundle the 12 annual appropriations bills into a single omnibus package that meets spending targets set in the August budget accord and can be enacted before the December showdown over further deficit reduction.
National Journal | Plenty of Plans Out There for Super Committee to Ponder
To say the super committee is under a time crunch, may be the biggest political understatement this fall—especially given the group’s growing, hypothetical to-do list of deficit reduction, tax reform, and job creation.