Friday, September 23, 2011

General Economics

Bloomberg | China, Japan Say Europe Must Fix Own Debt Crisis, No ‘Blank Check’ for Aid
Officials from China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-biggest economies, indicated that their support for Europe will have limits and the region needs to solve its own debt crisis.
CNN: Money | Global economy alarm bells ring
The latest monthly readings released Thursday on manufacturing in the eurozone, the U.K. and China all were weaker than they had been, as was a report on the service sector in Europe.
Bloomberg | World’s Financial System Risks Repeat of 2008 Credit Crisis, O’Neill Says
More than $3.4 trillion has been erased from equity values this week, driving global stocks into a bear market, as the Federal Reserve’s new stimulus and a pledge by Group of 20 nations fails to ease concern the global economy is on the brink of another recession.
CNN: Money | Poverty pervades the suburbs
A record 15.4 million suburban residents lived below the poverty line last year, up 11.5% from the year before, according to a Brookings Institution analysis of Census data released Thursday. That's one-third of the nation's poor.
Fox News | First-Time Owners Stuck in Their Homes
The housing decline that started in 2008 is having a profound impact on families across the country. Many who are in their first homes are stuck causing them to delay starting families or even moving for job opportunities.
Politico | Trade deal can't wait
The most important issue now pending between the governments of the Republic of Korea and the United States is to ratify and implement the South Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement without further delay.
WSJ | Economic Signals Heighten Worries of a Double-Dip
The risk remains that another shock—such as deeper turmoil in the European banking sector—could be one too many for the world economy.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | STANEK: Ponzi on the Potomac
Renowned economists agree: Social Security is a scam.
Daily Caller | Is this the beginning of a double-dip recession?
The Fed should have listened to the GOP congressional leadership, which in a letter advocated no more stimulus and no more market-subverting interference.
Politico | Agencies stiffing small-businesses
This apparent disinterest in helping small businesses is unacceptable, and the agencies that refuse to adhere to the Small Business Act will be held accountable.

AEI: American | Is Competitiveness Worth Defending?
In the State of the Union address this year, President Obama called for a “competitiveness initiative.” He has his own Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and earlier this week the White House released the president’s “American Jobs Act” and suggested the plan would help America compete: “The president’s plan will put Americans back to work in key areas that are central to America’s future competitiveness.”
AEI: American | How Do You Know When Government Has Gotten Too Big?
One reason for the D.C. area’s ranking, I’ve argued, is that federal salaries are likely to be excessive. Are federal employees more educated and experienced than the average private sector worker?

RCM: Wells Fargo | Investors Boost Existing Home Sales in August
Sales of existing homes increased 7.7 percent in August to an annualized rate of 5.03 million units. Single-family sales accounted for most of the gain as all four regions of the country reported increased sales activity.

Health Care

National Journal | Long-Term Insurance Program Gets No Money, Loses Staff
Republicans on Capitol Hill gleefully circulated a note on Thursday from a staffer at a controversial long-term disability program called CLASS saying the Health and Human Services Department will close the program.
National Journal | Geithner: Higher Retirement Age Must Be Accompanied by Health Reform
The Obama administration isn’t going to push for raising the Medicare eligibility age to reduce the nation’s deficit until its 2010 overhaul of the country's health insurance system is more firmly in place, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Thursday.

Heritage Foundation | The Latest Obamacare Implosion
Inefficient programs that don’t solve problems and are passed against the will of the American people seem to be the Obama Administration’s forte. Now their high-minded aspirations of a health care revolution are quickly unraveling as fatal glitches in Obamacare become apparent.
Heritage Foundation | If You Like Your Health Care Plan, Can You Keep It?
Since Obamacare will require employers to spend more money on health care plans for their employees, it’s expected to hinder job creation. To avoid this, a discussion draft under review would prevent the regulations and requirements in the new law from affecting grandfathered health plans.


Bloomberg | Fed’s ‘Operation Twist’ Fails to Convince Investors It Will Boost Growth
The Federal Reserve’s plan to buy longer-term Treasuries has succeeded in bringing down interest rates while not convincing investors the unorthodox monetary policy will strengthen economic growth.
CNN: Money | Can the Federal Reserve get banks lending?
The Federal Reserve wants consumers to apply for more mortgages and businesses to take out more loans, in order to boost the sluggish U.S. economy. At least, that's the thinking behind Operation Twist, a policy announced by the Fed Wednesday that's meant to drive down long-term interest rates, thereby making it cheaper to borrow.
Market Watch | Chinese yuan falls vs. dollar
China’s yuan departed from its upward trend Thursday and Friday after hitting a record high earlier in the week, though analysts said the currency’s long-term prospects are strong.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | GHEI: The Fed’s twisted policy
Interest-rate gimmicks don’t address fundamental economic problems.
Minyanville | About That 2011 Hyperinflation Call…
Hyperinflationists forgot to factor in the possibility that the euro, the pound, and the yen just all may be far worse hiding places than the dollar.
RCM | The Fractal Character Of the Current Bank Run
If nothing else, the Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke, divided as it has become, will be rigidly consistent in its prime directive of saving the financial system before all else.

Coordination Problem | Twisting When We Should Be Shifting
The idea is to twist long and short rates by buying more long-term securities and paying for them with sales of shorter-term ones. The hoped-for reduction in long term rates would benefit mortgage holders and others on the consumer side, but also spur investment.

CRS | International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress
The IMF has evolved significantly as an institution since it was created.


Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Source | Correcting President Obama's Myriad Tax Fallacies
The strategy of central political players today is to calculate what busy voters working hard and taking care of their families do not and will not know, and take advantage of that with abusive rhetoric that cannot be characterized as intellectually honest.

Heritage Foundation | Obama’s Tax Plan Raises Price of Nuclear Energy
The President wants to place an additional tax on nuclear utilities that will result in higher energy prices for consumers.
EconLog | Obama's Weird Tax Plan
Obama himself, as Reynolds notes in the first paragraph above, advocated lower tax rates along with cutting loopholes and other tax breaks.

NCPA | Is the Corporate Income Tax Regressive?
Capital can flee high taxes; workers are stuck.


CNN Money | Toys 'R' Us adding 40,000 holiday jobs
In 2010 10% of its holiday workforce was hired full time, the company said.

Heritage Foundation | Four ‘Green Job’ Realities
Green jobs programs have been a profoundly wasteful use of taxpayers’ money and are doing more harm to the economy than helping it.


Politico | Government shutdown or compromise, new crisis looms
As Thursday night became Friday morning, 219 members of the House overcame 203 dissenters to to pass a continuing resolution that would keep the government funded until mid November, while offsetting disaster aid to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s near-barren accounts.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Post | Obama’s flawed sense of fairness
His current proposal, by the reckoning of Keith Hennessey of the Hoover Institution, includes about $15 in net tax increases for every $1 in net spending reductions.

Fox News | The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Stopgap Spending Bill
Four points to remember about what unfolded early this morning in the House of Representatives and what it means for the stopgap spending bill, a potential government shutdown and FEMA.
NRO: The Corner | ‘Emergency’ Spending Must Be Offset
Yesterday, the House rejected a continuing resolution that would have provided $1 billion in fiscal 2011 money for the nation’s disaster-relief fund, offsetting that amount with a $1.5 billion spending cut.