Tuesday, October 11, 2011

General Economics

WSJ | OPEC Cuts Demand Forecast
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Tuesday further trimmed its forecasts for oil demand in 2011 and 2012 and warned it could cut the outlook again amid growing unease over the global economy.
Fox News | The History of Trade Agreements in the House
Trade pacts and their political volatility date back to the approval of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. At that time, the concept of broadening trade was anathema to many "pro-labor" Democrats.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | RAHN: Unthinking financial regulators
The shocking thing is that more than one-quarter of all American households are unbanked or underbanked and that this number is rising, not falling, largely because of ill-thought-out financial regulation and policies.
WSJ | Avoiding Smoot-Hawley Redux
My Senate colleagues shouldn't be provoking a trade war with China.
Bloomberg | Business Class: Policy Uncertainty Is Choking Recovery
The recovery from the recession of 2008-09 remains anemic. Job growth has stalled, unemployment stands above 9 percent, and there are renewed fears of another output drop.
WSJ | The Return of Rational Expectations
A pair of worthy Nobel prizes in economics.
Washington Times | EKINS: Key to entitlement reform: Full refund
Taxpayers will go along if they don’t get robbed in the process.
WSJ | A Nobel for Non-Keynesians
People's expectations about government policy make it difficult for officials to affect the economy in the ways they intend to.

Daily Capitalist | The Welfare Tipping Point
e are quickly approaching a tipping point where the have not are equal to the haves. That is bad for a democracy where voters can vote themselves benefits from the government.
Café Hayek | Poor Sales
Saying that poor sales is the biggest problem facing small business is like saying that the biggest problem facing the economy is that it’s not doing very well. It has no content.
Daily Capitalist | Too Big To Fail?
Over the years he had drawn a line through the investment houses as they disappeared through M&A or failure. About two-thirds were gone. Nothing new I guess.
Independent Institute | Important New Evidence on Regime Uncertainty
The idea of regime uncertainty had sound economic theory and substantial empirical evidence to support it from the beginning, and a great deal of additional evidence has accumulated over the past three years.
Calculated Risk | Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 983 Institutions
Here is the unofficial problem bank list for Oct 7, 2011.
Marginal Revolution | Which countries target their welfare spending most effectively?
Australia has the most “target efficient” system of social security benefits of any OECD country. For each dollar of spending on benefits our system reduces income inequality by about 50 per cent more than the United States, Denmark or Norway, twice as much as Korea, two and a half times as much as Japan or Italy, and three times as much as France.
Calculated Risk | Schedule for Week of Oct 9th
The key economic releases this week are the September retail sales report on Friday, and the August trade balance report on Thursday.
Daily Capitalist | The Great Recession Never Ended
It has been the position of the Daily Capitalist that we really haven’t seen the end of the Great Recession, and one important measure of that, perhaps the one that really matters the most, is that unemployment remains high.
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Sargent, Sims Win Economics Nobel
The economics Nobel was awarded this morning to Thomas J. Sargent of New York University and Christopher A. Sims of Princeton University for their work on how to assess the effects of policy changes on the economy.
NRO: The Corner | Awesome!
Forbes’ Paul Roderick Gregory has some advice for Obama’s Department of Energy from a former Soviet planner:

Heritage Foundation | Global Trade Freedom Needs a Boost
Worldwide, the average trade freedom score fell slightly, from 74.8 to 74.5. This small drop is not necessarily cause for alarm because trade freedom remains at the second-highest level since The Heritage Foundation began tracking it in 1995.
Mercatus Center | Mercatus Center Do Subsidies Justify Retaliatory Protectionism?
Imposing retaliatory protectionist measures risks encouraging rent-seeking behaviour. In practice, it is impossible to define exactly what behaviour does and does not amount to the grant of subsidies by the government of an exporting country.

Health Care

Politico | Hospitals unclear on payment
It’s widely agreed that the fee-for-service model that Medicare has long used to pay providers is not sustainable because it drives up health spending.

Marginal Revolution | Not a CLASS Act
One of the budget savings that the critics claimed was a gimmick was that a new long-term care insurance program, The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program or CLASS for short, was counted as reducing the deficit.


Bloomberg | Currency Forecasters Say Best Over for Dollar
The most accurate foreign-exchange forecasters say the dollar’s best quarterly rally since 2008 has no chance of continuing to year-end as a slow economy spurs the Federal Reserve to flood the world with more U.S. currency.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Forbes | China And The Truth About The Senate's Exchange Rate Oversight Act
Blaming China for our woes is politically attractive but dangerous. Since 1978, China has greatly liberalized its economy and is now the second largest trading nation in the world. U.S. consumers have benefited from lower prices and more choices than if China had followed the path of state monopoly.

Daily Capitalist | Price Inflation Up Worldwide
If you have wondered what has happened to all the fiat money pumped into the various countries around the world, I have your answer:
Econlog | The Crack Theory of Inflation
So, the theory is that inflation is like crack. Take a little of it, and you'll soon become crazy and hooked, and then the withdrawal will be painful.


Politico | Carl Levin report blasts repatriation tax break
The last repatriation tax holiday cost taxpayers billions and failed to provide any measurable boost to the economy, Sen. Carl Levin concludes in a new report that takes aim at a top priority of the business lobby.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
RCM | Tax Reform, Not Trade Wars, Is the Answer to China
Congress should embark on fundamental tax reform that adopts a territorial tax system. If enacted, it would not only make America more competitive with China, but with the rest of the world as well.

CRS | An Analysis of the "Buffett Rule"
This report examines the Buffett rule, but uses a measure of income that captures the ability to pay taxes and incorporates the effect of the corporate income tax in addition to the individual income tax and the payroll tax.


CNN Money | Millions to lose unemployment benefits if Congress doesn't act
Millions of unemployed Americans are waiting for Congress to do something other than trade barbs over their job creation plans.
Washington Times | Michigan was tech jobs leader in 2010
D.C., W.Va., Utah, S.C., round out top five, TechAmerica study shows.
CNN Money | Jobs Council: More investment needed for jobs
President Obama's jobs council on Tuesday released a list of proposals to spur job growth, putting investment in roads and bridges and tax breaks to encourage start-ups and company growth at the top of the list.
WSJ | Wall Street Shrinkage
New York Comptroller Sees 10,000 More Securities Jobs Lost by End 2012.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Stimulus Lite
The Senate jobs bill is a parody of a growth plan.
Reason | Creation Myth
Governments are worse than no good at “creating jobs.”
WSJ | Green Jobs Brown Out
How to spend $157,000 per job.

John Stossel's Take | More Imaginary Green Jobs
The Labor department said 79,854 people would get jobs (where do they get these numbers?), but oops, only 8,035 people found employment…
Political Calculations | The Best Month for Jobs in 2011
...for the first time since the last recession officially ended in June 2009, the number of employed Americans rose above the 140 million mark, to 140,025,000.
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Number of the Week: Falling Wages for Young College Grads
9.6%: Decline from 2000 to 2010 in inflation-adjusted median earnings of people 25 to 34 years old with a bachelor’s degree and no graduate degree.


CNN Money | Debt committee could raise risk of U.S. downgrade
As if finding consensus on debt reduction in a hyper-partisan environment isn't hard enough.
NY Times | Many in Both Parties Want a Window Into the Deficit Reduction Panel’s Work
On one crucial point, a powerful Congressional committee seeking ways to reduce the federal budget deficit has managed to produce a rare bipartisan consensus: Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives in and out of Congress say the panel is doing too much of its work in secret.
CNN Money | $1.3 trillion deficit for 2011, CBO says
The federal government closed out fiscal year 2011 with an estimated deficit of $1.3 trillion, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates released Friday.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | HANNA: Lies, failure and wasted money
What the White House doesn’t want you to know.

Independent Institute | Shrinking Leviathan: Can the Interaction Between Interests and Ideology Slice Both Ways?
Contrary to conventional thought, however, the history of government expansion provides reasons to believe that the trend can be reversed.