Wednesday, October 12, 2011

General Economics

Market Watch | Bank regulators move toward Volcker rule
Bank regulators on Tuesday introduced the controversial Volcker rule, a measure that could cost big banks billions of dollars and force them to stick with a wide variety of trades for at least two months.
Bloomberg | U.S. Senate Shelves Obama’s $447B Job Plan
President Barack Obama’s drive to enact a $447 billion jobs plan was derailed by the U.S. Senate, falling short of the 60 votes needed to advance what he has proposed to revive a faltering economy.
Bloomberg | Manufacturers See Less U.S. Recession Risk
The U.S. manufacturing industry rebounded in September from its lowest level since December 2009, helping to defy concerns about a double-dip recession.
WSJ | Behind Scenes, Battle for Face Time As Regulators Craft Rule's Wording
Tuesday's announcement of the proposed Volcker rule came after months of meetings and letter-writing aimed at U.S. regulators. Now comes yet another burst of arm-twisting before the final rule is announced next year.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | WOLF: Barack Obama’s remedial math lesson
Class warfare just doesn’t add up.
WSJ | Wall Street's Gullible Occupiers
The protesters have been sold a bill of goods. Reckless government policies, not private greed, brought about the housing bubble and resulting financial crisis.
WSJ | Is China's Economy Headed for Trouble?
A double-dip recession abroad is the only serious threat.
Washington Times | LAMBRO: Grading Obama by the numbers
There is no real plan to fix our economy before the election.
WSJ | Government vs. EPA
A U.S. agency, governors and attorneys general fight an EPA rule.

Atlantic: Megan McArdle | Why Don't Congressmen Have Better Financial Oversight?
That's why we don't rely on the sterling integrity of private actors. We rely on transparency and sanctions for those we catch. Why should our legislators be above the law?
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Vital Signs: Falling Global Activity
An index of world economic activity is pointing down. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s indicator of economic activity in its 34 member nations fell to 100.8 in August from 101.4 in July.
Volokh Conspiracy | The Basic Law and Economics of The Durbin Amendment
After a couple of posts on the Durbin Amendment, it has become clear that not everyone has read and familiarized themselves with the Durbin Amendment. So if I may, allow me to lay out a few basic principles:
Café Hayek | The evidence for Keynesian economics
Does Krugman really believe that you can’t have high interest rates when there is high unemployment. The stagflation of the 1970s when there was high unemployment with high interest rates is one reason Keynesian went into disrepute.
Minyanville | New Free Trade Deals Are Finally Here
Pacts with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea head for approval, Germany woos Vietnam as a trade partner, and KFC expands in Africa, in this week's look at CIVETS emerging economies.

Health Care

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
AEI | Design Can Improve Healthcare; Can It Also Lead to New Cures?
Device makers are focusing on the user experience and hospitals are trying to pay more attention to the holistic needs of their inpatients.

ThinkMarkets | Politics of Healthcare Rationing
The Obama administration’s remake of the US healthcare system stands on three legs. It makes the purchase of insurance compulsory.

Heritage Foundation | Obamacare Will Price Less Skilled Workers Out of Full-Time Jobs
President Obama’s health care law requires employers to offer health benefits to full-time employees. This employer mandate will price many unskilled workers out of full-time employment.


WSJ | Lawmakers Pass Bill Targeting China Yuan Policy
Although the bill is unlikely to become law, the Senate debate has kept a public focus on the currency issue as the two countries remain at odds over China's control of the yuan.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Forbes | Congress Messes With China While Sen. DeMint Eyes The Dollar
The world dollar standard, not China’s and other governments’ nefarious behavior, is what prevents balance of payment adjustments and creates the buildup of foreign exchanges reserves.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | Fast Enough? China’s Currency Record
As the Senate ponders a measure to punish China for undervaluing its currency, it’s useful to take a look at China’s currency record, compared to other countries.
The Economist | Is China a currency manipulator?
There are many things American companies dislike about the way business is done in China: intellectual-property theft, the impossibility of winning government contracts, baffling rules on corporate ownership and so on. However the place for fixing these things is the World Trade Organisation, not Congress.
Reason Foundation | Conflict of Interest at the Federal Reserve – Operation Twist is Utter Failure
Here’s the dilemma facing the Fed: Institutions, both foreign and domestic, have run-up longer-term Treasury prices enormously over the last two months beginning in August and ending last Tuesday. They’ve since been selling, pushing prices down about 7% in the last week while the Fed buys into them offloading their positions.


Politico | Analysts not sold on tax holiday
With $1.4 trillion in corporate profits stockpiled abroad, lawmakers are eager to engineer a tax break to lure some of the money back home to create jobs in an ailing economy.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Slate | 99 Percenters, Meet the 53 Percenters
In response to Occupy Wall Street, some conservatives are blasting the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal taxes. Do they have a point?

Political Calculations | Setting President Obama's Top Income Tax Rate
The reason today's predicted maximum income tax rate has risen to 48.0% since that time is completely due to President Obama's spending, which has significantly driven up the national debt.

Heritage Foundation | The Millionaire Tax: Yet Another Job-Killing Tax Hike
This is the third time in the past two years that congressional Democrats have proposed a millionaire tax.
Mercatus Center | The Internet, Sales Taxes, and Tax Competition
...Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) recently introduced S. 1452, “The Main Street Fairness Act,” which would force retailers to collect sales tax for states that join a formal tax compact.


WSJ | Obama's Jobs Bill Hits Wall in Senate
The vote was 50-49 in favor of the bill, which needed 60 votes to move forward. Democratic leaders worked hard to keep enough of their members on board to garner a simple majority, though the victory was largely symbolic.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
New York Post | Beating a dead goose
The number of Wall Street fat cats is shrinking fairly dramatically, and will continue to shrink in the years ahead -- meaning even less money coming from one of New York’s most important sources of tax revenue.

RCM: Wells Fargo Economics Group | Employment: Beyond the Sound Bites—Reading the Signals V
Income for workers is the product of wages and hours worked. For both factors, their behavior in this cycle is quite different than in prior cycles, and this has limited income growth and the strength of the recovery.


National Journal | Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Files for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy
The City Council voted 4-3 to seek bankruptcy protection for Harrisburg, which has a debt burden five times its general-fund budget "because of an overhaul and expansion of a trash-to-energy incinerator that doesn’t generate enough revenue," Bloomberg reported.  

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | MILLER: Winning the balanced-budget fight
GOP needs to move fiscal restraint to the front burner.

Cato Institute | Economic Policy in the E.U.: More Bailouts, More Debt, More Crises
What began as a system of economic cooperation has turned into quasi-continental government.
NRO: The Corner | Sequester vs. Surrender
The Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell has an interesting post arguing that, if the Republicans appointed to the supercommittee are smart (meaning they actually believe in smaller government), they will do nothing and choose the sequester savings over a surrender.
Economic Freedom | VIDEO: Episode Two: Economic Freedom in America Today
For years the United States has been a world leader in economic freedom. But runaway government spending and burdensome regulations have caused a decline in economic freedom in the United States. If our economic freedom continues to fall, how will it affect our quality of life?