Thursday, October 13, 2011

General Economics

News                                                                                                                             
Market Watch | Trade deficit steady at $45.6 billion in August
The nation’s trade deficit held steady at $45.6 billion in August from the prior month, the Commerce Department said. The trade gap in July was revised up from the initial estimate of $44.8 billion.
Bloomberg | China Export Growth Dwindles to Slowest Pace in Seven Months as Yuan Gains
China’s exports rose the least in seven months and the customs bureau warned of “severe” challenges as the global economic outlook dims, giving Premier Wen Jiabao’s government less incentive to let the yuan rise.
CNN: Money | China-U.S. trade wars: What's at stake
China and the United States are the world's two largest economies and arguably each other's most important trading partners. And now, it seems the two countries find themselves on the brink of a trade war.
CNN: Money | Foreclosures continue to plague housing market
Nationwide, foreclosure filings totaled 610,337 in the third quarter, an increase of less than 1% from the previous quarter, said RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosed properties.
WSJ | Congress Approves Trade Pacts
The House passed all three deals Wednesday evening, and the Senate followed suit. The deals are expected to generate $13 billion in new exports—$11 billion to South Korea—chiefly farm products. As well, they lift a host of non-tariff barriers, including over U.S. professional services.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
CNN: Money | Let's stop debating our recession status. It's pointless
Arguing over whether or not we're slipping back into recession is fruitless and diverts energy and resources from the real job, which is trying to fix things.
Washington Times | MILLER: Encouraging investment in America
The capital-gains tax should be capped and eliminated.
WSJ | Families Don't Depend on the Minimum Wage
The data are clear: In most cases minimum-wage earnings are only a small fraction of family income.
Washington Times | VIEWS: South Korea critical to America’s future
Free trade agreement boon for alliance and economies.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
AEI: American | Deutsche Bank chief economist: ‘I’m an Austrian in economics’
In a world, where markets are not always liquid buy can seize up in a collective fit of panic, financial firms and investors also need a greater reserve of liquidity.
Cato @ Liberty | New Video Has Important Message: Freedom and Prosperity vs. Big Government and Stagnation
The Koch Institute video focuses primarily on the key issues of fiscal policy and regulation, but trade, monetary policy, property rights, and rule of law are examples of other policies that also are very important.
Coordination Problem | Public Choice Foundations of Macroeconomics
If you treat politics as endogenous, then I believe even many of the more market oriented proposals for macroeconomic policy will meet with frustration.
Heritage Foundation | In Pictures: What Are the Benefits of Free Trade?
Now that Congress has passed free trade agreements with Columbia, Panama and South Korea, it’s a good time to ask why the United States should support and expand free trade.
AEI: American | Krugman’s weak defense of Keynesian fiscal policy
Finally, there is evidence from fiscal expansions in the 1930s, which actually did lead to economic expansion too. … We have a model of the way the world works, and the world does indeed seem to work that way. And an implication of that model is that fiscal stimulus will work under conditions like those we face now.
Marginal Revolution | IS-LM Keynesianism, why not and which alternatives?
I am sad that the IS-LM debate devolved into IS-LM vs. close substitutes, because I meant to raise a broader set of objections to one particular kind of technocratic curve-shifting as the foundation for macroeconomic thought. Let me list a few alternative starting points for macroeconomics:

Reports                                                                                                                         
NBER | Comparing the Investment Behavior of Public and Private Firms
Listed firms invest less and are less responsive to changes in investment opportunities compared to observably similar, matched private firms, especially in industries in which stock prices are particularly sensitive to current earnings.
CBO | United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting S. 1642 would reduce revenues by $31 million in 2012 and by about $7.0 billion over the 2012-2021 period.
Heritage Foundation | Taking the REINS on Regulation
Firm action by Congress to rein in costly regulation is sorely needed. Over the past few years, the cost and number of new regulations have increased dramatically. This increase did not begin with President Obama, but it has accelerated markedly during his tenure.
CBO | United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting S. 1643 would increase revenues by $118 million in 2012 but would reduce revenues by $6 million over the 2012-2021 period.
CBO | CBO United States–Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting S. 1641 would reduce revenues by $139 million in 2012 and by about $1.5 billion over the 2012-2021 period.

Health Care

News                                                                                                                             
National Journal | Asthma Drug Spending Soars in U.S.
U.S. spending on asthma drugs more than quadrupled from $527 million to $2.5 billion in the 10 years from 1998 to 2008, according to government figures released on Wednesday.
National Journal | Medicare Plans See Dollars in the Stars
The star ratings are part of a push by the Obama administration to increase the quality of care provided by private plans that contract with Medicare. The ratings are based on 36 measures, ranging from rates of hospital readmissions to the volume of consumer complaints a plan gets.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Cato @ Liberty | RomneyCare: Making a Fool of Every Republican It Touches Since 2006
There isn’t a single person, left or right, who follows health policy seriously who disagrees with the assertion that Romneycare was the model for Obamacare. And Massachusetts has had to raise taxes, after Romney left office, to pay for the law’s significant cost overruns.

Monetary

News                                                                                                                             
Market Watch | Fed minutes show doubts economy will improve
Fed officials “saw considerable uncertainty surrounding the outlook for a gradual pickup in economic growth,” with the economy showing only a weak bounce after the recession in contrast to past recoveries, according to the minutes.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
CNN: Money | Fed leaves door open on QE3
Federal Reserve policymakers left the door open to another round of asset purchases in the near future, according to minutes of their most recent meeting.

Taxes

News                                                                                                                             
CNN Money | Buffett made $62,855,038 last year
In a letter to Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp Tuesday, Buffett revealed that his adjusted gross income last year was $62,855,038 and that his taxable income was $39,814,784. Buffett said he paid $15,300 in payroll taxes.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
RCM | Analyzing Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Tax Plan
Recall that the 28 percent maximum rate Congress adopted in the Tax Reform Act of 1986 was raised more than once, under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Washington Times | MILLER: Encouraging investment in America
The capital-gains tax should be capped and eliminated.

Employment

News                                                                                                                             
Market Watch | Initial jobless claims inch down to 404,000
Applications for unemployment benefits reflect little change in hiring.
Politico | Jobs plan from Senate Republicans unveiled
President Barack Obama had his American Jobs Act. Now, Senate Republicans may have their Real American Jobs Act.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Families Don't Depend on the Minimum Wage
The data are clear: In most cases minimum-wage earnings are only a small fraction of family income.
Fox News | Our Government Doesn't Create Jobs, It Kills Them
When government isn't killing jobs by sucking money out of the private sector, it kills jobs by smothering the private sector with regulation.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs: Willing but Are They Able?
According to the first findings, released Thursday morning, 77% of all students surveyed want to be their own boss; 45% plan to start their own businesses and 42% went even further, saying they agreed with the statement “I will invent something that changes the world.”

Budget

News                                                                                                                             
Politico | Deficit panel: What are they thinking?
The truth is that only a handful of people really know what’s going on, and most of them aren’t talking — at least not on the record.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Minyanville | Buy and Hope? In a World Awash in Debt, Let's Not
There are no quick fixes to any of the economic problems so evident in a world awash in debt.