Friday, October 14, 2011

General Economics

Market Watch | G-20 kicks off crucial weeks for euro crisis
European finance ministers will find themselves under heavy pressure to find a solution to the region’s long-running debt crisis when they meet counterparts from the Group of 20 industrialized and developing nations in Paris this week.
CNN: Money | Regulation: Not the job killer GOP says
Want to help the economy and create jobs? Well, roll back those government regulations! It's a talking point trumpeted by nearly every Republican politician. But would less regulation really spur hiring?
Market Watch | U.S. Incomes Seen Stagnant Through 2021
Americans' incomes have dropped since 2000 and they aren't expected to make up the lost ground before 2021, according to economists in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.
CNN: Money | Bring profits home and create jobs? Maybe not
Proponents from the left and right say it could create jobs and boost revenue. Critics -- also from the left and right -- say it would do just the opposite, costing the economy jobs and the government revenue.
Market Watch | U.S. retail sales jump 1.1% in September
Higher purchases of autos, clothing and furniture in September fueled the biggest increase in U.S. retail sales in seven months, government data showed Friday.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | Free-trade backers eye trans-Pacific
Buoyed by Hill passage of 3 pacts, advocates look to Asian rim, Brazil.
Reuters | S&P cuts Spain rating by one notch on weak growth
Standard & Poor's cut Spain's credit rating on Friday, sending the euro lower and underlining the challenges facing Europe's big powers as they prepare to meet G20 counterparts over the euro-zone debt crisis.
WSJ | This Is No Time for Moderation
America can't trim and tweak its way back to economic dynamism.
Daily Caller | Reappraising — and praising — capitalism
Competition and free markets are the best assurances of social cooperation and peaceful coexistence. That is what we should be teaching our children.
NY Times | Bank Rules That Serve Two Masters
When there are two powerful factions in Congress, one of which wants to take an action and the other of which wants to avoid it, what should Congress do?

Heritage Foundation | Poor Sales or Economic Uncertainty Preventing Stronger Recovery?
Criticism of the uncertainty narrative rests upon the belief that the economy isn’t growing due to depressed aggregate demand. Yet that only raises the question of what’s causing depressed aggregate demand. Business survey data together with logic and common sense demonstrate that uncertainty is at least partly responsible for our slower-than-optimal recovery.
AEI: American | Five reasons why Obama really is freaking out business
It’s the Obama administration, after all, that wants to raise taxes during an anemic recovery, has no long-term debt plan, and thinks the economy is under-regulated. And to be sure, policy uncertainty isn’t the only economic problem facing America or hurting business sentiment. But it’s likely a significant one. Here’s why:
Atlantic: Megan McArdle | Who Besides Solyndra Got Loan Guarantees?
Giving large, established companies extra-cheap loans to build power plants, run transmission lines, and fix up the roofs of their warehouses is, in the immortal words of P.J. O'Rourke, like paying a Dairy Queen owner to keep his ice cream freezers on.
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Access to Necessities Falls to Recession Levels
Access to health care and food are down the most since September 2008, the depths of the recession. And more Americans are having trouble paying for food and shelter.

NBER | Sovereigns, Upstream Capital Flows and Global Imbalances
We decompose capital flows – both debt and equity – into public and private components and study their relationship with productivity growth. This exercise reveals that international capital flows are mainly shaped by government decisions and sovereign to sovereign transactions.

Health Care

National Journal | House Passes Abortion Bill
The bill, which passed 251-172, would prevent coverage of abortion services by insurance plans on state exchanges that receive federal subsidies.
National Journal | Medicaid Key to Blacks and Hispanics, Report Finds
A quarter of black and Hispanic Americans rely on Medicaid for their health care, double the proportion of white Americans who use the state-federal health insurance plan for the poor.
NY Times | Lower Medicaid Dispensing Fees May Pressure Pharmacies
Beginning in March, a new managed-care plan goes into effect that reduces the amount pharmacies receive for filling Medicaid prescriptions.
National Journal | National Health Program Triples in Size
A government program that helps medical professionals cover the cost of their education if they practice in underserved areas has nearly tripled in size, federal officials announced on Thursday.


Bloomberg | China Lending Shrinks as Wen Wrestles With Inflation Over 6%
China’s bank lending last month was the least since 2009 as inflation stayed above the government’s target, highlighting the risk that efforts to tame prices will trigger a slowdown.
WSJ | Euro-Zone Inflation Surges
The rate of inflation in the euro zone soared to a full percentage point above the European Central Bank's preferred level in September. But signs that the economy is flagging badly—and that price pressures are now fading—mean the central bank is still likely to ease its policy stance in coming months.
WSJ | Widening U.S.-China Trade Gap Fuels Currency Battle
The U.S. trade deficit with China hit a new record in August, which is likely to be seized upon by those in Congress who want to punish the Asian nation for its currency policies.
CNN: Money | Fed's thinning toolbox lacks oomph
The Federal Reserve has very little left in its bag of tricks to help stimulate the economy. And experts say whatever comes next may not have enough of an impact to pull the economy out of its slump.
WSJ | Beijing Pushes Yuan Lower for Second Day
The yuan fell against the U.S. dollar after the Chinese central bank guided its currency downward for the second consecutive day.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
RCM | The Monetary Tax Of Artificial Economy
Credit money in the last two bubble periods flowed to consumers indirectly through debt made more appealing by those rising asset prices.

Minyanville | What Operation Twist Really Means, and How Investors Can Prepare for It
It may well be the last bullet the Fed has in its arsenal, and if the jobs bill in front of Congress is killed, the last few months of the year may be just as difficult as the summer.


National Journal | House GOP Frosh Push Corporate Tax Holiday
Six of them held a conference call on Thursday to push the Freedom to Invest Act, which would allow U.S. corporations to return home overseas earnings at a dramatically discounted tax rate for a year.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
NY Times | LAMBRO: Cain’s ‘9-9-9’ plan is a no-no
Republicans who want lower taxes will balk at federal sales tax.
Politico | No representation without taxation
Roughly 76 million tax filers, or 46 percent of the total, are expected to owe no income tax in 2011, according to the Tax Policy Center.
Cato Institute | The Beauty of the Flat Tax
Another key principle is the repeal of most forms of double taxation, which is why Cain's plan gets rid of punitive provisions like the death tax and capital gains tax.
Forbes | Flat Tax Vs. Fair Tax Vs. Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan
Neither Hong Kong nor Singapore, which are models of what can be achieved with a flat tax system (or nearly so in Singapore), have a payroll tax.
Washington Times | MILLER: Buffett’s rebuff
Billionaire investor continues carrying water for bankrupt politicians.
WSJ | The Buffett 391,000
The billionaire's latest tax argument.


Roll Call | Senate GOP Unveils Jobs Bill Retread
Senate Republicans irritated by attacks from President Barack Obama and Democrats that they don’t have a jobs plan of their own unveiled one today and called for a “conversation” with the president.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
e21 | "Supporting" 400,000 Education Jobs: An Unsupported Claim
The terminology of “supporting” nearly 400,000 jobs, as it turns out, is even more problematic. It, too, reflects an assumption rather than a metric that can be objectively tested and verified.
Bloomberg | What Do You Call a Jobs Bill That Begets No Jobs?: Caroline Baum
Obama has vowed to continue pushing his jobs package, with its temporary tax cuts and hiring incentives for small business, extended unemployment benefits and money for public works projects.

Fox Business | Thousands of Workers Needed!
According to the Labor Department - there were nearly a quarter of a million open jobs in manufacturing in August - up nearly 39% from a year ago!
Marginal Revolution | Aggregate job creation and destruction (quarterly), or is creative destruction slowing down?
Is the U.S. labor market becoming less dynamic?
Daily Capitalist | Jobless Claims Disappoint—Again
Yes, we have a lot of work to do on the labor front, and that is mainly to allow the deleveraging process to continue unimpeded and encourage the formation of real capital.


NY Times | In and From Congress, Calls to Limit Pentagon Cuts
Leading members of Congress joined the defense secretary and the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday in arguing against any additional cuts in military spending as a special committee seeks to find more than a trillion dollars in new savings in the overall budget.
WSJ | Spain Deficit Raises EU Risks
Madrid Seen Likely to Follow Greece, Portugal in Missing Budget Target as Economic Scene Worsens.
NY Times | Some Cows Still Sacred Under Mayor’s Budget
Because personnel costs make up the vast majority of the core budget, what happens behind closed doors in the contract negotiations could factor as heavily on the bottom line as the coming Council debate over the sacred cows Emanuel is trying to slay.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Cato Institute | Why Government Spending Is Bad for Our Economy
More government spending has been widely-touted as a cure for unemployment, but support for that view seems to be eroding — not least because Obama has little to show for his spending spree except about $4 trillion of additional debt.

American: Enterprise Blog | Super Committee should take a weed wacker to farm subsidies
Only in Congress could “cutting spending” actually mean “figuring out new ways to spend more.” Word on the street is that the Super Committee is close to reaching a deal with farm lobbyists to cut up to $33 billion over ten years from farm subsidy programs.