Tuesday, October 18, 2011

General Economcis

News                                                                                                                             
Market Watch | Banks face deadline on tougher mortgage standards
Big banks struggling with stalled mortgage modifications face a new hurdle — tighter standards due to take effect in just over two months from housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
National Journal | Congressional Concerns Mount Over Keystone XL Oil Pipeline
More than 30 House Democrats on Monday called on the Obama administration to reject the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would snake 1,700 miles from Canada to Texas, citing a published report raising concerns about a reportedly biased State Department environmental review.
Bloomberg | China Economy Grows Least in 2 Years as Europe Demand Cools
China’s economy grew 9.1 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace since 2009, driving stocks lower on concern that Europe’s debt crisis is dragging on the global recovery.
WSJ | France's Credit Rating Under Pressure
France's ability to support troubled euro zone countries was challenged Tuesday as the government acknowledged it is unlikely to meet its growth forecast next year and Moody's Investors Service said the stable outlook on its prized triple-A credit rating was under pressure.
Washington Times | Consumer electronics chief: Obama regulators lack business experience
President Obama’s regulatory team is hurting U.S. competitiveness and slowing the growth of the economy because of its members’ lack of business experience, the head of the nation’s largest consumer electronics trade group said Monday.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | BLANKLEY: Washington contemplates tougher China trade policy
Growing number of policymakers question currency manipulation.
WSJ | The Euro Crisis: Lessons From Bear Stearns
Europe can't afford to bail out Italy, so it might as well send the right message now by forcing Greece to restructure its debt.
Politico | New oil speculation limits draw fire
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, expected Tuesday to approve long-awaited limits on oil and other energy market speculators, is already facing criticism from the right for overreaching and the left for not being aggressive enough.
AEI | Fewer Babies, for Better or Worse
As European, Chinese and American women have fewer children, is the global economy endangered? Or is this easing the burden on a crowded planet?

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Daily Capitalist | Retail Sales Went DOWN In September, Not Up
Last week the markets reacted very strongly to the retail services report from the Census Bureau that said they went up 1.1%. The only problem with that conclusion is that they didn’t go up.
Heritage Foundation | Government Backing for Solar Firms Remains an Economic Drag
Even where government-backed companies stay afloat, federal intervention directs resources to less productive and profitable activities.
Heritage Foundation | Energy Production = Deficit Reduction
Today, the House Natural Resources Committee released its list of recommendations to the deficit reduction super committee. Their recommendations would go a long way to increase revenue for the federal government without raising taxes.

Reports                                                                                                                         
RCM: Wells Fargo | Industrial Production Advances In September
Industrial production increased as expected in September, rising 0.2 percent from the month before. August was revised down to zero growth, though July was revised higher, offsetting the impact.

Health Care

News                                                                                                                             
National Journal | Repealing CLASS Won't Cost Anything, CBO Says
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Friday that her department would not put into effect the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports, or CLASS, program called for in the 2010 health care law. Sebelius said there was no way to make it solvent.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
AEI | Should Insurers Pay for Eating Disorders?
As insurers are pushed to pay for residential treatment for eating disorders, the principle of equal coverage for mental and physical health is tested.
WSJ | ObamaCare Starts to Unravel
The real story behind the Class program failure, and what to do now.
Cato Institute | Higher Premiums for Everyone
No one should deny that for those suffering from serious mental illness, the pain is as real as from physical injury or disease. But to mandate that insurers provide coverage for residential treatment for such conditions could create far more problems than it solves.

Reports                                                                                                                         
Heritage Foundation | The First Stage of Medicare Reform: Fixing the Current Program
On Medicare, Members of Congress can pursue a careful, two-stage structural reform of the current program and transition to a better one. If they do not, they must either double down on flawed provider payment reductions and tax increases or unleash yet another round of counterproductive Medicare provider payment cuts as provided by the Budget Control Act.

Monetary

News                                                                                                                             
Market Watch | Fed should adopt GDP target, Goldman says
The Federal Reserve should target the level of gross domestic product, Goldman Sachs economists said ahead of a wave of speeches from central bank officials.
Market Watch | U.S. wholesale prices surge in September
U.S. wholesale prices rose sharply in September as the cost of gasoline and vegetables spiked, the government reported Tuesday. '

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Fox Business | Fed Officials at Odds on Inflation Threat
Fissures at the Federal Reserve over the correct course of future monetary policy were on display Monday, with one top policymaker calling for further easing even as another suggested tighter policy may be needed.

Reports                                                                                                                         
NBER | Who Should Supervise? The Structure of Bank Supervision and the Performance of the Financial System
Using observations for 140 countries from 1998 through 2010, we find that supervisory responsibility tends to be assigned to the central bank in low-income countries where that institution is one of few public-sector agencies with the requisite administrative capacity.

Taxes

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Political Calculations | Visualizing Workers' Comp
Which states have the highest average workers' compensation tax rates? And which have the lowest?

Employment

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | CHIN: Obama’s infrastructure bank won’t create real jobs
Asia shows trade growth lifts economy more than government projects.
Cato Institute | Bipartisan Punishment of China Would Destroy U.S. Jobs
Between July 2005 and July 2008, the value of the yuan increased by 21% against the dollar. But the bilateral deficit increased by 33%, from $202 billion to $268 billion. Since June 2010, the yuan has appreciated by another 7% against the dollar.

Budget

News                                                                                                                             
Washington Times | Stocks slide as Germany cools hope for debt deal
On Monday, stocks had their worst drop in two weeks after German leaders cast doubt on how fast that process would be.
WSJ | Portugal Unveils Deep Cuts
Lisbon Aims to Hit Deficit Targets to Avoid Greece-Style Fate; Unions Call Protests.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | A New Spending Record
Washington had its best year ever in fiscal 2011.
Minyanville | What Will Consumers Do If Budget Deficit Deal Isn't Reached?
Americans have turned their backs on debt. But now it's Congress' job to pick up where consumer sentiment has left off and reduce our nation's obligations once and for all.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Mercatus Center: Neighborhood Effects | Tightening Municipal Bankruptcy Laws
There have been 629 municipal bankruptcies in the US since 1937.