Wednesday, October 26, 2011

General Economics

Fox News | A look at economic developments around the globe
A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Monday:
CNN: Money | The 53%: We are NOT Occupy Wall Street
They call themselves the in the 53% of Americans who pay federal income taxes. And they are making their voices heard.
USA Today | Economists warn housing prices will lose more ground
U.S. home prices were largely flat in August from a month earlier and down almost 4% from a year ago, with more declines ahead, economists say.
Washington Times | Survey: Home prices up in half of major U.S. cities
Home prices rose in August in half of major cities measured by a private survey, a sign that prices are stabilizing in some hard-hit portions of the country.
CNN: Money | Why you should be worried about Europe
If Europe were to be shaken by a series of nations defaulting on their government debt, I am convinced that the continent would plunge into a severe recession.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | How the Euro Zone Can Restore Confidence
Investors are looking for a home for trillions in idle Federal Reserve-generated dollars, and a little reform in Europe might attract them.
Washington Times | MILLER: Giving business a break
Repealing IRS 3 percent tax-withholding rule is a step in the right direction.
AEI: American | The Dismal New Science of Stagnationism
If the future is behind schedule, it may be because the world’s major financial institutions and venture capitalists have not been backing the right ideas.
WSJ | Natural Gas Can Put Americans Back to Work
The natural gas and oil industry already sustains 2.2 million jobs and can add 1.5 million new ones.
Minyanvilee | How European Contagion Could Bring Down the US Treasury Market
Someday, perhaps within a matter of months but more likely in a year or two, the US Treasury market will fall apart as certainly as Greece's did. Here's how that might happen.
Washington Times | LAMBRO: Obama’s housing horrors
Dropping loan requirements risks second market crash.

WSJ: Real Time Economcis | Income Growth of Top 1% Over 30 Years Outpaced Rest of U.S.
The wealthiest Americans saw their income nearly triple in the three decades to 2007, substantially more than all other segments of the population, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.
Atlantic: Megan McArdle | Why the Government is Not Going to Force Banks to Write Down Your Mortgage Principal
There is not going to be broad-based mortgage equity relief, because your neighbors do not want to pay $750 billion to relieve you of that burden. HARP isn't a panacea, but it will actually do some limited good, which is probably about all we can expect.
WSJ: Real Time Economcis | ‘Complexity’ Predicts Nations’ Future Growth
Economists at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have just released what they claim to be the crystal ball of economics: a model for predicting a nation’s future growth more accurately than any other techniques out there.
WSJ: Real Time Economcis | Confidence Falls Most Among High-Income Consumers
U.S. consumers unexpectedly caught a case of the economic willies in October. Their list of woes is growing from jobs to incomes to the stock market.
AEI: American | Paul Ryan declares war on Obama’s class-warfare campaign
In a high-voltage speech tomorrow at the Heritage Foundation, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan will tear into President Barack Obama’s recent push to raise taxes on wealthier Americans—including entrepreneurs and small business—to pay for more government spending. It’s what a Ryan aide calls “the politics of division, pitting Americans against each other, preying on the emotions of fear and envy.”
Atlantic: Megan McArdle | More on Interchange Fees
Let me see if I can hit the main points on interchange:
Daily Capitalist | To OWS: You Get Yours, Don’t Worry About Mine
Why should anyone care how much money the founders of Google, Apple, or Microsoft made? Some might object that they earned a larger share of income, but in what sense can we regard their income as shared?

Health Care

National Journal | Hatch, Grassley Wants Answers on Medicare Fraud
Top Senate Republicans want answers on why the Health and Human Services Department hasn't temporarily stopped new providers from enrolling in Medicare even though the odds of fraud are high.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Everyday Low Benefits
Wal-Mart workers pay for the retailer's ObamaCare embrace.
AEI | Slashing Doc Pay
Making US rates more like Europe's.

Heritage Foundation | Immediate Medicare Reforms Could Slash Nation’s Debt
When it comes to the super-committee’s duty to reform Medicare, you’ll likely to hear the same tired and unsuccessful methods for lowering Medicare’s soaring costs: raising taxes, manipulating payment formulas, or making even deeper payment cuts to doctors and hospitals.


WSJ | Door Wide Open to Australian Rate Cut
The consumer-price index rose 0.6% in the July-September quarter compared with the previous three months, and by 3.5% from the year-earlier period, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said. Both figures matched the median forecasts of 19 economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.
WSJ | Prices Rising, for Better and Worse
The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday said it expects retail food prices to increase 3.5% to 4.5% this year, after climbing just 0.8% in 2010, the slowest rate since 1962.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | CUNNINGHAM: This twist doesn’t have the right moves
Fed plan to jump-start business expansion is unlikely to work.

WSJ: Real Time Economcis | Why Don’t Gas Prices Fall When Oil Does?
When most Americans — including economists and newspaper reporters — talk about “oil prices,” they’re referring to West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, the grade of light, sweet crude that’s the basis for contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Reason Foundation | Don’t Believe Everything You Read – Inflation is NOT Peaking
Despite what headlines have been touting about falling commodity prices and the easing of inflation pressures, reporters should check again, prices are rising.


Bloomberg | Camp Territorial Plan Exempts 95% of Offshore Profits From Tax
It’s a slice of the broader rewrite of individual and corporate U.S. tax laws Camp is seeking.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Fox Business | Flat Tax Center Stage Again
This country has never tried a flat tax. The federal government two centuries ago tried national sales taxes, and it’s long had a progressive tax system that was first enacted during the Civil War in 1862.

Heritage Foundation | Senate Finance Republican’s Tax Recommendations a Good Start
Their recommendations lay out the principles they’d like tax reform to adhere to: economic growth, fairness, simplicity, revenue neutrality, permanence, competitiveness, and savings and investment.


Washington Times | White House backs House GOP jobs bill
Signaling a brief spark of bipartisanship in Washington, the White House on Tuesday said it backs House Republicans’ effort to repeal a 3 percent withholding tax on government contractors, which is part of the GOP’s own job-creation push.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
RCM | Obama's Labor Embrace Belies Jobs Push
His $447 billion jobs bill recently failed to pass the Senate, so now the White House has promised to push it in bite-sized chunks. At the same time, though, the administration is pushing radical employment policies that are squashing private business, slowing job growth and hampering economic recovery. These efforts must stop.


WSJ | Europe at Odds Over Crisis Package
Prospects for a long-awaited breakthrough deal to stem the worsening euro-zone debt crisis were up in the air on Tuesday, as governments and banks remained at loggerheads over how much pain to inflict on holders of government bonds issued by Greece, the country at the heart of the Continent's financial mess.
NY Times | President to Ease Student Loan Burden for Low-Income Graduates
Most of the 450,000 low-income student-loan borrowers currently enrolled in income-based payment must pay 15 percent of their discretionary income for 25 years before having their debt forgiven, although terms are easier for those in public service.
National Journal | Toomey: Super Committee Making Progress, but 'Not There Yet'
With the super committee’s deadline to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the budget drawing ever closer, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., is “cautiously optimistic” that the group will soon reach a consensus.

CBO | Discretionary Spending
Discretionary outlays—the part of federal spending that lawmakers generally control through annual appropriation acts—totaled about $1.35 trillion in 2011, or close to 40 percent of federal outlays.