Thursday, October 27, 2011

General Economics

Market Watch | US. 10-year yields rise to 3-month high
Treasury prices fell on Thursday, pushing 10-year yields to their highest since early August, after Europe’s plan to deal with its sovereign-debt crisis relieved global investors and led them towards riskier assets.
CNN: Money | GDP report: Growth nearly doubles
Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of U.S. economic health, grew at a 2.5% annual rate in the quarter after adjusting for inflation. That's up from the disappointing 1.3% growth in the second quarter and the anemic 0.4% pace in the first three months of the year.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
NY Post | How class warfare weakens America
Telling Americans they are stuck in their current station in life, that they are victims of circumstances beyond their control, and that government’s role is to help them cope with it -- well, that’s not who we are.
WSJ | The Mortgage Crisis: Some Inside Views
Emails show that risk managers at Freddie Mac warned about lower underwriting standards—in vain, and with lessons for today.
AEI: American | Macro vs. Growth
Why isn’t there a rebirth of American entrepreneurship, especially when starting a firm is easier than ever?
Washington Times | EDITORIAL: Out-of-control college tuition
Presidential fiat will only make earning a degree more expensive.
WSJ | Remedial Economics
The 'Occupy' folks learn the limits of wealth redistribution.
AEI | Housing Affordability: US Is the Envy of the Developed World
The United States as a whole is affordable with an average score of 3.0. As the nearby chart indicates, this places the U.S. at the head of the affordability class among seven ranked countries, with the other six ranging from moderately unaffordable to severely unaffordable.

Greg Mankiw's Blog | The Rich Get Poorer
Here is a fact that you might not have heard from the Occupy Wall Street crowd: The incomes at the top of the income distribution have fallen substantially over the past few years.
Political Calculations | The Real Story Behind "Rising" U.S. Income Inequality
Why is income inequality rising for U.S. families and households, but not for individual Americans?
AEI: American | 7 reasons why Obama is wrong on income inequality
No argument there. Looking forward, America will need a pro-growth tax system, smarter regulation and far better human capital. That way, incomes won’t just be more equal, they’ll be growing.
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Companies Less Certain, Spending More
U.S. businesses are unsure where the economy is headed, but that has not stopped them from going ahead with capital spending projects. The dichotomy echoes consumer behavior, which finds consumers feeling pessimistic but still shopping.
CafĂ© Hayek | I don’t understand aggregate demand
Does an increase in aggregate demand increase employment?

Cato Institute | How Much Ivory Does This Tower Need? What We Spend on, and Get from, Higher Education
Taxpayer support for postsecondary education has long been in decline, this narrative goes, and has forced schools to continually raise tuition to make up for the losses.

Heatlh Care

National Journal | Supreme Court Could Decide to Look at Health Care Law on Nov. 10
"The court decides during its closed-door conferences which cases it will consider in the coming months. If the justices decide during their Nov. 10 meeting to hear one or more health care cases, they could make the announcement that day or, more likely, in a written list of orders that is scheduled for release on Nov. 14,".

Econlog | The Doctor Might See You Now: Here Comes Rationing
Craig Garthwaite finds that after the 1990s implementation of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)--a partnership between federal and state governments intended to increase insurance coverage for low-income Americans under the age of 19--more physicians participated in the program, but their total number of hours spent with patients declined as a result of shorter office visits.


CNN: Money | Investors (and the Fed) are addicted to liquidity
Fed vice chair Janet Yellen, Fed governor Daniel Tarullo and NY Fed president William Dudley have all hinted in speeches recently that another so-called quantitative easing program, or QE3, could be possible.


National Journal | State Tax Revenue Up 10.8 Percent in Second Quarter
The gain marked the sixth straight quarter of growth for states’ revenue, though rates were not adjusted for inflation, according to The Wall Street Journal. The increase was the largest in six years.
National Journal | Camp Presents Overseas Tax Plan to Please Big Business
The top Republican tax writer in the House unveiled the first formal draft of an international taxation plan on Wednesday that would drop taxes for companies earning profits overseas, a move that has been widely criticized by Democrats as a handout to already rich companies.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | MILLER: Super opportunity for job growth
Congressional sources say the bipartisan, bicameral group has been discussing cutting the corporate tax rate to 25 percent as part of its final recommendations.


Washington Times | House panel OK’s bill to limit NLRB
Would negate board’s ruling on union votes.
CNN Money | Unemployment claims fall (a little)
About 402,000 people filed for their first week of unemployment claims in the week ended Oct. 22, the Labor Department said Thursday. And that's just the newcomers to the unemployment rolls.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Politico | Obama's anti-energy agenda kills jobs
Undaunted, the White House and some of its strongest allies are coming back for more — adamant that the jobs landscape and our economy would improve if only Congress would pass a national energy tax.


Market Watch | EU agrees debt deal; 50% Greek debt haircut
European leaders announced a deal early Thursday in which private investors in Greek government debt will take a 50% writedown on the value of their holdings as part of a wide-ranging package of measures designed to stem the euro-zone debt crisis.
CNN Money | Debt committee: Why $1.2 trillion isn't enough
That's because under the most likely scenario, reducing deficits by $1.2 trillion won't stop the accumulated debt from growing faster than the economy.
NY Times | Democrats’ First Offer: Up to $3 Trillion for Debt
The proposal, which came after weeks of silence, has virtually no chance of winning approval from Republicans on the committee, who have repeatedly said they would not accept a package that included tax increases.
WSJ | Parties Trade Deficit Plans
GOP, Democrats Clash Over Taxes, but Offers Lay Groundwork for Further Talks.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Post | Stuntmen of the supercommittee
And so, as the 12 stuntmen on the committee assembled for their hearing this week, it was to discuss something different: the relatively small slice of the budget known as “discretionary spending.”
Politico | Supercommittee should cut more
A wide-ranging plan that saves $3 trillion to $4 trillion is more likely to win bipartisan consensus on debt reduction for three reasons.

NRO: The Corner | What Successful Fiscal Adjustments Look Like
The case studies highlighted in this book show that while successful fiscal adjustments tend to bring in more revenue ex-post than expected (by 1 percent of potential GDP), few were actually intended as revenue-based adjustments.
Atlantic: McArdle | EU Reaches Deal on Greek Debt
They make a deal, the market rejoices, and then everyone notices that they still aren't an optimal currency union, and they haven't done many of the things that would help ease those tensions, like deepening fiscal integration.
American: Enterprise Blog | Euro debt deal likely ‘too little too late’
One has to hope that these misgivings about the package prove to be misplaced. For if this package fails, the very survival of the Euro in its present form would be in question and Europe could experience its own Lehman moment.