Tuesday, November 1, 2011

General Economics

Market Watch | China manufacturing growing slowly, data show
Two closely watched measures of Chinese manufacturing released Tuesday showed the sector growing in October, albeit at a slow rate.
AoL Energy | Gas As The Bridge To The Future
Power companies are switching over from coal to natural gas at an accelerating rate, with potential consequences for both the US emissions profile and the industry's economics.
Politico | Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac executives get big housing bonuses
The Obama administration’s efforts to fix the housing crisis may have fallen well short of helping millions of distressed mortgage holders, but they have led to seven-figure paydays for some top executives at troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | A Slow-Growth America Can't Lead the World
After World War II, the U.S. promoted international economic growth through reliance on the market and the incentives it provides. Times have changed.
Washington Post | The U.S. infrastructure argument that crumbles upon examination
For all its shortcomings, U.S. infrastructure is still among the most advanced in the world — if not the most advanced.
Project Syndicate | America’s Economic Stalemate
The United States appears trapped in a dangerous economic stalemate. The refusal by both Republicans and Democrats to give ground on the budget is preventing the government from dealing with its massive fiscal deficit and rapidly rising national debt.
WSJ | More McMansion Subsidies
A backdoor effort to keep Fannie and Freddie in business.
Daily Caller | Why we can’t do big things anymore
It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly when it happened, but we all know why it happened, and it has nothing to do with our capacity for innovation. The culprit is a labyrinth of increasingly complex and confusing federal regulations.
Washington Times | BLANKLEY: Chinese dragon flexes economic muscles
Price of euro bailout might be silence about Beijing’s predatory trade practices.
Investors | Smoking-Gun Document Ties Policy To Housing Crisis
Rewind to 1994. That year, the federal government declared war on an enemy — the racist lender — who officials claimed was to blame for differences in homeownership rate, and launched what would prove the costliest social crusade in U.S. history.

AEI: American | Sorry, liberal media, income inequality really is way overblown
My piece merely pointed to several studies that suggest a) income inequality is hardly “exploding,” and b) the past 30 years have hardly been a lost three decades for the American middle class. My response:
Daily Capitalist | Wealth Disparity And Wall Street: The OWSers Are Wrong
One of the main complaints of Occupy Wall Street is of income disparity in the US and the world. This is an idea rooted in economic misconceptions about capitalism which is endemic in our society.
Reuters | Could America turn out worse than Japan?
American policymakers, together with their European counterparts, are realizing something that Japan has been experiencing for a while: It is very difficult to manage well an economy hobbled by structural impediments and balance sheet excesses.
Calculated Risk | Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Serious Delinquency Rates mixed in September
Fannie Mae reported that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined to 4.00% in September. This is down from 4.03% in August, and down from 4.56% in September of 2010.
Heritage Foundation | Welfare Dependence Keeps Growing
Unfortunately, government welfare spending shows no sign of slowing down. Means-tested welfare spending is the fastest-growing element of government expenditures, and government spending on welfare is projected to cost taxpayers $10.3 trillion over the next decade.

Health Care

National Journal | HHS Releases Leading Health Indicators for the Next Decade
The Health and Human Services Department announced its Leading Health Indicators on Monday, a list of metrics for measuring public-health progress that is adjusted every 10 years. The fourth decade of HHS’s Healthy People campaign will focus on equity, prevention, and the “social determinants” such as education, income, and race that are strongly linked to health.
Politico | Social forces may limit health care reform
The health care reform law gives federal health officials a new mandate to address the fact that racial and ethnic minorities tend to be sicker than the rest of the population.
National Journal | White House Presses Companies on Drug Shortages
The Obama administration on Monday asked drug companies to give more of a heads-up about drug shortages, pressing Congress to move legislation that would give the Food and Drug Administration more teeth to enforce early warnings and also doubling the small staff of an FDA office that deals with shortages.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
CNN: Money | Solving the new Medicare puzzle
Thanks to Medicare, there's at least one thing you don't have to worry about in retirement: whether you'll have health insurance. How you'll get it, on the other hand, is another matter.

AEI: American | Poll: Obamacare getting even more unpopular
A new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows a sharp drop in views about the Affordable Care Act. In the mid-October poll, just 34% (down from 41% in September) had a favorable impression of it.
Heritage Foundation | Love Conquers All…Except Obamacare
Thanks to Obamacare, Americans looking to tie the knot may find that it’s a lot cheaper to stay single.


Minyanville | Global Food Prices Moving Down, Pointing Up
The FAO's Food Price Index and the US Consumer Price Index don't seem to be linked, but that's only on the surface.
Minyanville | Who Is Responsible for Global Financial Failure?
Especially in a time when the global economy is fragile, the numbers have to be exact -- and the people generating the numbers have to be on top of them.


USA Today | Greenhouse-gas tax could inflate airfares
A European program to charge airlines for their greenhouse-gas emissions could raise round-trip ticket prices from the United States by more than $30 starting next year.

EconLog | Pre-Tax and Post-Tax Candy on Hallowe'en
Teaching kids about taxes and welfare using Hallowe'en candy.


NBER | Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages
We argue that the patterns in our data are consistent with a search-matching model in which employers statistically discriminate on the basis of race when hiring unemployed workers, but learn about their marginal product over time. However, we cannot rule out other forms of discrimination.


WSJ | Greek Vote Threatens Bailout
Premier Calls for Surprise Referendum Days After European Leaders OK Aid Deal.
National Journal | Boehner Has 'High Hopes' for Super Committee Deal
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said on Monday he has “high hopes” the super committee will find “common ground” on a deficit-reduction plan, but emphasized that restructuring entitlement programs remains a key requirement for Republicans. 
Politico | Social Security appears on deficit panel agenda
As a critical deadline for the supercommittee nears, Social Security appears to be on the negotiating table.
Roll Call | Awkward Hearing Set for Deficit Panel
With no clear indication they can address taxes or entitlements, members of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction are set for an awkward public session today as a veteran and bipartisan cadre of budget experts likely will insist any meaningful deal must address both.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Politico | To deficit panel: Go big, long, smart
Like most Americans, we watched with dismay this summer as politicians failed to reach a timely agreement on raising the debt ceiling while crafting a plan to address our debt crisis.
Washington Times | DE BORCHGRAVE: Saving a buckling EU
s China now emerging as banker to the rest of the world? The United States owes China $1.3 trillion - out of a total U.S. public debt load of $14.1 trillion. The U.S. also owes almost $1 trillion to Japan.

NRO: The Corner | Germany’s Latest Fiscal Adjustment: A Success
...when it comes to fiscal adjustments, the Germans have been really impressive. In fact, they may be among the best in that area, along with Canada.
Mercatus Center: Neighborhood Effects | Illinoisans Are Becoming More Realistic About Dealing with the Budget Crisis
Although Illinois has become the quintessential example of a state with a broken budget process, a recent poll by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute provides evidence suggesting that there may be some positive change occurring among Illinois voters.
Marginal Revolution | Why is Greece turning down the “bailout”
The referendum will never be held.  It is scheduled for January and the current deal, which is not even a worked out deal, won’t be on the table by then.  It’s already not on the table.