Wednesday, November 2, 2011

General Economics

Daily Finance | Battered Bank of America Drops Debit Card Fee Plan
Since the Bank of America announced the $5 monthly fee on Sept. 28, some customers fled the bank, saying it was one fee too many. The financial institution said it does not break out numbers for total accounts closed by the month, a spokesperson said.
WSJ | Greek Premier Faces Revolt
Fears of Political Chaos Tank Global Markets as Europe's Bailout Plan Teeters.
Market Watch | U.S. manufacturing growth slows in October
ISM business index paints mixed picture of factory activity.
Daily Finance | Who Says the Worst Is Over? Financial Security Index Dips Again's monthly Financial Security Index fell from 93.9 to 92.8 in October, its second lowest level this year. According to, anything below 100 is a clue that in general, people are feeling less financially secure compared to 12 months ago.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
RCM | Draining Banks Of Cash Is a Fool's Errand
All banks, whatever their size, have in fact been victims of political conditions created by Democratic politicians now supporting Occupy Wall Street.
Washington Times | STIVERS: Correcting Dodd-Frank
Congress needs to unwind red tape that threatens manufacturing jobs.
Politico | Bill Clinton: Fixing housing crisis helps add jobs
With President Barack Obama and Congress deadlocked over fixes for the ailing economy, Bill Clinton and a few other veteran pols are offering their own two bits of advice.
RCM | The European Mess: How We Got Here
The financial crisis in Europe seems very complex, but we understand that how it comes out will have important and perhaps painful consequences for Americans as well as Europeans.
Washington Times | LAMBRO: Shining spotlight on solar panel bankruptcy
Email releases chronicle the unfolding Solyndra debacle.
CNN: Money | The Eurozone crisis will not go away until banks face reality
European regulators have turned risk assessment into an insider's game where the bankers are calling the shots.

Political Calculations | Projecting Fourth Quarter 2011's GDP
Using the advance GDP estimate for the third quarter of 2011, which will be revised at least twice more before being "finalized" (pending later revisions), we can reasonably project that the inflation-adjusted value of U.S. GDP for the fourth quarter of 2011 to be between $13,275.3 and $13,556.7 billion.
AEI: American | Shining more light on income inequality myths
Are U.S. incomes more unequal today than they were a generation ago? Sure—as is true of advanced economies generally—but not to the extent CDO argue when you factor differing inflation rates between income groups and household composition.
Atlantic: Megan McArdle | Will the Greece Referendum Send the Eurozone Spiralling?
don't see this ending well. Hell, I haven't seen it ending well for a long time. Greece needs to get out of its currency union with a bunch of inflation-obsessed Germans, and out from under its obviously unsustainable pile of debt.

NBER | Corporate Acquisitions, Diversification, and the Firm's Lifecycle
Lifecycle theories of mergers and diversification predict that firms make acquisitions and diversify when their internal growth opportunities become exhausted. Free cash flow theories make similar predictions.

Health Care

Politico | Affordability, flexibility key to health benefits
The federal government is in the throes of developing an “essential health benefits” package for the controversial health reform law. This package will dictate what all health insurance plans offered in small and individual group markets must cover.
National Journal | CDC: Painkiller-Overdose Deaths Have Tripled in Decade Since 1999
Deaths linked to opioid pain relievers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Opana have become an epidemic, Frieden said, adding that the rate of deaths has more than tripled in the past decade.
Politico | Health law ruling could be political earthquake
If the Supreme Court next year gets rid of the health reform law’s requirement to buy insurance, Republicans could gain momentum to get rid of the rest of the law — and President Barack Obama would suffer a huge embarrassment at the height of an election year.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | The Bush-Obama Rx Shortages
Critical cancer drugs are in short supply thanks to price controls.

Heritage Foundation | The Big Issues Behind the Obamacare Challenge
The Obamacare case will determine whether anything remains of the Constitution’s structural limitations on federal power; address whether the states retain any independence and power in the present day or are merely contractors of the federal government; and point the way to the future of constitutional federalism.


NY Times | Whispers of Return to Drachma Grow Louder in Greek Crisis
The political upheaval in Athens has suddenly made the once unspeakable — Greek debt default — a distinct possibility.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | Bond Dealers See Fed Holding Rate Near 0% at Least Through First Half of 2013
A Bond Dealers of America survey released Tuesday showed most respondents believe the Federal Reserve will hold its benchmark interest rate near zero at least through the first half of 2013 and largely approved of the central bank’s most recent monetary policy move.

AEI | Three Dangerous Myths about Monetary Policy
As one of the most powerful influences on the US economy, the Federal Reserve is bearing the brunt of significant criticism during this global economic crisis. Though some of this criticism is certainly justified, other suggestions about monetary policies the Fed should pursue to boost the economy are counterproductive.


Bloomberg | Break-Free Corporate Tax Code Falls Shy of Republican Rate Goal
Scrapping almost every existing corporate tax break -- including those for domestic manufacturers, the energy sector and accelerated write-offs of equipment -- would generate enough revenue to lower the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.
Fox News | Colorado Voters Reject Proposed Tax Hike for Schools
Proposition 103 would have raised state taxes to generate $2.9 billion for public schools and colleges over the next five years. It was losing 64 percent to 36 percent with most ballots counted. 
National Journal | Are Multinational Corporations Unfairly Taxed?
At a time when protesters are demanding government action to stem inequality and Washington is grappling with the national debt, two influential tax experts have released a report defending huge U.S. multinational corporations against booming tax rates.

SSRN | Cartelizing Taxes: Understanding the OECD’s Campaign Against 'Harmful Tax Competition'
We conclude that the project against tax competition is an example of the interplay between the interests of politicians and international bureaucrats, which illustrates the role international organizations play in competition among interest groups.


Market Watch | U.S. private-sector jobs up 110,000 in October
Private-sector payrolls moderately increased in October, led by the services-producing sector and small businesses, according to the ADP employment report released Wednesday.
Fox News | Cafe Owner Says He Was Forced to Cut Staff by Nearly a Fourth Because of 'Occupy' Protests
A New York City cafe cut its staff by nearly 25 percent last week because of lost business due to the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests, the cafe's owner told

NY Times: Economix | How Unemployment Benefits Became Twice as Generous
Government spending on unemployment insurance has soared, and it’s hard to imagine the program ever shrinking back to its prerecession size.


WSJ | Worry Builds for Deficit-Panel Deal
Time Crunch, Gulf Over Taxes Has Lawmakers Concerned the Supercommittee Won't Strike Pact on $1.2 Trillion in Cuts.
National Journal | Senate Approves First of Several 'Minibus' Approps
The approximately $182 billion package combines three of the 12 annual appropriations bills: Agriculture; Transportation and Housing; and Commerce, Justice, and Science.
WSJ | Banks Spell Out Deep Cost Cuts
After growing to unprecedented size before the financial crisis and shrinking only slightly during a deep downturn, the global finance industry is undertaking a massive retrenchment.
Politico | Supercommittee compromise offered by Erskine Bowles
Erskine Bowles floated a new $2.6 trillion deficit-reduction outline Tuesday that is designed to split the differences between Democrats and Republicans on the supercommittee.
Market Watch | Fiscal experts sternly warn supercommittee
The heads of high-profile deficit-cutting commissions on Tuesday urged the congressional supercommittee to aim high just weeks ahead of its deadline, saying failure to reach an agreement about shrinking the U.S. debt could result in another downgrade.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Why We Can't Escape the Eurocrisis
EU and U.S. debt are interlinked through the banking system.
Daily Caller | Medicare: a super-sized issue for the supercommittee
According to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) most recent long-term budget outlook, health care spending has grown by about 66% over the past 25 years and will grow nearly as quickly over the next 25.
Atlantic: McArdle | Will the Greece Referendum Send the Eurozone Spiralling?
Over there, the prime minister of Greece announced last night that the new bailout deal I was so cynical about last week would have to be subject to a referendum.

American: Enterprise Blog | Infrastructure spending: An idea for when you’ve run out of ideas
Does the United States need an infrastructure upgrade? Almost certainly. But we shouldn’t just shovel trillions at the problem based on overly gloomy analysis or a misguided effort to create jobs.

CBO | The Rebuild America Jobs Act
Budgetary Effects of S. 1769 the Rebuild America Jobs Act.