Tuesday, November 8, 2011

General Economics

CNN: Money | Global income inequality: Where the U.S. ranks
The U.S. has a higher level of income inequality than Europe, as well as Canada, Australia and South Korea, according to data gathered by the World Bank.
NY Times | New Way to Tally Poor Recasts View of Poverty
The Census Bureau on Monday released what it says is a more accurate measure of poverty in America. The new measure shows more poverty among the elderly, but less among children and African-Americans.
Market Watch | China’s exporters see slowing growth
China’s export growth continued to slow on a drop in demand from developed countries, according to data from the 110th China Import and Export Fair.
CNN: Money | Keystone oil sands pipeline construction in doubt
Just a few weeks ago analysts thought the jobs and economic benefits would easily outweigh environmental concerns and push the Obama administration to approve the $7 billion project.
Bloomberg | Europe Banks Selling Sovereign Bonds
Banks are selling debt of southern European nations as investors punish companies with large holdings and regulators demand higher reserves to shoulder possible losses.
WSJ | China Housing Prices Decline
Accelerating Fall in Sector Signals Government Efforts Are Working, but Raises Fears About Growth.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Cato Institute | U.S. Should Learn from Europe's Welfare State Mistakes
At some point, investors are going to realize that the United States is on an unsustainable path.
Washington Times | MCCLINTOCK: Putting freedom back to work
Cutting taxes and regulations key to ending Obama recession.
NY Times | Wanted: Worldly Philosophers
Course lists from economics departments used to be filled with offerings in “comparative economic systems,” contrasting capitalism and socialism or comparing the French, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon models of capitalism.
WSJ | Student Body Left
The President wants everyone in college on Uncle Sam's dime.
RCM | OWS: If You're Against Wealth, You're For Suffering
Wealth is often defined in terms of a tangible currency. But money only acts as a certificate of performance in meeting the needs and demand of others. Capitalists must first serve before they can earn in a free market of voluntary exchange.
RCM | rope's Citizens Are Suffering, Why Not Its Governments?
With each passing day there's some new headline in the financial press about an ailing European government facing "austerity", "severe cuts", and maybe default due to a mismatch between incoming revenues and outgoing liabilities. What's not explained is why this is so problematic.
NY Times | End Bonuses for Bankers
More than three years since the global financial crisis started, financial institutions are still blowing themselves up. The latest, MF Global, filed for bankruptcy protection last week after its chief executive, Jon S. Corzine, made risky investments in European bonds.
Forbes | President Obama Seeks To Multiply Wealth By Dividing It
Envy of the rich is the last popularly accepted prejudice in America. With the current U.S. president leading the charge, the envy shows no signs of abating anytime soon.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | Euro Zone Recession Signals Grow
Euro-zone retail sales fell sharply in September and German factory output slumped, raising the likelihood of recession as consumers, businesses and governments retrench at the same time.
AEI: American | When price controls lead to higher prices
The United States has a long history with price control regulation and the problems that result from price controls. One underappreciated consequence of price controls is that they can lead to higher prices for consumers, even when they were supposed to yield lower prices.
Calculated Risk | Fed: Banks Tighten Lending Standards to Banks and Firms with European Exposures
About one-half of the domestic bank respondents, mostly large banks, indicated that they make loans or extend credit lines to European banks or their affiliates or subsidiaries, and about two-thirds of the foreign respondents indicated the same.
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Student, Auto Loans Push Consumer Credit Higher
U.S. consumer credit grew during September, bouncing back after a big dip the previous month.
AEI: American | How an EU recession would affect America
Europe is an important destination for U.S. exports but hardly the only one:
WSJ: Real Time Economics | WSJ: Real Time Economics Your Parents Were Richer Than You Are
Your parents were much better off than you are at the same age, according to this report by the Pew Research Center that shows that over the past quarter century households head by older adults have grown far richer faster than their counterparts at the same age.
Econlog | The Modern Bastiat
When I have my students read his "What is Seen and What is Not Seen," some of them comment that so much of what he writes seems as if it were written today. Many of the issues haven't changed that much.
Marginal Revolution | Euro contagion
Credit conditions have steadily eased since the end of the recession but that process almost ground to a halt in the last three months, with only five domestic banks out of 50 saying that they relaxed their standards for lending to large companies. Two banks had tightened conditions.
Atlantic: Megan McArdle | Atlantic: Megan McArdle The Tyranny of Meritocracy
I care about the absolute condition of the poor--whether they are hungry, cold, and sick. But I do not care about the gap between their incomes, and those of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

Health Care

National Journal | Studies Show Medicare's Bundled-Payment Policy Not So Simple
"Bundling" payments for certain medical procedures into a lump sum should lower costs and improve care—or so the theory goes. But two studies published on Monday in the journal Health Affairs show that combining payments is easier said than done.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Politico | Delay health law's implementation
Though the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed in March 2010, most of its key provisions don’t start until January 2014. That is when “exchanges” are supposed to begin offering insurance policies with income-tested premium subsidies and substantially different insurance regulations.


WSJ | Global Liquidity 'on the Cusp' of Drying Up
Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said Tuesday that global liquidity is about to dry up again as the European banking system deleverages, and warned that the real economy will soon feel the impact.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Market Watch | You cannot push on a string
One of the Federal Reserve’s dual mandates should be dropped.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | Another Reason Not To Expect the Yuan To Rise Faster
While the U.S. figures it scored a victory in the recent Group-of-20 communique when it won a commitment by China for “greater exchange rate flexibility,” don’t assume that Beijing plans to speed up the appreciation of the yuan any time soon.


NY Times | G.O.P. Talks of Limiting Tax Breaks
Republican members of a Congressional panel seeking ways to cut the federal budget deficit indicated on Monday that they might allow some additional tax revenue as part of a deal with Democrats.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Forbes | Coming At You: "An Endless Series Of Hobgoblins, Most Of Them Imaginary"
You don’t raise those at the bottom of society by fleecing those who have earned a place at the top.
Washington Times | RAHN: Joining the chorus for tax cooperation
Democrats’ FATCA would send capital fleeing overseas.


Bloomberg | Job Openings in U.S. Rose in Sept. to Three-Year High
The number of positions waiting to be filled in the U.S. rose in September to the highest level in more than three years, indicating some companies are preparing for an improving economy.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Public School Teachers Aren't Underpaid
Our research suggests that on average—counting salaries, benefits and job security—teachers receive about 52% more than they could in private business.
WSJ | Is an Ivy League Diploma Worth It?
As student-loan default rates climb and college graduates fail to land jobs, an increasing number of students are betting they can get just as far with a degree from a less-expensive school as they can with a diploma from an elite school—without having to take on debt.

Calculated Risk | Sluggish Growth and Payroll Employment
If we continue to see sluggish growth with 125,000 payroll jobs added per month (the pace this year), it will take an additional 52 months just to get back to the pre-recession level of payroll employment.
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Challenger: Holiday Retail Hiring Could Be Lower Than 2010
Holiday retail hiring is off to a relatively strong start, with 141,500 jobs added in October, but overall hiring for the season may be a bit slower than last year, layoff consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. said.
Heritage Foundation | Infographic: Obama’s Promise vs. Reality in the October Jobs Report
With the plan, they predicted in their chart, unemployment today would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 6.5 percent. Today, after the President’s $787 billion stimulus, unemployment still stands at 9 percent.


WSJ | Europe Tries to Rescue Its Rescue
Ministers Weigh Two Options for Beefing Up Europe's Bailout Fund, as They Aim to Head Off Deeper Troubles in Italy.
Politico | Bloomberg: My plan to balance the budget
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday laid out a proposal to balance the federal budget by scrapping the Bush tax cuts entirely and raising the Social Security retirement age.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
IBD | Obama's Fiscal Rollercoaster Won't Excite Economy
The policies spelled out by the White House would mean a jarring $380 billion tax hike in fiscal 2014 compared to 2012, equal to roughly 2.2% of GDP.

NRO: The Corner | Future Spending Under the Sequester
...the perceived spending “cuts” are merely reductions in the overall rate of growth in spending, not actual cuts addressing the fundamental drivers of U.S. debt problems.
NRO: The Corner | Two Loopholes that Will Lead to More Spending
Over at the Heritage Foundation’s blog, Patrick Knudsen reports on two major loopholes in the debt-ceiling deal that will likely increase spending beyond the budget caps.

CBO | Monthly Budget Review
Based on the Monthly Treasury Statement for September and the Daily Treasury Statements for October.