Friday, December 2, 2011

General Economics

News                                                                                                                             
Politico | Cut college costs to build workforce
Streamlining costs and reducing tuition in higher education is essential to our future. By 2018, more than 60 percent of American jobs are expected to require some form of postsecondary education.
Source | Welcome to the New Normal, Generation Y: Get Used to It
When we eventually get through this -- and we will -- any money you've been able to tuck away after providing for the bare needs of surviving the economy, if invested in the stock market, is going to pay off handsomely.
Politico | Census: Welfare climbed in recession
Participation in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program among families with children under the age of 18 jumped from 3.8 percent in 2006 to 4.8 percent in 2009, a hike in the number of recipients from about 1.4 million to 1.7 million during that time, the Census said.
Market Watch | U.S. manufacturing lightly accelerates: ISM
The U.S. manufacturing sector saw a modest acceleration in November as production and new orders picked up, according to a key gauge released Thursday.
Bloomberg | Euro Region’s Central Banks Seen Providing Up to $270 Billion Through IMF
Under the proposal, national central banks would recycle funds through the IMF, potentially to underwrite precautionary lending programs for Italy or Spain, the two countries judged to be the most vulnerable now, the people said.
WSJ | Britain Sounds Alarms on Crisis
.K. Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday warned that a euro-zone break-up will lead to a steep decline in economic output across all the countries of Europe, including the U.K.
NY Times | Contractor’s Work Faulted at U.S. Pension Guarantor
A small company with a big contract to determine how much the government pays people whose pension plans have failed got the numbers wrong, a new audit has found.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
National Journal | Forget Job Creators: The Best Stimulus Is for Shoppers
After months of threatening to block another payroll tax break, Republican leadership now says it supports a $250 billion plan to cut Social Security taxes. That makes it a virtual guarantee that the typical family will get to keep an extra $1,500 of its earnings through 2012.
Fox Business | Why The Government Needs to Get Out of Housing
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the monster mortgage companies that have sucked up 183 billion in taxpayer dollars, have found a new way to spend our money: Conferences.
AEI: The American | Why Keynesianism Works Better in Theory Than in Practice
The term ‘Keynesianism’ as it is commonly used contains two distinct theses. One thesis is mostly true, the other is not. Therein lies the secret to understanding America’s perilous condition.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Calculated Risk | Europe: Hints of a Deal
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled the bank could ramp up its role battling the debt crisis if euro-zone governments enforce tougher deficit cutting—suggesting outlines are emerging of a deal that investors have been clamoring to see happen.
Think Markets | Fannie, Dodd-Frank and Barney Frank
Regardless of what voters now think of Mr. Frank, Dodd-Frank, the behemoth financial regulation law he co-sponsored, will remain. Parts of it are already in place and various bureaucracies are busily churning out thousands of rules to implement its requirements.
Daily Capitalist | Increasing Evidence of a Global Industrial Recession
Manufacturing activity is contracting across Europe and most of Asia, data showed on Thursday, and a Chinese official declared that the world economy faces a worse situation than in 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed.
WSJ: Real Time Economics | World-Wide Factory Activity, by Country
Global manufacturing was contracted in most of the world last month, but the U.S. stood as an outlier reporting stronger expansion.
NY Times: Economix | Student Loan Debt: Who Are the 1%?
Only one-tenth of 1 percent of college entrants, and only three-tenths of 1 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients, accumulate more than $100,000 in undergraduate student debt.

Health Care

News                                                                                                                             
National Journal | Veteran Mental-Health Care Not Bad, Report Finds
“Overall, the assessment of quality suggests that VA care is as good or better as care provided by the private sector,” Katherine Watkins, who led the study, said at a Capitol Hill briefing.
National Journal | Hatch Objects to Subsidies on Federal Exchanges
The top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee is pushing back on the Obama administration’s attempt to give tax subsidies to people in federally run insurance exchanges, opening up a new line of attack on the 2010 health reform law.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Econlog | John Goodman on the Health Care Olympics
To me, the real question in the health care Olympics is how well costs and benefits are aligned. I am fairly sure that in the United States, a lot of medical procedures are undertaken that have high costs and low benefits.
Heritage Foundation | Junk the Medicare Physician Payment Formula
Congress, as it has routinely since 2003, is feverishly preparing legislation to stop its own goofy Medicare payment formula from going into effect. If they don’t succeed this year, seniors can be assured of severe problems accessing physician care.

Reports                                                                                                                         
CBO | Spending Patterns for Prescription Drugs Under Medicare Part D
The centerpiece of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (Medicare Modernization Act) was the creation of Medicare Part D, a subsidized pharmaceutical benefit that went into effect in 2006.

Monetary

News                                                                                                                             
CNN: Money | Fed's Bullard: Wait and see on QE3
Investors clamoring for another round of Federal Reserve bond buying need to root for a blue Christmas. That's according to St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a self-described inflation hawk and influential member of the central bank.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
CNN: Money | Massachusetts sues big banks over foreclosures
The Massachusetts attorney general sued some of the nation's biggest banks on Thursday, accusing them of "unlawful and deceptive conduct in the foreclosure process."
WSJ | How to Save the Euro
The central bank should commit to buy the bonds of troubled member states that submit to genuine fiscal discipline.
Washington Post | Great news from the Fed! Wait, what did it do?
What the central banks did won’t accelerate the economic recovery, here or abroad. It won’t resolve Europe’s deepening debt crisis.
AEI | The Fed gives its elastic currency mandate a stretch
There can be little doubt that financial stability issues have risen to the top of the agenda for the major central banks.
Forbes | Returning To The Basics: What Is Money?
Ideally, today’s troubles will lead to a new monetary system, preferably a gold standard system. However, that would be difficult if nobody knows what money actually is.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Fed Officials Don’t See Central Bank Cutting Discount Rate
Two Federal Reserve officials shot down speculation that the central bank might cut the interest rate it charges on loans to banks from its discount window.

Taxes

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Time | MILLER: Hope for a corporate tax fix
The push to restore competitiveness of American system.
Fox Business | Raising Airline Taxes to Cut Deficit?
The U.S. Travel Association sent a letter to Congress asking it oppose any increases to aviation taxes in order to cut the federal deficit or fund the extension of the payroll tax cut.
Washington Time | LAMBRO: Social Security teeters over tax cut plan
Obama stimulus ploy would hasten day when system dodders.

Employment

News                                                                                                                             
NY Times | For Jobless, Little Hope of Restoring Better Days
People across the working spectrum suffered job losses in recent years: bricklayers and bookkeepers as well as workers in manufacturing and marketing.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Harry Reid's Jobs Surcharge
A temporary tax cut paid for by permanent tax increases.
WSJ | Washington Targets Ohio Shale Gas
By one estimate, the administration has killed more than 200,000 jobs.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Heritage Foundation | Morning Bell: America Needs More Job Creation
The report suggests the month of November saw 120,000 net new jobs created and the unemployment rate drop to 8.6 percent–driven in part by the 315,000 people who have given up looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed. That news is cold comfort to the 13.3 million Americans who are still out of work and the 402,000 workers who filed for unemployment last week.
American: Enterprise Blog | The problem with the U.S. labor market isn’t bad full-time jobs, just not enough of them
Again, the killer jobs number isn’t the U-3 unemployment rate of 9.0 percent, but the broader U-6 number of 16.2 percent, which includes “all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force.”
Marginal Revolution | New evidence that being underwater on your house limits labor mobility
Rortybomb has long argued there is no significant effect.  I’ve never had a horse in this race, in any case here are new results from Planem Nenov, on the job market from MIT…
Reason: Out of Control Policy Blog | The Good and the Bad in 8.6 Percent
The Obama administration got an early Christmas present, a month of great PR saying 8.6 percent unemployment. Republican presidential candidates on the other hand are probably upset about the jobs number—ironically, they probably are hoping for a terrible economy over the next 12 months.
Political Calculations | New Jobless Claims: Still On Track
Today's news that the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits being filed for the week ending 26 November 2011 ticked back up over the 400,000 mark is right on track with the prediction we published over a month ago.

Budget

Blogs                                                                                                                             
NRO: The Corner | How Did Europe’s Debt Crisis Get So Bad?
The belief that “governments don’t go out of business” is one of the main arguments behind the idea that there isn’t a pension crisis in the states.