Wednesday, December 7, 2011

General Economics

Bloomberg | Global Poll Predicts U.S. Economy Rebounding
The U.S. receives its highest rating from international investors in more than two years on new optimism that the world’s largest economy will weather the financial crisis in Europe and avoid a recession in 2012, according to a Bloomberg poll.
CNN: Money | Big Oil sees energy bonanza ahead
Just three years after fears of an energy supply shortage, executives of the world's leading oil companies now foresee a bonanza of oil and natural gas on the horizon.
Washington Times | Germany, France downplay possible S&P downgrade
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday downplayed Standard & Poor’s warning that it might cut the credit rating of 15 eurozone countries, including Germany’s, because the region’s financial crisis is worsening without any imminent fix.
Bloomberg | U.S. Consumer Bureau Plans Simpler Credit Form
The standardized, two-page card agreement outlines prices, risks and terms that are shorter and more concise than conventional agreements, augmented by an online glossary to aid consumers on such items as billing disputes, privacy, rights, interest-rate calculations and the consequences of late payments.
WSJ | The Battle Over Too-Big-to-Fail Continues
Although the Dodd-Frank Act attempted to rein in banking behemoths, there are still calls to break them up, repeal this legislation or do both. And the clamor may grow louder as the Republican primary process gets underway and the presidential campaign unfolds.
Washington Times | U.S. firm reverses 1-way flow of shoes from Asia
Most shoes bought in the U.S. were likely made in China. Now an American shoemaker wants to put the shoe on the other foot, by persuading the Chinese to wear shoes made in the U.S.A.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Cato Institute | Dodd-Frank Law: Regulations Won't Fix What's Wrong
The new agency is a distraction from the real flaws of our financial system.
Washington Times | LAMBRO: Obama’s statistical slump
Unemployment decline can’t hide numbers that portend voter payback.
Politico | High-speed rail has a bad day
Tuesday was a bad day for high-speed rail on both coasts. Republican lawmakers bashed the Obama administration’s handling of billions in stimulus money just hours after a new poll found Californians, if given a second chance, would reject a $10 billion rail bond measure.
RCM | Eight Reasons Public School Teachers Aren't Underpaid
The claim that teachers are underpaid rests on a single isolated fact: that on average, public school teachers receive salaries about 19 percent less than private sector workers with bachelor's or master's degrees. But it's really not that simple. Here are eight reasons why.
Daily Finance | Confused by Economic Forecasts? There's a Good Reason
With all the varied estimations of the chances that the U.S. is headed into a new recession, someone must have gotten it right ... right? But whom?
RCM | Eurozone Failure Is Warning To US
Nowhere has the collectivist mindset become more entrenched than in Europe, with the rise and full flowering of the welfare state model.

Atlantic: Megan McArdle | First, Let's Kill All the Creditors
One of the provisions in the latest, er, provisional eurodeal, is that no matter what happens, no creditors other than those who lent to Greece will be forced to take a haircut on sovereign debt.
Café Hayek | What’s worse than an apocalypse?
Maybe all we’re doing is kicking the can down the road and making the reckoning even worse than it otherwise would be. His answer is made more powerful by recent history. In 2008, we rescued the creditors relentlessly that helped pave the way for this crisis. What will the next one look like?
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Paychecks May Be A Bit Fatter Than We Think
A popular explanation was that shoppers were drawing down their savings. The drop in the saving rate, to 3.8% in the third quarter from 5.6% a year earlier, supports the idea that consumers are using up their seed corn to put a iPad under the tree.
Café Hayek | F.A. Hayek, economist
The Pure Theory of Capital was Hayek’s attempt at his own grand theory and even he found it deeply dissatisfying. Then came the second phase of Hayek’s macro.
Daily Capitalist | The Worldwide Depression/Recession Of 2012
The big powerhouses of the world, the eurozone including Germany, Japan, and China are leading this trend and there is no reason to believe that the U.S. will not follow.

NBER | Estimates of the Social Cost of Carbon: Background and Results from the RICE-2011 Model
A new and important concept in global warming economics and policy is the social cost of carbon or SCC. This concept represents the economic cost caused by an additional ton of carbon-dioxide emissions or its equivalent. The present study describes the development of the concept as well as its analytical background.
Cato Institute | Trading with the Bear: Why Russia's Entry into the WTO Is in America's Interest
The only question is whether the United States will embrace Russia as a fellow WTO member or forfeit the benefits for the sake of an outdated policy rooted in the Cold War.

Health Care

National Journal | QUICK TAKE: House Republicans Look To Medicare Savings For Tax Package
To cover the $140 billion cost of the unemployment insurance and payroll tax break, Republicans are looking to gradually increase Medicare premiums for “high income” beneficiaries.

Heritage Foundation | Congress Should Stop Subsidizing Warren Buffett’s Health Care, Not Increase His Taxes
As Congress continues to pursue solutions to the entitlement spending crisis, one question that must be answered is whether the United States should even have universal federal entitlements to begin with.
AEI: The American | 7 eye-popping charts that show what a terrible mess Medicare is
If you don’t deal with Medicare and other entitlements, the rest doesn’t much matter.


Washington Times | Bernanke denies hiding size of crisis loans
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke denied Tuesday that he had hidden the true size of the bank’s emergency lending to Wall Street from Congress and the American people.
Bloomberg | ECB Officials Said to Plan Additional Measures to Stimulate Bank Lending
The European Central Bank may announce a range of measures tomorrow to stimulate bank lending, said three euro-area officials with knowledge of policy makers’ deliberations.


NY Times | Big Firms Limit Paying State Taxes, Study Finds
As states have struggled to balance their budgets by cutting services, laying off workers and raising taxes, a study to be released on Wednesday suggests that many profitable Fortune 500 companies have not been paying as much in state corporate income taxes as the average levied on American companies, with some big firms paying none at all in recent years.
CNN Money | Billionaires with 1% tax rates
As for the president's assertion that some billionaires have a tax rate as low as 1%, Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, said that it's definitely possible but hard to verify.
NY Times | The Robin Hood Tax
They call it the Robin Hood tax — a tiny levy on trades in the financial markets that would take money from the banks and give it to the world’s poor.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Politico | GOP won’t go down without a tax fight
All this needs to be resolved soon or the Social Security payroll tax will go up next year for every working American; unemployment benefits will run dry; and doctors who treat Medicare patients will have their fees cut.
AEI | A fairer system for taxing U.S. corporate dividends
...dividends are still taxed twice: The corporation first pays a 35% federal income tax on them and then the recipient of the dividend pays again.

Hill: Floor Action Blog | GOP members offer payroll-tax solution: Let taxpayers choose
Three House Republicans have put forward a possible solution to the payroll tax cut debate — a bill that would give taxpayers the choice of whether to continue to receive a payroll tax cut.


NY Times | Citi Cuts 4,500 Jobs, Will Take $400 Million Charge
Citigroup Inc is cutting 4,500 jobs worldwide, Chief Executive Vikram Pandit said on Tuesday, becoming the latest large bank to trim staff.
WSJ | A Boeing Accord Looms to Defuse Big NLRB Fight
The proposed four-year contract extension for 31,000 machinists offers commitments that Boeing will build new and existing jetliners in Washington's Puget Sound region.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | LAMBRO: Obama’s statistical slump
Unemployment decline can’t hide numbers that portend voter payback.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | Recession and Its Aftermath Create More Mr. Moms
The economy has been harder on men than women but a new Census report shows men are at least picking up some of the slack at home.
NY Times: Economix | Employed Women, Dropping Out of the Labor Force
Closer analysis reveals that the entirety of that decline was due to the departure of women — and particularly employed women — from the labor force.


Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Basel's Sovereign-Debt Bubble
How banking regulations help create systemic risk.

Political Calculations | Winter 2011 Edition: Who Owns the U.S. National Debt?
As of the end of the U.S. federal government's 2011 fiscal year on 30 September 2011, the United States' total public debt outstanding was recorded to be approximately $14.790 trillion. From the end of the U.S. government's Fiscal Year 2010, the amount of the U.S. national debt has increased by 9.1% in just one year, or $1.2 trillion.