Tuesday, June 5, 2012

General Economics

News                                                                                                                               CNN Money | Average income of super rich: $202.4 million
The 400 tax filers at the top of the income scale hauled in an average of $202.4 million in 2009 -- a 25% haircut from the prior year, according to the latest tax data from the IRS.
Politico | Washington ignores bond market on borrowing
Here’s one benefit to the continued economic troubles: Interest rates on government debt are plummeting to record lows.
 WSJ | Australian Economy Shows Surprising Strength
Australia reported its economy was the fastest-growing in the developed world in the first three months of 2012, sweeping aside growing gloom that has triggered aggressive interest rates cuts in the past month.
USA Today | Most state economies still recovering after recession
The residents of only nine states have returned their economic output to the level that existed before the downturn struck at the end of 2007 — and most of those states are energy producers, according to data released Tuesday.  
NY Times | Veterans Pension Program Is Being Abused, Report Says
A yearlong investigation into a federal pension program for low-income veterans has concluded that weak oversight and unclear rules have made the system ripe for abuse, including by financial planners and lawyers who help well-off retirees qualify for benefits by transferring or hiding assets.  
Market Watch | Regulator reviews oversight in wake of J.P. Morgan
The primary regulator for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. on Wednesday said the agency is conducting an internal review of its oversight of the mega-bank in light of the institution's announcement last month that it is taking losses of at least $2 billion from credit derivatives trades.  
WSJ | Productivity Revised Lower
The productivity of U.S. workers declined more than initially thought during the first quarter of the year, yet another sign of sputtering economic growth.
CNN Money | Push for more student loan disclosure
The Obama administration announced a push to have colleges make better disclosures to students about the true cost of loans, as well as graduation and loan default rates at each school.
 WSJ | European Data Adds to Anxiety
A fall in German industrial output in April suggested the debt crisis may finally be impacting Europe's largest and strongest economy.

 Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                       
WSJ | Big Banks Are Not the Future
The halcyon days of large financial conglomerates are over.  
Forbes | Obama Runs From His Failed Presidency As Fast As He Can
As President Barack Obama approaches the final hundred days before his election, events have forced his campaign to adopt a new political strategy: hoping Americans forget the first hundred days of his presidency.

Blogs                                                                                                                              Heritage Foundation | More Than 40 Percent of Americans Are on Some Government Program
How many Americans depend on a government program for a basic (or not so basic) need? According to recently released Census Bureau data and Heritage Foundation calculations, the number is 128.8 million. That is the number of individuals directly receiving aid that they depend on for their daily consumption of things such as rent, prescription drugs, and higher education.
Marginal Revolution | Thoughts on how to avoid another Great Depression
I believe people should take more seriously the notion that the ECB will remain hopeless, and that the crisis can only be addressed by some kind of joint US-German-UK-toss-in-the-other-sound-countries radical multilateral move.
Greg Mankiw | Barro on the Slow Recovery
Consider the expansion of social-safety-net programs, including food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicaid (prospectively) and housing and mortgage programs.  
WSJ | Distressing Mortgage Conditions
Though mortgage distress peaked in 2010, many areas of the country continue to struggle and some regions are getting worse, according to data presented by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard.  
Café Hayek | The State of Economics and Economics Journalism
The reaction to the May employment report has been depressingly predictable: Republicans have been gleefully proclaiming that President Obama’s fiscal stimulus didn’t work. Many people who commented on my post about the political impact of the job figures parroted the same line, arguing that the lacklustre economy demonstrates Keynesianism is a bust.