Friday, January 20, 2012

General Economics

News                                                                                                                             
Market Watch | Russia’s WTO entrance redraws global resource map
Russia’s acceptance into the World Trade Organization last month didn’t just mark an end to nearly two decades of negotiations, but opened a door to free up global trade with a nation that is one of the world’s largest oil producers and home to the globe’s biggest natural gas reserves.
Bloomberg | China Manufacturing Contraction Boosts Case for Monetary Easing: Economy
A Chinese purchasing managers’ index signaled manufacturing may contract for a third month as a slowing economy boosts the case for the government to further loosen credit controls.
National Journal | Senate Online-Piracy Bill Faces Long Odds
Controversial legislation targeting foreign websites that offer pirated content or counterfeit goods faces increasingly long odds in the Senate ahead of a key vote on Tuesday. 

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
AEI | America seems poised to take off in 2012
The U.S. economy has been doing poorly for so long now that it's easy to get dispirited. But there are several reasons to think 2012 might be a good one for American economic performance.
Motley Fool | Why Falling Home Ownership Is a Good Thing
Ever since the end of the boom years of the early 2000s, the housing market has struggled to hit bottom, seemingly plowing ever lower even after years of declines.
Washington Times | MILLER: Simple entitlement reform
Social Security and Medicare’s growing liabilities are driving this nation toward a Greek-style debt crisis. Politicians know the current system is unsustainable and that raising the retirement age is a necessary reform. Few are brave enough to risk doing the right thing.
NBER | Recessions and the Cost of Job Loss
We develop new evidence on the cumulative earnings losses associated with job displacement, drawing on longitudinal Social Security records for U.S. workers from 1974 to 2008.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Greg Mankiw | Five Observations about Progressivity
There has been a lot of discussion recently about tax progressivity.  A few observations on the topic.
CATO | FHA and the Foreclosures of Tomorrow
The recently released Federal Reserve White Paper on the Housing Market has received considerable attention, at least for its policy proposals.
The Corner | Is the Middle Class Shrinking?
Over at the Agenda, the excellent Scott Winship of the Brookings Institution isn’t convinced by claims that the middle class is disappearing
Free Banking | Missing from the debate on multipliers
Scott Sumner and Paul Krugman have been going back and forth about fiscal multipliers, in a debate with many other participants.
Heritage Foundation | Global Economics: When China Is Not Just China
The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) relationship with Iran receives a good deal of attention. As the U.S. considers how to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program short of military action, the PRC is considered vital in ensuring economic sanctions are effective. But it has been difficult to win Chinese cooperation in applying sanctions.

Health Care

News                                                                                                                             
National Journal | Sebelius Anticipates 'Barrage' Against Health Care Law
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned health reform advocates on Thursday to prepare for ramped-up attacks on the health care law as the November election nears.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Greg Mankiw | Five Observations about Progressivity
There has been a lot of discussion recently about tax progressivity.  A few observations on the topic.

Monetary

News                                                                                                                             
WSJ | Consumers Notch Gains As Some Prices Decline
The U.S. consumer is starting off 2012 on a somewhat sounder footing, as everyday prices ease and the labor market strengthens.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | What Is 'Stable Value' In Currency Terms?
The reason that we use gold, in a gold standard system, instead of, say, orange juice, is because we are trying to accomplish a goal, and gold is the best way to do so. Our goal is to create a currency of stable value.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Economist | Are falling prices good news?
INFLATION, we're led to believe from an early age, is bad. And sometimes it is.

Taxes

News                                                                                                                             
National Journal | Brill Outlines New Conservative-Minded Tax Reform Plan
Republican leaders gathering in Baltimore will have a new conservative-minded tax reform proposal to discuss as they mull their political strategy for the coming year.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | How Much the Rich Pay
Mitt Romney's disclosure this week that his effective federal tax rate is "probably closer to the 15% rate than anything" has created the predictable political uproar.
Washington Times | LAMBRO: Obama’s tax-rate demagoguery
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney estimates the federal tax rate he pays on most of his income is about 15 percent because it comes from his past investments.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Economist | Are falling prices good news?
INFLATION, we're led to believe from an early age, is bad. And sometimes it is.

Employment

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Daily Caller | Obama is ignoring his own jobs council's recommendations
On Tuesday, President Obama met with his so-called Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to discuss its recommendations for the U.S. economy. Despite the panel being stacked with cronies and rent-seekers, its recommendations were mostly sensible.
WSJ | The Jobs Picture Is Still Far From Rosy
The typical American judges the state of the economy by the quality of the labor market. If jobs are scarce and wages are flat or falling, decent increases in the gross domestic product or the stock market are almost irrelevant. Aware of this point, President Obama convened yet another White House meeting on jobs earlier this week.
WSJ | The MetLife Lesson
You know something's wrong when a company like MetLife can't find a buyer for its mortgage unit, fires 4,300 workers, and its stock rises.

Budget

News                                                                                                                             
WSJ | Greece, Creditors Cite Progress on a Debt Pact
The Greek government and its private-sector creditors appeared to be closing in on a debt-restructuring deal on the basis of new proposals, raising hopes it would pave the way for another multibillion-euro bailout for the country.
Bloomberg | EU Sets Stricter Fiscal Limits in Bowing to Some ECB Requests, Draft Shows
European Union governments set tougher rules on budget deficits in the latest draft of a planned fiscal treaty, bowing to some objections raised by the European Central Bank.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | The Greece Next Door
Run up spending and debt, raise taxes in the naming of balancing the budget, but then watch as deficits rise and your credit-rating falls anyway.