Monday, January 23, 2012

General Economics

News                                                                                                                             
USA Today | Economists see growth slowing, recession risk falling
The economy will grow at an 2.2% annual rate the first half of 2012 after an estimated 3.1% gain in fourth-quarter gross domestic product, according to the median forecast of the 48 economists surveyed. The government reports on fourth-quarter GDP Friday.
Motley Fool | 3 Huge Recent Economic Developments You May Have Missed
Business news lately has been the same story over and over: The stock market is volatile, politicians hate each other, there aren't enough jobs, and Europe is a mess. But some really interesting developments have taken place recently, many of which haven't received enough attention.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | This Is America's Moment, If Washington Doesn't Blow It
The vast majority of Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction, and, according to a 2011 Pew Survey, close to a majority feel that China has already surpassed the U.S. as an economic power.
Washington Times | It’s the economy, stupid
It’s starting to feel a lot like 1992, and President Obama’s re-election team should be worried. At this point in President George H.W. Bush’s term, the president’s approval rating stood at 46 percent. According to Gallup, Mr. Obama’s is doing worse by 1 percent.
Motley fool | Here's Why American Manufacturing Will Make a Comeback
Boston Consulting Group recently put out a report outlining the future of manufacturing in the United States. Surprisingly, it leads me to believe we could be headed for a strong revival in this oft-downtrodden industry.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Calculated Risk | Schedule for Week of Jan 22nd
The key U.S. economic report for the coming week is the Q4 advance GDP report to be released on Friday. Also New Home sales will be released on Thursday.
Coordination Problem | Myths About my Views on the Myth of the Gender Wage Gap
The myth is that women earn 75% of what men do because of labor market discrimination. What’s been interesting about the reaction to the argument there is that both “left libertarians” and “right libertarians” have criticized it. That reaction tends to be a sign that I probably got it pretty much correct!
Marginal Revolution | Why isn’t the iPhone made in America?
Another critical advantage for Apple was that China provided engineers at a scale the United States could not match. Apple’s executives had estimated that about 8,700 industrial engineers were needed to oversee and guide the 200,000 assembly-line workers eventually involved in manufacturing iPhones.
Calculated Risk | Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 963 Institutions
With the FDIC back to closings and the OCC releasing its enforcement actions through mid-December 2011, the Unofficial Problem Bank List underwent several changes during the week.
The Volokh Conspiracy | The Lessons of the 1920–21 Depression
Our Great Recession ended 2½ years ago, according to the official cyclical timekeepers, but you wouldn’t know it by a glance at the news.

Health Care

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Atlantic | What Cost Cancer Treatment?
There has been a lot of excitement about Zelboraf, a new drug to treat metastatic melanoma. Since the previous standard of care was to try a bunch of futile chemotherapy and then die pretty much on schedule, this was a rather heartwarming breakthrough in a field that doesn't have enough of those.

Monetary

Blogs                                                                                                                             
WSJ | Number of the Week: When Will Fed Raise Rates?
The Federal Reserve gives its latest signal next week on when it plans to raise rates from historic lows. The only thing we know for sure is that it won’t be any time soon.

Taxes

News                                                                                                                             
Daily Finance | All Couples Are Not Created Equal in the Tax Code
Equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans is often viewed as a moral issue, or a religious one. But in many ways, it's a financial issue, as well.
USA Today | What tax reform? Many 2010 tax breaks still in place
With all the talk about tax reform, there weren't many changes to tax law in 2011.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | California's Millionaire Tax Mirage
Governor Jerry Brown insisted in his State of the State speech last week that California is "still the land of dreams." He's certainly right if he's referring to his latest fantasy that raising taxes on the upper middle-class will generate an additional $5 billion annually over the next five years, eliminate the state's chronic budget deficits and pay down a large portion of its debt.
NY Times | A Better Tax System (Assembly Instructions Included)
Economists who study public finance have long agreed with William E. Simon, the former Treasury secretary, who said that “the nation should have a tax system that looks like someone designed it on purpose.”

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Café Hayek | More on Capital-Gains Taxation
Failure to tax capital gains – or failure to tax them at rates higher than they are currently taxed – is not such clear evidence of ‘favoritism toward the rich’ as the popular narrative (found, of course, in the NYT) would have it.
Library of Economics | The Optimal Capital Gains Tax Rate is Below Ten Percent
In a 2009 study done for the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation (IRET), Ohio State University economist Paul D. Evans considers a broader criterion: the effect of capital gains tax rates on overall federal tax revenues.
National Review | Let’s Move to a Consumption Tax
The debate over Mitt Romney’s tax burden makes me think it is time to revive the idea that the income tax should go and a consumption tax should replace it.

Employment

News                                                                                                                             
WSJ | Job Market Takes Baby Steps Toward Recovery
Since late summer, U.S. labor markets have been mending. The U.S. may be entering the needed virtuous-cycle stage of recovery: Better demand is generating more jobs that add more income to finance more demand

Budget

News                                                                                                                             
WSJ | Greek Debt Talks Appear to Stall Amid Clash on Rate for New Bonds
Talks between Greece and its private-sector creditors over a debt write-down plan appeared to stall Saturday as the banks' top negotiator left Athens.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Neighborhood Effects | Maryland’s New Budget Proposal
Maryland’s fiscal challenges did not occur over night and, in fact, the state has been running structural deficits for the past several years.
Library of Economics | Shocks and Deficits
The CBO projects federal spending on all purposes other than health care and interest to be roughly stable as a share of GDP from 2015 to 2035, and then to drift lower.