Thursday, March 1, 2012

General Economics

News                                                                                                                             
National Journal | Bernanke Says Volcker Rule Won’t Be Ready for July Deadline
The controversial Volcker Rule, a provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, will not be ready by the July 21 deadline stipulated in the legislation, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday.
Market Watch | Economy still hobbled by weak housing, high debts
The weak housing market and high levels of household debt are still holding back the economic recovery, more than four years after the start of the recession and nearly seven years after the housing bubble began to deflate.
Bloomberg | Europe Factory Report Shows Region Trailing as Joblessness Rises: Economy
Euro-area manufacturing shrank for a seventh month and unemployment rose to the highest in more than 14 years, stoking concern that the regional economy may struggle even as global growth improves.
Market Watch | Wage gains lift incomes by 0.3% in January
Americans dipped into their savings slightly to keep buying goods in January as incomes continued to advance.
USA Today | U.S. exported more gasoline than imported last year
For the first time since 1949, the United States exported more gasoline, heating oil and diesel fuel last year than it imported, the Energy Department reported today.
CNN Money | Foreclosures made up one in four home sales
Homes in some stage of foreclosure accounted for nearly one in four homes sales during the fourth quarter, according to RealtyTrac.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CRS | The Eurozone Crisis: Overview and Issues for Congress
What started as a debt crisis in Greece in late 2009 has evolved into a broader economic crisis in the Eurozone that threatens economic stability in Europe and beyond. Some analysts view the Eurozone crisis as the biggest potential threat to the U.S. economic recovery.
National Journal | Bernanke: Mild Downturn in Europe Won’t Threaten U.S. Recovery
The U.S. economic recovery should not be affected by the sovereign debt crisis across the Atlantic so long as Europeans continue to muddle through their problems, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday.
WSJ | Restarting the U.S. Capital Machine
For decades, emerging global companies that wanted to access capital had few choices but to come to America. Our markets were the most liquid, low-cost, fair and stable in the world. That's changed.
Politico | Presidential lesson on economics, gas prices
Obama’s fixation on government-driven green energy — which doesn’t come close to being competitive now — has cost the nation potential growth.
CATO | Barack Obama: The Anti Economic Growth President
For several hundred years, a consensus developed in Western nations that economic growth — human progress — is a good thing. But now economic growth is under attack.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Daily Capitalist | GDP For 2011 Revised Upward to 3.0% — Is It Real?
This revision to the prior month’s report does not reflect actual changes in the economy, but rather another month’s improvement in the BEA’s understanding of what was happening in the prior quarter.
Political Calculations | The Rising Unaffordability of a College Education
We see that the average cost of tuition and required fees at a four-year institution has risen from $1,218 in the 1976-1977 school year to $12,467 through the 2009-2010 school year.

Health Care

News                                                                                                                             
National Journal | Economists Tell Senate Panel 'No Silver Bullet' On Health Care Costs
A panel of health economists told the Senate Budget Committee on Wednesday that wringing big savings out of health care entitlements will be a complicated job.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Daily Caller | President Obama’s health care law is unraveling
As the Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care plan at the end of March, one of the president’s closest advisers has added to the weight of evidence that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is losing viability among lawmakers and the public.
WSJ | Ryan's Medicare Revolution
Over the past year, an entitlement revolution has taken place on Capitol Hill. It has gotten relatively little attention from the media. Yet its implications for the budget deficit and the health care of senior citizens are enormous.

Monetary

News                                                                                                                             
CNN Money | Who's afraid of Greek credit default swaps?
For investors, the words credit default swap can bring back painful memories of 2008. But in the case of Greece, the dreaded derivatives may not be the ticking time bomb some have feared.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Fed's Pianalto comfortable with policy stance
Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Sandra Pianalto said Thursday that she is comfortable with the current stance of monetary policy. "I would prefer nothing more that to support an increase in interest rates before late 2014 on the basis of a brighter outlook for economic growth - but I am not there yet,"
WSJ | A World Awash in Money
If you want to know who rules the world economy these days, Wednesday was instructive.

Employment

News                                                                                                                             
Market Watch | U.S. jobless claims little changed at 351,000
New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits were barely changed last week and appear to have settled in a range consistent with modest hiring trends.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CNN Money | Bernanke: Job market 'far from normal'
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke headed to Capitol Hill Wednesday to give Congress his semi-annual report on the economy, and what he had to say wasn't exactly rosy.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Political Calculations | A Break in the Trend for New Jobless Claims
A quick story in pictures, as we're still sorting things out

Taxes

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CNN Money | Is it time to raise taxes on capital gains?
The tax bills of Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett raise a long-running question: Why do Americans get taxed less on their investment gains than on their paychecks?
Washington Times | Obama’s unfair tax hikes
President Obama says wealthy Americans need to pay significantly higher taxes. A new poll shows most Americans think the rich should get a tax cut.
Real Clear Markets | Taxing Miles Driven Over Fuel Consumed
Cars are becoming more fuel-efficient and rising gasoline prices are discouraging driving. As the Transportation Department's Manager of Innovative Partnerships and Funding, Whitty hopes to submit to the legislature in 2012 a new proposal for collecting revenue on the basis of miles driven, rather than on motor fuel consumed.
WSJ | What's Right With Kansas
One trend of the last year is that the policy gulf between states run by Republicans and Democrats has rarely been greater.

Budget

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | President’s budget fails job creators
Recently, President Obama transmitted his budget proposal for fis- cal 2013 to Congress. While political documents are to be expected in an election year, this budget was still widely panned from the left and the right as being devoid of any real solutions to our nation’s problems
Daily Finance | Busted Boomers and Beyond: Living with Less from Social Security and Pensions
As millions of baby boomers barrel headfirst into retirement, the sheer size of that generation is driving massive shifts in the way we think about -- and fund -- our post-working years.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Heritage Foundation | Our Debt and China
Yesterday, the Department of the Treasury released an initial estimate of foreign holdings of U.S. securities, including Treasury bonds, as of June 30, 2011. This estimate serves as a correction of monthly figures Treasury publishes, known as the Major Foreign Holders series.