Tuesday, March 6, 2012

General Economics

Market Watch | Service sector growth accelerates in February
The U.S. service sector expanded at a somewhat faster pace in February and indicated growing optimism about the economy, according to a closely followed survey of senior executives.
CNN Money | Stocks headed for pullback
U.S. stocks were poised to open lower on Tuesday, as world markets sold off amid economic growth worries in China and Europe.
Politico | Experts: Economy beating forecasts
Most economists say the United States’ economy is getting better — but President Barack Obama doesn’t get much of the credit for the decline in the unemployment rate, according to a survey out Tuesday.
Bloomberg | European Economy Shrank in Fourth Quarter
Europe’s economy contracted in the fourth quarter as investment declined by the most since 2009 and exports and consumer spending dropped.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CATO | What Made the Financial Crisis Systemic?
The current narrative regarding the 2008 systemic financial system collapse is that numerous seemingly unrelated events occurred in unregulated or underregulated markets, requiring widespread bailouts of actors across the financial spectrum, from mortgage borrowers to investors in money market funds.
Forbes | Tim Geithner Covers for Corruption On Pennsylvania Avenue
Secretary Geithner, it is you who choose to ignore and misrepresent the lessons of the financial crisis by perpetuating the myth that the source of the crisis was a lack of regulation.
WSJ | Bad News for Boomers
If you're a baby boomer, you've got a big problem when it comes to the investment returns you can expect in retirement:
Daily Caller | Why the Texas economy is booming
Two weeks ago, Texas officials announced that the Lone Star State had crossed an important threshold. After a shorter, less severe recessionary period than the rest of the nation experienced, the state’s labor market had returned to its pre-recession employment levels
Washington Times | Obama undermines coal
The genius of the free market is that it provides consumers with more for less. That principle is turned on its head in the Obama era

Calculated Risk | Existing Home Inventory declines 21% year-over-year in early March
According to the for monthly inventory (54 metro areas), is off 20.5% compared to the same week last year.
The American | For 99 percent of Americans, the Obama recovery has been no recovery at all
Liberal economist Emmanuel Saez has updated his much-referenced income inequality research. Here’s how the recovery is going after the Great Recession
John Taylor | More Debates about the Stimulus Debate
In a blog post yesterday Paul Krugman repeats a claim made by ChristinaRomer which he says answers “in devastating fashion” the empirical paper by John Cogan and me which shows that stimulus (ARRA) grants led to lower net borrowing by state and local governments. But Romer’s claim actually provides no such answer or rebuttal.
CATO | Time for Some Rapprochement in U.S.-China Economic Relations
Has the Chinese government indulged in protectionist, provocative or otherwise illiberal policies that have, on occasion, violated its commitment to the rules of international trade? Yes.

Health Care

Politico | Medicaid waivers pave way for reform
Millions and millions of dollars in Affordable Care Act grants aren’t the only way the Obama administration is helping states prepare for health care reform.
National Journal | Wyden Says That His and Ryan's Medicare Plan Is Almost Happening Already
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said that the plan that he and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., were working on to convert Medicare into a private insurance plan that competes on an exchange wasn't that different from what is already happening.

Atlantic | The New Louisiana Purchase: Obamacare's $4.3 Billion Boondoggle
Due to a drafting error, the law ended up giving Louisiana $4.3 billion in extra Medicaid funds -- more than twenty times the assigned amount. How this happened, and how Congress failed to fully fix it, is a microcosm of our new health law's many flaws.


CNN Money | Gas prices break 27-day rise
The nationwide average for gasoline prices eased Tuesday, marking the first decline after 27 straight days of increases, according to the motorist group AAA.
Bloomberg | China 4% Inflation Target Gives Scope for Relaxing Energy-Price Controls
China set a 2012 target for inflation that’s higher than economists’ forecasts, leaving room for fiscal and monetary stimulus and an easing of government controls on the cost of resources such as energy.
National Journal | Bill to Revamp Federal Reserve Expected on Thursday
Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, plans to introduce a bill on Thursday that would dramatically reshape the Federal Reserve, offering a potential preview of future GOP efforts to reform the body.

WSJ | Morgan Stanley Still Expects QE3 This Year
Morgan Stanley continues to think the Federal Reserve will provide more stimulus via bond buying this year, even as improving economic data have led many in the market to think the sun may be setting on that particular strategy.
Library of Economics | Timing the End of the Liquidity Crisis
What I want to ask is whether the financial-panic story has a sell-by date
Economist | Try overshooting for once
I felt that the move toward an explicit inflation target and the change in communications strategy recently adopted represented a step toward a more accommodative policy with room for a bit of catch up inflation


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
National Journal | Multinational U.S. Corporations Exploited Tax System
American multinational corporations manipulated the international tax system to avoid as much as $3.5 billion in taxes over the past two decades, according to a study released on Monday.
CBO | The Earned Income Tax Credit and Expected Social Security Retirement Benefits Among Low-Income Women: Working Paper 2012-6
In this study, we examine whether expansions in the EITC are likely to lead to increases in Social Security retirement benefits for less-educated women (those likely to be affected by the EITC) by increasing their employment and earnings when young.

Tax Foundation | U.S. Corporate Income Taxes: Countdown to #1
With the U.S. corporate income tax rate soon to become the highest in the developed world, a lot of people are drawing attention to the resulting impacts on workers, consumers, and investors.
Economist | OPEC and Uncle Sam
Estimates of the effects of higher gasoline taxes often rely on the estimated gasoline demand elasticity with respect to gasoline prices, with an implicit assumption that consumers respond to a change in gasoline taxes in the same way as they respond to a commensurate change in tax-exclusive gasoline prices.


Washington Times | ‘Cloud’ expected to create a million jobs in U.S.
The growing move to “cloud computing,” in which consumers and businesses store their data, applications and resources online instead of on their own systems, is expected to create more than a million American jobs by 2015, according to a new study from Microsoft.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | Job-killing madness
Most people intuitively understand that job creation requires capital investment, but many in the Obama administration and in Congress seem to have missed this basic fact of economic life.

WSJ | Vital Signs: Slowing Services Hiring
U.S. services businesses slowed their pace of hiring in February from January. The Institute for Supply Management’s seasonally adjusted Services Employment Index was 55.7 in February, down 1.7 points from the previous month.
Political Calculations | Gasoline Prices and the Unemployment Rate
A story in two pictures, covering January 1976 (the earliest year for which we have average inflation-adjusted monthly retail motor gasoline prices in the U.S.) through February 2012


FOX Business | AIG Raises $6B in AIA Stake Selldown
American International Group (AIG: 29.26, -1.13, -3.72%) raised about $6 billion by cutting its AIA Group stake in a deal that was priced at the bottom of the bailed-out U.S. insurer's own expectations.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CNN Money | Wall Street to lawmakers: Here's how to fix the deficit
Republican party leaders may be surprised by the results of a new poll of institutional investors: A majority of them want Washington to fix the deficit the Obama way, with both spending cuts and tax hikes.