Thursday, April 26, 2012

General Economics

USA Today | U.S. home prices fall again, but some markets see gains
Nationwide, prices fell 0.8% in February, the sixth-consecutive month of price declines, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller index released Tuesday. When adjusted for seasonal factors, prices rose 0.2%.
WSJ | Euro-Zone Economic Confidence Drops
Another vital sign for the euro-zone economy took a sudden turn for the worse this month as an economic confidence indicator fell, raising the risk of a prolonged contraction even as government leaders begin poring over formulas for promoting growth.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | Obama crucifies business
Let there be no mistake about how the Obama administration views its regulatory role. America’s oil and gas producers are under siege from agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and it’s hitting consumers in their pocketbooks.
Bloomberg | Conservatives Need Better Blueprint for New Economy
The first priority for governments in the U.S. and Europe is to engineer the fastest possible recovery from the Great Recession -- a job that the European Union, in particular, is bungling. Despite it all, recovery will come, and when it does the world economy is going to look different.

Atlantic | Memory As A Consumer Durable
According to the arcane conventions of economic statistics, a "consumer durable" is any physical product that lasts longer than three years: cars, fridges, computers (Strangely, Levi's don't count as a durable). 
Coordination Problem | Lawrence White on The Clash of Economic Ideas
Yesterday (Wed., April 25th, 2012), the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the Mercatus Center hosted a public event highlighting Lawrence H. White's The Clash of Economic Ideas.  Providing formal comments on the book were Doug Irwin of Dartmouth, and Perry Mehrling of Barnard College and INET.
Marginal Revolution | Austan Goolsbee is now blogging
I agree with Glenn that one of the key debates in the election should be about how America should deal with our long  run budget challenge (that comes from the aging of our population).

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Health law’s demise would save big bucks, for some
Whatever their opinion of the health-care reform law, wealthy Americans have a lot of money at risk in the Supreme Court’s coming decision on the law’s constitutionality.


WSJ | Fed Holds Rates Steady, but Outlooks Shift
Federal Reserve officials reaffirmed their plan to keep short-term interest rates near zero until late 2014 to support economic growth, but hints emerged of policy makers' diverging views about how the central bank might proceed.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Congress Finally Takes on the Fed
Two bills now before Congress make it clear that legislators are finally giving serious attention to a much-needed reform of the Federal Reserve System.

Smart Money | The Fed in 57 Words
Here’s the full text of Wednesday’s Fed statement, plus a translation for those who don’t speak Fed.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CNN Money | Why half of us don't pay income tax
It's a provocative fact about the tax code: Nearly half of U.S. households end up owing no federal income tax


CNN Money | Jobless claims remain elevated
First-time claims for unemployment benefits remained elevated for the third straight week, the government said Thursday, a sign that a job recovery might be stalling.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Dial Williston for Jobs
The North Dakota shale boom is by now well known—so much so that the Chamber of Commerce in tiny Williston (population: who knows?) in the heart of the Bakken Shale has had to automate its phone system because it can no longer respond to individual calls or emails.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | The Mysterious White House/CBO Deficit Disparity
It's a perennial Washington mystery, one that probably increases public skepticism about politics and politicians. How does the White House calculate that the administration's fiscal 2013 budget would reduce the deficit by $4 trillion, whereas the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the same budget would raise the deficit by $3.6 trillion?
Market Watch | The day austerity died
Lots of little things seem to be contributing to the strength of the market, but there does also seem to be a belief that Germany finally “gets it.”
Politico | Social Security trustees: We’re going broke
Here’s some bad news: The latest report of the Social Security and Medicare trustees shows an unfunded liability for both programs of $63 trillion. That is equal to about 4.5 times the entire U.S. gross domestic product.

Neighborhood Effects | To Cut Spending, Focus on the Rules of the Game, Not the Players
It might seem that the natural solution is to elect politicians committed to reining in spending, especially on the entitlement programs and pensions at the heart of state and federal overspending.