Friday, May 18, 2012

General Economics

WSJ | Defiant Message From Greece
The head of Greece's radical left party—throwing down a gauntlet that could increase tensions between Greece and its frustrated European creditors—said he sees little chance Europe will cut off funding to the country but that if it does, Athens will stop paying its debts.
Reuters | Analysis: Greeks not alone in bank savings exodus
Greek savers may be gripped by a "great fear that could develop into panic" in the words of President Karolos Papoulias, but many Greeks shifted their money to safer havens in Britain, Switzerland, Germany and Nordic countries long ago.
WSJ | Japan's GDP Growth Accelerates on Government Outlays
Japan's economy grew an annualized 4.1% in the January-March quarter as resurgent domestic demand and government spending helped fuel recovery from last year's natural disasters and supply chain disruptions that suppressed growth.
CNN Money | Home buying at most affordable level in decades
Buying a home has reached its most affordable level in more than two decades.
WSJ | Mexico's GDP Exceeds Expectations
Mexico's economic growth accelerated in the first quarter, beating analyst expectations on higher industrial output and agricultural production as well as continued strength in domestic demand.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Food Stamps and the $41 Cake
There is a large chain grocery store in my neighborhood that I rarely frequent because the prices are too high. Instead, I will travel an extra 30 blocks to another store where the costs per item are 20%-30% lower.
Bloomberg | Paul Krugman's Simple -- or Is It Simplistic? -- Reasoning
It's a "remarkably simple problem," said Paul Krugman, Nobel laureate in economics, professor at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School, New York Times columnist, devotee of John Maynard Keynes, leading voice of the left and lightning rod for the right.
Forbes | Japan and Europe Killing Themselves
Can the U.S. lead the world back to prosperity? The global economy is lurching toward the cliff. Twice before over the last 75 years Washington took the necessary action, and after November, with a new President and Congress, there will be the opportunity--and imperative--to do so again.

Café Hayek | An Open Letter to Two Would-Be Lords of the Manor
Irked that Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has renounced his U.S. citizenship, you propose, with your “Ex-Patriot Act,” to punitively tax and to permanently bar from ever again entering America men and women who, to reduce their tax liabilities, renounce their citizenship in the U.S.

Health Care

CNN Money | Save on health care, even as your body falls apart
You managed to glide through your twenties and thirties without any major health issues. Yet, as the calendar pages turn, you're finding that a host of minor -- and perhaps a few major -- medical problems keep cropping up.

Library of Economics | Timothy Taylor on Health Care Spending in the U.S.
The question of why the U.S. spends more than 50% more per person on health care than the next highest countries (Switzerland and Netherlands), and more than double per person what many other countries spend, may never have a simple answer.


WSJ | Experts Try to Chart Path for Exit From Currency
Returning to a national currency after more than a decade of using the euro and having its money managed by the European Central Bank would catapult Greece into a financial, legal and political no man's land.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Pledge Week at the Fed
The ire over a trading stumble at J.P. Morgan shows how little taxpayers enjoy standing behind too-big-to-fail institutions. Remarkably, the same Federal Reserve that didn't blow the whistle on J.P. Morgan's "whale" trades is planning to make more such institutions.
Real Clear Markets | Overrated Central Banks Seal Our Depression Fate
The impulse to compare current events to previous events is a part of human nature. Indeed, most of our groping obsession with predicting future events is based in the past, particularly a search for patterns.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | The Saverin Lesson
The way to continue to be a magnet for the best and brightest is not to impose Soviet-style exit taxes to punish people who want to leave the country. That is what oppressive and demagogic regimes do, and it's humiliating to see U.S. Senators posture in such fashion.

Carpe Diem | Only People Pay Taxes, Not Solar Panels; Commerce Slaps 31% Tax on U.S. Consumers
On behalf of American consumers, a slightly edited version of this afternoon's NY Times article "U.S. Slaps High Tariffs on Chinese Solar Panels" Americans Who Purchase Solar Panels Made in China"


WSJ | Jobless Claims Hold Steady
The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits was flat last week, a sign that layoffs have slowed from earlier this spring.
USA Today | Report: Hewlett-Packard to slash 25,000 workers
Hewlett-Packard is considering eliminating up to 25,000 jobs — 7% of its workforce — to slash costs and help the venerable tech company cope with declining demand for computers and services, according to several reports.
CNN Money | Postal plants to shrink, 28,000 jobs at stake
The U.S. Postal Service announced on Thursday it's moving forward with a $2.1 billion cost-savings plan to consolidate postal plants over the next two years, with consolidations starting in July.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | President Obama's Unemployment Rate Is Stuck At 11%
This latest recession started in December, 2007.  Since the Great Depression 75 years ago, recessions in America have lasted an average of 10 months, with the longest previously lasting 16 months, not counting this latest spooky downturn.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Foreign Policy | 5 Easy Ways to Solve the Greek Crisis
If there's one thing economists don't like, it's politics. We can draw up any number of fantastic policies on paper, but getting them through legislatures and central bank committees is another story.
Washington Times | Looming ‘fiscal cliff’ demands attention
This week there was more than idle conversation about Facebook’s pending initial public offering, an IPO likely to be one of the largest in history. While it’s hard to argue with the company’s sheer size, several filings with the Security Exchange Commission reveal some concerns over its mobile strategy and growth prospects.