Thursday, June 28, 2012

General Economics

WSJ | Cities Outpace Suburbs in Growth
Many U.S. cities are growing faster than their suburbs for the first time in decades, reflecting shifting attitudes about urban living as well as the effect of a housing bust that has put a damper on moving.
Bloomberg | Oil Fluctuates Amid Speculation EU Outlook Will Worsen
Oil fluctuated in London amid speculation that the European Union’s economy will fail to grow, as the region’s leaders gathered in Brussels for a summit.
CNN Money | Congress close to deal on student loans
Senate and House leaders said Wednesday they're close to an agreement to extend for one year the current low 3.4% rates on federal subsidized student loans.
Bloomberg | U.S. Economy Grew 1.9% in First Quarter on Consumer Spending
The U.S. economy grew 1.9 percent in the first quarter, reflecting a gain in consumer spending that now shows signs of cooling as the labor market weakens.
Bloomberg | Euro-Area Confidence Slumps, German Unemployment Rises
Economic confidence in the euro area slumped to the lowest in more than 2 1/2 years in June and German unemployment increased more than economists forecast, adding to signs the economy fell back into a recession.
NY Times | After Years of False Hopes, Signs of a Turn in Housing
Announcements of a housing recovery have become a wrongheaded rite of summer, but after several years of false hopes, evidence is accumulating that the optimists may finally be right.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Fiscal Times | The Poor: Not As Bad Off As They Once Were?
Just how badly are the country’s poor and middle class doing? While the national debate about rising income inequality rages on, economists Kevin Hassett and Aparna Mathur of the conservative American Enterprise Institute are looking to shift the focus of the discussion.
CNN Money | Could cheap gas save the economy?
The good news is that cheaper gas could be the answer. America has hit the energy jackpot with new techniques to extract oil and gas from shale.
NBER | Evidence on the Impact of R&D and ICT Investment on Innovation and Productivity in Italian Firms
Both Research and Development (R&D) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) investment have been identified as sources of relative innovation underperformance in Europe vis-à-vis the United States.
Washington Times | Bank downgrades with a twist
News from Europe continues to be bleak. Moody's downgraded 28 Spanish banks on Monday, not long after major financial institutions, including Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, suffered the same fate.

CNN Money | OECD warns U.S. on income inequality
The United States should aim to fix its income inequality problem by improving education for disadvantaged students and raising taxes on the wealthy, according to a new report from a consortium of developed countries.
FOX Business | U.S. Economy Thrives on the Pearls of Small Business
There’s a bull market in doom and gloom these days. But small businesses are still chugging along, the heart and soul of the U.S. economy, the artisanal small shops who create the lion's  share of jobs in the U.S. economy.
Economist | American oil
For decades, American politicians have bemoaned their economy's dependence on foreign oil and failed utterly at doing anything about it. Now, two key developments—soaring prices and new technologies—are beginning to accomplish what politicians couldn't.

Health Care

FOX News | A look at the health care law in all 50 states
With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule Thursday on the President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul, here is a look at where each of the 50 states stands.
National Journal | Health Care Ruling Won't Stop All of Industry's Changes
Legally, a ruling reversing or eviscerating the Affordable Care Act could bring the country back to 2009. But practically, there’s no going back.
CNBC | Obamacare: What Happens When Supreme Court Decides
The Supreme Court's ruling on its biggest case — President Barack Obama's health-care reform — almost certainly will not be the last word on America's tangled efforts to address health-care woes.

WSJ | The Economic Effects of Supreme Court’s Health Law Ruling
With the Supreme Court poised to rule on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul Thursday, analysts are racing to figure out the implications for the economy.


Market Watch | U.S. economy likely needs more help: Fed’s Evans
The Federal Reserve likely will have to take further steps to boost the economy, the central bank’s leading advocate for so-called quantitative easing said Wednesday.
CNBC | Does the Global Economy Need More Money Printing?
The global economy can only return to growth once looser monetary policy is employed by both Europe and the United States, including more quantitative easing, said Bob Parker, senior advisor at Credit Suisse.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | A Weaker Euro Could Rescue Europe
The only way to prevent the dissolution of the euro zone might be a sharp decline in the value of the euro relative to the dollar and to other currencies.
Fortune | Bernanke fiddles while Obama burns
With weak job growth, falling retail sales, and the threat of chaos in Europe, Ben Bernanke should be doing more. But it's hard not to feel sorry for him.
CNBC | Will All the Money Printing Lead to Hyperinflation?
Fiat money is a wonderful thing is it not? Truly one of the more useful developments in society since humans first learned to think / speak, that one can put in a day’s work and be rewarded with a piece of paper, which can itself be exchanged for something as marvelous as a punnet of strawberries or a Fender Jazz Bass.


Forbes | Californians Say No To More Taxes, Will The Other 49 States Follow?
This month, in my former state of residence California, voters narrowly rejected an increase in the state’s cigarette tax by voting down Proposition 29; an act that, for some, seemed out of touch with voter concerns about balancing their state budget.


Bloomberg | Jobless Claims in U.S. Hovered Last Week Near 2012 High
The number of applications for unemployment benefits hovered last week near the highest level of the year, showing little improvement in the U.S. labor market.
National Journal | Troops Paid Nearly $1 Billion in Unemployment
The Defense Department paid nearly $ 1 billion in unemployment benefits last year to troops who left the military but were unable to secure jobs, USA Today reported on Wednesday.
Bloomberg | German June Unemployment Rises as Crisis Starts to Bite
German unemployment climbed in June for the fourth month this year as the debt crisis in the euro region weighed on companies’ willingness to create jobs.


CNN Money | Spending cuts: Congress risks another crisis
It's mindless, confusing and costly. It will likely result in private-sector and government job loss. It will hurt the economy.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Politico | How to handle our long-term debt
The public is undergoing a cultural shift, driven by generations of punted fiscal decisions and the need for innovative leadership in tough economic times. Voters have determined that budget issues once considered untouchable — including long-term pension and health care obligations — are now open for discussion.
CBO | Status of Discretionary Appropriations: FY 2013 House
Estimates of discretionary budget authority and outlays for fiscal year 2013.

Café Hayek | Costs Are Not Benefits
You credulously accept the National Association of Manufacturers’s assumption that defense spending, apart from whatever benefit it might provide on the national-defense front, is a boon to the economy
Heritage Foundation | Student Loan Deal Risks Taxpayer Pension Bailout
The discussion over whether to extend federal subsidies for student loans largely hinges on whether the House and Senate come to an agreement over how to pay for the resulting $6 billion tab for taxpayers.