Tuesday, July 17, 2012

General Economics

News                                                                                                                             
Washington Times | Economy Brief: Government to supervise credit reporting for first time
The companies that determine Americans’ credit scores are about to come under government oversight for the first time.
Politico | The gas-price crisis that wasn't
Remember the $6 we were all supposed to be paying for a gallon of gasoline about now? It didn’t happen, despite the dramatic predictions from armchair pundits, political candidates and some in the media.
WSJ | Italian Banks Downgraded by Moody's
Moody's Investors Service lowered its long-term ratings on 10 Italian banks and its issuer ratings on three Italian financial institutions by one to two notches Monday, following its downgrade of Italy's government bond rating last week.
Washington Times | U.S. retail sales fall 0.5 percent in June
Americans cut their spending at retail businesses in June for a third straight month as a weak job market has made consumers more cautious.
Market Watch | Global recovery weak and facing dangers, IMF says
The global recovery is “weak” and faces growing downside risks coming primarily from Europe, the top economist at the International Monetary Fund said Monday.
WSJ | IMF Says Doubt Weighs On Economy
The International Monetary Fund cut its outlook for global economic growth and urged policy makers to take bolder actions to bolster the faltering recovery.
CNN Money | Oil: Only part of the Arctic's massive resources
When Royal Dutch Shell sinks five wells off Alaska -- slated for next month -- it will be the first drilling in U.S. Arctic waters in decades.
Businessweek | 'Lost Generation' of Homeowners May Just Be on Hold
Blase Hennessy is about halfway through a three-year residency in internal medicine at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, with full-time job offers already wafting in. Last spring the 27-year-old flirted with the idea of buying a condo for the duration of his residency, figuring he could sell it and make a few bucks if the job market pulls him out of Columbus. Then he learned his landlord had paid $200,000 for the one-bedroom roughly five years ago.
WSJ | Greece to Begin Review of Public-Sector Entities
Greece's prime minister Monday said the government would immediately review the country's bloated public sector with the goal of closing and merging state entities to cut government spending and red tape.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | To Boost Growth, Unleash Creative Destruction
"Creative destruction," a term first used by Joseph Schumpeter, is often misunderstood, because it conflates two separate processes. "Innovative destruction" occurs when a new product, service, or methodology radically changes a market.
Washington Times | Mind your own business, Obama
President Obama thinks business owners don’t actually do anything. This is the most convincing proof yet that he has no concept of how the economy works.
WSJ | New York Fed to Barclays: 'Mm hmm'
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a trove of documents on the Libor scandal Friday, and the official Fed spin is that they show that regulators were "highlight[ing] problems" with Libor in 2007-2008, and "press[ing] for reform."
CNN Money | The myth of the 'Zombie Economy'
The recovery seemed to be picking up in the winter, only to then taper off in the summer. Several major indicators are barely showing a pulse these days, leading many to compare the U.S. economy to the walking dead.
CNBC | How Close Are We to New Great Depression?
The risk of a new depression — a sustained, severe recession — has struck fear into the heart of markets and driven monetary policy in developed economies since the current financial crisis began.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Economist | A global slowdown
The IMF released new economic forecasts today, updating its April projections. In a nutshell, things aren't shaping up quite as well as they'd hoped
Neighborhood Effects | How businesses and regulators work together
The project Crony Chronicles has created a video about some of the aspects of cronyism that Matt explores in his recent paper. While the video doesn’t take a serious tone, it does shed light on the serious issues of regulatory capture and rent-seeking.
AEI | New economic data show U.S. economy at stall speed, stuck in recession red zone
Earlier this year, the Obama White House predicted the economy would grow by 3% in 2012 — which is not great by any means, not after such a big downturn in 2007-2009. But 3% is a lot better than last year’s 1.7%.

Health Care

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Keith Hennessey | Why not expand Medicaid?
Last week former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) argued that any Governor who rejected the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid expansion was either stupid or evil.  This is a common refrain from the law’s defenders, that only an irrational or uncaring Governor would reject the ACA’s new Medicaid subsidies to provide health insurance to poor adults without kids.

Monetary

News                                                                                                                             
Market Watch | Bernanke to suggest Fed on dovish course
Financial markets might cheer up a bit after listening to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke this week, Fed watchers said Monday.
Bloomberg | Consumer Price Index in U.S. Was Unchanged, Core Up 0.2%
The cost of living in the U.S. was little changed in June, a sign inflation may stay subdued as Federal Reserve officials have predicted.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Minyanville | Here Comes the Fed!
Talk is cheap and quantitative easing is expensive, so what do the financial markets want the Fed to do regarding QE? Money managers say, “No more,” but their portfolios say, “Third helping, please!” And what will Fed Chief Bernanke say to Congress this week? My guess: Probably some confusing combination of no, yes, and maybe. And so it goes, and so it goes….
WSJ | Five Things to Watch for in Bernanke Testimony
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke heads to Capitol Hill Tuesday for the first of two days of questions, comments and haranguing from lawmakers as he delivers the central bank’s semiannual report to Congress.

Taxes

News                                                                                                                             
WSJ | Tax Liens Trigger More Foreclosures
When Elsa Dabreo inherited a house from her late father, she thought it was the best thing that ever happened to her. But now she is struggling to keep it.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Fortune | Millionaire taxes hurt the masses, from Newark to Paris
Leaders around the world want the rich to keep giving. But when the wealthy get tired of getting tapped, guess who gets stuck with the tab?
WSJ | The Tax Cliff Is a Growth Killer
The United States faces an economic collapse thanks to massive tax increases on Jan. 1, and continued deficit spending for years on end.
Forbes | The Dangerous Myth About The Bill Clinton Tax Increase
One of the most dangerous myths that has infected the current debate over the direction of tax policy is the oft repeated claim that the tax increases under President Bill Clinton led to the boom of the 1990s.
WSJ | Obama's IRS Snoops Abroad
Within the United States, almost no American has heard of it. Save for the occasional article, it's gone largely uncovered. And just like ObamaCare, the nastiest, job-killing aspects will not hit until after this November's election.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
AEI | Citigroup on fiscal cliff: Extending just the middle-class tax cuts won’t prevent a 2013 recession
Given that the economy will be lucky to grow 2% next year, just extending the middle-class tax cuts may not be enough to avoid a recession. Citi thinks all the scheduled tightening will lop 4% of GDP, 2.9% if the middle-class tax cuts are extended but everything else happens on schedule.

Employment

News                                                                                                                             
Bloomberg | Fed Shifts Focus to Jobs as Unemployment Stalls Above 8%
Since the recession ended in June 2009, the Federal Reserve chairman has achieved inflation near his target of 2 percent, bolstered capital across the banking system and helped underpin confidence in the U.S. economy that’s contributed to record-low borrowing costs for the nation. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has stalled above 8 percent for 41 consecutive months.
FOX News | Report: 2M jobs lost if automatic cuts kick in
Automatic cuts in federal spending will cost the economy more than 2 million jobs, from defense contracting to border security to education, if Congress fails to resolve the looming budget crisis, according to an analysis released Tuesday.

Budget

News                                                                                                                             
CNN Money | Fiscal cliff fight is on, and economy suffers
The inability of Democrats and Republicans to work out their differences on the fiscal cliff is already becoming a problem for the economy.
Market Watch | Murray suggests willingness to hit fiscal cliff
A leading senator on Monday suggested Democrats are willing to let the country fall off the “fiscal cliff” at the end of the year if Republicans won’t agree to raise taxes for upper-income Americans.
CNN Money | IMF: Deal with fiscal cliff and debt ceiling soon
Hit the brakes on the fiscal cliff and hit the gas on raising the debt ceiling.