Friday, July 20, 2012

General Economics

CNN Money | Private student loan debt reaches $150 billion
Americans have racked up $150 billion in private student loan debt, with many graduates owing more than they can afford, according to a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Washington Times | Foreclosure crisis hits older Americans hard
More than 1.5 million older Americans already have lost their homes, with millions more at risk as the national housing crisis takes its toll on those who are among the worst positioned to weather the storm, a new AARP report says.
WSJ | Doctor Pay and Social Priorities
The most recent graduating class at Harvard Business School, 925 freshly minted MBAs, was culled from an initial applicant pool of 10,368, a success rate under 10%. After two years of study for which tuition alone is approximately $100,000, they took jobs whose average compensation was $120,000 plus median signing bonuses of another $20,000. Sixty-four percent of them migrated to consulting and finance.
Bloomberg | Euro Finance Chiefs Give Final Approval to Spain Bank Rescue
Euro-area finance ministers gave final approval to as much as 100 billion euros ($122 billion) of bank aid for Spain, putting Greece back on the front line of the bloc’s crisis-fighting agenda.
CNN Money | Can Arctic oil drilling be done safely?
The Arctic's ice cap is melting, and oil companies and other industries are moving into the region to take advantage of its abundant, newly accessible resources.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Heritage Foundation | Fix Defense Sequestration—Without Tax Increases
The U.S. political leadership is facing a big moment. Two issues confront them in particular: looming cuts from sequestration and the looming tax hikes from Taxmageddon.
Washington Times | Obama’s economic policies plague poor
Last week, we were treated to one of the biggest con jobs in this political season. Vice President Joseph R. Biden took the NAACP back to Jackson, Miss., and lynchings and even said that the same Supreme Court that approved Obamacare would become racist under Mitt Romney.
Daily Caller | Obama is damaging the economy by bashing entrepreneurs
Does anybody remember, back in the depths of the recession of 1981-82, how President Ronald Reagan kept his chin up and exhorted American businesses to work hard and produce an economic recovery?
WSJ | The Regulatory Power to Destroy
'The Dark Knight Rises" hits theaters this week, and no surprise some liberals are comparing the villain Bane to . . . care to take a guess? In this comic conception of the world, corporations always play the Bane to government's Batman. Regulators may have expansive powers, but they're rarely so heroic. In fact, they're often the real bane.
Washington Times | Too late to ‘do no harm’
With the economy showing new signs of further weaknesses, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke was virtually begging Congress this week to act.

Café Hayek | Obama: right about business, wrong about government
Many people have excoriated President Obama for suggesting that entrepreneurs can’t claim credit for their success.
WSJ | Vital Signs: Existing Home Sales Dip
Sales of previously occupied homes tumbled in June, a disappointing development given recent flickers of life in the long-suffering housing market.

Health Care

Washington Times | Employers work on health mandate
Now that the Supreme Court has upheld most of President Obama’s health care law, U.S. businesses by and large appear skeptical about Republican attempts to repeal the law and are rushing to comply with it, surveys show.
National Journal | More Docs Moving to Hospital Employment
Hospitals will account for nearly 75 percent of all new doctor hires in 2014, according to a new survey of physician-recruiting trends.
NY Times | The Big Push on Medicaid Fraud
When it comes to finding cost savings in the state’s unwieldy Medicaid program, the Office of Inspector General at the Health and Human Services Commission gets high marks.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Lenders of First Resort
Central banks are supposed to be the lender of last resort, but under political pressure the world's monetary authorities are increasingly becoming lenders of first resort. Witness the Bank of England's unfortunate new "funding-for-lending" program, which we hear is picking up admirers inside America's Federal Reserve.
Washington Times | Economy skirting closer to stagnation
Based on my travels and observations, I have to say that things are not that upbeat out there. This confirms the data that we received during the second quarter of 2012, and thus far in July and we are seeing that reflected in corporate earnings this week.


Washington Times | Lawmakers push Web retailers to collect sales tax
Online retailers are coming under fire from Washington and state governments for not collecting sales tax from customers who purchase goods and services through websites such as Amazon and eBay.
Politico | Senate Democrats drop estate tax plan
Senate Democratic leaders are eliminating a provision to tax wealthy estates in order to shore up support within their ranks for President Barack Obama’s election-year tax plan, senators and aides said Thursday.
Bloomberg | Let States Do the Tax-Collecting Dirty Work
This summer, the focus of such criticism is Florida Governor Rick Scott’s announcement that his state won’t participate in the expansion of Medicaid under Obama’s health- care reform.

Heritage Foundation | What Taxmageddon Really Means for Families
Taxmageddon is approaching closer by the day. Much of the focus has been on the impact Taxmageddon will have on the economy. But just how will this massive tax hike impact America’s most fundamental unit of society?


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Investors | What Happened To Obama's Laser Focus On Jobs?
Jobs: Another week, another bad employment number — this one a 34,000 jump in jobless claims. Gee, what happened to Obama's "laserlike focus" on jobs? And for that matter, why hasn't his Jobs Council met in six months?

Library of Economics | Ray Fisman on Structural Unemployment
Hurst notes that fewer and fewer Americans with a high school education or less are finding employment in manufacturing. This is a trend that accelerated in the late 1990s.


Bloomberg | Euro Finance Chiefs Give Final Approval to Spain Bank Rescue
Euro-area finance ministers gave final approval to as much as 100 billion euros ($122 billion) of bank aid for Spain, putting Greece back on the front line of the bloc’s crisis-fighting agenda.
CNBC | January Automatic Cuts Spook Congress
A meat ax approach to Washington's budget deficit problem that hacks away at nearly every corner of American society — from farmers to weapons manufacturers — is spooking the very  Congress that embraced the idea nearly a year ago.

WSJ | Secondary Sources: Fiscal Follies, Student Borrowing, Policies Economists Love and Politicians Hate
A roundup of economic news from around the Web.