Monday, July 23, 2012

General Economics

News                                                                                                                             
CNBC | Earnings Show Recession May Be 'Fast Approaching'
While this quarter's earnings reports have crossed a substantially lowered profit bar, future expectations through the year indicate a recession could be on the way.
CNN Money | 30-year mortgage rate falls to record 3.53%
Mortgage borrowing got cheaper again this week, as rates on 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate loans fell to record lows.
CNBC | The Falling Fortunes of the One Percent
The presidential election has given us two myths about the rich. First, that their incomes, and income inequality, are at all-time highs. Second, that the wealthy pay less in taxes than ever, and lower taxes than the rest of us.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Brazil's Crisis—and Opportunity
The adolescent crush that money managers had on Brazil is wearing off. As economic growth has underperformed expectations, this big hunky Latin object of investor affection is beginning to look unsophisticated and immature.
Investors | North Dakota Boom Shows Importance Of Free Markets
These two cities have names you may not recognize but which you have probably read about in the last few years: Fremont and Williston.
Project Syndicate | American Pie in the Sky
While the risk of a disorderly crisis in the eurozone is well recognized, a more sanguine view of the United States has prevailed. For the last three years, the consensus has been that the US economy was on the verge of a robust and self-sustaining recovery that would restore above-potential growth.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Café Hayek | Obama: right about business, wrong about government
We’re spending a trillion more dollars than we take in and we’re spending more than we ever have before. If we spent our money wisely, there would be plenty of money for the infrastucture government produces that help us work together creating businesses, wealth, and communities.
Neighborhood Effects | If You Are Successful, Did You Do It On Your Own?
I agree with those who believe the remarks seem to completely dismiss the role of the entrepreneur. I also agree with those who think the president is exaggerating the role of government. But in two important respects, I think it would be a mistake for free market advocates to dismiss the entire statement.
WSJ | U.S. Cities With Bigger Economies Than Entire Countries
Inside the $15 trillion machine that is U.S. economy are dozens of metropolitan economies, from New York to Honolulu, that are the real pistons and gears of U.S. growth and prosperity.
Calculated Risk | Schedule for Week of July 22nd
The key U.S. economic report for the coming week is the Q2 advance GDP report to be released on Friday; this is the last major economic release before the FOMC meeting the following week.
Café Hayek | A Further Word on Fraud and the Proper Role of the State
This post is (almost surely) the last one that I’ll write on my disagreement with Arnold Kling’s praise of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for taking action against Capital One for pushing products that Arnold thinks (as I do) to be worthless.
Library of Economics | The Economics of the Olympics
There's a widespread view that holding the Olympics must be a money-losing proposition. One of our frequent commenters, Tom West, expressed that view recently. That view is understandable because losing money has been the norm.
Café Hayek | Bright Lines, State Action, & Fraud
Arnold Kling ably defends his defense of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s action against Capital One for offering to sell to consumers “payment-protection” and “credit-monitoring” products.
Library of Economics | Education and Disruption
With MOOCs, now anyone in the world with an internet connection can download and watch lectures from eminent experts at top universities, for free, and hundreds of thousands have done so. This is indeed a huge leap forward in the area of knowledge transfer.
Political Calculations | Barack Obama: Crony Capitalist in Chief? Part 2
It would be one thing if it were only GE, GM and individual American consumers who were involved, but under President Obama's federal government, every American taxpayer is being forced to contribute to all this waste for no meaningful purpose other than benefiting the members of the club.
Calculated Risk | Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 905 Institutions
This week just about every type of change occurred except for the issuance/termination of a Prompt Corrective Action order.
National Review | Good Economics but Bad Politics?
On Wednesday, NPR’s Planet Money had a very good segment that listed six policies that economists from all sides of the political spectrum could agree on but no politicians would ever dare to run with.

Health Care

Blogs                                                                                                                             
AEI | If you don’t buy insurance, will you really pay the tax?
What happens most of the time is very simple: If you refuse to pay your taxes, then the government takes your stuff. Not so if the tax you refuse to pay is the ObamaCare tax.

Monetary

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | How Bernanke Can Get Banks Lending Again
The U.S. economy could use another boost, and it won't come from fiscal policy. Can the Federal Reserve provide it?
Washington Post | Central banks face a giant bill coming due
Because of the breakdown of political decision-making in the United States and Europe during the Great Recession, the burden of response has fallen largely on two big central banks: the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB). And down the road, they are going to pay for it.
Strategas | The Dangers of a Liquidity Trap
In a world in which the Dollar remains the reserve currency, the Fed, practically and legally, has unlimited ammunition to fight the potential effects of deflation. In this regard, Chairman Bernanke may be the most unambiguous Fed Chairman in history

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Think Markets | Uncertainty and the Keynesians
These correspond to two ways of understanding the sluggishness of the US economy,  explanations based on different time horizons and levels of analysis. For Keynesians, the key is demand, which needs to be boosted by government action. For the other side, the key to slow growth and job creation is heightened uncertainty.
Daily Capitalist | Please Don’t “Get To Work, Mr. Chairman”
This week’s data builds a further case for a declining economy and likelihood of the Fed doing another round of QE

Taxes

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Bloomberg | Top 2% Not Job Creators or Millionaires in Tax Debate
President Barack Obama describes them as “millionaires and billionaires” who can afford to pay higher taxes. Republicans call them “job creators” who need to keep their money so they can hire more workers.
Forbes | Obama Promised He Wouldn't Raise Taxes On the Middle Class. He Lied.
CBO estimates that health insurance will cost $15,000 per year on average for families soon after Obamacare is fully implemented, rising rapidly from there.  That is the individual mandate tax on the middle class and working people.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Tax Foundation | Type the Title You Want People to See
For most transactions, calculating sales tax is simple: multiply what the consumer paid by the tax rate. This morning, I paid $3 for a donut and milk, and since the DC tax on meals is 10 percent, I owed 30 cents in tax.

Employment

News                                                                                                                             
WSJ | Unemployment Rises in Six of 10 Battleground States
Unemployment rose in June in six of 10 battleground states that could play a pivotal role in the presidential election, reflecting job cuts in some cases and weak payroll growth in others.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | What If the Rich Really Gave Back as Obama Wants?
President Obama tells us that the rich should give back to society. He even knows many wealthy people who want to give back more. (I guess they can’t until their taxes are raised).

Blogs                                                                                                                             
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.
Calculated Risk | State Unemployment Rates little changed in June
Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in June. Twenty-seven states recorded unemployment rate increases, 11 states and the District of Columbia posted rate decreases, and 12 states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
AEI | The ‘economic miracle state’ of North Dakota leads the U.S. again with a 2.9% jobless rate in June
While the overall U.S. labor market struggles through another jobless recovery with 41 straight months of unemployment above 8% starting in February 2009 (see chart), the state of North Dakota provides a remarkable contrast. 

Budget

News                                                                                                                             
WSJ | Greece Seeks More Cuts as Deadlines Loom
Greece's newly elected government is seeking billions of euros of additional budget cuts—and looks poised to announce the first steps toward streamlining the country's bloated public sector—ahead of the return of a troika of international inspectors to Athens this week.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
The Atlantic | A $150 Billion Burden: What to Do About Subprime Student Loans
Today, the Obama administration offered us some very bad news and some very good news about the America's student debt burden.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Coordination Problem | Not Just a Confusion Over Monetary Policy, The Fiscal Policy Debate as Well is Confused
We have to consider not only short-run disturbances, but long-run consequences for economic growth.