Thursday, August 16, 2012

General Economics

News                                                                                                                             
WSJ | Finland Trails Its Nordic Neighbors
Finland is an economic power among countries that use the euro, but compared with its Scandinavian neighbors it is slipping. The dichotomy is putting stress on citizens and politicians here.
Washington Times | Economic recovery is weakest since WWII
The recession that ended three years ago this summer has been followed by the feeblest economic recovery since the Great Depression.
WSJ | Rising Retail Sales Ease Fears for Economy
Americans cracked open their wallets last month, stepping up spending on everything from clothes to cars for the first time since March and easing fears that the fragile job market and weakness overseas are stalling the U.S. economy.
USA Today | U.S. home builder confidence at five-year-high in August
U.S. home builders grew more confident in the housing recovery in August, as many reported that prospects for sales are the best they've been since the home bubble burst five years ago.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Bloomberg | Don’t Let the SEC Punish Too Harshly
The ink is barely dry on the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-reform law, but Congress is already considering new legislation that would grant the Securities and Exchange Commission its latest wish list of much higher financial penalties, especially against recidivists.
Washington Post | Obama inconsistent on pace of economic recovery
President Obama’s principal economic argument for reelection now appears to be that he has an excuse for the U.S. economy’s extremely weak recovery from the deep recession of 2007 to 2009: that recoveries after financial crises are always slow.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
The American | Five Myths about Glass-Steagall
There is a remarkable degree of ignorance about the alleged role of Glass-Steagall in the financial crisis. It’s time to set the record straight.
AEI | The New York Times: America’s economy should be more like Italy’s
Eduardo Porter of the New York Times is pretty sure that whatever America’s problems are, they can be solved through higher taxes. And look no further for a role model than … Italy.

Health Care

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Marginal Revolution | Facts about Medicare
I’ve got a modest proposal: You’re not allowed to demand a “serious conversation” over Medicare unless you can answer these three questions

Monetary

News                                                                                                                             
WSJ | Consumer Prices Remain Flat
U.S. consumer prices remained flat in July, the fourth consecutive month that costs didn't increase, showing that inflation pressures are contained.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Marginal Revolution | Will a more expansionary monetary policy give rise to a bubble?
If a more expansionary monetary policy helps an economy recover, yes it may well raise the risk of a later bubble.  We should then be cautious, but that is no reason to turn down the prospect of a recovery.  Anything leading to recovery could have a similar risk.
Calculated Risk | Key Measures show slowing inflation in July
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (2.5% annualized rate) in July.

Taxes

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Usain Bolt's Tax Lesson
As the post-Olympics glow fades, U.K. policy makers are trying to figure out how to keep the flame of British sports burning. They could start by changing Her Majesty's tax laws. After Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won his third gold in London last week, reporters asked him why he doesn't compete in the U.K. more often. "As soon as the law changes I'll be here all the time," he said.

Employment

News                                                                                                                             
Washington Times | Economic recovery rockiest since Depression
The recession that ended three years ago this summer has been followed by the feeblest recovery since the Great Depression, according an extensive review of the country’s economic ups and down over the past eight decades.

Budget

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | California's Boom Masks State's Uneven Recovery
California added jobs faster than the rest of the nation over the past year. Tech firms are showering riches on Silicon Valley, and home prices are soaring in places like Palo Alto. The Golden State is rebounding, but for a broad swath of residents, it is a lot less golden and is likely to stay that way.
National Review | Penniless in Paradise
On the front door of the San Bernardino city hall is a sign that reads: “Out of Order.” Broke city, broken door: There’s a certain pleasing symmetry in the fact that the San Bernardino city council meets behind a door that, like the city government itself, does not work and is in need of replacement.
Investors | Obama's $25 Billion Government Motors Lemon
As the Obama campaign continues to tout the GM bailout as an industrial policy success, the Treasury Department continues to revise upward the staggering losses inflicted on U.S. taxpayers.
Forbes | China Is Running Out Of Money
Last week’s release of disappointing economic and trade data for July has, predictably, renewed calls for additional stimulus.
Daily Finance | Greece, Like U.S. and Europe, Tries to Kick the Can Down the Road
Greece is seeking a two-year extension of its latest austerity programme aimed at improving the country's debt sustainability and prospects for a return to growth.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Marginal Revolution | The balanced budget multiplier?
A Spanish mayor who became a cult hero for staging robberies at supermarkets and giving stolen groceries to the poor sets off this week on a three-week march that could embarrass the government and energise anti-austerity campaigners.
The American | President Obama’s Ticking Greek Time Bomb
Developments in Athens suggest matters are spiraling out of control.
AEI | Who really killed the Bowles-Simpson debt plan?
Yes, Ryan voted against the plan. But before we analyze his actions back then, let’s recall what President Obama didn’t say back in December 2010 after the debt commission — the commission Obama himself created — released its proposals
Daily Capitalist | Greece’s Debt Bomb
Greece was able to float enough new debt to pay its old debt and avoid default. What a charade. They got the money from the bailout fund and used it to pay back the bailout fund