Thursday, September 6, 2012

General Economics

WSJ | World Bank Appoints Chief Economist
The World Bank named Kaushik Basu as its new chief economist, filling one of its top posts with a former senior official in India's government.
USA Today | Survey: U.S. global competitiveness falls again
The United States' ability to compete on the global stage has fallen for the fourth year running as confidence in the country's politicians continues to decline. The finding is from an annual survey from the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Bloomberg | Consumer Comfort Gauge Signals Severe Discontent for Fifth Week
Consumer confidence in the U.S. was little changed last week, hovering near an eight-month low, as Americans struggled with rising gasoline prices and elevated unemployment.
WSJ | Europe Outlook Dims as Bank Meets
The euro zone's economic downturn accelerated during the summer, economic reports Wednesday suggest, raising concerns that even aggressive anticrisis measures from the European Central Bank won't be enough to keep the euro bloc from sliding into a deep recession.
Bloomberg | Services in U.S. Expanded More Than Forecast in August
Service industries in the U.S. expanded in August at a faster pace than forecast, offering support to an economy that lost momentum in the first half of the year.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | Better Off Today? Let's Count the Ways We're Not
All weekend, Democratic party leaders kept fumbling their answer to a simple question: Are we better off than we were four years ago? There's a good reason for that: We're not.
FOX News | Federal regs force coal plant closures now, higher rates later, critics warn
The closure of seven coal-fired electric plants in four states could be a sign of things to come as tough new emissions standards threaten to relegate America’s top energy source to the back burner.
National Journal | What Obama Could Have Done to Hasten the Sluggish Recovery
The question Americans should be asking themselves heading into November isn’t, “Are we better off today than we were four years ago?” It’s, “Why aren’t we better off than Sweden?”
AEI | Geithner's view from the top of the bubble
On February 28, 2006, Timothy Geithner— then president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and now secretary of the Treasury—addressed the topic of risk management in the U.S. financial system, in a speech to the Global Association of Risk Professionals in New York.

Café Hayek | The Numbers Game
Here’s a pilot for a new project I’ve started–a chartcast–a visual discussion of charts and data. This first episode is a conversation with John Taylor on the economic recovery and how it compares to past recoveries
Library of Economics | Gordon on Growth: Parting Thoughts
I've laid out Robert Gordon's pessimistic thoughts on U.S. growth here and some of my criticisms here. These are my parting thoughts. Some of them are similar to what some of the commenters have said.
Coordination Problem | Is Austrian Economics Empirical? This Month's Cato Unbound
I argue that Austrians are not mere "armchair theorists" and that Austrian methodology, including praxeology, is no barrier to doing good empirical research. 
WSJ | Weak Productivity Is Another Bane of Recovery
An upward revision in second-quarter productivity can’t mask a disturbing trend in this recovery: Output per hour worked is growing below its potential and creating a drag on profits, incomes, living standards, and tax receipts.
Heritage Foundation | Food Stamps Part of What Makes America Exceptional, Says the Left
One in seven Americans is on food stamps. According to the left, this high rate of participation is part of what makes America exceptional. So boasts liberal political commentator Alan Colmes in Monday’s Wall Street Journal op-ed “How Democrats Made America Exceptional.”
AEI | Is America more competitive than it was 4 years ago? Nope
Here’s a question Mitt Romney should address to the American people: Is America more competitive than it was four years ago? According to the latest competitiveness report from the World Economic Forum, the answer is “No, it is not.”
Marginal Revolution | Yesterday was an interesting day for development economics
The government of Honduras has signed a deal with private investors for the construction of three privately run cities with their own legal and tax systems.
AEI | Study: U.S. economy hovering just above ‘stall speed,’ vulnerable to new recession
I’ve frequently written about research from the Federal Reserve that finds since 1947 when two-quarter annualized real GDP growth falls below 2%, recession follows within a year 48% of the time. (And when year-over-year real GDP growth falls below 2%, recession follows within a year 70% of the time.

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
NBER | The Role of Federal and State Dependent Coverage Eligibility Policies on the Health Insurance Status of Young Adults
This paper evaluates one of the first implemented provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) which permits young adults up to age 26 to enroll as dependents on a parent’s private health plan.


Market Watch | ECB to launch 'outright monetary transaction' plan
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Thursday said the central bank would launch an "outright monetary transaction," or OMT, program in the secondary market, under strict conditionality.
Bloomberg | Yellen Getting Fed Hawks to Work With Doves Signals Potential
The U.S. Federal Reserve used to be a black box. Big banks employed full-time Fed watchers to study the money markets and guess what the institution was up to.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Desperately Seeking Middle-Class Taxes
Democrats in Charlotte are pounding away at the savage budget cuts that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan supposedly favor and their phantom plan for "raising taxes on the middle class," as President Obama puts it. The truth is the opposite, but table that for a moment. The President seems not to realize his critique is really a scorching if implicit indictment of his own time in office.
Investors | President Obama's Tax Hikes Trickle Down Toward Middle Class
We have heard many times from President Obama how he plans to raise taxes on "millionaires and billionaires," but not on the middle class. Apparently, if you don't happen to be a millionaire or billionaire, you don't have to worry. But the numbers say otherwise — and say so big time.
Daily Finance | Fiscal Cliff Ahead: The Party's Over for the Payroll Tax Holiday
A month ago, we mapped out the fiscal cliff America is hurtling toward, and the torturous trail of automatic budget cuts and unhindered tax increases that could send the economy screaming into the abyss.


WSJ | In Europe, Signs of a Jobless Generation
Euro-zone youth unemployment will remain elevated for at least the next half-decade, the International Labor Organization said Tuesday, forecasting a small reduction in the jobless rate will come from young people withdrawing from the labor market instead of stronger hiring activity.
Bloomberg | Women Failing to Get Hired in U.S. Seen in Childcare Woes
When Marci Price and her husband did the math, childcare services for their two kids ran higher than their mortgage payment in Chicago. They packed their bags for Indianapolis, where family could help trim that expense.
CNN Money | Outlook gloomy for August jobs report
The stakes are high and the forecast is gloomy, ahead of the August jobs report scheduled to be released Friday by the Labor Department.
Market Watch | Private payrolls post largest gain in five months
Private-sector job growth picked up in August, recording the largest employment gain in five months, according to data released Thursday by payrolls processor Automatic Data Processing Inc.

Political Calculations | Are Teens Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago?
Not long ago, we featured the following chart showing the official rate of unemployment in the U.S., what the unemployment rate would be if only the same percentage of people were still counted as being part of the U.S. civilian labor force as when Barack Obama was sworn in as President, and what President Obama swore would be the U.S. unemployment rate if only his economic stimulus package were passed into law


CNN Money | U.S. debt $417 billion below the debt ceiling
Republicans are trying to make political hay of the fact that the federal gross debt this week crossed the $16 trillion mark.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | The National Debt: $16 Trillion Dollars Of Moral, Cultural And Political Decay
Wow! We’ll soon cross Sixteen Trillion Dollars in Federal Debt! S-i-x-t-e-e-n T-r-i-l-l-i-o-n D-o-l-l-a-r-s. That’s a lot of vote buying even for Washington. Is this ruin?

AEI | America’s real long-term fiscal problem: The federal government has become a gigantic wealth-transfer machine
The charts above illustrate two disturbing trends that help frame the long-run fiscal challenges confronting the U.S. that far outweigh any possible near-term fallout from the pending “fiscal cliff” that the federal government faces at the end of this year.
Economist | A modest proposal
Peer Steinbruck, strongman of Germany’s opposition social democrat party (pictured), would like the European Investment Bank (EIB) to take over from the European Central Bank (ECB) as the chief source of emergency funding for the euro-zone periphery.
WSJ | Have Something to Say About U.S. Debt? E-Mail the Treasury
Politicians had plenty to say Tuesday when new data showed the total U.S. government debt topped $16 trillion late last week. They weren’t the only ones.
CATO | Does the $16 Trillion Debt Matter? A Remedial Lesson in Public Finance Economics for the GOP
For some inexplicable reason, I’ve decided that one of my responsibilities is to educate a backwards and primitive people who seem impervious to common sense, simple logic, and strong principles.