Thursday, September 27, 2012

General Economics

CNN Money | GDP report: Economic growth revised lower
The U.S. economy grew even slower than initially reported in the second quarter, as both consumers and businesses spent less than originally thought, and the drought in the Midwest limited agricultural production.
Bloomberg | Orders for U.S. Goods Excluding Transportation Unexpectedly Drop
Demand for U.S. durable goods other than transportation equipment unexpectedly dropped in August for a third consecutive month, signaling that slowdowns in business investment and exports will further restrain the economic recovery.
CNN Money | Nearly one-in-five households have student loans
Some 19% of households had student loans in 2010, up from 15% just three years earlier, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center released Wednesday.
FOX Business | Pending Home Sales Fall 2.3% in August
Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes slipped in August due to a shortage of lower priced inventory in most of the country, an industry group said on Thursday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Bloomberg | On Keystone, Environmentalists Lose by Winning
TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s proposed $7.6 billion Keystone pipeline system, which would take crude from Alberta’s tar sands down through the Midwest and on to Texas and the Gulf Coast refineries, could be scuttled because of concerns about its potential impact on a major aquifer in Nebraska.
CNN Money | Equal wages, better economy
In which countries do men and women earn a similar amount—and what does that mean for those economies? Fortune investigates.
NBER | Do Patent Pools Encourage Innovation? Evidence from 20 U.S. Industries under the New Deal
Patent pools, which allow competing firms to combine their patents, have emerged as a prominent mechanism to resolve litigation when multiple firms own patents for the same technology.
Heritage Foundation | Obama's End Run on Welfare Reform, Part Two: Dismantling Workfare
In 1996, Congress enacted welfare reform legislation. This reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with a new program entitled Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The immediate effects of welfare reform were striking.

Market Watch | Fiscal cliff breeds C-suite worries
New surveys out Wednesday of both chief executive officers and chief financial officers cite the “fiscal cliff” — the tax increases and spending cuts looming at the beginning of next year — as weighing on hiring and expanding business.
Political Calculations | The Recovery in Housing Prices
To achieve that level of stability, the U.S. Federal Reserve had to push long-term interest rates below the levels the market would otherwise set to all-time low levels, which it has primarily done using its quantitative easing programs of the last several years.

Health Care

Health Care IT | Providers respond to Holder, Sebelius on 'troubling indications' of EHR fraud
Hospital organizations are responding to a stern letter sent Sept. 24 by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, which warns against using electronic health records to artificially inflate Medicare and Medicaid payments.
Health Care IT | Answers to healthcare reform can be found locally, RWJF says
In the widespread quest to find remedies for America's pricey healthcare system, some say the answers lie locally, from the bottom up.


CNN Money | What QE3 means for China and rest of Asia
Now that most of the developed world's major central banks have all committed to some form of open-ended quantitative easing, we can start to make some concrete predictions about the effects this will have in Asia.
Market Watch | Fed’s next move: Buy more Treasurys
The Federal Reserve’s next move will be to outright buy Treasurys, most likely at its meeting in early December, Fed watchers said Wednesday.
CNBC | Fed Virtually Funding the Entire US Deficit: Lindsey
The latest round of extraordinary Federal Reserve stimulus is risky and leaves little room to maneuver should another crisis hit, economist Lawrence Lindsey told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | The Fed keeps on printing money
Two weeks ago, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke announced the purchase of $40 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities per month for an indefinite period of time. This debt acquisition is known as quantitative easing, or QE.
WSJ | Easy Money Is Punishing the Middle Class
With the Republican Party committed to a gold commission and the Federal Reserve committed to easy money, a substantive debate about the principles underpinning our monetary system is finally in the offing.

WSJ | After Brief QE3 Fever, Inflation Expectations Cool
Longer-term inflation expectations are pulling back again after a brief run-up driven by the Federal Reserve‘s latest bond-buying program.


CNN Money | Fiscal cliff: Payroll tax cut may not survive
For all the uncertainty over how lawmakers will handle the expiring tax cuts under the fiscal cliff, there seems to be growing clarity surrounding at least one measure: the temporary 2% payroll tax cut.
CNBC | Tax Hikes Coming No Matter Who Wins White House
Regardless of who wins the White House this November, the new health-care law will raise taxes on high-income Americans next year—and that could have implications for stocks and other assets.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Telegraph | If you want the rich to pay more tax, let them grow even richer
This is nonsense, as even a cursory analysis of the official statistics reveals. The top 1pc, who earn £156,000 or above, will pay a whopping 24.2pc of all income tax this year, a much higher contribution than their 10.8pc share of all income.
Washington Times | Taxing marriage
Congress packed its bags and left town last week without resolving the “fiscal cliff.” As things stand, the George W. Bush tax rates will expire Jan. 1, leaving us all liable for sending trillions more to Uncle Sam each year.

FOX Business | Who is the 47% Not Paying Taxes?
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s recent remarks caught on camera regarding the 47% of Americans who don’t pay income tax are all over the news


CNN Money | Jobless claims fell to lowest level since July
The number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, hitting its lowest level since July.
Bloomberg | Claims for U.S. Jobless Benefits Fall More Than Forecast
Fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments last week, a sign the labor market is getting back on track.
CNN Money | Workers give up in Los Angeles
The unemployment rate has been falling lately in Los Angeles County, but not for the right reasons.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
NY Post | Oops Report spills the beans on jobs nos.
Thursday is Oops Report time. That’s when the Labor Department will tell us if it has been correctly tabulating the number of jobs in this country. Or, more precisely, it will tell us how much it has erred in the reporting of the job market.
WSJ | The Social-Enterprise Approach to Job Creation
When he was in high school, a young man I'll call David started smoking marijuana and using cocaine. He became addicted, and he abused the trust of those who loved him until he had burned every bridge. David drifted from city to city, sometimes ending up in jail for months at a time.


WSJ | EU Urges Action to Fix Debt Woes
The European Commission Wednesday distanced itself from a German, Finnish and Dutch statement that appeared to dash hopes that the euro zone's bailout fund could soon be used to directly recapitalize banks in countries like Spain, which stands on the brink of bankruptcy because of a severe banking crisis.
Roll Call | House Quiet on Fiscal Cliff Strategy
The Senate is abuzz with meetings, planning and trial balloons on how Congress will address the fiscal cliff, a phenomenon that threatens a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts in the new year that most economists believe could tip the United States back into recession.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | Will Texas Squander Its Prosperity?
Texas has been on a roll recently. Fueled by a booming energy sector, the state has easily outpaced others in job growth. Business executives consistently rate it among the most desirable places to invest in, and Texas has made a habit recently of poaching jobs from places like California.
WSJ | Guessing the Fiscal Cliff's Fate
Is Congress going to drive the U.S. economy over the fiscal cliff? Is Washington so dysfunctional that Congress and the president, risking renewed recession, will let taxes rise sharply and spending be cut across the board?
AEI | Has the ECB really solved the Euro crisis?
Judging by the very favorable market reaction to Mario Draghi's announcement in July 2012 that the ECB would do whatever it took to save the euro, one could be forgiven for thinking that the European debt crisis has now finally been resolved. However, European policymakers would be making a grave mistake if they were to allow themselves to be lulled into a false sense of security by the market's relative calm.

National Review | The President’s Trillion-Dollar Deficits
Who remembers President Obama’s first budget? I do. It was called “A New Era of Responsibility.” Back then, the president promised that he would cut the deficit to $912 billion in 2011 and to $581 billion by 2012. But that’s another of the president’s promises that never come to pass.