Friday, September 28, 2012

General Economics

WSJ | Data Point to Euro-Zone Recession
The euro-zone economy has probably entered recession, while a jump in the inflation rate for the currency bloc is likely to limit European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's scope for further monetary policy easing.
Market Watch | More evidence of housing recovery
Here’s another sign that a housing recovery is afoot: Prices on a per-square-foot basis rose in 78 of the nation’s 100 most active housing markets over the latest three-month period, according to the latest figures from the field.
NY Times | Enrollment Drops Again in Graduate Programs
Enrollment in college is still climbing, but students are increasingly saying no to graduate school in the United States.
WSJ | Japan Data Show Recession Risk Growing
Data released by the government Friday showed that Japan's economy may be slowing more than expected and could possibly move into a recession.
USA Today | USA TODAY analysis: Nation's water costs rushing higher
While most Americans worry about gas and heating oil prices, water rates have surged in the past dozen years, according to a USA TODAY study of 100 municipalities. Prices at least doubled in more than a quarter of the locations and even tripled in a few.
CNN Money | Major banks hit with biggest cyberattacks in history
There's a good chance your bank's website was attacked over the past week.
Market Watch | Consumer spending climbs 0.5% in August
Consumer spending in the U.S. rose in August by the fasted amount in six months, according to the latest government data.
Bloomberg | Business Activity in U.S. Shrinks for First Time Since 2009
Business activity in the U.S. unexpectedly contracted in September for the first time in three years, adding to signs manufacturing will contribute less to the economic recovery.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | As Good As It Gets?
Mr. Obama told Americans in 2009 that if he did not turn around the economy in three years his Presidency would be "a one-term proposition." Joe Biden said three years ago that the $830 billion economic stimulus was working beyond his "wildest dreams" and he famously promised several months after the Obama stimulus was enacted that Americans would enjoy a "summer of recovery." That was more than three years ago.
Real Clear Markets | Violent Protests Mar Draghi and the ECB's False Narrative
To believe the headlines, Mario Draghi and the European Central Bank had saved the day earlier this month when they announced their unlimited short-term sovereign debt-buying program, which they boringly named outright monetary transactions (OTM).
WSJ | Financial Recessions Don't Lead to Weak Recoveries
There's a belief among policy makers that serious recessions associated with financial crises are necessarily followed by slow recoveries—like the one we've experienced since mid-2009. But this widespread belief is mistaken.
AEI | Raising minimum wage is sure bet to create more jobless young Americans
The unemployment rate for 16 to 19 year olds was an astonishingly high 23.8 percent last month. The United States is facing a youth employment crisis.

Library of Economics | The Bottom One Percent
We often hear a lot, especially from those who want to tear them down, about the top 1 percent. We don't hear nearly as much about the bottom 1 percent. Who are they? Where are they? Why are they in the bottom 1 percent? And what should we do about them?
WSJ | EU, U.S. Recession Risks May Put the Brakes on Emerging-Market Expansion
The euro-zone debt crisis, U.S. budget problems and potential domestic credit bubbles could wreak havoc in emerging markets if authorities don’t act now to bolster their crisis buffers.
AEI | ‘It’s all unraveling’ | Is this the last quarter of the recovery?
Has the U.S. economy turned a corner? Yes, and then another corner and now it’s going backward. A slew of bad economic data today.
Café Hayek | Changing Family Structure
This fascinating collection of charts from the Tax Foundation includes these two charts that show how much demographics have changed and how difficult it is to draw conclusions over time

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | ObamaCare's Tax Raid on Medical Devices
The Supreme Court decision in June upholding the Affordable Care Act leaves in place a tax on medical devices that threatens thousands of American jobs and our global competitiveness. It will also stifle critical medical innovation in the industry that gave us defibrillators, pacemakers, artificial joints, stents, chemotherapy delivery systems and almost every device we depend on to save lives.


CNN Money | Commission: Reform, but don't kill, Libor
A new report by British authorities released Friday recommends that Libor, a key benchmark for interest rates worldwide, should be changed but not tossed out. The highly anticipated report comes after a massive scandal in which banks rigged the rate for their own benefit.
CNBC | Tying Fed Policy to Jobs 'Risky and Dangerous': Plosser
Keeping U.S. monetary policy extraordinarily loose until the jobless rate hits a defined level could be very dangerous, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said on Thursday.

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.

Market Watch | Libor overhaul: 10-point digested read
Global banking’s preferred third-party acronym, Libor — the London interbank offered rate — is facing a new dawn, British regulators said Friday. Martin Wheatley, who is the Financial Service Authority’s conduct-enforcer-in-chief, is suggesting that oversight over the method by which banks determine how much to charge each other for borrowing should be fixed.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | Mitt Romney was right about the 47 percent
Mitt Romney hit the bull’s-eye with his comments regarding the 47 percent of Americans who do not have any skin in the game as it pertains to paying federal income tax. Facts are facts.

CATO | Evidence from England Shows that If You Want to ‘Soak the Rich,’ Keep Tax Rates Low
I’ve pulled evidence from IRS publications to show that rich people paid a lot more to Uncle Sam after Reagan reduced the top tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent.


WSJ | German Jobless Claims Rise Again
German jobless claims increased for a sixth-straight month in September, indicating that Europe's erstwhile job machine is sputtering.
Daily Finance | Hopeful Sign? U.S. Unemployment Claims Fall To 2 Month Low
The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week to the lowest level in two months, a hopeful sign for a labor market that has struggled to gain traction in recent months.
Market Watch | Labor Dept. says it underestimated job growth
The U.S. government announced Thursday that it has likely underestimated job creation in the year ended March 2012.

Library of Economics | How Much do 99 Weeks of Unemployment Benefits Raise the Unemployment Rate?
If we cut unemployment benefits back to the usual 26 weeks, a 1% fall in the unemployment rate wouldn't cause a 1% rise in the employment rate.
WSJ | Nearly 400,000 More Jobs Added Than First Thought
The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday released an early look at its annual “benchmark revision” of its payroll data. When the preliminary revisions become final early next year, the official data should show that there were 386,000 more jobs in March than previously believed. The private sector did even better, adding 453,000 jobs versus previous estimates.
Café Hayek | The recession and recovery in one picture
In Part I of the Numbers Game interview I did with John Taylor, he pointed out that the ratio of employment to population hadn’t rebounded at all in the current recovery. How common is that?


WSJ | Spain Unveils New Set of Overhauls
The Spanish government on Thursday unveiled a package of regulatory overhauls, tax increases and spending cuts for 2013, gaining a short-term market reprieve as concerns mount over Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's ability to stabilize the euro zone's fourth-largest economy.
FOX News | US Postal Service to default on second $5B payment
The U.S. Postal Service is on the brink of default on a second multibillion-dollar payment it can't afford to pay.
CNBC | Corporate America Sweats as US Nears ‘Fiscal Cliff’
Top U.S. executives have less confidence in the business outlook now than at any time in the past three years — and a key reason is fear of gridlock in Washington over the fiscal deficit and tax policy.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Investors | Our Unsustainable Entitlement Nation
When we talk about recipients of entitlements, we are typically referring to either of two kinds of Americans: the poor and the elderly. For decades, those have been the two areas of the population we have seen fit to subsidize through an alphabet soup of programs. Increasingly, however, that's only where the entitlement conversation begins, not where it ends.

WSJ | Is There Hope for High-Debt Economies?
Public debt in advanced economies is now at its highest level since World War II, exceeding 100% of GDP in Japan, the U.S. and several European nations. Are they doomed?