Monday, October 1, 2012

General Economics

WSJ | Trade Slows Around World
Trade rebounded after its collapse in the recession. Now several indicators of export activity are flashing red as Europe's recession, anemic U.S. growth and the slowing Chinese economy damp exports world-wide.
WSJ | Greek Economy to Shrink More Than Expected Next Year
Greece's economy will contract more than projected in 2013, its sixth year of recession, under the weight of the next round of austerity measures demanded by international creditors, according to a draft budget the government will submit to parliament Monday, two senior officials said.
WSJ | Higher Gas Prices Drive Up Spending
Personal expenditures climbed 0.5% in August from a month earlier—the biggest increase in six months, the Commerce Department said Friday. But below the headline figure were weak details that cast doubt on the sustainability of consumer spending in the next months.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Washington's New Twist on Human Sacrifice
In the 1990s, just before the handover of Hong Kong to China, there was a going-away lunch for the Canadian consul general. When I entered the venue, I thought it must be the wrong place. The hundreds of ethnic Chinese gathered for the lunch in the colony's largest hotel ballroom didn't look like "Canadians." But before I could complete my turn back out the ballroom door, I realized this was indeed a roomful of Canadians.

Calculated Risk | Schedule for Week of Sept 30th
The key report for this week will be the September employment report to be released on Friday, Oct 5th. Other key reports include the ISM manufacturing index on Monday, vehicle sales also on Tuesday, and the ISM non-manufacturing (service) index on Wednesday.
Daily Beast | America Really Is Exceptional
A couple of months ago, I gave a talk about entrepreneurship and innovation in America.  At the end of the talk, a very smart fellow journalist asked a very good question.  Germany, he said, doesn't do high-growth innovation industries.  But they have lots of vacation and a good quality of life.  Why would we say that they should emulate us, instead of the other way around?
Calculated Risk | Unofficial Problem Bank List and Quarterly Transition Matrix
FDIC released its enforcement action activity through August 2012 and closed a bank this week leading to many changes in the Unofficial Problem Bank List.
Greg Mankiw | The Price of Fiscal Uncertainty
I have been reading Bob Woodward's new book, The Price of Politics.  It is a detailed recounting of the back-and-forth negotiations among President Obama's White House, the Republican leaders in the House of Representatives, and the major players in the Senate regarding the debt ceiling and long-term fiscal outlook. 
Café Hayek | Keynes, Savings, and the Jews
In this week’s EconTalk (to be released tomorrow morning), I talk with Robert Skidelsky about his new book, co-authored with his son Edward, How Much is Enough: Money and the Good Life.

Health Care

Politico | Supreme Court eyes health care law again
Renewed challenges to the Affordable Care Act landed on the Supreme Court’s radar Monday morning as the court kicked off its 2012-2013 session. In one of their first actions of the new term, the justices solicited the federal government’s input on a request by Virginia-based Liberty University to rehear its complaint against the health law.
Politico | ACA tries carrots, sticks on hospitals
Two major but little discussed programs in the 2010 health care law take effect Monday, part of the law’s efforts to deliver better medical care in addition to more insurance.


WSJ | Fed Reveals Its Borrowers
Regional and local banks in areas hit hard by the financial crisis were the biggest borrowers of short-term funds from the Federal Reserve in late summer 2010, according to detailed data the Fed released Friday.


NY Times | Payroll Tax Cut Is Unlikely to Survive Into Next Year
Regardless of who wins the presidential election in November or what compromises Congress strikes in the lame-duck session to keep the economy from automatic tax increases and spending cuts, 160 million American wage earners will probably see their tax bills jump after Jan. 1.
WSJ | France Raises Taxes in Tough Budget
The French Socialist government on Friday unveiled the country's toughest budget in decades, hiking taxes for the rich and big business in a bid to slash its deficit while facing a stalled economy.

Tax Foundation | Reagan Showed it Can Be Done: Lower the Top Rate to 28 Percent and Raise More Revenue
To put it mildly, many in the press and in the public remain unconvinced that Romney can lower tax rates without lowering revenue.
WSJ | Number of the Week: Expect Higher Tax Bill in 2013
$1,001.08: How much more someone making the median household income in 2011 is likely to spend on payroll taxes next year.


Bloomberg | Italian Unemployment Held at 10.7% in August on Recession
Italy’s jobless rate remained above 10 percent in August for a seventh month as employers remain reluctant to hire amid a deepening recession.


WSJ | White House Says Government May Help Firms Buffer Cost of Sequester
The White House on Friday signaled the federal government could help firms deal with litigation and other costs if they are forced to abruptly cancel contracts or lay off employees early next year because of congressionally mandated spending cuts.
Telegraph | Spain's rising debt costs eat up austerity gains
Premier Mariano Rajoy has frozen public pay in 2013 for the third year in a row. The agriculture ministry and culture expenses will be cut by 30pc and the defence bureacracy by 15pc. It comes on top of a €62bn squeeze already in the pipeline.
WSJ | Spain Expects a Wider Budget Gap
The Spanish government said the effort to clean up an ailing banking system will widen its budget gap and increase its debt load.

Political Calculations | President Obama's Debt Achievement
How does President Obama's contribution to the national debt compare to those of other modern Presidents?