Friday, October 5, 2012

General Economics

CNN Money | Mortgage rates hit record low again
Mortgage rates fell to a new record low after the Federal Reserve's decision to buy billions in home loans continued to ease costs for home owners and buyers.
Washington Times | Price at gas pump nears record in California
Landscaping business owner Sebastian Figueredo stood Thursday at a Union 76 gas station near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, holding his phone up high so he could get a photo of the price sign.

Health Care

Businessweek | Hospitals and Nursing Homes Brace for Medicare Cuts
Hospital and nursing home managers are reaching for the aspirin again. No matter who wins on Nov. 6, most Democrats and Republicans agree in principle that federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid will need to go under the knife, above and beyond the cuts written into the 2010 health-care overhaul.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CNN | Health care act's glaring omission: liability reform
Coverage for 30 million uninsured. A ban on lifetime payout limits. No co-pays or deductibles on preventive medical services. Insurers prohibited from excluding patients based on pre-existing medical conditions.


WSJ | Fed Official Warns Inflation Can't Solve Debt Woes
A U.S. central-bank official said Thursday that using inflation to ease the burden created by high debt levels is a bad idea, in remarks that highlighted an expectation of continued progress in lowering high levels of unemployment.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | Central Banks Gone Wild: Money Is Now a Total Fiction
For the most part the general public has distinct and sometimes divergent views on the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB). Obviously, there are political and institutional differences that present both with unique challenges, meaning that what constraints apply to the Fed do not always apply to the ECB and vice versa.
Source | QE3 was a sign of failure
When Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced a new round of unconventional monetary stimulus last month, he couched it in the language of grim necessity


Tax Foundation | 60 Percent of Households Now Receive More in Transfer Income Than they Pay in Taxes
There is a point in every discussion of the issue of “nonpayers” – those Americans who pay no income taxes – in which someone says: “well, they may not pay income taxes but they do pay other taxes.”


CNN Money | Jobless claims rise
More Americans filed for their first week of unemployment benefits last week, as improvement in the job market remains choppy.
USA Today | Manufacturers hiring, but job growth is slowing
Some manufacturers are still hiring, but the industry's resurgence is losing some steam after a strong start earlier this year
CNN Money | Fiscal cliff threatens 277,000 federal jobs
Federal workers have weathered a two-year pay freeze, increased health insurance premiums, and threats of more cuts from Republicans.

AEI | See, you don’t want a ‘steady labor market’ when the labor market is in a depression
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose only slightly last week after a big drop the week before, keeping in place a trend that suggested a mild improvement in the labor market.
WSJ | Reports Show Small Businesses Are Reluctant to Hire
Small businesses cut back on hiring over the summer and small-to-medium sized firms have lowered their staffing plans for the future, according to two reports released Thursday.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | SATIRE: Federal Reserve Announces 'Operation Zero Deficit'
The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee announced today the launch of a new monetary policy initiative called “Operation Zero Deficit,” a new $25 trillion program aimed at eliminating the federal deficit.