Wednesday, October 17, 2012

General Economics

Market Watch | Cost of insuring Spain debt drops to 15-month low
The cost of insuring Spanish government debt against default fell to its lowest level since July 2011 Wednesday, a day after Moody's Investors Service left the country's debt rating in investment-grade territory.
Bloomberg | Retirement No Option for Older Workers in Europe’s Crisis
While many economists say increased work for elders doesn’t reduce job opportunities for the young, deferred retirement has become a political issue for those who say otherwise, especially as youth unemployment in the EU exceeds 20 percent.
USA Today | Manufacturing output falls in Q3 after weak Sept.
U.S. industrial production increased only modestly in September, held back by weak growth in factory output.
Market Watch | U.S. home construction surges in September
U.S. home builders broke new ground in September at the fastest pace in more than four years and permits also rose sharply in the strongest sign yet that recovery in the construction trade is becoming firmly entrenched.
Washington Times | Stimulus-funded battery maker’s failure another blow to Obama clean-energy plan
The bankruptcy filing Tuesday by a startup electric-car battery company that received hundreds of millions of dollars of economic-stimulus funds from the Obama administration is the latest sign that the president’s high hopes to spur a clean-energy economy is in big trouble.
Bloomberg | Wen Says China’s Economy ‘Relatively Good’ Ahead of GDP Report
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the country’s economic situation last quarter was “relatively good,” a signal tomorrow’s report on gross domestic product may show the country’s slowdown ebbing.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CATO | Take This Economy and Shove It
It seems appropriate that in the same week that Atlas Shrugged premiered at the movies, Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel sent a letter to his 6,500 employees warning them that the burden of taxes and the constant demonization of successful businessmen is reaching the point where he may decide it is no longer worth it to continue the hard work that he put in, building his company from the ground up over the past 42 years.
AEI | Social Security's war on working wives
We've heard a great deal about the "war on women" lately, mostly in connection with hot-button issues like abortion and birth control. But beyond all this rhetoric, there is in fact a large program whose design reflects antiquated, sexist thinking about women.
Investors | Memo To Michelle: What A 'Huge Recovery' Looks Like
Michelle Obama recently described this recovery as "huge." Maybe she forgot what decade it is. The Reagan recovery in the '80s was huge. But the one her husband's policies have given us? Not so much.
Politico | Mayors see sequester cutting schools, roads, jobs
Defense cuts and tax hikes get most of the attention when Congress talks about the devastating effects the fiscal cliff could have on the economy.
CNBC | Fears Over US Mortgages Dominate
Dominance of the mortgage market by a few big banks is undermining monetary policy, said a senior policy maker at the U.S. Federal Reserve, in comments that may herald greater scrutiny of lenders such as Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.

WSJ | Where Are Consumers Getting Income to Spend?
In some ways, consumer behavior is back to where it was before the Great Recession. Buyer traffic through model homes is at its busiest since April 2006. Robust retail gains were posted in both August and September, even when excluding the impact of higher prices at gasoline stations. Household sentiment is back to where it was in September 2007.
AEI | Is this an unusually terrible recovery or isn’t it?
The economic recovery that began in the summer of 2009 has been marked by slow economic growth and little job creation. But how does it compare to recoveries throughout U.S. economic history?

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | Health care fix: Patients pay doctors
There are distinct advantages for the patient who pays the primary care physician (PCP) directly: higher quality, lower cost and greater satisfaction.
Fortune | A doctor's plea to politicians
In 2008, in New York City, a rule went into effect that restricted all food services from using more than half a gram of trans fat per serving. Similar restrictions have since been adopted by at least 15 other local and state jurisdictions in the U.S.

Political Calculations | Your Job or Your Health Insurance
Unfortunately for Americans, the ObamaCare job killing spree will only continue and get worse. The reason why has to do with a penalty tax that will be imposed upon all U.S. employers with 50 or more employees who currently provide their employees with what would be considered to be an "average" health insurance coverage plan today.


Calculated Risk | Key Measures show low inflation in September
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (2.6% annualized rate) in September.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Politico | The pro-growth consensus
Last Tuesday, Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) argued to the National Press Club that the general consensus that Congress should reform the tax code by reducing rates and broadening the base is all wrong.

National Review | Taxpayer Dollars at Work: The Wastebook 2012
Every year, Senator Coburn releases his Wastebook, his list of some of the most wasteful spending items in government. The total waste listed in the 2012 report is $18 billion.


Politico | Bureau of Labor Statistics in a partisan squabble
In hyperpartisan Washington, few agencies try as hard to avoid the political arena as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a sleepy collection of Labor Department number-crunchers who gather statistics on the state of the economy.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CNN Money | White House defends the drop in unemployment
The Romney-Ryan camp is trying to discredit the falling unemployment rate, claiming it's due mainly to workers dropping out of the labor force. But Obama administration official Gene Sperling shot back Tuesday: "That just ain't so."


CNN Money | EU leaders meet to chart eurozone future
European leaders will meet in Brussels this week to work on closer ties between eurozone countries that are seen as critical to converting recent progress on fixing the region's debt crisis into a sustainable path to growth.