Wednesday, October 24, 2012

General Economics

FOX News | College tuition costs up again this fall but signs unsustainable trends may be slowing
The sticker price of in-state tuition at four-year public universities climbed about $400 this fall, an increase of nearly 5 percent that brought the average to $8,655. That's a modest increase compared to recent years but still painful for families with stagnant incomes after a prolonged economic slump.
Bloomberg | Mortgage Lenders See Tighter Credit Under New U.S. Rules
Mortgage bankers and Realtors are warning that it could become even harder for borrowers to qualify for a home loan early next year as the industry faces a barrage of new rules.
Washington Times | Big firms report dismal
earnings for third quarter
Stock markets around the world suffered through one of the worst days of trading in months Tuesday, as a number of U.S. companies reported weak earnings because of a slowdown in the global economy and as concerns mounted over Spain’s role in the European financial crisis.
Bloomberg | Euro-Area Recession Deepens as Manufacturing Shrinks: Economy
Euro-area services and manufacturing output contracted more than economists forecast in October and German business confidence dropped to the lowest in more than 2 1/2 years as Europe’s recession deepened.
WSJ | China Edges Out U.S. as Top Foreign-Investment Draw Amid World Decline
Businesses curtailed new overseas investments in the first half of the year, another symptom of the global economic slowdown.
Washington Times | U.S. may soon become world’s top oil producer
U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer.
Market Watch | Sales pace of new homes highest since April 2010
Sales of new single-family homes in the U.S. rose in September to the highest rate in more than two years, according to government data released Wednesday that confirms the improving picture in the housing market.
CNN Money | America's near poor: 30 million and struggling
More than 30 million Americans are living just above the poverty line. These near poor, often defined as having incomes of up to 1.5 times the poverty threshold, were supporting a family of four on no more than $34,500 last year.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Obama Overloads a Tale of Equal Pay
President Obama makes much of his concern for women's rights, particularly regarding equal pay, but he seems not to be aware that for nearly half a century we have enjoyed the protection of two laws requiring equal pay. The 1963 Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act combined to settle the matter in law.
Real Clear Markets | Regulators Must Think Before They Regulate
Last week, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission received a letter from a group of overseas regulators. The letter urged the CFTC to "ensure that rulemaking works not just domestically but also globally" before rules take effect. In other words, the CFTC should think before it regulates-not an outlandish request.
The Freeman | Moving Beyond Free-Market Minimalism
The “economic point of view” means, to a lot of people, assuming people are nothing but cost-cutting opportunists—economizers who wouldn’t hesitate to gain at someone else’s expense if they could get away with it.
Washington Times | Federal pay fable
Government employees around the world have a reality check coming. With budgetary red ink exceeding the capacity of economies to pay the bills, bureaucrats are doing everything they can to avoid the day of reckoning. In Athens, thousands took to the streets last week hoping violence would be enough to convince politicians to leave lavish civil-service benefits untouched.
AEI | 6 government failures of Fannie Mae
The Fateful History of Fannie Mae: New Deal Birth to Mortgage Crisis Fall
CATO | Plain Packaging and Protectionism: What is Free Trade?
Come December, all cigarettes sold in Australia will be in "plain packages" — stripped of all brand logos, and in drab colors. Other countries, including Britain and Canada, are considering following suit.

Heritage Foundation | America’s Regulatory Competiveness Continues to Lag
According to the World Bank’s just-released Doing Business 2013—which looks into various reform measures to rank 185 economies on the ease of doing business—the United States continues to trail Singapore, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. The only surprise is that the U.S. didn’t drop further in the rankings.


Bloomberg | Bernanke Seen Attacking Jobless Rate With QE Through 2013
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke says he’ll stoke the economy until the job market recovers “substantially.” That promise may force him to keep buying bonds until the final months of his term ending in January 2014, according economists in a Bloomberg survey.

Economist | Got the funding, waiting on the lending
The Bank of England has been the most aggressive developed-world monetary authority over the past several years, at least in terms of its willingness to expand its balance sheet and develop innovative approaches to stimulus.

Health Care

Marginal Revolution | Medicare cost control in action
Tens of thousands of people with chronic conditions and disabilities may find it easier to qualify for Medicare coverage of potentially costly home health care, skilled nursing home stays and outpatient therapy under policy changes planned by the Obama administration.


National Journal | As Cliff Looms, IRS Braces for Chaos
At the beginning of each year, the Internal Revenue Service issues forms and instructions to help employers calculate tax withholding from workers’ paychecks. The new year is also crunch time for issuing guidance to taxpayers before the April filing deadline. The process is always hectic, but in 2013, it could be especially chaotic.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | How Tax Reform Became a Conservative Cause
For decades liberals railed against the gradual evolution of the federal income tax into a morass of special provisions benefitting individual interests at the expense of the average taxpayer. Under that system, tax rates became meaningless for some households and companies because what they paid depended on how many special exemptions they could claim.


FOX News | ADP making changes to monthly employment report, will now team on it with Moody's Analytics
Automatic Data Processing Inc. is making some changes to its monthly employment report, including adding more industry categories.
CNN Money | Dow Chemical cuts 2,400 jobs
Dow Chemical announced Tuesday that it is cutting 2,400 jobs, citing slow economic growth in Europe and elsewhere.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | EPA anti-energy regulations killing jobs
More and more, daily decisions are made less by responsible citizens than by nanny-state government, especially powerful, unelected, unaccountable executive branch agencies in Washington. Among the worst is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


WSJ | Debt Investors Put Faith in a More Stable Africa
African countries are winning over investors scrounging for profits in a world of falling interest rates and lackluster growth.
CNN Money | Greece gets 2-year bailout extension
Greece has reached a new deal with its international lenders, gaining two more years to make painful spending cuts and tax increases, and paving the way for the troubled nation to receive the next installment of bailout funding.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | Obama’s legacy is ’til debt do us part
The end of his fourth year is a good time to see what President Obama hath wrought on the nation’s finances. It’s not a pretty picture.

Neighborhood Effects | Is the United Kingdom Savagely Cutting Spending?
In new Mercatus research, UK-based economist Anthony Evans goes in search of the data.