Thursday, November 1, 2012

General Economics

CNN Money | It's not just a low-wage recovery
It's true that the economy has added a lot of low-paying jobs over the last two years. Restaurants and bars, which pay a median wage of just $9 an hour, have accounted for 15% of all the jobs created in the recovery. Retailers, which pay a median $11 an hour, make up another 9%.
Bloomberg | Commodities Post Biggest Loss in 5 Months to Trail Stocks
Slumping energy and metal prices sent commodities to their biggest monthly loss since May, lagging behind stocks, bonds and the dollar, as the global economy grew at the slowest pace since the 2009 recession.
Market Watch | Banks not making getting a mortgage easier
Interest rates are at record lows, house prices are starting to creep higher and foreclosures have dropped, but banks aren’t making it any easier to get a mortgage, according to the latest survey of senior bank officials.
Bloomberg | Manufacturing in U.S. Expands at Faster Pace in October
Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded in October at a faster pace than projected as orders and production picked up, showing the industry is stabilizing.
Market Watch | Consumer-confidence gauge highest since 2008
Led by brighter views on present employment and business conditions, the Conference Board’s gauge of consumer confidence jumped in October to the highest level since February 2008, the New York-based research group said Thursday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Heritage Foundation | Obama’s Regulatory Agenda: Calm Before the Superstorm
After three years of unprecedented regulatory activity, the Obama Administration has noticeably slowed its rulemaking in recent months. A number of major rules remain under prolonged “review” by the White House, while publication of the regulatory agenda required by statute has not occurred.
WSJ | Hurricanes and Human Choice
Hurricane Sandy left in its path some impressive statistics. Its central pressure was the lowest ever recorded for a storm north of North Carolina, breaking a record set by the devastating "Long Island Express" hurricane of 1938. Along the East Coast, Sandy led to more than 50 deaths, left millions without power and caused an estimated $20 billion or more in damage.
Real Clear Markets | Basel III Hurts Community Banks and Consumers
Have an account at a community bank? If you do, your bank may not be around for much longer. This is not because community banks have overleveraged themselves, made bad bets on derivatives, or loaned money to people who couldn't pay it back.
Forbes | Paul Krugman's Stimulus Batters The East Coast, Fueling Economic Growth
Mainstream economists, corporate executives, politicians, and pundits are still totaling up the windfall boost to the nation’s GDP, but most agree that the benefits from this week’s savage “Frankenstorm,” which brought the Eastern seaboard to its knees, will surely propel President Obama to reelection victory.
WSJ | A Slow but Steady Climb to Prosperity
'Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." When John Adams penned those words in 1770, he probably didn't anticipate modern presidential campaigns, where wishes, inclinations and passions—even outright denials—often run roughshod over facts.

Library of Economics | Hayek and Hurricanes
In a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy, the only thing people should fear more than the storm is the government's response.
Political Calculations | Hurricane Sandy and Lessons from Katrina
How much more in taxes would you be willing to pay for the sake of reducing the risk of having to recover from the damage done by a natural disaster?
Café Hayek | A Blast From the Past
Economists and policymakers started looking around for some other way to fix things. They dusted off some old books and found that there’s one guy in particular who’d given a lot of thought to get out of a situation like this.

Health Care

Library of Economics | You Should Repeatedly Read Cochrane's "After the ACA"
Soon after I finished my Ph.D. at Princeton, I started going to academic conferences.  When I met senior professors at these gathering, they were often surprised to discover my pedigree.  Regardless of the subject at hand, I habitually revealed exactly what I thought.


Bloomberg | Bernanke Depression Guru Seeks Roosevelt Well-Being
Ben S. Bernanke argued for 15 years that the Federal Reserve should announce a numerical inflation target. When he finally got his way in January, the victory allowed the central bank to elevate its other mandate: full employment.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
AEI | A crass failure at the IMF
It was said of the Bourbons that they learnt nothing and forgot nothing. One wonders whether the same might not be said of the IMF in its gross mishandling of the European debt crisis.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Taxpayer Deluge
Apres Hurricane Sandy's floods comes . . . more trouble for the National Flood Insurance Program. The government-backed operation needed a taxpayer bailout after Hurricane Katrina hit the Big Easy in 2005 and will likely need more help after this week's devastation in New Jersey and elsewhere.
Forbes | Silicon Valley Employers Go Wild With Lavish Employee Benefits
Say “employee benefits” and pensions and health care will jump to most people’s minds. Maybe life and disability insurance will pop up as well. But employers in Silicon Valley are going way beyond that.

Tax Foundation | California Study: Tax Millionaires, They’ll Just Grin and Bear It
Using data from the 2005 millionaire tax hike in California, sociologists Varner and Young find that top income tax rates have little to do with millionaire migration, and that in general, the overall economy is the main driver of high income earners’ movement.


USA Today | Claims for unemployment aid drop to 363,000
Weekly unemployment aid applications dropped 9,000 to 363,000 the week ended Oct. 27, a level consistent with modest hiring.
Market Watch | ADP: 158,000 private-sector jobs added in October
The U.S. added 158,000 private-sector jobs in October, payrolls processor ADP said on Thursday in the first release since adopting a new way to measure employment.
CNN Money | Jobs report: What to expect
Extra attention will be paid to the job market this month when the government releases its jobs report Friday -- the last before the presidential election next week.
CNBC | US Planned Layoffs Jump to a 5-Month High: Challenger
The number of planned layoffs by U.S. firms jumped 41.1 percent in October to the highest level in five months, although the number includes more than 10,000 jobs in U.S.-owned auto plants in Europe, a report said on Thursday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
NBER | Duration Dependence and Labor Market Conditions: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment
This paper studies the role of employer behavior in generating "negative duration dependence" -- the adverse effect of a longer unemployment spell -- by sending fictitious resumes to real job postings in 100 U.S. cities.


CNN Money | FEMA may not have enough for flood damages
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, also known as FEMA, has said it has enough funds for disaster aid from Superstorm Sandy.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | Beware a ‘grand bargain’
Politics, they say, is the art of compromise. You give something to get something. Everyone ends up with half a loaf. You don’t get everything you want, but everyone comes out ahead.

Heritage Foundation | What’s Scary: Federal Spending Per Household
As The Heritage Foundation’s “Federal Spending by the Numbers—2012” shows, federal spending per household has grown 29 percent since 2002, when it stood at $23,010. Put another way, $29,691 is about two-thirds of the median household income. On a larger scale, total federal spending in 2012 reached $3.6 trillion, or 22.9 percent of the entire U.S. economy.
Marginal Revolution | Cyclically adjusted measures of the stance of fiscal policy
These cyclically adjusted measures are useful information and should not be discarded, but I don’t wish to use them as the sole or main or dominant source of information about the stance of fiscal policy.