Monday, November 5, 2012

General Economics

WSJ | Euro-Zone Manufacturing Still in Decline
Euro-zone manufacturing activity shrank for the 15th straight month in October as exports weakened, indicating that the 17-nation economy as a whole had deteriorated at the start of the fourth quarter.
Washington Times | Global crisis squeezes Swiss banks
One of Switzerland’s signature industries, Swiss banking no longer has the same allure it once did and could be in for tough times in the years ahead, analysts say, as it struggles to cope with a changing regulatory environment in the wake of the global financial crisis.
CNN Money | Sandy's cost to economy: Up to $50 billion
The estimated loss to the nation's economy from Superstorm Sandy has climbed to as much as $50 billion, making it one of the nation's most costly disasters.
Bloomberg | Economy Set for Better Times Whether Obama or Romney Wins
Mitt Romney says Barack Obama’s policies will consign the U.S. to an extended period of sluggish economic growth, at best. The president says his Republican challenger’s plans will sow the seeds of another mammoth recession. Both are wrong.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Fiscal Times | Sandy's Destruction Brings Out the Best in Business
Superstorm Sandy may have carved a costly path of destruction through New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere along the East Coast, but many businesses and individuals have found ways to open their wallets, checkbooks or hearts to help others at a time of great need
WSJ | Failure To Stimulate
What if Barack Obama has it all wrong when it comes to the economy? What if Keynesian economics is a bankrupt theory and the massive "stimulus" bill in 2009 made the economy worse, not better? Those are among the questions that Casey Mulligan asks in "The Redistribution Recession," a biting analysis of our current economic malaise.
Washington Times | Energy regulations’ dubious social benefits
Though the U.S. economy has been slow to recover from the Great Recession, the nation has experienced a boom in new regulations, many of which have supposedly introduced large “social” benefits.
CNN Money | Behind the gas panic: One expert explains
Amid this chaos, it's hard to believe that there's actually no gas shortage, as one well-known oil and gas expert explained to CNNMoney. Rather it's fear and panic that has gripped residents from these states.

Heritage Foundation | Chart of the Week: Slowest Economic Recovery Since the 1960s
Americans could be waiting another five years for a return to normal employment based on the sluggish pace of the U.S. economy. After nearly four years in office, President Obama has overseen the worst recovery since the 1960s.
Calculated Risk | Schedule for Week of Nov 4th
The key US report for this week will be the September trade balance report on Thursday.
Coordination Problem | My Two Papers on Private Sector Response During Katrina
Since what goes around comes around, my work from a few years back on the private sector response to Hurricane Katrina is of relevance again. 
Neighborhood Effects | What the Mortgage Interest Deduction can Teach us About Government Failure
Is it hypocritical for a business or a politician to publicly oppose a government program only to turn around and ask for a share in it?
Calculated Risk | Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 861 Institutions
Failures and unassisted mergers led to several changes to the Unofficial Problem Bank List this week. In all, there were four removals and one addition, which leave the list at 861 institutions with assets of $328.4 billion. A year ago, the list held 983 institutions with assets of $406.3 billion.
Library of Economics | The Present Value of Learning, Adjusted for Forgetting
Suppose learning marginal fact F increases your productivity by V.  What is the present value of learning F?  Economists will be tempted to mechanically apply the standard present value formula. 
Economist | The economics of enormity
How big is too big? America's firms are growing in size and while there have been huge firms stretching back to Standard Oil the fact that so many firms are so big is a new phenomenon.

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
NBER | Projecting the Effect of Changes in Smoking and Obesity on Future Life Expectancy in the United States
We project the effects of declining smoking and increasing obesity on mortality in the United States over the period 2010-2040. Data on cohort behavioral histories are integrated into these projections.

Heritage Foundation | 5 Effects Obamacare Will Have on Working Americans
Obamacare will certainly have a negative impact on every American, but here are five ways it will harm working Americans
The Volokh Conspiracy | ObamaCare Encourages Shift to Part-Time Workers
Several restaurants, hotels and retailers have started or are preparing to limit schedules of hourly workers to below 30 hours a week. That is the threshold at which large employers in 2014 would have to offer workers a minimum level of insurance or pay a penalty starting at $2,000 for each worker.


WSJ | Why The Fed’s Balance Sheet Is Shrinking
The Federal Reserve launched a major bond-buying program this fall, fueling worries that the ballooning size of its portfolio of assets could stoke inflation. So why has the Fed’s balance sheet been shrinking over the last two weeks?


Tax Foundation | Chart of the Day
Trends in Business Income


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | The Female Wage Gap Is a Major Economic Myth
We constantly hear that discrimination and exploitation force women to make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. It's time to end the wage gap myth with a dose of common sense economics.
Washington Times | Breaking down the jobless numbers
President Obama and the Democrats are trumpeting the decline of the unemployment rate, but many people are confused by all the statistics. In general, statistics can’t be trusted.
NY Post | Obamanomics = never enough jobs
The core of President Obama’s re-election argument is this: The economy is on the right track; things are getting better — stay the course.
Real Clear Markets | U.S. Presidents and Job Creation: Winners and Losers
How do U.S. presidents in the postwar period stack up against one another in terms of job growth during their time in office?

Heritage Foundation | U.S. Shed 9,000 Mining, Energy Jobs in October, 17,000 Since May
Buried in Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report on the country’s unemployment situation was this disheartening fact: 9,000 employees of the mining and resource extraction sector lost their jobs in October.


WSJ | Japan Steps Back From Fiscal Cliff
Japan inched away from a fiscal cliff as the main political parties finally agreed to debate a bill to raise the debt ceiling, just a month before a possible suspension of government payments and halt to bond auctions.
Bloomberg | G-20 Tells U.S. to Avoid Fiscal Cliff as Focus Widens
Global finance chiefs pressed the U.S. to avoid harming the fragile world economy with excessive austerity, widening their focus on fiscal challenges beyond concerns over Europe’s debt woes.
National Journal | Boehner Expects 'Bridge' On Fiscal Cliff
House Speaker John Boehner doesn't expect a grand bargain avoiding the fiscal cliff to materialize in a lame duck session of Congress, but that doesn't mean the country is headed over the edge. Instead, Boehner said Sunday, he thinks Congress and the White House will find a way to punt the looming deadlines on the debt ceiling, the Bush tax cuts and the budget sequester into 2013.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Politico | Grand bargain requirements
While voters are focused on the presidential election, some conscientious policy leaders have been contemplating different scenarios for addressing our current economic crisis. Regardless of who wins the presidency and which party controls Congress, America is on an unsustainable economic path.

Political Calculations | President Obama's Debt, Measured in Gold
How much gold would the U.S. Treasury have to pay out from the nation's bullion depository at Fort Knox to fully pay off the national debt of $16.222 trillion (as of 1 November 2012)?