Wednesday, November 7, 2012

General Economics

WSJ | Sandy Changes Retail Shopping Patterns in Northeast
Storm-affected residents in the Northeast are changing their buying habits, skipping optional items in favor of necessities in a shift that raises questions about how the holiday season will fare.
USA Today | Home prices rise the most in 6 years in September
A measure of U.S. home prices jumped 5% in September compared with a year ago, the largest year-over-year increase since July 2006. The gain reported by CoreLogic offered more evidence of a sustainable housing recovery.
CNN Money | European leaders: Let's get world economy moving
European leaders were quick to congratulate President Obama on winning a second term -- and underscored the need to work with him to get the world economy moving again.
Market Watch | Euro drops; Draghi says debt crisis hits Germany
The euro dropped versus the dollar and other major rivals Wednesday, with U.S. stock index futures also on the decline, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the euro-zone debt crisis is beginning to have an impact on the region's largest economy.
Bloomberg | Home Prices Rise in 81% of U.S. Cities as Markets Recover
Prices for single-family homes rose in 81 percent of U.S. cities as the property market extends a recovery from the worst crash since the 1930s.
National Journal | A Full Plate Awaits Congress In Lame Duck
The so-called Do-Nothing Congress might need a new name after the lame-duck session. The period between Nov. 13 and Christmas looks like it’s going to be a doozy—and not just because of the fiscal cliff.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CRS | Natural Gas in the U.S. Economy: Opportunities for Growth
Due to the growth in natural gas production, primarily from shale gas, the United States is benefitting from some of the lowest prices for natural gas in the world and faces the question of how to best use this resource.
CATO | Obamanomics Explained
In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed (November 2) President Obama wrote that “in the eight years after” Bill Clinton left office, “we followed a different path.

National Review | Cronyism: Natural-Gas Edition
In recent months, I have spent a lot of time complaining about the rampant cronyism in the green-energy sector. However, Solar companies like Solyndra aren’t the only ones to benefit from special favors from the government at the expenses of taxpayers.


CNBC | For Investors, More Fed Easing, Cliff ‘Heart Attack’
An election that was supposed to be about change actually could end up being an intensified dose of more of the same for investors.

Heritage Foundation | IMF: Fannie and Freddie Threaten U.S. Fiscal Health
Followers of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have long joked that the fund’s acronym stands for “It’s Mostly Fiscal.” For a long time it has helped bail out basket-case economies with severe fiscal deficiencies, such as Greece, Russia, and Argentina. But a recent report shows that the IMF is now targeting the United States because of its fiscal health.


Politico | Prop 30 tax hikes pass in California
A $6 billion-a-year package of tax increases backed by Gov. Jerry Brown has passed in California, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday morning.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CBO | Taxation of Owner-Occupied and Rental Housing: Working Paper 2012-14
This paper illustrates how the different tax treatments of owner-occupied and rented houses affect the relative costs of owning and renting. In the examples, a representative landlord computes the rental rate (the ratio of the rent to the value of the house) required to break even on an investment in a house.

Tax Foundation | Chart of the Day
Can Taxing Millionaires Eliminate the Deficit?


Washington Times | U.S. employers post fewest jobs in 5 months
U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in September after advertising more in August than first estimated. The report suggests hiring will likely remain modest in the coming months.
Bloomberg | Drop in U.S. Job Openings Shows Uneven Labor Market
Job openings in the U.S. dropped to a five-month low in September, signaling uneven progress in the labor market may extend through year-end.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | Hiding the real jobs peril
We heard some real whoppers in this year’s campaign, but the biggest of them all was President Obama’s wildly exaggerated jobs claim.

Calculated Risk | BLS: Job Openings "essentially unchanged" in September, Up year-over-year
The number of job openings in September was 3.6 million, essentially unchanged from August.
AEI | The US economy is now producing 2.2% more output than before the recession, but with 3.84 million fewer workers
The Great Recession stimulated huge productivity and efficiency gains as companies shed marginal workers and learned how to do “more with less (fewer workers).”


WSJ | China Gazes Over U.S. 'Fiscal Cliff'
China's main appearance in the U.S. election battle was Mitt Romney's threat to name the country a currency manipulator. But the real threat to the Asian giant is from Washington's impending "fiscal cliff."
USA Today | Strike hits Greece in bid to derail austerity plan
Tens of thousands of Greeks protested Tuesday before a crucial vote in Parliament to cut billions of dollars in government wages and benefits to qualify for European bailout funds on the country's massive debt.
Market Watch | Fitch: U.S. must fix fiscal cliff to keep AAA
President Barack Obama won't enjoy a fiscal honeymoon after winning re-election, with pressure on U.S. officials to resolve the so-called fiscal cliff and other issues in order to maintain the country's AAA credit rating, Fitch Ratings said Wednesday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
AEI | Crushed by debt
Americans are accustomed to experiencing solid and steady economic growth. Recessions have been the exception rather than the rule, and growth has been remarkably stable. Even our bad decades have been pretty good.