Friday, November 9, 2012

General Economics

Bloomberg | Record Overseas Sales Boost U.S. Growth: Economy
Exports from the U.S. climbed to a record in September, contributing to an unexpected decline in the trade deficit that gave the world’s largest economy a boost at the end of the third quarter.
USA Today | U.S. businesses seek a more competitive economy
Despite its slippage, the U.S. is still an economic power and the world's manufacturing leader. And in recent years, falling U.S. factory wages and energy prices have allowed it to narrow its business-cost gap with other countries.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | GHEI: An end to European bailouts
The desire to keep on spending in the face of economic crisis is universal. In Greece, parliament voted Wednesday to implement $17 billion in spending cuts, and the reaction was swift and violent.
Motley Fool | Why The Next Recession Will Hurt More
Because the current Federal Reserve policy could make any future recession less like falling off a cliff and more like falling down an up escalator, where the country will find it hard to stop tumbling, stand up, and reach prosperity.

The Economist | Discouraging news
Many in Europe appear to misunderstand the entire point of deposit insurance, which is that it minimises losses by preventing bank runs.
Market Watch | Euro-zone economy going nowhere for next 2 years: Posen
The euro-zone economy will barely grow over the next two years unless governments decide to engineer a coordinated pull-back from fiscal austerity, said Adam Posen, a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee.
Political Calculations | Dividends: U.S. Deeper in Recessionary Territory
In October 2012, S&P recorded that some 2,471 publicly-traded companies making declarations regarding their dividends, with 165 announcing dividend increases and 26 announcing they would cut their dividends.

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Cato Institute | Obamacare Is Still Vulnerable
Now is not the time to go wobbly. Obamacare is still harmful and still unpopular.

Heritage | Obamacare: The Battle Intensifies
Obamacare is not here to stay. Despite the 2012 election, the assumption that the health care law will stay on course is another example of the left’s wishful thinking.


Bloomberg | Draghi Relegating Rates Makes OMT Policy Weapon of Choice
Mario Draghi’s bond-buying plan has become the European Central Bank’s weapon of choice to reduce interest rates even before it has been activated.
Market Watch | Fed delays Basel III bank capital rules
U.S. regulators on Friday agreed to delay indefinitely the effective date of a global agreement on greater bank capital buffers known as Basel III.
CNN Money | Inflation slows in China
Chinese consumers paid 1.7% more for goods in October than they did a year ago, the government's National Bureau of Statistics reported Friday. That's down from a 1.9% increase in September.
WSJ | China in Tug of War on Yuan
China is reining in the yuan after weeks of steady appreciation, a move that could help its big exporters but undercut its long-standing pledge to give the market greater sway in the currency's fate.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Fed policy may be easier than understood: Bullard
Federal Reserve monetary policy may be "considerably easier" than commonly understood, said James Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, on Thursday.

Free Banking | Medium of exchange versus unit of account
Where the local currency is not the dominant unit of account, changes in the local central bank’s policy will have much weaker effects on the economy than if people are using the local currency both as a medium of exchange and unit of account.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
FOX Business | Why Do We Tax Social Security Benefits?
Social Security has been a frequent topic of discussion recently with its future financial health in question and many future retirees are wondering if they can count on these benefits to help fund their retirement.

Tax Foundation | Weekly Map: AMT Filers by State
This week's map comes from our report on the upcoming Fiscal Cliff. The map shows the percentage of taxpayers currently owing AMT in each state, but if Congress fails to patch an AMT patch for this year and next, these numbers would likely more than double.


Bloomberg | Healing U.S. Labor Market Means Fewer Temporary Jobs
The monthly change in the number of people on payrolls of temporary-help service businesses averaged 2.2 percent of the monthly gains in total nonfarm payrolls during the July-October period, well below almost 19 percent in the first half of 2012, based on seasonally adjusted data from the Labor Department.
WSJ | East Coast Weather Disrupts Jobs Report
Superstorm Sandy skewed the number of U.S. workers applying for jobless benefits last week, the Labor Department said, including in one state where power outages at government offices prevented the processing of new claims.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | HAMILTON: Private companies are too smart to hire
Nearly three-quarters say the national debt is making it less likely that businesses will increase hiring. A similar proportion said the debt, which stands at about $16 trillion, makes it less likely businesses will boost other investments as well.


CNN Money | CBO Warns of Fiscal Cliff Risk
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Thursday estimated the economic punch of different parts of the cliff -- a series of spending cuts and tax increases that starting taking effect in January.
WSJ | Storm Expected to Trim Growth, Not Spending
Sandy will take a bite out of an already lackluster fourth quarter, but the superstorm's effect on holiday-season spending is likely to be limited, according to economists in the latest Wall Street Journal survey.
NY Times | Congress Sees Rising Urgency for Fiscal Cliff
Senior lawmakers said Thursday that they were moving quickly to take advantage of the postelection political atmosphere to try to strike an agreement that would avert a fiscal crisis early next year when trillions of dollars in tax increases and automatic spending cuts begin to go into force.
WSJ | Central Bank Says Athens Aid Up to Euro Zone
European Central Bank President dismissed calls for the central bank to help Greece reduce its crushing debt burden, putting the onus on euro-zone governments to find the money needed to give Athens more time.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CBO | Choices for Deficit Reduction
This report reviews the magnitude and causes of the federal government’s budgetary imbalance, various options for bringing spending and taxes into closer alignment, and criteria that lawmakers and the public might use to evaluate different approaches to deficit reduction.
Cato Institute | President Obama and Congress Must Tackle 'Fiscal Cliff' Threatening Nation
First, we face the threat of higher tax rates for some or all taxpayers on Jan. 1. Second, there’s also a possibility of a “sequester” — automatic budget cuts that also are scheduled to take place on Jan. 1. And politicians have been spending so much money that we’re about to bump up against the nation’s debt limit.
WSJ | While Athens Smolders
The Greek Parliament endured another night of tear gas and intra-party turmoil Wednesday to pass its latest package of spending cuts, tax hikes and labor-market reforms, just as new figures confirmed the economy's continued deterioration. This year, Greece's output will be 80% of what it was in 2009. The jobless rate has risen for 39 consecutive months, and 58% of young people are out of work.