Friday, February 1, 2013

General Economics

News                                                                                                                             
Bloomberg | Fed’s Dudley Sees Improving Global Economy Helping U.S.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley said the international economy is “gradually improving” in a trend that benefits U.S. growth.
Market Watch | Factory sector strengthens in January, ISM says
The nation’s manufacturing firms increased activity in January at the fastest pace since April, according to a closely followed survey of top executives released Friday.
National Journal | Pay No Attention to That Anemic Economy
A scaled-back gun-control bill has a chance of passing Congress, but lawmakers can’t forget about the economy.
Market Watch | Construction spending ends 2012 on high note
Construction spending jumped in December to wrap up a seven-year annual high as the housing market continued its recovery, the government reported Friday.
Bloomberg | U.S. Michigan Consumer Sentiment Increase May Boost Spending
Confidence among American households unexpectedly rose last month in a possible benefit to consumer spending, the largest part of the economy.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Post | The role for business in fixing our broken budget
The Senate voted Thursday to suspend the debt limit, meaning Congress has effectively kicked down the road the threat that the United States would default on its obligations.
Washington Times | Economy progresses downward
When millions of voters went to the polls in November to narrowly re-elect Barack Obama, the economy was rapidly shrinking toward recessionary levels.
Washington Times | France’s economic slide
Look no further than France to see where the faltering U.S. economy is headed. President Obama has adopted a distinctly European fashion when it comes to expanding government and imposing tax hikes. For this, we can expect to achieve the same results as our ally on the Continent. France is “totally bankrupt,” Labor Minister Michel Sapin admitted this week.
Forbes | The Role of Capital Has Politicians Confused
The nonchalance with which politicians on both sides of the aisle discuss ever higher taxes as the solution to our endless budgetary ills is emblematic of a widespread and consequential misunderstanding of capital. Indeed, those who claim that higher taxes bring prosperity miss the point entirely. That is, they mistake means for ends.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Economist | The notional solution
Population ageing has long been anticipated but is now gathering pace. The European Union’s working-age population is starting to fall but the number of pensioners will continue to rise.
CATO | Is Government a Threat to Our Freedom?
In 1995 Gallup pollsters found that 39 percent of Americans said that “the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.”  Pollsters couldn’t believe it, so they tried again, taking out the word “immediate.”  This time 52 percent of Americans agreed.
WSJ | Is Housing Recovery Finally Generating Jobs?
The U.S. housing industry has been slow to staff up during its recovery, but now that could be starting to change.

Health Care

News                                                                                                                             
National Journal | Health Care: Great for the Economy Today, Terrible Later
Hospitals like Pittsburgh’s UPMC created enough jobs to end the recession. If they keep it up, they’ll wreck the economy.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | ObamaCare's Broken Promises
As the federal government moves forward to implement President Obama's Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services is slated to spend millions of dollars promoting the unpopular legislation. In the face of this publicity blitz, it is worth remembering that the law was originally sold largely on four grounds—all of which have become increasingly implausible.

Monetary

News                                                                                                                             
Market Watch | Fed's Bullard backs possible 'tapering' of QE3
The Federal Reserve could slow down, rather than abruptly stop, its $85 billion per-month asset purchases if the economy continues to improve as the year progresses, said James Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Fed on Friday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Mercatus | The Failure of Risk-Based Capital Regulation
Capital requirements are a primary component of US banking regulation. Since 1991, the Federal Reserve has used a “risk-based” method of capital regulation that attempts to account for the riskiness of various types of bank assets. However, evidence shows that this system has increased, rather than decreased, risk in the US banking system.

Taxes

News                                                                                                                             
CNN Money | When taxes first hit the middle class
It was 1940, and war was enveloping Europe. In Washington, defense costs were beginning their steep spiral into the stratosphere.
CNBC | The Five Highest Tax States for the Highest Earners
When people talk tax rates, they usually talk federal income taxes. But state tax rates, along with local taxes and sales taxes, can be just as significant when it comes to family finances.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
USA Today | How income tax has changed in 100 years
If you're getting ready to file your income tax return, you should be interested to know that what you're doing started 100 years ago. But what a difference that century has made! Examples:

Blogs                                                                                                                             
FOX Business | $7.66 Trillion of Your Taxpayer Dollars. Gone.
Sometimes numbers tell the story and tonight there is one number that tells you everything you need to know about what's wrong with Washington's playbook.

Employment

News                                                                                                                             
FOX Business | How Confidence Affects Employment and the Job Hunt
When it comes to getting a job, confidence is key but it’s hard to remain self assured in a persistently weak labor market.
Bloomberg | U.S. Payrolls Rose in January After Jumping at End of 2012
Hiring increased in January after accelerating more than previously estimated at the end of 2012, evidence the U.S. labor market was making progress even as lawmakers quarreled over the federal budget.
WSJ | President's Council on Jobs Is Let Go
President Barack Obama let his jobs council disband Thursday as its two-year charter expired, sparking criticism among Republicans and conservative economists that the group had provided more show than substantive policy.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
WSJ | Obama’s Jobs Record Looks Better
When President Barack Obama was reelected in November, it was despite the fact that the economy had added a paltry 124,000 jobs since the day he took office. Or at least that’s what we thought at the time.
CATO | The ‘New Normal’ of High Unemployment
I almost feel sorry for the Obama administration’s spin doctors. Every month, they probably wait for the unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics with the same level of excitement that people on death row wait for their execution date.

Budget

News                                                                                                                             
WSJ | Lingering Bad Debts Stifle Europe Recovery
The moving boxes were in Emer O'Grady's bedroom, waiting to be packed with the contents of a home she can no longer afford. But selling her three-bedroom brick house in the north of Dublin hasn't ended her financial bind: The 34-year-old psychotherapist and her former partner still owe some $340,000 on their mortgage.

Blogs                                                                                                                             
Heritage Foundation | Morning Bell: How to Balance the Budget in 10 Years
Both houses of Congress have now voted to suspend the debt ceiling until May 19, buying lawmakers more time to develop a budget. The Senate would put together a budget for the first time in three years—and the details of that budget are crucial.