Thursday, February 28, 2013

General Economics

Bloomberg | European Recovery Path in Danger as Politics Menace Growth
Growth and job-creation in the 17-nation euro area were showing a mixed picture before the results of Italy’s vote sparked a new round of market turmoil on Feb. 26.
CNBC | Companies Take Action to Woo a Cautious US Consumer
The American paycheck's not the only thing that's shrinking as big business thinks of creative ways — everything from smaller packages to deep price cuts — to capture the hesitant consumer's dollar amid signs of weak sales.
CNBC | Slow Going: GDP Growth Inches Up; Claims Lower
The U.S. economy barely grew in the fourth quarter although a slightly better performance in exports and fewer imports led the government to scratch an earlier estimate that showed an economic contraction.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Politico | Small-business growth and recovery are inseparable
A holding pattern is when an airplane is delayed from its destination, still moving but no longer really getting anywhere. That’s also an apt description of the small-business mood under this president’s anti-growth policies.
WSJ | The Obamaian Universe
It may be that we have to move beyond politics alone to explain events in Washington. We are in the fifth year of the Obama presidency, and Washington is still dead in the water. Four straight years in which the government of the United States of America fails to enact a budget is, well, amazing.

Motley Fool | How the Coming Demographic Shift Will Affect the Economy
You're reading this article because it promises an analysis of how demographic changes will affect the economy. Most of you probably think I'm about to talk about aging baby boomers shifting into retirement.

Health Care

Bloomberg | Medicare Paid $5.1 Billion for Inadequate Nursing Homes
Medicare paid $5.1 billion to nursing homes in 2009 that failed to meet quality-of-care requirements, U.S. government investigators said.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Politico | Under ACA, employer mandate could mean fewer jobs
This March marks the third anniversary of the passage of the president’s sweeping health care legislation. But for many in the business community now facing a litany of difficult decisions in the law’s wake, this milestone will be met with capitulation rather than celebration.


Bloomberg | Central Banks Spewing Cash Need to Plan Exit Timing, Rohde Says
Central bankers across the globe need to plan for monetary tightening to avoid feeding asset bubbles, Danish central bank Governor Lars Rohde said.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Post | The Federal Reserve’s not-so-golden rule
A display case in the lobby of the Federal Reserve Bank here might express humility. The case holds a 99.9 percent pure gold bar weighing 401.75 troy ounces. Minted in 1952, when the price of gold was $35 an ounce, the bar was worth about $14,000.
WSJ | Debunking the Myths About Central Banks
Myths govern modern central banking. Like many myths, they contain an element of truth that has been distorted by exaggeration and misapplication. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Federal Reserve System—an appropriate time for some long-overdue myth-busting.


Politico | Debate grows over carbon tax, despite long odds
A tax on carbon emissions may not be on anyone’s short list of legislation likely to emerge from the gridlocked Congress, but that’s not dampening the debate over the merits of the idea.
Bloomberg | Deal to Raise U.S. Revenue on Foreign Income Gets Closer
Lawmakers are starting to see the outlines of a bipartisan agreement on how to tax the income that U.S.-based corporations earn outside the country.
WSJ | Tax Stances Harden in Wake of Last Deal
To understand why Republicans and Democrats remain far apart in averting automatic across-the-board spending cuts set for Friday, look no further than their last deal.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Mercatus | Would Taxing Banks Really Make the Banking System Safer?
In the wake of the 2007–09 banking crisis, some economists recommended imposing new taxes on banks. These proponents contend that policy makers could apply the taxes to correct “negative externalities,” or adverse spillover effects onto overall welfare, allegedly created by individual banks.


CNN Money | U.S. economic growth basically flat
The U.S. economy didn't contract in the fourth quarter after all, but the bigger picture remains the same: It's still stuck in slow motion. - See more at:
CNBC | Bernanke: 6% Unemployment Rate Still 3 Years Away
Unemployment probably won't reach the 6 percent level until 2016, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Wednesday.


Politico | Dual Senate sequester votes expected to fail
Washington’s Great Sequester pregame show ends in the Senate on Thursday with Republicans still divided over how to disarm the doomsday budget machine they built in the previous Congress with Democrats and President Barack Obama.
CNBC | Type the Title You Want People to See
Type the sentence(s) summarizing the link here.
WSJ | Student-Loan Delinquencies Among the Young Soar
The number of young borrowers who have fallen behind on their student loan payments has soared over the past four years, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in a report released Thursday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | How the GOP Can Call the President's Bluff
The $85 billion in spending that will eventually be cut after the sequester kicks in amounts to around two cents on the dollar in the overall federal budget. That hasn't kept Mr. Obama and his team from trying to scare the bejesus out of Americans about the spending reductions.
Washington Times | Obama cries robbery but it’s only about 2 cents
Like the little boy who cried wolf, the White House has decided that if there isn’t a crisis, you can create one and take advantage of it. That sums up President Obama’s approach to the looming sequestration.
NY Times | Our Debt, Ourselves
The significance of America’s national debt is a serious question, but you would not know this from the current political rhetoric, which consists mostly of vague apocalyptic warnings. I want to present a calmer view, by emphasizing six facts about the debt that many Americans may not be aware of.
CBO | Automatic Reductions in Government Spending -- aka Sequestration
In fiscal year 2013, by CBO’s estimates, federal revenues will rise and outlays will decline as shares of gross domestic product (GDP), resulting in a federal budget deficit equal to about 5.3 percent of GDP (compared with 7.0 percent last year).

WSJ | Deficits Expected to Grow Among Developed Countries in 2013
Developed countries will continue to face the threat of debt downgrades in 2013 as deficits increase in the sluggish global economy, the OECD said Wednesday.