Tuesday, July 15, 2014

General Economics

Bloomberg | Fracking Sends Northeast Natural Gas Output to Record
Record natural gas production from the Marcellus shale deposit in the Northeast is helping send U.S. output to an all-time high, as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling unlocked underground supplies.
CNN Money | Reynolds, Lorillard in tobacco merger
Reynolds American and Lorillard announced a $27.4 billion merger on Tuesday that will bring together the No. 2 and No. 3 U.S. cigarette makers.
Bloomberg | Retail Sales in U.S. Showed Broad-Based Increase in June
Purchases increased 0.2 percent after a 0.5 percent advance in May that was larger than previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The reading fell short of the 0.6 percent increase projected by the median estimate of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, restrained by a drop among auto dealers. Demand climbed in nine of 13 major categories last month.
Market Watch | Empire State index reaches four-year high of 25.6
The Empire State manufacturing survey climbed to 25.6 in July, up from 19.3 in June, to reach a four-year high, the New York Fed said Tuesday.
Daily Signal | This Government Program Leads to Rising College Costs
Federal lawmakers have been trying for decades to reduce the burden of paying for college. Congress has significantly expanded lending, lifted caps on borrowing, and cut interest rates on federal student loans. Parents even became eligible to take out loans to pay for children’s college in the 1980s through the Parent PLUS program.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | The Economics of Marriage, and Family Breakdown
Economists have long argued that there is such a thing as a market for spouses. The old theory, associated with University of Chicago Nobel laureate, Gary Becker, is that people marry for the same reason that nations trade with one another: comparative advantage.
Bloomberg | Inequality Piketty Doesn’t Examine Is U.S. Human Capital
French economist Thomas Piketty sparked a global debate on inequality by arguing that the wealthy pull ahead by reaping disparate rewards from financial capital. He may be missing the human half of the story.
CNN Money | Economists are really worried about China's massive property sector
A dramatic building boom helped China to develop the world's second largest economy. But now, economists say, a runaway real estate sector poses the greatest risk to growth.
AEI | Back to basics
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, observers have searched for a cause for the persistent limping pace of economic growth. Demand-side theories have formed the basis of the common assertion that the lingering effects of the financial crisis are to blame for our slow growth, but a striking new paper argues that another culprit may be to blame: the computer.

WSJ | Higher Prices on Staples Could Crimp Back-to-School Shopping
The Gallup poll shows nearly three out of five households are spending more on groceries and gasoline, 45% say they are shelling out more on utilities, and 42% are spending more on health care. At the same time, a large share report spending less on nonessential items such as travel, dining out and consumer electronics.