Wednesday, October 1, 2014

General Economics

CNN Money | Thanks Starbucks: Pumpkin Sales Skyrocket
Ever since Starbucks (SBUX) introduced its famed pumpkin spice latte about a decade ago, pumpkin sales have skyrocketed. It's led to the increased popularity of pumpkin-spiced everything, including spicy pumpkin beef jerky and pumpkin beer.
Bloomberg | Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Plunge After Court Ruling on Profit
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FMCC) plunged in New York trading after investors including Bruce Berkowitz’s Fairholme Capital Management LLC lost a legal bid yesterday to force the bailed-out companies to share profits with private shareholders.
Wall Street Journal | September U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Drops
U.S. consumers unexpectedly pulled back on their economic optimism in September, according to a report released Tuesday.
CNBC | Economists slash Q3 GDP forecast, but see steady growth ahead
Although economists have lowered their estimates for third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth following an extremely volatile first half of the year, they see the economy growing steadily, according to a survey released Monday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | Technology Is Thriving, So Why Are the Feds Strangling It?
A growing number of economists are describing the current slump as a form of secular stagnation, where diminishing outlets for capital investment have slowed economic growth, reduced the demand for labor and stalled the economic recovery.
Wall Street Journal | Double Trouble Carbon Regulation
President Obama prophesied at the United Nations last week that climate change is the "one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other," and perhaps this vision of Apocalypse explains why he thinks he can disregard the law to regulate carbon.

Cato Institute | Addressing the Critics of This Purportedly No Good, Very Bad Chart
For the past few years I have charted the trends in American education spending and performance (see below). The goal is to see what the national data suggest about the productivity of our education system over time.
Market Watch | Here’s a part of the U.S. economy no one’s worrying about
The manufacturing industry is one part of the U.S. economy that’s generating virtually no worries. Auto sales have repeatedly set new postrecession highs and most industries are experiencing their fastest growth in several years despite lackluster performance in key export markets such as Europe.
Wall Street Journal | A Look at Case-Shiller by Metro Area
The S&P Case-Shiller national home price index is up just 5.6% in the year ended in July, continuing a slowing trend since late 2013.
Mercatus Center | The Sharing Economy
Over at the Tech Liberation Front, my colleague Adam Thierer has sketched out a few themes in the debate over the sharing economy. His discussion of leveling the regulatory playing field is particularly important.
Cato Institute | Government Crowding Out, USPS Style
Economists will sometimes support government interventions in industries where there are serious market failures. But with grocery delivery, private businesses are already performing the service, and no market failure is evident.