Tuesday, December 2, 2014

General Economics

Wall Street Journal | Basic Costs Squeeze Families
The American middle class has absorbed a steep increase in the cost of health care and other necessities as incomes have stagnated over the past half decade, a squeeze that has forced families to cut back spending on everything from clothing to restaurants.
Wall Street Journal | Lower Oil Prices Will Help Boost Global Economy, IMF’s Lagarde Says
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Monday said falling oil prices will help boost economies in the U.S. and across much of the globe, a net positive for a world struggling with slowing growth.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | The Obvious Reason for the Decline In Median Income
Much has been made recently of the fact that real median household income has been stagnant over the past twenty years and falling for the past seven. While there are many problems with using median household income as a measure of the economic health of the middle class, it is still important to examine what is causing this middle-income stall. A major, and overlooked, part of the answer appears to be quite simple: Americans are working less.
Wall Street Journal | Big Winners and Big Losers Among 2014’s Most Active Stocks
What makes a stock popular? A list of the 20 companies whose shares have been traded most frequently this year, as a percentage of outstanding shares, indicates that investors sit up and pay attention for a variety of reasons. And a rising price seems to be only one of them.
Fortune | Why China keeps throwing trillions in investments down the drain
There are two indisputable facts about China’s mammoth investments in its infrastructure and factories. One, they are a growth engine, accounting for roughly half of the country’s GDP increase since 2000. The other fact is that China’s investment rate, averaging 43% of GDP since 2000, is greater than any other major economy in history.