Friday, March 21, 2014

General Economics

National Journal | Both Parties In Denial Over Resolving Urban Poverty
In the 1990s, there was a bipartisan consensus on welfare reform. That's now ancient history.
WSJ | City vs. Country: How Where We Live Deepens the Nation's Political Divide
There have always been differences between rural and urban America, but they have grown vast and deep, and now are an underappreciated factor in dividing the U.S. political system, say politicians and academicians.
Real Clear Markets | California: CEOs Rate It Worst U.S. Business Climate For 8 Years Running
California's economy continues to experience a tepid recovery since the Great Recession. One reason why: according to CEO Magazine, California has had the worst business climate in the nation for the last eight years, due in no small part to policies out of Sacramento.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CNN Money | Subprime mortgages making a comeback
Borrowers with bad credit were shut out of the mortgage market after the housing bubble burst, but now a handful of small lenders are starting to offer subprime loans again.
CNN Money | Why the bull market could end tomorrow
Timing the market, to many investors, is a science akin to fortune telling or tarot cards. Financial experts warn retail shareholders constantly: Don't try this at home. Yet with the market going on a sixth year of gains and hovering near record-high levels, the bull seems more vulnerable every day.
AEI | Domestic shipping industry needs load of competition
It's time — indeed way past time — for Congress to repeal a century-old shipping law known as the Jones Act, a protectionist policy adopted during Woodrow Wilson's administration that has no place in today's modern global economy.

Health Care

National Journal | States Holding Out on Medicaid Expansion Are Beginning to Crack
With 25 states and the District of Columbia opting in to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and another six in limbo, the tumult in a handful of holdout states is increasing. The White House hopes unrest in states like Florida, New Hampshire, Nebraska, and Maine will help turn the fight decidedly in their favor.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Fox Business | Millennials Share Why They Aren’t Signing Up for ObamaCare
The Obama Administration has been making its pitch to get millennials to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Ac since Oct. 1 employing a host of marketing tactics including the ad featuring a young man in a onesie sipping on hot chocolate in his pajamas encouraging his peers to get covered.

Heritage Foundation | Have You Saved $2,500 Lately?
President Obama recently admitted that Obamacare will cause some Americans to lose their doctors. Some have suggested that his promise “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” should be 2014’s “Lie of the Year.” But what about his promise that Obamacare would lower premiums by $2,500 per family?
Heritage Foundation | Guess How Many States Are Trying to Extend Their Obamacare Enrollment Deadlines
With only 11 days left in Obamacare’s open enrollment period, several states running the health law’s insurance exchanges are looking at ways to extend their enrollment deadlines for consumers who run into technical glitches.

Monetary News

Market Watch | Banks would see losses of $501 billion under tough Fed test
Thirty of the largest banks that operate in the U.S. would see losses of $501 billion under a severe recession, the Federal Reserve said Thursday in announcing stress-test results that it says show a banking system in better shape than five years ago. A less severe downturn would result in bank losses of $355 billion, the Fed said.
Bloomberg | Kocherlakota Says New Fed Guidance Fosters Policy Uncertainty
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota, who dissented from this week’s decision on monetary policy, said the central bank’s new guidance about its policy intentions risks holding back economic growth by fostering uncertainty.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | How the Fed is hurting seniors
The low-interest-rate policy does more harm than good.
Washington Times | Yellen’s message about Federal Reserve’s plans unsettle market
“Monetary policy will be geared to evolving conditions in the economy,” she said. “And the public does need to understand that as those views evolve, the committee’s views on policy will likely evolve with them.”
CNN Money | Yellen's big mistake
Yellen made just one mistake as far as I'm concerned. It was a big one though. You know how they say you're not supposed to discuss religion, politics and sex in polite company? Central bankers need to add the calendar to that list.
Bloomberg | It's OK If the Economy Overheats a Bit
The Federal Reserve’s decision yesterday to drop its commitment to keep interest rates near zero until the unemployment rate is below 6.5 percent shows that monetary policy has arrived at a new challenge: how to change tack as the U.S. economy reaches full employment.
Mercatus Center | Small Banks in the Eye of Dodd-Frank
Small banks didn't cause the financial crisis that led to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act - and the act's framers said they didn't intend for the law's burdensome requirements to hit smaller institutions. But the results of our recent small-bank survey published through the Mercatus Center demonstrate the futility of these good intentions.
NBER | The Transmission of Federal Reserve Tapering News to Emerging Financial Markets
This paper evaluates the impact of tapering “news” announcements by Fed senior policy makers on financial markets in emerging economies. We apply a panel framework using daily data, and find that emerging market asset prices respond most to statements by Fed Chairman Bernanke, and much less to other Fed officials.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | The Case for Not Worrying So Much About Fed-Generated Financial Instability
There is a steady drumbeat from some corners of Wall Street and some academic economists that the Federal Reserve’s very low interest rates and unconventional monetary policy, inevitably, will create bubbles and financial instability somewhere.


CNN Money | IRS monitor: $1 million phone scam 'largest ever'
If the phone rings and the caller says he represents the IRS, be suspicious. That's the warning from federal authorities, who on Thursday said a nationwide phone scam has stolen $1 million from thousands of unsuspecting people.


WSJ | Uneven Wage Gains Restrain Recovery
Wages are booming in some of the hottest segments of the economy, but those gains are masking an otherwise bleak picture for American incomes five years after the recession ended.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Fiscal Times | Long-Term Unemployed: The Ghosts of the Labor Market
In the years following the financial crisis, economists have been puzzled by a curious fact about the labor market in the U.S. With unemployment high – meaning there was an excess supply of labor – traditional models suggested that both wages and inflation should fall.
National Journal | Study: Long-Term Unemployed, If They Get a Job, More Likely to Leave Than Settle Into Labor Force
The situation for the long-term unemployed just keeps sounding worse. They're less likely to be called in for a job interview than someone who has been out of work for a shorter period of time, researchers found last year. And new research says that even if they get a job, their long unemployment spell is likely to continue hanging over them.
Wells Fargo | Labor Market Dynamics: Three Peeks Behind the Curtain
Behind the curtain awaits a wealth of data that provides decision makers a more sophisticated and much needed closer look at labor market dynamics.

Heritage Foundation | How Many Layoffs Would a Higher Minimum Wage Lead To?
Bad news for minimum-wage workers: If President Obama succeeds in getting the federal minimum wage hiked to $10.10 an hour, some workers could lose their current jobs.


Bloomberg | U.S. Keeps AAA by Fitch, Outlook Raised on Debt Pact
The outlook on the U.S.’s AAA credit-ranking was raised to stable from negative by Fitch Ratings after Congress suspended the nation’s debt limit for more than a year, reducing the risk of a default, and as federal deficits decline.