Monday, May 5, 2014

General Economics

CNN Money | Why the Kentucky Derby is good for the economy
The Kentucky Derby is the longest running sports event in American history. Held the first Saturday in May, three-year-old thoroughbreds gather at Churchill Downs in Kentucky to compete over a blistering two minutes that ends with a blanket of roses draped over the winner.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | If There Are Bubbles, It's Better to Pop Them
If you go back 20 or 25 years, the term "bubble" was not part of everyday language. To be sure, scholars debated various financial bubbles. Most famous was the stock market bubble of 1929. Before that, there was the South Sea bubble of 1720 in England. And before that, there was the Dutch tulip bubble of the 1630s. But most Americans were blissfully ignorant of these episodes. Hardly anyone imagined bubbles as a modern problem.
Washington Times | So what if China grows?
The World Bank says within a matter of months, China will be the world’s most powerful economic force, greater than the United States. This would be yet another downgrade to U.S. prestige comparable to the recent embarrassment in losing our perfect AAA credit rating.
Forbes | Steve Jobs, Near Capitalist Criminal, Refutes the Decline of Capitalism
The latest evidence of the dark, borderline-criminal side of Steve Jobs is that Jobs tried to rig the Silicon Valley labor market.
Bloomberg View | The Strange Death of Volatility
Ask any trader to list the market conditions most conducive to making money, and you'll hear the word volatility. Swinging prices create profit (as well as loss) opportunities; when prices flat line, the trading seas are becalmed. Volatility, though, is disappearing, in stocks, bonds and currencies.

WSJ | New Foreclosures Fall to Lowest Level Since 2006
Amid renewed concern about weak housing demand, there’s this bright spot: the number of mortgage on which lenders initiated foreclosure in March fell to the lowest level in 7½ years, according to a new report.
CATO | Let Export-Import Bank and Corporate Welfare Die
Nothing brings out the well-tailored lobbyists in Washington quite like a threat to corporate welfare.  With the Export-Import Bank’s legal authorization set to run out this year, the Chamber of Commerce recently led a Big Business march on Capitol Hill to protect what is known as Boeing’s Bank. 
Heritage Foundation | Follow Your Tax Dollars Across This Map to Unfriendly Nations
What’s worse than using taxpayer money for special interests and cronyism? Maybe sending taxpayer money to nations that aren’t the best friends of the United States.

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
NBER | Financial Health Economics
We provide a theoretical and empirical analysis of the link between financial and real health care markets. We document a “medical innovation premium” of 4-6% annually for equity of medical firms and analyze the implications it has for the growth of the health care sector.

Heritage Foundation | 9 Obamacare Predictions That Have Come True
It directly affects the personal life of every American, and it controls or regulates a complex sector of the American economy that is slightly larger than the entire economy of France.


Market Watch | Yellen back in spotlight after strong jobs report
After the jobs report was released last week, there was a lot of chatter in the market about how to view it through the eyes of Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Fed’s Fisher: Too soon for talk of rate hikes
It’s too soon for the Federal Reserve to begin thinking about raising interest rates despite a strengthening U.S. economy, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said on Sunday.

WSJ | Grand Central: Fed Debate on Exit Strategy Isn’t Over
Federal Reserve officials have begun debating whether the federal funds rate, an overnight interest rate charged by banks, should remain the central bank’s target short-term interest rate. That debate doesn’t appear to be near a resolution after a policy meeting last week in which the future of the fed funds rate was likely discussed.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CNN Money | Should you pay a higher gas tax?
Highways and bridges -- and other critical parts of the nation's transportation infrastructure such as railways -- need serious upgrades and repairs.
WSJ | The Real Buffett Rule
Investors undertook their annual pilgrimage to Omaha this weekend to hear Warren Buffett opine on markets and the world. One surprise is that the Berkshire Hathaway CEO seems to have adapted his famous Buffett Rule of taxation when it applies to his own company.


CNN Money | Jump in jobs: We've been here before
Hiring reached a two-year peak in April. But before you start printing a resume and getting your hopes up, economists are urging caution -- there have been numerous false starts for jobs over the last five years.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Daily Caller | Game-changer Jobs Report?
Does a solid jobs report change the overall economic picture, and offer the beleaguered Democratic party a new leg up for the midterm elections? My answer is no and no.
Fortune | Wharton undergrads: Tough job market? What tough job market?
With graduation just a few weeks away, the latest crop of Wharton undergrads has been eagerly received by an otherwise so-so job market.
WSJ | Wage Pressure Begins to Build
The improving U.S. jobs market has been marred by stubbornly slow growth in wages, but recent results from companies show the outlook for some workers may be brightening.
Mercatus | April Jobs Gains, But Labor Force and Long-Term Data Need to Improve
The Bureau of Labor Statistics today announced that the economy added 288,000 jobs in April, but the labor force participation rate dropped by 0.4 percentage points to an alarmingly low 62.8 percent. Mercatus Center senior research fellow Keith Hall, a former BLS commissioner, responds to the data:

CATO | A Decent but Underwhelming Jobs Report
The unemployment rate has dropped to 6.3 percent and there are about 280,000 new jobs. But if you dig into the details of the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you find some less-than-exciting data.


Bloomberg | Treasuries Fall After Service-Industries Gauge Advances
Treasuries fell after a private gauge of U.S. service industries increased more than forecast in April, boosting speculation the world’s biggest economy is building momentum.