Friday, May 23, 2014

General Economics

Fox Business | Oil Futures Dip, Gasoline Climbs Ahead of Holiday Weekend
Oil futures slipped Thursday as traders who had bet on higher prices locked in profits after Wednesday's rally, while gasoline futures hit a three-week high on expectations of rising demand.
Bloomberg | Americans’ Outlook for U.S. Economy Falls to Seven-Month Low
Americans’ expectations for the economy deteriorated to a seven-month low in May, a sign that the rebound from weakness earlier this year may be limited by still-cautious consumers.
Fox Business | New Home Sales Rebound in April
Sales of new U.S. single-family homes rose more than expected in April and the stock of houses on the market hit a 3-1/2 year-high, a sign the sputtering housing recovery may be poised to regain steam.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | ALLEN: Reagan’s Ex-Im Bank reforms still paying dividends
The lender that reaped $1 billion in 2013 deserves reauthorization.
WSJ | Without Keystone XL
Some energy analysts figure the White House's continuing refusal to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline may become less relevant as oil companies develop other ways to ship their product. But the surge in oil shipments by rail is creating new public health risks while raising the cost of food production.
CNN Money | Bank of America is making money on its financial crisis settlement
The deal that BofA struck two months ago with Fannie and Freddie's regulator, restitution for financial crisis misdeeds, could end up boosting the bank's bottom line by $1.4 billion.
Mercatus Center | Is Now the Time for Housing Finance Reform? Maybe Not
If the United States is ever to enjoy sensible policy in housing, the choices will have to be made at a time when officials are focused on the public interest and firmly reject the suggestions coming from the social engineers and the special-interest lobbyists. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case today.

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | The Government Health-Care Model
The Veterans scandal shows where ObamaCare ends up.

Heritage | Family Health Costs Rise to $23,215
Health care costs have risen to $23,215 a year for the typical family of four that gets insurance through work, according to a new report from Milliman Inc., Seattle-based consultants and actuaries.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | Interest Rate Manipulation Comes Back to Haunt Its Most Ardent Supporters
To bring this back toward the generalities, it appears to me, and many others, that the credit markets are much less stable now than if QE had never been proposed.
NBER | Monetary Policy and Real Borrowing Costs at the Zero Lower Bound
The efficacy of unconventional policy in lowering real borrowing costs is comparable to that of conventional policy, in that it implies a complete pass-through of policy-induced movements in Treasury yields to comparable-maturity private yields.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | Grand Central: How High Will Fed Push Rates?
The April survey, released earlier this week, shows bond dealers expected the fed funds rate to average just 2.75% for the coming decade.
WSJ: Real Time Economics | In Face-off, Fed’s Keeping the IMF Out of Its Currency Swap Domain
Several advanced-economy central banks, including the Fed, have successfully stymied efforts by some emerging markets to create a short-term cash line at the fund to help shore up economies against market shocks.


Politico | Lawmakers have bigger tax woes than IRS workers
It turns out that IRS employees have a much better record paying their taxes than lawmakers and their staff in both the House and Senate — almost five and three times better, to be exact, according to data released by the IRS on Thursday.
WSJ | Proposed Rules on Tax-Exempt Groups Face Revision
Administration Likely to Revise Proposal to Tighten Rules on Political Activity by Tax-Exempt Groups


CNN Money | HP to cut up to 16,000 more jobs
The ax is falling once again at Hewlett-Packard. HP announced Thursday that it will cut an additional 11,000 to 16,000 jobs, after previously revealing plans for 34,000 layoffs.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | People Support Raising The Minimum Wage Until Told The Costs
Once people make the link between the benefit (higher pay for some) and the cost (fewer jobs, higher prices) the level of support shrinks to a clear minority.
WSJ | Skilled Foreign Workers a Boon to Pay, Study Finds
The findings suggest an influx of foreign workers wouldn't hurt wages for the existing workforce, and would raise pay in many cases. The study follows a long line of research supporting the argument that skilled immigrants would boost the U.S. economy.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
AEI: The American | If Detroit's Not Too Big To Fail…
With the instructive Detroit precedent, shrunken populations, and underfunded municipal pensions common, we can conclude that no city, not even Chicago, should be thought of as too big to fail.

Heritage Foundation | Oops: The Export-Import Bank Is Actually Losing Taxpayer Money
If forced to apply the stricter accounting rules required of private firms, Ex–Im would be overstating its profitability by $16 billion during the next decade: Instead of a 10-year surplus of $14 billion, the bank would incur a loss of $2 billion.