Thursday, June 12, 2014

General Economics

CNN Money | 10 Fastest Growing States
The U.S. economy grew only 1.8% in 2013, but these 10 states outpaced the nation.
Bloomberg | May Sales Rise Less Than Forecast as Americans Take Respite
Retail sales rose less than forecast in May as American consumers took a respite following a three-month surge in shopping that has underpinned economic growth.
WSJ | Two Costly Self-Delusions
There's ample evidence to support both statements. Intellectually, we may even accept their truth. And yet we're confident we'll be much happier if we get a pay raise. Meanwhile, we are holding off on our next stock purchase, because we're sure prices will be lower a month from now.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | 5 reasons the Tea Party should favor immigration
With House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary loss to Tea Party candidate David Brat, immigration reform looks dead. But the Tea Party should favor sensible immigration reform with border controls. It would result in additional economic growth, allowing the government to cut spending and lower taxes — key Tea Party demands.
Real Clear Markets | The Greatest Service of OMB's Annual Report
The White House's Office of Management and Budget recently released a draft of its annual report to Congress on the costs and benefits of regulations. In this routine exercise, which inevitably claims extensive benefits of regulation, the OMB couches its estimates within a sizeable list of caveats.
Mercatus | Key Argument for Export-Import Bank Invalid
Supporters of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) argue that the federal government must subsidize American exports to "level the playing field” with foreign competitors who receive subsidies from their governments.

WSJ | Recession Did Lasting Harm to Global Growth Potential, Study Finds
Aftershocks from the deepest recession in generations continue to inflict lasting damage to the world economy’s potential, curbing employment prospects for millions, a new paper finds.
WSJ | U.S. Economy’s First-Quarter Contraction Could Be Even Worse Than You Thought
The U.S. economy may have contracted more than previously thought during the first three months of 2014, private economists said Wednesday based on new health care-sector data from the government.
CATO | 0.02°C Temperature Rise Averted: The Vital Number Missing from the EPA’s “By the Numbers” Fact Sheet
Last week, the Obama Administration’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled a new set of proposed regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from existing U. S. power plants. The motivation for the EPA’s plan comes from the President’s desire to address and mitigate anthropogenic climate change.

Health Care

CNN Money | Hidden cost of retiring early: $51,000 in medical bills
Retiring early may sound really tempting. But leaving the workforce just a few years early can saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in additional medical costs.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | Obamacare Is Here To Stay, So Let's Fix It
The good news is that, at long last, a serious adult conversation has begun on how to improve the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bad news is that conversation will not lead to action until ACA opponents recognize that it is here to stay and join in helping to make it work better.
Daily Signal | Obamacare’s Medicare ‘Reforms’ Result in Little Savings
Promoted as a way to move away from an outdated payment structure in Medicare, Accountable Care Organizations were expected to deliver better care at lower costs. But, two years later, like many of Obamacare’s promised savings, this experiment is falling short.


Bloomberg | Banks to Get EU Approval to Use Wider Range of ABS Debt
European Union banks are set to win the right to use a wider range of asset-backed debt to meet their liquidity requirements as the bloc hunts for ways to boost the market for such securities.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Paul Volcker: Back to the Woods?
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker called last month in Washington for a new Bretton Woods, the 1944 conference of World War II Allies that set up an international gold-exchange regime. His remarks received little media attention.

WSJ | A Guide To Gauging The Impact of the ECB’s Negative Deposit Rate
Wednesday marked the first day that the ECB charged banks for keeping overnight deposits with it. The move is designed to encourage bank lending, and help boost the euro zone’s still fragile economic recovery. What are the indicators that will tell us whether the ECB’s most daring policy move is working?
Market Watch | Import price rise shows deflation concerns becoming a distant worry
The inflation picture looks to be changing very quickly, and May’s import price data feeds into that story. On a monthly basis, import prices nudged up by 0.1% on higher fuel prices, the Labor Department said Thursday.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | The Lose-Lose Tax Policy Driving Away U.S. Business
Apple issued $12 billion of U.S. debt in April, which gave the company a domestic cash infusion that allowed it to keep more earnings overseas. Last month Pfizer attempted to acquire AstraZeneca, a transaction that would have made Pfizer a subsidiary of the U.K.-based company.
Washington Times | Unfair efforts to punish the oil industry with taxes
Given all the election-year maneuvering in Washington, it’s not surprising that efforts to enact a “tax extenders” measure acceptable to the House and Senate are stuck in the mud. Lawmakers can scarcely agree on the color of the sky, let alone the question of how expired tax provisions should be dealt with in the waning days of the 113th Congress.
Heritage Foundation | FATCA Hurts Law-Abiding Americans Living Abroad
On July 1, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) will fully take effect. FATCA is supposed to reduce tax evasion by making it harder for tax cheats to abuse tax havens. In practice, however, FATCA is forcing law-abiding American taxpayers residing overseas to bear enormous financial and legal burdens.


Bloomberg | Jobless Claims in U.S. Increased Last Week to 317,000
Applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. rose to 317,000 last week, holding below this year’s average and signaling sustained progress in the labor market.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | There's No Consensus About Unemployment
With the government's latest monthly employment report, the American job market has entered a bewildering good news/bad news phase. The good news is that May's increase of 217,000 payroll jobs finally puts total employment above its pre-recession peak. There are 8.8 million more jobs than at the low point. Unemployment has dropped from 10 percent to 6.3 percent. Chief White House economist Jason Furman points out that monthly job gains have averaged nearly 200,000 in the past year and are trending up.
FOX Business | Millennials Struggle to Find Jobs: But Who’s Really to Blame?
According to a recent survey from CareerBuilder, the number of boomer-held jobs increased 9% from 2007-2013, a gain of 1.9 million jobs. On the other hand, with an increase of only 110,000 jobs, millennial employment in 2013 was virtually unchanged from 2007 levels.

WSJ | One In Six Americans With A Disability Held A Job Last Year
Almost 12% of Americans over 16 years old have a disability. But the group accounts for only 3% of those who have a job, according to a new Labor Department report.


National Journal | Democrats’ Student Refinancing Bill Dies in the Senate
Democrats' plan to let Americans refinance their existing student loan debt failed to advance in the Senate on Wednesday, falling to the same fate as other big campaign-centric bills related to equal pay and raising the minimum wage.
FOX Business | U.S. Budget Deficit Narrows in May from Year Prior
The U.S. budget deficit shrank more than six percent from a year earlier to $130 billion in May, according to data released by the Treasury Department on Wednesday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CBO | The Highway Trust Fund and the Treatment of Surface Transportation Programs in the Federal Budget
The federal government spends more than $50 billion per year on surface transportation programs, mostly in the form of grants to state and local governments. Much of this spending is for highways and mass transit programs financed through the Highway Trust Fund.