Wednesday, June 18, 2014

General Economics

CNN Money | Gas prices rising but glut coming
While violence in Iraq may squeeze drivers' wallets this summer, the U.S. is headed for a gas glut over the next few years as demand slows.
Bloomberg | Emerging Stocks Set for Longest Slump Since November Before Fed
Emerging-market stocks headed for the longest losing streak in seven months as Chinese home prices fell and investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s decision on stimulus. The ruble gained amid Ukraine cease-fire prospects.
WSJ | Upshot of Domestic Oil Boom: Fewer Shocks
The latest spasm of violence in the Middle East has sent crude-oil prices climbing in recent weeks, a familiar action-reaction that frequently has proved to be a drag on economic growth.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | On Its 80th, How Can the SEC Renew Its Mission?
The Securities and Exchange Commission turned 80 earlier this month with hardly a celebration. Given its likely near perpetual existence, the 80-year-old SEC is but a child in human years. Nevertheless, eight past decades warrant some thoughts on the agency's future.
Washington Times | Fighting oil uncertainty with shale
As the Iraqi government collapses in the face of Islamic terrorists, public attention will be mostly on human suffering, as it should be. Women, Iraqi Christians and other non-Sunni religious groups are already being targeted, and the pictures coming in are horrific. The BBC and Fox News are giving “disturbing video” warnings to their Iraq stories, and it looks like it will only get worse.
NBER | Long-Term Damage from the Great Recession in OECD Countries
This paper estimates the long-term effects of the global recession of 2008-2009 on output in 23 countries. I measure these effects by comparing current estimates of potential output from the OECD and IMF to the path that potential was following in 2007, according to estimates at the time.

Health Care

FOX Business | Cobra vs. ACA Exchanges: How to Find the Best Coverage When Unemployed
Up until recently, COBRA was the main provider for the newly-unemployed needing medical insurance—especially if they had a pre-existing condition.
CNN Money | Obamacare costs $82 for subsidy-eligible people and $264 for the feds on average
The federal government is shelling out $264 a month, on average, for people who qualify for premium subsidies on the Obamacare federal exchange.


CNBC | Fedspeak 3.0: The 'dot plot'
For years investors have had to acclimate themselves to discussions about quantitative easing—or QE—along with zero-bound interest rates and the financial repression that has underscored central bank policy for the past six years.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
FOX News | Why rising inflation threatens America's middle class
Buffeted by slow growth and too few jobs, Americans now have to deal with more inflation. In May, consumer prices rose at more than a 4 percent annual pace, and inflation has been heating up the last several months.

WSJ | Central Bank Watch: Track Interest Rates, Balance Sheets, Unemployment and More
Which major central bank has the biggest balance sheet? The lowest  interest rates? Highest unemployment? Lowest inflation?


WSJ | IRS Contempt of Congress
The IRS is now telling Congress that it has lost the emails of no fewer than seven IRS employees central to the targeting of conservative nonprofits, though that's only half the outrage. There's also the IRS's quiet admission that it has spent most of the past year willfully defying Congress.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | A New Strategy For Corporate Tax Reform
Last Friday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan proposed to cut the Japanese corporate tax rate from 36 percent to below 30 percent. This is the latest step on a journey that began on April 1st 2012 when the government set in motion a series of rate cuts - from 41 percent to 38 percent to today's 36 percent. In 2013, both major parties in Japan agreed to accelerate the timetable for the cuts. Today Japan may be ready to double down.


Bloomberg | Summer Job Outlook Sunnier for Teens as U.S. Market Mends
Teen hiring posted the biggest gain in eight years this May, not counting for seasonal adjustments. If the nascent job recovery retains steam through the summer, it could bolster wallets and resumes for U.S. youth.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Investors | Obama's Economy: Where Did All The Young Workers Go?
The percentage of adult Americans who are working or looking for work now stands at 62.8%, a 36-year low and down more than 3 percentage points since late 2007, according to the Labor Department's May employment report.

WSJ | Being Out of Work Longer Makes Finding Work Much Harder
In 2012, economist Rand Ghayad sent out about 3,500 applications for 600 real job openings across the country using fictional resumes. Mr. Ghayad’s made-up workers varied in two key dimensions: employment status and work experience. More specifically, some of the fictional resumes showed the applicant was currently employed, while others listed unemployment spells ranging from one month to 12 months. On the experience front, some applicants listed experience that closely matched that being sought by the prospective employer; others had no relevant experience.


Politico | Senate chops aid to Egypt
U.S. aid to Egypt would be cut by $400 million under a Senate foreign aid bill, which shifts at least $100 million toward Central America to try to address the violent crime and economic ills that have been driving the wave of child migrants crossing the southwest border into Texas.
CNN Money | Drowning in student loan debt
Last week, President Obama proposed some relief for graduates with student loans. But for too many, decisions made in college on student loans continue to haunt them. Edited for clarity.
Market Watch | First-quarter U.S. current account deficit climbs to $111.2 billion
The U.S. current account deficit widened to $111.2 billion in the first quarter, or 2.6% of gross domestic product, from $87.3 billion, or 2%, in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Americans are getting into debt — just to get by
Nowhere has the unequal nature of the post-banking-crisis recovery raised more concerns for the long-term sustainability of the U.S. economy than in the clear rise of non-discretionary consumer credit.
CRS | Foreign Holdings of Federal Debt
This report presents current data on estimated ownership of U.S. Treasury securities and major holders of federal debt by country. Federal debt represents the accumulated balance of borrowing by the federal government.
CATO | Fiscal Uncertainty and Economic Activity
Over the past six years, policymakers and business leaders alike have seen the U.S. economy buffeted by larger-than-usual uncertainty about fiscal policy. As illustrated by a number of prolonged struggles at all levels of government in recent years, there is little consensus among policymakers about the fiscal mix and timing going forward. Will government spending rise or fall? Will taxes rise or fall? Which ones? And when will it happen?