Monday, June 30, 2014

General Economics

FOX News | Dem lawmakers worry California’s cap-and-trade expansion will drive up gas prices
A group of California Democrats is having second thoughts about the state's expanding cap-and-trade program, urging Gov. Jerry Brown's administration to rethink the plan out of concern that it will drive up gas prices and hurt low-income residents. 
Market Watch | Chicago PMI retreats in June
Chicago PMI retreated in June after hitting a seven-month high in May, according to the Chicago business barometer released Monday .
Bloomberg | Slowing China Economy Dims Profit Outlook to 2012 Low
The most-actively traded Chinese companies in the U.S. are on pace to report the smallest profits in two years as growth in the world’s second-largest economy decelerates to the slowest since 1990.
Market Watch | Pending home sales highest in eight months
A gauge of pending home sales jumped 6.1% in May to reach the highest level in eight months, signaling that upcoming closings of existing homes are likely to speed up, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | Shrinking economy, fading hope
Stagnation is not an appealing campaign promise. The Democrats dare not ask, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” They dare not even ask whether Americans are better off than even four months ago. New statistics reveal that the economy just shrank another 3 percent.
WSJ | A Recovery Stymied by Redistribution
Why has the labor market contracted so much and why does it remain depressed? Major subsidies and regulations intended to help the poor and unemployed were changed in more than a dozen ways—and although these policies were advertised as employment-expanding, the fact is that they reduced incentives for people to work and for businesses to hire.
Real Clear Markets | The Sharing Economy Has 'Mad Men' Scared to Death
The Internet turned 25 this year. It came of age along with the Millennials, the first generation to live and breath in social media. The impacts from both are still rolling through and roiling the culture and the economy.
Forbes | "Room To Grow" Blind To The Most Important Issue For The Middle Class -- Economic Growth
In 1900, we had no airplanes, no computers, no cellphones, no internet. We had only rudimentary versions of cars, trucks, telephones, even cameras. As Stephen Moore and Julian L. Simon report in their underappreciated work, It’s Getting Better All the Time: 100 Greatest Trends of the Last 100 Years,
CNN Money | Should happiness, more than GDP, define a nation's success?
The tiny nation of Bhutan started measuring "gross national happiness" in the 1970s. More recently, public experts have started to tout the importance of measuring citizens' well-being in addition to GDP.
AEI | Conservatives against corporate welfare: It's time to put this agency out of its misery
After eight decades, the future of the Export-Import Bank is today uncertain. Its charter expires in late September and needs to be renewed by Congress if it is to live on. It shouldn't. It's time to pull the plug on the bank.

WSJ | Fed’s Bullard: Markets Right to Play Down Gloomy GDP Report
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said markets are correct in looking past the “shockingly negative” estimate of first-quarter economic growth reported this past week amid other signs that the economy is improving.
CATO | The Coming School Choice Tidal Wave
Last week I reviewed the latest survey on education policy from the Friedman Foundation but I missed something that should warm the cockles of the hearts of everyone who supports greater choice in education: each generation is progressively more favorable and less opposed to educational choice. 
Library of Economics | When is nominal GDP targeting optimal?
There are good reasons to think that NGDP targeting is better suited to emerging and developing economies than to industrialized countries. These economies are more frequently subject to adverse terms-of-trade shocks, such as increases in world oil prices or declines in prices for their commodity exports. Their economies also tend to suffer larger supply shocks from natural disasters, other weather events, social unrest, and unexpected productivity changes.

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Daily Signal | What Does New Auto-Enrollment Rule Mean for Obamacare Customers?
Insurance customers on will be automatically enrolled in their current plans for 2015 unless they buy new coverage through federal and state-run online exchanges, the Obama administration announced.


Bloomberg | Euro-Area Inflation Steady at 0.5% Shows Draghi Challenge
The euro-area inflation rate held steady in June at less than half the European Central Bank’s target, underscoring the challenge faced by Mario Draghi as he tries to stoke prices and ignite growth.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
NBER | Monetary Policy Surprises, Credit Costs and Economic Activity
We provide evidence on the nature of the monetary transmission mechanism. To identify policy shocks in a setting with both economic and financial variables, we combine traditional monetary vector autoregression (VAR) analysis with high frequency identification (HFI) of monetary policy shocks.
CATO | The Fed’s Stimulus Is a Chimera
The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank’s three rounds of quantitative easing and near-zero target for the federal funds rate have not provided the promised stimulus. The idea that dramatically expanding the Fed’s balance sheet and rapidly increasing the monetary base would revitalize the real economy is a fantasy. Printing fiat money does not lead to economic growth.


Bloomberg | Japan Output Rebounds in Sign Companies Enduring Tax Rise
Japan’s production rebounded in May, indicating that manufacturers are riding out a sales-tax increase as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to steer the economy through its aftermath.

FOX Business | Tax Reform and Your Small Business
Every couple of years utterances of the implementation of a flat tax emerge. In fact, in a tax seminar during the early 1990s, a well-revered speaker made one of those mark-my-words predictions that the flat tax would be operational within the next few years.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Daily Signal | Where Have All the Jobs Gone?
The commerce department reported Wednesday that the economy contracted by nearly 3 percent from January through March. This dismal shrinkage in output has many Americans worrying about a dreaded double dip recession.

WSJ | Economists Haven’t Been This Upbeat About Jobs Since 2010
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal predict the economy added 218,000 jobs in June. During the five-year economic recovery, the only time that the consensus estimate was higher was in May 2010, a month in which figures were sharply inflated by the temporary hiring of census workers.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | Government Fixes Have Created Long-Term Instability
As a tool for analyzing and influencing the economy, is the business cycle outdated? Yes, says the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland. Unless you're deep into today's economic debates, you've probably never heard of the BIS. But its annual reports - the latest is just out - are eagerly awaited because the BIS plays an informal role as loyal opposition to mainstream economics. This year is no different.
Mercatus | There is a Way Out for States Trapped in the Pension Sinkhole
Detroit--desperately trying to reduce its obligations in federal bankruptcy court--is the classic example. But the financial sinkhole swallowing Detroit is spreading throughout the country at an alarming rate.