Thursday, August 7, 2014

General Economics

National Journal | Watch a Decade of Economic Growth in Africa
Over the past decade and a half, the African continent has for the most part showed steady year-over-year growth, with gross domestic product of about 5 percent as a whole.
CNN Money | The price of Russia's food import ban
Russia's ban on food imports will push prices up at home and cost Europe billions in lost exports.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | EDITORIAL: Revisiting failed ‘Cash for Clunkers’ as metaphor for Obamanomics
One day the economists will have to sit down to write textbooks about President Obama’s economic legacy. Crayons and coloring books won’t be included, but they ought to be. The administration’s policies are all built around simplistic concepts of governing that hardly ever work in the real world.
Washington Times | Free markets, limited government a ‘natural disinfectant’ to corruption
The culture in Washington must change. And if we do the right things in the coming months conservatives have a real opportunity to start calling the shots. It’s time to go on offense.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | Foreclosure Starts Hit Pre-Crisis Low
The delinquency rate–loans that have at least one late payment but are not in the foreclosure process—decreased to 6.04% after adjusting for seasonality, reaching its lowest level since the end of 2007.
Reuters | Why the global recovery is so slow
The International Monetary Fund recently engaged in what has become an annual ritual. For the fourth year in a row, it reduced its forecast for world GDP growth. The 0.7 percentage point average decline from the earlier estimate to the new 3.4 percent growth projection is not huge, but the persistent disappointments make many economists uneasy.
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Shifts in U.S. Trading Partners From 1984 to the Present
Over the past three decades, U.S. trading partners for goods have changed — but not drastically. The biggest shift has been the rapid rise of China as both an importer and exporter.

Health Care

WSJ | Fewer Uninsured Face Fines as Health Law's Exemptions Swell
Almost 90% of Uninsured Won't Pay Penalty Under the Affordable Care Act in 2016.
Daily Signal | Despite Obamacare, High-Risk Insurance Pools Stay Afloat
According to the National Association of State Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans, 35 states had high-risk insurance plans before Obamacare went into effect. Of those, 12 states have eliminated their pools and six are the process of shutting them down, but 17 other states haven’t made any specific plans to eliminate their pools.


Bloomberg | ECB Holds Rates as Ukraine Turmoil Menaces Recovery Hopes
The European Central Bank kept interest rates unchanged at record lows as the Ukraine crisis strengthened the headwinds facing the euro area’s recovery.
Federal Reserve Board | Federal Reserve: Press Release
In its new Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, the Federal Reserve Board provides a snapshot of the self-perceived financial and economic well-being of U.S. households and the issues they face, based on responses to the Board's 2013 Survey of Household Economics and Decision making.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | Don't Be Fooled: The Fed's Exit Won't Be Easy
Yellen is betting that growth will rebound before a rise in inflation forces a Fed tightening to cut the inflationary excess supply of cash.
WSJ | Dodd-Frank Goes 0 for 11
Regulators admit they think giant banks are still too big to fail.


Politico | Taxes: Obama says he’ll act on inversions
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he hopes to act soon to stem the wave of U.S. companies moving their headquarters overseas to reduce their tax bill.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Obama's Tax Law Rewrite
Where's the law that gives Jack Lew the power to raise taxes?

Fox Business | Investments and Tax Planning: They Go Hand-in-Hand
Many changes to the tax code at the beginning of 2013 affects investors, which is why how and when you invest can significantly alter your tax bill.


Bloomberg | Jobless Claims Fall as Average Drops to Eight-Year Low
Jobless claims decreased by 14,000 to 289,000 in the week ended Aug. 2 from 303,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to 304,000.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Investors | Low-Tax States Create More Jobs Than High-Tax States
Job growth in no-income-tax states is typically double and sometimes triple the pace of the states with the highest taxes on work and small businesses.

WSJ: Washington Wire | Government workers by state
If you account for population, the states with the highest percentage of government workers per capita are those with small populations. More than 11% of the population in Wyoming — or 114 people per 1,000 in the population — works for the government.


CNN Money | Shoppers beware: Retail credit card APRs average 23%
These retail credit cards boast average annual percentage rates of 23.23%, according to a analysis of cards from the 36 of the nation's biggest retailers.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | Argentina's Default: Playing Politics With U.S. Courts And Wall Street
Argentina has squandered many cards in the past and its current government seems determined to waste even more time and resources in order to prolong its stay in power. This time, no one cries for Argentina.

Econlib | The Fiscal Prognosis
Bottom line: Not a catastrophe yet, but a probable catastrophe given the myopia of American democracy.