Monday, August 18, 2014

General Economics

Politico | Exclusive: White House meets with big biz on immigration
Obama was initially expected to focus only on slowing deportations of potentially millions of undocumented immigrants and altering federal enforcement policies. Now top aides are talking with leaders in big companies like Cisco, Intel and Accenture, hoping to add more changes that would get them on board.
CNN Money | Dollar General outbids Dollar Tree for Family Dollar
The low-price retailer war is heating up: Dollar General made an all-cash bid of nearly $10 billion for Family Dollar, topping a deal Dollar Tree made last month.
Bloomberg | Homebuilder Confidence in U.S. Increases to Seven-Month High
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose in August to the highest level in seven months, showing the industry is making more headway after weakness earlier this year.
WSJ | U.S. Farmers Are Up to Their Ears in Corn
The U.S. Agriculture Department projected last week that production will exceed 14 billion bushels, topping last year's historic harvest.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CNN Money | Does the $100 bill need to go?
Nearly 80% of the $1.3 trillion currency in circulation is in the form of $100 bills, Rogoff wrote in a paper earlier this year. The sheer number is far more than anything that can be traced to legal use in the U.S. economy. In other words, the U.S. "Benjamin" is a favorite of criminals.
Forbes | The Closing Of The Austrian School's Economic Mind
What doesn’t even rate serious debate is the strange migration of certain Austrians to Keynesian “deposit banks” that the markets would so clearly reject, not to mention the obsession of this grand school of thought with using the state to abolish “fractural reserve banking.”
WSJ | A Better Way Up From Poverty
The country's problems are urgent and real, but they aren't insurmountable. When I visit our big cities and small communities, I see the signs of a great American comeback in the making. If we focus on solutions and give voters a meaningful choice, then I know we can get this done.
Real Clear Markets | Prosperity Won't Cure All Global Ills
The world arena is simply not the place we imagined it would become. But we should recognize that it is no panacea and that we should rethink its realistic possibilities and limits. In this post-euphoric time, we cannot afford to believe in utopias.
Washington Times | Secular stagnation is a cover-up
Amazingly, the architects of this colossal policy failure are the same people who promised they would rebuild the U.S. economy “for the long term,” as Mr. Obama put it in 2009. But they’re now blaming the stagnant economy on structural problems beyond their control. Oh, we get it. Consumers and businesses are wrong because they didn’t adhere to Keynesian economic models.
Market Watch | 5 reasons why the housing market won’t crash
I’m not na├»ve, so I won’t claim we will never see another housing crisis again. But given the latest indicators, I think it is highly unlikely there could be another crash in the next year or two.

Health Care

CNN Money | Hospital network hacked, 4.5 million records stolen
Community Health Systems, which operates 206 hospitals across the United States, announced on Monday that hackers recently broke into its computers and stole data on 4.5 million patients.


Bloomberg | Part-Time Workers a Full-Time Headache on Yellen Radar: Economy
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has a stubborn warning light blinking on her labor market dashboard: A group of Americans larger than Washington state’s population can find only part-time work.
WSJ | The Outlook: Federal Reserve Bets Rate Rise Can Wait
Officials Say Economic Indicators and Financial Markets Aren't Pointing to Overheating.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Yellen to stress patience on rates at Jackson Hole
Economists expect Yellen to give a master-class explaining why she believes there is still a lot of slack in the job market. Yellen is likely to review her dashboard, a set of statistics she highlighted earlier this year.
American Enterprise Institute | The American banking system might not last until Monday
When faced by a banking system that might not last until Monday, powerful central bankers and governments will do whatever they think they need to. This can include cooking the books, ordering around private parties as governments turn to coercion, and sending good money after bad, all in the hope of bridging the crisis. In time, the crisis does pass and losses are taken. Life goes on. Memories fade.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | When Packing for Jackson Hole, Include These Economic Reports
Before Jackson Hole gets under way, Ms. Yellen and other policy makers will have new information on housing and inflation, two topics that feed into their thinking on the economy and policy.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Notes On Liberty | Is Australia’s Carbon Tax Repeal Really Market Enhancing?
The best way to implement a pollution tax is as a replacement of other taxes. Taxes in income, sales, and value added impose the excess burden of higher costs and less output and employment.


Bloomberg | Texas Led Payroll Increases in 36 U.S. States in July
Texas led the nation with a 46,600 increase in payrolls, followed by California with 27,700 more jobs, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. The jobless rate increased in 30 states.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | Sorry, But a Job Isn't An Instrument for Social Justice
In the U.S. labor market today a battle is being waged over the purpose of a job. One might think the point of a job is that the employer needs tasks completed and is willing to pay someone to perform said tasks. However, a fierce challenge is being mounted to such an idea and the outcome is currently uncertain.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
National Journal | The Lending Model That Bypasses the Bankers
Disparities in access to capital help drive inequality. For that to change, innovative new lenders have to weaken Wall Street's hold on credit.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | How Much U.S. Debt Does China Hold? The U.S. Isn’t Sure
Until China is more transparent about its transactions, or Treasury is able to get all major financial institutions to give full reports, it’s unlikely we’ll know exactly how much China owns.