Thursday, September 11, 2014

General Economics

CNN Money | First rise in foreclosure auctions in nearly four years
Nearly 52,000 U.S. homes went on the auction schedule in August, a 1% increase from 12 months earlier. Though only a slight bump, it marked the first year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts since November 2010.
Market Watch | 30-year-mortgage rate rises to 4.12%
The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.12% in the week that ended Sept. 11 from the prior week's reading of 4.10%, which was the lowest rate since late October
Wall Street Journal | France Drops Growth Outlook, Will Miss Deficit Target
France lowered its growth forecast again and warned it would need more time to bring its public deficit in line with European Union rules, as the eurozone's second-largest economy remains mired in stagnation and low inflation.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                    | An Unprepared Obama Fails As America's CEO
As President Obama nears the halfway point of his second term, his lack of executive experience continues to impact the country negatively. He has been constantly frustrated because he doesn't understand the fundamentals of the chief executive job.
Real Clear Markets | Are High Housing Costs Restraining California's Growth?
It's no secret. California is expensive. But is it a little more nuanced than that; coastal California is very expensive while inland California is just moderately expensive. Yet, despite being a well-known fact, Sacramento doesn't appear too concerned with California's growing price tag even though there is evidence it could be slowing the Golden State's economic growth.
Wall Street Journal | The Latest Twist in a Regulatory Sham
The Financial Stability Oversight Council announced last week that it had preliminarily designated MetLife, the nation's largest life insurer, as a systemically important financial institution, or SIFI. This means that the FSOC, established after the financial crisis by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, believes the financial distress of MetLife could threaten the U.S. financial system.
The Washington Times | YOUNG: Ex-Im Bank is pro-business, but not pro-markets
Congress is back in session, and will likely vote soon on one of the most contentious issues leading into the midterm elections: the Export-Import Bank.
Business Insider | America Is On The Verge of Losing Its Place In The World As No. 1
The U.S. Economy is the largest economy in the world. But it wasn't always the largest.

Wall Street Journal | Former Obama Economic Adviser Larry Summers Calls To Lift Oil-Export Ban
A former top economic adviser to President Barack Obama threw his support behind lifting the decades-old ban on oil exports, saying such a move would bring about a host of positive economic and geopolitical benefits to the U.S., including lower gasoline prices.

Health Care

Bloomberg | Rise in U.S. Health Spending Seen Boosting Second-Quarter Growth
Economists raised their estimates for second-quarter economic growth in the U.S. after a Census Bureau report today showed health-care spending rebounded.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | The only two words that will matter at the Fed
When the Federal Reserve concludes a two-day meeting next week, traders will focus on two words in its policy statement.


CNN Money | Scotland's banks threaten to leave
The biggest names in banking and insurance say they would move headquarters and parts of their businesses to England if next week's referendum backs a split.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | A Flatter Yield Curve on the Horizon?
In our view, September is the month we begin to see the first signs of the impending normalization of Federal Reserve policy on interest rates. The result is likely a gradual flattening of the yield curve.

Wall Street Journal | Fedspeak Cheatsheet: What Are Fed Policy Makers Saying?
Several Federal Reserve officials speaking ahead of their Sept. 16-17 policy meeting indicated they expect to keep short-term interest rates low well into next year.


Fox Business | Nevada Lawmakers to Consider Tesla Tax Breaks
Nevada lawmakers on Wednesday will consider controversial tax breaks estimated at up to $1.3 billion for Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) to build its $5 billion battery factory in the state.


Fox News | 5 years after Great Recession ended, stagnant pay remains economy's weakest link
The U.S. job market has steadily improved by pretty much every gauge except the one Americans probably care about most: Pay.
CNN Money | VA needs to hire 'tens of thousands' of workers
The beleaguered Veterans Affairs department is launching a major recruitment campaign to bring aboard legions of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. Plans are to also beef up the ranks of support staff, hiring for roles as diverse as chaplain, clerk, electrician, librarian and plumber.
Bloomberg | U.S. Jobless Claims Hit Two-Month High, Breaking Steady Decline
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week to a two-month high, interrupting a steady decrease to the lowest level since before the last recession.

Wall Street Journal | Worker Compensation Stalls in Second Quarter
Growth in worker compensation nearly stalled this spring as wages stagnated and health benefits fell.


CNN Money | 40 million Americans now have student loan debt
Thanks to climbing tuition and inadequate college savings, 40 million Americans now have at least one outstanding student loan, according to new analysis from credit bureau Experian. That's up from 29 million consumers in 2008.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Opinion: More military spending could actually save the U.S. money
I was in a meeting of the National Economic Council staff in the West Wing of the White House on Sept. 11, 2001, when the planes hit the World Trade Center. Not only did terrorists destroy the twin towers, damage the Pentagon and kill 3,000 people, but they also forced the U.S. to spend additional billions on defense, swelling the deficit.
The Daily Signal | The Five Most Troubling Things in Congress’ New Spending Bill
Yesterday evening, the House of Representatives released its stopgap spending measure which blindly continues the bloated spending in the January omnibus bill that included special-interest handouts, wasteful and unnecessary energy spending, and transportation boondoggles.
Mercatus Center | CBO Updates Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024
This week’s charts use data from the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) recently released update to its Budget and Economic Outlook to show the trends and components of projected revenue and outlay increases.
Forbes | Hairball: The Cost Of Federal Regulation To The U.S. Economy
Before the National Association of Manufacturers even had a chance to release their important new report today on the aggregate annual cost of federal regulations, left-wing groups decided to attack the numbers.