Thursday, September 18, 2014

General Economics

Bloomberg | Biggest Economies Plan to Keep G-20 Growth Pledge, Official Says
The Group of 20 economies meeting this week in Cairns, Australia, have kept a target to boost gross domestic product by 2 percent over five years in a draft of the meeting’s communique, even as the global outlook dims, an official said.
Fox News | Yellen says many US families highly vulnerable to financial setbacks because of low savings
The Great Recession showed that a large number of American families are "extraordinarily vulnerable" to financial setbacks because they have few assets to fall back on, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Thursday
Bloomberg | Slump in U.S. Housing Starts Led by Multifamily Units: Economy
Housing starts slumped in August from the highest level in almost seven years, reflecting a setback in multifamily projects that are at the forefront of the rebound in U.S. real estate.
Market Watch | Yellen says poor Americans live in ‘sobering’ conditions
The condition of lower-income families in America is “sobering” even as the economy recovers, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Thursday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CNN Money | Millennials are staying put at mom and dad's place
Remember all of those Millennials living in their parent's basements because they couldn't find a job or afford a place of their own?
Fox Business | Gas Prices Sinking, Airline Tickets Next?
Well here’s some good news for consumers, the price you pay at the pump is on a rapid decline, and the price of your airline ticket might be next. | Obama's Subpar Recovery Gets A "B-Minus" Grade
The Census Bureau has just released its 2013 edition of "Income and Poverty in the United States," sometimes called the nation's "economic report card."
AEI | US housing finance in 100-year perspective
In the housing boom which went along with the general boom of the 1920s, the remarkable “Coolidge Prosperity,” the number of U.S. savings and loans grew to over 12,000.

Wall Street Journal | Rent Boom: Apartment Construction Hits Highest Level Since 1989
Housing construction dipped in August, driven by a 32% drop from July in the notoriously volatile multifamily sector.
Wall Street Journal | The Biggest Economic—and Political—Puzzle: Persistently Flat Wages
It is in many ways both the ultimate economic puzzle and the great political challenge: Why have American incomes remained so flat, for so long, and what can be done to change that?

Health Care

The Daily Signal | Government Insider Warned of Security Risks: ‘I Am Tired of the Cover-Ups’
Government insiders who flagged security issues prior to the launch of were right to be concerned.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
The Daily Signal | The Problems With the Census Bureau’s New Estimates on How Many Americans Have Health Insurance
If you are looking for information on how Americans are engaging with the Affordable Care Act, the Census Bureau’s recently released latest annual estimates of health insurance coverage is probably not the place to look—at least for now.
Mercatus Center | The Medicare Cost Problem Remains Unsolved
On August 28 the New York Times published a provocative article entitled “Medicare: Not Such a Budget Buster Anymore.”


Fox News | Federal Reserve balance sheet could return to normal at end of decade, Yellen says
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says "it could take until the end of the decade" to shrink the Fed's record investment portfolio to more normal levels.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | Quantitative Futility
Evidence is piling up that the Federal Reserve, which has been conducting a rules-free, 100% discretionary monetary policy for the past 13+ years, simply Does Not Know What It Is Doing.


Bloomberg | Japan’s Household Assets Rise to Record as Abe Weighs Tax
Japan’s household assets rose to a record, providing support for consumers as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe weighs another increase in the nation’s sales tax.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Wall Street Journal | Your Tax Dollars Haplessly at Work
Congress returned to its investigation of the General Motors  faulty ignition switch Tuesday with a blistering Senate hearing on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's failure to act.
The Washington Times | Making the Internet more expensive for consumers
Congress has long been derided as a body crippled by score-settling, grandstanding and ideological skirmishing.


Market Watch | U.S. weekly jobless claims fall 36,000 to 280,000
The number of people who applied for jobless benefits dropped 36,000 to 280,000 in the week that ended Sept. 13, hitting the lowest level since mid-July, signaling that employers are laying off very few workers, according to government data released Thursday.

Wall Street Journal | Revised Payroll Data Show Better Mix of Jobs, Nearly Same Total
A preliminary annual revision to payroll data, released Thursday, shows an earlier count of how many people were employed in the U.S. in March was off by just 7,000. (Total payrolls equaled 138 million that month.)


Real Clear Markets | Government Error Is Behind Low Retirement Savings
Tuesday the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing, "Retirement Savings 2.0-Updating Savings Policy for the Modern Economy." The hearing comes on the heels of a recent Federal Reserve report, "2013 Survey of Consumer Finances," which detailed the current state of retirement-account balances.
Wall Street Journal | The Democrats' Student-Loan Weapon
Democrats face an uphill battle in their quest to hold the Senate in November. In their effort to get an edge, they've targeted one group in particular: college-educated voters with student-loan debt.