Monday, September 22, 2014

General Economics

Fox Business | Existing Homes Sales Fall 1.8% in August
Fewer Americans bought homes in August, as investors retreated from real estate and first-time buyers remained scarce.
CNN Money | Gen Xers are poorer than their parents
The typical Gen Xer has only $29,100 in wealth, compared to the $65,200 that their parents had socked away at the same age, according to a new report from the Pew Economic Mobility Project. Wealth includes savings, retirement funds, homes and other investments.
CNN Money | For rich people, mortgages are getting cheaper and easier
Not only are big-pocketed borrowers paying lower average rates on the high dollar value loans known as jumbo mortgages, but lenders are now requiring even smaller down payments -- and, in some cases, they are waiving the mortgage insurance, too.
Bloomberg | Apple Sells Record 10 Million IPhones in Debut Weekend
Apple Inc. (AAPL) sold a record of more than 10 million iPhones the first weekend two new versions hit stores, helping Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook in a push to narrow Samsung Electronics Co.’s lead in bigger-screen smartphones.
Market Watch | National activity index turns negative in August, Chicago Fed says
U.S. economic activity was below-trend in August, according to data released Monday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Wall Street Journal | The West's Bruised Confidence in Capitalism
Across the six Septembers since the global financial meltdown, the corporate world has faced intense questions about major challenges, not least about how to sustain growth during an imperfect recovery.
The Washington Times | The War on Poverty: 50 years of failure
This year marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's launch of the War on Poverty.
Washington Post | The next (nasty) economic surprise?
We live in the shadow of “secular stagnation,” to use a phrase now fashionable among economists.

Wall Street Journal | Rate of Americans Starting Own Households ‘Disturbingly Slow’
New data show that household formation slowed considerably last year, a potentially ominous sign for the housing market.
Café Hayek | More on Competition and Monopoly
The fact that almost no actual competition takes place in perfectly competitive markets doesn’t stop people, most of whom are unfamiliar with the theory, from supposing that what economists (the experts!) call “perfect competition”
Wall Street Journal | Cash Home Sales, While High, Are Falling
The share of homes being purchased without a mortgage remains high, historically speaking, but it is beginning to edge down.
Wall Street Journal | Student Debt Could Reduce Home Sales 8% This Year, Report Says
Higher levels of student debt will reduce U.S. home sales by around 8% this year, according to a report released Friday by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, an advisory firm.

Health Care

National Journal | 7.3 Million People Have Obamacare Coverage
Roughly 7.3 million people are currently enrolled in private insurance through Obamacare, a top health official said Thursday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
The Washington Times | EDITORIAL: Medical privacy lacking in age of Obamacare
Obamacare requires every visit to a doctor, every diagnosis, every X-ray and every prescription to be recorded and kept electronically.


Fox Business | Philly Fed Chief Plosser to Retire in March 2015
Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser said Monday he will retire from his post on March 1, 2015.
Bloomberg | Draghi Says ECB Actively Managing Balance Sheet
The European Central Bank will actively manage its balance sheet and is willing to implement more stimulus if required to stave off the threat of deflation in the euro area, ECB President Mario Draghi said.
Wall Street Journal | Easy to Lose and Expensive to Produce: Is the Penny Worth It?
Americans place little value on the penny, and it's costing us millions each year.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Marketes | The ECB's Failed Quantitative Easing Attempt Shows Its Irrelevance
The European Central Bank (ECB) believes that Europe's economy would improve if there were just more money floating around Europe, especially in the form of bank loans made to companies.
Daily Caller | The Return Of King Dollar
Maybe the U.S. economy, a weakling for the last six years, is finally starting to flex some muscle. We’re referring to the return of King Dollar.
Market Watch | Dudley: Fed keeping eye on U.S. dollar rally
The Federal Reserve doesn't target the value of the U.S. dollar but is paying attention to the currency's rally, New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley said Monday.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Wall Street Journal | The Move-to-Ireland Tax Reform
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development last week released its latest proposals to combat "base erosion and profit shifting," or the monster known as BEPS.

CATO Institute | Bipartisan Agreement against the Taxpayers
The Washington Post reports on strong disagreements in consecutive appearances by Virginia Senate candidates Mark Warner and Ed Gillespie.


Fox News | Unemployment rates rise in nearly half of US states in August, though two-thirds gain jobs
Unemployment rates rose in nearly half of U.S. states in August, even as employers in two-thirds of the states added jobs.

Wall Street Journal | This State Had Just 2.8% Unemployment In August. Here’s How All 50 States Fared.
The unemployment rate has fallen sharply across the U.S. over the year, but some states performed far better than others.


Wall Street Journal | U.S. Household Wealth Hits Fresh Record
Americans' combined wealth posted a new high in the second quarter, allowing consumers to ramp up borrowing—a development that could put the economy into a higher gear.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Wall Street Journal | Should Mortgage Lending Standards Ease?
Easy lending standards have helped set postrecession records for new-car sales. New-home building is barely rising, due in part to much tighter standards among mortgage lenders.
The Daily Signal | 51 Cents of Every Dollar: How Much Americans Think the Government Wastes
Americans estimate that Washington wastes 51 cents of every dollar it spends, according to a Gallup poll released last week.
AEI | Cutting fat from the budget
Over my lifetime, the advice of nutritionists has varied greatly. For a while, I was supposed to shun butter and replace it with margarine; then it was the reverse.

Wall Street Journal | Debt Growth Can’t Keep Pace with GDP, But Net Worth Can
Households in the U.S. borrowed more on credit cards, cars and their educations in the second quarter and their collective net worth climbed to a new record, according to a new Federal Reserve report.