Wednesday, September 24, 2014

General Economics

Fox Business | New Home Sales Jump 18% in August
Sales of new U.S. single-family homes surged in August and hit their highest level in more than six years, offering confirmation that the housing recovery remains on course.
Fox Business | World Bank Slashes Forecast for Russian Economy
The World Bank on Wednesday slashed its forecast for Russia's economy over the next two years, saying growth would stagnate amid a lack of structural reforms and Western sanctions over Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict.
Market Watch | Comcast, Time Warner Cable say merger wouldn’t reduce choice
Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. fired back at critics of their $45 billion proposed merger, defending the transaction against concerns it would make Comcast the gatekeeper of the online and pay TV world.
AEI | There is no rational basis for MetLife's SIFI designation
Earlier this month, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) preliminarily designated MetLife as a systemically important financial institution, or SIFI.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | The Obama-Reagan Comparison Does O. No Favors
With the stock market cruising at all-time highs and the unemployment rate sitting at quaint levels, a fashionable new argument is making the rounds. Barack Obama is better at economic recovery than Ronald Reagan ever was.
Wall Street Journal | Alaska's Lessons for the Keystone XL Pipeline
Earlier this year the Obama administration again delayed a decision about the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Washington Times | Overcoming hardship to survive and thrive
We have heard much about the tragic events in Ferguson, MO, during which a young man lost his life, a community became enraged, and many differing definitions of justice emerged.

Wall Street Journal | More Americans Forgo Marriage as Economic Difficulties Hit Home
As long-term financial security becomes a pipe dream for more Americans, a growing share is giving up on marriage.
Wall Street Journal | Low-Income Home Buyers Left Behind
The home-buying market picked up sharply in 2013, but it looks as if much of the pickup came from those with the highest incomes.

Health Care

Politico | Insurers’ bigger role suggests confidence in Obamacare
The insurance industry believes Obamacare is here to stay no matter who wins control of the Senate this fall.
The Daily Signal | Family of 6 Says They’ll Go Uninsured Before Paying Obamacare’s ‘Abortion Fee’
Barth Bracy has devoted his life to his Catholic faith. He spent 15 years in the Philippines as a missionary, where he met his wife, Abbie.


National Journal | Federal Regulators Force Shutdown of Fake Bitcoin-Mining Operation
A federal court has forced a Kansas-based company to cease selling computers that were marketed as able to produce bitcoin on grounds the company failed to deliver its technology in a timely or effective manner—costing consumers tens of millions of dollars.
Fox Business | Inflation Watch as Fed Hawks Retire
What is the prognosis for inflation, now that two hawks at the Federal Reserve are about to step down?
Bloomberg | Draghi Says Euro Level Reflects Monetary-Policy Paths
The euro’s depreciation is in line with the divergence of monetary policies around the world, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Mercatus Center | Measuring the Dodd-Frank Act (and Other Major Acts) with RegData 2.0
RegData 2.0 can be used to examine how agencies’ regulatory stocks respond to major acts of Congress.

Wall Street Journal | Fed’s Bullard Still Looks to 1st Quarter 2015 Fed Rate Increase
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said Tuesday that he still sees the U.S. central bank raising interest rates some time early next year.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CNN Money | Crazy corporate tax loopholes? 'Inversions' are small potatoes
Few argue that the loopholes that encourage such tax-driven mergers with foreign companies are fine and dandy. In fact, many lawmakers and tax experts wouldn't mind seeing them closed.

Reuters | Just why does the NFL have tax-exempt status?
In the wake of the fallout over National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of his players’ domestic violence arrests, there have been multiple reports by journalists, who read the league’s filing of form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service, that Goodell was paid $44 million in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.
Market Watch | Bill Clinton says corporate tax system needs reform
Former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday said the corporate tax system was in need in reform — even as he acknowledged he was the one who signed the law that brought the tax rate to 35%.


Wall Street Journal | Limited English Limits Job Prospects
Almost one in 10 adults of working age in the U.S. has limited proficiency in English, more than 2.5 times as many as in 1980, curbing their job prospects and ability to contribute to the economy.

Wall Street Journal | One in Five U.S. Workers Laid Off in Last Five Years, Report Says
One in five U.S. workers, nearly 30 million people, say they were laid off from their jobs in the last five years, according to a new survey that highlights lasting scars from the spike in U.S. long-term unemployment following the last recession.


Wall Street Journal | Defaults on Federal Student Loans Decline
The share of borrowers defaulting on federal student loans shortly after leaving school has declined, as the economy improves and legions of borrowers enroll in federal programs that lower their monthly payments.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CATO Institute | Zombie Spending
Aficionados of horror movies know that the monster is never really dead when you think it is.