Monday, September 29, 2014

General Economics

Politico | GOP divided over oil export ban
Republicans may be the party of free markets and “drill, baby, drill,” but the party’s presidential hopefuls and congressional leaders are seriously divided on whether the U.S. should start exporting its gusher of domestic oil.
Bloomberg | Pending Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Fell 1% in August
Contracts to purchase previously owned homes declined in August as tighter credit and limited wage growth weigh on potential buyers. The pending home sales index dropped 1 percent after a 3.2 percent increase in July, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington.
Bloomberg | Euro-Area Economic Confidence Falls in Sign ECB Plan Takes Time
An index of executive and consumer sentiment slipped to 99.9 in September from 100.6 a month earlier, the European Commission in Brussels said today. That’s the lowest since November and in line with the median of 25 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Capital Markets Ride to the Third World Rescue
From capital markets comes commerce, and from commerce the ability to trump conflict and drive macroeconomic viability for the long term.
Washington Times | An opportunity to rein in the EPA
In the absence of action by Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken dramatic and unprecedented steps to craft energy policy in this country by issuing new regulations regarding carbon-dioxide emissions.
Real Clear Markets | Inequality Worriers Aren't Entitled To Their Own Facts
Inequality is a problem that can be solved in two ways: punishing the successful or aiding the unfortunate. Liberals need to realize that the first is at best a temporary measure and one that makes us worse off as a nation. Let's be smarter about this and find policies that help all Americans to thrive and move forward together.
Bloomberg | U.S. Still the Dog Wagging Tail of World Economy as China Slows
As U.S. growth accelerated in the second quarter to the fastest rate since 2011, China’s economy waned, with manufacturing and lending data pointing to a weakening in activity. A resurgent U.S. and retreating China is the reversal of a trend that dominated in the wake of the financial crisis.
The Daily Signal | The Real Story About What Ended the Great Depression
The cruel irony of the New Deal is that the liberals’ honorable intentions to help the poor and the unemployed caused more human suffering than any other set of ideas in the past century.

Health Care

CNN Money | Hospitals ask patients to pay upfront
Hospitals are increasingly asking patients to pay for procedures either upfront or before they are discharged. That's because Americans are shouldering a greater portion of their health care bills, and medical centers don't want to get stuck with patients that can't pay.
NY Times | For Many New Medicaid Enrollees, Care Is Hard to Find, Report Says
Enrollment in Medicaid is surging as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but the Obama administration and state officials have done little to ensure that new beneficiaries have access to doctors after they get their Medicaid cards, federal investigators say in a new report.


CNN Money | Elizabeth Warren wants to probe if Fed is too close to big banks
Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants Congress to look into allegations the New York Federal Reserve blocked one of its own from criticizing Goldman Sachs.
Bloomberg | Yellen Takes the Good Greenspan, Leaves the Bad
The Federal Reserve chair and her colleagues signaled this month they would be willing to push unemployment below its so-called natural rate -- a feat Greenspan as chairman managed in the late 1990s without fanning much inflation.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | When Central Bankers Become Central Planners
Macroprudential regulation is not likely to prevent asset bubbles. But credit allocation will depress growth.
Market Watch | Fed's Evans sees 'quite some time' before first rate hike
The Fed will likely need to keep interest rates low beyond next summer until it is sure the economy could sustain momentum with less support, said Charles Evans, the president of the Chicago Fed, on Monday.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | Key Inflation Reading Slips Further Below Fed’s 2% Target
The price index for personal consumption expenditures—the Fed’s preferred inflation measure—advanced just 1.5% in August from a year earlier, the Commerce Department said Monday. August was the 28th straight month the inflation reading undershot the Fed target.


Politico | Republicans shift away from tax cutting mania
Though still low by historical standards, that’s the highest since the Reagan administration. Republicans once argued that allowing the increase would wreak havoc on the economy, but lawmakers say their constituents are now more focused on issues like the battle against Islamic militants in Syria.
WSJ | Fed Questions Bank Maneuver to Reduce Hedge Funds' Dividend Taxes
Large banks generate more than $1 billion a year in revenue by helping hedge funds and other clients reduce taxes through a complicated trading strategy that has drawn criticism from U.S. authorities.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | One Good Sign the Economy Is Staying Strong: Your Payroll Tax Withholdings
One gauge of economic activity goes all the way through this week: payroll tax withholdings. Every day the U.S. Treasury reports the amount of revenue received from withholdings. This creates a handy, real-time gauge of the economy because the tax payment is typically collected from each paycheck. When people get raises, payroll-tax revenue rises the moment an increase goes into effect.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Big rebound seen for U.S. jobs growth
Don’t worry, most economists say. They expect the U.S. to bounce back in September with a 200,000- plus net gain in jobs. And they predict the disappointing 142,000 preliminary increase in August will be revised markedly higher.


Politico | AIG still battling over 2008 bailout
While AIG has quietly accepted its designation as being a a “systemically important financial institution,” which means it is now regulated by the Fed, Prudential and MetLife have both grumbled about being so designated, arguing their business model poses no threat to the broader system and economy.
CNN Money | $4.35 to get your own money - ATM fees surge again
It's more expensive than ever to get your hands on your own money. A customer is slapped with fees when they use an ATM that's not owned by their bank, and those fees jumped 5% in the past year, according to Bankrate.
Bloomberg | Consumer Spending Climbs as U.S. Job Gains Boost Wages: Economy
Consumer spending rebounded in August as employment gains revived household earnings growth and encouraged Americans to return to shops and car dealerships.