Friday, October 17, 2014

General Economics

Wall Street Journal | Fed’s Yellen Says Extreme Inequality Could Be Un-American
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen delivered a strong indictment of rising inequality of wealth and income in the U.S., saying it was creating a vicious circle that was impeding the economic mobility that used to be at the heart of American economic values.
CNBC | Goldman Sachs downgrades outlook on US economy
Goldman Sach's economists on Wednesday downgraded their outlook on the US economy in the second half of 2014 following disappointing data on domestic retail sales in September and business inventory in August
Bloomberg | Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Unexpectedly Rises to Seven-Year High
Consumer confidence in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in October to the highest level in seven years, showing a brightening in Americans’ moods as gas prices drop and the labor market gains traction.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | Weak Global Growth Threatens U.S. Recovery
The global economic forecast is dimming, according to an International Monetary Fund survey released last week. This worldwide drag threatens to derail America’s recovery unless Washington prioritizes growth.

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | Now There Can Be No Doubt: Obamacare Will Increase The Deficit
This was no casual, throw-away campaign promise. The pledge was made on September 9, 2009 in his health speech before a joint session of Congress.

The Daily Signal | Here’s Why Budget Cuts Have Nothing to Do With Developing an Ebola Vaccine
Some government health officials have joined Democrats in blaming the lack of an Ebola vaccine on budget cuts orchestrated by Republicans. However, more federal funding likely would not have led to creation of a vaccine to combat the deadly disease, since pharmaceutical companies had little incentive to do so.


Wall Street Journal | Grand Central: Hard to See Fed Following Bullard’s Lead
St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard is an interesting figure at the U.S. central bank. He isn’t shy about taking out-of-consensus positions among Fed officials. At times this has made him look quite prescient. In the summer of 2010, for example, he openly expressed concerns about U.S. consumer price deflation and opined the central bank might need to launch a new bond buying program to avert it. Four months later the Fed started its second round of bond-buying, also known as quantitative easing, or QE2.


AEI | Bill Gates has a big idea for tax reform — and it’s excellent
Microsoft cofounder and philanthropist Bill Gates offers his thoughts about inequality, particularly concerning economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Among his insights: (a) extreme inequality is a societal problem, and government has a ameliorative role, (b) Piketty underplays how much of American superwealth comes from entrepreneurs rather than passive rentiers, (c) inequality analysis need to look at consumption data, not just wealth and income, (d) Piketty understates the many forces that decay wealth.


Wall Street Journal | Fed Chairwoman Yellen Inquires About How the Unemployed Find Jobs
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Thursday visited a nonprofit group here that helps unemployed people find work, and posed a question at the heart of the central bank’s debate over when to start raising interest rates.
Wall Street Journal | Wal-Mart Looks to Bump All Workers’ Pay Above the Minimum Wage
The huge retailer’s chief executive, Doug McMillon, said Wednesday that the company plans to end minimum-wage pay for its workers in the future.  “It is our intention over time that we will be in a situation where we don’t pay minimum wage at all,” he said.


Wall Street Journal | U.S. Debt Held by Foreigners Hits Record $6.07 Trillion
Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities hit a record high $6.07 trillion in August, up nearly $70 billion from July, as the dollar began its climb to five-year highs and the U.S. recovery showed signs of gaining steam.