Friday, November 14, 2014

General Economics

Fox Business | Strong Dollar, Weak Oil Lead Import Prices Lower
U.S. import prices fell in September by the most in more than two years as the cost of petroleum products declined and a strong dollar made it cheaper for Americans to buy goods from abroad.
Market Watch | U.S. business inventories climb 0.3% in September
Business inventories rose 0.3% in September to a seasonally adjusted $1.76 trillion, the Commerce Department said Friday.
Market Watch | Consumer sentiment highest since mid-2007: reports
The preliminary November reading on the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index rose to 89.4-- the highest level since July 2007 -- from a final October reading of 86.9, according to reports on data released Friday.
Market Watch | U.S. retail sales snap back in October
Sales at U.S. retailers rose in October, snapping back from the first decline in eight months, as plunging gasoline prices gave consumers more money to spend on other goods and services.
Market Watch | U.S. import prices drop 1.3% in October
The prices paid for imported goods fell 1.3% in October, the Labor Department said Friday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
AEI | Are rich Americans just a bunch of rent-seeking suits? Piketty says so. But he might be wrong
It matters, I think, if the rich are mostly getting richer because (a) technology and globalization enables more value creation or (b) they’re able to somehow manipulate the system.

Wall Street Journal | Americans Save on Gas, Spend at Restaurants in October
U.S. consumers are spending more at restaurants as gasoline prices fall. Department stores, not so much.

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Mercatus Center | Congress Can Fix the ACA With These Three Principles
The Affordable Care Act presents the incoming Congress with substantive and political challenges. On the one hand its widely-acknowledged problems warrant repair, and the electorate has made its displeasure with it loud and clear.


Wall Street Journal | No Opening in Jobs Data for Higher Rates
There is no doubt the labor market is getting tighter. But it has yet to tighten to the point wages start picking up. For the Federal Reserve, that is a problem.

Wall Street Journal | Fed’s Bullard: Job Market Gains No Longer Justify Current Fed Policy
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said low inflation in the U.S. economy is no longer enough to justify the current rock bottom setting for short-term interest rates.
Wall Street Journal | Former Fed Chief at Odds With How Central Bank Now Makes Policy
Paul Volcker, the man who broke the back of inflation in the opening years of the 1980s, is a man at odds with what Federal Reserve policy making has become.


Bloomberg | Buffett Set to Save More Than $1 Billion on Taxes in Swap
Warren Buffett is again showing how to use the U.S. tax code to his advantage.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
AEI | Will the Supreme Court get it wrong on state taxation of interstate income?
On November 12th, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Maryland Comptroller v. Wynne, in which a Maryland couple, Brian and Karen Wynne, contend that their state’s income tax treatment of income earned across state lines discriminates against interstate commerce.


Pew | More and more Americans are outside the labor force entirely. Who are they?
According to the October jobs report, more than 92 million Americans — 37% of the civilian population aged 16 and over — are neither employed nor unemployed, but fall in the category of “not in the labor force.”
Market Watch | September’s job openings report was very strong
Companies are ramping up their hiring, and more workers are willing to quit, according to government data released Thursday that points to continued improvement in the jobs market.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Mercatus Center | The Rise in Per Capita Federal Spending
Government debt is projected to reach 77 percent of the US gross domestic product by 2024, if not sooner.