Wednesday, November 19, 2014

General Economics

Wall Street Journal | U.S. Housing Starts Down 2.8% on Multifamily Drop
Builders started construction on more single-family homes in October, but the gain wasn’t enough to offset a big drop in multifamily properties.
Wall Street Journal | U.S. Home-Builder Confidence Rose in November
A gauge of home-builder sentiment climbed in November, a hopeful signal for the U.S. housing recovery as it struggles to find its footing.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | The United States Is A Lot More Equal Than You Think
This is an interesting little observation from Mark Perry. That the United States is actually a great deal more equal that we generally get told it is. And it leads in to a further interesting question: how equal should a country be? There’s also one more point that we can make as well. Which is that even these figures underestimate how equal the country is after the full effects of government.

Health Care

Market Watch | Why Obamacare won’t stop the health-care cost crisis
President Barack Obama has said it over and over again: Health-care inflation has gone down every year since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                    | How Obamacare Turned Insurers Into Big Gov't Lovers
The New York Times this week reports that ObamaCare has made strange bedfellows between the insurance industry and the federal government.


Market Watch | How to read Fed’s stiff upper lip on inflation
Last month’s Federal Reserve policy statement seemed hawkish, in no small part because the U.S. central bank didn’t flinch in the face of growing concern about persistently low inflation.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | A "Rules-Based" Monetary System Means a Fixed-Value System
There’s a fair amount of talk these days about “rules-based” monetary systems, in no small part because, as Volcker notes, the absence of rules has tended to cause a lot of chaos and destruction.

Wall Street Journal | Fed Coming Under Pressure From Both Left and Right
When Republicans won control of the Senate earlier this month, it looked like the Federal Reserve was about to become a target of newly empowered conservatives in Congress. The Republican Party has been critical of the Fed’s monetary policy decisions and its performance as a financial supervisor and is pushing for more formal scrutiny of the central bank.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Daily Signal | How Hiking Taxes Is Working Out for Japan (Hint: Not Great)
Japan is suffering another economic free fall. Following a second quarter GDP decline of an annualized 7.3 percent, this last quarter the economy in Tokyo sank again by another 1.6 percent.  The land of the rising sun is looking a lot like the land of the setting sun.  There are lessons here for U.S. policymakers if they are paying attention.


Daily Signal | Only 6 Out of 10 Americans Eligible to Work Are Actually Working
First, the good news. The economy is unmistakably regaining some of its mojo. We picked up another 214,000 jobs in October, according to the Labor Department, and with revisions from previous months, the number was closer to 250,000. Now THAT’S more like it.

Wall Street Journal | Most Young Americans Unsure or Glum on Job Prospects, Fed Survey Says
The last U.S. recession made it harder for young workers to find stable, full-time work, leaving most of them either pessimistic or uncertain about their future employment prospects, according to a Federal Reserve survey published Tuesday.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Mercatus Center | Working Around the Budget Process: Will We See More Supplemental Funding With the New Congress?
The Obama administration recently sent a request to Congress for an additional $11.7 billion in additional funding for fiscal year 2015 to combat the Ebola virus and Islamic extremists in the Middle East.