Thursday, November 20, 2014

General Economics

Wall Street Journal | U.S. Consumer Prices Unchanged in October
U.S. consumer prices held steady last month, the latest sign of weak inflation at home amid soft energy prices and slow growth abroad.
Wall Street Journal | Jobless Claims Fall in Latest Sign of Improving Labor Market
Initial claims for unemployment benefits decreased by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 291,000 in the week ended Nov. 15, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was slightly above the 283,000 claims forecast by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Wall Street Journal | What the Inequality Warriors Really Want
Progressives decry inequality as the world’s most pressing economic problem. In its name, they urge much greater income and wealth taxation, especially of the reviled top 1% of earners, along with more government spending and controls—higher minimum wages, “living” wages, comparable worth directives, CEO pay caps, etc.
Market Watch | U.S. still in early stage of growth cycle, Goldman economist says
With the U.S. having added 200,000 jobs each month for the last nine, it’s worth asking just how much juice is left in the current economic recovery.
Alhambra Investment Partners | Crude and Credit Warn Of The Elongated Cycle Double Peak
Next to Japan’s “unexpected” re-acquaintance with recession, the most serious indication of global economic distress has to be oil prices. And where commentary turned to “explaining” Japanese recession as related to a small attempt at fiscal discipline rather than the more debilitating flirtation with intentional debasement, convention surrounding the precipitous plunge in crude is desperately trying to direct toward “supply.”

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Why still needs to be fixed
A year after’s messy launch, the government-run Web marketplace for health insurance is working smoothly. Rightly, the no-drama launch of 2.0’s open-enrollment season this week has drawn little notice; if we put people on the moon, our government can run an e-commerce site. Problem is, the public has a right to expect one even better than this new version.


Wall Street Journal | With Wary Eye on Global Tumult, Fed Opted to Stay on Policy Path for Now
Federal Reserve officials meeting last month said they felt the U.S. recovery was on strong enough footing to withstand gathering external threats to growth and stuck to their plan to gradually unwind nearly six years of easy-money policies.
Market Watch | Minutes show determined, hawkish Fed
Federal Reserve officials seem determined to get on with the business at hand of raising short-term interest rates next year, brushing aside concerns about low inflation and weak global growth.
Bloomberg View | Fed and Markets More Co-Dependent Than Ever
The minutes of the Federal Open Markets Committee, the Federal Reserve's policy-making body, are often of interest for specific insights and technical details.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
National Review | The 2014 Tax Revolt 
As they whistle past the post-election graveyard, Democrats have found a new tune: Voters may have rejected their candidates for everything from U.S. Senate to dogcatcher, but they really still agree with them on the issues.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Here’s what Obama won’t tell you on economics of immigration
The fear from those concerned about it is simple enough: an increase in the pool of labor will drive down wages of those already here. The pro-immigration angle takes that argument on its head: that increased pool of lower-wage workers will allow companies to act more productively, which over the longer term, will drive up wages for everyone.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                    | States In Danger As Pension Underfunding Of $4.7 Trillion Threatens Their Fiscal Health
Voters in the midterm elections gave Republicans control of 31 governorships and 23 state legislatures, the most since 1929. A big reason for the GOP's sudden popularity: Many states face fiscal disaster.