Wednesday, December 17, 2014

General Economics

Market Watch | U.S. consumer prices post biggest drop in six years
U.S. consumer prices fell in November by the largest amount in six years, a bonanza stemming from plunging oil prices that also boosted inflation-adjusted worker pay. The consumer price index declined by a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in November, the largest drop since December 2008.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Wall Street Journal | U.S. Economics Team Has Deep Bench in Handling Russia Crises
With Russia’s economy on the brink of collapse, the White House, Treasury Department, and Federal Reserve have a number of senior officials with deep experience to draw from, having worked closely during the Clinton administration to deal with Russia’s 1998 default.

Wall Street Journal | Oil’s Plunge Is Pushing Mortgage Rates Down
Low oil prices may offer a hidden gift to consumers beyond the gas pump: They could also indirectly support lower mortgage rates.


Market Watch | Now it’s the Fed’s turn to pour grease on the market fire
Traders have spent much of 2014 kvetching about a lack of volatility in the market. Well, kvetch no more. After a November snooze that saw major indexes barely budge for weeks on end, markets have suddenly become as volatile as a blotto Mel Gibson at a bar mitzvah.
Market Watch | Low-rate pledge may stay in Fed statement
Despite widespread reports to the contrary, the Federal Reserve might retain its policy-statement pledge to the market that it will wait a “considerable time” before hiking interest rates.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                    | Laffer Curve at 40: Why It Still Matters for Tax Rates
At a Washington, D.C., dinner some 40 years ago that has taken on a life of its own, the late Jude Wanniski, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and I discussed the topic du jour: President Ford's proposed 5% tax surcharge, which was the centerpiece of the dead-on-arrival Whip Inflation Now (i.e. WIN) program.


Market Watch | Current-account deficit rises slightly to $100.3 billion in third quarter
 The U.S. current account deficit widened slightly to $100.3 billion in the third quarter from a revised $98.4 billion in the prior period, preliminary figures show.