Wednesday, January 21, 2015

General Economics

Market Watch | Housing starts rise to highest annual tally in seven years
The pace of construction started on new U.S. homes rose last month to cap the strongest year in seven, according to government data released Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal | Dollar’s Rise Squeezes U.S. Firms
The stronger dollar is often presented as an optical problem for U.S. companies—it makes their overseas sales look smaller. But it can do a lot of real damage, too.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | The crisis of the middle class and American power
When I wrote about the crisis of unemployment in Europe, I received a great deal of feedback. Europeans agreed that this is the core problem while Americans argued that the United States has the same problem, asserting that U.S. unemployment is twice as high as the government’s official unemployment rate.
Market Watch | Swiss move is small preview of what would happen in euro breakup
Since the European sovereign-debt crisis erupted in 2009, everyone has wondered what would happen if a country left the eurozone. At first, the debate focused on crisis countries — Greece, or maybe Portugal, Spain, or Italy. Then there was a rather hypothetical discussion of what would happen if strong surplus countries — say, Finland or Germany — left. | The Real Obama Economy: A Subpar Recovery Drags on
Obamanomics: It's fair to say humility isn't one of the president's virtues, and so it's no shock he took a bow for his self-declared status as savior of the American economy in his State of the Union address. He shouldn't have. | Ignoring the Yield Curve May Be Dangerous to Your Health
Economists clearly have too much time on their hands. "Fed watcher" is no longer part of the job description now that the Federal Reserve provides guidance on what it plans to do. A reliance on econometric models has taken some of the thought process out of forecasting. And blogging has supplanted the need for real-time economic analysis.
Market Watch | How the stock market reacts to State of the Union speeches
Gerald Ford wasn’t known as a particularly great communicator. But whatever his reputation for awkwardness, each of Ford’s three State of the Union addresses to the nation was rewarded by the stock market the following day, according to data compiled by the WSJ Market Data Group going back to 1961.

Forbes | In State Of The Union President Celebrates Acceleration Of Economic Growth And Proposes Policies To Slow It
In his State of the Union speech, President Obama bragged about the rate of economic growth over the past year, the fact that the unemployment rate is at the low point for his presidency, and even about low gas prices. The fascinating thing is that within minutes of his reveling in this economic good news, he began proposing ways to bring this economic acceleration to a halt.