Thursday, January 22, 2015

General Economics

Market Watch | U.S. jobless claims fall 10,000 to 307,000
The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits in mid-January fell by 10,000 but remained above the key 300,000 mark for the third straight week, the first time that's happened since July. Initial jobless claims declined to 307,000 in the seven days ended Jan. 10 from a revised 317,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Market Watch | U.S. home prices grew 0.8% in November, FHFA says
U.S. house prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8% in November, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency house price index released Thursday.
Wall Street Journal | ECB Announces Stimulus Plan
The European Central Bank said Thursday it will purchase eurozone countries’ government bonds, a landmark decision aimed at combating stagnation and ultralow inflation in a region that has emerged as a top risk to the global economic recovery.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
New York Times | Day After President’s Speech, Some Doubts Linger Over Nation’s Recovery
As a web developer benefiting from an 8 percent pay raise, Brad McLaughlin is looking good economically. He and his girlfriend are spending more money on natural groceries, ski weekends in Colorado’s mountains and vacations to England and Austin, Tex. Not that he credits President Obama for any of it.
Market Watch | The winners from Draghi’s QE? America and Britain
Waiting for Godot seems like just a few minutes by comparison. The markets have been expecting the European Central Bank to launch its own version of quantitative easing since the dinosaurs roamed the earth — or at least since 2011, when it became clear the eurozone was going to need something to lift its struggling economies off the rocks.
Wall Street Journal | Now He’s After Middle-Class Savers
President Obama is pitching his new tax plan as a way to help the middle class at the expense of the rich. But middle-class savers are bound to notice if he achieves two of the White House’s stated goals—to “roll back” tax benefits of 529 college savings plans and “repeal tax incentives going forward” for Coverdell Education Savings Accounts.
Forbes | The President's Middle-Class Economics
In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama laid out his vision for how to help the middle-class, dubbing it middle-class economics. His plan includes tax increases of $320 billion to pay for around $200 billion in new or expanded tax credits. Unfortunately, his policy prescriptions would continue years of slow economic growth and flat incomes for the middle-class.

Wall Street Journal | Why Should Americans Care About European Central Bank Policy Moves?
What happens in Frankfurt stays in Frankfurt, nicht? Not exactly, when it comes to the U.S. economy.
Wall Street Journal | How China’s Slowdown Could Drag Down the Global Economy
China’s economic growth is slowing to its lowest pace in more than two decades as it reaches the limits of its credit-fueled, export-led expansion and tries to avoid a hard landing.