Friday, January 23, 2015

General Economics

Market Watch | Existing-home sales saw first drop since 2010 last year
Data released Friday showed that existing home sales dipped in 2014, the first decline since 2010, despite low mortgage rates and other factors that should have helped the market.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Europe moves further apart after central bank’s decision
Thursday was a momentous day for the European Central Bank.
Bloomber View | Cheap Gas Won't Stick Around
Raise that thermostat and fire up the SUV: West Texas Intermediate crude is hovering around $45 a barrel, and the Costco near my house is currently vending gasoline for under $2 a gallon. But don't start pricing Hummers just yet, because we don't know how long this will last.
Wall Street Journal | As Gasoline Heads Toward $2, the Benefits Start to Trickle Down
Gas prices appear headed below a nationwide average of $2 a gallon in coming days, one of the swiftest declines on record and one that is beginning to ripple through the U.S. economy in ways both familiar and unpredictable.
Wall Street Journal | Lawrence Summers Says U.S. Faces Challenges in Restoring Growth
The U.S. economy still faces serious challenges in restoring robust long-term growth despite the recent pickup in economic activity, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said.

Wall Street Journal | The End of the Suburbs and Four Other American Migration Myths
Lyman Stone, a migration researcher at George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs and an economist at the Agriculture Department, is writing about the state of American migration.


Wall Street Journal | Aggressive ECB Stimulus Ushers In New Era for Europe
The European Central Bank ushered in a new era by launching an aggressive bond-buying program Thursday, shifting pressure to Europe’s political leaders to restore prosperity in one of the global economy’s biggest trouble spots.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | Zero Rates Signal Total Economic Disarray, Not 'Stimulus'
In November 2011, "inflation" in the EU was measured at 3.3%, while it was a touch lower for the defined "Euro area." Thus began both an age of great monetary experimentation and no appreciable effects on the one measure intended to "benefit" the most from it all. The ECB has engaged literally trillions in "stimulus" of almost every form imaginable, from buying covered bonds (instruments where banks own their own liabilities) to traditional interest rate maneuvers to simple and dramatic flooding the zone with LTRO's. And in that time, through all of it, the inflation rate in Europe has moved practically in a straight line lower, unalterable has been its trajectory no matter how much monetary officials claim power and authority.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Public-sector workers five times more likely to be part of a union
Public-sector employees are more than five times more likely to be part of a union than their private-sector counterparts, according to the latest data released Friday.