Thursday, February 19, 2015

General Economics

Market Watch | U.S. jobless claims fall 21,000 to 283,000
The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits sank by 21,000 to 283,000 in the seven days from Feb. 8 to Feb. 14, signaling that layoffs remain low and the pace of the hiring in the U.S. is still strong.
Market Watch | Germany rejects Greece's loan-extension proposal
Germany has rejected Greece's request for a six-month loan-extension agreement, saying the letter is not a "a substantial proposal" for a solution.". The Greek government earlier on Thursday submitted its loan proposal, but made clear it wouldn't accept all the strict austerity measures required under the current bailout program.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
White House - Council of Economic Advisers | The 2015 Economic Report of the President
This morning, the Council of Economic Advisers released the 69th-annual Economic Report of the President, which reviews the United States’ accelerating recovery and ways to further support middle-class families as the recovery continues.
New York Times | Inequality Has Actually Not Risen Since the Financial Crisis
The notion that income inequality has continued to rise over the past decade is part of the conventional wisdom. You’ve no doubt heard versions: The rich just keep getting richer. Inequality is higher than ever. Nearly all of the gains from the economic recovery have gone to the top 1 percent.
Reason | No Gatekeepers
For years, people assumed encyclopedias had to be created by professionals. Then Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales attempted to create an encyclopedia without central planners.

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Urban Institute | Health Care Spending by Those Becoming Uninsured if the Supreme Court Finds for the Plaintiff in King v. Burwell Would Fall by at Least 35 Percent
If King v. Burwell is decided in favor of the plaintiff, additional coverage resulting from the ACA’s premium tax credits would be reversed, and some of those purchasing nongroup insurance fully with their own funds would become uninsured due to large increases in premiums. | 11.4 Million ObamaCare Signups Is No Big Deal - Just Ask Obama
The Obama Administration says more than 11 million signed up for ObamaCare this year. Should anyone believe this number?
Forbes | Should Employers Be Required To Provide Health Insurance To Their Employees?
The Obamacare mandate for large employers kicks in this year and for smaller employers it kicks in next year. But an increasing number of economists – both on the right and the left — are saying that mandated health insurance benefits at the work place are a bad idea. Are they right?


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Bloomberg | Did the Fed Just Enter the Currency Wars?
Policy makers pointed to the dollar’s rising value as “a persistent source of restraint” on exports in a surprisingly dovish set of minutes published Wednesday. The greenback fell against a broad group of its peers.
Real Clear Markets | Negative Rates: A New Economic Mystery
To the long list of economic mysteries can now be added interest rates. They've been at rock bottom, as everyone knows. But now we've encountered something novel: negative interest rates. Lenders are actually paying for the privilege of allowing someone to borrow their money. It's occurring outside the United States, and the Federal Reserve's next move is expected to be raising rates. Still, there's no ironclad reason it couldn't happen here.
Market Watch | Fed majority rejects near-term interest-rate hike
“Many” said a premature rate hike would harm the recovery, while only “several” thought a later move would risk high inflation, according to the minutes of the Jan. 27-28 meeting.
Forbes | Even The Fed Can't Decide What 'Data Dependent' Really Means
The Federal Reserve released its official account of the Federal Open Market Committee’s January meeting Wednesday. The minutes show considerable debate about the timing of interest rate hikes with members highlighting the dangers of raising interest rates too soon as well as the dangers of hiking too late.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Breaking down who earns the minimum wage
It’s an item that President Barack Obama has been pushing for, and what Wal-Mart Stores has just helped move along — the lifting of the minimum raise.
USA Today | Retirement: Boomers want to keep working - if they can
George Fraser has had a hugely successful life. At 70, the former corporate executive is a successful author and speaker, traveling 200 days out of the year and logging 250,000 air miles. And he has absolutely no intention of retiring.
Forbes | Sorry, But San Francisco Does Not Prove It's Safe To Raise The Minimum Wage
It has been claimed that the strong job growth in San Francisco is evidence that raising the minimum wage does not hurt employment. San Francisco has long had a higher minimum wage than the federal one, with inflation indexing to keep it rising, and San Francisco’s job market seems quite healthy.
Forbes | More Than One In 10 American Workers Unemployed Or Underemployed
There has been much discussion about the unemployment rate and its accuracy. The unemployment rate has fallen to 5.7% from double-digit highs during the Great Recession. But Gallup’s CEO called the unemployment rate a big lie, estimating that as many as 30 million Americans are out of work or underemployed.