Free Health Care
And it's not in Canada or the U.K....it's right here in the United States.
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
And it's not in Canada or the U.K....it's right here in the United States.
Financial Times (free subscription required) -- "India’s economy grew a brisk 8.8 per cent from April to June, its fastest pace in two-and-a-half years, highlighting the strength of India’s economic recovery despite high inflation now acting as a drag on consumer spending.
New York, August 31, 2010 – "Data through June 2010, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that the U.S. National Home Price Index rose 4.4% in the second quarter of 2010, after having fallen 2.8% in the first quarter. Nationally, home prices are 3.6% above their year-earlier levels.
When booking air travel, the dilemma is often: should I buy now or wait later to try to get a better price? Now you've got some help.
"In order for the housing market to build a firm foundation that does not require government aid we will need to see a reduction in prices.
"At an annual Federal Reserve retreat, angst, not panic, was the order of the day among officials and economists chastened by a deep recession and a disappointing rebound. "We'll slog our way through this," said Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, which sponsored the symposium, summing up two days of presentations, discussions, dinner-table conversation and hiking.
"A private secondary market for prime mortgages should have been a natural market development. Why did it never develop? The answer is obvious: no private entity could compete, or can now compete, with the government-granted advantages, and now the huge explicit subsidies, of the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). There can be no evolution of a private prime mortgage loan market while the GSEs make private competition impossible.
From the Forbes.com article "The Un-American Dream":
1. WEST CHESTER, PA — "With the world captivated by the plight of 33 Chilean miners trapped in a mine more than 2,300 feet below the surface, a local manufacturer of drill rigs is involved in the rescue effort. Schramm Inc. is a major manufacturer of drill rigs and the manufacturer of the particular rig — the T685 — that reached the trapped miners a few days ago. There are 40-plus Schramm drill rigs in Chile right now, said Edward Breiner, president and CEO of Schramm, in an interview Friday."
"Few Californians in the private sector have $1 million in savings, but that's effectively the retirement account they guarantee to public employees who opt to retire at age 55 and are entitled to a monthly, inflation-protected check of $3,000 for the rest of their lives."
The chart above shows quarterly "Corporate Profits After Tax with Inventory Valuation Adjustment and Capital Consumption Adjustment" (BEA data here) from 1990 to 2010 (inspired by Scott Grannis's recent post). The red line represents profits in nominal dollars (billions) and the blue line represents inflation-adjusted profits using the Business Sector: Implicit Price Deflator (data here). Comments:
VIDEO: The Economy's Not Sick, Says Brian Wesbury--Everyone Just Says It Is
Here's a breakdown of the percent changes in the components of real GDP for the second quarter (from Table 1 of today's BEA report):
From today's Wall Street Journal article "The Case for Optimism" by Ross Devol, executive director of economic research at the Milken Institute:
1. "Georgia's Port of Savannah reported the busiest month for container shipments in its history in July, with 251,126 20-foot equivalent units moving through the port in an accelerating shipping recovery. The 20.7 percent year-to-year increase marked the eighth straight month of double-digit growth in volume at the Georgia Ports Authority’s Savannah terminals."
ARLINGTON, VA — "The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.5% in July, although June’s reduction was revised from 1.4% to 1.6%. The latest improvement raised the SA index from 108.3 (2000=100) in June to 110 in July. Compared with July 2009, SA tonnage climbed 7.4%, which matched June’s increase and was the eighth consecutive year-over-year gain (see chart above). Year-to-date, tonnage is up 6.7% compared with the same period in 2009.
From the 2001 study "Is War Between Generations Inevitable?" by economists Jagadeesh Gokhal of the Cleveland Fed and Laurence J. Kotlikoff of Boston University:
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported today that existing homes sales in July of 3,830,000 units at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate was 27.2% below the sales level in June of 5,260,000 units, and 25.5% below last July, when 5,140,000 homes were sold. Here are some of the reports and reactions:
1. NY Times -- Some scholars are challenging the peer review monopoly and are instead using the Internet to "expose scholarly thinking to the swift collective judgment of a much broader interested audience." (HT: Steve Bartin)
A few days ago I quoted P.J. O'Rourke: "The free market is not an ideology or a creed or something we're supposed to take on faith, it's a measurement. It's a bathroom scale. I may hate what I see when I step on the bathroom scale, but I can't pass a law saying I weigh 160 pounds."
Journal of Commerce -- "The Drewry Container Benchmark began tracking the average spot market freight rate from Hong Kong to Los Angeles in late December 2005 and hit its rock bottom at $871 per FEU (forty-foot equivalent units) from July 6 through Aug. 3, 2009. In contrast, a record high of $2,838 per FEU was recorded on Aug. 2 this year (see chart above). The Aug. 16 rate dropped $87 from the week before to $2,737 per FEU in only the second weekly rate decline since March 15.
In its annual Labor Day outlook, global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports that the U.S. job market is well on the road to recovery and is actually rebounding sooner and faster compared to the jobless recoveries that followed the previous two recessions (1990-1991 and 2001). Here are some highlights:
Journal of Commerce -- "Container ship charter rates are still climbing through the summer as ocean carriers compete for increasingly scarce tonnage to keep pace with surging cargo volume on key routes from Asia to North America and Europe. Charter rates for ships that can carry 3,500 20-foot containers have more than tripled since the beginning of the year and are set to climb further as unexpectedly strong cargo demand is outstripping the supply of ships for hire and newly built vessels entering the market.
The top chart shows that the U.S. had the most energy-efficient economy in history last year (data here), based on the amount of energy consumed to produce each real dollar of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2009, it required only 7,290 BTUs of energy (petroleum, natural gas and other energy) to produce each real dollar of GDP, an all-time record low, and less than half the energy required in the mid-1970s to produce a dollar of output.
"Since 1973, using the price of gold as a deflator (instead of the Consumer Price Index, which has suffered from style drift over the years) real, inflation-adjusted returns for the S&P 500 were a fabulous 15.3 percent gain in “gridlock” years, and a horrible 9.9 percent loss in years with unified government (see chart above). That’s a 25 percentage point difference.
Some recent examples of the unintended consequences and inefficiencies of the $800 billion stimulus plan.
A business in Maryland caters to Muslim immigrants seeking to fulfill ritual animal sacrifices.
Giving away a free gallon of milk for every six purchased is illegal in Maine. Guess who complained? Find out here.
"The free market is not an ideology or a creed or something we're supposed to take on faith, it's a measurement. It's a bathroom scale. I may hate what I see when I step on the bathroom scale, but I can't pass a law saying I weigh 160 pounds. Authoritarian governments think they can pass that law—a law to change the measurement of things."
From today's WSJ editorial page "Gates and Buffett Take the Pledge" by Kimberly Dennis:
In June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its annual study "Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2009" and opened the report with the following statement: