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Komal Sri-Kumar: Central Banks Won't End the Party Soon
Posted: June 29, 2017 at 03:00 AM (Thursday)

The Fed, Bank of England, European Central Bank and Bank of Japan will keep up asset purchases. In response to the 2008 financial crisis, major central banks adopted extraordinary measures to stabilize the global system and revive growth. These measures included the maintenance of near-zero interest rates by the Federal Reserve for seven ...


Mohamed El-Erian: OPEC, Oil Prices and Disruptive Innovation
Posted: June 29, 2017 at 02:00 AM (Thursday)

Cost-cutting advances in shale are weakening the cartel's grasp of energy market dynamics. If you apply the insights of the literature on disruptive innovation, last week's fall in oil prices could well place members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in a tough spot, and not just in the short term. Cost-cutting innovations ...


Allysia Finley: How Myopic Antitrust Policy Helped Amazon Gain Dominance
Posted: June 28, 2017 at 06:14 PM (Wednesday)

When Whole Foods and Wild Oats merged, the commission said Wal-Mart wasn’t a competitor. Amazon’s $13.7 billion bid for Whole Foods has stirred speculation among investors, business reporters and consumers. If Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has a strategy for marrying the online and brick-and-mortar operations, he hasn’t explained it—and perhaps for ...


Harold Furchtgott-Roth: Allow the Private Sector to Fight Internet-Based Crime
Posted: June 28, 2017 at 04:13 PM (Wednesday)

It is widely known that evil hackers have struck the Internet yet again with ransomware. Less well known is that these attacks are constant. Even less well known is that we have the means to fight back. Ransomware paralyzes a computer or a network and demands payment to unlock the system. Hence the name. But ransomware is not a ...


Jason Pye: How Boeing Works Against Consumer Choice
Posted: June 28, 2017 at 03:26 PM (Wednesday)

Boeing is trying block out some of its competition, and it's trying to get help from the federal government. The Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer recently launched trade complaints with the Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission against one of its Canadian competitors, Bombardier, and wants tariffs slapped on it. ...


Robert Samuelson: Is the next recession being postponed?
Posted: June 28, 2017 at 02:56 PM (Wednesday)

This is not your father's inflation — and that's good news. Business cycles often end when higher inflation causes a country's central bank (the Federal Reserve in the United States) to raise interest rates, slowing the economy and, perhaps, triggering a recession. The good news: The next recession may be delayed, because the Phillips Curve ...


Josh Archambault: Real CBO BCRA Headline - No Individual Market Losses In 2018, But Up 1 Million From 2017
Posted: June 28, 2017 at 07:12 AM (Wednesday)

When the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its score of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), headlines flashed that 22 million Americans would lose their health coverage. According to its analysis, there will be 7 million fewer people in the individual health insurance market in 2026 if BCRA passes, with the remainder of ...


Robert Reich: Health-care bill is a giant wealth transfer to the rich
Posted: June 28, 2017 at 06:00 AM (Wednesday)

The Senate's bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act is not a health-care bill. It's a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, paid for by a dramatic reduction in health-care funding for approximately 23 million poor, disabled and working middle-class Americans. America's wealthiest taxpayers (earning more than $200,000 a year, $250,000 for ...


Greg Ip: Health Bill Draws Fiscal Fault Line Between Old and Poor—and the Poor Are Losing
Posted: June 28, 2017 at 05:30 AM (Wednesday)

By singling out Medicaid, plan would signal burden of cost containment will fall largely on the poor. The health-care overhaul that Senate leaders floated this past week does more than roll back an entitlement Republicans have loathed since the day it was enacted in 2010. It portends a deeper struggle over the safety net that pits the ...


Ricardo Hausmann: Who Does Business Represent?
Posted: June 28, 2017 at 05:30 AM (Wednesday)

CAMBRIDGE – On whose behalf do business associations speak? Well, business. But who is "business"? It's an increasingly urgent question, because while firms have radically changed how they think about themselves, business associations have yet to catch up. And the resulting lag is making capitalism less legitimate in many countries. ...


Ben Emons: Stop Looking for Fed Errors in the Bond Market
Posted: June 28, 2017 at 05:00 AM (Wednesday)

Past dislocations suggested deflation was on the horizon, but it never came to pass. The decline in oil and energy prices in recent weeks has had a big impact on the market for Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities. After all, who needs a hedge against faster inflation if the evidence shows that it's slowing? The reaction was so severe that ...


Charles Blahous: Projected Medicaid Expansion Costs Just Rose Again
Posted: June 28, 2017 at 12:16 AM (Wednesday)

Earlier this month the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) actuary published a score of the House bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Contained within that score is a concerning update of CMS’s projections for the costs of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Incredibly, the latest projections now indicate that ...


Betsy McCaughey: Medicaid At The 'Tipping Point'
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 09:18 PM (Tuesday)

Former President Barack Obama is joining the demagogic slugfest against the GOP's latest bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare. He claims the bill would "ruin Medicaid." Not so fast, Obama. Your health care law ruined Medicaid. Now, about half of all women who give birth in the United States are on Medicaid, a staggering figure. The ...


Peter Morici: Income inequality should be addressed at city level
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 08:56 PM (Tuesday)

Rising inequality is a gold vein for politicians seeking votes among Americans weary of stagnant incomes. Hillary Clinton's campaign was premised in large measure on taxing the wealthy to pay for federally subsidized child care, free college and other new entitlements. She reasoned rising inequality deprived the economy of consumer spending ...


Douglas Holtz-Eakin: The Senate health-care bill will give us better care and a better economy
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 07:34 PM (Tuesday)

The much-ballyhooed Senate Republicans' health-care reform — officially the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 and better known as Obamacare repeal-and-replace — is now the center of public debate. Much of the discussion has focused on issues of timing — the "secretive" process by which the bill was developed, the putative "jamming" of ...


Tom Price: ObamaCare’s Victims Need Relief Now
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 07:14 PM (Tuesday)

More than 1,000 counties have only a single insurer. Doug Lake lives in one—and rates are going up 43%. America faces an urgent crisis in its health-care system. Costs are skyrocketing and choices are disappearing on the individual and small-group markets. Many people now confront the real challenge of having no choice in their ...


Vernon Smith: Trump’s Best Deal Ever: Privatize the Interstates
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 07:13 PM (Tuesday)

Proceeds could provide a permanent basic income to every citizen. Pie in the sky? Ask an Alaskan. President Trump, please consider a major expansion in your thinking. You’ve promised to rebuild America’s crumbling roads, bridges and airports, and you’ve proposed to privatize air-traffic control. Now privatize the interstate highway ...


Sally Pipes: Republicans Shouldn't Wince At That CBO Score
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 06:01 PM (Tuesday)

Senate Republicans just delayed a vote on their health care bill. The decision came less than a day after the Congressional Budget Office officially "scored" the bill and found that 22 million people would lose coverage if the legislation passes. There are plenty of reasons to object to the Senate bill, officially known as the Better ...


Mickey Levy: Tax Reform Delayed, but Progress on Regulatory Reforms
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 04:23 PM (Tuesday)

The Trump Administration’s early important steps to ease burdensome regulations has begun to improve the environment for business and job creation, but so far it has struck out in its legislative agenda that involves Congress. Progress on that front—particularly tax reform—is critically important. The White House has relied on a variety ...


Noah Smith: A Sign to Go Slow on the $15 Minimum Wage
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 04:08 PM (Tuesday)

If boomtown Seattle stumbles on a higher pay floor, imagine the harm in poorer parts of the U.S. One thing almost all economic studies agree on these days is that higher minimum wages don't throw many people out of work. A recent study of Seattle's high-profile plan to raise minimum pay to $15 an hour by three University of California ...


Jared Meyer: Trump Administration Saves The Sharing Economy
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 10:33 AM (Tuesday)

State and local regulatory battles continue to plague sharing economy companies like Uber and Airbnb. However, their business models faced an existential—though underappreciated—threat from President Obama’s Department of Labor. In a positive step for independent workers and the consumers that they serve, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander ...


Martin Feldstein: Does Addressing Bilateral Trade Imbalances Work?
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 08:49 AM (Tuesday)

CAMBRIDGE – Politicians and economists view trade imbalances very differently. Consider the United States' trade deficit. Economists emphasize that the total US trade deficit with the rest of the world is the result of policies and actions at home. Simply put, if the US invests more than the country as a whole saves, it must import the ...


Norbert Michel: Undoing the CFPB's Damage, The Trump Administration's Options Are Limited
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 06:55 AM (Tuesday)

Representation, rule of law, and separation of powers—these concepts are central to the American system of constitutional government. Yet they have been threatened for much of the last century by the proliferation of independent government agencies. Congress has enabled these agencies to become, essentially, an unaccountable fourth branch ...


Gary Shilling: Oil's in a Bear Market, and Stocks Will Soon Follow
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 05:00 AM (Tuesday)

A bottom oil price of $10 to $20 per barrel -- the marginal cost of production in efficient locales -- still seems valid. Saudi Arabia's King Salman recently named his son, Mohammed bin Salman, as his successor. The 31-year-old crown prince plans to modernize the kingdom with his "Vision 2030" economic overhaul aimed at weaning Saudi Arabia ...


How Seattle's Minimum-Wage Disaster Hurts Those It's Meant To Help
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 04:45 AM (Tuesday)

Minimum Wage: When Seattle embarked on its progressive path to force up the minimum wage in the city, the results were predictable: Those it was intended to help would be hurt the most. Will policy-makers never learn? It's both sad and tragic, but even policies passed with the best of intentions can hurt those they're intended to help. So it ...


Jeffrey Sachs: Tax reform that works for all
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 04:00 AM (Tuesday)

THE REPUBLICANS are trying to jam a reckless health care bill through Congress so that they can move on to their real objective: another round of deep tax cuts for the rich, paid for by deep cuts in public services, more debt on the backs of the young, and reckless disregard for the environment. We need tax reform, but of a very different kind. ...


Yanis Varoufakis: Europe’s Gradualist Fallacy
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 03:49 AM (Tuesday)

ATHENS – Europe is at the mercy of a common currency that not only was unnecessary for European integration, but that is actually undermining the European Union itself. So what should be done about a currency without a state to back it – or about the 19 European states without a currency that they control? The logical answer is either to ...


Diana Furchtgott-Roth: CBO Gets ObamaCare Reform Estimates Wrong — Again
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 03:13 AM (Tuesday)

On Monday the Congressional Budget Office released its cost estimate of the Republican Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act. CBO calculated that the proposed bill would reduce the deficit by $321 billion over the next decade. That is welcome news. Less welcome, however, was CBO's conclusion that the Senate bill would result in an additional ...


Avik Roy: CBO Predictions About The Senate Health Care Bill Are Deeply Flawed
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 02:59 AM (Tuesday)

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office published its estimate of the Senate’s draft health care legislation, the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Democrats are trumpeting the claim that under the GOP bill, 22 million fewer people will have coverage than under Obamacare in 2026. But the CBO’s estimates are deeply flawed. If you want ...


Mohamed El-Erian: No, Fed Didn't Make a Mistake by Hiking Rates
Posted: June 27, 2017 at 02:00 AM (Tuesday)

A report adds to the growing debate about the wisdom of monetary policy normalization. By encouraging systemically-important central banks to move forward with interest rate hikes, the Bank for International Settlements' well-written annual report will add fuel to the growing debate about the wisdom of the Federal Reserve's ongoing process ...


Avik Roy: The Senate’s Secretly Bipartisan Health Bill
Posted: June 26, 2017 at 10:16 PM (Monday)

In 2010, when Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act, Republicans complained that they did so with no Republican support. Democrats responded by pointing out that the centerpiece of their plan — tax credits to buy private insurance — came from a Republican governor, Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. Something similar is happening today. ...


Edward Lazear: The Surprising Factor for Immigrant Success
Posted: June 26, 2017 at 06:58 PM (Monday)

Those born in Algeria do better than those from Israel and Japan. Why? There are fewer of them. Try a thought experiment: Consider immigrants in the U.S. from Algeria, Israel and Japan and rank them, from highest to lowest, by educational attainment. Here’s the correct order, according to data from the Census Bureau: Algerians have ...


Kerry Jackson: Global Warming, The Imminent Crisis That Never Arrives
Posted: June 26, 2017 at 03:35 PM (Monday)

It's summer 2017 and the Arctic was supposed to be ice-free, hurricanes were going to be more frequent and more deadly, and sea levels should be rising alarmingly. Al Gore swore in his 2006 science fiction movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," that within a decade there would be a "true planetary emergency." "Unless we act boldly and quickly to ...


Sally Pipes: GOP Health Reform Is Hardly Sweeping
Posted: June 26, 2017 at 08:00 AM (Monday)

Listen to the critics of the GOP’s healthcare reform effort, and you might think Republicans are intent on personally cancelling the insurance policies of 300 million Americans. Earlier this month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., referred to the Senate’s Obamacare replacement, which became public June 22, as “a bill that’s going to touch ...


Diana Furchtgott-Roth: New Study Proves Seattle Punishes the Poor
Posted: June 26, 2017 at 07:33 AM (Monday)

Three years ago Seattle voted to raise the city's hourly minimum wage in steps to $15. This increase, which will take full effect for large employers in 2018 and for small employers in 2021, would leave the city’s minimum at more than twice the federal minimum wage, one of the highest in America. A new study out today (June 26) from the ...


Stephen Roach: Another Lesson from Japan
Posted: June 26, 2017 at 03:49 AM (Monday)

NEW HAVEN – Yet another in a long string of negative inflation surprises is at hand. In the United States, the so-called core CPI (consumer price index) – which excludes food and energy – has headed down just when it was supposed to be going up. Over the three months ending in May, the core CPI was basically unchanged, holding, at just 1.7% ...


Mohamed El-Erian: What You Should Know About r*
Posted: June 26, 2017 at 02:00 AM (Monday)

Finding the neutral rate of interest will ensure the economy is growing at potential and inflation is contained. As the Federal Reserve gradually normalizes its monetary policy, market participants will hear a lot more about r*, the "neutral rate of interest," which helps equilibrate financial markets when the economy is growing at potential ...


Robert Samuelson: The looming labor 'shortage’ isn’t just a problem — it’s also an opportunity
Posted: June 25, 2017 at 07:08 PM (Sunday)

Do we have a worker shortage? Maybe. For months, I've planned to write a column on the future of the U.S. labor market. Stacked on my desk are reports on "the gig economy," "independent workers," "contingent workers," "freelancers" and the like. All signify a new, less secure labor market. Workers won't have long-lasting career jobs, as the ...


Alan Cobb: Kansas tax cuts produced strong results
Posted: June 25, 2017 at 05:31 PM (Sunday)

Raising income taxes by $1.2 billion will hurt every working Kansan and small business. The Kansas Chamber of Commerce strives to improve the state’s economic climate and to make it more competitive for the benefit of every Kansas business and citizen.The state legislature’s recent decision to raise income taxes by $1.2 billion will hurt ...


Narendra Modi: For the U.S. and India, a Convergence of Interests and Values
Posted: June 25, 2017 at 05:04 PM (Sunday)

Our two nations stand as mutually reinforcing engines of growth and innovation. Last June in my address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, I stated that the relationship between India and America had overcome the “hesitations of history.” A year later, I return to the U.S. confident in the growing convergence between our ...


Lanhee Chen and Ron Pollack: Health-Reform Principles That Can Cross Party Lines
Posted: June 25, 2017 at 05:03 PM (Sunday)

Experts don’t always agree—but eight of us found common ground despite our other differences. The current congressional debate about health reform focuses on two closely linked issues: how to structure subsidies and the future of Medicaid. We write to support two propositions that can better serve economically vulnerable families, while ...


Thomas Hemphill and Mark Perry: Wind Power’s Future in U.S. Could Be Thwarted by Grassroots Opposition
Posted: June 25, 2017 at 11:00 AM (Sunday)

The luster is coming off wind power as an economically viable, environmentally friendly, community-friendly source of America's energy future—and for some very good reasons. To start, rural residents across America are increasingly rejecting the encroachment of wind-energy projects in their communities whenever they get a chance to voice ...


John Taylor: Reserve Balances and the Fed’s Balance Sheet in the Future
Posted: June 24, 2017 at 05:44 PM (Saturday)

An important part of the Fed’s normalization policy is to reduce its holdings of securities and thereby reserve balances—deposits of banks at the Fed—used to finance these holdings. As I argued when quantitative easing began in 2009, this reduction should be predictable and strategic. That view was given some empirical support by the ...


Avik Roy: The Senate’s health-care bill could be one of the GOP’s greatest accomplishments
Posted: June 24, 2017 at 11:45 AM (Saturday)

The Senate health-care legislative draft — officially titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 — will, if passed, represent the greatest policy achievement by a Republican Congress in generations. Given that Democrats have filled the airwaves with wild claims that the bill amounts to mass murder, it may feel jarring to think of the ...


The Minimum-Wage Job-Killer Strikes Again!
Posted: June 23, 2017 at 05:37 PM (Friday)

Economic Fallacies: McDonald's stock has hit new highs in recent days, despite fast-food industry woes. Why? Mickey-D's is replacing 2,500 human workers with digital kiosks this year. Way to go, minimum-wage advocates! Working from the absurd idea that if higher wages are good for individual workers, it must be socially beneficial to ...


Merrill Matthews: GOP May Sacrifice Individual Health Insurance For Broader Reforms
Posted: June 23, 2017 at 03:27 PM (Friday)

A number of positive things can be said about the Senate Republicans’ health care bill, but “stopping the collapse of the individual health insurance market” isn’t one. The first draft of the Senate bill retains several of what Democrats like to call “consumer protections,” by which Democrats apparently mean that consumers are “protected” ...


Stephen Moore: The Banana Republic Of Illinois
Posted: June 23, 2017 at 01:40 PM (Friday)

The media has hyper-obsessed over the Kansas tax hike this year and has sold this as a repudiation of "supply side economics." But the real story in the states has been the catastrophic effects of "tax and spend" fiscal policy in Illinois. Last week Republican governor Bruce Rauner ended his three year standoff with House Speaker for life ...


Robert Shiller: In Long Run, There’s No Such Thing as an Einstein Investor
Posted: June 23, 2017 at 12:19 PM (Friday)

There are no easy answers in investing. It is tempting to replicate a successful strategy — one created by an outstanding investor, like Warren Buffett, or through in-depth statistical analysis of the wisdom of crowds — and such approaches can actually work for long periods. But paint-by-number portfolios won't succeed forever. And without ...


Pat Toomey: Senate bill fixes Obamacare failures and preserves safety net
Posted: June 23, 2017 at 10:58 AM (Friday)

The single most politically litigated topic in the United States in a generation has been Obamacare. In election after election, including two of my own in 2010 and 2016, the American people repeatedly put into office men and women who promised them relief from this law. The reason is simple: The foundation of Obamacare, a dramatically ...


Adair Turner: We’ll Always Need Paris
Posted: June 23, 2017 at 09:40 AM (Friday)

LONDON – President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement is deeply regrettable and based on flawed economic analysis. But unstoppable technological progress, plus determined action by other countries, companies across the world, and American cities and states, will ensure that Trump does not ...


Mark Zandi: Keep Dodd-Frank, or face the consequences
Posted: June 23, 2017 at 06:00 AM (Friday)

The noise out of Washington is deafening. Contributing to the cacophony are President Trump's problems over the Russian election-meddling probe, congressional Republicans' efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, and mounting debate over tax cuts and reform. Getting lost in it all are the president's efforts to do "a big number" on Dodd-Frank ...


David Ader: What the Shrinking Yield Curve Is Really All About
Posted: June 23, 2017 at 05:00 AM (Friday)

The market doesn't expect a reduction in the Fed's balance sheet to go very far or add much to the supply of bonds. The bond market is getting a lot of attention, specifically the shrinking gap between short- and long-term yields, which has come as a surprise. The immediate logic, however, behind this development isn't difficult to ...


Ralph Nader: Reflections of a Trump voter who still loves President Trump
Posted: June 23, 2017 at 04:01 AM (Friday)

The following judgments comprise responses from a composite, still-loyal Trump voter, taken, with a light touch, from conversations with these voters and interviews in the media. They merit our attention. 1. I have few expectations of politicians and Trump meets those I really care about. He is against abortion and gun control, ...


Joel Kotkin: Want to be green? Forget mass transit. Work at home
Posted: June 23, 2017 at 04:00 AM (Friday)

Expanding mass-transit systems is a pillar of green and "new urbanist" thinking, but with few exceptions, the idea of ever-larger numbers of people commuting into an urban core ignores a major shift in the labor economy: More people are working from home. True, in a handful of large metropolitan regions — what we might call "legacy cities" ...


Avik Roy: The New Senate Republican Bill Will Transform American Health Care
Posted: June 23, 2017 at 02:20 AM (Friday)

The hotly-anticipated Senate Republican health care bill came out on Thursday morning. The airwaves quickly filled up with predictable talking points from both sides. But once the dust settles, it will emerge that the Senate bill will have far-reaching effects on American health care: for the better. Substantial improvements to the House bill ...


Critics Of The Senate Health Bill Aren't Playing Fair
Posted: June 22, 2017 at 07:58 PM (Thursday)

Health Reform: Just before the Senate unveiled its ObamaCare replacement bill, Anthem announced that it was pulling out of most of Indiana and Wisconsin. It was a timely reminder that Republicans have no choice but to get ObamaCare off the books, and why critics of the Senate bill aren't playing fair. As soon as the details emerged, critics of ...


Donald Luskin: Will Democrats Pound SALT?
Posted: June 22, 2017 at 06:37 PM (Thursday)

Proposing to abolish the state and local tax deduction is the best GOP reform hope. After a humbling loss in Tuesday’s special election in Georgia, Democrats may be wondering if they ought to stop demonizing President Trump and instead work with him to kick-start ...


Peter Morici: Economic growth requires curbing entitlements
Posted: June 22, 2017 at 06:21 PM (Thursday)

Only stronger growth and curbing entitlements will get the country out of its mess. Were the United States any other country, its bonds would have long ago been downgraded to junk. Just like Greece and other profligate nations, the United States suffers from slow growth, indolence — an increasing number of able-bodied adults not working — and ...


Diana Furchtgott-Roth: The Federal Reserve Needs to Reduce Its Overstuffed Balance Sheet
Posted: June 22, 2017 at 05:35 PM (Thursday)

With the increase in the federal funds rate last week, and two expected increases in September and December, the Federal Reserve Board is gradually raising interest rates. But the Fed's low interest rate policy is only part of its accommodating stance. The Fed also holds over $4 trillion on its balance sheets, funds that were accumulated ...


Grace-Marie Turner: Senate Health Bill Provides A Safety Net And Needed Reforms
Posted: June 22, 2017 at 05:09 PM (Thursday)

Any legislation that clears Congress under the repeal and replace banner needs to do four things: It needs to rescue millions of people in ACA exchange plans now who are at risk of losing their coverage because of ObamaCare’s multiple failures. It must provide states more flexibility in managing their Medicaid programs so they can better ...