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Stephen Moore and Ned Mamula: Rebuilding America's domestic uranium industry
Posted: September 21, 2019 at 12:12 PM (Saturday)

Why benign neglect must be replaced with a strategy that ensures affordable uranium. The decline of American mining and production of critical minerals in recent decades is a self-inflicted wound that could imperil our economy and national security.

Data from the latest federal geological survey showed the United States has become 99 percent dependent on imports for at least 20 critical and strategic minerals, not including each of the rare earth minerals, even though we were No.1 in mining output across the world as ...


Review & Outlook: The Real Cure for Inequality
Posted: September 20, 2019 at 06:54 PM (Friday)

Income gains are now rising faster for low-wage workers. The left’s apocalyptic economic predictions for the Trump Presidency haven’t panned out. With jobs plentiful and wages rising at the fastest rate in a decade, liberals are doubling down on alarms about inequality. The inconvenient evidence is that low- and middle-income folks are ...


Joseph LaVorgna: Don't blame tariffs for dimming US growth prospects
Posted: September 20, 2019 at 05:00 PM (Friday)

Donald John Trump’s recent announcement of a further increase in tariffs on Chinese imports, from 25 percent to 30 percent, has rattled some investors. But the aggregate effect of this change is quite small. More importantly, the full impact of tariffs is still remarkably small when compared to overall economic activity. There are other ...


Chuck DeVore: Continued Strong Job Growth In Low-Tax States Since The Trump Tax Cut
Posted: September 20, 2019 at 02:58 PM (Friday)

Job growth in the 27 states with low state and local taxes continues to double the pace of employment gains compared to their high-tax peers. From December 2017, the month President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, through August 2019, the 27 states with the lowest taxes on individuals generated 3.77% more private sector ...


Minxin Pei: The Coming Crisis of China’s One-Party Regime
Posted: September 20, 2019 at 09:20 AM (Friday)

CLAREMONT – In 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised that the Communist Party would deliver great successes in advance of two upcoming centennials, in 2021 and 2049. But no amount of nationalist posturing can change the fact that the fall of the CPC appears closer than at any time since the end of the Mao era. On October 1, to mark the ...


Bill Dudley: Get a Grip. The Fed Can Handle the Repo Market
Posted: September 20, 2019 at 07:01 AM (Friday)

The central bank has plenty of options. One of the world’s most important interest rates has had a tumultuous week. Thanks to a sudden shortage of dollars in a separate market, the federal funds rate – the focal point of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy – briefly breached the 2%-to-2.25% range that the central bank was targeting. ...


Mark Mills: Climate Change Activism: From Flight-Shaming to Video-Shaming
Posted: September 20, 2019 at 06:30 AM (Friday)

If you think that aviation’s energy use is too high, consider that the Internet’s will soon surpass it. Summer 2019 saw the Duke of Sussex and Mayor Pete Buttigieg both apologizing for the “sin” of flying private, given the supposedly drastic effect it has on the climate. And in August, to much media hoopla, a Swedish teenage “climate ...


David Deming: Engineers Sprint Ahead, but Don’t Underestimate the Poets
Posted: September 20, 2019 at 05:00 AM (Friday)

For students chasing lasting wealth, the best choice of a college major is less obvious than you might think. The conventional wisdom is that computer science and engineering majors have better employment prospects and higher earnings than their peers who choose liberal arts. This is true for the first job, but the long-term story is ...


Yuwa Hedrick-Wong: This Dangerous Addiction To Cheap Money Will Depress Economies In Europe And The U.S.
Posted: September 20, 2019 at 03:00 AM (Friday)

Responding to the 2008/09 global financial crisis and the Eurozone crisis that followed, central banks in the U.S. and Europe cut interest rates aggressively, and conducted quantitative easing (QE), an unorthodox policy of buying government and corporate bonds on a massive scale to keep asset markets from collapsing. Mario Draghi, then governor ...


John Authers: There’s Money to Be Made Betting Against Larry Summers
Posted: September 20, 2019 at 12:01 AM (Friday)

Central banks are dug in for a disaster that looks far from preordained. The “Larry Summers Trade” How can U.S. stock indexes be right back up at their record highs when there are strikes on oil installations in the Middle East, the money markets are in revolt, negative bond yields show despair at the prospect of growth anywhere in the world, ...


Nicole Gelinas: Modern Monetary Theory Could Accelerate A Day Of Reckoning For A Dangerously Out-Of-Balance Global Economy.
Posted: September 19, 2019 at 10:28 PM (Thursday)

Advocates of Modern Monetary Theory want us to believe that debt doesn’t matter and that government can spend endlessly. Eleven years ago, the 2008 financial crisis transformed politics, creating the conditions for a new crop of national-profile candidates who are throwing the old rules away, from Donald J. Trump to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. ...


Review & Outlook: Administrative State Under Judicial Fire
Posted: September 19, 2019 at 05:52 PM (Thursday)

Appeals courts brawl over agency power. Will the Justices intervene? Elizabeth Warren touts her creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a major accomplishment, and expect regulatory agencies shielded from accountability to proliferate in a Warren Administration. But as a recent appellate ruling suggests, the courts may prove ...


John Tamny: Argentina's Macri Government Unintentionally Forces Money Under Mattresses
Posted: September 19, 2019 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

In the 2018 Academy Award nominated movie Cold War (Best Foreign Film), the U.S. dollar comes up in one of many arguments between Zula and Wiktor, the troubled couple at the center of the story. In a communist country, use of the greenback plainly signaled dissent from state-decreed collectivist misery precisely because the dollar, unlike ...


Peter Morici: Dear Mr. Powell and Mr. Draghi: It’s nuts to go negative
Posted: September 19, 2019 at 09:07 AM (Thursday)

It’s crazy to keep lowering rates after it’s clear that lower rates aren’t working. If the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result, then outgoing European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, judged by their recent decisions to further ease ...


Tim Duy: The Case for More Fed Rate Cuts Is No Longer Strong
Posted: September 19, 2019 at 06:00 AM (Thursday)

The latest economic data should ease fears that a recession is looming. The Federal Reserve has now lowered its target interest rate for overnight loans between banks twice since the end of July. The central bank’s economic projections and Chairman Jerome Powell’s post-meeting press conference suggest policy makers aren’t quite ready to cut ...


Greg Ip: Fed Chairman Jerome Powell Masters the Art of Saying Nothing
Posted: September 19, 2019 at 05:30 AM (Thursday)

By refusing to elaborate on what the central bank will do next, Powell leaves less room for misinterpretation and forces market to think for itself. Asked Wednesday when the Federal Reserve would be done cutting interest rates, Chairman Jerome Powell answered: “When we think we’ve done enough.” Reminiscent of Supreme Court Justice Potter ...


Kenneth Rogoff: The benefits of a progressive consumption tax
Posted: September 19, 2019 at 05:00 AM (Thursday)

It’s time for the United States to consider switching from an income tax to a progressive consumption tax as a way of addressing growing wealth inequality. Many economists have long favored a consumption-based tax system, which for individuals essentially uses the same information as the income tax system, but exempts savings (after all, ...


Veronique de Rugy: Does Capitalism Help or Hurt Women?
Posted: September 19, 2019 at 12:01 AM (Thursday)

The economics of women and work. Does capitalism help or hurt women? I recently participated in a debate on the topic at the Cato Institute. While preparing for the event, I learned many fascinating facts that may interest feminists who claim the best way to help American women is for the U.S. government to do what other governments have ...


Alan Blinder: When Presidents Pummel the Fed
Posted: September 18, 2019 at 06:54 PM (Wednesday)

Before Bill Clinton, such browbeating was the norm. Powell has endured Trump’s assaults with dignity. Two and a half cheers for my friend (that’s a disclosure) Jay Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. I’ll come back to the half, but the two cheers are for the exemplary way he has conducted himself in office. That includes most of ...


Robert Burgess: Federal Reserve Gets Schooled in Basic Economics
Posted: September 18, 2019 at 04:30 PM (Wednesday)

Rate cuts and the law of diminishing returns lead market commentary. Plus, hawk detectors, yuan correlation and more. Every first-year economics student learns about the law of diminishing returns, which basically states that adding more of one factor to production will eventually yield lower incremental returns. That economic truism is ...


Jed Graham: Fed Cuts Key Rate, Hints At Balance Sheet Expansion; Dow Jones Rebounds
Posted: September 18, 2019 at 04:15 PM (Wednesday)

The Fed cut its benchmark rate a quarter-point on Wednesday, but gave mixed signals about the chances of further rate cuts. After release of the policy statement, the losses deepened for the Dow Jones and broader stock market. But the stock market recovered as Fed Chair Jerome Powell hinted that the Fed might announce renewed expansion of ...


Robert Samuelson: Boomers crush millennials. Read all about it!
Posted: September 18, 2019 at 11:58 AM (Wednesday)

As a case study in the workings of modern democracy, the handling of Social Security by successive presidents and Congress over recent decades is a deeply disturbing exercise. The facts are not in dispute. Congress and the White House have agreed to benefits for retirees and the disabled that are woefully underfunded. Rather than bring ...


Robert Skidelsky: The Economic Consequences of Automation
Posted: September 18, 2019 at 10:51 AM (Wednesday)

LONDON – Economic theory does not provide a clear answer regarding the overall impact of technological progress on jobs. And even if automation has traditionally been beneficial in the long run, policymakers should never ignore its disruptive short-term effects on workers. While Brexit captures the headlines in the United Kingdom and ...


Adam Millsap: The United States Doesn’t Need the Export-Import Bank To Thrive
Posted: September 18, 2019 at 09:57 AM (Wednesday)

America has a corporate welfare problem. State and local governments all over the country give special treatment to select companies in the form of grants and tax breaks, eroding the spirit of fair competition that is the foundation of the free enterprise system. The Export-Import Bank (EXIM Bank) is just one example of the federal ...


Carmen Reinhart and Vincent Reinhart: Jerome Powell’s Dilemma
Posted: September 18, 2019 at 09:42 AM (Wednesday)

CAMBRIDGE – There is a reason that the US Federal Reserve chair often has a haunted look. Probably to his deep and never-to-be-expressed frustration, the Fed is setting monetary policy in a way that increases the likelihood that President Donald Trump will be reelected next year. Once a year, the leadership of both the European Central Bank ...


Greg Ip: Oil Spikes, Auto Strikes Join List of Supply Shocks
Posted: September 18, 2019 at 07:11 AM (Wednesday)

With supply disrupted and labor markets tight, don’t give inflation up for dead. In recent days, the U.S. suffered two supply shocks: an attack on Saudi oil production sent crude prices sharply higher and the United Auto Workers walked off the job at General Motors Co., the union’s first strike in 12 years. Neither event would be worrisome ...


Karl Smith: The Fed Needs to Give the Economy a Booster Shot
Posted: September 18, 2019 at 05:00 AM (Wednesday)

The best way to fend off a recession is to cut rates even more than the market expects. For the most part, investors expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to lower its main interest rate by a quarter of a point today, though a smaller contingent expects the Fed to do nothing. The Fed should confound both these groups — and cut rates by half a ...


Betsy McCaughey: Democrats’ biggest health care lies
Posted: September 17, 2019 at 08:31 PM (Tuesday)

When it comes to health care, Democrats are selling snake oil. Americans are grappling with rising medical costs. But if they fall for the phony solutions the left is offering, they’ll pay with exorbitant taxes and shorter lives. Whopper 1: ObamaCare is affordable. Joe Biden’s running a television ad in Iowa pledging to stand by ObamaCare ...


Andy Puzder: Labor Shortage May Imperil Growth
Posted: September 17, 2019 at 06:51 PM (Tuesday)

A lack of qualified workers boosts wages but makes it hard for businesses to expand. Good help is hard to find—and increasingly so in today’s economy. According to a monthly survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, “a record percentage of small business owners reported having difficulties finding qualified workers in ...


Jed Graham: What A Fed Rate Cut Wednesday May Mean For Dow Jones
Posted: September 17, 2019 at 06:48 PM (Tuesday)

Nerves are rising on Wall Street that the Fed meeting could disappoint on Wednesday. Odds of a quarter-point Fed rate cut have slipped to just 52% from more than 90% a week ago. Expect the Fed to somewhat reluctantly live up to expectations. That would likely be good news for the Dow Jones. The Dow gains an average 20.3% in the year following ...


Donald Luskin and Michael Warren: Don’t Panic Over the Saudi Attack and the Oil Supply
Posted: September 17, 2019 at 06:40 PM (Tuesday)

OPEC would have had to cut output anyway, given the dramatic increase in American production. The attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure last weekend took out about half of the kingdom’s production capacity. Yet the market reaction was muted, with global oil prices rising only to where they were in May. Markets seem to recognize that ...


Marco Rubio: The Necessity of Economic Decision
Posted: September 17, 2019 at 04:52 PM (Tuesday)

A group of many of the nation's top CEOs released a statement last month arguing that maximizing shareholders' profits can no longer be the primary goal of America's corporations. To some Americans, the message may come as a surprise; over the last several decades, shareholder primacy theory has fundamentally remade significant parts of ...


Caroline Baum: Powell’s checklist spells out three risks the Fed must manage
Posted: September 17, 2019 at 11:28 AM (Tuesday)

If you want to know what Fed policy will be, watch global growth, the trade wars, and inflation. Alan Greenspan gave us his “risk management” approach to monetary policy. Jerome Powell has outlined the risks that need to be managed. In so doing, the current Federal Reserve chairman is offering both insights into the central bank’s ...


Tom Angell: Marijuana Banking Bill Gains Momentum With One Third Of Senate Now Signed On
Posted: September 17, 2019 at 11:06 AM (Tuesday)

The most cannabis-friendly Congress in history is back from its August recess, and lawmakers are already making key moves to advance marijuana reform legislation. The immediate focus is on a proposal to let banks serve cannabis companies without fear of being punished by federal regulators—with House leaders announcing that a floor vote ...


Shannon O'Neil: China’s Manufacturing Loss Should Be Mexico’s Gain
Posted: September 17, 2019 at 08:30 AM (Tuesday)

But President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is wasting the opportunity. After two years of a U.S.-China trade war, multinational companies that manufacture in China are getting restless. Escalating U.S. tariffs, on top of rising labor costs, stiffening environmental rules, and the heavy, often capricious hand of the Chinese state are ...


Ernest Liu, Atif Mian and Amir Sufi: Could Ultra-Low Interest Rates Be Contractionary?
Posted: September 17, 2019 at 06:48 AM (Tuesday)

CHICAGO – Although low interest rates have traditionally been viewed as positive for economic growth because they encourage businesses to invest in enhancing productivity, this may not be the case. Instead, extremely low rates may lead to slower growth by increasing market concentration and thus weakening firms' incentive to boost ...


Jared Bernstein: Democrats and health-care reform: How to get there from here
Posted: September 17, 2019 at 06:00 AM (Tuesday)

The Democratic presidential candidates’ debates on health-care policy have been pretty incoherent. I don’t blame the candidates; it’s virtually impossible to explain these ideas in one-minute bursts, with moderators pushing them to fight with one another. The best most listeners can come away with, I suspect, is that some of them (Sens. ...


Jim Bianco: Bond Dealers Are Too Conflicted to Advise the Treasury
Posted: September 17, 2019 at 05:00 AM (Tuesday)

When it comes to ultra-long debt securities, the U.S. government should ignore the warnings from Wall Street. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is again talking about how it might be a good time for the government to issue ultra-long bonds, or those with 50- and 100-year maturities, given that yields are at or near record lows. Whenever ...


Paul Steidler: On the Subject of Global Shipping, Peter Navarro Has a Winning Hand
Posted: September 17, 2019 at 04:00 AM (Tuesday)

For decades the United States has stood by and subsidized the shipment of Chinese small packages (4.4 pounds or less) to the United States. Yes, we have done that even as e-commerce shipments have boomed. In fact, it costs 50 percent or less to send a package from China to the United States than to send the same package within the United ...


Victor Davis Hanson: CNN Is Everything but the News
Posted: September 17, 2019 at 12:30 AM (Tuesday)

Trump derangement, all the time: lies, smears, threats, and profanity. Viewers are noticing — and leaving. For a while, we thought MSNBC had temporarily usurped CNN as the font of fake news — although both networks had tied for the most negative coverage (93 percent of all their news reports) of President Trump’s first 100 days in office. A ...


Judy Shelton: The Fed’s Mandate Is Up to Congress and the President
Posted: September 16, 2019 at 06:39 PM (Monday)

Lawmakers in the past have broadened the central bank’s goals, directing it to boost U.S. competitiveness. The role of the Federal Reserve as an instrument of public economic power could use some clarification. The central bank’s status as an independent agency derives from an act of Congress in 1913, and is reinforced by oft-invoked references ...


Niall Ferguson: The ascent of digital money
Posted: September 16, 2019 at 11:59 AM (Monday)

“How would you like to pay for that, sir?” For most of my lifetime, there have been three possible answers to that question: cash, a check, or a plastic card. Go to Beijing, however, and you will see very few payments in those forms. People pay with their phones, using digital payment systems created by the two biggest Chinese tech ...


Sally Pipes: Obamacare Drives Hospital Consolidation, Raising Prices For Patients
Posted: September 16, 2019 at 10:12 AM (Monday)

Hospital behemoth Sutter Health—a non-profit organization in Northern California that has gradually acquired 24 hospitals and 5,000 physicians—will soon go to court to defend itself against allegations that it has violated the state's antitrust laws. The plaintiffs claim that Sutter illegally pushed competitors out of the market and raised ...


Peter Morici: Libra is an opportunity to leapfrog Chinese fintech to achieve cashless economy
Posted: September 16, 2019 at 06:05 AM (Monday)

Opposition to Facebook’s cryptocurrency is disingenuous and short-sighted. Few things unite Democrats, the Trump administration,the Federal Reserve, and even France’s Finance Ministry like opposition to Facebook’s Libra. The principal grievances are that widespread use of Libra could instigate financial instability and further enable the ...


Robert Samuelson: Should we love or hate 'negative’ interest rates?
Posted: September 15, 2019 at 07:43 PM (Sunday)

The idea that interest rates could be “negative” seems so counterintuitive that it defies easy understanding. Yet here we are. Some foreign central banks (among them, the European Central Bank and the central banks of Denmark and Sweden) have adopted them. No less a figure than former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has suggested that ...


Review & Outlook: Iran’s Return Handshake
Posted: September 15, 2019 at 04:10 PM (Sunday)

An attack on Saudi oil production shows John Bolton was right. Since President Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic has tested U.S. resolve with military escalation across the Middle East. Likely Iranian involvement in attacks on Saudi oil production over the weekend marks a new phase in this destabilizing ...


John Tamny: The Economics Profession Desperately Needs A Recession Of Its Own
Posted: September 15, 2019 at 09:00 AM (Sunday)

In music writer Steven Davis’s 2018 biography of rock goddess Stevie Nicks, Gold Dust Woman, the author indicated that by the late 1970s Fleetwood Mac was in a figurative sense printing money. Times were exceedingly good, at which point band leader Mick Fleetwood became very careless about his personal finances, and arguably even more about ...


Ken Fisher: Hey, Fed, cutting interest rates more will hurt, not help the economy
Posted: September 15, 2019 at 07:06 AM (Sunday)

Hey Federal Reserve Board: Pay attention! Everyone fears the “inverted yield curve” – where short-term interest rates exceed long-term rates. So you contemplate cutting short-term rates. OK, but you’re ignoring bigger basics. Dump all those bonds you idiotically bought under your ill-conceived “Quantitative dis-Easing” (QE) programs. Get real. ...


Brian Domitrovic: In The Inequality Statistics, I See Dead People
Posted: September 14, 2019 at 07:05 PM (Saturday)

Of all the figures that inequality doyen Thomas Piketty and collaborator Emmanuel Saez have provided in their vast research in the field of economic disparities, a choice few stand out. Perhaps none is more arresting than the tax rate that the highest earners paid in the era of post-World War II prosperity. That figure, the average tax rate on ...


Tony Mecia: Opportunity Zones Knock Where They’re Needed Least
Posted: September 13, 2019 at 06:10 PM (Friday)

Places like Chapel Hill are poor areas on paper because they’re filled with jobless college kids. If you stroll down Franklin Street, the main drag here in this wealthy college town, you aren’t likely to think you’ve landed in a disadvantaged place. Just a few blocks from the main campus of the University of North Carolina, groups of ...