TOP NEWS: Economy: September 17th, 2012
- S.E.C. Suggests Reforms of Municipal Bond Market
- Fed’s Lacker: Bond-Buying Likely to Increase Inflation
- Banks’ Financial Health Improves, F.D.I.C. Says
- Regulator Rebuffs Obama on Plan to Ease Housing Debt
- Costs Rise at Fastest Pace in 3 Years
Excerpts and More Top Stories
SEC: S.E.C. Suggests Reforms of Municipal Bond Market – NYT
The Securities and Exchange Commission said the market was “illiquid and opaque” and that issuers should provide information that investors receive in other financial markets.
SEC: Exchanges Face SEC Scrutiny on Products - WSJ
Exchanges are bracing for greater scrutiny from the top U.S. securities regulator as it clamps down on their efforts to bolster profits by pumping out products that increasingly have catered to high-speed traders.
FED: Fed’s Lacker: Bond-Buying Likely to Increase Inflation – WSJ
The Federal Reserve’s new open-ended bond-buying program is likely to push up inflation, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker said.
FED: Bernanke’s Latest Move Has a Desperate Air - RCM
Robert Samuelson: We are reaching – or may already have passed – the practical limits of “economic stimulus.”
BANKING: Banks’ Financial Health Improves, F.D.I.C. Says - NYT
The F.D.I.C. quarterly report showed the banking industry earned $34.5 billion in the second quarter, up $5.9 billion from a year earlier.
HOUSING DEBT: Regulator Rebuffs Obama on Plan to Ease Housing Debt - NYT
The agency that administers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said it had concluded after months of study that the costs of debt forgiveness outweighed the potential benefits.
HOUSING: Hard-Hit Cities Show a Housing Rebound - WSJ
The latest housing data showed a year-over-year increase in prices nationally, with a recovery apparent even in places like Miami, Atlanta and Detroit.
HOUSING: Home Resales Rose in July – WSJ
Americans bought more homes in July than in June and prices rose, a private industry group said, evidence that the housing market is slowly recovering.
HOUSING: Housing Starts Are Up, but Building Permits Decline – NYT
The Commerce Department said housing starts rose 6.9 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 760,000 units, the highest since October 2008.
HOUSING: Luxury Home Builder Reports a Revenue Gain of 41% - NYT
Postrecession growth at Toll Brothers, the largest luxury home builder in the United States, underlines the recovery in the housing market.
PRICES: Costs Rise at Fastest Pace in 3 Years - NYT
Consumer prices in the United States rose in August by the most in three years, but underlying inflation was fairly muted. Retail sales also rose.
PRICES: Prices Surged for Producers in August - NYT
In addition, a report said that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits touched a two-month high.
STOCKS: U.S. Stocks Edge Lower - WSJ
U.S. stocks gave up some of last week’s gains as disappointing news about manufacturing in the New York area, weakness in Europe and China and continued violent protests in the Middle East left investors on edge.
MIDDLE CLASS: Defining Middle Class - NYT
Both presidential candidates have suggested that the threshold for being rich starts around $250,000. That’s about the 96th percentile for American households.
INCOME DROP: Lax Rules Author Spike In Food Stamp Usage – RCM
Last week, the Census Bureau announced American real household income declined in 2011. That’s the second year in a row. Coupled with an unending stream of poor economic data from unemployment to slow economic growth, it’s not surprising that 47 million Americans, more than ever before, are on food stamps.
ENERGY: Shell Scales Back Alaska Oil Exploration – NYT
The company, which has spent around $4.5 billion to obtain licenses and prepare for exploratory drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, said it is scaling back ambitions until next summer after several setbacks.
GM: U.S. Balks at GM Plan - WSJ
The Treasury Department is resisting a push by General Motors to sell the government’s entire stake in the auto maker—the latest source of tension between two unlikely partners thrust together at the depths of the financial crisis.
COMMODITIES: Commodities Prices Rise Broadly for a Monthly Gain – NYT
Commodities rose broadly on Friday, ending August with a third consecutive month of gains, after strong rallies through most of the month in oil, soybeans and cocoa.
STUDENT DEBT: The Debt of Medical Students - NYT
Is medical education a public good that deserves public subsidy? Most economists view it as a privately owned form of human capital, an economist writes.
EARNINGS: Earnings in United States Are Beginning to Feel a Pinch – NYT
The estimated drop in corporate profits removes what had been an economic bright spot in an otherwise cloudy picture.
TAXES: Congressional Research Service – WSJ
Congressional Research Service finds that tax cuts for high earners can be linked to a different outcome: income inequality. “The evidence does not suggest necessarily a relationship between tax policy with regard to the top tax rates and the size of the economic pie, but there may be a relationship to how the economic pie is sliced,” according to the CRS report, circulated on Friday.
FOOD: World Hunger: The Problem Left Behind – NYT
Economic gains in many sectors have yet to solve the problem of feeding the world. In Africa alone, government policies and fertilizer costs are inhibiting agricultural progress.
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