The Department of Commerce yesterday released the first estimate of economic growth in the 3rd quarter (July - September) of 2014. The headline was 3.5 percent growth (at an annual rate), a healthy clip and certainly in excess of what I and most analysts had anticipated. (I did not think the growth rate would break 3.0 percent). What happened?
There once was a Fed that did QE II
But got no growth for me and you
It then doubled its bet
Until it tapered out, yet
They still don’t know what to do
The Census Bureau reported yesterday that the fraction of Americans who own their homes was 64.4 percent in the third quarter, the lowest level since the first quarter of 1995.
The New York Times was out with its review of the ACA to date yesterday. I think a fair reading of the article suggests that we, the readers, are supposed to answer: “On balance, yes.” I’m not so sure.
Twenty five U.S. Senators have accused the administration of hiding the scope of the impact of a forthcoming Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (and Army Corps of Engineers) rule that would define the so-called “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) that it would regulate under the Clean Water Act of 1972.
Yesterday Secretary Burwell of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced her intention to spend nearly $1billion ($840 million) over the next four years on the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative. This is notable not for the money — the Obama Administration is the gold standard in spending — but rather its stated objective: "to help clinicians achieve large-scale health transformation.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently began the contracting process; bids to supply it with card stock for work permits and green cards over the next five years. This routine contract bid raised red flags, leading to speculation that President Obama is planning an aggressive executive action on immigration that is massive and unprecedented in scope.
Monday New York Fed President William Dudley laid down the law arguing that large financial institutions have continued ethical problem and remain under public suspicion years after the financial crisis. The bottom line was hard-hitting:
We had a couple of readers suggest tackling how to reform the burdensome regulatory system. It’s a good question, with two possible strategies for an answer. The first imagines rewinding the clock to 1776 and re-imagining the constitutional Legislative-Judicial-Executive mix. That might make a good novel, but I’ll follow the second branch; what could get done in the foreseeable future?
Among the numerous putative causes of last week’s equity market convulsions is the potential for European deflation. Deflation is the persistent widespread decline in prices (as opposed to a drop in the price of a particular product or service).