Property Rights and Freedom of Religion, Yes; Taxpayer Financing, No

Per Reuters:

The Muslim center planned near the site of the World Trade Center attack could qualify for tax-free financing, a spokesman for City Comptroller John Liu said on Friday, and Liu is willing to consider approving the public subsidy.

There’s some weasel wording in there, so let’s unpack it.

The issue isn’t “tax-exempt . . . → Read More: Property Rights and Freedom of Religion, Yes; Taxpayer Financing, No

Economic Events on August 31, 2010

At 7:45 AM EDT, the weekly ICSC-Goldman Store Sales report will be released, giving an update on the health of the consumer through this analysis of retail sales.

At 8:55 AM EDT, the weekly Redbook report will be released, giving us more information about consumer spending.

At 9:00 AM EDT, the monthly S&P/Case-Shiller home . . . → Read More: Economic Events on August 31, 2010

Are Americans Pessimistic About the Prospects for the Next Generation?

Gary Becker has recently written an interesting article on the Becker-Posner blog about polls suggesting that the majority of parents in the United States are not confident that their children will be better off economically than they are. He suggests that the best way to counter such pessimism is to promote faster economic growth.

. . . → Read More: Are Americans Pessimistic About the Prospects for the Next Generation?

Q2 GDP Reading Surprises Most

On Friday, the Commerce Department confirmed that Q2 GDP growth was 1.6%. Many of the details pointed to good news for the U.S. Economy. With inflation almost non-existent the report also shows that year over year the economy is up 3.0% Reading surprised almost all analysts to on the upside.

Many stock traders focused . . . → Read More: Q2 GDP Reading Surprises Most

Economic Events on August 30, 2010

At 8:30 AM EDT, the monthly Personal Income and Outlays report for July will be released.  The consensus for Personal Income is an increase of 0.3% over the previous month  and the consensus Core PCE price index change is an increase of 0.1%.

30 Year Fixed Rates Now Below 4.4% – Should You Refi Yet Again?!

How low can they go?

Mortgage rates managed to reach yet another low this week, with the 30-year fixed rate now costing borrowers less than 4.4% for the first time in history.

Freddie Mac (FMCC) said on Thursday that the average rate for traditional 30-year fixed mortgages fell to an average of 4.36%, the . . . → Read More: 30 Year Fixed Rates Now Below 4.4% – Should You Refi Yet Again?!

Gold and Silver Versus Market Index Bubbles

Below is a chart Nick of Sharelynx has been working on to show how much of a bubble gold and silver are in (or not).

Note that the x-axis does not have time on it because each bubble had a different timelength (some of the bubbles are 20 years, others 5 years). This does . . . → Read More: Gold and Silver Versus Market Index Bubbles

Economic Events on August 27, 2010

At 8:30 AM EDT, the preliminary GDP report for the second quarter of 2010 will be announced.  The consensus is an increase of 1.3% in real GDP and an increase of 1.8% in the GDP price index.  The real GDP estimate is 1.1% lower than the advance estimate for this quarter, and the GDP price index . . . → Read More: Economic Events on August 27, 2010

Know-Nothing Labor Myths

Jacob Lyles at The Distributed Republic:

Open border libertarians like to pretend that the supply of immigrant laborers has no effect on the welfare of existing United States workers. But this is not the case.

Broadly speaking, the welfare of an average Joe who trades his labor for a living depends on two factors. . . . → Read More: Know-Nothing Labor Myths

Sideways?

Perhaps it would be a good time for investors and analysts alike to lean back and have a good bottle of Pinot Noir and let markets be markets. Surely, with the likes of Hindenburg Omens still getting its share of the tape and with the macro backdrop turning decidedly sour, it seems a prudent . . . → Read More: Sideways?