Economics

"Fannie, Freddie and the Secrets of a Bailout With No Exit"

Revealed: more lies from guess who. (Story is by Gretchen Morgenson in the New York Times.)

When Washington took over the beleaguered mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the collapse of the housing market and the financial crisis of 2008, it was with the implicit promise that they would be returned to shareholders after being nursed back to health.

But now, with the unsealing of documents this week that were produced as part of a lawsuit filed against the government, new evidence is coming to light on how intimately the White House was involved in the Treasury’s decision in August 2012 to keep all the companies’ profits for the government. That move effectively maintained Fannie’s and Freddie’s status as wards of the state.


"Raising Income Taxes Won't Fix Wealth Inequality"

Summary of a recent academic study, "The Dynamics of Wealth Inequality and the Effect of Income Distribution".

The researchers then used their model to predict the future. What would happen, they wondered, if income inequality was varied? In their model, income inequality was tied to a metric called the Gini index, a statistical measure of inequality used for decades. They found that altering income inequality to a Gini index of 0.1 (very low inequality) resulted in the top 10% controlling 78.6% of wealth in 2030, while raising income inequality to a Gini index of 0.9 (very high inequality) resulted in the top 10% controlling 79.3% of wealth in 2030, hardly a significant difference.


"How the ACA Is Really Performing"

Seems like a calm and reasonable summary to me. Conclusion:

The ACA’s advocates and opponents are fully within their rights to highlight what they respectively regard to be the positive and negative aspects of the law. Anyone seeking to simply understand the ACA’s effects, however, will need to note many factors the policy combatants may not. While it is true the ACA has expanded health insurance coverage, its effects on health prices are yet unknown and its effects on the labor market and the federal fiscal outlook are almost certainly damaging.