Economics

"Trump’s intriguing idea: Cut debt by selling off federal assets"

As I noted here a few weeks ago, this seems like a good idea.

Let’s focus on a giant part of this: Mineral rights for oil and gas reserves. The IER report said they’re worth $128 trillion. But that was January 2013. Even though oil prices CLK7, +0.99%  have dropped 50% and gas prices NGK17, +0.03%  have fallen some 15% since, that’s still, as Donald Trump might say, a yuge amount of money.


"What We Mean When We Talk about Media Bias"

Kevin Williamson quickly demonstrates that Wired should steer clear of economcs.

Setting aside the fact that tax laws are written by Congress and not by the White House, the Trump administration’s budget proposal contains a 1.2 percent spending cut to the discretionary budget, i.e. a 1.2 percent cut to a portion of the budget that amounts to less than one-third of federal spending. A 1.2 percent cut to 29 percent of federal spending is not “gutting the federal budget” under any plausible interpretation of those words by a reasonably literate English-speaking person.


"Shell’s New Permian Play Profitable At $20 A Barrel"

I'm no expert, but this news from "The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News" seems like great news for U.S. consumers and a really big deal.

OPEC’s worries about the booming U.S. oil production have increased significantly with the big three oil companies’ interest in shale. Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, and Chevron Corp., are planning $10 billion of investments in shale in 2017, a quantum jump compared to previous years. All the naysayers who doubted the longevity of the shale oil industry may have to modify their forecasts.

OPEC lost when they pumped at will as lower oil prices destroyed their finances, and now they are losing their hard-earned market share as a result of cutting production. Shell’s declaration that they can “make money in the Permian with oil at $40 a barrel, with new wells profitable at about $20 a barrel” is an indication that Shell is here to stay, whatever the price of oil.

Related: January New York Times piece, "Land Rush in Permian Basin, Where Oil Is Stacked Like a Layer Cake".


"We're In Denial About Growing Administrative State"

Bad news:

Aside from excessive meddling, the other big complaint against regulation is that it hurts the economy. No one really knows by how much, but "there is ample evidence that regulation has expanded and that this expansion has limited economic growth," as Ted Gayer and Philip Wallach of the Brookings Institution recently wrote. One study estimates that regulation has shaved 0.8% off the U.S. annual growth rate which — if confirmed by other studies — would be huge.

Related:

"Congress must stop death by decree: The biggest restraint on economic growth is federal red tape".

"Deconstructing the Administrative State"

Some possible approaches to improving matters:

"Trump Wants to Deconstruct the Regulatory State? Good. Here’s How You Start".

"A Blueprint for Reforming the Federal Government".

Confirming Gorsuch to the Supreme Court could well help: "Gorsuch’s Collision Course With the Administrative State".