This report from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence – The Funding of State and Local Pensions: 2013-2017 - charts where the pension funds were in 2001 and where they are headed in the near-term. Look at page 11 to see the gradual diminution of three of New Jersey’s major pension funds.
Archive for Economics
What Have We Learned About Austerity Since the Great Recession? (Center for American Progress); and After the Fall: Lessons for Policy Cooperation from the Global Crisis (IMF).
“An Economic Survey is published every two years for each OECD member country and for some countries that are not OECD members, such as China, Russia and Brazil. There is also a separate Survey of the euro area.”(Introduction) Since the U.S. is part of the OECD, it is also reviewed every two years; the 2014 edition of the OECD Economic Survey of the United States has just been published. It is written according to a standardized structure – each survey starts off with an executive summary, followed by assessments and recommendations that are in turn followed up by thematic chapters. All of these writings are supplemented with numerous charts, tables, and data, some historical in nature. For those who do not want to read the entire U.S. report, there is a briefer overview online as well. Here is a list of the countries scrutinized; following each country’s link will bring you to overviews, past reports, and the ability to read the latest reports online (For every country, you will see a link to “Online Bookstore.” Click on that link and you will then see a highlighted “look inside” button that will lead you to the latest report.) What recommendations/assessments does the OECD have for this country? Here they are: “The economy is recovering; structural reforms, including comprehensive tax reform, can boost long-term growth; financial reform should be rolled out fully; labour market reform can boost employment; Americans are generally happy, although working families face rising pressures; making the best of new energy resources.” (Overview 6)
The Low-Wage Recovery (National Employment Law Project); Snapshot of older consumers and mortgage debt (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau); and The exit from non-conventional monetary policy: what challenges? (BIS).
If you look at the statistics and figures compiled by the Urban Institute, New Jersey’s overall rating is a D. The sectors covered are: local, state, teachers, and police and firefighters. While retirement income for long-term employees is given an A for most sectors, all the other ratings are abysmal. That New Jersey has pension-funding woes is not news; for example see this March 25, 2014 NJ Spotlight report entitled Gov. Christie Retroactively Cuts State Pension Payment. Other relevant writings are: Underfunded Pension Plans in the United States (Harvard, 2012); Why the Pension Crisis in New Jersey Will Not Be Fixed (NJ State League of Municipalities, 2013); Fourth Annual State Debt Report (State Budget Solutions, 2014); The Widening Gap Update (Pew, 2012); Pension Politics: Public Employee Retirement System Reform in Four States (Brookings, 2014); 2012 Survey of Public Pensions: State and Local Data (US Census Bureau, 2014); and Pensions (National Conference of State Legislators, 2014).
LIBOR: Origins, Economics, Crisis, Scandal, and Reform (Federal Reserve, NY); The Prudential Regulation of Financial Institutions: Why Regulatory Responses to the Crisis Might Not Prove Sufficient (OECD); and Impact of the crisis on industrial relations and working conditions in Europe (Eurofound).
OECD forecasts during and after the financial crisis: a post-mortem (OECD); Beige Book (Federal Reserve); Are the Long-Term Unemployed on the Margins of the Labor Market? (Brookings);and Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test 2014 (Federal Reserve).
The Long-Term Unemployed in the Wake of the Great Recession (Carsey Institute).
Dynamics of Economic Well-Being: Poverty, 2009-2011 (Census Bureau); and Impact of the Great Recession on Retirement Trends in Industrialized Countries (Brookings).
Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023 (Congressional Budget Office); Financial Institutions, the Market, and the Continuing Problem of Executive Compensation (University of Denver); and Impact of the Great Recession on Retirement Trends in Industrialized Countries (Brookings).
Beige Book — October 16, 2013 (Federal Reserve); Never Saw It Coming: Why The Financial Crisis Took Economists By Surprise (Foreign Affairs); Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress (CRS); Well-being and the global financial crisis (OECD); Impacts and Costs of the October 2013 Federal Government Shutdown (OMB); Rescuing the Recovery: Prospects and Policies for the United States (Levy Economics Institute, Bard College); and Home Value and Homeownership Rates: Recession and Post-Recession Comparisons From 2007-2009 to 2010-2012 (Census Bureau).
How Economic Insecurity in Children Changed Over the Course of the Great Recession: Fact Sheet (Urban Institute); Impact of 2008 global economic crisis on suicide: time trend study in 54 countries (British Medical Journal); Global Financial Stability Report: Transition Challenges to Stability (IMF); and Five years on: The European economic crisis leaves a legacy of poverty (International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies).
Minimum wage debates at both state and federal levels are nothing new here. But what about minimum wages in the European Union countries? Does the EU have a standard rate crossing all countries and sectors? The answer is no; each country sets its own minimum levels. Buried on pages 23-24 of this draft report – A coordinated EU minimum wage policy? - are the minimum monthly wage levels and median monthly wage levels for all the EU countries for 2009 and 2010. (The countries are listed by their EU abbreviations; a list is available .) The figures must be used with caution as the data come from various sources and legislation, but they do allow for some comparative analysis. (A lengthier explanation is contained in the previous pages of this report; see especially p.22 for a succinct overview.)
Five Years After the Crash: What Americans Think about Wall Street, Banks, Business, and Free Enterprise (American Enterprise Institute); The Financial Crisis Five Years Later: Response, Reform, and Progress In Charts (U.S. Treasury Dept); Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States (UC Berkeley); Living Below the Line: Economic Insecurity and America’s Families (Wider Opportunities for Women); Rebuilding Household Wealth: Implications for Economic Recovery (CRS); Financial Planning Profiles of American Households: The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey and Index (Consumer Federation of America); Financial Crisis: Five Years Later (White House); and Bibliography of the Global Financial / Economic Crisis (European University Institute Library).
The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey has released three reports examining the above topics. Household Income 2012 presents data at the national, state levels along with the 25 largest metropolitan areas. Comparisons are made for 2000 and 2012. New Jersey’s median income dropped 3.4% between 2000 and 2012. Poverty: 2002-1012 profiles the same above government entities. New Jersey is one of just a few states with a poverty level under 11%. And Mitigating the Loss of Private Insurance With Public Coverage for the Under-65 Population 2008-2012 shows the erosion of private health insurance over time; fully 14.5% of New Jerseyans are without coverage.
How Bad Was It? The Costs and Consequences of the 2007–09 Financial Crisis (Federal Reserve, Dallas); Evaluating early warning indicators of banking crises: Satisfying policy requirements (BIS); and The relationship between the housing and labor market crises and doubling up: an MSA-level analysis, 2005–2011 (BLS).
Rising Income Inequality and the Role of Shifting Market-Income Distribution, Tax Burdens, and Tax Rates (EPI); Crisis Chronicles: 300 Years of Financial Crises, 1620-1920 (an ongoing series of articles, Federal Reserve); Credit and growth after financial crises (BIS); The Economics of Student Debt (Hamilton Place Strategies); and Global Risks 2013 (World Economic Forum).
From income inequality to natural disasters like la Hurricane Sandy to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the world faces many threats according to Global Risks 2013 from the World Economic Forum. A thousand experts from various fields were asked to give their opinions on what constituted the greatest risks we now face. Figure 29 of this report has the five areas of concern: economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal, and technological along with the associated risks, numbering ten for each group. We should point out that one of the societal risks is “water supply crises”. This risk is also considered a … ” ‘centre of gravity’ – the one risk that they[survey-takers] thought is the systemically most important one in that group. Due to their influence on other risks, these are the risks to which leaders and policy-makers should pay particularly close attention.”(figure 36) The report is somber reading but nonetheless needs to be consulted. And nowhere does the spectre of nuclear conflict arise as a threat.
The Financial Crisis and the Impact on Households (Federal Reserve – St Louis); Regulatory Landscapes: A U.S. Perspective (Speech – Federal Reserve); National Financial Capability Study (FINRA); and The Financial Crisis, Capital Flows, and Global Liquidity (Speech – IMF).
This new tool from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York – Regional Indicators of Consumer Debt – covers New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. The data deal with credit card debt, student loans, car loans, and “other” loans and can be broken down by age group. For example, as of March 2013, 32% of the age group 18-34 in New Jersey carry student loans the median balance of which is $17,500. Other information presented includes delinquency rates by county, 90+ days delinquency rates, and percentage of credit scores above 620.