Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The President Obama's State of the Union Speech


Below is the full text of President Obama's 2012 State of the Union address.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:
Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought – and several thousand gave their lives.
We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world. For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of al Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.
These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America’s Armed Forces. At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together.
Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example. Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we’re in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.
We can do this. I know we can, because we’ve done it before. At the end of World War II, when another generation of heroes returned home from combat, they built the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever known. My grandfather, a veteran of Patton’s Army, got the chance to go to college on the GI Bill. My grandmother, who worked on a bomber assembly line, was part of a workforce that turned out the best products on Earth.
The two of them shared the optimism of a Nation that had triumphed over a depression and fascism. They understood they were part of something larger; that they were contributing to a story of success that every American had a chance to share – the basic American promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement.
The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What’s at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them.
Let’s remember how we got here. Long before the recession, jobs and manufacturing began leaving our shores. Technology made businesses more efficient, but also made some jobs obsolete. Folks at the top saw their incomes rise like never before, but most hardworking Americans struggled with costs that were growing, paychecks that weren’t, and personal debt that kept piling up.

In summary;

    • Extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment for rest of year.  The White House and congressional leaders area on record in support of extending these benefits beyond the current Feb. 30 cutoff – a must-do for lawmakers in a critical election year.
    • Create a trade enforcement unit that will bring together resources and investigators from across the federal government to go after unfair trade practices in China and other countries around the world. The government would also step up trade inspections to stop counterfeit, pirated or unsafe goods before they enter the United States. (Obama has ordered this.)
    • Promote clean energy policies by ordering the Navy Department to make the largest renewable energy purchase in history – one gigawatt – and by directing the Interior Department to permit 10 gigawatts of renewable energy  projects on public lands  by the end of the year, enough to power three million homes.
    • Create a Financial Crimes Unit within the Justice Department to go after large-scale financial fraud so that Americans’ investments are protected. (Obama has ordered this.)
    • An executive order to clear away the red tape on  many construction projects.
    These are the likely candidates.
Austerity will lead to this...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Inequality...;G20 and Thailand 2012

France has a long traditional history for it to lead in inequality compared to Korea's. Let us introduce another variable into the equation "Sustainability" to be discussed later. First, Gini coefficients helps one to understand income inequality.

Sustainable Growth one must define relative and absolute decoupling.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The G20 Summits in Asia

The annual summits, which finished last month, started with the G20 and lead to the APEC Summit. The details are following the Cannes Summit (3-4 November), Asian leaders participated in series of summits; APEC in Honolulu (12-13 November), the ASEAN summit (17-19 November) and the East Asian Summit (EAS) (19 November). The prominent feature of the Asia Pacific meetings was the return of the US, as host at APEC, where President Obama re-launched the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, targeting a 12-month completion date; and as one of the newest members of the EAS, which some see as the forum most likely to link regional and global strategic issues carry out macroeconomic re-balancing, discussions among ASEAN +3 governments should  take place in the multilateral Chiang Mai Initiative located in Thailand. The ultimate goal agreed to by all countries is to bring about a "Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific" (FTAAP) by 2020. There were no divergent views among the countries.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Internet Search Data Federal Reserve; The G20 and Thailand

The conclusion is very important I list it first just like a "Abstract".

Economists are always looking for ways to improve their forecasts—to make their crystal ball a bit less cloudy. We find that Internet search counts possess useful information, not available in other variables, to now-cast or forecast the trajectory of some financial market data. While this predictive power is by no means universal—as we observe above, for a number of markets, Internet search data do not provide explanatory power beyond that of more traditional forecasting methods—the basic message is of a useful addition to the economist’s toolkit.

The Appendix 

Several research studies use Internet search data. Hyunyoung Choi and Hal Varian, both of Google, have established the usefulness of search data to predict upcoming economic data releases for U.S. retail sales, auto sales, home sales, and initial jobless claims, as well as visitor statistics for Hong Kong (2009). Chamberlin (2010) of the U.K. Office for National Statistics examines search data’s correlation with British retail sales, property transactions, car registrations, and foreign trips.

    A couple of papers have looked at the housing market. Wu and Brynjolfsson (2009) find that search data foreshadow U.S. housing sale and prices. Webb (2009) finds a strong correlation between the keyword “foreclosure” and actual foreclosures in the United States. McLaren and Shanbhogue (2011) of the Bank of England look at several markets, but find the strongest contribution of search data in a model forecasting U.K. house prices.

    Regarding unemployment, Askitas and Zimmermann (2009) show strong correlations between search data and German unemployment. D’Amuri (2009) of the Bank of Italy finds that an Internet-search-based measure is superior to other leading indicators in predicting Italian unemployment. D’Amuri and Marcucci (2009) find that augmenting models of the U.S. unemployment rate with an Internet job-search indicator outperforms traditional forecasting methods and the Survey of Professional Forecasters. Suhoy (2009) of the Bank of Israel finds search data to be a good predictor of labor market conditions in that country.

    Several papers examine the usefulness of search data in the area of U.S. consumer confidence and spending. Della Penna and Huang (2009) develop a query-based consumer confidence measure that leads those of the University of Michigan and the Conference Board. Schmidt and Vosen (2010) find that search data outperform these two consumer confidence indexes in forecasting private consumption. Similarly, Kholodilin, Podstawski, and Siliverstovs (2010) show that an Internet-search-based forecasting model outperforms several benchmark models of private consumption.

    While most of the academic work to date has focused on economic data, search data have also been used in stock market analysis, although only one group of researchers find that the data can predict prices. Andrade, Bian, and Burch (2010) use search data to identify peak interest in stock investing in a study of the sharp run-up in Chinese stock prices in 2007. Preis, Reith, and Stanley (2010) find that searches for specific company names correlate with transaction volumes for those companies’ shares. Vlastakis and Markellos (2010) use search data as an indicator for information demand on specific stocks and find that this leads not only trading volume but also volatility. Da, Engelberg, and Gao (2010a) construct an “investor attention” index using search data and find that it predicts higher stock prices over a two-week horizon, followed by a reversal over a one-year time frame. They also conclude (2010b) that searches 

for a firm’s most popular products are better than analyst forecasts at predicting earnings surprises and the subsequent market reaction.

The views expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the author(s).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012