Economics @ ITT

How the Temp Workers Are Getting Crushed

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 28, 2013

Across America, temporary work has become a mainstay of the economy, leading to the proliferation of what researchers have begun to call “temp towns.” They are often dense Latino neighborhoods teeming with temp agencies. Or they are cities where it has become nearly impossible even for whites and African-Americans with vocational training to find factory and warehouse work without first being directed to a temp firm.

via How the Temp Workers Who Keep Huge Corporations Running Are Getting Crushed | Alternet.

Why Should Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year?

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 21, 2013

The top five banks—JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.—account for $64 billion of the total [US government tax] subsidy [of $83 billion], an amount roughly equal to their typical annual profits see tables for data on individual banks. In other words, the banks occupying the commanding heights of the U.S. financial industry—with almost $9 trillion in assets, more than half the size of the U.S. economy—would just about break even in the absence of corporate welfare. In large part, the profits they report are essentially transfers from taxpayers to their shareholders.

via Why Should Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year? – Bloomberg.

America Doesn’t Have Richest Middle-Class in the World

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 19, 2013

America is the richest country on Earth. We have the most millionaires, the most billionaires and our wealthiest citizens have garnered more of the planet’s riches than any other group in the world. We even have hedge fund managers who make in one hour as much as the average family makes in 21 years!

This opulence is supposed to trickle down to the rest of us, improving the lives of everyday Americans. At least that’s what free-market cheerleaders repeatedly promise us.

Unfortunately, it’s a lie, one of the biggest ever perpetrated on the American people.

via Big Lie: America Doesn’t Have #1 Richest Middle-Class in the World…We’re Ranked 27th! | Alternet.

Latency In Trading

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 18, 2013

Efficient markets, my arse.

The current target of collective ire is Thomson Reuters. There was some shady trading ahead of the Consumer Confidence number at the end of last month. About a quarter of a second before the number was released, there was an eruption of orders in the SPDR S&P Sector ETF SPY, the e-Mini electronically traded futures, and in hundreds of stocks, according to Nanex, a market research firm.

After some digging CNBCs Eamon Javers reported that the source of the early trading was Thomson Reuters. The company has a well-known deal with the University of Michigan, the source of the data, that allows Thomson Reuters to release that data 5 minutes before its supposed to come out 9:55 am to clients who pay for that privilege.

via Latency In Trading – Business Insider.

The Banking Revolution that Would Wipe Out Britain’s Debts

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 11, 2013

Banking reform has been back in the headlines over the past week, with calls from a parliamentary committee for consideration to be given to more radical options – including the break-up of the Royal Bank of Scotland – and a scathing attack by MPs on Dame Clara Furse’s fitness to serve on the Bank of England’s new financial stability committee.

via The banking revolution that would wipe out Britains debts – Telegraph.

Money: The Unauthorised Biography by Felix Martin

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 5, 2013

A book review…

[M]oney is more than the oil in the engine – a mechanical lubricant – but a socially-created system of transferable credit, a way of keeping account of what people owe each other, while allowing them to transfer their various “IOUs” to others. Crucially, it is not just governments that create money – others can, too.

via Money: The Unauthorised Biography by Felix Martin – review | Books | The Guardian.

California To Wal-Mart: No More Taxpayer Subsidized Profits For You

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 5, 2013

For years, Wal-Mart—and other large retail operators—have been piling up huge profits by controlling their labor costs through paying employees sub-poverty level wages. As a result, it has long been left to the taxpayer to provide healthcare and other subsidized benefits to the many Wal-Mart employees who are dependent on Medicaid, food stamp programs and subsidized housing in order to keep their families from going under.

via California To Wal-Mart: Enough! No More Taxpayer Subsidized Profits For You – Forbes.

5 Costly Lessons From A Kickstarter-Backed Designer

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 4, 2013

The din started on May 7, 2012, the day Fawcett and his colleagues at Fuse Chicken, a four-person design outfit in Akron, Ohio, launched their first Kickstarter campaign. They were trying to raise funding for Une Bobine, a product of Fawcett’s design that stuffed an iPhone charging cable inside a metal gooseneck, allowing it to double as a flexible docking station and makeshift tripod. It was a simple, clever idea, and the team set out with the modest goal of raising $9,800 to put it into production.

via 1 | Life After Kickstarter: 5 Costly Lessons From A Kickstarter-Backed Designer | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.

Income Inequality Defers the American Dream

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 4, 2013

Inequality is now one of the biggest political and economic challenges facing the United States. Not that long ago, the gap between rich and poor barely registered on the political Richter scale. Now the growing income divide, an issue that dominated the presidential election debate, has turned into one of the hottest topics of the age.

via Income Inequality Defers the American Dream | Alternet.

Should one person always stay at home? An economist considers

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 3, 2013

For an economist, the central question is not whether this creates a good role model for your children or upsets the power dynamic in the relationship; rather, it is simply whether this arrangement is more efficient. In fact, as the Atlantic story notes, economists have considered this question and basically argued that, yes, specialization in the household is efficient.

via Should one person always stay at home? An economist considers. – Slate Magazine.