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What We Read Today 05 April 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

  • Who Are Obamacare’s 7 million Enrollees? (Meghan Foley, Wall St. Cheat Sheet) The most complete assessment we have yet seen on the status of Obamacare. Finally someone has put the whole story together without political bias undertones (in some cases bias has been the entire story).

  • Gaba sees 16 million QHP enrollees (Allsion Bell, Life Health Pro) Charles Gaba, a closely watched Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act plan enrollment tracker, is reporting at that he believes at least 6.6 million people have paid for commercial "qualified health plan" coverage through the exchanges or will soon pay for the coverage. Analysts at the Rand Corp. have estimated, based on survey totals, that another 9 million people have bought QHPs outside the exchange system, Gaba says. In addition Gaba says data from the Centers for medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) indicate an additional 6.6 people have signed up for Medicaid or CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program). Add Gaba's numbers up and 21-22 million have Obamacare qualified insurance coverage, with 9 million outside of the government sponsored exchanges. With millions more expected to enroll in the April extension period and by qualifying for special enrollment between now and November 14, Obama may be bragging all the way into the mid-term elections.
  • Switzerland snubs U.S. effort to sanction Russian billionaires (Caroline Copley and Tom Miles, Reuters) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. Russian officials sanctioned by the European Union will be barred from new business interests in Switzerland but billionaires included on the U.S. sanctions list face no restrictions, the Swiss government said on Wednesday.
  • IRA rollover ruling stuns advisers and savers (Robert Powell, Market Watch) You can calm down - the headline is slightly misleading. It applies only to rollovers which involve the distribution to the IRA owner with a rollover from the individual to a new IRA custodian within 60 days. It does not apply to direct transfers from one custodian to another, in spite of the term "rollover" often being applied in those cases. A common term for that is "direct rollover". Now that you have regained composure you have yet another reason to avoid indirect rollovers which have you in possession of the money for up to 59 days.


There are 13 articles discussed today 'behind the wall'.

  • Why companies are wary to hire long-term unemployed (Jeffrey Bartash, MarketWatch) The 3.8 million Americans out of work for more than 6 months have few prospects for employment. With a great deal of slack in the job market "fresher" talent keeps them shut out. A shifting labor market is also a problem as the jobs that many of these people lost do not exist any more. Econintersect suggests that for many of these people they do not face the prospect of leaving the labor market - the labor market is leaving them. But there is some encouraging news - see last two articles today.


  • The 'Fairness' Fraud (Thomas Sowell, Hat tip to John O'Donnell. Who says life is fair? Certainly not Thomas Sowell.
  • Jobs Report: Back to Where We Started (Ben Casselman, FiveThirtyEight) The number of private sector jobs lost in the Great Recession has been replaced, although not the same jobs came back. Median income has declined over the interval as some higher paying jobs have been replaced with lower pay. Ther government sector is still 400,000 below the pre-recession level. Adjusted for population growth that shortfall is close to a million. See also GEI Analysis articles this week here and here.


"Feeble returns on the safest investments such as bank deposits and fixed-income securities represent a "financial repression" transferring money from savers to borrowers. Workers 65 and older, struggling with years of depressed yields, are the only group of Americans who are increasingly employed or looking for jobs, according to Labor Department participation-rate data.

"We're going to be financially repressed for decades. I hate to be gloomy, but, yes, for the next 10 years, the oldsters, and I'm in that camp, are going to be disappointed in terms of the policy rate
  • Another Biz Reporter Rips Applicant Tracking Systems (Seth Mason, Econimoes) Seth mason has contributed to Global Economic Intersection) Automation is doing great damage to the corporate recruiting process, throwing out many qualified applicants and keeping less qualified ones for interviews.
  • No, Americans Are Not All To Blame for the Financial Crisis (Dean Starkman, New Republic) Subtitle: Exposing the big lie of the post-crash economy. The author reviews data and comes to the conclusion that the blame for the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) is 90:10, Wall Street:Main Street. To come up with that number number he lumps all mortgage brokers and appraisers (who actually work on Main Street) into a bucket of minions of Wall Street. He derives from the data available that approximately 10% +/- is the maximum mortgage fraud that can be attributed to Main Street players. And he thinks most of that could not have occurred if Wall Street had insisted on traditional sound underwriting.



  • Long-Term Unemployed Make for Just as Strong Hires: Study (Aki Ito, Bloomberg) Evolv Inc. of San Fransisco has studied the records of almost 20,000 newly hired employees every day with four specific performance measurement parameters. Those who have been out of work for an extended period, once hired, tend to be just as productive on the job as those with more typical work histories. About 14% of the sample had been unemployed for five years or more.


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