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News Archive

  • A bipartisan group of senators is introducing legislation to impose "crushing" new financial penalties on R...
    Bipartisan bill to place “crushing” financial penalties on Russia; In light of rising trade tensions, a top Chinese diplomat urges the US to “calm down;”  Jobless Claims index rose by 1,000 to a total of 218,000. 
  • The U.S. administration will give an update on its planned tariffs on goods from China later on Wednesday, White House spo...
    Senate passes defense spending bill that defocuses procurement of Chinese tech; The US central bank holds interest rates steady; Manufacturing slows but hiring continues to rise.
  • New data providers continue to flood the emerging alternative data industry. According to AlternativeData.org, over 300 al...

    Picture this: you’re tired of the spam in your inbox, so you download a new app for your browser that blocks it. While downloading, the Terms of Agreement pop up, and you click ‘Agree’ – because why wouldn’t you? Unbeknownst to you, while you are now enjoying your spam-free email, the Slice Technologies app is analyzing your emails for purchase receipts and selling this anonymized data to hedge funds.[1] Is that an invasion of privacy? Not quite, as you agreed to the terms. But why would hedge funds, and other investment advisers, want this information? Well, with this kind of alternative data, investment firms can make much more accurate predictions about a company’s sales revenue and its health. This new world of alternative data poses incredible alpha-creating potential for investment advisers, as well as new legal concerns for the courts and regulators.

  • President TrumpDONALD JOHN TRUMPClinton maxes out to 19 Democratic House candidatesTucker Carlson slams immigrant lawyer a...
    The CEO of JPMorgan and Chase, credited the tax cut law signed by President Trump with helping boost the US economy; President Trump threatened a government shutdown if Congress failed to fund his border wall; In June, consumer spending rose a solid 0.4%; The S&P/Case-Shiller national index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4%. 
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Sarah E. Light
    In her new co-authored paper entitled, “Regulating Business Innovation  as Policy Disruption: From Model T to Airbnb,”Faculty Affiliate Sarah Light takes a historical look at the challenges surrounding regulating disruptor companies such as Uber and Airbnb and offers an analytical framework for regulatory responses.
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Arthur van Benthem

    Faculty Affiliate Arthur van Benthem discusses how a dopting a higher price floor for every ton of carbon released during power generation will help EU countries switch from coal to renewables more quickly.

  •   Pending home sales, a measure of signed contracts to buy existing homes, rose 0.9 percent in June compared to May, accor...
    Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Rep Francis Rooney announce drug pricing bill in the House; CMS approves a plan authored by the Wisconsin state government and developed to lower premiums for health insurance plans in the state; US home sales climbed 0.9% from May to June, but those sales were 2.5% lower than in June 2017. 
  • The Senate cleared legislation on Thursday that would eliminate duties on imported raw materials used for produc...
    The House of Representatives passed a compromise $717 billion defense spending package which instituted new provisions to crack down on national security vulnerabilities; The Senate passed legislation evening which would eliminate tariffs on imported raw materials that were not available domestically; The US government announced high second quarter GDP growth numbers at an annualized rate of 4.1%. 
  • A bipartisan pair of lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee offered legislation on Thursday to overhaul areas of the IR...
    A pair of bipartisan lawmakers proposed legislation to overhaul areas of the IRS with provisions aimed at improving protections for taxpayers and helping low-income Americans; Efforts to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein by House conservatives has divided GOP leadership; After hitting a 48-year low, Jobless Claims rise; The durable-goods orders rose by 1%, its first increase in three months.
  • The Trump administration will resume a program that pays billions of dollars to health insurers, just weeks after sending ...
    Trump administration to allocate 10.4 billion dollars in payments to go toward helping insurers cover disproportionately sick and costly enrollees; The Senate health committee approved a bill banning “gag rule” which prevents pharmacists from telling patients if they could save money by paying for prescriptions in cash; Mortgage demand continues to decline.
  • Despite rise in prices, US private sector growth remains strong in July
    President Trump announced that his administration is planning to help farmers who are being hit hard by billions of dollars in tariffs; Various business groups are expressing strong opposition to President Trump’s plans to place more tariffs on China; Harley-Davidson Inc. has slashed its profit margin forecast for this year due to tariffs; the US private sector experienced a robust rise in overall business activity.
  • Image: A 13th century Catalan nautical chart portraying a caravan on its way to China via the Silk Road. Source: Wikimedia...
    The legacy of the Silk Road is acting as inspiration for what President Xi Jinping calls the “project of the century.”[1] Yi dai yi lu, or “One Belt One Road” (OBOR), is Xi’s signature foreign policy enterprise: a commitment of more than $1 trillion for Chinese development banks to invest in a sweeping Eurasian and African infrastructure initiative.[2] OBOR operates both as a result of recent economic trends in China and as a milestone in Chinese foreign policy. The plan creates an outlet for Chinese products which are outgrowing domestic demand, but also has significant geopolitical potential. This article will examine OBOR and its consequences on Chinese partnerships across Eurasia and Africa and also how the results of this project relate to US foreign policy.
  • A Republican lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled a bill calling for a carbon tax on Monday, saying he h...
    Republican lawmaker has introduced legislation calling for a tax on carbon emissions that would fund domestic infrastructure investments; The bottom sixty percent of income earners have accounted for the biggest increases in consumer spending over the past two years leading experts to conclude that borrowing bolsters US consumer spending; US home sales fell for the third straight month in June.
  • Image: Consumer product diagram showing which parent companies control everyday items. Source: Visual Capitalist
    In towns and cities across America, mom and pop shops seem to be closing down at a rampant rate. It is no secret that as America moves further into the 21st century, consolidation is placing more power in the hands of fewer companies. With billion dollar companies becoming the norm and giants like Target and Walmart seemingly on every corner, it becomes hard to understand the dynamics of today’s complex economy. There is a strong argument against big businesses; it is bad for the average consumer and allowing companies to grow only allows them more ability to exercise their advantage and prey on consumers. On the other side, there is compelling theory that with healthy competition, big business expedites innovation and optimizes production in ways small companies cannot, which results in lower prices and a more efficient consumer experience. Within this environment, the regulation of big business is known as antitrust law and as the economy grows more complex, so does the enforcement of these laws in America.
  • Baltimore on Friday became the latest city to file a lawsuit against oil and gas giants seeking to hold the comp...
    Baltimore filed a lawsuit Friday against large oil and gas companies that do business inside Baltimore; Nunes, an ally to President Trump, has introduced legislation to reduce capital gains taxes; US income inequality continues to grow. 
  •  Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) dropped its $66 billion bid for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s (FOXA.O) entertainment asset...
    Comcast Corp announced that it will drop its pursuit of media assets owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., focusing instead on its offer for Sky Plc; the National Association for Manufacturers (NAM) said that it supports the Senate Banking Committee’s consideration to have Kimberly Reed lead the Export-Import Bank; Unemployment lines across the US last week were the shortest they have been since 1969. 
  • Image: Independence Hall, Philadelphia’s Historic District. Source: Wikimedia Commons
    Land-use regulation usually comes in the form of permits or codes, and is intended “to ensure [that] private use of land resources [is] aligned with policy standards.”[1] In other words, it is a way for the government to control how certain privately-owned areas are used. There are clear benefits associated with these permits and codes – for instance, they may help ensure the preservation of a particularly historic area of a town. That said, land regulation also triggers some economic collateral concerns that are often overlooked, such as lost business profits and a widening income gap.
  • The Trump administration started easing some standards for how companies discard coal ash, the toxic substances left over ...
    The House Homeland Security appropriations bill revealed that it would set aside $5 billion to build President Trump’s proposed border wall; Under the Trump Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency started easing some standards on how companies discard coal ash; US homebuilding fell to a nine month low.
  • The European Union and Japan signed an agreement on Tuesday that will lift close to 100 percent of tariffs on products exc...
    San Francisco residents will vote on whether the city should increase taxes on large businesses to help pay homeless and housing services; The European Union and Japan have signed an agreement that will lift close to 100 percent of tariffs on products exchanged between the two; Speaker Ryan Paul scraps “abolish ICE’ vote; US industrial production increased, in part due to a sharp rebound in manufacturing and increased mining outputs. 
  • Image: Voting key, symbolizing the growing connection between elections and technology. Source: National Conference of Sta...

    The 2000 presidential election posed countless issues, including butterfly ballots, partially punched cards, four to six million lost votes, and outraged citizens across the political spectrum. These issues led California Institute of Technology president David Baltimore and Massachusetts Institute of Technology president Charles Vest to approach the election technology failure more scientifically. With a team of computer scientists, mechanical engineers, and political scientists, they reimagined—and reengineered—the election process.[1] Although Baltimore and Vest pioneered advancements in the election process, the reliability of voting infrastructure today still remains questionable. As we approach the upcoming election cycle this Fall, policy and technology experts must come together to rectify a failing system.

  • A federal judge on Monday temporarily halted the deportations of families that have been recently reunited after...
    The Trump administration is temporarily barred from deporting reunited families by Federal Judge; US business inventories rose in the month of May, as sales increased; The International Monetary Fund’s projections showed a 3.9% growth rate for the global economy in 2018; Retail sales increased 0.5% in the month of June. 
  • Policy Options for Improving the Resilience of US Transportation Infrastructure
    Despite the vulnerability of America’s aging infrastructure to costly disruptions from man-made and natural disasters, infrastructure insurance under-utilized. On average, only 30% of catastrophic losses in the past 10 years have been covered by insurance. Most infrastructure project managers have relied instead on taxpayer-funded federal aid when disaster strikes. But it doesn’t need to be this way. In this brief, Gina Tonn, Jeffrey Czajkowski, and Howard Kunreuther use technical reports and input from infrastructure managers to outline steps that policymakers can take to help maximize the use of infrastructure insurance for providing financial protection, encouraging investment in loss mitigation measures, and limiting the current reliance on taxpayer dollars.
  • John Paul MacDuffie
    In light of the proliferation of automated driving technology, Faculty Affiliate John Paul MacDuffie looks at the major issues with this movement. He notes that despite the hype suggesting that autonomous vehicles will arrive within a couple of years, full autonomy for all vehicles is many decades away and argues that “diffusion will be erratic — moving fast at times, slowed up by unexpected constraints at other times. But we’ll feel like [autonomous vehicles] are part of our lives, at least partially, within the next five to 10 years.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Robert P. Inman
    In a discussion on the aging infrastructure of America, Faculty Affiliate Robert Inman argues that government officials across federal, state, and local agencies must take an active role in rebuilding and improving these resources and make these projects a priority. 
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Peter Cappelli
    In a class action against 8 fast food chains that are allegedly practicing “no poaching” terms in their employee contracts, Faculty Affiliate Peter Cappelli is quoted for his statements indicating that these agreements break anti-trust and employment law because “[c]ompanies could achieve the same results by making it attractive enough for employees not to leave.”
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Olivia S. Mitchell
    In light of Janus v. AFSCME, where the Supreme Court ruled that government workers who choose not to join a union cannot be forced to pay for the cost of collective bargaining, state governments are analyzing its impact on unions and pension funds. Faculty affiliate Olivia Mitchell’s research was cited for her findings that indicated unionized public employees’ pension plans were less likely to be fully funded. 
  • http://thehill.com/policy/finance/396879-despite-trump-efforts-us-trade-deficit-with-china-hits-record-reuters
    Metrics reveal that the US’ trade deficit with China has actually increased; Consumer sentiment fell to 97.1, a six month low, below estimates of 98.2 this past month; US import prices fell unexpectedly in the month of June; Prices for consumers rose rapidly last month. 
  •  China on Thursday said foreign firms operating in China would suffer in a trade war, urging U.S. companies to lobby ...
    Shahira Knight, a top White House economic adviser, is to become the President’s next emissary to Capitol Hill; Beijing urges US firms operating in China to lobby against Trade War; The Initial jobless claims index sank in the first week of July toward the lowest levels in almost 50 years; Consumer prices rose in June at the highest yearly rate since 2012. 
  • The Trump administration on Tuesday announced a package of tariffs targeting Chinese exports valued roughly at $200 billion.
    The Trump administration cut funding previously allocated to help people get insurance under the Affordable Care Act; The Trump administration introduced a set of new tariffs, targeting $200 billion dollars of Chinese goods, a figure roughly equivalent to the total size of Chinese exports to the United States; The US’ second quarter GDP growth is estimated to be 3.9% annualized. 
  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Katja Seim
    In a discussion on the implications of South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. that ruled online retailers must collect sales taxes even in states where they have no physical presence, Faculty Affiliate Katja Seim agues that it is still unclear whether or not this will negatively affect sales and consumer habits. 

 

PENN WHARTON PPI
RESOURCE SPOTLIGHT:

  • <h3>HUD State of the Cities Data Systems</h3><p><strong><img width="200" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image482 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 3x" data-max-w="612" data-max-h="613"/>The SOCDS provides data for individual Metropolitan Areas, Central Cities, and Suburbs.</strong> It is a portal for non-national data made available through a number of outside institutions (e.g. Census, BLS, FBI and others).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html" target="_blank">http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Center for Education Statistics</h3><p><strong><img width="400" height="80" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/400/height/80/479_nces.rev.1407787656.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image479 lw_align_right" data-max-w="400" data-max-h="80"/>The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations.</strong> NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. NCES has an extensive Statistical Standards Program that consults and advises on methodological and statistical aspects involved in the design, collection, and analysis of data collections in the Center. To learn more about the NCES, <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/about/" target="_blank">click here</a>.</p><p> Quick link to NCES Data Tools: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4</a></p><p> Quick link to Quick Tables and Figures: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCES Fast Facts (Note: The primary purpose of the Fast Facts website is to provide users with concise information on a range of educational issues, from early childhood to adult learning.): <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/#</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Federal Aviation Administration: Accident & Incident Data</h3><p><img width="100" height="100" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image80 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg 3x" data-max-w="550" data-max-h="550"/>The NTSB issues an accident report following each investigation. These reports are available online for reports issued since 1996, with older reports coming online soon. The reports listing is sortable by the event date, report date, city, and state.</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/" target="_blank">http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>The World Bank Data (U.S.)</h3><p><img width="130" height="118" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image484 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1406" data-max-h="1275"/>The <strong>World Bank</strong> provides World Development Indicators, Surveys, and data on Finances and Climate Change.</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states" target="_blank">http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Internal Revenue Service: Tax Statistics</h3><p><img width="155" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image486 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg 2x" data-max-w="463" data-max-h="596"/>Find statistics on business tax, individual tax, charitable and exempt organizations, IRS operations and budget, and income (SOI), as well as statistics by form, products, publications, papers, and other IRS data.</p><p> Quick link to <strong>Tax Statistics, where you will find a wide range of tables, articles, and data</strong> that describe and measure elements of the U.S. tax system: <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2" target="_blank">http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>MapStats</h3><p> A feature of FedStats, MapStats allows users to search for <strong>state, county, city, congressional district, or Federal judicial district data</strong> (demographic, economic, and geographic).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/" target="_blank">http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>USDA Nutrition Assistance Data</h3><p><img width="180" height="124" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image485 lw_align_right" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1233" data-max-h="850"/>Data and research regarding the following <strong>USDA Nutrition Assistance</strong> programs are available through this site:</p><ul><li>Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) </li><li>Food Distribution Programs </li><li>School Meals </li><li>Women, Infants and Children </li></ul><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics" target="_blank">http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>NOAA National Climatic Data Center</h3><p><img width="200" height="198" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image483 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 3x" data-max-w="954" data-max-h="945"/>NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is responsible for preserving, monitoring, assessing, and providing public access to the Nation’s treasure of <strong>climate and historical weather data and information</strong>.</p><p> Quick link to home page: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCDC’s climate and weather datasets, products, and various web pages and resources: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links</a></p><p> Quick link to Text & Map Search: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Congressional Budget Office</h3><p><img width="180" height="180" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/180/380_cbo-logo.rev.1406822035.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image380 lw_align_right" data-max-w="180" data-max-h="180"/>Since its founding in 1974, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process.</p><p> The agency is strictly nonpartisan and conducts objective, impartial analysis, which is evident in each of the dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates that its economists and policy analysts produce each year. CBO does not make policy recommendations, and each report and cost estimate discloses the agency’s assumptions and methodologies. <strong>CBO provides budgetary and economic information in a variety of ways and at various points in the legislative process.</strong> Products include baseline budget projections and economic forecasts, analysis of the President’s budget, cost estimates, analysis of federal mandates, working papers, and more.</p><p> Quick link to Products page: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products</a></p><p> Quick link to Topics: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/topics" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/topics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Bureau of Economic Research (Public Use Data Archive)</h3><p><img width="180" height="43" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/43/478_nber.rev.1407530465.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image478 lw_align_right" data-max-w="329" data-max-h="79"/>Founded in 1920, the <strong>National Bureau of Economic Research</strong> is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. The NBER is committed to undertaking and disseminating unbiased economic research among public policymakers, business professionals, and the academic community.</p><p> Quick Link to <strong>Public Use Data Archive</strong>: <a href="http://www.nber.org/data/" target="_blank">http://www.nber.org/data/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>The Penn World Table</h3><p> The Penn World Table provides purchasing power parity and national income accounts converted to international prices for 189 countries/territories for some or all of the years 1950-2010.</p><p><a href="https://pwt.sas.upenn.edu/php_site/pwt71/pwt71_form.php" target="_blank">Quick link.</a> </p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED®)</h3><p><strong><img width="180" height="79" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/79/481_fred-logo.rev.1407788243.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image481 lw_align_right" data-max-w="222" data-max-h="97"/>An online database consisting of more than 72,000 economic data time series from 54 national, international, public, and private sources.</strong> FRED®, created and maintained by Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, goes far beyond simply providing data: It combines data with a powerful mix of tools that help the user understand, interact with, display, and disseminate the data.</p><p> Quick link to data page: <a href="http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series" target="_blank">http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>