Economy

Obama on Consumer Financial Regs: Stay Strong
October 10, 2009

I was a little disconcerted a few weeks ago when I read that Barney Frank's House Financial Services Committee was weakening the proposed consumer financial regulator. As the Journal reported: Mr.

Retirement and the Recession, Cont'd.
October 10, 2009

Zubin did a fascinating item last week about how, contrary to the conventional wisdom, the recession might be causing to people to retire sooner rather than later (in the aggregate). He pointed to the conclusion of this paper by economists Courtney Coile and Phillip Levine: When the unemployment rate rises, more workers between ages 62 and 69 retire, particularly those with less education. ...

Worth Reading
October 09, 2009

Alan Blinder: 25% of jobs are offshore-able. So maybe it's not all bad that job openings are down 50% since 2007 peak. MIT or U. of Chicago: Which developed the better economic dream-team. How New Democrats are helping ease proposed derivatives rules. Why there's nothing morally wrong with walking away from a mortgage. Do mustached men earn more than their clean-shaven counterparts?

Explaining Geithner's Call Log
October 09, 2009

Simon Johnson raises a fair question in response to this AP scoop about the bankers Tim Geithner was in touch with early in the Obama administration. Here's the AP: The calendars, obtained by the AP under the Freedom of Information Act, offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the continued influence of three companies -- Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The Network
October 09, 2009

The shock of the financial meltdown has had congressional committees scrambling for their gavels for the better part of a year. Politicians have been discussing how to make sure that such a near-cataclysm never happens again, and, for the most part, they've focused on the need for new regulation.

Worth Reading
October 08, 2009

The Fed's inflation-fighting credibility is rock-solid. But you can't say the same for America's strong-dollar policy. Is FHA headed the way of Fannie and Freddie? High frequency trading and the revival of technical analysis. The real value of Twitter.

What Washington Should Do to Create Jobs
October 08, 2009

Rob Shapiro is the chair of the NDN Globalization Imitative and chairman of Sonecon, LLC. Policymakers and pundits who finally are worried about a "jobless recovery" should consider this: Our actual prospects are worse than that term suggests.   The initial expansion we may already be experiencing will be notable not for a lack of new jobs, as the phrase "jobless recovery" suggests, but for substantial, continued job losses.   Total employment will continue to decline for many months and perhaps as long as two years, as it did after the 2001 recession.   Nor will it be enough to aim for simpl

Tim Geithner's Small Circle of Friends
October 08, 2009

Over the past 30 years Wall Street captured the thinking of official Washington, persuading policymakers on both sides of the aisle not to regulate (derivatives), to deregulate (Gramm-Leach-Bliley), to not enforce existing safety and soundness regulations (VaR), and to stand idly by while millions of consumers were misled into life-ruining financial decisions (Alan Greenspan). This was pervasive cultural capture or, to be blunter, mind control. But when the crisis broke it was not enough. Having powerful people generally on your side is not what you need when all hell breaks loose in financia

Did the Bank Bailout Increase Lending?
October 08, 2009

U of Chicago's Casey Mulligan, pointing to an audit issued this week by the TARP inspector general, says no: Economic theory casts significant doubt on the claim that public purchases of bank equity would cause banks to lend more. Now the government’s own watchdog confirms the theory. Unforunately, the inspector general stays mum on how it arrived at its conclusion: Federal Reserve Board officials provided institution-specific data and an analysis of the state of the U.S. economy that was deemed sensitive, confidential, and, restricted.

Worth Reading
October 07, 2009

Study: Calorie posting in NYC restaurants hasn't changed behaviors. Krugman: Why does the Fed insist on reviving shadow banking? Bill Clinton: Bush should have rescued Lehman. Does a tax credit for boosting employment make sense? More signs of a thaw: Sales at eBay rose in Aug. and Sept.

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