Federal Reserve System

Barack Obama, You Remind Me of Herbert Hoover
January 05, 2010

Barack Obama has been compared to almost every American President of the last hundred years--favorably to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan; and unfavorably to Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.

Worth Reading
December 30, 2009

Key business sector gauge at highest level since 2006. Brad DeLong: Obama economic team has exceeded expectations. Lending in Europe contracts again. Leonhardt is optimistic on the effects of healthcare rationing. Dissecting the Fed's plan to offer CDs to banks.

Stress Reliever
December 30, 2009

In a year when the government enacted one of its largest-ever stimulus bills, guaranteed hundreds of billions of dollars in bank debt, bought hundreds of billions more in mortgage-backed securities, took 60 percent ownership of one car company and put up billions in financing for another, it’s not obvious why you’d dwell on an initiative that basically cost nothing.

Worth Reading
December 29, 2009

Research: Those in positions of power are more likely to cheat. Tyler Cowen: Maybe Fed isn't targeting inflation because it would hurt bank recovery. Charts of the day: Some financial indicators return to pre-crisis levels. Felix Salmon: Why banks will be fine if we cap credit card rates.  How much did the Tiger Woods scandal cost his endorsers?

Worth Reading
December 28, 2009

How much are Iran's economic woes a factor in the continued unrest? How low rates are making saving an unattractive option. Fed gets a little more specific on plans to mop up excess reserves. Chart of the day: Paying more and getting less for healthcare in the U.S. And TNR's Franklin Foer and Noam dissect Obama's nudgeocracy.

Adios, Monroe Doctrine
December 28, 2009

The ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has provided Latin America with a revelatory moment. Beginning with the Monroe Doctrine--and extending through countless invasions, occupations, and covert operations--Washington has considered the region its backyard. So where was this superpower these past few months, as Honduras hung in the balance? More or less sitting on its hands. The fact is that the United States is no longer willing, or perhaps even able, to select who governs from Tegucigalpa, or anywhere else in the region for that matter.

Bernanke Comments on the "Doom Loop." But Does He Get It?
December 22, 2009

Senator David Vitter submitted one of my questions to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, as part of his reconfirmation hearings, and received the following reply in writing (as already published in the WSJ online): Q. Simon Johnson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and blogger: Andrew Haldane, head of financial stability at the Bank of England, argues that the relationship between the banking system and the government (in the U.K.

If You Read Just One Piece About the Fed...
December 21, 2009

Read this one by Binyamin Appelbaum and David Cho of The Washington Post. It's just a terrific piece of financial journalism for a popular audience. For what it's worth, I agree with Felix Salmon that there aren't any good alternatives to the Fed when it comes to regulating big banks. I also think the Fed acquitted itself reasonably well once the financial system melted down last year. And I can't think of a better person to rethink the Fed's approach to bank regulation than Dan Tarullo, whom Obama appointed to the Fed board. But boy did the Fed screw up in the run-up to the crisis.

Worth Reading
December 21, 2009

Examination shows New Century didn't relax its lending standards. Should we be optimistic about the increase in temp hiring? Justin Fox is leaving Time for the Harvard Business Review. The young may be thriftier than we thought. Why we should forgive the Fed for screwing up its oversight of banks.

Do We Even Have a Manufacturing Problem?
December 21, 2009

Matt Yglesias, among others, responds to my piece from Friday about the long-term decline in U.S. managers' competence when it comes to running manufacturing firms by questioning a basic premise of the piece: whether U.S.

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