Federal Reserve System

Worth Reading
December 04, 2009

A sign that the unemployment rate has peaked. Geithner: 85% of the $205 billion in bank bailout money to be repaid by end of 2010. Should the Fed buy an additional $2 trillion in Treasuries? Lehman's risk officer asked to leave room during meetings about......risk. Kevin Drum agrees with me on overblown worries about plutocrats.

Bernanke's Conservative Message
December 04, 2009

My colleague Noam Scheiber has parsed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony about the power of the Federal Reserve, but Bernanke also commented in hearings yesterday about government fiscal policy; and what he had to say was, to say the least, disturbing. Echoing the charges of economic conservatives and Wall Streeters like investment banker Peter Peterson, Bernanke took aim against what these folks call “entitlements,” but which are known popularly to be social security and Medicare. Republicans can be expected to cite his comments in the current debate over the Democratic health

Bernanke Testifies: Is the Chairman Risking the Fed's Independence?
December 03, 2009

Conservatives like to quip that, for the average member of Congress, spending other people’s money is the best part of the job. If that’s true, then grilling the Fed chairman after a financial crisis has to rank a close second. The members of the Senate Banking Committee didn't hold back when Ben Bernanke made his case for a second term on Thursday.

Worth Reading
December 03, 2009

Fed believes asset purchases lowered 10-year Treasury yields by 0.5%. Why didn't the Canadian housing market go bust? The service sector contracted in November. Level of private savings in China now equal to savings in US. Does Bernanke understand the concept of comparative advantage?

Should There Be College Dropout Insurance?
November 25, 2009

As David Leonhardt revealed in September, almost half of all students who enter college in the U.S. don't graduate. Cutting this number down should be a national priority, but even a determined effort is likely to leave many students short of a bachelor's degree. Instead, what they'll be leaving school with is a sizable debt burden. Is there a way to protect these students?

Case for deficits (continued)
November 25, 2009

In my column today, I posed the question of whether the Fed’s infusion of cash, and near-zero interest rates were inspiring bank lending to businesses. On the basis of the Fed’s quarterly interviews with loan officers, I concluded that its measures had not. Today, there is further evidence – from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) quarterly report on bank practices. According to the FDIC, commercial and industrial loans declined by 6.5 percent from the second to third quarter of 2009 and by a whopping 15.1 percent from the third quarter of 2008. That suggests, again, that the nor

The Case for Deficit Spending
November 25, 2009

If there was one thing that seemed certain about the Obama administration, it was their commitment to Keynesian deficit spending to boost the economy out of its slump. But Keynes beware: With unemployment at a whopping 10.2 percent, and probably rising, the White House has begun trumpeting its commitment to Hoover-style deficit busting. On November 13, the White House warned cabinet departments of a spending freeze. The next week, while in China, Barack Obama told an interviewer the United States could suffer from a “double-dip recession” if it didn’t restrain public debt.

Today at TNR (November 24, 2009)
and
November 24, 2009

How Wall Street Was Defeated on Capitol Hill--For Now, by Noam Scheiber Can Reform Actually Improve Medical Care? Not-So-Promising Signs From the Senate Bill. by Jonathan Cohn The Problem with Putting a Price Tag on Nature, by Bradford Plumer How Geithner Can Fix His Image Problem, by Noam Scheiber Peretz: The Accelerating Decline of Europe, by Marty Peretz Don’t Waste Any More Stimulus Money on Infrastructure, by Robert Puentes Watch Out, Obamacare Has Your Guns in its Sights! by Michelle Cottle Is It Too Late For the Fed to Help Ease Unemployment Rates?

Worth Reading
November 23, 2009

Bloggers agree, wave of U.S. debt doesn't mean apocalypse is anywhere near. Economic reasons have little to do with why people dislike immigrants. David Warsh: Unlike the SEC, the Fed doesn't ask Congress for money, which shields it from lobbyists. Fed asks banks to start thinking about giving back TARP payments. Blame the subprime mess not on greed or the Fed, but on relational databases.

Is It Time for an Inflation Target?
November 23, 2009

The Fed's dual mandate is to aim for full employment and price stability, but since Paul Volcker's day, it's safe to say the central bank has been more concerned with the latter than the former.

Pages