Pew Charitable Trust

Paul Ryan's Blunder
October 27, 2011

Brian Beutler of Talking Points Memo reports that Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.) committed a hilarious gaffe when he gave a speech yesterday about income inequality. Here's the problem passage: "In societies marked by class structure, an elite class made up of rich and powerful patrons supplies the needs of a large client underclass that toils, but cannot own. The unfairness of closed societies is the kindling for class warfare, where the interests of 'capital' and 'labor' are perpetually in conflict.

Is California’s Debt as Bad as Greece’s?
January 21, 2011

Amid the concerns over public sector financing, many folks are worried about the quality of state (and municipal) bonds and the probability of default. Certainly, we’ve been writing about this, and as my colleague Mark Muro alluded in his recent post, there is a rather interesting and precise way to understand the risks of government solvency--analyzing the credit default swap market. As analysts of secondary markets know, like the late Salih Neftci, credit default swaps essentially allow market actors that are heavily exposed to debt in the form of bonds--e.g.