US Federal Reserve
Running a major central bank is never a particularly easy job. An enormous amount of pressure—the weight of an entire economy—is riding on you. Among your major responsibilities is the job of stomping on an economy when it begins to run too hot, generating economic weakness to defang inflation. You’re rarely given credit for your successes and often blamed for problems of others’ making. Yet most central bankers have it easy compared to Mario Draghi, who last week assumed the job of President of the European Central Bank. Draghi’s situation could scarcely be more difficult.
When I wrote about Bill Clinton's new book, "Back to Work," and its veiled critiques of the sitting Democratic president earlier today, I relied on published reports of the tome. I now have it in hand, having fought to the front of a line of white working class voters that was queuing up in Washington, desperate for the fresh wisdom of their hero.
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] Some random pickings from the day's news: 1. Rick Perry paid a visit to Sean Hannity's show last night, and the host asked the following question: You have to think about people that you want around you as president on a daily basis. Give me the names of a few people, just off the top of your head, I won't ask you specifically, Vice President, Secretary of State, Defense, who would you like to have around you on a daily basis, giving their insight, their experience, their thought process... This is what's called a softball.
Both the left and the right have been consistently peddling the wrong prescriptions for our economy. Most liberals are focused on the need for additional fiscal stimulus, and dead-set against any premature moves toward what they consider “austerity.” Spending cuts, they say, would weaken the economy. Most conservatives are equally insistent that spending cuts need to begin now—and claim that by reducing expectations of future tax increases these cuts would help the economy.
When historians look back at this benighted moment in time, they may find themselves puzzled by how we refused to take the necessary steps to improve our economic situation. Depending on what happens in coming months, they may find that the best solutions—aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus here in the United States, bank recapitalization and debt restructuring in the EU—were left on the table, while millions unnecessarily suffered. A footnote in that history may be the decision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac not to do more to help the housing market recover.
Kol Nidre is the most haunting prayer in the Jewish liturgy. I would gauge that more Jews attend synagogue at this moment than at any other time in the year. (You’ve already missed it if you wanted to go.) For some it may be an act of desperation, a stance between belief and non-belief, hovering somewhere between trust and trembling. In any case, it is my or your—if you had decided to try—last chance to settle accounts with God, in the heavens or with the god of your imagination.
No event is more closely linked to our current economic disease than the collapse of the housing market. The Wall Street Journal’s S. Mitra Kalita illustrates that nicely in a new story out of Hagerstown, Md.--a community whose rise and fall was heavily tied to housing. As the president tours the country promoting his stimulus (Jobs Act) plan, stories like this provide clues as to why the economic rebound has come up so short and also point to why another stimulus bill and massive relief to homeowners is so necessary. Federal Reserve flow of funds data shows that U.S.
October 3rd marks the twentieth anniversary of Bill Clinton’s announcement of his candidacy for the presidency. The distance of time permits some perspective on what Clinton was attempting to do when he set out on his quest. Since the end of World War II, every Democrat who has sought the presidency has attempted to update the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.