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Tag >> economy
Mar 27

Galbraith vs. Greenspan: You be the judge

Posted by Ron F in unemployment, RiskRegulationrecoveryrecession, Obama, Moody'sGreenspanfinancial crisisFederal Reserveeconomydowngradedefaultcost of capitalCongresscapital expendituresbanking reformbanking industry

Ron F

I see Bloomberg can't resist interviewing Alan Greenspan about the perils of federal budget deficits, because the former Maestro's crystal ball is just so marvelously clear that he accurately predicted the housing crisis, which he did nothing to create, and took majorly serious steps to forestall it.

Oh, none of that last clause is true? And the ex-Fedster went so far as offer the markets the "Greenspan put," which is the ultimate "too big to fail" deal when you think about it?

Mar 20

Greenspan's own guru says he screwed up

Posted by Ron F in RiskRegulationmonetary policyFederal Reserveeconomycost of capitalcomplianceBenankeBanksAlan Greenspan

Ron F

Unlike much of the rest of the press, I tend to cover my ears whenever Alan Greenspan opens his mouth.

But I can't help but weigh in on his comments yesterday. In essence, he offered half of a mea culpa by saying regulation, but not monetary policy, was to blame for the financial crisis.

Mar 19

Can surprisingly brisk car sales continue?

Posted by mcole in unemployment, GMeconomyautomakers


Topping off a week filled with positive news from General Motors, sales of new vehicles are showing marked improvement this month. That could fuel a faster recovery of the auto company and be a sign of an improving economy, as long as the rebound doesn't rely solely on incentives from the industry. If sustainable, the improvement could even fuel consumer confidence, creating a virtuous cycle of growth building on growth.

Still, half a month's data isn't a lot to hang your hat on. Just don't tell that to JD Power and Associates.

Mar 19

A manufacturing rebound? Where?

Posted by Ron F in unemployment, recoveryrecessionFederal Reserveeconomycareer/managementbonds

Ron F

Some of the recent press reports about US industrial activity make it sound as if manufacturing sector were roaring back to life. Would that that were so.

But wishful thinking is just that. Here's the reality, folks. Industrial capacity utilization seems to have hit bottom last June at 68.2 percent, but it's now only 72.6 percent, and that's still the lowest it's been since 1973 except for the low-point during the 1981 recession, when it bottomed at 70.9 percent.

Mar 11

A downtick in foreclosures could really reflect the weather

Posted by Ron F in reformrecoveryrecessionmortgage foreclosuresmedia, loan delinquencies, joblessnessfinancial crisisemploymenteconomyCareers/Managementbubbles

Ron F

It seems to me that the crappy weather in February is only cited as an excuse for poor performance, but never an explanation for the opposite.

Yes, this Realtytrac report on foreclosures says they may have fallen last month because notices were late, but that fact wasn't reported today in NPR's coverage this morning.

Mar 04

Why huge corporations are bad for the economy

Posted by Ron F in RegulationrecoveryrecessionNew York Fedjoblessnesshiringgrowthfinancial crisisemploymenteconomycompliancecapital expendituresBanksbanking reformbanking industryantitrust

Ron F

There are three pieces in the blogosphere today that touch on the fundamental problem with our economic system and why it will remain in a ditch, or just lurch onward to the next crisis, if it isn't addressed.

And that is monopoly. I'll leave aside the politics of that, which is addressed well enough by Thomas Franks over at the Wall Street Journal. In a nutshell, he warns of a return to feudalism, which I've done as well before.

Mar 04

A deficit hawk favors government stimulus! (chirp)

Posted by Ron F in recoveryrecessionjobsjoblessnesshealth careemploymenteconomyCareers/Management

Ron F

Finally, a deficit hawk gets it.

Former Comptroller General David Walker, now CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Institute, has co-written an op-ed with the Lawrence Mishel, president of the liberal Economic Policy Institute, in which they agree that federal budget deficits must rise in the short term so the government can take more aggressive measures to boost employment.

Mar 02

Many small business owners won't last out the year

Posted by annearf in small businesseconomy401k


We've seen a number of studies recently underscoring the precarious state of small business.  But, a new one reveals some stunningly bad news about not just small firms' ability to survive the downturn, but the effect all the stress has had on owners' personal savings and health.

Where to start? How about with the worst. According to the study, from consulting firm George S. May International of 713 owners of businesses with $500,000 to $200 million in revenues, 27 percent of respondents indicated they lack the financial resources to last the next quarter. Eighty percent give their business nine months to live if economic conditions don't improve. Another 16 percent won't make it another three months under those circumstances and 4 percent think they can make it six months.

Mar 02

Stock buybacks herald a recovery? Really?

Posted by Ron F in unemployment, recoveryrecession, M&A;, joblessnessemploymenteconomyCashcapital expendituresbuybacks

Ron F

In its latest Herculean effort in positive spin, Reuters claims an increase in corporate stock buybacks is the latest sign of economic recovery.

Come again? If correlation isn't cause, then this article deserves a prize for mistaking the two, even if it marshaled a bit of data for evidence of the claim, which it decidedly does not.

Feb 27

The dismal debate over the dismal jobs picture

Posted by Ron F in recoveryrecessionjoblessnessFederal Reserveemploymenteconomycareer/managementBernanke

Ron F

The lousy job picture continues to inspire debate over the need for further government stimulus, though I have to say that much of the debate is less than inspiring.

Take Ben Bernanke's comments to Barney Frank yesterday. As fund manager Marshall Auerbach notes today, the Fed chairman admits that the U.S. cannot default on its debt so long as Congresss lets the Treasury borrow by boosting the debt ceiling.

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