US Economic, Regulatory and Banking History

Inflation Hits Levels Not Seen Since Financial Crisis, OECD Says

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

Inflation is back, and it's not limited to America. Prices in developed countries are rising at the highest rate since the financial crisis first started in 2008, caused largely by increasing food and gas prices, according to figures released on Thursday by the Organization for Economic Co-operati...

Americans Growing Increasingly Pessimistic About Economy: Poll

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

WASHINGTON — For all the talk of recovery, Americans are growing increasingly pessimistic about the economy as soaring gas costs strain already-tight budgets. But so far, people aren't taking it out on President Barack Obama, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows. Even so, the survey highlights a c...

More Equity, Less Government: Rethinking Bank Regulation

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

History's two most influential advocates for economic liberty, Adam Smith and Milton Friedman, nevertheless turned away from "free banking" to support some financial regulation and legislative reform in the wake of financial crises. Smith's views were influenced by the global banking crisis of 1772 ...

In Praise of Mercantilism (or Why Economic History Isn't Boring)

Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Does economic history hold a giant clue for getting America out of its present trade mess? Yes, because it debunks the idea that free trade is how nations become prosperous. Instead, it shows that nations win at international trade by playing a 400-year-old game called mercantilism. Let's look a...

How the Servant Became a Predator: Finance’s Five Fatal Flaws

Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What exactly is the function of the financial sector in our society? Simply this: Its sole function is supplying capital efficiently to aid the real economy. The financial sector is a tool to help those that make real tools, not an end in itself. But five fatal flaws in the financial sector’s curren...

Economic Outlook: Population grows but not number of households

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

South Florida's population growth has resumed following a recession-induced interruption, but the rate of household formation may lag for awhile. Weak job growth may be hindering growth in the number of new households, which has consequences for a wide range of South Florida businesses, from real e...

The Next Bubble Won't Be Tech Stocks Or Real Estate

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The prime example of a bubble that really hurt was the parabolic ascent of the NASDAQ Composite Index from a rational level of 2200 in early 1999 to the ridiculously irrational 5000 15 months later. That was vertical mania by investors out of their mind. By the end of 2002 the value of these mostly...

The Next Bubble Won't Be Tech Stocks Or Real Estate

Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2011

The prime example of a bubble that really hurt was the parabolic ascent of the NASDAQ Composite Index from a rational level of 2200 in early 1999 to the ridiculously irrational 5000 15 months later. That was vertical mania by investors out of their mind. By the end of 2002 the value of these mostly...

A RESPONSE: The ingredients are in place for a crisis

Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2011

IT'S a good thing the cacophony surrounding Ben Bernanke’s testimony to the Congressional budget committee last week passed largely unheard in the financial community. Congresswoman Schwartz, in a litany of “what-ifs”, asked Mr Bernanke if he thought it was morally correct for Congress to require Am...

A RESPONSE: No crisis is imminent, but fiscal reform is necessary

Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2011

THE US does not face an imminent fiscal crisis. The US government will not default on its debts, and it’s even unlikely that the Fed will be forced to monetise federal debts. However our fiscal regime is becoming increasingly dysfunctional, thus radical reform would be quite helpful. I’ll sketch o...

Kauffman Foundation: The Rules For Growth

Posted on Monday, February 14, 2011

The U.S. economy is struggling to emerge from a recession that led to the destruction of eight million jobs. At the same time, the federal budget deficit remains stuck above $1 trillion. Having already allocated more than $1.6 trillion toward economic stimulus (the 2009 stimulus package and the De...

Corporate America, paving a downward economic slide

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

The city on a hill and the last, best hope of mankind has entered a new period in its history. We are now America, the downwardly mobile. The problem isn't due to the recession. Would that it were. The decade just concluded is the first in which Americans, on average, have seen their incomes decli...

Fed: Economy Still Weak Despite Improvements

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

WASHINGTON (Federal Reserve officials in December felt the U.S. economic recovery was still weak enough to warrant monetary support despite growing signs of strength, Fed meeting minutes released on Tuesday showed. Wall Street economists have been busy revising up their forecasts for economic gr...

How Did a Relatively Small Number of Subprime Loans Cause a Record Crisis?

Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A number of analyses of the U.S. and global crisis begin by attempting to explain what they assume to be a paradox -- how could so small a market segment (subprime housing and CDOs backed by subprime) have caused (1) the largest financial bubble in history, (2) a U.S. economic crisis, and (3) a near...

In the Rearview, a Year That Fizzled

Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011

It was the year that the economy started to recover and then slid back into a slump — only to offer reason for renewed hope in the final weeks. When 2010 began, hiring and consumer spending were finally picking up. But then something changed in the spring — a combination of the debt troubles in ...

Stimulus, Without More Debt

Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010

THE $858 billion tax package signed into law this month provides some stimulus for our ailing economy. With the unemployment rate at 9.8 percent, more will certainly be needed, yet further deficit spending may not be a politically viable option. Instead, we are likely to see a big fight over rai...

The Descent of Money

Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010

The first modern competition between gold and paper money ended like the pre-modern ones. Gold won. Herewith, a short summary: A rogue, John Law, was the protagonist of the story. He killed Beau Wilson in a duel. Then, he went on the lam...first to Scotland...then to Amsterdam...and finally to Pa...

Economic Outlook: 5 Things that Could Happen in 2011

Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010

Nothing comes from nothing. But what comes from something? Did you see what happened? The Fed's holdings topped $2 trillion for the first time ever. It took 95 years to get the Fed's holdings to $600 billion. In the space of 3 years, it has added $1.4 trillion more. That's something. Extraordi...

FINRA Foundation Releases Nation's First State-by-State Financial Capability Survey

Posted on Tuesday, December 21, 2010

For Release: Contact: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 George Smaragdis (202) 728-8988 Nancy Condon (202) 728-8379 I. II. III. FINRA Foundation Releases Nation's First State-by-State Financial Capability Survey IV. New Jersey, New York and New Hampshire Most Financially Capable, Kentucky and...

Financial Capability Survey Shows Floridians Are More Financially Literate Than National Average, bu

Posted on Tuesday, December 21, 2010

For Release: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 Contact: George Smaragdis (202) 728-8988 Nancy Condon (202) 728-8379 Financial Capability Survey Shows Floridians Are More Financially Literate Than National Average, but More Likely to Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck WASHINGTON – America’s first State-by-S...

Financial Capability Survey Shows Californians Rank Fifth in Nation in Saving, Avoiding High-Cost, N

Posted on Tuesday, December 21, 2010

WASHINGTON – America’s first State-by-State Financial Capability Survey revealed that Californians are fifth in the nation in saving and in avoiding high-cost, non-bank loans. The findings are part of the National Financial Capability Study, conducted by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, whic...

Survey Shows New York Tops Nearly Every Other State in Financial Capability

Posted on Tuesday, December 21, 2010

WASHINGTON – America’s first State-by-State Financial Capability Survey revealed that New Yorkers ranked in the top five among all states in at least three of five measures of financial capability. The findings are part of the National Financial Capability Study, conducted by the FINRA Investor Ed...

Financial Capability Survey Shows District of Columbia Residents Are Second in Nation in Comparison

Posted on Tuesday, December 21, 2010

WASHINGTON – America’s first State-by-State Financial Capability Survey revealed that while Washingtonians are second in the nation in comparison shopping for credit cards, they are less financially literate than the national average. The findings are part of the National Financial Capability Study,...

The economic debate we should be having

Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Passing the tax compromise between President Obama and congressional Republicans would be a notable achievement - but mainly a negative one. It would avoid a contraction of the economy in January, when tax rates are scheduled to broadly rise. Deficit hawks are unhappy with another round of borro...

Economists' Grail: A Post-Crash Model

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Physicist Doyne Farmer thinks we should analyze the economy the way we do epidemics and traffic. Psychoanalyst David Tuckett believes the key to markets' gyrations can be found in the works of Sigmund Freud. Economist Roman Frydman thinks we can never forecast the economy with any accuracy. Disp...

Big Drop Seen In Number Of Startups Formed

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

As confidence in the economic recovery remains low, entrepreneurs are taking a hit. There were 100,000 fewer businesses with at least one employee created this year than last year, putting the pace at the second lowest in the last 18 years, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing Labor Department d...

Don't underestimate foreclosure crisis, watchdog to warn

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A congressional oversight panel is set to warn on Tuesday that a widespread problem of flawed and fraudulent foreclosure paperwork could upend the housing market and undermine the nation's financial stability, just as the issue is coming under greater scrutiny this week in Washington. The report...

Don't underestimate foreclosure crisis, watchdog to warn

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A congressional oversight panel is set to warn on Tuesday that a widespread problem of flawed and fraudulent foreclosure paperwork could upend the housing market and undermine the nation's financial stability, just as the issue is coming under greater scrutiny this week in Washington. The report...

Don't underestimate foreclosure crisis, watchdog to warn

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A congressional oversight panel is set to warn on Tuesday that a widespread problem of flawed and fraudulent foreclosure paperwork could upend the housing market and undermine the nation's financial stability, just as the issue is coming under greater scrutiny this week in Washington. The report...

Volcker Rule: Wall Street Reportedly Already Finding Loopholes

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NEW YORK - U.S. banks have found a way to continue betting their own money on some investments, despite a new law's restrictions on proprietary trading, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing Wall Street executives. The "Volcker rule" provision of the U.S. Dodd-Frank financial reform limi...

Economist: Home values main recovery risk

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Economist Tony Villamil foresees a slow but ongoing recovery of the South Florida economy, barring an unexpectedly dramatic decline in government employment. "The economy is improving but very slowly," said Villamil, dean of the business school at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens. "Usually wh...

Debt Commission Report Targets Social Security, Medicare

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Today's upcoming report by the White House's fiscal commission is expected to include recommendations to raise the retirement age for Social Security and cut Medicare benefits -- two policy prescriptions that will be met with deep opposition from Democrats and some Republicans -- according to a sour...

Mary Schapiro, SEC Chief: New Congress Won't Slow Reform

Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010

CHICAGO () - The top securities regulator said on Tuesday she doubts her agency's overhaul of the country's financial rules will be affected by the recent U.S. election, where pro-business Republicans seized control of the House of Representatives and made gains in the Senate. Mary Schapiro said th...

Where the Bubbles Are

Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jesse Eisinger is a reporter for ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. This is his first column for DealBook. Across the world, there are booms. Chinese Internet companies are flourishing. Energy companies are finding new s...

What Exactly Can Fix The Economy? Pundits Offer Few Solutions

Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2010

Pundits seem to agree that the anticipated Congressional deadlock won't help the economy. And yet they insist on proposing legislative solutions to the country's economic woes. Reuter's Felix Salmon and the New York Times' Paul Krugman both take issue with a new column by Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of P...

Buy American

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010

Buy American" -- it's one of the most common suggestions I get from readers emailing me with job-creation ideas. The federal government could certainly do more of that directly, by expanding domestic-content requirements on government contracts. As businessman/activist Leo Hindery and four co-aut...

The Next Economy and the Growth Challenge for the United States

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Martin Neil Baily, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies The Brookings Institution SEPTEMBER 30, 2010 — In 1999-2000, the administration of President Clinton was celebrating an era of unusually strong economic growth with both strong productivity gains and employment gains. The unemployment rate was ...

Inflation v Deflation

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Higher prices, one top Federal Reserve official believes, could lead us out of the economic slump. The current problem, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said in a speech Saturday, is that even though interest rates are near rock-bottom, people are tending to save money rather than spend it. The ...

Recovry Policy

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Higher prices, one top Federal Reserve official believes, could lead us out of the economic slump. The current problem, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said... Will the recession just go on and on and on? In the absence of far more vigorous government action, it certainly looks that way. A...

Banks Borrow But Wont Lend?

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Let's be honest: the banking system is now fully dysfunctional. It has failed in its primary purpose: to act as a machine for lending into the real economy. Instead the banking system has been turned on its head, and become a borrowing machine. Readers, I know, are smart and on the button when it ...

Recovery Credit

Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Credit for the Recovery By DANIEL GROSS NYT EVERY time the United States suffers a recession, trendspotters hasten to identify signs of frugality, extol the rediscovery of thrift and find evidence that Americans are finally (finally!) kicking their demon debt habit. We crack open hist...

Census Bureau Numbers

Posted on Friday, September 17, 2010

The Census Bureau poverty data released today makes it clear that our country is facing a state of emergency. In just one year, 3.7 million more people, including 1.4 million children, fell into poverty. Today, more than one in five children is poor. The depth of poverty created by the Great Rec...

Lost Decade?

Posted on Friday, September 17, 2010

Wall Street Journal: The downturn that some have dubbed the "Great Recession" has trimmed the typical household's income significantly, new Census data show, following years of stagnant wage growth that made the past decade the worst for American families in at least half a century. The bureau...

13 Historical Hiccups

Posted on Monday, September 13, 2010

A recession is generally defined as two quarters of GDP contraction as noted by the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research. The GDP contraction definition is narrow and cannot be used to define the recessions and depressions that occurred in the first 150 years a...

Indutrsies Wiped Out Since Bubble

Posted on Monday, September 13, 2010

It has become clear that jobs in some industries may never come back or if they do it will take years or decades for a recovery. 24/7 Wall St. examined the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Employment Situation Summary” and a number of sources that show layoffs by company and sector. The weakness in thes...

Lessons from 14 Past US Recessions

Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010

A recovery in residential construction has historically lead the US to recovery in other sectors. Some will argue this time is different. And it may be. This time its certainly deeper and longer. And this time we have supply swollen by foreclosures and shadow inventory and over $700 billion in neg...

Impacts Differ from Great Depression

Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010

Not Your Grandfather's Recession -- Literally Different Ages, Different Downturns by Rich Morin and Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center The ongoing recession has had different impacts on different age groups in America. Adults 65 and older -- most of whom have already retired and downsized their l...

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