Corporate news-gathering outlets do their best to repeat and amplify his every offbeat utterance. His accusation that Marco Rubio is a “disaster with his credit cards” has rippled through the press and forced Rubio to respond. Ditto for Trump’s mockery of Jeb’s energy, Carson’s religion, Carly’s face, Kasich’s poll numbers, Hillary’s marital relations (“If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”), Bernie’s mental health and the menstrual cycles of debate moderators.
The eagles won.
The prevalence of the mammone has long been thought to be a predominantly Italian phenomenon, with deep cultural roots. It has grown more pronounced with the country’s recent economic distress. Since 2008, a growing percentage of Italian men aged 25-54 have abandoned the labor force, no longer bothering even to look for work.
Italy’s workforce participation rate among men of prime working age is by far Europe’s lowest. But it is not the lowest in the developed world. Italy now shares that dubious distinction with the U.S.
That wouldn’t happen if Obama were President. Continue reading
The announcement will trigger an orgy of self-congratulation in Washington. The Administration will claim that its policies have been vindicated. Republicans also will take a bow, touting spending constraints they’ve imposed since winning the House majority.
But you’ll hear nothing from the Washingtonians who most deserve credit for reduced deficits: the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. By holding interest rates near zero and lending trillions in free money to the Treasury, the Fed has allowed the government to reduce deficits even as it gorged on debt. Continue reading
That recovery has in part been driven by a force that could be its undoing: debt. Nearly $46 trillion of it, or more than 2-1/2 times our annual economic output. Continue reading
But a new study by the Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS) suggests that Bernanke saved the world from a crisis that was at least partly of his own making. Worse, it argues that the course he set and that his successor Janet Yellen and other central banks are following will produce another and perhaps graver crisis.
Government monetary and fiscal policymakers have lost their way, the BIS argues. So badly that they don’t just need a new direction. They need a new compass.
Reports of Young’s bankruptcy filing coincided with the release this week of a new study by a group of Harvard and Berkeley economists that reached an unexpected conclusion: upward economic mobility is not the exclusive province of entrepreneurs, entertainers and star athletes like Young. The National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER] report concluded that “children entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution (relative to their parents) as children born in the 1970s.” Continue reading
Holding people accountable for their predictions seems a bit harsh in this season of predictions. But the South Africans do have a point: predictions have consequences. That’s as true of predictions about the economy as about the weather, something that the Federal Reserve might do well to ponder. Continue reading