A World in Crisis?

By |2012-06-15T06:14:17+00:00June 15th, 2012|Global Market Update, Recession|

Having looked at the first five of the Ten Commandments, it’s time to take a break and discuss some other issues. One of the most pressing is the state of the global economy.With Greek elections coming up this weekend and the leaders of Europe holding an economic summit towards the end of the month, it’s appropriate to ask whether the world’s economy is in crisis. Unemployment in the US is stubbornly high, and it’s worse in Europe. Their finances are in a shambles, with [...]

Skin in the Game

By |2017-07-17T12:34:54+00:00May 29th, 2012|Recession|

How can colleges be encouraged to control their costs?College costs are ridiculous. As our economy becomes more knowledge-based, additional training is more necessary than ever in order to add value to an employer. A four-year degree from many private schools now costs between 200 and 250 thousand dollars. For most families, the prospect of paying upwards of half a million dollars for their children’s education is daunting. […]

Structure, Schmucture

By |2017-07-17T12:34:54+00:00May 15th, 2012|Global Market Update, Recession|

Where have all the jobs gone?There’s a cottage industry growing up around the question as to whether current unemployment is cyclical or structural. That is, whether it represents a short-term consumer-based pullback in aggregate demand, or whether it comes from a mismatch between labor skills and the kinds of jobs employers want to fill right now. With over 88 million people not in the labor force, it’s an important question.It’s important because of the policy implications. […]

Stimulus You Can Believe In

By |2012-05-09T06:53:23+00:00May 9th, 2012|Global Market Update, Recession|

Was the stimulus a waste?That’s the question as we approach the “fiscal cliff” of January 1, 2013, when the automatic spending cuts of the deficit compromise and the tax hikes associated with the expiration of George W. Bush’s tax plan kick in. Certainly with 5 million jobs still missing and GDP running at 2%, it’s hard to say that the economy is strong. Proponents of the stimulus say it would have been worse without it; skeptics point to the additional trillions of debt we’re [...]

Housing Futures

By |2011-12-14T00:00:34+00:00December 14th, 2011|Global Market Update, Recession|

When will the economy get back to full employment? During the downturn companies shed some 8.8 million jobs from February 2008 to January 2010. The economy has since created about 3 million. By contrast, state and local government employment peaked in September of 2008 and is still falling. It’s lost some 600 thousand jobs. This makes […]

Stimulating Questions

By |2011-09-01T00:10:00+00:00September 1st, 2011|Global Market Update, Recession|

Why didn’t the stimulus work? Three years and $900 billion later, unemployment is still over 9% and economic growth is anemic. Some economists point to the large pool of unemployed and see huge potential—an economy operating way below where it could. The solution is for the government to spend more, boosting […]

Hitting the Ceiling

By |2017-07-17T12:35:03+00:00August 3rd, 2011|Global Market Update, Recession|

I feel like I must be the only person out there actually pleased with the outcome of the debt-ceiling debate. One of the hallmarks of a compromise is that nobody gets everything. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and the deal goes through. But in this case, it seems like everyone is unhappy. Tea-partiers decry the phony accounting that calls previously scheduled troop draw-downs “savings.” […]