Notwithstanding citizens dropping out of the labor force, 5 million Americans were classified in August as "long-term unemployed." Meanwhile, teenage joblessness rose to over 24% -- an alarming level given the risk that out of work youth face in going from being unemployed to being unemployable. As hard as Ben Bernanke and his Fed colleagues try -- and they have been trying very hard, taking monetary policy ever deeper into unfamiliar/experimental territory -- the institution does not have the proper tools to deal with our unemployment crisis. The bottom line is a simple one. It should concern us all as citizens and parents. And it is worth repeating over and over again: If Congress is not careful, these trends will further increase an already-material risk that, for the first time in a very long time, our children's generation may be worse off than that of their parents.
Ben Bernanke should spend less time figuring out ways to make more money available to the banks, and more time figuring out ways to get the banks to move the money along.
Today, there is so much public infrastructure in disarray, such a crying need to move the nation to a sustainable energy path, and so great a need for the jobs that could be created by large-scale public investments that more stimulus spending should be a no-brainer. But this alternative is not even being seriously debated. Rather Democratic paths to deficit reduction are jousting with Republican paths. So here is Ben Bernanke -- a Republican, first appointed by George W. Bush, a huge admirer of Milton Friedman -- saying what no other Republican and too few Democrats are willing to say: The problem is not the deficit, but the risk that Congress will overreact to the deficit.
Ben Bernanke gave a good talk today -- worth reading if you're up for slogging through such things -- wherein he stressed the benefits and costs of all the stuff the Fed can do to help boost the economy when their main tool -- the federal funds rate -- is stuck at zero.
In late 2008, in the midst of Washington's financial crisis, Ryan traveled to South America to meet with political and business leaders as part of a congressional delegation.
It turned out, yet again, that the Fed has no miracle answers to the economy's persistent malaise. The only question is why anyone thought they'd pull a rabbit out of the hat in the first place.
The Great Recession was thwarted, but not conquered, by gobs and gobs of cash supplied by our Central Bank and others. It may be that all of the intervention will make a positive difference. If it doesn't, it will prove to have been an expensive error.
The greatest threat to America's national military and economic security and democracy comes from no enemy without, but from our failure to invest in and prepare all of our children for the future right now.
If they get their wish, watch for the gold market to explode higher in price, as the U.S. dollar sinks into the abyss.
The next banking industry scandal to wash ashore in the US from Europe will be the matter of two periods of chicanery in the private association of global banks that set the basis for the so-called "LIBOR" interest rate.
The downgrades in the credit ratings of major banks mean very little to the average consumer, but the downgrade in the credibility of Congress and the mess we have made of our financial regulatory structure should give us all pause.
The Fed is out of touch with reality, printing trillions of dollars without the consent of the people of America. It's time for a change, and the change can't come too soon.
The Fed has become somewhat impotent and should pass the buck to Congress. If only Congress would answer the phone.
It's time for the Federal Reserve Banks to replace the old boy networks with computer networks. Their boards are supposed to have representatives of the public and specifically of consumers and labor but they complain they can't find many. Crowd-sourcing can address this problem.
The Fed has been run like an elite club, handsomely rewarding its banker directors while sacrificing the homeowners and families who most need safeguarding.
With an understandable short-term mentality dominating, we should expect markets to continue to bundle what central bankers and others feel should be more differentiated. The likely upshot is continued volatility underpinned by alternating periods of risk-on and risk-off.