China's weight in the world economy has been rising and was made excruciatingly apparent by the turmoil in U.S. equities markets over the past few weeks. Much of current stock market anxiety was at least "assembled" in China.
The Fed is famous for raising rates prematurely, seeing ghosts of inflation. But there is no inflation on the horizon -- the bigger worry is deflation. In fact, the inflation rate is well below the Fed's own target of two percent. And the Fed is the only game in town. On balance, I think the opponents of a rate hike have the better argument. But consider for a moment that last assumption -- that the Fed is the only game in town. The larger issue, which is getting submerged in the great debate about raising rates, is that the Fed should not be the only game in town. With fiscal stimulus ruled out politically, pressure is on the Fed to be the sole engine of growth. Yet the central bank can only do so much.
We have had enough of those policies that favor markets and financial institutions to the detriment of the rest of the economy. The Federal Reserve has been waiting too long to correct the current abnormal situation. The IMF is wrong to encourage it to do so.
It is important that the public have a clear idea of what is at stake in the Fed's decisions on interest rates. While many politicians and policy experts are grappling with ways to try to lower the poverty rate, the Fed will be directly preventing people from seeing pay increases.
Given market action over the last few days, there are plenty of market analysts who say the Fed will now be forced to hold off on tightening, perhaps even out until 2016. While there is some logic to this, the Fed's mandate does not mention anything about reacting to the market.
Discussions of economic issues in policy circles often suffer from a "which way is up?" dilemma; it's not clear what the problem is that needs to be solved. The massive fretting over China's devaluation of its currency last week is one such example.
China's move to devalue its currency caught the markets somewhat by surprise. As a result, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding both the reasons behind the move as well as the implications of the move.
Advocates for higher interest rates point to an improving job market as a sign that America has come back from the recession. But many activists, economists, and community groups know that raising interest rates now would stymie the many communities, particularly those of color, that continue to face persistent unemployment, underemployment, and stagnant wages.
Economic data and financial-asset prices don't always paint the same picture about the health of the economy.
What the Fed is about to do will affect your job and your income, and here's what you can do to make sure the Fed makes the right decision.
As traders and investors around the world try to decipher the Federal Reserve's use of such terms as "not impatient" in lieu of "patient" in its guidance on interest rates, it is fast becoming clear that the Fed realizes that it has been painted into a corner.
Higher rates will keep inflation in check. By making it more expensive to borrow it also slows consumer demand. That rising consumer demand from a strengthening economy causes prices to increase... or inflation.
Put away your drachmas and plane tickets to Tehran, and take our latest Week to Week news quiz to see how much you know about the week's big events. ...
Economic growth is the most powerful single determinant that has ever entered political and economic language.
America's currency includes a wide range of paper notes, and there have been plenty of notable American women. So there is no excuse for the exclusion of women from U.S. bills. Our money reflects our ideals and values as a nation; it also should reflect our diversity as a people.
All things considered, the major equity markets of the world have been fairly orderly for the past year and a half. That is, all except the Chinese market.