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. ...
A coalition of California community groups and a local legal aid agency have come up with a novel way to hold a major LA area bank accountable for the devastation it has caused Southern California communities as a result of its risky and predatory practices.
The correct policy for the Fed is to slowly reduce interest paid to banks on their excess reserves and carefully raise interest targets on the federal funds rate if the growth rate of U.S national income continues to follow the IMF predictions of 2.5 percent this year.
I am reading "Daniel Patrick Moynihan, A Portrait in Letters of an American Visionary" edited by Steven Weisman. It is a good title because Moynihan was indeed a visionary.
Social anthropologist Janine Wedel, author, most lately, of Unaccountable: How Elite Power Brokers Corrupt Our Finances, Freedom, and Security, has spent decades getting to the bottom of how powerful people wield influence. Truth and transparency, she warns, have devolved into a performance art.
If the Fed holds interest rates too high for too long, it can slow economic growth and trigger a recession. It did precisely this, intentionally and to good effect, in the early 1980s to tame exceedingly high inflation rates.
U.S. financial markets have been highly volatile but with little to show for investors, as opposed to traders, who make their best livings from pointless volatility, for all the swaying back and forth since the start of 2015.
If America is to shed the title of "Land of Inequality," this is how it is going to happen: by more people becoming aware of how the Fed's monetary policy affects them and demanding that it change.
Have Fed officials, including Chairs Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, continued to destroy the source FOMC transcripts following the Greenspan Fed officials who voted to destroy them in 1995?
For most of its history, the Federal Reserve has been dominated by bankers and orthodox economists, who kill the recovery at the first sign of inflationary risks. Happily, the Fed today is led by Janet Yellen, a very uncharacteristic Fed chair who spent most of her career as a labor economist, of all things. Yellen is aware of the changes in the structure of labor markets and is unlikely to jump the gun on raising rates, though it's always possible that she could be outvoted. The risk today is not that an improving jobs picture will set off inflation. It's that even tight labor markets, by themselves, will not generate enough pressure for wage increases, because workers have lost so much bargaining power.
The effect of unequal educational funding is to reinforce existing wealth inequalities across social class, race, gender, and region. But the most significant effect is the reproduction of these inequalities across generations.
To get back to that level and maybe even surpass it, we need someone in charge at the Federal Reserve who understands that creating conditions that increase the purchasing power of American workers' paychecks is a part of her mandate. From what she's said and done so far, it appears Janet Yellen is exactly that kind of Fed chair.
Hard as it may be for its legion of economic, political and media critics (and even some of its own members) to accept, the most recent bullish jobs report from the Labor Department looks like a ringing endorsement of Federal Reserve policies and perspectives on the economy.
The good news about the economy's improved job creation dominated the weekend's headlines. Many commentators concluded that the economy is finally shaking off the effects of the financial collapse of 2008 and the long period of stagnation that followed. But the one-year increase in wages has been only 2.2 percent, barely more than 1 percent when adjusted for inflation, and it's been a long time since most workers have seen substantial raises. In this recovery, the economy has been creating more low-wage jobs than high-wage ones. The shift from standard payroll jobs to temp and contract work continues. The uptick in the measured unemployment rate suggests that discouraged workers are only just coming back into the labor force and we are a long way from full employment. Even at the present rate of improved job creation, it will be 2017 before we get back to the pre-recession level of unemployment.
This is something that Germany, instigator of the eurozone's austerity policies, has to learn if it wants to bring Europe out of its Second Great Depression; by supporting policies that will unite Europe into a greater union, rather than cause its disintegration.