Even a minimal "vision" of an America that can still accomplish something would appear to be far more uplifting than the austerity snake oil the current crop of Republican politicians keep pushing.
Bernanke and most of his colleagues say they are fighting unemployment and see no inflation. They actually may be targeting stagflation: high unemployment and high inflation.
For the federal leaders on your holiday shopping list, here are some of my favorite leadership books from 2012. Each book offers keen insights into ma...
Whether you like or dislike Federal Reserve policy, its policy record from World War II to the Bernanke Fed is generally related more to who was President rather than to who was Federal Reserve chairman.
Readers of my stuff will note that, like columnist Gail Collins on the subject of Mitt Romney's dog-on-the-roof, I never pass up an opportunity to point out that World War II cured the Great Depression; and that today we need massive social investment to cure slumping demand. Today, that needed investment, rather than going to war, should go to renewable energy, mitigation of the climate damage already done, and other strategies to allow decent living standards at a much lower toll on the planet. The current low interest rates allow government to borrow serious sums to finance these social investments. What's depressing is that the mainstream debates are over here, and the solutions are over there. While we drag the policies that we need regarding climate change onto center stage, let's at least not make matters worse by raising interest rates.
Words like "too cozy" and "ridiculous" were among the adjectives applied to the testimony of Jamie Dimon before yesterday's Senate Banking Committee Hearing. It is one example of the frustration felt by those who wanted answers to hard questions.
Just recently, Washington announced the creation of a "dream team" of financial regulators, called the Systemic Risk Council. Great idea, but here's a question: Why was the current chairwoman of the SEC, Mary Schapiro, not included?
If the Volcker Rule is implemented as planned, that would have a major negative effect on the bond yields paid by the Muppets and other leading providers of children's entertainment. No one else will ever trade these bonds to any significant degree.
Paul Volcker deserves better. In the hands of Tim Geithner's Treasury, the Rule named for Volcker supposedly limiting speculative mischief by government-guaranteed banks is fast becoming a cumbersome parody of itself.
It's possible that this entire kerfuffle over the Volcker Rule is just hot air. But we won't really know the full costs, before we try it out and drive it awhile.
Now, when there are some very real and very serious anti-American actions being asked for, Dimon is strangely silent. Could it be because the current anti-American requests coincide with his claims against financial reform? Of course it is.
There he goes again. Wall Street is fighting tooth and nail to emasculate the Dodd-Frank Bill, focusing its artillery on the Volcker Rule, namely those sections calling for the elimination of proprietary trading by banking institutions.
Put simply, the Volcker Rule takes deposit-taking, loan-making banks out of the business of high-risk, conflict-ridden trading -- leaving that to the hedge funds, if they choose to do it.
The argument for the Volcker Rule is obvious -- we shouldn't allow risky bets that pay enormous bonuses to bankers if they work, but stick taxpayers with the bill if they fail.