Even though 49 states mandate a balanced budget, either constitutionally or statutorily, there is no uniform definition of a balanced budget, and accounting trickery has allowed states to avoid paying for their future obligations.
Now, America has long been an exceptionally redemptive society. Even if you screw up really badly, if you are willing to reflect long and hard, learn from your mistakes, and demonstrate a commitment to a larger purpose than your own ego, you can emerge on the other side and begin anew.
Renting a house, snagging a ride on your smartphone, and de-leveraging your balance sheets would truly be a new American way, with tremendous implications for policymakers including the Fed if a geopolitical or natural disaster hit and it was stuck at an already low interest rate.
It will be six years in October 2014 that Federal Reserve officials started building the monetary bomb. Now that the bomb has reached $2.58 trillion, ...
Of course, the losers for the lack of forward-looking ideas are the American people. They put their confidence in government to solve problems at reasonable costs and help improve the quality of their lives. But neither is occurring.
The so-called Volcker Rule for policing (ha!) banking practices, approved by a huddle of federal regulating agency chiefs last week, is the latest joke that America has played on itself in what is becoming the greatest national self-punking exercise in world history.
It's pretty hard to miss the shampoo cycle -- bubble, bust, repeat -- that has characterized the last few business cycles in the American, and more recently, European and even Scandinavian economies. It's also the case that choice economists since Adam (Smith, of course) have recognized this proclivity towards financial market instability. Thus far in the current expansion that began in 2009Q3, financial markets and corporate profitability have far outpaced the rest of the economy. I'm not saying we're in another financial bubble, though no less than Robert Shiller recently raised that concern. But I'm decidedly saying that unless we enact and enforce tough financial market regulation, that's where we're headed.
Clearly, our political system is going through some of its greatest challenges. When competing values are so polarized, systemic seventh level thinking doesn't see the light of day as the entire system heads into collapse.
In May, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker launched the Volcker Alliance, in part to rebuild trust in government. Tom Fox spoke with long-ti...
When people repeat the myth about the courageous steps Ronald Reagan took to fight inflation, don't buy it. Instead tell them about Carter's record for which you can cite data from the Fed itself and legislative chapter and verse.
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.