Economic Indicators Still Point to Weak 2013

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 7:02 am

Morgan Stanley continues to predict a weak 1.4% growth for the US in 2013. I assume some of this pessimism has to do with the potential for a nasty fiscal slope. But this forecast mirrors their previous forecast in September, so nothing has changed in their analysis in the two months where policymakers crept closer [...]

The Junk Bond Time Bomb

By: Tuesday October 30, 2012 10:00 am

At some point, Wall Street will dry out, the New York Stock Exchange will return to life, and the traders will roll back into Lower Manhattan. And by most accounts, they will continue their trend of purchasing garbage. Junk bonds are living up to their name again. Companies with junk credit ratings have been increasingly [...]

Late-Campaign Pledges Show American Mythologizing of Business

By: Tuesday October 30, 2012 8:30 am

Just as a reminder of how captured our government has become, President Obama has embarrassingly floated the prospect of a Secretary of Business for his second term. First of all, we already have a Secretary of Commerce, which is pretty much an irrelevant federal agency. So much so, in fact, that the President has proposed [...]

The Deliberate Confusion on the Fiscal Slope

By: Friday October 26, 2012 7:45 am

Is the threat of the fiscal slope already hurting the economy? The GDP estimate shows business investment slowing, but that’s been a relatively permanent condition since the Great Recession (since before it, according to some analysts). Every now and again you get reports that the potential for fiscal cutbacks and resulting uncertainty has cost America [...]

CEO’s Bold Plan to Fix the Debt By Lowering Their Own Taxes

By: Thursday October 25, 2012 9:15 am

Mark Warner and Saxby Chambliss are the two Senators most hopeful of replacing Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson should they ever die or meet a poor person and get a spark of empathy. Warner and Chambliss are charter members of the Gang of Six, now a Gang of Eight, who are hard at work on [...]

The Dichotomy in Economic Sentiment Between Consumers and Businesses

By: Thursday October 18, 2012 12:27 pm

Economic analysts are giddy about a recent spate of positive consumer-based indicators, on not only housing starts but consumer confidence, retail sales, auto sales and even unemployment. At the same time, in the same economy, the numbers run completely the other way when it comes to the corporate sector. Joe Weisenthal runs down the numbers. [...]

Largest Banks Reap Greatest Calendar-Year Profits Since 2006

By: Wednesday October 3, 2012 12:19 pm

A new analysis from Bloomberg shows that, despite all their work-the-ref whining, bank executives are in the midst of their biggest payday in profits since the height of the housing bubble. Four years ago today, President George W. Bush signed into law the biggest corporate rescue in American history. Even as U.S. unemployment has remained [...]

Corporate-Led Education Reform Movement Ignores Solvable Problems to Carry Out Its Agenda

By: Tuesday September 11, 2012 9:06 am

One thing you never hear in the education debate, dominated by those persistently shrieking that schools “are in crisis,” is an appeal to the actual data surrounding school performance. The statistics are pretty clear that American students have exceeded their performance over a 30-year period, and that’s true if you control for various populations, both [...]

Teacher’s Unions in Tension With Democrats in Charlotte

By: Tuesday September 4, 2012 7:06 am

The Democratic platform on education includes the passage, “We Democrats honor our nation’s teachers, who do a heroic job for their students every day. If we want high-quality education for all our kids, we must listen to the people who are on the front lines.” However, it’s also perhaps the first education platform plank that [...]

Near-Term and Long-Term Economic Growth Possibilities Look Weak

By: Wednesday August 29, 2012 9:51 am

The consistently hyped housing recovery, which I discussed here, has boosted hopes for an economic recovery. Certainly banks are getting well from the shenanigans that are artificially constraining supply. In addition, borrowers are repaying loans at a sharper rate, a sign of deleveraging. If you believe in the theory of the balance sheet recession, continued [...]

Apple-Samsung Trial: Another Loss for Consumers

By: Saturday August 25, 2012 9:12 am

By way of disclosure, let me say that I own a Samsung Galaxy II and I love it. But others may not get the same opportunity after Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict in what was described in technology circles as the trial of the century. The jury in San Jose, California, not far from [...]

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