Yes, Overvalued Currency Remains a Huge Economic Problem for the US

By: Tuesday October 30, 2012 11:41 am

After Mitt Romney put the issue of Chinese currency manipulation into the Presidential race, economists and analysts rushed to explain that such manipulation isn’t happening, and anyway Romney is dishonest, and his policies, if carried out, would start a trade war. I responded that, even if you accept that China has stopped manipulating their currency, [...]

GDP Increased to 2.0% in the Third Quarter of 2012

By: Friday October 26, 2012 7:01 am

The Bureau of Economic Analysis rates 3rd quarter GDP with a preliminary estimate of 2.0%, an increase from the previous quarter but not the kind of economic growth normally associated with reducing the unemployment rate in rapid fashion. GDP in the second quarter increased 1.3%, so this represents an acceleration on growth, albeit a modest [...]

The Surging Coal Export Industry

By: Tuesday October 23, 2012 12:27 pm

Matt Stoller has an interesting set of charts showing the recent run up in investment in resource extraction, particularly from the oil and gas industry. Matt explains this mostly through the run-up of shale oil and natural gas extraction, which have both advanced significantly in the US. Renewables are increasing as well, but from an [...]

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. [...]

Administration Wrestles With Granting Natural Gas Export Permits

By: Wednesday October 17, 2012 10:00 am

For all the influence and power in fracking today, if the US were to export natural gas that would magnify a hundred fold. Think about the difference between Saudi Arabia only supplying their domestic industries with oil fuel and supplying the world. There’s no comparison. Natural gas has traditionally been very difficult to export, but [...]

EU Oil Embargo of Iran Begins

By: Monday July 2, 2012 1:47 pm

Over the weekend the European Union inaugurated its embargo on Iranian oil, the most wide-reaching impediment to the Iranian economy of the recent sanctions. The EU as a market is bigger than the United States, so this is significant for Iran. And oil accounts for 80% of Iran’s total exports. Monday marks the first day [...]

European Recession Spilling Over Into Global Economy

By: Tuesday June 5, 2012 10:17 am

I can’t believe that anyone tried to trot out as conventional wisdom the idea that Europe’s troubles would cause no economic turmoil in the US. We don’t export much to Europe, the story went. The financial channel is more dangerous, but US banks have insulated themselves from the problems over there. Wrong and wrong. In [...]

WTO Rules Against China in Rare Earth Minerals Trade Case

By: Monday January 30, 2012 1:32 pm

The other enforcement unit announced at the State of the Union was a trade enforcement unit designed to look at and crack down on illegal trade practices anywhere in the world that impact the United States, particularly the practices of China. Some may have noted my generally optimistic tone about this enforcement unit, and sensed [...]

German Unemployment Drops, as Euro Works for Them

By: Tuesday January 3, 2012 7:35 am

The Spanish economy fell into recession in the last half of 2011, and unemployment went up in December for the fifth straight month, no mean feat in a country which already has 20% unemployment, including almost one-half of all young people. Meanwhile, unemployment in Germany dipped down to 6.8%, a record low. The adjusted jobless [...]

Obama/GOP Trade Deal Looks Set

By: Tuesday June 28, 2011 1:02 pm

The White House has just released a set of facts sheets on a trade package that would include the three free trade deals negotiated by the Bush Administration, with Colombia, South Korea and Panama, along with a renewal of trade adjustment assistance for displaced workers. Press Secretary Jay Carney released this statement: President Obama has [...]

House Democrats Seek Discharge Petition for Chinese Currency Manipulation Bill

By: Monday June 20, 2011 10:58 am

Like many other things for me while I was in Minneapolis, this came and went last week, but I think it’s a pretty important story to watch. Democrats in the House of Representatives will try to get a discharge petition to force a vote on a bill that would crack down on Chinese currency manipulation. [...]

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