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Current Topic: Economics

China downgrades U.S. debt
Topic: Economics 5:07 pm EST, Nov  9, 2010

A publicity-minded Chinese rating agency has added its two renminbi to the cacophonous debate over the Fed's latest tilt at money-printing. The state-backed Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. on Tuesday downgraded its rating on the United States to A-plus from double-A, maintaining its negative outlook.

"The new round of quantitative easing monetary policy adopted by the Federal Reserve has brought about an obvious trend of depreciation of the U.S. dollar, and the continuation and deepening of credit crisis in the U.S.," Dagong writes in its latest report on its U.S. rating. "Such a move entirely encroaches on the interests of the creditors, indicating the decline of the U.S. government's intention of debt repayment."

But Dagong is willing to go where many observers have been unwilling to tread, contending that the collapse of the dollar is near. "Analysis shows that the crisis confronting the U.S. cannot be ultimately resolved through currency depreciation," it writes. "On the contrary, it is likely that an overall crisis might be triggered by the U.S. government's policy to continuously depreciate the U.S. dollar against the will of creditors."


Time to buy up some Loonies.

China downgrades U.S. debt

How hackers can help us defeat Wall Street - Commentary: They’ll be the heroes of the Second American Revolution
Topic: Economics 12:01 pm EST, Nov  9, 2010

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — “American capitalism is broken,” warns economist Peter Morici. Worse, American government is broken with “two bankrupt political parties bankrupting the country,” warns Stanford political scientist Larry Diamond. Why? Because Wall Street is broken: Our engine of capitalism is broken.

Morici warns that Wall Street’s insatiable gluttony is strangling America’s 8,000 regional banks: “About 3,000 regional banks face extinction, and ordinary Americans can only borrow money at government run Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or at extortionist rates on big-bank-controlled credit cards.” Time to counterattack, or the clock runs out.

The plan? Hackers are America’s “Hail Mary pass” against Wall Street’s power play to rule America. In fact, hackers may be the only solution left, our last line of defense in this economic class war to save America. Hackers can operate like secret CIA special ops commandos to help take America back from the Wall Street Conspiracy of super-rich.

Yes, only solution. Why? Two bankrupt political parties. Forget gridlock, it’s worse. The GOP will restore Reaganomics for the rich. The Dems are proven gutless fighters. And an activist Supreme Court unleashed the floodgates for billionaires, foreign corporations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobby to gain absolute control of Washington.

How hackers can help us defeat Wall Street - Commentary: They’ll be the heroes of the Second American Revolution

GM using private planes again for IPO roadshow
Topic: Economics 12:48 am EST, Nov  9, 2010

It wasn't too long ago that General Motors was fending off a heap of public ire over the company's use of private planes. Now it looks like The General is back to eschewing commercial flight in favor of taking to the wild-blue yonder in chartered craft. According to The Detroit News, GM has been sending executives to Europe, Canada and various locations within the U.S. in order to promote the company's stock for an upcoming IPO. In most cases, the workers have travelled by private aircraft.

GM says that under the expense policy approved by the federal government, the company is allowed to charter planes when there's a business case for doing so. Additionally, the automaker says that the tour to drum up investors warrants such flights because of the tight time table involved. With GM doing its best to make sure that it will be able to buy back enough of its stock to take a controlling interest in the company away from the federal government, chances are we won't hear too many Congressmen complain about the private flights this time around

GM using private planes again for IPO roadshow

Doing It Again by Paul Krugman
Topic: Economics 10:32 pm EST, Nov  8, 2010

After all, you have China, which is engaged in currency manipulation on a scale unprecedented in world history — and hurting the rest of the world by doing so — attacking America for trying to put its own house in order. You have Germany, whose economy is kept afloat by a huge trade surplus, criticizing America for running trade deficits — then lashing out at a policy that might, by weakening the dollar, actually do something to reduce those deficits.

As a practical matter, however, this foreign criticism doesn’t matter much. The real damage is being done by our domestic inflationistas — the people who have spent every step of our march toward Japan-style deflation warning about runaway inflation just around the corner. They’re doing it again — and they may already have succeeded in emasculating the Fed’s new policy.

For the big concern about quantitative easing isn’t that it will do too much; it is that it will accomplish too little. Reasonable estimates suggest that the Fed’s new policy is unlikely to reduce interest rates enough to make more than a modest dent in unemployment. The only way the Fed might accomplish more is by changing expectations — specifically, by leading people to believe that we will have somewhat above-normal inflation over the next few years, which would reduce the incentive to sit on cash.

Doing It Again by Paul Krugman

Cost of the Bush era: $11.5 trillion
Topic: Economics 10:35 am EST, Jan 14, 2009

Picture an avalanche of cash disappearing into the Potomac.

Where has all the money gone? Here are five areas where Bush has approved massive outlays of taxpayer money.

Cost of the Bush era: $11.5 trillion

A 'Postcard' View Of China's Global Prominence
Topic: Economics 8:02 pm EST, Jan  6, 2009

Great journalism and coverage of the topic. Listen to the
interview on NRP's website.


Journalist James Fallows explores China's recent rise to power and what it means for the US in his new book of essays, Postcards Tomorrow Square.

A National Correspondent for The Atlanta Monthly, Fallows has been reporting on the economic and political transformation taking place in China since 2006.

A 'Postcard' View Of China's Global Prominence

Video: Obama Will Tax Us to Death
Topic: Economics 3:57 pm EST, Nov 16, 2008

Arthur Laffer, economist and author of The End of Prosperity, says President-elect Barack Obama's tax plans and reckless spending by Congress will sink the U.S. economy and stock-market investors.

Video: Obama Will Tax Us to Death

Oil output cuts not likely - OPEC chief
Topic: Economics 3:46 pm EST, Nov 16, 2008

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) -- More oil output reductions aren't likely this month because OPEC members haven't yet fully enforced previous quotas and the organization needs more data before it reaches a decision, the cartel's president said Sunday.

Chakib Khelil's comments came as Iran called for a new output cut of at least 1 million barrels per day, in addition to the 1.5 million cut decided by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Oct. 24 to try to sustain slumping prices.

Oil output cuts not likely - OPEC chief

Housing starts expected to hit half-century low - Consumer prices falling at fastest pace in 60 years, economists say
Topic: Economics 3:30 pm EST, Nov 16, 2008

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Few observers have ever seen anything like the economic data that will be released in the coming week, with the consumer price index and housing starts each expected to breach records dating back to the late 1940s.

With the global economy descending into a nasty recession, the October data could send a chill down the spine of policymakers, who are pulling out all the tricks in their tool kit to prevent a wider meltdown.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said last week that "market turmoil will not abate until the biggest part of the housing correction is behind us."

It's not behind us yet.

Housing starts expected to hit half-century low - Consumer prices falling at fastest pace in 60 years, economists say

Report: Citigroup to lay off thousands
Topic: Economics 3:22 pm EST, Nov 16, 2008

CNBC said the move is aimed at soothing market concerns that Citigroup is not doing what needs to be done to deal with difficulties including deteriorating share prices. Citing people close to the company, the report said the precise dimensions of the job cuts were not known Saturday afternoon but the organization might cut almost 40,000 jobs from its international workforce, estimated at 350,000.

CBNC's source said Pandit will likely announce that the layoffs will take effect in the relatively short term -- perhaps during the next five or six months.

"The object here is for people to take notice," a source told CNBC. "The exact number is still a moving target but it will be dramatic."

Report: Citigroup to lay off thousands

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