For a few fleeting, horrifying moments this past week the fault lines that underlie the global economic crisis erupted into plain view. With deft and quick effort leaders in Washington, Europe and Asia papered over the fissures and fears largely subsided. But the shock of plain truths which resulted in violent currency movements are the latest reminder that the 21st century economic order will bear little resemblance to the world we now know. [more]
I wish someone would tell Peter to invest in a better camera/microphone. [more]
The U.S. government plan to rid banks of toxic assets will rob American taxpayers by exposing them to too much risk and is unlikely to work as long as the economy remains weak, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on Tuesday.
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This week, with his pronouncement that “credit is the lifeblood of a healthy economy,” President Obama reiterated what has been one of his most common themes in diagnosing our economic problem. The president has relied on this bedrock belief to propose policies that place the restoration of credit as the highest priority. However, despite his seemingly earnest intentions, the president and his economic advisors have misdiagnosed the ailment. Savings, not credit, is the lifeblood of a healthy economy. When not used properly credit can be like a cancer that sickens an otherwise healthy economy. [more]
[Nothing new in that headline per se, but Meredith Whitney gets into some interesting details, in my opinion.] [more]
Talk show host and conservative icon Rush Limbaugh recently ignited a firestorm of criticism for expressing his desire that Barack Obama should fail. Democrats, and even some Republicans, suggested that he had put aside his patriotism to wish for an economic collapse that would result in political advantage for conservatives. However, if you believe as I, and apparently Rush, that Obama’s plans will prevent recovery, then wishing that they fail to become actual policy is the right thing to do. The problem is that since Mr. Limbaugh has a history of partisanship, and since he did not forcefully criticize the Bush Administration for similar (if slightly more modest) plans, many cannot see past the messenger to recognize the truth in the message. [more]
Iron ore miners in Brazil and Australia are dragging their feet on setting prices for the coming year in hopes that a nascent recovery in China will help them avoid a big cut.