200802.28
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70s Redux?

Allan Meltzer has an editorial in the WSJ which asks if the Fed is repeating the mistakes of the 70s. His answer is yes: Is the Federal Reserve an independent monetary authority or a handmaiden beholden to political and market players? Has it reverted to its mistaken behavior in the 1970s? Recent actions and public…

200802.28
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Decoupling?

CIBC, another former employer of mine, has a very informative piece on the possibility of global decoupling: Regardless of whether the US is already in recession, risks on that score are clearly rising as the housing collapse erodes household wealth and spending, and writedownsaddled financial institutions tighten lending standards. The rest of the world isn’t…

200802.27
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I Agree with Krugman???!!!!!

I’m almost never censored at the Times. However, I was told that I couldn’t use the lede I originally wrote for my column following the 2007 State of the Union address, in which Bush made ethanol the centerpiece of his energy strategy: “Before the State of the Union address, there had been hints and hopes…

200802.27
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Samuelson on Stagflation

Robert Samuelson is not my favorite economist, but this editorial at Real Clear Politics is a must read: Naturally, no politician acknowledges the self-evident implication: that recessions, though unwanted and hurtful to many, are not just inevitable; sometimes they’re also necessary to prevent the larger and longer-lasting harm that would result from resurgent inflation. Interestingly,…

200802.27
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Lousy Stock Market

Stocks are in a bear market and no end is in sight. No, I’m not talking about the US stock market (via The Economist): CHINESE investors had a rare opportunity for good cheer on Wednesday February 27th. The country’s two stock exchanges shrugged off Monday’s blues, when both indices dropped by about 4%, and gained…

200802.27
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Fear Itself

I think Holman Jenkins of the WSJ has been reading my essays. On February 13th, I posted an essay here called, Fear Itself. Today Jenkins has an editorial in the WSJ that echoes my thoughts: We have nothing to fear but fear itself, a president once said, and thereupon embarked on a series of ad-libs…

200802.27
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Low Taxes and a Budget Surplus

HONG KONG (Thomson Financial) – Hong Kong on Wednesday posted its highest budget surplus on record for the year to March and unveiled tax relief measures to spur the economy in the coming year amid rising inflation and slowing global growth. I guess they must have really high tax rates if they’re running a surplus,…

200802.27
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Fannie and Freddie

Via Bloomberg: Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) — U.S. regulators removed limits on the combined $1.5 trillion mortgage portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, enabling the companies to increase financing for the slumping housing market. The asset caps, imposed in 2006 after the two largest mortgage finance companies revealed $11.3 billion of accounting errors, will end…

200802.27
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Blind Bernanke

Fed Chairman Bernanke gave his semi annual testimony to the House Financial Services Committee today. His prepared statement seemed to concentrate more on growth than inflation (via Bloomberg): The Fed “will be carefully evaluating incoming information bearing on the economic outlook and will act in a timely manner as needed to support growth and to…

200802.25
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Careful What you Wish For

All politicians claim to want to do something about our healthcare system. Those on the Democratic side tend toward the single payer model while those on the Republican side tend a litte more toward the market side. For those of you who believe that single payer government run healthcare is the answer, this article from…