2008 October

Keynesian Idiocy

Via the WSJ Real Time Economics Blog: European Central Bank board member Mario Draghi Friday called on governments to bolster demand by boosting spending or cutting taxes, the first such exhortation from an ECB official during the current crisis. It’s far more typical to hear ECB officials, including President Jean-Claude Trichet, admonishing governments to adhere .. read more

On October 31st, 2008, posted in: Economy by Tags: ,

Rewarding the Irresponsible

The NYT has a story about the Treasury Department’s plan to help homeowners facing foreclosure: As the Treasury Department prepares a $40 billion program to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure, it confronts a difficult challenge: not making the plan too tempting to people like Todd Lawrence. An airline pilot who lives outside Norwich, Conn., Mr. .. read more

On October 31st, 2008, posted in: Economy by Tags: ,

Personal Income/Spending Report

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis and its monthly report on Personal Income/Spending, in the past few months, US consumers have cut back on big-ticket purchases and expenses and started saving for a change. Nominal consumer spending decreased 0.3% for the month of September, after a flat August. This was inline with economists estimates, as a loss was .. read more

On October 31st, 2008, posted in: Markets by Tags: , , , ,

Banks Cave In to Political Pressure

Politicians seem to have succeeded in bullying the nation’s bankers into lending their newfound, vote buying government capital. Politicians didn’t agree to jam taxpayer money down the gaping balance sheets of the nation’s banks without expecting something in return. It’s an election year if you hadn’t heard and the economy is not exactly humming on .. read more

On October 31st, 2008, posted in: Economy by Tags: , , ,

Impoverishing Society

Sheldon Richman rips the bank bailout at the American Conservative: Here in the land of the theoretically free, as Mencken called America, the central government is about to become part-owner of the nine largest banks and many smaller ones, too. It will acquire dividend-paying preferred stock in return for “injecting” cash into the allegedly seized-up .. read more

On October 30th, 2008, posted in: Economy by Tags: ,

Fish and Wildlife Boondoggle

Times are tough for Americans, unless you are a government employee (via the WaPo): Hurry, hurry, hurry. There still may be seats available on a spectacular U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trip that will send 28, that’s twenty-eight, senior officials to Mexico for a week of post-election R and R. It includes a tour of .. read more

On October 30th, 2008, posted in: Economy by Tags: ,

The Federal Reserve – Lender of First Resort

The Fed’s balance sheet continues to expand: Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve bought commercial paper valued at $145.7 billion in the first days of the program aimed at backstopping the market, indicating the central bank is generating most of this week’s record gains in short-term corporate borrowing. The central bank extended $144.8 billion .. read more

On October 30th, 2008, posted in: Economy by Tags: , ,

3rd Qtr US GDP Report

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, US gross domestic product – the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States - contracted for the first time since the 4th quarter in 2007. In the latest quarter, GDP fell 0.3%, after a 2.8% gain in the previous quarter. The number, .. read more