I don’t know about you, but I’m sure tired of Larry Summers. He decided, along with Alan Greenspan and Robert Ruben, that we did not need to regulate derivatives. As a matter fact, he went so far as to make sure that Congress passed a law which would prohibit the regulation of derivatives. Derivatives were the exact weapons of mass destruction that killed the world economy in 2007/2008. Nope, we don’t need any more of Larry Summers. I have no idea who should be Fed Chair, but it can’t be and shouldn’t be Larry Summers. President Obama, just say NO!!!
In the history of the United States, there are very few companies that change because it’s the right thing to do. Looking back over the last century or so, we find that companies begin to pay workers more because they are pressured into it. I like the fact that fast food workers are trying to pressure their employers to pay them more money. They’re not making a living wage.
SNAP benefits are going to be cut. This is not good.
Continue reading News Update – Larry Summers, Fast Food Strike, SNAP Benefits
Wednesday Evening News Roundup
Yesterday, I mentioned that last year was the second warmest year on record. Australia is simply baking this year.
I would like to spend a little time talking about an idea that was floated over at Pragmatic Capitalism over a year ago. As you recall, about a year ago we had the showdown at the OK Corral (well, it was really Congress) over the debt ceiling. The Republicans were determined to cut spending at all costs. If it meant taking the economy, so be it. If it meant taking the world economy, that was a price that many Republicans thought was worth paying. So, another debt ceiling is looming on the horizon. We have the treasury secretary telling us when we’re going to run out of money (basically within weeks if Congress does not act). Now, comes this idea, which has been talked about on several blogs (here and here). Why doesn’t the treasury print a $1 trillion coin and then march that coin over to the Federal Reserve and deposit the coin? The treasury doesn’t need Congress’s permission to print the coin. Since our money is not tethered to something tangible like gold, there’s no reason we can’t do this. The idea sounded half-baked until Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said it wasn’t a bad idea. In my opinion, we need to avoid the constant threat of government shutdown and default. We need for all members of Congress to begin to act like adults instead of spoiled brats. Governing is about compromise. Governing is not about jumping up and down and stomping your feet like a four-year-old in the middle of a massive tantrum. I am for any solution that avoids economic uncertainty and promotes job growth here in the United States. If that solution means we need to print a $1 trillion coin then I’m all for it. (Oh, don’t get distracted by some of the craziness that I’ve heard from conservatives over the last 24 hours. Someone has decided to confuse the American public by saying we have to print a coin that is actually worth $1 trillion and would therefore have to be the size of an ocean liner. The logic is stupid. Currently we print coins and money that are clearly not worth their face value. A $100 bill is not made up of a hundred dollars’ worth of paper. A $1000 bill is clearly not made up worth of a thousand dollars’ worth of paper and ink. Ignore this bit of stupidity.) Continue reading Wednesday Evening News Roundup
It is hard to overemphasize how important Greece and Europe are to our eventual economic recovery. Whether we like it or not our fortunes are tied to Europe. We do a ton of trade with Europe. If they fall in the tank, they’re not going to buy US exports and that will cause a significant slowing of our economy. No matter how much we’d like to think that we are strong and independent, we are tied to the world economy, especially to Europe.
From WSJ (may need a subscription):
Greece and its private sector creditors said Saturday they were on the verge of a deal to write off €100 billion ($132 billion) worth of the country’s debt, pending the outcome of separate talks on a new, multi-billion euro bailout for Athens.
In separate statements, Greece and the creditors both noted significant progress in the talks and said a final deal would be announced next week in tandem with the new loan program.
Effectively, the focus now shifts to a European summit in Brussels Monday where the continent’s leaders will sanctify — or not — the terms of the debt restructuring and the new loan. But complicating those discussions are concerns that Greece’s funding needs might be bigger than originally thought, while Europe appears divided over how to cover the gap.