Mar 272013
 

A correspondent who heard my comments on Cyprus on KUOW’s Weekday program today asks: I am puzzled by some of your comments this morning. As I understand it, when a bank in the U.S. fails, the FDIC moves in and closes it. The accounts are protected by insurance up to [continue reading . . . ]






Sep 172012
 
QE and financial repression

Say what you please about Ben Bernanke’s unconventional monetary policies (quantitative easing, QE for short, and Operation Twist), they’ve been good for the stock market. The first chart shows that stock prices have roughly doubled, give or take a few percentage points, since Dr. Ben launched the first round of [continue reading . . . ]






Jun 052012
 

Martin Wolf, much-honored chief economics commentator of the Financial Times, has been my beacon during the financial crisis. So it is especially discouraging to read his June 6, 2012, column, headlined “Panic has become all too rational”. Wolf argues that the advanced economies are caught in a “contained depression,” that [continue reading . . . ]






May 302012
 

Uh, oh. That’s what I find myself muttering these days when I fire up the news browser or open my morning papers. The economic news leaves me with a sense of dread. I find three developments especially worrisome: 1. Europe’s slow-motion economic crisis, now more than three years old, rumbles [continue reading . . . ]






Jul 032011
 

The bad news is that the United States – indeed, much of the developed world – is in the midst of a “contained depression.” The private sector continues to de-leverage. Unemployment remains high. Pay for most is static or declining. Deflation remains a bigger threat than inflation. Depressions eventually end, [continue reading . . . ]






May 052011
 
New normal

Mohamed El-Erian and Bill Gross of Pacific Investment Management Company (Pimco), the world’s largest fixed-income manager, to the best of my knowledge originated the phrase “new normal” to indicate that things fundamentally changed following the Panic of September 2008 and its aftermath. After studying a number of their writings, freely [continue reading . . . ]






Apr 262011
 

The U.S. is in such dire financial shape that it must raise taxes on the middle class as well as the rich AND curtail, via means-testing, giant entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare. That’s the Easter Sunday sermon from supply-side guru and former OMB director David A. Stockman via [continue reading . . . ]






Apr 222011
 
Dead end for the dollar?

Is the dollar’s long run as the global reserve currency coming to an end? It is if the Chinese have anything to say about it. China owns the globe’s largest store of dollar-denominated assets outside the U.S. Understandably, it wants to diversify. The world needs an “international reserve currency that [continue reading . . . ]