Blog Archives

Unemployment Benefits Are Stimulus

Robert Reich has a good column on”why deficit hawks are killing the recovery.”

Consumer spending is 70 percent of the American economy, so if consumers can’t or won’t spend we’re back in the soup. Yet the government just reported that…

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The Subprime Student Loan Crisis

The New York Times’ Ron Lieber has an excellent column on the severe hangover left by the cocktail of cheap credit and spiraling college tuitions: the tens of thousands of young people saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of…

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The Crisis of Long-Term Unemployment

This week, Jesse Rothstein, the chief economist at the Labor Department, spoke at the Economic Policy Institute, and the organization just posted the slides. Congress is losing its stomach for funding extended benefits. But, as the slides show, long-term unemployment…

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Congress Considers Funding Failing Pensions

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, or HELP, held a hearing to weigh the costs and benefits of funding certain ailing pension funds. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) has proposed legislation to aid some pension funds fed…

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FCIC Has to Force Buffett to Testify on Ratings Agencies

Fortune has a great story up: The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission requested that Warren Buffett, the head of investment giant Berkshire Hathaway, come testify. He declined. The panel — charged with investigating the causes of the financial crisis and known…

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Clinton Says the Wealthy ‘Are Not Paying Their Fair Share’

An excellent catch from Ben Smith at Politico — today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a rare comment on the domestic economic situation:

“The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the…

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Where Job Searches Take the Longest

The Economic Policy Institute has posted a new study of the average duration of unemployment by state. The report shows that workers wait longest for jobs in Michigan and South Carolina, and that last month “the median length of unemployment…

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How to Stop Lobbying in Conference Committee

The House-Senate financial reform conference committee is gearing up, with the House due to name its members some time next week and the process due to be done by July 4. But the negotiations to merge the House and Senate…

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Treasury’s Wolin: Five Things Worth Fighting for in FinReg

Today, Neal Wolin, the deputy secretary of the Treasury, gave a speech to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s annual conference in Baltimore, and outlined five things Treasury will push for as the House and Senate financial regulatory reform bills go…

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Unemployment Claims Continue Plateau

Weekly initial jobless claims fell to 460,000, down 14,000 from the prior week, the Labor Department announced this morning. Economists had expected unemployment claims to fall to 455,000. The four-week average fell a bit to 456,500. The drop is good…

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GDP Grows Less Than Expected in 1Q

This morning, the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the United States’ gross domestic product, the largest measure of how much the economy is growing, gained at an annual rate of 3 percent in the first quarter. The number is…

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How Payday Lenders Spent Millions to Win Every Battle – Only to Lose the War


Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)

By all accounts, Sen. Kay Hagan’s (D-N.C.) amendment to Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) financial regulatory reform bill was an excellent one. The first-term senator had a long-standing reputation in her home state for fighting payday lending,…

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Warren, Head of TARP Oversight Panel, Criticizes Bailout of ‘Frankenstein’ AIG

Today, the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, headed by Elizabeth Warren, is holding a set of hearings on failed insurer AIG. Warren takes AIG to task for its blatant disregard for sound practices. “The company…

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New Home Sales Spike Much More Than Expected in April

This morning, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that sales of new homes spiked in April. They also revised their March sales estimates upward:

Sales of new one-family houses in April 2010 were at a…

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Frank Outlines Plan for Conference Committee

Politico’s Morning Money has the text of a memo by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), outlining his plans for the upcoming conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate financial regulatory reform bills. Frank, who is heading the committee, apologizes to…

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Three Fed Presidents Recommend Interest-Rate Increase

Today, the Federal Reserve released the minutes of its Board of Governors meetings to discuss the United States’ monetary policy in April. In February, all twelve Federal Reserve regional bank presidents requested to keep the primary credit rate at 0.75…

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Local Governments Warn of Devastating Job Cuts

The National League of Cities, a nonprofit that represents 19,000 towns and cities with a combined population of 220 million, released a report indicating devastating local-government job and service cuts. In the 2010 State of America’s Cities survey, 63 percent…

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Senate Leadership Announces FinReg Conferees

From the Banking Committee, they are Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Jack Reid (D-R.I.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.).
From the Agriculture Committee, they are Sens. Blanche…

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Consumer Confidence Surges

Well, it won’t be all doom and gloom here today. Consumer confidence — an important bellwether of increasing household spending — shot up last month.
The Conference Board says that consumers’ expectations about today’s and tomorrow’s economic conditions continue to…

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Home Price Index Shows Weakening Market

Today, the S&P/Case Shiller Housing Index shows some worrying, if unsurprising, statistics about the housing market.
The good news is that the year-on-year index, the most-watched metric, gained, as from from March 2009 to March 2010 housing prices rose 2.35…

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