When MSNBC headlined the report that existing home sales surged by 7.4 percent in November (according to the National Association of Realtors), it suggested that such an improvement boosted “recovery hopes.” Others jumped on the recovery bandwagon, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Alan Blinder.
Chinese officials have once again publicly stated their intention to buy less U.S. Treasury debt, according to the December 18 Shanghai Daily newspaper. "The U.S. current account deficit is falling as residents' savings increase, so its trade turnover is falling, which means the US is supplying fewer dollars to the rest of the world," Zhu Min, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, said. "The world does not have so much money to buy more U.S. Treasuries."
With the expiration of one of the most turbulent years, economically speaking, in American history, it is not surprising that Time magazine has recognized Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as Man of the Year. In an era of unbridled optimism gone bust, the ubiquitous media presence of the unassuming Princeton economist who has become — in Time’s panegyrical prose — “our mild-mannered economic overlord” and “the most powerful nerd on the planet” would make Bernanke a shoo-in for such recognition.
The economic conventional wisdom of the moment is that the U.S. economy has begun to turn around. According to mainstream economists, a tentative recovery can be found in the third-quarter numbers, and in the drop in new unemployment claims from October to November.
When ABC News asked if the "jobs summit" would make real progress or would just be "simply a glorified public-relations stunt," it studiously avoided asking the real question: How can the prime movers that created the current economic "Great Recession" be expected to fix it?
The United Nations summit on global warming in Copenhagen is less than a week away, and UN agencies are trying to pre-set the dials with calls for massive funding of various UN projects and programs. Speaking at a conference in Nairobi, Kenya, UN Development Program (UNDP) administrator Helen Clark said the developed nations need to provide between $75 billion and $100 billion a year to help poor nations cope with climate change.
In spite of forecasts by some commentators of an improving economy, several factors point to a coming, even worse, "double-dip" recession: false government statistics that hide the real unemployment rate of 22 percent; the coming defaults of ARM loans; plummeting commercial real estate values; and, the ripple effect the declining real estate market will have on all other areas of the economy.
Federal Reserve Open Market Committee Chairman Ben Bernanke is pulling out all the stops to kill Congressman Ron Paul's legislation to audit the Federal Reserve Bank, this time with a November 29 op-ed column in the Sunday Washington Post.
With rampant foreclosures and declarations of bankruptcy, historic levels of money creation, a plummeting dollar, and double-digit unemployment, one would think that the already-bowing backs of the American public have borne enough of the burden of trying to pull the eonomy out of the rut of recession via more "stimulus" spending. This may seem obvious to most, but not everyone would agree.
The Federal Reserve is facing its severest scrutiny since the 1930s, both from an aroused public and from members of Congress, some of whom face tough reelection fights next year and know they will have to answer to the public. Moreover, scrutiny of the Fed has moved from Internet-only “conspiracy sites” to mainstream reportage — for example, "Analysis: Fed under fire as public anger mounts" and "Fed rage boils over on Capitol Hill."
We dont have to hire historians to see where deficit spending will take us. We have only to look around now. Since the end of World War II, some of history's greatest national disasters have taken place right here in the Americas. North Americans used to laugh or shake their heads at the economies of the south that seemed always on the brink of collapse. Banana republics, we derisively called them. We're not laughing now.