Last year, conservative pundit Glenn Beck warned his viewers to stock up on clothing for their kids, as he predicted that the price of cotton would increase dramatically. As usual, he was mocked mercilessly for his assertions. Recently, however, a report from the National Inflation Association announced that the cost of cotton has increased by 54 percent, though the huge commodity price increase hasn't made its way onto the shelves of American stores just yet.
While average Americans have seen their wages and benefits stagnate, decrease, or even vanish altogether in recent years, federal workers have been doing very well for themselves. In August USA Today reported that “federal employees’ average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn” and that these same “workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row.
Over the recent clamor of approval for the outcome of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which Beltway insiders are proclaiming a success because of the high rate of repaid funds, a lone voice of comparative sanity reminded Yahoo! Finance’s Aaron Task that the Obama bailout has done far more damage than the government-massaged figures indicate. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who seems to understand finance and banking better than most celebrity economists, told Task that the monies paid back to TARP are “just a drop in the bucket compared to damage done to the economy.”
The foreclosure crisis continues to threaten the U.S. banking sector with more headaches, admitted Sheila Bair, head of the FDIC, on October 25. According to a Reuters report, the expected wave of litigation stemming from improper or downright fraudulent procedures banks have been using to speed up the foreclosure process could be “very damaging” to the housing market.
Now that the Chevy Volt, General Motors’ electric car, is about to arrive in selected dealers’ showrooms around the country, it has been getting a lot of press. Some are puff pieces, one of which appeared in USA Today, while others are much more critical.