On the heels of dismal second quarter results, mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac is asking for more taxpayer money to continue operations.
The New York Times' leftist columnist Paul Krugman has garnered some headlines recently for attacking the House Republican alternative budget proposal, the so-called “Roadmap to America's Future,” and its author Paul Ryan as “The Flimflam Man.” Krugman calls Ryan's plan the “audacity of dopes” and claims that it wouldn't bring the budget any further into balance than President Obama's budget.
Buried in Friday’s employment report from the Department of Labor Statistics were two key numbers that reflected the slowdown in the economy so long denied by the administration: “private sector employment edged up over the month (+71,000). Thus far this year, [such] employment has increased by 630,000, with about two-thirds of the gain occurring in March and April.” (Emphasis added.) The other appeared in the final paragraph of that report: “The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +433,000 to +432,000, and the change for June was revised [downward] from -125,000 to -221,000." (Emphasis added.)
Just one week after James Bullard of the St. Louis branch of the Federal Reserve Bank released a paper declaring that “the U.S. is closer to a Japanese-style outcome today than at any time in recent history” (meaning that the United States will likely have decades of economic stagnation, which Bullard blames on "deflation"), the news media has taken up a chorus against the bogeyman of “deflation” to explain the need for further social spending by the government and more debasement of the U.S. dollar (causing consumer prices to rise through inflation).
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s assurance that the Great Recession is over will undoubtedly convince many Americans that relief is on the way and that they can loosen their belts and get back to business.