You simply can’t make ends meet. You don’t want to spend more than you’re making, but the income is significantly smaller than the outgo. You’ve already tried using one credit card to pay off another — that didn’t work. Now you are rapidly sinking into a sea of debt, with no relief in sight ...
After more than two years of intervention in the economy by the Federal Reserve, the economy is showing signs of sliding back into recession. This, of course, is precisely what sober minds — like Congressman Ron Paul and financial analyst Peter Schiff — have been predicting all along. But it’s news to the likes of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who on August 27 pledged to take whatever measures are needed to jolt the somnolent economy back to wakefulness.
When Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks on Friday at the Fed’s annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fed-watchers from around the world will be hanging on his every word, phrase, and nuance for clues. They’ll be listening to hear that the chairman knows what’s happening in the economy, and that if things get worse, he has a plan.
Think you’re scared enough about the economy, the ballooning deficit, and the prospect of ruinous tax rates and runaway inflation to pay for astronomical government debts? If you haven’t read Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff’s August 10 article for Bloomberg (“U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don’t Even Know It”), you probably aren’t.
Cutting taxes is again in vogue in a Washington, D.C., increasingly dismayed by the utter inability of the massive Obama stimulus package to jolt the economy back to life. President Obama himself has become a grudging disciple of the Bush tax cuts, and is now advocating an extension of the tax reductions beyond their expiry at year’s end — but only for Americans earning less than $200,000.
It was news to many when Scott Powell announced that an obscure novel published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged, “may be second to the Bible as the most influential book read in America.” His statement that BB&T, the 12th largest bank in America, which resisted taking TARP bailout funds, requires reading of that same book as part of its management training program astonished many more.
Economist Niall Ferguson of Harvard wrote an article entitled “Complexity and Collapse” for the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs, a publication of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ferguson uses the visual image of a series of paintings by Thomas Cole, The Course of Empire, which currently hangs at the New York Historical Society, to illustrate his point that every society goes through five stages. He says that Cole “beautifully captured a theory of imperial rise and fall to which most people remain in thrall to this day.”
When Kevin Hall, writing for McClatchy Newspapers, said “the Obama administration got what it was looking for at its summit on the future of housing finance,” he was very close to the truth: No matter who spoke at the summit or what “new” ideas might be proposed, nothing would change — the government would remain fully in charge of mortgage financing for the country.