Complying with a court order, the Federal Reserve began releasing documents on March 31 related to one of its bailout and wealth-transfer schemes during the financial crisis. And it turns out that among the biggest beneficiaries were foreign firms, including a bank owned by Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi's central bank.
Harvard Professor Gregory Mankiw (picture, left), in writing a hypothetical speech in the New York Times for the President in the year 2026, thinks politicians can kick the entitlements can down the road for another 15 years. His opening could come from any politician’s current teleprompter:
It used to be one of the great cities of a great nation, a thriving, prosperous metropolis humming night and day with the machinery of America’s industrial superiority. In 1950, individuals and families were still streaming to Detroit to work in the ever-growing automotive industry, and as the U.S. Census Bureau crunched the numbers that year they found the Motor City had grown to an astounding population of 1,849,568 people, with the city fathers predicting two million and beyond in the coming years.
Even after the Cash for Clunkers program failed, the federal government refuses to give up. It is now launching Cash for Clunkers 2, this time for “green vehicles.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the proposal has delighted General Motors.
Credit Time magazine for identifying, however imprecisely, a very important but little understood consequence of the modern Federal Reserve-based financial system: a “brain drain” that is luring many of the best and brightest from math, science, and engineering into finance. “Wall Street,” notes Time’s Rana Foroohar, “hires more math, engineering and science graduates than the semiconductor industry, Big Pharma or the telecommunications business.” The author continues:
Politically astute viewers of the Glenn Beck program know that he is sounding more like Ron Paul and less like a neoconservative every day. Regular viewers also know that Friday’s episodes tend to be a break from the monotony of current events, with a greater focus on foundations, whether it be the founding of this nation, or the foundations of progressivism, etc. The Friday, March 25, episode of the Glenn Beck program focused on one of the foundations of America’s economic woes: the Federal Reserve.
When Reuters and CNBC.com announced the awful housing numbers from February, most observers were surprised. The housing market appeared to have found a bottom last fall, and many economists were expecting small but predictable improvements every month.
While Republicans have touted savings in the passage of continuing resolution after continuing resolution, it seems the military operations in Libya may eliminate any of the celebrated savings. Since the beginning of March, Republican leaders have boasted spending reductions amounting to almost $300 million per day. Unfortunately, that victory may be short lived as President Obama has embarked on additional military operations in the Middle East.
When the Congressional Budget Office’s preliminary analysis of the Obama Administration’s 2012 budget was announced last week, observers were shocked — shocked! — to learn that deficits over the next 10 years would be nearly $10 trillion, almost $2½ trillion more than the administration’s estimate.