In his report to a Senate subcommittee Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe (left) spelled out clearly why the U.S. Postal Service can’t make any money: too many cooks in the kitchen. Hamstrung and limited by rules and “stakeholders” with differing and often competing agendas, what’s remarkable is that the postal service isn’t deeper in the hole.
Roger Jinkinson is a British writer, and he lives in a remote Greek village on the island of Karpathos (left). Although the village is not immune to the meltdown of the Greek economy caused by a huge problem with sovereign debt creditworthiness, simmering most furiously in the ancient capital of Athens, 400 kilometers away, the small village has found its own way to survive the crisis.
With the raising of the debt ceiling, the “official” federal debt immediately surged past a new and unwelcome benchmark: The national debt now exceeds 100 percent of the gross domestic product for the first time since the Second World War era. With the debt now at $14.58 trillion and climbing vertiginously every day even as the economy continues to stagnate, it will not be very long before the national debt reaches 200 percent and higher. In fact, with over $45 trillion owed to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid recipients both present and future, the actual size of the national debt is already more than four times the GDP.
Former Federal Reserve boss Alan Greenspan (left) made headlines this week when he said gold is indeed a currency and noted that the euro was falling apart, contradicting top officials on both sides of the Atlantic.
Steve Jobs, the CEO for Apple Inc., announced on Wednesday that he could no longer maintain his position at the company. Jobs garnered a reputation for being the man behind the iPhone, iPad, and other devices that virtually put Apple on the map, making it one of the most well-known companies in the world. Unfortunately, his health issues have rendered him unable to continue as CEO.
Since its inception almost a century ago, the Federal Reserve has enjoyed a cloak of secrecy that has grown more opaque over the years. When the economy imploded in 2008, Bernanke’s Fed swung into action behind the scenes, handing out immense sums in bailouts to a host of ailing financials, through direct loans to the very biggest banks — what Robert Litan, a former Justice Department official, called “the aristocracy of American finance.” The exact figures, however, have been a closely guarded secret, until now.
While U.S. lawmakers wrestle with high unemployment and a mounting federal deficit, 80 percent of them have no academic background in business or economics, according to a new study by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI). The study found that only 8.4 percent of U.S. lawmakers majored in economics, while 13.7 percent studied subjects related to business or accounting. The majority of Congress — 55.7 percent — studied law, government, or humanities.
President Obama’s pledge to recover the economy has taken a long and winding detour, but his 2008 campaign pledge to regulate corporate America is right on course — despite the fact that in January, the White House issued an executive order to review regulations for all federal agencies, with the intent to root out oppressive regulations on American businesses.
When Henry Blodgett explained that the reason for the decline in the price of Bank of America’s stock was because Wall Street thinks that Bank of America is worth less — much less — than what the bank itself thinks, bank spokesman Larry DiRita responded, “Mr. Blodgett is making exaggerated and unwarranted claims … [and that] as of June 30th, our tangible book value per share was $12.65.” At the time, B of A stock was selling for $6.42 a share.
The state of Nevada was the fortunate recipient of a $490,000 federal grant to grow trees and plants — and of course, to "stimulate" the state’s economy. The only problem is the stimulus spawned a whopping 1.72 permanent jobs. In 2009, the U.S. Forest Service awarded the federal money to Nevada’s Clark County Urban Forestry Revitalization Project with the intent of enlivening urban areas of the county with trees and plants, and of providing green-industry training.
Wall Street professionals' expectations are modest over Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s highly anticipated remarks at the Jackson Hole symposium this Friday. Unlike last year when the chairman announced the start of his program to purchase government securities in order to keep the economy from slipping into a recession and possibly deflation, known as Quantitative Easing II (QE2), his options now are much more limited. The anticipated bounce in the economy has fizzled, inflation is increasing, the banks are stuffed full of reserves but few are borrowing, and interest rates are already at zero and are expected to remain there well into 2013.