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Robert Samuelson: We’re making a high-stakes gamble on the deficit
Posted: August 25, 2019 at 06:37 PM (Sunday)

It’s getting harder and harder to write these budget columns, because it must be obvious to almost everyone by now that hardly anyone in Washington (or perhaps any place) cares about the budget deficits. The assumption is that we can raise spending and cut taxes forever — or until some crisis occurs that forces us to do involuntarily what we ...


Stephen Moore: Democrats rooting for recession
Posted: August 25, 2019 at 03:44 PM (Sunday)

The drumbeat for an economic contraction is nonstop Last week I gave a talk to high-wealth investors in San Francisco — not exactly an audience of left—wing activists — and people kept asking me the question of the day: “Will there be a recession?” My reply: I would never say never, but I don’t see a recession in 2020. And if we get a trade ...


Scott Gottlieb: Don’t Give Up on Biosimilars—Congress Can Give Them a Boost
Posted: August 25, 2019 at 01:44 PM (Sunday)

Drugs grown in live cells are hard to replicate. But policy changes can help accelerate the process. iologic drugs are one of this century’s great medical triumphs. They’ve reshaped the treatment of diverse and debilitating diseases from cancer to multiple sclerosis to heart attacks. They’re also one of the fastest-growing segments of ...


John Tamny: Supply-Side Economics Is Losing The Argument Inside The Trump White House
Posted: August 25, 2019 at 09:00 AM (Sunday)

Why do residents of Beverly Hills have such expensive cars? The question is rhetorical. Readers know why. While some will angrily say all the wealth is inherited, most understand that residents of this globally famous locale are some of the most productive individuals on earth, and are big drivers of economic activity in wildly prosperous ...


Leon Panetta: The fight against terrorism is far from over
Posted: August 23, 2019 at 05:44 PM (Friday)

Last month, President Trump said the following about the threat from the Islamic State: “We did a great job. . . . We have 100 percent of the caliphate, and we’re rapidly pulling out of Syria. We’ll be out of there pretty soon. And let them handle their own problems. Syria can handle their own problems — along with Iran, along with Russia, ...


Larry Kudlow: Reagan and Trump’s Lesson for Today’s G-7
Posted: August 23, 2019 at 05:41 PM (Friday)

Helmut Kohl asked about the ‘American miracle’ in 1983. His successors are trying to ban straws. As leaders of the Group of Seven—the world’s largest advanced economies—gather this weekend in Biarritz, France, they would be wise to study a bit of G-7 history. In May 1983, the U.S. hosted the G-7 annual economic summit in Williamsburg, Va. ...


Chuck DeVore: How Many Jobs Have You Had? A Dozen If You're An Average Baby Boomer
Posted: August 23, 2019 at 03:39 PM (Friday)

According to newly published survey information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Americans born in the years 1957 to 1964 held an average of 12.3 jobs from age 18 to their 52. Lest you think that the latter part of the Baby Boom generation is composed of a bunch of job hoppers, BLS says that almost half of those 12.3 jobs ...


Brian Brenberg: The China tariffs have worked. Time for trade deal is now or never
Posted: August 23, 2019 at 03:33 PM (Friday)

China's economy is weaker than it has been in a long time, leaving U.S. negotiators with incredible leverage. Now's the time for them to use it.With each passing week, we get more news that China’s economy is under pressure from U.S. tariffs. Growth is slowing, production has faltered and consumers are pulling back. It’s exactly the ...


Jared Bernstein: Here’s what a normal White House would be doing to prepare for a recession
Posted: August 23, 2019 at 09:25 AM (Friday)

The Trump administration, in its predictably weird way, is flailing because of the idea that a recession might someday strike. White House officials told The Washington Post this month that they hadn’t yet done anything to prepare for this eventuality. Then President Trump added that “we’re very far from a recession” and claimed that any talk ...


Lawrence Summers and Anna Stansbury: Whither Central Banking?
Posted: August 23, 2019 at 07:19 AM (Friday)

CAMBRIDGE – In an environment of secular stagnation in the developed economies, central bankers' ingenuity in loosening monetary policy is exactly what is not needed. What is needed are admissions of impotence, in order to spur efforts by governments to promote demand through fiscal policies and other means. The world's central bankers and ...


Narayana Kocherlakota: What the Fed Could Learn From Canada
Posted: August 23, 2019 at 07:00 AM (Friday)

It’s hard to meet goals without deadlines. The U.S. Federal Reserve has developed a pretty poor track record for meeting its inflation and employment goals. If it wants to do a better job, it should follow Canada’s example and set some deadlines. More than four decades ago, Congress mandated that the Fed’s monetary policy pursue two ...


Betsy McCaughey: Left-wing activists trying to hijack kids’ minds with 'ethnic studies’
Posted: August 22, 2019 at 07:49 PM (Thursday)

President Trump said last week that “we are all Americans. We all share the same home” and “the same heart.” He warned that “radical Democrats are trying to tear this country apart” with identity politics. Left-wing activists are using the same divisive ideology to hijack our kids’ young minds. Across the country, leftists are demanding ...


Review & Outlook: A 100-Year Treasury Bond?
Posted: August 22, 2019 at 07:11 PM (Thursday)

With demand high, now is the time to float a really long bond. Some $16 trillion in securities around the world are trading at negative yields. Austria earlier this summer issued a 100-year ultra-low-yield bond. Germany this week sold 30-year bonds that pay no interest; investors lent the country money for three decades for nothing. Maybe ...


Paul Krugman: From Voodoo Economics to Evil-Eye Economics
Posted: August 22, 2019 at 07:00 PM (Thursday)

Almost four decades ago then-candidate George H.W. Bush used the phrase “voodoo economic policy” to describe Ronald Reagan’s claim that cutting taxes for the rich would pay for itself. He was more prescient than he could have imagined. For voodoo economics isn’t just a doctrine based on magical thinking. It’s the ultimate policy zombie, a ...


Jed Graham: Fed Chief Powell Faces Huge Jackson Hole Test
Posted: August 22, 2019 at 04:03 PM (Thursday)

The stakes for Fed chief Jerome Powell's Friday Jackson Hole speech just got higher as another centrist turned hawk. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker's comment that he sees no need for another rate cut, even as Wall Street expects three by January, underscored Fed divisions and helped trip up the Dow Jones and broader stock ...


Ralph Nader: Politics is a war of words. And the Republicans are winning
Posted: August 22, 2019 at 04:00 PM (Thursday)

Whoever controls the language gets a big head start in the battle for public opinion. Choosing words carefully is fundamentally important to effective communication. Being able to control language can make a real difference in public opinion. In this contest, the Republicans and big businesses win hands down. The Democrats mouth the words of ...


James Copland: The Business Roundtable’s statement isn’t revolutionary. It’s a truism.
Posted: August 22, 2019 at 02:27 PM (Thursday)

The Business Roundtable is one of Washington’s top business lobbies, composed of the chief executives from dozens of the United States’ largest corporations. On Monday, the group released a “statement on the purpose of a corporation,” signed by 181 of its 193 members. Critics and supporters of business alike have characterized the statement as ...


Jonathan Turley: No, it is not racist to question birthright citizenship
Posted: August 22, 2019 at 02:00 PM (Thursday)

It is not every day that you are accused of trying to change the outcome of the Civil War, unless you are Donald Trump. After the president had reaffirmed his intention to seek the end of birthright citizenship, Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe unleashed a furious tweet declaring, “This fuxxxng racist wants to reverse the outcome of the ...


Nouriel Roubini: The Anatomy of the Coming Recession
Posted: August 22, 2019 at 10:33 AM (Thursday)

NEW YORK – Unlike the 2008 global financial crisis, which was mostly a large negative aggregate demand shock, the next recession is likely to be caused by permanent negative supply shocks from the Sino-American trade and technology war. And trying to undo the damage through never-ending monetary and fiscal stimulus will not be an option. There ...


Caroline Baum: The Fed should heed the bond market and slash interest rates
Posted: August 22, 2019 at 09:05 AM (Thursday)

The markets convey vital information to guide the Fed. This week’s main event takes place on Friday, when Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell kicks off the Kansas City Fed’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Financial markets will be listening closely for hints about the near-term direction of monetary policy. How will ...


David Beckworth: Why the U.S. Dollar Will Remain Strong
Posted: August 22, 2019 at 06:30 AM (Thursday)

The president is irked by the dollar’s persistent strength, but he shouldn’t blame China or the Fed. This month the Trump administration officially declared China a currency manipulator. This declaration, the latest salvo in the ongoing U.S.–China trade war, came after the Chinese government allowed its currency, the yuan, to fall to its ...


Jim Bianco: Powell Needs to Side With Markets at Jackson Hole
Posted: August 22, 2019 at 05:00 AM (Thursday)

If rate cuts really are stimulative, they will work now to halt a worsening economy, not cause the Fed to “run out of bullets.” When Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell kicks of the central bank’s annual Jackson Hole symposium with a speech on Friday, he should do nothing less than signal that a more aggressive approach to easier ...


Veronique de Rugy: A Truly Populist Social Security Reform
Posted: August 22, 2019 at 12:01 AM (Thursday)

Politicians need to face the facts about Social Security. The U.S. government's debt—that is, our and our children's debt as taxpayers—is growing. This growth is largely driven by rising Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid obligations. These are the programs Congress could focus on and work to reform. Only the Democrats are really ...


Phil Gramm and John Early: Americans Are Richer Than We Think
Posted: August 21, 2019 at 06:59 PM (Wednesday)

Our flawed measures of inflation understate wealth and improvements in consumer well-being. What’s the best way to measure economic well-being in a country as large and diverse as America? One crucial tool is price indexes, which allow us to take common measures of flourishing—hourly earnings, median household income, poverty, gross ...


Robert Samuelson: Social responsibility won’t save corporate America
Posted: August 21, 2019 at 04:33 PM (Wednesday)

We’ve been here before: one of those portentous moments when corporate America promises to be more socially “responsible.” These episodes are, it seems, a permanent feature of modern capitalism. Just this week, the Business Roundtable, a group representing the leaders of major corporations, issued a “statement on the purpose of a corporation” ...


July Fed Rate Cut Was Insurance For Growth, Inflation
Posted: August 21, 2019 at 02:34 PM (Wednesday)

Federal Reserve officials viewed their interest-rate cut last month as insurance against too-low inflation and the risk of a deeper slump in business investment stemming from uncertainty over President Donald Trump's trade war. "Members who voted for the policy action sought to better position the overall stance of policy to help counter ...


Conor Sen: Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Is an Economic Indicator
Posted: August 21, 2019 at 11:30 AM (Wednesday)

Like the Whopper and the Big Mac, it was born during an economic boom to help a fast-food chain discreetly raise prices. Strong economies and tight labor markets put strains on fast-food companies. How can they remain profitable when wages are rising? The social media frenzy over the new chicken sandwich at Popeyes shows the success of one ...


Neel Kashkari: The US Federal Reserve should use forward guidance now
Posted: August 21, 2019 at 10:00 AM (Wednesday)

The global economy is slowing, US business investment has stalled and the yield curve, which reflects market expectations of future interest rates, has inverted — a quirk that preceded previous recessions. How should monetary policy respond? The Federal Open Market Committee, of which I am a participant, will consider this question at ...


Michael Tanner: Trump Trade Policy: Democrats Offer No Better Options
Posted: August 21, 2019 at 06:30 AM (Wednesday)

Democrats are right to disagree with Trump. Too bad they don’t bring any good ideas to the table. Democrats running for president have certainly not hesitated to criticize President Trump’s trade policies. There is a good reason for the rhetoric. Several recent studies, from researchers at Harvard, Columbia, the IMF, and two different branches ...


Mohamed El-Erian: Powell’s Tricky Balance at Jackson Hole
Posted: August 21, 2019 at 05:00 AM (Wednesday)

The Fed chairman’s speech on Friday is an opportunity to reset expectations in large or small ways. It is often easier – though not necessarily easy – to talk about what policymakers should say rather than what they will say. This week may be an exception. I suspect that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, opening the annual Jackson ...


Andy Puzder and Jon Hartley: Recession Fears Are Overblown
Posted: August 20, 2019 at 06:51 PM (Tuesday)

The yield curve is no longer a reliable predictor, and other economic indicators are strong. The yield curve is upside down, leading to worry about recession. Stocks declined last week after the 10-year Treasury yield fell below the two-year Treasury yield. Yet while an inversion of the yield curve has preceded all postwar recessions, not ...


Jared Bernstein: Just how likely is a recession? Ask the charts.
Posted: August 20, 2019 at 11:38 AM (Tuesday)

It’s a race between a potential slowdown and the arrival of better economic leadership. If articles warning of a recession are a harbinger of an actual downturn, we’re in trouble. You can’t open a paper or click on a website without seeing warnings about a forthcoming downturn. As the first figure in this figure-laden post shows, Google ...


Jon Kyl: Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Facebook
Posted: August 20, 2019 at 10:00 AM (Tuesday)

My independent team of investigators looked into the complaints, and the company has taken action. From the Ivy League to Hollywood and the mainstream media, Americans with traditional morals or conservative politics have often felt excluded from the country’s elite, culture-creating institutions. Facebook offered an alternative: a place ...


John Goodman: Ending Surprise Medical Bills: The Very Good, The Good And The Ugly
Posted: August 20, 2019 at 07:45 AM (Tuesday)

Surprise medical billing is a problem that needs a solution. My own preference is for a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) solution. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) has an arbitration solution that is almost as good. The Senate Labor Committee, by contrast, wants to engage in price fixing. Alert: I haven’t delved into all the details of the ...


Conor Sen: Headed to Recession? Keep an Eye on Business Investment
Posted: August 20, 2019 at 07:00 AM (Tuesday)

But you won’t yet find signs of trouble. The growing consensus is that even with all the trade tensions wreaking havoc in markets and global supply chains, as long as consumers stay resilient, the U.S. will probably avoid recession. But a big enough decline in business investment – prompted by trade tensions and global manufacturing ...


Andy Puzder: Elizabeth Warren is the real economic threat
Posted: August 19, 2019 at 07:29 PM (Monday)

In a recent online essay for Medium titled “The Coming Economic Crash — And How to Stop It,” Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) warns of an imminent “economic downturn.” As one warning sign, Warren says Americans are saddled with excessive household debt due to a “generation of stagnant wages and rising costs.” ...


Jason Furman: Trump Is Losing the Trade War With China
Posted: August 19, 2019 at 07:00 PM (Monday)

The markets doubt tariffs will bring about any major concessions. The U.S. needs a multilateral approach. President Trump’s China strategy is failing. His tougher approach has yielded no meaningful Chinese concessions but is increasingly damaging the U.S. economy. Today China is more integrated with the rest of the world while the U.S. is ...


Paul Krugman: The World Has a Germany Problem
Posted: August 19, 2019 at 07:00 PM (Monday)

The debt obsession that ate the economy. You might think that recent events — market turmoil, weakening growth, declining manufacturing production — must be producing some soul-searching in the White House, particularly over Donald Trump’s view that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” That is, you might think that if you haven’t paid ...


Mohamed El-Erian: The Smart Way Into Emerging-Market Investing
Posted: August 19, 2019 at 07:00 PM (Monday)

There will come a time for long-term investors to broadly buy in, but we are not there yet. Here’s a stunning fact: Since the start of the year, the S&P index of U.S. stocks has outperformed its emerging market counterpart by a full 15 percentage points. With such divergence, and with last week’s focus on the headwinds facing the S&P, ...


Peter Wallison: The Fed Has Too Much to Do
Posted: August 19, 2019 at 06:59 PM (Monday)

Let private companies run the payments system. The central bank is already overextended. The Federal Reserve announced earlier this month that it will launch a real-time payment service called “FedNow” sometime in the next five years. The move demonstrates that the independent central bank, already one of the most unaccountable agencies in ...


James Piereson: Despite Recession Talk, Economic Indicators Point To Continued, Moderate Growth.
Posted: August 19, 2019 at 04:11 PM (Monday)

Economic indicators point to continued, moderate growth, despite the prognostications of the pundit class. In response to recent volatility in the stock market, rising prices (and declining yields) for U.S. Treasury bonds, and difficulties in the trade relationship between the United States and China, some pundits and politicians are forecasting ...


Niall Ferguson: Predicting a recession? Might as well predict the weather
Posted: August 19, 2019 at 03:05 PM (Monday)

Edward Lorenz, the pioneer of chaos theory, famously suggested that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil could set off a tornado in Texas. Even a tiny disturbance, he argued, can have huge effects in a complex system governed by nonlinear relationships. But since 2016 we’ve seen the opposite. President Trump, far from being a butterfly ...


Bjørn Lomborg: The Danger of Climate Doomsayers
Posted: August 19, 2019 at 08:15 AM (Monday)

PALO ALTO – We need to solve climate change, but we also need to make sure that the cure isn't more painful than the disease. Abandoning fossil fuels as quickly as possible, as many environmental activists demand, would slow the growth that has lifted billions of people out of poverty. Most people on the planet wake up each day thinking ...


Sally Pipes: A President Harris Would Mean Good-Bye To Private Insurance
Posted: August 19, 2019 at 08:00 AM (Monday)

Since announcing her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president, Senator Kamala Harris hasn't been able to make up her mind about whether she wants to eliminate private health insurance. At a CNN town hall in January, she voiced support for nixing private insurance, stating, "Let's eliminate all of that. Let's move on." Then, in ...


NABE: 34% of economists in survey expect a US recession in 2021
Posted: August 19, 2019 at 07:45 AM (Monday)

WASHINGTON – A number of U.S. business economists appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the U.S. by the end of 2021. Thirty-four percent of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, in a report being released Monday, ...


Chris Edwards: Wealth Inequality, Government Policies Gets Some of the Blame
Posted: August 19, 2019 at 06:30 AM (Monday)

Politicians complain loudly about this problem, but their own policies are generating it. There are economic storm clouds on the horizon, but for now wages are rising, jobs are plentiful, and poverty is falling. Democrats running for president need an economic line of attack, so the solution has been to focus on wealth inequality. Senator ...


Reihan Salam: Governors Are Losing the Space to Govern
Posted: August 19, 2019 at 06:30 AM (Monday)

As the bulk of state spending shifts toward mandatory programs, experimentation is grinding to a halt in the laboratories of democracy. After gamely crisscrossing the country for months in pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, John Hickenlooper, once one of America’s most popular governors, announced on Thursday that he was ...


Mohamed El-Erian: Yield Curve Panic Was an Overreaction, But That Doesn't Mean It Was Harmless
Posted: August 18, 2019 at 07:00 PM (Sunday)

If consumers are spooked by breathless coverage in the news media, they could cut spending and start some real trouble. Inversion of the U.S. Treasury yield curve caused quite a reaction in markets and beyond last week. Losses of around 3% for the major U.S. indices on a single day were accompanied by headlines screaming about the ...


Fred Smith, William Brock and Charlene Barshefsky: We need to get back to a pro-trade consensus. But it’ll take a fight.
Posted: August 18, 2019 at 06:04 PM (Sunday)

President Trump’s trade policy has been controversial for any number of reasons, but it has made Americans think seriously about trade for the first time in a generation. The president believes that much of our trade has been unfair — that other countries have taken advantage of us. He does not remind Americans that trade has become an ...


Robert Samuelson: What we should learn from the Great Depression
Posted: August 18, 2019 at 06:00 PM (Sunday)

What is striking about the latest bouts of financial turmoil — the recent wild swings in global stock and bond markets — is that they provide a sobering reminder of the potential hazards of economic instability. There are parallels between the present tumultuous situation and past episodes of economic disruption, including the Great Depression ...