Archive for the ‘Financial Markets’ Category

Puerto Rico by John Oliver

May 6th, 2016

Early next week, I’ll have a piece out on the ongoing debt crisis in Puerto Rico which strongly urges Congress to act before restructuring morphs into bailout. But in the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about this issue from the absolutely brilliant John Oliver. If only I could be 1/10th this entertaining when… Read more

Conflict of interest and inversions: two very big deals that must…MUST…not go unnoticed.

April 6th, 2016

OK, it’s official: my mind is blown by two new, smart, common sense, progressive initiatives that the Obama administration–with great input from Treasury and the Labor Dept.–has managed to implement this week. Each deserves, and will get, individual attention and explanation from me. But for now, let us marvel at what’s happened here, especially as… Read more

Not to be negative, but…a critical comment on negative interest rates.

February 15th, 2016

With most economic variables, I think we make too big a deal about crossing zero on the number line. I don’t feel great if real GDP’s growing at 0.2% and horrified if it’s at -0.2%. Deflation with price growth at -0.5% isn’t terribly worse than disinflation with price growth at +0.5%. But with nominal interest… Read more

Really, how much do presidents influence the economy?

January 12th, 2016

A commenter, after gazing at these figures, asks: how much influence do presidents really have over the economy anyway? I dove deeply into this here, riffing off of an academic paper comparing economic outcomes between terms when D’s or R’s controlled the White House. The economy grows faster under Democrats, which is good to know,… Read more