James Pethokoukis Articles

Too Big for Comfort

Why we need to break up the banks.
Jun 04, 2012

America needs to break up its biggest banks, but not for reasons likely to give a tingle to Occupy Wall Street’s remnant rabble (or its Great Everywhere Spirit, Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts). This isn’t about some political exercise in election-year demonization. Bankers, as a class, aren’t villains. They’re not “banksters” grifting money from middle-income pockets. And they’re certainly not vampire squids on the collective face of humanity, as Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi has infamously described Goldman Sachs.

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Twisting in the Wind

Ben Bernanke’s diminishing returns.
Oct 03, 2011

It didn’t take long for the snark attack to begin among the Big Money crowd. Less than 24 hours after the Federal Reserve announced its latest easy-money plan to goose the flaccid U.S economy, investors were already deriding “Operation Twist” as “Operation Fail.” Almost everything that was supposed to go up went down—and vice versa. Global stock markets plunged, oil prices fell, the dollar rose, and inflation expectations tumbled despite the central bank’s decision to swap $400 billion of short-term Treasury bonds for ones of longer duration over the next nine months. It was like Opposite Day on Wall Street.

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Which Party Has a Tax Problem?

The media say Republicans, but it’s actually the Democrats.
Jul 04, 2011

When States Go Bust

The bankruptcy debate heats up.
Feb 14, 2011

It’s a solution of apparent Alexandrian elegance and simplicity: Empower America’s cash-strapped states to slice cleanly through a strangling knot of debilitating debt and government union cronyism by letting them file for bankruptcy. Long-term liabilities could be restructured, unaffordable labor contracts rewritten, fiscal health restored. No federal bailouts necessary.

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