Now that the Senate has approved legislation that would give President Barack Obama authority to complete a trade partnership agreement with Japan and 10 other Pacific nations later this year, the bill moves to the House for further debate. Its ultimate fate is in question, however—not only because it pits fervent free trade advocates against leery protectionists, but because it ignores the impact of currency movements on the prices of imports and exports.Read more
Republicans are searching for big, bold ideas that will inspire voters to embrace a conservative agenda. To unite its disparate segments, the GOP needs to uphold our nation’s founding principles—a key requirement for Tea Party adherents—while fostering the aspirations of those who believe the United States should play a strong leadership role in the world. A prime opportunity presents itself in the most compelling problem America faces: the need to restore confidence in its economic future.Read more
At first, it was fun—this parlor game of guessing who the Obama administration will appoint as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. We all assumed it would be Janet Yellen, because she’s a woman. And then suddenly we had Larry Summers all over the leading financial newspapers receiving multiple endorsements from respected economists. There were sly references to his intellectual prowess and invaluable experience, not to mention (but they always did) his connections with Obama’s closest advisers on economic and financial matters.Read more
In these days of unprecedented monetary activism by the Federal Reserve, including massive purchases every month of federal government debt, it’s nice to see even a fledgling amount of resistance from attentive citizens. A bill now making its way through the Virginia legislature would establish a joint subcommittee “to study the feasibility of a metallic-based monetary unit.”Read more
The Federal Reserve is not your friend. Whether you reside on Wall Street or Main Street, whether you are a borrower or a saver, whether you lean toward the Tea Party or the Occupy Wall Street movement—or whether you simply believe in free markets and free people—loose monetary policy is bad for you and for your economic prospects.Read more
What are the chances that President Barack Obama and his Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, will ever have anything meaningful to say about monetary policy—beyond continuing to try to coax Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke to print ever more dollars to buy up ever more U.S. government debt? About the same as the interest rate you are receiving on your savings: zero.Read more
As the truth-or-dare battle over raising the debt ceiling moves toward a resolution of some sort, we are witnessing a unique political moment, with attention finally riveted on our nation’s fiscal future. We are about to learn whether there is such a thing as fiscal responsibility in a democracy where 45 percent of households don’t pay income taxes. Or whether any sense of moral obligation still attaches to paying your own way as a citizen. Chronic budget deficits are evidence of endemic political cowardice when it comes to reconciling government revenues with government expenditures.Read more
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