Can't refinance his mortgage.9:09 AM, Oct 3, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The old saying about how banks only loan money to people who don’t need it seems to be coming around again. This after the disaster that followed a policy of lending money, and lots of it, to people who really needed it but weren’t likely to pay it back.
But as often happens, it seems the pendulum has swung a bit too far. Elizabeth Campbell of Bloomberg reports that Ben Bernanke, former Fed chairman and current high dollar speaker at events like one yesterday in Chicago where he:
… told moderator Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics Inc. -- “just between the two of us” -- that “I recently tried to refinance my mortgage and I was unsuccessful in doing so.”
The audience laughed, which tells you something about the sort of crowds he is playing to … and being richly paid for doing so.
Mr. Bernanke then extrapolated from the personal to the general, saying:
“I think it’s entirely possible that lenders may have gone a little bit too far on mortgage credit conditions.”
Come on. Really?
9:30 AM, Nov 30, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Our economy is increasingly policy-driven, at least in the near- and medium-terms. What Congress and the president do or don’t do, what incoming Federal Reserve Board chairman Janet Yellen does or doesn’t do, will be important determinants of our growth, inflation, and job creation rates. So here is an attempt to see through the mist of obfuscation that is a feature of political and policy-making discourse, and spy the contours of future policy.
12:00 AM, Aug 3, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Spare a bit of sympathy for the Federal Reserve Board’s monetary policy gurus. They have said they will begin to “taper” their purchases of bonds and mortgages when the unemployment rate falls to 6.5 percent.
12:00 AM, Jul 20, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Data-driven, legacy-driven. Keep those two descriptives in mind and you will know a good deal about the prospects for a dialing back of asset purchases—“tapering”—by Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke.
12:00 AM, Jul 6, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Until recently it has been fashionable to denigrate the U.S. economic recovery: “America is the best house in a bad neighborhood,” sniffed many analysts. No longer. America is now a very good house in a terrible neighborhood.
12:00 AM, Jun 22, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The bad news is that there is good news. At least, that’s how many skittish investors in shares and bonds see the increasingly cheery view of the Federal Reserve Board’s monetary policy gurus who concluded last week that downside risk to the economy has diminished since the Fall, and guessed that by the middle of next year the unemployment rate will have fallen from its current level of 7.6 percent to 7 percent, and then to between 6.8 percent and 6.5 percent by the end of 2014.
12:00 AM, Jun 8, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke hints that he might—perhaps, maybe—be thinking about possibly slowing the Fed’s purchases of bonds and mortgages.
12:00 AM, Apr 27, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the first quarter, well ahead of the paltry 0.4 percent in the final quarter of 2012.
Revises downward GDP forecast.4:02 PM, Mar 20, 2013 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
In a press conference today, the Federal Reserve announced it will keep interest rates low and leave QE3 unchanged, continuing to buy $85 billion a month in bonds to prop up the economy.
12:00 AM, Dec 22, 2012 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
This is a good time to see where we have come during the year now coming to a close. Some things haven’t changed very much, or so it might seem. When the year began, households reported that 142 million Americans held jobs; right now, 143 million are in work. The labor force participation rate—the portion of workers in the labor market—was 63.7 percent when we (or some of us) were sleeping off New Year’s Eve hangovers, and now stands at 63.6 percent.
12:00 AM, Dec 15, 2012 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The fiscal cliff is a diversion, designed by politicians to conceal their inability to come to grips with the fact that they continue to spend too much, and refuse to reform a tax structure that reduces the competitiveness of American companies in world markets. No matter what deal is cut, whether before or after the new year, it will at best nibble at the edges of the trillion-dollar annual deficits that are being piled up.
Oct 22, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 06 • By FRED BARNES
About the only talking point Joe Biden didn’t repeat in his debate with Paul Ryan was the one lionizing President Obama for having saved the country from another Great Depression. Biden used it in his speech at the Democratic convention, as did others, and it remains a hardy perennial of Obama lore. The president, ever immodest, has credited himself for this achievement.
From the Scrapbook. Oct 1, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 03 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
When Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke rushed to the aid of President Obama with an act of raw partisanship called QE3, the media ignored the political implications of this latest plan to print massive amounts of new money to boost the stock market.
The Fed's policy is crony capitalism.9:50 AM, Sep 17, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Last week, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke announced the central bank would begin another round of quantitative easing, the term of art for the Fed's policy of purchasing securities in an attempt to stimulate the economy.
12:00 AM, Sep 8, 2012 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The party conventions are over, the signs and funny hats are overflowing trashcans in Tampa and Charlotte, and reality returns to center stage in the form of Friday’s jobs report.