Tag: Bailouts

The Best Tax Code Money Can Buy »

Among the celebrants at the inaugural balls will be top contributors to the President’s reelection campaign, but their real celebration will be April 15, when they continue to be the beneficiaries of a “tax loophole” Obama pledged to close in 2008—but that remains gaping wide open despite his rhetoric about now making “the rich”...
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Extraordinary Demand to Hold Cash—The Mystery Persists »

Since the fall of 2008, the Federal Reserve System has pumped an almost incomprehensibly large amount of reserves into the commercial banking system—about $1.4 trillion. In normal circumstances, this action would have given rise to hyperinflation. Of course, not only has no hyperinflation occurred, but scarcely any inflation at all has occurred, and policy...
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Claim that Unemployment Figures Were Cooked Not so “Ludicrous” After All? »

When the September unemployment figures were announced a month before the presidential election as having miraculously declined to below 8% for the first time since the current administration started, more than a few speculated that there may have been some book-cooking in the back room. In response, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, said she was...
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Beyond Regime Uncertainty: Corporate CFOs Predict Worsening Future »

Following on my recent post citing corporate CEOs’ complaint that continuing “Regime Uncertainty” forestalls their companies’ investing and hiring, corporate CFOs are today following suit, as reported by DeLoitte’s “CFO Signals“: CFOs’ expectations for sales and earnings growth both dropped precipitously this quarter, and their expectations for capital investment and hiring followed suit. The...
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Obama is Stuck on the First Envelope »

As a young woman, I took over a business that was bankrupt: its liabilities exceeded its assets by a considerable amount, and the wolf was well and truly at the door. Lots of people thought I was foolish not to “erase” its debts through filing bankruptcy and be given a “clean slate” by the...
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GM, QE3, and Crony Capitalism »

Yesterday on The Beacon I noted that the Federal Reserve’s new “quantitative easing” measure, QE3, is an example of crony capitalism: the use of public policy to increase the profitability of specific firms and industries. Today I want to compare QE3 with another example of crony capitalism to reinforce the point. General Motors provides...
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The Fed’s New Foray Into Crony Capitalism »

I’ve been teaching economics for decades, and until 2008 I taught my students that the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) engages in monetary policy through open market operations by buying and selling government securities. (They have other policy tools too.) They dealt in government securities partly because their operations would alter the money supply without...
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The Pathology of U.S. Democracy »

Electoral politics is a moral and intellectual wasteland. There is no room for anyone of principle, whatever that principle might be. As a libertarian, I see little difference between Obama and Romney. They both favor a perpetual war on terror, an occupation of Afghanistan, military aid to Israel, indefinite detention of terror suspects, military...
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The Fading Promise of the Euro »

When the euro was created in 1999 the new currency promised to facilitate trade within the euro zone, to further unify Europe, and to challenge the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The common currency does facilitate trade, but the differing goals of the member countries seem to be creating more divisiveness than unity...
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Counsel of Despair? »

Over the years, I have heard many people say that the government’s adoption of a laissez-faire stance during a business recession or depression amounts to “do-nothing government”—the unstated assumption always being that it is better for the government to “do something” than to do nothing. Recommending such a hands-off stance is often described as...
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