Blog

DESTABILIZING STABILITY

Imagine a circus act in which the high-wire artist tried to maintain balance by keeping his body stiff and his knees locked. The rigidity of the effort would be laughable, at least until he lost his balance and fell.

Yet, in all seriousness, the Chinese leadership repeats that its rigid currency policy, which has frozen the […]

By |December 28th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

ALL’S FAIR

My Saturday breakfast was brightened a bit by a news item in the Wall Street Journal (“House Helps to Pick College Football No. 1”). It seems a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee found the time and the will this week to vote to force a national college football play-off. A full committee […]

By |December 5th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

SAVING JOBS

Last week’s finger-pointing session before the Joint Economic Committee of the Congress actually gives me some hope. Not because the criticism of Treasury Secretary Geithner and the administration as a whole was all that fair or balanced. Not because Geithner’s defense was all that convincing. And certainly not because anyone on either side had much […]

By |November 23rd, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

A SAUER TASTE

Older baseball fans will remember Hank Sauer, a slugging outfielder in the 1950s. In 1952 he bashed 37 home runs, batted in 121 runs and hit .270 for the fifth-place Chicago Cubs. For his efforts, he was recognized as the most valuable player in the 8-team National League.

Two years later, Sauer slugged 41 home runs, […]

By |July 31st, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

SPEAKING SOFTLY AND …

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s speech at Peking University last week seems to have been better received there than in Washington. Some currency hawks are lamenting that he saw the need to go to apologize (again) for stating the obvious fact that China has been manipulating its currency for a long time now.

In fact, the speech […]

By |June 10th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

DEFLATING EXPECTATIONS

In the view of the latest issue of The Economist, “inflation is bad, but deflation is worse.“ (See The greater of two evils,” May 9-15, 2009.) An editorial reasoned that “inflation is distant and containable, while inflation is at hand and pernicious.”

It concludes darkly that we might be in for a “malign” form of deflation […]

By |May 11th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

TAX OVERSIMPLIFICATION

On Tuesday of last week, President Obama gave a terrific speech at Georgetown University, explaining and defending his approach to the economic crisis better than at any time to date. His message for Americans was that:

“… each action we take and each policy we pursue is driven by a larger vision of America’s future – […]

By |April 19th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

WORKING ON THE RAILROADS

A much ballyhooed element in the Obama stimulus package is the $8 billion dedicated to inter-city rail projects. That’s an impressive sum compared to the paltry investments of the past, and it’s to be complemented by an additional one billion dollars in each of the next five years. It’s an example, say some, of the […]

By |April 18th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

SCARY TACTICS

Growing up in the 1950s, I learned a lot about scare tactics. In those days, some people imagined a Commie under every bed, as the phrase went. Only in retrospect did I learn
of the many careers derailed and lives ruined from Hollywood to Foggy Bottom by such irresponsible hysteria. These days, it’s not Commies but […]

By |March 30th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

CONFIDENCE GAMES

If you thought that monumental greed, unbridled ego, colossally poor judgment, and grossly negligent regulatory “oversight” accounted for most of the financial meltdown, you might be mistaken. At least Steve Forbes wants you to accept a much simpler explanation. “Mark-to-market accounting,” he asserts, “is the principal reason why our financial system is in a meltdown.”

I’m […]

By |March 16th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments