How would market chaos affect the 2016 race?
Aug25

How would market chaos affect the 2016 race?

If the global swoon in stock prices were to turn into something more serious, which candidates would benefit? Could it give a boost to the billionaire developer who has a degree — as he constantly reminds us — from the prestigious Wharton School? Or would his four corporate bankruptcies and “ready, shoot, aim” approach to life make Donald Trump’s supporters think twice? I’m reminded of a story...

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Wall Street in free fall; all three indexes in correction
Aug24

Wall Street in free fall; all three indexes in correction

By Tanya Agrawal (Reuters) – Wall Street opened sharply lower on Monday with the Dow Jones industrial average losing more than a 1,000 points following a more-than 8 percent drop in Chinese shares and a selloff in oil and other commodities. The Dow has never lost more than 800 points in a day. Futures on the Nasdaq, S&P and Dow indexes were halted briefly before the market opened after hitting a circuit breaker, a step taken...

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Germany vows to fight xenophobia after attacks on refugee home
Aug23

Germany vows to fight xenophobia after attacks on refugee home

By Madeline Chambers BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s interior minister led calls on Sunday for a crackdown on right-wing militants and racists after a second night of scuffles between protesters and police outside a refugee shelter in an eastern German town near Dresden. Just a day after 31 police officers were hurt in violent protests against the asylum seekers, a Reuters photographer on Saturday night saw some 200 mostly...

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Wall Street tumbles 500 points on China fears; Dow confirms correction
Aug21

Wall Street tumbles 500 points on China fears; Dow confirms correction

By Chuck Mikolajczak (Reuters) – Fears of a China-led global economic slowdown drove Wall Street to its steepest one-day drop in nearly four years on Friday and left the Dow industrials more than 10 percent below a May record. Wall Street’s selloff this week suggested investors are growing nervous about paying high prices for stocks at a time of minimal earnings growth, tumbling energy prices and an expected rate hike by...

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Donald Trump and the Republican Base
Aug17

Donald Trump and the Republican Base

Ezra Klein has a great piece up over at VOX: The Republican Party doesn’t want to believe its voters agree with Trump. But they do. The Republican Party wants to believe that Trump’s success is only because of his star power but it’s not.  A majority of the Republican base agree with his position on issues as vague as they may be.  The Republican contenders for the Presidential election not named Trump all have their...

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Chris Christie’s Tunnel Tango (Guest Voice)
Aug14

Chris Christie’s Tunnel Tango (Guest Voice)

When we wrote in April about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s budget “sins,” one of the biggest was the money shuffle he engineered after his 2010 decision to kill an $8.7 billion commuter rail tunnel from New Jersey to New York City. That decision, which boosted him to national prominence, was a major bragging point for… Andrew Cline /...

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The ACA and Health Care Costs
Aug12

The ACA and Health Care Costs

When people were lobbying for the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare), one of the major arguments in its favor were that health care costs would be reduced. Several reasons were given for this. One was that with preventive care being covered, deadly and expensive diseases would be caught earlier and the cost of treating them would go down. Examples of this scenario included diabetes which might be controlled better, avoiding many of...

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Politix Update: Empty Rhetoric From All The Candidates About Helping An American Middle Class In Crisis
Aug06

Politix Update: Empty Rhetoric From All The Candidates About Helping An American Middle Class In Crisis

If there is a single issue on which candidates for president agree regardless of party affiliation or political persuasion, it is that America’s middle class is in deep doo-doo and with a wave of their magic wand they will ride to the rescue. But while that mantra has great appeal, it obscures a dirty secret: No one is going to be able to help the middle class in ways that count. There are two big problems here: Defining what...

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Keystone Pipeline Irrelevant
Aug03

Keystone Pipeline Irrelevant

Still a lot of talk about the Keystone Pipeline. I see oil today is a $47 a barrel.  That is over $30 a barrel less than is required to make the Alberta tar sands economical which is why any new projects have been cancelled and why production at existing projects is slowly being shut down.  The result is the Keystone  pipeline is now effectively irrelevant. The oil price is not expected to improve in the next year and probably longer....

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Ideology Damaging American Businesses
Jul29

Ideology Damaging American Businesses

America is seen by the world as the fount of capitalism, ideologues on both the right and the left are hurting U.S. businesses in their attempts to compete globally. Constraints on companies’ profits, sales, and development are occurring because politicians in legislative bodies and government agencies on the federal, state, and local levels are making policy decisions about how firms should be run and what actions are necessary to...

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The Olympics
Jul27

The Olympics

Few if any cities or countries have been better off after they hosted the Olympic Games.  The people of Boston have figured that out and told the Olympic Committee no thanks. The city of Boston is ending its bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, conceding to residents who’ve vocally protested the idea for months. Poll numbers have shown that a majority of people in the region were opposed to hosting the Games, which have become...

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With Infrastructure, Government Failure Buoys The Private Sector
Jul27

With Infrastructure, Government Failure Buoys The Private Sector

The United States is home to many contradictions, but none are as perplexing as what our great country can and cannot afford. We are told, for example, that our economy cannot afford a living wage, even as Congress continues to favor the rich with tax breaks and loopholes. But wages are far from the only casualty of our government’s spectacularly poor stewardship of public funds. In fact, most of us witness some of the most egregious...

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A Return To An Economy Of Artisans And Farmers?
Jul24

A Return To An Economy Of Artisans And Farmers?

There is a very long but very worthwhile read in the Atlantic, A World Without Work.  Although outsourcing is given much of the blame for the decline of manufacturing jobs in the United States it”s probably industrial robots that are more responsible.  In some cases the are simply more efficient and in other cases, like the circuit boards in the device you are reading this post on, would be impossible for human workers to...

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The Euro
Jul17

The Euro

The Euro was never an economic instrument but a political one.  It never made any sense economically, a point made by economists on both side of the aisle at the time.  The British wisely made the decision to not join it.  The IMF basically said the Euro as it is configured is not working.  Matt O’Brien says that The euro is a disaster even for the countries that do everything right. The euro might be worse for you than...

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Driverless Cars Will Send U.S. Cities Scrambling for Revenue
Jul15

Driverless Cars Will Send U.S. Cities Scrambling for Revenue

Before we know it, self-driving cars will be everywhere. Once the stuff of science fiction, we’ll soon be seeing people asleep at the wheel. Or maybe there won’t be a wheel at all, and we’ll be free to climb into the back seat to sneak in some more sleep on the way to work. Or finish reading the paper. Or just take in the scenery, for once. While Google used to be the only name in town when it came to autonomous cars, it seems every...

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Congo looks to insect farming in fight against hunger
Jul15

Congo looks to insect farming in fight against hunger

By Aaron Ross KINSHASA (Reuters) – There is no shortage of protein in Kinshasa’s Gambela Market, from cows to antelope and snakes. But it is the blue and silver bowls brimming with twitching crickets, termites and slithering mealworms that do the briskest trade. Experts hope that the love of edible insects in Democratic Republic of Congo may hold the key to tackling widespread hunger among its roughly 65 million people by...

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Hillary Clinton Tries To Sound Like Sanders & O’Malley While Avoiding Specifics
Jul14

Hillary Clinton Tries To Sound Like Sanders & O’Malley While Avoiding Specifics

Hillary Clinton’s big economic speech has mostly been greeted with yawns. Previously the conventional wisdom was that Hillary Clinton was one of Wall Street’s favorite candidates, and her speech has not changed this. She did include a number of points which sounded good, but lacked any specifics to make a convincing case that she would really bring about any changes. Politico summed up the reaction in an article entitled Clinton...

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Greece pays dearly while Germany rises as hegemon
Jul13

Greece pays dearly while Germany rises as hegemon

Germany has emerged as the economic hegemon of Europe as 19 Eurozone partners that use the euro currency acquiesced to its demands and imposed an unconditional surrender upon Greece, the zone’s weakest and nearly bankrupt member. Very active diplomacy personally by President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew failed to prevent Germany’s Angela Merkel from imposing her will. She had good reasons to do so because previous...

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Greeks defy Europe with overwhelming referendum “No”
Jul05

Greeks defy Europe with overwhelming referendum “No”

By Lefteris Papadimas and Renee Maltezou ATHENS (Reuters) – Greeks overwhelmingly rejected conditions of a rescue package from creditors on Sunday, throwing the future of the country’s euro zone membership into further doubt and deepening a standoff with lenders. As the euro slid more than 1 percent against the dollar and European stock and bond markets were poised to take a sharp hit with the resumption of trade on...

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Does Argentina Show Greece There May Be Life After Default?
Jul05

Does Argentina Show Greece There May Be Life After Default?

As Greeks go to the polls today to vote in a referendum that could have huge consequences for their country and for all of Europe, Martin Guzman, writing in The Huffington Post’s World Post, argues that there can be life after default — and points to Argentina. Here are a few big chunks of it (edited down): When, five years ago, Greece’s crisis began, Europe extended a helping hand. But it was far different from the...

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