Articles About Economics

Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
12.05.2008

We Are in a Recession

It’s now official.  We are in a recession and it started a lot longer ago than we thought – in December of 2007.  That’s the verdict of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s (NBER) Business Cycle Dating Committee, the non-profit organization that economists and the government regard as the arbiter on recessions. According to the […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
12.04.2008

US Bank Bailout vs. UK Bank Bailout: A Comparison

Britain’s bailout of its ailing banks reflects a model that some critics characterize as nothing short of socialism, while the $750 billion bailout program in the United States is viewed as corporate welfare with very little oversight. Without supporting one or the other, following is a bare-bones comparison of the two programs: In the United Kingdom: […]

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Author:
James I. Clark III
Posted:
12.02.2008

Rising Inflation Rates Demand Caution When Investing

Inflation has returned with a vengeance, with a 1.1 percent increase reported during June – courtesy of soaring energy and food prices.  The Federal Reserve reacted to the warning signs on June 25, when it froze the Fed funds rate at two percent – ending nine months of rate cuts that it hoped would revive […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
11.24.2008

$700 Billion Financial Bailout Plan Still Evolving: Part 2

Paulson’s TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) turnaround – he originally dismissed the bailout package as a recipe for “failure” -may demonstrate that his revised response is a gesture to public opinion.  At present, the bailout also seems geared more to help Main Street than Wall Street, a strategy that will play well with the general […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
11.21.2008

$700 Billion Financial Bailout Plan Still Evolving

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is sitting on $350 billion dollars of the taxpayers’ money, and can’t quite settle on the best way to spend it.  When approved by Congress in October, the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) bill’s purpose was to purchase bad mortgage assets that had frozen the credit markets. The Treasury Department […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
11.17.2008

Fannie and Freddie to the Rescue?

Stressed single-family homeowners trying to pay their mortgages might be in for some relief after a recent move by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation’s leading mortgage-finance issuers.  Since being placed under a government conservatorship in September, Fannie and Freddie have devised a plan to help homeowners who are 90 days behind in their […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
11.13.2008

Wal-Mart Shakes Up Grocery Scene

Wal-Mart’s growth strategy is poised to overtake Jewel and Dominick’s as the leader in Chicago’s $12 billion grocery market.  Though not viewed primarily as a place to buy food, Wal-Mart’s new super centers, offer savings in the 10 to 15 percent range over traditional grocery stores.  Wal-Mart currently has 16 grocery stores in Chicago’s suburbs, […]

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Author:
Michael Alter
Posted:
11.07.2008

Fed Chairman Bernanke Takes Steps to Restart the Economy

Ben Bernanke has spoken.  The Fed chairman and the Federal Reserve moved recently to stimulate the economy when the policy-making committee cut the federal funds rate – the rate at which banks lend to each other – to just one percent.  This represents a half percentage point cut from the previous 1.5 percent rate.  By […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
11.03.2008

Signs of Optimism Amid Battered Consumer Confidence

Layoffs and the promise of more to come, falling home prices and shrinking investment portfolios have created the highest level of consumer pessimism on record, says the Conference Board.  According to an online AP report, consumer confidence sank to just 38 in October, a significant drop from the rather rosy 61.4 reported in September. The Conference […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
10.27.2008

Anecdotal Federal Reserve “Beige Book” Observations

As if we needed it, even more evidence attesting to the ongoing economic slowdown came to light recently.  According to a Federal Reserve Board report referenced on Market|Watch and known as the Beige Book, the slowdown in economic activity in late September. Among the findings are: Factory activity is slowing. Non-financial services – typically the […]

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