from Ann Saphir:

To boldly go where no central banker has gone before

October 1, 2015

John Williams, chief of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, happens to have the same name as the guy who wrote the music for the Star Wars films. Judging from his speeches of late, the Fed’s own Williams is something of a sci-fan himself.  Thursday in Salt Lake City he borrowed from the iconic greeting of Star Trek’s Spock with a talk titled “The Economic Outlook: Live long and Prosper.” Earlier this month he riffed on Star Wars, with a speech subtitled “May the (economic) force be with you.” In July, he spoke about “The recovery’s final frontier” (see So it is quite logical that the enterprising captain of the Fed’s farthest-flung Western outpost would be keen on exploring strange new worlds. And here I don’t just mean voyaging to Los Angeles, where he was on Monday, or to Spokane, Wash., where he treks next week. Williams, like most Fed officials, believes that after nearly seven years of extraordinarily easy monetary policy, the U.S. economy is finally ready to leave near-zero interest rates behind. On Thursday, Williams repeated his view that the Fed should raise interest rates this year. Not all U.S. central bankers agree – one can almost hear Minneapolis Fed’s Kocherlakota or Chicago Fed’s Evans echoing Princess Leia’s warning, “I have a bad feeling about this.” Certainly, if the Fed can successfully raise rates without quickly needing to cut them again, it will have pulled off what several other global central banks – the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, Sweden’s Riksbank --  have tried to do, but failed. Raising rates this year, as Williams hopes and expects to, would indeed be a bold move; and if the first hike is followed by others, he would indeed be taking the Fed where no other central bank has gone before.

from The Great Debate:

How Jerry Brown’s first California drought may help him address this one

By Sherry Bebitch Jeffe and Douglas Jeffe
April 8, 2015

California Governor Brown speaks with reporters after casting his ballot at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters office in Oakland

California Governor Jerry Brown speaks with reporters after casting his ballot in Oakland, California, October 30, 2014. REUTERS/Noah Berger

from Alison Frankel:

New class action: Real victims of Samsung infringement are consumers

By Alison Frankel
February 10, 2014

Once again, we are reminded that defendants underestimate the creativity of the class action bar at their own peril.

from The Great Debate:

The minimum wage fight: From San Francisco to de Blasio’s New York

By Ken Jacobs and Michael Reich
February 11, 2014

In his State of the Union address last month, President Barack Obama urged cities and states to bypass Congress and enact their own minimum wage increases. "You don't have to wait for Congress,” he stated.

from Photographers' Blog:

Nude without the nudity

December 5, 2012


San Francisco, California

By Beck Diefenbach

Photographing the nude body in America presents many challenges. So when Reuters editor Mike Fiala asked me to shoot the latest chapter in the public nudity ban in San Francisco, I knew I would have a lot of factors to consider.

from MediaFile:

Sony’s case of iPad 3 launch envy

February 28, 2012

Sony, in a bout of bad timing, is hosting an event on March 7 in San Francisco for tech reporters at the same time as Apple's reported iPad 3 unveiling and the Japanese conglomerate wants to make sure it won't get ditched.

from FaithWorld:

San Francisco may vote on banning male circumcision

By Reuters Staff
April 29, 2011

(A Jewish circumcsion, 18 November 2007/Chesdovi)

A group opposed to male circumcision said they have collected more than enough signatures to qualify a proposal to ban the practice in San Francisco as a ballot measure for November elections.

from Reuters Investigates:

Japanese quake cost bad, but far from the worst

April 5, 2011

By Ben Berkowitz

INSURANCE/JAPANThe March 11 Great Tohoku Earthquake in Japan was a tragic disaster of historic proportions -- but from a purely financial standpoint it pales in comparison. (For a special report on insurers, click here.)

from Environment Forum:

Video Q+A with solar entrepreneur Dave Llorens

April 9, 2010

Solar energy is not a new technology, yet the adoption rate in the United States continues to crawl along. Just one percent of homes have made the switch to solar power and the reason is primarily a lack of understanding of how it all works, says Dave Llorens, founder and CEO of One Block Off the Grid (1BOG), a California solar retrofit company that groups together neighbourhoods to cut costs for consumers.

from MediaFile:

The New York Times tries local news, far away

September 30, 2009

If you read often enough about the supposed death of the newspaper business, you would think that the nation's newsrooms are increasingly depopulated, barren places, with darkened offices and empty cubicles... the occasional tumbleweed blowing past. (Actually,  large stretches of Tribune Co's New York bureau look just like that, as I saw earlier this year).