The Great Debate

Fed stuck doing the heavy lifting

January 12, 2010

James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own
With employment weak and consumer credit weaker, look for extended official measures to support the U.S. economy.

Icelandic, Greek sagas show sovereign risks

January 7, 2010

— James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. —

Developments in cash-strapped Iceland and Greece nicely illustrate two themes for 2010: sovereign risk and financial balkanization.

Bernanke’s fearful asymmetry

January 5, 2010

saft2.jpg — James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own —

Ben Bernanke may minimize the role of monetary policy in the housing debacle, but he minimizes two key factors: the effect of low rates and the Fed’s policy of cleaning up after but not popping bubbles had on risk-taking.

Welcome to the Teenies, sorry about those returns

December 29, 2009

-James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own–

As we say goodbye to a decade so abysmal it never even earned a nickname, it is time to take bets on how the coming 10 years will shape up in economics and financial markets.

from The Great Debate UK:

A year of austerity looms in 2010

December 23, 2009

david-kuo_motley-foolthumbnail-David Kuo is director at the Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

If you thought 2009 was as bad as things will get, then think again: 2010 could be worse. It is likely to be a year of enforced austerity with both the government and households making obligatory cuts to their budgets.

from MacroScope:

Crisis? What Crisis?

November 18, 2009

The title of this post is taken from two sources. One was a headline in British tabloid, The Sun, in January 1979, when then-prime minister James Callaghan denied that strike-torn Britain was in chaos. The second was the title of a 1975 album by prog rock band Supertramp that famously showed someone sunbathing amidst the grey awfulness of the declining industrial landscape.

Can recovery and credit crunch coexist?

By J Saft
November 12, 2009

jamessaft1.jpg(James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

New studies from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank show that, whatever else, a recovery in the economy is not being supported by a resumption in bank lending, raising concerns about how exactly growth will become self-sustaining when official stimulus ebbs.

from The Great Debate UK:

When firms “Too Big to Fail” fall

November 5, 2009

Amid the turmoil of the 2008 financial crisis a myriad of events unfolded that the general public knew nothing about, writes New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin in a new book titled "Too Big to Fail."

Defeats doom climate bill in ’09

November 5, 2009

John Kemp— John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own —

Resounding defeats for Democratic Party gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey on November 3 have killed any lingering hope Congress will enact climate change legislation this year, and may doom the prospect of passing a cap-and-trade bill this side of the 2010 mid-term elections.

China must avoid a Japanese-style bubble

November 4, 2009

WeiGucrop.jpg — Wei Gu is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own —

Everyone agrees that China’s economy must be rebalanced, but few have bothered to delve into the costs. Japan’s experience has shown that even well-meant changes could sow the seeds for a bubble.