James Pethokoukis

Amazing stat of the day!

June 15, 2009

I don’t know what this means, but I think it means something that will change all of our lives in a deep and profound way. From the wonderful Mark Perry:

Obama vs. Obama on healthcare

June 15, 2009

Obama today, in front of the AMA: “What are not legitimate concerns are those being put forward claiming a public option is somehow a Trojan horse for a single-payer system. ”

My quick take on the Obama financial reform plan

June 15, 2009

You can find the broad strokes of the Obama-Geithner-Summers plan here. Here is my spin:

Study: Cap-and-trade will cost U.S. families $1,200 a year

June 15, 2009

From the non-partisan Tax Foundation:

A new Tax Foundation calculator now shows how much a U.S. cap-and-trade system would cost individual households annually. The Tax Household Cap-and-Trade Burden Calculator is based upon a study released in March, Tax Foundation Working Paper No. 6, “Who Pays for Climate Policy? New Estimates of the Household Burden and Economic Impact of a U.S. Cap-and-Trade System.” The study shows that a cap-and-trade system designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent would place an annual burden of $144.8 billion on American households. The average annual household burden would be $1,218, which would be approximately 2% of the average household income.

Iran election, America and globalization

June 15, 2009

Geopolitical strategist Tom Barnett weighs in on the Iran “election” (note, especially, his final point):

BRICs and the move to dump the dollar

June 15, 2009

Great, great stuff from the great Andy Busch of BMO Capital Markets:

According to the US Treasury, the two largest holders of U.S. debt are China with $768 billion and Japan with $687 billion.  Brazil owns $126.6 billion and Russia owns $138.4 billion.  Without question, markets were nervous over the actions by these players during the last auction period by the US government.  While it may seem that they are going to continue to buy US dollars and buy US debt, they are telling the world they are actively seeking alternatives. There may not be many alternatives now, but over long enough time frames there will be.  More importantly, the BRICs are telling the world they want to find ways out of investing in a country that is fiscally irresponsible and unlikely (healthcare) to change their spending habits any time soon.  Eventually, they will find a way.

Recessions and entrepreneurs

June 15, 2009

A great study on recessions and creative destruction from the Kauffman Foundation:

Obama stimulus vs. Reagan tax cuts

June 15, 2009

Paul Krugman worries that phony inflation fears will lure policymakers into withdrawing fiscal and monetary stimulus too soon. In the process, he takes a shot at Reaganomics:

Obama stimulus vs. Fed stimulus update …

June 15, 2009

A stimulus update from my guy Dan Clifton, super-analyst at Strategas Research: “Through June 5th, about $46bn of stimulus spending and $10bn of tax cuts have been enacted (total $56bn) via President Obama’s $787bn stimulus package (7.1%).”

The timing of the Fed exit strategy

June 15, 2009

When will the Federal Reserve begin to execute its exit strategy? Well, as far as the interest rate component goes, keep an eye on the job market.  At least that is how economists John Ryding and Conrad DeQuadros see things: