James Pethokoukis

Why Dodd should stay on the Banking Committee

September 2, 2009

It certainly looks as if Senator Chris Dodd, at least, isn’t too big too fail. The powerful Connecticut Democrat and chairman of the Banking Committee trails his likely 2010 Republican opponent by nearly 10 points in polls and can’t even crack the 40 percent level, an ominous sign for an incumbent.

Same old, same old from Obama on healthcare

September 2, 2009

What is POTUS going to say that is any different, really. The risk of the Tune Out factor is growing. This, from a pro-ObamaCare blogger:

Did the Obama stimulus package actually slow the economy?

September 2, 2009

An interesting bit from the WSJ:

Dave Anderson, chief financial officer of Honeywell International Inc., said the stimulus package actually froze business activity at first as firms tried to figure out how they could benefit from the government spending. The $787 billion package “created actually a slowdown in order activity in terms of the flow that we would normally have anticipated,” Mr. Anderson said at a conference sponsored by Morgan Stanley. “We anticipate that that’s going to actually pick up in the second half of the year. I think it’s not unreasonable to see several hundred million dollars of orders.

5 scenarios for healthcare reform

September 2, 2009

Former Bush White House economist Keith Hennessey lays some odds on how healthcare reform will proceed from here:

Is the stock market splitting open like a boiled peanut?

September 1, 2009

Fellow Reuters columnist Agnes Crane see trouble ahead:

Turn the calendar to September and markets are fixated about potential problems at the banks again. The obsession with September being a bad month for stocks and for the world in general has nothing to do with it, I’m sure.

Stealing economic growth from the future

September 1, 2009

Fellow Reuters columnist Rolfe Winkler has it. Exactly. Right:

What Cash 4 Clunkers did for cars, the first time home buyer credit is doing for housing — pulling future demand into the present. Count on home sales to head back down after this tax credit disappears.

One superregulator to rule them all

September 1, 2009

What is the case, really, for the Fed being the superregulator of the US financial system? I mean, what is the record of achievement in either regulating banks or detecting systemic crises? Not to mention that by expanding the Fed portfolio de jure, you are opening it up to increased political interference. It is already operating as a quasi fourth branch of government. It doesn’t need any more authority. I realize that Bair’s Justice League of Regulators may be unwieldy in a crisis, but let’s not get into a TBTF position to begin with. Raise capital requirements that increase by a greater percentage than assets and be done with it, no wild swings in rates, and make sure accounting rules don’t magnify cyclicality.

More on the union-Dem plan for new investment taxes

September 1, 2009

I got some really great comments on that post

1) Don’t these idiots realize that a transaction tax makes a market even more volatile? Look at China for example, they have a 1/10 % transaction tax, which severely reduces liquidity. Look how their market girates UP 5% one day, DOWN 8% the next! If you want to generate some fees from trading profits, TAX the profit on on those who earn them. Like Goldman Sachs & Warren Buffet. Don’t let them weasel their way out!

How about a $1.4 trillion (a year!) tax increase?

September 1, 2009

It always amazes me when people act as if raising taxes has no impact on economic growth, like this article from a Financial Post columnist who advocates raising US taxes by $1.4 trillion a year:

The Great Recession or the Pretty Bad Recession?

September 1, 2009

Allan Meltzer (WSJ) pleads for people to stop comparing this downturn to the Great Depression. It is more like the 1973-75 period, he argues. He also opines that it has been in the Obama administration’s self interest to overstate the severity of the recession so it could hype its own achievements in “saving” the US economy.