James Pethokoukis

Net neutrality creates systemic risk for US economy

October 23, 2009

The Federal Communications Commission decision to begin the process of imposing an Internet neutrality rule — network operators such as AT&T would be barred from charging variable prices for different kinds of traffic from content providers such as Google or Amazon — is curious as well as wrongheaded.

U.S. unemployment, state by state

October 22, 2009

A great map by NPR. Notice the high rates in swing states like Florida, Ohio and Michigan.

How the Baucus bill pays for healthcare reform

October 22, 2009

If those Medicare cuts don’t happen, forget about it, gang (via the Tax Foundation):

Romer: Unemployment likely to remain “severely elevated”

October 22, 2009

Watch CEA chair Christina Romer manage voter expectations:

Consistent with the recent cyclical pattern, the unemployment rate is predicted to continue rising for two quarters following the resumption of GDP growth. Whether this happens and how high the unemployment rate eventually rises will obviously depend on the strength of the GDP rebound. …  With predicted growth right around two and a half percent for most of the next year and a half, movements in the unemployment rate either up or down are likely to be small. As a result, unemployment is likely to remain at its severely elevated level.

Wall Street pay is the Great Distraction of the Great Recession

October 22, 2009

If I made of list of factors contributing to the recession and financial crisis, Wall Street pay would come in around 6th, after 1) easy monetary policy; 2) TBTF; 3) US housing policy; 4) global savings glut/China labor shock; 5) Wall Street group think.  Yet pay is where so much energy is being directed at this issue thanks to its populist appeal. America hates TARP so Washington needs to make amends by hammering execs at TARP recipients.

Is the amazing American jobs machine broken?

October 21, 2009

This chart, constructed by the Vice President’s office via BLS data, would seem to indicate just that:

Study: Blame China, not Wall Street, for Great Recession

October 21, 2009

This paper make a great case for blaming the Great Recession on the massive influx of cheap labor (and the continued weak yuan) into the global economy. Bad decisions on Wall Street didn’t help, but they are not the root cause:

Tryanny of the status quo: homebuyer tax credit edition

October 21, 2009

A great point made by the Tax Foundation about the National Association of Realtors and its support of the homebuyer tax credit:

Thanks Washington! Why dollar weakness will continue

October 21, 2009

The great Andy Busch of BMO Capital Markets effortlessly explains the link between the current anemic state of the dollar and America’s terrible fiscal situation:

America’s Blade Runner economy

October 21, 2009

In the 1982 sci-fi film “Blade Runner,” it appears as if Japan is the world’s leading economy and culture. It is a cinematic portrayal of the future sketched by many economists in the 1980s who wanted America to adopt Japanese-style industrial policy. But America may yet have an economy that resembles Japan’s. This NY Times story looks at how Japan amassed such a huge national debt, twice the size of its economy: