James Pethokoukis

Hello, they must be going

January 27, 2010

David Goldman lays it all out:

Drastic steps are required to restore credibility and confidence.

1) Ben Bernanke should withdraw from consideration for a second term as Fed Chairman. President Obama should appoint former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker in his place. If Volcker, who is 82 years old, feels unable to accept the nomination for a full term, he should serve as Interim Chairman and head a search committee including bipartisan Congressional representation to find a permanent successor. If Bernanke insists on pursuing a second term, the Senate should vote him out.

Just how bad is the US debt problem

January 27, 2010

Some interesting factoids over at Capital Gains and Games:

Point One:  We often hear that the US government debt load is  lower as a share of GDP than those of many other large, wealthy nations, including Japan, Germany, the UK and France. But a more apples-to-apples comparison, which combines federal, state and local government borrowing, suggests that the US is in worse shape than most other AAA-rated countries.

Yup, spending is the problem

January 27, 2010

Great point made by the Heritage Foundaiton:

After building a true budget baseline, the sobering result shows ten-year deficits of $13 trillion. The annual budget deficit never falls below $1 trillion. By 2019, the debt is projected at $22 trillion, or 98 percent of GDP.

CBO paints nightmare scenario for Democrats in 2010

January 26, 2010

According to the new CBO economic and budget forecast,  the US economy will grow at just 2.2 percent next year, keeping unemployment above  10 percent. In fact, it has the jobless rate averaging 10.1 percent vs. 9.3 percent in 2009. As the CBO puts it:

The Obama Freeze

January 26, 2010

A few thoughts on the Big Budget Freeze:

1) Estimated annual savings of $25 billion over the next decade aren’t much when annual budget deficits will likely average a trillion dollars.

More on the Bernanke Meltdown

January 25, 2010

Intrade says Beranke is lock, but maybe not, according to the always insightful Dan Clifton of Strategas Research:

The case against Bernanke

January 25, 2010

From AEI’s Desmond Lachman:

Bernanke’s sole claim for a second term rests on the masterful and bold way in which he prevented the U.S. economy from falling into the abyss following the Lehman debacle in September 2008. However, this begs the question as to who led us to the abyss in the first place. Throughout 2006, when the worst of the sub-prime lending was taking place, Bernanke was conspicuously silent in sounding the alarm about the dangers of the U.S. housing bubble. Similarly, he was painfully slow in recognizing how severe the fallout from the bursting of the housing bubble would be and he displayed the poorest of judgments in allowing Lehman to fail in as disorderly manner as it did.

A chat with Nicole Gelinas (part three)

January 25, 2010

This is part three (part one and part two here and here) of my recent email chat with the Nicole Gelinas, author of the wonderful After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street and Washington.

Yup, the Senate may be in play

January 25, 2010

New polling by Rasmussen shows Evan Bayh in danger. Remember, one of the big impacts of the Scott Brown victory was a boost to recruitment. RealClearPolitics has the details:

Bernanke Confirmation Watch

January 22, 2010

I would not say his support is collapsing, but it is eroding. He is going to need some GOP help to make it. Keep an eye on the “yes” votes from the Banking Commitee to see if they start wavering and how much Obama supports him in the next few days. BB is on the wrong side of the populist wave.