James Pethokoukis

Obama and the Investor Class

October 12, 2010

Larry Kudlow lays out a compelling case here:

A series of investor-related polls shows how totally detached the president is from the nearly 100 million folks who directly or indirectly own stocks.

U.S. states in a $3.2 trillion pension hole

October 12, 2010

Some scary numbers from new research by finance professors Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua Rauh, Associate Professor of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

The recovering financial system

October 12, 2010

The St. Louis Fed had put together a “financial stress index.” It incorporates a number of financial variables.  And it looks a whole lot better than it did two years ago.

Unemployment rate skewing U.S. politics

October 12, 2010

Between the House passing the China currency bill (and I think the Senate may as well) and various politicians pushing for a foreclosure moratorium, one has to wonder what sort of politics/policy another year of 9-10% unemployment will generate. I am guessing China will finally emerge as the new bipartisan big bad for U.S. politics (more for economic than military reasons), while  there will probably a flurry of new housing ideas like this one proposed by economist Glenn Hubbard.

How Ben Bernanke is trying to raise taxes

October 12, 2010

It’s the return of the inflation tax, as Ed Yardeni rightfully notes:

The rational for another round of QE is to boost economic growth and to avert deflation. In other words, Fed officials would welcome a pickup in the inflation rate. The problem is that they are stoking an inflationary fire in the commodity pits. I doubt that’s the sort of inflation they are rooting for. Presumably, they want prices for consumer goods and services to rise moderately to stimulate producers to expand their capacity and to hire more workers. Higher commodity prices are a tax on consumers and producers and can have the opposite effect.