President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget plan is dead on arrival — and rightfully so, it turns out. U.S. fiscal scorekeepers calculate it taking federal debt levels into dangerous territory. Meanwhile, both parties in Congress are showing tentative new signs of embracing fiscal responsibility. But without some leadership from the White House, nothing will get done.
Cato’s Mark Calabria makes a powerful case for doing so:
First, we should recognize that the 30-year fixed isn’t going anywhere. The “jumbo” mortgage market offers a 30-year fixed without a government guarantee. In fact, fixed-rate mortgages have historically been around half of the jumbo market.
You never know when a black swan will float your way. And when your credit card is nearly maxed out, dealing with emergencies can be tricky. A massive rebuilding effort may stretch Japan to its financial limits. Politicians in Washington should take note of the warning for several reasons:
How will today’s terrible earthquake and tsunami affect Japan’s economy, not to mention those of other global economies? After spending all day reviewing a bunch of academic research, the verdict remains unclear. For instance, simulations run by the Inter-American Development Bank find only the biggest disasters have an impact. Take disasters in the 99th percentile: