James Pethokoukis

After Geithner: the speculative short list for the next Treasury secretary

July 1, 2011

Is Timothy Geithner going? Well, lots of news organizations are reporting that the Treasury secretary is considering an exit (Reuters, BloombergWSJ, Politico, NYT). My working assumption has been that he sticks with the administration for the duration. Here’s how Reuters puts it:

Here is your lost decade

June 30, 2011

The recession started at the end of 2007. Well, the International Monetary Fund thinks things will stay bleak for years on end:

Just a drop in the bucket

June 30, 2011

Let’s say the debt ceiling deal has $2 trillion in spending cuts. Even they are legit, they really don’t amount to much (via Cato):

Obamanomics, leaving on a jet plane

June 30, 2011

Buckle your seat belts low and tight, America, there’s going to be turbulence all the way to Election Day, 2012. It’s only the summer of 2011 and already we have kids vs. corporate jets, courtesy of the White House political machine.

Where the debt ceiling debate might be headed

June 28, 2011

This decision tree from Societe Generale (via Business Insider)  seems more or less correct. I think there will be a deal by Aug. 2 (or whatever the deadline ends up being).  But it is the content of the final austerity plan that remains impossible to predict.

The long, slow slog back to full employment

June 28, 2011

A neat chart from the Council on Foreign Relations:

And the explanation. At least one of them:

The shape of U.S. labor market declines and recoveries—as measured by the current level of employment relative to the prior peak—has changed dramatically over the past two decades. From the 1940s through the 1970s, they exhibited a V-shape of sharp declines and rapid recoveries, as seen in the chart above. By the 1990s they took on a U-shape, signifying longer, persistent unemployment.

Americans aren’t eating the dog food

June 28, 2011

A few data points, two from today and one from last week:

–  Consumer confidence fell in June to the lowest point since November 2010 on concerns about the slack labor market and sputtering recovery, according to a Conference Board report released on Tuesday. The Conference Board, a private-sector industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 58.5 in June from a revised 61.7 in May. Something more like 90 is what you want to see with a healthy economy.

U.S. federal debt now bigger than entire U.S. economy

June 27, 2011

A scary chart from the Bank for International Settlements looking at the rise in government debt around the world since Lehman exploded:

Why the GOP shouldn’t go wobbly on taxes

June 27, 2011

It’s up to House Speaker John Boehner now. Democrats, the media and Wall Street will be pounding him to agree to raise taxes as part of a debt ceiling deal. But now is no time for Republicans to go wobbly. Here’s why the GOP should stick to its guns until Aug. 2 – and beyond if necessary: