James Pethokoukis

Goldman Sachs: Economy needs fiscal, monetary boost

July 6, 2010

The econ team at Goldman Sachs is sounding worried. Here are a few snippets from a new report:

Kudlow: Time for a tax cut

July 6, 2010

Larry Kudlow thinks it’s time for Team Obama to consider a different path:

Fred Smith, the CEO of FedEx, does not have a Nobel Prize in economics. But he founded from scratch a gigantic global transportation and delivery company that has employed tens and tens of thousands of workers, something the Nobelists have never done. And Smith argues that the best job-creating measure would be a significant reduction in the corporate tax rate and a move to full expensing for business-investment tax write-offs. He’s exactly right.

Recovery Summer and the big fade

July 1, 2010

So how goes the economic news today? The job market?

The jobless claims data remain the weakest indicator of labor market activity. On the face of it, the rise in the four-week average to the highest level since the beginning of March points to a weakening in the labor market and a potential decline in private payrolls. … we find the level and direction in jobless claims somewhat troubling and the increase is likely to feed double-dip fears.  (RDQ Economics)

Growth only way to avoid U.S. economic collapse

June 30, 2010

Lucky this baby didn’t land during the G20 meeting! America’s fiscal judge, the Congressional Budget Office, has produced another nightmare report. The bad news: U.S. debt-to-GDP will hit 858 percent by 2080, roughly ten times today’s level. The “good” news: The economy would implode long before. But avoiding that fate requires just the right balance now between austerity and a push for real, private-sector led economic growth.

The Dirty Shirt Theory and the Keynesian Endpoint

June 14, 2010

From Ed Yardeni:

The bears are mostly, and rightly, concerned that many economies around the world are overly leveraged. They claim that both private and public debt burdens are so great now that they are depressing economic growth. This has the potential to cause a deleveraging death spiral for the global economy according to the most bearish of the bears. The bulls believe that the global economic recovery has plenty of forward momentum and is self-sustaining even if many governments are forced to implement austerity measures to placate the Bond Gods.

Obama budget cuts only a start

June 9, 2010

Cutting 5 percent of optional government spending won’t plug America’s fiscal hole. Still, President Barack Obama’s proposal may buy a bit more time with nervous financial markets. It could even kick-start a needed rationalization of government outlays. Every little helps — but Obama needs to go further.

Where Barry Ritholtz questions my tax analysis

June 3, 2010

Superblogger Barry Ritholtz of The Big Picture takes issue with my claim that America’s wealthy have a high tax burden since they pay such a huge share of U.S. taxes. A bit from his email to me (in his own inimitable style):

Hillary’s revealing tax gaffe

June 2, 2010

Who really cares what Hillary Clinton thinks about taxes, right? She’s Secretary of State in the Obama administration, not Treasury. It’s not as if Timothy Geithner said the following, as Clinton did last week:

The coming fiscal war between the old and the young

June 2, 2010

In the London Times, Anatole Kaletsky outlines a soon-to-escalate generational conflict between seniors and younger voters :

Does the BP oil spill mean the West should get poorer?

June 2, 2010

Economist Kenneth Rogoff sees a comparison between the Gulf oil spill and the financial meltdown: