James Pethokoukis

Zandi: Unemployment headed to 10.5 percent

October 12, 2009

Moody’s Economy.com economist Mark Zandi likes the stimulus (via Fox News) but still thinks unemployment is headed higher. In his own words:

How Obama can earn that Nobel Peace Prize

October 9, 2009

The Nobel Committee in Norway says it awarded President Barack Obama the 2009 Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” (Congratulations, Mr. President.) In particular, the committee noted Obama’s multilateral approach on the issues of climate chance and nuclear disarmament.

A windfall profits tax? Why won’t the 1970s stay dead?

October 9, 2009

Apparently there is no idea bad enough that it can’t be resurrected by desperate politicians, as veteran Capitol Hill watcher Pete Davis notes at the must-read Capital Gains and Games blog:

Stimulus vs. Unemployment

October 7, 2009

Correlation isn’t necessarily causality. Then again

100709stimulus

Why the GOP shouldn’t embrace calls for a VAT

October 7, 2009

You can add New York Times economics columnist David Leonhardt to the parade of liberals, Democrats, Obama allies and fellow travelers — such as John Podesta, Nancy Pelosi, Paul Volcker, and Robert Rubin — calling for higher taxes, preferably a value-added tax.

VAT attack! More on Obama, Pelosi and the value-added tax

October 7, 2009

When you start looking for signs of the VAT virus, you start seeing them everywhere. Here are some excerpts from Howard Gleckman over at TaxVox, the blog of the Tax Policy Center:

Obama and the VAT: Now it’s Pelosi’s turn

October 6, 2009

You can add House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the group of Democrats or Obama allies (John Podesta, Paul Volcker, Roget Altman) calling for a value-added tax. (I predicted all of this days ago.) Here is Pelosi (via The Hill):

Is America stuck with high unemployment?

October 5, 2009

Is there a “new normal” for the American labor market? Are the days of an unemployment rate of just 4 to 5 percent a thing of the past?

Obama, the Un-Reagan when it comes to the dollar and stocks

October 2, 2009
David Goldman notices the tight relationship of the dollar and the stock market, comparing it to the Reagan years.
We have only had one period in which the dollar and the stock market were so correlated, and that is in 1983-1984, the beginning of the great Reagan stock market rally. The world bought the dollar and sold the US economy, before the Mundell twist (tight money and lower marginal tax rates) kicked in and the Reagan recovery began. Now we have the opposite: The dollar is selling off in tight correlation with rising stock prices, again with rising stock prices. Think of Obama as the un-Reagan: rather than a monetary squeeze hurting stocks, monetary easy is helping stocks, as the world goes to the great American fire sale assets. We’ve had an un-rally, and now it’s going undone. … This is a unique situation: never before has the US stock market traded as if it were a banana-republic equity market reprices to the dollar. Now the stock market is repricing to a basket of alternatives to the dollar. That doesn’t spell the end of the dollar as a reserve currency, at least not for the foreseeable future. As former Fed chairman Paul Volcker told Charlie Rose last night, there’s no alternative to the dollar. Bt that’s for now. Keep it up, and the world will eventually find a substitute for the dollar.

How’s the private sector doing?

October 1, 2009

Not so good. As this GDP chart from my pal Donald Marron shows:

marronchart