Forecasts about the future for the euro zone economy are starting to resemble a multiple-choice novel. Are you an economist working for an Anglo-Saxon institution? Then turn to p.65 — “Recession for the euro zone”. A German bank? Go to p.80 — “Happy days are here again!”
It’s already been established that economists’ predictions about the euro zone’s future hinge largely on where their employer is based. Euro zone optimists tend to work for euro zone banks and research houses, and euro zone sceptics for companies based outside the currency union.
from Environment Forum:
Consensus among sustainability experts at a Toronto conference this week was that world leaders in the Group of 20 nations face a fecund opportunity to make gains integrating environmental concerns with all other levels of economic development.
It may not get as much attention as the monthly employment report or GDP figures, but the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s gauge of the national economy has a good track record of distinguishing economic expansions from recessions. And it’s suggesting that the U.S. recovery may be wobbling.
BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research economist Ethan Harris thinks all the talk of a Federal Reserve rate hike is just that — talk. Harris, a former Federal Reserve Bank of New York economist, said much of the recent hawkish commentary has come from presidents of the regional Fed banks, and that may not be indicative of the thinking on the Fed’s board.
Jack Ablin, the chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, has come up with an interesting way of looking at the U.S. healthcare debate — in particular, why does health care cost so much. His idea? Think of it like going out for dinner and splitting the bill with hundreds of thousands of other diners versus paying for your own meal. Would you order the steak and champagne or the chicken and a glass of water? Ablin enlisted the help of the owner of Aqua Grill in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, to help him find out.
U.S. Representative Barney Frank has never been shy about expressing his opinions. His opening remarks at a hearing he chaired with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Wednesday was no exception. Frank poked fun at a political squabble over healthcare reform as he detailed his position on what to do about non-bank financial firms considered “too big to fail.”
Bernanke’s tone may have been slightly more optimistic today — but the first thing policy-makers from around the world see as they enter the conference room for the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium is a large stuffed bear.