The growing acrimony in the international debate over China's currency policy has led some to warn that Beijing could dig in its heels if pushed to hard to let its yuan rise.
Inflation may not be at the forefront of worries about economy for now, but it’s certainly in the back of many investors’ minds. Not that anyone thinks price increases will be reinforced by the labor market, as per the old “wage-push” theory. A new report from the International Labor Organization showed that wage growth continued to decline around the world in 2008, falling to 1.4 percent last year from 4.3 percent in 2007. The UN group also suggested things have gotten worse this year.
Worried about the growing debt? You can help. In a little-known cranny of the Treasury’s website, the government asks for the help of everyday Americans in repaying the total public debt, which it tallies at a startling $11.3 trillion (or 80 percent of GDP).
You’ve heard of Helicopter Ben Bernanke. What about Bazooka Ben? Barclays Capital strategist Michael Pond thinks it’s time for the Federal Reserve to pull out the really big guns and announce it will buy $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury debt in order to counteract a recent jump in Treasury and mortgage interest rates.
from Photographers' Blog:
What's in U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's wallet? Not much.
While testifying in front of a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Capitol Hill Thursday Geithner was shown a $50 Billion Zimbabwean bank note (rendered worthless by Zimbabwe's hyperinflation) by U.S. Representative John Culberson (R- TX) and asked if he had ever seen one himself. Geithner immediately pulled a piece of Zimbabwean currency out of his own pocket and showed it off to the committee. At the next break in the hearing I approached Geithner and asked how he happened to have a piece of foreign currency in his pocket. His response was "I often have some foreign currency in my wallet. Want to see?" He pulled a very thin and mostly empty wallet from his pocket.
Anyone up for a $395 million Rodeo Drive shopping spree?
Apparently the latest recipient of U.S. Treasury cash is the City National Bank in posh Beverly Hills. According to the Los Angeles Times, the bank is taking part in the government’s $250 billion cash infusion and made no promises about how it would use the $395 million it’s getting.