Over the past year, while the U.S. economy has continually missed expectations, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen has assured all who could stay awake during her press conferences that it was strong enough to withstand tighter monetary policy. In delivering months of mildly tough talk (with nothing in the way of action), Yellen began stressing that WHEN the Fed would finally raise rates (for the first time in almost a decade) was not nearly as important as how fast and how high the increa... (more)
India’s newest gold monetization scheme has been a colossal failure. After one month, it has netted only one kilogram (2.2 pounds avoirdupois) out of an estimated 20,000 tonnes (44 million pounds avdp) of privately-held gold. Why is that? Well, let’s look at how the program works.
Gold-holders turn their gold over to a bank. The banks melt the metal dow
A little-noticed provision in the highway funding bill Congress passed this week threatens a right most Americans take for granted: the right to travel abroad. The provision in question gives the Internal Revenue Service the authority to revoke the passport of anyone the IRS claims owes more than $50,000 in back taxes.
Congress is giving the IRS this new power because a decline in gas tax receipts has bankrupted the federal highway trust fund. Of course, Congress would rather sque... (more)
Here's some more good news for a change. Law schools have been in decline lately as their graduates can't get any jobs, so they decided to accept pretty much anyone willing to pay them. Now, those same students are failing their bar exams en masse.
The Telegraph ran a fascinating collection of photos from different statges of development of the Asian city state of Singapore. The first photo is from 1900, the second is from the 1970s and the last photo is contemporary. The incredible transformation of Singapore from a sleepy outpost of the British Empire t... (more)
Nearly 92% of economists surveyed this week by the Wall Street Journal expect that our eight-year experiment with unprecedented monetary easing from the Federal Reserve will come to an end at the next Fed meeting in December. Since we have had the monetary wind at our back for so many years, at least a few have begun to question our ability to make economic and financial gains against actual headwinds. But in reality, the tightening cycle that the forecasters are waiting for actually started las... (more)
A painful exchange with a young student who's organizing for free public colleges, cancellation of all student debt and $15/hour minimum wage for all campus employees. She doesn't really know how to pay for it, unfortunately.
All over America, the middle class is dying and poverty is on the rise. One of the primary reasons for this is the rapidly rising cost of living in the United States. The cost of just about everything that average families shell out money for on a regular basis – food, rent, health insurance, etc. – is rising much faster than wages are. In a previous art... (more)
Tons of people seem (quite rightly) concerned about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. As we pointed out last week after the final text was finally, released, the agreement has a lot of really big problems. But if you want to understand just how bad the agreement is, perhaps you should just look at the industries that like it. Vox notes that Big Pharma and... (more)