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All during the 2008-09 financial crisis, Americans were told that the government was saving Wall Street not to protect overpaid bankers but to help Main Street avoid a second Great... [Read More]
Ten years after the 2008-09 financial crisis, we're swamped with studies and reminiscences. What are the legacies of the crisis? How long will they endure? Are they accurat…... [Read More]
The news is better than you might think. A decade after the onset of the 2008-09 global financial crisis - an event usually dated to the bankruptcy of Lehman Bros. - …... [Read More]
It's wages vs. health benefits. On this Labor Day, just about everything seems to be going right for typical American workers, with the glaring and puzzling exception of wa…... [Read More]
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When the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994, it was widely regarded -- by friend and foe alike -- as an ambitious experiment in economic engineering. To... [Read More]
Welcome to the Age of Malware. It promises to be a huge downer and, possibly, a great tragedy. For years, we have regarded personal computers, the internet, smartphones and vario…... [Read More]
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Are we richer than we think? [Read More]
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The Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan think tank, put out an interesting report the other day, whose main conclusion is this: Much of the Great Recession's economic damage has been... [Read More]
Inflation is back. What do we do about it? For starters: Don't ignore it. The latest consumer price index (CPI) - the government's best-known inflation indicato…... [Read More]
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When all is said and done, President Trump's trade war may be fated to fail. There are many reasons why. One is that the target countries - prominently, China, Japan and Germany - won't accede to his demands. This is already happening. Another threat is a backlash among U.S. firms, hurt by tariffs…... [Read More]
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It's an axiom among many Americans that each future generation will live better than its predecessor. New technologies, greater efficiencies and a can-do spirit will reward us with higher living standards. There might be periodic stumbles, but the long-term trajectory is up. And the people most guaranteed to enjoy this bountiful future are…... [Read More]
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It's an axiom among many Americans that each future generation will live better than its predecessor. [Read More]
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Let's travel back in time to 1995. Most Americans still remembered the calamitous inflation of the late 1970s (prices rose 13 percent in 1979). Many federal benefits, including Social Security, were (and are) tied to inflation. But was the inflation overstated, as many economists thought? If so, the economy might be doing better…... [Read More]
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"The Federal Reserve is meant to be independent of parochial political interests. But it's got to operate — I think of this as a kind of band, sometimes wide, sometimes narrow — within the range of understanding of the public and the political system. You just can't go do something that is just outside the…... [Read More]
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Can we make sense of ETFs? If you're in the investing class, you doubtlessly know that ETF stands for "exchange-traded fund." Along with index mutual funds, they track a given stock or bond index. The best-known ETFs mirror the Standard and Poor's 500 stock index. If the S&P 500 goes up, so do…... [Read More]
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We Americans have long been obsessed with economic growth - "prosperity" in everyday lingo. The idea that we have some sort of special aptitude for invention, wealth creation... [Read More]
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We Americans have long been obsessed with economic growth - "prosperity" in everyday lingo. The idea that we have some sort of special aptitude for invention, wealth creation and economic self-improvement is part of our imagined national character. It's who we are. Not only that, but prosperity plays a crucial political role. It…... [Read More]
It's a mystery. The U.S. economy seems strong. Since the nadir of the Great Recession, employers have added about 19 million workers. The unemployment rate is 4 percent, ne…... [Read More]
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On this July Fourth, America has taken a turn for the worst. The great delusion of Donald Trump's presidency is that we can thrive by embracing nationalism even though major economic and political events are increasingly driven by international forces. Trump is an isolationist in an era of globalism.... [Read More]
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The escalating trade war between the United States and China poses crucial, though unanswerable, questions: Is this the beginning of the end of the post-World War II international trading system or will the present arrangements survive, as they have for 70 years? Almost certainly, historians will judge favorably the postwar expansion of trade…... [Read More]
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