FROM Greg Ip
Is Italy's Economy Too Big to Fail, but Too Big to Bail Out? When it comes to the troubled economies of the Euro Zone, "contagion" is what economists, bankers, traders and political leaders fear most. Now the focus has shifted from Greece to Italy. Greece at least appears to be getting its economic act together, but Berlusconi's Italy is another matter. We hear about the billionaire Prime Minister who's promising to resign, and what Italy's potential bankruptcy could mean for the rest of the world.
Greece Has Been Scary Enough, Now There's Italy When it comes to the troubled economies of the Eurozone, "contagion" is what economists, bankers, traders and political leaders fear most. Now the focus has shifted from Greece to Italy. Greece now has a unity government led by a banking technocrat pledged to avoid bankruptcy, however unpopular austerity measures might be. Italy has an economy almost triple the size of Greece, Portugal and Ireland combined, with a massive debt it might not be able to pay. Its shaky economy is the creature of Prime Minister Berlusconi, one of the world's most colorful leaders. Will he really get out of the way? We get a taste of Italian politics today and hear what a national bankruptcy would mean for world markets and American banks.
Unified Global Strategy for Economic Recovery? Maybe Next Year This week in South Korea, the G-20 countries labored until early this morning to bring forth an agreement that left nobody satisfied. After days of dispute, the President of France today called the agreement "better than disagreement." Brazil and Germany opposed US plans to stimulate growth before reducing the deficit. China accused the United States of deliberately weakening the dollar. President Obama failed to get a free-trade treaty with South Korea, and conceded that "instead of hitting home runs, sometimes we're going to hit singles." What are the prospects of a trade war with China? How does global policy affect American standards of living?
Washington Gets Tough on China over Yuan’s Value The House Ways and Means Committee today opened the way for retaliation against China over its undervalued currency, the key to a massive trade imbalance that critics say costs the US billions of dollars and millions of jobs. Greg Ip, author of The Little Book of Economics : How the Economy Works in the Real World, is US Economics editor for the Economist magazine.
Stress Tests Will Gauge Confidence in Banks Results of the much-awaited stress tests for American banks will be formally announced later today. But a lot of details already have leaked out. Greg Ip is US Economics Editor for the Economist.
The Recovery and America's Troubled Auto Industry After Wall Street's worst week in history, it was clear that the Federal Reserve and the Treasury weren't doing enough to restore economic confidence. On Friday, the question was, "Can the Group of Seven industrialized countries and the International Monetary Fund make a difference?" Today, the stock markets surged. Did the ministers do the right thing? Will the credit markets thaw out and begin lending again? We get a progress report and look at the state of America's auto industry, once the symbol of US industrial might. Will the Big Three become the Big Two?
Will the Turmoil on Wall Street Spread to Main Street? Financial institutions most Americans don’t even think about are now front and center in the presidential campaign. The country's biggest insurer -- American International Group , or AIG -- is the latest major player whose troubles threaten economic security. At the same time, ATM's are still dispensing cash, credit-card offers arrive in the mail and it's even possible to get a mortgage. We get the latest from Wall Street, hear what John McCain and Barack Obama are saying and learn what's at stake for ordinary Americans.
Federal Take-Over of Fannie Mae and Freddie Ma Led by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the Bush Administration seized control of the country's two largest mortgage finance companies yesterday. In his announcement of the takeover, Secretary Paulson said, "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are so large and so interwoven in our financial system that a failure of either of them would cause great turmoil...at home and around the globe." Will the Paulson plan work? How will it affect consumers? What will it mean to the housing market? How much will it cost taxpayers?
Federal Take-Over of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Led by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the Bush Administration seized control of the country's two largest mortgage finance companies yesterday. In his announcement of the takeover, Secretary Paulson said, "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are so large and so interwoven in our financial system that a failure of either of them would cause great turmoil...at home and around the globe." Will the Paulson plan work? How will it affect consumers? What will it mean to the housing market? How much will it cost taxpayers?
Stocks Rebound on Fed's Coordinated Plan with Central Banks Yesterday, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates and the stock market went down. Today, the Fed announced a deal with four other central banks, and the markets went up—at least at the opening. Greg Ip is economics reporter for the Wall Street Journal .
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.