FROM Michael Mandel
Despite Drop in Unemployment Rate, Recovery Remains Slow The Labor Department reports that the unemployment rate dropped to 9.7 percent last month, in an encouraging sign for economic recovery. But the economy still lost 20,000 jobs and market reaction today has been mixed. Michael Mandel, former chief economist at BusinessWeek magazine, is now editor in chief at Visible Economy, LLC, a new venture that combines news and education.
Unemployment Going Up, Up, Up Labor Department figures indicate that the US lost another 263, 000 jobs in the month of September. The loss, larger than that recorded in August, comes at a time when many economists believed the recession was coming to a close. Michael Mandel is chief economist for BusinessWeek magazine and the author of Economics : The Basics.
Consumer Price Index Down Sharply from Last Year The Dow Jones Industrial Average took a dive this morning, apparently in reaction to bad news about consumer confidence. Instead of the rise that had been expected, there was a decline. Michael Mandel is chief economist at BusinessWeek magazine.
Is the US Becoming a Banana Republic? Argentina, Indonesia, Russia and other so-called “emerging economies” have followed a pattern that’s all too clear to officials of the International Monetary Fund. Entrenched financial elites take too many risks during good times, and when times go bad they can’t pay their debts. But they’ve accumulated so much influence that governments can’t call them to account and the rest of the country suffers.
Is the US Becoming a Banana Republic? An article in the Atlantic magazine is drawing a lot of attention from Wall Street to Washington. It's about cozy relations between financial and political institutions that make the US look like Argentina, Russia, Indonesia and other “emerging markets.” A former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund says Democrats and Republicans have enabled “financial oligarchs” to accumulate too much political power, so much that they can resist the reforms needed for economic recovery. Is it time for the government to wake up to reality?
Stimulating the Economy: The Basics 2008 was supposed to be a good economic year, but it didn't turn out that way. Now there's almost a competition for predictions of gloom and doom. To stem the negative tide, the Obama transition team is promising a major stimulus package . Michael Mandel, chief economist for BusinessWeek magazine, has a new textbook out called Economics : The Basics.
Prospects for a Federal Bailout of the Financial System The architects of the Bush Administration's financial bailout got a public grilling today from the Senate Banking Committee. Senators wanted to know why they're getting less than a week to give up $700 billion in taxpayers' money. Would reckless investors get off lightly? Would Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have too much power? What about Congressional oversight? Why couldn't the crisis have been foreseen and prevented, and is there any assurance that the massive bailout will really work? We hear more about the questions and the answers.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are owned by private shareholders. But because they originally were chartered by Congress and get favorable rates, investors believe that both companies are implicitly backed by the federal government. They now own almost fifty percent of all mortgages in the United States, amounting to $5 trillion. Last week, their stocks lost almost half their value.
Fannie May and Freddie Mac Struggling The two mortgage lenders at the heart of America's system of housing finance may need a government bailout. Shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac today dropped to their lowest prices in 17 years. Michael Mandel is chief economist for BusinessWeek magazine.
Fed Cuts Interest Rate While job growth declined in November, although not by as much as expected, the sub-prime mortgage collapse and declines in consumer spending have led to fears of a coming recession. Today, the Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate by one-quarter of a percent. Michael Mandel is chief economist for BusinessWeek magazine.
Bush Gets Lenders to Freeze Sub-Prime Mortgage Rates With anxiety rising about the economy, President Bush today announced a plan to help homeowners with sub-prime mortgages. It would freeze the so-called "starter" interest rate for certain borrowers to prevent increases that could otherwise force them into foreclosure. Michael Mandel, chief economist for BusinessWeek magazine, is the author of Rational Exuberance .
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
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.