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Tag: Recession

FDR Prolonged the Depression? Really?

If you’re like me, you sometimes find yourself speechless when confronted with abject insanity, such as conservatives’ newest talking point—the one designed to stop Congress from passing an economic stimulus package.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


Economic Death and Millionaire Taxes

For most of us, Benjamin Franklin’s words in 1789 still apply: “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” However, millionaires, by definition, are not most of us.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


Generic Unemployment
connectedmichigan.com

Unemployment Filings at 26-Year High

With American jobs being steadily peeled away, hundreds of thousands of people are being forced to seek unemployment benefits for the first time. The number of first-time claims rose 5.4 percent last week, to their highest level in more than a quarter-century.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


Botox
canada.com

Botox Withstands Effects of Age, Recession

When the global economy takes a serious plunge (i.e., like right now), one would think that such frivolities as facial fillers and Botox would be the first to go from the regimens of even the most image-conscious among us.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


Killing the Big 3 Would Be Nuts

Despite the popular myth, lemmings don’t really hurl themselves off a cliff to reduce their numbers. That sort of behavior is seen only among Republicans in the Senate, who gave us a demonstration when they torpedoed legislation to bail out the auto industry.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


Crippling the Auto Union Is Just a Warm-Up

I must admit that when the danger of a global financial implosion became apparent in March, I did not understand how all those worthless Wall Street credit swaps really could be the fault of an overpaid union welder at an auto plant somewhere in Michigan.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


Sony
Flickr / Ian Muttoo

Sony Paring Its Work Force by 8,000

Japanese technology giant Sony Corp. announced Tuesday that it is planning to slash 8,000 jobs—or about 4 percent of its global work force— in response to the deepening international economic crisis.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Rick Bowmer

Resuscitating Health Care Reform

With unemployment soaring, the need grows daily for guaranteed health care. But that may not happen in the coming year because of the desperate need to revive the economy and put people to work.

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE


Obama weekly address

Obama: ‘We Need Action’ on Economy ... ‘Now’

Barack Obama paid a visit to the Internet on Saturday with his weekly president-elect-themed YouTube address, sounding an urgent note about the economy, pointing to the dismal news about job losses in November and pointing out what his team plans to do about it.

Posted on Dec 6, 2008 READ MORE


Unemployment Chart
U.S. Department of Labor

A Dark November for Jobs

The news continues to get worse after the government finally put the “official” stamp on the current recession. The Labor Department has announced that 533,000 jobs were lost in November, the biggest monthly cut in 34 years—with analysts fearing that the 11-month trend of increasing job losses will deepen even further.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE



Warren I. Cohen on China’s ‘Factory Girls’

There’s a revolution underway in Chinese culture as young women flock from villages to factory employment in the cities, leaving traditional values behind.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Breathing New Life Into Health Care

Over the past 10 months, as the hemorrhage of jobs began to push the national unemployment rate toward its October level of 6.5 percent, about 3 million Americans were thrown off the insurance rolls or had their incomes fall so much that they became eligible for Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Big Three
aolcdn.com

Poll: Auto Bailout Low on Fuel

With a bailout of the Big Three hovering over our political landscape, popular opinion has signaled a considerable voice against any federal support for the failing auto industry. A poll shows 61% of Americans oppose a bailout, believing any government assistance would be both unfair and ineffective in fixing the economy.

Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE


Ford logo
cartype.com

Ford Asks Gov’t for $9 Billion

After a dismal November, Ford Motor Co. is hanging by a thread, but the automaker told Congress on Tuesday that it is in better shape than Chrysler and General Motors and could make it through its current economic crisis with a little help—to the tune of $9 billion in standby loans.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Recession St.
whatpricejusticeblog.com

No Kidding: U.S. Economy in Recession

While it’s great that it has finally been acknowledged, the National Bureau of Economic Research’s announcement on Monday that the U.S. is officially in a recession is old news—even by the bureau’s own estimation. Updated

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Shrewd Choices

Barack Obama’s appointees will implement the Obama program, not only because that is what he tells them to do but because that is what they have come to believe is best for the country.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Hoover Impression Flirts With Depression

At the earliest, it is likely to be at least February or March before the first dollar of an Obama recovery plan is felt. This is a national disgrace.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Paul Morse (altered)

No One In Charge

Having two presidents is starting to feel like having no president, and that’s the situation we’ll face until Inauguration Day. Heaven help us.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE



Federal Reserve

Fed Chief Wants More Stimulation

Ben Bernanke doesn’t really care if you call it a recession or, in his words, “a very serious slowdown in the economy.” Whatever it is, the chairman of the Federal Reserve thinks a new stimulus package is needed to get those terrified Americans dipping into their mattresses and buying things again.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Brokers Gone Wild: Market Closes Up

The Dow gained 401.35 points Thursday but had volatile swings through most of the day. Investors, The Wall Street Journal reports, are still trying to figure out what stage of suck the economy is in.

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

What Goes Up ... Dow Plummets 733

It seems like only a couple of days ago that the Dow jumped 936 points. The market went back to freaking everyone out on Wednesday, with a sobering drop of 733.08 points. Stimuli and bailouts aside, it appears that we’re in for a substantial recession.

Posted on Oct 15, 2008 READ MORE


Volcker
group30.org

Former Fed Chief: U.S. Already in a Recession

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said Tuesday that the U.S. was already in a recession, despite the efforts of the U.S. government and other nations’ leaders to intervene. “I have seen a lot of crises but I have never seen anything quite like this one,” said Volcker, who headed up the Fed for eight years before Alan Greenspan took over in 1987.

Posted on Oct 14, 2008 READ MORE


money bags
0-60mag.com

Just How Fat Are Wall Street’s Fat Cats?

Sure, we’ve all heard the stories about Wall Street bigwigs lining their pockets with gold dubloons while the rest of us scramble to save pennies, but The New York Times has drawn out that contrast in graphic detail with a handy series of charts showing the total earnings (including bonuses) of 12 top executives from 2003-2007.

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE


Unemployment Rate
bls.gov

How Can These Fundamentals Be Called Strong?

A government report released Friday morning leaves little room for any defense of the failed policies of the Bush administration or any belief in the economic wisdom of John McCain, whose erroneous assertion that the “fundamentals of the economy are strong” failed to mention a 6.1 percent unemployment rate, up nearly two percentage points since 2007.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Susan Sterner

Senate Fattens Up Bailout Package

The House couldn’t swallow the $700-billion bailout proposal, so the Senate added about $100 billion of incentives—mostly in the form of tax cuts. The Senate will vote on the proposal tonight and the House could decide as early as Friday whether $700 billion is too much, but $800 billion is just about right.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


Gramm and McCain
momocrats.typepad.com

McCain Calls for End to Big Business Bailouts

And now, this latest dispatch from the U.S. Department of Unintentional Irony: Sen. John McCain spoke out against the Federal Reserve’s recent bids to give life support (read: gigantic amounts of money) to failing financial institutions. Isn’t he the same guy who has looked to Phil Gramm for economic advice?

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 READ MORE


No Time for a Minimalist

Barack Obama isn’t going to win any arguments about the economy if he keeps winking at the robber barons who helped wreck Wall Street.

Posted on Sep 18, 2008 READ MORE


MISERY Index
thespeeddemon.com

Bush Oversees Unemployment and Misery

George W. Bush and his father share more than a last name. Reports show that August’s unemployment rate increased past the level initially forecast, rising to 6.1 percent. But even more disturbing is the fact that the misery index—unemployment aggregated with inflation—also soared to its highest level since 1991, when George H.W. Bush was in office.

Posted on Sep 5, 2008 READ MORE


Wall Street
AP photo / Richard Drew

Oil Prices Dip, Stocks Rise

Finally, some slightly better financial news has hit the wires after months of sobering reports: Oil prices dropped to a three-month low on Tuesday, which may be due to “the softening market,” as one analyst puts it in this NYT account, but whatever the reason it still means a slight reprieve from weeks of punishing prices. Stock markets had their biggest gains in four months.

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE


Elaine Chao
flickr.com

Unemployment at a Four-Year High

A government report released Friday signals worsening economic tides as the U.S. tries to navigate through its highest level of unemployment in four years. The seven-month-long trend of net job losses is likely to persist, with few signs of a turnaround on the horizon.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE


What Else Is New? Economy Slumps, Oil Profits Surge

Despite the massive federal stimulus package, national GDP only grew 1.9 percent from April to June, the Commerce Department has announced, and it actually shrank in the last quarter of 2007. Meanwhile, high gas prices, supposedly reflecting costs, spiked profits of oil companies, with Exxon recording its most profitable quarter ever. In fact, reports the NYT, “It was the highest quarterly profit ever for any American company, as Exxon made nearly $90,000 a minute.”

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 READ MORE


Fannie Mae
foreclosurewearhouse.com

Bailout Time for Fannie and Freddie

Congress to the rescue! Mortgage lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are being propped up in their time of dire need, thanks to a bill passed Saturday that will lift the world’s two largest financial institutions out of immediate danger and help some homeowners handle mortgage crises.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / PetroleumJelliffe

The Rich Get Richer

According to the most recent data from the IRS, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans took home a greater share of the nation’s income in 2006 than in any year of the previous 19. It’s possibly the biggest income disparity Americans have seen since the Great Depression. The average tax rate of the super-rich was at its lowest level in at least 18 years.

Posted on Jul 27, 2008 READ MORE


Did Bush Put a Hit Out on Fannie, Freddy?

From madcap marketeer Jim Cramer to wired alt-blogger Scott Thill, there are more than a few braniacs who believe the Bush White House did not just watch the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac but actually engineered it as yet another sortie in the long GOP war against the New Deal. Never fear, though, as The Onion has already written a satirical report on efforts to build a better bubble.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


gas prices
AP photo / Lisa Poole

Inflation Runs at a 26-Year High

The once-mighty U.S. dollar is full of hot air, or at least the rate of inflation is at a 26-year high due to the recent economic toils and astronomical energy prices. Prices U.S. consumers pay shot up 1.1 percent in June—or more directly, your paycheck just got 1.1 percent smaller.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


The House That Gramm Built

Phil Gramm’s dismissal of America’s economic suffering has forced him to the political sidelines, but as one of the congressional architects of Republican economics, the mess he made will haunt Americans no matter who the next president is.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE


Fannie Mae
foreclosurewearhouse.com

The Rise and Fall of Fannie and Freddie

Although certain Washington denizens from both sides of the aisle might have been thrown when the two government-backed mortgage finance companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, hit the skids last week, several of their current and former colleagues had long seen the crisis coming.

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 READ MORE


Gramm and McCain
momocrats.typepad.com

McCain Adviser: Recession All in Our Minds

According to Phil Gramm, the former senator from Texas who’s now a key economic adviser to Sen. John McCain, America’s economic woes, insofar as they actually exist, are the product of some stinking thinking by “a nation of whiners” and doom-and-gloom headlines from the U.S. media.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


Starbucks cups
chasingthecool.wordpress.com

Starbucks Going From Venti to Grande

Fine, so the headline was a bit much, but this was one time we didn’t mind saying venti instead of large: Turns out that even the top bananas at Starbucks finally realized that they’ve overextended themselves, and due to the sagging economy, they’re closing 600 U.S. retail locations. Great—so that means there’ll be only eight Starbucks stores on every block instead of nine.

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 READ MORE


Greenspan
broadcatching.wordpress.com

Greenspan Talks Recession as Oil Prices Soar

Seems like everything is a crisis these days, what with the subprime mortgage crisis, the oil crisis and, perhaps most troubling of all, the climate change crisis. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan acknowledged the complexity and interconnectedness of these unsettling trends Tuesday, stopping short of declaring that a major recession is on the way but without ruling out a recession of lesser magnitude.

Posted on Jun 24, 2008 READ MORE


Firing Congress

In 225 days, at least one high-ranking politician will become unemployed. How many will join President Bush in retirement?

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
howstuffworks.com

Unemployment Takes Its Biggest Jump Since 1986

In what one economist has called the “strongest evidence yet” that the U.S. is in recession, the country’s jobless rate has grown 0.5% since April, the largest monthly jump in more than 20 years. The unemployment rate has been steadily rising this year, with 324,000 jobs lost since January.

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE


for sale sign
Flickr / sfadden

Housing Signs Point to More Market Woes

The housing market is continuing its descent into Slumpsville, judging by the way things have gone over the first quarter of 2008, and indicators don’t look good for the immediate future, either. American homeowners have been forced into foreclosure in record numbers this year and late payments have soared to a new high.

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


U.S. Consumer Confidence at 28-Year Low

A survey released Friday showed that U.S. consumer confidence has fallen to the lowest point since the “stagflation” of the early 1980s. According to the survey, lower-income households, citing rising food and fuel prices, were the main source of the drop in confidence.

Posted on May 16, 2008 READ MORE


Toward a New Washington Consensus

What passes for smart economic policy is actually a set of right-wing globalization measures that destabilizes the world economy. For the sake of Americans and others, our politicians need to wise up.

Posted on May 15, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Jeff Madrick on ‘High Wire,’ Peter Gosselin’s Look at the Economic Meltdown

A star reporter for the Los Angeles Times has written a clear, even elegant anatomy of an economy that is much worse than you probably think.

Posted on May 2, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
blogs.trb.com

Bush Passes the Buck

Why is it that the U.S. economy is on a serious downswing? Could it be that we’re in the midst of a super-expensive war with little sign of scaling down in the near future that has jacked up oil prices to new heights and strained the federal budget? According to Bush, he’d have worked out our economic woes if it weren’t for those meddling congressional Democrats.

Posted on Apr 29, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
boston.com

Bush Ready to Stimulate America

President Bush announced that rebate checks will start winging their way to taxpayers as early as Monday, helpfully observing that Americans need a little help paying for necessities like groceries and gas during this economic “slowdown”—a slightly different story from his initial justification for this economic stimulus plan, and one that wasn’t lost on his critics.

Posted on Apr 25, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

McCain Piles On in ‘Bitter’ War of Words

John McCain joined Hillary Clinton in critiquing Barack Obama’s characterization of small-town Pennsylvania’s (and by extension, perhaps, America’s) “bitter” outlook, telling a crowd of magazine and newspaper editors on Monday that Obama’s description represented “a contradiction from what I believe America is all about.”

Posted on Apr 15, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Bloomberg.com

It Ain’t Argentina This Time

The International Monetary Fund, the darling lending institution of neoliberal capitalists, believes that the U.S.‘s current mortgage crisis is dragging down the world economy. The IMF is predicting at least a two-year global economic downturn, led by the U.S. credit crunch, that also has a gambling chance of turning into a “global recession.”

Posted on Apr 9, 2008 READ MORE


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