How the Fed Helped Harley

Have you ever thought about how, every month or every week, businesses have money for paychecks? One answer is commercial paper. It is amazing that commercial paper is central to so much economic acti…

QE2: Pros and Cons

Reminding us that there is no such thing as a free lunch, The Washington Post has an excellent interactive summary of the pros and cons of a QE2 impact. But first…what is QE2? Through a second r…

Where is QE2 Going?

Did you ever wonder how things really happen? We read about quantitative easing and hear some gigantic number but then…what? Who does it and how? In a Planet Money podcast, journalists visit the…

Cyclical or Structural?

Economists still cannot agree. With the new unemployment rate, at 9.6%, the same as the old unemployment rate, one question remains the same. Is it a jobs mismatch, contractionary lay-offs, or a third…

What Does Quantitative Easing Do?

A quantitative easing limerick: “I’m afraid,” said Bernanke to Geithner, “The debt crisis still has lots of bite in ‘er. Though it may cause some ranklin’ I’l…

It's Official

We now know when the recession officially ended. But I still wonder whether we are moving along a “V”, a “U”, a “W” or an “L”. According to the National…

Deflation Worries

We have something else to worry about: deflation. If you had $100 in 2000, you would need $126.60 in 2010 to make the same kinds of purchases. Called inflation, prices tend to go up each year. Most co…

The Housing Dilemma

Is it time for shock therapy? Since the housing bubble popped, from tax credits to mortgage modification programs, government has tried to support housing prices. The goal was to provide support and d…

Spend More or Less?

It was perfect. On the left side of the NY Times Op-Ed page, David Brooks defended the austerity approach. On the right was Paul Krugman saying spend more. Those are the alternatives. Maybe now it wil…

Double Dipping

For a smile, you might want to watch Merle Hazard’s “Double Dippin’” song. As the Guardian points out, also look for the fun trivia such as a small background picture of mathem…

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