Economy

An Independent Political Scientist Votes For Mitt Romney in 2012

I have yet to vote for a Republican presidential candidate in the 21st century, even though I’m a Republican-leaning Independent. But my voting status is about to change. I’ve stumbled into some ideas lately that will allow me peace of mind in voting for Romney this coming Tuesday. Granted, my vote may not mean much in the larger scheme of things. But it means something to me. It’s about one’s conscience in performing civic duties.

Socially Responsible Investing: A Small Step Toward a Better World

Impact investing, if pursued on a large scale, could become the next best thing to a sweeping overhaul of capitalism’s financial architecture. Nonetheless, neither socially responsible investing (in general) or impact investing (in particular) is a suitable substitute for redesigning the entire Wall Street system. Investors in the U.S.A. and abroad should pay attention to socially responsible investing, positive investing, impact investing and other financial accountability initiatives while moving forward with plans to redesign how we capitalize public ownership of business and industry.

Gold, Silver and Stocks: What does the New Year Hold?

Do precious metal prices reflect economic fundamentals or perceptions of price trend prospects? Silver sells around $30 an ounce and is near a 30-year high. Gold sells for more than $1,400 an ounce. Can gold and silver double from here, with silver already selling for more than five times typical producer costs? (Yes, the prices can double, but not likely.) Just what were J.P. Morgan analysts thinking in June 2010 when, with silver around $18 an ounce, they gave a long-term silver price forecast of $13 an ounce? Were they trying to turn the market?

Sovereign Debt Risks Grow as Stimulus Pumps Asset Prices

Paul Farrell provides ten worthwhile observations in his forecast of a coming banking crisis. Essentially, he argues against buying stocks in an environment where market indices are about 70% off their lows. He sees two stock markets in America — one for the rich and another for everyone else. He explains how Wall Street skims from Main Street, rigs markets, and grasps vast winnings from socially worthless activities.

Is The Poor Housing Market A Genetic Disease?

What should people make of the proposal for a nationwide government initiated program where banks take ownership of homes, then rent them to persons in mortgage default? Will it happen on a large scale? Not likely. But central bank monetization of federal fiscal deficits is likely as a means of stabilizing home prices, thus reducing foreclosures and their impacts on communities.

Heal Job Market By Cultural Renewal, Not Fed Intervention

No.: 
85

Americans have been reminded of at least two things of late: In the end, deflation is significantly about jobs. Secondly, and also according to Ben Bernanke, while we wait for the jobs we must realize that “central bankers alone cannot solve the world’s economic problems.” These may be the most important words Bernanke has uttered during his tenure as Fed chief.

The Real Causes Of Our "Jobless Recovery"

No.: 
84

There is a lot of untapped potential for addressing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure when 9 million Americans are picking up June unemployment checks. So what’s missing? When the financial crisis hit in 2008, Wall Street’s biggest concern was a survival plan for Wall Street bettors, not Main Street jobs. Inscrutably, when the Obama administration took power it veered toward the financial intelligentsia’s “recovery” plans, not a technologically robust infrastructure overhaul vision.

Reform Federal Spending Along with Social Security

No.: 
83

Many taxpaying Americans are understandably concerned about a congressional leader’s trial balloon proposal to hike the normal Social Security retirement age to 70. (The proposal would apply to workers at least 20 years from retirement.) Millions of Americans over age 55 cannot find suitable full-time work. A higher retirement age may mean more years of trying to get by on marginal employment.

Stimulus Or Austerity: Is That The Right Question?

No.: 
82

Investment markets have been unsettled of late, resulting in the worst quarter for major American stock indices since 2008. Are European G20 leaders correct in declaring there is too much debt in the world? Or is President Obama’s team right in pushing for more stimulus? Who holds the real economic insights? Those who say we must borrow our way forward to recovery?

Reform Exposes Illegitimacy of Wall Street Profits

No.: 
81

The emerging bank reform legislation might be viewed in a singularly positive light if the reforms were not the byproduct of a skewed capital system that made several million Americans undeservedly powerful and rich while Congress slept. One could feel downright hopeful about the future of American banking if moral hazard had not contaminated the land. But too much polluted water has gone under the bridge. The good in the reforms is counteracted by the poisons that produced the need for remedial interventions.

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