January 25, 2015 |
Europe is far off, but the European Central Bank's decision to infuse money into the Eurozone via so-called quantitative easing will hit us all in the pocketbook, one way or another. Here's how: "Even if you don't live in Europe, this matters," says this post and video clip at Money.CNN.com. The markets' initial reactions were positive. Among other things, "the ECB's announcement showed investors that Europe may finally be serious about repairing its many economic problems. That should help contain the negative spillover to the U.S.," the post says.
December 31, 2014
YO, READERS, make any mistakes at work during the year now ending? I did. Did you 'fess up? Or cover up? Or blame somebody else? Come on, now. Be honest. Everyone makes mistakes. As American pop-icon/philosopher/twerker Miley Cyrus sang in 2007 (back when she was Hannah Montana), "Nobody's Perfect. " So, I offer my annual confession of imperfection. It's done on the theory that anyone with a public voice is responsible for what he or she says, writes, tweets, blogs, sings or otherwise communicates to the world at large.
July 1, 2014 |
GUY WALKS into a bar, sidles up to a writer who covers the Phillies. Guy says, "Can't believe you have to sit there and watch that crap every night. " There's no punchline. It's reality these days. Wasn't always like this. Once upon a time, the gig inspired envy. Can't believe you get paid for that, people would say. Watchin' baseball every night? That ain't a job. The reactions began to change a couple of months ago. Now, the bulk of them involve pity. That might sound like hyperbole.
February 20, 2014
IT'S BEEN FIVE years since President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a/k/a "the stimulus," $787 billion (it actually grew to more than that) to reverse a recession and avoid a depression. Pennsylvania got $33.8 billion. Philadelphia got $1 billion-plus, mostly for education. The money was, for many - and to quote 1980s British rock star Robert Palmer - "simply irresistible. " But five years later, Pa.'s economy is less than humming, especially in job growth when compared with other states.
August 7, 2013 |
With food-stamp benefits soon to drop and the prospect of an additional $40 billion in cuts to the federal program looming, New Jersey antihunger organizations worry that the need will grow and they won't be able to meet it. Across the country, food-stamp recipients will see a decrease in benefits Nov. 1, with the expiration of an increase that went into effect in 2009 as part of the federal stimulus. In New Jersey, where 858,000 people - about one in 10 residents - receive food stamps, a family of three will likely see benefits decrease by $29 a month, according to New Jersey Policy Perspective, a liberal-leaning think-tank.
July 25, 2013 |
Contractors studded Philadelphia with art deco-flavored postal centers, courts, and government offices, in brick, concrete, and limestone, back in the 1930s, as the federal Works Progress Administration tried to spend the nation out of the Great Depression. After the most recent financial crisis, Washington settled for the American Recovery and Reconstruction Act of 2009 - the "stimulus" supplied by President Obama - that gave the city, among other projects, a half-acre green roof; high, tight windows; and LED lights at the 17-story, WPA-built Custom House , the cross-shaped federal office building at Second and Chestnut Streets that houses hundreds of federal workers for the National Park Service, Food and Drug Administration, Homeland Security, passport office, and other federal outlets.
July 13, 2013 |
NEW YORK - The stock market, which has been marching higher for a week, got extra fuel Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank would keep supporting the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 surged to all-time highs. A mix of additional economic news - much of it positive - added octane to the market's tank. Retail sales surged in June. The Treasury reported a rare monthly surplus. Foreclosures fell. And while new jobless claims rose, the numbers reflected steady hiring.
July 3, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Stocks rose on Wall Street Monday as investors judged that the economy still isn't growing fast enough for the Federal Reserve to cut back on its stimulus program. U.S. manufacturing grew modestly in June after a pickup in new orders and stronger production, according to a private survey. The Institute for Supply Management said its factory index increased to 50.9 in June from 49 in the previous month. The Standard & Poor's 500 index logged its first monthly decline since October last month after investors were unsettled by comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
June 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Is the era of ultralow interest rates nearing an end? That's the question - and the fear - Chairman Ben Bernanke will face Wednesday when he takes questions after a Federal Reserve policy meeting. Financial markets have been gyrating in the 31/2 weeks since Bernanke told Congress that the Fed might scale back its effort to keep long-term rates at record lows within "the next few meetings," earlier than many assumed. Bernanke cautioned that the Fed would slow its support only if it felt confident the job market would show sustained improvement.
June 19, 2013 |
With Wall Street awaiting the Federal Reserve's statement after its two-day meeting concludes Wednesday, you'd think there was a Super Bowl of money at stake. And there is. But some investors are tired of the rules of the game. They want to see the referees stop determining the score. Investors would like to see the Fed's purchases of bonds come to an end, so the stock and fixed-income market distortions can allow the economy to function without interference. "The sooner QE [qualitative easing]