Jon Stewart is a Genius
Jon Stewart asks Alan Greenspan an excellent question:
Why do we have a Fed? Why do we have someone adjusting the rates if we’re a free-market society?
Alan’s answer is not satisfying, but I don’t blame him: The economics profession does not have a good answer. We economists have rigorous and fundamental theory to explain why we have environmental regulation (externalities) and to explain why we have antitrust laws (market power), but there is no consensus about what market failure calls for the existence of a central bank. The answer has something to do with the benefits of a system of fiat money. And it has something to do with the possibility of short-run monetary nonneutrality…
Nice post from the recent Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to President Bush and current Harvard professor. If I remember right he was in consideration to serve on the Fed. I also don’t think he is questioning the regulatory role of the Fed but the interest rate and monetary policy.
Related: Bernanke Calls for Stronger Regulation of Mortgages – Investor Protection Needed – What is the Fed Funds Rate?
The survey attempted to identify the high and low points of housing prices in each of the markets, some of which started declining from their peak in the third quarter of 2005. All are median prices for single-family houses. Nationally, Moody’s is projecting an average price decline of 7.7 percent. That’s a jump from the 6.6 percent total price drop that the company was forecasting in June and more than twice that of last October’s forecast of a 3.6 percent price decrease.
This forecast appears to me to be from the absolute top to the bottom over the course of several years. That decline is now estimated to be over 10% for nearly 23% of the markets. The remaining 67% will decline less than 10% from the peaks or increase. There average price decline prediction (again from the top of the market to the bottom) nationwide is now 7.7% up from an estimate of 3.6% last year.
“Much of the unprecedented economic growth of the past 10 years can actually be credited to the doctrine of fair use, as the Internet itself depends on the ability to use content in a limited and nonlicensed manner,” CCIA president and CEO Ed Black said in a statement. “To stay on the edge of innovation and productivity, we must keep fair use as one of the cornerstones for creativity, innovation, and, as today’s study indicates, an engine for growth for our country.”
First, it is sad that college students are so lame they can’t even understand basic personal finance concepts like high interest credit card debt is very bad. But millions of them seem to actually be that lame (not exactly a great sign from our future leaders :-/). The credit card companies actually claim: “Our overall approach toward college students is to help them build good financial habits and a credit history that prepares them for a lifetime of successful credit use.” Does anyone believe this? A related articles discussed how much cash universities were taking from credit card companies: The Dirty Secret of Campus Credit Cards.
It really isn’t that hard to do the right thing. Credit card companies have learned to profit by gauging their customers. If they claim that they are trying to teach good financial habit then the university to set up a contract to favor that. If bad practices occur (students not paying off the full balance say) they the credit card companies don’t get to make a profit on that – since it would be rewarding failure by the credit card company. How you want to do this is up to you but I can’t think of several ways. It is pretty simple – don’t let the credit card companies profit by encouraging stupid credit card use – like they do now.
Yes, creating a climate where the universities focus on the credit card companies actually doing what they say they want to do is a new way of thinking. But paying universities millions to market exorbitantly expensive financial products that harm students finances and teach them bad financial lessons is not some grand tradition passed down from Cambridge 200 years ago. Obviously neither side minds doing things differently for the right amount of cash. Lets see if they mind doing so to help the students learn. My guess is they will mind doing that. But I will be happy if I am proved wrong. My guess is that some schools would (and maybe even are doing this) – some schools really do care about helping their students learn.
The universities could choose to use their clout to help student instead of just getting a big payday for themselves. That would be a good lesson for students to learn. Much more effective then telling students they really should act ethically and not only chase after the dollars after they graduate. Such “advice” rings pretty hollow if you see that same university selling students out for a quick buck.
Some pretty amazing statistics are in this article – Homes entering foreclosure at record:
Serious delinquencies, those 90 days or more late, jumped to 1.11 percent of all loans, from 0.98 percent in the first quarter. The loans actually entering foreclosure proceedings stood at 0.65 percent, a rise from 0.58 percent in the first three months – and the highest rate in the MBA’s 55-year history.
This quote however is a bit misguided I think:
Stagnant home prices have not taken a toll on housing affordability. Yes people that put nothing down and took out mortgage where they could not pay the monthly payments and planned to just borrow even more from the house if the house price went up can’t afford it – but they couldn’t afford it in the first place.
But I have a nasty little secret for you, folks. If you use realistic numbers rather than what I call WAAP – Washington Accepted Accounting Principles – the real federal deficit for the current fiscal year is more than 2-1/2 times the stated deficit.
What is going on? The same old story. Those in charge of spending the money in Washington like to use deceptive tactics to try and trick people that don’t know any better. For example, if the government incurs a deferred liability to pay $100 Billion dollars in future social security payments this year and invests that money in treasury bonds they act like the government didn’t spend that money. Of course it did, they took $100 billion in social security taxes and spent it to build bridges to nowhere, pay huge corporate welfare payments, other worthless wastes, even worthwhile things etc..