20/20 Vision

Optimal Levels of Inflation

Update 535 — Optimal Levels of Inflation:What to Hope For and Expect in Recovery The May jobs report, out today, reflects an economy in transition, headed steadily toward recovery. U.S. employers added 559,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate went down by 0.3 percent. The favorable trajectory still leaves open the length of recovery …

Optimal Levels of Inflation Read More »

Megabank CEOs Hit Hill

Update 534 — Megabank CEOs Hit Hill:Issues, Attacks Heard; Less So Consensus The CEOs of the six “megabanks” testified before the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees this week, addressing issues ranging from the pandemic response to climate risk to racial justice to wage disparities. Some questions arose concerning the banking sector itself but …

Megabank CEOs Hit Hill Read More »

Senate Democrats Poised To Debate

Update 533 — Senate Democrats PoisedTo Debate, Decide Meaning of Majority Rule Americans are about to be treated to an extended debate about the recondite rules of the U.S. Senate. Arcane and archaic, Senate procedure requires supermajorities for passage of veto overrides, treaties and impeachment — as provided by the Constitution. But the Senate has …

Senate Democrats Poised To Debate Read More »

A Round with the Regulators

Update 532 — A Round with the Regulators:Financial Policy Issues Left, Front and Center These are flush times for banks — lending volume, interest rates, and share prices are on the rise and the economy is primed for a vertical recovery. What could go wrong? This week, Congress heard from the heads of the financial …

A Round with the Regulators Read More »

April Jobs Report

Update 530 — April Jobs Report:What Accounts for Hiring Slowdown? Last week’s Labor Department April jobs report showed the economy gained a net 266,000 jobs last month — much lower than expected. The surprising figure has led to debate about the efficacy and necessity of relief and reform measures.  But the problems the report revealed …

April Jobs Report Read More »

H.R. 1/S.1 Tied Up in Cmte.

Update 529:  H.R. 1/S.1 Tied Up in Cmte.After 9-9 Vote, Whither Political Reform? The comprehensive political reform bill known as the For the People Act (H.R. 1/S. 1) passed the House in March 2019 and again in March 2021. With a new President and a narrowly Democratic Congress, the bill has a chance to become …

H.R. 1/S.1 Tied Up in Cmte. Read More »

From Saving to Spending

Update 528 — From Saving to Spending:The Consumer’s Role in the US Recovery Consumer spending comprises 70 percent of GDP, so big changes in consumer behavior bear directly on growth more than any other factor. Per the Bureau of Economic Analysis, total personal income in the U.S. increased $4.21 trillion in March. This 21.1 percent …

From Saving to Spending Read More »

Yellen Moves Markets

Update 527 — Yellen Moves MarketsAnd Can Remove FSOC Roadblocks The Federal Reserve surprised no one last Wednesday by continuing its near-zero interest rate policy and large-scale asset purchases. But markets tumbled Tuesday after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen mentioned the possibility of raising rates, at some point, to prevent the economy from overheating.  In the …

Yellen Moves Markets Read More »

Biden Economic Policy Plan

Update 526 — Biden Economic Policy PlanOutline of a New Social Contract on Offer? In his first address before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, President Biden proposed an ambitious and progressive domestic economic policy agenda for the months ahead. He declared trickle-down economics dead and offered what amounts to a redefinition of the …

Biden Economic Policy Plan Read More »