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Hold The Champagne

It’s a great day for the world and for the presidency of Barack Obama that Osama bin Laden was captured and killed. But people who think that this assures the president’s re-election are a little premature. A few other things have to happen first. We need to avoid a double-dip recession, or a combination of inflation and recession, which is looking increasingly likely. How many dollars a gallon in the price of gas does Osama’s killing offset? How much of an uptick of unemployment in the midwest? How much does it bulletproof Obama in a nasty budget fight where all of the momentum is on the side of austerity? Let’s celebrate this achievement. It brings one of the world’s great killers to justice and adds to President Obama’s credibility on national security. But please, let’s hold the champagne on Obama’s re-election. Read the original post at The American Prospect.
A Presidency in Peril Robert Kuttner is the author of A Presidency in Peril.

Don’t Blame Bernanke

Let’s not expect central bankers to bail out the continuing economic mess. That’s not who they are, and cheap money can only do so much to levitate a deflated economy. This past week, Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, said that he would not in fact do “whatever it takes,” as he had […] Read More..

A Tale of Two Central Bankers

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been desperately trying to levitate a sinking economy, by buying government and commercial bonds in whatever quantities it takes to keep interest rates at record lows. This policy has kept the Great Deflation from being even worse, but it hasn’t produced a robust recovery. The reason: Consumers are suffering […] Read More..

The Fiscal Cliff and the Political Chasm

Question of the Day: How can the Fiscal Cliff be giving aid and comfort to the Bowles-Simpson crowd? The cliff would create a major economic contraction; so would Bowles-Simpson. The “fiscal cliff” is Beltway shorthand for a combo of automatic tax increases and budget cuts set to go off Jan. 2. The timing of the […] Read More..

An Eminently Bad Idea

You may have noticed news items that a company called Mortgage Resolution Partners (MRP) is proposing to have strapped localities use the public power of eminent domain to deal with the problem of underwater mortgages. Officials of San Bernardino County, California, where one home in two is worth less than the value of the mortgage […] Read More..

Waiting for Lefty

The economy is plainly stuck in second gear. For the third month in a row, new job creation in June, at just 80,000, was barely enough to keep the unemployment rate from rising, and not nearly sufficient to accommodate new entrants to the labor market and unemployed people looking for work. Not only did the […] Read More..