November 18, 1985 |
Nobel laureate Franco Modigliani headed the procession of intrigued American economic theorists. He had come, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor was reported as saying, to see "the Argentine miracle." To which one of those Argentine economic theorists depicted in newspaper comic strips holding forth from park benches replied: "It really would be a miracle if he finds the miracle."
September 19, 2004 |
Economist friends who have served in government like to joke that after a newly arrived president has finished admiring the Oval Office, he starts hunting for the secret room containing the knobs that control the economy. It's always a fruitless search. Still, presidents are not completely powerless to affect the economy. Since World War II, the economy seems to have performed better under Democratic presidents than under more overtly pro-business Republican chief executives.
June 24, 2008 |
Here we go again. Soaring oil prices have sent Washington politicians into overdrive to come up with a variety of legislative plans that aim to lower the cost of energy by targeting oil companies. Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, for example, has declared: "I'll make oil companies like Exxon pay a tax on their windfall profits, and we'll use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills."
December 20, 1992 |
"In the sublime relationship of Man to God," political columnist William Safire writes, "or the secular relation of citizen to governor, the same question arises: how do we get access?" By giving that question priority over all others, Safire manages to draw practical, political lessons from a work that few before him have read as a practical or political: the Book of Job. In the Bible, Job, an upright and blameless man, suffers because God has accepted a challenge from Satan.
December 10, 2002 |
John W. Snow underscored a major shift Monday in his brief remarks after being nominated as the next Treasury secretary. He mouthed the usual platitudes about "small businesses," "medium-sized businesses" and "large businesses." And then he hastened to add, "and investors." That's the reality of postindustrial America today: It's the investor class, stupid. Which is why Paul H. O'Neill, the ousted Treasury secretary, and White House economic advisor Lawrence B. Lindsey had to go.
March 3, 2001 |
Hollywood studios and writers over the last six weeks barely inched toward a resolution of critical financial issues to avert a possible strike, despite an impression in the industry that they were making progress, according to participants on both sides of the contract talks. Although negotiations between studios and the Writers Guild of America did not break off formally until Thursday, both sides say they realized talks would be fruitless almost immediately after they started on Jan. 22.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 1998 |
The essential difference between politicians and investors is that when uncertainty rises, politicians generally want to do more, while investors generally want to do less. "Doing more" usually means increased public expenditure and economic regulation. "Doing less" means reducing investors' exposure to risk; they sacrifice a higher rate of return for a higher level of security. In other words, politicians are naturally at cross-purposes with investors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 1993 |
Republican haggling about the party's future is clouded and confused by jargon and slogans. In this debate, no word is more abused or less relevant than "conservative." Is Barry Goldwater a conservative? He favors a woman's right to choose abortion. Alan Greenspan? He supports President Clinton's plan to increase income taxes and impose an energy tax. How about Milton Friedman and William F. Buckley Jr.? They want to legalize marijuana. Richard Nixon?
June 23, 1987 |
Let's begin with the obvious. Any central banker knows how to overcome inflation. Since 1945, central bankers in Western Europe, Latin America and elsewhere have repeatedly, if temporarily, halted and reversed price escalation. All that the central banker needs to do is slow the printing presses, push interest rates up, discourage business and consumer borrowing--and precipitate a recession.
December 24, 1994 |
Even as Mexico's currency plunge has sparked a financial crisis and tarnished the nation's image, its long-term effects could yield quite the opposite: Mexico's exports are likely to become more competitive, and its global trade deficit should narrow soon. A cheaper peso "should stimulate Mexican exports to the United States--no question about it," said Richard N. Rosencrance, director of UCLA's Center for International Relations.