For once, top Obama economic advisor Larry Summers got it right. Warning opponents of the big tax-cut deal, Summers told reporters, "Failure to pass this bill in the next couple weeks would materially increase the risk that the economy would stall out and we would have a double-dip recession."
Commentary by Lawrence Kudlow
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Unemployment jumped to 9.8 percent in a very disappointing November jobs report. Non-farm payrolls increased by only 39,000, and private jobs expanded by just 50,000. This is way below what the economy needs.
The great Bernanke QE2 debate continues to heat up. In the run-up to the G-20 meetings, China, Russia, Germany and others have all come out against the Federal Reserve's quantitative-easing agenda. They don't want hot-money excess dollars to flow into their higher-yielding currencies.
Momentous events this week -- the Republican House sweep and the Fed's QE2 -- moved the stock market needle only a little over Tuesday and Wednesday, although the net impact was a gain of about 90 points.
On the eve of the midterm elections, a third-quarter gross domestic product report showing a meager 2 percent growth rate is the final nail in the Obama Democrats' political coffin.
The falling dollar is on most everybody's mind, especially in financial markets here at home and globally. A currency war? World protectionism? Race to the bottom?
Believe it or not, with jobs falling for four consecutive months and unemployment stubbornly high near 10 percent, President Obama is out on the campaign trail bashing businesses and promoting class warfare. Huh? (Oh my gosh is he off message.
Could it have been the new Gallup poll that drove stocks up almost 200 points on Tuesday? That blockbuster survey, regarded by many as the blue-chip gold standard for election forecasting, pointed to an unprecedented Republican landslide tsunami in the generic congressional race.
Am I the only one who saw weakness when President Obama and his departing chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, gave each other big, fat, full-bore hug following their speeches at the resignation event in the White House's East Room on Friday?
President Obama is crowing about his small-business bill, signed into law on Monday.
Fed head Ben Bernanke and the FOMC dropped a new policy bomb at their meeting this week. Now they say inflation is too low. That's the real problem. And the solution? Punch up the money supply and punch down the dollar -- or what I used to call King Dollar. No more.
This past week, I gave a speech to a group of investors. The organizer of the event e-mailed me the night before, asking that I please try to be optimistic. Well, that's my usual habitat. But optimism has been hard for me this year. Our muddle-through economy and lackluster stock market, challenged by so many taxing, spending and regulating problems coming out of Washington, are the reasons why.
Under pressure from a barrage of bad midterm-election polls, President Obama has gone on the campaign trail to blame Pres. George W. Bush for all our economic problems, and to bash House Republican leader John Boehner as nothing more than a Bush retread.
It’s all midterm-election politics, but Obama’s last-minute idea for 100 percent tax write-offs for corporate investment is, in fact, a good idea.
Corporate profits are at all-time highs, and bond rates in the Treasury market are virtually at record lows. That's a good combination for stocks, and it helped trigger a 255 point rally in Wednesday's trading. What's more, a surprisingly positive read on the ISM August manufacturing report delivered a strong blow to the double-dip recession pessimism that has plagued investors for many months.
It's a bit too early for House Republican leader John Boehner to measure the drapes and pick out new wallpaper.
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? In politics, the answer is usually no. Most elected officials cling to their ideological biases, despite the real-world facts that disprove their theories time and again. Most have no common sense, and most never acknowledge that they were wrong.
The economy is suffering from something like a summer swoon. In the words of business columnist Jimmy Pethokoukis, the recovery summer has gone bust. We all know this from the sloppy statistics coming in for jobs, retail sales and, most recently, manufacturing. But market-based indicators are telling the same story.
With the disappointingly soft jobs report for July and a faltering recovery overall, is Team Obama getting ready for some sort of new, liberal-left, Keynesian, big-bang stimulus package? Will it be desperate to "do something"?
Will higher tax penalties on investment really spur jobs and faster economic growth? Most commentators would say no. It's really a matter of economic common sense. But Tim Geithner says, Yes!