What’s up with the Debt Ceiling

We are within an arm's length of reaching a "debt ceiling" in the United States.  In other words, the government has basically maxed out the national credit card (based on limits established by US law).  The Treasury Department has indicated that unless Congress authorizes additional borrowing (which only Congress can do through its lawmaking functions), the United States will not … Continue reading What’s up with the Debt Ceiling

It’s Still About Monetizing

Forbes had an article today called "A Farewell to Borders."   It was a "border" line tearjerker for me because I have many fond memories of that place.  During my college years, I spent countless hours at Borders meeting with classmates and hitting the textbooks.  They always had plenty of big tables, bright lights, and good coffee.  It was such a welcoming … Continue reading It’s Still About Monetizing

The Game Must Go On

This morning Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve (the US central bank aka the Fed), delivered his semiannual report on monetary policy to Congress.  During the report, Bernanke said, “the possibility remains that the recent economic weakness may prove more persistent than expected, and that deflationary risks might reemerge, implying a need for additional policy support.”  … Continue reading The Game Must Go On

Where are the Fed’s Reserves?

The Federal Reserve System, more commonly known as the "Fed," is the central banking system in the United States.  As the term "central" implies, the Fed is the bank for other banks.  As such, it plays a very important role in maintaining the stability of our financial system.  Like other banks, the Fed basically uses a combination … Continue reading Where are the Fed’s Reserves?

Big Trouble in Little Athens

Greece has received a lot of publicity since its financial problems surfaced last year.  And yet it seems like many people still don't think Greece's problems are all that important.  For example, last week I heard a popular financial radio host basically ridicule the notion that Greece's financial issues could affect America.  His reasoning was that Greece's economy is tiny compared to the Eurozone or the … Continue reading Big Trouble in Little Athens

There’s a Forest Up There

Last week in San Francisco, the weather forecast was calling for a slight chance of showers north of the city, most likely around noon.  In the heart of the city, while grabbing my morning cup of coffee, I was getting drenched because I thought I wouldn't need an umbrella.  That got me thinking about "Navigate the Noise," a book by Richard Bernstein.  He wrote that people seem to pay … Continue reading There’s a Forest Up There