Archive

October 17th, 2015

Government-backed mortgage lenders are the definition of too big to fail. Too bad we need them more than ever.

    If there's one thing with which most of Washington has long agreed, it's this: Fannie and Freddie must die.

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Don't Celebrate Yet

    It takes a lot or restraint not to find joy in the disarray of the Congressional Republicans, especially in the House; however, a more sober look brings the reality that we will all suffer from it. They do hold the majority and have managed to gerrymander electoral districts to the point where it will be exceedingly difficult to dislodge them. In the meantime we live with that leaderless majority.

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Can E-Cigarettes Save Lives?

    Two weeks ago, I received an email from NJOY, a company that sells electronic cigarettes. Its purpose was to introduce the Daily, a new product that NJOY described as “a superior e-cigarette scientifically developed to deliver quick-and-strong nicotine satisfaction at levels close to an actual cigarette.”

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Beware hasty predictions of Fed's next move

    The fragility of the global economy, weakening conditions in the U.S. and recent statements from some Federal Reserve officials have led to a growing acceptance that the central bank won't raise interest rates this year.

    But those who now predict the Fed will put off its first increase in almost 10 years until March 2016 may be misreading the broader domestic and international context.

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Ambition? Who needs it?

    When I was young and people would ask about me, my father, who knew me all too well, would say: "Jimmy suffers from a distinct lack of ambition."

    Ouch. I loved him dearly, but I couldn't argue with his assessment then, and I can't argue with it now.

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October 16th

The GOP was right to fear Clinton

    Before all the craziness -- before Donald Trump and Ben Carson and the need for two-tiered debates -- Republicans' biggest fear about next year's election was having to run against Hillary Clinton. As we saw Tuesday night, they were right to worry.

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Debate reveals Democrats as the only adults vying for presidency

    More than any of the five Democrats who debated on CNN for two and a half hours Tuesday night, the clear winners were their party and the American voters.

    The civility and general substance of the first nationally televised competition for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination trumpeted the adult character of their party, compared to the kiddie carnival put on by their Republican counterparts in their first two debates.

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Why monopolies don't give you nice things

    I missed the Democratic debate Tuesday evening, occupied as I was with listening to classic rock from the 1970s. What would have interested me in that debate was the discussion of the proper role of regulation in modern capitalism.

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Virginia for the Win: Kasich's Richmond event may sink him

    Virginia for the Win is a series examining Virginia's crucial role in the 2016 presidential race.

    Did Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) throw a rock at social media, but instead wind-up hitting Social Security, a historically fatal campaign mistake?

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Tipping's hidden benefits for servers and customers

    If you want to get economics pundits excited, bring up the issue of tipping. Most of my fellow pundits despise tipping, the way they despise the electoral college and the penny. Well, the pundits are sure to be rejoicing: Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group, which runs more than a dozen restaurant chains, just said it will eliminate tipping at all of its establishments.

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